A Robeson ‘A’ is a college ‘F’

At Chicago’s Robeson High, motivated, hard-working students may get A’s in honors classes — and then fail in college.  From Chicago Public Radio:

Sarah has great school attendance and does her homework without carrot-like incentives from teachers or parents. Sarah’s GPA is a 3.5 and she’s ranked 13th in her class. She wants to go to college and would be the first in her family to do so. But Robeson isn’t a college-prep school. The average ACT score is 14 out of 36 – a score too low for most colleges.

Robeson senior counselor Bonnie Miah admits the school’s curriculum is not college ready.

MIAH: And they get to college and it’s like a deer in a headlight. And I tell them all the time that Robeson has not prepared you for this step.

Students with “soft skills,” such as motivation and determination, may earn high grades despite low test scores, says Dave Johnson of the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Then they get to college without the academic skills they need to survive.

About Joanne


  1. Richard Nieporent says:

    At Chicago’s Robeson High, motivated, hard-working students may get A’s in honors classes — and then fail in college.

    I wonder who was responsible for the abominable state of the Chicago school system?

    CHICAGO — President-elect Barack Obama announced Arne Duncan, the head of the Chicago school system, as education secretary Tuesday and declared that failing to improve classroom instruction is “morally unacceptable for our children.”


  2. Margo/Mom says:

    I don’t know that Sarah is necessarily an example of a student with excellent “soft skills” in the sense that many people are talking about right now (problem solving, collaboration). She is an example of what has been considered in most schools to be a “good” student. She follows the rules, she doesn’t cause problems. I don’t know that I think a lot about a counselor who is telling students all the time that their school is not preparing them (despite honors classes) for college. Why isn’t she standing on the table at staff meetings and shouting this to the adults? Why isn’t she ushering groups of honors students to any and all powers that be to demand that they be given a shot at an education? And why is this discussion only focused on the honors students? One only has to wonder–if the honors students are not even prepared for college, what are the regular grads prepared for? Is anyone tracking what becomes of the students when they leave school (including those who leave before graduation)?

    Absolutely the leadership bears responsibility. But that doesn’t give a free pass to all of the adults in the system who are going along, particularly the ones who want to be considered professionals.

  3. Margo/Mom,

    The counselor can’t buck the system. There is a huge inertia in school districts–my friend the superintendent says that it takes at least 5-6 years of constant pushing to make any lasting improvements in a district.

    And the biggest obstacle is the parents. They don’t want to hear that their schools aren’t up to par, because that means that they were ignorant of that fact, and they can’t face that truth. They also don’t want to face the truth that they themselves are to blame for always wanting their precious little Johnny to be advanced fromn grade to grade and eventually graduate, because he’s such a nice boy. Believe me, this sort of pressure eventually wears a district down, especially when the school board doesn’t want to offend the parents who voted them into power.

    The administrators and teachers of every district work hard to overcome this sort of inertia and laziness, but they’re not always successful. But without their hard work, more schools would be like this one.

  4. “The administrators and teachers of every district work hard to overcome this sort of inertia and laziness, but they’re not always successful. But without their hard work, more schools would be like this one.”

    “Work hard”? This I doubt. The US State-monopoly school system crawls with time-serving drones who live only for their salaries and count the days until they can collect their retirement benefits.

  5. Andy Freeman says:

    > I don’t know that I think a lot about a counselor who is telling students all the time that their school is not preparing them (despite honors classes) for college.

    Surely Margo/Mom isn’t suggesting that she not tell the students the true value of their “achievements”?

    > Why isn’t she standing on the table at staff meetings and shouting this to the adults? Why isn’t she ushering groups of honors students to any and all powers that be to demand that they be given a shot at an education?

    Probably because that’s a waste of time.

    I’m a little confused why this is the messenger’s fault and not the fault/responsibility of said “adults” and “powers that be”.

  6. Margo/Mom says:

    You know, I can never tell if teachers and other school professionals are individually schizophrenic or if they are divided into camps that each purport to speak for “teachers.” On the one hand, (some) teachers decry that they are not treated as professionals. On the other hand, they (or some of them) are entirely willing to place the blame for problems on administrators, or “the system.” You are the system dears–or a really big and important part of it.

    Yes, it is hard to make changes in a system. Why does that excuse not making the changes. Any employee (like a counselor) who is in a key location to witness ongoing problems (such as honors students graduating unprepared for college) has a responsibility to be working to change them. The counselor does not write or teach the curriculum. What then should s/he do? I just don’t think that telling the students that they have drunk deeply of all the school has to offer and still come up short that they aren’t going to be ready ends the responsibility.

    I just bet that telling parents that the honors students fall short of college readiness is not going to meet with cheers and support for maintaining the status quo. But we don’t generally tell parents these kinds of things. Why talk to the barriers? They are much more effective as scape goats when they are not in the room.

    Imagine if the school nurse knew about an epidemic of food poisoning caused by the cafeteria and only told the students about it, individually.

  7. No system excels without competition, that’s all there is to it. Until schools are exposed to some form of competition, where there are winners and losers and the losers really do lose something, there will be no system-wide improvement.

    I’m not well-informed enough to know what form this competition should take, but it’s obvious that it needs to happen.

  8. I’m willing to bet that the same situation exists in most big-city school systems and many others. It was certainly known that not all of the Montgomery County high schools REALLY had the same courses, despite identical course descriptions.

  9. Malcolm,

    Obviously you’ve never met many teachers or administrators. Sure, there are a few who are just clock punchers, but the majority of them work longer hours than they are paid for. My friend the superintendent regularly puts in 80 hour weeks, what with all the evening meetings (PTA Council, School Board, various community events, etc.), and 80 hours is way more than normal for other sorts of jobs.

  10. David Conley, a Pew Center researcher and author of College Knowledge, has noted there is a fundamental difference between “college eligible” and “college ready.” That distinction is at the heart of the debate about the goals and curriculum of public education. In 2005, USA Today reported that two-thirds of high school students go to college, but less than one-third earn a degree. Thus, twice as many students are going to college as did in 1950, yet the number achieving bachelor degrees is virtually unchanged. Clearly, a large number of students are unprepared for college.

    The difference between high school expectations and college is the discussion we should be having. New Hampshire’s plan that allows the potential for high school graduation at sixteen addresses this gap. Students who’ve completed sophomore year can test into community colleges or trade schools. Students who remain in high school will take a more rigorous college-prep curriculum based on the AP or IB model, and they will subsequently take tests for admittance into a four-year university. This adaptation of Asian/European models should form the basis of all reform in the USA.

  11. Support political candidates at the national, state and local level that support charter schools, vouchers, virtual schooling and homeschooling. The best way to improve our public schools is to offer alternatives to them.

    The African-American mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory Booker, is a strong proponent of vouchers and charters. He’s encountered incredible resistance from the teacher’s unions and entrenched power brokers in NJ regardless of race and SES. The first question I ask political candidates who ask for my vote is if they support vouchers and charters.

  12. The problem with an inner city school is that so much time is spent on discipline. Students act out all of the time and little teaching gets accomplished. When teachers have motivated students who do the assigned work, they are grateful and they give the students good grades.

    I am not a hard teacher but I have that reputation on campus because I give so few As and I demand high quality work. Any time I write a letter of recommendation (and I write a lot), I note the ease of classes in our inner city school and the lack of preparation many students have for college level classes. My students will need help in college and I say that in these letters.

  13. It actually looked to me that Miah does try to do what she can. She’s honest with the kids, but tries to get them in summer programs to up their readiness. I suspect that a counselor at a school with that academic profile is busy with a lot of other issues. And we can’t really know what she does at staff meetings, but she’s probably limited in what she can say to the press.

    Most of the problem may just be that there aren’t enough students with the inclination to do the work needed to get ready for college, so that they can’t offer an effective honors program. Didn’t the article end saying that in 2004 only 17 students entered college? I think it’s sincerely hard to offer a program to that few students if you have limited resources allocated by the number of students.

    It would seem to me that offering the highly motivated students transfers to other schools with college prep program would be the way to go.

    But you can’t advocate for that kind of program without admitting that you don’t prepare kids, so Miah’s honesty may be the first step.

  14. Silly… these are the type of students who would end up excelling in the Air Force or as a Registered Nurse or some other trade.

    The ironic thing is even if they do graduate college, they would earn less than if they did went the above route.

  15. Ponderosa says:

    American schools –and not just inner city ones –are profoundly inefficient compared to Asian and European schools. I recall the comment of a high school senior I met in Texas who said he was planning to attend community college “to get the basics”. Twelve years of education and he had yet to get the basics! I know community college teachers here in California who battle with lazy, unskilled, disruptive students. Meanwhile, Swiss high school grads I meet have learned three foreign languages and know more about AMERICAN history than most Americans. The inefficiency of our system is staggering. I wouldn’t be surprised if many European lycee graduates are better educated than the graduates of our lower-tier universities (and maybe even our higher-tier schools –I’ve talked to Oberlin grads who’ve taken such an eclectic smogasbord of classes that they have massive gaps in general knowledge). The high college attendance rate in this country can be viewed as a symptom of the flabbiness of our k-12 system –college is a way of learning what they SHOULD have learned k-12. What’s the solution? It’s not, as free market fundamentalists here suggest, competition (all fundamentalisms, by the way, are themselves symptoms of weak educations) or banishing unions (excellent systems abroad have ROBUST unions and state monopolies! Yes, it’s true.) There is no silver bullet to any large problem, but, as Michael suggests above, the RATIONAL way to go is to model ourselves on foreign systems that work (and don’t give me that America-is-so-different line. France and England are very diverse and do better than we do). It’s also rational to model ourselves on the older versions of American education that worked better. One thing that all these models have in common is an emphasis on packing a lot of knowledge into kids’ brains (anathema to our progressive-ed indoctrinated educators). E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge curriculum gives knowledge its due, and, as a 12 year veteran of the classroom, I believe that if it were widely adopted, American public education would become immensely more effective.

  16. Ponderosa: I have hosted a number of foriegn exchange students from the European Lycees (Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, etc.). They are bright kids with excellent educations. About on par with our AP type students. Yes, it is a very good system with a lot to say for it, but one doesn’t need to resort to hyperbole to make that point. (But I do wish our kids studied more languages.)

  17. Stacy in NJ says:

    “all fundamentalisms, by the way, are themselves symptoms of weak educations”


    Pondarosa, While the European systems include unions, they also include rigorous teacher training and parental selection of schools. The teacher preparation/training within Asian countries is incredibly rigorous.

    The educational outcomes for miniorties within many of the EU countires including the UK, France and Germany mirror some of our own problems. Because they more agressively track, their low performers have less opportunites at the college level.

    Just my opinion, but what we don’t need to improve our educational system is another Great Society top down solution. Losen the chains that limit choice and individual schools and systems will provide meaningful models within our own country. This is already happening with some of the better performing charters (Thus, Joanne’s blog). The Genie is out of the bottle ~ there’s no return.

  18. But the interview with Sarah makes her sound like a 5th grader:

    ” We smushed it up in the plastic bag and then we added hand sanitizer, alcohol and water to it. And we had to make the juice go into this test tube.

    Then she stirred the mixture.

    SARAH: You know how you make cotton candy, you put it on a stick. That’s how we found the DNA. ”

    Huh? Does she think that’s research? I think being a hairdresser makes sense–she’s smart, articulate, and probably enjoys being with people. She’s not going to get into med school and compete. Why pretend? Why not prepare her to earn a living and have a standing in her community?

  19. Ponderosa says:


    What I mean when I say fundamentalism is a symptom of a weak education is this: I suspect that it’s really hard to hold on to a rigid belief in a narrow set of propositions that are wielded like infallible solutions to all the big social problems if you’ve had a broad and deep liberal arts education. I suspect that people who gravitate to fundamentalist beliefs (whether they be Christians, Islamists, Marxists or libertarians) are often bright people who have not had the benefit of a really good education and who cling tenaciously to a smart sounding ideology because it promises to banish the scary complexity of the world and helps prevent the uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability that comes with ignorance.

    I agree with you that better teacher training could do wonders for our system –if it’s training that’s heavy on the actual subject matter and how to craft good lessons out of it –as opposed to nebulous, general “teaching skills”, technology training, touchy-feely let’s-all-be-guidance counselors stuff.

    The few European high school teachers I’ve met have been true intellectuals with masters degrees in the subject they teach. American schools seem to look for people skills rather than erudition in prospective teachers.

    Rather than vast choices for parents (wherein many of the options would inevitably suck, as we see now with charter schools), I’d rather see a public system that does it right. It’s really not impossible –look at Japan.

    Lightly Seasoned,

    I hope my post DOES exaggerate the actual situation, but I fear it doesn’t. I worry that our AP-type kids are often as smart as they are DESPITE our schools, not because of them (they get the preponderance of their knowledge from their parents, not from the skills-oriented, content-lite classes they’ve taken). Unless instilling a huge core of knowledge in kids’ brains is a priority to American schools, it ain’t gonna happen, and it doesn’t. In general, our kids graduate with lots of “learning experiences” under their belt, but little knowledge. You seem to see the gap between European grads and ours. What do you think accounts for it?

  20. Lightly Seasoned says:

    1. The more professional selection and working conditions of the teaching cadre. Their system assumes that a part of the teacher’s job is to collaborate and spend time improving lessons and time is provided. Our system assumes that the only time we are actually working is when we have students in the room. There’s no reason effectiveness should flatline after 5 years except that nobody seems to care about true professional development (as opposed to consultant road shows).

    2. They track heavily. The worst students — the ones who suck up instructional time with their behavior issues — aren’t at the Lycee.

    3. They don’t spend a lot of time and energy preparing students who are not qualified or interested for college. Our college graduation rates are only marginally higher than theirs, so we’re spinning a lot of uncessary wheels there.

    I don’t know that 2 is really changeable, although I read that NH is trying out a 10-year program for vocations. I’ll be very interested to see if they pull this off pragmatically and politically because it seems about right to me. Number 1 is certainly fixable with the political will to do so, but probably not in a climate in which education is the first thing on the chopping block.

    I sincerely hope that my AP students are not well prepared in spite of me. I am pretty sure that they are not being taught close analysis and advanced comp. at home. And I’m absolutely certain that none of them are reading James Joyce together. They are certainly advantaged in many ways — in the same ways that their peers at the Lycees are advantaged. They are smart and learn easily. They don’t have much in the way of material worries. Their education is supported at home.

    How many kids of Turkish immigrants are in the German Lycees?

    In general, I agree that our kids need more content work. The traditional framing of the debate as a content vs. skills issue is not helpful since the two are complementary.

    (And I’m pissed off at Core Knowledge right now because I picked up a virus on my laptop visiting it.)

  21. Pondarosa, you confuse “fundamentalism” with dogma. What about Progressives that hold on to ridgid belief systems? Enviornmentalism (see, an -i “sm) is held most true by the well educated.

    Most universities perpetuate the belief systems of the dominite class. That is why we continue to embrace embarassingly inapproriate “solutions” to social problems like public education.

    Your “fundamentalism” comment strikes me as an attempt to marginalize the beliefs of large groups of people in the mistaken belief that you know better. “You” being, in the case, the “educated” as defined by, not surprisingly, you.

    Sorry for all the scare quotes.

  22. Margo/Mom says:

    Just a note, because I am enjoying the dialogue. It is less and less true that other systems are highly tracked. Finland, who is way ahead of all peers according to PISA (and they don’t participate in TIMSS) has aggressively “de-tracked,” with something that might be considered far more like our RtI–students who struggle get extra teacher attention, then additional one-on-one in the classroom from an aid supervised by teacher. They have a level of school-based intervention provided by more highly trained teachers, aimed at getting a kid back on track with peers. The percentage of kids who are educated in the categories that we would consider to be “disabled” is about half of what ours is. They also have formal intervention teams that meet 3X weekly (in each school) that include public health and mental health reps (and public housing as needed). This kind of support is enviable–but it demonstrates that it is not the kids, it’s what we provide.

    Japan is certainly very interesting. They are culturally averse to divisions and labelling, which makes it difficult to do the kind of disaggregated analysis that we do here, with regard to which groups are succeeding at higher levels than others. However, their classrooms are truly for everybody, with only an infinitesimal number of kids with severe disabilities place in alternate locations. While they have a well-developed system of private supports outside of school (juku), there are very clear that within the public school system it is about fostering the greatest good for the group, rather than individual.

    Certainly the relationship of planning/collaboration/study time to classroom time is also very important. In some countries teachers have preferred larger class sizes in order to protect this time–something that I haven’t heard American teachers clamoring for. I also hear a lot of sentiment expressed by teachers to indicate that they think that these kinds of things are a waste of time. Teachers are very protective of their classroom turf and recoil at the kinds of classroom observation by peers and others that are commonplace in Japan and form the basis for their lesson study.

    The UK–which is a useful comparison because they share more with us culturally–has also moved in the direction of de-tracking.

    In making international comparisons, I think that we need to be very careful about looking at current information. Many countries have undergone rapid development/redevelopment of their education systems in recent decades. Universal education is much more the rule than the exception, and the US is less and less the country that others emulate in their development.

  23. Margo/Mom,

    Do you have a link for Finland?

    My reading about England confirms your point, but it did not sound like the results were very good. It sounded to me like they only got acceptable results by changing the grading standards and making the tests easier.

  24. Margo/Mom says:

    OECD has a fair amount of information about Finland: http://www.oecd.org/topicdocumentlist/0,3448,en_33873108_33873360_1_1_1_1_37455,00.html

    They are also a good resource for many countries–they conduct PISA and compile information based on it (which includes a good bit of survey information), but also have a lot of more in-depth looks at various features within specific countries (early childhood, school facilities, leadership, etc).

  25. Margo/Mom says:

    BTW–I think that you are right about the UK. They have shown improvement/high scores on some of the international tests, but are not the most shining example. They are, however, an attractive example because they have so many similarities to the US. Many of the other high-scoring countries have much stronger social support systems (ie more socialistic)–which we tend to balk at.

  26. > I suspect that people who gravitate to fundamentalist beliefs
    >(whether they be Christians, Islamists, Marxists or libertarians)
    >are often bright people who have not had the benefit of a really
    >good education

    Ponderosa, I think GK Chesterton and CS Lewis would like to have a word with you. Saying that religious belief equates with ignorance is not a position you will find it easy to defend. I’m an atheist, but even I know that’s nuts.

    >Rather than vast choices for parents (wherein many of the
    >options would inevitably suck, as we see now with charter
    >schools), I’d rather see a public system that does it right.
    >It’s really not impossible –look at Japan.

    Would you say the same for other things besides education? Would you rather have a government-run health system that “does it right” rather than choice? Would you rather have goveernment-run higher ed that “does it right” rather than choice? Would you rather the government-provided transit systems that “do it right” rather than choice? If you answer is “yes” to these, then you are betraying a political position rather than an educational position.

  27. Ponderosa says:

    Education should be a soaking rain, not a delicate sprinkling.

    Making a soaking rain lesson takes a lot of work. The teacher must first pack his own brain with facts, condense them, and then package the knowledge into a vehicle that will transfer it efficiently to students’ heads (this latter part is a true feat of engineering). I aim to provide these kinds of lessons. It’s not uncommon for me to spend an entire Sunday just making one such 45 minute lesson. This kind of teaching demands tons of prep time. This is the kind of teaching done in Japan and Europe, and that’s why they get and need lots of prep time. I think a lot of American teachers think they can live without lots of prep and collaboration (as Margo/Mom suggests) because they don’t teach this way. They’re told it’s a bad way to teach. Rather than be the “sage on the stage” be the “guide at the side”. Lesson planning involves choosing the groups kids will be in, picking the portion of the text they’re to work with, and photocopying the graphic organizers they’ll use. Lessons look engaging, dynamic, up-to-date, interactive, but what do kids really learn from these lessons? The learning is shallow. It’s a delicate sprinkling.

    I am absolutely certain that my students understand the decline of feudalism WAY better than if they’d done some trendy activity-based lesson because I actually TAUGHT them about it directly with talking, props, little demos, and chalkboard graphics. Designing that lesson well took hours and hours, but it was good and worth it. That’s what every class should be like. I fear that many American teachers have no idea what I’m talking about. This is why I disagree with Lightly Seasoned when he (or she) says that the skills vs. content debate is not helpful. Regardless of the lip-service given to it, content is without doubt the handmaiden to skills in America today. Content needs vociferous advocates to raise it from its lowly and despised status. We will not have robust, full-throated lecturing and direct teaching going on in this country until the content advocates have landed a few good punches against the skills. “Lecturer” is the educational analogue of “liberal” (before the New Depression, that is) –a label to run away from. This won’t change by sticking to mealy mouthed statements about how content and skills are both important.

  28. Now, interestingly, Ponderosa, I put in that same kind of time doing my lesson planning (usually on Sundays, as well). I’m less lecture-based, however. While I start with direct instruction, it takes me a long time to design good, effective guided practice (not a lot out there in English). Every kid reading and writing, every class. That’s how I roll. Maybe I see the balance because of my subject area, which is very skills based, whereas history is far heavier in content.

    (And I’m a girl!)

  29. Margo/Mom says:

    Ponderosa and LS:

    I think you both illustrate that any kind of effective education requires careful planning and thought about what it is that you intend to teach–whether as guide on the side or sage on the stage. When Ponderosa says “I am absolutely certain that my students understand the decline of feudalism WAY better than if they’d done some trendy activity-based lesson because I actually TAUGHT them about it directly with talking, props, little demos, and chalkboard graphics,” I wonder if s/he realizes that those teaching strategies are in fact the elements of effective activity-based lessons.

    Personally I’m not big on trendy–because it allows bypassing the thinking about what it is that you intend to teach. Frequently “trendy” means that someone has put that thought in and come up with something effective–which lots of unthinking people grab up in the belief that it is a solution to all problems. And I do not see any more of this in looking at skills than in looking at content.

    One problem is that the “content” folks are comparing good content to poor “skills” teaching. And vice versa. And I can just about guarantee that there are folks doing a poor job with content (and now, because we do some very public testing and reporting, everyone knows), who think that they can offer up some thoughtless version of skills teaching that will make them look better. It won’t. But until we are willing to take on the job of confronting poor teaching through evaluation, improvement expectations, and ultimately separation for those who can’t/won’t meet the need, it doesn’t matter much which kind of achievement/learning we focus on, we will be doing a mediocre job of it.

    But, in the end, to treat the skills and content question as a dichotomy just offers a lot of confusion (and furthers the kind of denial that perpetuates mediocrity). Skills and content are not polar opposites. They are both needed dimensions of learning. Knowledge without application is useless. Likewise, there can be no applications without something to apply. We have so many examples of this kind of metronomic idiocy. Phonics vs comprehension. It’s BOTH that are needed (and perhaps in differing amounts based on the learning style of the student and what they have already mastered). Memorizing math facts vs understanding mathematical concepts. BOTH are needed. There may be kids who gain facility and automaticity (memorization) by working with the facts in applied settings. By the same token, there may also be kids who move from the specific to the general and do better having an initial data set internalized to play with in order to understand the concept.

    But can we not agree that we have a tremendous problem to solve when we have an “honors” program graduating students who are not adequately prepared for college level work?

  30. Andy Freeman says:

    > all fundamentalisms, by the way, are themselves symptoms of weak educations

    Actually, Ponderosa was going for a cheap slam and substituting “dogma” doesn’t improve the argument.

    Consider Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Yo-Yo Ma or anyone who was thought extremely proficient over a long period of time. There’s one element in common – fundamentals, dogma if you will.

  31. The K-12 education system in the U.S. is completely broken.

    And the fact that our culture is broken too (you’re only cool if you’re proudly ignorant, knowing things deserves humiliation, etc.) doesn’t make fixing it any easier.

    However, I have, interestingly noticed that the current economic collapse of the U.S. is returning many people to more traditional ideas, education included.

    I guess it’s human nature to have to hit rock bottom before things get on the fast track to being fixed, whether you’re an individual, a family, a corporation, or a country. And, like 1861 and 1929, I think we’re about to hit rock bottom again. (What isn’t broken at this point? Our economy, our health care system, our education system, our financial markets, our foreign policy, etc.) At least pretty soon there will be no where to go but up! At that point you’ll start seeing dramatic changes being made in the K-12 education system (as well as all the other aformentioned systems).

  32. Cait Sith,

    “At least pretty soon there will be no where to go but up! At that point you’ll start seeing dramatic changes being made in the K-12 education system (as well as all the other aformentioned systems).”

    Or, we’ll continue to bump along at the bottom never fully recognizing how we got there, or what can be done about it. The entrenched interests will scavenge over our bones like vultures picking off the few fleshy bits left, and those folks capable of independent action will shake their heads and disengage.

  33. If that happens, then the U.S. will officially become a 3rd World Country, as that’s what happened in the world’s other 3rd World Countries.

    Society breaks down, and it becomes “haves vs. have nots” and “survival of the fittest”. Are you prepared to submit to your 21st Century feudal lords?

  34. Feudalism?  We just had our government transfer several trillion in wealth from the middle class to the richest fraction of a percent in the country… nay, the world.  I’d say we’re already there in all but name.