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News Dr. Michio Kaku America Has A Secret Weapon

  1. Aug 23, 2011 #1
    Dr. Michio Kaku speaks out.



    What do you think? Are we focusing too much attention of foreign students or are Americans just plain stupid?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 23, 2011 #2
    I'm also wondering. How many privileges do these geniuses have over American students?
     
  4. Aug 23, 2011 #3

    Evo

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    What do you mean by privileges?
     
  5. Aug 23, 2011 #4

    BobG

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    Those that were raised thinking life should be easy sit on the sidelines and those that were raised thinking hard work is a normal part of life take over. It's the American way. We've always relied on immigrants for the human energy necessary for progress.
     
  6. Aug 23, 2011 #5

    berkeman

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    :rofl: Your killing me here, Bob! :rofl:
     
  7. Aug 23, 2011 #6
    Young people have lost the skill of dealing with the extra change, because the cash register computes the correct change. even if the cashier understood the transaction it would be difficult to get the cash register to accept it. I don't even bother any more.
     
  8. Aug 23, 2011 #7

    Evo

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    Stop, I can't take it!!! :rofl: I can hardly type through the tears!!

    Oh wait, it's true!!! :cry:
     
  9. Aug 23, 2011 #8
    Do they receive automatic funding and grants for studying in the US? That would be seem like a privilege.
     
  10. Aug 23, 2011 #9

    Evo

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    No more than American students, I would imagine, unless they have access to some additional funding, who knows?
     
  11. Aug 23, 2011 #10
    How do you underline in Spanish?

    EDIT: BTW it's ...madera para..., two words.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  12. Aug 23, 2011 #11
    Neither, imo. There's just more foreign students and hence more foreign phd candidates. And a lot of them, who have the funding (eg., via their families or prospective employers or scholarships/grants), apply to US grad schools and get accepted. At least the US still has most of the best schools in the world. There will come a time when that's no longer the case.

    But Kaku was talking about H-1B visa. The H-1B is a way for US employers to benefit from skilled (ie., educated -- minimum of 4-year undergrad degree is required I think) foreign labor, which is desirable because they work for a lot less money than their American counterparts.
    (And, as he pointed out, in some cases, and increasingly so, there are no American counterparts.)

    The H-1B program is littered with 'middlemen' who offer foreign graduates a certain 'contract' for a price. There have been problems with scams related to this, sometimes leaving the foreign graduate with no money, no job, and no place to live. More often they're simply forced to work for much less money than they had been led to believe they would be getting.

    Anyway, I agree with Kaku's point that the level of academic/scientific proficiency of the US-born population is declining, and that the H-1B program is necessary for US science and industry.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  13. Aug 23, 2011 #12
    I think it will take at least one more generation of decline before we demand higher standards in the classroom. As the Math 2009 demonstrates - we don't even require that immigrants (legal or otherwise) learn our language - let alone proper English.
     
  14. Aug 24, 2011 #13

    turbo

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    Simply clear the transaction and enter the new amount tendered and the amount owed. Not a problem with modern registers, though some morons operating the registers will panic if faced with such a situation.

    If you own a store and are willing to let your cashiers deal with people who may be willing to scam you, you need to make sure that your employees are calm and patient under pressure, even if there is a long line of customers waiting. That is the best time for scammers to take advantage of your employees, so that is the time when patience and attention to detail are most needed.

    A woman that I know owns a liquor store/convenience store in the county seat. I asked her one time why the counter wrapped all the way around the front of the store to the exit, so that it would be impossible for her clerks to get to the exit quickly if they wanted. She said that If someone wanted to steal liquor, beer, or wine, she'd rather use the security cameras and the local cops to deal with the issue, instead of letting her employees get into confrontations with the thieves. Fair enough. Her employees are all pretty large, physically, including the women, but she doesn't want to endanger any of them.
     
  15. Aug 24, 2011 #14
    The issue isn't a lack of qualified Americans- Michio Kaku has no idea what he is talking about. The US graduates more top scoring science students than any other country on earth. We also graduate more low scoring students then we should, but the low scoring students would never end up going into science, even if we raised their scores to average (which we should). The real lack is jobs in science.

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2005/02/tale-of-two-geeks.html

    For better or worse, science takes 10+ years of education for a career that usually lasts only 5 years or so after (all postdocs). I spent a decade studying physics and I TEND BAR BECAUSE IT PAYS BETTER. I'd love a job in my field, but there are hundreds of applications for every open position all very talented, so what are my chances of actually getting one?

    And because there is NO shortage of engineers, etc, no one is willing to take a chance on a physicist in an engineering position or other out-of-my-field work.

    As a first world student- pursuing a job in science is a huge economic disadvantage. Thats the whole issue. Its not that Americans are stupid, or poorly educated, etc. Kaku has done his credibility a disservice, and presented the "shortage of scientists" myth that lead me into this dead-end field.
     
  16. Aug 24, 2011 #15
    You also have to consider that the United States only has about 300 million people in it, but a lot more people than just americans come to american institutions.

    So when he says 50% of all graduates in science aren't american... well... no surprise there really. Especially since people specifically CHOOSE america to come to in order to get a scientific education. There's a lot more people outside the united states than inside (really, i promise!).

    Like someone pointed out, if you take the top 1% (intellectually) of China (Total pop, not workforce pop), it equals basically the entire workforce of the U.S., and that's just China. Now obviously not all of them are coming over to the U.S. to study, but a lot of people are.

    Does this mean we should be lazy and say that there is no problem? No. Of course there's a problem with our primary/secondary education, but I don't think it's a severe crisis as of yet, not by any means.
     
  17. Aug 24, 2011 #16
  18. Aug 24, 2011 #17

    Evo

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    Once total has been hit, on the new registers that I've seen, a change requires them to call a supervisor, who has to insert a key, then type their employee ID and a void code, which will then allow the cashier to make the change. I'm always apologizing if I need to make a change or spot a price error after the sale has been totaled. I'm assuming it's to prevent the cashier from going back and changing the sale and pocketing money.
     
  19. Aug 24, 2011 #18

    turbo

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    Didn't know about that, though in larger stores that's probably the case. In the smaller stores around here, it seems that cashiers can clear transactions and re-enter them, though. I'm sure that the cleared transactions show up in the record at the end of each cashiers' shift, so too much of that might send up a flag. Back before registers were "smart" my wife took a part-time job with a large retailer, and was amazed at the number of people who couldn't be trusted on registers because they didn't have the math skills needed to give correct change. So this is not a new problem - it was a problem over 30 years ago.
     
  20. Aug 25, 2011 #19
    On Googling some recent census and job stats, it appears that you're correct and that Kaku has mischaracterized the situation, as there doesn't seem to be a shortage of qualified (phds) American scientists for any particular position.

    Outsourcing of high tech jobs by US employers via H-1B visas (which apparently has nothing to do with shortages of qualified US personel) seems to be advantageous to employers for economic and control reasons, and 'necessary' only insofar as it improves employers' bottom lines -- while at the same time doing harm to the higher skilled segment of the US workforce that it affects, and possibly (ironically) precipitating a trend toward decreased production of graduate science related degrees among Americans (as more prospective scientists among US born and raised become aware of the actual situation, and thus choose a different career).

    The above statements, based on my cursory 'research' and assumed incomplete understanding of the situation, are tentative, and I hope that people who are somewhat more knowledgeable about this subject than me (such as you, ParticleGrl) will elaborate a bit more about it.

    Kaku says that scientific research in US academia and industry is 'dependent' on foreign born scientists. I'm wondering what, exactly, he means by this because the stats I've looked at, as well as statements by you and others on the internet, suggest otherwise. On the other hand, I've been lucky enough to be acquainted with a few top scientists working in the US in the fields of biophysics and condensed matter physics who are foreign born.

    Is Kaku only talking about the foreign born among the very top echelon of US scientists, and if so then what does H-1B have to do with that (and just what is the percentage of foreign born among the US scientific elite?)?

    It seems that the US doesn't really need to increase its rate of American born science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates, but rather to decrease the incentives for hiring foreign born personel (or even to establish disincentives for such hiring practices).

    Have our elected representatives, while (via political expediency) advocating a solution to a problem (shortage of US born graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics) which apparently doesn't exist, created (via legislation) conditions under which the probability of such a problem eventually developing is increased?

    Regarding the lack of jobs in science, I suspect that this would be the case even without the hiring of foreign born scientists.
     
  21. Aug 25, 2011 #20
    A week or 2 ago - in a different thread - this was your specific opinion.

    "
    "


    Accordingly, care to support your assertions?
     
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