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# Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships

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Director
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2008, 10:04
I mostly agree with you. But, you have to admit that the odds are already stacked against these kids. Possible, yes; probable, not so much.

I know it does, it's called American Exceptionalism and its the difference between America and all of the other countries in the world. Americans (and this ties in well with JAllen) believe that they are a people who chose. When famine, oppression, warfare, religious persecution, tyranny, or stagnation threatened their former countries, unlike those who remained behind, Americans chose to not be the passive victims of history, they chose to get on a boat or a plane, they chose to seek a new life in a new land. Whether that is exceptional, in terms of difference, or exceptional, in other ways, is a matter for history and the reader to determine. However, it makes America different. America, unlike any other great empire in history, was created for the benefit of all people everywhere. The Roman, British, Nazi, Greek, and Persian Empires were all composed of one race or citizenship. America is different, it was formed as a melting pot of thousands of different cultures. America was built on the ideals of freedom and liberty regardless of culture, citizenship or ethnicity. No other country, before or since can claim they have done this and it does indeed make America different.

I'm not sure what experiences you have had outside of the USA, but I have had quite a bit, and I've been living overseas now for over 5 years. As an American and former active duty service-member, I really can't stand it when Americans claim to be so much better than others and/or that the conditions for success are the best in America and worse elsewhere. In my opinion, this is such a closed-minded point of view to maintain.

While I wouldn't go up to the nearest German, French, or Indian citizen in their country and brag about the greatness of America, as far as I'm concerned America IS the greatest country in the world to live in. I've traveled all to Asia, Europe, and Africa and I would never trade places with someone in one of those countries. Call it arrogance, confidence, or whatever, but I think if you truly love your country then you love everything about it, flaws included, and you would defend it against anyone that says otherwise. If someone would like to argue that their country gives the average person more opportunities than America, I would be happy to listen.

It may very well be true that America offers the best political and economic system than the rest of the world (although I think this is quite subjective), but I would be careful in communicating that point of view to your international colleagues at b-school and in the global workplace.

The fact he's sitting next to me in class makes my point for me. If the US wasn't the best place to go for Bschool, he certainly wouldn't be here.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2008, 11:20
jallenmorris wrote:
I will never agree that a person's choices are made for them. YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE.

If a person holds a gun to my head and says they'll kill me if I don't give them my wallet, I still have a choice. One consequence is losing all my money, feeling like a victim and being pissed about it and the helpless feeling that goes with it and the other consequence is dying. The choice may be easy to make, but I STILL HAVE A CHOICE.

Someone that has nothing because they live in Baghdad and their family is all dead still has a choice. Are the choices easy? Maybe not. But you always have a choice.

....

LIFE is filled with choices and you have to own up to those choices. This has nothing to do with political views or socioeconomic status. A person with nothing has the choice to ask for help.

I don't think there is anything else I can say. Either you see my point or you don't. You either agree or you don't. Either way, it's your choice whether you agree or not.

All valid points.

But, my point is that choice can often be a function of one's upbringing and/or current environment over which he/she had NO CHOICE. Child development between the ages of 2 and 6 has the most definitive impact on that person's adult behavior, character, skills/abilities, and interaction with society. And, who/what is responsible for a child's development? Parents, brothers/sisters (if any), and other members of the community. If a child is raised in an "unideal" environment, then the effects of that upbringing will create the foundation for how that person makes his/her choices throughout life. This is why I believe in a destiny concept. What about people with severe cases of Down's Syndrome? You can't possibly argue that these people have the same ability to choose as those without this mental handicap.

Certainly, we have the ability to choose and make our destiny, but at the same time, our destiny has already chosen us.

PS.

You forgot to mention a 3rd consequence in your "gun to the head" example: you choose to give up your wallet, but the guy still pulls the trigger and kills you anyway. Sometimes, you are at the mercy of external factors even when you exert your own free will.

Last edited by trader1 on 28 Aug 2008, 15:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2008, 11:21
jallenmoris, I think you're missing my point. You seem to be a pretty grounded guy. Obviously you have made your situation work for you. You've cut out a lot of nonsense and your focus is on your family, where it should be. But my example was more to show that you:

Come from a well grounded family. Your mother is college educated. Your father works a respectable job with a respectable salary. It seem that you were brought up and taught to make good decisions about not only you but your family as well. You put yourself through college and was able to become a lawyer. Being a lawyer is a respectable profession. You are essentially the epitome of the middle class family (just need a dog). And is spite all of this, after dissecting briefly through you finances you are not on track to be sustainable when you retire or even pay for you kids college. Now granted you have a lot of upward mobility in you profession. But what about those who don't.

We are talking about the median household income in American and yours just happens to be close. There are 111 million households in America. So imaging the 50 million households that make less than the median. Imagine the millions of households who are ran not by lawyers from good families but by waitresses, shift supervisors, taxi drivers, construction workers, etc. The households where the husband makes $25K and the wife makes$24K and they get their cousin to watch their kids, and they don't have health care because their first job wants to save on cost so they work 32 hours their and 20 hours at a second job. So both parents are always working and the kids grow up watching rap videos home alone. They want to go to school but they can't afford it and don't have the time. Yeah, they made some bad decisions but they didn't really know at the time because no one taught them the difference. There are millions of households like this. Just like there are millions of households like yours.

50 years ago you could get a factory job and maintain a decent middle class life. Where are these jobs at now? Only 25% of the population has a bachelors degree. What about the other 75%? That's part of what made America great. You get up, get a job and work hard and you'll be OK (unless you were black). The world has changed, manual labor won't get you by anymore. You need skills. The problem is that a lot of people don't know it's changed. My elders told us when we turned 18 we needed to go out into the world get a job and become a man. They were proud that we finished high school. That is our big achievement. We weren't trying to get into college. Were not going to be lawyer, doctors, etc. Look around nobody we know are lawyers and doctors. If were lucky, one day maybe we'll be a manager at Walmart, like uncle Billy. He actually owns a house. Why do you think the military is filled with so many lower-middle class people. Because we don't think we have other options. You don't see many fortunate people joining the military (much respect to Tillman).

So it wasn't until I was removed from my environment until I realize how incredibly stupid my world view was. I was holding myself back. I was making all the wrong "choices" I guess as you guys see it. But when you're in that situation you don't see them as choices. If you tell me to go into a building and there are two doors then I can choose which door I want to go through. But if I look at the two doors and one of the doors looks different and I don't know that its a door so I only see one door, then do I really have a choice? So I walk through the only door I see which is the wrong door and when I do you say the other door would have provided me more opportunity and that I'm weak for making the wrong choice.

There is an abundance of opportunity here in America and as others have stated around the world. I am not denying this FACT. I'm simply stating that everyone doesn't have equal access to this opportunity and to some they are pretty much closed off from it altogether. Do we need to riot in the streets? Of course not. But let's realize that the fact that you are on this forum right now means that you have a blessed life and there are millions who do not. So let's all get MBA's and go out and get this money and provide for our families and spend a bunch of money of crap we don't need and enjoy life. But let's not get arrogant and think that were somehow inherently smarter than those who didn't succeed. Given the right environmental circumstances you could easily be the poor person.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2008, 11:29
This is giving me a headache. If you don't like it - move. There's plenty of countries in Continental Europe where you can live a comfortable, middle-class life. If this is what you are after (a middle class life), go over the pond - they take care of the middle class far better over there.

Every country and system has its advantages and disadvantages. To say that every country in the world should follow the same system is ludicrous. If you don't like the state of things here - just leave.
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Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2008, 11:53
Gixxer, I'll respond this more tonight when I have time. I need to get my current projects complete here at work. You've articulated your point very, very well. What I truly appreciate about this forum and the people on it is that we can disgaree, even adamantly, but we still respect each other and appreciate our views. I wasn't, and I'm pretty sure you weren't either, trying to get the other person to change his view (or tell the other person to leave if we don't like it), but more to enlighten each other on a different perspective. That makes all of this very enjoyable. I've probably downplayed the acknowledgment that some people choose, or decide not to choose, a certain path because they feel hopeless and often it takes someone else to assist them in a certain way that allows them to get a different view and only then do they start to see the possibilities. My parents were that for me. My dad took a job with his company that kept him in place even though he didn't like it. And while they made me go pay for my own school, it wasn't a choice of college or no college. It was understood from a very young age that we were going to college. We took out loans to pay for it. This is one reason I don't understand when you say "couldn't afford [college]". There are so many things available for people to pay for college, even community college, or vocational school. These are all things that make a difference. My parents saw it as generational and their "plan" worked. My mom was the first in her family to go to college, and my dad took some classes but wanted to coach our baseball team instead, which I have awesome memories for that. They viewed it that they made 1 step of progress in education compared to their parents, and then my brother and I made another step. I guess maybe my son or daughter will get their Ph.D. in economics or something. I want to teach my kids that there are no limits.

I would love to try a social experiment. Take someone that is absolutely homeless, but willing to work. Have them start asking people for help. Not for money to buy food, but serious help. Ask for a job. I wonder how many people in America that owned a small business, or had the means to truly help this person that has a desire to work and do something would actually help. I have no idea about how that experiement would turn out, but it would be fascinating. I would hope that people with the means to offer a job, or some sort of assistance would step up and do it. Maybe I should be the person to go find someone with the desire and be the person that helps them.

gixxer1000 wrote:
jallenmoris, I think you're missing my point. You seem to be a pretty grounded guy. Obviously you have made your situation work for you. You've cut out a lot of nonsense and your focus is on your family, where it should be. But my example was more to show that you:

Come from a well grounded family. Your mother is college educated. Your father works a respectable job with a respectable salary. It seem that you were brought up and taught to make good decisions about not only you but your family as well. You put yourself through college and was able to become a lawyer. Being a lawyer is a respectable profession. You are essentially the epitome of the middle class family (just need a dog). And is spite all of this, after dissecting briefly through you finances you are not on track to be sustainable when you retire or even pay for you kids college. Now granted you have a lot of upward mobility in you profession. But what about those who don't.

We are talking about the median household income in American and yours just happens to be close. There are 111 million households in America. So imaging the 50 million households that make less than the median. Imagine the millions of households who are ran not by lawyers from good families but by waitresses, shift supervisors, taxi drivers, construction workers, etc. The households where the husband makes $25K and the wife makes$24K and they get their cousin to watch their kids, and they don't have health care because their first job wants to save on cost so they work 32 hours their and 20 hours at a second job. So both parents are always working and the kids grow up watching rap videos home alone. They want to go to school but they can't afford it and don't have the time. Yeah, they made some bad decisions but they didn't really know at the time because no one taught them the difference. There are millions of households like this. Just like there are millions of households like yours.

50 years ago you could get a factory job and maintain a decent middle class life. Where are these jobs at now? Only 25% of the population has a bachelors degree. What about the other 75%? That's part of what made America great. You get up, get a job and work hard and you'll be OK (unless you were black). The world has changed, manual labor won't get you by anymore. You need skills. The problem is that a lot of people don't know it's changed. My elders told us when we turned 18 we needed to go out into the world get a job and become a man. They were proud that we finished high school. That is our big achievement. We weren't trying to get into college. Were not going to be lawyer, doctors, etc. Look around nobody we know are lawyers and doctors. If were lucky, one day maybe we'll be a manager at Walmart, like uncle Billy. He actually owns a house. Why do you think the military is filled with so many lower-middle class people. Because we don't think we have other options. You don't see many fortunate people joining the military (much respect to Tillman).

So it wasn't until I was removed from my environment until I realize how incredibly stupid my world view was. I was holding myself back. I was making all the wrong "choices" I guess as you guys see it. But when you're in that situation you don't see them as choices. If you tell me to go into a building and there are two doors then I can choose which door I want to go through. But if I look at the two doors and one of the doors looks different and I don't know that its a door so I only see one door, then do I really have a choice? So I walk through the only door I see which is the wrong door and when I do you say the other door would have provided me more opportunity and that I'm weak for making the wrong choice.

There is an abundance of opportunity here in America and as others have stated around the world. I am not denying this FACT. I'm simply stating that everyone doesn't have equal access to this opportunity and to some they are pretty much closed off from it altogether. Do we need to riot in the streets? Of course not. But let's realize that the fact that you are on this forum right now means that you have a blessed life and there are millions who do not. So let's all get MBA's and go out and get this money and provide for our families and spend a bunch of money of crap we don't need and enjoy life. But let's not get arrogant and think that were somehow inherently smarter than those who didn't succeed. Given the right environmental circumstances you could easily be the poor person.

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**I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$. GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Senior Manager Joined: 30 Jul 2007 Posts: 385 Location: Europe Schools: St. Gallen '09 Followers: 6 Kudos [?]: 59 [0], given: 5 Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] ### Show Tags 28 Aug 2008, 13:07 jb32 wrote: I know it does, it's called American Exceptionalism and its the difference between America and all of the other countries in the world. Americans (and this ties in well with JAllen) believe that they are a people who chose. When famine, oppression, warfare, religious persecution, tyranny, or stagnation threatened their former countries, unlike those who remained behind, Americans chose to not be the passive victims of history, they chose to get on a boat or a plane, they chose to seek a new life in a new land. Whether that is exceptional, in terms of difference, or exceptional, in other ways, is a matter for history and the reader to determine. However, it makes America different. I can't argue with the fact that America is different from other countries. But, America is much different today than it was 50, 100, and 200+ years ago. jb32 wrote: America, unlike any other great empire in history, was created for the benefit of all people everywhere. The Roman, British, Nazi, Greek, and Persian Empires were all composed of one race or citizenship. America is different, it was formed as a melting pot of thousands of different cultures. America was built on the ideals of freedom and liberty regardless of culture, citizenship or ethnicity. No other country, before or since can claim they have done this and it does indeed make America different. A careful study of history will lead you to a much different conclusion. Not only would the Native American Indians take issue with your argument, but I would also encourage you to take another look at Cyrus the Great and the beginnings of the Persian empire. jb32 wrote: While I wouldn't go up to the nearest German, French, or Indian citizen in their country and brag about the greatness of America, as far as I'm concerned America IS the greatest country in the world to live in. I've traveled all to Asia, Europe, and Africa and I would never trade places with someone in one of those countries. Call it arrogance, confidence, or whatever, but I think if you truly love your country then you love everything about it, flaws included, and you would defend it against anyone that says otherwise. If someone would like to argue that their country gives the average person more opportunities than America, I would be happy to listen. You may have traveled outside the USA, but that is not the same as LIVING outside the USA and truly getting to know a different society and culture, i.e. way of life. In your perspective, America may be the greatest country to live in, but that may not be the same case for someone else. jb32 wrote: The fact he's sitting next to me in class makes my point for me. If the US wasn't the best place to go for Bschool, he certainly wouldn't be here. Perfect example of an illogical argument. The mere presence of an international student in a US b-school DOES NOT infer that the US is the best place to go for b-school. Maybe he just didn't get into INSEAD or LBS. Director Joined: 26 Jul 2007 Posts: 537 Schools: Stern, McCombs, Marshall, Wharton Followers: 7 Kudos [?]: 160 [0], given: 0 Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] ### Show Tags 28 Aug 2008, 13:37 jb32 wrote: While I wouldn't go up to the nearest German, French, or Indian citizen in their country and brag about the greatness of America, as far as I'm concerned America IS the greatest country in the world to live in. I've traveled all to Asia, Europe, and Africa and I would never trade places with someone in one of those countries. Call it arrogance, confidence, or whatever, but I think if you truly love your country then you love everything about it, flaws included, and you would defend it against anyone that says otherwise. If someone would like to argue that their country gives the average person more opportunities than America, I would be happy to listen. I agree with some of your views of America and obviously I'm biased because I'm an American. My fiance grew up in Italy and loves to talk about how great her country is. All I do is ask her "Then why are you here?" She usually shuts up because she knows she has more opportunity here. But it's the part that I colored red that bothers me. You say that if you TRULY love your country then you love EVERYTHING about it. I think that statement goes a little to far. It's one thing to love your country despite it's flaws. It's another thing to say in order to love your country you must love its flaws. So you mean to tell me that through all are racial struggles here in America a black person has to love these flaws in order to love America? We can accept the flaws and move toward a better day when they will no longer exist but actually love them, I think not. I think it's easier to have this sort of view when these 'flaws' don't severely affect you. "Sure we do some bad things to 'other' people but you have to take the good with the bad". That's a lot easier to say when your not sitting on death row waiting to be executed for a crime you didn't commit. I think we should be proud of our accomplishments but not be so arrogant as to think we are better then everyone else and therefore morally just in saying we don't need to improve because we are better than they are. jb32 wrote: The fact he's sitting next to me in class makes my point for me. If the US wasn't the best place to go for Bschool, he certainly wouldn't be here. So what about all the American people who attend international bschools. Does the fact that an American is attending INSEAD mean that INSEAD is the best? Director Joined: 20 Feb 2008 Posts: 797 Location: Texas Schools: Kellogg Class of 2011 Followers: 6 Kudos [?]: 147 [0], given: 9 Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] ### Show Tags 28 Aug 2008, 14:09 gixxer1000 wrote: You say that if you TRULY love your country then you love EVERYTHING about it. I think that statement goes a little to far. It's one thing to love your country despite it's flaws. It's another thing to say in order to love your country you must love its flaws. So you mean to tell me that through all are racial struggles here in America a black person has to love these flaws in order to love America? We can accept the flaws and move toward a better day when they will no longer exist but actually love them, I think not. I think it's easier to have this sort of view when these 'flaws' don't severely affect you. "Sure we do some bad things to 'other' people but you have to take the good with the bad". That's a lot easier to say when your not sitting on death row waiting to be executed for a crime you didn't commit. I think we should be proud of our accomplishments but not be so arrogant as to think we are better then everyone else and therefore morally just in saying we don't need to improve because we are better than they are. My bad, I meant to say despite its flaws. It certainly makes more sense. gixxer1000 wrote: So what about all the American people who attend international bschools. Does the fact that an American is attending INSEAD mean that INSEAD is the best? While there may be some Americans that do go to school overseas, they are a very small minority. For example, in the INSEAD class of 2007, only 50 of 885 graduates were from the US. Whereas if there was no quota limit on internationals at US business schools, then it could easily be 70-80% international. Why do you think the male Indian IT applicant has to have a 750 GMAT to get into H/S/W/K/Chi? It's because there are so many of them and they all want to come here. While the reasoning of my arguement was not tremendously sound, it is pretty obvious due to demand which country provides the 'perceived' best business schools. Senior Manager Joined: 13 Jun 2007 Posts: 410 Schools: Wharton, Booth, Stern Followers: 11 Kudos [?]: 82 [0], given: 0 Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Aug 2008, 07:01 cougarblue wrote: Am I the only one who thinks that the notion of "the rich get richer, while the poor get poorer" is kind of ridiculous? The definition of "poor" or "middle-class" is completely arbitrary and is made even more useless when comparing different times in history. Why? Because a "middle-class" family in 1950 had like 1 car, a small house and 1 color TV. Now a middle-class family tries to have at least 2 cars, a McMansion and several flat-screens. How do you control for the gains in consumer standard of living? For instance, the fact that TVs keep getting bigger and more expensive doesn't necessarily mean that the "middle-class" labeled family should be able to spend the same proportionate income on such an item precisely because they are not anywhere close to the same item. They have now increased the standard of living. So, exactly how is it that the poor are getting poorer? This comment made me smile. I don't know what a typical middle-class family looks like in the States (especially without any supporting studies), but in Europe a family with more than 1 car and 1 television is considered to be pretty well-off Therefore I have a hard time imagining that a middle-class family anywhere in the world would aim for 2 cars and multiple flat-screen TVs. But then again it's hard to tell without knowing the country. _________________ Wharton admits, join the rugby team!! It'll be by far the best experience of your MBA life Senior Manager Joined: 13 Jun 2007 Posts: 410 Schools: Wharton, Booth, Stern Followers: 11 Kudos [?]: 82 [0], given: 0 Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Aug 2008, 07:36 jallenmorris wrote: I will never agree that a person's choices are made for them. YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE. If a person holds a gun to my head and says they'll kill me if I don't give them my wallet, I still have a choice. One consequence is losing all my money, feeling like a victim and being pissed about it and the helpless feeling that goes with it and the other consequence is dying. The choice may be easy to make, but I STILL HAVE A CHOICE. Someone that has nothing because they live in Baghdad and their family is all dead still has a choice. Are the choices easy? Maybe not. But you always have a choice. Gixxer - you added so much crap into my life that I opened up and told everyone about that you are just foolish. "What if both engines blow?" What if the sky falls, Chicken Little? Let it. I'll figure it out. I'd probably walk to work since I only live 3 miles from work. Do I want to do that? Heck no, but would I do it if we only had 1 car and a few days a week it just didn't work out for a ride? Yes. Would I call a friend of mine and say "Hey, i'll pay for the extra gas and some of your time if you'll come pick me up before we both go in to work." ? yes, I might do that too. The point is there are an infinite number of options every person has. I also wonder how well you read what I wrote because I said the mini-van has a brand new engine. As for gas, I spent about 50 a month in gas for my car. My wife spends about 160 - 200 if we drive it often, which we haven't been. One reason I think people don't want to accept that they have the power to choose is that it's a lot of power, and with power comes responsibility. If that person makes bad choices (like I have in the past) they must own responsibility for those decisions and many people (regardless of income) do not want to take responsibility for their decisions, or that they could have avoided the predicament that they're in. If my car engine blows up in my 42 year old mustang, I made the decision to drive a car that had an unknown number of miles on it, unknown engine condition etc. If I was so concerned with the engine blowing up (hypothetical situation here analyzing the situation as if it did blow up), I could have made a better decision to drive a newer car for the same amount of money that would be less likely to have the engine go bad (I'll avoid the debate about the quality of engineering in the 1960's vs. today). Again, I have the choice on what car I buy, and I have to deal with the consequences of my choice to drive a car. I have to deal with the fact that I won't put either of my kids in my car with me, so it makes it more difficult when we can only transport the kids in the van. LIFE is filled with choices and you have to own up to those choices. This has nothing to do with political views or socioeconomic status. A person with nothing has the choice to ask for help. I don't think there is anything else I can say. Either you see my point or you don't. You either agree or you don't. Either way, it's your choice whether you agree or not. Allen, I appreciate your point of view, and I agree that you do sometimes have choices. I'm not going to write a moving story about my family's background, but it's true that even in hardship you can try and make things work out for you. However, arguing that you ALWAYS have the choice is short-sighted in my opinion. Try saying that to the people starving in Somalia; try saying that to a Kosovar who just saw his family raped and murdered by Serbian paramilitary forces, or to a woman from Congo who saw her baby raped by a Rwandan military refugee, because he thought that it might cure him from aids. You have to realise that there are millions of people who do not have any choice to make, and if they do, those choices implicate risks such as life imprisonment, physical torture or death. To talk about less dramatic examples (I recognize that they were meant to shock, although they are very true and very valid and they concern millions if not billions of people), in Europe - which is a VERY socialist continent - the chances that you extract yourself from the environment you are, in the most optimistic scenario - low. There are studies that can prove that. And yes, you DO have the choice, but you first have to be aware of those choices. A kid who grew up in the streets because his parents didn't take care of him properly will know no better than the streets. I'm certain that the same kid, well-guided and insensitive to the bad influence around him, would make it, but realistically how many time does that happen? Those who make it from the bottom are the small exception that confirm the rule IMO. However, I agree that some people who genuinely have chances (albeit small) become complacent and lament on their fate, which is a cheap excuse. _________________ Wharton admits, join the rugby team!! It'll be by far the best experience of your MBA life SVP Joined: 30 Apr 2008 Posts: 1880 Location: Oklahoma City Schools: Hard Knocks Followers: 41 Kudos [?]: 581 [0], given: 32 Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Aug 2008, 08:12 Audio, I don't think we're all that far apart in our views. As I resopnded to gixxer, there are instances that the choices are severly limited for a number of reasons. Many of the situations that you highlighted fall into the category of limited choices. read Gixxer's post about the room with 2 doors and only 1 being recognized as a door until that person learns what the other door looks like. It appears to that person that they only have one choice. Granted, I still see a choice of 2 things...go through the only door you see, or stay in the room where you are. Staying in the room is certainly an option, but I recognize that it is somewhat oversimplified and I don't want to minimze gixxer's great point. I think that a person always has a choice regardless of the situation and often, in horrible circumstances, those choices are sometimes death by torture or death by firing sqaud type examples. I could sit here and type out all sorts of "choices" a person in that situation or similar one, could make but I do see that there are circumstances that a person may be in that really limit their available choices. A kid that is on the street may not believe/accept/realize (take your pick) that he/she can get help by asking for it because maybe the kid did ask before and was turned down, yelled at, or some other horrible resonse. This conditioned the person as to what happens when they make the choice to ask for help. So it certainly is not as simple as just make a choice and good things happen if you make the right choice. We all rely upon others to an extent to help us learn / realize new things and this in turn helps us make better choices because we see new opportunities, or "doors" that were camoflaged before and we didn't see them or didn't know how to approach the situation. We should thank those peopel that helped us "see" that other door (available choice) and then try to be that same thing to others in a way that actually helps. It is too easy for me to sit here and say everyone has a choice, but do nothing to help improve the available choices to others. Make sense? This discussion has really helped me. Last night I was headed back home from getting diapers at the store. I saw a guy with his hood up on his car working on it at a gas station. I looped back around to go help him and talked to him for about 5 - 10 minutes, held the flashlight for him so he could work easier and we never did get the belt back on his car. I gave him a ride to his house and he said when his son got off work in a few hours, they'd go back up and get it home. I don't even know the guy's name, and I never said mine, it was just nice to help someone. It's not life changing for him, but it made a difference in me and I hope it saved him the cost of a cab ride back to his house. It cost me an extra 30 minutes in my trip to the store, but it was worth it. _________________ ------------------------------------ J Allen Morris **I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$.

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29 Aug 2008, 08:34
jb32 wrote:
I mostly agree with you. But, you have to admit that the odds are already stacked against these kids. Possible, yes; probable, not so much.

I know it does, it's called American Exceptionalism and its the difference between America and all of the other countries in the world. Americans (and this ties in well with JAllen) believe that they are a people who chose. When famine, oppression, warfare, religious persecution, tyranny, or stagnation threatened their former countries, unlike those who remained behind, Americans chose to not be the passive victims of history, they chose to get on a boat or a plane, they chose to seek a new life in a new land. Whether that is exceptional, in terms of difference, or exceptional, in other ways, is a matter for history and the reader to determine. However, it makes America different. America, unlike any other great empire in history, was created for the benefit of all people everywhere. The Roman, British, Nazi, Greek, and Persian Empires were all composed of one race or citizenship. America is different, it was formed as a melting pot of thousands of different cultures. America was built on the ideals of freedom and liberty regardless of culture, citizenship or ethnicity. No other country, before or since can claim they have done this and it does indeed make America different.

I'm not sure what experiences you have had outside of the USA, but I have had quite a bit, and I've been living overseas now for over 5 years. As an American and former active duty service-member, I really can't stand it when Americans claim to be so much better than others and/or that the conditions for success are the best in America and worse elsewhere. In my opinion, this is such a closed-minded point of view to maintain.

While I wouldn't go up to the nearest German, French, or Indian citizen in their country and brag about the greatness of America, as far as I'm concerned America IS the greatest country in the world to live in. I've traveled all to Asia, Europe, and Africa and I would never trade places with someone in one of those countries. Call it arrogance, confidence, or whatever, but I think if you truly love your country then you love everything about it, flaws included, and you would defend it against anyone that says otherwise. If someone would like to argue that their country gives the average person more opportunities than America, I would be happy to listen.

It may very well be true that America offers the best political and economic system than the rest of the world (although I think this is quite subjective), but I would be careful in communicating that point of view to your international colleagues at b-school and in the global workplace.

The fact he's sitting next to me in class makes my point for me. If the US wasn't the best place to go for Bschool, he certainly wouldn't be here.

Wow, that's a pretty hard-core point of view!

The American history is exceptional because of the points that you mention. Just a (small) comment though: the other empires you mention were by definition also composed by a melting-pot (a Gaul was pretty different from a Phoenician), but I think you want to say that these empires were built by the same race. However, I think you'll agree that the history is... the history, and we are here more interested in what the countries and continents have become and what their respective perspectives are.

I am convinced that there is a lot to learn from the American model. However, countries (I'm referring here to the so-called developed ones) have advantages and disadvantages; depending on what your life objectives are, some countries might suit you better than other ones. For example, how much do you value your free time? If you don't value it much, the the US is a great place for you. If you value it a lot, then France might be a great option. You want to work hard and make a lot of money? Go to the UK or the US. But then don't complain that you have to pay a fortune for healthcare (US) or wait 3 weeks before you can see a doctor (UK). Also, what does "opportunities" mean? This can mean very different things for people. There are numerous examples like that. Loving your country is great, but failing to recognise its disadvantages and the advantages of other places is short-sighted.

It is hard to be objective though when we talk about such sensitive issues as these, but I think you'll gain a lot by simply listening to the international students who will bring their perspective to the table (as long as they remain objective, which again is hard).

A couple of other things: first of all, traveling in a country (again, talking about the so-called developed countries) is different from living in a country; traveling does not allow you to say that that country is a great / terrible place to live in. We've all been tourists, and we all know that visiting a couple of monuments does not give you enough information to make a judgement on the quality of life in that place.

Also, I join trander1's point of view: people who think that their country is the best and everything is worse by definition and without any argumentation (this applies to anybody, not just the US citizens; some Frenchmen are also a great example of arrogant idiots) are a pain in the arse - the "we have the greatest democracy in the world" example comes to mind.
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29 Aug 2008, 11:24
Audio wrote:

The American history is exceptional because of the points that you mention. Just a (small) comment though: the other empires you mention were by definition also composed by a melting-pot (a Gaul was pretty different from a Phoenician), but I think you want to say that these empires were built by the same race. However, I think you'll agree that the history is... the history, and we are here more interested in what the countries and continents have become and what their respective perspectives are.

A couple of clarifications:
In general, what makes the US different from say the Roman Empire, is that just about all imigrants (excluding slaves until 1865) were given equal rights as citizens regardless of their country of origin. The Romans, if I'm not mistaken, did not grant Roman citizenship to conquered states. The US in contrast gave every immigrant the same rights as those born here (in general).

Audio wrote:
But then don't complain that you have to pay a fortune for healthcare (US) or wait 3 weeks before you can see a doctor (UK).
Healthcare in the US is actually pretty cheap if you have it through your employer. I pay about $75 a month pre-tax for full coverage.$20 co-pays at the doctors and a $250 deductible for most procedures. Granted I am young and don't have any medical problems, but even if I were to get cancer, my out of pocket expenses would likely be$2-3K total in a year. That is dang cheap considering treatments could run north of $100K easily. VP Joined: 28 Feb 2008 Posts: 1323 Schools: Tuck Followers: 6 Kudos [?]: 127 [0], given: 6 Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Aug 2008, 11:47 jb32 wrote: : In general, what makes the US different from say the Roman Empire, is that just about all imigrants (excluding slaves until 1865) were given equal rights as citizens regardless of their country of origin. The Romans, if I'm not mistaken, did not grant Roman citizenship to conquered states. The US in contrast gave every immigrant the same rights as those born here (in general). A little off topic, but.... The United States is also the only country I know of that utterly defeated another country in war, then rebuilt it, and in the end gave up practically all its interests (save a few military bases) in said country (Japan). Mind you, this was when Europe was still fighting independence movements in its old colonies. Is the United States perfect? Absolutely not, but it is completely unique in the value it puts on individuals and the freedom it grants them. RF _________________ Manager Joined: 01 Jun 2006 Posts: 183 Location: United States Schools: Haas '15 (M) GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40 Followers: 3 Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 3 Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Aug 2008, 12:15 jb32 wrote: Audio wrote: The American history is exceptional because of the points that you mention. Just a (small) comment though: the other empires you mention were by definition also composed by a melting-pot (a Gaul was pretty different from a Phoenician), but I think you want to say that these empires were built by the same race. However, I think you'll agree that the history is... the history, and we are here more interested in what the countries and continents have become and what their respective perspectives are. A couple of clarifications: In general, what makes the US different from say the Roman Empire, is that just about all imigrants (excluding slaves until 1865) were given equal rights as citizens regardless of their country of origin. The Romans, if I'm not mistaken, did not grant Roman citizenship to conquered states. The US in contrast gave every immigrant the same rights as those born here (in general). Actually, in 212 A.D., the Emperor Caracalla passed into law the Constitutio Antoniniana, which granted Roman citizenship to all free men in the Empire. Audio wrote: But then don't complain that you have to pay a fortune for healthcare (US) or wait 3 weeks before you can see a doctor (UK). Healthcare in the US is actually pretty cheap if you have it through your employer. I pay about$75 a month pre-tax for full coverage. $20 co-pays at the doctors and a$250 deductible for most procedures. Granted I am young and don't have any medical problems, but even if I were to get cancer, my out of pocket expenses would likely be $2-3K total in a year. That is dang cheap considering treatments could run north of$100K easily.
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29 Aug 2008, 12:25
I think John McCain was Emperor Caracalla's top advisor in that decision!

swbluedevil wrote:
jb32 wrote:
Audio wrote:

The American history is exceptional because of the points that you mention. Just a (small) comment though: the other empires you mention were by definition also composed by a melting-pot (a Gaul was pretty different from a Phoenician), but I think you want to say that these empires were built by the same race. However, I think you'll agree that the history is... the history, and we are here more interested in what the countries and continents have become and what their respective perspectives are.

A couple of clarifications:
In general, what makes the US different from say the Roman Empire, is that just about all imigrants (excluding slaves until 1865) were given equal rights as citizens regardless of their country of origin. The Romans, if I'm not mistaken, did not grant Roman citizenship to conquered states. The US in contrast gave every immigrant the same rights as those born here (in general).

Actually, in 212 A.D., the Emperor Caracalla passed into law the Constitutio Antoniniana, which granted Roman citizenship to all free men in the Empire.

Audio wrote:
But then don't complain that you have to pay a fortune for healthcare (US) or wait 3 weeks before you can see a doctor (UK).
Healthcare in the US is actually pretty cheap if you have it through your employer. I pay about $75 a month pre-tax for full coverage.$20 co-pays at the doctors and a $250 deductible for most procedures. Granted I am young and don't have any medical problems, but even if I were to get cancer, my out of pocket expenses would likely be$2-3K total in a year. That is dang cheap considering treatments could run north of $100K easily. _________________ ------------------------------------ J Allen Morris **I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$\$.

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29 Aug 2008, 12:27
swbluedevil wrote:
Actually, in 212 A.D., the Emperor Caracalla passed into law the Constitutio Antoniniana, which granted Roman citizenship to all free men in the Empire.

Only 900 years after the founding of Rome. While I see your point, I think it's pretty safe to say the concept of 'Latin Right' was the predominant policy of the Roman Empire.

FYI - Latin Right - "a civic status given by the Romans, intermediate between full Roman citizenship and non-citizen status"
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29 Aug 2008, 12:29
Audio wrote:
cougarblue wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks that the notion of "the rich get richer, while the poor get poorer" is kind of ridiculous? The definition of "poor" or "middle-class" is completely arbitrary and is made even more useless when comparing different times in history. Why? Because a "middle-class" family in 1950 had like 1 car, a small house and 1 color TV. Now a middle-class family tries to have at least 2 cars, a McMansion and several flat-screens. How do you control for the gains in consumer standard of living? For instance, the fact that TVs keep getting bigger and more expensive doesn't necessarily mean that the "middle-class" labeled family should be able to spend the same proportionate income on such an item precisely because they are not anywhere close to the same item. They have now increased the standard of living. So, exactly how is it that the poor are getting poorer?

This comment made me smile. I don't know what a typical middle-class family looks like in the States (especially without any supporting studies), but in Europe a family with more than 1 car and 1 television is considered to be pretty well-off Therefore I have a hard time imagining that a middle-class family anywhere in the world would aim for 2 cars and multiple flat-screen TVs. But then again it's hard to tell without knowing the country.

The key operative word here is "tries" to have....doesn't mean they get it nor can they, increasingly, actually afford it (see: IOUSA.) However, I was being facetious in my description, which I thought was obvious. The larger point though is that the definition of middle-class is completely arbitrary anyway.
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29 Aug 2008, 15:18
jb32 wrote:
Audio wrote:

The American history is exceptional because of the points that you mention. Just a (small) comment though: the other empires you mention were by definition also composed by a melting-pot (a Gaul was pretty different from a Phoenician), but I think you want to say that these empires were built by the same race. However, I think you'll agree that the history is... the history, and we are here more interested in what the countries and continents have become and what their respective perspectives are.

A couple of clarifications:
In general, what makes the US different from say the Roman Empire, is that just about all imigrants (excluding slaves until 1865) were given equal rights as citizens regardless of their country of origin. The Romans, if I'm not mistaken, did not grant Roman citizenship to conquered states. The US in contrast gave every immigrant the same rights as those born here (in general).

What about the forced removals of Native American Indians as "Americans" expanded westward?

What about the Chinese immigrants of the late 19th and early 20th centuries?

You need to dust off those American history books...

Get a chance to look into Cyrus the Great and beginning of the Persian empire??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great#Legacy

"Cyrus was distinguished equally as a statesman and as a soldier. By pursuing a policy of generosity instead of repression, and by favoring local religions, he was able to make his newly conquered subjects into enthusiastic supporters.[33] Due in part to the political infrastructure he created, the Achaemenid empire endured long after his demise."
...
"The Bible records that a remnant of the Jewish population returned to the Promised Land from Babylon, following an edict from Cyrus to rebuild the temple. This edict is fully reproduced in the Book of Ezra. As a result of Cyrus' policies, the Jews honored him as a dignified and righteous king. He is the only Gentile to be designated as a messiah, a divinely-appointed king, in the Tanakh (Isaiah 45:1-6)."
...
"During his reign, Cyrus maintained control over a vast region of conquered kingdoms, achieved partly through retaining and expanding Median satrapies. Further organization of newly conquered territories into provinces ruled by vassal kings called satraps, was continued by Cyrus' successor Darius the Great. Cyrus' empire demanded only tribute and conscripts from many parts of the realm.

Cyrus' conquests began a new era in the age of empire building, where a vast superstate, comprising many dozens of countries, races, religions, and languages, were ruled under a single administration headed by a central government. This system lasted for centuries, and was retained both by the invading Seleucid dynasty during their control of Persia, and later Iranian dynasties including the Persian Parthians and Sassanids.[37]"
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29 Aug 2008, 17:24
Simply stating a historical fact. I'll leave it to you to ponder the actual ramifications.

jb32 wrote:
swbluedevil wrote:
Actually, in 212 A.D., the Emperor Caracalla passed into law the Constitutio Antoniniana, which granted Roman citizenship to all free men in the Empire.

Only 900 years after the founding of Rome. While I see your point, I think it's pretty safe to say the concept of 'Latin Right' was the predominant policy of the Roman Empire.

FYI - Latin Right - "a civic status given by the Romans, intermediate between full Roman citizenship and non-citizen status"
Re: Wharton - ugly stats for 2007 internships   [#permalink] 29 Aug 2008, 17:24

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