Mar 29, 2015

American Millennials Among World's Least Skilled People, Global Study Finds

March 29, 2015
American Millennials Among World's Least Skilled People, Global Study Finds   

Though the youngest Americans seem to be the most tech-savvy generation in history, their skill sets might not match up to the par set by their international peers. Researchers at the Princeton-based Educational Testing Service administered test, sponsored by the OECD, designed to measure the job skills of adults born after 1980, aged 16 to 65, in 23 different countries. When they analyzed the results by age group and nationality, the results were shockingly bad for young Americans. According to the study, despite the fact that American millennials are now the most educated generation ever, they scored far below their international peers in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments (PS-TRE).
America's Millennials: Well 'Educated' But Unskilled

Bad news ahead for the American workforce: Its Millennial generation is flunking the basics. Americans born after 1980 are lagging their peers in countries ranging from Australia to Estonia, according to a new report from researchers at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) ... It hints that students may be falling behind not only in their early educational years but at the college level ... In Japan, Finland and the Netherlands, young adults with only a high school degree scored on par with American Millennials holding four-year college degrees, the report said. "A decade ago, the skill level of American adults was judged 'mediocre'," the report said. "Now it is below even that ..."
U.S. Needs to Increase R&D Spending or Cede World Economic Leadership

The United States is losing its edge. It is surrendering the research and development advantage that has fueled its economy for six decades. China now performs more R&D than the United States, and South Korea and Germany have greater annual growth in R&D expenditures. Industrialized nations competing in the world economy understand what's needed -- except for ours. For all of Silicon Valley's wealth and ability to innovate, it can't maintain its technological edge unless the United States renews its once-strong commitment to funding basic scientific research.Article Text Goes Here
Netanyahu Unmasks Israel

... Desperate to win reelection, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stripped off Israel's mask and exposed the ugliness that has deformed his country over the past several decades. He abandoned the subterfuge of a two-state solution, exposed the crass racism that underlies Israeli politics, and revealed Israel's blatant control of the U.S. Congress. For years, these realities were known to many Americans, but - if they spoke up - they were condemned as anti-Semites, so most stayed silent to protect their careers and reputations ... Rational Americans are confronted with a difficult moral choice. Either continue supporting Netanyahu in brutalizing the Palestinians and in his looming war against Iran (using the U.S. military to carry it out) or insist that the U.S. government reassess its relationship with Israel.
Why Netanyahu's Victory is as Bad as It Looks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has scored a dramatic victory, far outpacing the pre-election and exit polls. The consequences for Israelis, Palestinians, and the rest of the world could be very grave ... If things looked hopeless before for any kind of diplomacy [regarding Palestine], they're absolutely dismal now ... The only, very thin, hope is that the United States and Europe are finally so fed up with Netanyahu and the Israeli right's adamant refusal of peace that  they'll finally exert significant pressure. Although it seems likely that the United States and European Union will do something, it's far less likely that they'll do anywhere near enough for either the Israeli government to feel the pressure or for the Israeli populace to grow concerned enough to take action.
Top White House Official Calls for End of Israel's '50-Year Occupation,' Renews Pledge of US Support for Israel  

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough called for the end of Israel's "50-year occupation" and doubled down on the Obama administration's critique of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a warmly received speech to the lobbying group J Street in Washington Monday. Speaking to the dovish group's national conference, McDonough became the latest in a series of Washington officials to highlight the administration's displeasure with Netanyahu, while also talking up the permanence of US-Israel ties, repeating Washington's commitment to continued military, security and intelligence cooperation. "No matter who leads Israel, America's commitment to Israel's security will never waiver," McDonough said.
Without US Cover at UN, Israel Could Face Diplomatic Avalanche

It would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago for the White House to consider furling up the diplomatic umbrella it had used for decades to shield Israel at the UN ... While the administration insists it has made no changes to US policy yet, officials say that President Barack Obama strongly is considering backing Palestinian moves at the United Nations Security Council ... Israel is already in violation of nearly 100 Security Council resolutions, most of them calling for a withdrawal from occupied territory, so another resolution could easily be added to the list and filed away by Jerusalem. While there are many other countries that ignore Security Council resolutions (most of them US allies), Israel holds the record, a 2002 study found.
When Some High-Ranking Americans Opposed the Creation of Israel

... In the aftermath of World War II, President Harry Truman was faced with two competing camps at loggerheads over how to deal with the question of Palestine ... One camp favored the Jewish Agency's desire to create Israel, a Jewish state ... The other camp, represented by [Secretary of State George] Marshall, sided with the British proposal to cede Palestine  to U.N. trusteeship, or administration ... The [Pentagon] Joint Chiefs of Staff had issued numerous reports on Palestine, some of which concluded that a Jewish state would present a headache for future American policy ... Another JCS report published on March 31,1948, warned that a fledgling Israeli state would involve the United States "in a continuously widening and deepening series of operations intended to secure maximum Jewish objectives."
Recalling Truman's Fateful May 1948 Decision to Recognize Israel

... An "insider's account" of the discussions leading up to these [1947-1948] decisions has been published by former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, one of the few living parties to the discussions leading to partition ... Clifford's story once again disproves the assertion that American diplomatic or military personnel ever viewed Israel as a " strategic asset." The foreign policy establishment, 43 years ago as today, saw Israel as a geopolitical liability that owes its US support to the extraordinary clout of its apologists within the American Jewish community and the American political system.
Why President Truman Overrode State Dept. Warning on Palestine-Israel

On Sept. 22, 1947, Loy Henderson strongly warned Secretary of State George C. Marshall that partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states was not workable and would lead to untold troubles in the future. Henderson was director of the State Department's Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, and his memorandum ... stands as one of the most perceptive analyses of the perils that partition would bring. Henderson informed Marshall that his views were shared by "nearly every member of the Foreign Service or of the department who has worked to any appreciable extent on Near Eastern problems."

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