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3. I was going to ask you about that, but figured noone would buy it.

"However, conditional on diagnosis, accountability laws do not further change the probability of receiving medication therapy."

The diagnosis is key here (I am led to believe) because it helps the school remove certain diagnosed students from the test pool. I have anecdotal evidence WRT autism (a mild case being 'expedited' out of the test pool), but I'm not sure if ADHD also serves this purpose.

As in "No Child Left Behind, except for these ones over here who would ding our stats and indicate we were leaving some behind, so we'll stick them in a resource room."

Every comprehensive study I've seen has failed to find overmedication of ADHD children, so I would need more evidence to convince me that the schools aren't behaving entirely appropriately here. This study specifically doesn't say that more children were being incorrectly diagnosed.

Given the high actual prevalence of ADHD (between 3% and 15%, probably similar population dynamics to color blindness and left-handedness), giving schools an incentive to correctly diagnose and support children may be a good thing. It is an enormous effort and hassle for schools to evaluate children, much less provide services for them, and as such ADHD had long gone unaddressed in all but the most disruptive cases. For example, little girls with ADHD are more likely to be academically under-performing and become depressed and anxious than they are to act out 7in class, and so for years it was considered a disease limited to boys and girls didn't even get evaluated. It now looks like about 65-75% of cases may be among boys, rather than the 90-95% that was long believed. If nothing else, the number of cases diagnosed should go up by at least a third when little girls are correctly screened.

Now, whether medication is the correct response may be up in the air, but unless we are willing to create separate schools (and later, work environments) designed around hunter-type minds with poor executive skills, medication in combination with non-pharmaceutical interventions will remain the most helpful response (as a great deal of literature currently supports). It isn't about controlling the children's behavior or treating their depression; it's about giving them the mental tools to participate in learning without become so frustrated that the secondary problems emerge.

Do you think the diagnosis criteria are completely independent of the incentives?

Considering the diagnosis increased when the incentives increased, do you think the students are likely to get the support they need when they weren't before?

By the way, this isn't really about ADHD, it's about the school system. As to your question about whether the school system should tolerate different personalities, it's pretty much the only venue in life that doesn't. Something I often ponder is that it was also the only time in my life where I was constantly told I had to get along with future prison inmates. Why I've wondered? I've never had to get along with them since.

2. "and be stingier with the “doc fix” on Medicare". I agree, but really? What would that do to the AMAs enthusiastic support for Obamacare?

Notice Tyler says "You will die" not "We will die." Yes, I know its a quotation--but I couldn't help thinking that he was exempting himself. Is there anything he hasn't read?

In all the discussion of S&P I don't see much on whether they are predicting default or inflation. Logically it should be default, or else all other dollar-denominated AAAs would also be downgraded. So it's an implied prediction the government would rather default than print money. Interesting, and possible, but I don't think there is much historical support for that outcome. Is there?

As an aside, US gov. default is extremely unlikely--even relative to corporate triple A bonds. The real problem is inefficiency. High saving countries have more efficient fiscal regimes.

Greece is the least civic-minded developed country, one of the most socially conservative, and one of the most anti-laissez-faire in attitudes. Also has the most statist policy regime. Connection?

Notice Tyler says “You will die” not “We will die.” Yes, I know its a quotation–but I couldn’t help thinking that he was exempting himself. Is there anything he hasn’t read?

Rather than as an announcement of Tyler's reading prowess, I interpreted this as Tyler is planning on sharing freezer space with Robin.

5. I find the color code used in the maps kind of confusing. According to the tables the light green is greener than the dark one.

re #5: why is it that the Dutch seem to have a positive view of immigrants, but also support policies restricting them coming to The Netherlands? Which also seems strange since I was under the impression that they had (in reality) relatively free immigration? Am I just misreading it, or is it that the colors are just relatively imprecise?

As someone who emigrated from the Netherlands, let me comment.
a) national preference != policy: whatever the Dutch prefer in terms of immigration policies is irrelevant because national policies have been entirely emasculated by the European Union. It is the same for the U.K, Germany etc. .

b) the survey questions are weak, as the thesis states it, "...do not specify what kinds of immigrants they refer to", and, in the Dutch version for example, the questions are couched in politically correct language. Because these were live interviews, it is much harder to state a negative opinion of people, than to state a preference for restrictive policies.

c) The thesis hypotheses, and the student, are suprisingly naive. For example "To the extent that improving the public‟s disposition towards immigrants is seen as a desirable public policy goal", the author comments:" Improving the citizens‟ views of immigrants may, for instance, be seen as one way of facilitating the immigrants integration into the society at large.", as if previously, the Dutch and the Germans and most Western Europeans have not been bending over backwards for decades, to the point of self-immolation, trying to integrate immigrants who, by and large, have preferred not to integrate.

d) obviously, the 800 pound gorilla is 'islam' which does not occur even once in this thesis

Apologies, I should probably stop using HTML tags without preview available....

The questions probe the populace's desired policy with respect to their status quo, without controlling for the status quo.

Forget about S&P and focus on the politics of public finances. I think the most likely scenario is one of a never-ending conflict between the two fundamental political forces defined by their positions about how to solve it --one in favor of small government, and the other in favor of big government. We can argue that one third of the population is in favor of small government and another third for big government. The two forces will fight within the constitutional bounds as long as both believe that they can persuade a majority of the remaining third to vote for them. This may change and one may believe it will never win again the Presidency. If it happens, the loser (with less than 50% but more than 40% of the vote) will start to challenge those bounds. In a never-ending conflict, although we cannot predict when most likely a loser will emerge and it will challenge the bounds.
In the meantime --a period that may last a few decades-- the two forces will alternate in office (most likely every four years) because the high degree of daily, open confrontation will press the governing force to spend too much time on how to get rid of the other force. The two forces will be led by people with skills for fighting rather than delivering on promised policies and coping with shocks and with an inclination to abuse power (in particular, when intending to break the opposition or to take advantage of windfalls). The economy will hardly grow and instability will increase over time --only in theoretical models the steady-state growth rate is zero and stable and there is a happy ending (for some time I thought that Japan had been able to overcome the latent conflict between the youth and the old because the latter were a clear majority but now the earthquake may lead to an open conflict because the youth will have to pay most of the high cost of restoring the old people's standard of living.)

What, no comments about the fascinators?

as if previously, the Dutch and the Germans and most Western Europeans have not been bending over backwards for decades, to the point of self-immolation, trying to integrate immigrants

Yep, that is how dutch people love to see themselves.

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