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    Thread: My governor is a retard.

    1. 02-21-2011 02:42 PM #71
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      The idea that pushing people harder and harder and making workers miserable improves productivity is a false economy.

      -Andrew L
      Asia disagrees. We don't spend a lot of time worried about being overtaken economically by the greeks.
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      02-21-2011 02:43 PM #72
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      I'm not advocating laziness, just sanity. The idea that pushing people harder and harder and making workers miserable improves productivity is a false economy.

      -Andrew L
      On the flipside, we can't foster a society that expects to be rewarded for mediocrity and continually takes while everyone else is making necessary cuts.
      Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

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      02-21-2011 02:47 PM #73
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      What "kind of attitude" do you mean? The attitude that I shouldn't have to spend all my waking hours working to make money I can't use for anything meaningful because I spend all my waking hours working?

      I'm not advocating laziness, just sanity. The idea that pushing people harder and harder and making workers miserable improves productivity is a false economy.

      -Andrew L
      The people paying the taxes that fund your pay check all have to compete against China and India. If we all adopted your work attitude, you'd have to take a 50% drop in standard of living since there would be no money in the public trough to pay you.

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      02-21-2011 02:48 PM #74
      Quote Originally Posted by Surfing On A Rocket View Post
      I see a lot of jealous private sector workers in here.
      I would agree if the private sector folks weren't paying the salaries of the public sector folks. However that's not the case so I would call it more "concern" than jealousy.
      Scotch. It's time.

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      02-21-2011 02:49 PM #75
      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      Asia disagrees. We don't spend a lot of time worried about being overtaken economically by the greeks.
      It's not just the Greeks, it's most of Europe, including successful Scandinavian countries.

      And when I say false economy...maybe China is very good at high-volume manufacturing, but it's still a false economy because it ruins people's lives. The way I see it, the current generation in China is willing to put up with a lot of crap to build things up for their children's generation. We won't be able to pay Chinese factory workers $1/hr 12hrs/day (or whatever the prevailing rate is) forever. It's a temporary condition brought on by a group of people who saw the chance to lift themselves out of poverty. A few more generations and they'll be just like the rest of us

      And speaking of Asia, look at Japan. The young generation is largely rejecting the "work as life" mentality that their parents had. Because they watched it and figured out that...it sucks! At a certain point, individuals are going to make choices in their own interest regardless of what is best for on-paper productivity.

      -Andrew L
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    6. Member GeoffD's Avatar
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      02-21-2011 02:52 PM #76
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      It's not just the Greeks, it's most of Europe, including successful Scandinavian countries.

      And when I say false economy...maybe China is very good at high-volume manufacturing, but it's still a false economy because it ruins people's lives. The way I see it, the current generation in China is willing to put up with a lot of crap to build things up for their children's generation. We won't be able to pay Chinese factory workers $1/hr 12hrs/day (or whatever the prevailing rate is) forever. It's a temporary condition brought on by a group of people who saw the chance to lift themselves out of poverty. A few more generations and they'll be just like the rest of us

      And speaking of Asia, look at Japan. The young generation is largely rejecting the "work as life" mentality that their parents had. Because they watched it and figured out that...it sucks! At a certain point, individuals are going to make choices in their own interest regardless of what is best for on-paper productivity.

      -Andrew L
      I presume you're aware of the stagnation of the Japanese economy over the last 15 years? Combine that with an aging population and they're basically screwed.

    7. 02-21-2011 02:53 PM #77
      Quote Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
      I presume you're aware of the stagnation of the Japanese economy over the last 15 years? Combine that with an aging population and they're basically screwed.
      LOL @ people wanting to emulate countries with failing economies.

    8. 02-21-2011 02:55 PM #78
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      It's not just the Greeks, it's most of Europe, including successful Scandinavian countries.
      And over the last couple of decades they've had the sort of stagnation that puts their immigrants in the streets burning cars. It's one way to organise an economy, but only works for people who are already "in", and is saddled with hilarious work rules that get a fellow in trouble for working a 40 hour week while consigning its people to a more medest existence.

      Our (private sector) system lets new people in relatively easily.

      Andrew, if anyone only wants to work 9 months a year, they certainly have that option. People also have the option of working 11 or even 12 months a year. It just isn't sensible to compensate all those people similarly.
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      02-21-2011 02:56 PM #79
      Quote Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
      The people paying the taxes that fund your pay check all have to compete against China and India. If we all adopted your work attitude, you'd have to take a 50% drop in standard of living since there would be no money in the public trough to pay you.
      As I said, I'm not a public-sector or union worker. I'm just saying that I don't understand the people who suggest that an employee's value is in proportion to their level of sacrifice and misery.

      When I was in college, there was this thing called "Misery Poker", meaning people would sit around and one-up each other on complaining about how much work they had to do. I never understood it...when I had work to do, I would just figure out what *really* needed to be done to get an A, what could be safely ignored (unless I was just really interested in the subject and wanted to do extra reading etc), and I would just crank it out and be done. Then I would hang around bored while all these people complained/bragged (hard to tell which it was, really) about how busy they were. I've found the working world is not much different.

      -Andrew L
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      02-21-2011 02:56 PM #80
      Quote Originally Posted by David Mays View Post
      LOL @ people wanting to emulate countries with failing economies.
      Please explain this concept to our gubmint.....
      Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

    11. Member GeoffD's Avatar
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      02-21-2011 02:59 PM #81
      Quote Originally Posted by David Mays View Post
      LOL @ people wanting to emulate countries with failing economies.
      I also laugh at the myth that all China can do is high volume low tech manufacturing. People said in the 1970's that Japan could only build cheap transistor radios.

      I blew a big chunk of my holiday weekend generating email to engineers in Taiwan. They make $25K per year. They suck to deal with but an engineer in the US has a fully burdened cost of about $200,000. I have to be 10x more productive than they are. As they climb the learning curve, there won't be many US engineers who can be 10x more productive than they are.

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      02-21-2011 03:02 PM #82
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      There are a lot of studies showing that Americans spend more time working and get less vacation than almost all other developed countries. Do you think that's the ideal state of things or do you think that's a problem? Personally, I think it's a problem. If you think it's ideal, fine, but refer to what I said about Puritan self-denial

      -Andrew L
      i think it comes from puritan/early america; 'idle hands are the devil's playground.' look at how fast america developed. if you wanted your own land, you went to the frontier, cleared land, built a house, etc. that wasn't done on vacation time. the only benefits you were working for were the fact you staked your claim and started a new life for your family. america was a country built upon 'work hard and you'll be rewarded.' that work ethic became ingrained in the national mentality and image of america.

      presently though, the american work ethic seems to be, 'work hard enough to not get fired, and if you're not getting paid enough, cry and moan.' people wonder why all these jobs keep getting shipped overseas..it's because people want to work less and earn more.

      i'm not saying the american work ethic, past or present, is better or worse, just an observation. i do believe americans need more vacation time. people work too much. you would think with how much 'work' people do in the states compared to other developed nations, we'd be leaps and bounds ahead of them. but we're not...something's wrong with that.

      the biggest hurdle to cross is america/american's love of money. and we all know we work for the money. nothing else really. job choice just comes down to what is least painful for you to do day in and day out to get a paycheck

      edit: an interesting article on the economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democ..._public_unions
      Last edited by twerked; 02-21-2011 at 03:05 PM.

    13. 02-21-2011 03:05 PM #83
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      As I said, I'm not a public-sector or union worker. I'm just saying that I don't understand the people who suggest that an employee's value is in proportion to their level of sacrifice and misery.
      I didn't read anyone suggesting that.

      I do see lots of suggestions that government employees don't have a unmodifiable privilege to work less than the general population, but be paid more.
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      02-21-2011 03:07 PM #84
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      When I was in college, there was this thing called "Misery Poker", meaning people would sit around and one-up each other on complaining about how much work they had to do. I never understood it.
      Haha, That is one part of our society that has always drove me nuts. Everyone wants to make it seem like they do way more work then everyone else, and have way less of a personal life than another person.

      I used to sit down in a group of people and watch this "my life sucks more than yours contest", then I'd just butt in and say "Well, I got most of the stuff I needed to do this week done by Tuesday, so now I get to coast through the rest of the work week, and might even take Friday off and go spend the weekend skiing, and drinking beer... So... Sucks for you guys." Then watch them as they all looked at me baffled like I was an alien lifeform.

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      02-21-2011 03:10 PM #85
      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      Andrew, if anyone only wants to work 9 months a year, they certainly have that option. People also have the option of working 11 or even 12 months a year. It just isn't sensible to compensate all those people similarly.
      I wouldn't mind if this were just about modest cuts to pay/benefits for government employees. Instead, it seems to be setting the stage for knocking government work down to bottom-rung status. If you think the DMV sucks now, wait till the person behind the counter is making $8.50/hr with no benefits and had only been on the job for a month due to turnover.

      And as for teachers...last I checked, the public schools don't exactly have thousands of brilliant, highly-qualified applicants lined up begging for jobs. If that's the situation with the CURRENT level of pay and benefits, what will be the situation when it's a $25K/yr job without health coverage? The endgame will be that high school is teenage day-care for people who can't afford private school, and the public education system is essentially defunded and destroyed. Which seems to be exactly what some conservatives want. If that's what they want, they should just say it, and watch as they lose the next election. Instead, they're using a back-door approach to erode the system in a way that's not as obvious to the voters.

      -Andrew L
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      02-21-2011 03:13 PM #86
      Quote Originally Posted by David Mays View Post


      And this helps your argument how? Unions apparently help maintain the status quo, while letting go of people who seem to actually care about the job.

      If anything, this is an argument for exactly WHY public sector unions have got to go.
      I should have clarified in the earlier post. I'm a non-union employee being ousted by a union employee. I think you understand my opinion a little clearer now...

      Also, i'm not saying being a teacher is the hardest job in the world - it's just not the cakewalk some of you may think it is. Dealing with about 20 15-17 year olds is a lot more mentally taxing than I thought it would have been.

      I work my butt off in my position because i'm trying to make a difference in the lives of my students, I realize it's my choice, as you say. I could also leave everyday at 2:30.
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    17. 02-21-2011 03:16 PM #87
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      If you think the DMV sucks now, wait till the person behind the counter is making $8.50/hr with no benefits and had only been on the job for a month due to turnover.
      Someone was saying that the public sector doesn't have burger-flipper jobs. Well I think you just proved them wrong.

      And as for teachers...last I checked, the public schools don't exactly have thousands of brilliant, highly-qualified applicants lined up begging for jobs.
      I wonder why that is. Maybe it's because they know that hard work and quality isn't what's rewarded. They know that tenure and seniority mean more.

      The endgame will be that high school is teenage day-care for people who can't afford private school, and the public education system is essentially defunded and destroyed.
      Part one of that seems to have already happened. Hopefully part two isn't far behind. Then we can stop paying for public school through property taxes, and make it a commercial enterprise that values outcome over effort.

      Public school tenure is the "participation trophy" of the public sector.

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      02-21-2011 03:18 PM #88
      Quote Originally Posted by Big Dac With Fries View Post
      Also, i'm not saying being a teacher is the hardest job in the world - it's just not the cakewalk some of you may think it is. Dealing with about 20 15-17 year olds is a lot more mentally taxing than I thought it would have been..
      uhh..ya think? don't you remember being a d*ckhead in your teenage years? haha

      i lead week long summer camps with kids 7-15. it's my yearly birth control. i had thought about teaching, but i don't think i could handle that 9 months of the year...

      and to you for actually caring about your students

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      02-21-2011 03:18 PM #89
      Quote Originally Posted by Big Dac With Fries View Post
      I should have clarified in the earlier post. I'm a non-union employee being ousted by a union employee. I think you understand my opinion a little clearer now...

      I'm actually more confused. I'm hearing that you're a dedicated teacher who's performing his job well. And I'm hearing that you will lose your job to a union guy simply because he's in the union and has seniority. Not because he's better.

      Are you saying that's how it should be???
      I am JIMP.

    20. 02-21-2011 03:18 PM #90
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      I wouldn't mind if this were just about modest cuts to pay/benefits for government employees. Instead, it seems to be setting the stage for knocking government work down to bottom-rung status. If you think the DMV sucks now, wait till the person behind the counter is making $8.50/hr with no benefits and had only been on the job for a month due to turnover.
      Are we allowed to ask why we expect poor service from the current crop of union represented and adequately paid government service personnel?

      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      And as for teachers...last I checked, the public schools don't exactly have thousands of brilliant, highly-qualified applicants lined up begging for jobs.
      Well, teachers are a crucial lynchpin to unlocking our childrens' future, or they are dullards and slackers, but not both simultaneously, right?

      Interesting note about teachers: in my state private school teachers make less than public school teachers, but parents pay extra money to have their children taught by private school teachers.

      This suggests to me that elements other than compensation may determine teacher quality, and that poor current performance is a terrible excuse for paying a premium.
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    21. 02-21-2011 03:19 PM #91
      Quote Originally Posted by Big Dac With Fries View Post
      I should have clarified in the earlier post. I'm a non-union employee being ousted by a union employee. I think you understand my opinion a little clearer now...
      Yep. And I don't think we actually disagree, either.

      Also, i'm not saying being a teacher is the hardest job in the world - it's just not the cakewalk some of you may think it is. Dealing with about 20 15-17 year olds is a lot more mentally taxing than I thought it would have been.
      You could always work in a different field, if you truly don't enjoy what you do. I'm fairly certain nobody has shackled you to that desk.

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      02-21-2011 03:21 PM #92
      Quote Originally Posted by Seabird View Post
      I'm actually more confused. I'm hearing that you're a dedicated teacher who's performing his job well. And I'm hearing that you will lose your job to a union guy simply because he's in the union and has seniority. Not because he's better.

      Are you saying that's how it should be???
      I'm not saying that's how it should be.

      I'm saying that's actually what's happening to me.
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      02-21-2011 03:22 PM #93
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      What "kind of attitude" do you mean? The attitude that I shouldn't have to spend all my waking hours working to make money I can't use for anything meaningful because I spend all my waking hours working?

      I'm not advocating laziness, just sanity. The idea that pushing people harder and harder and making workers miserable improves productivity is a false economy.

      -Andrew L
      This. Since when is a 40 hour work week not an honest job?

      To others, I agree that we need to get rid of seniority and tenure in public work though. That doesn't mean workers shouldn't be able to stand up for themselves though.

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      02-21-2011 03:22 PM #94
      State is short on money. Tax base is getting killed by the economy. State has some choices to make. The tax base is not an unlimited pool of money. The private sector ALWAYS takes the hit before the public sector does. A sense of entitlement is what killed GM and most unionized industries in this country. Reality must come into play at some point. Why do people go into public service jobs in the first place? Is it their sense of community service? My guess is that might come in last on the list of reasons.
      Personal responsibility, a lost art.

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      02-21-2011 03:26 PM #95
      Quote Originally Posted by David Mays View Post
      Part one of that seems to have already happened. Hopefully part two isn't far behind. Then we can stop paying for public school through property taxes, and make it a commercial enterprise that values outcome over effort.
      A lot of you people need to STOP with the idea that education is a viable for-profit business model. NCLB is a failure. Defunding schools that don't produce test score increases just compounds the problem.

      I am FOR performance based review of teachers- but arguing that the teacher is the sole reason your kids suck at life is the problem. For the past 3 years, my wife has had 95% + meeting or exceeding their state testing goals. This year she thinks it will be about 80%, because she has a group of little monsters with even worse parents. She must be a horrible teacher if only 80% can pass their tests.

      Defunding schools means that there are less resources for teachers and schools to educate. Those fewer resources do not "motivate" people to produce better results. They just make the mountain that much harder to climb.

      Wanna trim waste from the school system? Look at the admin, school boards, and facilities. All three have redundancies, wastes, and outright fraud that should make most taxpayers puke.

    26. 02-21-2011 03:29 PM #96
      Quote Originally Posted by Tornado2dr View Post
      A lot of you people need to STOP with the idea that education is a viable for-profit business model.
      Tell that to all the successful private schools.

      NCLB is a failure. Defunding schools that don't produce test score increases just compounds the problem.
      When did I bring up NCLB as a viable solution? Nice strawman.

      Try again.

    27. 02-21-2011 03:35 PM #97
      Quote Originally Posted by Tornado2dr View Post
      Wanna trim waste from the school system? Look at the admin, school boards, and facilities. All three have redundancies, wastes, and outright fraud that should make most taxpayers puke.
      Indeed.

      Quote Originally Posted by Tornado2dr View Post
      Defunding schools means that there are less resources for teachers and schools to educate.
      It means that there are fewer resources at the disposal of the public school district to educate, and relatively more resources under private control.

      If the school board and administration are the problem, defunding them is a fine solution.
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      02-21-2011 03:37 PM #98
      Quote Originally Posted by Tornado2dr View Post

      Wanna trim waste from the school system? Look at the admin, school boards, and facilities. All three have redundancies, wastes, and outright fraud that should make most taxpayers puke.
      Agreed. Add that to the list of cuts.
      Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

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      02-21-2011 03:38 PM #99
      My governor is a nut-job, but still got my vote.
      :gift:

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      02-21-2011 03:39 PM #100
      Quote Originally Posted by David Mays View Post
      Tell that to all the successful private schools.
      I am a product of private school. Private schools work well in many instances because the people who send their kids there have likely already instilled a sense of pride and value in their education that would likely have the kid excelling at ANY school he went to. Just look at the results of public schools in affluent areas where the parents Can afford to send their kids to private school.

      My NCLB comment wasn't an argument or strawman, really. Your comments about defunding sound like they came out of a nclb/private school voucher textbook, that's all.

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      02-21-2011 03:41 PM #101
      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      It means that there are fewer resources at the disposal of the public school district to educate, and relatively more resources under private control.
      That is not the case. The money doesn't get "saved", it just gets redirected from the schools that need it the most. The private sector isn't going to go into a down and out district and save the kids that need the most help.

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      02-21-2011 03:44 PM #102
      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      Are we allowed to ask why we expect poor service from the current crop of union represented and adequately paid government service personnel?
      If you want to improve the service at the DMV, then let's tackle that problem. But I'm pretty sure slashing wages and busting unions isn't going to do it. New Jersey was able to do it. Ask any New Jerseyan what they remember about Jim McGreevey...their answer will either have something to do with gay extramarital affairs, or about how he fixed the DMV

      Or, look up the This American Life episode about the GM/Toyota NUMMI plant. There's an example of how to turn a poor workforce into a great one, AND have happier workers, AND not engage in union-busting and pay slashing. You do it by having better processes and rewarding quality. That's not mutually exclusive with good pay and collective bargaining.

      Well, teachers are a crucial lynchpin to unlocking our childrens' future, or they are dullards and slackers, but not both simultaneously, right?
      I just meant that the schools have trouble recruiting and keeping the best teachers. I was in public school from K-12...some teachers were fantastic, some were just coasting till retirement. Adding some performance-based standards seems like a common-sense thing to do, but it's tricky. Standardized tests don't tell the whole story, only who is best at teaching to the test. Actually I think the people who can tell you best which teachers are good and which are bad are the students, but we'll never get any buy-in on that from either the left or the right because we all assume that if they knew anything they wouldn't be students.

      Anyway, point is, none of this stuff requires eliminating unions and slashing pay and benefits. If this were really all about improving the quality of public education by recruiting and keeping good teachers, I would be all for it.

      -Andrew L
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    33. 02-21-2011 03:47 PM #103
      Quote Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
      Indeed.



      It means that there are fewer resources at the disposal of the public school district to educate, and relatively more resources under private control.

      If the school board and administration are the problem, defunding them is a fine solution.
      Quote Originally Posted by Tornado2dr View Post
      That is not the case. The money doesn't get "saved", it just gets redirected from the schools that need it the most.
      I think your focus is incorrect. Instead of focusing on which schools need money, shouldn't the focus be on which schools serve students well?

      If a restaurant serves patrons poorly, the customers go elsewhere and it closes. If you make a product consumers do not like, you shut down and the resources you might have used are used in the pursuit of something people do want.

      Only where the state enforces a monopoly do we imagine that failure is an indication that more money is needed.
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      02-21-2011 03:49 PM #104
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      If you want to improve the service at the DMV, then let's tackle that problem. But I'm pretty sure
      Anyway, point is, none of this stuff requires eliminating unions and slashing pay and benefits. If this were really all about improving the quality of public education by recruiting and keeping good teachers, I would be all for it.

      -Andrew L
      I think this part "eliminating unions and slashing pay and benefits" is about keeping states solvent. Our educational system is broken. Consider

      Why should I be forced to pay more for a faulty product?

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      02-21-2011 03:52 PM #105
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      I just meant that the schools have trouble recruiting and keeping the best teachers. I was in public school from K-12...some teachers were fantastic, some were just coasting till retirement. Adding some performance-based standards seems like a common-sense thing to do, but it's tricky. Standardized tests don't tell the whole story, only who is best at teaching to the test. Actually I think the people who can tell you best which teachers are good and which are bad are the students, but we'll never get any buy-in on that from either the left or the right because we all assume that if they knew anything they wouldn't be students.
      You make some very valid points.
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