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World Politics

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Jun 19, 2009
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redtreviso said:
""now come on mothers throughout the land, pack your boys off to vietnam,
come on fathers don't hesitate, send your sons off before its too late,
be the first one on your block, to have your boy come home in a box
""---Country Joe
I saw Country Joe sing this song at Fairhaven College before he performed at Woodstock. He'd laugh at today's fair weather liberals like he did then. By the way, my politics are closer to the liberal than SoCal's are to the other end but we both probably believe that anyone that distills the political arguments to slogans sits in the same ignorant camp no matter what crap they are chanting.
It doesn't matter if you're the Koch family, manipulating political "parties" by funding think tanks, attack videos, radio hosts or NPR apologists that can't abide criticism without wetting their Pampers and sending in huge donations; simple answers don't exist.
 
May 23, 2010
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Oldman said:
I saw Country Joe sing this song at Fairhaven College before he performed at Woodstock. He'd laugh at today's fair weather liberals like he did then. By the way, my politics are closer to the liberal than SoCal's are to the other end but we both probably believe that anyone that distills the political arguments to slogans sits in the same ignorant camp no matter what crap they are chanting.
It doesn't matter if you're the Koch family, manipulating political "parties" by funding think tanks, attack videos, radio hosts or NPR apologists that can't abide criticism without wetting their Pampers and sending in huge donations; simple answers don't exist.
It does matter...there is no moral equivalency between the Koch's predatory desires and liberal idealism. It is like a murderer saying..Well you went 40mph in a 35mph zone so you should not talk.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
Ok, seems we agree on the facts more or less.

1) Social programs have not contributed to the recent 'explosion' debt. These things change slowly and very predictably.

The outlook in some models look horrific when you look 30 years forward in time WITHOUT ANY adjustments. Because it is so predictable, we can calculate fairly precisely what kinds of adjustments keep it working for 30-50 years. In fact very moderate increases in revenues and/or means testing will do the trick very easily.

2) Military spending IS a part (the by far largest part) of discretionary spending. On your piechart it's second only to social security. We should have had a huge peace dividend from the decline of the Soviet Union, but we didn't. We have more military spending than the next 10 or so countries together.

3) You are right that we are still accumulating debt. And you are right that it is no longer due to the bailout or stimulus. The problem right now is a revenue problem. Spending is flat/decreasing a bit, but revenues are falling off. It was a huge mistake to keep the (unpaid) tax cuts in place. In particular for the highest income brackets. That's really driving the deficit right now. Lack of revenue. This was a bipartisan vote in the lame duck session.


And guess which party/president would have improved on the current situation? Neither. I was hoping McCain would have picked a credible VP candidate to saddle the first term on his seasoned shoulders. He wouldn't have done anything different than Obama and because Obama's choices are limited his fringe liberal support is crying now. Everyone should have known that the global scope of financial impact wouldn't allow any single country to control their own destiny. Some have fared better and worse but when you have Spaniards flipping condos in Dubai and Californians leveraging their homes for a vacation cottage in Bend, Oregon @ $1 mil it's time to run for cover. Did really rich people get richer? Only if they were smart enough to pull out in time.
You are on the money about tax increases but that only works for awhile as well and doesn't contribute that much. The capital on the sidelines will move when they sense momentum and with a Chinese real-estate bust on the horizon smart money is still waiting for that momentum to be stable. The sad 70's were much the same for the US with disinflation discouraging any long term investment and similar background economic influences occurring: manipulation of commodity markets and OPEC artificially inflating the cost of oil. At least if feels like 1973.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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redtreviso said:
It does matter...there is no moral equivilency between the Koch's predatory desires and liberal idealism. It is like a murderer saying..Well you went 40mph in a 35mph zone so you should not talk.
yeah no moral "equivilency" ummm errr (equivalency)....YOUR and YOUR going to just f it up might as well recognize...... You might want to get with Romperroom and figure this spelling stuff out. :D
 
May 23, 2010
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Glenn_Wilson said:
yeah no moral "equivilency" ummm errr (equivalency)....YOUR and YOUR going to just f it up might as well recognize...... You might want to get with Romperroom and figure this spelling stuff out. :D
I knew it but didn't care.. YouR coherency is questionable in one of your earlier posts. Beer(s)?
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
Ok, seems we agree on the facts more or less.

1) Social programs have not contributed to the recent 'explosion' debt. These things change slowly and very predictably.

The outlook in some models look horrific when you look 30 years forward in time WITHOUT ANY adjustments. Because it is so predictable, we can calculate fairly precisely what kinds of adjustments keep it working for 30-50 years. In fact very moderate increases in revenues and/or means testing will do the trick very easily.

2) Military spending IS a part (the by far largest part) of discretionary spending. On your piechart it's second only to social security. We should have had a huge peace dividend from the decline of the Soviet Union, but we didn't. We have more military spending than the next 10 or so countries together.

3) You are right that we are still accumulating debt. And you are right that it is no longer due to the bailout or stimulus. The problem right now is a revenue problem. Spending is flat/decreasing a bit, but revenues are falling off. It was a huge mistake to keep the (unpaid) tax cuts in place. In particular for the highest income brackets. That's really driving the deficit right now. Lack of revenue. This was a bipartisan vote in the lame duck session.
Also, don't forget about the 'explosion' of intelligence spending:

from CRS report on Intel 2011

Thus far, only a small part of the intelligence budget has been made
public; the bulk of the $53.1 billion in national intelligence spending has been “hidden” within the DOD budget.
The sharp increase is a key reason why Tenet opposes releasing any details. Two years ago, pressured by a lawsuit by the Federation of American Scientists, a Washington watchdog group, the CIA released the spending figure on national intelligence for 1997: $26.6 billion.
the DNI announced in October 2008 that the aggregate amount appropriated to the National Intelligence Program for FY2008 was $47.5 billion. A year later the NIP for FY2009 was announced as $49.8
In October 2010, the DNI announced that the amount appropriated to the NIP for FY2010 was $53.1 billion.
FY 2012 Request: $55 billion

Now, if we may assume that 'most' Intel spending is consolidated in the total DOD budget, which is FY2012 Request: $553 billion; FY2011 Request: $549.1 billion; FY2010 Enacted: $530.8 billion, roughly 10% of total DOD is spent on Intel.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It might be instructive to look at changes in Federal spending by category since 2000.

Defense spending up 91% over that time, 6.7% annually.

Unemployment (welfare) up 559%, or 20.8% annually.

Education up 155%, or 9.8% annually.

The interesting thing here is inflation averaged less than 3% annually over this period.

I think a very good argument could be made that our debt situation is not a revenue problem.


 
May 23, 2010
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All of this and the topic was the House budget committee chair is a Rand devotee. It is like discussing Israeli/Palestinian issues if the Secretary of State was a devotee of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
It might be instructive to look at changes in Federal spending by category since 2000.

Defense spending up 91% over that time, 6.7% annually.

Unemployment (welfare) up 559%, or 20.8% annually.

Education up 155%, or 9.8% annually.

The interesting thing here is inflation averaged less than 3% annually over this period.

I think a very good argument could be made that our debt situation is not a revenue problem.


i'd like to see the yearly breakout of those figures. 21% in deposit insurance?
 
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Anonymous

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patricknd said:
i'd like to see the yearly breakout of those figures. 21% in deposit insurance?
Interesting catch.... notice the negative numbers. FDIC was nearly insolvent in 2009. The Feds borrowed money from a few major privately held corporations to keeps it (the borrowing) quiet and to ensure a run on solvent banks did not happen.
 
May 13, 2009
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Scott: two objections with your characterization.

1) Since social security, medicare, medicaid is paid by their own payroll taxes, changes in expenditures should be met with changes in payroll taxes and maybe changes in benefits, such as means testing. (Ryan is thinking about changes in benefits in terms of a voucher program which I think is socially wrong).

2) Working with % increases and decreases is fine, but don't take your eye off the absolute numbers. There we see the largest increases in military spending (no wonder considering the wars).

Finally, the unemployment payouts were pretty high in 2010, which I think everybody hopes is due to the sharp recession. I would guess the lion share of the increase comes from the last two years, and hopefully it will decrease just as much in the very near future.


Anyway, just wanted to say that I appreciate discussing actual facts with someone on the other side. Sadly fact based discussions seem to be out of fashion. When I turn on the TV or read pieces, it doesn't seem that politicians (mostly Republicans IMHO) do not seem to acknowledge and agree on actual basic facts even. Discussions in this fact-free zone is childish and futile and very frustrating for the viewer or consumer of political news. I wish the process would be more mature.
 
May 23, 2010
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""A new wave of school voucher bills is sweeping the nation, which would allow public education funds to be used in private or parochial schools. As with past waves of voucher initiatives, these new bills are largely promoted and funded by the billionaire DeVos family and a core group of wealthy pro-privatization supporters. They include Pennsylvania SB-1, soon coming to a vote in the PA Senate, and the "Vouchers-for-All" bill approved by the Florida Senate Education Committee on April 14. Betsy DeVos is at the helm of organizations that have set the stage for both bills, but you would never know it based on the propaganda being marketed to Pennsylvanians. Even if you are from another state, keep reading. Chances are a Betsy DeVos-led campaign is already at work in your state or will be there soon.

The DeVos family is recognized as one of the top national contributors to the Republican Party, free market policy institutes, and Religious Right organizations. Many of their previous attempts at using voucher initiatives to privatize the nation's public schools have been transparent. Recent campaigns have been more covert and are camouflaged behind local efforts described as grass roots and bipartisan.

Pennsylvanians should not be deceived. Regardless of where one stands on the issue of school choice, behind the curtain of this effort is an interconnected network of right wing think tanks and billionaire donors, funded by foundations including those of the DeVos and Koch families and the Scaife, Allegheny, and Carthage Foundations of Pennsylvania's own Richard Mellon Scaife. The leaders of many of these DeVos/Koch/Scaife-funded institutes openly voice their ideological objections to all forms of public education. Some even proudly display their support for a proclamation posted at the Alliance for Separation of School and State, which reads,

"I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education."""

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/4/20/232844/831
 
Cobblestones said:
Scott: two objections with your characterization.

1) Since social security, medicare, medicaid is paid by their own payroll taxes, changes in expenditures should be met with changes in payroll taxes and maybe changes in benefits, such as means testing. (Ryan is thinking about changes in benefits in terms of a voucher program which I think is socially wrong).

2) Working with % increases and decreases is fine, but don't take your eye off the absolute numbers. There we see the largest increases in military spending (no wonder considering the wars).

Finally, the unemployment payouts were pretty high in 2010, which I think everybody hopes is due to the sharp recession. I would guess the lion share of the increase comes from the last two years, and hopefully it will decrease just as much in the very near future.


Anyway, just wanted to say that I appreciate discussing actual facts with someone on the other side. Sadly fact based discussions seem to be out of fashion. When I turn on the TV or read pieces, it doesn't seem that politicians (mostly Republicans IMHO) do not seem to acknowledge and agree on actual basic facts even. Discussions in this fact-free zone is childish and futile and very frustrating for the viewer or consumer of political news. I wish the process would be more mature.
That's because the facts to them are irrelevant, or I should say their sense of reality is merely instrumental toward their cause, which is the complete annihilation of the social state.

Just look at what Scott SoCal has tried to pass off as an objective analysis of the "facts", when indicating that:

Defense spending up 91% over that time, 6.7% annually.

Unemployment (welfare) up 559%, or 20.8% annually.

Education up 155%, or 9.8% annually.

while conveniently neglecting to mention that the government still spends about 500 billion more on defense than it does on unemployment, especially considering that since the 08 crisis, which the so called gurus of deregulation at the stock market caused, unemployment has skyrocketed in the US.

And we spend 600 billion more on the military than we do on the schools! This succinctly explains why the nation is in steep decline, in addition to having people like Scott explain to us that we must cut social spending, don't tax too heavily the rich and big business, just let the markets fix themselves, etc., etc., etc. Privatize everything, even the public schools, and democracy will be a better off left in the hands of the financiers and nothing else.

That and the universities are cutting their humanities departments, while the business departments are being provided with their faculties directly from the corporate universe.

It's all positively maddening and yet he presents himself without the least bit of compunction or shame.
 
redtreviso said:
""A new wave of school voucher bills is sweeping the nation, which would allow public education funds to be used in private or parochial schools. As with past waves of voucher initiatives, these new bills are largely promoted and funded by the billionaire DeVos family and a core group of wealthy pro-privatization supporters. They include Pennsylvania SB-1, soon coming to a vote in the PA Senate, and the "Vouchers-for-All" bill approved by the Florida Senate Education Committee on April 14. Betsy DeVos is at the helm of organizations that have set the stage for both bills, but you would never know it based on the propaganda being marketed to Pennsylvanians. Even if you are from another state, keep reading. Chances are a Betsy DeVos-led campaign is already at work in your state or will be there soon.

The DeVos family is recognized as one of the top national contributors to the Republican Party, free market policy institutes, and Religious Right organizations. Many of their previous attempts at using voucher initiatives to privatize the nation's public schools have been transparent. Recent campaigns have been more covert and are camouflaged behind local efforts described as grass roots and bipartisan.

Pennsylvanians should not be deceived. Regardless of where one stands on the issue of school choice, behind the curtain of this effort is an interconnected network of right wing think tanks and billionaire donors, funded by foundations including those of the DeVos and Koch families and the Scaife, Allegheny, and Carthage Foundations of Pennsylvania's own Richard Mellon Scaife. The leaders of many of these DeVos/Koch/Scaife-funded institutes openly voice their ideological objections to all forms of public education. Some even proudly display their support for a proclamation posted at the Alliance for Separation of School and State, which reads,

"I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education."""

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/4/20/232844/831
This is what is precisely going on in Berlusconi's Italy, for which his right wing coalition is trying to strip public funds away from the state schools, which he says "indoctrinate" (where have I heard this term before :rolleyes:) kids in the communist ideology and which, the prime minister claims, "teach things contrary to the parents' values."

This coming from a man who finds great difficulty in distinguishing between his private business interests (and juridical issues) and those of the state as its chief political figurehead.

Among the worst things that can happen to a democracy is to have the private interests of the business-political class (most characterized by the right-wing ideology), first vilify the public schools and then, through tax cuts to the big money making enterprises and other fiscal incentives, to then allow the plutocracy to redirect the funds into a private school system that effectively replaces the public one, which necessarily becomes more anemic and troubled.

Yet this is exactly what the private agenda is trying to bring about in America and, as the example of Italy (although thank god their is a much stronger sense of the public domain in the Boot), not only. Also the last phrases of your post succinctly explains why this is bad and who is really bent on the complete indoctrination of the nation's youth. :mad:
 
May 23, 2010
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rhubroma said:
This is what is precisely going on in Berlusconi's Italy, for which his right wing coalition is trying to strip public funds away from the state schools, which he says "indoctrinate" (where have I heard this term before :rolleyes:) kids in the communist ideology and which, the prime minister claims, "teach things contrary to the parents' values."

This coming from a man who finds great difficulty in distinguishing between his private business interests (and juridical issues) and those of the state as its chief political figurehead.

Among the worst things that can happen to a democracy is to have the private interests of the business-political class (most characterized by the right-wing ideology), first vilify the public schools and then, through tax cuts to the big money making enterprises and other fiscal incentives, to then allow the plutocracy to redirect the funds into a private school system that effectively replaces the public one, which necessarily becomes more anemic and troubled.

Yet this is exactly what the private agenda is trying to bring about in America and, as the example of Italy (although thank god their is a much stronger sense of the public domain in the Boot), not only. Also the last phrases of your post succinctly explains why this is bad and who is really bent on the complete indoctrination of the nation's youth. :mad:
And just think.. They don't have to do anything with Scott..Finished product.
 
May 13, 2009
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Rhubroma: I have to give Scott credit that his graph provided increases in absolute $ as well as %.

About voucher school programs:

You'll probably see some posts here with examples where the voucher program 'works'. And I agree with the data that when you put a few charter schools in bad school districts it 'works'. Why do these schools see good results? First, you get a self-selected group of parents who do give a damn about the education of their children. Second, there is an admission process which can be further selective.

Once you have a select group of students, result will always be better. If you take any public school and only count the results of the upper 50% of the students, of course it does look better.

The problems would come when you put every student in the same system and count them all.

Here's the main reason why US schools are lacking: poor school districts. Money for schools should be averaged out at least statewide, if not nationwide. Second problem: teachers need to be better prepared. Finland, the country with the best school system in the Western World requires their teachers to have a MSc degree in their field. A math teacher who cannot integrate and differentiate himself, cannot teach it to the students. And of course, in order to attract people with MSc degrees to childhood education, the salary has to be consummate.

The voucher program clouds this issue behind a smokescreen of 'free choice' which for a large part of the proponents means introduction of 'creation science' or abstinence eduction. A lot of them do NOT care about bettering the school system as long as religion is allowed to enter the curriculum.

I am scared when I compare school curricula across the world. Good math education does not require much more than a chalkboard and paper/pencil on the part of the student. Even a significant fraction of third world nations provides a more stringent math curriculum in their high schools than the US. Now, of course, high school is unattainable for a lot of their citizens, but that doesn't have to stay that way for long. Just as at one point, we required everybody to learn to read and write, we are at a point where we might have to require everybody to be able to do analysis and probability calculation. Just as illiteracy is unacceptable nowadays, so might be math illiteracy in the near future.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
rhubroma said:
That's because the facts to them are irrelevant, or I should say their sense of reality is merely instrumental toward their cause, which is the complete annihilation of the social state.

Just look at what Scott SoCal has tried to pass off as an objective analysis of the "facts", when indicating that:

Defense spending up 91% over that time, 6.7% annually.

Unemployment (welfare) up 559%, or 20.8% annually.

Education up 155%, or 9.8% annually.

while conveniently neglecting to mention that the government still spends about 500 billion more on defense than it does on unemployment, especially considering that since the 08 crisis, which the so called gurus of deregulation at the stock market caused, unemployment has skyrocketed in the US.

And we spend 600 billion more on the military than we do on the schools! This succinctly explains why the nation is in steep decline, in addition to having people like Scott explain to us that we must cut social spending, don't tax too heavily the rich and big business, just let the markets fix themselves, etc., etc., etc. Privatize everything, even the public schools, and democracy will be a better off left in the hands of the financiers and nothing else.

That and the universities are cutting their humanities departments, while the business departments are being provided with their faculties directly from the corporate universe.

It's all positively maddening and yet he presents himself without the least bit of compunction or shame.
Well now you are just being an A-Hole. What you "forget" to mention is that I was drawing a distinction compared to inflation, hence the annualized percentages. You also forget to mention this was in the context of Cobblestones mentioning cutting discretionary spending and me mentioning the big money that's being spent on entitlements... I mean, I posted the chart showing you (and everyone else) the freaking numbers. What was I hiding? NOTHING. I also list defense precisely because it should be looked at and for no other reason.

It's all positively maddening and yet he presents himself without the least bit of compunction or shame
Right back at you Rhub. The problem with discussing serious subjects with people that think they are a helluva lot smarter than they actually are is illustrated with your sentence above.

Feel free to apologize anytime you are ready.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
rhubroma said:
This is what is precisely going on in Berlusconi's Italy, for which his right wing coalition is trying to strip public funds away from the state schools, which he says "indoctrinate" (where have I heard this term before :rolleyes:) kids in the communist ideology and which, the prime minister claims, "teach things contrary to the parents' values."

This coming from a man who finds great difficulty in distinguishing between his private business interests (and juridical issues) and those of the state as its chief political figurehead.

Among the worst things that can happen to a democracy is to have the private interests of the business-political class (most characterized by the right-wing ideology), first vilify the public schools and then, through tax cuts to the big money making enterprises and other fiscal incentives, to then allow the plutocracy to redirect the funds into a private school system that effectively replaces the public one, which necessarily becomes more anemic and troubled.

Yet this is exactly what the private agenda is trying to bring about in America and, as the example of Italy (although thank god their is a much stronger sense of the public domain in the Boot), not only. Also the last phrases of your post succinctly explains why this is bad and who is really bent on the complete indoctrination of the nation's youth. :mad:
Among the worst things that can happen to a democracy is to have the private interests of the business-political class (most characterized by the right-wing ideology), first vilify the public schools and then, through tax cuts to the big money making enterprises and other fiscal incentives, to then allow the plutocracy to redirect the funds into a private school system that effectively replaces the public one, which necessarily becomes more anemic and troubled.
Or then again it could be people who would like to see kids actually get an education.

Public education is not producing acceptable results. Because you have disdain for the private marketplace does not change the fact that our public education system is failing. So what should be done?

I guarantee you I know what your answer will be.
 
Apr 1, 2010
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First off I just want to thank both Scott and Cobbles for the (for the most part) factual based discussion.

Cobbles, On the topic of spending %, I totally agree with you that military spending should be cut just as much and probably more than cuts in other areas.

My question is on your opinion of vouchers. What is so wrong with them? In my eyes, it is saying that private industry (be that private schools, private insurance, etc.) can do the job both A) better and B) cheaper, than the government.

What is it about vouchers that you don't like?
 
May 13, 2009
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Rocksteady said:
First off I just want to thank both Scott and Cobbles for the (for the most part) factual based discussion.

Cobbles, On the topic of spending %, I totally agree with you that military spending should be cut just as much and probably more than cuts in other areas.

My question is on your opinion of vouchers. What is so wrong with them? In my eyes, it is saying that private industry (be that private schools, private insurance, etc.) can do the job both A) better and B) cheaper, than the government.

What is it about vouchers that you don't like?
I don't think vouchers solve the problem. In fact, I think they're making the problem worse. I don't want to repeat what I think the problem is. It's in my previous post.

I think we should pass a law which requires MSc degrees, at least for high school, but maybe also for middle school teachers. Then, we need to bring current teachers up to speed, maybe require them to take summer school themselves to get more proficient in math and science, so we don't have to wait a full generation to see any effect.

To attract good people with these degrees to the teaching profession, we might need to up the salaries for new hires and maybe older teachers who go through schooling to improve their own academic standard.

When you look at charter schools, in average they don't perform significantly better or worse than public schools, because their teachers recruit from more or less the same pool. So charter schools which are sort of private schools but have to operate under similar conditions as public schools really don't get better results. I think that shows that choice between two equally deficient options isn't really much of a choice, hence vouchers won't solve anything.

Now, truly private schools can charge tuition and the really good (and expensive) ones can therefore easily produce great results (for a fee).

As I see the voucher program, the only 'improvement' it brings is for private schools to finally get their hand onto public funds with the result that parents of rich kids get a small break (which they really don't need) while much needed funds for public schools get siphoned off. Maybe on the margins, you have a few upper middle class kids which now can afford private school, but again, that's not maximizing the public benefit.
 
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Anonymous

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Cobblestones said:
I don't think vouchers solve the problem. In fact, I think they're making the problem worse. I don't want to repeat what I think the problem is. It's in my previous post.

I think we should pass a law which requires MSc degrees, at least for high school, but maybe also for middle school teachers. Then, we need to bring current teachers up to speed, maybe require them to take summer school themselves to get more proficient in math and science, so we don't have to wait a full generation to see any effect.

To attract good people with these degrees to the teaching profession, we might need to up the salaries for new hires and maybe older teachers who go through schooling to improve their own academic standard.

When you look at charter schools, in average they don't perform significantly better or worse than public schools, because their teachers recruit from more or less the same pool. So charter schools which are sort of private schools but have to operate under similar conditions as public schools really don't get better results. I think that shows that choice between two equally deficient options isn't really much of a choice, hence vouchers won't solve anything.

Now, truly private schools can charge tuition and the really good (and expensive) ones can therefore easily produce great results (for a fee).

As I see the voucher program, the only 'improvement' it brings is for private schools to finally get their hand onto public funds with the result that parents of rich kids get a small break (which they really don't need) while much needed funds for public schools get siphoned off. Maybe on the margins, you have a few upper middle class kids which now can afford private school, but again, that's not maximizing the public benefit.
Meanwhile public schools continue to flounder.

Vouchers might be part of the answer by bringing in much needed competition to the education system. Competing for public funds will drive performance much as it does in every market where a monopoly is not present. I believe this is the biggest fear public school administrators have... they don't want to see vouchers, charter or magnet schools because they know what they produce is crap (but they enjoy getting paid for it anyways).

I like your ideas regarding teachers qualifications and pay structure. I think good teachers should be paid well and really good teachers be paid really well. And bad teachers should get fired (which is a very difficult thing to do in the current public school setting).
 
Jul 9, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
Meanwhile public schools continue to flounder.

Vouchers might be part of the answer by bringing in much needed competition to the education system. Competing for public funds will drive performance much as it does in every market where a monopoly is not present. I believe this is the biggest fear public school administrators have... they don't want to see vouchers, charter or magnet schools because they know what they produce is crap (but they enjoy getting paid for it anyways).

I like your ideas regarding teachers qualifications and pay structure. I think good teachers should be paid well and really good teachers be paid really well. And bad teachers should get fired (which is a very difficult thing to do in the current public school setting).
Public schools are floundering not because teachers are lazy, stupid and evil, but because inner city schools are overcrowded, underfunded and dangerous, I don't understand how your vaunted competition is gonna help that, other than maybe you will just be able to pretend those schools no longer exist at all, since they obviously won't be able to "compete".
 
May 23, 2010
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Hugh Januss said:
Public schools are floundering not because teachers are lazy, stupid and evil, but because inner city schools are overcrowded, underfunded and dangerous, I don't understand how your vaunted competition is gonna help that, other than maybe you will just be able to pretend those schools no longer exist at all, since they obviously won't be able to "compete".
Scott speaks for those that want to just end public education PERIOD.. Once schools are in private hands they can just fail and disappear..
 
May 13, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
Meanwhile public schools continue to flounder.

Vouchers might be part of the answer by bringing in much needed competition to the education system. Competing for public funds will drive performance much as it does in every market where a monopoly is not present. I believe this is the biggest fear public school administrators have... they don't want to see vouchers, charter or magnet schools because they know what they produce is crap (but they enjoy getting paid for it anyways).

I like your ideas regarding teachers qualifications and pay structure. I think good teachers should be paid well and really good teachers be paid really well. And bad teachers should get fired (which is a very difficult thing to do in the current public school setting).
Schools kind of compete already. One of the important factors in real estate is location in a good school district. Local government is usually VERY interested in maintaining a high standard of their public schools.

Charter schools in average do not produce better results than public schools. Both produce low to average results in international comparisons. You need to lift academic qualifications of teachers, in particular for the high school sector. You can't have the phys.-ed. teacher teach physics, because it sounds similar. You need someone with a MSc degree in physics to do this effectively, on a high level. Neither public, nor charter schools do that, because they're both operating with similar budgets per student (unless the charter school gets private grants).

Private schools which can charge whatever they want (as long as they find parents who can pay), don't have that constraint and can deliver better results. But hardly anyone can afford them.

Let's turn it around. If you only have a given amount per student, there's a maximum which you get in return. $5000 doesn't buy you a Mercedes, never mind how effective the dealership works. A voucher program or charter schools won't change that. You just have one WalMart compete with another one. The point that most charter schools don't outperform public schools just shows the limitations of the system. It doesn't support the claim that public schools are inefficient in general.

It's just that you get what you pay for.
 
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