Jury: schools should seek more tax money

July 5, 2012

Paso Robles schools are providing an example for other county districts, and it’s not a good one, according to a report by the San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury.

Deeper budget cuts and more taxing talk is recommended by the jury to all county schools, but the panel made a point to criticize Paso Robles, which could not meet its fiscal obligations this year and was forced to file a “negative certification.” The district reduced class time by six days in order to dodge a state takeover.

The report accused Paso Robles school officials of ignoring impending financial warnings. It suggests that other county school districts take heed of Paso Robles’ example and work to correct their individual financial situations.

Grand jurors also want officials of Lucia Mara, Atascadero, Paso Robles, Shandon, and San Miguel districts to seek parcel tax for additional revenues.

The jury’s report is non-binding, and its recommendations often are ignored by study targets.


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95 Comments

  1. slomike says:

    From my man Krugman’s blog today. Is this copacetic, moderator? For Gimlet. From a real economist.

    “The Romney fundraiser in the Hamptons continues to inspire much justified hilarity. Matt Yglesias has fun with whining rich people complaining that they are the engine of the economy, pointing out that quite a few of the whiners make their money in ways that arguably does very little for growth — say, by running funds that collect so much in fees that they leave investors worse off.

    There is, however, an even broader critique of the whole keep taxes low on jobcreatorsenginesoftheeconomy thing — it doesn’t make sense even when the rich really earn their money. I’ve tried to make this point before, with regard to optimal top tax rates, but without as much success as I’d like; so let’s try it again.

    So, imagine a Romney supporter named John Q. Wheelerdealer, who works 3000 hours a year and makes $30 million. And let’s suppose that he really does contribute that much to the economy, that his marginal product per hour — the amount he adds to national income by working an extra hour — really is $10,000. This is, by the way, standard textbook microeconomics: in a perfectly competitive economy, factors of production are supposedly paid precisely their marginal product.

    Snip
    (admin edit 6:44pm, please do not post full articles from other publications, not cool, questions admin@calcoastnews.com)

    (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
    • Ana di Plosis says:

      slomike: Your post reminds me of the amazing things that Matt Damon’s character says in “Good Will Hunting”–only funnier. You ought to be writing for a living. Anyway, thanks for giving Gimlet (and the rest of us) an eyeful to consider.

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
      • slomike says:

        All Paul. Direct quote. He writes for all who need the truth. First national guy to see Bush for what he was. Still, if we could divert some here from economic science fiction it will be worthwhile. I like that one can link directly to Krugman. Great blog from an outstanding mind and writer. Thanks for standing up for teachers. If not for them, most of our antagonists (and me) would be communicating with grunts.

        (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
        • The Gimlet Eye says:

          Folks, might want to hear what Charlotte Iserbyt has to say about the public schools:

          “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America”

          People can buy this book or read it for free online @:

          http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

          (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        Yes, thanks for the “eyeful,” slomike. Congratulations are in order all the way around.

        Good luck with your monopoly privileges at the public schools, Ana di Plosis. You should have a whale of a time swimming against the tide of history and the laws of economics.

        And no, I would not be surprised to see you get some more political victories in the near future with your tax increase.

        That won’t change the laws of economics, though. A free market economy has a way of reacting to every measure taken, and in unexpected ways. You sure that you are ready for those? I wonder.

        A free market also has ways of bypassing your monopolistic system, in spite of all the road blocks and speed bumps that you put up. For those who wish to see them, they are quite in evidence and they know that such events will sweep away the naysayers, the cynics, and the scoffers into the dustbin of history. Nothing can stop them.

        (-6) 8 Total Votes - 1 up - 7 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Do you really understand all that stuff, slomike?

      How about you explain it in your own words and how it relates to more taxes needed for the public schools and whether a tax increase is justifiable or not from the point of view of free market economics?

      Anyway, Krugman, yes. His work is an extension of Keynes, and like Keynes, a tissue of fallacies. Against saving and capital accumulation and all that; plus bar graphs, mathematical models, and mumbo jumbo, etc. And all wrong.

      I know this doesn’t make any sense to you, incidentally, but Mises absolutely refused to put charts or graphs or fancy equations and formulas in his books, and for good reason; they do not lead to greater understanding of economics. On the contrary, they lead away from it with a totally misleading orientation for what economics is all about: human action.

      Lots and lots of books and articles out there which mop up the floor with both Keynes and Krugman any way you look at them. All anyone has to do is open their mind and let them in.

      (-6) 8 Total Votes - 1 up - 7 down
      • slomike says:

        I appreciate all your hard work, Gimlet. But, your presentation. All that is missing is “MwaHaHaHaHa….” And the inevitability of the “free market” sounds suspiciously like the historical inevitability of Marxism. They can’t both be inevitable, unless one leads to the other. I notice The Mises Academy offers a course in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. Did you take that one? Is there a local Mises study group? Who do you like on the national political scene to take us the free market way?

        (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
        • The Gimlet Eye says:

          Ohhhh, slomike, my dear fellow, such sarcasm does not become you. You seem to have lost a bit of your patina, lost a smidgen of class.

          Who do I like on the national political scene to take us the free market way?

          Certainly not YOU, or anyone who thinks like you.

          Your intense hostility to Libertarianism and Austrian economics, the epistemology of which you can hardly claim to understand in any depth, is a curious phenomenon. Certainly you feel threatened by them. No doubt about that.

          I surmise that this is probably because were the Libertarians to come to power, much of the government and institutions and ways of doing things to which you have been, to put it politely, “acclimated,” would crumble into dust, to be replaced by individual people exercising their God-given rights.

          Your very thought processes are threatened by Libertarians, aren’t they? If you only knew just how much, you would be writhing with rage, instead of just a little upset!

          That would be terrible, wouldn’t it?

          I can see how that would frighten you.

          I welcome your disagreements and debate, my dear fellow, but you could make it a bit more entertaining. Add a little spice, a little panache, a little color, a few facts, some quotations, suggestions for further reading, something to excite my senses.

          Mere sarcasm hardly fits the bill!

          Vale

          (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
          • slomike says:

            Sorry to lower the level. But, while you spin economic word clouds waiting for the free market to show up our schools (and us) are in a bit of a dilemma. Schools haven’t been adequately funded in decades. We won’t jump from the present situation to your scenario. You do know that, don’t you. Meanwhile, you and the rest of the crazy 35% sit on your wallets and decry unions or management or any other conjured up reason not to support paying any tax. This is real life baby and bathwater here. We kowtow to different economic ideas. They aren’t the issue. Funding schools is and that requires money…taxes. Straightforward enough?

            (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
        • The Gimlet Eye says:

          Uhhhhhhhh, don’t flatter youself quite so much, slomike. This information is not just for you, but for all.

          (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
          • slomike says:

            Gimlet, what do you think about these dirty dealing bankers lately? Do you think they would be more inclined to function honorably with no regulation? Seems people are blaming regulators for “allowing” bankers to cheat. Would they be honest in a free market or would it be buyer beware?

            (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
            • The Gimlet Eye says:

              I think those “dirty dealing bankers” are filthy scum, the lowest form of human life on this planet. They have enslaved us and must have most of their powers taken away. The lawbreakers should be doing hard time in prison.

              However, you ignore the question of the rule of law, or you seem to imply that a free market is just a “free for all,” no holds barred affair where anything goes.

              Nothing could be further from the truth. I do not advocate a “free for all” for banks. Quite the contrary. Our entire banking system needs to be reformed along Libertarian lines. End the FED, no more “fractional reserve banking,” back to the gold standard, plus some other things.

              You might want to take a look at this:

              New Documentary on the Great Recession

              http://bastiat.mises.org/

              (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
              • slomike says:

                Got as far as the Krugman “quote”, “Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.” Full quote in 2002 is, “To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble. Judging by Mr. Greenspan’s remarkably cheerful recent testimony, he still thinks he can pull that off. But the Fed chairman’s crystal ball has been cloudy lately; remember how he urged Congress to cut taxes to head off the risk of excessive budget surpluses? And a sober look at recent data is not encouraging.” Foxy editing on Mises part, I’d say.

                (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
                • The Gimlet Eye says:

                  Looking at “data” is not the essence of economics. Undertanding human action is.

                  (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Ana di Plosis says:

    “the record of public schools is self evident… they have failed.”

    That sweeping generalization makes about as much sense as a principal proclaiming (at a high school graduation), “The record of this graduating class is self-evident: because SOME of them have failed to graduate, they ALL have failed to graduate! Therefore, none of you deserves a diploma.”

    Roger, your argument is founded on two of the most basic fallacies in argumentation: “arguing from the exception” and “hasty overgeneralization.” To support your argument, please list all of the other CA school districts OUTSIDE OF LA that are “failing” like the Compton School District. While you’re at it, please define what you mean by “failing.”

    Now, why are you surprised that the teachers’ union is defending the Compton School District against a parental takeover? That is the primary function of every union in the world: to protect the interests of its DUES-PAYING members, not the interests of the public at large. Would you expect the police union to represent the interests of anybody other than police officers? Expecting unions to represent the interests of its members AND members of the public (who file the complaints and lawsuits against union members) is like expecting defense attorneys to represent the interests of their clients AND the interests of the plaintiffs/prosecution. Unions exist to defend the interests of its members when things get ADVERSARIAL during lawsuits, negotiations, etc. They don’t exist to represent the interests of the public at large. You’re either in a given union or you’re not. If you’re not in that union, don’t expect it to represent your interests.

    Now, do I believe that the parents of Compton or any other underperforming district should have legal recourse to remedy the situation? Absolutely. Let them hire a lawyer to go up against the union’s lawyer(s) in a court of law, not the court of public opinion. While I’m not familiar with the details of the Compton case, I can say with certainty that I’ve never heard of a school district where there’s excellent parental involvement but poor results due to poor instruction. Maybe there are some or many dead-beat teachers and administrators in that district. If so, a case needs to be made against each of them individually, and those that are found to be incompetent should be fired. But I suspect that a big reason Compton has been failing for many years is due to a widespread LACK of parental involvement. Now the parents want to seize complete control over the district. We’ll see how that turns out.

    (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Ana di Plosis, I have a question for you. Which of these definitions of the word “education” seems more accurate to you?

      1. The drawing out of a person’s innate talents and abilities by imparting the knowledge of
      languages, scientific reasoning, history, literature, rhetoric, etc.—the channels through which
      those abilities would flourish and serve.

      2. Learning is the result of modifiability in the paths of neural conduction. Explanations of
      even such forms of learning as abstraction and generalization demand of the neurones only
      growth, excitability, conductivity, and modifiability. The mind is the connection-system of
      man; and learning is the process of connecting. The situation-response formula is adequate
      to cover learning of any sort, and the really influential factors in learning are readiness of
      the neurones, sequence in time, belongingness, and satisfying consequences.

      (-7) 9 Total Votes - 1 up - 8 down
      • Ana di Plosis says:

        TGE:

        Which definition of “gimlet eye” seems more accurate to you?  

        1. a sharp or piercing glance.

        2. a sharp-minded blogger who, nonetheless, will never dent, let alone pierce, the public school “shield” because he is either unable or unwilling to a). provide a DETAILED description/definition of what he means by “privatizing education” or b). offer even one example from anywhere in the world where the schools have been successfully privatized.

        Talk about “swimming against the tide of history” . . .

        (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
        • The Gimlet Eye says:

          Ahhhhhhh, spoken like the true social engineer. But…..science is your life and you are stuck with it. So be it.

          But you really haven’t done all that well at arguing your case for your little educational “empire.”

          You could have argued any number of ways for it and really put me up against it. Let me count the ways:

          1. Public schools are necessary because they do the dirty job of molding messy minds and washing smelly bodies into tolerable, peaceful, obedient, sweet smelling workers, something that no one else is willing to do.

          2. Public schools have to educate EVERYONE who comes their way.

          3. Public schools, if allowed to operate properly and if financed adequately, will bring on a “golden age” to our society, a time in which there are no “have-nots,” no inequality, and no elites, and where the lion will lie down with the lamb.

          4. Public schools have a “social mission,” a role in society unmatched by any other entity.

          5. Public schools are a foil to unbridled capitalism, that filthy, cheating way of getting a living so favored by the petty bourgeois and the robber baron alike.

          6. Public schools are the only place where human behavior can be properly “modified” to exacting scientific standards deemed appropriate by authorities who know best–those appointed and approved by the state.

          7. Public schools are the only vehicle which can assure that the people are rightly taught that the epistemology of the natural sciences are unassailable in all respects, can be applied to any field of human endeavor whatsoever, and, therefore, must not be questioned. Ever.

          8. Public schools are the only venue where the study of human action, human concerns, culture, art, logic, literature, the humanities, and all those wiggly, indefinite, fuzzy, unpredictable traits of disobedient humans can be stamped out (though it must appear otherwise, of course).

          Ohhhhh, I could go on and on, but you do see how inadequate your defense of your dear little “empire” was, don’t you?

          (-7) 9 Total Votes - 1 up - 8 down
          • Ana di Plosis says:

            TGE: I’m not the one making a radical proposal that would (detrimentally) affect the education of every K-12 student in the US. YOU are. Ergo, it is incumbent upon YOU to explain why the current system should be overthrown and how a privatized school system would be superior. Throwing around nonsensical phrases about the inevitability of certain economic trends is not the same as offering a rational, detailed explanation of how a privatized school system would meet the needs of ALL K-12 students, everywhere in the US. Until you do, you will never gain enough support for your RADICAL proposal to be adopted. How would a privatized school be run any differently from a public school? If you can’t or won’t answer that basic question, how can you ever hope to convince anyone else that your idea has merit?

            The most basic question that you must answer is this: How will introducing a “PROFIT MOTIVE” into the educational process improve the learning of ALL children and increase their future potential as workers, citizens, and human beings?

            Why don’t you propose that the US convert their high schools to the European model, which requires all students to take a high-stakes exam when they are 15 or 16, to determine who will remain on the college track and who will switch to a vocational track? There are dozens of other things you could propose that fall short of completely privatizing the system and subjecting students and their parents to the upheavals of the economy. Be thorough or be rejected.

            (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
            • The Gimlet Eye says:

              You’re not the one making a radical proposal that would (detrimentally) affect the education of every K-12 student in the US?

              Oh! On the contrary!

              You presided over an educational system which has made full use of operant conditioning on its students! Remember B.F. Skinner? Remember Pavlov’s Dogs? Of course, you do! I could mention other names in between, but to cut it short, this all goes back to Wilhem Wundt (1832-1920), from Germany, the father of “experimental psychology.”

              Wundt’s preposterous and dehumanizing ideas have been carried forward by disciples right to the present moment and are gleefully, though surreptitiously, applied in the public schools.

              They have masqueraded under several names, e.g., OBE (Outcomes Based Education), ML (Mastery Learning), DI (Direct Instruction), etc., all to obtain “predictable results.” In other words, humans are just “animals,” fully as predictable and one-dimensional as rats or mice. Therefore, the higher thought processes of humans and supposed “choices” they make are just an illusion, fluff, of no account, nothing substantial, and therefore, negligible.

              That’s how it is in the public schools when you get right down to it, isn’t it? After all, since we can’t measure the depths of the human mind, then they don’t exist, right? Since we can’t work with them in a science lab or quantify them with equations from the Calculus, then we can just forget about them, right?

              As for your question about “profit-motive,” I find it thoroughly amazing. Do I detect the term “surplus value” behind it? Do I also detect the affects of operant condition behind it?

              Be that as it may, capitalism really is a dirty business, isn’t it? Better to put the serfs safely under the wing of Big Brother and all his state-run “enterprises,” the only entities who know just how to maintain order and pacify the masses, as well as make them fit for “work,” the only thing in this life that they are fit for!

              At any rate, how will introducing a “PROFIT MOTIVE” into ANY human enterprise improve it? Go stand in Home Depot or Walmart for a few minutes and just watch and listen to what goes on. Ask yourself why things happen the way they do. Go ask the manager some questions about why he does things this way.

              Whatever gave you the idea that schools were some sort of exception to the rest of the economy? Did you learn that in some teacher’s college based on the teachings of B.F. Skinner? Evidently, because you have no faith in individual liberty or responsibility, private judgement, or the human trait of engaging in “action,” which automatically means “choosing” between alternatives, and doing it in ways that CANNOT be scientifically measured, quantified, or fully explained, no matter what B.F. Skinner ever said about it.

              How dare you or any self-professed “public educator” lecture the citizenry about what intellectual training is best for them or how to finance it! You, who acquiesced in the brain washing of American children, you, who bought into the notion that human behavior could be reduced to the level of a rat or a microbe via “stimulus/response,” you who cooperated with all the crazy, totalitarian garbage thrown at our children while they sat there helplessly, you, who lent all your energy and expertise to the propagation of mind control!

              Are you blind to the economic upheaval ALREADY going on around you? Can’t you understand that the only way to stop this round of destruction is to ROLL BACK the warfare/welfare state?

              That means “privatizing” because there is no other way to do it!

              I have explained my views at some length, and have cited some references for further study, but this is a web log, after all, not a forum for posting research papers.

              If I am “rejected,” I shall bear that rejection with honor, since I shall be in good company with Mises, who was cheated out of a great academic career more than once, and for two reasons: 1. He was a Jew. 2. He rejected socialism and absolutely refused to flip flop, come what may. Most of his original disciples abandoned him, and the Nazis chased him out of Austria to Switzerland, and then to the US where he lived modestly until his death in 1973.

              You, in contrast, must share honors with the likes of Wilhem Wundt, John Dewey, Edward Lee Thorndike, Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, et al.

              Heaven help you.

              (-6) 8 Total Votes - 1 up - 7 down
              • Ana di Plosis says:

                TGE

                “You presided over an educational system which has made full use of operant conditioning on its students!”

                I “presided over”? What am I, the czar of education? I’m just a teacher, doing my best to educate my students.

                “humans are just “animals,” fully as predictable and one-dimensional as rats or mice.”

                I have never met a sane person who believes that to be true about children or adults. All human beings are MULTI-dimensional and generally UNpredictable. Do you read the news regularly?

                “That’s how it is in the public schools when you get right down to it, isn’t it?”

                You clearly have not logged any time, as an adult, in a real public school classroom. Thank goodness.

                “since we can’t measure the depths of the human mind, then they don’t exist, right?”

                Wrong. The depth of a student’s (or an adult’s) mind can be determined by the depth (profundity) of his or her spoken or written words, or by what s/he creates/produces/designs etc.

                “At any rate, how will introducing a “PROFIT MOTIVE” into ANY human enterprise improve it? Go stand in Home Depot or Walmart for a few minutes and just watch and listen to what goes on. Ask yourself why things happen the way they do. Go ask the manager some questions about why he does things this way.”

                Sure, a manager helping customers to find/select/buy tangible, inanimate PRODUCTS like hammers and dog food is completely analogous to a principal/teacher helping parents to choose how their children (the “products”) should be educated. Got it. BTW, parents already have options besides public schools: home schooling, private schools, or alternative high schools. Are those options also lacking merit? How are educators in those settings any different from educators in public schools? My 24 years in the “business” tells me that they are not any better at educating children than public school teachers. The only advantages that private schools have over public schools is that they can impose a dress code and kick a kid out if s/he is a behavioral or academic problem.

                Now, if you have a revolutionary way to educate children–all children, not just the bright, eager children–then, by all means, put your money where your mouth is and open your own school. Before you do, I would suggest that you get some actual TEACHING experience in a real school, working with real students. Rambling on about these issues on a website is easy; actually putting your educational/economic theories into practice with real human beings is not.

                (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
                • The Gimlet Eye says:

                  To the grumbler who complains about the unfairness of the market system only one piece of advice can be given: If you want to acquire wealth, then try to satisfy the publicby offering them something that is cheaper or which they
                  like better. Try to supersede Pinkapinka by mixing another
                  beverage. Equality under the law gives you the power to
                  challenge every millionaire. It is-in a market not sabotaged
                  by government-imposed restrictions-exclusively your fault
                  if you do not outstrip the chocolate king, the movie star and
                  the boxing champion.

                  (-3) 5 Total Votes - 1 up - 4 down
                • The Gimlet Eye says:

                  Ludwig von Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality (1956).

                  (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
  3. rogerfreberg says:

    In reviewing California educational system, Bill Gates summed it up best ( see his interview on TED)… California has enough money for education… but it isn’t getting down to where it is needed… too many layers and too many really non-educational costs.

    I do not have confidence that the public school system has the courage to improve, streamline or improve itself. However, there is a California law that allows the parents to take over the schools… for example, Compton parents and other folks are attempting to take over their schools to improve results. Who do you think is opposing this effort in the courts? ANSWER: the teachers union AND the school districts!!

    I appreciate the teacher’s comments regarding parental involvement … however, the record of public schools is self evident… they have failed. After we recognize this first… we can move on and improve the system.

    Good luck!

    (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      The only way to fix this problem once and for all is to privatize the schools.

      Every generation has debated similar problems about the public schools, and we just go round and round with it and never get anywhere.

      That’s the way that things will continue to be as long as monopoly privileges hold economic reality at bay. But even monopoly privileges cannot last forever.

      In fact, the rationale for having public schools in the first place is already gone, defunct, inoperative. It exists only in the minds of wishful thinkers and those with vested interests in maintaining the status quo.

      But this cannot be, not in a free economy. As Joseph Schumpeter pointed out many years ago, obsolete businesses and industries get swept away by others who do things better, faster, more efficiently, etc. He coined the term “creative destruction,” meaning a shorthand description of the free market’s messy way of delivering progress.

      In his own words, “The opening up of new markets, foreign or domestic, and the organizational development from the craft shop to such concerns as U.S. Steel illustrate the same process of industrial mutation—if I may use that biological term—that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism.”

      There is no rational reason why the public schools should, or even could, be exempted from this process of “creative destruction.”

      In fact, we see this process happening all around us all the time. But we have been miseducated to the point where we do not recognize it when we see it, and thus, we think that the public schools should be some kind of oasis where the normal laws of economics ought not apply.

      Nonsense!

      (-8) 10 Total Votes - 1 up - 9 down
  4. Paso_citizen says:

    The following quote from Ms. Ana di Plosis’ comment of 7/7/12 at 4:56AM says it all:

    “Not surprisingly, our top students are, with very few exceptions, from families that expect excellence from their children and from their children’s teachers. Likewise, our “bottom” students are, with very few exceptions, from families that do not expect excellence from their children or from their children’s teachers. American public schools are still producing doctors, nurses, lawyers, scientists, engineers, computer scientists, and even a few good teachers.”

    Being a teacher, she recognizes and fairly clearly states above that the issue with education in this country is the expectations of our students and their parents, ie. those who expect and strive for excellance – will achieve it. And those that don’t – won’t.

    Now, the question is : How does throwing more money at this education system impact the expectations of students or their parents? Will a few million more dollars promote higher expectations of parents? Not in my world. I totally agree that parents (to a large degree) have given up their responsibilities for education of their children. But getting more tax or parcel money every
    3-4 years is not the answer.

    (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
    • slomike says:

      It has been the answer for 200 years. Up until Republicans discovered and implemented Chicago school economics. Did you have any problems with education standards before we started going backward on school funding? The key was going away from a local property tax funding and shifting education to the state. Throw in an Enron or two and it falls apart like a house of cards. Will free market schools be better than free market prisons? Free markets exist only in textbooks.

      (1) 13 Total Votes - 7 up - 6 down
      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        slomike, your grasp of American history is way off the mark.

        The US did not have “public schools” at its founding. They didn’t even start getting under way until the 1840’s and 50’s, largely under the guidance of Horace Mann.

        As to whether subjectivist economics made our schools “worse,” I won’t even dignify that with a response.

        By the way, the “Chicago School” of economics is not the same as the Austrian school. The differences are largely over methodology, their explanations for booms and busts, and their views of Law. However, see the article by Robert P. Murphy for detailed explanations of the differences: http://mises.org/daily/5390

        Free markets are better all the way around. You prove my point every time you consider your economic options and choices, every time you choose A over B, and every time you act, and every time you go shopping for the best deals, prices, quality, variety, style, color, size, length, payment plan, and on and on and on.

        (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
        • slomike says:

          So why is there no country operating on this superior system? I would think someone would implement and out gain the rest of the world. I don’t believe it will be put into action from this response board. The only successes I remember in my American History (the major I received my BA in) were robber barons. Krugman draws me to Keynes. Who drew you to Austrian, that great mind Glenn Beck?

          (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
          • The Gimlet Eye says:

            Are you implying that if no country is operating on this superior system, that means that it is erroneous?

            Anyway, to answer your question, I do not know that NO country is using it.

            However, the USA SOMETIMES uses it. We do have a private sector, after all.

            Even the Soviet Union SOMETIMES and in some ways used it. Remember their “Black Market”? Also, how do you think the Soviets figured out how to put prices on things? Answer, by using the economies of other free market countries as benchmarks. But they could not have done that on their own. It is impossible to economically calculate in a socialist state.

            But that was cheating, wasn’t it? The Russians were not supposed to be doing that if they were true to their ideals. Then why did they do it? They did it because they could not operate without doing it; the result would have been total chaos.

            Could it be that the public schools are run the same way, piggy-backing off the private sector because they cannot calculate on their own? Is that the real reason why they keep having to ask us for tax increases? If so, that’s prima facie evidence for systemic failure and intellectual bankruptcy.

            The work of Keynes amounts to nothing but a tissue of ridiculous non sequiturs, wishful thinking, lies, and poppycock.

            What drew me to Austrian economics? The truth.

            (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
          • The Gimlet Eye says:

            There have been countries who have avoided the crony collectivist system that we are saddled with.

            See the recent article:

            Anarchy in the Aachen

            “Can a community without a central government avoid descending into chaos and rampant criminality? Can its economy grow and thrive without the intervening regulatory hand of the state? Can its disputes be settled without a monopoly on legal judgments? If the strange and little-known case of the condominum of Moresnet — a wedge of disputed territory in northwestern Europe, and arguably Europe’s counterpart to America’s so-called Wild West — acts as our guide, we must conclude that statelessness is not only possible but beneficial to progress, carrying profound advantages over coercive bureaucracies.

            The remarkable experiment that was Moresenet was an indirect consequence of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), which, like all wars, empowered the governments of participating states at the expense of their populations: nationalism grew more fervent; many nations suspended specie payments indefinitely; and a new crop of destitute amputees appeared in streets all across Europe.”

            More @ http://mises.org/daily/6145/Anarchy-in-the-Aachen

            (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
          • The Gimlet Eye says:

            “why is there no country operating on this superior system?”

            Because it gets sabotaged by government interventionists and their cronies in the banks and big industries. They do this in order to divert economic resources (illegally) and get monopoly privileges, making them rich and powerful beyond the dreams of avarice.

            YOU, on the other hand, get robbed, impoverished, and fleeced of your civil rights!

            The US HAS implimented it at times, to a limited degree in the past, as have other countries, but that implementation and wisdom is fading fast.

            By no means does this demonstrate that economic reality can be suspended, however. Thus, this renewed Great Depression that we are living in right now.

            (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
        • slomike says:

          This Robert P. Murphy? I see his influence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT2zje5qGb8 Sorry, moderator.

          (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
          • The Gimlet Eye says:

            If you believe what’s in this garbage, Heaven help you.

            (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
    • Ana di Plosis says:

      Due to decreased educational funding, the student-to-teacher ratio is now 35 to 1 even in kindergarten (in most CA school districts). Any bond or measure that would pass would not INCREASE funding but simply RESTORE it to what it was previously. All grade levels are important, but the best investment of our tax dollars is in K-6. In fact, we, as a state and nation should be investing in preschool, especially for children from socio-economically families because the “gap” begins to widen between the educated and the less-educated by age two. Fortunately, we can afford to send our daughter to preschool, but most families probably cannot afford what we pay per month. And there is one teacher for every six students. That’s where we can change a child’s educational trajectory. But if a family has to wait until kindergarten for their child to start their journey toward literacy and numeracy, well, that child is already behind, and is unlikely to catch up if s/he is just one of 35 students vying for the teacher’s attention. Yes, parents should be taking a proactive aproach at home, but many parents, especially single parents, work two or more jobs just to pay the rent and put food on the table. What is certain is that the quality of education will diminish as the resources diminish. The question is whether you care enough about the quality of education that other people’s children are receiving to ensure that the funding for their education does not continue to rise and fall with the economy.

      (2) 12 Total Votes - 7 up - 5 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Paso_citizen, you have a very good point here.

      As for your statement that “parents (to a large degree) have given up their responsibilities for education of their children,” I also agree.

      But I’m wondering why this is? Could it have something to do with the “Nanny State” that we live in? I strongly suspect that it does.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
    • obispan says:

      That’s pretty much it. The Templeton teachers demanded a raise and threatened to strike based on their schools’ performance. The superintendent called B.S. and said he could have 50 applications for each position from outstanding teachers in LA who would take a cut in pay to move here.

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
      • Ana di Plosis says:

        There are at least 50 outstanding administrators waiting to replace him.

        (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down

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