Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quote of the Day on Disparities in Achievements

"Gross inequalities in skills and achievements have been the rule, not the exception, on every inhabited continent and for centuries on end. Yet our laws and government policies act as if any significant statistical difference between racial or ethnic groups in employment or income can only be a result of their being treated differently by others.

Nor is this simply an opinion. Businesses have been sued by the government when the representation of different groups among their employees differs substantially from their proportions in the population at large. But, no matter how the human race is broken down into its components -- whether by race, sex, geographic region or whatever -- glaring disparities in achievements have been the rule, not the exception."


103 Comments:

At 1/17/2012 12:05 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I agree with this sentiment---but one might also agree with the sentiment that from the beginning of history man has organized himself in social groups, with universal codes that governed behavior regardless of skill.

Sowell is churning out platitudes.

Let's turn to anecdotes for confirmation.

 
At 1/17/2012 12:29 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"but one might also agree with the sentiment that from the beginning of history man has organized himself in social groups, with universal codes that governed behavior regardless of skill"....

On what planet pseudo benny?

Stop the chihuahua yapping and pick up any factual (not a politically correct propaganda job) history book and you'll see that Thomas' comment about 'Gross inequalities in skills and achievements...' is totally on target...

 
At 1/17/2012 12:56 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

are we talking about achievement or opportunity?

 
At 1/17/2012 12:57 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

It's not the fault of someone living in Beverly Hills California working hard, creating value, and earning a high income that someone in Oakland California is working part-time, creating much less value, and earning a much lower income.

It's better to promote growth and tax it than to prevent growth and tax it even more.

 
At 1/17/2012 12:58 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"one might also agree with the sentiment that from the beginning of history man has organized himself in social groups, with universal codes that governed behavior regardless of skill." -- Benji

Thank-you, Karl Marx.

 
At 1/17/2012 1:02 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

are we saying that children should not have an opportunity for access to an equivalent education?

so.. the opportunity that you have or don't have is just the way it is and if you are born into a poor family - you're screwed?

right?

is that what we're saying?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:06 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry G says: "are we saying that children should not have an opportunity for access to an equivalent education?"

Who would you blame that everyone in the world doesn't have access to "equivalent" education?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:07 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

who would you blame in this country?

is that what this country should have as policy regardless of the rest of the world?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:14 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

so.. in this country - the policy should be.....

what?

that access to an equivalent education is not a policy?

right?

that should be our policy?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:23 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"are we saying that children should not have an opportunity for access to an equivalent education?" -- Larry

No, that is what you are saying. And based on the results, it's what your friends on the left and their teachers union cronies are saying as well.

 
At 1/17/2012 1:23 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"are we saying that children should not have an opportunity for access to an equivalent education?"...

Sure larry g as long as you and your fellow travelers reach into your collective wallet and pay for it...,

Personally I think the people who are responsible putting the children here are also responsible for educating and feeding them, not the taxpayers...

 
At 1/17/2012 1:26 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry G says: "...that should be our policy?"

Who's policy? Who are you blaming for failure?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:29 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

that's the answer then. Public School is the wrong policy for the US.

correct?

All I'm trying to do here is to understand your viewpoints.

So.. public education and the policy basis that underlies it - i.e. a taxpayer-funded education is a bad/wrong policy for the US - correct?

and each parent bears responsibility for educating their own children.

correct?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Who's policy? Who are you blaming for failure?"

no blame. I'm trying to understand the viewpoint.

is the viewpoint that public education is the wrong policy for the US?

is that your view?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:34 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"so.. the opportunity that you have or don't have is just the way it is and if you are born into a poor family - you're screwed?

right?

is that what we're saying?"

that's a ridiculous standard. should we apply it to housing? food? parental attention? neighborhood parks? a family dog?

where do you stop with this standard?

how can you make 2 schools perfectly equal? many of the worst schools in the US get the most money per student (DC).

do you even want schools to be equal? why not prefer specialization? schools like juliard, while not for everyone, serve a useful and valuable purpose.

if you really want to make access to schools more equal, you need vouchers. give each kid money and let him/her and their partents choose where to sned them.

the US spends a stunning amount (about $12k/year/student) on public education. $120k/class of 20 seems like plenty to educate 5th graders.

it's just not spent well.

only market forces can make that happen.

looking to more federal "equality" programs will just make matters worse as it has for decades.

it's accountability we need, not meaningless and impossible appeals to equality.

 
At 1/17/2012 1:35 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry G says: "no blame."

Then what's the problem?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:36 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

oops, that should be $240k/class of 20.

 
At 1/17/2012 1:40 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"that's a ridiculous standard. should we apply it to housing? food? parental attention? neighborhood parks? a family dog?

where do you stop with this standard?"

I dunno.

I see the "slippery slope" problem on both sides of the spectrum but I'm basically asking who here opposes public education.

I know some do..but others kind of beat around the bush a bit.

like Peak here...

it's a simple question.

there is no blame ...

do you believe that education should be purely a private responsibility and that at all levels, Fed, State and Local that it is wrong to tax people to provide public education?

if that is your position then just say so.

that's all I'm really asking.

if it's NOT your position, just say that also.

 
At 1/17/2012 1:47 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry, some parents, students, communities, countries, etc. don't want an "equivalent" education, or even access to it.

They're not interested. It's a value judgment.

Why impose a universal one-size-fits-all policy on them?

Obviously, they're more interested in other things.

 
At 1/17/2012 1:51 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Why impose a universal one-size-fits-all policy on them?"

so do I deduce from that statement that you oppose public education in all forms?

just buck up here.. and say what you think.

I obviously disagree but I'm simply trying to understand what your exact position is.

is your position that public education is the wrong policy for the US?

 
At 1/17/2012 1:51 PM, Blogger Mike said...

If you look at what Benjamin said, while pretending it came from somebody else, you may be less inclined to disagree.

 
At 1/17/2012 1:53 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry, I can't force someone to get a passing grade in class like I can't force someone to work full-time.

It's not a question of what I want.

 
At 1/17/2012 1:58 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" It's not a question of what I want."

but it is a question of your view of whether govt should tax to provide a public education.

why do you guys seem to run away from the actual question?

if you really do oppose public education.. is it so hard to say so?

or is it that you support it but in a radical different form than current?

I'm just trying to understand where you stand on it.

 
At 1/17/2012 2:01 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

i cannot speak for the others, but here's my position:

i don't have a problem with government funded education. you need a broadly educated population and access to it ought to be fairly universal. it's one of the few social roles i think it appropriate for a government to play.

however, i do thing we need to get the government out of providing education.

it all ought to be privatized.

every school aged kid comes with money. they get a tax funded education grant. they and their parents decide where to spend it.

schools need to compete for kids and find ways to provide good, cost effective education.

the grants can go for all or pay of an education. if you want to pay more and send you kid to boarding school, fine. (this helps a bit with the current double charge for private school - -you pay taxes for public, then fees for private)

this system is about as fair as fair is going to get. you all get the same money and compete for the same places at schools.

tests for vouchers (like DC) were wildly successful, so, of course, they canceled the program.

there is nothing startlingly hard about providing good education. schools just need incentives to do it which currently do not exist and will not exist so long as they are mostly run by the government and not allowed to fail and students have no choice about where to spend the tax dollars.

 
At 1/17/2012 2:08 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"So.. public education and the policy basis that underlies it - i.e. a taxpayer-funded education is a bad/wrong policy for the US - correct?"....

Yes larry g, I call it theft from the productive so politicos can pander to the parasitic...

A form of vote buying...

Why should good money be thrown after money already wasted on national failure?

 
At 1/17/2012 2:10 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Morg - THANK YOU for your view!

so.. to make sure.. You DO support taxing people to pay for education.

right?

so you want the govt to tax... but you do not want the govt to provide the education.

correct?

again, thanks for providing your position.

 
At 1/17/2012 2:11 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

regarding peak's point:

absolutely. access does not mean you will make good use of it. we can both have access to the gym. if i go and you don't, well, i get fit and you don't. that result is not a function of access but diligence and commitment.

in pretty much every study of school achievement, domestic or international, the single most important factor in children's educational achievement is the same: parents.

if you parents care about your education and demand you work hard, you do. the irony of unengaged inner city parents who do not instill a desire for education into their kids screaming that they need more money and more equality is pretty think in light of this.

it may be precisely that they think this is the problem that creates the problem.

 
At 1/17/2012 2:18 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ideally, you'd want people to get a good education and a good job.

However, everything is interrelated.

For example, you can't expect a community where most parents are on lifetime welfare, drinking beer or doing drugs, and watching TV all day, and expect the kids to attend ivy league colleges after they get their high school diplomas.

 
At 1/17/2012 2:24 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

It's more likely community resources will go into treating obesity and the kids will never get a GED.

 
At 1/17/2012 2:25 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I can't disagree with what Peak is saying... but the kids themselves are innocent and many can be taught but it's harder to teach them than kids who have parental support.

so.. we abandon those kids who have bad parents?

or.. we do away with public education all together because it is largely ineffective in cases where the parents are AWOL from the education of their kids?

again.. what is your view on public education as a policy.

Morgan supports taxing everyone to pay for it but then want to give the money to parents to spend on private education.

Is that what you support Peak or do you believe that there should be no govt involvement in it at all and let parents be responsible in all cases?

 
At 1/17/2012 2:36 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry, I'd rather see effective programs funded than continue the bottomless pit of failed programs.

 
At 1/17/2012 2:37 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

"so.. we abandon those kids who have bad parents?"

this seems like a very slanted framing.

why do you refer to it as "abandoned"?

this seem to imply that the state is somehow a parent/guardian/responsible party. what exactly are you advocating? that the state decides who cares enough about education and take stewardship of a couple million kids?

the state can give you the right to free speech, but it is not their role to make sure you use it well.

they do not abandon you by failing to provide lessons in elocution, debate, logic, and public speaking.

that's up to you.

calling it abandonment seems slanted and unwarranted, just as in education.

equal opportunity is not equal outcome. it never will be.

you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

you can send a kid to school, but you can't make him learn.

it is not the government's job to make you learn. they can provide an opportunity, if you take it great, if not, well, that's free will for you. you'll reap the consequences.

what you can do (and what we do not do nearly enough of) is fail to graduate him if he fails to gain competence.

giving someone who reads at a 3rd grade level a high school diploma is not a great idea. such a diploma must be earned. it is not an entitlement.

but if you give them to anyone in the system for 12 years who can fog a mirror, well, that takes away some of their motivation, no?

you can also kick him out if he/she is disruptive, somehting that is also not done enough. school at public expense is a privilege. if you use it to disrupt education and threaten other students, well, don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

 
At 1/17/2012 2:55 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" "so.. we abandon those kids who have bad parents?"

this seems like a very slanted framing.

why do you refer to it as "abandoned"? "

that's a good question.

basically because we know the parents are not good and we know the parents will not do any better job of picking a private school that they did in supporting their kids in a public school.

Would you expect the private schools to be held to the same standards as the public schools - i.e the law says the kids must spend 12 years in school and the private schools have to take the same kids that public school has to take?

or do you think the private schools could turn down kids such that there would be no private schools that would take kids with bad parents?

 
At 1/17/2012 3:05 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"basically because we know the parents are not good and we know the parents will not do any better job of picking a private school that they did in supporting their kids in a public school."

this still seems like very dangerous framing replete wit a number of worrying assumptions.

"we know"? how do we know? who knows? who decides? this sounds like a worryingly thin end of a fascist wedge.

why is it our job to makes sure people make good decisions? that's not how freedom works. this sounds worryingly paternalistic.

further, parents would not all have to make good decisions for the system to work, only some.

introducing competition would make all the schools better.

you get good cars in a country where companies compete to serve consumer needs. we don't all need to be experts to benefit. the experts evaluate and buy and publish and we can all benefit.

schools would work the same way.

this rising tide would lift all boats.

you can further encourage/demand parental involvement by upping student accountability. you don;t move up grades without skills and knowledge. you get kicked out of schools if you are too disruptive.

you keep up, or you fail out.

 
At 1/17/2012 3:12 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"or do you think the private schools could turn down kids such that there would be no private schools that would take kids with bad parents?"

private schools could be free to set the curriculum as they like. if you cannot keep up, you fail out. if you cannot pass the entrance exam, perhaps the same is true. but the market winds up providing all manner of levels of service/quality, just like it does for anything else.

but you'd also get a set of schools catering to those whose interests are less academic.

like germany, we could have trade schools. this would help many.

but you also have to look at it this way:

you have a class of 30 high school kids. 3 of them cannot read and are serious problems behaviorally. they take up inordinate amounts of teacher time.

are you abandoning them by kicking them out, or are you saving/enhancing the education of the other 27?

it's a serious issue.

is it really a good idea to teach to the least common denominator, no matter how low? why should they be allowed to hinder those who wish to learn?

which group is the greater priority in terms of protection?

framing those doing poorly as the victims ignores the other side of the issue.

 
At 1/17/2012 3:22 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

finally:

with distance learning now cheap and readily available, kids could have tons of options on where to use vouchers, even if schools kicked them out.

it seems to me that in light of that, the notion that education would be unavailable seems pretty dubious.

markets rapidly supply what is demanded.

 
At 1/17/2012 3:39 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Going back to the original post, even in a random distribution we should see plenty of businesses that do not match the population at large.

In fact, we should see some all white, all black, all Asian, etc, businesses.

 
At 1/17/2012 3:48 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Stop the chihuahua yapping and pick up any factual (not a politically correct propaganda job) history book and you'll see that Thomas' comment about 'Gross inequalities in skills and achievements...' is totally on target...

I still think that our friend is having a good laugh by writing the opposite of what he believes. Benny is not and cannot be as stupid as his postings make him appear. If you were to take his comments seriously he would have to be as dumb as Zach or Larry, something that I do not believe is true.

 
At 1/17/2012 3:57 PM, Blogger NormanB said...

Without the so called 1% we wouldn't have come up with the wheel to say nothing of the microprocessor. Without these we 99%ers would still be grovelling around in the forest.

The age old question though is what should the 1% get as their compensation. I'm sure the people of Egypt were not happy with the pharaohs not are people happy with the hedge fund folks.

This was basically Marx's issue and he said we were all the same. Sorry, Karl, we arent' the same and when his theories were put into practice the 1%ers got the cash but produced nothing for the 99%ers, in fact they destroyed them.

So, somewhere in between the pharaohs and Marx is where we should find some balance. The Dems say take a lot and all will still be ok but the GOP is just as wrong when they say, NO NEW TAXES.

Lets have our economists come up with a formula that we can understand and go from there. As for me, I say lower the Social Security Tax (all 12.4% of it) for the lowest wage earners to almost zero and have no upper limit. That seems fair.

 
At 1/17/2012 4:18 PM, Blogger Seth said...

How does education policy relate to the Sowell quote?

And, what do you support Larry?

 
At 1/17/2012 4:29 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: collecting money from everyone to give the money to parents to buy their kids education.

if you know that a parent does not support their kids in getting an education at a public school - you'd still be in favor of taking money (taxes) and giving it directly to them to spend as they please to buy a private education?

so you basically support taking money from everyone to spend on education even if it fails at a private level also?

so you basically support the idea that the govt should take money form people to spend on education... in an effort to provide an equal opportunity/access to education?

you support the idea of some kind of policy to attempt to provide equal opportunity at education?

that was my original question..that was in relation to
Sowell's observation that there have always been "glaring disparities".. he used the word "achievement".. but it sounded like the context was "equal opportunity".

you believe once the govt gets the money - they spend it ineffectively and should give it to private schools but even that does not guarantee a good outcome.

but you support the attempt by the govt to collect taxes from everyone and to give every kid an equal share to spend on education even if ultimately it gets wasted by some.

but you support the govt policy to collect and share taxes equally in that endeavor?

correct?

 
At 1/17/2012 4:38 PM, Blogger Paul said...

But, no matter how the human race is broken down into its components -- whether by race, sex, geographic region or whatever -- glaring disparities in achievements have been the rule, not the exception."

Nowhere is this more evident than among the Jewish population. According to George Gilder, Charles Murray found that Jews with IQ's above 140 are six times the proportion of everywhere else.
Furthermore, “In the first half of the 20th century, despite pervasive and continuing social discrimination against Jews throughout the Western world, despite the retraction of legal rights, and despite the Holocaust, Jews won 14 percent of Nobel Prizes in literature, chemistry, physics, and medicine/physiology. In the second half of the 20th century, when Nobel Prizes began to be awarded to people from all over the world, that figure rose to 29 percent. So far, in the 21st century, it has been 32 percent.”1 Jews constitute about 0.2 percent of the world’s population.

 
At 1/17/2012 4:39 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" How does education policy relate to the Sowell quote?

And, what do you support Larry?"

because Sowell sounded like he did not think it was the job of government to attempt to provide equal access to opportunity although he used the word "achievement" which did not seem to fit.

For me.

I personally believe in the GOAL of public education - fully acknowledging that in our country.. we have some major problems but pointing out that all of our major competitors in the world also provide public education to their kids - with much more effective results.

but I believe in the basic concept.

I do not believe the govt should try to provide equal outcomes in no way, shape or form.

I think we've gone too far in attempting to provide an "equal" society will too many people believing the govt is responsible for equity and equality instead of the individual.

But a kid is pretty innocent and I've personally seen kids with bad parents do really well if they have a good teacher in K-6.

I'm not sure what would happen to these kids if there was no requirement that they attend school.

Many would not and if the law allowed it - they'd grow up like kids in 3rd world countries and the more fortunate would have to live with bars on their windows and doors and bodyguards when they travel.

None of the other industrialized countries in the world work that way and virtually all that do are 3rd world countries.

Without some hope that a child has a chance at an education.. I think we ultimately would revert back to a 3rd world country.

that's my view.

I'm trying to understand other views that oppose public education.

so far, Morg, seems to agree to the gov should ATTEMPT to provide equal opportunity by giving each kid equal funds even if their parents end up spending it badly.

so I put the question to you Seth.

do you support taxes collected and redistributed to each kid for equal opportunity at access to an education?

 
At 1/17/2012 4:40 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The age old question though is what should the 1% get as their compensation.

In a free market they should get whatever others are willing to pay them for their product or service.

So, somewhere in between the pharaohs and Marx is where we should find some balance. The Dems say take a lot and all will still be ok but the GOP is just as wrong when they say, NO NEW TAXES.

I disagree. The problem is not the argument that there should be 'NO NEW TAXES' but that the GOP has little courage and is not willing to cut spending.

Lets have our economists come up with a formula that we can understand and go from there. As for me, I say lower the Social Security Tax (all 12.4% of it) for the lowest wage earners to almost zero and have no upper limit. That seems fair.

No, it does not seem 'fair'. Why should people who are productive pay 12.4% to those who are not productive? And if you actually try it, don't you realize that the people who are high achievers will figure out a way around it?

I still like the example of Bob Hope to show how this works. Mr. Hope died a billionaire even though for most of his productive years he was taxed at a marginal tax rate that was above 75%. In fact, he never seems to have paid that rate to the government even though he kept working long hours and should have earned massive sums of money.

Mr. Hope did not want to pay much in taxes. What he did instead was get paid in options to purchase land or some other real property in the future for a certain sum of money. If he worked Vegas the casino would pay him little but would give him the opportunity to buy land in the surrounding area or in California at a low price some time in the future. As Vegas grew bigger and bigger the value of the land also grew but Mr. Hope was still able to purchase it at a very reasonable price. The same was true in Southern California. As LA expanded the canyon properties that Mr. Hope had options to purchase became extremely valuable. In the end he wound up being worth billions even though his earned income was never very high. The same will happen whenever the government tries to steal from skilled people who are intelligent and have sufficient income to hire good tax lawyers.

If you want another example, look to most Hollywood A-list actors who funnel earnings through holding and production companies that are domiciled in tax havens. Any foreign earnings go to these production companies and are not taxed in the US. The actors save millions and the Treasury gets very little. That is as it should be. I only wish that the hypocrites would keep quiet and not argue that others should be taxed at higher rates as they do their best to pay as little as they can.

 
At 1/17/2012 4:46 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

How does education policy relate to the Sowell quote?

Who cares? People are entitled to educate themselves as much as they can and to learn as much as they can. But even among people with the same education there is still a power law distribution of achievement and compensation.

 
At 1/17/2012 4:57 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" People are entitled to educate themselves"

they are indeed.

what do we do about 6 year olds?

is that purely a parental, non-govt, no tax dollars responsibility?

All industrialized countries in the world see K-12 as a govt responsibility, correct?

Sowel's quote seemed to assert that the govt is not responsible for equal opportunity although he called it "achievement" which left me wondering at what age does the state say that you are responsible for your own "achievement"?

do we say that to 6 year olds?

 
At 1/17/2012 5:02 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

that's a strange and bizarre set of assumptions you seem to be working from.

nothing guarantees a good outcome. trying to use that as a standard is foolish and feels like deliberate misframing. you pretend to be asking questions when you are really pushing agenda.

as i said very, very clearly before: i view providing an opportunity for education to be one of the few valid social goals of government.

but they are clearly lousy providers of the service, thus, they should collect the money and provide education credits.

competing for students would dramatically increase the quality and variety of US educational opportunities.

"so you basically support taking money from everyone to spend on education even if it fails at a private level also?"

this is an absurd framing of the issue. here, you are just pushing some strange perfectionist agenda. who says it will fail? how are you defining failure? it think it would work and leave almost everyone better off. the few who really do not want to be taught cannot be helped anyway (and it's not like they do well currently). so everyone winds up as well or better off. your question here is absurd.

this is even more so:

"Sowell's observation that there have always been "glaring disparities".. he used the word "achievement".. but it sounded like the context was "equal opportunity".

equal opportunity and equal achievement have little to do with one another. you seem to be confusing two very different ideas.

you and i can both get free gym memberships. if i go every day and work out hard and you stay home, i get fit and you don't. the achievement and outcome varies immensely, but it has nothing to do with opportunity.

your whole basic premise there is totally invalid.

further, you have not answered any of my questions about who this "we" is and how "we know" and why "we" have the right and obligation for others.

i have laid out my views simply and clearly, but you are just obfuscating, asking the same questions over and over, ducking the issues i raise, and pushing weird framing of the issue and a basic misunderstanding of what sowell is saying. you seem to have an agenda here that you are trying to mask. your bias is obvious in your questions and inability to respond to mine, yet you persist in pretending to just be asking for information that you mostly already have. if you have a position, present it and quit mucking around. you are not taking this anywhere the way you are going and are just setting up outlandish straw men as standards.

achievement is not a good proxy for opportunity. lots of kids i went to school with did not achieve anything like what i did/have. every school has high achievers and low achievers. welcome to reality.

nothing is perfect. nothing gets perfect results.

you give people an opportunity and they make of it what they will. some succeed, some may not. you sounds like you desperately want some way to mandate equality of outcome.

you can't. it's not possible

 
At 1/17/2012 5:06 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Seth / Morgan
Larry never answers his own questions. His replies are almost always like most left-wing complainers:
"Somebody(else) should do something with somebody else's money."
They complain that our troops suffer the wars while we sit in comfort, but would never consider filling boxes and sending stuff. They complain that some children are abandoned, but would never take a neighborhood child under their wing.

As long as everybody is guaranteed an equal mouthful of crappy services, it must be fair and the unknown is avoided....never mind the results....fixing it might require him to do something he hasn't been told how to do.

 
At 1/17/2012 5:06 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Sowel's quote seemed to assert that the govt is not responsible for equal opportunity although he called it "achievement" which left me wondering at what age does the state say that you are responsible for your own "achievement"?"

again, you do not understand what sowell is saying. achievement is NOT opportunity. by substituting those 2 terms in your mind, you have missed the entire issue.

people with equal opportunities will still achieve differently. and sports team provides ample evidence of this. thus, looking at achievement and claiming that it reflects opportunity is pointless and foolish.

you have completely twisted what sowell said and are essentially arguing with your own failure at reading comprehension.

this has been explained to you about 7 different ways.

what's it going to take to get through to you?

 
At 1/17/2012 5:10 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

@ morg

I think you did say you did support taxing for education.

beyond that - my only real view is that just giving the money to the parents is no more assurance that the kids will received a good education than under the current system.

We both agree on that, I think.

" you give people an opportunity and they make of it what they will. some succeed, some may not.

so you DO SUPPORT providing the opportunity and in the form of providing resources to all kids on a equal basis?

that's govt-sponsored equal opportunity.

".... you sounds like you desperately want some way to mandate equality of outcome."

no.. I actually reject that idea completely.

"you can't. it's not possible

I agree.

but you do support govt-directed "equal opportunity" for kids?

My question relates to what Sowell meant by "achievement" in the context of public K-12 education.

I understood what he meant by that statement AFTER K-12... or perhaps he actually does mean it applies to all ages.. from kids up...

 
At 1/17/2012 5:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" people with equal opportunities will still achieve differently"

I totally agree with that.

I assumed that our policies with regard to public education were, at their heart - about providing "equal opportunities"...

.. even as we know and agree ..that that does not guarantee outcomes...

but the govt providing access to equivalent education "opportunities" is the basis for pubic education not only here but in every other industrialized country.

Does Sowel support public dollars for "equal opportunity" education?

My question is very narrow.

it basically boils down to the very basic question which is should the govt take money from everyone and use it to attempt to provide equal opportunity for education?

what happens after that... is indeed up to each person....

I was trying to understand the viewpoints here in CD along those lines since most are severe critics of public education and I was not sure if they oppose it because it's done badly or they oppose it philosophically and believe the govt should not be taxing people for education.

 
At 1/17/2012 5:19 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

how can you possibly even ask such a preposterous question? do you think about this at all before you write?

of course a six year old is responsible for his/her achievement.

who else possibly could be?

what, can you learn to read for him?

his parents and teachers are there to help him, guide him, encourage him, etc but none of them no matter how intelligent, well intentioned, and diligent can achieve for him. it's simply not possible. i realize that the left cannot grasp the idea that to be your achievement, YOU have to ACHIEVE it, but you are just descending into absurdity here.

how could it be anyone's achievement other than his? seriously, stop and think about it. there can be no other possible answer to your question no matter what anyone does.

why bother asking such a ridiculous question?

what is it you are trying to drive at?

 
At 1/17/2012 5:21 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" what is it you are trying to drive at?"

should the govt tax you and me/all of us to provide/pay for a teacher for a child?

 
At 1/17/2012 5:28 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

"beyond that - my only real view is that just giving the money to the parents is no more assurance that the kids will received a good education than under the current system.

We both agree on that, I think."

no we do not. you have not understood my point at all if you think we agree on that.

forcing schools to compete for kids will result in much better outcomes. you are trying to claim that to be better, it must be perfect, and absurd and inaccurate framing.

imagine there was one car company in the US, run by the government. they made all the cars and we all had to buy from them. think they'd be better or cheaper than the current system?

we already know private schools provide better education. they compete, they have to be better.

breaking a monopoly gets you better, cheaper service.

schools would improve dramatically. finland freed up the schools and there quality went from worst in the EU tot he best with no additional money.

i have no idea what your next point is intended to be. it seems again like you are confusing equal opportunity with equal outcomes in your head. your comments make no sense at all.

you cannot substitute opportunity and achievement in these sentences.

they are NOT the same thing.

can you really not see that?

 
At 1/17/2012 5:30 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"should the govt tax you and me/all of us to provide/pay for a teacher for a child?"

you have asked this question 100 times. you already know the answer.

why keep repeating yourself?

i am fine with taxes to pay for education. i think the kids get money, and spend it privately. this is not a complex set of ideas.

what is it going to take for you to grasp them?

 
At 1/17/2012 5:31 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

also:

"" what is it you are trying to drive at?"

should the govt tax you and me/all of us to provide/pay for a teacher for a child?"

then why ask about the 6 year old? that has nothing to do with it. you seem not to even understand what you are saying.

 
At 1/17/2012 5:36 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Morganovich,

Larry has actually said to me that there has never been a product that has become cheaper or more available just because more of it was produced. Stop wasting your time.

 
At 1/17/2012 5:36 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" i am fine with taxes to pay for education. i think the kids get money, and spend it privately. this is not a complex set of ideas."

until this point.. I was not absolutely you supported taxes for education for K-12.

I'm not sure that Sowel does and I'm pretty sure that many here in CD do not.

Actually I badly framed the question, I guess or else we would not have gone back and forth.

my apologies and thanks for answering the question.

 
At 1/17/2012 5:42 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

I think Larry just quickly skims what others write and then spouts off his response, either that or he has the reading comprehension of a 7th grader. ;) I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume the former, but that still doesn't excuse his hilariously outdated views on public education. There is now a consensus- outside the teachers and their immediate families, which apparently includes Larry- that public education is incredibly broken and it is because public schools are built around teachers' "needs" and not student needs. The only question is whether to tinker around the edges, as Obama and others bought and sold by the teachers' unions keep proposing, or go straight to vouchers, the only viable solution. However, even this debate is ultimately incremental and pointless, as online learning is about to destroy the entire education industry and create something vastly better in its ashes.

 
At 1/17/2012 5:46 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: the education system is broken

fine. agree for the sake of argument.

should you be taxed to pay for it if we switch to private schools?

that's the question...

what's your answer?

 
At 1/17/2012 5:49 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

the comments from sowell say absolutely nothing about education.

i think you are totally missing his point.

people, even ones with perfectly equal opportunities, achieve differently and always will for a huge variety of reasons.

thus, you cannot take achievement and use it as a proxy for opportunity.

his argument is that inequality of outcomes is inevitable and trying to mandate equality among outcomes is impossible and ridiculous, something to which you yourself have agreed.

all the rest of this seems like you chasing your tail and arguing with straw men.

and i totally fail to see your point about 6 year olds.

even a baby much achieve for his or her self. no one can learn to walk for you. they can just encourage it and try to help.

 
At 1/17/2012 5:50 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Larry has actually said to me that there has never been a product that has become cheaper or more available just because more of it was produced."

well quite true.

go manufacture yourself a few million buggy whips and see how cheap they become.

;-)

there has to be demand for the product.....people have to want it

and making private school cheap(er) won't necessarily provide a better education.

The countries with the best academic achievements spend less than we do but it's still many thousands of dollars per kid.

but the question was whether you believe that you should be taxed to pay for education.

 
At 1/17/2012 5:50 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Spree,
I agree and I can prove that you're right about online education with one anecdote: I've heard many left-wing comedians and television writers bash online education as if it's equivalent to a degree from the classifieds in Rolling Stone.
They're terrified.

 
At 1/17/2012 5:51 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

@morg - can you "achieve" without an education and does the answer to that question mean that you should be taxed to provide an education to others?

 
At 1/17/2012 5:53 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

@Mike - I'm a strong proponent of online education...even in K-12 but I'm skeptical that kids in K-6 can learn just from online.

but even if they can - do you think you should pay taxes to provide equal access/opportunity to online education for all kids?

 
At 1/17/2012 5:58 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

sprewell-

"However, even this debate is ultimately incremental and pointless, as online learning is about to destroy the entire education industry and create something vastly better in its ashes."

i was with you until here. distance learning is a tool, but not the only or even the best one.

you could likely replace some education with distance learning, but the best schools are not going to be that way. you get to much benefit from the other students and the personal interaction with them and the instructors.

i'm just not a believer that it's a real substitute for school at a high level.

i am unaware of anything in the distance learning offerings that is currently a high quality interactive curriculum (though here are some good lectures).

what is it you see blowing this open and making it a real offering?

 
At 1/17/2012 6:03 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

what do we do about 6 year olds?

The same thing I did when my kids were six. The same thing that most parents do.

is that purely a parental, non-govt, no tax dollars responsibility?

It should be.

All industrialized countries in the world see K-12 as a govt responsibility, correct?

Yes. Most of them do a poor job. Kids could learn a lot more if they did not have to go to government run schools.

Sowel's quote seemed to assert that the govt is not responsible for equal opportunity although he called it "achievement" which left me wondering at what age does the state say that you are responsible for your own "achievement"?

When you are competent you can be responsible for yourself. Until then your parents own the right to look after you and educate you as they wish.

 
At 1/17/2012 6:07 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"and making private school cheap(er) won't necessarily provide a better education."

where did you get this? it has nothing to do with the rest of the conversation.

it's competition that makes school better.

for progress to occur, bad providers need to fail and good be rewarded.

further, vouchers won't make private school cheaper, just more available.

if you get $12k, then sending your kid to a school that costs $15k would only cost you $3k out of pocket.

that would make it affordable to far more people.

also:

your point on buggywhips misses the point. capital costs are amortized over the number of units made. the first matchbox car you stamp out of a line costs $100's of thousands of dollars. but iof you make a million, the cost per car drops hugely as expense of the the dies, machines, etc gets spread over more and more units.

so yes, lots of products get cheaper when you make more of them.

another classic example would be windows 7. the first copy cost a billion dollars. the rest cost almost nothing. copy 2 is the price of a cd rom. if you wanted just one copy, the price is a going to be a couple billion. but sell 10 million, and you can drop the price and still make money.

 
At 1/17/2012 6:17 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"and making private school cheap(er) won't necessarily provide a better education."

where did you get this? it has nothing to do with the rest of the conversation.

Mike's assertion that if you produce more of something it gets cheaper...

it's competition that makes school better.

agree

for progress to occur, bad providers need to fail and good be rewarded.

how do you define "progress" and good or bad providers without standards?

who does these?

further, vouchers won't make private school cheaper, just more available.

well..it could make it a LOT cheaper if they sit the kid in a room with an unqualified "teacher" who "educates" by showing cartoons...etc.

"if you get $12k, then sending your kid to a school that costs $15k would only cost you $3k out of pocket."

that's true. 3K is way more than many people can provide though.

that would make it affordable to far more people.

to more people - yes - universally available to all?

also:

"your point on buggywhips misses the point. capital costs are amortized over the number of units made. the first matchbox car you stamp out of a line costs $100's of thousands of dollars. but iof you make a million, the cost per car drops hugely as expense of the the dies, machines, etc gets spread over more and more units.

so yes, lots of products get cheaper when you make more of them."

but there has to be a demand for them.

Milk or soda can be 2cents a gallon but you'll not use more at some point.

tampons can go to a penny each but you'll not be demanding them.. I bet.

"another classic example would be windows 7. the first copy cost a billion dollars. the rest cost almost nothing. copy 2 is the price of a cd rom. if you wanted just one copy, the price is a going to be a couple billion. but sell 10 million, and you can drop the price and still make money."

I don't really disagree with the basics of the premise but just point out that the other side of the equation is demand.

Cars could go to 5K and you'll get one for sure.. but you're not going to own 7 of them... just because they become dirt cheap.

 
At 1/17/2012 6:26 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Morganovich,

"i'm just not a believer that it's a real substitute for school at a high level."

After taking online classes, I'd say the challenge will be making it a substitute on a low level.

I experienced no issues with interactivity (or lack thereof) in fact, the classes I can compare were better online, with much more opportunity for interaction every day.
The advantages are pretty obvious for those who want to make the most of it...I didn't have to go to school until I was rested and ready....and it didn't become a problem for my work schedule (or the other way around). I think it's going to get a lot better when people stop dumping on it...we're still in gen 1.

 
At 1/17/2012 6:29 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

tablet computers are going to revolutionize learning.

you don't need an internet connection with a tablet...

Tablets are now making their way into the 1st grade and it's pretty exciting because some of the software "captures" what the kid did successfully and what they had trouble with and the teacher can use that info to help the kid or provide additional resources in the areas they are having trouble.

At some point, the software will do this.. you know.. like some of the polls you take that ask certain questions and once you answer enough..they can decide if you are a libertarian or a lefty?

;-)

software can do that for educational subjects also.

 
At 1/17/2012 6:37 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Larry,
First, when I said what I said about price, I wasn't necessarily talking about school, just how difficult it is to get a basic point through to you.

You were wrong the first time you tried to make this price/production argument and you're wrong now. My guess is that your folks had one TV back in the day, now you probably have one in each room (or several in one room if you are like me and watch football)....something I wouldn't be doing if they were 10 grand each.
Volume affects price and price affects demand. Please, take an aspirin and just deal with it.

 
At 1/17/2012 6:48 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

@mike - you DID bring it up in the context of THIS discussion, right?

you can make all the moose poop cndy you want guy and no one is going to buy it even if it is dirt cheap.

" Volume affects price and price affects demand"

indeed if the item is in demand.

but you can't make an item be in demand just because you make a lot of it for a very cheap price.

the item itself has to have an intrinsic value to consumers.

they could have a marvelous special on tampons - a 1000 for a nickle but I doubt seriously that you'll stock up.

on the other hand - they could drop the price of a cruise liner from a billion to a 100 million but I doubt also that you'd be a buyer.

you gotta bounce those theories off of practical examples guy.

 
At 1/17/2012 6:56 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Mike, I don't know that I'd completely blame the lefties for bashing current online education, as places like University of Phoenix are almost scams. They usually take a weak form of the already crappy school curriculum and slap it online, while charging ridiculous prices that aren't much different than the existing schools. But you do raise a good point that if these critics of online education really knew what was a good education and what isn't, they'd equally bash all the physical degree mills also, which they never do. So you're probably right that they do sense something transformative coming, which is why they reflexively bash it before it picks up steam. This probably explains why they always trivialize and denigrate online entertainment, because on some level they sense it will soon put them out of business also.

morganovich, I'm not sure why you equate online learning with "distance learning," but technically that is true. Of course, online learning is distance learning with completely new tools and features, so it is vastly better than any "distance learning" of the past. As for the "best schools," that's irrelevant as there will be no schools online. :) For the best place to learn, that will be online, for the same reasons every other online service, like online news or music or video, puts other physical services out of business: the better tools and rabid competition online. What "benefit from the other students and the personal interaction with them and the instructors" did you get at the public institutions you attended? I received almost none during my K-12 education at mostly public schools and college education at a public state university. The vast majority of the time was spent staring at teachers jotting away at blackboards, with almost no Q&A time during class and very occasional group projects.

 
At 1/17/2012 6:58 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

I would estimate that 95-98% of class time was spent staring at lecturers with no interaction, which could easily be done online at much higher quality. As for the 5-minute breaks in between classes or the hour-long recess time interacting with other students, that is not educational time but a byproduct of the fact we were all in one place. In this age of facebook and hyper-connection, I hardly need say that nobody needs recess to meet other people. :) So you hold up this strawman of classroom interaction, when the fact is online interaction will be orders of magnitude better. :D I'm not saying "it's a real substitute for school at a high level," I'm saying it will be an order of magnitude better at an order of magnitude cheaper cost, ie almost 100 times better. :) You may be right that nothing online so far "is currently a high quality interactive curriculum," but that's what the first mainframe computer vendors said about the first desktop computers, "they're not good enough." The point is that online competition spurs rapid improvement that current schools cannot possibly match.

"what is it you see blowing this open and making it a real offering?"

One key step will be when companies start preferring to hire kids who learnt online over school-educated kids. More than anything else, online learning introduces competition to markets that had very little meaningful competition. It takes time for those in such a backwards sector to fully appreciate that competitive opportunity, but technically a lot of this could have been done years ago. The problem right now is that we have computerized tools that are vastly more powerful than most people know what to do with, the only bottleneck is their limited imagination. So it just takes time for people to explore these new opportunities and realize what's right under their noses. ;)

 
At 1/17/2012 7:08 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I'm not saying it's good (yet) but I can see a lot of room for growth if people will give it a chance. I think there are already things that online learning does better.

I think the thing that tipped me off about the likes of Stephen Colbert ripping the online U's is that the 'disenfranchised masses' they pretend to care about are the most likely (right now) to be the ones who are having their second chance crapped on by them.

 
At 1/17/2012 7:26 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Mike, there may be some good online courses already, perhaps the one you attended, but unfortunately stories like this give people pause. I know it can be done because I was in one of the first university engineering classes back in the '90s to do all our homework online, at one of the most networked campuses of the time. This was highly technical engineering work and almost all of it was entered and evaluated online, with no human interaction unless we chose to go to TA hours for help. Nowadays, you'd probably just schedule some IM or video conference time with one of thousands of qualified online tutors instead. I agree that online learning could represent a huge second chance for many, but the aforementioned scams also could screw them over. As always, buyer beware. Online learning needs to come up with better ways to signal quality for it to take off.

 
At 1/17/2012 7:30 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

how does one certify what they learned?

Are there standard tests for the various courses or series of courses?

how does a prospective employer know that you are "qualified" if you got your knowledge not from a bricks & mortar institution?

 
At 1/17/2012 7:34 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Larry, let me flip that question around on you. For each of your questions, please explain how the current college degree does it:

"how does one certify what they learned?

Are there standard tests for the various courses or series of courses?

how does a prospective employer know that you are 'qualified?'"

I'll note that you could supply a college transcript with all your grades but almost no employer asks for such a transcript. That just goes to show how much of a joke the current college certification process is. Suffice to say the online certification process will be vastly better, but I'll wait till you answer your own questions first.

 
At 1/17/2012 7:42 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Sprewell.. for employment that requires STEM degrees.. the transcripts are mandatory and some places require 3.0 or better.

I seriously don't know how you'd certify college-level material if not with a transcript.

Some jobs like Medicine, lawyers, Professional Engineers, etc, have a fairly well defined certification process.

I seriously don't think you are going to remove a gallbladder or design a bridge without some fairly strict certifications but I pretty much admit ignorance on the issue and was truly curious as to how online learning handles this kind of thing.

 
At 1/17/2012 7:48 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

you have completely twisted what sowell said and are essentially arguing with your own failure at reading comprehension.

Our pal is not very bright.

how can you possibly even ask such a preposterous question? do you think about this at all before you write?

Yes, he does think. But it has little to do with trying to seek answers of find the truth. It is about advancing his leftist views of statism even as he opposes statist views from right wing commentators.

 
At 1/17/2012 8:02 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Larry, I got an engineering degree and interviewed with dozens of engineering companies when I got out of college, nobody ever asked for my transcript. I think the only college transcript I ever had to get was for some grad school I applied to. As for GPA, there were many engineers who would take the easiest engineering courses to graduate whereas I was taking grad-level classes by the time I was done. If you don't know what was studied, the overall GPA can become a worthless measure. All employers would ask technical questions to weed out unqualified candidates, but that is not relying on college "certification" at all. Someone who learnt online would also be able to answer the same questions, assuming the online learning was worthwhile and the questions weren't specific to the company, as they often could be.

The careers that you mention that have a "well defined certification process" usually do so with examinations after college; there's no reason you couldn't take those exams without attending college. Yes, you will always need some form of certification, but you'd be amazed how much the college degree is basically ignored as certification right now. Instead, the employers assume you learnt nothing and start quizzing from basic questions on up: the degree is usually just a checkmark before they let you answer their questions. As a result, if you can learn the same material online, there is no reason you can't get the same job, after answering their questions.

I think online learning will maintain highly detailed databases of all subjects studied. An employer will be able to ask for two years of skills in computer programming and one year of writing communications skills and filter out all candidates who don't have that level of proficiency. Tests will be administered for each subject to determine proficiency, with the exam results actually used to filter people out, saving each interviewer the time of asking the same basic questions over and over again. Certification will actually take place online, as opposed to the lip service that is given to college certification today, which is why a college degree is simply a checkmark that is basically ignored after that.

 
At 1/17/2012 8:11 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I assumed that our policies with regard to public education were, at their heart - about providing "equal opportunities"...

You assumed wrong. Your 'policies with regard to public education' are just a way of keeping the citizens in line and enriching those that are politically connected or work for the government. After all, it is thanks to public education that we have seen the decline of classical education in favour of the teaching of progressive ideology and mangling the language to hide from the people what the government does.

A perfect example is to look at the current meaning of terms like, liberal, republic, democracy, inflation, etc. It is easy to hide the truth if you keep changing the meaning of words so that it cannot even be described adequately.

but the govt providing access to equivalent education "opportunities" is the basis for pubic education not only here but in every other industrialized country.

Here? You do live in the US, don't you? How well has government education worked out for the kids in your country? The federal and state governments control education, have spent huge sums of cash yet have produced horrible results.

Does Sowel support public dollars for "equal opportunity" education?

I do not believe that he even thinks that it is possible to provide an equal opportunity because education is a personal matter. Spending other people's money to 'educate' kids who are not motivated and have parents who don't care is a waste of resources. The kids would be better off figuring out early in life that there are consequences to their actions and being forced to choose between trying to learn or having to go out and learn a trade that will allow them to earn an honest living.

 
At 1/17/2012 8:13 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

of course a six year old is responsible for his/her achievement.

With all due respect, I do not believe that our ignorant friend was asking that question. He is more interested in who provides that six-year-old with the opportunity to learn exactly the same things as other six-year-olds.

 
At 1/17/2012 8:14 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

i am fine with taxes to pay for education.

I am not. If you ignore morality and justify theft for one thing you find yourself on a slippery slope where anything can be justified.

 
At 1/17/2012 8:15 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

actually Van has avoided answering the question about whether he supports taxing people to provide education for kids.

he's pontificated out the wazoo as usual splattering his foul blather hither and yon... of course...

but beyond that.. the man is lacking on many levels....

 
At 1/17/2012 8:15 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I think Larry just quickly skims what others write and then spouts off his response, either that or he has the reading comprehension of a 7th grader. ;)

I think that you overestimate our friend. Most 7th graders will learn after a while. Larry seems incapable of it because his ideology gets in the way.

 
At 1/17/2012 8:21 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

actually Van has avoided answering the question about whether he supports taxing people to provide education for kids.

You don't read well. I said no. You should pay to educate your own kids just like you should pay to clothe and feed them.

 
At 1/17/2012 8:24 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

of course our friend Van would have the country revert to something like Somalia or Yemen in his world...

heck he does not even notice that as "bad" as US ed is.. it's still ahead of 200 other countries..

puzzling guy.. you'd think he'd be much happier in a 3rd world country with little or not taxes, and no statism.... but then again he fancies himself as "intelligent" and he would be if lots of gums and tongue were the standard..

;-)

 
At 1/17/2012 9:38 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

of course our friend Van would have the country revert to something like Somalia or Yemen in his world...

The way things are going Somali kids will outperform their American peers in a little while.

As I said, theft cannot morally be justified and only a fool would argue that without government intervention in education we would have a worse system than the one that is in place today. The last time I checked parents wanted their kids to learn and would certainly be concerned about costs if they were to pay for it. A market based system would perform much better for much less. Kids would learn much faster and would actually be able to earn a better living earlier in life. They certainly would not waste much time on those yellow prisoner transport vehicles that I see all over the place and would not require large dedicated buildings that stay empty most of the day and idle for two months in the summer.

 
At 1/17/2012 9:41 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" A market based system would perform much better for much less"

name the 3 best in the world that have no involvement of a govt.

 
At 1/17/2012 10:54 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Apparently larry g is really dense or failed civics while at school: "because Sowell sounded like he did not think it was the job of government to attempt to provide equal access to opportunity although he used the word "achievement" which did not seem to fit."....

It is NOT the job of the federal government to provide equal access to anything other than what is dictated in the Constitution...

A citizen has a 'right to the pursuit of happiness' but nowhere in the Constitution does it say that federal government should be redistributing the wealth of others in a sad and wasteful attempt at guaranteeing the happiness of others (others like those who don't have to take full responsibility for their progeny) then maybe just maybe this country won't be in debt up to its collective eyeballs..

 
At 1/18/2012 1:55 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"actually Van has avoided answering the question about whether he supports taxing people to provide education for kids."

You're joking, right?

You really don't read what others have written.

 
At 1/18/2012 10:13 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

name the 3 best in the world that have no involvement of a govt.

Governments love to dominate various sectors so they all meddle. But the best results still come from the private schools. We already know that the public schools have failed your children. Why argue for more of the same?

 
At 1/18/2012 10:37 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

juandos: A citizen has a 'right to the pursuit of happiness' but nowhere in the Constitution does it say that federal government should be redistributing the wealth of others ...

Hmm. Don't see "pursuit of happiness" in the Constitution. Do see that the government has the right to tax and spend, which will necessarily mean that wealth is redistributed. They build a post office in this town, but not that town. They raise a tariff on this good, but not that good.

 
At 1/18/2012 10:42 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" But the best results still come from the private schools"

really? you mean they take all the kids no matter their "bad" parents and do a better job?

even then.. I've yet to see any real proof other than isolated anecdotal claims.

but according to you the govt is the problem.

and I point out to you that there are a couple hundred countries that have much less government, much less regulation and in general much freer free market economies and according to your theories should ACE all those govt countries that "meddle" in education.

I asked you to provide the names of a couple that clearly show that free market, non-govt education is better.

and you run away.

 
At 1/18/2012 1:48 PM, Blogger 434AT3M3 said...

Paul,
The Jewish community hundreds of years ago demanded education as they must read the Torah every day. Education was expensive and private. If you send a child to learn to read the Torah they might as well learn math, business, science, etc.

Education was not affordable for many. The vast majority of farmers hundreds of year ago could not send their children to private school. jews were not allowed to own land in most of the world. To keep your offspring Jewish they had to be educated and you needed to be able to pay for this education. Digging in the dirt could not sustain this lifestyle choice but going into business did.

For hundreds of years the Jewish community stayed the same size as many either could not afford to learn to read or did not have the desire. Attrition of the Jewish community was bound to happen.

As a business owner you end up having customers that 'run a tab' and eventually you charge interest for this tab. Lending money is more profitable than selling goods and services.

It is no surprise the Jewish community has achieved so much. Forced education for admittance into the temple it key to understanding the Jewish community's achievements.

Bigotry, prejudice, and racism ensured that the Jewish community did not own land and ensured that the Jewish community would become good at business and science.

It is axiomatic if you have any understanding of history.

 
At 1/18/2012 7:46 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well zach, you're right regarding the Constitution when I should've used Declaration instead...

Now this: "Do see that the government has the right to tax and spend, which will necessarily mean that wealth is redistributed. They build a post office in this town, but not that town. They raise a tariff on this good, but not that good"...

Yes but Art. One Section 8 of the Constitution narrowly defines where the federal government should redistribute that extorted wealth, doesn't it?

 
At 1/18/2012 8:11 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

juandos: Yes but Art. One Section 8 of the Constitution narrowly defines where the federal government should redistribute that extorted wealth, doesn't it?

The general welfare clause seems to provide expansive powers to the government, and the courts have generally upheld these powers.

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States"

 
At 1/18/2012 8:15 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The general welfare clause seems to provide expansive powers to the government, and the courts have generally upheld these powers.

It does not. You might try reading the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers to see what the founders had in mind.

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States"

But not to tax the income of some people and give it to others.

 
At 1/18/2012 9:08 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

VangelV: It does not. You might try reading the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers to see what the founders had in mind.

Apparently, the U.S. Supreme Court disagrees. The language is pretty common in various constitutions, and is read to give general powers to the legislature.

VangelV: But not to tax the income of some people and give it to others.

The income tax was specifically authorized by amendment. All taxes transfer wealth.

 
At 1/19/2012 2:32 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Apparently, the U.S. Supreme Court disagrees. The language is pretty common in various constitutions, and is read to give general powers to the legislature. "

Even you must understand how absurd it seems for the Founders to work so hard to create a Constitution that limits government in every possible way, and to define the exact and only powers the Congress would have in art 1 Sect 8, and then to throw it all away with a general welfare clause that basically said "Oh, never mind - do what ever you think best."

 
At 1/19/2012 6:50 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" "Oh, never mind - do what ever you think best." "

that's not only what they did but SCOTUS agrees - as well as every single President, most members of elected bodies..and the folks who elect them.

I've yet to see a county where the elected were thrown out of office for supporting taxes and the folks who voted them out did not want roads and schools and law enforcement.

 

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