And the good, adequate, responsible, and moral government is the solution?.. [/Tongue in cheek]
There are plenty of opportunities for teachers who really want to teach in a “proper school” (are you British?). All they have to do is forget about $$$ and teach in a private/parochial/independent school. There are plenty of them needing good teachers who want to teach.
But Doug, it IS the job of the parents to educate their children. They did it for generations until the educrats took over. Have you ever seen a cursive handwriting textbook from the turn of the century? Have you ever wondered why the handwriting of so many (even MEN!!) decades ago were so beautiful and almost like calligraphy? It’s because they were TAUGHT how to write. Did you know that cursive isn’t even taught anymore in public schools? Did you know that proper grammar, spelling, and sentence structure is not taught anymore in many schools today? As a math teacher for 6-10th grades I NEVER allowed my students to use a calculator. AND they had to show their work in order to receive credit because not only did I want to ensure that they were doing the work, but also that they were doing it correctly. Oh, I also taught diagramming sentences. If you showed that to a student today, they’d think it was some kind of alien language. I’m not an English teacher, but I had to teach it many times as well as literature.
I respect what you are trying to say and do. But pouring more taxpayer dollars into an already broken system will not work. It hasn’t for decades. As I said, what other employer (federal government) would allow an employee (public schools) to fail at his/her job over and over and over again and decide that giving him/her a raise is going to improve the employee’s production and outcome? He/she must not care much about his/her business. Well, that is what the feds are doing with public education. They are pouring millions/billions into a broken system. How to go about changing that by closing all schools? I don’t know. But that is the ONLY answer that will turn things around in this country in terms of education.
I must admit that there are SOME public schools–relatively rare as they may be–that do a decent job of teaching kids. They are, unfortunately, few and far between, which is precisely WHY charter schools, parochial schools, home-schooling and even school CHOICE is/are gaining such popularity among parents. Still, mostly in “public” schools, we’re “graduating” kids who can’t read their own diplomae, can’t read or write a coherent sentence, can’t do enough basic math just so they can tell from their pay stubs if they are being cheated or not, know NOTHING about World History or Geography and expect “participation trophies” or other accolades just for showing up. It is my OPINION that this was done to public schools INTENTIONALLY because an ignorant population is more easily controlled than a people able to think for themselves.
I’m an American living in Britain.
The fact that we once had a proper education system shows that it can be done. To say that we should “close all the schools” would be like saying that because the Army is being destroyed from within by Political Correctness, we should disband the Army (Although there, the Progressive Left would happily go along.)
You are right that throwing money at a broken system is pointless. But the answer is propose a proper system. As a practical matter, school choice is the way to proceed. Parents would still have to send their children to school, these schools would still be supported by taxes, but we would have a chance to break the stranglehold of the Progressive Left on the education system.
Seriously, can we imagine what would happen to any candidate for political office who proposed just ‘closing the schools’? We have to aim to take and hold political power… because if we don’t, other forces will.
Well, yeah. Absolutely. Not to put words in Pappadaves mouth, but I’m all for it. I’ll never see a dime of social security or Medicare benefits, despite the money I have paid in.
You have been unlucky, then?
But let’s assume we could tear up these programs by the root, but could also, if we wanted to, institute something which aimed to do the same thing as they do in their place … using whatever rules you thought fair. Would you still be in favor of having no such programs at all? And, if so, do think that would be good promise to put in the Repulbican Party platform for the next Presidential election, and for Republican candiates for House and Senate to run on?
Just imagine how many people die LONG before becoming SS eligible and never withdraw a dime! Where do you suppose THAT money goes?
All human institutions are imperfect, being made up of imperfect humans.
But the answer is not ‘No government’, but a government to which we try to apply our wisdom to make as less imperfect as possible – because the alternative is worse.
A democratic government, even one in a limited-government republic, rests on the assumption that the choices of the majority of voters, over time, will give us a government which is better than all the alternatives – no government at all, or rule by some sort of elite.
This is not a religious belief, i.e. one we accept on faith. There were a number of liberal (i.e. classical liberal, pro-liberty) thinkers in the 19th Century, like Thomas Babbington Macaulay, who opposed universal suffrage, for fear that the masses would vote for socialism. But by and large they haven’t . They’ve voted for various measures which made their lives easier – like Medicare and Social Security. Of course demagogues will promise them everything, with no thought as to how to pay for it, so we have a continual battle for … really, for common sense, which in my opinion is the heart and soul of the conservative approach to politics.
We need government-run Social Security and Medicare because young people, or a large number of them, are not very wise. They don’t really believe they will be 70 years old someday, and not working. So they don’t save up and invest their money or buy insurance etc. So we have to force them to do this, via the state.
Then of course the demagogues come along and try to convince the voters that 2+2 can make 5 – that we can get more out of these programs than we put in – by soaking the rich, or just printing money.
If the majority of voters, over time, fall for this … then we’re on the road to Zimbabwe or Venezuela. (Which is why the Left want to bring in the sort of voters they think WILL fall for this, but that’s another story.)
But if you look at South Korea or Japan or Taiwan or SIngapore, you will see they all have pretty comprehensive government-run social welfare systems… but ones where you pretty much get out what you put in … it’s just that they force you to put in. And they are ferociously capitalist.
Can we do as well? Maybe not. They’re smarter than we are. But … maybe we can follow their example.
Yes, I would be I favor of no government funded and/or operated social programs. That is not the function of government, and government is bad at it.
No longer enough to keep the program solvent. When SS was founded, by design less than half of the people who paid into it would live long enough to collect. Of those who did beat the odds to collect, half died within the first five years, and iirc, over eigjty percent within ten. The actuarial tables have changed, people are living 30 to 50 years longer, SS has far more future obligations than assets, and the generations of taxpayers to support it are getting smaller. SS will either have to double (or triple) the employer and employee contributions (politically untenable), or raise the retirement age to 80 (which I’ll never live to see).
How many people have YOU met who were 115 years old, Qix? For that matter, how many who were/are still alive at 95? Two-thirds of my HS graduating class are now dead. Almost none of them living much more than 2-4 years past age 65, and quite a number who never reached 60!
Not that many, and quite a few, but it does happen, and it’s happening more frequently. My mom is 85 and in pretty good health. I expect she’ll live 10 more years, at least. It’s not common for people to live to 115 (I dont think Richard Overton quite made it), but it isn’t nearly as uncommon as it was.
When SS was founded, half of the people who were paying in were dropping dead before 65, including a significant percentage who were dead before 50. People living to 80 and beyond is pretty routine, now.
Two big differences here, Doug. The Army is not dysfunctional. It works quite well along with the other armed forces. Why? Because the feds don’t have as much control over them. However, schools are ABSOLUTELY DYSFUNCTIONAL and suck the taxpayers dry trying to fill up the coffers to teacher unions/federations, teacher dues, waste, and greed. Some years back there was a huge scandal in the Chicago Board of Education (big surprise, right?). The CBE is housed in a huge warehouse where they keep textbooks (most of them brand new–never used), desks and other equipment. They also housed federal foods which were supposed to be used in the schools–things like cheese, butter, bread, etc. It was discovered that MILLIONS of dollars (billions today) worth of federal foods were rotting on the docks of the CPE. Even things like snack foods and cookies were rotten. And what do you think the members of the board got as punishment? Nothing. A lot of bad press is all. They don’t care because they protect each other and the teachers’ unions and federations. It is a total scandal. My opinion is that the CPSs are the worst in the nation. I know because I experienced the corruption and greed that went on. And it still goes on.
I knew you had to be either English or living in the UK. I think you’ve been a little pickled in socialism. (I can hear you screaming all the way here! !) How long have you lived in the UK? I’ve always dreamed of going to England because I’m English on my father’s side. Just never was able to go. Now, with all my handicaps, I don’t think I’ll get the chance.
I trace my paternal ancestry to some Viscount from England who never came to the New World, but his eldest grandson did, settling first in Jamestown in the 17th Century and later moving to Williamsburg. There is a direct line of first sons from him to my own grandson. On my mother’s side, we trace PART of her lineage to the brother of Ethan Allen, who was British before the Revolution, and the other part to a several-times great grandfather who came from Alsace-Lorainne, then part of Prussia, in the early 19th Century and who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1824. (I have a photo-copy of his naturalization papers, passed to me by my aunt.). (I’m NOT entitled to that Viscount title because England passed a law in the 1920’s restricting hereditary titles to British citizens.) So my family line on BOTH sides are U.S. citizens for nearly 200 years–at LEAST–and for one side residents in what is now the U.S. for roughly 350 years.
At least one DISTANT relative was a slave-owner in NE Louisiana. (Probably a cousin of some sort.) Upon emancipation, his slaves took HIS last name (the same as mine) which one of their descendants told me wasn’t terribly unusual–especially if the master-slave relationship was relatively benign. I met this young man in the 1970’s and asked him about his last name. He’d gotten curious during the “Roots” phenomenon and looked his own ancestry up and was able to trace it to the end of the Civil War. He was a nice young man in his mid-20’s and was an engineer working for a Fort Worth-based defense contractor.
Wow, Pappa! That’s pretty cool! Both of my grandfathers were first generation naturalized American citizens. My dad’s father was from England and my mother’s father was from Naples, Italy. For some reason, we’ve not been able to find out more about our English heritage. Mostly because the paperwork isn’t there and my grandfather never shared his background. Not sure why that was, but I do remember my dad talking about it a little. My dad’s mother was second generation English and my mom’s mother was second generation Italian.
I can’t take credit for it. Some Mormon lady–apparently also a distant relative–did all the research and back in 1962 had a book published entitled “The Book of Jared” about the history and descendants of one “John Jared”–who was the aforementioned eldest grandson of that Viscount. Apparently, his original family name was “Garrett,” but when he got to Williamsburg, he got religion and decided to legally change his name to a Biblical name and “Jared” (the grandfather of Methusela) was the closest to the original he could find. I’m actually named in the book as the eldest son of Clyde Martin Jared and Virginia Lee (Morris) Jared. The notation next to my name reads “Somewhere in the military.” When the book was published, I was, in fact, in South Korea. The research on my mother’s ancestry was done by her older sister, my Aunt Margaret, who did it during the 1960’s because she wanted to join “The Daughters of the Revolution” (DAR) back then and you had to be able to prove an ancestor participated in some fashion IN the American Revolution.
A lot of things can be done, but not sustained. Government has the anti-Midas touch; everything it touches turns to crap.
The same thing that happens to any candidate who wants to do the right thing; which is why the right thing tends not to get done. And why Trump (I still don’t trust him, but he has surprised me by actually doing some of the conservative things he promised (and hamhanding some other things)) has been fought at every turn by the Dems and leftist media (especially look at the Kavanaugh nomination).
It isn’t always the institutions that are imperfect (some of which were created by God), but are managed imperfectly be fallen humans. But that’s just a quibbling point; I get what you’re saying.
At present, the alternative is worse; but it’s entirely possible to get to a point where anarchy isn’t as bad as organized evil. I don’t know, but I’m guessing that’ll happen before God has the final say.
You think we’re not devolving more and more into a government of elites?
Those who vote for socialism are growing alarmingly in number. That’s why Bernie Sanders was able to make such a fight of it.
And we can trust the government to be benevolent about this? Hogwash. The government is in no small part responsible for the dumbing down of the youth. Making people more dependent upon the government only brings us that much closer to falling back into bondage.
I’m not familiar with some of those, but dependence upon government and liberty is never stable mix, and Japan is rife with corruption.
When I was in Korea, you could rent an apartment or house and, when you decided to move, you were given back ALL of your rent money–your rent being what your landlord earned by investing your rent money! Now THAT’S TRUE capitalism.
I’ve lived in England a long time … about half of my life … even a bit more. (And I even lived in the Soviet Union for a few months.)
Now, no one can really say why they believe what they do. We would all like to think that we just coldly and logically study all relevant facts and then choose what to believe, but that’s very unlikely. We are all surrounded by other people, receive ‘information’ (and dis-information) via the schools, media, and our own selective attention. We just try – or should try – to do our best to come to conclusions that are valid, despite all the surrounding ‘noise’.
But I can say this: after moving to, and living in England (which included that brief spell of living in the USSR), I moved WAY to the Right. By that I mean basically two things: (1) an appreciation of the market as the best method for innovation and distribution of scarce resources, and (2) an appreciation of Edmund Burkes’ fundamental wisdom – namely, that society is way too complicated for us to just come up with some simple scheme that we can then try to force society to comply with. Burke was not against change, but realized we had to ‘make progress slowly’, and above all, don’t try to make progress according to the schemes dreamed up by intellectuals. (Americans ought to like this fellow, who was a friend of the American Revolution.)
However, it’s true that living here, I’m not surrounded by typical American conservatives, or typical American liberals. The Left/Right division outside of the US is necessarily somewhat different than it is within the US.
Above all, I’ve been influence by an English philosopher – actually, an immigrant Jew – named Karl Popper – a great enemy of Marxism, by the way – who, I think, best formulated how to think rationally: always ask yourself, “What evidence would make me change my mind about something I believe in?” If you cannot come up with an answer, then your belief is a value, not an objective assertion about how the world works, but a subjective committment to how it ought to work. Values are wonderful, and necessary. We don’t change them because of this or that fact.
But to implement our values, we need to have opinions about questions of fact. And these opinions may be right or wrong. Does the earth go around the sun, or vice versa? The Church saw the latter proposition as an unassailable question of values – is man the center of the universe or not? – and killed, or threatened to kill, those who questioned it. But we can still see man as the ‘center of the universe’ in the sense that his well-being should be the center of our concerns, without requiring his home planet to be the physical center of the universe. People who oppose the idea of biological evolution mainly do so, I think, because they fear that it puts humans on a moral plane with animals – not because they have studied the evidence and have found that it supports the idea that we were created by an invisible man in the sky 6000 years ago.
Anyway, I think the evidence is overwhelming that state control and planning of the economy is a very bad idea, for reasons certain Austrians have explained very well. (Anyone who wants to know more about this should Google the ‘Socialist Calculation Problem’.)
However, this doesn’t extend to absoluttely all aspects of state interference and control of economic matters.
You can have a fair amount of state involvement, and have economic prosperity, so long as you have basically a free market. The idea that this is not true is just dogma. Anyone who believes this dogma has ignored the evidence of the Scandanavian social democracies, and the Asian ‘tiger ecoomies’. The idea that anything the government touches turns to dust is disproved by the moon program.
A footnote: the word ‘socialism’ is used by different people to mean different things – and for some people, it doesn’t mean much of anything at all, it’s just a fuzzy feel-good word. We ought to distinguish between ‘socialism’ where almost all of the economy is in the hands of the government – the old Soviet Union, China under Mao, North Korea and Cuba today – on the one hand – and countries where the government redistributes some income, owns some things, but mainly lets the economy alone – like almost all of the world, certainly including the USA.
Having the latter situation doesn’t guarantee prosperity or freedom. It’s a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for it. The underlying culture is also important. If people blindly follow powerful leaders, if they accept corruption, if they are poorly-educated, or for whatever reason not very vigourous and enterprising – you can have a pretty unpleasant situation. (The Founding Fathers understood that no laws or constitution would help, if the people were not virtuous.)
It’s a great shame – a tragedy, in fact – that the Republican Party has so many people who are dogmatists on this issue. (Not the rank and file voters, as shown by their support for Mr Trump, who is anything but a free market believer – the average Republican voter LOVES the Social Security system, and the current limited American version of socialized medicine, Medicare. And not the donor class who normally run the Republican Party – their main concern is lower taxes on themselves, plus government subsidies.)
But as it looks like the Democrats are soon going to become the permanent majority party – a historic disaster, not just for the US but for the whole free and wanting-to-be-free world – it doesn’t make much difference what Republican activists think.
Anyway, that’s where I’m coming from. I’m always willing, if not happy, to change my mind – just give me the evidence that I’m wrong. Show me that Sweden is backward and poor, that the Cuban education system is worse than Mexico’s, that Singapore is a cesspool of poverty. Don’t just repeat dogmas.
I disagree; I don’t believe it’s necessary for prosperity and freedom; indeed, anything that hands power to the government for purposes beyond actual governence is counter to those things in that it makes people more dependent on the government.
I don’t know that the average R voter loves Social Security and Medicare; they’re just jealous about getting back out of it what they (by figurative gunpoint) put into it.