Senate sends LGBT Bill to House to Fail for Political Points in the Next Election

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 9th, 2013

Week in Review

There are millions of transgender people who are being discriminated against in the workplace just as there are millions of people signing up for Obamacare.  President Obama can say both.  But even he must know neither is true (see Senate passes LGBT anti-discrimination bill by Leigh Ann Caldwell posted 11/8/2013 on CNN).

For the first time, the U.S. Senate approved legislation that would protect gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace…

Opposition in the Republican-controlled House is strong, minimizing any chance the measure will become law. House Speaker John Boehner also opposes it.

Still, President Barack Obama urged the House to take the bill up and said he would sign it.

“One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do,” the President said in a statement. “Now is the time to end this kind of discrimination in the workplace, not enable it. I urge the House Republican leadership to bring this bill to the floor for a vote and send it to my desk so I can sign it into law.”

The bill would provide the same protections for LGBT workers as are already guaranteed on the basis of race, gender and religion.

It would not be lawful for employers to discriminate based on a person’s “actual or perceived” sexual orientation or gender identity…

“The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs,” Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel, said.

Millions?  That must mean there are more than 2 million transgender people in the United States trying to get a job as this law basically adds “a person’s “actual or perceived” sexual orientation or gender identity” to a long list of federal protections.  According to a study by the Williams Institute only about 0.3% of adults are transgender.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau the U.S. population is about 313.9 million.  If we subtract those under 18 years of age (23.5%) and retirees (13.7%) from the total population that leaves 197.1 million people of working age.  Of this 197.1 million only 591,414 are transgender according to the Williams Institute study.  Which is 0.19% of the total population.  In comparison the latest Employment Situation Summary from the BLS shows the official unemployment rate (U-3) is 7.3%.  While the more accurate unemployment rate that counts all people who can’t find a job is at 13.8%.  But the more accurate picture of the economy is the labor force participation rate.  Which is now at 62.8%.  Meaning that there are 91.5 million people who have left the labor force because they can’t get a job.

There are not millions of transgender people being discriminated against in the workplace.  As there are only about a half million people who call themselves transgender in the nation.  But there are 91.5 million people who can’t find a job.  Perhaps that is the problem Congress should be working on.  Rolling back one of the most business-unfriendly environments ever to exist in the U.S.  To create jobs for the 91.5 million.  As well as the half million.

This legislation is, obviously, a political maneuver.  The Senate passed this bill so it can die in the House.  So they can say, “See?  House Republicans hate LGBT people.”  Which is how the left wins elections.  By making their base hate Republicans.  Which is why President Obama was able to win reelection despite his policies keeping 91.5 million people out of a job.  Despite a part of his base—the young—suffering the highest levels of unemployment.  But they will continue to suffer and vote Democrat.  Because Republicans hate LGBT people.  Even if it’s not true.  As long as there is a perception of it that’s good enough for them.  Even though it would be easier for LBGT people to get a job if there weren’t 91.5 million people on line looking for a job.


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Racist Democrats and Desegregationist Republicans

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 29th, 2013

Politics 101

The Way to Great Wealth in the South was King Cotton

At the recent 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech most if not all of the speakers were liberal Democrats.  As if the Republicans were not welcomed there.  Funny.  As it was the Republicans who battled the Democrats to end slavery, Jim Crowe Laws and discrimination.

America’s original sin, slavery, was a part of the Old World southern planters did not want to give up.  It was very similar to the manorial system of Europe.  Where peasants were tied to the land.  On a manor.  Unable to leave.  Land that a rich landowner owned.  The lord of the manor.  Property and status were hereditary.  And the peasants at the bottom of the ladder had neither.

The lords belonged to the aristocracy.  The nobility.  They lived in glorious mansions.  Gave magnificent parties.  And enjoyed the best of everything.  Courtesy of owning land.  The peasants worked the land.  And produced the greatest wealth in the kingdom for their lord.  Food.  In the American South this soon became cotton.  King Cotton.  The way to great wealth in the South was growing cotton.  And the more slaves you had the more noble your life was.

The Founding Fathers wanted to Eradicate Slavery at the Time of the Founding

Things were different in the North.  Years of growing tobacco had depleted the land.  So they diversified.  Grew different crops.  And rotated the crops around.  This required a more specialized workforce as things changed from year to year.  And few farms grew one large cash crop anymore.  So they turned to paid-labor.  Which was more efficient.  So while the South held on to the Old World the North became more egalitarian.

The Founding Fathers knew that a nation based on all men being equal could not include the institution of slavery.  They wanted to eradicate it at the time of the drafting of the Constitution.  But that created a problem with the South.  At the time of the Founding their economy was dependent on slavery.  And because it was they had more slaves than the North.  So freeing the slaves would not only destroy their economy it would force the South to live in a biracial society that was unheard of at that time.  Nowhere in the world were there biracial societies.  Not to mention the fact that the freed blacks would outnumber the whites.  The very same whites that once brutally oppressed the blacks.

To form a more perfect union they needed the southern states.  Which they had to take as-is.  With the institution of slavery.  It was a bitter pill to swallow.  As some of these Founding Fathers, especially the ones that didn’t own slaves, were conscious of the history books that would one day be written.  As well as being truly opposed to slavery.  But the choice was a new nation with slavery.  Or no new nation.  And continued sectional disputes.  Even hostilities.  Making them ripe for European intrigue.  Especially from the Old World Empires who wanted to expand their empires into North America.

The Republicans Freed the Slaves, Fought against Jim Crowe Laws and Desegregated the South

So the Founding Fathers tabled the subject of slavery for 20 years.  Sure that in 20 years time the South would adopt paid labor as they did in the North.  Sadly, a great invention changed all that.  The cotton gin.  Which could process cotton faster than slaves could pick it.  King Cotton promised more wealth than ever before.  All you needed was a lot of slaves.  Dashing the hopes of the Founding Fathers.

Wealth.  Nobility.  Life was good for the privileged few in the South.  The planter elite.  The southern Democrats.  Who used the power of the federal government to return fugitive slaves.  Then bitched about the federal government after they lost control of it.  The planter elite brought the nation to civil war.  To preserve the institution of slavery.  To keep the Old World in the South.  To keep the nobility in the South.  With them sitting at the top of the aristocracy.  But then came the Republicans.  And Abraham Lincoln.  Who issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  Freeing the slaves in the states in open rebellion.  Then Ulysses S. Grant won the American Civil War.  The Republicans pushed for and ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.  Abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude.  Then Republican President Grant sent federal troops into the South to protect the freed blacks.  As the racist southern Democrats resisted integrating the freed blacks into the South.  Eventually passing Jim Crowe Laws.  Making the freed blacks a permanent underclass with the Democrats’ separate but equal status of the freed blacks.

Democrat Storm Thurmond has the record for the longest filibuster in U.S. history.  He talked for 24 hours and 18 minutes in his opposition of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.  For he wanted to keep blacks separate but equal.  The southern Democrats opposition to civil rights was so strong that it prevailed through JFK’s administration.  Who did nothing for civil rights lest he go against the powerful southern Democrats.  Despite all the Republicans did the Democrats kept the black man down in the South.  Dr. King fought against segregation in Albany, Georgia, in 1962.  And suffered brutal police oppression in Birmingham, Alabama, that same year.  Things were so bad during JFK’s administration that Dr. King helped organized the 1963 March on Washington.  Where he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.  But real change would have to wait until Republican Richard Nixon became president.  Who implemented the first large-scale desegregation of public schools in the Democrat-controlled South.  And Nixon implemented the first affirmative action plan.  The Philadelphia plan.

Yet despite all of this the Democrats claim the title of champion of civil rights.  And dominated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  Even though it was the Republicans who freed the slaves, fought against Jim Crowe Laws and desegregated the South.  While the Democrats fought them every step of the way.  Yet the Democrats are civil rights champions.  While Republicans are racists.  What’s wrong with this picture?


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FT176: “The left instigates and exacerbates discrimination to increase their power.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 28th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

The Institution of Slavery was Dying Out in the U.S. before Eli Whitney and his Cotton Gin

Discrimination is wrong.  And it doesn’t belong in a meritocracy.  Which is what the United States is.  Here it doesn’t matter who your father is.  There is no nobility.  No aristocracy.  Here everyone is equal.  It’s why people came here with pennies in their pocket.  So they could work hard and live the American dream.  Having the liberty to do whatever they wanted to do.  Which many did.  Starting out sweeping floors for a boss.  And going on to be boss in their own business.

The Founding Fathers weren’t perfect.  But they were as close to perfect as you can get.  Selfless.  Disinterested.  Principled.  And, yes, some were slave owners.  But they didn’t invent slavery.  Or bring it to the New World.  It was part of the times they lived in.  And already well entrenched in the colonies before they entered into the history books.  The southern economy was already dependent on slave-labor during the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  And the U.S. Constitution.  Some of the Founding Fathers wanted to get rid of the institution.  But to form a new nation they needed the southern states.  And they wouldn’t join without their slaves.  So they tabled the subject for 20 years.  Trusting that it would resolve itself by then.  But then Eli Whitney gave us the cotton gin.  And, well, the rest is history.

The institution of slavery was slowly dying out before the cotton gin.  George Washington wanted to replace his slaves with paid-laborers.  For he wanted to change up his crops.  Grow many different crops instead of one large cash crop.  Something paid-labor was ideally suited for.  As he could hire people with a particular crops’ skill-set and they could hit the ground running.  But when you had slaves working the same large cash crop year after year such as tobacco change didn’t come easy.  For you had to retrain your slaves.  And with training there is a learning curve.  It was just so much easier to hire well-skilled paid-laborers.  And the fact that they wanted to work for you helped, too.  For when forcing people to work for you against their will all you’ll get from them is the bare minimum that lets them escape brutal punishment.  Which does not bring out a person’s latent talents.  It just prevents these talents from ever seeing the light of day.  No.  Slave-labor as an economic model was a horrible one.  As well as being immoral.

Abraham Lincoln and the new Republican Party ended Slavery in the United States

Slavery in the United States was concentrated in the South.  On the plantations.  Where they had a single, large cash crop.  And thanks to Eli Whitney that crop was cotton.  Because the cotton gin could so quickly comb the cotton fiber to remove the seeds and stems the sky was the limit.  The only thing holding back your profits was the amount of land you put in production.  And the only limit on that was the number of slaves you had to make land productive.  Which is why the institution of slavery didn’t die out in 20 years time.  Which really wasn’t overly optimistic.  Because in the grand scheme of things there weren’t that many slaves in the United States to begin with.

Of all the slaves brought to the New World only about 6.5% ended up in British North America (according to Wikipedia).  Another 18% went to other British colonies.  Another 18% went to Spanish colonies.  About 14% went to French colonies.  While the vast majority of those slaves went to Portuguese colonies in the Americas.  Approximately 39% of all African slaves.  Most landing in Brazil.  Which is why the Portuguese language is one of the top ten most spoken languages in the world today.  Because Brazil is a very large country.  Thanks to all of those slaves the Portuguese brought there.

Slavery was wrong.  And it is America’s original sin.  But it wasn’t what made America great.  Or rich.  Contrary to what our public schools are teaching our kids.  If it was the South would have won the American Civil War.  But they didn’t.  The industrial North did.  With her factories filled with paid-laborers.  This was the New World.  The South that lost the Civil War was the last remnants of the Old World in the New World.  Where it mattered who your father was.  Abraham Lincoln and the new Republican Party ended slavery in the United States.  And the Republican Party would eventually put an end to Jim Crowe laws in the south.  And passed the Civil Rights act (a larger percentage of Republicans voted for it than Democrats).

The Racial Divide has never been Greater despite electing a Black President Twice

So the Republicans have done more to end discrimination in the United States than the Democrats have.  Who have actually spent more time opposing civil rights.  But you wouldn’t know that.  Not with all the disinformation the left puts out.  Today the left claims they are the party that fights discrimination.  When in actuality they instigate and exacerbate discrimination.  Because it gives them power.  For trying to end discriminations is very lucrative.  Some have made careers and have grown quite wealthy trying to end discrimination.  You know who they are so there’s no point in naming them here.  But these people never end discrimination.  For while there’s money in fighting discrimination there’s no money in ending it.

If there are always examples of discrimination in our society then there is always a need for those who fight it.  There’s always a reason for new legislation.  To right past wrongs.  And make things fair.  So the Democrats increased the size of the welfare state.  To make the discriminated dependent on the state.  To keep them on the plantation.  Concentrating them in housing projects.  In the inner city.  Away from the Democrats’ nice neighborhoods.  They broke up their families with AFDC.  Replacing fathers with the state.  Who failed these kids miserably.  They implemented affirmative action.  Where some game the system and get a free pass.  Because of lower standards.  Getting entrance to a college or a job over someone more qualified.  Fomenting new racial unrest.  As some complain about being passed over despite being more qualified.  Which the left jumps on as proof of overt racism.  And the need for them to do something more to end it.

But they never end anything.  Because ending it would take away their power.  Which is why despite everything they’ve done since the Sixties things have never been worse.  And more policies and legislation to end discrimination have never been needed more.  Because the racial divide has never been greater.  Despite this country electing a black president.  Twice.


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FT129: “You can safely criticize and fire a white man for doing a poor job without being accused of discrimination.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 3rd, 2012

Fundamental Truth

It takes Two to Flirt but Only One to Sexually Harass

Today when you hire into a new company chances are they are going to sit you down and make you watch a video on sexual harassment.  Even if you’re not in a supervisory position.  But you will watch a video where some man will be making an uncomfortable workplace for a woman he supervises.  During the Eighties when the military was trying to get more women into the officer corps they taught officer candidates appropriate man-woman touching.  Resting a hand on a near shoulder while looking over her work was okay.  But placing a hand on a far shoulder was sexual harassment.

People like to socialize in the workplace.  And men especially like to socialize with attractive women in the workplace.  Which can create a minefield for an employer.  Even if they have all employees sit through sexual harassment training.   For there is a fine line between flirting and sexual harassment.  Social chatter often goes into subjects inappropriate for the workplace.  An employer may have some midlevel men that begin to spend too much time around the reception desk.  Men responsible for sales or maintaining customer relationships.  Who have become important cogs in the machine.  Even though they may cruise the single bars after work.  But as long as their personal life didn’t interfere with the workplace their personal life was their personal life.  Until, that is, they start flirting with the pretty women in the workplace.

Flirting is a two-way street.  It takes two to flirt.  But it only takes one to sexually harass.  An employer may like to hire a new receptionist who flirts less because it would be easier to hire a new receptionist than hire a new important cog.  This would be the easiest change to prevent flirting from escalating into harassment.  But doing that will require a lot of documentation of disciplinary actions against the receptionist.  Creating an uncomfortable workplace.  And the inevitable lawsuit for wrongful dismissal.  If the employer doesn’t act fast enough this innocent flirting can escalate to an unwelcomed grope in the supply closet.  Then it’s too late.  Now the employer has a lawsuit to deal with.  As well as having to fire the man responsible for the groping.  Causing an even more unpleasant atmosphere in the workplace.  A business disruption.  And an embarrassing task of explaining it to your customers.  At least those affected by the loss of this individual.

Not every Employee may have been the Best Candidate for their Job when the Labor Department encourages Diversity

This is a problem when you mix men and women in the workplace.  Most of the time there are no problems.  People do their jobs and go home to their families.  But problems happen.  Few will make it through their working career without working at a place without some kind of incident.  And it’s rare for a business owner not to have at least one incident in their business life.  Or to know someone who has.  Still, it doesn’t stop them from hiring women.  Not if they’re the best candidate for a position.  And the best candidates typically are those employees that just want to do their jobs and go home to their families.

But not every employee was the best candidate for their job.  Not when the labor department monitors a business’ diversity in hiring. Some businesses are in such a narrow niche market that there aren’t a lot of employees with the requisite skills to choose from.  When the pool of candidates is small chances are the there isn’t a lot of diversity in that pool.  New technologies are sometimes so new that few even know of them.  And the educational system is still playing catch-up.  But anyone ever audited by the government for diversity compliance (typically when federal money is involved) can attest that it is better to be diverse than to be audited.  So you hire people that may not be the best but you hope that with a lot of on-the-job training they will become an important cog in the machine.

Then you have people who just game the system.  Contractors who want to work in big cities have to meet a plethora of requirements just to bid on a project.  Especially when there is federal money involved.  Included in some of these requirements are diversity requirements.  And residency requirements.  They want to award these projects to city-based companies whose workers live in the city.  A noble goal if you’re trying to revitalize the local economy.  But a difficult requirement to meet in some new technologies.  Where they may have only a few companies qualified to do the work to begin with.  But if there is only one who meets the residency requirement this company is going to be at a distinct advantage.  Who can even underbid the project to seal the deal.  And once they have the project they can then bury the city with additional charges and delay the project until they get what they want.

Anyone who Dares to Criticize President Obama and his Policies is Quickly Labeled a Racist

I once sat in some meetings with such a contractor.  He was a smart guy.  He knew the new technology in the project like few others.  Which gave him an advantage in those meetings.  He went on about design mistakes and omissions but it was Greek to everyone at the table.  And nothing ever got done without a fight over additional money.  This guy used the system to delay the project and get the owner to capitulate and pay his additional claims.  Especially when they threatened to replace him with another contractor.  None of which he knew met the residency requirement.  And he said off-the-record to someone that if they did remove him from the project he would sue for discrimination.  Don’t know if that was true but everyone in those meetings acted as if it were.  This guy gave ulcers to everyone on the management team.  But they were always guarded with their comments.  Except for one.  Who let go a verbal barrage in one meeting that stunned everyone.  Saying what everyone wanted to say but didn’t.  Out of fear of being accused of racism.  For criticizing a black man.  So why did this one man speak his mind?  Two reasons.  When he sat in those meetings he was the smartest one in the room.  He didn’t hear Greek.  He just heard a lot of BS.  And he had no problem criticizing a black man.  For he, too, was a black man.

This is why some people like hiring white men.  Because they can criticize them.  And fire them for doing a poor job.  With the least amount of fear that someone will charge them for wrongful dismissal.  Or charge them with discrimination.  Having the ability to easily fire bad (or less than stellar) employees makes business easier.  And less costly.  So an employer has many considerations in the hiring process.  When it comes to older candidates with proven experience it typically is a pure meritocracy.  They hire the best qualified candidate.  For younger inexperienced candidates it may be less a meritocracy than hedging their risk.  Meet any diversity requirements first.  Then maybe hire people that they’ll be able to fire easier if they don’t work out.

It can be risky business criticizing a black man.  Or trying to fire one.  Consider President Obama.  Any objective analysis of his economic policies shows them to be an abject failure.  The official unemployment rate (U-3) hasn’t been below 8% since he’s been president.  The real unemployment rate that counts the underemployed and those who’ve quit looking for work (the U-6 unemployment rate) is just north of 15%.  Which is little better than it was during the Great Depression.  His Keynesian policies are doing no better than the Keynesian policies of Jimmy Carter.  His regulatory zeal has punished business.  It’s even putting the domestic coal and oil industries out of business.  And Obamacare has paralyzed small business with the fear of the unknown.  With no idea what the total cost will be to them they are not hiring anyone unless they absolutely have to.  After an objective economic analysis (leaving the politics out of it) there can be but one conclusion.  President Obama is not good for the American economy.  But anyone who dares criticize him and his policies is quickly labeled a racist.  Which begs the question what would they label those who criticize the president if President Obama was white?


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The LGBT Community just can’t Catch a Break from President Obama

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 22nd, 2012

Week in Review

The first disappointment was his stated belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman.  A crushing blow for same-sex marriage advocates.  Then came Obama’s less than enthusiastic support for the State of Israel in dealing with the Palestinians.  Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.  And Iran.  Who all oppress and persecute the LGBT community.  Unlike Israel.  Who affords them the same rights as any other Israeli.  In fact, Israel is a popular destination for the LGBT community.  For in Israel there is no discrimination against pretty much anyone.  Having been the butt of discrimination for much of history they’re just not a fan of it.  And now this latest blow (see Russian lawmakers target gay ‘propaganda’ by Michael Birnbaum posted 4/17/2012 on The Washington Post).

The anti-Western rhetoric that dominated Russia’s recent elections has a new focus, with gays targeted as symbols of Western permissiveness in a wave of laws being adopted across the country.

Here in St. Petersburg, a city that prides itself as the most European in Russia, the lawmaker behind a new local ban on gay “propaganda” has said that he is defending traditional Russian values against an onslaught from the West. Gay activists — two of whom were the first to go on trial this week on charges of violating the new law — counter that the rules will legitimize homophobic attitudes and aggression even as Europe and the United States move toward acceptance.

St. Petersburg’s parliament was the latest to enact such a law, which imposes fines of up to $17,000 for spreading “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality or transgenderism among minors,” and the national parliament in recent weeks has taken up similar legislation. In a country where a 2010 poll by the respected Levada Center found that 74 percent of Russians deemed gays and lesbians “morally dissolute or deficient,” advocates for gay rights worry that the laws could rapidly become more common.

Wow.  Ronald Reagan never did anything like this.  And he was probably the most hated Republican.  Though George W. Bush gave him a run for his money.  As much as the Left hates Republicans, conservatives, Christians, etc., the LGBT community was never attacked like this by them.  Sure, some in these groups may applaud these Russian developments, but even they have never advanced legislation like this.  At most issuing moral condemnation about American televisions shows like Glee.  Which is a far cry from what’s happening in St. Petersburg.  Or should I say Leningrad?  Which is how some do doubt feel it’s become.

President Obama has condemned George W. Bush’s Russian policies.  He didn’t approve of placing anti-ballistic missile defenses in Europe that could intercept Russian missiles as well as Iranian missiles.  And he didn’t like the swaggering cowboy image of George W. Bush (who condemned Russian human rights abuses) in general.  So one of the first things he did as president was to send Hillary Clinton there with a ‘reset button’ for U.S.-Russian relations.  So the U.S. and Russia can start a new era of friendship and cooperation.  And about those anti-ballistic missile defenses in Europe?  Well, a hot microphone picked up the president telling Russian president Dmitry Medvedev not to worry about that.  And to tell incoming president Vladimir Putin (a man that likes to portray an even more swaggering cowboy image than Bush) that once the current election is behind him he will be more flexible on that missile defense issue.  Because it didn’t matter what the American people thought after that election.  So he had more freedom in his actions.

So if Obama is going to give away a defensive anti-ballistic missile defense system for his pal Vladimir chances are he’s not going to make a big issue out of Russia’s new policies on the LGBT community.  Yet another let down for this community and liberals everywhere who helped elect him believing his message of hope and change.  Little did they know that hope and change was only for the people who agreed with his vision that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.  Which creates quite the quandary for liberals.  Do they keep ignoring these slights to issues they hold dear?  Or do they say things weren’t really that bad under Republicans.  And during those good economic times they at least had jobs.  A lot more than they do now.  And probably a lot better and higher paying.  Because businesses can do that when they can earn a profit.  Which has to eventually make some people ask if they’re not getting their policies why should they keep suffering with this bad economy.

Like I said, quite the quandary.


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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #26: “If we need Big Government to protect us from ourselves, then our public schools can’t be the best place to learn.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 10th, 2010

IT’S A PARADOX.  You can’t have both.  Great public schools.  And a Big Government nanny state.  The public schools can’t be the best place to learn if we graduate hopelessly incapable of taking care of ourselves.  You cannot reconcile the two.  It is impossible.  The need of Big Government is an indictment on public education.  It sucks.  It sucks so bad that our only hope to survive is by a dependence on government.

The Founding Fathers did NOT want a Big Government nanny state.  So they tried to limit its money and power.  The nation’s capital ended up in a swamp because Thomas Jefferson wanted to keep it out of the big cities (such as New York and Philadelphia).  History has shown that wealth (the big cities) and power (sovereign authority) combine to make the worst of governments. 

And they believed in the importance of education.  A real education.  History.  Math.  Science.  Architecture.  Engineering.  Economics.  For they believed an educated constituency was the greatest protection against Big Government.  They knew it.  Just as well as the proponents of Big Government knew it.  Know it.

So is it a coincidence?  That the rise of Big Government corresponded with a fall in the quality of public education?  If we need Big Government to be our nanny, we obviously are not well educated.  Otherwise, we could take care of ourselves.  Like we did for the first century or so of our existence.  So, did our poor public school system give life to Big Government?  Or is it the other way around?  Did a growing Big Government protect itself from the danger of a well educated constituency?

STUDENTS GRADUATE TODAY without being able to do the most simple of tasks.  To point to Australia on a map.  To identify the three branches of government.  To name a current member of the U.S. Supreme court.  The current Speaker of the House.  To identify the allies during World War II.  Or even tell us who’s buried in Grant’s tomb.

Few can define compound interest.  Or calculate it.  Few can make important investment decisions for their retirement.  But they can tell you how Christopher Columbus raped the indigenous people in the New World.  How America ruthlessly expanded westward, stealing land from the North American Indians.  How we cruelly enslaved a race to build a nation predicated on liberty.  You’ll find these in the curriculum.  And in the schools’ libraries.  But you won’t learn much about how Martin Van Buren created the Democrat Party to prosper on political spoils and patronage.  Or that the Democratic Party was the party of slavery.  The party of the KKK.  The party of Jim Crowe laws (the legal segregation of blacks after the Republicans ended slavery).  That it was the Democrats who enacted Prohibition because they knew what was best for us.

No, instead, students today learn about the importance of being sensitive to other people’s feelings.  That we should be our brother’s keepers.  That Big Government is good.  Important.  And necessary.  We teach them that FDR’s New Deal programs ended the Great Depression.  That massive government spending on make-work government jobs restored the economy.  It didn’t.  They learn that LBJ’s Great Society ended racial discrimination and poverty.  It didn’t.  These programs failed.  As many Big Government programs of compassion do.  But that’s not in the curriculum. 

Worst, most students haven’t a clue about economics.  What makes economic activity.  What hinders it.  The consequences of monetary and fiscal policy.  So they haven’t a clue about how all those compassionate programs of Big Government often lead to unemployment and recession.  So when they are old enough to vote, they are compassionate.  They approve of expanding the nanny state without any idea of the economic impact.

WE SPEND A fortune on public education.  Per student expenditures are among the highest in the world.   But the money we spend is never enough.  They always ask for more.  For the children.  So, to help the children, they raise taxes (property, sales, etc.).  For the children, they get the poor to gamble away what little they have (the lotto).  More money than ever before is collected.  For the children.  But it’s still not enough.  Which begs the question, where is all that money going?  Clearly, it isn’t to the children.

And because the children are so precious, they’re good leverage.  There’s nothing like a good strike at the beginning of the school year to get a better contract.  Why, they even have our precious children carry picket signs.  Because it’s all about the children.  Of course, unions protect dues-paying members.  And the last I heard, children don’t pay union dues.

But the teachers are underpaid and overworked, aren’t they?  If they are, they are the only union workers that are.  It’s why you join a union.  For leverage.  For negotiating power to get better salary and benefit packages.  And they do.  Your typical public school teacher does better than your typical salaried worker.  And they work less to get it.  Oh, they talk about ‘non-compensated’ hours worked after school.  That means approximately anything more than an 8-hour day.  The real world typically pays a salaried worker for only a 40 hour week when they often work 50 hours or more.  And they often don’t get the Friday after Thanksgiving off.  Or a Christmas break.  Or a winter break.  Or an Easter break.  Or the 3 months of summer off.   When you factor in the actual time worked and the benefits, they do very well.  Far better than private school teachers.  And private school students outperform public school students.  Hell, some of the most stalwart defenders of public education send their kids to private school.  Because they can.  The poor do, too.  When they can.  When they have access to school vouchers.  Everyone, when given the choice, chooses private school over public school.  If that ain’t an indictment on the public school system, I don’t know what is.

So where does all that money go?  To the teachers.  Their unions.  And the public school bureaucracy.

WE SPEND MORE money on public education.  But private school students do better than public school students.  And private school teachers make less than public school teachers.  So when we pay more we get less.  A more poorly educated student.  So what conclusion can we draw?  We are spending more money than we need to on public education.  And if we’re spending too much right now, spending more money sure isn’t going to make anything better for the children.  The teachers, perhaps.  But not the children.  Because the truth is this.  It’s not about the children.

The public schools are not educating.  They’re indoctrinating.  They’re producing good liberal democrats.  Because Big Government knows that an educated constituency is the greatest threat against their power.  So they control education.  They take care of the union teachers who, in turn, teach the students to love Big Government.  It’s rather Orwellian, really.  Elites taking care of elites.  At the expense of the children.  And our future.

Conspiracy?  If it wasn’t so much in the open, perhaps.  But the Democratic Party hasn’t changed much since the days of Martin Van Buren.  It’s about getting power.  And keeping power.  And you do that with patronage.  And dependency.  Big Government has given us Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits and numerous welfare programs.  And now the holy grail of them all.  National health care.  The larger these programs, the greater the dependence.  The larger the dependency, the greater number of loyal Democrat voters. 

SO IS THERE a paradox?  It depends on your point of view.  From outside of the public school system, yes.  If you think it’s about the children, yes.  But from inside the public school system or from inside of Big Government, no.  Because, there, it is not about the children.  It’s about well paid teachers.  And an uninformed electorate.  And the systems in place work very well in achieving these goals.

So, no, our public schools are not the best place for children to learn.  But it’s a pretty good place to indoctrinate them into loving Big Government.


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