Week in Review
The left keeps saying we need to have a dialog on race. Which means do nothing, excuse bad behavior and spend more money. That’s their idea of dialog. Because for them there’s nothing to talk about. For when it comes to racial issues they have two simple rules. Rule #1: Whites are to blame. Rule #2: When blacks are to blame see Rule #1. Why? To curry favor in the black community. To get them to vote for them. And that’s all they care about. Even if they worsen the condition in the black community in the process. Because they don’t care about the plight of black people. They just want their votes.
In today’s society you cannot criticize blacks behaving badly without the left calling you a racist. Even if you don’t mention race. If you say ‘Joe is behaving badly’ and Joe is black then your comment ‘Joe is behaving badly’ reeks of racism. Because of this people are reluctant to criticize blacks behaving badly. Because it will bring the wrath of the left down upon you. Stirring up trouble for you where you work and where you live. Which is the last thing most people want. So they don’t criticize blacks behaving badly. Which only encourages some blacks to behave badly (see A brave Baltimore teacher speaks the truth about schools, students by GREGORY KANE posted 8/1/2013 on the Washington Examiner).
Dave Miceli doesn’t know me from a hole in the ground, but he’s my new hero.
Anyone that can dredge up the guts to teach in Baltimore’s public schools automatically becomes a candidate for hero status in my book, especially if said anyone has taught in these schools for 20 years, as Miceli has.
But it was his bold, insightful, no-punches-pulled letter to the editors of the July 15 edition of the Baltimore Sun that put Miceli on my hero’s list…
“I have taught in the Baltimore public school system for the past two decades. What we need is better students. We have many excellent teachers. I cannot count the number of students who have physically destroyed property in the schools.
“They have trashed brand new computers, destroyed exit signs, set multiple fires, destroyed many, many lockers, stolen teachers’ school supplies, written their filth on the tops of classroom desks, defecated in the bathrooms and stairwells, assaulted teachers (beyond constantly telling them to perform certain impossible acts upon themselves) and refused to do any homework or class work.
You can bet that Baltimore school honchos and some elected officials want Miceli fired so badly they can almost taste it. Oddly enough, what probably saves Miceli from being canned are two things that conservatives — rightly so, in most cases — feel are precisely what’s wrong with American education.
That would be teachers’ unions and tenure. With his two decades of teaching, Miceli has tenure. Members of the Baltimore Teachers Union — and its leaders — probably don’t know whether to love or lynch the guy.
So Miceli probably knew that he wouldn’t be fired for his letter, but he’s courageous for saying what he said in a city that’s majority black, with a school system that’s majority black, and where most of the elected officials are black Democrats.
A majority black city? A majority black school system? And a majority of black elected officials? So it’s safe to say that at least some of these students behaving badly are black. And if these predominantly black Democrat cities have a high black unemployment rate perhaps the conversation we should be having is why aren’t these students doing their homework? Why aren’t they doing their class work? For if they aren’t doing their school work how are they going to possess the skills an employer would expect of a high school graduate? And if they’re not doing their work in high school how are they going to be able to go on to college. Which is just a much harder high school?
Perhaps this is the reason for the high black unemployment rates in our big Democrat-controlled cities. Because the left sacrifices these kids for political reasons. So they can blame racist white Republicans for preventing these kids from doing their homework and their class work. For remember rule number 2. Which states, “When blacks are to blame see Rule #1.” Which states “Whites are to blame.” Even when it’s black teachers in a black school district in a black city run by black Democrats.
This is the dialog the left wants to have. So the right understand these two rules. So they, too, do nothing, excuse bad behavior and spend more money.
Tags: Baltimore, black unemployment, blacks, criticize blacks behaving badly, dialog on race, public schools, racial issues, racist, schools, students, teachers, teachers' unions, tenure, whites
Our Public Schools teach our Children that Capitalism is Bad and Government is Good
The Democrats want some form of national childcare. President Obama just said that he wanted 4 year olds in preschool. Some political operative just made a video saying that we need to destroy the notion that children belong to their parents. And get people thinking more collectively about their children. That they belong to the community. Not to their parents. So why this push to take children away from their parents and place them into institutions more controlled by the state? For one reason. To make them think ‘correctly’.
Our public schools teach our children at an early age about global warming. Why? There’s nothing children can do about it. And it’s likely not man-made. For the glaciers moved their farthest before man ever put warming emissions into the atmosphere. So why scare them of an impending global warming apocalypse? Filling their heads with things to give them nightmares? Because it is useful to make them fear global warming. Useful how? Well, who is it that is supposedly causing global warming? Businesses. Corporations. In general, capitalism. In particular, unfettered capitalism. Which teaches children what? That if left to its own devises unfettered capitalism will destroy the world. So we need government to act like cops. To protect these children, their families and the world from these evil and greedy corporations that are trying to kill people with global warming. Just so they can make a buck.
This is what they’re teaching our children in the public schools. That unfettered capitalism is unfair. Cruel. And will kill us to make a buck. So our children learn the evils of the profit incentive. And the goodness of government. They teach our children how FDR, LBJ and President Obama made the country better. By preventing the evil corporations from running wild in pursuit of profits. They don’t teach them how America became the world’s number one economy with the greatest liberty and highest standard of liberty because of unfettered capitalism. Or why this was the reason people immigrated to the United States. No. Instead they teach them to fear corporations. And support unions. Because unions like government stop the evil corporations from hurting people to make a buck. They’ll even hold picket signs for their teachers when they go on strike. Teachers repeat this lesson over and over again. Corporations bad. Capitalism bad. Unions good. Government good. So when they start voting they will vote ‘correctly’.
Someone has to Teach People to have Negative Views of Republicans because they’re not Born with Them
So this is why the Democrats want to take children away from their parents. So they can start teaching them how to think ‘correctly’. So they will vote ‘correctly’. And when our kids get to college they take it up a notch. Back in the Sixties radicals protested at college campuses. Protested the Vietnam War. Wearing shirts with pictures of communist icons like Chairman Mao and Chez Guevara. They wanted to establish communism in the United States. They hated the profit-incentive. And corporate America. They wanted to abolish private property. Make everything communal. They even lived in communes. Just like the communists they so admired. Even though the communist utopias in the Soviet Union and The People’s Republic of China oppressed and killed their people if they didn’t think ‘correctly’.
They wanted a world where everyone had whatever they needed without having to work for the man. So they could spend their days the way they believed people should pass their days. Getting high, engaging in free love and singing songs about love. These radicals then changed their tactics. Instead of fighting the system from the outside they began fighting it from the inside. By becoming college professors. Now they are teaching our kids. And writing the curriculum. Even those who went to jail for acts of domestic terrorism are joining the faculty at our colleges. And those who avoided jail on a technicality. Liberal Democrats revere these people. And the students they’re programming to become good liberal Democrats love them. For they, too, want to enjoy a life full of drugs and sex. They see these radical professors as enlightened. For they find nothing wrong with enjoying the moment. Instead of sacrificing for the future. Like their parents did. Who always frowned on their having a good time. Most colleges today lean left. And the radical Left keeps out the riff raff. Conservatives. Who are just too much like these students’ parents. And bestows tenure on those who think as radically as they do. While denying it to those who don’t. Those conservatives.
Conservative students have recorded some of these classes. Where we can hear liberal professors telling their captive audience that Republicans are all racist white men. And are the most inflexible in their thinking. Stubborn. And mean spirited. That they hate minorities, the poor and women. Even want to prevent them from voting. They want to put blacks back at the back of the bus. And women back into the Fifties where they’re barefoot and pregnant. Are these isolated incidents? Or is this what they teach all of our children? Well, if you watch the Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, most any television sitcom, most any Hollywood movie or watch the network news you have to believe this teaching is pervasive. As no one is born with political views someone had to teach these people to have these negative views of Republicans. And who teaches our kids? Our public schools. And our colleges.
Liberal Democrats don’t Engage in Debate but Instead Lie and Launch Personal Attacks
The liberal viewpoint is a minority viewpoint. Only about 21% of the people identify themselves as liberal. While 35% identify themselves as moderate. And 40% identify themselves as conservative (see Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S. on Gallup). So those wishing to implement a liberal agenda have their work cut out for them. Because about 75% of the people don’t think like they do. That is, not yet.
This is why the president wants to get 4 year olds into state-paid childcare. And why liberals want to take our children away so the state can raise them. So the liberals can get them while they’re young. And diminish the influence of their parents. Especially when those parents are conservatives. Who resist the liberal indoctrination of their children. And undo some of the hard work they’ve done in getting these children to think ‘correctly’. Which is a big problem for liberal Democrats. Because they can’t win on the merits of their policies. Not when 75% of the people don’t think like they do.
So liberal Democrats teach our kids to fear and hate those who don’t think like they do. And they mock, belittle, disparage, demean, deride, etc., these people who don’t think like they do. They don’t engage in debate. They lie. And launch personal attacks. Which our high school and college kids find so entertaining. They fill the audience at the Daily Show and the Late Show with David Lettermen. They may not understand the issues. But they know that they should laugh. And how they should vote. For they know that corporations are bad. Capitalism is bad. While unions are good. And government is good. The cool people they admire so much are liberal Democrats. So they, too, are liberal Democrats. And until they learn from age and experience to vote like adults they will continue to vote as self-indulgent children. Living to maximize the pleasure of the moment. No matter the long-term consequence of their actions.
Tags: capitalism, childcare, children, college, college professors, Communist, conservative, conservatives, corporations, Democrats, Global Warming, liberal, Liberal Agenda, Liberal Democrats, parents, professors, profit incentive, public schools, radicals, Republicans, teachers, think correctly, unfettered capitalism, unions, vote correctly
Sound Bites and Photo Opportunities define our Politicians Today
Perception is in the eye of the beholder. Are you familiar with the story about a real estate broker? He works in a small town with a main road through it connecting two larger cities. A lot of traffic travels this road. This broker has two properties listed for sale. One on the road into town. And one on the road out of town. All of these cars driving through this town see those two signs and think, “Wow, this guy must be the biggest broker in town. I see his signs everywhere.”
But he is not the biggest broker in town. But because his two signs are on the busiest road in town the perception is that he is. Because people can’t enter the town or leave the town without seeing one of what seem to be many of his signs. If they drove on the other streets of this town they would not see any of his signs. While they would see a great many of his competitors’ signs. With a detailed analysis people would conclude that this real estate broker is the smallest and least successful in town. But with only a cursory glance he is the biggest broker in town. This is perception.
Politicians understand perception. So they work hard to shape what people see and hear. And less on substance. That’s why sound bites and photo opportunities define our politicians. Politicians get their picture taken with babies and the down trodden to show how much they care. Their speeches will be nothing but a series of sound bites suitable for quoting by the talking heads on television and in political ads. And they will always answer a question with a prepared talking point. Instead of answering the question. And when it comes to campaigning they will take everything their opponents say out of context to change everyone’s perception about them.
Our Schools teach our Kids that a Just Society uses Government to Redistribute Wealth to make Society Fairer
Democrats are masters at creating perception. Which is easy to do when you have the mainstream media in your pocket. As well as college professors and high school teachers. The entertainment industry. The music industry. Etc. This small sliver of people has a profound impact on the masses. For they dominate what people hear and learn. And with them having a far left ideology their message is far left. So when this small sliver of people fills our airwaves, cable television, movies and our classrooms their minority viewpoint creates the perception of being the majority viewpoint. Like that real estate broker. Because it’s everywhere. While the majority of people who don’t share their ideology aren’t on television or in the movies. On the radio or teaching our kids in the classroom.
The perception our kids have of America when graduating from high school is not that good. Our teachers teach them that America stole the land from the Indians. And stole Spanish America from the Spanish who stole it from the Indians. They teach that slavery is America’s original sin. As if America invented the institution of slavery. Despite slavery having been around as long as civilization has been around. They teach that America grew rich because of free slave labor. Despite the South losing the American Civil War because the institution of slavery so impoverished the South that it was no match for what the North’s paid-labor could produce. They teach our kids that capitalism is unfair and that profits are evil. Despite the greatest oppression of people (as well as the lowest standards of living and greatest famines) has always been in anti-capitalistic nations (the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba, the countries of Eastern Europe during the cold war, etc.). While at the same time they teach our kids the goodness of government. And gloss over the oppression and privations of socialist/communist countries everywhere.
So our kids graduate from high school with the perception that if government doesn’t greatly regulate the free market the greed of capitalism will cause great unfairness. And that a just society uses government to redistribute wealth to make society fairer. And that anyone who opposes higher taxes and greater regulation to facilitate this fairer society hates kids. They want to pollute our air and water. They want unsafe food. They want women to die from cancer. They hate the planet. Poor people. Gay people. Etc. They hear this so often and so consistently that they accept it as the majority opinion. And when they go on to college or start watching the news this perception is reinforced. Which is why our young people vote Democrat. Because the perception is that Democrats are for the working man. The party that puts people before profits. While the Republicans put rich people, and their money, before everything else.
Was it the Rand filibuster that made President Obama launch a Charm Offensive?
A big part of forming perceptions is not telling the truth. When President Obama was candidate Obama he didn’t want to nationalize health care. He opposed same-sex marriage. He didn’t support gun control. He talked about transparency. He attacked President Bush for being fiscally irresponsible. And for running massive deficits that added to the debt. He talked about not spending more than the government collected. But the real President Obama was none of this. And the real President Obama has never left campaign mode. For he doesn’t govern. He continues to campaign. Against Republicans. Blaming them for every problem exasperated by his own policies. And, of course, he continues to blame George W. Bush. Always attacking Republicans. Always blaming Republicans. To reinforce a perception of the Republican Party that will benefit him. And his party. So he can win the House back in 2014. And finally govern as he always wanted to govern. As a president with no political opposition to restrain his powers.
The president’s Middle East foreign policy has been a disaster. He refused to support a Democracy movement in Iran. Our enemy. While supporting a democracy movement in Egypt. And in Libya. Our allies in the War on Terror. (But not in Syria. An ally of Iran.) Now the Middle East is becoming Islamist. And closer to Iran. Our enemy. And the enemy of peace and stability. This disastrous policy came to a head in Benghazi. Where four Americans died to advance the perception that President Obama had al Qaeda on the ropes. When in fact they were resurgent in Benghazi. Which our ambassador knew. And tried to tell his boss. Hillary Clinton. Begging for more security. Which never came. When questioned in Congress about who edited the talking points that Secretary Rice used on the Sunday morning talk shows to advance the lie that it was not al Qaeda but a spontaneous uprising in response to a YouTube video that no one had seen she yelled with righteous indignation, “What difference did it make!?!” An answer no one accepted in the Watergate investigation. Which Clinton assisted with as a young attorney. Back then a government cover-up made a big difference. Which led to impeachment hearings. That ended when President Nixon resigned. But the Obama administration would escape that fate. For the perception was that this was a Republican partisan witch hunt. Because they were racists and hated the president. And with all their support in entertainment, education and the news the people accepted this perception. And apparently didn’t care about the cover-up of Benghazi. Unlike they were about the cover-up of Watergate that resulted in no dead Americans.
And this is what made the Rand Paul filibuster so powerful. For he dared to challenge the perception that the Obama administration was sweet and innocent and transparent unlike the ‘criminal’ administration of George W. Bush. President Obama has expanded the use of drones. He has killed more people with them than George W. Bush. And a lot more innocent bystanders. Including a few Americans. Even appearing to want to reserve the right to use a drone strike on Americans on U.S. soil without due process even if they posed no imminent threat. The Obama administration finally stated that they wouldn’t do that. But not before those on the Left took notice of Rand Paul’s filibuster. Including Jon Stewart of the Daily Show. People who expected something like this from the Bush administration. But not from the Obama administration. Giving the Obama administration some rare negative press. Just enough to get some people to ask, “They want to do what?!?” And the fact that it took a 13-hour filibuster to get a simple ‘no’ out of the administration makes it look like, perhaps, it’s the Democrats who are not trying to cooperate with the Republicans. Unlike the perception that it’s the Republicans that are being uncooperative. Perhaps explaining why the president has launched a charm offensive. To improve a tarnished perception that they never had to do before. Thanks to the Rand Paul filibuster.
Tags: Al Qaeda, Benghazi, capitalism, classrooms, democracy movement, Democrats, drone, entertainment industry, George W. Bush, high school, Hillary Clinton, ideology, Iran, mainstream media, majority, Middle East, minority, music industry, perception, photo opportunities, politicians, President Obama, professors, Rand Paul, Rand Paul filibuster, redistribute wealth, Republicans, sound bites, talking point, teachers, unfair
The Sequester Automatic Spending Cuts equal about 2% of Current Federal Spending
If you heard the president speak recently we’re all doomed. The automatic spending cuts in the sequestration he proposed and signed into law will take food away from children. And lead to the collapse of society as we know it. Ushering in the end of the world. For he warned…
Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country. Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.
President Obama gave this speech in front of some first responders. Police officers. And firefighters. Always the first they threaten with layoffs when the government can’t raise taxes.
Amazing what $85 billion can buy today. And if it can buy all that you’d think we wouldn’t have to spend $3.8 trillion at the federal level. For if we can get all of that for a little over 2% of all federal spending it makes you wonder what else that 98% is buying. What’s even more remarkable is that the federal government doesn’t even pay police officers, fire fighters or teachers. We pay for these with property taxes. At the city and county level. Which the federal government cannot cut. Because they don’t pay for these. Yet the president says the sequester will even cut these. Remarkable.
The Important Thing to understand about Baseline Budgeting is that Spending Cuts don’t Cut Spending
To understand sequestration you have to first understand baseline budgeting. Which goes back to the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. When we stopped being responsible. And set government outlays to forever increase. The baseline is the starting point for the following year’s budget. And the baseline is last year’s outlays. This year’s spending will be last year’s spending plus an additional amount based on inflation and population growth.
So spending always increases from year to year. Automatically. No one has to request an increase in appropriations. And no one has to cut spending elsewhere for new spending someplace else. Because all of last year’s spending is approved. No matter how wasteful and pointless it may have been. And on top of that spending there is new spending. Always. Guaranteeing that federal spending will always grow greater. There will always be deficits. And always a growing federal debt.
Now the important thing to understand about baseline budgeting is the meaning of ‘spending cuts’. In a household if a family decides to cancel the family vacation because things are a little tight that is a spending cut in the real world. Because it results in less spending. But a cut in baseline budgeting doesn’t result in less spending. For the only thing they cut is the amount they will increase future spending by. For example, if spending for ‘X’ is scheduled to increase by $100 million but will only increase by $75 million that is a $25 million spending cut. Even though spending will still increase by $75 million.
The President’s Sole Objective now is to destroy the Republican Party
President Nixon decoupled the dollar from gold in 1971. Taking American off the gold standard. Unleashing the inflation monster. Allowing government to spend more. As they paid for that additional spending by printing money. And with the addition of baseline budgeting added in 1974 they spent more. A lot more. Total federal outlays from 1974 to 2008 increased on average 7.5% each year. Total federal outlays in 2012 were approximately $3.8 trillion. So the scheduled increase in spending (thanks to baseline budgeting) for 2013 is approximately $284.7 billion.
The spending cuts of the sequester are $85 billion. Which President Obama says will usher in the end of the world as we know it. But these ‘cuts’ are not cuts per se. They are not like the cuts a household makes when they cancel the family vacation. These are cuts that reduce the increase in future spending. So instead of increasing future spending by $284.7 billion they will only increase by $199.7 billion. Which is 2.3 times greater than the amount of the sequester. Now President Obama said the sequester cuts would be the end of the world as we know it. Even though total federal outlays will actually increase by an amount 2.3 times the sequester. So one cannot but ask the question how will this sequester usher in the end of the world as we know it when we are actually increasing spending?
Because it is not the end of the world. The president is lying. Everything that we can pay for today we can still have after the sequester. Because there are no real spending cuts. We’re just increasing spending less than the original baseline projection. Which means all the jobs we will lose will be future jobs. But talking about losing future jobs doesn’t put the fear of God into people like telling them they won’t have any police or fire protection anymore. Or telling them that their children’s teachers will lose their jobs. You see, the president’s sole objective now is to destroy the Republican Party. The only thing standing between the country and the liberal agenda he wants to impose on the country is the Republican opposition. Which is why the sequester that he proposed and signed into law is now the fault of the Republicans. This is the reason for all of this theater. To get people to hate Republicans. For why else would the president call a spending increase a spending cut? If it wasn’t to demonize the people who keep demanding spending cuts?
Tags: $85 billion, baseline, baseline budgeting, budget, end of the world, federal outlays, federal spending, firefighters, future spending, police officers, President Obama, Republican Party, sequestration, spending, spending cut, teachers
Week in Review
Once upon a time Republicans ruled New York. George Pataki was governor from January 1, 1995 – December 31, 2006. And Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York City from January 1, 1994 – December 31, 2001. Sparking a renaissance in New York. Especially in New York City. For Giuliani cut crime and improved the quality of life for New Yorkers living in America’s greatest city. But I don’t recall them taking on the public schools like the current Democrat leadership (see New York City’s schools could lose 2,500 teachers by next year by Hilary Russ posted 1/28/2013 on Reuters).
New York City’s public schools over two years will lose $724 million in state aid and as many as 2,500 teachers through attrition, because of a labor union conflict over a teacher evaluation system, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday.
The schools lost $250 million of that total earlier this month after the city and United Federation of Teachers failed to agree on a way to evaluate teacher performance.
City schools would lose that same baseline funding amount in the state’s coming fiscal year, which begins April 1, plus another $224 million under the state budget proposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last week, Bloomberg said at a joint legislative hearing…
City schools could lose $1 billion altogether in baseline state funding without action on the teacher evaluations, said New York City Comptroller John Liu, who testified after Bloomberg.
Bloomberg, however, said that the union tried to introduce new provisions to an agreement at the last minute that would have made the evaluation system a “fraud” because it would have expired in two years – the same amount of time required to conduct the evaluations, making the process pointless.
This is not what you expect to hear coming from Democrat governors and Democrat mayors. For the teachers unions help these people get into office. By funding their campaigns with union dues. And getting out the vote with their foot soldiers. It is doubtful that these actions will swing the teachers’ support over to the Republican cause. But it is interesting to see these Democrats bite the hand that feeds them.
It also shows how contentious teacher evaluations are. For the unions are willing to lose $1 billion in funding to avoid evaluating their teachers. One has to wonder why? Why are they so dead-set against evaluations when every industry in the private sector evaluates their employees? The common answer is that evaluations aren’t fair. That they just measure a student’s ability to read, write and do math. And not more important things like helping these kids see things from a liberal point of view.
The problem is this, though. Businesses want to hire graduates who can read, write and do math. For these are necessary skills in the business world. And seeing things from a liberal point of view will not allow American kids to keep up with the Chinese and Indian kids. Who are learning how to read, write and do math. Which is why more and more jobs are being out sourced to these countries. Their kids score better on standardized tests than our kids. And end up getting better jobs.
This may be why these Democrats are taking on public education. New York has some of the highest tax rates in the country. These high rates are causing the best and brightest to leave New York. As more and more of their earnings are taxed away. And who is replacing the best and brightest? The kids graduating from the public schools. Who apparently aren’t doing as well as they could. As Bloomberg and Cuomo are playing hardball when it comes to these teacher evaluations. There must be a reason for that. And one can only assume that they want their high school graduates to be better and brighter.
Tags: Bloomberg, Cuomo, Giuliani, Governor Cuomo, liberal point of view, math, Mayor Bloomberg, New York, New York City, New York City's public schools, Pataki, public schools, read, teacher evaluation, teachers, teachers' unions, write
The Cost of Teachers’ Salaries, Health Care and Pensions are so Costly that there is Little Left to Spend on the Children
The Chicago public school teachers’ strike is over. And the teachers got enough of what they wanted to go back to the classroom. Or else they wouldn’t be going back to the classroom. Which proves the benefit of belonging to a union. In exchange for those union dues they get a lot of political muscle. Which they greatly leverage by having children out of the classrooms. Suffering. For the kids are losing out on their education. Worse, parents are stuck with their kids longer. And must wait longer before they get their break from having their kids home all day long.
And speaking of the children one thing you didn’t hear in the list of demands was more supplies for the classroom. Despite good teachers everywhere dipping into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies. Why? Because the cost of teachers’ salaries, health care and pensions are so costly that there is little left to spend on the children. And that pay and those benefits are pretty generous. Especially considering with all the time off teachers get they’re technically working part-time jobs (30 hours a week or less). With about two and half months off during the summer and the breaks during the school year teachers work about 9 months out of the year. Which comes to about 1,548 hours a year. Compared to the 1,560 hours (30 hours X 52 weeks) a year a part-time worker can work. With far fewer benefits.
But yet it’s always about the children. Higher pay and benefits for teachers benefit the children. At least that’s what they tell us. The ability to retire with nearly their full salary. And free health care until Medicare kicks in. All paid by the taxpayers. That’s what’s important to maintain. So the children get a quality education. By having their teachers live a higher quality life and retirement than these children’s parents. Who are paying for both their own quality of life and retirement. As well as their kids’ teachers.
Big Cities set up Generous Public Sector Pay and Benefits based on an ever Expanding Population Growth Rate
Whenever a city is having trouble paying their bills they always threaten to lay off police officers and firefighters. As if that is the only expense a city has. They never talk about cutting back on their health care plans or their pension plans for all city workers. Like everyone working in the private sector has gone through. How many times have you been told by your employer that they cannot make a contribution to your 401(k) retirement plan this year because business was down? It happens a lot. And that’s the retirement plan most people have today. It’s mostly what you put away for your retirement. Pensions in the private sector are long gone. Only those unionized sectors with enough political clout still enjoy generous pension plans.
Recessions reduce tax dollars flowing into city coffers. But that’s only part of the problem. The bigger problem they have is a flat population growth rate. All these big cities set up generous public sector pay and benefits based on an ever expanding population growth rate. But that growth rate flattened out in the Sixties and Seventies. Thanks to widespread use of birth control and, to a lesser extent, abortion. Women stopped having a lot of babies. Which means there are a larger number of people retiring than there are entering the workforce to replace them. So you have a higher growth rate of those consuming taxes. While you have a lower growth rate of those paying taxes. Which means cities will pay more out than they collect unless they raise tax rates. Which they often try to do. While threatening to lay off police officers and firefighters if voters don’t approve a new millage.
Things can be especially hard for some city workers because of that flat population growth rate. Not to pick on the firefighters but look at a typical firehouse. Say a firehouse with one engine/ladder truck and one rescue squad. That’s about 6 firefighters. If a city has 30 firehouses that’s 180 firefighters. If they are 24 hours on duty and 24 hours off that brings it up to 360 firefighters. If a firefighter academy graduates 100 new firefighters a year that’s about a third of all firefighters. Now unless each firefighter only works 3 years there will always be more firefighters than open positions. New building technologies and fire alarm/suppression systems have greatly reduced the number of building fires. All of this on top of a flat population growth rate makes it very difficult for anyone wanting to be a firefighter these days. Making matters worse a lot of the old cities are actually seeing population decreases. Which cities respond to by closing firehouses. Which reduces the number of firefighters. Making it even harder for aspiring firefighters.
A Union Represents those who pay Union Dues—not Children, Taxpayers or Patients
Cities collect property taxes to pay for the services they provide. As well as other taxes and fees. From that pot of money they collect they divide it between the various departments they have. Such as for education. From that money educators have to pay all their bills. From classroom supplies. To teachers’ salaries, health care and pensions. They can only spend this money once. So if they give more to the teachers there is less for the classroom. So when teachers strike and say it’s for the children it is probably not for the children. For the children pay no union dues. As unions don’t represent the children anymore than they represent the taxpayers. They represent the teachers. Because they pay the union dues. And it is their job to get as much of that money spent on education to the teachers as possible.
There are some moves to unionize nurses and other health care workers. In fact, that will happen under Obamacare as health care workers will all become government workers. And eligible to join public sector unions. Which is why all the unions were so adamantly for Obamacare even though many of them have gotten waivers to opt out. Because it will swell the ranks of the public sector unions. While greatly increasing the cost of health care. And hurt the quality of our health care system. For if we pay nurses like government bureaucrats we will shift more health care money to these new public sector workers while leaving less to spend on patients.
It is remarkable how selfless all public sector workers are. For they never want more taxpayer money for their own selfish needs. It’s always for the children. The safety of our citizens. And when Obamacare fully kicks in, the quality of health care our patients receive. It’s just a coincidence that while protecting the children, the taxpayers and our patients that they benefit, too. Funny how that works. Which is what happens when you belong to a union and pay dues. For a union represents those who pay union dues. Not children, taxpayers or patients.
Tags: children, classroom, classroom supplies, education, firefighters, firehouse, Health Care, kids, nurses, Obamacare, patients, pensions, police officers, population growth rate, public school teachers, public sector, public sector unions, retirement, salaries, strike, taxes, taxpayers, teacher, teachers, union, union dues
Week in Review
The Chicago teachers went on strike. And you can boil down what they want into 5 things. With teacher evaluations and compensation probably being the most contentious (see Chicago Teachers Go on Strike: 5 Things They’re Fighting For by Madison Gray posted 9/10/2012 on Time NewsFeed).
Teachers are striking over an evaluation that union leaders say is not fair. The teachers union is seeking to downplay the weight of how well students perform in the outcome of their biennial evaluations. The evaluation system, CPS says, was created in collaboration with teachers and agreed upon in March…
Teachers wanted a significant raise in the first year of a new contract because of a longer school day proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. CPS says it offered them a 16% increase over four years, plus “step increases” for performance and to give incentives for more experienced teachers. The teachers themselves wanted to keep the former system of granting raises based on experience. The average salary for a Chicago public school teacher is $76,000, according to the district.
That average salary excludes health care and pension benefits. According to Heritage, that comes to about 51% of their salary. Or an additional $38,760 in compensation. So the average Chicago teacher compensation is about $114,760. Which appears pretty generous. Especially when considering the median household income in Chicago is $46,350. And the ‘pension’ added on top of that is typically 4% in 401(k) contributions adding another $1,854 in compensation. While retirees have to wait until they’re 65 or so to live on their 40(k) savings it’s not quite the same for the Chicago teacher (see Chicago Teachers’ Retirement Benefits Are Extravagant by Jason Richwine posted 9/13/2012 on The Foundry).
A Chicago teacher who retired in 2011 after 30 or more years of service time could expect an annual pension payment of $77,496. For context, the average Social Security benefit—which requires a much higher employee contribution into the system—would likely be in the range of $25,000 to $30,000 per year for a worker with a similar salary history…
Chicago teachers also enjoy a benefit that is rare in the private sector—retiree health coverage, which allows teachers who retire (often in their 50s) to maintain their health insurance until Medicare kicks in at 65.
And, of course, this generous compensation comes with having their summers off. With holidays and breaks a teacher only works about 9 months out of the year. Doing the math that’s 8 hours a day for 5 days a week for 9 months comes to about 1,548 working hours. Which is less than the definition of a part-time job of 30 hours a week or less. Running these numbers the maximum number of hours a part-time worker can work before we consider them a full-time worker is 1,560 hours. Or about 12 hours more than a teacher works in a year. So current teacher pay and benefits are pretty generous for a part-time job. There are many people working full time that don’t get anywhere near these kind of numbers.
For this kind of money you’d think that the Chicago Public School system is producing some of the best high school graduates in the nation. But with a graduation rate of 40% that can’t be true. So the people of Chicago are paying about the highest cost in public school education to see 60% of their children drop out of high school. Perhaps this is the reason why they want to drop teacher evaluations. For I know if I was only 40% good in my job I wouldn’t have a job any more. Which would really smart for these teachers. For they will find no part-time jobs that compensate as generously as their teaching jobs. Which clearly answers the question why teachers have to purchase teaching supplies for their classrooms out of their own pockets. For the teachers don’t leave much money in the district to pay for things like teaching supplies.
Tags: Chicago, Chicago teachers, generous compensation, part-time, part-time job, pension, pension benefits, strike, teacher compensation, teacher evaluations, teachers, teaching supplies
Liberal Democrats would Not Like an America without Poor and Oppressed People
In the anti-nuclear power movie The China Syndrome Jack Lemmon’s character wanted to warn everyone about his dangerous nuclear power plant. He was a control room operator at the plant. During one event there was a vibration. The reactor shut down (SCRAM) safely. But Lemmon’s character did some investigating and found that some safety reports had been falsified. And in his quest to publicize this fact people died. So he did the only thing he could. He locked himself inside the control room at the nuclear power plant. Requested that the characters played by Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda come down to put him on the air live. And threatened to create a nuclear catastrophe himself if that didn’t happen. That’s right, as dangerous as that reactor was he did NOT shut it down.
Odd, really. He threatened to cause what he was trying to prevent. Why? Well, consider what would have happened if he did everything he did with one change. Instead of threatening his own nuclear catastrophe he shut down that reactor. So it was safe and could not harm anyone. If he did that what do you think would have happened? No one would have brought that news crew (Douglas and Fonda) to the plant. And plant security would have just broken into the control room and subdued Lemmon. But because he left the reactor hot and dangerous they didn’t break in and subdue him. And they brought in that news crew. Because his threat of causing a nuclear catastrophe gave him power. While a safe and shutdown reactor gave him no power.
So what do we learn from this? Sometimes the thing you’re fighting against is the very thing that gives you power. A purpose. A reason for getting out of bed in the morning. Something that gives you a job. Something that pays the bills. And it’s just not disgruntled nuclear power plant operators. Imagine a world with no crime. If there was no crime we wouldn’t need any police officers. Something police officers wouldn’t like. Just as firefighters wouldn’t like a world without fires or accidents. Just as cardiologists would not like a world without heart disease. Just as environmentalists would not like a world without global warming. Just as advocates of affirmative action would not like a world without discrimination. Just as liberal Democrats would not like an America without poor and oppressed people.
The Poor and Oppressed are a Favorite Constituency of the Federal Government
The more horrible the things people are fighting against the greater are the need for these people. The Left makes use of this strategy all of the time. Falling test scores means we need to spend more on education. As in hiring more teachers. And paying them more. This works the other way, too. When municipalities are running budget deficits because of costly public sector contracts calling for high pay and generous benefits they place a new millage on the ballot. And warn the people that if they don’t vote ‘yes’ for these higher taxes they will have no choice but to increase the number of rapes, murders and assaults. As well as increase the number of deaths from fires, heart attacks in the home and car accidents. Because if the people vote ‘no’ they will lay off police officers and firefighters. Instead of renegotiating those contracts that are causing their financial problems. No. It’s never cutting back on the things that are bankrupting their cities. It’s always putting the fear of God into their electorate. So the public sector workers can maintain their generous pay and benefits.
Of course some will say that our teachers, police officers and firefighters don’t get paid that much. If that’s true then they belong to some real crappy unions. Because you join a union to get better pay and better benefits. And you pay union dues for the union’s help in getting better pay and better benefits. Also, if we didn’t already pay them very well you would know what their pay and benefits were during these millage requests. For it sure would help their argument for higher pay if most people made more than they did. Because, let’s face it, we need good teachers, police officers and firefighters. If we paid them less than most other people everyone would feel guilty and vote ‘yes’ without hesitation. But during these millage requests they don’t make public their current pay and benefit schedule. And it’s hard to find this information online. Because that’s ‘personal’. Even though we pay them with public money. Which should tell you something. They’re paid better than most people. Because they’re asking for more without telling us how much they currently make. For it is hard to get sympathy for your pay level when you make more than most other people.
It’s no secret that government workers get better pay and benefit packages than people in the private sector. Especially in the federal government. Where federal employment grows by leaps and bounds every year. And they create ever new programs to fight against something. So they can keep hiring more people into the federal bureaucracy. To reward friends and cronies. And to endear a growing federal government to ever more people. So they will continuously help to support and promote that sprawling bureaucracy. Through their votes. And by making as many people as possible dependent on the government. Making the poor and oppressed a favorite constituency of the federal government. As it has been for a very long time. Despite the numerous battles to end poverty and oppression.
The Liberal Democrat Answer to Poverty is Not a Job but a Government Entitlement
JFK was a tax-cutter. Just like Ronald Reagan. They both believed that you had to create a business-friendly environment to create jobs. Because if a business did well it grew and hired more people. That’s why both JFK and Ronald Reagan had strong economic growth and low unemployment during their presidencies. And they each brought in a lot of tax revenue into Washington. Even with their low tax rates. So low tax rates are good. They help businesses grow. They help people get jobs. They lower the price of consumer goods so people can buy more for less. And they bring in more revenue to the government to help those who need help. Of course liberal Democrats hate this. Because if everyone is doing well there is no need for all their agencies and programs. Or them.
Shortly after the assassination of JFK things changed. LBJ became president. Who was a big liberal Democrat. Who declared unconditional war on poverty. This was in 1964. The plan was to explode the size of the federal government. Which is what he did when he gave us the Great Society. The war on poverty would become one of America’s longest war. Longer than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Longer than the Vietnam War. Even longer than the Cold War. The war on poverty continues to this day. Requiring ever more government agencies. And programs. Yet they’ve all failed to end poverty. Proven by the fact that every generation of liberal Democrats running for office is an advocate for the poor and oppressed who have no voice but theirs.
The liberal Democrat answer to poverty is not a job but a government entitlement. Because jobs lead to lower unemployment. And less purpose for a liberal Democrat. Liberals don’t want jobs and low unemployment. They want high taxes and high unemployment. So they can matter. And make a difference. So they can have a cushy job with high pay and generous benefits. So they attack tax cuts. They attack any lowering of regulatory costs. And anything else that would help businesses create jobs. Which would take the poor and oppressed away from them. They don’t want people to be rugged and independent. They want them needy and dependent. And they want as many people as possible to be needy and dependent. Even if it leads to a little rioting. Especially if it leads to a little rioting. For a little level of danger can be useful. As it can be in a nuclear power plant in an anti-nuclear power movie. Because it’s very hard to get taxpayers to vote for people that want to increase your taxes and make your lives more costly. While some liberals genuinely care about making people’s lives better many more are like Jack Lemmon in The China Syndrome. Who understand that they must maintain a certain level of poverty and oppression in the nation. Or they will have no power. As no one will vote for them. Because if you’re in the business of ending poverty and oppression you need a certain level of poverty and oppression to fight against. Always.
Tags: bureaucracy, Democrats, entitlement, federal bureaucracy, federal government, firefighters, generous benefits, generous pay and benefits, government entitlement, high pay, higher taxes, JFK, lay off police officers and firefighters, LBJ, liberal, Liberal Democrats, low tax rates, millage, oppressed, pay and benefits, police officers, poor, poor and oppressed, poor and oppressed people, power, public sector, purpose, Ronald Reagan, tax revenue, teachers, unemployment, union, union dues, war on poverty
Week in Review
The education system hierarchs are circling the wagons. This time in New Zealand. For they are under assault. By parents. Who want a means to measure the quality of their children’s education. And principals oppose these parental thugs for good reason. They don’t want parents to know that they may not be very good in their jobs (see Data release ‘sad day’ by JONATHAN CARSON posted 8/8/2012 on the Waikato Times).
A Waikato education leader says it is a ”sad day for New Zealand education” after the Government announced plans to publicly release National Standards data today.
Education Minister Hekia Parata this morning confirmed that schools’ literacy and numeracy achievement levels will be published on the Ministry’s website in September.
She said it would allow parents to see how their child’s school was performing…
Waikato Principals’ Association chair John Coulam said principals in the region opposed the data being made public.
”What is of concern is that people who look at the data, unless they understand education, they can be making misleading judgements.
”Looking at data released on a website won’t show the hardworking teachers in the school, it won’t show the added value that’s made by a school – all it will show is that there are students that aren’t achieving, and there will always be a tail.”
So hardworking teachers’ efforts won’t appear in this data because the non-hardworking teachers’ poor efforts will bring the scores down? The data won’t show how well a school does in other areas besides literacy and numeracy? And what educational skills would these be? Teaching the importance of diversity? The evils of global warming and the necessity of a carbon tax? I bet young students can tell you an earful on global warming even if they have poor literacy and numeracy skills. Because it’s like that in the U.S. Where the public education systems appear to be teaching our students more of what’s good for the public school system (teaching them to vote Democrat) than what is good for the students. Strong literacy and numeracy skills.
Parents want the best education for their kids. That means holding schools accountable. And if they don’t look at the quality of the product of their education (literacy and numeracy skills) how else are they going to hold schools accountable? Especially if they have non-hardworking teachers lowering educational scores? Education is the only industry that we are supposed to accept whatever they say about their product. Can you imagine any other industry getting to do that?
“You wouldn’t understand how to read a chemical analysis report. So you shouldn’t. Just trust us when we say that the smoke out of our stack and the discharge out of our plant into the river is clean.”
“Clean? Okay. Thank you very much. I feel better now. And I will let my children swim downstream of your discharge.”
Can you imagine that happening? I dare say you can’t.
Education isn’t complicated. That’s why private schools thrive. People who can afford it will send their kids to private school. Because they know they will come out of those schools with better literacy and numeracy skills. Not because their kids will learn skills other than literacy and numeracy. Because that’s what you need to advance into the workforce. Or into higher education. You have to be good in math. And you have to be able to express yourself intelligibly both verbally and in writing. This is what parents want for their kids. To give them the best chance of succeeding in a high-tech world.
That’s all parents want from their education system. And to do that they have to know what schools are good. And what schools are not. So they can improve the weaker schools. Which would allow every child to have the best chance to succeed in the high-tech world.
Tags: children's education, education system, hardworking teachers, high-tech world, literacy and numeracy, literacy and numeracy skills, New Zealand, principals, public education, quality, schools thrive, teachers, Waikato
The Inherent Contradiction of Class Warfare is that you can’t Hate the Rich while wanting to be Rich
You hear it in the news. You can hear it in the streets. You can feel it in the air. It’s another election season. And the Democrats are ramping up their class warfare to assail anyone who did what everyone in the country wants to do. Make money and live well. President Obama even told successful small business owners the reason for their success. Not the 80+ hours a week they put into their business. But because their previous taxes built roads and bridges. Which is a puzzler. Because there are a lot of roads and bridges across America. So you’d think there would be no business failures. But there are. A lot of them. Despite all those roads and bridges. Like I said, it’s a puzzler.
I guess the sad truth is that it’s not only rich people who hate the poor. But it would appear our roads and bridges hate the poor, too. Otherwise everyone would be making money and living well. Not just those lucky few the roads and bridges favor. Damn roads and bridges and their hateful ways. Then again, roads and bridges are inanimate objects. And can’t pick winners and losers. So perhaps it’s the government that taxes us to pay for those roads and bridges that have hateful ways. Perhaps they’re not building them special enough to spread their magic of success to those they come into contact with. Perhaps our government officials don’t like poor people either. That is to say, poor people who don’t remain poor.
But that’s neither here nor there. It’s more around the corner and down the stairs. No, what’s at issue here is the inherent contradiction of the Democrats’ class warfare. Namely, if having more money than others is so evil why is it that everyone wants to have more money than others? Isn’t that the whole point of unions? To give their members more money and better benefits than those outside their membership? It’s why the teachers go on strike. For more money. And more benefits. Including health care and pension benefits that few teachers have ever contributed to. Which is a lot better than most poor and middle class workers. So here is a large group of people who have more money than others and yet the president never tells the teachers that they didn’t earn their pay and benefits. So it’s okay to elevate some people above others even though we all use the same roads and bridges. Odd. For that seems like the definition of class warfare. Granting special privilege to some so they can have more money than others.
Thanks to Roads and Bridges Movie Stars and Musicians make Obscene amounts of Money
To further see the inherent contradiction in class warfare consider Hollywood. And the young and aspiring actors who go to Hollywood. Why do they go there? To become rich and famous. To have more money than other people. So they can live in their Hollywood mansions. And in other mansions around the world where the rich and famous like to call home. For a few weeks out of the year at least. Those who make it became obscenely wealthy. And make far more in a day than regular working people earn in a lifetime. Not only do they want more money than others. They have more money than others. Yet the president doesn’t tell them that they didn’t make that happen. Or that their success was due not to talent but those roads and bridges.
Consider, too, those who enter the music industry. Rock, pop, hip hop and rap stars. Why do these people enter the music industry? To become rich and famous. To have more money than other people. Like the Hollywood stars they, too, want mansions. Private jets. Boats. And all the other toys that money can buy. They want to eat in the finest restaurants. And party with famous celebrities from around the world. These musicians don’t make music for the greater good. For the poor. For sick children. No. They make music to make as much money as they possibly can. Some even begin legal action to protect what’s theirs in the digital age. Fighting piracy abroad and illegal downloads at home. Because they may have a lot of money. But more money is better. So they sue. Yet the president doesn’t single these people out, telling them that they didn’t make their success. It was those roads and bridges. And that their illegally downloaded music is due to the people downloading it. Who paid for those roads and bridges that made their talent possible.
How about lawyers? They’re some of the richest people in the world. And how do they make their money? By taking it away from others who earn it. By suing these wealth creators. Or insurance companies. Especially medical malpractice attorneys. Who earned the unflattering moniker ‘ambulance chaser’. Because they are willing to sue anyone to make a buck. To have more money than others. Lawyers are in part responsible for the high cost of health care because of their fraudulent lawsuits raising the cost of medical malpractice insurance. And the class action lawsuit raises the cost of businesses (and the price of everything we buy) while bringing in obscene amounts of money for them. While the people they represent make a fraction of what they collect. But the president doesn’t tell these people that they owe their success to roads and bridges. No. He never says a word about lawyers. Probably because he is a lawyer. So rich lawyers get a pass.
Being Rich can’t be Bad when the Poor Spend so Much on Lottery Tickets trying to become Rich
The Democrats use class warfare to take more money away from those who they think don’t deserve it. Those who have more money than others. Other than teachers, movie stars, music stars, lawyers and anyone else with more money than others who typically vote Democrat. Which seems to make it okay to have more money than other people. If you vote Democrat you can have as much money as the roads and bridges can make for you. But if you’re a small business owner trying to navigate the labyrinth of regulations just so you can pay a high tax rate, well, then it’s a different story. Because these small business owners may vote Republican. So whatever they make they were just lucky to make. Even undeserving. Because they didn’t build their business. They weren’t smarter than anyone else. They just used our roads and bridges to an unfair advantage. So these leeches now owe us. The people. And should pay a higher tax rate. And when they try to use legal tax shelters we should change the law so they can’t. While turning a blind eye whenever those who vote Democrat hide their income to avoid paying those high tax rates.
So they attack the successful. To help those who have less than them. But do they really care for those who make less? The good, decent, poor people? Or do they try to take their money, too? Well, it turns out they don’t. Care for the good, decent, poor people. And they try to take back whatever they give them. By encouraging them to spend as much of their disposable income on lottery tickets as possible. So the poor can be, wait for it, rich. That’s why governments sell lottery tickets. To give people the chance to be rich. So they, too, can have more money than others. So they can live well. Even though they have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than winning a big jackpot. Because when it comes to the lottery it’s little different than it is in Las Vegas. The house ultimately wins. As does the government.
Who’s buying the majority of lottery tickets? The working poor. So they can become what the Democrats hate. People who have more than others. So they can live well. Again showing the inherent defect in class warfare. Having more money than others can’t be bad. Being rich can’t be bad. Because if being rich and having more money than others was bad everyone wouldn’t be trying to be rich. For teachers, movie stars, music stars, lawyers and anyone else with more money than others know that having money is good. But having more money is better. Especially when you have more than others. And you can live a comfortable life away from those who have less than you. While enjoying a disproportionally large share of that wealth created by all those roads and bridges.
Tags: class warfare, Democrats, Hollywood, lawyers, living well, lottery tickets, making money, more money, movie stars, music industry, music stars, poor, rich, rich and famous, rich people, roads and bridges, small business owners, taxes, teachers, working poor
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