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Robert Winner

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Debate: Federal grants... blessing or curse?

Maricopia County Educational Services Agency (AZ) just recieved a Teacher Incentive Fund Grant for 7 schools in the amount of 57.8 million dollars. That is $8,257,142 per school.

If we were one of the seven schools that would be 275,238 per staff member.

The plan in place is to provide a class on how to be more effective teachers and administrators. No further plans for the money have been made public. That better be some class.

Government is the most inefficient means of addressing any problem. David Hamilton once stated that California gave the feds 3 dollars for every dollar returned (I may not have got that right). His point is well taken. Why not keep your money and put it to work for you. Most federal money is absorbed in administrative costs inherient in big government.

$57.8 for a class .... could this money have been spent more wisely. A better teacher helps the kids .... so would updating all of the teaching tools .... computer systems ... check out lap tops ... curriculum developers .... facility improvements ..... science labs ... manual trades shop tools and supplies ... etc .....

Is this a good use of money? How would you have made better use of $57.8M? Or are you OK with this class?

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    Gail . 50+

    • +2
    Oct 31 2012: I believe that the Constitution of the U. S. is like a football goal post. It should be securely set in the ground so that everyone knows where it is and how to make a goal. When the Supreme Court threw out the constitution as the law of the land, it did a lot of damage to "We, the people".

    Before the loss of the constitution, if the Federal government wanted to give grants - be it to educators or inventors - it was required to get a constitutional amendment ratified via the Article V process. Because of the Supreme court, the Article V amendment process is now considered a political matter, and congress has the right to accept it or not.

    The result is that government assumes the right to spend your and my tax dollars on anything that it wants, whether or not the Constitution authorizes it. Today, it's up to the Supreme Court as opposed to the people.

    Still, people seem to prefer this strange method of forcing us into slavery that is called freedom. That's why they vote Democrat or Republican even though the one thing that both of these parties have in common is that they each stand for violating the Constitution in the areas that each wants. (Standing armies, military debt of more than two years, abortion, homosexuality, interstate highway system, grants of all kinds, to name only a few areas)

    If anyone is offended by this spending, they should not be voting for either the Dems or the Reps. If they do, they are not seeing (or not caring about) their own hypocrisy. The Constitution was supposed to be our protection, and those who stand against it stand in favor of the spending that you explained.

    If you want to end run-away spending, you need to stand in defense of the Constitution.
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      Oct 31 2012: Can you link a concise reference on the supreme court allowing grants by bypassing congress?
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        Oct 31 2012: That isn't what I intended to say. I hoped that I said that thanks to the Supreme Court throwing out the Constitution as the law of the land, power was transferred to the courts (allowing corrupt politicians to hide behind them) and when the courts assumed unconstitutional powers, those powers were taken away from the people. (see McCulloch v. Maryland).

        Were it not for McCulloch v. Maryland, the federal government would not have the power to spend tax money the way it does.
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          Oct 31 2012: I don't think I understand this. Why would congress be involved in banking at all? It would seem that this is handled by the treasury department.


          On a similar note it seems that executive orders do the same thing?
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        Oct 31 2012: Why was congress involved? That's exactly the problem. The idea of the Fed being able to establish a charter for a national bank was discussed and abandoned by the Continental Congress that came up with the constitution. Because of fears on the part of the Anti-Federalists, the proposed Constitution failed the ratification process. That's when Madison came up with an idea where the States would ratify the proposed constitution under the condition that a Bill of Rights would put an end to the unlimited and all-powerful central government. The dissenting states (VA, NY, MA, CH, RI, & NH) wanted to retain their sovereignty. That's why the Bill of Rights were so important.

        When the Supreme Court GAVE ITSELF the power to overthrow the Constitution and replace Constitutional Law with (British) Common Law, there was great uproar. Jefferson said that it would lead to tyranny by Oligarchy, and it has. The problem was that at the time, the poor couldn't vote and SOTUS sided with the wealthy who profited from the bank.

        Jefferson railed about the unconstitutional bank, as did others, and all predictions have come true, as the state of our economy and unending (profitable) wars clearly prove.

        Executive orders are also unconstitutional - unless an executive is ordering that his staff follow his work schedules - or something of a similar note.

        The Constitution doesn't authorize a Federal Reserve either. Congress may print money (called fiat money), and the times that it has were prosperous for all. But banksters bought congress and the unworkable system replaced the workable one.

        Meanwhile, the fact that you don't know about these things is just evidence of how many lies you were told in your public education, err, indoctrination. How often have you heard the Anti-Federalist papers mentioned? They are the reason that the proposed constitution was blocked from ratification. They, not the Federalist Papers, should be included in our founding documents.
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          Oct 31 2012: Thanks

          Where was Hamilton in this argument?

          The Fed is constitutional under the 16th amendment.

          You say the poor could not vote, that is not true. You had to own land. This is not a bad thing as it counters the tyranny of the majority.

          Wars are not profitable for the country but I guess they are for the cronies the military industrial complex), but at the same time we have to defend the country. They also always cause inflation so it is a double tax.

          The part about the banksters is probably more conjecture than reality. Save the recent bailout to big to fail and all. But if Bush had not done this the economy would have started from scratch at least that is what my congressman said. But I tend to say let it fail. Spare me the Glass Stegal trope.

          Where would recommend reading about the anti federalist papers?

          The prosperity of the country is related to the influence of government, when the government size and cost has been reduced the economy prospered. True Story.

          The only reason for government is a rule of law and national defense and some from the Austrian camp would argue not even that is required from the government.
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        Nov 1 2012: Hamilton was a staunch Federalist and wealthy banker (Bank of NY). He was furious that the Anti-Federalists had successfully blocked the all-powerful government by limiting it with the Bill of Rights. He's credited w/ establishing the 1st unconstitutional national bank. He was out of office by the time the coup d'etat occurred.

        The 16th Amendment authorizes direct income taxes. It does not authorize spending that is not constitutional.

        http://www.rightsofthepeople.com/freedom_documents/anti_federalist_papers/ Lets you either read or listen to these anti-federalist papers. I found listening easier.

        As to the bankster problem being largely conjecture - that's simply not true. As you learn about the "real" American history, you will find the documentary evidence and it will sicken you.

        I find it rather curious that the Republicans fiercely defend the Federalist Papers while at the same time calling for States' rights that the Anti-Federalists fought so hard for. Jefferson, their staunchest ally, is a dirty word in some of their circles. That's why I get so angry at our educational system that indoctrinates and tells overt lies about our own history. How can we fix what is so seriously broken when we are either lied to or not told about how & when government broke so that we can work backwards.

        For an example of how State's Rights were demanded in exchange for ratification of the constitution, see Virginia's ratification at http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/ratva.asp. You can also see the similar ratifications of the other dissenting states that were successful in blocking ratification.

        The USA was re-established in 1791 as a treaty organization - thanks to the Bill of Rights.

        Because of the Bill of Rights' 9th & 10th Amendment, government was limited to spending on very few things (Article I, Section 8) and the court was denied ANY legislative power. (Article I, Section 1).

        http://www.usconstitution.net/const.txt
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          Nov 1 2012: I stand corrected regarding the FED.

          Very interesting point regarding the anti federalist papers. It will take me a while to read them. It is interesting that in the first tape they start right in with the bill of rights. Great link, thanks.

          Do you have any references regarding banking.

          I believe you are right in that the real problem is ignorance.
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        Nov 2 2012: As to your question about bankster docs, this LONG video offers many sources. I encourage you to view it in at least 3 sessions: 1 through Andy Jackson, 2 Lincoln through Wilson, and then as desired.

        Some things to consider as you watch it – and VERY important things – are that we have John Adams to thank for the implementation of “implied powers” that the constitution denies, and Alexander Hamilton for the unconstitutional national bank AS IT WAS ESTABLISHED. (Banks are necessary, but not in the form in which they were established.) It was essential that these two unconstitutional mandates be institutionalized BEFORE the Bill of Rights made it through the ratification process, as it was known that they would - unanimously. After ratification, Federalists would have a much harder time with its planned coup d’etat, which was finalized with McCulloch v. Maryland.

        Also, the video did not do a very good job in dealing with explaining the start of WWI, though it did address it accurately, it could have given greater understanding. It also seems to completely avoid how Hitler became such a revered figure in Germany, by taking a destroyed economy, throwing out the national banks owned by a small group of Jews, issuing Germany’s own fiat money, and in only 2.5 years became the strongest economy on earth. It then began to reclaim the lands that were taken from it via the corrupt Versailles Treaty, which started the English boycott that began WWII. (I’m not a Hitler apologist, but neither do I deny known facts)

        The video ends with offering solutions given us by Milton Friedman, the economist’s view that any student of economics should be aware of.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfpO-WBz_mw
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          Nov 2 2012: I don't have time to listen to much of this right now. I just want to note a couple things now before I forget.

          In the video they infer(although not stated) that the FED profits from loans it makes. They do not.

          I think that the bigger problem is that the FED controls the interest rate that does not conform to the market. E.G. right now interest rates being kept artificial low creating a false boom in real estate and buying bad debt from Freddy and Fannie. The interest rate should be controlled by the market according to the Austrian school and would reduce the boom and bust cycle.

          I find it interesting that the fall of Rome and Caesar (the apparent hero) coining money and creating too much money were time coincident.

          Another problem I have with this video is that narrator is the same guy who narrates the secret of OZ which imo is bazaar.

          Fractional banking is a 2 way street in that the banks can be forced out of business by not having the 10% reserve required.

          The Rothschilds did create war for their own benefit. But according to Nail Ferguson they learned that creating war cost them assets as well. But the point about war being cause by someone other than the 2 waring countries is well taken and a very important point. E.G. imo the military industrial complex and wars we have now.

          This is after 30 minutes into the video
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        Nov 2 2012: pat, there is a reason why this movie looks like the secret of oz. because the same guys made it. the secret of oz can be thought of as an extended, revised version of this original.

        they will go ahead, and claim that we need to nationalize money creation, so people can have enough money. how many things are wrong with that reasoning?
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          Nov 2 2012: As illustrated in the video it worked out so well in Rome, through their hero Caesar that is until Rome fell...

          Is it just me or do you see a resemblance between Obama and Caesar?
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          Nov 2 2012: I would more closely relate obama with nero ... he is fiddling as the US burns (falls).
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        Nov 2 2012: That video would not have been my first choice. But I knew of no other way to get you a lot of information that I discovered through my research into American history - not finance. I only found that video this morning and saw it for the first time. There are mistakes but not major ones. It is also an incomplete history.

        I started seeing the pattern described here by learning about Andrew Jackson's presidency, and then Abe Lincoln's. Then as I began to learn about what brought about WWI and WWII, the pattern became so clear that I started learning about money and economic models (not just our current one).

        I could not give you concise documentary evidence because that would take volumes and this format does not allow it. I offered the video so that you could extract Google queries so that you could find the documentary evidence that you asked for.

        The Fed DOES profit from its loans to the govn't. It pays its officers whatever it wants, and THEN retains 6% profit. The rest is returned to the government, but profit is profit and 6% of trilllions begins to add up, and if you first subtract officer's salaries and bonuses, that 2 billion a year is rather substantial, don't you think?

        I've never seen the OZ video.
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          Nov 2 2012: I have given you the benefit of the doubt (because of your great incite into Lincoln) and am listening when I have time. But that is a lot of points in only 30 minutes.

          Any profit that is made by the FED is turned over to the treasury. True Story, easily verified.

          I hope you don't think I'm going to listen to you references with out weighing the information?

          For example at about 12 minutes into the video they talk about Caesar being a hero to the common people because of plentiful money but after Caesars death they reduced the money supply by 90%. Here is the deal they FAIL to mention that the problem started with Caesar and inflation.

          It appears that the producers of this movie have an agenda which deviates from the scientific method or logic. I will watch the rest but this is not nearly as interesting as the anti-federalist papers.
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        Nov 3 2012: I don't know that you should go into the history of the economics yet. The Anti-Federalist Papers are far more relevant to understanding American history and how to fix our great problems than an understanding of economics. The two are far too complex a study to be taken up at the same time. Economic history can only be understood in its proper context after the basic context is understood.

        I suggest taking the movie (as much as you want to see, but I think that the period from the foundation of the USA through Andrew Jackson is helpful knowledge) and simply be aware of it. It is not fair to use it as a text book because it doesn't lay out the documents that it refers to. It is not meant to be a text book. It is too incomplete as it does not look at money in a broader historical context. It does begin to sound like a conspiracy theory. I understand your hesitation.

        Remember, the only reason we arrived here in our conversation is that you did not think that the banksters were a problem before our most recent crash, and my study of early American History had already proven to me that the problem was the cause of what I call the America coup d'etat, where all that is wrong with America began.

        But enjoy your studies. The anti-federalist papers (that eventually won ratification of the Constitution through a guarantee of a Bill of Rights) tell us a lot about how what is so broken today became broken, and it allows you to actually see the two sides in greater clarity. It shows the divide between the rich (patrician aristocracy who wanted to be kings among kings) and the common people who wanted freedom.
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          Nov 3 2012: I appreciate the links on history.

          I believe the ignorance that causes people the most trouble is in, the area of exactly what you state, the area of their rights. One of the rights is not having ones liberty taken away by the insidious fettering away of our economic freedom.

          Just to be clear you do not understand economics. You have bought the meme that the Oz boys are espousing. It just isn't true. I know you don't agree so I won't waste my time trying to convince you otherwise.

          But one thing to keep mind for anyone else who happens to read this. Bankers or any other crony corporations are only a problem when they commit their transgressions through government. They can have the worse case of avarice in the history of the world and it won't make any difference if they cannot finance their avarice. The reason for the current housing meltdown was not the big banks. It was the CRA but more importantly it was the financing of the insanity by Alan Greenspan at the FED.

          Even though he believed in Ayn Rand, in fact because he believed in Ayn Rand, this makes his transgression the ultimate transgression in his personal integrity, in other words he was not ignorant about what he did, he stabbed America in the back, he is the ultimate traitor.

          http://banking-2012.info/tom-woods-smashes-central-bank-dogma-on-freedom-watch-122110/
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          Nov 4 2012: I do apologize. I have nothing to add to this discussion but I am learning so much I want it to appear in my conversations. So please disregard this post and I will continue to follow. This is fascinating.
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        Nov 4 2012: Pat, I'm as well studied in economic theory as I am in American history. Your telling me that I do not understand is untrue, unfair and unkind. If you will recall from my many posts on TED, I do not agree with the movie's conclusion about how to fix the problem. I prefer the economic/social model that does not include money (including barter) at all.

        I call it an economic/social model because economics really ARE part of a social model. The two cannot be separated. Economics are an artificial invention when it is applied to money.

        There is no need to get too hooked on the movie if you are not going to use it in the way that I intended - as a way to probe American history for documentary evidence of facts. As I said, I had never seen the movie before yesterday. Because I am so well studied in certain matters, I can see the movie and extract that which I know is right, make notes of that which I do not know is right so that I can research it and learn new facts, and I can discard that which I know is not right.

        But I will end my involvement in this thread that is turning bitter. You are taking my offerings, twisting them to make it appears as if I am saying something that I did not say, and then arguing against what you wish I said as opposed to what I said. And you use insults to cover your tracks.
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    Oct 31 2012: California, New York, and every major city you want to live in, in the North, the centers of industry... Primarily Democrats, recieve 70-80 cents for every dollar they put in. Closer to 2 to 1 when you factor in debt.

    Meanwhile, the Republican dominated southern, and midwestern states, usually recieve 2 dollars for every dollar in taxation. About a dollar fifty adjusted for debt.

    http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/fedspend_per_taxesbystate-20071009.swf
    http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/sr139.pdf

    I used those stats to point out the hypocrisy of the modern Republican party... For all their "less government" rhetoric, Republicans are most popular in the middle of nowhere, places that desperately need federal spending and infrastructure... So the second they get elected, their opinion of big government changes.

    As to this particular grant, it sounds like another waste of money... but as with business ventures, some grant programs work, and some fail. If an incredible standardized training program for even 1 class comes out of this, could it actually save us a bunch of money and make one subject easier to understand for millions of kids? Maybe... Would that make it worth the money? Maybe. I doubt either will happen.
    • Oct 31 2012: Bingo: most republicans and libertarians have absolutely no idea how much they receive so they actually believe they would have more money if all taxes were abolished and everything was privatized.
      • Oct 31 2012: Wrong. Libertarians don't really care how much they receive. They just don't like the idea of being forced into a trade (all this "give" and "receive") that they did not consent to.

        One of these days, I hope, you will make an honest effort to learn about libertarianism. Only then you would stop spreading BS about it.

        Also, don't confuse states receiving money with people benefiting from the money.
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      Oct 31 2012: David

      If I do the math on your first link why is the average per state $1.26, splain me what this means? In other words if I add up the numbers for the states I get $64.04 of which I divide by 51 I get $1.26. Should it not be $1.00?

      I find it interesting that D.C. gets $5.55 back for ever dollar spent. WTF?
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        Oct 31 2012: It's called debt Pat. In these particular years, 1.26 dollars was spent in the states for every dollar taxed. Another 20-30 cents was spent in other countries.

        For every dollar liberal states are taxed, they incur 40-50 cents in debt as well, they then recieve 70-80 cents in spending, because poor people "need" it more.
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          Oct 31 2012: Very good, thanks that partially splains the 16 trillion dollar debt
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    Oct 31 2012: I work for the New South Wales Department of Education. It is the largest educational body in the world apparently and is publicly funded directly by the NSW government. I think the strength of this arrangement is that the government that is responsible for funding the school is also responsible for balancing the state budget. They know that if they let the department waste too much money they will be in the papers and lose the next election, but they also know that if they allow the schools to become dilapidated and under staff them they will also end up in the papers and lose the next election. While its not perfect it seems to keep a certain level of control.
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      Oct 31 2012: Peter, I think that accountability is a wonderful thing. It would appear that not only are these people held accountable but the system appears to be transparent.

      The government in the US has become less transparent than ever. There has been a discovery of the Executive Order and it is getting a work out. This is a means of bypassing Congress and we, the people, find out about it as it becomes law or is in practice.

      The stated mission of the US Secretary of Education is to establish educational policy. Policy is usually a one liner on the wall more often identified as a mission statement. Our department of education has a staff of 5,000 and a budget of 96 Billion. That better be a heck of a mission statement.

      A further observation would be that your media has some degree of believability. Most of our lack credability and are a tool of one party or the other.

      If I were king I would probally have a five man staff that would evaluate all schools nation wide for the best practices and methods and publish them for consideration in other schools. A book of what works would be better that assigning a grade to schools and states. A inner-city school may not have the same tools that a private scool or one in a affluent neighborhood has access to. The playing field is not level.

      Thanks for your response. Bob.
      • Oct 31 2012: "Our department of education has a staff of 5,000 and a budget of 96 Billion. That better be a heck of a mission statement."

        It's $68 billion and 5000 people make it the smallest department in the US government. 5000 people isn't much when you have to keep track of the education of 75 million students and all the federal grants and loans involved.
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        Oct 31 2012: A cultural feature of Australia is tall poppy syndrome. (We tend to be suspicious of success rather than celebrate it). Most of the time it's perceived as a negative characteristic, but in politics I think it produces a healthy disrespect of all politicians. The press play along with this so they tend to go after all politicians and not really take sides, which has got to be a good thing.
  • Oct 30 2012: All federal grants are ineffective stupid deviations of funds that would be much better spent in MY district.

    The stated purpose of any grant is only half true. All grants are political.
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      Oct 31 2012: Agreed
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      Oct 31 2012: This was actually my point when I brought up the fact, that New York, California, Illinois, etc, are all getting taxed to death to pay for social programs in the middle of nowhere. For every 1 dollar a California taxpayer pays to the federal government, it recieves 40 cents in debt as well... For that 1.40 in total taxation, California recieves 70 cents in federal spending.

      So, basically, we are taxed double what is spent in our "liberal", "government needs to do everything" state... Meanwhile, for every 1.40 of taxation an Alabama tax payer, or Arizona taxpayer takes in, 2 dollars is spent in Alabama and Arizona, the "free", "keep the gov't out" states... How can this be?

      #1, when you build a military base in California, whiny people complain... When you build a base in Alabama, they throw a parade.

      #2 The truth is that the Republican states, don't have large cities... They are the poor states. They're are no awesome buildings or structures to visit in them, because no one has ever invested there... Thus, they are desperate for every dollar of federal spending they can ge for "MY district"... Meanwhile, their rhetoric, and speeches, are about how they are going to be tough, and cut waste.
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    Oct 31 2012: That isn't what I said. I hoped that I said that thanks to the Supreme Court throwing out the Constitution as the law of the land, power was transferred to the courts (allowing corrupt politicians to hide behind them) and when the courts assumed unconstitutional powers, those powers were taken away from the people. (see McCulloch v. Maryland).
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    Oct 30 2012: Grants from any source, whether federal government or foundations, are a tricky matter. There are almost always serious strings attached.

    In the urban district where I was for some years a curriculum specialist, several high schools were offered a sizable grant from a foundation if they would commit to a particular kind of restructuring. The particular policy had serious problems anyone "on the ground" could predict, but with lean budgets even in times of local economic growth, the district accepted the grant and launched these reorganizations.

    I few years later the foundation conceded that it's bright idea was not a winner (not just not in our district but as a general strategy) and stopped pushing it as strategy. Meanwhile districts, and their students who had been involved, had to set things back right.

    This is only one example.

    There can be a bit of the Trojan Horse in grants with strings attached.

    As a side note, school districts in the United States are locally operated with money that comes primarily from the State.
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      Oct 30 2012: Fritzie

      Could you point me to a succinct reference that indicates how the money is allocated?

      Here in Calif it is very common for a grade school teacher to make 80k a year with benefits that are top notch but they are not really the problem it is more from other unions and administrators college professors who commonly retire with 200k retirements. True story
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        Oct 30 2012: The funding mechanism and laws for lower education finance definitely differ by state. For example, some states have a detailed schedule of how much teachers should be paid depending on how long they have been teaching and their college credits. They look at those data for a particular district but send the total as a lump sum. The district does not have to use that pay schedule to pay teachers. For example, the union can negotiate for more senior people to be paid more and novice teachers less.

        Some states also have laws that restrict how much districts can raise in extra funds through levy on local taxpayers. Capital expenditures typically come from special levies.

        Higher education funding is handled differently from lower education funding.

        I will look for a good link for California and get back to you.

        While education per se is from state dollars, money to subsidize particular kinds of students' special needs may come from federal anti-poverty dollars.

        Here is the best link I could find quickly for California: http://www.edsource.org/iss_fin_sys_revenues.html and http://www.edsource.org/iss_fin_sys_dollarstodistricts.html
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          Oct 31 2012: Thanks Fritzie

          I'm trying to reconcile in my head the statement that Calif gets back a considerable amount less from the Fed than it sends to the Fed.
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        Oct 31 2012: I don't know anything about that, particularly as I do not know what counts in those calculations. Some transfers may come in in a form other than an explicit transfer of cash.
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          Oct 31 2012: Ok thanks

          Maybe David has some links on this matter.
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    Oct 30 2012: Absolutely not it is crap. Privatize the schools. Do away with the FED dept of education.
    • Oct 30 2012: Yes, then poor parents must send their kids back to the coal mines, where they "belong", right?
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        Oct 30 2012: where is it? in the US with average income over 30000 a year? cut costs on SUVs and ACs and HTSs, have money for school
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          Oct 30 2012: HTS ?
        • Oct 30 2012: If I put my head in an oven and my feet in a freezer I'm fine on average...

          On average every adult in the world makes $14k per year, that's why there is no hunger in the world, oh wait...

          This is the problem with all that "privatize all the things" BS: some things are expensive and they will remain expensive no matter how hard the free market tries to lower the price because in the end you simply can't pay a teacher or doctor $2 per day so unless you want to double minimum wage you're gonna exclude a lot of people from those services if you privatize them, but hey, those poor kids should've chosen richer parents and they can always pul themselves up by their own bootstraps, right?
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        Oct 30 2012: John

        I would agree with you but unfortunately the tree huggers have seen to it that there are no coal mines to go back to.
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        Oct 30 2012: and that would constitute your answer? everyone having a job can afford basic schooling in the US. you just don't have any idea how other people live. the notion that without the state, average people in the US could not afford education is either incredibly misinformed or a straight face lie.
        • Oct 30 2012: "everyone having a job can afford basic schooling in the US."

          That is simply not true. Even poor districts spend $8k per year per student, so if you have two children in school that will cost you $16k per year, I can assure you many American families do not have that kind of money, even if they paid zero taxes. An extremely efficient system might bring the cost down to something like $3k per student per year (but even that is probably not realistic even in an ideal free market, catholic schools are the most efficient school system out there since they are strictly run with ideologically motivated low paid personnel and are both private and non-profit, but they still spend $7k), that's still unaffordable for a single parent with two kids, let alone three. Remember that it's education we're talking about here, it's not good enough if 90%, 95% or even 99% of parents can afford it, it has to be 100%.
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        Oct 30 2012: what the state pays is not the market price. most of this money is wasted.
        • Oct 31 2012: You still don't get it: even catholic schools pay $7k per student per year, that's already a lot less than the $10k average of American public schools and catholic schools don't have shareholders and executives who want their dividends (15-25% of revenue) and multi-million bonuses, so a commercial private school would have to be a lot more efficient than a catholic school just to get to that $7k figure, bringing it down even further becomes increasingly more difficult until you reach a point where you just can't cut anymore without sacrificing quality and I can assure you that that point is above $5k. $5k per per kid per year is unaffordable for a lot of parents and that's why privatization is a stupid idea unless you want to double the minimum wage.

          So stop listening to your gut that says a majority of school money is wasted (implying that even the catholic schools are wasting at least $2k per student per year) and pick up a calculator to find out what's realistic and what's just libertarian wishful thinking.

          It's the same with healthcare: the extremely efficient system of Singapore (same GDP/capita as US) still costs $4.5k per year per adult once you factor out their large, healthy, young foreign worker population, but that's with a healthy population who aren't obese and diabetic and it's not realistic to think the free market would bring it down to much less than that, maybe $4k if the population was as healthy as people in Singapore.

          After all the privatizing is done a single parent with two children will (in the very best case scenario) pay $14k per year for education and health care alone, that's about equal to minimum wage and even if that parent earns $20k (as 20% of all US households do and they don't own SUVs nor do they spend more than 1% of their income on HTSs, if that) and gets all his/her taxes back through tax credits they'll still have only $6k per year, or $500 per month for food, rent, clothing and utilities.
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        Oct 31 2012: Here are expenditures per pupil for the US and selected states in 2009:

        US average $10,000

        NY $18,000
        CA $9,657
        AZ $7,813
        Utah $6,356
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        Oct 31 2012: i wonder how stupid this debate comes. you can list present costs all day long, they are still not market prices, since the government interferes, and drives up prices. especially in education and healthcare.

        tell me. how many households in the US earns below 25000? below 30000? tell me also why would it be a common scenario to have 14000 single parent with two children? that is the family model there? also tell me how many parents would send their children to coal mines instead of paying like 1500-2500 per year for education? (salary of teacher per 30 children + heating, maintenance etc)
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          Oct 31 2012: I would add in housing and defense and energy

          What the propaganda fails to show is the mobility between income quintiles. Real people move from one quintile to the next which renders the category meaningless. Who cares about a category? Unless politicians make a straw man out a category in which case people drink the cool aid.
        • Oct 31 2012: "tell me. how many households in the US earns below 25000? below 30000?"

          Roughly 30% fall below 30k, roughly 20% fall below 20k.

          "also why would it be a common scenario to have 14000 single parent with two children?"

          Shit happens in life, and it doesn't matter how common they are, what matters is that they do exist, it's not good enough if most paretns can afford schooling for their kids, K12 education has to be there for everyone, otherwise you deny the most basic education that is required for most any job to some children just because their parents were poor (and I invite you to explain that to them without an army of bodyguards surrounding you).

          "also tell me how many parents would send their children to coal mines instead of paying like 1500-2500 per year for education?"

          Lol, you can't have education for $2500 per kid and even if you could that's $5000 for a parent with two children, $7500 for a parent with three children, there are plenty of people who cannot afford that.

          $2500 is way too low and we know that because no developed country comes even close to that, nor do catholic schools, this is because in the real world you're also gonna need a principal, at least one secretary, you need to rent a building or buy one, you need books and other equipment, you need insurance, you need electricity, you need more than one teacher per 30 students, especially in smaller high schools and you have to pay everyone at least enough so that they can send their own children to the school. Plus we all know they will be commercial enterprises with shareholders and overpaid executives, just like the for-profit colleges.

          For $2500 per kid per year you can fund this: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oGFoiLk1-BY/TcPJmNR65QI/AAAAAAAAAoc/FK1A81opvd8/s1600/Africa-ZimSchoolOutsideClass-cZabransky.jpg
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        Oct 31 2012: "Roughly 30% fall below 30k, roughly 20% fall below 20k."

        give me a source for that, it sounds weird
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      Oct 30 2012: pat, home theater systems are not trendy anymore in the US? :)
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        Oct 30 2012: I just didn't know what it stood for. Currently there is a start of a rebound in home sales which would correlate to HTS sales.

        Unfortunately it is not a real rebound as the home prices were never allowed to find their value because the FED keeps buying toxic loans from Fanny and Freddy which keeps the prices artificially high along with interest rates artificially low which will no doubt lead to another bubble. Of course the entire country may implode by them in which case I predict that everything will find it's real value...

        In another week we will find out if enough people have smelled the expresso/smelling salts/cattle prod/methamphetamine, which I think they have but I may be being overly optimistic?
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          Oct 31 2012: I'm not so sure it really matters who the POTUS is they all seem to interfere just for different resons.
      • Oct 31 2012: "pat, home theater systems are not trendy anymore in the US? :)"

        Buy a $600 HTS and keep it for 4 years, now compare that to paying $500 rent plus $100 on utility bills, $333 on health insurance and $833 on the education of your two kids (using the extremely optimistic figures I gave above) for the same 48 month period. That's $600 vs. $85k...

        Obviously not buying that HTS will make a huge difference because it pays for a whopping 0.7 percent of your fixed costs that didn't even include food, clothing and transportation. So seriously, why don't we cut the BS and debate based on facts instead of gut feelings?
      • Oct 31 2012: "gut feelings? mentioning coal mines does not fall in this category?"

        That's right, unless you want to contend that the free market can lower education costs to mere hundreds of dollars per year per student or that any parent in the US can miss another $10k per year I've shown why what I said was not a gut feeling but an informed opinion, I can not say the same about your assertions that poor people all have very, very expensive HTSs or that the free market will magically make everything that people need so cheap that anyone on minimum wage can afford it like manna from the sky.
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          Oct 31 2012: gut feelings still? hundreds per year? what is that bollocks of a number? you want to pay less for education than cable tv? geez, come on now.

          even earning 10000, one can afford some level of education. except if the state sets the standard so high, nobody will provide a service that cheap. if you really think that 10000 per year income leads to children ending up in coal mines, you seem to skipped on history and the present situation in other countries (even at 3000 per year, people do not send children to mines).

          and we should also mention the ridiculous amount of taxes and mandatory participation of government programs, without which people could afford much more.
      • Oct 31 2012: "you seem to skipped on history and the present situation in other countries (even at 3000 per year, people do not send children to mines)"

        Countries where people make $3000 also pay their teachers only $3000, which will not even cover rent of a one bedroom apartment in the United States, plus they do subsidize their schools using taxes on those people who make more than $3000.

        "and we should also mention the ridiculous amount of taxes and mandatory participation of government programs, without which people could afford much more."

        Low income households don't pay a lot in net taxes.

        "even earning 10000, one can afford some level of education. except if the state sets the standard so high, nobody will provide a service that cheap."

        The standards are not very high in most countries and some standard is necessary to ensure children a basic qualification so they can get a job. But I'm glad you're finally admitting quality would have to be sacrificed to make it affordable to all.

        "hundreds per year? what is that bollocks of a number? you want to pay less for education than cable tv?"

        I was pointing out how cheap it would have to be to not bankrupt poor parents with multiple children.
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          Oct 31 2012: "Countries where people make $3000 also pay their teachers only $3000,"

          so it can happen in the US too. you can not argue on one hand that people make too few to pay teachers and on the other hand that teachers won't work for much more. you will find someone that agrees to teach the kids for a lower wage.

          in fact lot of the wages in the US are kept artificially high by government interventions. all the mandatory healthcare costs, high taxes, minimum wage, unemployment aids, food stamps work in the direction to increase the apparent wage, but not increasing life standards. and they eliminate the chance of less productive people to contribute and cooperate.

          a word about quality. indeed, redistribution has an effect of increasing the quality of service the poorest can get, while lowering the quality all other people can get. however, it also has the effect to lower average quality greatly. so the number of people actually benefited is very very low. as an illustration, you can look at the education system in the US. schools churning out functional illiterates. that would be the high quality you praise? due to the lack of feedback by competition, the education rots.

          so yes. i say that education should be free, and it includes some people in the worst situation getting relatively poor education (which is still better than anyone had a few hundred years ago). the other side of the coin would be a dramatic increase in quality for everyone else. and, of course, nothing stops you from not buying ACs and HTSs, and give some money to a fund that provides education for poor kids.
  • Oct 30 2012: "Maricopia County Educational Services Agency (AZ) just recieved a Teacher Incentive Fund Grant for 7 schools in the amount of 57.8 million dollars. That is $8,257,142 per school."

    The first line of the link you post says it's 45 schools.

    "If we were one of the seven schools that would be 275,238 per staff member."

    Again, the link says it's about 45 schools and 24878 students, I highly doubt here are only 210 people working at 45 schools with 24787 students, that's 1 teacher per 118 students...

    "David Hamilton once stated that California gave the feds 3 dollars for every dollar returned"

    California may be a net donor but Arizona is definitely a net receiver and not a small one either (like most red states).