Jerry Brown has issued a budget that engages a $25b deficit.Â Note the word engages; not “papers over” or “hides with wishful thinking” or “lies about”; engages. There’s plenty of work not done yet, but this is huge: for the first time in recent memory, our elected chief executive is telling us the truth. Not solving the problem (he needs a vote on tax increases), not solving the problem the way I would like, but it’s a new world in Sacramento.Â Brown is saying, and pretty clearly, “this is the government you seem to be willing to pay for.Â You’ve been getting a lot of stuff for ‘free’, by borrowing and cooking the books, but we’re out of tricks and that table is no longer taking bets. If you want some of the stuff that’s going away, you will have to agree to give up some things you’ve been buying on your own.”
The deficit is about $700Â for every person in California, where per capita income is about $45K. In other words, if the state economy transferred 1.6% of its consumption to the public sector from the private sector, the deficit would be covered with current levels of public service.Â (Another 1.6% and we would have the state Californians used to be proud of – not “the state government”, the state and all the things in it that don’t work without government.)Â Brown proposes about half spending cuts, including some really savage ones, like $3000 for every student in the University of California system, park closings, and breathtaking slashes in things like Medicaid, home health care, and welfare.Â The other half is tax increases, in the form of extensions of temporary taxes enacted two years ago. These are pretty regressive.Â It’s not unfair to describe Brown’s proposals as balancing the budget on the backs of the poor, and the tender mercy with which he’s treating the prison system and its shameless union is notable. He’s also holding K-12 education to the level of harm it’s already endured, which is the shame of the state (for now; if he doesn’t get the tax increases, watch out).
He also proposes toÂ transfer a hatful of responsibilities to local government, including one intriguing proposal that county government take over more of the cost of wildfire fighting on grounds that it’s county and local land use decisions, allowing development far into fire zones, that have made firefighting so expensive in recent years. This complicates the discussion, because whatever level of government provides them, they have to be paid for with some kind of foregone private consumption. But perhaps California would be better off with more variation in local government positioning on the high-tax,high-service and low-tax,low-service scale.
The Republicans are reacting according to their vacuous script, refusing to countenance any tax increases and prating in the usual way about shared sacrifice and waste in government.Â Â The California Republican Party long ago lost its tether to responsibility, reality or even humanity, and no-one takes their policy discourse to mean much more than “please, please, don’t primary me in my safe district of rich people who think they don’t need any government.” But they do have their 1/3 plus blocking minority for tax increases.
I’m not sure how this will unfold, though it will probably take a couple of years for the cuts to make themselves visible and consequential.Â If the tax extensions fail at the ballot, things will get uglier faster, which might help move things along.Â But what direction they move is not certain; the kind of service Keith reports from the DMV might wake people up, but a lot of the pain will be visited on people who are so desperate they can’t really put a political oar in. It also might just aggravateÂ inarticulate and unfocused government-hating in angry, poorly led, and frightened middle class, and we could wind up in a stable pessimal condition, the Alabama of the west. On the one hand, Brown’s budget’s clarity and honesty is a necessary step toward fixing a broken society; on the other hand, the subsequent steps are not assured.Â It’s scary times.
37 thoughts on “Reality surfacing in California”
Now, say what you will about Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he too "engaged" the budget. (Here's one of many links that could easily be Googled up: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/may/27/local/me-…. It's just that the Legislature ignored him. As it will Gov. Brown. If a budget is passed by March, I'll saute a copy of the California constitution in butter and eat it for lunch.
Michael — for those of us who have not plowed throught the document, can you give a precis of the prison budget proposal?
"…a stable pessimal condition, the Alabama of the west. >
Pessimal is in the eye of the beholder. There are after all plenty of people in Alabama railing against *their* bloated, excessive government and its entirely unwarranted cost.
It's certainly possible to have a political class whose idea of the optimal stable condition resembles Guatemala, and for it to be successful enough in selling the concept to win elections, and come to goven an American state — they just haven't succeeded *yet*.
And one of its members will be along soon to tell us, from first principles, why your future must ineluctably look like Tegucigalpa.
What I worry is that many of the social service cuts will neither directly impact, nor even be noticed by the majority of voting, taxpaying Californians.
Just one case: there is a program at my school site that provides high school education to teen mothers. They spend 5 periods a day in special classes, and one period a day in the daycare rooms, where they – along with other mothers and staff – see to the needs of 10-20 infants. I recently spoke with the program director and she expressed great concern that the cuts they were already receiving would continue, having severe effects on the quality of services they were able to provide.
I'm willing to bet most people have no idea that programs like these exist. I'm OK with that. One of the nice things about civilization is that every citizen doesn't need to micromanage every aspect of public life. We have a set of core beliefs, and then elect representatives who will hopefully be advocates for our general worldview. We can then entrust them to listen to interest groups and policy specialists. So for instance, I don't know a lot about how to organize a fire department, but I trust my elected official will take a deliberate approach to policy suggestions from those who make fire response their business.
I've spent considerable time working in various areas of social service, a largely publicly funded sector that always seems to be strapped for cash. I have spoken with conservatives who had been mostly unaware of the services being provided, and yet when I tell them of my experiences and the importance of the work, they seemed to become more sympathetic, and acknowledged that there was a real moral need which demanded funding.
The liberal worldview assumes that social problems are going to require social services. One does not need to be aware of every single program out there, but that a sufficiently liberal representative will make it his or her priority to address these needs via state spending. Even if one does not live in a ghetto, half-way house, or mental health center, the idea is that these problems exist, and require a level of equal access to services that only the state can provide, either directly or by purchasing private contracts. Interestingly, to the degree to which the media is liberal, it portrays stories of these parts of society which are in need. Because those in the stories are generally only receiving help because of public funding, a sort of feedback loop is created in which liberalism provides answers to problems, then is reported on by liberal media to a liberal audience.
The conservative worldview does not assume a need for social services. It largely views these problems as needing to be met by individuals, families or church organizations. Yet these groups are generally not up to the task, and certainly not capable of providing equal access. One town might have a strong church outreach program that meets a certain level of need, yet another town might not, and thus a serious need goes unmet. This was basically the situation before the progressive era, where a smattering of charity organizations did their best to take on as many social services as they could. Society has changed considerably in size and complexity in the last 100 years. Trying to imagine what a return to an era of such limited state involvement would look like is a difficult counter-factual to conceive of. (This irony may exist: has the rise of the government social service sector actually lessened the burden on religious organizations, in turn taking them "off the hook", and driving their entire spiritual outlook away from their traditional emphasis on serving the poor and needy? In this case, cuts on government program funding would leave not only a literal vacuum in the rendering of service, but a spiritual one as well.) If even the current level of neglect towards the needy is any indication, the resulting abandonment would seem to be horrifically unjust and immoral. The teenage mothers I visited, for instance, would essentially be put out to fend for themselves, and any chance of a diploma would be basically lost.
So when the conservative does not assume a need for social services exists, is unaware of the need because he does not encounter the need in his daily life, and does not encounter the liberal reporting that communicates such need, what will be his response to the need? One is tempted to ask the proverbial question: does tree in the forest makes a sound, if no one is there to hear it? One of the ways the social need comes to broader social consciousness is directly through the providers of services, as well as those involved in crafting policy responses and communicating needs to public officials. But when services are no longer being offered, there are that many fewer providers, and the need itself becomes lost. The teen mothers will have gone home, sans diploma and invisible to wider society. The suffering still exists, yet increases, and does so with even greater silence.
Why can't Brown propose a bill that zeroes out state spending on districts whose representatives don't vote to raise taxes? A bit thuggish, but it's just the converse of Milton Friedman's aphorism: "To spend is to tax." If people don't want taxes on them, they must not want spending on them, either.
CNN puts the projected California budget deficit at $25 billion over the next 18 months.
The SF Chronicle puts the deficit at $28 billion.
(O'Hare): "The deficit is about $700 for every person in California, where per capita income is about $45K. In other words, if the state economy transferred 1.6% of its consumption to the public sector from the private sector, the deficit would be covered with current levels of public service. (Another 1.6% and we would have the state Californians used to be proud of – not “the state government”, the state and all the things in it that don’t work without government.) Brown proposes about half spending cuts, including some really savage ones, like $3000 for every student in the University of California system…It’s not unfair to describe Brown’s proposals as balancing the budget on the backs of the poor, and the tender mercy with which he’s treating the prison system and its shameless union is notable. He’s also holding K-12 education to the level of harm it’s already endured, which is the shame of the state (for now; if he doesn’t get the tax increases, watch out)."
The tender mercy which Dr. O'Hare would extend to the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel is notable. The government of the State of California spent $92 billion on K-PhD schools in the 2005-2006 school year. The government of the State of California could eliminate it's budget deficit overnight and pay down its debt in a few decades by the simple expedient of:
1. Repeal compulsory attendance statutes
2. Repeal child labor laws and minimum wage laws
3. Subsidize alternatives to attendance in the cartel's schools (K-PhD) at 1/2 the current per pupil expenditure.
4. Mandate that all schools which operate under direct government control make all required courses available credit-by-exam, at any age and at any time of year, at the cost of grading exams.
Compulsory attendance statutes, minimum wage laws, and child labor laws put on-the-job training off limits to most sub-adults. The US "public" school system originated in religious intolerance and anti-Catholic bigotry. It survives on dedicated lobbying by current recipients of the taxpayers' K-PhD-dedicated revenue stream. A loving mother can teach a normal child to read and compute by age 8 (and that's moving at a crawl). Most vocational training occurs more effectively on the job than in a classroom. State (government, generally) is a threat to democracy, just as State operation of newspapers and broadcast news media would be, and are in totalitarian countries like Cuba and North Korea. In the US, "public education" has become a make-work program for dues-paying members of the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel, a source of padded construction, supplies, and personal service contracts for politically-connected insiders, and a venue for State-worshipful indoctrination.
Malcolm, as a teacher at a poor high school, according to you I am a corrupt leech off the taxpayers because I spend my days trying to help poor teenagers succeed, for many of whom my classroom is the one safe place in their lives, where caring adults offer guidance and support. I think your point of view is incredibly sad and removed from reality, profoundly unamerican and inhumane. Fortunately, there are very few who share your view, or I think our democracy really would be threatened.
Eli, Malcolm believes money incentives determine what we say (comment on another post); for example, I say what will enrich my industry (higher education) and you say what will enrich yours (public K-12 education). It would be rude in the extreme to conjecture that Malcolm is merely shilling for his (private tutoring), and I hope you will join me in not entertaining that conjecture, even for a minute.
Do you teach to your students the fact-free style of argumentation you use, above? Will this help them succeed (outside the journalism industry)?
"Schooling as Violence"
Educatioinal Review p. 10, V. 54, #1.
(Quoting) "…It is almost certainly more damaging for children to be in school than to out of it. Children whose days are spent herding animals rather than sitting in a classroom at least develop skills of problem solving and independence while the supposedly luckier ones in school are stunted in their mental, physical, and emotional development by being rendered pasive, and by having to spend hours each day in a crowded classroom under the control of an adult who punishes them for any normal level of activity such as moving or speaking."
Regarding the "repeal [of] child labor laws": Malcolm, do you contend that if parents want use income generated by their children's labor to supplement the family's well-being then they should be allowed to do so? If not, then is it outright repeal you seek or some reforms to enable job skill acquisition?
Shorter Malcolm: Replace schools with child labor sweatshops. Problem solved.
Could we get the LA Times to reserialize Charles Dickens, do you suppose?
It would be rude in the extreme to conjecture that Malcolm is merely shilling for his (private tutoring)…
Whom does he tutor for? The Kochs?
And you know where I am going with that don't you?
I'd love to see a list of the top richest right-wing families in America. The ones that fund the vast right-wing think tanks, the periodicals, and the sundry "Citizens for the preservation of my American Values." It is fantastic to see the Koch Brothers actually getting some face time on Chait's blog: Ignore That Koch Brother Behind The Curtain. I wonder just how many super rich individuals/families there are that have changed the course of American history via movement conservatism? Why are we allowing them to hide behind curtains? It is way past time to tell the opulent stories of our oligarchs…
Both. I do not see a reasonable welfare-economic case for taking from individual parents the power to determine how their own children spend the time between age 6 and age 18 and giving that power to government bureaucrats. Some parents will choose badly, and so will some bureaucrats. Available evidence favors parents.
Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery 1994-July
"…(T)he evidence is that many of our foremost achievers developed under conditions that are not much like those of present-day mass education. Robert Lawler just showed me a paper by Harold Macurdy on the child pattern of genius. Macurdy reviews the early education of many eminent people from the last couple of centuries and concludes (1) that most of them had an enormous amount of attention paid to them by one or both parents and (2) that generally they were relatively isolated from other children. This is very different from what most people today consider an ideal school. It seems to me that much of what we call education is really socialization. Consider what we do to our kids. Is it really a good idea to send your 6-year-old into a room full of 6-year-olds, and then, the next year, to put your 7-year-old in with 7-year-olds, and so on? A simple recursive argument suggests this exposes them to a real danger of all growing up with the minds of 6-year-olds. And, so far as I can see, that's exactly what happens.
Our present culture may be largely shaped by this strange idea of isolating children's thought from adult thought. Perhaps the way our culture educates its children better explains why most of us come out as dumb as they do, than it explains how some of us come out as smart as they do."
"Home-based Education Effectiveness Research and Some of its Implications"
Educational Review, Vol. 47, No.3, 1995.
"The issue of social skills. One edition of Home School Researcher, Volume 8, Number 3, contains two research reports on the issue of social skills. The first finding of the study by Larry Shyers (1992) was that home-schooled students received significantly lower problem behavior scores than schooled children. His next finding was that home-schooled children are socially well adjusted, but schooled children are not so well adjusted. Shyers concludes that we are asking the wrong question when we ask about the social adjustment of home-schooled children. The real question is why is the social; adjustment of schooled children of such poor quality?"
"The second study, by Thomas Smedley (1992), used different test instruments but comes to the same conclusion, that home-educated children are more mature and better socialized than those attending school."
"So-called 'school phobia' is actually more likely to be a sign of mental health, whereas school dependancy is a largely unrecognized mental health problem."
Children's plight not Dickensian
The Australian, 2007-09-08
LONDON: The plight of child labourers in Victorian Britain is not usually considered to have been a happy one. Writers such as Charles Dickens painted a grim picture of the hardships suffered by young people in the mills, factories and workhouses of the Industrial Revolution. But an official report into the treatment of working children in the 1840s, made available online yesterday for the first time, suggests the situation was not so bad after all. The frank accounts emerged in interviews with dozens of youngsters conducted for the Children's Employment Commission. The commission was set up by Lord Ashley in 1840 to support his campaign for reducing the working hours of women and children.
Surprisingly, a number of the children interviewed did not complain about their lot — even though they were questioned away from their workplace and the scrutinising eyes of their employers.
Sub-commissioner Frederick Roper noted in his 1841 investigation of pre-independence Dublin's pin-making establishments: "Notwithstanding their evident poverty … there is in their countenances an appearance of good health and much cheerfulness."
A report on workers at a factory in Belfast found a 14-year-old boy who earned four shillings a week "would rather be doing something better … but does not dislike his current employment".
The report concluded: "I find all in this factory able to read, and nearly all to write. They are orderly, appear to be well-behaved, and to be very contented."
Kirkpatrick: …child labor laws put on-the-job training off limits to most sub-adults.
Not to mention it would lower your cost on a head of lettuce and a shoe shine…
But joking aside:
Does anybody believe the race that is Kirkpatrick can ever evolve into the race that is Captain Kirk?
The distance between the two (ignoble and noble) is many moral parsecs…
Ultimately, I just don't think Homo insapience can make the leap from jungle to stars.
It would help if the state would start to collect the sales taxes it is due from internet sales. Presently only the diligent and honest taxpayers bother to pay this tax (AKA "use tax") so the present policy serves to reward those who can't be bothered for whatever reason.
It's never good public policy to reward bad behavior and punish good behavior, but that's how the sales tax collection system currently works. How much sales tax money is lost to the state because of this unfair state of affairs? Before additional taxes are passes, they should at least be collecting on the existing ones.
for Koreyel @ 1:24, Re: the list you want to see of "the super rich individuals/families that have changed the course of American history via movement conservatism."
You do know the movement to repeal the estate tax was started in '94 by, and is continuing to be funded by, a mere 18 ultra-wealthy families?
According to this article, as of 2006, they'd spent $500 million on this project; the families include the Kochs, Waltons, the Nordstroms, and the families that own that Seattle Times Co. and the Mars Co.:
It's a little spooky and creepy. I don't know the people a cul-de-sac over in my suburban subdivision but clearly, the ultra-rich are all on a first-name basis with one another, even if they live at opposite ends of the country. So the list you are looking has already been collected — it's in contacts section of each of their cell phones (or whatever it is they use).
See, I contend that even children have certain inalienable rights; and that among those rights is having enough time to develop an optimistic understanding of themselves and the world without being exploited by adults. Now I will concede that there is plenty wrong with how we educate our children and that there seem to be some merits to home schooling (although I'm no expert and not even an actual parent). But I don't think it's necessarily the One Way that works. The Waldorf approach seems to be producing highly functional people too *.
I could also show you a book that claims the slave-master relationship was a happy one for the most part. Doesn't make it so; and even if the argument had merits it wouldn't make it right.
Anyway, I don't want to derail this thread any more than I already have. (Sorry, Dr. O'Hare).
* I have a friend whose daughter went to a Waldorf school for a long but she has decided (the daughter) that she wants to finish up her education in a public school.
And BTW they're not sub-adults, they're pre-adults. Sub-adult suggests a completed but stunted development; but children have not developed into adults yet. Hence, pre-adult.
(Tim): "… I contend that even children have certain inalienable rights; and that among those rights is having enough time to develop an optimistic understanding of themselves and the world…"
See the quote from Roland Meighan, above.
(Tim): "…without being exploited by adults…I could also show you a book that claims the slave-master relationship was a happy one for the most part. Doesn’t make it so; and even if the argument had merits it wouldn’t make it right."
100% agreement. Compulsory, unpaid labor is slavery (definition). In the current legal environment, children work, unpaid, as window-dressing in a massive make-work program for dues-paying members of the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel. It is not I who advocates slavery. I'm the abolitionist in this conversation.
(Tim): "…Now I will concede that there is plenty wrong with how we educate our children and that there seem to be some merits to home schooling (although I’m no expert and not even an actual parent). But I don’t think it’s necessarily the One Way that works. The Waldorf approach seems to be producing highly functional people too."
More agreement. The State cannot subsidize education without a definition of "education". The State's definition then binds students, parents, real classroom teachers, and taxpayers.
"Education Without the State"
"What is needed is choice in education. School choice has not and will not lead to more productive education because the obsolete technology called Êºschool” is inherently inelastic. As long as 'school' refers to the traditional structure of buildings and grounds with services delivered in boxes called classrooms to which customers must be transported by car or bus, 'school choice' will be unable to meaningfully alter the quality or efficiency of education."
In the current legal environment, children work, unpaid, as window-dressing in a massive make-work program…
At any rate, the thread you're looking for is elsewhere.
(Malcolm): "In the current legal environment, children work, unpaid, as window-dressing in a massive make-work program…"
(Tim): "See 'disingenuous'."
That's the gone-to-college way to call someone "liar". Incivility contributes to the climate of political violence, doncha know.
How is that assertion false? Compulsory attendance statutes threaten children with juvenile detention (prison). Educational neglect statutes threaten parents with prison. Tax liens threatens taxpayers with prison. The NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel's schools do not pay children for their work as window-dressing in the make-work program we in the US call "the public school system". This system is the largest item in combined State and local budgets. The NCES $92 billion (California, 2005-2006) figure seriously understates the cost of this system. The NCES figure does not include the cost of pension and benefit promises to current system employees. The NCES figure does not include the opportunity cost to students of the time they spend in school. The NCES figure does not include the opportunity cost to society of the lost innovation which a competitive market in education services would generate.
__Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist__, Paul Schilpp, ed. (1951), pp. 17-19
"It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry, especially if the food, handed out under such coercion, were to be selected accordingly."
If the "public school system" is not an employment program for dues-paying members of the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel, a source of padded construction and supply contracts for politically-connected insiders, and a venue for State-worshipful indoctrination, why cannot any student take, at any time and at any age, an exit exam (the GED will do) and apply the taxpayers' education subsidy toward post-secondary tuition or toward a wage subsidy at any qualified private-sector employer? If it is fraud for a mechanic to charge for the repair of a functional motor and if it is fraud for a physician to charge for the treatment of a healthy patient, then it is fraud for a teacher, school, school district, or State to charge for the instruction of a student who does not need help.
OK disingenuous was unfair. I apologize. I've read all these canned responses before and so I can only conclude that you've convinced yourself that this stuff is true. You really do believe this stuff. I'm not persuaded that there's much merit to it. It seems to me like a heroic effort to select a subset of the facts to support a dearly held prescription. Can't say that I'm not guilty of the same at times though I hope not with the rigid certainty you seem to possess. I'm full of questions and doubt on just about any topic. In a way, it's kind of how I know I'm being honest.
Continue gutting public school funding and they will get better, not worse! I promise!
(Tim): "You really do believe this stuff."
What "stuff" do you dispute? Check all that apply.
(Tim): "I’m full of questions and doubt on just about any topic. In a way, it’s kind of how I know I’m being honest."
How do "questions and doubt" lead to endorsement of State-monopoly enterprises backed by threats of violence?
Professor O'Hare –
The current recession undoubtedly exacerbated the budget situation in California, but the problem is hardly new.
Before the current recession (2007), state-plus-local government in California spent 21.7% of the state's GDP, among the highest in the US.
A 1.5% cut would only bring spending down to 20.2%. That's still well above the US average (19.5%); and still above Washington, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Massachusetts.
Don't just compain that state and local government in California is under-funded.
Explain why it can't get the job done with more funding than most other states.
Passing By: where are you getting your figures?
Ebenezer Scrooge: Lockyer had a similar idea. It would almost be worth trying, except that the poor people in the red areas are still people, after all, and it's not their fault they get outvoted.
I must say, the red areas of our state don't get enough attention from the rest of us. I recently read a piece by Victor Davis Hanson on two Californias. It is here: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/255320/two… . I have to give him credit for at least going out and looking at the situation, although he is also incredibly biased and seems not to want to offer any solutions besides, one must guess?, mass deportation. But again, at least he went to look. I think there is a lot of suffering that goes unnoticed, like Eli said.
"Passing By: where are you getting your figures?"
From the US Dept of Commerce.
Specifically, the expenditure data from the Census Bureau and the GDP data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (URLs below)
Hi Passing By: tbanks for the response. I couldn't look at the census charts (no Excel) but I appreciate the answer anyway.
From what I've seen, I thought California's taxes were at about 15th or 16th out of the 50, but there are so many ways to slice and dice these things that that may not mean much. We'd have to be able to really get under the hood to have a conversation about it. I've never seen anyone really be able to back up this idea that Cali is a high tax state, as opposed to a high cost of living one. And I'm not sure I found your figures all that horrible. On the other hand, we definitely spend too much on prisons for one, and I'm sure we can still improve a lot.
(NGC): "…we definitely spend too much on prisons for one, and I’m sure we can still improve a lot."
Whether or not the taxpayers of California spend too much on prison depends on a comparison with the prison costs of other jurisdictions. "Costs" means "per inmate" expenditures, and more. Other ways of counting costs include losses to society that do not appear on the government's balance sheet. Repeal of drug prohibition might reduce the cost of California's legal system, for example. The cost of the system also includes the costs inflicted on society at large by released inmates, and the costs inflicted by criminals who are never caught.
The State of California will not address effectively its budget deficit seeking quarters under sofa cusions. Consider big-ticket items. The K-PhD budget is 90% waste (In abstract, the education industry is an unlikely candidate for State operation).
Gerard Lassibile and Lucia Navarro Gomez,
"Organization and Efficiency of Educational Systems: some empirical findings"
Comparative Education, Vol. 36 #1, 2000, Feb.
"Furthermore, the regression results indicate that countries where private education is more widespread perform significantly better than countries where it is more limited. The result showing the private sector to be more efficient is similar to those found in other contexts with individual data (see, for example, Psucharopoulos, 1987; Jiminez, et. al, 1991). This finding should convince countries to reconsider policies that reduce the role of the private sector in the field of education".
NCG–The figures I cited are for government spending, not taxes. And they're for state-plus-local government. Those may help explain the diffferences you cite.
Passing By: thanks again! I still wish I could see a nice big list of all the states and where we fit. I'm sure it's out there somewhere on the web.
I'm not sure, though, that it necessarily follows that other states are "getting the job done," just because they spend slightly less. Or that I'd want to live in them. But that's the good side of federalism – people can choose.
Whereas, the question of different attitudes in red v. blue areas of California, that's important to me. It raises a lot of questions. What services do they want to cut, *besides* welfare? (It's always easy to attack poor people.)
(NCG): "…that’s the good side of federalism – people can choose."
(NGC): "Whereas, the question of different attitudes in red v. blue areas of California, that’s important to me. It raises a lot of questions. What services do they want to cut…"
See Milton Friedman's __Capitalism and Freedom__, Thomas Sowell's __Knowledge and Decisions__, or Friedrich Hayek's __The Road to Serfdom__ for answers to that.
(NGC): "…*besides* welfare? (It’s always easy to attack poor people.)"
See Charles Murray's __Losing Ground__. Cuts to welfare do not equal an "attack" on poor people. In historical fact, the policy which restricts parents' options for the use of the taxpayers' pre-college education subsidy originated in anti-Catholic (anti-immigrant, anti-poor) bigotry. Taxpayers get nothing from the State-monopoly structure of the US K-12 education industry that they would not get from a voucher-subsidized competitive market in education services or from an unsubsidized, unregulated market in education services, except drug abuse, illiteracy, vandalism, and violence.
Sorry for the punctuation error. There should be a paragraph break (then an additional sentence: "Where else to cut?" between "…poor people" and "In historical fact…"
(Michael O'Hare, 2011-01-15-1115): "Eli, Malcolm believes money incentives determine what we say (comment on another post); for example, I say what will enrich my industry (higher education) and you say what will enrich yours (public K-12 education). It would be rude in the extreme to conjecture that Malcolm is merely shilling for his (private tutoring), and I hope you will join me in not entertaining that conjecture, even for a minute."
I suppose that this style of argumentation has a name. "So are they all, all honorable men."
Professor O'Hare refers to this exchange ("Gabrielle's Law" 2011-01-08)
(Malcolm): "Pretty pathetic for a tax-subsidized Professor of Public Policy. If your concern is more than a self-congratulatory pose, turn down your own rhetoric."
(Michael): "Malcolm, if you could just clarify: do you expect _higher_ quality stuff from government than from the private sector, or did you omit the word 'even' between 'pathetic' and 'for'?"
(Malcolm): "I expect what I see repeatedly, to recur. I expect Professors of Public Policy at State universities to shill for their employer (the State). Sometimes some of them surprice (sic) me and recommend market solutions to resource allocation questions. I expect the quality of analysis to vary with the prestige of the institution (with a lot of departure from the regression line). I’ve revised my expectations of Berkeley and UCLA downward, lately."
So, logic fail.
It is instructive to contemplate the circumstances under which employees will argue in favor or against their employers. Unionized auto workers and mine workers at one time routinely portrayed their employers as ruthless exploiters. Milton Friedman once observed that the best protection a good worker has is a competitive market for his services. A good worker might well promote alternatives to his current employer.
If I believed that all employees always shill for their employers, then I would believe that Professors of Public Policy at State universities, teachers in government schools, and private tutors would shill for their respective employers. The implication does not logically follow the other way. That is, if you observe that professors, teachers, and tutors in some sample shill for their employers, it does not follow that all employees, across industries, will do so. It does not even follow that all professors will do so.
I expect that you can find Professors of Economics at State universities who recommend an unsubsidized market in K-PhD services. Walter Williams, Randall Holcombe, and Eduardo Zambrano, for example.
"Formal Models of Authority: Introduction and Political Economy
Rationality and Society, May 1999.
"Aside from the important issue of how it is that a ruler may economize on communication, contracting and coercion costs, this leads to an interpretation of the state that cannot be contractarian in nature: citizens would not empower a ruler to solve collective action problems in any of the models discussed, for the ruler would always be redundant and costly. The results support a view of the state that is eminently predatory, (the ? MK.) case in which whether the collective actions problems are solved by the state or not depends on upon whether this is consistent with the objectives and opportunities of those with the (natural) monopoly of violence in society. This conclusion is also reached in a model of a predatory state by Moselle and Polak (1997). How the theory of economic policy changes in light of this interpretation is an important question left for further work."
When I worked for the Hawaii DOE I recommended decentralization of Hawaii's State-wide school district and subsidizing alternatives to the prevailing policy which restricts parents' options for the use of the taxpayers' K-PhD education subsidy to schools operated by dues-paying members of the NEA/AFSCME cartel.
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