“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Public schools are funded by taxes, which are extracted from parents and non-parents alike. Taxpayers have no choice in the matter—their money is taken by force and used for purposes they may or may not approve. For many parents, these taxes make private education for their children impossible. The absence of choice does not end there.

Abolish Public Schools

In recent years, it has become increasingly popular to argue that government should be operated more like a business. As an example, a manifesto written by sixteen public school executives explains how to fix public schools:
Let’s stop ignoring basic economic principles of supply and demand and focus on how we can establish a performance-driven culture in every American school—a culture that rewards excellence, elevates the status of teachers and is positioned to help as many students as possible beat the odds.
Recognizing “basic economic principles of supply and demand” is a good place to start. But what is the essence of supply and demand? And how does it apply to our schools?
Wikipedia describes supply and demand as an economic model of price determination in a market. It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers (at current price) will equal the quantity supplied by producers (at current price), resulting in an economic equilibrium of price and quantity.
How does this apply to schools? Let us first look at the nature of public schools.
Public schools are funded by taxes, which are extracted from parents and non-parents alike. Taxpayers have no choice in the matter—their money is taken by force and used for purposes they may or may not approve. For many parents, these taxes make private education for their children impossible. The absence of choice does not end there.
Parents who cannot afford private education or home schooling have little choice but to send their children to public schools. If they don’t, compulsory attendance laws could land them in jail. And, once their children are in school, they will be taught a curriculum chosen by politicians and educational bureaucrats, not the parents. For example, your children might be taught evolution, though you support creationism.
Every aspect of public education renders your judgment irrelevant. You are forced to pay for a service you may not want or need. You are forced to support the teaching of ideas with which you may or may not agree. If consumers and taxpayers have no choice, how can supply and demand apply to public schools? In short, it can’t. Public schools obtain both their funds and their customers by compulsion. They are divorced from market considerations, including supply and demand.
Public schools—and indeed, no government institution—can be operated like a business. The only way to improve our schools is to get government out of education. Our schools should not be run like a business, but as a business. Consider what this would mean:
  1. Non-parents would not be forced to pay for the education of children who are not their own. If they so desire, they are free to provide financial assistance to anyone they choose.
  2. Parents would not be forced to subject their children to ideas they find immoral. They would be free to select schools that teach the ideas and values they advocate.
  3. Educators would not be compelled to meet the demands of educational bureaucrats and politicians. They would be free to meet the demands of the market.
A free market in education would create an abundance of choices for parents and students. Educators would have to compete for business by offering the curriculums that parents want. Indeed, this was the case in colonial America:
Historical records, which are by no means complete, reveal that over one hundred and twenty-five private schoolmasters advertised their services in Philadelphia newspapers between 1740 and 1776. Instruction was offered in Latin, Greek, mathematics, surveying, navigation, accounting, bookkeeping, science, English, and contemporary foreign languages. Incompetent and inefficient teachers were soon eliminated, since they were not subsidized by the State or protected by a guild or union. Teachers who satisfied their customers by providing good services prospered. One schoolmaster, Andrew Porter, a mathematics teacher, had over one hundred students enrolled in 1776. The fees the students paid enabled him to provide for a family of seven.
A privatized educational system gives parents and students meaningful choices. And it respects the moral right of each individual to act on his own judgment.
For decades, politicians and educators have suggested an endless stream of “reforms.” Yet, the performance of our schools continues to decline. It is time to truly allow supply and demand into education. It is time to abolish public schools.


  1. The video discusses the cultural changes in US society . Go to 7:00 maark

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  4. Schools, the MSM, and Hollywood are the most destructive forces in this country today.

    If kids had great schools, the MSM and Hollywood would not have the power that they now wield.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Yikes???

    Are you worried about Kykes?

    Calling What is "Occupation"!!!

  7. Seven Niggers, Six Spics, Five Micks, Four Kykes, Three Guineas, and One Wop In a Cabinet
    Are there any niggers here tonight? Could you turn on the house lights, please, and could the waiters and waitresses just stop serving, just for a second? And turn off this spot. Now what did he say? "Are there any niggers here tonight?" I know there's one nigger, because I see him back there working. Let's see, there's two niggers. And between those two niggers sits a kyke. And there's another kyke— that's two kykes and three niggers. And there's a spic. Right? Hmm? There's another spic. Ooh, there's a wop; there's a polack; and, oh, a couple of greaseballs. And there's three lace-curtain Irish micks. And there's one, hip, thick, hunky, funky, boogie. Boogie boogie. Mm-hmm. I got three kykes here, do I hear five kykes? I got five kykes, do I hear six spics, I got six spics, do I hear seven niggers? I got seven niggers. Sold American. I pass with seven niggers, six spics, five micks, four kykes, three guineas, and one wop. Well, I was just trying to make a point, and that is that it's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness. Dig: if President Kennedy would just go on television, and say, "I would like to introduce you to all the niggers in my cabinet," and if he'd just say "nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger" to every nigger he saw, "boogie boogie boogie boogie boogie," "nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger" 'til nigger didn't mean anything anymore, then you could never make some six-year-old black kid cry because somebody called him a nigger at school.

    -Leonard Alfred Schneider
    -Lenny Bruce

  8. Millionaire Joe vs. the Teachers
    Posted by Bethany Stotts ⋅ December 11, 2012
    Filed Under capital gains, millionaire, pensions, public education, retirement

    In a recent column for The American Thinker, Randall Hoven discusses how the value of teachers’ pensions can rival an American millionaire’s retirement–with less insecurity, of course.

    “Businesses go bankrupt, governments face default and economic growth slows to a near standstill,” writes Hoven. “Meanwhile, retired public school teachers, who had to work 9 months of the year during their careers, now pull in checks 12 months a year, indexed for inflation and guaranteed by the government, in amounts that often make them millionaires, maybe twice over.”

    How does Hoven arrive at this “twice over” number? He takes Illinois school districts’ pension information, assuming that, like Chicago, “the teacher will make about 50% of her final salary if she retires at age 55, or 75%, the maximum, if she waits until age 59.” Thus, a “typical” age 55 teacher with a salary of $85,000 upon retirement will glean $42,500 annually as a pension–an equivalent net worth of $1,062,500. The “typical” teacher, retiring at 59 with an $85,000 salary, would glean $63,750 annually–a net worth of $1,593,750, according to Hoven. His assumptions are that a “pension is 50% of salary if retirement is at age 55, and 75% if at age 59; annual pension is 4% of equivalent net worth.”

    “Contrast the teacher’s situation to that of an imaginary self-employed person I’ll call Joe,” continues Hoven. “Over Joe’s career he was able to buy a house, currently valued at $300,000 (not much above average), pay off the mortgage and save up another $1.7 million.” He continues,

    “So he [Joe] has a net worth of $2 million when he retires at age 59. Most of us would call Joe successful and we would also call him a millionaire. He now makes money from the capital gains, dividends and interest generated by his savings. Joe now gets to live each year on 4% of his investable nest egg of $1.7 million, or $68,000 per year. That’s not too far different from the pensions of many retired teachers in Illinois.”

    Also, it is worth noting that the lifetime earnings for a person with a bachelor’s degree are is ”about $2.27 million” over a lifetime, reported US News and World Report earlier this year. “…[T]hose with master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees earn $2.67 million, $3.25 million, and $3.65 million, respectively.”

    Hoven describes two key differences between Joe and the retired public teacher: insecurity and health care costs. “Every day [Joe] has to worry about what dies first: his principal or him,” writes Hoven. “Joe also has to pay for his health insurance premiums, all 100% of them.”

    What Hoven doesn’t mention is that Joe, being self-employed, has paid a larger share of Social Security and Medicare taxes over his lifetime, as well. And Joe has to pay capital gains taxes and interest on savings.

    “My point is not to vilify public school teachers or other public employees,” asserts Hoven. “My point is that the stereotypes need to be re-visited. Who thinks of retired public school teachers as millionaires on easy street? … Who thinks Joe the Millionaire has the more realistic fear of destitution in his old age than the retired teacher?”

  9. My wife (RIP) had an employee that was an art teacher in the public schools.

    She played the poor me card WRT her salary and why she had a second job.

    Is everyone entitled to a lifestyle of the likes of my current hero, Larry Ellison???

  10. My dear Mum was prejudiced against Catholics.

    Thus she thought her brother and his Catholic wife were reasonably liable for paying taxes to support public schools even tho my cousin did not attend.

    Fair is Fair.
    (when you're prejudiced)

    ...not that Obama harbors any ill-will toward ANYONE, of course.

    PBUWreverend WRIGHT!!!

  11. 48,000,000 on food stamps. Where do I sign up?

  12. I wonder what percentage of those complaining about supporting public schools (because they don't have children in public schools,) themselves are beneficiaries of Public School Education?

  13. .

    IMO, this subject is way too complex to get any definitive answers here.

    Given the time, I could come up with a dozen majors issues with our public education system and even start assigning blame for the problems. On the other hand, I could probably come up with plenty of problems associated with doing away with the public school system too.

    An example of the two competing arguments comes from an example mentioned in the video. The guy points out that over time the elite colleges (mostly private) will breed an upper class that is completely divorced from the lives, problems, and values of most of America. They will take on the elitist view that what is good for them is good for all of America and from their positions of power they will actuate those views and thus affect the rest of us.

    The guy points to the higher IQ standards of the elite colleges as the reason for this elite/non-elite bifurcation. However, what he fails to mention is that recently there is another reason and that is cost. The cost at these elite schools is further advancing the divide in this country between the 1% and the 99% by restricting participation to the class that can afford it.

    On the other hand, in good public institutions, although standards are still high and they are certainly not cheap, there still remains a number of ways for the non-elite (economically or intellectually) to still get a very good education. Or perhaps, I should say an equivalant education since there still remain some basic problems with the entire education system (public and private).

    What we do know is that our education system as a standard of excellence is dropping relative to much of the world and something needs to be done to reverse the trend.

    These days, I'm not sure who is qualified to come up with the answers.


    1. Certainly not any of us mere mortals.

      Leave it to the experts!

      ...and, of course, the Demigods in DC.

    2. My wife and I chose a different course.

      Thank God.

  14. On the one hand, Government Monopoly Schools are less than ideal.

    OTOH, they are not all that bad if you don't apply an objective standard.

    Yours Truly, and Obscurely,


    1. And what objective standard can you offer to support home schooling?

    2. There are many, but I am too sleep deprived to cite at this time.

      In our own case, our son has been constantly employed since age 15-1/2, holds the highest level of top-secret clearances from the Feds, and has had a high level job with the University of Hawaii, and now with Boeing, overseeing security at the Supercomputer Site here on Maui, where the Air Force has fast tracking telescopes and other systems monitering space in our quest for peace and security.

    3. Hmmm, dude, that is the opposite of objective.

    4. Good point.

      As I said in my first sentence.


    5. .

      You piss and moan, Doug, but you say little.

      You complain but you offer no solution that would solve America's education problems.

      I went through Catholic school through the 12th grade. I thought I got a pretty good, well rounded education; but I graduated back in the 60's. As has been pointed out, societally things are different now and it's a chicken and egg catch 22 problem trying to blame which affected the other more, changes in society or in the school system.

      You give one anecdotal example of successful home schooling and what? Do you project that as a blueprint for a complex society of 320 million?

      On the one hand, Government Monopoly Schools are less than ideal.

      OTOH, they are not all that bad if you don't apply an objective standard.

      Not only is your thinking simplistic, your reading and comprehension skills are sub-par, a poor commentary on an education received even back in the 50's.



    6. You're right:

      There is absolutely no correlation between the Unionization of Monopoly State Run Education and it's decline into the abyss.

    7. Check out those schools in AZ.

      ...if you're capable of creative inquiry.

    8. Vouchers are the solution.

      The last thing that will ever happen in this Soon to be Post-Obama World.

    9. .

      So, unless I am reading you wrong, what you are saying.

      1. Unions are the reason we have a faulty education system, and

      2. Vouchers are the answer, and

      3. If all private schools are modelled after those in AZ our problems are solved.

      Pretty impressive, Doug.


    10. .

      Pretty impressive, Quark.


      ...and yes, other factors are involved, but those are the basics, and it's a start.

    11. ...and you probly won't follow up on the AZ private school thing, so I'll dig them up sometime, if I live long enough.

      Truly Exceptional, if that means anything, or has any value in today's World.

    12. .

      Quirk: IMO, this subject is way too complex to get any definitive answers here.

      Given the time, I could come up with a dozen majors issues with our public education system and even start assigning blame for the problems. On the other hand, I could probably come up with plenty of problems associated with doing away with the public school system too...

      These days, I'm not sure who is qualified to come up with the answers.

      Yet, Doug says he is perfectly qualified to come up with both the reason for our decline relative to other countries and a solution to our problems. He says the problem is caused by the unions and that the solution is vouchers while admitting that ...yes, other factors are involved....

      You jumped all over my post, Doug, and yet what do you offer? The same as we get from the pols, bullshit generalities. What specifically are what you describe as the basics? Do we eliminate all teachers unions? And what about vouchers? Will these be available to all students without income restrictions or other qualifications? How much will they pay for? The cost of a median tuition, the cost of the average, the full boat regardless of where a student wants to go. Is the cost based on a national average, state, local?

      I don't necessarily disagree with your 'solutions' but merely with the fact that what you have offered us is non-specific and likely not all-encompassing .

      You are right, I won't be looking up the AZ example. Instead, I'll wait for you to provide the details. I should be interesting as it is likely to impact on the total cost factor. Don't hold me to the exact number, but I recall seeing somewhere that over 75% of the students who took advantage of the voucher program in AZ were already enrolled in private or religious schools. Let me know if I'm wrong.

      Also, let us know how expansive the program is, who is eligible, how many students are actually participating.

      This is open book. Feel free to consult the rat.


    13. .

      And lest you are under the mistaken impression I am against vouchers, I am not. From what I have read they have proved pretty effective in terms of improving scores, providing competition, and helping to control overall costs. However, unless I am mistaken 'most' of them are limited in scope and address primarily people with disabilities or low-incomes. This will hardly move the needle on our deteriorating education system.


  15. As I understand it, Catholic Schools cost less per student than "public schools."

    ...although from what I hear, they are following Presbyterians et-al toward PC HELL.

    Whatever, parents are required to pay for their kid's private education as well as their "fair share" of "public education"


    MY ASS!

  16. Quark said

    "On the other hand, in good public institutions, although standards are still high and they are certainly not cheap, there still remains a number of ways for the non-elite (economically or intellectually) to still get a very good education.

    Or perhaps, I should say an equivalant education since there still remain some basic problems with the entire education system (public and private).

    In Arizona, where state law castrates immoral local school boards, a private school network (forget the name) flourishes, with extremely high standards.

    ...way beyond what I was required to achieve back in '62.

  17. Bye bye Bad Dog Breath

    Ultra-soft, pointed bristles reach deep into the uneven crevices of your dog's tongue and loosen stinky bacteria.

    These bristles are designed after the surgeon's scrub brush--the same brush they use to clean bacteria from their hands before they cut you open.

    The 4 inline scrapers collect and remove the bacteria and residue generated from brushing, helping cure bad dog breath

  18. "Biologist Richard Dawkins dedicated his book The God Delusion (2006) to Adams, writing on his death that "Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender."

    When Dawkins croaks, we will have lost a giant, self-important, worthless, ASSHOLE...

    ...and a blight on "Science."

  19. Yeah, I can just see all those single moms out there "homeschooling their kids" between their two part-time jobs at Walmart, and MickyDees.

    Fevered fantasies of Feudalism.

    Beyond nonsense.

    1. Vouchers could pay them to stay home.

    2. ...but, as you point out below, all systems are normal, stay the course, keep paying the crooks.

  20. What’s really remarkable at this point, however, is the persistence of the deficit fixation in the face of rapidly changing facts. People still talk as if the deficit were exploding, as if the United States budget were on an unsustainable path; in fact, the deficit is falling more rapidly than it has for generations, it is already down to sustainable levels, and it is too small given the state of the economy.

    Start with the raw numbers. America’s budget deficit soared after the 2008 financial crisis and the recession that went with it, as revenue plunged and spending on unemployment benefits and other safety-net programs rose. And this rise in the deficit was a good thing! Federal spending helped sustain the economy at a time when the private sector was in panicked retreat; arguably, the stabilizing role of a large government was the main reason the Great Recession didn’t turn into a full replay of the Great Depression.

    But after peaking in 2009 at . . . . . . . .

    Dwindling Deficit Disorder

  21. Rufus will pay off all our debts by himself after he gets his printing presses running on the banks of the old Miss.

  22. You want to reduce the Deficit? Here's a Great Place to Start:

    The company with the most profits parked overseas is General Electric, according to a new Bloomberg analysis of 83 corporations.

    GE said in a Feb. 26 regulatory filing that it was holding $108 billion in profits overseas as of the end of last year. That is up from $102 billion a year before. GE said in the filing that it reinvested most of these profits in foreign business operations and does not intend to bring those profits back to the U.S.

    The practice of holding profits overseas has been highlighted as a strategy to avoid paying taxes. GE paid no U.S. taxes at all in 2010, according to The New York Times -- an allegation GE spokesman Seth Martin called "untrue" in an email to The Huffington Post Monday.

    GE did not comment on the $108 billion in profits overseas.

    Sixty big U.S. companies analyzed by the Wall Street Journal kept on average more than 40 percent of their annual profits overseas last year. The companies have attributed a growing amount of their revenue to foreign sales, and they have assigned patents and licenses to foreign subsidiaries. Thanks to these practices, the U.S. is not only losing out on tax revenue, but it is also missing money kept overseas that will not be used to invest in the U.S. or pay dividends to shareholders.

    It has become increasingly common for companies to move or keep their profits
    . . . . . .

    $108 Billion

  23. Obama has his head pretty far up GE's ass. I wonder how those poor kids and single moms feel about that.

  24. It's true; both parties a going to extreme lengths to ignore this particular pachyderm in the pantry.

  25. Yep yep, it's either those bad ole Pubs, or its everyone's fault. Obama is blameless, lest I'm a racist.

  26. .

    The Enablers: The NYT/Obama Collaberation

    From The Guardian,

    The New York Times and the Obama administration have created a disturbing collaborative pattern that asserted itself again on Sunday with the paper's long article purporting to describe the events leading up to the execution by the CIA of US citizen Anwar Awlaki. Time and again, the Obama administration shrouds what it does with complete secrecy, and then uses that secrecy to avoid judicial review of its actions and/or compelled statutory disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. "Oh, we're so sorry", says the Obama DOJ, "but we cannot have courts deciding if what we did is legal, nor ordering us to disclose information under FOIA, because these programs are so very secret that any disclosure would seriously jeopardize national security".

    But then, senior Obama officials run to the New York Times by the dozens, demand (and receive) anonymity, and then spout all sorts of claims about these very same programs that are designed to justify what the US government has done and to glorify President Obama. The New York Times helpfully shields these officials - who are not blowing any whistles, but acting as government spokespeople - from being identified, and then mindlessly regurgitates their assertions as fact. It's standard government stenography, administration press releases masquerading as in-depth news articles.

    Sunday's lengthy NYT article on the Awlaki killing by Mark Mazzetti, Charlie Savage and Scott Shane is a classic case of this arrangement. It purports to provide "an account of what led to the Awlaki strike" that is "based on interviews with three dozen current and former legal and counterterrorism officials and outside experts". But what it really does is simply summarize the unverified justifications of the very officials involved in the killing, most of whom are permitted to justify themselves while hiding behind anonymity. It devotes itself with particular fervor to defending the actions of former Obama OLC lawyers David Barron and Marty Lederman, who concocted the theories to authorize due-process-free assassinations of American citizens (those same Democratic lawyers were, needless to say, among the most vocal critics of the Bush administration's War on Terror policies that denied due process and relied on rampant secrecy)...