Should K-12 teachers make six-figure salaries?

By: shenpa warrior
May 4, 2011

A recent NY Times article suggested that K-12 teachers should start out at 65k/year, making up to 150k. Many people agree that teachers don’t make enough for what they do, but I don’t think we should raise their salaries out of “fairness” or pity. We should raise their salaries out of concern for our children.

The School of Education at my University has one of the lowest required GPAs on campus. I have taught in the School of Ed for the past two years and have met some amazing students. There have also been quite a few who have come in thinking, “well, I don’t really know about teaching, but it seems easy enough.” Fortunately they were all bright enough to realize by the end of the semester that A-Teaching was NOT the right career for them, or B-Teaching is indeed very challenging but they still want to do it.

Schools of Education like mine should have MUCH higher standards. The only way they can do that, however, is to increase the demand. Pay them more.

Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes, we need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense. That’s my position. I just haven’t figured out how to do it yet.  ~Sam Seaborn

I don’t know how to do it either. A friend suggested that abolishing unions and getting rid of tenure in K-12 could help pay for it. What do you think?

Discuss!

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130 Responses to Should K-12 teachers make six-figure salaries?

  1. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Schools should be palaces.

    They already are. What are the nicest buildings in most communities? The schools.

    The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six-figure salaries.

    Free market.

    Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense.

    They already are incredibly expensive.

    K-12 teachers should start out at 65k/year

    If you figure the number of months plus benefits plus job security then teachers make well beyond this.

    More and more money has already been thrown at this, throwing more money at it won’t solve any problems. Opt out, teach your kids at home or at a private school. We don’t let our government run our churches yet we let them teach our impressionable children?

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  2. Mark D. on May 4, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    This might actually work, but the bare minimum prerequisite would be to pay teachers according to individual merit rather than according to lock step seniority based payscales.

    There are few things less effective than increasing the salaries of the people that are so ineffective that they really ought to be fired (or motivated to improve so that they aren’t) instead.

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  3. Mark D. on May 4, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    I am referring to a relatively small percentage, not all teachers of course.

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  4. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    Jon – Feasible or not, you believe that MUCH higher salaries would not – in the long run – lead to more competition and ostensibly better teachers?

    Mark – Exactly – I don’t think paying poor teachers more would help at all. In the long run though, higher pay w/zero tenure/unions for k-12 teachers = more competition for the job, and perhaps better teachers. It would take a while though.

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  5. hawkgrrrl on May 4, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    I agree with your friend that unions and tenure hurt the teaching profession on the whole, making teaching a non-meritocratic profession. That’s the core problem, IMO.

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  6. Ben Pratt on May 4, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    A good principal or headmaster with free reign to fire or hire whoever he wants can turn around a school in less than two years, in my experience. Anecdotal, but there you go. He’s still working on how to pay us more.

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  7. James on May 4, 2011 at 2:47 AM

    Jon,

    If you figure the number of months plus benefits plus job security then teachers make well beyond this.

    I had to wait a while before posting because this statement is so off base that I just wanted to insult you the way Dan does. I’ve cooled down a bit.

    My advise to you, Jon. Turn of Foxnews or whatever pop conservative source your getting your info from. Let me share my information, which is not statistical, but while anecdotal, still has some breadth.

    You see, my father, my uncle, my aunt, my cousin, my two sisters-in-law, and multiple friends: All teachers in k12.

    Let me tell you about my experience growing (and one which is mirrored by the other teachers I know). My father rarely worked 40 hour weeks. Nope. Not even close. He worked an average of 50 hours a week. Foxnews morons like to spin this theoretical situation where teachers work part-time hours, but that’s only because they are pushing an agenda and not talking about the reality of the k12 teaching profession. Many many hours are put in away from the classroom grading, planning lessons, reviewing materials, and working additional jobs to make ends meet.

    Oh yeah, and that nice little fable about having summers off… well that’s only true for teachers who have spouses that supplement their incomes. Teachers choose to teach because they want to change kids lives, but that comes at a cost. My dad took coaching jobs, private teaching contracts with physically or emotionally challenged kids who were unable to attend regularly, started side business, taught summer school, yet you are telling me that his salary was adequate? My mother would have worked as me and my three siblings got older, but she was unable to due to M.S. that eventually confined her to a wheel chair. We didn’t live in any sort of lavish life-style either. We went on very few vacations growing up, and when we did, it usually consisted of going up in the mountains and camping. I loved the time, but it wasn’t lavish. Going out to dinner for my family was a treat: but for us, going out to dinner did not mean going to a sit down dinner as a family, it meant going to Taco Bell. At the time I thought that’s what everyone did. I loved “going out to dinner” as a family.

    And guess what. After almost thirty years of teaching for the same district and after going back to school for a masters degree, my dad now pulls in the big bucks of 75,000 a year. It is decent money, but that is the very top of the pay scale that takes years and years and graduate school to obtain.

    And one more detail you’ll enjoy: One of my friends who teaches also works at Home Depot during the summers because she, of course, has to pay rent for her apartment and all that. The interesting thing is though, she says she could make more money if she quite teaching and just worked at Home Depot full time. She’s not a manager or anything special at HD, she just works at the Customer Service Desk. No education needed, no substantive training, very little hanging on her efforts at Home Depot, yet the work she does there is brings her more money than educating America’s youth.

    Jon, please don’t make statements on topics you don’t seem to be very familiar with. It’s quite offensive to those of us for whom the life of a teacher is very real, and not just a pawn in a political power move.

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  8. James on May 4, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    I think more money would make the profession more attractive as well as signal to the American people that we want to invest in education.

    I’m not sure about whether or not teachers unions are helpful or not. I think a lot of people watch Waiting for Superman and automatically conclude that the unions are the problem and should be abolished, but that film presents the anti-union article while riding on the pathos of the experiences of the children and it is not wholly accurate. I’d really actually like to hear people’s reasoning on why unions, and teachers unions specifically, are damaging the profession.

    As far as tenure goes, I disagree. Tenure is a great thing, but the current implementation of tenure is a major problem. In the k12 system you just have to show up to get tenure, which is not what tenure is supposed to be. Tenure should be a process whereby an educator demonstrates proficiency, just as it is in a university. Typically, a University will higher multiple people for one tenure position, and after typically three years, all of them will have been teaching extensively as well as doing research and publishing, but still two of them will get canned. Getting tenure is a very high-stakes at the University level. If we model that merit-based approach to tenure, then it really could be a helpful tool for quality control.

    Oh, and one last comment. I really don’t think the salaries would have to bump up as much as the NYT article states to make the profession more attractive. If you start salaries at 50,000 and top out at 110,000 I still think you would see great results (especially considering that teachers in Utah, for example, typically start out making around 25,000).

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  9. James on May 4, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    And I also agree with Mark, pay increases shouldn’t just be based on the fact that you’ve been teaching for a while, but that you’ve demonstrated aptitude, production, efficiency, commitment, or whatever criterion which would indicate improvement. We could model this method of promotion on University approaches as well (but without the publication requirement, obviously).

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  10. AndrewJDavis on May 4, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    I completely agree with James (7 & 8), as well as with the main point of this post. I personally love teaching, but decided that I could not support my family teaching high school physics. So, I’m getting a Ph.D in astronomy, and plan on teaching at the university level. That has its own can of worms (namely research, and most Professors don’t give a darn about their teaching), but at least I can support my family doing (some of the time) what I want to do — help people understand more about the world around them, and how to (please please please) think critically.

    As a comment about Jon’s free market remark: he’s absolutely right — look at private schools which are in the free market: 1. They pay their teachers much much more. 2. They have way better test results. 3. The kids are usually more involved — and their families — because they are paying lots more for their education. But, the main problem is: if we did all schools this way, we would be (intentionally or not) keeping the poorest kids poor forever, as they would never afford to get out of the crappiest schools. Hence, that’s why we use the government to ensure all have access to decent (ok, that’s the idea, not necessarily the result) education.

    One main problem with any sort of tenure system (and it’s true at the university level too) is that it is very hard to judge someone’s efficacy based on someone else’s actions: i.e. a Teacher’s ability based on a student’s test scores. For the K-12 teachers, the home life is just as (and probably more) important as what goes on in the classroom. It is hard to judge a teacher’s value when his/her kids go home to no parents who don’t give them a decent lunch/dinner, who don’t make them do their homework, who don’t help them study for tests, who don’t read to them, who don’t encourage them, who don’t model good behavior, etc. etc. etc. Getting a 12 year old to go from being able to add with his fingers and toes to doing it without looking at his hands is a huge accomplishment. And he’ll still fail all state tests.

    Ultimately, the state can not enforce good parenting, but it can do lots more to entice the best teachers (remember enthusiasm does not mean skill) to the profession. Increased salaries is the easiest, and likely the most effective way to do this.

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  11. Tim on May 4, 2011 at 4:20 AM

    I think an increase in pay is important, although I don’t think starting pay needs to be as high as $65k. Mid-40s to low-50s would be sufficient, at least in areas with low costs of living. Pay increases should be based on how effective the teacher is, and not just on how long the teacher has taught in the district.

    Another consideration that often gets overlooked, and one of the reasons I myself left teaching, is the low level of respect teachers get. Students may or may not respect you, but being a teacher (especially if you’re a guy) is not something society at large respects.

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  12. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    Teachers, teachers’ salaries, unions, school structure, school administrators, school buildings, all are not the cause of the failure of the education of our children. The children who fail at school all had issues outside of school long before they ever entered the classroom. The biggest culprit of the failure of education is poverty. Other problems include family problems (such as divorce) and entertainment distractions like video games.

    I don’t know if we need to massively increase teachers’ salaries, but in this matter, I’m probably going to be very biased as my wife is a principal of a public school, so yes, please, let’s increase their salaries. :)

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  13. AndrewJDavis on May 4, 2011 at 6:06 AM

    I thought this comic was rather appropriate to the discussion. Clearly there are good teachers out there somewhere, why aren’t they in the classroom? http://www.xkcd.com

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  14. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 6:33 AM

    Let’s compare a school to a church. In school, when a student fails, we blame the teacher. In church, when a member fails, we blame the bishop…oh wait, we don’t.

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  15. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 7:03 AM

    Jon – Feasible or not, you believe that MUCH higher salaries would not – in the long run – lead to more competition and ostensibly better teachers?

    It’s the system that is the problem. There is a regression to the mean that pulls teachers down. This is typical in any government sponsored monopoly.

    See http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north831.html

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  16. hawkgrrrl on May 4, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    The 65K salary proposed might be completely appropriate for starting pay in a major metropolitan school – but too high in a more inexpensive place to live. Salaries do need to reflect the surrounding living expenses to some extent. In NYC, 65K is quite low.

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  17. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    Cato on why increasing the pay won’t work:

    While many policymakers advocate across-the-board salary increases, Gryphon finds that such pay raises do not, in fact, improve teacher quality. In actuality, “untargeted, across-the-board teacher salary hikes may lower the overall quality of the teaching workforce, because they may attract more low-quality applicants,” she states. “Only new hiring policies that effectively separate the wheat from the chaff can transform the teaching profession.”

    http://www.cato.org/pressroom.php?display=news&id=59

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  18. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 7:13 AM

    @James,

    I’m not saying all teachers are bad. My bro-in-law is a teacher and is really good at it. But because of what was addressed in the article I posted two posts ago, he was driven out of Utah and is now teaching in Nevada. It’s the whole system that is the problem and will continue to be as long as it is backed by the government.

    I can’t find the original analysis of what a teacher makes after figuring for a full year on the same salary.

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  19. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 7:17 AM

    It’s the system that is the problem.

    Indeed, it is the system that is the problem. The prophet is a failure. The missionaries are a failure. The bishop is a failure. Every single member of the church who leaves the church is a mark against the system for failing them. The people who leave have no personal responsibility. The blame goes solely on the system. If a member sins, it’s the fault of the system, not the member.

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  20. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 7:17 AM

    It’s a fallacy to believe the poor wouldn’t be educated in a free market system:

    The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves

    Tooley (Reclaiming Education) documents his surprising finding that private schools are providing quality education to millions of poor children in the developing world. Whereas development experts insist that the path out of poverty lies in investment in public schools, the author draws on his fieldwork in India, China and Africa to argue that small entrepreneurs are educating the poor. In one region of India, 80% of urban children and 30% of rural children attend private schools; in China’s Gansu province 586 private schools are located in small villages, even though the state prides itself on its public system. Contrary to accepted wisdom, the modest fees of private schools are within reach of most, and parents find them superior to public schools that are often riddled with corruption and incompetence. Tooley argues that development funds be invested to support these institutions, through vouchers to parents and microfinance loans to the schools. The author’s engaging style transforms what could have been a dry if startling research report into a moving account of how poor parents struggle against great odds to provide a rich educational experience to their children. (Apr.)

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  21. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    @Dan,

    The system creates the regression to the mean. There can be good teachers but the system brings them down from their potential, as articulated in the first link I provided. If you are unwilling to view the argument then please don’t argue with me, because you obviously haven’t opened your mind to understanding my point of view.

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  22. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 7:21 AM

    Your point of view sucks Jon. To put it bluntly and crudely. And if America takes your view to heart, we will indeed become like India, China, and Africa. Or in other words, we’ll become just another third world country.

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  23. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    Ben“A good principal or headmaster with free reign to fire or hire whoever he wants”

    Sounds like a good idea to me. What are the pros and cons of this? Why don’ we already have this kind of a setup?

    James – Thanks for your comment. Whenever anyone brings up the whole “Teachers only work 9 months, it’s such an easy job” shtick it’s hard not to get angry. I just have to laugh. It’s an extremely challenging profession. Well, it’s challenging really to be a GOOD teacher. I think we all have stories of bad teachers who looked like they didn’t do much. But if you care about what you’re doing it can be a ton of work. Re: K-12 Tenure – I didn’t even know such a thing existed until recently. Honestly it kind of surprised me a little. I can see how University teachers need tenure – they need to be able to, for example, conduct research on unpopular stuff and shouldn’t be worried about being fired of the topic. I definitely agree with making k-12 tenure merit-based (it’s not?!?) but why do K-12 teachers need tenure in the first place?

    AndrewJDavis – You’re a perfect example. How many other people like you are there? People that would make great teachers but don’t because the pay is so low. Re: private vs. public schools – I tend to agree. I believe all of us are best served by providing the best possible education for even the poorest of the poor. Right after something like national defense, how is this not THE most important issue for the country?

    Tim“being a teacher (especially if you’re a guy) is not something society at large respects”

    They would respect you a lot more if you made 80k! :D

    Dan“The biggest culprit of the failure of education is poverty.”

    I can’t disagree with that! (Actually, in a sense to me that is similar to what Jon is saying – with the problem being systemic). Ostensibly even if we had overall a much higher caliber of teachers, there would still be all kinds of problems. A great 3rd-grade teacher can’t save all the students from their backgrounds (on a side-note, anyone watch The Wire season 4?), but for many kids it can really help.

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  24. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    shenpa,

    Sounds like a good idea to me. What are the pros and cons of this? Why don’ we already have this kind of a setup?

    Because teachers unionized to protect from being fired at whim. The problem is that you can’t just put someone in charge without protecting the workforce. We’ve sort of been spoiled of late here in this country, but it used to be that workers were fired for any sort of reason, many times not even related to their efforts. I do think unions have gone too far in some cases, but teachers should still have protections.

    Take for instance Michelle Rhee down in DC. She created an environment of fear to the point where teachers and principals changed the results of test scores to show improvements just so they don’t get fired. And then she promoted or praised the principals and teachers that showed improved scores because Michelle Rhee also didn’t want to get fired! And now she’s made the big time.

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  25. Matt W. on May 4, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    If you want to raise the salaries of teachers, you need to raise the requirements/difficulty of being a teacher. Thus the supply of teachers will go down, the demand for teacher’s will go up, and the price of teachers will rise with the demand.

    As it is now, it is very easy to become a teacher, and there are plenty of teachers to go around.

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  26. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 8:27 AM

    @shenpa,

    Just for the record, I never said Whenever anyone brings up the whole “Teachers only work 9 months, it’s such an easy job” shtick it’s hard not to get angry.

    I know how much work my bro-in-law puts in and see him constantly grading papers. All I’m saying is that the free market works just fine, history tells us so.

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  27. joe on May 4, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    the problem is, it is very hard to measure what is a good teacher, and what is a bad teacher.

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  28. Small Dog on May 4, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    I say make parents more accountable, but I’m not sure how to do it. Currently it seems to me that if a child is failing the blame goes entirely on the teacher. In some cases this may have merit, but failure begins at home in my experience. I’ve several friends that are teachers and their stories (admittedly somewhat biased) make me feel like parents are the things they most fear. They can come in screaming and demand a teacher’s removal for a failing grade, without even considering that their children might not have done the work to deserve to pass. I’d do away with tenure as well, or at least deeply modify it, but I think we need to stand up for our teachers in other ways.

    I work at a police department and I’ve had parents blame me when their child has been arrested for drugs, saying the PD didn’t do enough to prevent his addiction. This is beyond laughable to me, but I suspect that teachers must deal with much of the same thing. Teaching has become an 8 hour babysitting job instead of education to many parents.

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  29. Susan on May 4, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    I think the main point is that teachers, administrators, and secretaries and aides, provide our children’s foundations that last forever, determines what they will do with their lives. Next the the family and church, education is the most important factor in determining what the future of our country will be. It lies within our children. They spend as much, or more time in school than home, if you don’t consider time sleeping. when you consider what movie stars and sports stars are paid, and who holds them accountable, it is a very sad reflection on the priorities and values Americans place on education. I agree 100% with you Sherpa Warrior! And with Sam Seaborn’s stand on education!

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  30. Susan on May 4, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    oops! typo! I meant to say next ‘TO’ the family and church…….

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  31. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    All, if education is so important, let’s say as Susan says, right behind church and family. Why would you entrust the vulnerable and pliable children to the state? We don’t entrust our families nor our churches to the state, what makes education different? Is it not the same concept?

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  32. Susan on May 4, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    another oops! I called you sherpa warrior…. because I was thinking of the Sherpa, who climb to the greatest heights and help others climbs to the greatest heights, so I thought of you………

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  33. Susan on May 4, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    I don’t trust them to the state! I trust them to individual educators who have gone through more levels of security and ongoing assessment than most people even know exist. Most of the teachers I have known, and I have personally known hundreds if not thousands, are wonderful people who do a better job with children than most parents. I have been in the middle of the education system for over 20 years. I wonder how long Jon has been in it?

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  34. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Let’s see K-12 (that’s 13 years), then 7 years in college. So 20 years.

    Remember I have no gripe with the individuals, it’s the system. Just like if the government ran the churches, I wouldn’t have any problems with the individuals, it would be the system that I have a problem with.

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  35. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Oh, I almost forgot. Dan, I love you man. You’re a great guy and a good friend.

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  36. ESO on May 4, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    My union is the ONLY reason I make the same amount of money as my male colleagues with similar qualifications and experience. My union provides a sick bank where we pool our leave days for illnesses that extend beyond the 10 days we can take without losing pay. Unlike many other professions, we have no paid leave. At all. Our pay is for the hours we are at school teaching and planning for the 190 days we work. We are not paid for those “summers off”. Nor are we paid for the grading and planning we do all summer and evening at home. Nor are we compensated for the sleepless nights we spend worrying about other people’s kids.

    My union is not the problem. Nor is tenure.

    Tenure is not granted without evaluation. Bad teachers is NOT a tenure problem: it is an administrative problem. Administrators (AKA supervisors) need to observe and evaluate their staff. If the work is sub-par, or just not great, the administrators need to address that. Tenure has a reputation for making it “impossible” to fire a teacher–that is bull. All it means is that a teacher cannot be fired without cause. An administrator who evaluates and documents cause for firing (absenteeism, lack of knowledge/skills, etc) can, indeed, fire a teacher, tenured or not, but that firing will definitely be reviewed (as it should be IMO).

    Tenure protects teachers from capricious administrators. Schools can be political atmospheres. Most people in education passionately advocate for their students, and frankly, not everyone agrees. Should I (for example) present to the principal a certain way in which the school is failing MY students (English Language Learners) and ask for x y z changes, she might decide to ignore me, even if I am only asking that we adhere to federal guidelines. She might not care because other populations of students have noisier parents (I’m looking at you, special ed.). Without tenure, that principal may decide to fire me, as a squeaky wheel. In other professions, that is no big deal: I can go find work in another school where the philosophies align with mine, but in teaching, being fired is interpreted as a moral sin. Other schools would not hire me, figuring I must have done something wrong.

    I happen to work in a top-notch school district. We have a 98% rate of college acceptance. Our high schools are always on the list of best in the nation, in the top thirty in recent history. It is a great place to be a teacher for a number of reasons, and people would generally assume that we have great teachers. You know what? We are EXACTLY the same kind of teachers who teach in a neighboring “drop-out” factory urban district. We are colleagues. We have the SAME education. We have the same professional development. The differences between the districts are mostly non-teaching: community involvement, tax base, role-models, professional parents, expectations, etc. Those teachers are even better paid than we are (they deserve to be). But there is one difference for teaching that makes a big difference: our district supports teachers and therefore teachers stay here long enough to develop mastery. We don’t have (many) problem kids, our administrators are ever-present and supportive, we don’t have to buy our own copy-paper. We never have to worry about our cars being broken into or stolen. We are valued.

    Most teachers are in the profession for 5 years max. How can we expect great teaching from novices. Masters of any skill may demonstrate talent early on, but they will all tell you that it takes at least 10 years to actually show mastery. If education is such a hostile environment, and the compensation so poor, I understand why teachers burn out. But that is something that could be addressed.

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  37. hawkgrrrl on May 4, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    “I say make parents more accountable, but I’m not sure how to do it. Currently it seems to me that if a child is failing the blame goes entirely on the teacher.” Bollocks! That just sounds like you don’t have any school age children. Teachers hold parents accountable plenty, to the point that I have often felt as though my child’s education has become my or my husband’s full time job.

    Definitely there are some parents who are insufficiently accountable, but it’s probably a similar percentage as there are teachers who are not accountable. The difference is that teachers are supposed to be professional educators whereas no special certificate is required to become a parent. Studies consistently show that the US education system is over-reliant on homework, and that it doesn’t yield better results.

    I do agree parents have to help their kids. But I don’t agree that more blame should go to parents vs. teachers when a student falls short (nor should it go the other way around). The other factor to remember is that every student is different. They don’t all respond equally to the same teaching and parenting styles. The student and the environment are both big factors to success as well.

    The other thing I am constantly reminded is that being good at school often requires very different skills from being successful in life.

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  38. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    hawkgrrrl,

    Studies consistently show that the US education system is over-reliant on homework, and that it doesn’t yield better results.

    Can you share those studies here, please. :)

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  39. John C Gilmore on May 4, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    My friend just spent his first year teaching middle school in perhaps the lowest income suburb of Salt Lake City. His overwhelming takeaway: The teachers are astoundingly terrible. If I didn’t respect this guy so much as a person I wouldn’t have believed his assigning this to the teachers. But he made it enormously clear to me that they just don’t know how to teach. They spend their time teaching children to speak in turn and to raise their hand and, meanwhile, he has his students in a frenzy of brainstorming and thinking and idea-creation and speaking out of turn that the other teachers look at and call “bad classroom management.”

    If I could teach anywhere it would probably be high school. I’ll never do it for the pay and the system.

    But the whole argument about “not throwing money at it”—this is a very ridiculous right wing line—it misses a crucial point, and that is this: Add a couple thousand dollars to salaries and you do nothing. You waste money on bad teachers. Add ten or fifteen thousand and your immediately, IMMEDIATELY start recruiting the best. I’ve just finished my masters degree and if I knew the states were suddenly going to be paying ten or fifteen thousand more than they do, I’d go get my teacher certification right now.

    As it is, the pay is so bad that the only people willing to do it are martyr personalities who believe they can “make a difference” in their students’ lives (haha). No, pay us a little more, and you’d get people who will challenge students and complicate their thinking. You wont get Making A Difference, you’ll get brighter, sharper kids. IMO.

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  40. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Jon“Take for instance Michelle Rhee down in DC. She created an environment of fear to the point where teachers and principals changed the results of test scores to show improvements just so they don’t get fired. And then she promoted or praised the principals and teachers that showed improved scores because Michelle Rhee also didn’t want to get fired!”

    Yeah, that IS a problem. It’s interesting how powerful the environment is on teachers. I read two articles last week about teachers cheating on tests. But that’s all part of the atmosphere along with teaching to the test, or even having so much emphasis on standardized testing to begin with.

    Matt W”If you want to raise the salaries of teachers, you need to raise the requirements/difficulty of being a teacher.”

    I couldn’t agree more!

    Jon”Just for the record, I never said Whenever anyone brings up the whole “Teachers only work 9 months, it’s such an easy job”

    Thank you for pointing that out. I should have been more clear that I was directing that at the general attitude that I have heard many times.

    Small Dog”Failure begins at home in my experience. I’ve several friends that are teachers and their stories (admittedly somewhat biased) make me feel like parents are the things they most fear.”

    I agree, to some extent, but I believe we have to go further. Why are those parents the way they are? We can blame the parents instead of the teachers, but it still doesn’t get us anywhere. Dan blames poverty, which could also be a huge factor. I think we have some tragic systemic issues that I’m starting to think will never be solved.

    “I work at a police department and I’ve had parents blame me when their child has been arrested for drugs, saying the PD didn’t do enough to prevent his addiction.”

    Indeed, that is crazy.

    Susan – Thanks for your comments! I don’t mind being called a Sherpa either. :)

    ESO – Thank you for your insight. I know very little about K-12 tenure so I appreciate your experience. And yes, the burnout rate is right up there with therapists. It needs to be addressed. I don’t know how to do it though. I have shared the burnout stuff with my students, and it scares a lot of them away from teaching, while it motivates others to work even harder.

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  41. Anna G. on May 4, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    I love the idea of merit-based pay for teachers, but as someone in a family full of public school teachers, every attempt I’ve seen at measuring “merit” seems to do more harm than good.

    My sister is a pre-tenure high school teacher. She seems to be evaluated based on two things: test scores and administrator evaluations. The test score thing results in her obsessing about teaching to the end-of-year state test. When they get in the book to a subject she’s particularly knowledgeable and passionate about, she can’t spend extra time doing special projects on it, because it’s not on the test. And the whole school spends enormous amounts of time taking practice tests and teaching test-taking strategies. This is NOT the way to get students to learn things in a lasting way, let alone to get them excited about the process of learning.

    For her administrator evaluations, she has a principal (often a particular one whose only teaching experience was as a P.E. teacher) come in and watch her a couple of random days a year, checking off boxes to indicate whether she’s employing each of the latest trendy teaching strategies the district has decided to adopt that year–whether or not they happen to be helpful in the particular lesson that’s being taught that day. Not helpful.

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  42. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Hawk“The other thing I am constantly reminded is that being good at school often requires very different skills from being successful in life.”

    I wish this wasn’t the case. I know I’m just a small example teaching a few classes, but I try hard to make things relevant to real-life. At least in the teacher-ed classes I’ve done. Contextual relevance for class activities is crucial. Making them as authentic to actual teaching experiences is as well.

    John“Add a couple thousand dollars to salaries and you do nothing. You waste money on bad teachers. Add ten or fifteen thousand and your immediately, IMMEDIATELY start recruiting the best. I’ve just finished my masters degree and if I knew the states were suddenly going to be paying ten or fifteen thousand more than they do, I’d go get my teacher certification right now.”

    There you go! Another perfect example. I can’t like this comment enough.

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  43. SLK in SF on May 4, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    In a word, yes.

    Low teacher salaries are symptomatic of our culture’s wrongheaded priorities and values. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” And where our hearts truly are, there will we be willing to expend our treasure.

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  44. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Anna – I agree. I love the idea of merit-based pay, but the question (and this is addressed in the quote in the OP) of HOW to do it is an entirely different matter.

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  45. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    shenpa,

    And yes, the burnout rate is right up there with therapists. It needs to be addressed. I don’t know how to do it though.

    Hmmm, oh I don’t know, maybe stop blaming teachers for the failure of the student and maybe actually assign responsibility and accountability in the student for his failure to learn…just thinking out loud.

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  46. bbell on May 4, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    To me issue #1 with failing schools is not the teachers or the admin. I have had an overwhelmingly positive exp as a child and as parent of 5 kids with American public schools and its teachers. My kids teachers simply rock. I have only attended and will only send my kids to quality public schools. What you ask is the difference between a good school and a bad school? Good involved families in the district. You could take a school where teachers make 100K and put it in a bad part of town and the school will struggle. You can take the same teachers and pay them 40K and put them here in my school district and the schools will perform.

    I think teacher pay depends on where you live. Many affluent areas of the country pay teachers quite well. When I lived in the Northern suburbs of Chicago average local teacher pay was 90K and many teachers made 110-120K plus benefits after 20 years.

    A starting teacher here in my suburban school district makes high 40′s plus benefits and will top out at 65k which is very liveable in Texas. Locally you will get paid more at a struggling local district as an enticement for teachers to work there. I don’t think it really helps due to my opening comments about families and parents being the key.

    I personally do not believe in unionized public employees like FDR and think schools would be better off without unions but the union issue is not why schools fail or succeed. Its parents and families that are the key. Unions play no role whatsoever with the quality of the school that my kids attend cause I and the other parents want our kids to succeed. In fact in 5 years at my kids elemenatary school I have never even heard anybody mention the local teachers union for good or bad.

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  47. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    well said bbell

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  48. ESO on May 4, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Unfortunately, in our society, money=status. Teachers will never be respected as long as it is viewed as a career of mediocre professionals. If you raised the salaries significantly, it MIGHT attract “more talented” people (you might start by comparing the states with the highest pay and the states with the lowest pay and see if the teaching pool is significantly different; my guess is that it is not–the same teacher types are present at any pay). It almost certainly would attract smart people who are not necessarily able to teach (anyone ever had a smart but bad college professor? I sure did).

    No one wants to work with the teacher who chose the profession for the perceived perks. They tend to be not great teachers. But guess what? I also do not want to teach with people who are motivated only by the pay. Let those guys do something that doesn’t particularly matter, like get their MBAs. I want to work with, and more importantly I want my kids taught by, people who are passionate about learning and sharing and inspiring, not people who are passionate about their paycheck.

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  49. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    ESO – So maybe there is an amount that is high enough to attract a higher caliber of teachers (e.g. not lose the potentially great teachers who don’t do it just because it’s not a livable wage) while also not attracting those who are solely looking for money. Like, say, 65k.

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  50. Anna G. on May 4, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    ESO, I don’t think your view of being motivated by passion vs. being motivated by pay is realistic. I’m passionate about teaching. And I was, for a year after grad school, a pretty darn good teacher. But I’m also passionate about being able to pay off my substantial student loans, being able to buy a house in a safe neighborhood with good schools for my own kids, and being able to support my family in a fairly modest middle-class lifestyle with occasional luxuries. So I’m not a teacher.

    Increasing pay would not just attract people who are motivated solely by pay (and unless you increased it MASSIVELY, it wouldn’t do that at all); it would allow talented people who feel they need a certain level of pay to come into the profession.

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  51. Starfoxy on May 4, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    I’m with Anna G. You can’t eat passion for dinner, nor does it keep a roof over your head.

    Also, no one seems too concerned about, say, Doctors who are primarily motivated by money. The high salaries are seen to be necessary to draw in the bright people who could do practically anything.

    Here’s the thing- sure you pay teachers more and you’ll start attracting people who are primarily motivated by money. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing- especially if those people need to be *good* at teaching to keep their job.

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  52. PaulM on May 4, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    This entire conversation is based on the lie that any child can become anything if only we paid teachers more. The simple fact of the matter is that teachers have relatively little impact on educational outcomes. The top factor in outcomes is genetics which explains roughly 70% followed by peer groups (10%) and parenting (5%). Teacher quality doesn’t even show up as significant. So if the relative quality of the instructor makes little, if any, material impact under which set of guidelines can teachers be described as “under-paid”? If someone want to improve their individual children’s educational performance then make sure you reproduce with someone with a high IQ because that’s the surest way to produce the desired results.

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  53. Anna G. on May 4, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    PaulM–what’s the source for those numbers?

    I don’t dispute that factors other than teachers are primarily responsible for educational outcomes, but 70% genetics sounds pretty off to me (and difficult to segregate from other factors).

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  54. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    PaulM – I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, but if so, LOL, and if not, please do provide sources for these outcome statistics you claim to be in possession of. Sounds like a breakthrough to me!

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  55. bbell on May 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Again I want to say its parents and families that matter when it comes to education. $$ are not the issue. Many many large public school districts in urban areas of the country are lavishly funded by huge tax bases and have poor outcomes. Locally the school district to the south of us has a much better tax base and has poor schools. Again because the percentage of parents that care is not large enough.

    As far as Unions are concerned in high performing schools they matter not a whit to me as a parent since the school district runs well. They help teachers of course but again I don’t see how that matters to me as a parent. So when ESO lists out her reasons why she likes her Union I don’t really care. My school would perform Union or not. Like I said earlier the local union never ever comes up when it comes to actual results with kids education.

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  56. FireTag on May 4, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    I just got to this post late — and I am amazed. I wanted to give my daughter the best education I could afford. I also wanted to give her a pony and weekly trips to Disneyland. Reality intervened.

    Here’s the reality as to the personal income distribution of the US from the Census Bureau

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States

    A $65K starting salary (which DOES NOT count benefits) would put you at an 85 percentile level of the US population. A six-figure salary puts you in the 94th percentile.

    The 50th percentile is somewhere around 29K.

    I am constantly amazed by how many rich Americans simultaneously feel we are entitled to more than we have instead of being grateful for what we do have — because the rich are comparing themselves to the super-rich rather than to the poor.

    We can argue whether the super-rich should pay more, but we can only confiscate their wealth once. At some point, long since reached, we can not spend their money for all the good things we can see to do in the world. We have to start spending our own money, which means lowering our standards of living.

    Or we can recognize that until our CURRENTLY educated children produce more wealth, we have nothing to invest in even higher wealth for the people above the median income while calling for greater income equity.

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  57. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Also – PaulM“This entire conversation is based on the lie that any child can become anything if only we paid teachers more.”

    This is not accurate. This entire conversation is based on the QUESTIONS – if teachers were paid a lot more, would the competition for becoming a teacher increase, and would that lead to higher caliber teachers? Would higher caliber teachers lead to better outcomes for students? No one has insinuated anything about “kids can do and be ANYTHING with the right teachers.

    bbell – Families and parents DO matter. Perhaps more than most things. I would always argue though that bigger systemic issues are more influential though, in the sense that they influence families so heavily. However, being family therapist, I have little idea about how to intervene on the systemic level for families, but I have seen terrific outcomes from certain types of family therapy.

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  58. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    “I also wanted to give her a pony and weekly trips to Disneyland.”

    :)

    I don’t want to give my daughter those things. Well, maybe a pony. Weekly trips to Disneyland… I can’t imagine that would be very healthy.

    Regardless, FireTag, I’m not sure how your info on incomes answers the question – would higher salaries make for better teachers? If so, teachers SHOULD be in the 94 percentile (or whatever). If not, by all means, let’s not raise the salaries.

    Or the other question – Do better teachers even matter (as PaulM hinted)? If not, let’s not raise the salaries.

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  59. Anna G. on May 4, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    FireTag, this issue has nothing to do with whether teachers are “entitled” to higher salaries, or whether their salaries are fair. It’s about whether raising salaries would produce outcomes we want/need that would be worth the additional investment (an open question).

    I don’t think it’s “fair” that my college’s football coach makes a salary that’s several multiples of that of its highest-paid cancer researchers. But that salary leads to outcomes that ultimately benefit the college in a way that makes the salary worth it (a successful football team, more donations), it’s the right decision.

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  60. FireTag on May 4, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    “would higher salaries make for better teachers? If so, teachers SHOULD be in the 94 percentile (or whatever).”

    Total logic gap. The ASSUMPTION that better teachers and more educated students is the BEST use of scarce resources is itself unjustified. WHY would that be a better use of funds than lower taxes on parents, or taxes spent on better health care, or R&D investment?

    My fundamental point is EVERY group thinks its priority is highest and it is UNDERPAID for what it provides, and that simply guarantees conflict. We just can’t all be paid more because we feel we’re having it too hard, because that only guarantees we’re all going to have it HARDER.

    Actually. if I wanted to help K-12 teachers more financially, I’d reduce the continuing educational requirements for advancement within the profession; that’s largely a guild barrier designed to boost the salaries of the college and up teachers. :D

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  61. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    The only way to know where scarce resources should be allocated is through the free market. Even liberal democrats on hill have said as much, i.e., they said they can’t possibly know the correct pricing. This is a problem that central planners have never been able to solve.

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  62. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    FireTag – You insinuated that teachers should not be in the 94th percentile because higher salaries would not make for better teachers (more specifically, better teachers are not important). If you DO think they are important, then again, I ask, why or why not would higher salaries make for better teachers? The logic was yours, and therefore so is the gap. Was there a gap in that? ;)

    If you go back and read the OP, all of this is meant to be more hypothetical. Read the quote again. Seaborn says he doesn’t know how to do it. Either do I. No one here said, “raise taxes to do it” or “take money from health care or other places to do it.” You take a jump to that debate, when all we’re talking about here is hypothetically, would higher salaries produce better teachers, and would that in turn produce better students. We have no solutions about how to pay for it (unions and tenure were mentioned, but that’s about it). Ranking the order of importance of things to pay for is a different question.

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  63. Mike S on May 4, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    The government is broke. To pay teachers more would be to take the money from somewhere else or to raise taxes. And, ironically, the more children someone has, the LESS they pay in taxes which are used to pay the teachers.

    If people are serious about this, would they be willing to put their money where their mouth is? Would you support inverting the tax deduction format? So, my question to everyone reading this and commenting, and it’s a simple yes/no question:

    Would you support actually paying LESS tax if you have fewer kids, and paying MORE tax if you have more children in the education system?

    And if your answer is no, who SHOULD pay for the increased pay for teachers?

    (p.s. My own personal feeling is that teachers are VASTLY underpaid for their importance in society. I just don’t have a good solution).

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  64. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Mike S – FireTag wanted to go this direction as well, so after 63 comments it’s sounds good… To answer your question, I had never thought of that before (more taxes for more kids). I don’t know what I think about that. It sounds like a good idea, but I don’t know about all the ramifications.

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  65. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    So the next question is, for those of us opting out could we not pay the taxes and use the money to teach our own kids instead (or use it for private schooling)?

    Arizona has a great system where you get a tax credit for up to $400 for donations to schools, doesn’t have to be public either. A law suit was recently brought all the way up to the supreme court who ruled that AZ can continue doing it. What benevolent rulers we have.

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  66. ssj on May 4, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Yes raise the pay but you have to do 2 things first: extend the school year and do away with tenure.

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  67. Christopher Smith on May 4, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    I don’t support blaming teachers for the troubles of our education system. Teachers work hard and put up with a lot of grief for relatively little pay.

    However, I think voucher-based education would be a significant improvement over the current system. We shouldn’t let our support for teachers blind us to the need for structural reform to increase efficiency, innovation, and flexibility in education.

    There are no villains and heroes here. Only more efficient systems and less efficient ones. There is no need to cast blame. Only to find better ways of accomplishing our collective goals.

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  68. ESO on May 4, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Starfoxy–in fact, I am. I’ll drop a doctor like a hot potato if I think she is not interested in me and my health. I think people in medicine for money (and not for healing or people) do a great disservice to the field. I’d be happy to reduce their salaries if that would solve the problem.

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  69. JB on May 4, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    The problem is that there is not a good way to assess a teachers value that they add. Wall street pays these types of ridiculous salaries but it is up or out in that environment and there is a very clear method to measure added value “did you make money today?”
    Teachers need to be better compensated but how do you measure the improvement they make to a student? Tests are not the answer. There needs to be a sea change in education. Clayton Christensen is using Disruptive Innovation to drive systemic change to education.

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  70. Starfoxy on May 4, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    ESO: I’ll drop a doctor like a hot potato if I think she is not interested in me and my health.
    There’s the answer right there. That (hypothetical) doctor wasn’t a good doctor and isn’t getting money out of you anymore. If the doctor is really interested *enough* in the money then they will work hard and *make* themselves be interested in you and your health- even if they aren’t initially inclined to be. I think this would hold true for teachers as well.
    When there is a lot of money at stake there will be a lot of candidates, and when there’s a lot of candidates you can afford to be choosy. And when you can afford to be choosy then the potential teachers (and doctors) have to step up their game. If that means developing a “passion” for teaching then they will do it.

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  71. Douglas on May 4, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    It’s well to express “appreciation” for teacher in rewarding them with a very comfortable salary that reflects their contribution. Good Theory….

    REALITY: Even at supposedly “underpaid and overworked” rates, the many school districts throughout the country RARELY lack for applicants. “Qualified” applicants”..that’s another story. Like anything else, demystify the profession and it’s another service. Considering that private schools pay far less, with far worse benefit packages (if any at all), yet even THEY don’t lack for applicants,what does that tell us? Merely throwing $$$, be it in the form of teacher pay, bloating administrvia, “wunderprograms” that mushroom beyond belief, has solved NOTHING. The schools cannot, and will not, educate the cretins and the offspring of cretins that are better suited for jail.
    The best long-term solutions are:
    (1) Abolish, with all due speed, the so-called Department of Education at the Federal level. Devolve the subject back to the several states where it constitutionally belongs.
    (2) Let the several states decide for themselves, what, IF ANY, public education is necessary. Not that I seriously believe that there will be any rapid movement towards completely privatised education, but, as competitive pressures come forth, realistic solutions will arise, and ACCOUNTABILITY will once again be paramount.

    I expect a flurry of flames. Bring it…

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  72. hawkgrrrl on May 4, 2011 at 10:10 PM
  73. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Douglas,

    I expect a flurry of flames. Bring it…

    Nah, just Dislikes. :)

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  74. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    @hawkgrrrl,

    Home schoolers spend about two hours on formal education, public schoolers spend two hours (I made this number up just for comparison’s sake – the first number is real) just on home work. Home schoolers come out on top. Why? Because they have the time to pursue their interests (and they have concerned parents) rather than wasting 8 hours a day in class and on buses. The parents don’t even need to be well educated to achieve fantastic results. How does this reflect on the state of education in this nation, we should have never socialized it.

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  75. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    Actually Douglas, I gave you a thumbs up just for fun. If you desire a flurry of flames you shouldn’t write that because then you won’t get it. Or perhaps that was your intention. :)

    My only real beef with your comment is calling fellow sons and daughters of God “cretins” who are “best suited for jail.” I disagree with that. Still, I appreciate the rest of your comment.

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  76. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    Home schoolers spend about two hours on formal education, public schoolers spend two hours (I made this number up just for comparison’s sake – the first number is real) just on home work. Home schoolers come out on top. Why? Because they have the time to pursue their interests (and they have concerned parents) rather than wasting 8 hours a day in class and on buses. The parents don’t even need to be well educated to achieve fantastic results. How does this reflect on the state of education in this nation, we should have never socialized it.

    What a bunch of bullcrap

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  77. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    The “bull crap” in that comment is the insinuation that we should all be home-schooling. Do you know what that would do to my marriage?

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  78. Dan on May 4, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    no, the bullcrap is that

    1. homeschooling only requires 2 hours a day of “studying”
    2. home schoolers come out on top
    3. home schoolers have time to pursue their interests while public schoolers do not
    4. public schoolers don’t have concerned parents
    5. public schoolers waste eight hours a day in classes and on buses.
    6. home schooling parents don’t need to be well educated to achieve “fantastic” results
    7. the whole socialism crap at the end.

    that’s why his comment is a bunch of bullcrap

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  79. Douglas on May 4, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    #75 (Sherpa)…it should be no surprise that my fave “M*A*S*H” character was Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III…”cretin” was his main put-down. I calls it likes I sees it. Those who are from functional families that have a will to learn could make do with the proverbial one-room schoolhouse heated by a wood-burning stove. Build a proverbial palace and populate with a bunch of “gangstas”, and the place is shortly a pigsty. Yea, there are dysfunctional educational systems, but how often there are good educators with the thankless tasks of attempting to educate those that I’d label as cretins..(and the hell of it is, yes, they are sons and daughters of God, but fat lot they appreciate their heritage!). Or..don’t try to teach a pig to sing..it will only frustrate you and annoy the pig.

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  80. Jon on May 4, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    You guys read to much into my comments. They say what they say, nothing more. If you read my other comments then you would know that I’m not opposed to schooling outside of the home.

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  81. shenpa warrior on May 4, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    Nah, no reading. Just being dry.

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  82. FireTag on May 5, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    I think homeschooling should be a definite option for parents. It is certainly as valid as the public schools or private schools or online schools or voucher programs. We used all of the above except the last — we paid out of our pocket for the schooling we provided and still paid school taxes just like anyone without children in the public system — and our daughter has a PhD in one area and a degree in another area awarded after her doctorate.

    So I think Dan is dead wrong on at least the first 3 points of his “bullcrap” comment in 78. Home schooling reduces class size by an order of magnitude and customizes personal relationships between student and “teacher” (the parent). That makes up for a lot of other problems necessitated by mass producing education, and there ARE curricula available to help overcome parental lack of knowledge in particular subject matter area.

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  83. Dan on May 5, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Firetag,

    Don’t get me wrong on homeschooling. I have no problem with it if that is what parents choose. What I said was bullcrap was that in homeschooling a student only spends 2 hours on “formal education.” Yeah, the 1st grader maybe. But by the time you get to high school age, you’re supposed to be “formally studying” for 5 hours a day or so. And that doesn’t include any “homework” assigned by your parent which you do outside of the formal studying. What’s also bullcrap is that homeschoolers come out on top. Yeah, some maybe, but on the whole, they don’t necessarily do better than the average public schooler or private schooler. What’s also bullcrap is that homeschoolers can spend more time pursuing their interests than public schoolers. Well yeah, some of them. But home schoolers don’t get opportunities for organized sport, for instance, that you get in public or private schools. Eventually to get participation in organized sport, home schoolers have to go to their local public school for that. And of course, socializing is a big negative with home schooling. Socially stunted individuals are more common out of home schooling than out of public schooling. This can be a problem later in life when you have to present yourself in a public environment. What else is bullcrap is that public schoolers “waste” eight hours a day. Dunno if Jon went to public school (I’m guessing whatever school he went to, he failed pretty badly, but that’s neither here nor there), but yeah some waste their time, but most kids don’t. The way they use their time is up to them. If they choose to waste their time, that’s their choice, and they will face the responsibility for that…oh wait, they won’t, we blame the teachers instead. We don’t teach our children personal responsibility. We blame the professionals. Also bullcrap is that home schooling parents don’t need to be well educated to achieve “fantastic” results. It’s true that home schooling parents don’t need to be well educated in order to teach their children, but to have “fantastic” results, non-well educated parents will definitely be relying on someone else to teach their children the knowledge the lack. Thus, that frustrates the whole “home schooling” bit. And socialism…well, you know that’s just bullcrap. :)

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  84. dog lover on May 5, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    I didn’t real all the comments, so this might have already been said.

    A great teacher should be paid more than a poor teacher, yet this is not how the system is set up to pay them. Yet, the unions fight to keep this system. A bad teacher can only be fired for having sex w/ a student (at least pretty much in Utah). It is hard to have respect for teachers when anyone is allowed to stay a teacher.

    A great teacher is worth so much more than they are being paid and a poor teacher damages all the students and puts them so far behind.

    The system is to blame, unions administrators, blah, blah blah.

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  85. Jon on May 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Just to defend the home schoolers and to counter many of Dan’s false assumptions here we go.

    Yeah, the 1st grader maybe. But by the time you get to high school age, you’re supposed to be “formally studying” for 5 hours a day or so. And that doesn’t include any “homework” assigned by your parent which you do outside of the formal studying.

    Maybe in NY, but in AZ and UT an other places that give you more liberties and freedoms the states don’t give you mandates like that. Also, when I say “formal studying” that means that means instruction from the parent and perhaps homework also. The child continues to learn during the day on things that interest them or perhaps that they need extra work with. So they are learning all day, but the class room time only lasts a couple of hours.

    Yeah, some maybe, but on the whole, they don’t necessarily do better than the average public schooler or private schooler.

    The majority, according to statistics, rank better than public schoolers, I wasn’t comparing private schoolers to home schoolers. Can’t deny the facts there. Why do they do better? I’m sure the statistics are skewed towards home schoolers since you don’t include all the troubled kids that go to public schools. It would be interesting to look in more detail at the studies and see all the accounting factors.

    What’s also bullcrap is that homeschoolers can spend more time pursuing their interests than public schoolers.

    Well, if you are locked up for 8 hours a day doing subjects that don’t interest you I don’t know how you could make up for the home schooler that has 6 hours to do what they want learning wise, pretty difficult. I suppose the public schooler could just ignore the teacher and do their own thing in the classroom, but they are limited to what they can do before the teacher yells at them to pay attention.

    But home schoolers don’t get opportunities for organized sport, for instance, that you get in public or private schools. Eventually to get participation in organized sport, home schoolers have to go to their local public school for that.

    Who says doing organized sports is a good thing? Having adults telling them what to do all day instead of organizing themselves and learning to become leaders on their own? Of course, like you said home schoolers are able to join sports in public schools or even city leagues and private sports also, so there is no lack of opportunity there.

    And of course, socializing is a big negative with home schooling. Socially stunted individuals are more common out of home schooling than out of public schooling. This can be a problem later in life when you have to present yourself in a public environment.

    This is a huge fallacy that people always bring up. Home schoolers are actually better socialized since they get to interact with a diversity of people of differing ages, yes there are some parents that isolate their kids but the majority expose their kids to the community. Studies show that home schoolers are better behaved and better citizens in their communities. Think about it, how can you be well socialized when you spend 90% of your time with people that are your same age?

    What else is bullcrap is that public schoolers “waste” eight hours a day.

    When I say waste 8 hours I’m referring to the amount of material that is covered. You can cover that material in a quarter of time that it takes to do it in school. Remember, teachers have to teach to the lowest denominator, home schooling teaches the that child’s specific abilities.

    Dunno if Jon went to public school (I’m guessing whatever school he went to, he failed pretty badly, but that’s neither here nor there

    I did go to government schools from kindergarten through my masters degree (in Electrical Engineering). I graduated HS with about a 3.5 GPA, if I remember correctly, of course, I didn’t really put any effort into getting that 3.5, HS was cake.

    We don’t teach our children personal responsibility.

    The majority of home schoolers are.

    Also bullcrap is that home schooling parents don’t need to be well educated to achieve “fantastic” results.

    A lady in the small town (pop. 6000) north of me educated all here kids at home. She and her husband only have high school degrees. One of here kids attends a private university studying engineering and is at the top of his class, another is a concert pianist with a PHD, another is a nurse, another chose to be a dump truck driver. I would say they are satisfied and have achieved self actualization.

    non-well educated parents will definitely be relying on someone else to teach their children the knowledge the lack.

    When I child is taught correctly on how to learn they don’t need a traditional teacher, they can teach themselves, yes they need resources to learn but with the internet that’s pretty easy to get. It is also common for older home schoolers to take on “advisors” for specific areas of interest.

    socialism…well, you know that’s just bullcrap.

    Yes, I agree, socialism is bull crap and should be abolished.

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  86. FireTag on May 5, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Dan:

    I’m guessing you haven’t done any home schooling with your kids — given your wife’s position — but I’m sure you’d be quite successful with it.

    My experience is that Jon is correct on timing, outcome, and socialization issues. Teaching three children is not nearly as hard as teaching 30; it’s just more expensive to the parents. But then LDS discourage two-earner households when financially possible for other reasons, anyway, so that ought not to be an usual in the decision to use public, private or home schools.

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  87. shenpa warrior on May 5, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Not only is it more expensive to parents financially, it’s more expensive emotionally. Many parents are just not cut out to be good home-schoolers. Some are, and more power to them.

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  88. Dan on May 5, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Firetag,

    My daughter is five. She will start kindergarten in the fall. To this point she has learned with me at home. She reads, she writes, she adds, she subtracts, she makes her own peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch, and she has a sharp wit (mostly from her mom).

    We’ve considered homeschooling, but because we live in a zone with one of the top elementary schools in New York City, there’s no need to deprive our daughter of the social aspect of education which she will lack if she stays home with me. I actually wrote about this for Feminist Mormon Housewives.

    Like I said, I’m not against homeschooling and many of our friends in Manhattan homeschool their kids. They’ve got a nice little group going there. But it isn’t easy as shenpa notes, and doesn’t provide the magic that Jon bloviates about.

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  89. Jon on May 6, 2011 at 6:39 AM

    @shenpa,

    Not only is it more expensive to parents financially, it’s more expensive emotionally. Many parents are just not cut out to be good home-schoolers. Some are, and more power to them.

    True, thank goodness for private schools.

    What amazes me are the single working mothers that home school and do an outstanding job. I’m also amazed at to income households, it takes a ton of work to raise children and keep a household even if they are in school. I think if you have a two income household then you should hire a maid and cook. Kudos for Dan staying home with his kids, I don’t think I would be able to handle them all day, I know my wife puts in a lot of work to do it since I’m sitting in the living room working all day on the computer.

    So does any one have a good answer as to why they entrust the government to raise their children but won’t let them touch their churches?

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  90. Jon on May 6, 2011 at 6:41 AM

    there’s no need to deprive our daughter of the social aspect of education which she will lack if she stays home with me.

    Once again, you’re not home schooling correctly if your children have any lack of socialization. On the contrary, your children should have better socialization if they are home schooled correctly.

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  91. shenpa warrior on May 6, 2011 at 7:07 AM

    Jon 89 – I think Susan already gave you a good answer (although “good” in this case is totally subjective). For me, however, I don’t entrust the government to raise my children, I certainly would NEVER trust a business to raise my children (e.g. private school, daycare, etc.). At the same time, we’re not cut out to be home schoolers. I don’t trust ME to home school my children. So there you have it. They’ll be going to public schools, just like I did, and we’ll do our best along the way.

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  92. shenpa warrior on May 6, 2011 at 7:14 AM

    I am interested though – can you share some of the socialization methods used by home-schoolers?

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  93. Jon on May 6, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    A short review of the science about socialization and home schoolers.
    http://learninfreedom.org/socialization.html

    Things Zysk does:

    Homeschooling allows parents the freedom to associate with other interested parties, visit local businesses, museums, libraries, etc. as part of school, and to interact with people of all ages in the community. For example, my son goes on field trips with other homeschooling families in our community. He recently was able to visit an audiologist, a McDonald’s restaurant (to see how they run their operation), and several other similar activities. He gets to meet and talk to people of different ages doing interesting (and sometimes not so interesting) occupations. He spends a lot of his free time with kids older and younger than himself, and adults from twenty to over ninety years old.
    —–
    My wife and I like to bring our son with us when we are visiting with friends and other adults. How else will he learn to be an adult, if he never has contact with adults? He knows what kind of behavior we expect from him, and the consequences of his actions. He is often complimented on his good manners by friends and adults.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/zysk1.html

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  94. Dan on May 6, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    Jon’s kind of thinking is highly poisonous to the glue that holds society together: that we’re not that bad of people, and that we can be trusted to a decent extent with each other. It would do well for our society to utterly reject Jon’s type of mistrust and fear. We’re all actually fairly decent folk, unlike how Jon and his mises idiots want us to think. There’s little if any difference between a public school (and the teachers at public schools) and private schools (and the teachers at private schools). It’s time to stop being afraid of each other. To begin that, we must reject Jon’s line of thinking.

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  95. Jon on May 6, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    @Dan,

    I believe it’s obvious that your the one that has an innate fear of society. Your the one that believes you have to use violence, or the threat thereof, to get people to do what you want. You’re the one that believes that central planners know what is best for all people and that people can’t make up their own minds for themselves. That people can’t be in control of themselves.

    I take issue with the system and what it causes people to do that otherwise they wouldn’t. Like people going into houses and killing their dogs while the people’s children are watching. Now that is insane, in a society not based on fear you wouldn’t see that. But your statist society brings that about.

    The system that I like assumes that people are truly decent folk, yours doesn’t.

    There is a difference between public and private, there’s less of a difference now because of all the regulations from the government that brings private and public schools becoming more and more similar. In a free society this wouldn’t be true.

    It’s time to stop being afraid of each other.

    It is, I agree, let’s get rid of all the useless regulations and return to a society that praises individual liberty and freedom from government.

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  96. Dan on May 6, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    Jon,

    I’m not the one using fear and doubt in my arsenal. You use the word “state” as if it were some tyrannical evil mastermind we are unable at all to overcome. In a representative democracy like ours, the state is US! We are this state you fear. Therefore, you fear yourself, you fear your fellow man. You cannot trust your fellow man to judge wisely. It isn’t the state that goes into people’s houses to kill their dogs while the children watch. It is us. It isn’t the state that uses surveillance upon its citizens. It is us. We do it to ourselves. It is us who is behind the x-ray scanner at the airports, Jon. It is us who is behind the IRS. It is us who are voted into Congress to act in accordance to the promises made to each other. In a representative democracy, the actions of the state are the actions of us. You fear your fellow man, Jon. It is you and your ideology that demands we not trust each other, that we instead go into some Somalia type environment. Since your fellow conservatives here don’t denounce your style and your poisonous ideology, it is left to someone else to do so. Your ideology poisons the well so that we’re no longer trusting each other to govern our own society well. That’s poison and it must be denounced.

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  97. Jon on May 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    Dan,

    Once again, when the decisions are made at such a high level that it is impossible to know the people making them, that is when it is not “US” any more, it is them. Governance at a localized level is OK, maybe not principled, but at least you can influence the representative. The people that make choices for us now are faceless bureaucrats and people that say to the commoners “Let them eat cake.” They have know idea what the needs of the people are and are not a reflection of “us”. It’s a myth that we are in control of what is going on.

    The only thing that we are in control of is educating each other on the importance of individual liberty and freedom from government. It is time for people like you to stand down and stop the horizontal enslavement of mankind by disapproving of logical debate.

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  98. Dan on May 6, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    what a freaking joke, Jon. I voted for Barack Obama. He represents me. I can contact him to tell him what I feel. I can contact my Representative in Congress. I can contact my Senator. I know who they are. I know where their offices are. I know what their numbers are. My ability to influence them is small, but not because they are “high up” but because there are 300 million of us! But I have more control over them when I band with fellow citizens and vote one way or the other. Or join a protest. Or join a union. Or join a political group. Or create a special interest group. There are so many ways that I am capable of influencing even the “highest up” that one must just laugh at anyone who claims “the only thing we are in control of is educating each other” on this or that. It’s a freaking joke, Jon. Your very comment adds to the fear of the unstoppable force of the boggeyman you guys created on the right. Sadly it does not reflect reality. And what adds to your fear of this unstoppable force is that so few people believe like you; it thus creates in your mind a conspiracy, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because few take you seriously, it must be true that the unstoppable force called “the state” is truly uncontrollable. What you don’t seem to get is that in actual reality, the reason few people take your ideology seriously is because of how awful it truly is.

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  99. Jon on May 6, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Dan,

    Thanks for proving my point, you can’t contact the bureaucrats that create the law. You have little to no influence over your representatives of the national government, and if you want to influence them it takes a tremendous effort and you must convince many others to do the same. Yep, it doesn’t work.

    Here’s an illustration of how it doesn’t work. Take the fire department. If you don’t pay into there extortion racket you don’t get service, if you want to pay in but your neighbors don’t, you don’t get service. In a free market this would never happen. You would have competition, you wouldn’t need all your neighbors to buy in. You wouldn’t have the fire department show up and watch your house burn down to make sure that your neighbor’s house doesn’t burn down because they paid their extortion. No, in a free market and a private company you wouldn’t get this. If you didn’t pay in early they would just charge you more when it does happen. Or there would be more competition. Or people would find it would be cheaper just to install sprinklers instead, we have no idea exactly how it would be though since the government has monopolized it and since it is funded in part by the federal government. When the federal government funds fire departments and police departments, their loyalty no longer resides with the local populace.

    Dan, find some love in your heart and put off socialism.

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  100. Dan on May 6, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    you’re a lost cause dude.

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  101. Jon on May 6, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    I think we’re both lost causes Dan. You have got me to question some of my assumptions in the past though. It’s nice to learn new things.

    Love ya Dan. Here’s to a world filled with love!

    Here’s a good book for you “Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression” by Mary J. Ruwart.

    Through its win-win approach, Healing Our World illustrates how the rules of social interaction which we learned as children hold the secret to universal harmony and abundance.

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  102. shenpa warrior on May 6, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    As someone who recently took a political quiz and was told I was “disaffected,” (I used to be “slightly left of center”) I just wanted to say that I do find such opposite views to be interesting. It is challenging, but worthwhile I think, to learn what is underlying each of Dan’s and Jon’s points. Don’t care so much for the other stuff, but I’m glad both of you care enough to engage.

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  103. FireTag on May 6, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    Dan: I see part of your point in 96. After all, you’re saying that we get the government we deserve, just a little less poetically than it’s said in Helaman 5:2.

    But here’s where I don’t follow your logic. If you believe that the country is too far to the right, and has been moving that way — as I infer from your comments both here and on other blogs — since at least the rise of the Tea Party movement, it would seem logical that you ought to be concerned that so many of us are choosing wrong. Fear would be a RATIONAL response.

    So deriding Jon for feeling the majority are choosing wrong doesn’t seem to make sense unless you do believe that the political right is taking re-controll.

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  104. Dan on May 6, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Firetag,

    I don’t think the country is too far to the right. I think the right-wing is too far to the right. The country has oscillated back and forth right close to the middle. It did shift to the right with the election of George W Bush (who was no centrist), but since LBJ, all the US presidents with the exception of GWB, were moderate centrists. Reagan (though loved by Tea Partiers) was a fairly centrist guy. So was Clinton, so is Obama. The 2010 Congressional elections and state elections were the first when hardcore ideological right wingers started winning. And we saw the result of that with the House vote to defund Medicare. No rational Republican would have ever set that vote up because they would know they would lose their most consistent base: seniors. It is why Republicans passed Medicare Part D back in December 2003. That was specifically to keep seniors in line.

    Fear is never a rational response, and I’m not a control freak as some (like the mises guys), who fear who knows what evil if things don’t go their way. I was upset when Americans voted for Bush in 2004 because it made no sense, but I didn’t see it as the end of the world, because I still had brain cells (having not read Ayn Rand, I have preserved my brain cells…) and could see there was no reason to fear. Life would still go on. Freedom would still be ours. And so on. And then an impressive thing happened. Americans voted for a half-black son of a Kenyan immigrant with a Muslim name. I mean, wow! Talk about regaining trust in the American public to do the right thing. That was awesome.

    Where guys like Jon fail is where they attempt to co-opt “liberty” and “freedom” as if only their ideology protects those, and everyone else’s ideologies are against liberty and freedom. You’ve got to deride that no matter who says it. You may disagree on the level of freedom you think you have under one kind of system or another, but pretty much all the credible and organized ideologies in America fight for freedom and liberty for all. I can throw an argument out there that libertarians only want freedom and liberty for the rich, but I can’t argue that liberalism is the only ideology that fights for liberty and freedom. This is similar to how Republicans co-opted “family values” as if only Republicanism/conservatism protected and defended “family values.” That’s just a load of crock, of course. But it worked well to instill fear. It’s the same thing as Jon saying that we should stand for liberty and freedom, as if we’re not doing that already.

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  105. Jon on May 6, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    @shenpa,

    I just wanted to say that I do find such opposite views to be interesting. It is challenging, but worthwhile I think, to learn what is underlying each of Dan’s and Jon’s points.

    Yeah, Dan and I have been going at it for quite some time on other posts too. I guess we both like talking politics and both think we are completely right on everything. You should look at some of the other blogs posts on politics, Dan and I just can’t stop, we’re like brothers (Dan won’t admit it though).

    I can tell you I come from the individualist point of view that believes that the individual is important. That the rules that the individual follows should be extended to the group also, like if an individual can’t steal his next door neighbor’s property then neither can the group.

    Dan comes from the collective point of view and believes what ever the group decides is legitimate regardless if it breaks any morals that an individual is expected to follow.

    That’s my take on it.

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  106. Jon on May 6, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    @FireTag,

    After all, you’re saying that we get the government we deserve, just a little less poetically than it’s said in Helaman 5:2.

    I agree with that sentiment, as in the bible when the Israelites decided to get a king and were warned about it but that’s what they wanted so they got it. My point is more, that that doesn’t make it right. Also, I think that is where we are headed, if not already there, people don’t make the choices anymore and we do have a pseudo-king/bureaucracy. The “king” can tell his army to kill an American without due process. The “king” can make laws that he wishes with a decree. The “king” can declare war without asking for permission. And so on. Some people don’t like to recognize the fact but it is what it is. Since the two parties are pretty much the same even when the “king” changes nothing really changes, wars continue and new ones begin, the “king” usurps more power. Don’t know why people don’t like recognizing this.

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  107. Jon on May 6, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Fear is never a rational response, and I’m not a control freak as some (like the mises guys), who fear who knows what evil if things don’t go their way.

    I don’t fear, I just recognize things for the way they are. I expose the way things are, for people that don’t follow them.

    Life would still go on. Freedom would still be ours.

    Heads up, I wouldn’t call the [UN]Patriot Act an expansion of our freedoms, just the contrary. I wouldn’t call more indebtedness more freedom.

    Americans voted for a half-black son of a Kenyan immigrant with a Muslim name. I mean, wow! Talk about regaining trust in the American public to do the right thing. That was awesome.

    Just a heads up, Obama is Bush III. He’s no different on all the major issues. Same policies as before.

    Where guys like Jon fail is where they attempt to co-opt “liberty” and “freedom” as if only their ideology protects those

    So Dan, you were getting after me for definitions (which definition, I might add, others agreed with me). So what is your definition?

    I’ll give you mine, as King Mosiah said it.

    Liberty:

    And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads. For behold I say unto you, the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings; therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of their kings. And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land.
    —–
    and every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins.

    This is what I understand he is saying. That we pay the price for our own sins, i.e., we are responsible for ourselves, not the government. So if our crops fail, the government doesn’t come in and “save the day”. If we need medical help the government doesn’t help us, we save money and help ourselves. I’m not saying that people and groups shouldn’t help, I’m saying it isn’t the responsibility of the government.

    If I am a dishonest businessman then I pay the consequences by not getting customers because they all shun me. If I don’t help my neighbor then I pay the consequences for not being charitable.

    Also notice where he says the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings is this not what I was talking about? That it is the system that is bad, not the people.

    Freedom:

    …and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike…and became exceedingly anxious that every man should have an equal chance throughout all the land…for he had not exacted riches of them, neither had he delighted in the shedding of blood; but he had established peace in the land, and he had granted unto his people that they should be delivered from all manner of bondage…

    Freedom requires that everyone if equal before the law (no respecting of persons) (didn’t Obama exempt himself and his buddies from the universal health care bill) that there is rule of law (everyone is charged the same that there is peace). This requires that everyone is treated the same.

    Do not our rulers get paid much more than the average person? I believe representatives to congress get somewhere around $140k, so much for public “servant” more like public extortionist. Freedom requires that we not be at constant, needless wars that we rack up high debt (bondage). Is not the private banks called the Federal Reserve putting the people in bondage? We need not be in bondage if we are free, we need not have high taxes.

    Is not regulation, the specific tailoring of the laws for specific industries make it so we are not all equal before the law? Is this not but bondage? True and proper laws would be simple and straight forward and apply to everyone equally, this is bondage when it is otherwise.

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  108. Dan on May 6, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    Also, I think that is where we are headed, if not already there, people don’t make the choices anymore and we do have a pseudo-king/bureaucracy. The “king” can tell his army to kill an American without due process. The “king” can make laws that he wishes with a decree. The “king” can declare war without asking for permission. And so on. Some people don’t like to recognize the fact but it is what it is. Since the two parties are pretty much the same even when the “king” changes nothing really changes, wars continue and new ones begin, the “king” usurps more power. Don’t know why people don’t like recognizing this.

    Because it’s bullcrap and a false narrative.

    Here’s what’s bullcrap

    1. people don’t make choices anymore.
    2. we have a pseudo-king/bureaucracy
    3. the “king” can tell his army to kill an American without due process
    4. the “king” can make laws that he wishes with a decree
    5. the “king” can declare war without asking for permission
    6. the two parties are pretty much the same
    7. the “king” changes and nothing really changes
    8. the “king” usurps more power.

    The only thing not bull crap is:

    9. You don’t know why people don’t, like, recognize this

    Here’s reality

    1. people are free to make whatever choice they want, including not voting. People can even run if they want for office.
    2. We have a pretty well functioning representative democracy where even the dumbest ideas get a chance.
    3. the president can tell his army to kill an American without due process. The question is whether the checks and balances will let him get away with that. It’s the beauty of our system. If Americans choose to accept that their commander in chief can kill any American without due process, then that’s what Americans get. It’s the beauty of free agency.
    4. the president cannot make any law that he wishes with a decree. He can attempt to demand certain ways through executive orders, but those orders can be challenged in court. Once again, in the end, it is up to the people to decide if that’s what they want.
    5. the president cannot declare war, and no president since 1941 has actually declared war. They can order the military to action, but in the end, once again, the people’s representatives have the ability to stop the president. And once again, it ends up being the people who choose.
    6. the two parties are NOT pretty much the same. This lie is just a given. No more needs to be said.
    7. when the president, things definitely change. One thing that definitely changes is that when a Democrat becomes president, funding for international abortion occurs. When a Republican becomes president, funding for international abortion is ended. :)
    8. the president does not usurp more power unless the people give it to him.

    and

    9. people don’t recognize your lies because people know they are lies.

    Dan comes from the collective point of view and believes what ever the group decides is legitimate regardless if it breaks any morals that an individual is expected to follow.

    Dan comes from a viewpoint that people are free to choose in this country and the greatest freedom for the largest amount of people comes from people banding together to protect their rights. The ironic part is that one can be a member of one group that pushes for some rights and be a part of another group that pushes for totally different rights. It’s such an amazing thing. Jon, of course, has no idea what collectivism is. He’s never seen it in real life and thus has no idea what it actually means.

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  109. Dan on May 6, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Jon,

    I’ll give you mine, as King Mosiah said it.

    Liberty:

    And I command you

    hehehe, your idea of liberty is to be commanded by a king…what a freaking joke.

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  110. Jon on May 7, 2011 at 6:47 AM
  111. Jon on May 7, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    4. Signing statements:

    During the administration of President George W. Bush, there was a controversy over the President’s use of signing statements, which critics charged was unusually extensive and modified the meaning of statutes. The practice predates the Bush administration, however, and has since been continued by the Obama administration.[1] In July 2006, a task force of the American Bar Association stated that the use of signing statements to modify the meaning of duly enacted laws serves to “undermine the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers”.[2] In fact, the Constitution does not authorize the President to use signing statements to circumvent any validly enacted Congressional Laws, nor does it authorize him to declare he will disobey such laws (or parts thereof). When a bill is presented to the President, the Constitution (Art. II) allows him only three choices: do nothing, sign the bill, or (if he disapproves of the bill) veto it in its entirety and return it to the House in which it originated, along with his written objections to it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signing_statement

    Executive orders:

    Critics have accused presidents of abusing executive orders, of using them to make laws without Congressional approval, and of moving existing laws away from their original mandates.[5] Large policy changes with wide-ranging effects have been affected through executive order, including the integration of the armed forces under Harry Truman and the desegregation of public schools under Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    One extreme example of an executive order is Executive Order 9066, where Franklin D. Roosevelt delegated military authority to remove any or all people (used to target specifically Japanese Americans and German Americans) in a military zone. The authority delegated to General John L. DeWitt subsequently paved the way for all Japanese-Americans to be sent to internment camps for the duration of World War II.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_order_(United_States)#Criticisms

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  112. Dan on May 7, 2011 at 6:59 AM

    dude, no one gives a damn. you can stop now.

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  113. Jon on May 7, 2011 at 7:01 AM

    4.

    Ron Paul on executive orders:

    However, in recent years executive orders have been used by presidents to create new federal laws without the consent of Congress. As President Clinton’s adviser Paul Begala infamously said, “stroke of the pen, law of the land, pretty cool.” No, it is not “pretty cool,” and a conscientious president could go a long way toward getting us back to the Constitution’s division of powers by ordering his counsel or attorney general to comb through recent executive orders so the president can annul those that exceed the authority of his office. If the President believed a particular Executive Order made a valid change in the law, then he should work with Congress to pass legislation making that change.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul647.html

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  114. Jon on May 7, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    5.

    Glenn Greenwald on Libya.

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/18/libya

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  115. Jon on May 7, 2011 at 9:36 AM
  116. Jon on May 7, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    dude, no one gives a damn. you can stop now.

    Finding out that your world view is false making you feel uncomfortable? Founding out about the Kingship of the Presidency making you feel uncomfortable?

    How long will you deny the noon day sun exists?

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  117. Dan on May 7, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Jon,

    Finding out that your world view is false making you feel uncomfortable? Founding out about the Kingship of the Presidency making you feel uncomfortable?

    hehe, you wish. you think a bunch of signing statements makes a US president akin to a king? you’re a simpleton fool if you think so.

    5.

    Glenn Greenwald on Libya.

    Actually Obama got UN approval, and then notified Congress as indicated by law.

    How long will you deny the noon day sun exists?

    noon day sun. That would be 12:00 PM with the sun being about straight over my head, though with a slight angle to the south, as I am on the northern hemisphere. Nope, I don’t deny the noon day sun exists. In fact, it was very nice today. I think I got a tan.

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  118. Jon on May 7, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    Well, Dan, it seems you want to keep denying. I know there is no way to convince you or even get you to admit that something could be different then what you already believe and whatever I say, you’ll say the opposite.

    Well, the US Supreme Court said that congress cannot abdicate its constitutional authority (which is fairly obvious, don’t know why they even had to make that decision). You say that the government and people have to live by the voice of the people and its contractual obligations which the constitution is at the center of. So, by your own cognition, the president has to get authority from congress (i.e., congress has to declare war) to go to war (even Obama and Hillary Clinton agreed on that before they got in office, of course, now that they are in office they don’t care anymore). The UN cannot have any part in declaring war since it would be unconstitutional for congress to abdicate its constitutional powers (unless they change the constitution with constitutionally, so treaties wouldn’t count). So the president has to do more than just notify congress. This was one of the main points of having a congress.

    Dan, you should read the constitution some time. You should learn what freedom and liberty are. You obviously have no idea. There are definitions, as you have said, and you go completely contrary to those definitions, you would have us live under the dictatorial rule of a one world government where none of us would have any minute possibility of freedom and liberty but would be just slaves to the masters. Your mecca is slavery for all humankind.

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  119. Dan on May 8, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    Jon,

    The UN cannot have any part in declaring war since it would be unconstitutional for congress to abdicate its constitutional powers (unless they change the constitution with constitutionally, so treaties wouldn’t count).

    Silly boy, the UN Charter is the Law of the Land. It is a signed and ratified treaty, which under the Constitution you keep harping about, means it is the law of the land. Maybe YOU should read up on the Constitution some more.

    you would have us live under the dictatorial rule

    Bullcrap. I would have us live in a representative democracy, which is what we currently have.

    of a one world government

    Bullcrap, though it apparently works well in Star Trek…

    where none of us would have any minute possibility of freedom and liberty

    Bullcrap. It’s not “none” of us. Just the cool ones…the rest of y’all…S.O.L. dude.

    but would be just slaves to the masters.

    Bullcrap. but then again you’re the one that thinks liberty is to be commanded by a king…

    Your mecca is slavery for all humankind.

    ooh, nice tie in with our dastardly enemy…still bullcrap.

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  120. Dan on May 8, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Jon,

    Well, Dan, it seems you want to keep denying.

    You said: How long will you deny the noon day sun exists?

    I replied:

    noon day sun. That would be 12:00 PM with the sun being about straight over my head, though with a slight angle to the south, as I am on the northern hemisphere. Nope, I don’t deny the noon day sun exists. In fact, it was very nice today. I think I got a tan.

    of that, what indication do you have that I deny the noon day sun exists? Hmm, maybe if I get more technical…

    so on the east coast, at about the longitude and latitude of New York (40° 42′ 51″ N / 74° 0′ 23″ W), in the summer time, the noon day sun is at an angle of 72.76 degrees, thus not straight over my head, and thus creating a shadow toward the north. The noon day sun is approximately 93,000,000 miles away from me, taking about eight minutes to arrive and smack me in the face with its warm rays. I can observe the noon day sun with my eyes, though not with direct vision. If I were to look directly at the noon day sun, I would eventually go blind, for the rays entering into my eyes, would damage them to the point of no longer seeing. I can also observe the noon day sun by how warm my skin gets when exposed to the noon day sun. Also, wildlife tends to be more active, including my local carpenter bee that likes to hover around his home basking in that sunlight. I am unable to taste the noon day sun, but if I stick my tongue out, it too will start to get warm. But I shouldn’t stick it out for too long because it will then get dry and cracked, and that’s not good. I can also observe the noon day sun by the flowers and plants that thrive under such warmth. I can observe the photosynthesis process at work. I can observe a bright blue sky around the sun due to the angle the rays enter the atmosphere, and which parts of the spectrum bounce off the atmosphere and which ones are absorbed by the atmosphere.

    Now, is that good enough or are you still dumb enough to make such a stupid comment that I possibly deny the noon day sun.

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  121. [...] it’s Mothers Day — let’s close with some posts on gender, family, parenting, education, and motherhood. I’m sure more tributes to moms will roll in during the day, but — as [...]

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  122. Jon on May 9, 2011 at 7:05 AM

    Once again, congress can’t abdicate it’s authority. Nothing can change this short of a constitutional change, even Obama agrees with me on this one. Don’t know why you would disagree with your hero.

    Here’s what your friend Hamilton says on this topic:

    The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the DECLARING of war and to the RAISING and REGULATING of fleets and armies, all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature. The governor of New York, on the other hand, is by the constitution of the State vested only with the command of its militia and navy. But the constitutions of several of the States expressly declare their governors to be commanders-in-chief, as well of the army as navy; and it may well be a question, whether those of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, in particular, do not, in this instance, confer larger powers upon their respective governors, than could be claimed by a President of the United States.

    Oh, wait, the legislature doesn’t do that anymore, oh, what does that mean? Oh, that our president is becoming the king! Wake up Dan.

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  123. Jon on May 9, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    6 & 7.

    Make War, Not Love

    Internationalist Notions

    In an arena not so often noticed in these post-Cold War times, Obama has more or less stayed the course set by Bush in his relationship with Russia, continuing to press for the expansion of NATO into Russia’s sphere of influence

    Finagling the Finances

    Our bloated global military and unending wars aren’t the only thing sapping our national resources. Another more universally recognized peril is the towering national debt, which is now reckoned in the tens of trillions of dollars. The economic collapse of 2008-2009 led to trillions of dollars of new government spending under the guise of economic stimulus — spending that began, lest we forget, under President Bush, who pushed through a $700 billion stimulus (the bank bailout) that only made things worse. No sooner was Obama in office than he began pushing for a second, even more gargantuan stimulus package.

    In tandem with these faux stimuli, both Presidents committed billions more to bailouts of select corporations, from financials to automotives, which were arbitrarily deemed “too big to fail.” The American public gnashed their teeth at such blatant favoritism, but the elites in Washington and Wall Street got exactly what they wanted, with Presidents Bush and Obama equally willing to extract the tributary payments from the taxpayers’ hides. Two years on, the economic and financial crisis shows no sign of abating, and the national debt continues to spiral further and further out of control. Not surprisingly, but rather ironically considering how Republicans and Democrats on the whole vilify each other, federal spending has increased about 10 percent per year under President Obama, and it increased at a nearly 10-percent rate under George W. Bush, as well.

    More About the Bad-boy Buddies

    For many Americans, “ObamaCare” is proof positive that our President is a dangerous radical, a not-so-closeted socialist bent on inflicting inefficient state-run healthcare along Canadian or British lines on the United States. Indeed, the Obama healthcare “reforms,” encompassing what liberal Democrats of earlier generations — like Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton — wanted to enact but couldn’t, will do great damage to our once enviable healthcare system.

    But ObamaCare is hardly the starting point of socialized medicine in the United States. President Lyndon Johnson, with the enactment of Medicare, first got the federal government involved in healthcare, touching off the climb in healthcare costs that has continued up to the present day and, predictably, prompted calls for still more government intervention to fix the problem.

    President George W. Bush was one President who heeded those calls. His overhaul of Medicare, signed into law after his reelection, bears an estimated price tag of $7 trillion, and has been called “the greatest expansion of America’s welfare state in forty years” by CBS legal correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg. In no small measure, Bush’s massive Medicare reform laid the political foundation for more comprehensive healthcare legislation under President Obama. Public perceptions notwithstanding, both Bush and Obama not only favor the socialization of the American healthcare system, they have both used their presidencies to enact massive, expensive, and (need we say it?) blatantly unconstitutional overhauls of our healthcare system.

    President Bush incurred the wrath of America’s civil libertarians and Bill of Rights enthusiasts (this writer included) with the enactment, shortly after 9/11, of the Patriot Act and the creation of the Orwellian Department of Homeland Security. A welter of new intrusions on the privacy of Americans followed, including stepped-up airport security that arbitrarily placed thousands of Americans on secret “no-fly” lists, ramped up warrantless surveillance of e-mails, phone calls, and other activities, and Draconian new identification requirements, including absurd strictures mandating passports for travel to Canada and Mexico and much more rigid standards for opening bank accounts.

    Candidate Obama professed to abhor such compromises of long-cherished civil liberties protected in the Fourth Amendment and elsewhere. In March 2007, for example, he called for homeland security that “must protect citizens, not intrude on them.” But once in office, he quickly embraced the new security-at-any-cost mentality that has been driving American domestic policy for almost a decade. In the wake of the clumsy Christmas attempt to bring down a domestic jetliner last year, President Obama hastily authorized the use of stimulus monies for the TSA to install new backscatter body-imaging machines at all major airports. These machines electronically undress hapless passengers, producing images so graphic that the viewer can tell, for example, whether or not a male passenger has been circumcised. For those who “opt out” of this procedure, the TSA now conducts full body pat-downs in which every part of the body, including private parts, are touched. These devices and the mandatory pat-downs that are the only alternative are quite possibly the worst invasion of privacy and the most flagitious disregard of the Fourth Amendment ever embarked upon by the federal government, yet President Obama, onetime professed champion of civil liberties, has imposed them on us without so much as a by-your-leave.

    On issue after issue, in both foreign and domestic affairs, Presidents Bush and Obama agree far more often than not.

    http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/5318-bush-and-obama-standards-a-similarities

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  124. Jon on May 9, 2011 at 7:27 AM
  125. Dan on May 9, 2011 at 7:30 AM

    Jon,

    Once again, congress can’t abdicate it’s authority. Nothing can change this short of a constitutional change, even Obama agrees with me on this one. Don’t know why you would disagree with your hero.

    Whether or not Congress abdicates its own constitutional responsibilities is NOT an indication of Executive overreach. It’s an example of Congress failing. It’s NOT an example of an imperial presidency, but of an impotent Legislative. Get your narrative right. Because put simply, if Congress is not going to do its job, someone has to. If Congress doesn’t, it is left up to the President to do so. You have no idea what you are talking about you idiot.

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  126. Jon on May 9, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    if Congress is not going to do its job, [the king] has to. If Congress doesn’t, it is left up to the [king] to do so.

    Finally, you agree with me. Nice to know that. If the president isn’t using congress, then that just makes him king. Glad you finally conceded with me. Didn’t think you would ever get it.

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  127. Jon on May 9, 2011 at 7:38 AM

    Democratic Tyranny:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD72St51C8w&feature=uploademail

    Glad someone else agrees with me on this.

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  128. Dan on May 9, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    you’re such an idiot, Jon, just because Congress abrogates its Constitutional responsibility does not make the Executive a king. Stupid, utterly stupid.

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  129. Ben on May 10, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    It depends, recent research from a friend of mine, Maria Fitzpatrick finds teachers are make a huge salary premium at retirement. This causes the people to select into teaching that have low discount rates, and therefore are patient. If patient teachers make good teachers, then high pension benefits but lower on the job salary (the current situation) is probably closer to optimal than we realize.

    However, a tenure period of only 2 years is pretty short IMHO, and the emphasis is on teaching certificates which little research has found to be productive. Maybe emphasis should be on community service in summer months rather than obtaining a meaningless credential.

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  130. Griffin Lester on May 17, 2011 at 2:55 AM

    wats up friend. you’ve put up a good blog and i actually loved reading your posts. i wonder how you would know all this stuff. i was pleased when i saw your blog. what blogging platform did you use for this blog. i’m utilising word press and i find it a little difficult. are you utilizing wordpress too? if yes can you tell me about the themes and plugins you use for your blog. i will be pleased if you guide me on this.

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