Libertarian Commentary on the News, #14-18E: Government-ruined schools and taxes

By Nathan Barton

Good morning:  some good news to those of us who have to travel a lot on the highways and byways of America: supposedly fuel prices may be dropping a bit as we go into late spring and summer.  And for many people the school year is drawing to an end, which is the background of several stories today.

In Virginia, the state education bureaucracy has told all the schools in the state (or at least the government-ruined, theft-funded ones) that they may no longer allow car washing to be done at the schools, because the cleaning contaminates water and violates their storm water permits.  Apparently the student groups are encouraged to find “other ways” to raise money.  The last paragraph has a suggestion that makes sense:  it is easier for youth groups to sell drugs for fundraising than do innocuous things like car washes or lemonade stands.  This action of course comes at the end of the school year when student groups are raising funds for summer education trips and activities. Figures.

The value of government-ruined, theft-funded schools is dropping, at least overall. There are no gains for 12th-Graders on the national exam comparing 2009 to 2013. Only one out of four can read at an acceptable level, only 40% can do math at a high school level.  For this fabulous success, taxpayers now pay more than $10,000 per student per year: for babysitting, apparently.  Why are not these students in the workforce, making a living?  They are wasting their time in school.  Oh, yeah, that’s right, the “undocumented immigrants” are taking all the entry-level jobs.  Those still left at the high minimum wage demanded by various governments. In other words, more than ever the failed government-ruined, theft-funded school system is nothing but ANOTHER form of government welfare: babysitting for the students, jobs for the college graduates, and big bucks for the contractors and politicians.

Meanwhile, at the college level, Gallup went out to ask how to measure college success. It turns out that more graduates who majored in science or business were employed full-time than those who studied social science or arts and humanities. However, those who studied social sciences or arts and humanities were more likely to feel engaged in their jobs.  Apparently medical and engineering people were left out.  The basis of this survey and study seems to be flawed:  what does it matter if you “feel engaged” in your chosen work but can’t get or don’t have a job? However, the survey points out that a college degree in most fields is becoming more and more worthless, just like the high school diplomas.  Again, enough is enough: one more government-funded and controlled boondoggle that makes welfare queens out of more and more people.

I see that the battle on Common Core standards for education, which supposedly were promoted and developed by consensus at the state level and have turned out to be top-driven by the educrats in DC, is very much in the news.  One of the first states to adopt them and then drop out was threatened by the FedGov this week with loss of money and accreditation.  Indiana seems to be willing to take the risk.  But once more, we see how students and parents are nothing but political pawns in games over money and power.

On to other news:

What do we get for our taxes?  Is it really “civilization” (as claimed by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.: “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”) or is it measured in specific services?  A poll tried to find out.

  • The report found that Arkansas residents are the worst off, in terms of the taxes that they pay compared to the services that they receive. Wyoming taxpayers, on the other hand, ranked at the top of the list for their return on investment.
  • Behind Wyoming, the states with the highest return on investment were Alaska, South Dakota, Washington, North Dakota, Colorado, Florida, Texas, Utah and Massachusetts.
  • Rounding out the bottom of the list, behind Arkansas, were Mississippi, Louisiana, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, California, Alabama and Kentucky.

I think it is important to note that this is the PERCEIVED idea of benefit, and does NOT take into account the alternative of having these services provided by the private sector on a voluntary basis.  That is a BIG omission.  And of course, a BIG part of local and state taxes (50% or more in many locales) is for government-ruined, theft-funded schools: so that is ONE source of discontent, even in the states viewed as “highest return.”

Education (or lack thereof)  lets garbage like this get accepted. According to one publication, citing various claims by environmental AND rabid food-quality groups, Manmade Global Warming or Climate Change now threatens human nutrition.  Scott referred me to this, and commented: Actually proves CO2 is a fertilizer. Yeah, food crops frost wilted are so much more nutritious… Okay, if I understand the argument, it is that high levels of CO2 reduce the nutritional content of various foods.  Certain needed minerals are not produced by plants in that situation.  Of course, since higher levels of CO2 cause plants to grow better, bigger, and faster, and since (if it really existed) global warming gives us longer growing seasons and expands productive crop-growing regions, it might just be possible that the two things at least cancel each other out.  And who knows, maybe the right kind of fertilizer (lawyers, anyone?) will improve the growth and nutrients.  Sounds like the new-religion global warmists have just converted another pack of strange people to their faith.  Good luck with that!

The relatives of an armed robber shot and killed by a customer in a restaurant he was trying to rob are proposing to sue the shooter. The argument the family is making is that their dead relative wasn’t threatening the guy who shot him, because he was just threatening the person at the cash register, so he had no business getting involved.  It was therefore illegal for the armed customer to be a good Samaritan and shoot.  While I might (might!) agree the customer had no LEGAL obligation to defend the cashier (or anyone else in the restaurant) against an act of aggression, he certainly had the legal and moral right to do so VOLUNTARILY.  Of course, who knows, the cops and courts might agree with the family.  I am surprised that the family is arguing that since the dead robber didn’t actually get any money, he really didn’t rob the place and so was just an innocent man gunned down by an evil gunowner.

Which reminds me of an incident this week in which a man (who had a “legal” permit to own and carry a gun) in New York City was gunned down by another man while taking his mother home.  His mother grabbed her dying son’s gun and used it to fire back at the attacker.  She was charged for illegally possessing and using a gun.  Yes, really.  Fortunately, someone got an attack of common sense and decided NOT to prosecute.  Other people are not so lucky, of course.

Yellen: ‘Unusually Cold and Snowy Winter’ Helped Cause ‘Pause’ in Economy.  So, why did SoCal and South Texas and Arizona and New Mexico have such lousy economies?  THEY didn’t have the cold and snowy weather.  Of course, I say this on the 8th of May with eight+ inches of snow on the ground and more slowly falling from the sky.  At 4000 feet elevation and 44 degrees above the equator.  Seriously, this new Fed chairwoman is worse than old, mad, Uncle Ben.  Bet she and Uncle Joe Biden get along famously!

A convicted felon gets $8700 a month in disability payments becuse he spent a few years in Congress.  Because (of course) he is Jesse Jackson Jr. and has “mood disorder” – which apparently is the excuse for why he and his wife stole more than a million dollars in campaign funds.  Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Americans continue to get little or no disability from the insurance premiums and taxes they’ve paid for decades.  This article is an opinion piece but well worth reading.

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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