Archives for posts with tag: FEE

Referencing this FEE article:

https://fee.org/articles/do-schools-really-need-more-money/

Written by Kerry McDonald. Excellent article. Unassailable point. (And she has other good articles at the link.)

It isn’t the money that matters. It is the parents. The farther the parents in the school district are from median, the more exaggerated the ill effects of poverty or affluence. The best school districts tend to be associated with upper-middle class. The worst, well, you get the point. Money looks like it helps because having extra in the parents’ pockets looks like it helps, and having none in the parents’ pockets looks like it hurts, but control for the factors that affect the family, and I think you see that money isn’t the important part.

In short, real world examples, aggregates, and averages, the honest data, show that more money for the education systems and teachers just doesn’t help. The system is rotting, and money will not freshen rot and decay.

I do not support government tax programs to bolster “school choice.” I see no potential net gains and ever more expansive government overreach.

Honestly, where we need to target is freedom of education exactly the same as freedom of religion. Would to God our schools were in as sad shape as our churches.

Don’t miss my point. Our churches and houses of worship of all faiths are isolated from government aid or backing, and our religious institutions are often even persecuted by government, officials, or common people. Don’t pretend otherwise. You know of examples yourself of churches, synagogues, mosques, and other temples and religious organizations that have drawn the ire of someone or other, often with official backing. That is persecution, and you know good and well that no religious organizations get any government assistance, not even religious schools. (Okay, I bet you can find some extraordinary exceptions, but let’s consider the common, typical situation.) Religious organizations do quite well enough, and proliferate well enough, with no government backing and no legal coercion forcing individuals to support them. (Consider the counterpoint in the UK.) If you want education to do better, let it alone, just like religion.

If you want well-educated kids, do it yourself. If you choose to participate in public schools, it is harder, but still doable. Regardless, if you want well-educated kids, you must do it yourself, even if you try to shift some of the responsibility on the public.

The simple fact is that the overall trend in education will be more expense for less results until we rid our culture and legal systems of coercion and compulsion. We must repeal all truancy laws, or NOTHING will help. Give people freedom without changing anything else, and watch it start working. (Watch out for those who will be obsolesced by the changes and successes. They will fight to retain relevance, even when it obviously harms the children.)

Again, repeal all truancy laws and grant agency to families, or education will remain dismal. Believe me.

I posted the following to Facebook:

Did you know we are spending 250% more on K-12 public education now than we did in 1960? That is in inflation adjusted dollars. http://www.justfactsdaily.com/question-of-the-day/290652/

The problem isn’t money. Money honestly has very little to do with all of it. We could eliminate the federal budget for education and half the state budgets, and it would hurt, but test scores wouldn’t go down much. (Of course, a lot of that is because test scores are a very poor measure of education success.)

There is a fundamental problem with public education, and that is that coercion is evil. Forcing people to do anything, including what is good for them is evil. If you do it, you are an evil tyrant. At the root, Johnny doesn’t want to go to school simply because you hold a gun to his, no, you hold the gun to his momma’s head, and you tell him he has to go. Of course, you accuse me of being hyperbolic. No, I only slightly exaggerate the emotional aspect of the statement. Yes, you are forcing Johnny to go to school, and you are forcing his momma to make sure of it, and if momma fails, or Johnny refuses, you send the guys with the guns. You pretend no one will suffer, no one will get hurt, but you deceive yourself. The extreme can happen, and occasionally has happened. Overall, though, you see the results in ever spiralling costs, with ever flat test scores, and ever more clueless interviewees in the man-on-the-street gotcha reports. It is sad when people don’t know anything about the Constitution, but it is a sign of true cultural cancer, fatal consumption, when so many people can be asked about the fundamentals of Independence Day, and they can’t come up with anything, and they don’t even know that John Wilkes Booth wasn’t even remotely attached to it.

My favorite anecdote was Jay-walking, where Leno brought in two presumably bright young ladies from our own prestigious Tulsa University, and they couldn’t even ask sound questions in the on-street interviews. They didn’t even suppose Canada has a representative form of government; heck, they couldn’t even fathom Canada had any government. Yeah, our education systems from the youngest to the oldest are broke. One certainly can’t hurt it be trying to make it truly elective.

I’m all for school choice when that choice is not only where to go, but whether to go. Let freedom ring! Abolish all compulsory laws. Let momma decide. Grant her full agency.

We can keep the schools for now. We can keep the government funding for now. Just start by repealing the coercive compulsory laws.

Here in Oklahoma, I would like to see a full constitutional repeal of all truancy laws. Repeal truancy laws from our State Constitution and guarantee the right of every citizen to decide for himself, or each momma to decide for her children under the age of majority. Let freedom ring!

Let freedom ring!

Mr. Gornoski has hit it.

I add my agreement. I add CS Lewis:

“When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you’ll not talk about the joy of words. I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”

Faces. We all have one, and only one, even if we try to present more than one. The gods, our God, only knows the one face. Each of us must present our truest face as truly as we are able, and we must each consider the face of our neighbor, be it black, or any other color. Be it gay, addicted, prostituted, abused, rich, powerful, humble or proud, we must face each other openly and equally.

We must speak in truth. We must try to understand. Sure, we need tolerance to ensure we only bounce, that we don’t break, but we need so much more. We must try to understand, and we must walk in love in the understanding.

——————————

Who among you will carry out the next act of violence against your nonviolent neighbor? We cannot hide behind the veil of the voting or jury booth. Face to face, we must make our choice.

Source: Law Has Become the Anonymous Violence of the Crowd | Foundation for Economic Education

Lawrence Reed, quoting Tocqueville,
“Even despots accept the excellence of liberty. The simple truth is that they wish to keep it for themselves and promote the idea that no one else is at all worthy of it. Thus, our opinion of liberty does not reveal our differences but the relative value which we place on our fellow man. We can state with conviction, therefore, that a man’s support for absolute government is in direct proportion to the contempt he feels for his country” — Alexis de Tocqueville, 1858.
Don’t you agree?
 
“Thus, our opinion of liberty does not reveal our differences but the relative value which we place on our fellow man.”
 
Isn’t it that simple?
 
“We can state with conviction, therefore, that a man’s support for absolute government is in direct proportion to the contempt he feels for his country””
 
Yes! The less willing you are to let your fellow citizens alone, the more you contempt you have for them and the more you distrust the people of your country.
 
Like Thomas Jefferson said, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.”
 
Forcing people by forcing the armed police to force them leads to all kinds of troubles, all kinds of harm. While it is inconvenient to trust people, since they will so often fail, it does show our love, respect, and patriotism.
 
It is worth it.
Liberty is worth the effort. Every person is worth it, every single person on earth, born or unborn, native or immigrant, legal or otherwise, wise or foolish, healthy or infirm, rich or poor, talented or plain, gifted or needy, yes, every single person!
Mr. Reed ends his statement with the following:
See Jim Powell’s essay, “Alexis de Tocqueville: How People Gain Liberty and Lose It” here: http://bit.ly/211zP8I. Tocqueville warned that a welfare state could seduce people into servitude.

The problem with education reform is we’ve been doing the same thing over and over for several decades now. It doesn’t work. We need to stop trying the progressivist notions. Progressivism, especially in education, is against the human soul. It is cancer for our very essence. CCSS is just the latest variant.

Our objective toward children is to help them mature to adults, not make them into something. We must not try to fit them into our ideal mold. We know this in sports, the arts, and all things having to do with beauty, but we think we should force our young partners into some mold that we suppose will help society. No! What helps society is free, independent, mature individuals. Education is a necessary ingredient, but a standardize education does not help. It cannot, especially when it is founded on progressivist ideas.

LENORE EALY writes this for the Freeman, http://fee.org/freeman/detail/is-education-policy-economic-policy

“Economic policy is not educational policy. American education has suffered from being made the maidservant of economic growth. Education policy cannot suffice for good economic policy, which should instead be focused on issues such as providing for sound and stable money, constraining government spending and public debt, ending crony capitalism, and repudiating the kind of regulatory and confiscatory despotism that crushes real entrepreneurship and job creation.
Can education promote a prospering economy? Yes, but only when it recognizes the limits of State action on personal moral development and allows schooling to pursue its true end: to help the child grow into a man or woman capable of directing his or her own life with responsibility.”

Our only objective as parents must be to raise our children to be mature and self responsible. Education is important to that, but the rest is between each child and God alone.

A market is a place where individuals can meet to cooperatively interact, voluntarily, as individuals. The Market is the same. It simply facilitates the cooperative actions of individuals. It cannot be personal. It cannot have objectives. It is simply the mechanism whereby individuals do what individuals agree together to do. What’s not to like?

The gravest sin of humanity has nothing to do with equality or inequality, it is simply coercion. If I force you against your will in anything, I am a grievous sinner, having sinned against you, against your Creator, even against all humanity and what being human means.

GARY M. GALLES writes for FEE.org here, http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/papal-indulgences-and-impersonal-markets, and he takes the Pope to task for anthropomorphising the market.

Sure, the market is impersonal, but it doesn’t exist except for the individuals that participate in it. There is no snowstorm if there are no snow flakes. There is no market if there are no individuals. There is no morality except in an individual and in recognizing each individual’s God-given uniqueness and worth.

It is simply a fact that no external force can truly control an individual. Each individual must exercise self-control and act morally in all. It is a heart issue. When all participants in any interaction act morally and with integrity, then all benefit. Not only does each get a fair (though unequal) slice of the pie, the pie gets bigger. The market helps facilitate the right actions of each individual, but it is the individual heart where it starts, or it cannot happen. Out of the corrupt heart, flows only corruption.

Noteworthy quote, “Restricting markets does not mean that what would take their place would be caring, personal relationships—it may well be abuse of others by governments (as so dramatically demonstrated by our past century’s experience). Overriding the voluntary arrangements people create for themselves means depriving them of their liberty and forcing them into collectivized alternatives they do not choose. That in no way guarantees a more loving or caring society. That cannot be created by force.”

That last line is particularly important. Nothing good can be created by force. Nothing can. It is impossible for compulsion and coercion to create any good. Good can arise in spite of coercion, but that is because of the nobility of the human spirit and the unlimited power of a determined soul.

 

 

Excellent article by LENORE EALY over at the Foundation for Economic Education. http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/is-education-policy-economic-policy

You really are depriving yourself if you skip clicking the link and reading the article.

Ms. Ealy quotes Charlotte Mason, someone held in high esteem among educators, especially home-educators. Quoting–

“Is education policy economic policy? Only if we believe the laborer or taxpayer is the father of the man. In Towards a Philosophy of Education, nineteenth-century English pedagogue Charlotte Mason observed that

we are slow to learn because we have set up a little tin god of efficiency in that niche within our private pantheon which should be occupied by personality. We trouble ourselves about the uses of the young person to society. As for his own use, what he should be in and for himself, why, what matter? Because, say we, if we fit him to earn his living we fit him also to be of service to the world and what better can we do for him personally? We forget that it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God shall man live, —whether it be spoken in the way of some truth of religion, poem, picture, scientific discovery, or literary expression; by these things men live and in all such is the life of the spirit.

Also, she says,

“The person, in other words, precedes the nation and the state. To get this backwards and make the State the tutor of the man is to forget the ends of both liberty and learning. ”

A commenter in the comments section at FEE quoted me, kinda: Add two words to our First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or education, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …

Can you imagine if our schools were as successful as our houses of worship? I suggest they would be if we had no laws establishing (truancy) or restricting.

The Freeman published an interesting story. The Freeman is published by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).

Keep Them Down, Keep Them Dependent

How to prevent the young and poor from succeeding

JULY 30, 2014 by ISAAC M. MOREHOUSE

He makes a compelling case.

http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/keep-them-down-keep-them-dependent

If the objective is to hamstring our youth, then what we are doing should work quite well.

This is further evidence that we must rid ourselves of the notions of institutionalized compulsion. We must repeal all truancy laws and empower mothers (and fathers) to educate their children any way they see fit. We must allow children the freedom, with parental guidance, to choose for themselves. (Developmentally appropriate freedom.)

Obviously forcing them to go to school (and punishing their parents if they don’t) doesn’t work. That is, the outcome is semieducated drones that just cannot function as independent, self-sufficient adults.

Since we spend a dozen or two years teaching them to be dependent, what else should we expect?

End truancy.

In my opinion, unions actively oppose the average person.

I object to unions, but I don’t want to outlaw them. Unions can have their place in a free society, but teachers unions, in fact all unions of people employed by governments, are just wrong.

Bold? Not really. Unions have the sole objective of benefiting the members at the expense of the employer. That is the definition. It is the sole purpose for unions. Unions are the employees banding together to oppose and restrict the employer.

That is a bad model. It is really sad that it is sometimes needful. It is just as sad and just as bad for and employer to exploit employees. A proper model is partnership; it is for the employer to see the employee as a valuable asset in accomplishing the objectives of the work, and the employee should be able to see the employer as the facilitator of his ability to accomplish his livelihood and move forward in self fulfillment.

The reason the union of government employees is wrong is because that sets the union directly opposed to “We the people.” We simply should not have a government that opposes us, nor one that employees workers who oppose us.

This reason is doubled for the teacher. Teachers unions strive to improve the lot of the members at the direct expense of parents and students. That is, not only do the teacher’s unions oppose me in my taxes, and oppose the interests of the state and local community in minimizing the expenses of public education, but they oppose us, parents and children, in that the unions want to subject us to rules and restrictions related to our choices in education, in the conduct of the school, and in our participation in the school and specifically the lives of our children.

This is another place we objectify the children. We forget they are people first. They are not the future. They are the now, just as much as any of us!

Before wanting them to be good students, I want my children to be good people. Teachers can’t really train that. It is my responsibility, and I cannot successfully delegate it.

Anyway, this article posted by FEE.org, http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/a-teachers-union-speaks-power-to-truth, gives a little perspective. I’m always endeavoring to improve my perspective. The article reports how one particular teachers’ union boldly states that educating children is low on the list of priorities for the union.

The article was written by WENDY MCELROY.

I’m sure this won’t sit well with some folks. I’m happy to discuss. I will not edit comments. (I moderate, but I won’t change anything you say if I let it through. As of this writing, I haven’t deleted any comments. I just don’t get many.)

The Freeman has interviews with Anne Wortham, the latest here, http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-individualist-part-2-an-interview-with-anne-wortham, and it is an eye-opening review of individualism versus collectivism.

I simply cannot understand why so many people hold the Borg (of Star Trek fame) as an ideal and as an objective to aim for.

In the end, there are only individuals. No set of characteristics is universal. No collective goal is truly good for the individuals absorbed within conformity. I am me, and no one else is sufficiently like me to be grouped with me in a collective that can be treated as a single entity. Perhaps I can try to be a conformist, but ultimately, my only identity is this dying man who is trying to accomplish something worthwhile in the fleeting moment I have on this mortal coil.

All the things I take as part of me, all the things that can group me or categorize with some societal group ultimately mean nothing. No one in such groups cares about me. I’m just one individual, which is exactly the point.

I am just one.

If I can be left to my own, perhaps I can leave this place confident I did my part.

However, if forced to be part of the collective, if coerced into compliance and conformity, then I’m hardly even a statistic, no more significant than the latest victim of some tragic accident.

Be yourself and don’t worry about the group. When each of us focuses on what is right, on what is important to try to accomplish as an individual, true to oneself and what one is inside, then the world will be a better place. I remember someone saying he was going to start with the man in the mirror; going to ask him to change his ways. That individual tried to be unique, and he was right.

I wrote a little here: https://gottadobetterthanthis.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/ukraine-reminds-me-of-poland-of-1981/ and it is so hard to keep up with something so far away when we have such important things to talk about in the news over here, like whether or not Hillary is really sick, and what the President thinks about March Madness, to name but two.

I found this article from FEE http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/dispatch-from-the-ukraine-a-journalist-describes-the-unrest-from-inside#axzz2um0wpMG8

I’m pasting in the entire article from FEE, giving it one more page for posterity and the search engines.

In the tradition of “Bottom line up front”, Pray for Ukraine!

Quoting FEE:

Note: Events in Ukraine in recent days have gripped the hearts of people around the world. We at FEE are appalled at the repressive measures being taken by the Ukrainian state against protesters, particularly young people who are active there in the movement for peace, liberty, and representative government. We sincerely hope that the brutality of statism, on vivid and tragic display at this very moment in Ukraine, will be crushed by the forces of freedom and with a minimum of bloodshed. Below, we share with our readers a moving account of what’s happening from a Ukrainian journalist who is in Kiev on the front lines of the current upheaval. We withhold his name for his protection.

—Lawrence W. Reed, FEE president.

Dear friends—especially foreign journalists and editors,

These days I receive from you lots of inquiries requesting descriptions of the current situation in Kiev and overall in Ukraine, express my opinion on what is happening, and formulate my vision of at least the nearest future. Since I am simply physically unable to respond separately to each of your publications with an extended analytical essay, I have decided to prepare this brief statement, which each of you can use in accordance with your needs. The most important things I must tell you are as follows.

During the less than four years of its rule, Mr. Yanukovych’s regime has brought the country and the society to the utter limit of tensions. Even worse, it has boxed itself into a no-exit situation where it must hold on to power forever—by any means necessary. Otherwise it would have to face criminal justice in its full severity. The scale of what has been stolen and usurped exceeds all imagination of what human avarice is capable.

The only answer this regime has been proposing in the face of peaceful protests, now in their third month, is violence, violence that escalates and is “hybrid” in its nature: special forces attacks at the Maidan (the central square of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital) are combined with individual harassment and persecution of opposition activists and ordinary participants in protest actions (surveillance, beatings, torching of cars and houses, storming of residences, searches, arrests, rubber-stamp court proceedings). The keyword here is intimidation. And since it is ineffective, and people are protesting on an increasingly massive scale, the powers that be make these repressive actions even harsher.

The “legal base” for them was created on January 16, when the Members of Parliament, fully dependent on the President, in a crude violation of all rules of procedure and voting, indeed of the Constitution itself, in the course of just a couple of minutes (!) with a simple show of hands voted in a whole series of legal changes which effectively introduced dictatorial rule and a state of emergency in the country without formally declaring them. For instance, by writing and disseminating this, I am subject to several new criminal code articles for “defamation,” “inflaming tensions,” etc.

Briefly put, if these “laws” are recognized, one should conclude: in Ukraine, everything that is not expressly permitted by the powers that be is forbidden. And the only thing permitted by those in power is to yield to them. Not agreeing to these “laws,” on January 19 the Ukrainian society rose up, yet again, to defend its future.

Today in television newsreels coming from Kiev you can see protesters in various kinds of helmets and masks on their faces, sometimes with wooden sticks in their hands. Do not believe that these are “extremists,” “provocateurs,” or “right-wing radicals.” My friends and I also now go out protesting dressed this way. In this sense my wife, my daughter, our friends, and I are also “extremists.” We have no other option: We have to protect our life and health, as well as the life and health of those near and dear to us. Special forces units shoot at us, their snipers kill our friends. The number of protesters killed just on one block in the city’s government quarter is, according to different reports, either 5 or 7. Additionally, dozens of people in Kiev are missing.

We cannot halt the protests, for this would mean that we agree to live in a country that has been turned into a lifelong prison. The younger generation of Ukrainians, which grew up and matured in the post-Soviet years, organically rejects all forms of dictatorship. If dictatorship wins, Europe must take into account the prospect of a North Korea at its eastern border and, according to various estimates, between 5 and 10 million refugees. I do not want to frighten you.

We now have a revolution of the young. Those in power wage their war first and foremost against them. When darkness falls on Kiev, unidentified groups of “people in civilian clothes” roam the city, hunting for the young people, especially those who wear the symbols of the Maidan or the European Union. They kidnap them, take them out into forests, where they are stripped and tortured in fiercely cold weather. For some strange reason the victims of such actions are overwhelmingly young artists—actors, painters, poets. One feels that some strange “death squadrons” have been released in the country with an assignment to wipe out all that is best in it.

One more characteristic detail: In Kiev hospitals the police force entraps the wounded protesters; they are kidnapped and (I repeat, we are talking about wounded persons) taken out for interrogation at undisclosed locations. It has become dangerous to turn to a hospital even for random passersby who were grazed by a shard of a police plastic grenade. The medics only gesture helplessly and release the patients to the so-called “law enforcement.”

To conclude: In Ukraine full-scale crimes against humanity are now being committed, and it is the present government that is responsible for them. If there are any extremists present in this situation, it is the country’s highest leadership that deserves to be labeled as such.

And now turning to your two questions which are traditionally the most difficult for me to answer: I don’t know what will happen next, just as I don’t know what you could now do for us. However, you can disseminate, to the extent your contacts and possibilities allow, this appeal. Also, empathize with us. Think about us. We shall overcome all the same, no matter how hard they rage. The Ukrainian people, without exaggeration, now defend the European values of a free and just society with their own blood. I very much hope that you will appreciate this.

Pray for Ukraine!

Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/dispatch-from-the-ukraine-a-journalist-describes-the-unrest-from-inside#ixzz2um2Vz7IU

At FEE.org I found

Dystopias Seen, Dystopias Imagined

JANUARY 23, 2014 by SANDY IKEDA

(Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/dystopias-seen-dystopias-imagined#ixzz2rX81nvjE) worth the while.

It was his crosslink to http://www.franz-oppenheimer.de/state1.htm, that has me writing.

Mr. Oppenheimer says, “There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others. Robbery! Forcible appropriation! These words convey to us ideas of crime and the penitentiary, since we are the contemporaries of a developed civilization, specifically based on the inviolability of property. And this tang is not lost when we are convinced that land and sea robbery is the primitive relation of life, just as the warrior’s trade – which also for a long time is only organized mass robbery constitutes the most respected of occupations. Both because of this, and also on account of the need of having, in the further development of this study, terse, clear, sharply opposing terms for these very important contrasts, I propose i. the following discussion to call one’s own labor and the equivalent exchange of one’s own labor for the labor of others, the “economic means” for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the “political means.””

We all know that forcefully taking is wrong. (Coercion of any sort, all the same.) Oddly, nearly half of us think it can be justified by labeling it liberalism or progressivism and claiming it for the greater good, as though inflicting pain on a few is justified if the pain of many is lessened, even if that lessening is demeaning and dehumanizing to all.

We complicate things. The simple rule is to do what is right.

When I am wronged, I must first ensure I do not add to wrong. I must consider, first, how to not be part of the problem, and I had better do what I can to elevate the problem, if I can.  Read the rest of this entry »

Very enlightening. Worth reading more than once. I’ll have to investigate Dr. Oakley’s thinking more. She is a professional engineer, by the way.

Giving Till it Hurts: An Interview with Barbara Oakley : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education.

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