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#52 Feb 09 2012 at 7:10 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Personally, I think it's absurd to expect a CHILD to realize the value of education, and choose to give up on those who haven't done so.


Where on earth did anyone say that? And what do you think the alternative does? Do you think a child is going to be more or less likely to expend effort to do well in school if they're attending a school where 50% of the kids drop out and drugs and gangs are rampant, or if that same child is offered the opportunity to attend a good quality private school? Everything else being the same, he'll do better in the private school.


That not every child (or parent) will make that choice, or thrive as a result is no reason to deny it to all children and their parents. What you're doing is the ultimate of spite. So if one child wont succeed, you ensure that no children do? That's pretty horrible, isn't it? How about we make available the maximum possibilities for success and let the individuals take advantage of those possibilities as they see fit. Some will do well, others will not do so well. We can't control that. But if we deliberately deny them opportunities, then we *are* hurting their outcomes.
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#53 Feb 09 2012 at 7:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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I went to a public school that was actually fairly rigorous, so I sincerely doubt private schools are inherently better. How many of you had to sit through 25 valedictorians and 11 salutatorians during your graduation ceremony? Yes, they all tied.

It wasn't a charter school or a magnet school or anything. Half of the students going there could have easily afforded a private school tuition. I hung out with the son of the Egyptian consul, who liked to ***** about his personal driver and chef. The kid of a major league baseball player went here (and got his dad's Hummer stolen.)

The main difference was that these kids had an environment at home which was conducive to learning. Properly supported public schools can easily offer an excellent education.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 7:16pm by Sweetums
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#54 Feb 09 2012 at 7:25 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
9/10 times (if not way more), it will go to the student from the better-funded school system.
Last I checked public libraries don't charge admission. If the kid wants a better education, then they can easily go to one of these magically book caves and study on their own. And it's the guardian's responsibility to instill that drive to want a better education. The schools might be crap, but they're at best only a third of the problem. If the parents don't push the kids, and the kids don't push themselves, then the level of funding the school has doesn't matter because chances are that kid won't bother.
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#55 Feb 09 2012 at 7:33 PM Rating: Good
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Sweetums wrote:
It wasn't a charter school or a magnet school or anything. Half of the students going there could have easily afforded a private school tuition. I hung out with the son of the Egyptian consul, who liked to ***** about his personal driver and chef. The kid of a major league baseball player went here (and got his dad's Hummer stolen.)


You went to public school in a relatively well to do area though. If half of the students could easily have afforded private school, then this must be the case.

No one's arguing that public schools in well-to-do neighborhoods don't perform well. The question is how to deal with failing schools in poor neighborhoods where the students don't have the choice to go to private schools because they can't afford them.

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The main difference was that these kids had an environment at home which was conducive to learning.


Correct. But the problem is that not every kid in a poor school lives in an environment at home which isn't conducive to learning, but he attends a school where many of the kids do. Thus, he could achieve more, but can't because he's surrounded by others who don't or can't.

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Properly supported public schools can easily offer an excellent education.


Half true. Properly supported by parent involvement is correct. Properly supported in terms of funding really isn't. It's one of the arguments you hear all the time. And to be fair, it's true that in well-off areas, the parents do contribute not just time, but money to school functions and this does affect the quality of the education. But this does not mean that if you provide the same number of dollars that wealthy public school parents and alumni might chip in to a school in a poorer area that this will achieve the same result.

It's been tried many many times, and to my knowledge has never come close to the same results. Obviously, if you throw enough cash at a problem, you'll get something back. But the results compared to the cost is prohibitive in this case.
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#56 Feb 09 2012 at 8:39 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
9/10 times (if not way more), it will go to the student from the better-funded school system.
Last I checked public libraries don't charge admission. If the kid wants a better education, then they can easily go to one of these magically book caves and study on their own. And it's the guardian's responsibility to instill that drive to want a better education. The schools might be crap, but they're at best only a third of the problem. If the parents don't push the kids, and the kids don't push themselves, then the level of funding the school has doesn't matter because chances are that kid won't bother.



This doesn't apply to kids that live in areas without public trans. I grew up 30 mins away from the nearest public libraries by car(there are 2 with in that range 3 if you count the one in GA). My parants work 6 days a week just to keep food in me and roof over our heads. They provided the drive but couldn't do anything else.

The best thing that happen to me was my high school had a culinary program that put me in touch with Chefs from my area and gave me the needed exp to get hired at the local resort. Still that program was funded mostly by the teacher then the school system even though some of the best jobs in the area was in Culinary.
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#57 Feb 09 2012 at 9:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sweetums wrote:
I went to a public school that was actually fairly rigorous, so I sincerely doubt private schools are inherently better. How many of you had to sit through 25 valedictorians and 11 salutatorians during your graduation ceremony? Yes, they all tied.

It wasn't a charter school or a magnet school or anything. Half of the students going there could have easily afforded a private school tuition. I hung out with the son of the Egyptian consul, who liked to ***** about his personal driver and chef. The kid of a major league baseball player went here (and got his dad's Hummer stolen.)

The main difference was that these kids had an environment at home which was conducive to learning. Properly supported public schools can easily offer an excellent education.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 7:16pm by Sweetums

My son went to Oak Ridge public schools from Kindergarten through a few weeks of fourth grade. Then we moved to Knoxville. He's FAR beyond anyone in his class now. Knoxville public schools are average at best. Oak Ridge schools are ranked around the 4th best in the nation, or something like that.

Public school can work, like Sweetums said. But it has to have the tools.

And I hope to god we can move back to Oak Ridge some day.
#58 Feb 09 2012 at 9:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Sweetums wrote:
It wasn't a charter school or a magnet school or anything. Half of the students going there could have easily afforded a private school tuition. I hung out with the son of the Egyptian consul, who liked to ***** about his personal driver and chef. The kid of a major league baseball player went here (and got his dad's Hummer stolen.)


You went to public school in a relatively well to do area though. If half of the students could easily have afforded private school, then this must be the case.

No one's arguing that public schools in well-to-do neighborhoods don't perform well.

That's not always the case. Oak Ridge is 1/4 scientists that make a ****-load of money and 3/4 average Joe's.

The school system there can just beat up your school system.
#59 Feb 09 2012 at 9:37 PM Rating: Default
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Nadenu wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Sweetums wrote:
It wasn't a charter school or a magnet school or anything. Half of the students going there could have easily afforded a private school tuition. I hung out with the son of the Egyptian consul, who liked to ***** about his personal driver and chef. The kid of a major league baseball player went here (and got his dad's Hummer stolen.)


You went to public school in a relatively well to do area though. If half of the students could easily have afforded private school, then this must be the case.

No one's arguing that public schools in well-to-do neighborhoods don't perform well.

That's not always the case. Oak Ridge is 1/4 scientists that make a ****-load of money and 3/4 average Joe's.


She said that half of the students could have "easily afforded private school tuition". So at least a third of those average Joe's must also be making decent amounts of money.

The point is that this is not even remotely like the kinds of failed inner city schools that are the focus when we speak of the need for some kind of public funding for private school tuition.

Quote:
The school system there can just beat up your school system.


Sure. Friend of mine teaches at Poway High School, here in San Diego. His father taught for 30 years at Montgomery High School. I'm well aware of the differences in public schools based on what neighborhoods they're in. And the general rule is that the higher the incomes in the area, the better the school.

Here's a school ranking map for San Diego. Want to guess where the high rent areas are, and where the low rent ones are? There's nothing remarkable about this pattern either.
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#60 Feb 09 2012 at 11:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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About 11% of the school was considered "economically disadvantaged." Lower than average? Undoubtedly. But not absent. These would mainly be people on the edge of the zone.

Houston's notorious lack of zoning laws often leads to high-dollar housing being about a block away from decrepit bungalows. ****, there used to be a strip club neighboring my apartment complex, and not the classy kind. I was only a few blocks from multi-million dollar homes.



I still don't see how private schools would solve an unstable home life. Vouchers don't sit at the table and help you with your homework after school.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 11:21pm by Sweetums
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#61 Feb 10 2012 at 11:54 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Sir Xsarus wrote:
Even with the best schools and teachers, if the parent is disengaged, the probability of the kid actually applying themselves is a lot lower.


Exactly. We're not ******** over the kids. Their parents are doing that.


I just have to say as someone that grew up in a crummy home (was taken into government care - so that level of crappy) - I would like to emphasize that it doesn't make sense to toss every kid who has a crappy home life/unsupportive parents under the bus because the statistics are against them. And if you do toss them under the bus - they are getting screwed by their parents AND society.

Here in my province the rate of graduation for kids in care is 20 per cent. I not only graduated, I went on to post-secondary. However I was never able to complete my degree because the loans got so big I realized I was better off working than finishing my education.

There are kids that beat the odds. But, if you undermine the public education system - their odds just get that much lower. Kids with unsupportive parents are less likely to succeed, yes, but I see that as an argument for better and stronger public supports, not fewer.

If you want to break the cycle of bad parenting and poor outcomes you need to not only grow the percentage of "at risk" kids who beat the odds, but ensure that when they do beat the odds that they are given the supports they need to break out of the poverty trap. The way it is now, with poor people having to pay more for post-secondary education than rich people (because tuition + interest from loans is more $$$ than just tuition, not to mention the tuition tax breaks ppl get) makes it so hard that I would be shocked if even 2% of total kids coming from government care end up with jobs and careers where they make enough money to be positive contributors to the tax system.

It doesn't even save money, really, because so many of these kids that don't graduate etc. end up being on welfare anyway. It doesn't make sense to pay the same amount or more money to keep people in poverty than to invest in these people so they can lead happy and fulfilling lives.
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#62 Feb 10 2012 at 12:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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That's really the thing--education is a long haul battle. Always was, always will be. Money you spend now on early education isn't even going to show any results for another decade.

Thing is, just increasing graduation rates by 10% (with the assumption that you aren't just graduating 10% more for the sake of it) is a huge success. Not because you'll see immediate benefits of it, but because the results of that 10% are only going to grow with time.

It's correct that the two major issues plaguing poor districts are culture and parenting. But the only way to address that is to slowly change those parents into people who DO care about education, and see the value of it.

There really isn't any way to change "those" parents, specifically referring to the current ones. The only thing you can do is hope to reduce their population for the future.

And that's exactly the trend we are seeing. Care about education has only increased in low-income families in the past fifty years.

But if you abandon the schools, simply because of the current culture in which they are being raised, you doom all future generations to the exact same issues.

I mentioned earlier that my brother works for a charter school in which kids are enrolled by parents and guardians that care. Guess what? Almost none of them actually give a crap about education, because they honestly don't believe that education can help their kids out of their circumstances. And the depressing thing is that, honestly, they are largely correct. Even if these kids work their asses off, chances are they are never going to go to college, which pretty much crushes their job prospects (especially in this economy, where positions that in no way require a college degree are using it to cut the number of applications).

They enrolled their kids there purely because it gave them the option to attend a different high school. See, any kids that go to my brother's school can elect to attend any of the high schools in the districts it serves.

At first glance, you think that would be because they see value in their schools. In reality, it's because their parents or grandparents are afraid that they'll end up getting killed if they go to the schools in their districts (most of these kids would end up in an Atlantic City high school, where they have significant gang-related issues). They are trying to save their kids lives, not teach them the value of education.
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#63 Feb 10 2012 at 1:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:
It doesn't even save money, really, because so many of these kids that don't graduate etc. end up being on welfare anyway. It doesn't make sense to pay the same amount or more money to keep people in poverty than to invest in these people so they can lead happy and fulfilling lives.
I agree completely. Let's scrap welfare. Smiley: thumbsup


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#64 Feb 10 2012 at 1:55 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
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The schools that are crappy need to be improved.


How much money do we spend on this?


Speaking personally, I'll go with 20% of my tax dollars, to start with.

Buy books, not bombs... or something like that.

If we can prevent the world from the affliction of a single additional Gbaji/Varus/Alma through more government spending on education services, I'm down.
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#65 Feb 10 2012 at 1:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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****, my graduate school tuition is only $10K/year. And that's only state subsidized by a few hundred dollars since our program is "self funded."
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#66 Feb 10 2012 at 4:52 PM Rating: Good
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Maybe we should reinstitute truant officers....with lazers.
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#67 Feb 10 2012 at 5:37 PM Rating: Decent
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Sweetums wrote:
I still don't see how private schools would solve an unstable home life. Vouchers don't sit at the table and help you with your homework after school.


Because that's not the intent? How many times do I have to say that everyone is trying to solve the wrong problem? The intention of school vouchers is so that those kids who are interested in education and who have parents who are engaged but who are poor, can get out of the schools that are currently their only choice but which are chock full of kids who aren't interested in education and who's parents are *not* engaged and where the learning environment is so bad that these kids are hindered no matter how hard they try.


That's the point. Not to try to save everyone. But to give those who are willing to work hard to break the cycle of poverty the best chance to do so possible. I keep trying to explain this, but it's like it's just not getting through. We're trying to solve the big social problem of bad parenting while failing to provide those with good parents and good goals a means to succeed. If the goal here is to reduce the number of kids growing up in those bad households, how does denying anyone the option to get out of those schools help? So now, instead of half the kids failing (and likely becoming bad parents for their kids and repeating the cycle), we condemn half of the other kids to the same fate. Why not save those kids first? Give the the best opportunity for success possible and let as many of them that can move upwards and out.


Then, we can focus on how to deal with that bigger social problem. And you know what? Heaven forbid that those kids serve as an example and perhaps inspire others to do the same and perhaps reduce that problem as well. Doesn't it make more sense to do everything we can to encourage success in this situation? Isn't the biggest problem for these kids that they look around at the world they live in and don't see any chance for them? They lose hope. How can you not see that by blocking any means by which they can improve their own lives you kill that hope?
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#68 Feb 10 2012 at 5:44 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
It's correct that the two major issues plaguing poor districts are culture and parenting. But the only way to address that is to slowly change those parents into people who DO care about education, and see the value of it.

There really isn't any way to change "those" parents, specifically referring to the current ones. The only thing you can do is hope to reduce their population for the future.


Yes. And by giving no one the opportunity to escape that environment, you are increasing that population, not reducing it. Can't you see this? You're trying to fix the ghetto. But what you should be doing is helping people leave it.

Quote:
And that's exactly the trend we are seeing. Care about education has only increased in low-income families in the past fifty years.


OMG! No, it hasn't. Social planners talk about the importance of caring about education. And parents nod their heads enthusiastically and repeat this talk back to them. But the number of parents who are not engaged in their children's education has increased over time, not decreased. You're confusing awareness of a problem with solving the problem. People talk about this more. They don't actually act on it more though.

Quote:
But if you abandon the schools, simply because of the current culture in which they are being raised, you doom all future generations to the exact same issues.


You're trying to protect the school at the expense of the kids in it. I think that's backwards.
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#69 Feb 10 2012 at 6:39 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:


You're trying to protect the school at the expense of the kids in it. I think that's backwards.


I see.... if we just got rid of schools, the kids would be better off. Makes perfect sense.
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#70 Feb 10 2012 at 6:53 PM Rating: Good
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Olorinus wrote:
gbaji wrote:


You're trying to protect the school at the expense of the kids in it. I think that's backwards.


I see.... if we just got rid of schools, the kids would be better off. Makes perfect sense.


It's amazing how some people deliberately find the absolutely most moronic angle to view, and then pick that one to go with. Really? I'm not saying to get rid of the schools. I'm saying to give kids the option to pick the schools they attend.


The counter argument is that those kids who are interested in education and who have engaged parents will utilize that option to move to better schools. This leaves the schools they left with just the uninterested kids with the unengaged parents. Those schools wont get as much funding and will become worse (to what degree that's possible). And that's "bad" and must be fought at all costs.


I don't agree with that counter argument. It only makes sense if there is some alternative proposal on the table that can reliably turn around those bad schools and make them places where education isn't hampered. And forgive me for being blunt, but our public school system has been trying to figure that one out for upwards of 40 years and hasn't succeeded yet. And in the meantime, the schools have gotten worse. So until they figure out some magical means to fix those homes, and those neighborhoods, and the schools that result, I think it's a pretty reasonable idea to let those who can take advantage of the opportunity of some program to let them attend school elsewhere do so and maximize their chances of making something of themselves.


You're trying to save everyone, but the result is that you save no one.
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#71 Feb 10 2012 at 7:03 PM Rating: Good
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It's amazing how some people deliberately find the absolutely most moronic angle to view, and then pick that one to go with


Isn't it?
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#72 Feb 11 2012 at 2:20 AM Rating: Decent
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#73 Feb 11 2012 at 9:27 AM Rating: Decent
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Here's a suggestion. Take half of the money you 'Merikans spend on your military, and spend it on the public school system.

That's, what? $340 billion? I'm sure that'll whip your school system into shape. Might be detrimental to your militaristic society. What with kids actually getting their qualifications and not joining up. C'est la vie.
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#74 Feb 11 2012 at 10:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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Might be better for our military, with better-qualified people joining.

Infantry is slowly going the way of the cavalry, anyway. Engineering and R&D is the future.
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#75 Feb 11 2012 at 10:26 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Quote:
It's amazing how some people deliberately find the absolutely most moronic angle to view, and then pick that one to go with
Isn't it?

I haven't bothered with this thread primarily because I figured Gbaji's views were appalling enough on their own without me needing to point it out.

Edit: I was disappointed in the gray-shirted girl who couldn't answer "Revolutionary War". My own 12 yr old kid named off Ukraine (and took a stab with United Kingdom), Joe Biden, 50 stars for 50 states, Mexico & Canada, Revolutionary War and only got stuck on the Democratic candidate question. I think that one was more a mental disconnect since you keep hearing about "Republican candidates" versus "Barack Obama".

Edited, Feb 11th 2012 10:41am by Jophiel
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#76 Feb 11 2012 at 11:28 AM Rating: Good
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I can even forgive them not knowing Joe Biden, because his job is a lot more abstract than Obama's, particularly in the mind of a high school student.

But 52-54 states wtf?

I liked how the big kid kept face palming every time his friend got one wrong.
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#77 Feb 11 2012 at 11:32 AM Rating: Good
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#78 Feb 13 2012 at 12:39 AM Rating: Good
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Quote:
It's amazing how some people deliberately find the absolutely most moronic angle to view, and then pick that one to go with


Isn't it?


I find it more amazing that someone can't pick up on obvious sarcasm. Just to be clear though, that was directed at gbaji, not Digg.

gbaji, you keep saying that there is no evidence that increased funding has no bearings on whether a school is successful at teaching their students. How do you know? Where is your evidence that it doesn't? Maybe I'm simple minded, but it seems pretty clear cut to me. If schools are funded better, students will do better. Schools will attract better teaches, because the schools can afford to pay the teachers a decent wage, and better teaches are going to be more likely to reach out to the students who are trouble makers and have no interest in learning.

I think the largest issue with school funding is the reliance on property taxes. I don't know if this is true nation wide (but I'm pretty sure it is), but the higher income areas have better schools because they have houses and other properties that are worth more, so more property taxes are give to the schools. This is also largely impacted by school bonds and such passing. The town I grew up in is a retirement community, and there are plenty of very nice, high value homes here. Our schools are crap though, because the retired rich people who live here don't want to pay taxes for anything, let alone someone else's kid. My mom told me that from the time we moved here when I was 7, every few years the school board would try and get a bond passed to get the district more funding, so they could make improvements to the actual buildings, buy new textbooks, etc. Every time they put the bond up to vote, it failed until my sophomore year in high school. The funny thing was, that year it finally passed, my mom actually voted no on it, because I would have graduated by the time the entire project was finished, so she figured I wouldn't get any benefit from it.

The intelligent kids in my school weren't challenged, and as a result we slacked off. There were some really bright kids in my class, and the only two people who got a 4.0 or higher in my graduating class, were the valedictorian and salutdictorian. I was ranked 13th in my class, with a GPA of 3.67. That's pretty sad. I'm just as guilty as they were. I could have done better than that. If I had really wanted to, I could have gotten a 4.0 but it's difficult to push yourself that hard when you're bored.

I don't know if this would help or not, but I think what we should do is collect all the property taxes by state that would go to the schools, and average them out evenly, then distribute them to the different schools. This will still lead to some inequality due to income variants between states, but I think overall it would be a lot more fair than the current system. I think a limit on the payroll for school administrators (based on the cost of living for the area of course) would help a lot too. The last superintendent of the school district here was chased out of town when the community found out how much money she was making. She didn't even have a Ph.D., and she was making more than 150k a year. That was more than any other superintendent in the state, yet the schools still couldn't afford to do a lot of things. It was very messed up.
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#79 Feb 13 2012 at 3:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Nilatai wrote:
Here's a suggestion. Take half of the money you 'Merikans spend on your military, and spend it on the public school system.


Ah yes. Let's just throw money at the problem and it'll go away. Any reason to assume that'll work? Do you suggest this because you think that education in the US is underfunded, or because you think that the military is overfunded?

I'm leaning towards the latter. But if we really want to go after overfunding, why don't we take half the money spent on health care and spend it on education instead? Wouldn't that get us even more money? Or perhaps we should focus on the actual issue of education instead of using it as an excuse to go after something else.
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#80 Feb 13 2012 at 3:47 PM Rating: Excellent
How about both? The military is overfunded and education is underfunded. How about we stop spending millions of dollars on overpriced machines that we don't even use?
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#81 Feb 13 2012 at 3:57 PM Rating: Decent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
gbaji, you keep saying that there is no evidence that increased funding has no bearings on whether a school is successful at teaching their students. How do you know? Where is your evidence that it doesn't?


It's not that it has "no bearing" on outcome, but that at a certain point, the value of spending more money is outweighed by other factors. There's a whole body of studies looking at this and the conclusion is pretty clear. In school districts already doing well, spending more money improved test results and rankings. In school districts doing poorly, spending more money didn't have much effect at all. The causes of poor schools is more than just lack of funding and can't be fixed by just spending more money.

Quote:
Maybe I'm simple minded, but it seems pretty clear cut to me. If schools are funded better, students will do better.


That's not clear cut at all. So if schools spend $500 on each chair instead of $50, the students will do ten times as well? That makes no sense. Just spending more money doesn't make the education better. Yes. I used a contrived example, but the point is to make it clear that you can't assume that more spending equals better education. There's lots of ways you could spend more money and not have an impact on the education outcome at all.

Quote:
Schools will attract better teaches, because the schools can afford to pay the teachers a decent wage, and better teaches are going to be more likely to reach out to the students who are trouble makers and have no interest in learning.


Even if we could assume that the movie of the week plot where all it takes is a good teacher to show up and magically the trouble making students will want to learn and turn into great citizens by the end of the semester actually happened more often than lighting hitting those students instead, it still wouldn't work. Unless you find some way to force those teachers to not choose to teach elsewhere more money isn't going to work. Everything else being equal, most teachers will choose to teach in a good quality school with good students who want to learn. The pay differential would have to be dramatic to make that change.

Quote:
I think the largest issue with school funding is the reliance on property taxes. I don't know if this is true nation wide (but I'm pretty sure it is), but the higher income areas have better schools because they have houses and other properties that are worth more, so more property taxes are give to the schools. This is also largely impacted by school bonds and such passing.


Yes. Most education funding comes from the local city, and most of their revenue comes from property taxes. But it's not like we can force cities to not do this. What you're proposing isn't just to increase funding for schools in poor areas, but you'd have to find a way to prevent higher rent areas from spending more on their schools. You'd need some pretty draconian measures to accomplish this and there's still no reason to assume that it would achieve what you hope for.


Quote:
The town I grew up in is a retirement community, and there are plenty of very nice, high value homes here. Our schools are crap though, because the retired rich people who live here don't want to pay taxes for anything, let alone someone else's kid. My mom told me that from the time we moved here when I was 7, every few years the school board would try and get a bond passed to get the district more funding, so they could make improvements to the actual buildings, buy new textbooks, etc. Every time they put the bond up to vote, it failed until my sophomore year in high school. The funny thing was, that year it finally passed, my mom actually voted no on it, because I would have graduated by the time the entire project was finished, so she figured I wouldn't get any benefit from it.


Ah... The red/green game in effect. Your mother wanted others to pay when it benefited her, but didn't want to pay herself when it didn't. Interesting.

Let me give a counter anecdote, which somewhat counters the idea of funding. Where I live, there are several individual towns, and everything else is considered part of the "City of San Diego". This means that there are a number of very wealthy communities which fall inside the City and not in their own separate town. This means that they pay higher property taxes, but the results are shared between their schools and the schools in the lower income parts of the city.

Want to compare the difference between a school in Carmel Valley (where I live, but part of the City of San Diego), and say Logan Heights (also a part of the City). Want to guess which schools get a larger per-student portion of the city funding? Everyone loves to focus on the independent towns (like Del Mar, or Solana Beach) which collect significantly greater property taxes for education than other areas, but they fail to look at the areas where rich neighborhoods and poor are lumped into the same pool.

But it's that latter case that allows us to examine whether more spending helps a poorly performing school. And the answer, pretty resoundingly, is no.

Quote:
I don't know if this would help or not, but I think what we should do is collect all the property taxes by state that would go to the schools, and average them out evenly, then distribute them to the different schools.


It wont help. It wont help even if you distribute the money unequally and spend twice as much on schools in poorer areas.

Um... And it would be illegal to do anyway. Those cities collect property taxes, not the state. The state collects additional taxes which it uses for education programs as well.


Quote:
This will still lead to some inequality due to income variants between states, but I think overall it would be a lot more fair than the current system.


I think people often misuse the term "fair". There's nothing more fair about this. An equal outcome is not necessarily a fair one.

Um... But semantics aside, it still wouldn't work. Assuming that the objective isn't just to ensure equitable funding, but rather to achieve the ends of improving education outcomes in currently under performing schools, then we should look at that outcome instead of just assuming that an equitable distribution of funding will automatically fix the problem. It wont.

Quote:
I think a limit on the payroll for school administrators (based on the cost of living for the area of course) would help a lot too. The last superintendent of the school district here was chased out of town when the community found out how much money she was making. She didn't even have a Ph.D., and she was making more than 150k a year. That was more than any other superintendent in the state, yet the schools still couldn't afford to do a lot of things. It was very messed up.


Yup. You're always going to have people who will take advantage of the system. But this is why a voucher system (or something similar) which puts the education choice (and the education dollar choice) in the hands of parents would at least help a bit. If a school (or district of schools) has to compete for their dollars, then they'll be more likely to do things with that money designed to make the parents more likely to spend their dollars on that school/district. Education outcome becomes the presumed measurement. And we're talking about outcome from the parents perspective, not what some pencil-pushers think will achieve results based on the current pet-theory of the moment.


It's not a perfect alternative. Nothing is. And it's not going to magically turn around poorly performing schools either. But as I've stated several times in this thread so far, the question is whether we should be focusing on trying to fix broken schools, or give students an opportunity to get away from them. And while it sounds wonderful to talk about fixing the school, if that process requires denying students the opportunity to find something better and it's been going on pretty much unfixed for decades now, aren't we doing more harm than good? What comfort is it to the student who had to suffer through trying to obtain a good education from a terrible school that you were spending money to make the school better instead of giving him/her a way out?


Not much comfort at all.
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#82 Feb 13 2012 at 3:59 PM Rating: Decent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
How about both? The military is overfunded and education is underfunded. How about we stop spending millions of dollars on overpriced machines that we don't even use?


So we can spend them on overpriced schools that don't educate our kids?

How about we not play silly funding games and focus on trying to provide a better education for our children? I mean, for all the assumed over spending in the military, it at least is successful at doing what we spend money on it to do, right? Can we say the same for our education system?
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#83 Feb 13 2012 at 4:15 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
Here's a suggestion. Take half of the money you 'Merikans spend on your military, and spend it on the public school system.


Ah yes. Let's just throw money at the problem and it'll go away. Any reason to assume that'll work? Do you suggest this because you think that education in the US is underfunded, or because you think that the military is overfunded?

I'm leaning towards the latter. But if we really want to go after overfunding, why don't we take half the money spent on health care and spend it on education instead? Wouldn't that get us even more money? Or perhaps we should focus on the actual issue of education instead of using it as an excuse to go after something else.

Make a suggestion, then.


Privatising all education is a stupid suggestion. Before you make it.


Also, are you really suggesting that healthcare in the US is over funded? More over funded than the military?
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#84 Feb 13 2012 at 4:31 PM Rating: Default
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Nilatai wrote:
Make a suggestion, then.


Privatize all education.


Quote:
Privatising all education is a stupid suggestion. Before you make it.


Declaring it a stupid suggestion doesn't make it one. Given that the only argument I've seen so far in this thread against school vouchers (which is a half step towards privatization really) is that it would "cost the public schools money and make them worse", I'm not terribly concerned about things. Yeah. Privatizing education will mean that the public school system has less money. Great grasp of the freaking obvious.

Now, tell me why that's a bad thing.

Quote:
Also, are you really suggesting that healthcare in the US is over funded? More over funded than the military?


Absolutely. We spend about twice as much per year on health care as we do on our military. We have a military that is the best in the world. And while our health care system does do one or two things very very well, would you argue that it's the best in the world?

Edited, Feb 13th 2012 2:32pm by gbaji
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#85 Feb 13 2012 at 5:07 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
Make a suggestion, then.


Privatize all education.
Called it!

gbaji wrote:
Quote:
Privatising all education is a stupid suggestion. Before you make it.


Declaring it a stupid suggestion doesn't make it one. Given that the only argument I've seen so far in this thread against school vouchers (which is a half step towards privatization really) is that it would "cost the public schools money and make them worse", I'm not terribly concerned about things. Yeah. Privatizing education will mean that the public school system has less money. Great grasp of the freaking obvious.

Now, tell me why that's a bad thing.
Education is necessary for society to function. It's like roads. Unless you'd like to return to feudalism?

gbaji wrote:
Quote:
Also, are you really suggesting that healthcare in the US is over funded? More over funded than the military?


Absolutely. We spend about twice as much per year on health care as we do on our military. We have a military that is the best in the world. And while our health care system does do one or two things very very well, would you argue that it's the best in the world?

Edited, Feb 13th 2012 2:32pm by gbaji

Cite for the expenditure?

No, your healthcare system is abysmal. You have some nice research facilities, though. R&D doesn't really count as "spending on healthcare", though, by the way.
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#86 Feb 13 2012 at 5:18 PM Rating: Good
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I'm echoing that call for a citation, because *********
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#87 Feb 13 2012 at 5:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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Education is necessary for society to function. It's like roads.
Where we're going ... we don't need roads.
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#88 Feb 13 2012 at 5:22 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
Education is necessary for society to function. It's like roads.
Where we're going ... we don't need roads.

I like that film reference because it accurately describes what gbaji seems to want. Well, the sequel. Was it 2 where they go to the wild west?
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#89 Feb 13 2012 at 5:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Third one was Wild West. It had my favorite line, "That'll shoot the fleas off a dog's back at five hundred yards, Tannen! And it's pointed straight at your head!"
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#90 Feb 13 2012 at 5:26 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I'm echoing that call for a citation, because bullsh*t.


Remember the part where I said this:

I wrote:
R&D doesn't really count as "spending on healthcare", though, by the way.


Jus' sayin'.
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#91 Feb 13 2012 at 6:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Nilatai wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
Make a suggestion, then.


Privatize all education.
Called it!


Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back.

Quote:
gbaji wrote:
Declaring it a stupid suggestion doesn't make it one. Given that the only argument I've seen so far in this thread against school vouchers (which is a half step towards privatization really) is that it would "cost the public schools money and make them worse", I'm not terribly concerned about things. Yeah. Privatizing education will mean that the public school system has less money. Great grasp of the freaking obvious.

Now, tell me why that's a bad thing.
Education is necessary for society to function. It's like roads. Unless you'd like to return to feudalism?


That doesn't address why you think that funding public schools instead of giving people vouchers which they could use to buy education from private schools is better. I agree that education is necessary for society to function. I disagree on the best way to provide that education.

I'm not even arguing for eliminating public funding for education (which should be apparent when I speak about vouchers). I'm talking about how we spend those dollars. I believe that the current method is incredibly ineffective, constrictive to those being educated, and does a relatively poor job of actually educating people.

Quote:
gbaji wrote:
Absolutely. We spend about twice as much per year on health care as we do on our military. We have a military that is the best in the world. And while our health care system does do one or two things very very well, would you argue that it's the best in the world?

Cite for the expenditure?


Huh? Do I actually need to do this? CBO budget figures for 2010:

Spending on Defense: $689.1 Billion

Spending on Medicare: 520.4 Billion
Spending on Medcaid: 272.8 Billion

So just at the federal level, where all our military spending exists, and just counting public spending, health care spending is about 15% greater.

We add in state spending on health care, and then private spending on health care, and the total in 201 was around $2.6 Trillion dollars (there are a zillion sources out there repeating this number). Now, you may argue that that's unfair because we don't spend private money on the military, but we *do* spend private money on education. If we're to ask how much we as a society pay for each of those things in total, I think it's fair to examine that total cost.

Quote:
No, your healthcare system is abysmal. You have some nice research facilities, though. R&D doesn't really count as "spending on healthcare", though, by the way.


And yet, it's used regularly and repeatedly when calculating health costs per capita and comparing that to other countries.

Honestly, that's neither here nor there. We spend less money on our military, yet our military works quite well. So perhaps the problem isn't with the amount we spend, but how we spend it? I'm not claiming there is no waste in our military spending, but at least it accomplishes the objectives our military spending exists for in the first place. The same cannot be said of our school system.
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#92 Feb 13 2012 at 6:11 PM Rating: Good
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It's funny how that wasn't a citation. With a zillion sources, you'd think you could link one.

Let's see, this says:
Health Care: 846.1 Billion (Federal, State, Local--includes 33 for R&D)
Defense: 902.2 Billion (Federal, very little state, and Veterans benefits).
Education: 153 Billion (Federal, State, Local, includes vocational programs)
Police: 32 Billion

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#93 Feb 13 2012 at 6:43 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
It's funny how that wasn't a citation. With a zillion sources, you'd think you could link one.

Let's see, this says:
Health Care: 846.1 Billion (Federal, State, Local--includes 33 for R&D)
Defense: 902.2 Billion (Federal, very little state, and Veterans benefits).
Education: 153 Billion (Federal, State, Local, includes vocational programs)
Police: 32 Billion


Yaay, you win a cookie. Smiley: cookie


Any way, I'm not entirely sure how gbaji managed to make this about healthcare.


You still spend too much on your military. You could spend half as much and still spend more than most other countries around the world.


Now, about education being sorely under funded. Smiley: grin

Edited, Feb 13th 2012 7:46pm by Nilatai
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#94 Feb 13 2012 at 7:55 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
It's funny how that wasn't a citation. With a zillion sources, you'd think you could link one.

Let's see, this says:
Health Care: 846.1 Billion (Federal, State, Local--includes 33 for R&D)
Defense: 902.2 Billion (Federal, very little state, and Veterans benefits).
Education: 153 Billion (Federal, State, Local, includes vocational programs)
Police: 32 Billion



Funny that even when I don't link directly to a source, my numbers are more accurate than yours.

Um... Except that the argument was to cut "military spending", not benefits to veterans (which is mostly.... wait for it... health care), and not foreign aid. When you look only at military expenses, it's $716B. Health care costs are $1,080.1B (about 50% higher). And education costs are $941.0B (also higher.

How the **** did you get $846B for health care, and $153B for education? You choose to look at the "total" column for defense, while ignoring that some rows didn't apply, but you look only at the federal cost for education and health care? Didn't I just talk about how those additional areas are what drive the costs of those up over the cost of defense?

How does one conclude that we're overspending on the military but *not* on those other two things? Our military at least does what we ask it to do and we spend less for it than we do for either of those other things.
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#95 Feb 13 2012 at 8:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Nilatai wrote:

Any way, I'm not entirely sure how gbaji managed to make this about healthcare.


Because you attempted to compare spending on education with spending on the military. I simply pointed out that if we're looking for a bigger pool of money, with lots of waste and questionable value for the money spent, we should look at health care spending instead. Isn't that a fair response?

Quote:
You still spend too much on your military.


Do we? Why not say we spend too much on health care or education then? Your assertion really isn't about how much is spent, but a personal dislike for what it's spent on. That's nice and all, but then why not just say that you don't like the military and think we should have less of it?

You know. Be honest about what your position is?

Quote:
You could spend half as much and still spend more than most other countries around the world.


And? At a time when the most common argument about whether the US should get involved in various problems (like say Syria) revolve around whether we have the military resources to get involved, shouldn't one conclude that our military isn't big enough? I mean, the anti-war left has been using the (similarly dishonest) argument that we should get out of Iraq and/or Afghanistan based on the fact that by involving ourselves in those wars, we limit out ability to respond to other conflicts and problems for a decade now. Shouldn't the response to them be "Ok. So let's build a bigger military"?

Like I said, it's a dishonest argument. Just like yours is. If you don't like the military, and don't like the use of it, then say so. Don't hide behind arguments about costs and whatnot.


Quote:
Now, about education being sorely under funded. Smiley: grin


Is it? What's strange is that you seem to want to address funding for the US military based on what it does (or what it needs to do), but refuse to do the same for the US education system. We spend much more per-capita on education but don't have anywhere close to the best education outcome.


I think you've missed the point that my argument isn't about whether we're over or under funding anything. My point is that we're funding incorrectly. Spending more money, when we're doing it in an inefficient manner, wont accomplish anything. My argument is to change the way we turn dollars into education. You're the one trying to spin it off into a competition between different types of programs.

Edited, Feb 13th 2012 6:08pm by gbaji
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#96 Feb 13 2012 at 8:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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Nilatai wrote:
Now, about education being sorely under funded. Smiley: grin


I'd like to see education be more directed towards getting people into jobs. More internships, work-experience, and the like. Having people working the cash register at Macy's while sitting on a 4-year degree and a mountain of student loan debt is just tragic.

gbaji wrote:

How does one conclude that we're overspending on the military but *not* on those other two things? Our military at least does what we ask it to do and we spend less for it than we do for either of those other things.


We're bordered by two giant oceans, Canada and Mexico. Our military could probably get a passing grade just by showing up... Smiley: rolleyes
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#97 Feb 13 2012 at 8:39 PM Rating: Good
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Actually, I accidentally linked the federal numbers for all of them. So no. Either way, I'm not comfortable using the other numbers, because those are estimates, not actual sourced data. Was really just glancing at the source, since it was only being provided to prove a point to you--if we ask you for a cite, you are expected to CITE. It isn't our job to do yours for you.

And veterans benefits absolutely factor into defense spending. They are specifically part of the system we use to support those in the defense program, to repair the damage done to them through it, and to attract people to the program in the first place.

It's the exact same reason why the wage for, and benefits of, teachers are included in the education cost. Funny how you didn't claim we should invalidate those.

[EDIT]
gbaji wrote:
We spend about twice as much per year on health care as we do on our military.

Nilatai wrote:

Quote:
Quote:
Any way, I'm not entirely sure how gbaji managed to make this about healthcare.

Because you attempted to compare spending on education with spending on the military. I simply pointed out that if we're looking for a bigger pool of money, with lots of waste and questionable value for the money spent, we should look at health care spending instead. Isn't that a fair response?


LOL

So spending 600 Billion on the military, to protect American lives, is worth it. But spending the same amount on health care, to protect American lives, isn't?

I can't even remotely imagine that the money spent on the military has saved more lives than health care has, dollar for dollar. Up to a certain point, sure--having an operating military is important. The problem is that adding funds to medical services will always result in saved lives overall. Adding funds to the military above what we need is only going to add unnecessary bloat.

Our current military expenditures are based on a Cold War scenario that is two decades past. It's time to appropriately reduce it.

Edited, Feb 13th 2012 9:45pm by idiggory
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#98 Feb 13 2012 at 9:41 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Actually, I accidentally linked the federal numbers for all of them.


Ah. So you did. But that's a **** of a mistake when it only changes the Defense number from 902.2 to 903.3, while it changes the health number from 846.1 to 1,080.1, and the education number from 153.1 to 941.0.

Quote:
So no. Either way, I'm not comfortable using the other numbers, because those are estimates, not actual sourced data. Was really just glancing at the source, since it was only being provided to prove a point to you--if we ask you for a cite, you are expected to CITE. It isn't our job to do yours for you.


I mentioned the CBO historical data. The problem (as I've pointed out in the past) is that since Obama took office, the CBO historical data has become harder to find (a coincidence, I'm sure). Used to be front and center at the top right of the first page. Now you have to click through a couple sub sections and then find it in a list of reports. And since they use some kind of table structure for their site, the path names change periodically. So a link I provide today may not be useful tomorrow, or in 6 months, or whenever.

I use that data because it's historical, meaning that it includes only dollars actually spent, taxed, etc. Other sites, including the one you linked, contain projections. For example, the page you linked has data for 2012. But we're only a little bit into the year. Thus, those numbers are projections.


To be fair though, that's a good source. I just couldn't find the link for it on short notice.

Quote:
And veterans benefits absolutely factor into defense spending. They are specifically part of the system we use to support those in the defense program, to repair the damage done to them through it, and to attract people to the program in the first place.


But I'm reasonably certain that wasn't the part of the military spending that was proposed to be cut and spent instead on education. Let's also not lose sight of what we're discussing here. The argument is about where our society focuses its money with regard to various things. The spending in the defense budget for education, income security, and health care should come with an asterisk next to it if we're comparing that to costs spent in general for those things. Otherwise, we might conclude that health care costs have gone down simply by shifting workers from the private to the public sector. Clearly, that's not the case.

Quote:
It's the exact same reason why the wage for, and benefits of, teachers are included in the education cost. Funny how you didn't claim we should invalidate those.


I didn't see a separate line item for benefits under the education section. Did you? I might have missed it. You have a point though. The fact that I don't know how much of my tax dollars are being spent providing health care and other benefits to the person behind the counter at the DMV absolutely doesn't mean that my tax dollars aren't being spent for those benefits.

By all means, find out how much money we spend on health care for teachers, and I'll gladly shift that from the education cost to the health care cost categories. It's all fine for me.

gbaji wrote:
We spend about twice as much per year on health care as we do on our military.


Let me also, for the record, point out that I was not limiting this purely to spending by government. When I said "we", I meant all of us together. It just happens that 100% of our military spending is paid for by the government with our tax dollars, while only a portion of the total cost of health care and education is paid for this way. IMO, that's an important point to make.


Quote:
Quote:
Because you attempted to compare spending on education with spending on the military. I simply pointed out that if we're looking for a bigger pool of money, with lots of waste and questionable value for the money spent, we should look at health care spending instead. Isn't that a fair response?



So spending 600 Billion on the military, to protect American lives, is worth it. But spending the same amount on health care, to protect American lives, isn't?


Nope. That's not remotely close to what I said, or what I meant. I've clarified this already.

Quote:
I can't even remotely imagine that the money spent on the military has saved more lives than health care has, dollar for dollar. Up to a certain point, sure--having an operating military is important. The problem is that adding funds to medical services will always result in saved lives overall. Adding funds to the military above what we need is only going to add unnecessary bloat.


You're using an unfair measurement though. The purpose of a military is not only to save human lives. It's not even remotely that. Can we agree though that our military is effective at what it does do? I mean, if we need to blow something up, we can do that. We can invade two countries at the same time and squash their militaries without trouble. It does what we pay it to do. And it does it quite well.


Education system? Health system? Not so much. It's not about how much is spent even. It's about whether we're getting the results we expect. We're not getting a good education out of the money we're spending on education. And there is no evidence to support the idea that even if we doubled the amount of money we spent, that it would improve significantly.

Quote:
Our current military expenditures are based on a Cold War scenario that is two decades past. It's time to appropriately reduce it.


Then why was the major argument for getting out of Iraq that we could not sustain military operations with our current force levels? Isn't that an argument that we don't have a large enough military? The cold war doctrine you speak of was the ability to fight two simultaneous WW2 sized conflicts. Are you suggesting that either Afghanistan or Iraq was anywhere close to a WW2 theater level conflict?

We are not even remotely close to that doctrinal requirement. If we're unable to sustain two conflicts in two smallish countries within a single region of the world without severe strain, then we need to significantly increase the size and capability of our military, not decrease it.


But I thought this wasn't about the military? We're talking about education. And education is failing. So how about we fix it instead of trying to use it as an excuse to attack something else. I guess I just don't get the logic behind "This is broken, so let's take money from something that's not broken but that I don't like and toss it into the broken thing and hope it works". IMO, that's really kinda counter productive to the conversation. Doubly so when the discussion was about using public money to pay for tuition for kids to attend private schools. That's a propose solution on the table. But instead of examining it on the merits, the response is "let's take money from the military and spend it on education". Really?


That's not a solution. That's someone with a pet peeve injecting it into the conversation.
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#99 Feb 13 2012 at 10:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Can we agree though that our military is effective at what it does do? I mean, if we need to blow something up, we can do that. We can invade two countries at the same time and squash their militaries without trouble.
Its the back nine we've had considerable problems with for the past sixty odd years.
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#100 Feb 13 2012 at 11:50 PM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Can we agree though that our military is effective at what it does do? I mean, if we need to blow something up, we can do that. We can invade two countries at the same time and squash their militaries without trouble.
Its the back nine we've had considerable problems with for the past sixty odd years.


Ya but that one 60 odd years ago, you skipped the front nine.
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#101 Feb 14 2012 at 12:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
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And veterans benefits absolutely factor into defense spending. They are specifically part of the system we use to support those in the defense program, to repair the damage done to them through it, and to attract people to the program in the first place.
But I'm reasonably certain that wasn't the part of the military spending that was proposed to be cut and spent instead on education.

Smaller military = less veteran benefit obligations. No one is saying "Let's dump all our tanks into the ocean but keep paying the tank drivers".
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