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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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#87 Feb 13 2012 at 5:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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Nilatai wrote:
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.

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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.

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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. 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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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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