Morning Links

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
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65 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  A McGillican | 

    On the unintentional consequence of financial aid – there is an option not discussed but used in Canada. Instead of financial aid to students, the federal and provincial gov’t directly subsidize students’ tuition but with a catch – the gov’t sets the tuition rate; for every dollar the university charges in tuition over that rate, they lose one dollar in the subsidy. Thus university are free to charge whatever tuition they want, but there is a strong incentive to keep the tuition at the gov’t level which is affordable such that even if students take out loans, the amount is debt is hilariously small compared to most US students. As for the quality of education – per capita, Canadian institutions certainly rival the US system, but cost students a fraction of the price. The only downside, the universities don’t have the country club feel because some of the non-academic services, like athletics, have not been funded to the same level as the US, but what is the mandate of a university?

  2. #2 |  rmv | 

    Isn’t it curious how ostensibly intelligent and educated people ignore, pooh-pooh, or are confused by the laws of supply and demand?

  3. #3 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Note to CNN: When you vastly increase the supply of buyers of a service with government subsidies, sellers of that service can pretty much set their price.

    Rising tuition costs spur more government tuition aid spur rising tuition costs spur more government tuition aid spur rising tuition costs, etc.

    Sounds a lot like the medical and the pre-mortgage crisis housing industries, huh?

    But it doesn’t make any difference. Government assistance is always reported as a good thing (’cause it helps the little people when government reaches into it’s bottomless bag of money and hands it out) and rising costs are always reported as the failure of capitalism. And the public, having never been taught any economics, swallows it whole.

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    From the Thoma Ball story:

    “Hey, Ann– do you get the point now? “

    Ann will never get the point and neither will her fans.

  5. #5 |  Hal_RTFLC | 

    I would say that the Ball story is exaggerated except that I’ve head it before so many times. The thing is that I’m not sure the authors suggestion of avoiding government will work. Daycare workers and pediatricians are instructed to look for signs of abuse and a guilty presumption follows any reporting. You have to hope they know the difference — and its usually pretty obvious — between bruises that come from abuse and bruises that come from regular play.

    What enrages me about the Ball story is that while they’re hounding this man to his death, actual abusers are getting away with it. What is their priority?

  6. #6 |  Mattocracy | 

    America is also sufferring from education inflation. Everyone has a bachelors degree now and they basically mean nothing. Now you need an MBA or another masters degree to get promoted. Which means more debt and more time inthe classroom where you aren’t producing something, raising your kids, or doing whatever else you would be doing if you weren’t in class again.

    This is what happens when you fuck with the market.

  7. #7 |  Leonard | 

    It seems like Georgia farmers may have to start hiring Americans to do the work that Americans won’t do for minimum wage and no benefits. (As versus illegal Mexicans, who will.) But where could farmers find unemployed workers in a state with 10% unemployment? That’s a tough one!

    Meanwhile, Georgia governor Deal has the nerve to suggest that Georgians actually hire “the 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia”. My God — hiring native American Negros to do the work that Mexicans are supposed to do! Never! We must must have our Mexicans!

    Well, perhaps they might use the H2A visa program. But they would still have to pay their Mexicans at least minimum wage, and abide by US and local labor regulations. Surely this is too much for mere Mexicans?

  8. #8 |  Anthony | 

    rmv, not even my economics “Professer” understood that artificially increasing the demand for education is causing the steep increase in tuition. I learned a lot in that class.

  9. #9 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “John Whitehead on the new powers the FBI has granted itself. It’s good to see conservatives up in arms over this stuff.”

    Is there a single one of these alphabet soup gangs (DEA,ICE,etc) that hasn’t, post-911, gone rogue? I say, let’s cut to the chase and re-ordain them all THUGS…

    BTW anyone see this? Cops demand students give yearbook back
    because it contains child prawn. Only in the US…
    http://www.vvdailypress.com/articles/deemed-28333-high-pornography.html

  10. #10 |  Cyto | 

    Reading the Ball story I was struck by the counter-narrative that says he was an evil child-abuser and deserved everything he got. Some people just have to see everything in terms of teams. And he’s on the “child abuser” team, regardless of the details.

    After reading his suicide note / manifesto it is apparent that he was a fairly flawed human who had some issues with authority that made it impossible for him to perform the requisite cow-tow to the government operatives.

    Of particular interest to me was his story of how the trust was broken in his family. He says that after he lost his temper one night and slapped his disobedient young daughter, his wife kicked him out. She called the police and broke off communications with him. So he resented and no longer trusted her at all.

    What he later learned was that his wife consulted with their child’s therapist who told her that she must report her husband to the police or she would be charged with child abuse and lose her kids. Other state actors would later tell her she was not allowed to have any contact with her husband. He didn’t learn this until speaking with his wife for the first time over a year after the relationship was permanently broken.

    After being acquitted of child abuse charges, the state still refused to allow him to see his daughters until he was counselled and cleared by the same agency and agent that he views as having destroyed his family.

    Yeah, that’d leave me a little bitter and paranoid. Unfortunately, this particular man had flaws that left him unable to recover and find the path to move forward with his life as it existed after the harm was done. He does a pretty good job of conveying the sense of hopelessness that a decade of loss and defeat had heaped on him. I sincerely hope that none of us ever have to contend with the state involving itself with our families.

  11. #11 |  celticdragonchick | 

    This is what happens when you fuck with the market.

    Back in the 60’s, the SCOTUS ruled that “intelligence tests” for employment were arbitrarily discriminative against African Americans (some questions were somewhat cultural in nature, and a black kid from the South side of LA would not have had the upbringing or exposure to know those answers no matter what his grades in school were) and where thrown out.

    Thusly, many employers began requiring BA or BS degrees for jobs that certainly did not require them in any factual sense. It is an adventure in the field of unintended consequences.

  12. #12 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Well, perhaps they might use the H2A visa program. But they would still have to pay their Mexicans at least minimum wage, and abide by US and local labor regulations. Surely this is too much for mere Mexicans?

    It is my understanding that legal Mexican workers (including native born Americans of Latino descent) are boycotting the state as well because of the onerous provisions in the law that allow constant police harassment and demands for identification of anybody who looks “too brown”.

  13. #13 |  Erin | 

    Sorry if this is a double post – the first time I submitted the comment jsut disappeared without any indication it went into moderation or posted.

    There were a couple of recent stories I am surprised you didn’t pick up on, thought I’d share links:

    Advocate for sensible sex offender laws passes away suddenly: http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/when-child-porn-isnt-and-the-woman-who-insisted-we-differentiate/

  14. #14 |  Erin | 

    Yearbook accidentally prints photo of a teenage boy touching a teenage girl, child p— charges threatened against anyone who possesses the yearbook and charges threatened against the teenage boy:
    http://www.kval.com/news/offbeat/124201894.html

    (hope this gets past the filter now)

  15. #15 |  Erin | 

    Broken up because multiple links won’t post. Here’s another one on the possible charges against the boy.

    redlandsdailyfacts dot com/sanbernardinocounty/ci_18317092

  16. #16 |  Mattocracy | 

    I have a friend who practices “family law”. According to him, marriage and procreation are the biggest liabilities you’ll ever have in life.

    He also told me story about a conservative lawmaker who was talking about how the state had a vested interest in families and all that family values shit. It was at some conferance of busy bodies, lawyers and the like. The slime ball pol actually admitted that they write the law to punish people for failing to maintain their families because failure to do so fucks up society. He also failed to see how throwing gas on the fire was making it worse.

  17. #17 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Sorry Erin, I beat you to the punch in number 9, number 9, number 9.

  18. #18 |  Radley Balko | 

    Back in the 60′s, the SCOTUS ruled that “intelligence tests” for employment were arbitrarily discriminative against African Americans (some questions were somewhat cultural in nature, and a black kid from the South side of LA would not have had the upbringing or exposure to know those answers no matter what his grades in school were) and where thrown out.

    Cite for this? I find it hard to believe that SCOTUS would tell private employers they can’t give aptitude tests to potential employees.

  19. #19 |  Leonard | 

    Radley, the decision was Griggs vs Duke power.

  20. #20 |  Mark | 

    Come on Radley, you should know some of the basics of employment law. Employers cannot put up barriers that are on their face neutral (i.e., IQ tests) if they have a disparate impact on a protected class (race, gender, national origin, religion…). If a test (such as an IQ test) is not specific to the qualifications of a job then there is no legitimate business reason for it.

    One of the first (maybe the first) Title VII cases heard (I believe Title VII was passed in 1964 but didn’t take effect until 1969):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griggs_v._Duke_Power_Co.

  21. #21 |  Mark | 

    It’s also important to note that such cases usually involve aptitude tests being given for menial/manual labor jobs. SCOTUS doesn’t have any problem giving an accountant, teacher, consultant, journalist, etc. an aptitude test, because intelligence is reasonably related to their jobs.

  22. #22 |  Radley Balko | 

    Leonard —

    I stand corrected.

    And I learned something new today.

  23. #23 |  maybelogics | 

    re: Thomas Ball

    Alternatively, don’t marry greedy women or slap your fucking kids.

    Alternatively, alternatively, don’t marry. Marriage is part of the system, and if you buy into it, you will be held accountable by the system.

  24. #24 |  Mike T | 

    He also told me story about a conservative lawmaker who was talking about how the state had a vested interest in families and all that family values shit.

    Which is why people like him support no-fault divorce laws. It’s the same reason the GOP will never lift a finger to end abortion in a substantial way. The moment the issue is gone, a lot of social conservatives will no longer be interested in the GOP.

  25. #25 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Wrongful convictions have earned IL cops, DAs, and politicians millions…so they will accept that IL taxpayers have to foot the bill.

  26. #26 |  Reginod | 

    Radley –

    Read the case before you “stand corrected”, the gloss cleticdragonchick and Leonard give the case is grossly misleading.

    In the Griggs case, the employer instituted intelligence tests that discriminated against African Americans after Duke Power could no longer outright discriminate on the basis of race. The tests were only implemented after race-based employment discrimination was disallowed and they had the practical effect of doing exactly what the now-illegal race based discrimination was doing before the tests were implemented. And the tests involved were not “aptitude tests” they were “intelligence tests” which did not test job related skills.

    It’s not that “intelligence tests” are per se forbidden in the employment context, it is that “intelligence tests” which do not test any work related skills and which have the effect of discriminating on the basis of race (especially where there is a history of explicit discrimination) are forbidden. It’s much more nuanced than “intelligence tests” are not legal.

  27. #27 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “The results of that investigation have now been released. According to survey of 230 Georgia farmers conducted by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, farmers expect to need more than 11,000 workers at some point over the rest of the season, a number that probably underestimates the real need, since not every farmer in the state responded to the survey.”

    Oh, but what about all those “real ‘mericans” that are supposed to fill the void since them thar Mexican’s are there “takin’ r jaawwwbs.” Hmm, guess they aren’t in to picking fruit. This is messed up for intelligent farmers and other reasonable citizens of Georgia, but the first thing that went through my head when I read this article was the sound of Nelson from the Simpsons going “HA HA!!”

    PS: I always like an “A Day Without a Mexican” reference. My wife (a native of Juarez) and I watched it and really enjoyed it. I had a feeling something like this would happen some day.

  28. #28 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Read the case before you “stand corrected”, the gloss cleticdragonchick and Leonard give the case is grossly misleading.

    I wasn’t trying to be misleading. I merely pointed out that there are unintended consequences to the ruling. Amicus brief that goes into the unintended consequences of Griggs v Duke Power here.
    http://www.centerforcollegeaffordability.org/uploads/Amicus.pdf

  29. #29 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #25 Boyd Durkin: “Wrongful convictions have earned IL cops, DAs, and politicians millions…so they will accept that IL taxpayers have to foot the bill.”

    Yes. And on a related note:

    Dear IL Law Enforcement and Political Class,

    Thanks a lot you fuckers. I want my money back you fucktards!

    Warm Regards,

    Helmut (IL citizen)

  30. #30 |  Joe | 

    That Thomas Ball case is just heartbreaking.

  31. #31 |  Reginod | 

    I wasn’t trying to be misleading. I merely pointed out that there are unintended consequences to the ruling.

    I agree wholeheartedly that the ruling has a ton of unintended consequences; that’s not what I object to. I object to summarizing the ruling as you do: “the SCOTUS ruled that “intelligence tests” for employment were arbitrarily discriminative against African Americans (some questions were somewhat cultural in nature, and a black kid from the South side of LA would not have had the upbringing or exposure to know those answers no matter what his grades in school were) and where thrown out.”

    That summarization of the ruling is factually inaccurate and very misleading. The Court ruled that a particular test, instituted only after outright discrimination was outlawed and unrelated to job aptitude, which had the effect of discriminating against African Americans was discriminatory and that those sorts of tests were not allowable. (In point of fact, the link you provide to support the unintended consequences of the ruling points to the increased costs of making sure that testing which was conducted was in compliance with the law.)

  32. #32 |  Brandon | 

    Helmut, you are not an IL citizen, you are an IL resident. And as far as the political class is concerned, that makes you IL property, to be disposed of as they will. This is not just an Illinois problem, it is an inevitable result of one group of people claiming absolute authority over another group and being willing to enforce that authority through violence, aka government.

  33. #33 |  J | 

    Erin –

    I assume the police threatened the school for distribution of kiddie porn when they threatened possession right?

  34. #34 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #32 Brandon:

    Thanks for the clarification and/or pep talk ;) Resident would have been a better word, you are correct.

    Incidentally, I am becoming more comfortable with anarchist philosophy, so perhaps I will choose my words more carefully in the future.

  35. #35 |  SusanK | 

    Hooray for Nebraska. Our State Patrol’s favorite pastime is pulling over brown people with out-of-state plates because they fit the profile of drug-runners.
    It also doesn’t help that our Legislature has decided that just about everything should be a felony now.
    There have been admirable efforts by Community Corrections but they just can’t get far enough.

  36. #36 |  celticdragonchick | 

    That summarization of the ruling is factually inaccurate and very misleading. The Court ruled that a particular test, instituted only after outright discrimination was outlawed and unrelated to job aptitude, which had the effect of discriminating against African Americans was discriminatory and that those sorts of tests were not allowable.

    Tests of the sort I mentioned were well known at the time and were still being discussed in the 1970’s when I was growing up (eg. How many people can sleep in a bed was an oft cited example, and an African American teen citing his own experience may have said “three” whereas the “correct” answer was “one”)
    It may not have been what was exactly addressed in Briggs V Duke Power, but the tests still were known and they were phased out fairly quickly.

    (In point of fact, the link you provide to support the unintended consequences of the ruling points to the increased costs of making sure that testing which was conducted was in compliance with the law.)

    I’m not sure we are arguing at cross purposes here. I think that the SCOTUS was right to smack down what seemed to be openly racist and discriminatory hiring practices in Briggs…but that does not mean that we can pretend there was no blowback. Businesses across the spectrum scrapped hiring tests and went wholesale into requiring degrees. I actually learned about this in a column by George Will, so I admit that whatever I got from that may well be skewed:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/georgewill/2009/01/04/supreme_discrimination

  37. #37 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Meh. Griggs, not Briggs.

  38. #38 |  BSK | 

    O/T but I thought the people here would “enjoy” this…

    http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/06/21/government-safety-regulation-kind-mother-or-big-brother/

    The conversation sets up a remarkable false dilemma: Should government help folks make decisions (“kind mother”) or make decisions for them (“big brother”)? Are those REALLY our only options?

  39. #39 |  Brian | 

    On Griggs–

    The problem isn’t that Griggs said “All IQ tests with a disparate impact are unlawful discrimination.” IQ tests and any other policy that causes a disparate impact on hiring or other employment action can still be justified, and a defendant will win if it proves that the test was relevant to emploment. The term in the case law is “bona fide occupational qualification.”

    The problem is that companies never want to get to that point where the burden is on them to prove that their qualifications are reasonable; that puts the decision in the hands of 8-12 people too dumb to get out of jury duty, depending on the size of a civil jury in your jurisdiction. And when you get there, a whole bunch of other junk comes in–some dumb racist joke a supervisor might have said once, or a corporate founder’s donation to an anti-immigration group…who knows? And you’ve got to pay the high legal fees to fight all that.

    Better to drop the test in the first place if you don’t absolutely need it, and just stay out of court. For the average in-house employment lawyer, if you’re in court and the complaint survived a motion to dismiss, you’ve already lost.

  40. #40 |  Reginod | 

    Celticdragonchick,

    Again, I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said about the impact of Griggs. My only objection was to your initial characterization of the case.

    I objected to the way you originally characterized the holding of the case because one often hears the case characterized that way by people who have an overtly or covertly racist agenda. I know that was not your intent, but I think the overly simplified gloss you initially gave to this ruling is problematic for that reason (and because it is not accurate).

    I agree there are a number of serious problems with anti-discrimination law in the USA (and Brian lays out several, but by no means all, of them in his post), but that employers can’t use intelligence tests is not one of them.

  41. #41 |  celticdragonchick | 

    The problem is that companies never want to get to that point where the burden is on them to prove that their qualifications are reasonable; that puts the decision in the hands of 8-12 people too dumb to get out of jury duty, depending on the size of a civil jury in your jurisdiction. And when you get there, a whole bunch of other junk comes in–some dumb racist joke a supervisor might have said once, or a corporate founder’s donation to an anti-immigration group…who knows? And you’ve got to pay the high legal fees to fight all that.

    Exactly. Even tests that were defensible were thrown away as a potential legal liability, and it was far easier to just demand a college degree as proof of intelligence and aptitude.

  42. #42 |  celticdragonchick | 

    @ Reginold

    I gave a fairly cursory overview on a subject that is not my core competency. Small wonder that some tweaks had to be made. However, if you say you don’t disagree with anything I said about the afore-mentioned unintended consequences, then what the deuce?

    Some intelligence tests thrown out…but not all. Gotcha…even though most employers threw them away after Griggs as Brian noted (much more ably then me).

    The blowback was the primary point I was driving at.

    Thanks for the chat though, and BBL. :)

  43. #43 |  Sandy | 

    Do we know that Ball only slapped his child once? Having known some domestic violence aid volunteers, they’d laugh at the idea that the System, so to speak, is grossly weighted against men.

    So before I get too caught up in the Ball case, I’d want to know if there is independent corroboration of the act and that it was a one-time event. He may very well be right in every respect, but he’s obviously self-interested in a particular view of events.

  44. #44 |  KBCraig | 

    #43, Sandy:

    Do we know that Ball only slapped his child once? Having known some domestic violence aid volunteers, they’d laugh at the idea that the System, so to speak, is grossly weighted against men.

    Ball’s wife and both daughters (the younger, who he slapped, and the older, who witnessed it) all testified that he had never done any other act of violence or even threatened them.

    When pressed at the trial, the closest example his wife could come up with of similar behavior, was that years earlier he had tossed a plate into the sink from a couple of feet away, and the plate broke.

    #10, Cyto:

    Some people just have to see everything in terms of teams. And he’s on the “child abuser” team, regardless of the details.

    Some have tried to place him on the “deadbeat dad” team, as well. The fact is that after 10 years of divorce and child support payments, including two years of unemployment, his total arrears were $2,064 for hospital bills and support — for three kids.

    For this, his ex-wife and the state intended to place him in jail, where he would be unable to even seek work.

  45. #45 |  KBCraig | 

    Oh, and I should also point out that Monadnock Family Services, the organization that told Ball’s wife she had to call the police or face arrest and loss of her children, is not a government agency. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit private organization.

    They’re very secretive about their finances, as well. Their annual report for 2010 contains no figures, only two pie charts showing percentages of their expenditures. Another source lists their annual revenue (I’m not sure what year) as $17.5 million. Most of that is either directly funded by the government, or by individuals ordered to use MFS’s services and pay for them.

  46. #46 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @rmv – Sure. Except… education isn’t something which should be considered a market commodity below the post-graduate level, though, and even then there are glaring exceptions (such as in medicine).

  47. #47 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Oh, and I’d certainly agree that the government should get out of marriage. Civil partnerships are all that should be recognised.

    Also, um, the UK does *not* require blood tests to get married. Although many US states do. Moreover, Israel’s system is biased and discriminatory (you can ONLY get married under the auspices of an Ortherdox Rabbi, as a Jew) – many Israeli Jewish couples end up getting married in Cyprus because of it, and it’s one of the worst possible examples to cite.

  48. #48 |  hattio | 

    So,
    When the government provides money for higher education, whether it be Pell Grants or student loans, tuition goes up. Everyone seems to accept that and, indeed, it fits with basic economics. But, the solution to poorly performing public schools are to provide parents with tuition vouchers. Surely private school will be affordable for EVERYONE then. Right?

  49. #49 |  hattio | 

    So,
    I should make clear, no one on here has claimed support for tuition vouchers. It is supported by a lot of conservatives who would decry the support for student loans however. I know most on here are more libertarian than conservative.

  50. #50 |  Highway | 

    hattio, that’s a strawman argument for vouchers. The arguments for vouchers are based on the fact that the government is already spending that money, unlike *increased* grants and loans for college. So with vouchers, you’d take (usually just some of) the money that’s already being spent on failing schools, and allow people a choice about which school to go to. Without being “double billed” (having to pay their taxes for the public school and then tuition for private schools on top of that) for it, it’s likely that more people WOULD be able to afford private or other schools, especially since many of the private schools would price their services dependent on the voucher amounts.

    Additionally, it takes money away from the school that is failing, but only that money that is tied to the students who are no longer going there, producing a signal to the management of that school that they are losing competitively.

    Attempting to draw a parallel between “increasing loans and grants for the goal of more college attendance” and “revising a system where all students are already in the system and is fully paid for” doesn’t work when you think about it for any length of time.

  51. #51 |  albatross | 

    Highway:

    Actually, the same issue will come up with vouchers, w.r.t. private school tuition. If we ever get vouchers, I expect private school tuition will go up substantially in the short run, and somewhat in the long run. In the short run, my kids’ Catholic school can fill all its spaces right now without vouchers, albeit with some families (especially ones with lots of kids) getting some financial aid. In the long run, there will always be an advantage to getting kids whose parents are willing to spend their own money to send their kids to school–you’ve just selected for parents who are both wealthier and also are *much* more likely to push their kids to do their homework and behave properly in school than randomly-selected parents.

  52. #52 |  albatross | 

    KBCraig:

    ISTM that our child support laws are something of a disaster for folks at the bottom.

    A friend of mine works in a state child support enforcement office, and apparently, there’s a certain subset of the cases they see that are guys with no particular salable skills, and multiple kids. So you’ve got some guy who dropped out of high school, and in between times in jail he’s had three kids from three mothers. He owes enough money per month that he can’t earn enough to pay it off in any legitimate job he can get, and when he’s in jail or out of work, the debt just accrues.

    Now, it’s lousy to have kids and abandon them, and there’s not a particular reason why the rest of the taxpayers ought to get stuck with that guy’s bill. But he’s basically set up to be in unpayable debt for the rest of his life, including having any on-the-books job he gets have some large fraction of the paycheck garnished to pay those debts. (Guess how big the incentives are to get an above-ground job when your skillset qualifies you for just above minimum wage at best, and 40% is taken off whatever’s left after withholding.) And there are a fair number of guys in that position, as I understand it.

  53. #53 |  Reginod | 

    @celticdragonchick

    However, if you say you don’t disagree with anything I said about the afore-mentioned unintended consequences, then what the deuce?

    The issue is that there is a huge difference between saying you can’t use “intelligence tests” and between saying you can’t use “intelligence tests” that test for non-job related skills and that in effect discriminate rather than test actual intelligence. Forbidding the use of racist tests that do not measure anything related to job performance (especially those tests adopted to replace explicitly discriminatory employment policies) is a reasonable thing to do, but forbidding intelligence tests full stop is ridiculous. And behaving as if the Supreme Court said the latter rather than the former spreads misinformation and adopts a false narrative about anti-discrimination law that is often used to bolster racist arguments in favor of discrimination. So I think it is important to be clear, when this reading of Griggs pops up, that it is not accurate.

  54. #54 |  rmv | 

    @ Leon Wolfeson

    “@rmv – Sure. Except… education isn’t something which should be considered a market commodity below the post-graduate level, though, and even then there are glaring exceptions (such as in medicine).”

    The use of the word “should” is very telling and exactly what I was referring to. Positive vs. Normative

    The central underlying principle of economics is TANSTAAFL, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

    We cannot wish nor hope away the fundamental aspects of the world just because we don’t like it. The world is.
    Education is not special in regards to the effects of Supply and Demand.

  55. #55 |  Highway | 

    Albatross, I agree that in the short term it will happen. But also in the short term, there will be many new schools that are looking to get in to the action. Some will be good, some will be bad. Some will last, some will not. And you’d better believe that the current ‘exclusive’ private schools will raise the price, both to keep exclusivity and to capture all the revenue they can.

    The difference will be if more schools can open, or if people can move their children from one public school to another. Opening more colleges doesn’t really work, because it’s constantly fought by the accreditation boards and the schools themselves. They don’t want to add more capacity, they want to raise the price.

    The key will be that the vouchers don’t turn into a subsidy. That the vouchers are a set amount that represents some amount of money that will get a child a public school education. And really, one of the biggest advantages of the idea isn’t that vouchers will get kids into new schools. It’s that it will put that funding for the old crappy schools on the line, rather than what happens now.

  56. #56 |  hattio | 

    Highway,
    The differences you are pretending exist are largely non-existent. You say opening more colleges doesn’t work because of accreditation problems. But, there will still be a school board with a required curriculum (accreditation) and the fact is that new colleges open up all the time. They just don’t tend to be cheaper. The only thing providing vouchers is going to do is mean even less money for underperforming schools without any way for the poor to escape those schools. If you make a voucher, tuition is going to rise on average to just under the amount of the voucher plus whatever they charge now. Very few families that cannot afford tuition now will be granted the ability to afford tuition.

  57. #57 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    rmv – I know what you’re arguing, and I think it’s nonsense. Pushing the poor out of large parts of the educational system in the name of assigning values to education *isn’t* a good idea.

    hattio – Absolutely. We’re going to see this in the UK, with the Tories and their Free Schools (especially since many will be Faith Schools).

  58. #58 |  CharlesWT | 

    Controversy over arrest of woman who filmed traffic stop Rochester PD is investigating the arrest of Emily Good after she refused to go inside and stop filming

  59. #59 |  Mike T | 

    Now, it’s lousy to have kids and abandon them, and there’s not a particular reason why the rest of the taxpayers ought to get stuck with that guy’s bill. But he’s basically set up to be in unpayable debt for the rest of his life, including having any on-the-books job he gets have some large fraction of the paycheck garnished to pay those debts.

    Ironically, ending child support rights would do wonders to prevent men like this from becoming fathers. For most of Western history, unmarried mothers had absolutely no legal rights against the father(s) of their children. This reduced the rate of bastardy considerably by making it clear to women that the law was completely disinterested in their welfare if they had behaved irresponsibly in their sex life.

    Liberals wanted to get rid of this system because it effectively ends the sexual autonomy of most women without firing a shot. Social conservatives, starting in the Victorian Era, saw this as a form of legally-sanctioned irresponsibility.

  60. #60 |  rmv | 

    @Leon Wolfeson

    “assigning values”? I’ve done no such thing. I only mentioned the laws of supply and demand. Rereading my comments, only positive statements and arguments have been made.
    There are normative statements and arguments made in your posts. What we should do, and whether something is a bad idea.

    Re: pushing out the poor
    no strawmen

  61. #61 |  rmv | 

    Wetware issues on my phone cut off my comment

    Re: pushing out the poor
    No strawman, pretty please

    Please reread my initial comment. It’s very much applicable in this discussion.

  62. #62 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    rmv – It’s not a strawman. It’s a demonstrated consequence. Those are entirely different things.

    We’re seeing it happen in the UK *right now* with the hike in tuition fees.

    That’s what the market *means* for education, if you charge end-users “market prices” as you’re clearly advocating. (Since there is NO clear end-cap on market pricing for intangibles)

  63. #63 |  Doc Merlin | 

    “Study: Wrongful convictions have cost Illinois taxpayers $214 million.”

    And that there is the problem. The cost to the officials that issue the wrongful convictions is very small, but the cost to the taxpayers is very high.

  64. #64 |  albatross | 

    MikeT:

    Actually, there’s an intermediary step. For most of human history, it was also basically accepted that people at the bottom who had kids that they couldn’t support were probably going to have those kids go hungry and dress in rags. At some point, pretty much everywhere decent, people decided we weren’t okay with that–we provide education for kids, and want them fed and clothed properly. Hell, we’d even like them to see a doctor now and again. At that point, *someone* is going to pay for those children, and it’s just a matter of who is going to pay.

    I’d guess the decision to demand child support from the baby daddies is probably much less important, in terms of encouraging women to have kids they can’t support on their own, than the decision to support those kids. And yet, since the alternative is having kids growing up in the US going hungry and dressing in rags, it’s not so easy to avoid providing this encouragement. After all, it’s not like the kids *asked* to be born to shiftless, improvident parents.

  65. #65 |  hamburglar007 | 

    Helmut, you are not an IL citizen, you are an IL resident. And as far as the political class is concerned, that makes you IL property, to be disposed of as they will. This is not just an Illinois problem, it is an inevitable result of one group of people claiming absolute authority over another group and being willing to enforce that authority through violence, aka government.

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