EDUCATION

October 31, 2014

Minimum Wage Destroys Education for the Poor

My article as originally published in American Thinker:  

While President Obama may still possess the ability to bedazzle a certain segment of the population with his haughty rhetoric, his policies, coupled with his economic ignorance, continue to wreak havoc upon the U.S. economy. Case in point: his persistent and injudicious push for an increase in minimum wage that, if achieved, would only further the economic carnage. Without a doubt, minimum wage laws hurt entry-level workers and ultimately the whole economy, as Thomas Sowell and Ron Ross clearly demonstrate. But perhaps the cruelest consequence of minimum-wage law is the fact that it denies poor Americans access to a truly affordable education. With overall teen unemployment already at 21% and sky-high black teen unemployment at 38% under Obama’s watch, his proposal would only exacerbate this problem.

Merely highlighting the hourly wage rate as the singular measure of value received from working in an entry level capacity conveniently ignores one of the most important aspects of the story — education. When an individual has zero work experience and very little in the way of skills to offer, it is imperative to somehow gain such experience. The ability to do just that represents the highest level of value for the entry-level employee. Others think nothing of paying to receive a similar level of instruction in the classroom or taking an unpaid internship to develop new skills. But that’s often just not an option for the poor.

Given the exorbitant costs of higher education (due in part to the ever-reaching tentacles of government), a paid entry-level position appears to be one of the better educational options available for some within the ranks of the poor and middle class. But misguided minimum-wage laws, in effect, price many of these would-be students out of a quality education and a chance to get ahead in life. Employers are willing to give (hire and train) these “students” a paid education in exchange for their labor when it makes good economic sense, but when “tuitions” are raised by government mandated wage controls, only the highest skilled “students” will be accepted, effectively outlawing this form of education for those who possess the lowest level of skills.

President Obama said: “Americans overwhelmingly agree nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. And that is why I firmly believe it’s time to give America a raise.” But wage rates are for the market to decide and no one should expect to raise a family on the wages an entry-level position provides. As it is with any form of education, it is up to the individual as to whether or not something is actually gained during the process. Some will, of course, be complacent in their low-level position or lack the capacity to move up the corporate ladder, much like the proverbial college student-for-life or dropout. But that is certainly no reason for government to effectively bar entry for those who lack other choices but have the ability and ambition to acquire skills using this approach. While the full monetary value of such employment doesn’t appear on one’s paycheck at first, once an individual develops marketable skills, employers will be forced to compete for their labor within the marketplace.

President Obama will no doubt be given accolades from the Left for all of his faux compassion. But his proposal is anything but compassionate and is more than a job-killer — it’s an education-killer for the poor he claims to be trying to help. This will only breed more dependence upon government, which may actually be the point.

By the way, who wants to actually work (and learn) for a ten-plus dollar per hour minimum wage when, on average, welfare pays much more and requires absolutely zero effort? And that’s even before factoring in ObamaCare’s disincentives to continue working as hailed by the Left.

 


Are Public Schools to Blame for Student Loan Bubble?

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

The  potentially explosive student loan bubble  in the U.S. has been attributed to the pursuit of certain useless degrees, the  urging of some to attend college where doing so may not be  warranted, rent seeking on the part of universities and of course —  government intervention. But does blame for the more than one trillion  dollars in outstanding debt rest squarely on the above causes? Or can a sizable  portion of this massive debt be traced further back to failures within our  public education system?

We  can gain a little perspective on a portion of this student loan bubble if we  take a peek through Frederic Bastiat’s “broken window” and focus on one of the byproducts of our “broken”  public education system — the need for remedial college  courses.

Our  already overpriced (talk about a misallocation of resources) public  school system is sending students off into the world who lack many of the basic  skills that they should have acquired before being allowed to exit high school,  diploma in hand. Once in college, these undereducated students must take  remedial courses in order to be brought up to college  entrance level, wasting valuable time and resources.

Seeing  that society had already paid a hefty price to educate these students once on  these subjects, the need for such remedial catch-up courses shows that a portion (we can debate how much) of their public  education is in effect “broken” and therefore, must be “fixed” (paid for again)  just as in Bastiat’s lesson. As a consequence of this failure, the cost of  remedial education is adding billions in wasted dollars to the overall cost of college  education, much of it financed with debt.

Apart  from the obvious damage to the students, Paul Krugman’s Keynesian cult  would surely argue that while society may have already paid once for this  education, these colleges (and society as a whole) will miraculously prosper  from having all of this additional money spent on repeated classes. After  all, colleges receive this enormous sum of money which in turn pays the salaries  of professors and others who ultimately go on to purchase any number of products  or services, “stimulating” the economy into the Keynesian world of unicorns and  rainbows.

But  back in the real world, no new wealth is actually created during this process  and society is no better off than it was before. Just as in Bastiat’s  lesson, where society was short one new suit (what the shop owner would have  purchased) because the window that had already existed (wealth) was destroyed  and needed to be replaced, society is now short whatever those wasted education  dollars could have more productively been used for.

And  I would argue that society is in fact much worse off. Students who must retake  these classes are wasting valuable time that ultimately takes away from future  earnings by keeping them out of the job market longer. Also, all these billions  being diverted from productive use actually destroy future job  opportunities for students as well as for the lower-skilled among us.  Further, the future wages and purchasing power of these students are in effect  lowered by the cost to service that portion of their student loan  debt.

So  while it may be correct to blame government intervention for this massive  student loan bubble, to be fair, part of  the blame needs to be assigned to — you guessed it — earlier government  failures in yet one more arena. I guess one of the lessons here is that, be it  education, housing, green energy, or “stimulating” the economy, big government  has the antithesis of the Midas touch.

But  don’t dare attempt a free-market solution to a big government created problem,  as you can rest assured that your efforts will be crushed by statists such as President  Obama.

      


Some Clown

My article as originally published in American Thinker:

Some  clown heads an administration plagued by numerous scandals including: IRSgate, Benghazigate, Fast and  Furiousgate, Pressgate and Pigfordgate to name just a few.

Some  clown claims the above mentioned are nothing but “phony  scandals.”

Some  clown fails to comprehend that raising the minimum wage would be a disaster.

Some clown claims the United States needs to be “fundamentally  transformed.”

Some  clown continues to do an end run around the Constitution in order to protect a chosen few from the  harmful effects of ObamaCare.

Some  clown’s economic policy is (predictably) failing.

Some  clown has overseen the lowest labor participation rate since  1979.

Some  clown has been charge while food stamp usage has reached an all time high, all  while the USDA attempts to recruit even more users into the system.

Some  clown continues to get a free pass from the mainstream media.

I  could go on and on because this clown’s resume contains even more  highlights.
Unfortunately, this happens to be this particular clown’s  first non-theoretical rodeo.

So does anyone  really give a rat’s behind what the skin color of the above mentioned clown is?

Meanwhile,  a rodeo clown has been banned for life for carrying on the comedic tradition of having a little bit of fun (even if in bad taste)  at the expense of a certain president.

 


Kill the Rich Says head of Teachers Union

Kill the rich Have we really moved this far to the Left?  From Thomas Lifson over at American Thinker:

In a December 2nd speech just recently made public, Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, placed mass murder on the table as a political tactic for union movement. Carefully steering clear of actually calling for violence, Ms. Lewis noted that in the past, union leaders had not shied away from advocating killing the rich. She also noted that conditions today, in her view, are reminiscent of that same era. But the time is not ready, yet.

Read the rest at American Thinker:       

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Time To Reform Public Education?

school-indoctrinationSome food for thought by Daren Jonescu over at American Thinker:

If public education is allowed to survive, all efforts to resuscitate the inert husk of modern civilization will fail. It is time to unravel the most wasteful and destructive entitlement program of all. Cancer cells do not divide into healthy cells. A corrupted, power-intoxicated political class will not willingly raise a freedom-loving, self-reliant populace. Governments must no longer be allowed to pre-determine their nations´ fates, by mass producing the populace that serves their interests.

Read the rest at American Thinker:    

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New Video From the California Federation of Teachers

From California Federation of Teachers:  Tax The Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale

Nice propaganda piece staring the one and only Ed Asner.

 

 And the rebuttal (hat tip: Red State ):

 

Wonder no more why we have so many low information voters out there.

 


A Time to Choose

My article as originally published in American Thinker:    

America is at a crossroads and it’s time to choose a path forward. Will we continue to move “Forward” along Obama’s path of “fundamental transformation” and unsustainable big-government? Or will we rediscover our Constitutional compass and chart a path back towards a sustainable, limited government?

While trying to comprehend how it is that anyone could be undecided in this current presidential election, the movie A Time to Kill came to mind.

In short:

Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson) takes the law into his own hands after the legal system fails to adequately punish the men who brutally raped and beat his daughter, leaving her for dead. Normally, a distraught father could count on some judicial sympathy in those circumstances. Unfortunately, Carl and his daughter are black, and the assailants are white, and all the events take place in the South.

The scene that stood out was the one in which Hailey’s lawyer, Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) struggled to find a way to persuade the white jury to look beyond race, see the true horror of the situation and acquit a black man. His solution was to deliver a powerful closing argument designed to get the jurors to set aside their personal biases, visualize what it would be like if the tables were turned and then do the right thing.

Jake asked the jury to close their eyes and picture Carl Lee Hailey’s young daughter. He then described, in brutal detail, the horrendous abuse she had suffered at the hands of her white attackers. In conclusion, he asked the white jury to then imagine that this young black girl was instead white.

Are some undecided voters paralyzed from doing the right thing in this election due to being hung-up on race, though certainly not for the same reasons as in the movie?

Many Americans who voted for Obama in 2008 understand that the last four years have been an unmitigated disaster, yet surprisingly, President Obama still enjoys relatively decent poll numbers. Among the conflicted are surely African-Americans who gave 95% of their support to Obama in the 2008 election and will mostly continue to do so based largely upon race. Others, independent voters, who thought that Obama was a moderate, were ready for a “change” and wanted to partake in the historic election of this nation’s first African-American president, but may now feel guilty or be fearful of being labeled as racist if they don’t vote the same way in this election.

President Obama took office during uncertain economic times with the promise of “hope and change.” He came disguised as a moderate and promised to bring all Americans together, fix the economy and to heal all that ailed this nation.

Those who are still undecided should take a moment to really think about and visualize what President Obama has instead given us:

• Five trillion dollars added to our national debt in just four years.

• Yearly trillion-plus dollar deficits.

• Trillions of dollars printed right out of thin air.

• The first U.S. credit downgrade in history.

• Unemployment that is higher now than when he took office.

• Black unemployment that has risen to 14.3% from 13.4%.

• Millions of workers are no longer participating in the workforce due to a lack of opportunity.

• Household incomes that have declined by 8.2% since he took office.

• Gas prices that have more than doubled while permits to drill for oil and natural gas on public lands have been reduced under Obama.

• Billions lost on green energy boondoggles after his wealthy campaign donors received green energy loans to prop up failing companies.

• Food stamp usage that has exploded to more than 47 million recipients.

• Tax dollars used to advertize for even more food stamp users.

• Half of college graduates can’t find full-time jobs.

• Obamacare will cost at least three times more than promised.

• Waivers were given to many Obama donors to protect them from Obamacare.

• $716 billion was cut from Medicare to fund Obamacare.

• Demonization of job creators.

• Terminated the pensions of nonunion Delphi workers to protect unionized GM workers.

• Demonization of a diverse group of Americans who call for fiscal responsibility.

• Bypassed the law to enact a variation of the DREAM Act.

• A fake war on women.

• Women earning less then men in Obama’s own administration.

• Jobless rate among women up 15.5% under Obama.

• A cover up over the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.

• A massive cover-up over the Benghazi terrorist attack.

I could go on.

Imagine what your future would be like if this were to continue.

Imagine what your children and grandchildren’s future would be like if this were to continue.

Now, imagine that the President who was responsible for all of the above was instead a Republican. Would he still deserve to be reelected?

This election isn’t about one man or the color of his skin; it’s about the future of our nation. It’s not about voting for “revenge” but it is about voting for “love of country.” It’s about a return to and maintenance of the limited the roll of government. Our republic was designed this way because we can’t fully trust any one man, or any one-thousand men — of any party.

Please do the right thing this Election Day.


Time to Rethink UC Education? (UPDATED)

Indoctrination centers?  This Big Government piece will come as no surprise to many:

Think a University of California degree is worth its weight in gold? Think again. According to a new study, you might want to rethink that second mortgage needed to send junior to a UC campus.

The California Association of Scholars, a division of the National Association of Scholars, have just released an incendiary report showing that all nine of the University of California’s campuses have been compromised by too many politicized courses and radical faculty members. CAS members include a number of current or past professors from the UC system who have taught at UC-Berkeley, UCLA, UC-Santa Cruz, and UC-San Diego.

Conservatives have long complained of a strong liberal bias in college classrooms, and this new study shows just how far off track it has gone in one of the most prestigious public university systems in the country. You can read the full CAS 81-page report here.

Read the whole thing at Big Government   

(UPDATE)

Zombie at Pj Media attended an educators lecture at U.C. Berkeley titled: “Teaching as a Subversive Activity — Revisited.”

I nearly fell out of my chair when he first said that he wished conservatives didn’t have freedom of speech, and then practically the very next phrase out of his mouth was that people like him believe in “a culture of open-mindedness.” I mean c’mon, does he have any self-awareness? How could someone say that with a straight face? And the audience just laughed, ha ha ha. This only confirms what I have long suspected: That liberals have banished overt conservative thought from many college campuses with “speech codes,” and that given half a chance they would implement the same thing society-wide, and feel sanctimonious and justified in doing so.

Read the whole thing at Pj Media

And more from Big Government: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/21/From-Education-To-Indoctrination-At-U-C

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Blame the Left for the Erosion of Public Discourse

Wonderful piece by Steve McCann (again) at American Thinker:

The majority of the American people, asleep during the past sixty years of overwhelming peace and prosperity, are gradually waking up to the massive deception that has been perpetrated by the left and their inability to solve the almost insolvable problems they, in large part, have created. Thus, the tone and nature of political discourse has become more strident, as the left, in an effort to protect their gains, status, and self-image, will do or say anything regardless of the damage it may inflict on the country.

Read the rest at American Thinker   

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Ms. Fluke, If You Think Rush was Harsh Read: Little Suck-a-Thumb (Updated)

Rush Limbaugh has really stepped-in-it this time.  While using his famous teaching method, “demonstrating the absurd by being absurd,” some of his overly harsh comments directed towards Georgetown Law student, Sandra Fluke have unleashed a media frenzy that even brought about a phone call from President Obama.  

Lost in this whole birth control “controversy” though, is the fact that this is really about the First Amendment.  But that won’t stop the mainstream media and Democrats from continuing the manufactured lie that this is about Republicans wanting to deprive women of their “freedoms”.  Don’t fall for their dangling-condom-on-a-stick trick, this is a lie that was manufactured in order to frighten women and distract from Obama’s horrendous record as President.

It’s interesting to contrast the media response to Rush’s statements with the “10:10” campaign’s “No Pressure” climate-denier ad, where children were exploded into bloody chunks of flesh for not conforming to the Lefts’ faith-based belief in man-made global warming.  The ad was finally removed but certainly not through the help of a frenzied media.  While I would not have chosen the same words as Rush, he was attempting to make provably true points while using a method that was actually much less harsh than that “No Pressure” ad. 

In yet another attempt to destroy Rush, the media is hyping his comments without providing proper context, as is always done with those on the Right.  Rush has since apologized for using such strong language but the real lesson in all of this will still be lost upon the deaf ears of the Left.  I fully understand Rush taking such offense (as we all should be offended) at the idea that Ms. Fluke, a Georgetown Law student thinks that all taxpayers should be forced to pay for her birth control.  And that’s before even taking into account the First Amendment aspect of this issue.  

If Ms. Fluke is unable to wrap her ‘legal mind’ around the simple concept of paying for her own birth control (products for one of nature’s strongest instincts), as well as the purpose of the First Amendment, she deserves to be embarrassed and treated as a child.  Then again, maybe she knows exactly what she’s doing as she appears to be an activist.     

Throughout history children have been subjected to some pretty harsh fairytales in order to be taught some of life’s most valuable lessons.  One such fairytale takes an especially harsh approach (this one also makes Rush look like a harmless little fuzz-ball) to getting children to stop sucking their thumbs.  In the story: Little Suck-a-Thumb by Heinrich Hoffmann,  little Conrad is told by his mother, who is stepping-out for a little while, that he’d better not suck his thumb or else the scissor-man will show up and cut his thumbs clean-off.  Little Conrad learned his lesson the hard way as the story goes — graphic illustrations for little eyes included.  On a side note: it’s once again been proven that this same scissor-man most likely got hold of Bill Maher’s brain.   

Does anyone really condone cutting-off the thumbs of children in order to prevent said violators from sucking on them?  Of course not! It’s just an extreme way of teaching children a valid lesson in life’s realities.  Similarly, Rush used an extreme example in an attempt to show how utterly childish and destructive Ms. Fluke’s demands were.

If Ms. Fluke is an example of our “best and brightest,” being the product of one of the top law schools in the United States, I fear we have far, far greater problems on our hands than the attempted procurement of free contraceptives for ones entertainment.  The fact that a large segment of our population fails to understand the real issue here should terrify us all.

Let me offer one possible solution (yes I’m being a little snarky to make a point) that may apply to some of the young college women who find themselves in Ms. Fluke’s situation:

For those who consume alcohol, toning back your alcohol intake by at least two drinks per evening out will save you (assuming you’re a “feminist” and refuse to let others pay) enough over the course of the month to more than cover the burdening expenses of your birth control.  This may also come with the added benefit of reducing the need for as much of that birth control as was previously needed, thus freeing up additional funds for more of life’s little necessities.

Ms. Fluke, please understand that a scissor-man of sorts exists today and is now going straight after the Constitution.  If you think Rush’s words are harsh, you should try living your life without any protection — the protection of the First Amendment that is.

(Update)

Bret Bozell adds some perspective to this:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-bozell/2012/03/05/get-rush-campaign-isnt-about-what-he-said

And Newt schools David Gregory (you really have to give Gregory an “A” for effort though):

http://www.therightscoop.com/newt-owns-david-gregory-on-contraception/

And this from Pjmedia:

http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-lefts-long-time-war-on-women/?singlepage=true