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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

OTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game

As Time magazine recently reported, Republicans, frustrated by their 22-0 loss in last year’s game, sought a new coach to shake things up on the field this year. Some members even appealed to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to fire the coach, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). But Boehner said he wasn’t powerful enough to control the baseball diamond, and Barton refused to walk away after spending 28 years with the game. Instead, he brought on Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), a former professional baseball player and coach at Texas Christian University, to coach while he stayed on as the team’s manager.

In the face of Wednesday’s loss, according to The Washington Post, Republicans are once again asking Boehner to remove Barton from the game. But with multiple pitchers giving up walk after walk, it seems that what the Republicans really need is a pitcher who can better match Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who previously pitched on Morehouse College’s varsity baseball team.

Bitter Mouse Posted: July 01, 2014 at 07:53 AM | 4025 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics, winning is fun

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   3501. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 29, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4759915)
It's a real pity that the left won the culture war and what passes for the American right won the economics war.

And what is the proper origin date upon which the trendline leading to the right's victory in the economics war commenced?

Yep, that's right ... 1979.
   3502. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 29, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4759918)
I think Ds should run on the economy. They own it anyways, might as well try to make chicken salad. Pelosi on Colbert was trying to push some middle class investment program. I think that's as good a line as anything.

The conventional wisdom is that Democrats mentioning the economy just reminds folks of what a slow recovery it has been and how much their net worth has declined under Obama. Now that could be wrong, and you could argue that not mentioning the economy just leaves the issue to the GOP, but Dems in tough races don't seem to believe that.
   3503. spike Posted: July 29, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4759920)
I think immigration is a pretty big win for the GOP in this cycle.

It may be in the short run, but in the long run it's fool's gold.


Oh they are on their way to blowing it this cycle. Between the video of people screaming slurs at buses of childen and photos of armed vigilante "militias" indistinguishable from cartel gangs "patrolling" the border, it's not quite going to be the net positive hoped for.
   3504. Lassus Posted: July 29, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4759926)
In 50 years, we're going to look like Brazil.

That would be fine with me. Place is gorgeous.

Oh wait, you don't mean literally.


It's a real pity that the left won the culture war and what passes for the American right won the economics war. If those victories were reversed, we'd be in much better shape.

What does a conservative victory in the culture war look like to you? Play Harry Turtledove for a moment.
   3505. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 29, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4759933)
What does a conservative victory in the culture war look like to you?

I'll take a crack at a very rough draft:

1. The sexual mores of, roughly, 1962. Together with the ancillary offshoots -- how sex is discussed in books and magazines, portrayed in film, etc.
2. The manners, sexual and otherwise, of roughly 1962.
3. The relative respect afforded by the culture and its members as between the high and the base that pertained in, roughly, 1962.

The cautious reader will take note here that the political enterprise has had, and can have, little to no impact on any of these things.
   3506. spike Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4759937)
Regarding #3, Gov. Ross Barnett had state troopers stand in the door to prevent the Supreme Court ordered integration of Ole Miss in '62. This is the conservative cultural high water mark?
   3507. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4759938)
This is the conservative cultural high water mark?

No. This was a rough draft.
   3508. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4759939)

Andy, are you sure you want to use California as an example of the wonderful benefits of massive low-skilled immigration? I'd bet the more Americans look at California, the more they'd oppose amnesty, increases in low-skilled and chain migration, etc.
   3509. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4759941)
This is the conservative cultural high water mark?


Well, Amazing Fantasy #15 did come out that year ...
   3510. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4759942)
Regarding #3, Gov. Ross Barnett had state troopers stand in the door to prevent the Supreme Court ordered integration of Ole Miss in '62.

Yes, but it was all above the waist, over the bra.
   3511. tshipman Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4759946)
Andy, are you sure you want to use California as an example of the wonderful benefits of massive low-skilled immigration? I'd bet the more Americans look at California, the more they'd oppose amnesty, increases in low-skilled and chain migration, etc.


?? California is the wealthiest state in the union.
   3512. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4759949)
Play Harry Turtledove for a moment.

Oh god, please don't. I'm not 15 anymore and like my authors to actually have some skill with the written language.
   3513. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4759952)
It's a real pity that the left won the culture war and what passes for the American right won the economics war.


I think it's more accurate to say that while liberals and conservatives actively fought the culture wars (with the liberals winning lost battles) the 1% slipped in and steadily and patientlty won the war over econmics against sporadic and ineffective opposition.
   3514. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4759956)
What does an America look like in which the "99%" win the war over economics? Russia? Poland? Ukraine?
   3515. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4759961)
A year and a half after California voters approved a job-killing $6 billion tax hike on the wealthy, the state has its first budget surplus since 2007, the 5th-highest growth rate among U.S. states, and has added the most jobs of any state (9th per capita), with a faster increase than that among higher-paying jobs. It's not nearly that simple or rosy-- it wouldn't be for Rhode Island, so it's certainly not that cut and dried for California-- but there have been better moments for conservatives to criticize the Golden State's fiscal policy.
   3516. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4759964)
Jesse Ventura awarded $1.8M from a jury in his defamation suit. Looks like jury was deadlocked, the parties then agreed the jury's less than unanimous verdict would be accepted. 8-2 in favor of the Body. I'm guessing Kyle's estate was running out of $, and this is actually far from the worst outcome. (the Body wanted $5-$15m)


I've read a bit about that, and saw Kyle in a TV interview before his death, and I'm not a fan of Ventura but Kyle probably did defame him- but not in the way that keeps getting reported (did he or did he not sucker punch Ventura) - the driving issue seems to have been Kyle's claim that Ventura badmouthed the Navy Seals and said that they and other US Servicemen) deserved to die- Kyle seems to have been the type of guy who was incapable of seeing criticism of the war(s) (Ventura's basically an isolationist) as anything other than a direct attack "on the troops" - Ventura's criticism of Bush/Cheney and the decision to fight absolutely incensed him- especially since Ventura was an ex-serviceman (and one who had exaggerated his service as well).


   3517. Lassus Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4759965)
Oh god, please don't. I'm not 15 anymore and like my authors to actually have some skill with the written language.

In CONCEPT. I think alternate history, I think Turteldove just because of exposure. (As far as quality, meh, he's neither the worst nor the best.)
   3518. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4759966)
What does an America look like in which the "99%" win the war over economics? Russia? Poland? Ukraine?


1950s America
   3519. tshipman Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4759969)
What does an America look like in which the "99%" win the war over economics? Russia? Poland? Ukraine?


Do you mean literally direct democracy over economic policy, or do you mean policy that favors the working class rather than finance?

These are very different things. The first would be an unmitigated disaster, the second would probably mostly feature more unions, higher inflation and fewer deductions.
   3520. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4759977)
1950s America

I don't think the 99% were doing all that well in the 1950's.
   3521. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4759978)
o you mean literally direct democracy over economic policy, or do you mean policy that favors the working class rather than finance?

I have no idea.
   3522. Shredder Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4759981)
A year and a half after California voters approved a job-killing $6 billion tax hike on the wealthy, the state has its first budget surplus since 2007, the 5th-highest growth rate among U.S. states, and has added the most jobs of any state (9th per capita), with a faster increase than that among higher-paying jobs. It's not nearly that simple or rosy-- it wouldn't be for Rhode Island, so it's certainly not that cut and dried for California-- but there have been better moments for conservatives to criticize the Golden State's fiscal policy.
Now if they only had some water. Thanks, Obama/Pelosi/Brown!
   3523. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4759982)
These are very different things. The first would be an unmitigated disaster, the second would probably mostly feature more unions, higher inflation and fewer deductions.


I dont think that's right. What you describe would just be a different manifestation of elites oppressing the non-elites. Make it the unions, and then all the Harvard kids run to be union leaders and rent-seek in that way. Make the winners the banks (a la pre-2008) and you mint a generation of investment bankers. Make the winners the PE firms and hedge funds (like today) and you mint a generation of traders and PE associates.

What's needed is a comprehensive societal reset. To restore the idea that the success of the elite guy, the one who will probably make a fortune in whatever field is blessed with the governmental imprimature to mint money at that time, is built on the shoulders of the ordinary guys, and that the elite are indebted to - and should respect as peers - the non-elite.
   3524. BDC Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4759985)
1. The sexual mores of, roughly, 1962

Sounds kinky.

Turtledove is OK. He has at least one baseball story, which redeems him.

   3525. tshipman Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4759991)
I dont think that's right. What you describe would just be a different manifestation of elites oppressing the non-elites. Make it the unions, and then all the Harvard kids run to be union leaders and rent-seek in that way. Make the winners the banks (a la pre-2008) and you mint a generation of investment bankers. Make the winners the PE firms and hedge funds (like today) and you mint a generation of traders and PE associates.


I broadly agree with this. I'm taking McCoy's question as a counterfactual where somehow there were massive reforms/controls/whatevers that both completely curbed the influence of money in politics and prevented politicians from having extremely wealthy people as their peers. I don't view this as likely.

If you have a policy of enlightened technocrats trying to make a better world while still remaining somewhat accountable to voters, I think you end up with a situation broadly similar to today, just with slightly higher inflation (3-4%, rather than 1-2%), fewer deductions in the tax code and a more labor-friendly environment. I think this because that's what you see in a lot of other developed countries. Oh, and more healthcare/childcare stuff.

What's needed is a comprehensive societal reset. To restore the idea that the success of the elite guy, the one who will probably make a fortune in whatever field is blessed with the governmental imprimature to mint money at that time, is built on the shoulders of the ordinary guys, and that the elite are indebted to - and should respect as peers - the non-elite.


I think a lot of what is needed is for all the guys whose lives were shaped by the politics and policies of the 1970s to die off. There's a whole generation of people who believe that the world will end if we have sustained inflation above 2.5%, and who think that every time we don't go to war, the Ruskies will win.
   3526. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4759994)
1. The sexual mores of, roughly, 1962

Ah, yes, when you hung a tie on the outside of your doorknob to let your roommate know that you had female company. And when you could get kicked out of school if the wrong person saw that tie and knew what it meant. Yeah, those were great mores, especially when a ####### priest was your housemaster.
   3527. BDC Posted: July 29, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4759997)
I was thinking more of channeling Leo Durocher in some LA nightspot. Overcoming the dual defenses of wedding ring and foundation garment has lost some of its thrill since 1962 :)
   3528. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 29, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4760005)
?? California is the wealthiest state in the union.

Is this where we pretend California would be worse off without the masses of low-skilled immigrants who have strained California's public schools (which were once the best in the nation), stretched California's welfare rolls, etc., etc.?

Given California's long list of advantages and resources, California has massively underperformed over the past 30 years.

(Also, "wealthiest state in the nation" is a strange standard for a liberal to cite, given all the talk on the left about income inequality. California is hardly known these days as a place where working-class people are making big strides.)
   3529. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 29, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4760013)
Ah, yes, when you hung a tie on the outside of your doorknob to let your roommate know that you had female company. And when you could get kicked out of school if the wrong person saw that tie and knew what it meant. Yeah, those were great mores, especially when a ####### priest was your housemaster.

Just so it's clear, I wasn't advocating those things. I far prefer the loose morals in all things drink and women of avidly-revolutionized Ann Arbor, ca. 1982.(*)

The question was asked, I took a stab at an answer.

(*) Not to mention the virtual legality ($5 fine) of a certain well-known herb the consumption of which typically necessitates one or more off-hours trips to the local Burger King or Taco Bell.
   3530. tshipman Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4760018)
Is this where we pretend California would be worse off without the masses of low-skilled immigrants who have strained California's public schools (which were once the best in the nation), stretched California's welfare rolls, etc., etc.?


Immigration has been a huge positive for California. It has driven innovation, provided a vibrant culture and been the engine for growth.

California's school systems have fallen behind due to funding. It is 49th in teacher/pupil.

(Also, "wealthiest state in the nation" is a strange standard for a liberal to cite, given all the talk on the left about income inequality. California is hardly known these days as a place where working-class people are making big strides.)


Median income in CA is some 10K higher than the country overall.
   3531. Howie Menckel Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:16 PM (#4760027)

I thought NJ and CT usually battled for "wealthiest state," but this and other lists have Maryland as highest household income, just ahead of them. CA ranked 11th below, and 10th in the other ones I looked at.

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2013/09/19/americas-richest-and-poorest-states/2/

   3532. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4760037)
Immigration has been a huge positive for California. It has driven innovation, provided a vibrant culture and been the engine for growth.

That's the fantasyland La Raza/Chamber of Commerce talking point. The reality is that high-skilled immigration has been good for California while low-skilled immigration has dragged California down in just about every metric: quality of public schools, number of people on welfare, ease of upward mobility and average household wealth, social trust, public corruption, etc., etc.

California's school systems have fallen behind due to funding. It is 49th in teacher/pupil.

LOL. The average California teacher makes $85,000.

Regardless, that's another bizarre complaint for a liberal to make. How is it that a state chock full of liberals and chock full of allegedly innovative low-skilled immigrants is neither swimming in tax dollars nor prioritizing public schools?

Median income in CA is some 10K higher than the country overall.

California is tenth in the U.S. by median income, less than a grand ahead of places like Wyoming. When adjusted for cost of living, California ranks ... 43rd. That's your idea of a success story?
   3533. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4760044)
Regardless, that's another bizarre complaint for a liberal to make. How is it that a state chock full of liberals and chock full of allegedly innovative low-skilled immigrants is neither swimming in tax dollars nor prioritizing public schools?

It's also bizarre in that a state overwhelmed by immigration would tend to have too many students for the number of teachers.
   3534. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:52 PM (#4760047)
Yes it is possible (heck maybe even likely), but I don't see it as a slam dunk. We have all seen the base when they get riled up, it generates a bit of crazy that tends to spill out.


Did someone ask for some crazy? Well, here's some delightful crazy, courtesy of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC president William Gheen and the always level headed Alex Jones:


“They’re doing that by bringing in people who have no shared national or cultural experience with us, that are willing to literally say or do anything that their new masters call on them to do to protect their positions,” Gheen said. “Once Obama brings these ‘kids’ in, gives them their Obamaphone, enrolls them in Obamacare, puts them in a public school, pays for their housing, pays for their foods…These people will do anything that their leaders call them to do, and I mean literally anything.”

“The problem about trying to take up full gun confiscation and cracking down in a totalitarian fashion against American citizens is, who amongst the country hates their fellow countrymen and women so much that you can turn them to do that? They only have a small section of people that are willing to do that, and it’s probably going to be the people who remain loyal to Obama to the very end,” he continued.

“These people that come in, if they come to them and say, ‘You must do this for your glorious leader or you’re going back to the jungle and you gotta give the phone back and the food back and the free lodging back,’ they’ll probably, most of them will make the decision to do about anything.”

“That’s like the African child slave soldiers,” Jones responded. “That’s how all those African countries are run is off of poor kids, they grab at 12 and give a machine gun to. Obama talks about his national security force, just as big, just as strong as our military. It’s so bold, but when you look at it, they really are doing that.”




   3535. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4760048)

Re: #3533, no doubt that's true, but tshipman clearly doesn't want to admit as much.
   3536. bobm Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4760049)
I don't think the 99% were doing all that well in the 1950's.

From Wikipedia

But from about 1937 to 1947 – a period that has been dubbed the "Great Compression"[34] – income inequality in America fell dramatically. Highly progressive New Deal taxation, the strengthening of unions, and regulation of the National War Labor Board during World War II raised the income of the poor and working class and lowered that of top earners.[35] This "middle class society" of relatively low level of inequality remained fairly steady for about three decades ending in early 1970s,[7][34][36] the product of relatively high wages for the US working class and political support for income leveling government policies.

Wages remained relatively high because of lack of foreign competition for American manufacturing, lack of low skilled immigrant workers,[37] competition for US workers in general, and – arguably most important – strong trade unions. By 1947 more than a third of non-farm workers were union members,[38] and unions both raised average wages for their membership, and indirectly and to a lesser extent, raised wages for workers in similar occupations not represented by unions.[39] Scholars believe political support for equalizing government policies was provided by high voter turnout from union voting drives, the support of the otherwise conservative South for the New Deal, and prestige that the massive mobilization and victory of World War II had given the government.[40]

The return to high inequality – or what Krugman and journalist Timothy Noah have referred as the "Great Divergence"[32] – began in the 1970s.
   3537. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4760052)
Yes; inequality was lower after a depression and a world war. One would think that this would cause people who think that inequality is bad to think twice. But, strangely, no.

Income equality is an immoral goal.
   3538. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4760055)
I think some of the 99% did well but I think many did not. Many were still left behind in the 50's. Women. Minorities. Rural areas. To name a few though they represent well over half the population of America.
   3539. tshipman Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:22 PM (#4760063)
Regardless, that's another bizarre complaint for a liberal to make. How is it that a state chock full of liberals and chock full of allegedly innovative low-skilled immigrants is neither swimming in tax dollars nor prioritizing public schools?


Funding for schools is a complicated issue that was reformed just in 2013. The previous issues were that wealthier regions received more funding than poor regions, exacerbating funding issues. Secondly, state balanced budget requirements caused shortfalls during recessions. Finally, the complicated funding system put in place by prop 98 had unintended consequences of placing ceilings on state funding for districts.

Basically, the reasons for poor funding of schools were complicated and driven by nitty-gritty details in policy enshrined by California's unique direct ballot system. This has been addressed and theoretically fixed as of 2013. We'll see how that plays out.

California is tenth in the U.S. by median income, less than a grand ahead of places like Wyoming. When adjusted for cost of living, California ranks ... 43rd. That's your idea of a success story?


I would gladly pay 20,000 a year to live in California rather than Wyoming, so as far as I can tell, it's a freaking bargain.
   3540. Shredder Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:32 PM (#4760066)
Lol. Joek lives in an alternate universe where apparently the one thing that didn't affect California's once great schools was an initiative that blew a double barrel shotgun sized hole in school budgets.
   3541. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:34 PM (#4760068)
California's school systems have fallen behind due to funding. It is 49th in teacher/pupil.

LOL. The average California teacher makes $85,000.


These aren't mutually exclusive. Imagine if California had 1 teacher and paid her $1 billion per year. Would that be a good system?
   3542. GregD Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:38 PM (#4760070)
The only person qualified to answer that question is permanent secretary of education Bill Gates
   3543. zonk Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4760088)
Yes; inequality was lower after a depression and a world war. One would think that this would cause people who think that inequality is bad to think twice. But, strangely, no.

Income equality is an immoral goal.


I'm sure there's at least some snark in here, but it ought to be noted that it was neither war nor a depression that unleashed the magic market faeries -- it was 1)massive public spending prior to the war, initially on virtually anything and everything from infrastructure to the arts followed by yes, a significant military buildup, 2)putting lots of money in pockets that previously didn't have much - women, African-Americans, etc because of the need to staff factories in support of the war effort, 3) artificial stifling of demand during the war years coupled with artificial goosing of innovation (and for more just direct military technology -- virtually every industry was forced to find ways to alter or modify products due to materials shortages and rationing), and 4) an enormous investment in providing free higher education to a whole generation of people (of a certain sex and - mostly - race).

Doing 1), 2), 3), and 4) don't need a war or depression to make a reality...
   3544. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:35 PM (#4760090)
So how do you pay the piper then without a war destroying all of the industrialized world save America and a good chunk of the developing world as well?

Plenty of countries geared up for war and how many them had such a warm afterglow? England spent tons of money leading up to WWI and spent a ton of money during the war. It devastated them for decades.
   3545. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4760091)

I'll take a crack at a very rough draft:

1. The sexual mores of, roughly, 1962. Together with the ancillary offshoots -- how sex is discussed in books and magazines, portrayed in film, etc.
2. The manners, sexual and otherwise, of roughly 1962.
3. The relative respect afforded by the culture and its members as between the high and the base that pertained in, roughly, 1962.

The cautious reader will take note here that the political enterprise has had, and can have, little to no impact on any of these things.


1. Yuck. Sex is fun. Knowledge about sex is important, and makes sex safer and more fun. Not that they didn't have fun in 1962, but in what way is it better than today?
2. Nothing is stopping you from maintaining the sexual manners of whatever decade you and your partner(s) prefer. The 1950s is VERY popular with some kinky folks. Go figure. But don't put that on me or others.
3. I am not even sure what this means. It sounds like "back in the day the peasant knew their place", but even SBB can't be that crazed, can he?

But hey at least we agree that culture drives politics much more than politics drives culture.
   3546. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4760095)
Funding for schools is a complicated issue that was reformed just in 2013. The previous issues were that wealthier regions received more funding than poor regions, exacerbating funding issues. Secondly, state balanced budget requirements caused shortfalls during recessions. Finally, the complicated funding system put in place by prop 98 had unintended consequences of placing ceilings on state funding for districts.

Basically, the reasons for poor funding of schools were complicated and driven by nitty-gritty details in policy enshrined by California's unique direct ballot system. This has been addressed and theoretically fixed as of 2013. We'll see how that plays out.

And yet, California somehow found a way to pay its average teacher $85,000 and various middle school principals $280,000.

The whole thing above is a B.S. excuse anyway. As you undoubtedly know, wealthier districts were getting more money in the 1960s and 1970s and 1980s, but results were far better. Given that education spending nationally has increased by roughly 200 percent since the early 1970s — after inflation! — while test results are flat, we all know that money is only a small part of the problem.

I would gladly pay 20,000 a year to live in California rather than Wyoming, so as far as I can tell, it's a freaking bargain.

Yeah, tell that to the hundreds of thousands of people in Los Angeles County who are living in (illegal) garage apartments because they can't afford an actual apartment.

***
Lol. Joek lives in an alternate universe where apparently the one thing that didn't affect California's once great schools was an initiative that blew a double barrel shotgun sized hole in school budgets.

Your counterargument is that the liberals in a state that voted for Obama by ~24 points have steadfastly refused to touch their beloved Prop 13 for the past 35 years?

LOL, indeed. It's almost like liberals don't like to put their (own) money where their mouths are.
   3547. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4760096)
So how do you pay the piper then without a war destroying all of the industrialized world save America and a good chunk of the developing world as well?

Plenty of countries geared up for war and how many them had such a warm afterglow? England spent tons of money leading up to WWI and spent a ton of money during the war. It devastated them for decades.


To a small degree you are right. The US in the 1950s was a completely artificial artifact of the previous couple of decades. It could never have been maintained, nor should it have been. It is great that the rest of the world rebuilt and caught up to the US (some more, some less, some passed us in many ways - such is life).

However the whole of that is not needed for lesser income inequality. How do I know? Well I look at the rest of the world.

Some countries that manage to have better income equality, well basically all of Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and many many other countries. All managing to "pay the piper" at least a bit and many doing very well. Of course income inequality is certainly not the only measure of success - there are plenty of countries not doing well off, but with good income spreads - but ist would be nice to have less inequality. Well more than nice.


   3548. zenbitz Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:48 PM (#4760097)
1962 sexual mores sounds a little rapey to me.
   3549. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4760100)
Given that education spending nationally has increased by roughly 200 percent since the early 1970s — after inflation! — while test results are flat, we all know that money is only a small part of the problem.


I hear this a bunch, but repetition doesn't make it true. It is truly odd that the strongest believers in the free market theory, that people earn what they make, those that scream the loudest and say the highest paid are the most valuable and that more money is the ultimate goal and a great thing are also the first to throw stones at teacher pay. CEO pay has skyrocketed and bears basically no relation to stock performance - but hey those titans MUST be worth every penny, right Joe?

One reason why using typical inflation adjusted figures doesn't work all that well is that teaching (so far) is a very human capital intensive field. You can't manufacture it in China and ship it in in giant cargo ships, nor does Moore's law apply to it (yet). So while whole classes of things are getting cheaper each year simple math suggests that those things that are not get relatively more expensive, especially when adjusted for inflation.
   3550. tshipman Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4760102)
Yeah, tell that to the hundreds of thousands of people in Los Angeles County who are living in (illegal) garage apartments because they can't afford an actual apartment.


An illegal garage apartment is still better than Wyoming, and it's not even close. Large parts of the country suck ass.

The whole thing above is a B.S. excuse anyway. As you undoubtedly know, wealthier districts were getting more money in the 1960s and 1970s and 1980s, but results were far better. Given that education spending nationally has increased by roughly 200 percent since the early 1970s — after inflation! — while test results are flat, we all know that money is only a small part of the problem.


Um, okay. You're comparing national numbers with state numbers. CA used to have the best schools in the country. Funding got brutally cut, and now they don't. They instead have some of the largest class sizes in the country. We all know that money is a large part of the problem.
   3551. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:00 PM (#4760104)
1. Yuck. Sex is fun. Knowledge about sex is important, and makes sex safer and more fun. Not that they didn't have fun in 1962, but in what way is it better than today?
2. Nothing is stopping you from maintaining the sexual manners of whatever decade you and your partner(s) prefer. The 1950s is VERY popular with some kinky folks. Go figure. But don't put that on me or others.
3. I am not even sure what this means. It sounds like "back in the day the peasant knew their place", but even SBB can't be that crazed, can he?

But hey at least we agree that culture drives politics much more than politics drives culture.
that's very generous of you. the way his statement reads to me is:
women shouldn't work.
blacks shouldn't touch whites.
gays should be jailed.

if we're talking about the 'sexual mores' of 1962, those are some pretty ####### big holes to leave out of the conversation.
   3552. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:01 PM (#4760106)
All managing to "pay the piper" at least a bit and many doing very well.

Well, Europe and most of the countries on the Marshall Plan never had to pay the piper in terms of loans because we simply forgave them.

I mean I don't really think destroying half the world and causing the death and or suffering of over a billion people for years and years to be a great example of anything we want to emulate.
   3553. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4760109)
if we're talking about the 'sexual mores' of 1962, those are some pretty ####### big holes to leave out of the conversation.
that's the problem with progressivism. anything we do right is co-opted by conservatives as something that was always the way even if they fought tooth and nail against it.
   3554. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4760110)
I hear this a bunch, but repetition doesn't make it true. It is truly odd that the strongest believers in the free market theory, that people earn what they make, those that scream the loudest and say the highest paid are the most valuable and that more money is the ultimate goal and a great thing are also the first to throw stones at teacher pay. CEO pay has skyrocketed and bears basically no relation to stock performance - but hey those titans MUST be worth every penny, right Joe?

One reason why using typical inflation adjusted figures doesn't work all that well is that teaching (so far) is a very human capital intensive field. You can't manufacture it in China and ship it in in giant cargo ships, nor does Moore's law apply to it (yet). So while whole classes of things are getting cheaper each year simple math suggests that those things that are not get relatively more expensive, especially when adjusted for inflation.

Classic Bitter Mouse: He starts out by saying the claim isn't true, then finishes by tacitly acknowledging that it probably is true but hand-waving it away with an inapt bordering on nonsensical explanation.

Also, public school teachers don't operate in a free market system. The game is rigged in their favor since elected officials get to buy their votes reward them for their hard work with taxpayer money.

***
An illegal garage apartment is still better than Wyoming, and it's not even close. Large parts of the country suck ass.

LOL. Nothing says "living the California dream" like living in an illegal garage apartment.

Um, okay. You're comparing national numbers with state numbers. CA used to have the best schools in the country. Funding got brutally cut, and now they don't. They instead have some of the largest class sizes in the country. We all know that money is a large part of the problem.

Funding got "brutally cut"? When a state has almost 35,000 teachers making at least $100,000, it appears funding hasn't been "brutally cut." Regardless, when we know that places like Washington, D.C., spend among the most per student but get among the worst results, the money hypothesis goes out the window.
   3555. zenbitz Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4760111)
Your argument is that the liberals in a state that voted for Obama by ~24 points have steadfastly refused to touch their beloved Prop 13?


Now do you see why we don't call Obama liberal?


The CA public schools have the same issue every big heterogenous state has. The funding is essentially local for suburbs and exurbs, and even in big citees you have "rich" schools and "poor" schools -- where the distinction is less about funding and more about the wealth of the families involved. And yes, I am sure if we deport all the poor kids the numbers would look better.., not sure how that's a solution.
   3556. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:05 PM (#4760112)
An illegal garage apartment is still better than Wyoming, and it's not even close. Large parts of the country suck ass.

Quite the urban elitist.
   3557. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4760116)
Classic Bitter Mouse: He starts out by saying the claim isn't true, then finishes by acknowledging that it's probably true but hand-waving it away with an inapt bordering on nonsensical explanation.


Yes Joe, I know you didn't understand what I wrote. If a particular word or sentence gave you trouble I will gladly explain it to you.

Basically the simplistic version is, it costs more for everyone to teach relative to what it used to, because of how teaching works. Suggesting it costs more now, for no better results is really dumb, because so what? It is hardly the fault of the teachers, or schools or anything. The fact of the matter is that because it costs more we need to spend more - which is exactly what you are claiming we shouldn't do.

So I agree it costs more but kindly suggest your inference that this fact means we shouldn't spend more to be, well typically you. And no hand waving at all, just logic and economics (which only looks like hand waving to morons).
   3558. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:13 PM (#4760118)
Well, Europe and most of the countries on the Marshall Plan never had to pay the piper in terms of loans because we simply forgave them.

I mean I don't really think destroying half the world and causing the death and or suffering of over a billion people for years and years to be a great example of anything we want to emulate.


You can't be suggesting they "paid" for their income equality with the proceeds of the Marshall Plan, are you? You realize that was a really long time ago and many of the countries doing better than us never got the Marshall Plan.

And who on Earth is arguing for "destroying half the world and causing the death and or suffering of over a billion people for years and years"? Talk about odd.

Side note: The Marshall Plan was a boon for Europe, but it was also a boon for the US. Anyone that says otherwise is an idiot.
   3559. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4760121)
The CA public schools have the same issue every big heterogenous state has. The funding is essentially local for suburbs and exurbs, and even in big citees you have "rich" schools and "poor" schools -- where the distinction is less about funding and more about the wealth of the families involved. And yes, I am sure if we deport all the poor kids the numbers would look better.., not sure how that's a solution.

I already addressed this. There's nothing new about wealthier school districts getting more money because of the local nature of school funding. That was true in the 1960s and 1970s and 1980s, but results were far better then than they are today.
   3560. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4760126)
Yes Joe, I know you didn't understand what I wrote. If a particular word or sentence gave you trouble I will gladly explain it to you.

Basically the simplistic version is, it costs more for everyone to teach relative to what it used to, because of how teaching works. Suggesting it costs more now, for no better results is really dumb, because so what? It is hardly the fault of the teachers, or schools or anything. The fact of the matter is that because it costs more we need to spend more - which is exactly what you are claiming we shouldn't do.

So I agree it costs more but kindly suggest your inference that this fact means we shouldn't spend more to be, well typically you. And no hand waving at all, just logic and economics (which only looks like hand waving to morons).

Oh, I understood it, all right. I understood it to be the B.S. that it is.

I never said we shouldn't be spending more. The point is that we're spending ~200 percent more than we were 40 years ago, after inflation, and yet people are still making the laughable claim that spending has been "brutally cut."
   3561. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4760132)
And who on Earth is arguing for "destroying half the world and causing the death and or suffering of over a billion people for years and years"? Talk about odd.

Well, you are if you want a return to a 1950 economic world.

You can't be suggesting they "paid" for their income equality with the proceeds of the Marshall Plan, are you? You realize that was a really long time ago and many of the countries doing better than us never got the Marshall Plan.

I meant exactly what I said. They didn't have to pay back their loans. Economies and the structure of those economies don't happen over night. The Industrial Revolution and the American titans who took part in it set up the infrastructure and created the capital for America to have the 20th century that it did. 1950's don't happen without the 1880's. So telling me something happened a really long time ago and using that as proof that it isn't relevant is kind of silly within the context of this discussion.

   3562. tshipman Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:42 PM (#4760141)
I never said we shouldn't be spending more. The point is that we're spending ~200 percent more than we were 40 years ago, after inflation, and yet people are still making the laughable claim that spending has been "brutally cut."


You're conflating national with state numbers and ignoring the Baumol effect.

Now, if you'd gone to school in California, like I did, you would have learned about that stuff so you wouldn't make such bad arguments.

Quite the urban elitist.


I'm a believer in the free market. An illegal garage apartment in SF is worth more than a 4 bedroom in Wyoming.

Find three more friends to sign with you to fill an apartment we furnish you with a 50" tv for the duration of your stay as well!


Wyoming sucks. It's better than Orlando, at least.
   3563. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:54 PM (#4760145)
I'm a believer in the free market. An illegal garage apartment in SF is worth more than a 4 bedroom in Wyoming.

Looking at the details of this deal, you almost have to wonder whether Laramie is sitting on top of a nuclear waste dump or something. Other than having to live in the same state as Dick Cheney, what's the catch?

The Pointe Apartments, up-scale, gated community, beautiful views, plenty of amenities, tons of events, beautiful kitchens, washer and dryer in every apartment, a bathroom in each bedroom. We lease separately by bedroom so you are not responsible or tied down by your roommates, full maintenance service, shuttle service to take you to the University of Wyoming campus, pet friendly!

Everything is electric with a $30 dollar monthly cap! Beautiful clubhouse open 24/7, including a 100" Movie Theatre available at all times, with fitness center, infinity pools, and hot tubs, pool table, 24/7 computer lab and study room, free printing and awesome costumer service, and round the clock guard.

Rent generally ranges from 510-535 a month per lease not by apartment.

But the rent price is negotiable based on certain circumstances.
we offer 10 month and 12 month leases starting in august, but we have plenty of space now as well so you can certainly come enjoy all of this greatness now!

Please contact ASAP! We offer to waive the initial application fee if you sign within 24 hours of your first tour of the property.

Find three more friends to sign with you to fill an apartment we furnish you with a 50" tv for the duration of your stay as well!
This place has it all at such a low rate! You will not find an apartment that offers this much value for its price.
Contact me ASAP so i can get you as many perks and deals as i possibly can!
   3564. greenback calls it soccer Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:06 AM (#4760150)
$2,000 per month for an apartment in Wyoming? You could buy a ranch for that.
   3565. GregD Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:12 AM (#4760153)
I actually find Laramie charming. Though I have only been there in summertime.

Wyoming's overall economy has done well because of extraction--natural gas, coal, oil. Bully for them. I don't know that there's a great lesson to take from it, other than places with gas, coal, and oil do well when at least one of the three is doing well on the market and is accessible. I don't think there's any great correlation between the Wyoming economy and any state tax or regulatory policies, though I could be wrong.

Narrowly, Laramie despite its natural beauty and some cool spots is not a boomtown. It has lot of college-y retail jobs, and then it has the professors and some tourist jobs. So there's lots of work but most of it is not great. And the people sending their kids to UW don't have the disposable income of, say, the parents at Auburn or something, to name a roughly equivalent U with much richer parents. So I assume that ad is for students.

On California, it seems strange to use the high price of apartments as proof that people don't want to live there.
   3566. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:13 AM (#4760154)
You're conflating national with state numbers

Oh, sorry — National education spending is up ~200 percent after inflation since 1970, while California education spending is up "only" ... 110 percent after inflation.

"Brutal spending cuts," indeed.

and ignoring the Baumol effect.

No, I'm not. I've repeatedly emphasized the "after inflation" part. And unless you're arguing that California's teachers — who average $85,000 per year — are underpaid, your argument is irrelevant.

(By the way, citing the Baumol effect is inapt here anyway, since there's no evidence California's teachers would be leaving en masse for non-teaching jobs if they weren't paid an average of $85,000 per year. California's teachers haven't simply kept pace with workers in other fields whose workers exhibit higher productivity; they're making an above-average salary relative to most other professions in California.)

Now, if you'd gone to school in California, like I did, you would have learned about that stuff so you wouldn't make such bad arguments.

Based on the above, it looks like you should ask for a refund.

***
On California, it seems strange to use the high price of apartments as proof that people don't want to live there.

Nobody made such an argument.
   3567. GregD Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:18 AM (#4760158)
In response to this:
I would gladly pay 20,000 a year to live in California rather than Wyoming, so as far as I can tell, it's a freaking bargain.



you wrote:
Yeah, tell that to the hundreds of thousands of people in Los Angeles County who are living in (illegal) garage apartments because they can't afford an actual apartment.


What did you mean? It reads as if you are trying to refute the previous statement. Of course your evidence confirms that the particular claim--he would rather live in LA than Wyoming--is actually generally true.
   3568. SteveF Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4760164)
I'd expect climate change to hit California worse than Wyoming. If I were looking at living in California long term I might be worried about access to water 20-30 years from now.

As for high property values/prices, they aren't exclusively a function of demand. San Francisco's housing prices, for instance, are high because they've chosen not to build up (zoning laws) and they can't build out (no room, obviously).
   3569. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:32 AM (#4760165)
What did you mean? It reads as if you are trying to refute the previous statement. Of course your evidence confirms that the particular claim--he would rather live in LA than Wyoming--is actually generally true.

If you have a job but still have to live in an illegal garage apartment because you can't afford even a crappy regular apartment, then by no means is California a "freaking bargain."

Upward mobility in California for the working class is absolutely putrid right now, but Shipman is hand-waving it away based on his own liberal elitist preferences.

"Sure, you're working full-time and living in a windowless garage in Compton with your wife and kids, but ... Arizona isn't full of liberals and it doesn't have beaches!"

***
I'd expect climate change to hit California worse than Wyoming. If I were looking at living in California long term I might be worried about access to water 20-30 years from now.

This isn't a climate-change problem. It's a population problem.
   3570. tshipman Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:06 AM (#4760180)
No, I'm not. I've repeatedly emphasized the "after inflation" part. And unless you're arguing that California's teachers — who average $85,000 per year — are underpaid, your argument is irrelevant.

(By the way, citing the Baumol effect is inapt here anyway, since there's no evidence California's teachers would be leaving en masse for non-teaching jobs if they weren't paid an average of $85,000 per year. California's teachers haven't simply kept pace with workers in other fields whose workers exhibit higher productivity; they're making an above-average salary relative to most other professions in California.)


You seem to be unfamiliar with the Baumol effect.
   3571. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:14 AM (#4760185)
You seem to be unfamiliar with the Baumol effect.

Is there another Baumol effect other than this one? If not, you're the one who doesn't seem to know what he's talking about. As I said in the comment you quoted, California's teachers haven't merely kept pace with the salaries of workers in fields with higher productivity, their salaries exceed those of the average worker in many fields with higher productivity.
   3572. tshipman Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:33 AM (#4760189)
Is there another Baumol effect other than this one? If not, you're the one who doesn't seem to know what he's talking about. As I said in the comment you quoted, California's teachers haven't merely kept pace with the salaries of workers in fields with higher productivity, their salaries exceed those of the average worker in many fields with higher productivity.


Point the first: you're probably wrong on the facts. Median salary in CA is 63K, so college grad median salary is probably higher. Can't find a definitive source on this, though.

Point the second: the whole point of citing Baumol is that your "after inflation" number of 110% increase is meaningless *precisely* due to Baumol.

Point the third: 110% over 40 years is not very much. It's like less than 2% higher than inflation.

Point the fourth: CA's population has risen by more than the cost of inflation.

Thesis: These points mean that even though funding for schools in CA has gone up, there's less money for schooling per student than 40 years ago. Also, the growth in administrative funding is a bigger impact than teacher salary.
   3573. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:55 AM (#4760193)
Point the first: you're probably wrong on the facts. Median salary in CA is 63K, so college grad median salary is probably higher. Can't find a definitive source on this, though.

No source, but "probably wrong." Not all that persuasive.

Also, Baumol doesn't deal with "college grads" vs. non-college grads; it deals with workers in fields with increasing productivity vs. those in fields with low or no increases in productivity.

Point the second: the whole point of citing Baumol is that your "after inflation" number of 110% increase is meaningless *precisely* due to Baumol.

Huh? No, it most certainly is not. For the third time, there's no evidence that tens of thousands of California teachers — i.e., people with education degrees — have the option to leave teaching for other jobs that pay an average of $85,000 or more. The Baumol effect might explain some of the increase, but more of it is explained by the fact that elected officials bribe teachers unions with taxpayer money.

Point the third: 110% over 40 years is not very much. It's like less than 2% higher than inflation.

LOL.

Point the fourth: CA's population has risen by more than the cost of inflation.

And? An increased labor supply generally suppresses wages rather than increases them, as we've seen in countless other professions.

Thesis: These points mean that even though funding for schools in CA has gone up, there's less money for schooling per student than 40 years ago. Also, the growth in administrative funding is a bigger impact than teacher salary.

This is embarrassing. For the third or fourth time, California's education spending is up ~110 percent after inflation since the 1970s, while federal education spending is up ~200 percent after inflation over that same time. (Meanwhile, California's K-12 enrollment is up just ~20 percent over the past 20 years; I couldn't find the numbers from 40 years ago.) If California's school districts decided to pay fewer teachers more money and/or decided to hire more administrators, that doesn't mean there's "less money for schooling per student." It means the additional money is being used differently and/or inefficiently.
   3574. tshipman Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:07 AM (#4760194)
Huh? No, it most certainly is not. For the third time, there's no evidence that tens of thousands of California teachers — i.e., people with education degrees — have the option to leave teaching for other jobs that pay an average of $85,000 or more. The Baumol effect might explain some of the increase, but more of it is explained by the fact that elected officials bribe teachers unions with taxpayer money.


Baumol's cost disease posits that increases in salary occur even if the individual workers cannot effectively bargain to leave for different jobs. His original test case was classical musicians. This is why I keep pointing out that you don't seem to understand the concept.

For the third or fourth time, California's education spending is up ~110 percent after inflation since the 1970s, while federal education spending is up ~200 percent after inflation over that same time. If California's school districts decided to pay fewer teachers more and/or decided to hire more administrators, that doesn't mean there's "less money for schooling per student." It means more money is being used differently and/or inefficiently.


Your point is that the last 40 years has been a natural experiment showing that increased school spending does nothing to increase results. This is a stupid point as I pointed out above because funding has not increased enough to decrease class sizes--indeed, they have gotten larger.
   3575. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:20 AM (#4760198)
Baumol's cost disease posits that increases in salary occur even if the individual workers cannot effectively bargain to leave for different jobs. His original test case was classical musicians. This is why I keep pointing out that you don't seem to understand the concept.

No, I do understand the concept. It's you that doesn't seem to grasp that California's teachers have done a lot more than keep up with workers in other fields with higher productivity.

The Baumol analogues for teachers are professions like auto mechanic and nurse. Do you have any sources showing that the salaries (or rate of salary increases) for those two professions have kept pace in California with those of teachers over the past 40 years?

Your point is that the last 40 years has been a natural experiment showing that increased school spending does nothing to increase results. This is a stupid point as I pointed out above because funding has not increased enough to decrease class sizes--indeed, they have gotten larger.

"Stupid point," indeed.

As the linked graphs show, California's average class sizes are the same as they were in 1970, when California's public schools were generally regarded as among the best, if not the best, in the nation.
   3576. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:29 AM (#4760216)
Is there another Baumol effect other than this one?

So what's the moral we're supposed to be taking from this? That teachers are overpaid? That we can compare "productivity" in teaching to the "productivity" of a car repairman, as if the intelligence and skills of the workers in these two professions are the only factors that go into "productivity"? Here's what your own Wiki link has to say on this subject:

Baumol's cost disease is often used to describe consequences of the lack of growth in productivity in public services such as public hospitals and state colleges. Since many public administration activities are heavily labor-intensive there is little growth in productivity over time because productivity gains come essentially from a better capital technology.


And BTW in recent years wage gains have fallen behind productivity gains in many fields, thanks to owners pocketing the profits from those productivity gains. Maybe at some point you'll also figure out a way to blame this trend on teachers and illegal immigrants.

   3577. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 30, 2014 at 07:45 AM (#4760223)
This is why I keep pointing out that you don't seem to understand the concept.


JoeK and economics, always a sight to behold.

My favorite part is when he talks about how the rest of the nation is at 200% and California is at 110%, but he is certain - positive mind you - that California has not had an education funding issue. Even though in that time span California has gone from one of the best public school systems to meh. Hmmm.

California went from Very good to Less good and its spending relative to the rest of the nation decreased. Generally correlation doesn't prove causation, but when there is a clear mechanism, like money, the link is pretty easily drawn. So one theory is that money matters, that money spent on education results in a better education. JoeK's theory is that ... LOL, quote some salary figures, and keep hand waving.
   3578. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 08:24 AM (#4760227)
An illegal garage apartment is still better than Wyoming, and it's not even close. Large parts of the country suck ass.
You sounded very Sam when you wrote that.
   3579. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4760233)
JoeK and economics, always a sight to behold.

My favorite part is when he talks about how the rest of the nation is at 200% and California is at 110%, but he is certain - positive mind you - that California has not had an education funding issue. Even though in that time span California has gone from one of the best public school systems to meh. Hmmm.

California went from Very good to Less good and its spending relative to the rest of the nation decreased. Generally correlation doesn't prove causation, but when there is a clear mechanism, like money, the link is pretty easily drawn. So one theory is that money matters, that money spent on education results in a better education. JoeK's theory is that ... LOL, quote some salary figures, and keep hand waving.


Your the one that seems to have the economics problem here.

The whole country engaged in a massively wasteful spending spree on education that produced no results. California was just at the lower end of the waste.

The whole point is, California schools produced better outcomes 40 years ago with less resources. Class sizes are a red herring. Classes of 30-40 students were commone in the 50's and 60's Baby Boom era, yet kids learned as well, or better as they do today. Likewise, the underpaid teachers of that era did just as good a job as the well paid teachers of this era.

It's pretty clear that lack of money is not the problem with our schools.
   3580. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4760234)
You sounded very Sam when you wrote that.


I know I don't want to live in Wyoming, but that doesn't make it somehow evil or anything, just a matter of personal taste. Suggesting an entire state is terrible is just silly.
   3581. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4760242)
The whole country engaged in a massively wasteful spending spree on education that produced no results. California was just at the lower end of the waste.

The whole point is, California schools produced better outcomes 40 years ago with less resources. Class sizes are a red herring. Classes of 30-40 students were commone in the 50's and 60's Baby Boom era, yet kids learned as well, or better as they do today. Likewise, the underpaid teachers of that era did just as good a job as the well paid teachers of this era.

It's pretty clear that lack of money is not the problem with our schools.


So you start with an assertion - the whole country is wasting money - and end up with the tautology that money is not the problem. Nice circular logic.

As shown by Baumol's Cost Disease (which I alluded to way back when, but without the name drop) we should expect education costs to increase relative to other sectors which see productivity gains. And it has. You then take that fact - that cost has increased - and assert the whole country is wasting money.

Everywhere. Conservative states, liberal states, everywhere. An alternative explanation is that the cost structure of education - how much it costs to educate students - has increased. So everywhere has had to pay more.

And again I return to the part you ignored. California was a top state for schools. Over 40 years it sent less than the rest of the country and fell in its ranking relative to the rest of the country. Do you think this is a wacky coincidence? Because this is the "whole point", not your random unsupported assertion than they are less efficient.

Yes you can continue to assert that the cost structure has shifted because of a massive inefficiency in education across the whole nation, because reasons, but how about you explain why, rather than just assert it used to be great, but now everyone is less deficient than before.
   3582. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4760247)
Yes you can continue to assert that the cost structure has shifted because of a massive inefficiency in education across the whole nation, because reasons, but how about you explain why, rather than just assert it used to be great, but now everyone is less deficient than before.

The clear evidence of inefficiency is everywhere:

1) The massive rise in administrative spending vs. classroom spending.
2) The rate of increase of total compensation for teachers has massively outstripped other similar fields, due to union power. Real wages have been basically stagnant in this country for 35 years. And there are far more college graduates, eligible for teaching jobs, today than there were 40 years ago.
3) Private schools continue to achieve similar or superior results at a markedly lower cost.
4) Lack of correlation between spending and outcomes. Most badly performing urban districts far outspend the national average.

   3583. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4760259)
1) The massive rise in administrative spending vs. classroom spending.

If you assume administration does nothing, is worth nothing then this is evidence of inefficiency. Are you asserting all administration is worthless, or just school administration? Put another way the cost structure shift that has taken place could easily be the cause of more administration being needed than was needed in the past.

2) The rate of increase of total compensation for teachers has massively outstripped other similar fields, due to union power. Real wages have been basically stagnant in this country for 35 years. And there are far more college graduates, eligible for teaching jobs, today than there were 40 years ago.

So you are suggesting that real wages have stagnated. That is true and has been (as you have said multiple times) a terrible thing. Very bad for wage earners. Something you have talked about reversing. However now you are asserting that because many other wage earners have suffered, the fact that teachers have not suffered as much is evidence of inefficiency? Maybe they were just smart/clever/lucky enough to avoid what the other wage earners got hit with. Likely because they are in a group associated with Baumol's cost disease.

3) Private schools continue to achieve similar or superior results at a markedly lower cost.

I went to a private high school so I am not going to bad mouth them, but the fact is the student populations and regulations they operate under do not make it an apples to apples comparison, as you well know.

4) Lack of correlation between spending and outcomes. Most badly performing urban districts far outspend the national average.


Well we have a statewide example in California. They were good, over 40 years spent less than average and have gotten worse. I think a state to state comparison like that is much fairer than by district. To use your example urban districts have a cost structure much higher than suburban districts, so comparing them is really unfair.
   3584. Lassus Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4760260)
3) Private schools continue to achieve similar or superior results at a markedly lower cost.

Private schools cost less? They pay their teachers less? Am I reading that right?
   3585. BDC Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4760261)
I've never been to Wyoming, but I recently traveled to places like Whitefish, Montana and Sandpoint, Idaho – I am a totally urban creature and yet I found that part of the country to be beautiful and apparently very livable. Admittedly it's like 90 below zero in the winter, and in January I'd probably rather be living in a cardboard box in LA, but flyover country is a very habitable part of the US.

I wrote a blog piece yesterday on a small slice of the economic issues in higher education. Curmudgeon warning :)
   3586. The Good Face Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4760264)
3) Private schools continue to achieve similar or superior results at a markedly lower cost.

Private schools cost less? They pay their teachers less? Am I reading that right?


Private schools often spend less per pupil and pay their teachers less than public schools, yes. They "cost" more because the tuition is paid by parents instead of being funded by state or local government. They get better results for the same reason public schools are getting increasingly poor results; the biggest and most important variable when discussing education outcomes is the students. Money can't turn chicken #### into chicken salad.
   3587. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4760268)
the biggest and most important variable when discussing education outcomes is the students. Money can't turn chicken #### into chicken salad.

Inarguably true. You could combine two of my son's 4th grade public school classes together, turn it into a class of 54, and they'd still outperform most/all of the other schools. It's certainly better that classes not be too big, but the idea that class size difference within a reasonable band is a determining factor in performance is another silly leftish shibboleth.

As Face noted, the biggest and most important variable in outcomes is the students and their home life. This is yet another straightforward sociological threshold truth to which the leftists have wilfully blinded themselves.
   3588. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4760271)
On the subject of school efficiency.
   3589. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4760272)

Private schools often spend less per pupil and pay their teachers less than public schools, yes. They "cost" more because the tuition is paid by parents instead of being funded by state or local government. They get better results for the same reason public schools are getting increasingly poor results; the biggest and most important variable when discussing education outcomes is the students. Money can't turn chicken #### into chicken salad.


Mostly right. Public schools have to take everyone. The opportunities for the disabled (learning, physical, mental, whatever) in public schools has increased greatly in the last 40 years. For example my older brother is severely hearing impaired, and it was pretty much the dark ages back then, but now public schools handle that sort of thing MUCH better. My child on the autistic spectrum is also treated much better than he would have been back in the day.

So public schools have to handle those special needs kids. And guess what? It costs more. Private schools don't have to, and so they don't. And if a kid becomes a problem in a private school - which happens less than in public schools for a variety of reasons - well then they can be booted out whenever. Public schools have a much harder time.

Hey look at that, one of the reasons that structurally it costs more than it used to to educate kids AND why public schools cost more than private ones. So maybe you want to go back to no mainstreaming special needs kids, maybe you think that all those rules about them don't require additional administration, beats me, but the cost structure increases have taken place. So direct comparisons to "Back in the good old days" are really flawed, as are direct comparisons between public and private schools.
   3590. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4760275)
The following article was pointed out to me, basically the "controversy" over whether or not the stimulus worked is very similar to the "controversies" over evolution and global warming - the experts pretty much agree on the bold strokes and still a faux argument rages in the public airwaves, because it suits some people's agenda (rather than caring about facts).

What Debate? Economists Agree the Stimulus Lifted the Economy

Recently each of these eminent economists was asked whether the unemployment rate was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been without the stimulus bill. Of the 44 economists surveyed, 37 responded, yielding a healthy response rate of 84 percent.

Among those who responded, 36 agreed that the stimulus bill had lowered the unemployment rate, while one disagreed. That lone disagreeing economist, Harvard’s Alberto Alesina (who was one of my thesis advisers), has been a virulent opponent of the stimulus, although the research that he’s based this upon has come under sustained criticism, particularly from the International Monetary Fund, which views the study as flawed.
   3591. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4760276)
I'm sure there's at least some snark in here/quote]Well, all snark, but a serious point, which was this: if you're evaluating a country by a metric, and that metric leads you yo conclude that the country was better off right after a Great Depression and world war, you might want to reconsider the use of that metric.

And I didn't realize that there were still people who clung to the myth of Saint New Deal. How cute.
   3592. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4760277)
And hey look, good economic news! U.S. economy bounces back in second quarter.

Which goes well with the labor statistics and consumer confidence numbers. One is nice, two could be a coincidence, but three is starting to sound like a trend.

U.S. economic growth accelerated more than expected in the second quarter and the decline in output in the prior period was less steep than previously reported, bolstering views for a stronger performance in the last six months of the year.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 4.0 percent annual rate as activity picked up broadly after shrinking at a revised 2.1 percent pace in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

That pushed GDP above the economy's potential growth trend, which analysts put somewhere between a 2 percent and 2.5 percent pace. Economists had forecast the economy growing at a 3.0 percent rate in the second quarter after a previously reported 2.9 percent contraction.
   3593. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4760280)
And I didn't realize that there were still people who clung to the myth of Saint New Deal. How cute.


Most professional economists that actually study the issue believe it. As did the people who lived through it. As do most people today. So experts, contemporary observers and people today all believe the New Deal was a very good thing.

Yes there are some, mostly for ideological reasons, who dispute it. Not surprisingly you are one of them. But ignorance is not cute at all.
   3594. BDC Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4760281)
the biggest and most important variable in outcomes is the students and their home life

I don't think leftists are blind to that at all. But when you're talking about how to improve schools, it makes sense to start with things that schools can control, given the resources; and smaller class sizes are almost always better than larger. What's the alternative, never do anything about school conditions till some miraculous external force unconnected to education changes the context for the better?
   3595. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4760282)
And I didn't realize that there were still people who clung to the myth of Saint New Deal. How cute.

Says the man who worships at the altar of Father Coolidge.
   3596. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4760285)
So public schools have to handle those special needs kids.

What's the percentage of special needs kids in the nation's public schools? That's a marginal factor, if that. Public school performance in the United States isn't godawful because the schools have to take special needs kids.
   3597. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4760287)
I don't think leftists are blind to that at all.

But nothing they ever assert or advocate about pre-college education indicates that they ponder it at all.

An even more threshold truth is that leftists thought all the problems in education were due to the pre-Brown separation of the races in schools and "racism" generally and all that stuff went by the wayside and we're still where we are. Their hopes and dreams and assumptions have been shattered and so they're somewhat understandably lurching and flailing, still not having fully come to terms with truths and realities.
   3598. Ron J2 Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4760288)
#3595 Nope, not Coolidge. Andrew Mellon (his secretary of the treasury)

EDIT: And more to the point, Hoover's.
   3599. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4760289)
I don't think leftists are blind to that at all. But when you're talking about how to improve schools, it makes sense to start with things that schools can control, given the resources; and smaller class sizes are almost always better than larger. What's the alternative, never do anything about school conditions till some miraculous external force unconnected to education changes the context for the better?

The conservative alternatives these days seem to consist of halting immigration from all but certified PhD's, either kicking out all the students who drag down the SAT averages or sending them to subsidized private schools, lowering the tax rates on the rich, fighting any rise in the minimum wage, busting the public unions and crippling the powers of the private ones, encouraging unlimited campaign "issues" spending by anonymous billionaires on the grounds of "free speech"----and then calling yourself a "populist".
   3600. The Good Face Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4760291)
the biggest and most important variable in outcomes is the students and their home life

I don't think leftists are blind to that at all. But when you're talking about how to improve schools, it makes sense to start with things that schools can control, given the resources; and smaller class sizes are almost always better than larger. What's the alternative, never do anything about school conditions till some miraculous external force unconnected to education changes the context for the better?


Or, perhaps, we should look at what's changed WRT the students in our schools over the past 40 years. If educational spending is way up (it is) and outcomes are down (they are), and the biggest driver of outcomes are the students (they are), we should be taking a long, hard look at that variable.
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