Education

Universal Preschool: A silver bullet for education reform or a waste of money?

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With support from major foundations and political heavy hitters like Barack Obama, universal preschool is the next big thing in education reform. Indeed, it's second only to universal health care on the liberal wish list. The goal is to offer publicly funded preschool—complete with credentialed teachers and a standardized curriculum—to all four-year-olds during the school year.

Advocates argue that public investments in early education will pay dividends over the long term. Critics point out that the evidence from states that have universal preschool programs shows that whatever benefits kids receive from those programs fade out by the fourth grade.

Since preschool attendance rates in states that have universal preschool are no higher than the national average, universal preschool wouldn't even increase preschool attendance. It would, however, cost a lot of money, put lots of privately owned preschools out of business, and dramatically decrease early education options for parents.

So what do you think? Is expanding our failing K-12 system the best way to fix it?

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  1. It’s a little from column A and a little from column B.

    That is, it is likely that at least a few kids would benefit greatly from starting education early, especially those that for whatever reason don’t get enough attention from parent(s).

    However, by-and-large it is probably also a gargantuan waste of money.

  2. As for attendance rates, preschool attendance is more a function of the need for daycare than some parental desire to “jump start” a child’s education.

  3. LMNOP: I definitely agree with you. It seems like Universal Pre-K is more a sop to middle-class interests who would be against paying for project and trailer park kids’ education, but would have no problem if it meant one less year of paying for a babysitter. (Which, by the way, is no small expense.) Projects like the Harlem Children’s Zone throughout America would do a whole lot of good. That said, it wouldn’t get public school districts, their teachers and other associated parasites a whole lot of money…playa!

  4. All the return on investment stuff really only applies to poor kids anyway. It factors in things like money saved not incarcerating kids, money saved if they don’t get pregnant as teenagers, money saved if they’re not on welfare, etc. It’s a pretty poor argument for free preschool for middle class kids. Send them to Kindercare.

  5. It would, however, cost a lot of money

    No worries. We can always print more.

    It would put lots of privately owned preschools out of business

    Not if vouchers are permitted by our education overlords.

    It would dramatically decrease early education options for parents

    Like they care. Children are inconvenient. Let somebody else teach them.

  6. Todd is correct.

    Even getting caught up discussing the presence or absence of an educational benefit here just means you’ve been distracted by the liberal red herring on this issue.

    Universal preschool is about jobs for public school union teachers, and free daycare for working women. Those are the constituencies that are being served here, and they get their benefits from universal preschool whether there’s a genuine educational benefit or not.

  7. “I couldn’t possibly care less what is or is not permitted in a public school. It’s like worrying about what the cows are being taught at the meat-packing plant.

  8. Universal preschool is about jobs for public school union teachers, and free daycare for working women. Those are the constituencies that are being served here, and they get their benefits from universal preschool whether there’s a genuine educational benefit or not.

    While I don’t buy completely the first (as there are teacher shortages in many places), the second seems inarguable. As such, shift the argument.

    Are we benefited by there being free child-care for working mothers? How much?

  9. Only pre-school?

    Screw that, I want universal womb-to-tomb coverage!

  10. lmnop,

    While I dont normally discuss things in terms of “society” because it just leads to bad results, I think “we” would benefit the most of “we” could find a way to shift things so that one parent could stay home with their children instead of needing day-care.

    Personally, I think most middle-class families could pull it off but they are more interested living like other middle class families instead of living like their parents did.

    That being said, I dont think my preferences should have any affect on government policy. But, I do think, in many ways, government policy (inflation, fed action, etc) has caused this “problem”.

  11. Can’t believe this question is even being asked here. Reason has gone native……. “pre school” is just a convenient (for socialists) phrase for “government daycare.” Which one would get more support?

  12. Seems like daycare, and I presume, preschool costs are mostly composed of liability insurance costs. Remove the excessive tort burden, and day care would be cheap enough that none of this would matter.

  13. Fluffy: I agree whole-heartedly, but let’s play Devil’s Advocate. After all, if the libertarian movement is going to get big, we have to get past what my wife calls the “trekkies-in-their-parents-basement” phenomenon and appeal to working women. The cost of day care, especially if there aren’t any extended family members living nearby, is a large tax on the earnings of working women. In many cases, it limits the type of jobs they can accept to avoid this expense (and hence their earning potential) and can even keep them out the workforce.

    Now, am I saying that universal pre-K is a good idea? No. But even the BS unlicensed day care provider in the neighborhood costs some serious bread, and I think the libertarian movement would be wise to support non-profits that provide such child care.

  14. Can’t believe this question is even being asked here. Reason has gone native…

    Yeah. How terrible. Imagine analyzing an idea on its own merits; I cannot imagine any activity more horrifying.

    While I dont normally discuss things in terms of “society” because it just leads to bad results, I think “we” would benefit the most of “we” could find a way to shift things so that one parent could stay home with their children instead of needing day-care.

    There’s something to that second part. The shift to two-income homes has had many deleterious effects, though I don’t see an easy way to reverse that trend.

    (BTW, I tend to agree with your assessment of where analyzing things on the basis of “society” goes: bad places. However, I believe that “society” and similar macro-constructs have metaphysical reality beyond their constituent members, so although it is rarely beneficial from a libertarian perspective to view things from that angle, it is sometimes necessary.)

  15. Todd, the unlicensed daycare charges more than it would in the absence of regulation because it can and because it has to. To wit: it’s competitors have a built in price floor, and the risks of being harassed by authorities exists.

  16. Universal Preschool: A silver bullet for education reform or a waste of money?

    Until I can find a peer reviewed study that documents improved academic skills of head start* participants compared to non-head start particpants at the high school level,** the answer is it would be a fucking waste of money. The “professional” educations establishment undoubtably supports it. Should we listen to members of the NEA because of their track record?

    * Head Start is over forty.
    ** All the usual crap about control group, randomization, etc applies.

  17. “The shift to two-income homes has had many deleterious effects, though I don’t see an easy way to reverse that trend.”

    Ok, I’ll bite. For what reason is it inherently better that one parent stay home? One adult can easily manage more than 2.3 kids – so there are obvious efficiencies to be had in aggregate from childcare. Moreover, why do you want to reverse the trend, even if it were deleterius

  18. In Canada they just DO call it daycare…and the big argument is whether it should be a voucher/credit (Conservatives) or the federation/provinces should supply the centers (Liberals).

    I assume packaging this as “pre-school” makes it much more expensive, but provides a subsidy to those with teaching credentials (and where there are shortages, expands their ranks).

  19. Women have to work because the tax burden makes it impossible to live like our parents on one salary. School is actually bad for young children that should be getting the attention of a parent, not a teacher. I fear living among the zombies that universal preschool will create. American Ingenuity? forget about it.

  20. I assume packaging this as “pre-school” makes it much more expensive, but provides a subsidy to those with teaching credentials (and where there are shortages, expands their ranks).

    Considering that it would likely have a significant impact on the enrollment in teacher’s unions (preschools usually have very low teacher/student ratios and most take children between the ages of 3 and 5), I think you may be on to something.

  21. Imagine a world where zero-tolerance is enforced at birth.

  22. Until I can find a peer reviewed study that documents improved academic skills of head start* participants compared to non-head start particpants at the high school level…

  23. Oh crap. Preview, you fool.

    Until I can find a peer reviewed study that documents improved academic skills of head start* participants compared to non-head start particpants at the high school level…

    Make that multiple peer reviewed studies.

  24. This is a red herring. Until we have universal space travel, any other new program is a waste of money. Our children have a right to be educated in space!

  25. Ok, I’ll bite. For what reason is it inherently better that one parent stay home? One adult can easily manage more than 2.3 kids – so there are obvious efficiencies to be had in aggregate from childcare. Moreover, why do you want to reverse the trend, even if it were deleterious…

    Perhaps part of the problem here is that it is not simply an issue of “managing” kids, and efficiency is not the highest value. There is something to be said for loving caretaking of children, something that I’d hazard is best handled by parents. Sure, a single adult can keep watch on fifteen children to the extent that he or she can keep them mostly safe, but that’s not all a child requires to grow up.

  26. El, you’re on dangerous ground here, I actually agree with you.

  27. Since my alter ego is ChildFree, I’m only an open wallet for this idea… but…

    If it is going to be anything like HeadStart, don’t do it. I worked in a job for two years in a job that brought me in close contact with a HeadStart on a weekly basis. It was the most depressing fucking place ever. Whole classrooms of sick kids blowing snot all over each other. Vomit slicks unattended to in the hallways. The entire place smelled like shit and Veg-All. And this was not in an inner-city or rural economically depressed place. It was simply a little filthy prison where people dumped off their kids to rot. And all off the guards/teachers were too incompetent to raise a yeast infection, much less a human child.

  28. lmnop,

    I don’t see an easy way to reverse that trend.

    Shaming. 🙂

  29. Universal preschool is about jobs for public school union teachers,

    Ezactly. Soon you’ll be paying your pre-school teachers $70,000 a year plus pensions for the retired ones and six-figure salaries for the administrators, just so your kids can be indoctrinated with NEA-approved socialist propaganda from an even earler age.

    And then you’ll be told we need to spend mooe on education.

    If you haven’t seen Drew Carey’s Reason.tv piece on failing publich school, I highly recommend it. Even the committed socialists I know were given pause in their tax-n-spend mantras.

  30. Women have to work because the tax burden makes it impossible to live like our parents on one salary.

    Not so much, no. We could live like my parents on just my salary. However, my parents didn’t have cell phones, internet access, multiple televisions with cable, expensive cars, or a house that is literally over twice the size of the one I grew up in. Since neither my wife or I is willing to scale back our lifestyle that much, we both work. This also doesn’t consider the student loans for law school she’s still paying off.

  31. LMNOP,
    I don’t think efficiency is the highest value – but it is a market force. Besides, if loving caretaking is the goal, and parents are best equipped to provide it, wouldn’t you agree that if the parents economic needs required both to work that the best daycare solution would involve a caretaker chosen and vetted by the parents instead of a bureaucrat? I don’t know if the right ratio is 1:15 or 1:1, but parents can decide for themselves, no? Unless the state decides for them…

  32. Soon you’ll be paying your pre-school teachers $70,000 a year plus pensions for the retired ones and six-figure salaries for the administrators, just so your kids can be indoctrinated with NEA-approved socialist propaganda from an even earler age.

    I can’t find any part of this sentence as even remotely likely.

    But my favorite part is the end where you argue that somehow children too young to understand the concepts of “subject”, “verb”, and “sentence” are somehow going to be indoctrinated by a complicated pernicious ideology by an evil cabal of teachers who we assume are socialist, I guess because they are unionized, even though Marx thought labor unions were a waste of time….

  33. T, your right about the number of monthly payments it takes to keep up with the Jones’.

  34. My sister-in-law is a dyed in the wool government regulationist – never saw a government program she didn’t like. Yet, she puts her daughter in a “black market” daycare situation with three lovely ladies who have earned her trust, charge much less than the chain daycare place down the street, and teach her daughter spanish as a bonus.

  35. Young kids can definately pick up the group vibe without understanding the inner workings of socialism.

  36. I don’t think efficiency is the highest value – but it is a market force. Besides, if loving caretaking is the goal, and parents are best equipped to provide it, wouldn’t you agree that if the parents economic needs required both to work that the best daycare solution would involve a caretaker chosen and vetted by the parents instead of a bureaucrat? I don’t know if the right ratio is 1:15 or 1:1, but parents can decide for themselves, no? Unless the state decides for them…

    I don’t disagree on any particular point. And heaven knows I’m not in favor of mandatory preschool. However, seeing as how in many homes a one-income solution is elusive, I personally can see no effective solutions to the real problem (a parent needs to be at home to raise the kid, but isn’t).

    The fiscal decisions a parent must make in such a circumstance are daunting; from Todd, above:

    The cost of day care, especially if there aren’t any extended family members living nearby, is a large tax on the earnings of working women. In many cases, it limits the type of jobs they can accept to avoid this expense (and hence their earning potential) and can even keep them out the workforce.

    A good summary of the problem with the market solution.

  37. “Universal preschool is about jobs for public school union teachers, and free daycare for working women. Those are the constituencies that are being served here, and they get their benefits from universal preschool whether there’s a genuine educational benefit or not.”

    Exactly. Don’t forget leftist indocrination to. Get them while they are young and make sure that they know to call the police on their parents should they see their parents doing something like using drugs or not recyling.

  38. I can’t find any part of this sentence as even remotely likely.

    Are you surprised when the sun rises in the morning?

    But my favorite part is the end where you argue that somehow children too young to understand the concepts of “subject”, “verb”, and “sentence” are somehow going to be indoctrinated by a complicated pernicious ideology

    “More government is good” and “share the wealth” are not that complicated. Lots of idiot socialists who can’t spell their own names seem to have no problem with them.

  39. Ah, extend the “gun school” system to an even younger set of victims! Nice. Now the brainwashing of ‘environmentalism’ and ‘social justice’ can begin before reading lessons.

  40. TallDave,

    My bad, did not notice you covered the same thing I was ranting about.

  41. Mommy, we have to stop global warming or all the polar bears will drown!

  42. Young kids can definately pick up the group vibe without understanding the inner workings of socialism.

    I think it is definitely possible to

    1. Become aware you are part of a larger group
    2. Maintain and cultivate your individual will and opinions

    all at the same time. With or without teacher prompting.

    I hate to be all deterministic, but some people simply have strong wills and other people simply do not; regardless of how socialistically or individualistically you raise a person, they are likely to gravitate towards the stance that makes them most personally comfortable.

    It just turns out that most people are happy to follow the group. Must have something to do with humans being inherently social creatures. (We libertarians have a brain/instinctual defect, perhaps? 😉 )

  43. Mommy, teacher says the rich people have all the toys so we need to make them share.

  44. Exactly. Don’t forget leftist indocrination to. Get them while they are young and make sure that they know to call the police on their parents should they see their parents doing something like using drugs or not recycling.

    I don’t know how you did it, but you topped TallDave.

    Well done. I guess.

  45. Mommy, we need to vote for Barack so the polar bears don’t drown and the poor people have toys.

  46. That’s right kids, I’ll be voting for Barack too!

  47. “More government is good” and “share the wealth” are not that complicated. Lots of idiot socialists who can’t spell their own names seem to have no problem with them.

    To the vast majority of five-year-olds (that *is* the age group we are actually talking about here), “more government is good” is incomprehensible because the notion of government is generally beyond them. “Share the wealth” is probably also beyond them on account of five-year-olds are generally too young to either be cut-in on the family fiscal decision-making or have an allowance/chore recompense to speak of.

    So, yes, I still find your notion of five-year-old indoctrinated socialists to be retarded. No, I am not surprised when the sun rises in the morning.

  48. One way to avoid sending your kids away when they need you the most is to work for yourself. I believe my two kids that came to the shop are more independent than my daycare girl.

    An aside, my kindergardner has been wearing an anti-drug ribbon lately. She informed me yesterday that cigarettes and alcahol are drugs.

  49. The cost of day care, especially if there aren’t any extended family members living nearby, is a large tax on the earnings of working women.

    No. It is not a tax. It is an expense, but not a tax.

    However, the money to pay for Universal Preschool would be a tax, and it would be a tax on people who do not even use the program.

  50. Ele,

    I like to think that people who like being told what to do are the defectives. But that is not the real problem. Just because lemmings can be lead over a cliff doesn’t make it OK to march them to the coast in search of one. The real problem are the people eager to lead them.

    (None of this is an endorsement of the “schools make you a socialist” line of reasoning. In fact, without the petty abuse of power and mindless rule following on display at public school, I might have never developed the hatred of authority that lead me to libertarianism.)

  51. We’re talking four year olds here. And the very first lesson many five year olds get is the pooling of school supplies.

  52. But my favorite part is the end where you argue that somehow children too young to understand the concepts of “subject”, “verb”, and “sentence” are somehow going to be indoctrinated by a complicated pernicious ideology by an evil cabal of teachers who we assume are socialist, I guess because they are unionized, even though Marx thought labor unions were a waste of time….

    Not preschool, but in my first grade class we were taught to sing

    Where Have All the Flowers Gone
    This Land is Your Land
    Blowing in the Wind

    I still know the words to them.

    Teaching, rearing and indoctrinating all start at a very young age.

  53. SF, so true on that last part!

  54. I assume packaging this as “pre-school” makes it much more expensive, but provides a subsidy to those with teaching credentials (and where there are shortages, expands their ranks).

    I think this is a keen observation. It’s a subsidy not just to working parents, but distorts the market for “higher” education.

  55. Preschooler,

    Mommy, we have to stop global warming or all the polar bears will drown!

    Reminds me of soem of the stuff my Future Soldier came home with from public school, about 20 years ago, after attending a very good private school.

    DAD! You HAVE to recycle or we will run out of [x,y,z]!

    Presented a great opportunity to give a lesson on scarcity in that if something is running out someone will want to buy it from us, instead of paying extra for the honor of sorting it for the trash company to package and resell.

  56. But my favorite part is the end where you argue that somehow children too young to understand the concepts of “subject”, “verb”, and “sentence” are somehow going to be indoctrinated by a complicated pernicious ideology by an evil cabal of teachers who we assume are socialist

    LMNOP,

    I don’t really see how you can dispute that:

    1. The average person’s understanding of various historical narratives with implicit political content has changed over time;

    and

    2. That shift in narrative correlates pretty neatly to shifts in public school curricula.

    You just can’t tell me [for one example] that millions of people did individual research that led them to change their opinions on Christopher Columbus. Some people did that, but the overwhelming majority did not. For the overwhelming majority, political opinion on that subject changed when the curriculum changed.

    That’s a highly visible and obvious example, but I would argue that there is no educational content that is ideology-free. The public school system defines orthodox opinion in the United States, and it stands to reason that the longer the public school system has to work on children and young adults, the greater the degree of homogeneity it will impose on popular opinion.

  57. I read Obama is considering Janet Napolitano for his Education Secretary. Her evil plans will make all The Children? cry:

    The proposal being announced this morning in Washington, D.C., seeks a 210-day school year across the United States, particularly in school districts with a large percentage of students who perform poorly. […]

    But that’s not all: The report by a national task force Napolitano co-chairs also wants a longer school day. It doesn’t say specifically how long, but it refers to a chain of charter schools where students attend from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. – and half a day on Saturdays. […]

    Her panel also recommends full-day kindergarten, something Napolitano already is pushing in Arizona. It also wants preschool available for all 3- and 4-year-olds.

  58. LMNOP,

    I guess I’m just more sanguine about the problem of parents not being at home to raise the kids themselves. Even if were more worked up about it, I would still doubt the effectiveness of govt daycare/preK.

    As far as the market failure which you and Todd posit (which I take to be that women end up earning less, and facing choices that men do not as a result of the high cost of childcare) I just can’t get that worked up about it either. I mean, having children is a choice after all – and even if it’s accidental, you still ought to deal with the consequences yourself, no? That this burden falls disproportionately on the woman is a bit of a red herring as well – there are biological and economic choices being made there that a simple equal pay subsidy in the form of free child care would interfere with. I haven’t thought this through in much detail, but i’d be glad to hear your thoughts.

  59. without the petty abuse of power and mindless rule following on display at public school, I might have never developed the hatred of authority that lead me to libertarianism

    Heh. Ditto.

    I have a Vice-principle to thank sometime. And then kick him in the nuts.

  60. I like to think that people who like being told what to do are the defectives. But that is not the real problem. Just because lemmings can be lead over a cliff doesn’t make it OK to march them to the coast in search of one. The real problem are the people eager to lead them.

    Agreed. I think people who follow blindly are defective, too, but I am continuously reminded that those who do not are further from the norm, statistically defined.

    (None of this is an endorsement of the “schools make you a socialist” line of reasoning. In fact, without the petty abuse of power and mindless rule following on display at public school, I might have never developed the hatred of authority that lead me to libertarianism.)

    I actually wrote a bit about this back in college. The problem with Libertopia is that there is no authority to rebel against, thus the instinct of suspicion against authority is never sharpened by bitter experience. Many people will attest that they first start thinking about libertarian ideas out of a bad experience with the government (in one of its many forms).

    Not preschool, but in my first grade class we were taught to sing

    Where Have All the Flowers Gone
    This Land is Your Land
    Blowing in the Wind

    I still know the words to them.

    Teaching, rearing and indoctrinating all start at a very young age.

    And yet, you seem to have turned out all right. It’s funny, I think nearly everyone, libertarian or statist, learned those very same songs. Is the existence of libertarians proof that feel-good group hug songs and slogans really are harmless? Or do we have to save teh children from teh socializm?!!

  61. My memories of preschool are distant these days, but it seemed to consist mostly of Teddy Ruxpin stories (holla to Teddy), playing house, naps, a jungle gym, and eating.

    I don’t remember anything you would call “educational”. I spent most of my time hiding and trying to trip people that walked by.

  62. LMNOP,

    Regardless of whether socialist indoctrination actually works on pre-schoolers, I’m sure it will be part of the agenda.

    Do you think those first-graders drawing the pictures of drowning polar bears understand the computer modelling that global warming theory is based on?

    Anyways, it’s only logical to expect that people paid by the government are going to be advocate in favor of more government spending. They don’t have to be an “evil cabal,” just humans acting in their self-interest.

    But apparently some people don’t expect the sun to rise in the morning.

  63. I rather think we can function as a society for a while longer without universal preschool. It’s not like we have tots roaming the streets now, asking for handouts to support their Elmo habit.

  64. I went to half-day pre-K mostly for socialization skills, since my mom stayed home. Sad to say I didn’t start picking any up until I was 16 or so.

    I think Elemenope has a very good point that we all turn out the way we are both because of and despite a lot of events that take place over the course of our lives. This is not an argument for government pre-K. I mean – I went to church every week from the time I was born to when I was 12 or so, and one of the 2 pre-Ks I attended was baptist-run. Am I a church-going Christian who believes everything he was taught? no. I had countervailing forces in my life as well (thanks dad), but I had an overwhelmingly larger exposure to church than I had to his ideas.

    Is it not true that we develop allergies sometimes from overexposure to things as children?

  65. As far as the market failure which you and Todd posit (which I take to be that women end up earning less, and facing choices that men do not as a result of the high cost of childcare) I just can’t get that worked up about it either. I mean, having children is a choice after all – and even if it’s accidental, you still ought to deal with the consequences yourself, no? That this burden falls disproportionately on the woman is a bit of a red herring as well – there are biological and economic choices being made there that a simple equal pay subsidy in the form of free child care would interfere with.

    I’m not, like, purple-faced about this stuff either. I see it as a problem, not a portent of doom.

    I think the problem lies with the assumption built into this:

    there are biological and economic choices being made there that a simple equal pay subsidy in the form of free child care would interfere with

    It ignores what I would call a natural asymmetry in the market freedom of the relevant actors. To wit, women bear most of the physical cost of bearing children, and still (despite feminism et al.) bear most of the child-rearing costs as well in the form of unpaid labor. Thus it is not appropriate to generalize to “there are economic decisions being made” because the actors and their relative ability to make those choices are not equal.

    In such a circumstance, a finger on the scale to make the positions relatively equal (the equal pay subsidy, as you put it) would increase the relative freedom of at least one actor, with the goal to be to bring the positions into parity.

  66. Ah, extend the “gun school” system to an even younger set of victims! Nice. Now the brainwashing of ‘environmentalism’ and ‘social justice’ can begin before reading lessons.

    I’m sure “guns are bad because they hurt people” will be in the lesson plan.

    Actually, the leftist agenda seems perfectly suited to the 5-year-old mind. No complicated ideas about presonal responsibility or individual rights, just “gimme gimme gimme” and “teacher will take care of us.”

  67. Is it not true that we develop allergies sometimes from overexposure to things as children?

    I’m allergic to Unitarians. Does that count?

  68. TallDave —

    You ate your Wheaties this morning, didn’t you!

  69. Indeed, it’s second only to universal health care on the liberal wish list.

    Since card check will be the first thing the new Congress does next year, actually I think its third on the list.

    The cost of day care, especially if there aren’t any extended family members living nearby, is a large tax on the earnings of working women.

    Its not a tax. Its a voluntary expense, to fund the lifestyle choice of getting out of the house every day and having a (very) little extra cash at the end of the month.

    The cost of day care a car, especially if there aren’t any extended family members living isn’t public transportation nearby, is a large tax on the earnings of working women people. In many cases, it limits the type of jobs they can accept to avoid this expense (and hence their earning potential) and can even keep them out the workforce.

  70. EL,

    Yes, but shamefully I had to spoon them into my mouth myself. A better country would have a gov’t employee to do it for me, at taxpayer expense.

  71. And yet, you seem to have turned out all right. It’s funny, I think nearly everyone, libertarian or statist, learned those very same songs. Is the existence of libertarians proof that feel-good group hug songs and slogans really are harmless? Or do we have to save teh children from teh socializm?!!

    No, I turned out to bew a selfish asshole. 😉
    The attempts to mold my way of thinking happened. I don not like the government doing that.

  72. There are two odd, and, to me, contradictory trends in American parenting. One is the helicopter parent, that hovers over children constantly and over-protect them out of any sense of independence or discovery. The other is the movement toward universal child-care/preschool and the so-called year-round school schedules.

    Yes, more “supervision” is a common thread, but the contradiction is in the palatable disappointment that was witnessed in town when parents figured out that year-round school attended the same number of days, but just spread them through the entire year. They were attracted to the, to me, monsterous notion of kids having to go to school the vast majority of non-weekend days of the year.

    So my (rhetorical) question to parents: Why have kids and then advocate ways to spend as little time as possible with them? If you don’t want kids, don’t have them; if you want kids, accept the fact that your life with have to undergo huge changes (and I’m not just talking about your wife’s giant ass.)

  73. Elemenope –
    Would it then not only be fair to tax Men for universal Pre-K? What about the non-child-bearing woman? If you tax both men and women to pay for an equilizer, do you not lose some of the equalizing force through the transaction?
    Whatever happened to the idea of a home corporation? Since the man’s and woman’s income is joined together, wouldn’t the woman be borrowing off her husband’s earnings to send the child to Pre-K or daycare, and gaining back some of her own by not laboring as much?

  74. Not that there aren’t plenty of good reasons to oppose this program, but arguing that this is some sort of conspiracy to indoctrinate children to socialism is akin to opposing public water supply on the basis that they may use the fluoridation to control our minds.

  75. RC,

    The cost of a car, especially if there isn’t public transportation nearby, is a large tax on the earnings of working people

    Hey! Don’t give them any new ideas!

  76. SF, the third way is to not send kids off but not supervise them either. Seems to work ok for me. Only one emergency room trip.

  77. TD,

    I’m sure “guns are bad because they hurt people” will be in the lesson plan.

    Was using “gun schools” in the context of some Libertarian thinker Brian mentioned in “Radicals for Capitalism” used, calling public schools “gun schools” after the compulsiry school attendance policies in place then (and still in place in much of the country now).

    Thank goodness there are States like Tennessee, and others, that “allow” home schooling. I think Mr. Balko made mention of a Tennessee policy, slipping into the backwardness of the North, excluding home schooled students from State government jobs, but otherwise the removal of compulsary school is a step in the right direction.

  78. Hey, was anyone else reminded of the Simpsons episode with the Ayn Rand School For Tots?

  79. At some point, all of this scale tipping and equalization will create enough friction that our economy will simply be overwhelmed. Killing the economic goose will mean all of these types of programs will go away, anyway, so why bother?

  80. GM,

    Ah, I see, as in “sent to public school at the barrel of a gun.”

  81. TD,

    Yepper 🙂

  82. excluding home schooled students from State government jobs, but otherwise the removal of compulsary school is a step in the right direction.

    For some reason, I imagine most home schooled kids are not going to be interested in working at government jobs.

  83. 13 years of public education and 3 1/2 years at a state university turned me into a libertarian.

    This is where I learned that knowledge turns poor people into rich people, thereby making me an elitist prick.

    I don’t have huge problems with public education (that means I lose my libertarian card right?), but I do have huge problems with compulsary public education.

  84. “An aside, my kindergardner has been wearing an anti-drug ribbon lately. She informed me yesterday that cigarettes and alcahol are drugs.”

    Yes, it’s DARE week at my kids school this week, too. I was joking with my daughter last night to “get ready for a rappin’ police officer on the morning announcements” only to hear that it already happened earlier in the week. So funny on so many levels.

  85. RCD —

    Barriers to market entry…this is an idea that shouldn’t be *entirely* unfamiliar.

    In order for a person to be employed, he or she must have transportation, proper attire, the ability to discharge other daily responsibilities (such as child-rearing) either remotely or by delegation, the ability to read, write, and count, and perhaps other education-y things depending on the job in question.

    Pretty much all of those things have costs associated with them. Those are the barriers to job market entry. They are shockingly real, and a real bummer for those who don’t have the start-up capital to break into the market.

  86. Killing the economic goose will mean all of these types of programs will go away, anyway, so why bother?

    That’s the problem though, they won’t. We’ll be told the lack of such programs is the cause of our economic trouble, and we’ll get even more of them.

  87. RR,

    Yea, I thought that point too, but it is an artificial distortion of the labor market and a removal of opportunity for certain people too.

  88. Regardless of whether socialist indoctrination actually works on pre-schoolers, I’m sure it will be part of the agenda.

    greater than that – if a giant bag filled with everything you don’t like is “socialism” – is the indoctrination of the worship of the state.

    “i pledge allegiance…”

    somebody has to die in future wars, after all.

  89. I thank DARE for introducing me to drugs and informing me how to get them.

  90. EP,

    Public schools are, in principle, unlibertarianm, but I’ve always been suspicious of libertarians that put it very high on their agenda (compulsory attendance, on the other hand, is a more pressing issue).

    On the whole, however, I’ve always been of the opinion that public schools fall pretty low on the libertarian priority list, at least for me.

  91. James,

    I got fed breakfast and then thrown in the backyard until lunch, and then back out until dinner. We lived out in the country (satisfying my city-born father’s Walden Pond fantasies) and when I turned nine I got a .22 and was babysat with a hundred rounds and all the soda and soup cans I could scavenge out of ditches. I had to make them last all day, so I learned that every shot counts. After I ran out I would dig the lead out of the mud back stop and beat it into fake coins with a hammer.

    I seemed to grow up OK.

  92. dhex —

    Someone a little while back here on H&R proposed a little elision in the Pledge so that it would read:

    I pledge allegiance to…liberty and justice for all.

    I like it.

    —–

    For all those pheering librl indoctrination, I must ask, are you fearful to match wits against your average preschool teacher for the intellectual soul of your littl’ wuns?

    Seriously, a kid comes home from the daily DARE rap session and tells you “alcohol and tobacco are drugs and drugs are bad”. Does anyone here not know how to dismantle that argument using a fifth-grade vocabulary?

  93. It makes my morning when a thread gets TallDave all worked up.

    BTW – does everyone else kind of have an image in mind of the regulars on this site? Plus, there’s some androgynous handles that I have a hard time remembering are male. “Ah, I’ll bet that woman looks like Joe the Plumber.”

  94. Elemenope,

    To be fair, cigarettes and alcohol ARE drugs. Just not illegal ones. This could be seen as an opportunity to explain to your children the hypocrisy of the prohibition of certain drugs.

    Or, you know, you could just be happy that your 5-year-old is not hitting the bottle yet.

  95. LMNOP,

    Playing devils advocate:

    “In such a circumstance, a finger on the scale to make the positions relatively equal (the equal pay subsidy, as you put it) would increase the relative freedom of at least one actor, with the goal to be to bring the positions into parity.”

    what would be your general test for the appropriateness of “a finger on the scale” Could we, for example, subsidize the income of stupid people? How about minorities? What is special about women’s built in biological disadvantages?

    Plus, aren’t their some built in economic advantages that counterbalance? I don’t want to ignite a deadbeat dad discussion, but what about the courts preference for women in custody, and for alimony? I think Reinmoose is onto something with the home corporation point as well – When women don’t work, especially when the earnings they forego is greater than child care costs, this could be viewed as a tax on men’s earnings. Not that I have a problem with it, just pointing out that there are some natural subsidies that arise out of people’s free choices to counterbalance the perceived inequality.

  96. without the petty abuse of power and mindless rule following on display at public school, I might have never developed the hatred of authority that lead me to libertarianism.

    Me too.

  97. “Killing the economic goose will mean all of these types of programs will go away, anyway, so why bother?”

    But then we will all be equally poor. That should make a lot of people happy. Also, when that happens we can have international aide groups come in and teach the natives how to build an economy.

  98. Instead of universal preschool, I think we should put those kids to work in the coal mines. It will strengthen their bodies, and impress upon them the benefits of a quality education.

  99. There already have been several cases in this country were kids turned their parents into the school for using drugs and were celbrated for it. In England they are telling kids to turn their parents in for environmental crimes such as failing to sort their trash properly. Universal pre-school is just another way to control the masses. Look in the coming years for kids to be told to turn their parents in for smoking, drinking, global warming denying or God knows what else.

  100. SugarFree,

    Wow! I used to shoot money with my .22 when I was in 8th grade/High School. Well, shot pennies with a BB gun before that. Doubt I could shoot a penny in the air* with anything but a shotgun now, lol.

    Guess I was an ‘Evil Capitalist’ back before it was cool.

    *Never with a .22, only BB and pellet guns.

  101. Another half-hearted liberal solution bound to fail for lack of sufficient reach!

    Any developmental psychologist will tell you infancy is the time of greatest learning and yet we let America’s children in this critical age category be taught and cared for by entirely uncredentialed people whose only qualifications are the purely coincidental facts that they’re related biologically and can’t afford nannies. By age four the damage is already done!

    Obviously, we need state operated universal schools from birth to the age of majority. Remember, it takes a village surrounded by Maryland and Virginia to raise a child!

  102. I pledge allegiance to…liberty and justice for all.

    I like it.

    so do i.

    i mean, it’ll suck with all the flying pigs rooting about and hell being very very cold (and thus freezing the core of the earth, where the devil lives) but still, nice.

  103. Since I seemed to have minded a rich vein of common experience…

    Anyone else stop believing in God when a spiritual authority told you something so inane that your bullshit detector went off for days?

  104. lmnop,

    Is the existence of libertarians proof that feel-good group hug songs and slogans really are harmless?

    You have noticed how few of us there are, right? Are we the odd exceptions in general, or the odd exceptions who overcame our indocrination?

  105. transmogrification transubstantiation. The semantic arguments used to explain why it still tasted like grape product only made me madder.

  106. “Anyone else stop believing in God when a spiritual authority told you something so inane that your bullshit detector went off for days?”

    I never went to church as a child and have studiously avoided organized religion with the excpetion of my wife dragging me to mass a couple of times a month. I thus have a strong belief in God. Most athiests I know had religion shoved down there throats from a young age and are still bitter and damaged from it. Churches an organized religion has been thorougly corrupted to the cause of disbelief.

  107. To be fair, cigarettes and alcohol ARE drugs. Just not illegal ones. This could be seen as an opportunity to explain to your children the hypocrisy of the prohibition of certain drugs.

    Or, you know, you could just be happy that your 5-year-old is not hitting the bottle yet.

    That’s *exactly* my point. Alcohol and tobacco are drugs, as is caffeine, aspirin, and heroin. It is painfully easy to point out that all drugs are dangerous without moderation, and equally easy to point out that the law seems to make bad calls about what is important to punish.

    domoarrigato —

    Interesting points, all. I don’t have a general test for appropriateness of intervention, because I generally don’t think intervention is warranted. Identifying a problem is not the same as indicating a preferred solution. 😉

    I think if you add up all of the legal and economic asymmetries on both sides, my suspicion is that women still come out behind. I’m not current on the latest studies on the matter, so I can’t say that’s more than a gut feeling, predicated though it may be on past truth.

  108. Anyone else stop believing in God when a spiritual authority told you something so inane that your bullshit detector went off for days?

    i never actually believed in the first place, thinking it akin to poker or wearing ties; i.e. games adults play. it was only cemented by figuring out the santa claus thing when i was 5.

    i didn’t really believe other people believed in god until i was in my teens.

  109. >i>Anyone else stop believing in God when a spiritual authority told you something so inane that your bullshit detector went off for days?

    No, but it has caused the expansion of the set of people I pay no mind to to expand over time.

  110. “i didn’t really believe other people believed in god until i was in my teens.”

    Having watched several true believers die, I am skeptical that people really do believe.

  111. I’d be against the program even if the teachers were Ayn Rand and Hayek. But the thought of the NEA getting ahold of kids even earlier scares the shit out of me.

  112. You have noticed how few of us there are, right? Are we the odd exceptions in general, or the odd exceptions who overcame our indocrination?

    But the number of us seems to remain basically constant despite the various levels of indoctrination. Which is why I tend towards the notion that either:

    1. Radical individualism is a rare instinct in humans, naturally

    or

    2. Radical individualism is a natural but minority reaction to the imposition of authority

    As much of the personal testimony here attests (including my own), many of these instincts develop as a reaction to the imposition of authority (usually because of injustice and/or absurdity), and there probably is an inborn tendency to make the leap in some people as well.

  113. I’d be against the program even if the teachers were Ayn Rand and Hayek.

    I, too, am against zombies teaching children.

  114. On the whole, however, I’ve always been of the opinion that public schools fall pretty low on the libertarian priority list, at least for me.

    I used to feel the same way. However, I got tired of all the arguments over whether schools should be doing this or that or whatever and realized all of those arguments go away with separation of school and state. Stupid zero tolerance police? Not my problem, its a private school. Prayer, moment of silence, ten commandemnts, teaching the Koran? Not my problem, its a private school.

    It moved higher up my list due to the annoyance factor.

  115. The only real downside to teaching myself how to shoot was the fact that my gun was a Savage over/under .22 and 20 gauge shotgun. I learned to pull the stock and, consequently the hammer, very tight to my cheek in order to steady the rifle. The first time I used the shotgun (to get mistletoe out of a tree for Christmas decorations) I bruised the entire right side of my face and the hammer chipped my lower orbital ridge.

  116. Anyone else stop believing in God when a spiritual authority told you something so inane that your bullshit detector went off for days?

    I stopped believing in the virtue of religion when my mom dragged me to church and all the old people criticized her for letting me wear what I wanted. Her heart was in the right place “at least he’s coming to church – where are your grandchildren?,” although stupid things like that piled up until I realized that very few of the people there were doing anything beyond taking out insurance policies on their eternal life and perpetuating a collectivist mentality against the unknown.

  117. I had it easy. My parents told me there was no god.

  118. lmnop,

    But the number of us seems to remain basically constant despite the various levels of indoctrination.

    Using some loose definition of libertarianism, there seemed to be a bunch more of us in the 18th century. Or at least they had more attention paid to them, which is the same thing as far as I am concerned.

  119. Domoarrigato: I’m not arguing in support of Universal Pre-K. I honestly think it would cause a lot of problems without solving much of what’s intended. (Though this is the case with most of what government does in the social services realm anyway.) My point is that 1) Universal Pre-K is clearly intended to serve the needs of a large population in this country and 2) in order for the whole libertarian program to spread itself, it would be prudent to engage this population, especially since this group tends to be hostile to many libertarian ideals, such as repealing Social Security and Medicare, legalizing drugs and prostitution, etc.

    I fully understand where you’re coming from on the personal choice to have a kid. Heck, I’m in fully understanding of the burdens needed to support a kid, and am making plans in my life accordingly. That said, how can you say, in full conscience, that you want freedom to do what you want, free markets, but you gotta suffer lower income because you had a kid, woman! It’s not that far a logical leap from that to “Bitch, get in the kitchen, and make me some pie” for a lot of people, and ignoring those needs is a one-way ticket to irrelevance politically.

    Now I understand making tradeoffs in life. Heck, the only reason I’m willing to pay a car note with the insurance and the price of gas is because, for my line of work, it is a worthwhile investment. That said, you can’t ask someone to give you freedom unless you’re willing to help free them yourself. After all, someone can say “well, the risk of jail time and losing your job is just what you get for smoking pot/snorting coke/shooting heroin. Get off that stuff…asshole!” Most of us here would strongly disagree with that sentiment. So why should you agree with something like that in reverse?

  120. Elemenope,

    “I think if you add up all of the legal and economic asymmetries on both sides, my suspicion is that women still come out behind. I’m not current on the latest studies on the matter, so I can’t say that’s more than a gut feeling, predicated though it may be on past truth.”

    I think this is pretty demonstrably true, though I suspect it has more to do with social prejudice than many would care to admit.

  121. Anyone else stop believing in God when a spiritual authority told you something so inane that your bullshit detector went off for days?

    Nope.

    Either:

    A. My respect my other people was always so low that idiots saying stupid things didnt change my beliefs

    or

    2. My respect for the one true authority was high enough to overcome the idiocy of many/most of his followers.

    Probably a bit of both. To be honest, probably more of A.

  122. Mine was a Sunday School minister. I was raised Baptist, but not deep-South variety, but still creationist. During my 8-year-old dinosaur phase I innocently asked the minister to reconcile a 6,000 year-old Earth and 100 million-year-old dinosaur bones. I have never forgotten what he said: “God made the Earth old so that it could contain mysteries like that as proof of his existence.” I managed to say nothing, but my dad’s constant refrain “BULLSHIT” rang in my ears. I’ve always said that was the day I learned what the word actually meant. Took me four more years of active resistance to stop attended that ignorance factory.

  123. I bruised the entire right side of my face and the hammer chipped my lower orbital ridge.

    WOW! Doesn’t the disruption of an orbital ridge sometimes result in the destruction of the Universe? I swear I saw that on the SciFi channel a time or two.

  124. I really believe that MOST LIBERTARIANS are NOT PARENTS. Because everytime I hear the LIBERTARIAN and CONSERVATIVE View on educating kids…it’s the same…PARENTs ALONE should pay for childrens Primary and Secondary Education. This way, ONLY PEOPLE with MONEY will educate the children. As they are the ones who deserve good things for themselves and children.

    And, as a great value added, the uneducated commoners would make for a large, cheap work-force…and this will help America.

    Along with eliminating that pesty Corporate Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, we can SAVE so much money buy just Eliminating the PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.

  125. John,

    Something you might like…

    “Religion is the wreckage of human attempts to tame God.”

    -Ken Thorley

  126. “Using some loose definition of libertarianism, there seemed to be a bunch more of us in the 18th century. Or at least they had more attention paid to them, which is the same thing as far as I am concerned.”

    That’s got to be a pretty loose definition of libertarianism, if only for the one glaring omission to their libertarian beliefs.

    In general, though, I will admit that the 18th century saw at least more movement toward libertarian thought.

  127. Dang, SugarFree, that sounds like my childhood, which I regard as absolutely idyllic.

    We had scads and scads of totally unstructured time, unlike, it seems, Kids These Days. I wonder what the long-term effects will be of the very highly structured schedules and high degree of micromanagement inflicted in Kids These Days will be.

    My point is that 1) Universal Pre-K is clearly intended to serve the needs of a large population in this country and 2) in order for the whole libertarian program to spread itself, it would be prudent to engage this population, especially since this group tends to be hostile to many libertarian ideals, such as repealing Social Security and Medicare, legalizing drugs and prostitution, etc.

    Further increasing their dependence on the state by throwing them a bone on one issue will do absolutely nothing to move them in our direction on other issues.

  128. Mike,

    if only for the one glaring omission to their libertarian beliefs.

    If the omission is the one Im thinking of, then many of them didnt omit it. It just may have been lower on the priority list.

  129. Alice Bowie,

    Excuse me, but we must run in different circles. The only time I hear about “business people” wanting an “uneducated workforce” is from the Poetry and Music majors sitting about the Student Union, or after they graduate writing in big newspapers.

    The actual business people I know complain of the lack of educated people to draw from in the workforce. This is nothing new. Even back in the days of the ‘evil railroad barons’ THEY created schools for their workers and the children of their workers with no insistance from the government.

    Plenty of other examples before and after too.

  130. Having watched several true believers die, I am skeptical that people really do believe.

    history is filled with people who put themselves in front of the engine of state/tyranny/assholes with pointy objects and/or bombs because of what they believed.

    having watched some people endure the seemingly unendurable, and having seen how their faith helped them, it’s obvious some people believe. perhaps some believe far more resolutely than others, or maybe just far more specifically.

  131. SugarFree –
    I thought the proper response to your question was “God made these things to test our faith and help us sort out His people from those who do not believe in Him.”

    Or maybe that’s just a more contemporary explanation.

  132. Todd,

    “That said, how can you say, in full conscience, that you want freedom to do what you want, free markets, but you gotta suffer lower income because you had a kid, woman!”

    My point was less the above, than it was that their effective income probably doesn’t suffer as much as some people think – that said I appreciate how that’s a tough argument to make outside of forums like this, and probably a ticket to political irrelevance. You stab me deeply there, because I’m usually arguing for the more moderate form of libertarianism.

    My preference would be to oppose universal Pre-K based on the shoddyness of the existing school system and leave it at that. I guess I just hate public schools so much it brings out the fundementalist in me.

  133. Alice: I’ll take the bait on this one. For one, I’m not a product of K-12 education. My dad and mom worked overtime and 2 jobs to pay for me to go to school. I managed to cop partial scholarships for both high school and undergrad (while obtaining loans for the rest of my undergrad education) and worked my way through grad school. I’m not saying that parents should pay for their education as some pie-in-the-sky thing, or because of some secret support for a dumb, pliable workforce. I believe it because I’ve seen it work with my own two eyes.

  134. The Public school system (as viewed by conservatives and libertarians) is an unfair redistribution of wealth.

    For all of you libertarians and conservatives…be very grateful of your disposition. It’s a luxury to have this view. To be a REAL libertarians/conservative means that you have the MONEY. Consider yourselves fortunate.

    Oh, yes, for the libertarians/conservatives with no money, who’ve been laid off, who have boys coming back from IRAQ with no feet…and yet your voting REPUBLICAN because ONLY McCain can stop those TWO HOMOS in San fransisco from getting married…You are ALL JUST STUPID.

  135. Alice – may I take a stab at this?

    DERRRR
    OMG IF THE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T PROVIDE SCHOOLING NOBODY BUT THE PARENTS WILL PAY FOR IT!!!
    Seriously? What does public school have to do with the federal government anyway? Shouldn’t most of it be handled at a community level anyway? And what community do you know that would be like “fuck no – your child’s not going to be schooled because you make $500 short of the tuition!”

  136. Ah, Alice Bowie reveals to be nothing more than another Leftoid Troll that H&R has gathered in its roll across the intertubes.

  137. Todd, no attack is directed 2 u or anyone else on the forum. I just feel sad 2 c our society become so stingy as it gets richer.

    It appears 2 b so so much important to Americans today to Bomb, kill, destroy, and rebuild a 3rd world arab country than it is to take care of people.

    Health care for all humans should be a HUMAN RIGHT…not an employee benefit. I’d rather see America GET RID of the PUblic School and offer Universal Health Care to ALL.

  138. A Leftoid Troll ??? That’s a good one.

    Troll maybe…but leftoid NEVER !!!

  139. Good point on community level, Reinmoose.

    lmnop – our argument on liberals/subsidiarity the other week, doesnt this issue disprove your argument? If this is their 3rd most important issue (behind card check and universal health care), doesnt this disprove that the reason liberals dont support subsidiarity is because the issues they care about are all federal issues?

  140. Alice,

    I didn’t read all the replies to you yet, but I just had to address this:

    “To be a REAL libertarians/conservative means that you have the MONEY.”

    This is utter nonsense. Do you have any idea how many coercive laws prevent the poor from working to create their own wealth? No? You don’t? Because I do. A lot.

    I would even venture to say that, in many ways, the poor (especially the very poor) suffer disproportionately from government coercion.

    “Oh, yes, for the libertarians/conservatives with no money, who’ve been laid off, who have boys coming back from IRAQ with no feet…and yet your voting REPUBLICAN because ONLY McCain can stop those TWO HOMOS in San fransisco from getting married…You are ALL JUST STUPID.”

    Yet another person unable to distinguish between a conservative and a libertarian. In Alice’s defense, we brought this upon ourselves with our foolish alliance with the right.

  141. Mike,

    if only for the one glaring omission to their libertarian beliefs.

    If the omission is the one Im thinking of, then many of them didnt omit it. It just may have been lower on the priority list.

    I can actually think of two:
    Their belief that black people weren’t people, and so don’t count.
    Their belief that women weren’t people, and so don’t count.

  142. El,

    Actually, robc makes a good point. Many of the founders were abolitionists in principle. I could argue (and would) that it should have been much higher on their priority list, but I can also recognize that it was not very politically realistic at the time.

  143. If this is their 3rd most important issue (behind card check and universal health care), doesnt this disprove that the reason liberals dont support subsidiarity is because the issues they care about are all federal issues?

    It would if I thought that liberals actually care deeply about the Federal Government being involved in education. I see little evidence for that. What I see evidence for is liberals caring a great deal that lots of public money is spent on education, and most don’t give a damn whether that money comes locally, from the state, or from the national level. Call it “subsidiary-agnostic”.

    Also, I have to say more generally that the idea that liberals have as their top three priorities:

    1. They want to destroy capitalism with their kard cheks!
    2. They want to take all our gunz!
    3. They want to indoctrinate the yooths very early!

    as fairly silly.

  144. Reinmoose,

    I’d like to think that would have set off the alarms as well. None of the men in the family went anyway, so I think I would have figured it out without an epiphany eventually…

  145. Actually, robc makes a good point. Many of the founders were abolitionists in principle. I could argue (and would) that it should have been much higher on their priority list, but I can also recognize that it was not very politically realistic at the time.

    The founders:

    1. were, by any reckoning, unusual amongst their peers; best and brightest, as it were
    2. included among their number Alexander Hamilton, who is decidedly un-Libertarian, and whose views I might add were the ones that carried the day

  146. “The founders:

    1. were, by any reckoning, unusual amongst their peers; best and brightest, as it were
    2. included among their number Alexander Hamilton, who is decidedly un-Libertarian, and whose views I might add were the ones that carried the day”

    Agreed on both counts. This seems ultimately to be a silly hair to split. I also tend to get fed up with Founder-worshiping coming from any political perspective.

  147. I really believe that MOST LIBERTARIANS are NOT PARENTS. Because everytime I hear the LIBERTARIAN and CONSERVATIVE View on educating kids…it’s the same…PARENTs ALONE should pay for childrens Primary and Secondary Education.

    I was going to reply to this, and then I saw this:

    Oh, yes, for the libertarians/conservatives with no money, who’ve been laid off, who have boys coming back from IRAQ with no feet…and yet your voting REPUBLICAN because ONLY McCain can stop those TWO HOMOS in San fransisco from getting married…You are ALL JUST STUPID.

    And I realized you are just an idiot or a troll.

    This: Todd, no attack is directed 2 u or anyone else on the forum. I just feel sad 2 c our society become so stingy as it gets richer.

    It appears 2 b so so much important to Americans today to Bomb, kill, destroy, and rebuild a 3rd world arab country than it is to take care of people.

    makes me think you are probably an idiot.

    Either way, no reason to actually address what you said.

  148. I also tend to get fed up with Founder-worshiping coming from any political perspective.

    On this we are agreed.

  149. When logic and proportion
    Have fallen sloppy dead

    Go ask alice

  150. While I agree about Founder-worship, I have also found the lack of respect for them because they were also flawed individuals to be amazingly stupid.

    Alexander Hamilton was our Founding Statist. The fact that his views eventually won out is just proof the anti-federalists were right.

    Score won very delayed point for Patrick Henry.

  151. Personally, I believe Charter schools and true competitiveness were what made our educational system batter (back before it became a federal/state run program). Seems to me that when the government decides to “regulate” something what they really do is simultaneously lower the bar of expectations and raise the hypothetical expectations. This creates a wider gap in what we minimally require of our teachers and students in the classroom versus how they perform in the real world and on tests.

    Basically:
    Teachers are not required to know the subject matter they teach. When I first began my path towards teaching College-level English, teh first thing I learned was that teachers are required to take 90% child psych and teaching technique classes. The other 10% is VOLUTARILY (not mandatory) filled with classes about your chosen field. However, to just teach on the K-12 level, all you need is a Masters (or BA in some states) in “Education” which covers that 90%.

    In other words, our teachers no longer KNOW what they are teaching. But they know HOW to teach anything in general by using standardized textbooks and tests. THIS creates not only a dummbing-down of teh materials but also allows little room for reinterpretation or creativity (the tools needed to GROW mentally and stimulate the child’s desire to study and learn on their own.)

    We are not preparing our children to survive on their own and to grow and study and explor teh word around them. Instead, we are giving them verbatim memory exams and building schools around the idea that 100s of teachers following along in a stale text book will actually TEACH something other than memorization.

    So, NO, I do not believe pre-K for all will solve anything other than a needed daycare system for working parents. All it will “prep” these kids for is a mundane, uneducated future.

  152. Please disregard my typos. I really do know how to express my self better when I’ve had coffee.

  153. That said, how can you say, in full conscience, that you want freedom to do what you want, free markets, but you gotta suffer lower income because you had a kid, woman!

    Easily. You have voluntarily made a lifestyle choice that limits your career options.

    Criminy, is that so hard? Several years out of law school, I made lifestyle choices that limited my career options (basically, I decided I wouldn’t work the 70 hours a week required of Big Firm Lawyers). You don’t hear me whining about it.

  154. “1. They want to destroy capitalism with their kard cheks!
    2. They want to take all our gunz!
    3. They want to indoctrinate the yooths very early”

    1. They want union boses to be able to freely rob the working people of America. It is not about destroying capitalism. It is about allowing unions to steal. No more no less.

    2. They do want to take our guns, they just don’t have the power. If they didn’t, why would the most liberal cities in the country all have gun bans that are now in danger under Heller?

    3. Of course they want to indoctrinate our children. Have you ever looked at a public school text book? They are bloody failures at it, but they still want to do it.

  155. Alice,

    My husband comes from Bangladesh and I can tell you, you are spot on. The cost to individuals to support elderly parents, sick relatives and send kids to decent schools is so high that people don’t have much left to live on.

    My husband has to support his mother, help his brother with money when his business is slow, donate money to relatives when they need surgery and so on. The financial drain is significant, even in dollars.

    The result is a few haves and a lot of have nots. Most people can’t improve themselves or provide better for their children because they spend so much money taking care of parents and relatives. The economy is stagnant because most people can’t afford non-necessities.

    Public education, government healthcare, pensions, student grants/loans and so on take a lot of financial burden off individuals leaving everyone better off in the long run. The financial cost in taxes to most is a lot less than the cost of supporting parents, paying tuition, helping out every relative with a health problem, etc. This leaves more money for discretionary spending, so you have more economic growth.

    The lack of redistribution of wealth in Bangladesh benefits the wealthly few who get a desperate, dirt cheap workforce. But it hurts the majority.

  156. Go ask alice

    Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore!

  157. I cannot comment on the accuracy of the research about results losing significance by 4th grade, but I can say that I seem to be in a minority of early childhood educators who does not favor universal preschool. I base my negative view on the many classrooms I have seen, including public school pre-K, in which the practices are far from developmentally appropriate.
    I wish my own granddaughter had stayed home rather than be subject to three (3!) written curricula that her pre-K teacher felt obligated to teach in a half day: one for math, one for reading, and one for science. The result, “We had too much work to do today so we didn’t go out on the playground.” Also, in my opinion, the Open Court reading program selected by the school killed her interest in learning to read!

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