“I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such: because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well-administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” Ben Franklin

In my last article – Decline, Decay, Denial, Delusion & Despair I tied my observations about the obesity epidemic after a weekend in Wildwood NJ to the overall decay and degradation of the American culture. I had further reflections, but the article was already too long. These musings centered upon the complete dysfunction of government and delusion of politicians who think they can create value by seizing money from taxpayers, creating programs and controlling our lives. The incompetence, arrogance, ineptitude and insanity of government officials at the Federal, State, and Local level are stunning to behold. A story from the local Wildwood newspaper crystallized why Wildwood and thousands of municipalities across the country continue to spiral downward as government assumes more hegemony over our economy and day to day lives. We need to ask ourselves whether we the people are getting better government service and efficiency today; with government spending at 35% to 40% of GDP, than we did in the 1950’s and early 1960’s when government spending was 20% to 25% of GDP.

I doubt that most people are getting 60% more value from our benevolent government today than they did in the 1950’s. The GDP of the United States was $300 billion in 1950. Today it is $15.6 trillion, a 5,200% increase in 62 years. Sounds pretty impressive until you realize that 4,500% was due to Federal Reserve scientifically created inflation. But don’t worry. Ben Bernanke’s assures us inflation is well contained. The 5,200% increase in GDP was blown away by the 9,100% increase in total government spending since 1950. When most people talk about government spending, they refer to the $3.8 trillion per year spent by the corrupt politicians and obtuse government bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. But, witless state and local politicians spend another $2.6 trillion of your tax dollars per year. The charts below detail the descent into a nanny state over the last six decades, where government has stepped in to the breach as the provider of healthcare, retirement savings, welfare, food stamps, housing, phones, cable, and SSDI if you get depressed by that non-existent inflation.


In the 1950’s defense accounted for a significant portion of government spending due to the Cold War and Korean conflict. Government did provide a safety net for the less fortunate during the 1950s, but people were also supported by their extended families, neighbors, churches, local communities, and charitable organizations. Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamps did not exist in the 1950s, and somehow, without government intervention, people were not dying in the streets or starving to death. The economy boomed as America was the manufacturer for the world. The middle class grew as blue collar jobs were plentiful and Americans took advantage of educational opportunity to move into white collar professions. Government did useful things like creating the Interstate highway system and beginning space exploration. What government did not do was create a class of dependent people who relied upon the government for their day to day existence. The transformation to a nanny state has not only created millions of non-productive members of society, but it can only be sustained by borrowing and passing the bill on to future unborn generations. This un-payable liability is the ultimate consequence of government spending outpacing GDP by 75% over the last six decades.

Johnny Can’t Add – Send Him to College

“The average American college fails… to achieve its ostensible ends. One failure… of the colleges lies in their apparent incompetence to select and train a sufficient body of intelligent teachers. Their choice is commonly limited to second-raters, for a man who really knows a subject is seldom content to spend his lifetime teaching it: he wants to function in a more active and satisfying way, as all other living organisms want to function. There are, of course, occasional exceptions to this rule, but they are very rare, and none of them are to be found in the average college. The pedagogues there incarcerated are all inferior men who really know very little about the things they pretend to teach, and are too stupid or too indolent to acquire more…. Being taught by them is roughly like being dosed in illness by third-year medical students.” H.L. Mencken

I watched the two candidates, chosen for us by our overlords, debate this past week and blather on endlessly about education being the key to our future success. As you can see from the charts above, government spending on education has remained constant at 14% of total government spending. In 1950, education spending totaled 3.3% of GDP. Today it totals 5.6% of GDP. We are spending $900 billion per year on education and making our kids dumber by the day. There are 50 million government controlled public school students and $600 billion is spent to educate them. One wonders where the $12,000 per student per year is being allocated, considering the lack of critical thinking skills, ability to write a comprehensible sentence or even the most basic math skills of the dullards that are being matriculated into society. The majority of that funding couldn’t possibly be wasted on administration, bureaucracy, union pension and healthcare benefits, and supporting the 5,000 control freaks at the Department of Education and their $100 billion budget.

The rest of the $300 billion of government spending on education is being funneled towards luring young people into debt so they can attain a college degree that will land them a part time job at Ruby Tuesdays. The hundreds of billions in Federal student loans being syphoned from the taxpayers and handed out to unsuspecting dupes has resulted in $1 trillion of student loan debt outstanding, up from $600 billion in 2008 and $200 billion in 2000. This mountain of debt makes subprime mortgages look like a good risk. Since 2008, the Federal government has intentionally accelerated the disbursement of student loans in an effort to obfuscate the true level of unemployment in this country, as people enrolled in college are not considered unemployed. The looming bailout of this grand taxpayer theft will be colossal, as the delinquency rate of student loans not in their grace period already exceeds 18%. This should not come as a surprise, as even though 10 million more people have entered the working age population since 2008, there are 3 million less people employed than in 2008. Subsidizing kids who aren’t intelligent enough to graduate community college and shelling out billions to middle aged laid off blue collar dudes so they can get an on-line degree from the University of Phoenix or the myriad of other worthless blood sucking diploma mills, is a despicable waste of taxpayer money.

Politicians continuously churn out talking points about how they are going to fix education, when it has been government control and intervention in the education market that has devastated the youth of our country. The government controlled education system has produced a vast swath of non-critical thinking, non-questioning, vacuous, materialistic, iGadget addicted nimrods. By subsidizing students who don’t have the aptitude, intelligence or preparedness to achieve a college degree, the government has artificially created the large increases in tuition. False government subsidized demand combined with limited supply leads to higher prices. It happened with housing and it is happening in college education. Government bureaucrats are so proud of their achievement in driving college enrollment to a record high of 21.6 million, up from 15.4 million in 2000. The percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college has soared from 35.5% in 2000 to over 42.0% today. The trend of young people enrolling in college has been relentlessly higher. Based on this data, you would think the youth of our fine country are the best and brightest in history. You’d be wrong.

There is one slight problem with that storyline – FACTS. SAT scores for the high-school graduating class of 2012 fell in two of the test’s three sections, with Reading dropping to the lowest level in four decades on the college-entrance test. Only 43% of the 1.66 million private and public school students who took the college-entrance exam posted scores showing they are prepared to do well in college, according to data released by the College Board, the nonprofit group that administers the SAT. The SAT data mirror scores from the ACT college-entrance exam which showed about 75% of students failed to meet college-readiness standards. The graduating class of 2012 posted an average score of 496 (491 for public school seniors) in Reading, a one-point drop from 2011 and a 34-point decline since 1972. Writing dropped to 488 (481 for public school seniors) this year from 489 in 2011, the lowest score since that section was introduced in 2006. The average Math score was 514 (505 for public school seniors), virtually unchanged since 2007, but down by four points since 2006 and essentially flat over the last forty years. The decline from 1960 is even more dramatic.


To put it bluntly, the dumbest graduating high school class in forty years has the highest college enrollment percentage in history. To put the dreadful results detailed above in further perspective, there will be 3.4 million graduating seniors in the country. The 1.7 million seniors who took the SAT exam were the cream of the crop. Imagine how dumb the 50% who didn’t even attempt to take the exam must be. These results show that only 700,000 of all the graduating high school seniors (21%) are capable of getting a B minus or above in college. A critical thinking individual might ask why 42% of all 18 to 24 year olds are enrolled in college. And the answer is The Government. There are 13 million 18 to 24 year olds enrolled in college and at least 6 million of them should not be in college, based upon their actual intellectual abilities. Do you think tuition rates would be skyrocketing if these 6 million kids were not being subsidized with Federal government loans to occupy space at second rate colleges and for profit diploma mills across the land?

Where’s My Daddy

“Every third American devotes himself to improving and lifting up his fellow citizens, usually by force; the messianic delusion is our national disease.” H.L. Mencken

While the government continues to promote, encourage and subsidize insane solutions to our educational dysfunction, they declare we must “invest” more in education. We need more teachers, more money, more programs, more standardized government created tests, and more government control. This drivel is peddled to the dumbed down masses by politicians and the mainstream media and who could possibly disagree? We must invest in our children. They are our future. Again, facts keep getting in the way of a good yarn. The United States spends $3,000 more per student than the average OECD country. We spend 75% more than South Korea per student.

Based on spending alone, our children should have the highest test scores on earth. We missed by that much. Sadly, the average American high school graduate doesn’t have the math skills to understand the chart below, so I’ll interpret it for them. We suck at math. Math is hard and hurts our brains, so we would rather twitter and text. Korea seems to be getting a nice bang for their buck. I wonder if it has anything to do with two parent families that care about education, good teachers, a rigorous curriculum, and hardworking students. I wonder if Korean schools concentrate on social justice, multi-culturalism, the joys of diversity, promoting ego enhancement and rewarding mediocrity. Despite being 2nd in the world in spending per student, our students ranked 25th out of 34 countries in math and science scores. We’ve kept this information from our children because we don’t want to hurt their self-esteem. Everyone gets a trophy in America just for showing up. The job of teachers and educators is to inspire children and create a desire to learn, question and think. Filling their minds with rote government sanctioned pabulum and drugged up on Adderall is not the way to create critical thinking young adults.

The government bureaucrats and teachers unions declare that if we just had more teachers all would be well. Our top notch, dedicated, overburdened union teachers are just being crushed by their unbearable 9 month workload, one month of holidays, snow days, and in-service days, the grind of an 8 hour day and an average class size of 16 students. The facts are that in 1965, when SAT Reading scores were 542, the average class size for a public school teacher was 25 students. The number of students per teacher has dropped by 36% since 1965 and the public school SAT Reading scores reached a new low of 491 in 2012. Imagine how low the scores could go if we just hire another million teachers. Let’s be truthful. The majority of public school teachers in this country are mediocre at best. They are glorified babysitters. Students are unmotivated and distracted by their social media techno-gadgets. Parents, if there are two parents, are consumed by working, commuting, and their own techno-obsessions. The slow descent into national imbecility is almost complete.

Let’s not beat around the bush. As students learn less and less, taxpayers pay more and more. The Department of Education was created in 1979. This year they will spend over $80 Billion of your tax dollars on programs that will fail again. Teachers’ unions demand higher wages, pension payouts, and healthcare benefits, while thwarting efforts to fire poor performers. The Department of Education has not improved education. Its mandates, programs, and subsidies have destroyed any incentive to improve the system. The Department of Education should be eliminated, but neither party would ever do it. As States and municipalities across the land are forced to acknowledge the $2 trillion of unfunded pension liabilities owed to government union employees cannot be honored, the end of collective bargaining with the teacher’s unions will arrive. Taxpayers will revolt and refuse to pay for the gold plated benefits of second-rate teachers that produce students who can’t read, write or add.

In the politically correct society we inhabit today, you are not allowed to state the other obvious reason for the non-stop slide in test scores and the educational underachievement of our precious cherubs. In 1960, only 8% of families with a child under 18 were single parent households. Today, that number is 30%. The percentage of children born out of wedlock in this country is 41%, with 72% of black children born out of wedlock. Again, you can thank the government. You get more of what you encourage and subsidize. Government control over our educational system has created a nation of useful idiots who are compliant and malleable to whatever storyline their overlords announce through their media mouthpieces.

It’s no accident that in 1960, according to the Pew Research Center, five years before President Lyndon Johnson signed into law his War on Poverty, 61% of black adults were married. By 2008, this was down to 32%. In 1960, 2% of black children had a parent that had never been married. By 2008, this was up to 41%. The results speak for themselves:

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes.

By encouraging dependency and reliance upon the all-powerful government, the motivation to educate yourself, get married before having children, work hard, and pull yourself out of poverty is diminished. Self-reliance and responsibility for your own life is lessened because the government is there to provide the basic needs of all. It sounds wonderful until you consider the $100 trillion bill being passed to future generations so we can sustain our nanny state today. After decades of ever increasing government control over our lives and the accumulation of a Himalayan mountain of debt, why anyone would conclude that more government is the solution is beyond my comprehension.

May I Have Another Voucher Please?

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable…” H.L. Mencken

This brings me to the story in the Cape May County Herald that captures the insanity of government and how government solutions create unintended consequences that require more government solutions, ultimately creating such havoc and disarray that intelligent people just give up and move somewhere else. The story detailed all of the undercover operations of the Middle Township police department and the 77 arrests they made in Rio Grande for narcotics distribution, robberies, and assaults over the last year and a half. Rio Grande is a backwater town of 2,670 people living in a 3 square mile area, a few miles from Wildwood. One might wonder how a sleepy tiny seashore town could have such a crime epidemic. Well this one sentence from the article provides a clue:

With the majority of the twelve motels in the township that accept social services vouchers lining the highway, Route 47 seems to be a hotbed for crime in the township.    

It seems the community of Rio Grande supports the 43 Middle Township police officers with a tremendous level of job security. The police were confused as to why so much crime was centered at the year-round motels in Rio Grande. It seems their fellow government associates like to play hot potato with convicted criminals. The State Department of Corrections paroles the lowlife felons and puts them on a bus back to the county in which they were sentenced. The Cape May County Social Services then uses taxpayer money to provide a free housing voucher to the criminals whose families refuse to take them back. The dilapidated motels that have to accept these social services vouchers in order to survive in this terrible economy then end up filled with drug dealing troublemaking delinquents. In case you were considering a nice vacation stay at a Rio Grande motel, you should know there are currently 24 parolees living in Rio Grande motels as well as 20 Megan’s Law offenders. I bet they have some wild parties on Friday nights. I’m sure this news will do wonders for property values in Rio Grande. I was thrilled to find out that my home away from home – Wildwood – is the only place with more motels accepting these social services housing vouchers, with 15. That may help illuminate the reasons for the ten blocks of squalor that make up the heart of downtown Wildwood.

The story actually gets better. Governmental dysfunction and insanity has been taken to a new level, as described by the chief of police:

“What we found out with this funding, and this is particularly disturbing, is that the only way someone’s funding can be revoked is if they are involved activities that result in their own homelessness,” said Leusner. He gave an example of a resident at a motel that might commit a theft, break into someone’s car or shoplift and be arrested. If let go on their own recognizance, that person still receives a voucher. “They can’t revoke their funding,” said the chief. “I think that’s wrong. If you commit a crime and you victimize someone in that general area, your funding should be revoked.”

So the taxpayer has already footed the bill for a criminal’s stay in prison, pays for their free housing while still making their own mortgage payment, pays for the added police personnel to arrest them for their new crimes, and still pays for their housing after they are arrested again for committing crimes in their community. I’m sure Paul Krugman would see this as a wonderful example of Keynesian economics propelling the nation’s GDP. Government spending on housing vouchers results in more employment of police officers, revenue for motel owners, revenue for the construction industry to repair the motels after the drug crazed parties, revenue for the drug dealers, revenue for security firms and gun dealers as citizens scramble to protect themselves, and ultimately more employment of prison guards when the derelicts are eventually sent back to prison. It’s a government created dysfunctional cycle of insanity.

The cherry on top of this atrocious example of a bloodsucking government destroying its host is what happened when motel owners met with police and agreed to police the situation themselves. The motel owners immediately contacted Social Services whenever one of their parasite guests were seen doing or dealing drugs and would tell them they didn’t want them in their motel. Due to governmental confidentiality rules Social Services could not inform the police of this information. These government drones would then place the drug addict at another motel two blocks away without informing them about the prior complaints. This is the ultimate result of government run amuck. By putting complete faith in the wisdom of politicians and bureaucrats, we are left with a system that is consuming itself and what little remains of our national wealth.

Liberty & Critical Thinking

“All government, of course, is against liberty.” H.L. Mencken

Nothing in this world gets better as it gets bigger. The bigger an organization becomes, the less efficient, less responsive, less fair, less compassionate and less functional it becomes. Government attracts mediocre, low IQ, power hungry, narrow minded, paper pushing, rules oriented, dimwits who think they can run your life better than yourself. This applies across the board from the highest levels in Washington D.C. to your local school board. There is no problem that another law, statute, program, or initiative, funded by your tax dollars or future generations, that a politician or government pencil pusher doesn’t think they can’t solve. They are just too dense to anticipate the unintended consequences of their arrogant belief in their own wisdom.

Government programs created in the 1960s created a culture of dependency, government control, relentlessly higher debt, materialism, and willful ignorance. As government has grown in power, the people have sunk to the level of feudal serfs living in indentured servitude to their overlords. The government overlords and their banking and corporate co-conspirators created the educational system that produces the flaccid, oblivious, pliable dolts that make up the majority of the populace. As we’ve seen, government subsidization of dysfunctional lifestyles and dreadful government education provided to children from these households creates a corrupt, criminal culture that engenders calls for more government programs to fix the problems created by previous government programs. This is why government spending has far outpaced GDP growth over the last six decades. It’s a cycle of dysfunction and ultimately destruction, as the crony capitalists and government parasites suck the remaining life from our decaying economic system.

It always comes back to who benefits from such a dysfunctional, dishonest, insane, intolerable system. If the population had not been dumbed down through our educational system and was capable of critical thinking they would realize the corporate media propaganda used to turn them into materialistic, narcissistic consumers, along with easy access to consumer debt has lured them into debt servitude and impoverishment, while their overlords are enriched and empowered. Our education system sucks because our overlords need it to suck.

“There’s a reason that education sucks, and it’s the same reason it will never ever ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it. Be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now, the big, wealthy, business interests that control all things and make the big decisions.

I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest.” George Carlin

The question remains. Can a small minority of critical thinking citizens lead a revolution that topples the existing social order and restores the Republic to its founding principles of liberty, self-responsibility, civic duty, and mutual obligation to future generations? The original Ron Paul led Tea Party movement was hijacked and defused by the overlords. The original OWS movement, with its focus on the criminal Wall Street banks, was crushed through brute force and corporate media propaganda. The few remaining citizens capable of critical thought need to decide whether they will fight for the country we should be or bow down to the overlords and accept that we have become so corrupted as to need a despotic government, being incapable of any other. The choice is ours.




  1. I was out for my run this afternoon…and it came to me.

    A social experiment whose time has come:

    Eliminate social welfare payments, food stamps, and free health care for single moms and kids from single parent homes.

    Make these types of assistance only available to married couples with minor children. Couples who have all the minor children of both parents living under one roof. I wonder how many single parent homes we’d have in a year or two?

    This of course can, and will, never happen. But I’d like to see it for a few years. I have a feeling we might see some seriously positive changes occur. You get the results you encourage financially. If you reward people for not building strong families, what can you expect?

    And on the subject of too many government employees and their ridiculous pay and bennies.. it’s such an entrenched system now…irreversible…yeah, that says doom to me. We’re fucked.

  2. Great comparison to S. Korea. They still have values (family, hard work, honor in your work) while ours have been wiped out. But then they didn’t have a war on poverty, a civil rights movement, women’s rights movement, a war on drugs, or the baby boomers. And, they don’t have teacher’s unions (or any unions for that matter). And almost no lawyers. We have more unions and more lawyers than any other country.

    The dissolution of the family is, as you mentioned, at the heart of so many problems. 100 million people on welfare,, about half in father-less homes, because they get more money that way. The government drones can’t come up with a program to fix that problem, but will spend tens of billions treating the effects of what they caused.

    All that spending is going directly into the pockets of union teachers. It’s beyond belief how much money they make. I can’t wait to see what happens when the government runs out of money and these teachers and government employees are owed $2 trillion in pensions. Man, what a mess. There doesn’t seem to be an antidote for our government. Uneducated dipshits cannot compete in today’s world, and we have a country full of ’em. A rude awakening awaits.

  3. Since I have never collected food stamps or welfare or unemployment (I do collect Social Security and Medicare), I cannot comment with any depth on welfare, food stamp or unemployment problems or how the sheeple affected behave – other than from observation.

    In addition to the idiocy of Federal and State laws and handouts, you have the problem that no one can discuss or talk about these problems for fear of “hurting someone’s feelings” or damaging their “self-image” and talking about the real core problems cannot be done because that would not be “empathetic” with the poor souls that get all the free shit.

    Our entire country – what used to be America – is bound up in a totally fatal spasm of “self esteem” for the masses. Everyone MUST “feel good” about themselves, never be challenged or criticized, never be forced to think for themselves, never forced to be responsible, never forced to look at reality and align themselves with it.

    Oh no, it might diminish their “feel good” feelings about how valuable they are, how smart they are and how industrious they are, even if the value is zero, the smart is an I.Q. of 70 and the industriousness is in holding up 7-11 stores, working hard to up this talent to the point they can knock over banks and other institutions of higher money.

    I call bullshit on the entire, top to bottom process.

    There is no possible way for the thinking man to prosper in this environment for every success he achieves increased the government thieves to rob him to pass it along to the Free Shit Army. So pretty soon, even the successful will fold their tents an simply quit. (As an aside, I wonder how much longer llpoh will last with his company after 2014)

    We are totally finished. The only solution is a rapid and complete collapse and hope that the General on the White Horse that will, no doubt, ride into Washington at some point, is a benevolent dictator and that some foreign power (China comes to mind) doesn’t try and invade the West Coast when California populations have their “die off”… After the paychecks stop, I have no idea how long the armed forces will stay disciplined and “together”.. When they start hearing about how Mama and the kids are starving or being violated by forays of the Free Shit Army into the housing areas and suburban areas, I expect a lot of married ones will go home. I would.. With my M-15 or M-16 and a whole shitload of ammunition.

    I sadly see no good ending to this but tragedy and pain and dissolution of what we worked so hard to achieve and love. 240 years of hard work and step by step prosperity can be destroyed in a few months.

    There is no chance of “growth” as we have enjoyed since 1950. We have insufficient trained talent to wipe out asses, much less do anything else. If you want a hamburger, sure.. If you want a cup of coffee, sure.

    I remember back in 1980, watching the transition to a consumer society get a foothold, just how long we could survive selling each other hamburgers and hotdogs. I think I have found out now and it won’t be much longer until there are no more hamburger and hotdog buyers and seller left.

    Stagnation leading to epic failure is what’s in store with more and more government (at all levels) interference, rules and “dictatorship of the rules” so our living by permission will slowly be reduced until any and everything will be by permission of the government.

    It’s been nice to know you America. I miss you terribly and will miss you more and more as we slide down the fiat slope to disaster. If you’re not prepared now, you better get a move on.


  4. There doesn’t seem to be an antidote for our government. Uneducated dipshits cannot compete in today’s world, and we have a country full of ‘em. A rude awakening awaits. -awd

    You are right. A rude awakening awaits us. Uneducated idiots will compete in tomorrows world though.

  5. When Capt. John Smith established the first permanent settlement in this country at Jamestown VA he established the president “Those that don’t work don’t eat.” This served us well until our worst president, FDR established the welfare state. LBJ put the welfare state on steroids and each succeeding president has increased the dosage by varying degrees. Mathematically this growth will reach it’s limit where fewer and fewer productive workers cannor support more and more drones. Then what – Sauve qui peut.

  6. Will Americans ever revolt? Well, let’s look at an average American …. me.

    1)- When the TSA gropes my balls …
    —- I should stand up for my rights against illegal searches, but I don’t.

    2)- When I see a cop beating on a protestor without cause ….
    —- I should intervene and do the right thing, but I don’t

    3)- When this shithole town raises taxes to unbearable levels …
    —- I should shout, “enough is enough!!” , but I don’t

    4)- When our government bombs and kills innocents in some undeclared war on terror …
    —- I should march and scream in protest until my lungs fail, but I don’t

    5)- When the bankers massively fuck over the USA in general and me specifically …
    —– I should just stop paying the mortgage, but I don’t

    6)- If the government sends me an extra $500 on my refund check …
    —- I should send it back, but I won’t

    7)- If I was a gub’mint worker doing stupid shit, like inventing more destructive bombs …
    —- I should quit, but I wouldn’t.
    —- and I sure as fuck ain’t giving up my SS check once I become eligible.
    I’m just being truthful.

    The first five items above have to do with fear of loss. I live in a nice house. Have an old but nice car. I have access to healthy foods and of such variety it would make a King of olden times blush. I don’t want to lose any of this. I don’t want to go to jail.

    Maybe if all this was “taken” away from me, then maybe I would revolt. Like what happened when that Tunisian vegetable seller set himself on fire because of the high cost of his veggies. Maybe not even then. You may have relatives who lived through the Great Depression. I have parents who lived through worse in war-torn Europe. Both were dirt poor. They didn’t revolt.

    The last two items have to do with greed. I won’t give the $500 back because the gub’mint steals from me all the time, so fuck them. I want my social security because I’ve been paying into it for 40+ years, and I don’t really give a rats ass if its insolvent. And no worker in his right mind would quit a job these days, especially not a gub’mint worker with all those perks.

    This gub’mint rules only by the Power it has to give … and then to take and keep it. And seeing that well over 50% of the populace is dependent on the gub’mint in one form or another … there’s a shitload of greed out there to squelch any revolution. A shitload of stuff to take back, and scare the revolution out of almost everybody.

    I have read some suggestions such as five million of us all stop paying taxes at the same time. Brilliant. Who’s going to be first to lose their home? Me? You? Notice I didn’t say who is going to be first to lose their freedom. Most have already lost it once they starting accepting free shit. Freedom and free shit can’t reside in the same house.

    But all is not lost. It all depends on what kind of revolt you want.

    I revolt in little nonviolent ways. I remove the tag from my pillow, even though it’s against the law to do so. I will never report my Amazon or other internet purchases on my tax return. I vigorously boycott Chinese products. I do my best to live as simply as possible … fuck them and their consumerism bullshit. When I vote I always vote against the incumbent – just on principle. I reject to a large degree the general culture of the times. I ridicule TPTB whenever and wherever I can. But my greatest act of rebellion is that I take much time and effort to educate myself. I want them to hate me because they can never make me believe their bullshit. The truth shall set you free.

    It’s not easy to radically change this world, until I first change mine. So decision by decision and by as many transactions as possible I tell TPTB to go fuck themselves. Whether or not that’s enough – even if millions of us do it — I don’t know. One does what one can.

    Don’t hate me. I’m probably just like you.

  7. Your not looking at the big picture.There are only so many jobs out there,the technology jobs only support so many people.The vast majority of jobs can be done by someone who has just graduated high school.We really need jobs that employ lots of simple people.Not a few jobs for really smart people.NAFTA and global free trade hurt the usa more than helped it.
    I have kids in school,and theyre schooling is tougher than when i went to school.The math my fifth grader does is harder than anything i did in high school.But what jobs well be waiting for them?
    The people are being thrown bread like in the Roman times to pacify them.

  8. iGadgets dont make people smarter. That they call these revved up web browsers smart is a bad joke on humanity. But the Chinese are thrilled some 300 million of them (about the population of the USA) have been brought out of poverty.

    Obama has cut some 700 billion in medicare spending over the next decade. Obomneycare subsidises private health insurance. And once Medicare is done away with the insurance bigs will then start paying less and less to the doctors while health insurance premiums continue to rise and thoe that cant afford private insurance will have their premiums subsidized by you know who.

    Well, at some point, when people have been tricked into going after each others wages and we are reduced to making about 5$ a day jobs will return.

  9. I read where Princeton got a grant for 12 million from the Dept of Energy to write some computer code to control the hot plasma in Tokamak fusion reactors (which produces electricity) So students, that are taking loans out to pay for their education dont get a job, but they get to work on some high tech stuff for free while going to butt chugging parties at night.


  10. Don’t hate me. I’m probably just like you. ~Stucky

    I have to agree, well, except for the moobs.

    Bazinga! (B^D

    When a TSA capo starts groping you give him a wink. If enough people do this then all the TSA folks will quit their jobs.

  11. Jim Quinn has become indispensible to those of us who wish to know the painful thruths so at an indeterminate future time we can assist in the remediation process of the disaster that America has become.

  12. I always have mixed feelings about education and how it is handled in our society. Student Loan debt is a racket, just as the for-profit mills that rely on the easy money funneled toward their business from it.

    I remain a staunch supporter of the Community College system. If there is any institution that offers the most bang for the buck to both the student and society, it is there. Why?

    Not everyone is University material. We know this, and as the article says, shovelling a bunch of window-lickers on the College rolls will not translate into the often touted “College education offers better chances for higher earning”….. Well, a Community college will weed out the droolers and birdwatchers before they pay high tuitions with government-backed debt figuring out that they’re not fucking Einstein at a four year.

    If a student attends Community College and are serious students, they can go on to Universities. If not, then there are still vocational programs from welding, tech work, clerical training and so many other skilled trades which can offer a solid living. These programs offer inexpensive options for the “unemployed blue collar worker” to retrain….

    The for-profit mills offer the above without much of the accredited transfer opportunities for tens of thousands of dollars more, sucking their margins straight from the Stafford tit. In my opinion, this is the one of three areas where profit-motive proves to be a direct hinderance to any society.

    Basically, people need to face the reality of their situation. Not everyone is a genius, but that doesn’t mean they have to be a redundant. If some dickless Ivy Leaguer wants to shame you for it, bang their daughters and/or wives…. ok I’ll stop there.

    If one wants to label me a “socialist” for believing that public education needs reform and not abolishment, I will gladly stand with Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and John Adams with such a labelling.

  13. Not being an economic libertarian, there’s a few issues I know I’d but heads with most people on, but your core thrust isn’t entirely wrong. The US is confusing supply volume with value (not even quality, just basic economic value), and it’s fueled by the babyboomer mentality that more is intrinsically better. That’s why we’re stuffing more and more kids through college when we already, as a society, have too many degree holders at every single degree division and type.

    All around, we forgot formal education is a competition that is supposed to set one up for a certain privledged lifestyle in exchange for expertise. Instead out mentality is “everybody should go to college”, and that is a terrible idea, because there just aren’t enough social rewards to make having a degree worth it at that point. It has nothing to do with earning and deserving it on an individual level, it has everything to do what we actually have available in aggregate. The Upper Middle Class is 5% of our entire society, millennials are earning degrees in excess of 5 times that. They’re also specifically looking for “dream jobs” jobs where they make lots of money and more importantly do something meaningful with their lives. Those jobs are not available in abundance, there is a very limited supply of these kinds of jobs, and if you’re not in the top 5% of contenders, why are we paying for people to go to school (and make no mistake, when they assume loans, we all pay for the loss of their resulting discretionary spending)?

    These issues are the things nobody wants to talk about because it’s the dark side of 60 years of excess, and every last one of us has participated in it. Yes, the older generations more so, but we’re all caught in this game and the more we lie to ourselves about it and pretend we can outsmart this, out think it, or work around it and continue to eat our cake and have it too. Aldus Huxley was right, it’s the things we love that inevitably destroy us.

  14. “What government did not do was create a class of dependent people who relied upon the government for their day to day existence.”

    Yes they did. 1964

  15. Colma is right about community colleges. Obviously they are subsidized too, but the “bang per buck” is much better there than at University, and certainly better than U of Phoenix. Plenty of losers, but at least they don’t incur $100K worth of debt finding out they can’t cut it. I got an Associate’s in Engineering from a CC (As far as finding a job directly goes, it would have been more useful printed on Charmin), then used those credits as the foundation for a pair of B.S. degrees (which have lead directly to good jobs). While I was in CC, I also became a certified welder, learning skills I still use to this day in my engineering position. We need a bigger emphasis on vocational ed, less on feel good bullshit.

  16. http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/TotalGroup-2012.pdf

    More perspective buried in the SAT report and not reported anywhere by the liberal MSM:

    Average Scores of PUBLIC school seniors:

    Reading – 491
    Math – 505
    Writing – 481

    Average Scores of Religiously Affiliated School seniors:

    Reading – 531
    Math – 534
    Writing – 529

    Average Scores of Private School seniors:

    Reading – 539
    Math – 580
    Writing – 548

    The religious schools get far better results with far less spending per child.

  17. Taking care of the poor is one thing – actively setting out to create a permanent, controllable, ignorant and fear-based underclass is something else.

    And for the ones that aren’t controllable or fearful we have the private prison industry and/or non-stop, nonsensical wars.

    Fabian Socialism – feudalism done slowly!

  18. “Bazinga! (B^D” —- Kill Bill

    What the hell is (B^D ?? A sad face? Angry face? Dickface?

    Let’s keep it simple. Simply type the word with a colon both before and after the word

    This :mrgreen: is the word …… mrgreen

    This 😥 is the word …… cry

    This 😆 is the word ….. lol

    This 😡 is the word ….. mad

    This 😯 is the word …… shock

    Now, you can’t confusing me, thank yeew. :roll: :roll:

  19. Muck and Stucky and I are in perfect harmony, so I guess it’s up to us to teach the world to sing.

    I’ve done more than my share of rebellion and am now an exile/expat, call it what you like. And the place in which I live is the US on steroids, a dress rehearsal for what’s coming your way. The thing is, out here in the boons, no one pays us much attention, although that may change. The one local yokel who actually got a small biz going with incredibly hard work on his oart has been shut down by the tex swine, and this in a village of 1700 people. Our (my son and I are neighbors on my property) incomes come from abroad, but we are working at breakeck pace to prepare as best we can for nearly an contingency.

    Only a collapse will bring about action (rebellion might be too strong a word) by the complacent. But a collapse is becoming a real possibility, sez I.

  20. Colma

    Most excellent points about Community College. I attended one before going to Rutgers.

    I was a turrible high school student, graduating in the bottom 50%. (Worse than that even, but I ain’t sayin’). Then, after 4 years in the Air Force, I was scared to death about going to college. My track record was not good. So I went to Middlesex County College. I thought I could probably squeeze by two years somehow and at least get an Associate’s degree. The experience was better than I hoped, and exceeded all my expectations. Community College gave me a great education and rebuilt my confidence. There is no down-side to CC’s.

  21. admin-The question remains. Can a small minority of critical thinking citizens lead a revolution that topples the existing social order and restores the Republic to its founding principles of liberty, self-responsibility, civic duty, and mutual obligation to future generations?

    No, because of the overwhelming support the two headed snake garners from the mass of happily ignorant American voters. The Republic will crash and burn before any resolution to the corrupt nature of government is attempted and then it’s once more into the breach with no hope for a positive outcome for hoi polloi

    The ignorant masses doom us all to perpetual slavery.

    BTW, another great article Jim. +10

    1. The more artificial taboos and restrictions there are in the world, the more the people are impoverished…The more that laws and regulations are given prominence, the more thieves and robbers there will be.”

      Lao Tsu

  22. Is there only one option left for the States to succeed in the wake of the massive failure that is our current Federal government?…dump DC?

    In the Free Republic of North America, we start out with truth. We write a truthful Charter. We establish a truthful government with limited, MEASURABLE duties. We outlaw a central bank and require 100% reserve banking. We create the Frona, a money of gold, silver and copper. We establish a citizen militia that stays within our borders.

    Because FRONA is established in truth, our leaders cultivate and practice habits of truthfulness. Truth is revered and required to live in FRONA. Truth is the yardstick by which all human action is measured.

    That is what you get when there are standards and morals in your country.

    Secession is the only hope for mankind to enjoy individual liberty and property rights in North America.

    DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

  23. I just want to share one of the very best things I ever did to enhance my education.

    I read large portions of this book.

    That’s right. With a little more than a year left in the Air Force, and knowing I ultimately wanted to go to college, and knowing that English was my weak link, I read it.

    I decided to learn 10 new words a day. Piece of cake, I’ve been blessed with a good memory. I’d write the 10 words on 10 index cards … the word on the front, definition on the back. Do the math … 3,650 new words learned in one year. Did I know them ALL at the end of the year? No .. but I did know probably 90%, and could reasonably guess the correct answer on the rest in a multiple choice format.

    Cost of awesome education? About fifty bucks …. (including index cards).

  24. My agenda has never been to eliminate all social programs and all government. It’s just obvious that we can’t possibly pay for everything we are trying to accomplish. We have to set reasonable limits and reasonable goals.

    We should only be able to do what we can reasonably pay for, otherwise our debt will continue to grow exponentially and our currency will eventually die as a consequence of default through inflation. It’s that simple.

    I agree with Colma on supporting community colleges. My beef with the university system in general is that we have changed from a country that subsidized institutions (which made college cheap enough for poor kids to pay for) into a system where now college is expensive to pay for and we just allow students to take on more or less unlimited debt. I’m not sure many people get this fundamentall change that has occurred in the last generation or so.

    It is certainly true that if you spend all the money on guns, that there won’t be any left for butter. Perhaps if we hadn’t spent the last decade ramping up our military and pissing away these outrageous sums on wars that are really just foreign occupations, that we might be able to provide some healthcare without going broke. That math is simple too.

    These things are just common sense. Of course, common sense is about the most uncommon resource we have now in America.

      1. The CPI data show that college tuition and fees have increased 1,036% since January 1979 vs. 546% for Medical Care Goods & Services vs. 238% for the overall CPI. In other words, college costs have more than quadrupled relative to the CPI over this period, while Medical Care has more than doubled relative to the CPI.

  25. I just sent Fred an email. I hope he responds.

    Dear Fred,

    Your articles are among my VERY favorite on the Internet.

    I “hang out” at a blogger site, theburningplatform.com I’ve copied and pasted a few of your articles there, with full credit to you, and those folks also hold you in high esteem.

    Anyway, let me get to the point. The blog owner, Jim Quinn, recently posted a new thread and asked this question;

    “The question remains. Can a small minority of critical thinking citizens lead a revolution that topples the existing social order and restores the Republic to its founding principles of liberty, self-responsibility, civic duty, and mutual obligation to future generations?”

    Should you go to that site, my response to the question is under the name, “Stucky”

    Do you have any articles that might address this question? If so, can you point me to them? If not, would you entertain the idea of writing one? (Your analysis would be simply awesome.)

    Thanks much in advance if you do respond. And if you can’t respond, I certainly understand that as well. (No hard feelings whatsoever.)

    Keep up the great work,
    A Big Fan!

  26. The underlying theme once again is DEBT EXPANSION. This is why student loans have been pushed on the ignorant masses the same way sub prime mortgages were pushed on the ignorant masses. The economic system requires constant growth, and by this I mean growth in debt volume, to continue functioning. The increase in government spending is an attempt to augment debt growth when the private sector can not generate the needed amount. When the point is reached where debt growth cannot continue due to not enough bad holders, the solution is to reduce the population and start again. The powers that be don’t fundamentally care about those below them, but ask yourself if you are really that different?

    How many would care if one morning the news reported that the entire population of Camden, NJ had been wiped out? How about East St. Louis? Some redneck town in hillbilly county Kentucky? Would there be an outcry of mourning and despair? The dehumanization process is well under way and it now a matter of time before the hammer falls and the sheep are led to slaughter.

  27. The governmnet does not want critical thinking taught any more. They want to influence people through their propaganda and not the logic of true questioning. They also want people indebted to the government so they can control and influence them. They want you to get an education in some ‘feel good’ subject’….and hopefully in a field you can’t get a job. Then the person will look to the government to solve their educational debt problems (government loans) and for your subsistance (welfare). This poor educational system is not an accident or just a failure of well intentioned people…It’s a planned effort with a desired outcome.

  28. Stucky, I am not going to use those animated smileys……just because you want me to.

    It is my little way of revolting because I dont go to protests. Nothing to do with you personally. But I must stand my ground and smileys are a good place to start. Well, that and I will never read that commie aristocract Ayn Rands me me me greed is good propaganda posing as science fiction. Same for Stooge and How.
    Colma, AWD is probably putting your name on his boomer shit list.
    I see where companies such as Walmart, even some of Romneys Hedge Fund Crones, want to see the low wage ruminates get health care or pensions paid for by the government. I dont think socialism is the right worrd to describe this. We need another one. Maybe Stucky learned that new word todayor can create one using his Germanic diction.

  29. The governmnet does not want critical thinking taught any more -Lon

    I am not sure if that dont want that or if it is because they dont have any critical thinking skills themselves. They get a golden parachute and merry junkets to play golf or jump drunkenly into the sea of Galilee for reiterating talking points and making ridiculous statements in public. If that is good for them then surely it must be good for the subje….err citizens,

  30. “This poor educational system is not an accident or just a failure of well intentioned people…It’s a planned effort with a desired outcome.”

    I disagree. The poor educational system is what we get by default because most of the populace views their kids’ schools as a big, free babysitting service.

  31. Okay, You got me. I DO like that smiley face Stucky.
    Now lets hope you didnt cross the SSS line in the sandtrap. I guess it will depend on how many slices into the cactii he had on the cardio vascular exercise course today.

  32. The school standards are so atrociously low that trying to grade my student’s papers gives me eye strain.

    They cannot print legibly. They cannot perform simple mathematical calculations, even with the aid of a calculator. They cannot draw logical conclusions (not even using the Law of Transitivity…which is one of the simplest logical exercises). They cannot even retain enough instruction to make it through a 2hr laboratory experiment.

    They are ignorant on the matters of finance, geography and politics. They are mouth-breathing nitwits, and the fact that we have dumbed our curriculum down to the point that even these rejects can receive a passing grade makes me want to scream.

    When I bring this up to the professors they explain why these kids do literally 1/3 the work MY class had to do: Money. As the quality of student dropped so did Chemistry and Mathematical enrollment. At one point the two programs were looking at having to cut all of their 400 level courses, and most of their 300 level courses. All because the quality of student had dropped so far.

    Of course, the place is run by the business department, who couldn’t understand why their (chem/math) enrollment had dropped off(after all, Art and Business school enrollment was up!). They told the professors that it must have been their fault, and that if they didn’t start teaching better then they would have their programs cut.

    So they slashed the coursework in each class to a dangerous degree, at least in the 100 and 200 level classes. The Jr and Sr level courses are still much more difficult than your average college course, but they are nothing like what I had to go through.

    This isn’t rose tinted glasses by the way, I have seen the syllabi compared side-by-side, and not only are the classes covering a third less material, but the assignments are literally half as difficult as what we were asked to perform.

    More than anything this pisses me off because it cheapens my accomplishment. As more and more of these mouthbreathing fuckwads makes it through the system and gets “college” educated my degree is worth less and less.

    I need to stop now, my blood pressure is rising and I have shit to do. Damn you Admin, for penning yet another anger-inducing, thought provoking article.


    Actual picture of TPC going to the races:


  33. I only know the Millenial students in my own family. Maybe they are outliers, I don’t know. What I do know is that each of them took a while to buckle down in college, but once they did…once they found their path, they have (and continue to) apply themselves with a work ethic that far exceeded my own at their age.

  34. How is it that no one pushing the elimination of ‘entitlement’ programs” because of the ‘high cost’ of government and government employees” does not know or is unwilling to share the knowledge about how much of the US government has been privatized – and that the rising costs of government programs is because of that?

    A few examples:
    Low level Social Security personnel have been replaced by Lockheed Martin employees who qualify SS Disability applicants and process and distribute regular Social Securiy payments monthly along with the SS Disability checks. DO you want to guess who makes more and has better retirement and health care programs, a Lockheed Martin a professional Lockeheed Martin employee or a USgovernment Bureaucrat.? After you guess, add to the cost that corporation’s profits for shareholders.

    JP Morgan maintain huge contracts with over half of US state to manage and process their food stamp (SNAP) programs so the cost of food stamps now subsidizes the life upscale of Wall Street wheelers and dealers. They don’t work for what they’d consider the chump change of government bureaucrats – and they are required by law to provide a profit for their share holders.

    How many military functions have been privatized that allowHallibuton collecting $1000 a day to provide a military truck driver when, in the past, that function ws given to an enlisted or drafted militiary person that earned a little over $1200 a mont? Evidently there are now more private contractor mercenaries assigned to Afghanistan than US military personnel – while each year the Pentagon cannot account for one to three trillion dollars.

    The opening of the public’s mail to their elected representatives in Congress has been outsrouced to a private corporation that opens the letters, examines them for antrax, and then zaps them with irradiation before finally delivering (some unreadable) the scorched mail to Congress five weeks later. The Congressional PO used to deliver Congressional mail daily. And we wonder why our representatives are ‘unresponsive.”

    Check out the privatization of public schools, roads, for profit public pirsons, librarries, national park management, etc. etc. So many low level jobs being turned over to for-profit corporations that the ‘average government salary’ is higher because the politicos are still in there managing things and still collected big buck- even though the number of government workers has declined.

    At least the Greeks – who have a collective memory of resource grabs in their nation during two world wars know enough to object to their own destruction -but the US public is clueless because of “business can do it bettter” kind of media hype – so obviously bombarding the US public with the mantra that government can’t and won’t work that ‘business can do it better’ works.


  35. Chionia

    Where exactly in my article did I say that big business does it better?

    Your post looks like a standard liberal cut and paste job used to respond to any well written, well researched, factual assessment of your beloved government.

    What you describe already exists and has existed, the unholy alliance of government and mega corporations. This isn’t new and it isn’t a Republican or Democratic created situation.

    You should have worked harder on your comprehension skills when you were in public school.

    And congratulations on not being able to spell congratulations.

  36. Jim,

    Thank you for writing and posting this most excellent article. I believe it to be one of your very best to date. Some wisdom from Porter Stansberry (Stansberry & Associates Investment Research) from one of his insightful video presentations:

    “For hundreds of years, we (America) were, as a group, a nation that believed that life was to be spent doing important things…like working hard, learning a worthwhile skill or trade, supporting yourself, and raising a family. And at the heart of what made America so successful were the twin, middle-class virtues of INDUSTRIOUSNESS and SELF-RELIANCE. We worked hard and we took care of ourselves. Our hard work and self-reliance amazed the rest of the world.”

    “Now (today), America’s industriousness and self-reliance has become entitlements and greed. Taking as much as possible…even if you don’t deserve it, don’t need it, and didn’t earn it. The working class and our middle-class values has essentially disappeared.”

  37. When I was in K-12, I never did worth a crap. C’s and a few B’s and worked just hard enough to avoid the D’s or F’s which would have caused my Dad to bite me where it hurts.

    I’d bring a Bob Heinlein book and tuck it in a sorry social studies tome to read while in class and study hall.

    When I was a senior, I took the then required to go to college test called a college entrance examination. No pass, no college and you were likely doomed to be a vocation school unless Old Dad could drum up a big donation for the college, thereby bypassing the rule book..

    On that exam (which was a doozy in 1956) – tons of think questions – I scored 96% placing me in the top 4% of senior Florida wide.

    My Dad got pissed.. “If you are so damn smart as to score that on the college entrance exam, WTF is with the C’s and a D or two (and maybe an “A” on really tough math or science courses or something FUN!) on your whole educational life????” Pissed really wasn’t the right word to describe his upset..

    It never occurred to me to ever explain to Mom and Dad that I found school boring, mastered the basics taught without much study and from the boredom, just didn’t try very hard to do more than get by. I explained that to them in defense of the entrance exam score and all I got back was very deep disappointment because they really hadn’t a clue – all those years getting one quarter of what I should have got from school.

    I had more fun and got a better education learning about ham radio when I was 11 years old.

    Schools need to p-u-s-h students, not mollycoddle them or pass them up the ladder dumb as a stump. They need to honestly grade them and who gives a shit if that “makes them FEEL BAD”, for golly’s sake. That’s what a failing grade is SUPPOSED TO DO. Make them feel bad so they do better next time in order to feel GOOD from a more responsible effort and harder work.

    Not “feel good” by getting gun-decked (old Navy slang – see Wiki slang) grades for doing shit work just to salvage “self-esteem” so they “won’t FEEL FUCKING BAD..

    The whole thing about FEEL GOOD bullhocky just ruins my day and since I got a bag of nasty chemo this morning, I will stop now and slowly sink into the pit.

    But I’ll be back..


    So kick me in the ass, it was my fault and I take full culpability for it.

  38. WPES…. That last sentence belonged at the end of the FIRST paragraph… How in hell did it get stuck down there??


  39. Chionia — a first time poster as far as I know — gets the Grand Newbie Welcome from Admin.

    Admin have have been more gentle with her had he realized that Saints Agape (love), Chionia (snowy), and Irene (peace) were three virgin sisters who were martyred for their faith in 304.

    Thus endeth this intellectually high post.

  40. @Chionia

    You are describing crony capitalism, and that is not something espoused by anyone on this website. We all delight in testing the outer reaches of the English language when it comes to commentating on the state of this once great nation.

    The facts are that US employees typically make 50-60% more money for doing the same job as a private sector employee. Not only that, but they also typically have ironclad, gold-plated benefits packages that are far and away better than anything you find outside of a union.

    Now, you blast BIG business, as well you should. They have manufactured monopolies and as long as they keep their Congress Critter fat and happy they will continuously “win” these borderline criminal contracts.

    The following is my own personal opinion:

    A blend of privatization and public works is required for this nation to succeed. Services that lend themselves towards monopolistic circumstances (roads, water, electricity) should be left in the hands in the government, because despite their ineptitude at least you won’t have power-crazed “water” tycoons jacking up prices because they do not have to worry about competition.

    On the other hand, things like the mail service or education have been much more successfully copied by the private industry.

    Big government is a cross to be borne by the country, NOT an accomplishment to be celebrated.

    Big business is the exact same way.

    We need to do two things before we can being to rise back up to our former glory:

    1) Radically shrink the Federal Government.

    2) Remove private money from the pockets of public workers. No more super pacs, no more lobbyists, no more “speaking fees” that can easily double a congressman’s pay in a single year alone.

    Thats the bare minimum in my book. Not like it will happen. Too many like having someone else think for them, and will fight to the death (ie get off their ass and vote) to keep the status quo.

  41. to Administrator:

    It’s not prayer in the religious schools that results in higher scores, it’s discipline. Nuns, rabbis, and ministers can wield rulers on knuckles without worrying about parents suing them. And private schools have enough money for the latest technological gadgets and audio/visual aids. Both places can eject and reject students at will.

    The public schools can’t lay a finger on kids and often don’t even have the money for the newest textbooks.

    As for the rest of our problems, I’ve read through all the other comments and I see almost nothing about the real reason: corporate control of everything. It’s not the unions, the liberals, the feminists, or the gays–it’s the really rich who want to get really richer.

    I see a lot of bitching about ordinary people just trying to survive, but I don’t see any complaints about corporate welfare queens like ExxonMobil who made a $5 billion profit and paid no Federal income tax.

    1. sharonsj

      You need to read for comprehension. WE SPEND $3,000 per student MORE than the other countries that crush us in test scores.

      Your contention that not enough money is being spent on the cherubs is complete and utter bullshit.

      I went to Catholic school and they are not allowed to hit kids. Catholic schools spend 30% less than public schools per student. More bullshit.

      Tech gadgets do not make anyone smart. That is bullshit.

      Opening a fucking book and reading it makes you smart.

    2. I smell the scent of paid liberal trolls entering the site for the first time and posting the traditional liberal talking points. Does anyone else smell a paid liberal troll?

  42. Actual photograph of sharonsj

    Trolling is bad enough …. but MAKING SHIT UP as you go along is a thousand times worse. Where the fuck does she get her data? It’s become more frequent over the past month. It’s maddening. It’s like arguing with a banana.

  43. Great Article. To continue your example of the police and criminals as symbiotic against the law abiding public, I own a rental property in Dallas, and the police place the blame for crime on the property owner. My manager must attend weekly meetings with the police and I can be fined if she does not.

  44. @Admin – Its quite possible that the sort of people who send their children to private/catholic school are also the type to discipline their children and make sure the homework gets done.

    As I’ve said before time and again. The system (govt) is failing. The teachers are failing. Parents are failing. The students are failing.

    Please be sure to spread the blame guys, there is plenty to go around!

  45. Schools today mostly just teach the test. What did GWB call that? No Child Left Behind? It continues today. And will continue under Barry or Mittens.

    Indeed. No one is left behind. Just make the courses easier and teach the test. Seems more like rote training. You dont need critical thinking skillls. You just need to memorize the answers the curriculum says you need to remember to pass the test.

    Your just a battery to be drained and discarded when your usefulness runs low.

    So lets just go ahead and cull the low energy boomer sloths from the crust of the Earth so echoboomers can have their mind numbingly repetitive jobs – and when they reach 45 or so then cull them so the next batch of dumb batteries can replace them and make Jack in the Box wages while living in a cracker box apartment and waiting for their SNAP account to be credited for the month.

    This is not life. Its just barely living. I am of wont to call it the Schrodinger Cat Era.

  46. I havent been able to smell a difference in the rankness of trolls, paid or not. Crazy Ivan likes to troll but he seems to just like to get people fired up for no good reason and without pay. I cant really tell if Chionia is trolling or not…yet.

  47. I see a lot of bitching about ordinary people just trying to survive, but I don’t see any complaints about corporate welfare queens like ExxonMobil who made a $5 billion profit and paid no Federal income tax. -Sharon

    Actually one of our regulars here, llpoh, made a business post a little while back, I forget the name of the post, and quite a few of us did point out that some 60% of corporations dont pay tax. I posted a bit, just yesterday about how Hedge funds bought up Delphi and made billions from bailouts of GM and the TARP program.

    So I find your generalizing, painting with a broad brush, that you dont see anyone here complaining about crony capitalism is a bit misguided.

  48. Self-responsibility, as stated in the article, is the only way to tell our puppet government and those pulling the strings that they are not needed or welcome any longer. Returning the US to its original state will only allow the fraud to continue. Government has NEVER RECOGNIZED that the common man had any rights, only “civil rights”, which is another term for “privileges” which can be withdrawn via legislative opinions (laws).

  49. TPC – That sqares well with my experience as a biology TA in grad school. Many college freshmen can barely express a coherent thought in writing (most considered themselves to be ‘pre-med’). My god, grading their work was torture!

    But there were always a few conscientious ones, a few highly intelligent ones, and even some that were both :). Even a hottie or two that were both!

    Admin – I expect those SAT scores reflect that parents who put their kids in religious or private schools, as a group, care a lot more about their kids’ level of achievement. Teachers can’t do much with students whose parents couldn’t care less. My mother was an elementary teacher, and my impression is that teachers get crushed between parents (‘my child is perfect’) and administrators unwilling to back teachers in confrontations with parents. Her last Principal turns out to have been a thief (charter school) and also apparently a pedophile.

    Colma – I respect your points, and you may be right about public education. But I can’t see any reason it couldn’t be done better without any government coercion whatsoever, so I still lean toward scrapping public education. Which isn’t to say that large groups of people can’t come together to jointly fund educational institutions. It just means they don’t have any coercive power to ensure continued funding.

  50. “Teachers can’t do much with students whose parents couldn’t care less.”

    There are an awful lot of people who have absolutely no business having kids, but you can be sure they will do it anyway, and at a much faster pace than the responsible people who might actually be competent parents.

    This is what 90% of our problems boil down to. People should not have kids until/unless they can take care of themselves first, but you’re going to have a hard time getting that point across to someone who doesn’t even feel they have a responsibility to feed themselves without public assistance.

    The concept of self-reliance is so utterly lost on people at this point, half of them don’t even grasp that they are getting welfare. Remember the Octomom saying food stamps weren’t welfare? Or the gal with the brood of nine children in Florida, getting every assistance program there is, and saying she is “doing it all by herself.” It is COMMON for the parasites to not even acknowledge that they are parasites. Because otherwise they’d have to accept that the rest of us would be better off without them, and that might not make them feel good about themselves.

    Children are just another entitlement, like food, housing, a cell phone, utilities, and every other thing you can force your neighbors to buy for you, simply because you can’t or won’t provide them for yourself.

  51. The fact that these liberal POS paid trolls keep showing up is a sure sign that you are making waves and getting noticed. A compliment. We’ll put the cretins through the wringer. We smell bullshit a mile away.


  52. Many years ago I thought the day would come when the American people would put their collective foot down to all the nonsense. Time has proven me wrong. What I didn’t know at the time was the near omnipotence of the opposition. No sooner does a movement arise than it is coopted and neutralized. Through the education system, the public is constantly dumbed down, to where today, the ignorance of the average person is breathtaking.

    The system is built on failure, but failure is success when they cannot be held accountable (replaced). The last federal program that achieved it’s stated objectives was WWII. Always there is crisis and failure, which leads the public to demand that an even bigger effort be made, regardless of cost. Any questioning is denounced as unpatriotic and negative thinking by people who are dumb as a sack of rocks.

    Everywhere you look, there is monopoly and oligopoly. Most people who have their heads on straight chart their own course in life, but how can you do that when you are surrounded by monopoly? Where once there were millions of stationery stores, now there is only Staples and OfficeMax. Where once there were millions of hardware stores, now there is only Home Depot, etc. I’ve been self employed for the past thirty years, but I know few others who have been.

    I wish I could be more optimistic. I expect we will soon see rioting over food shortages and austerity, but that’s not really a revolution and unlikely to restore a constitutional government that is interested in the welfare of the people. It’s always darkest just before the dawn.

  53. Good teachers–that is, those with an actual education in their subject–are generally considered saboteurs and treated as such by their department and admin alike. God forbid the educated be allowed to teach, since an educated student is as threatening to the educationist bureaucracy as an educated citizen is to the rest of our fascist state.

    Years ago Education’s Smoking Gun revealed how UMass was churning out doctorates in education among illiterate minority women, whose specialty was something like “audio-visual aids to education,” a euphemism for knowing how to set up a classroom TV or show a movie, which itself was beyond their abilities. Since these minority illiterates went on to become insanely incompetent high school principals and administrators, it must be assumed that robbing our children of an education was the objective, and not promoting competent school administrators drawn from among minorities. The subversion is widespread, and a few years ago a prof at Annapolis revealed that most black and Hispanic affirmative action midshipmen were not even capable of conceptual thinking, but passed through despite the dire consequences for the defense of our country.

    I’m curious. When will teaching children at home be criminalized as a sort of child abuse or as interference in the state’s objective of churning out the new man-kind of servile dolt who mistakes his electronic connection to the Matrix as his freedom.

  54. Revolution? I’m so f’n there!!! Right after next week’s Honey Boo Boo marathon!!!
    The best part is when the people act stupid!! It’s great!!!!!

  55. Decline, Decay, Denial, Delusion & Despair

    Dysfunctional, Dishonest, Insane & Intolerable,

    Kids today. I just don’t see what the problem is…


  56. Three outrageous proposals I got from Fred.

    1)- Establish separate schools and curricula for urban schools.

    Most urban children will never read a book. They do not need to know how to write clearly, since they never will. They will never surpass an eighth-grade vocabulary. They don’t need to know the multiplication tables, only how to subtract so they can keep track of their declining EBT balance as the month progresses. They don’t need algebra, chemistry, or history lessons about the Roman Empire. We’re talking statistical facts here. They don’t care about this stuff. Why waste their time and our public monies?

    Teach them basic skills; basic reading, basic math, and loads of practical skills such as; how to balance a checkbook, be good parents, take out a mortgage, care for their health, how to use google to search for free shit, why condoms work, etc. They have no need for any more than this. In fact, if they learned JUST this, they would be far ahead of the game considering what is “taught” (nothing!) today.

    2)- End their education at 8th grade. Make high school – for those few who want to go further – optional. Most will drop out sometime during high school anyway. High school would not necessarily be a continuation of general academics. It would focus on real world trade skills.

    3)- For ALL graduates, not just urbanites, DECOUPLE jobs from degrees. Getting a degree proves very little. Give the applicant a test which is tailored to the specific job they are expected to do. An accountant would be given a written test. A machinist would be put on a lathe. Simple. Effective.

    1. Stuck

      Were those really Fred’s proposals?

      Finland actually runs their educational system with some of the aspects he recommended.

  57. Love it ! (sarc)
    So what you’re saying is that “The beatings for teachers will continue until morale improves”
    I thought this was an economics based site. The idea that you can improve the quality of people attracted to teaching by making conditions worse for teachers is laughable,,
    So what is your actual plan to improve teacher quality ? There elements of this post related to teachers that come across as a simple set generalisations that make you sound like you’re bleating. At least you pay scant regard to the factors that affect school performance in terms of the societies the different the school school systems face and you recognise that education does start in the home.
    Just an interesting question: Are school systems a cause or an effect of the society in which they are embedded ? I think a reasonable answer is both. If that’s the case it is difficult to lay the blame just with teacher quality. The education system and the nature of the kids they teach can have a huge bearing on teacher/student outcomes.
    I’m not a US teacher and I certainly was teaching back at the baseline you used to establish via SAT score as proof teachers are less efficient so I want to ask a fair question. During your baseline time , circa 1960/1972 did the kids who were not suited to school drop out before they sat for the SAT or did everybody do the test ? Where I work we’re seeing a degradation of our senior schooling quality as students who are unwilling to learn are forced by laws and economic sanctions to continue and this will definitely have the effect of dragging down averages when compared to past performance. Could this be the case in the US. “Lies, damn lies and statistics”
    I’m off to work now . I’ll come back later to continue this discussion.

    1. Bullshit about the number of kids taking the test pulling the scores down. Only 50% of the fucking high school seniors in the country took the SAT. The other 50% are watching Sponge Bob Squarepants.

      The number of kids taking the exam has risen at a lower rate than the population growth. Your assanine thesis is incorrect.

      You seem to be ignoring that 25 other countries beat US kids on math tests even though we spend 60% more per student. Keep making excuses for shitty teachers, government parasite unions, and the douchebags in Washington DC that have been in complete control of the curriculum and testing for decades.

  58. “I’m off to work now . I’ll come back later to continue this discussion.” —- Hivnoh Holova

    Why bother?

    What discussion? You ask a bunch of snarky tongue-in-cheek questions — we know your agenda — and then disappear. Answer your own damn questions.

  59. Actually Stuck, I’ll come back later and show that there are 2 sides. Much of what admin posts I think is valid. It’s just more complex than this post shows.
    Admin – it was a genuine question about SAT scores, I don’t completely know your system..
    You Americans are excellent at closing down debate by labelling and positioning others that you don’t agree with. I see it in your politics all the time. So many terms (liberal for example) that pigeonhole a person into a position that carries with it a whole of baggage and assumptions so you don’t have to think too much further about their arguments. The US is partially in trouble because of it’s inability to thoughtfully debate all aspects of an issue. Take up you position and defend it all costs. Hence the gridlock of thinking in the US

  60. Admin – quick note – very nice article. Glad to see you comment on intelligence of the masses, despite busting my balls constantly over my IQ posts. Guess maybe I am right after all!

    Re SAT scores, in 1995, they were adjusted upwards very substantially. Verbal went up around 60 points and math around 20. Your charts do not show the instant inflection, so may be adjusted for that fact. However, given there is an upward movement of scores around then, I suspect the impact was smoothed rather than allowed to be seen in one jump.

    What I am saying is it is likely math and verbal scores are massively overstated today compared to pre-1995, and the situation is far worse than even what those charts indicate. They moved the scores up to try to mask the downward trend the had seen and were forecasting. So for proper comparison, we need to take around sixty points off the recent verbal scores and twenty off math.

    Isn’t that special?!

  61. For ALL graduates, not just urbanites, DECOUPLE jobs from degrees. Getting a degree proves very little. -Fred

    Oh Jeebz. Fred is going to have moil4gold49 visit his site and dress him for his doubting his woodbine heritage.

  62. Hivnoh

    There is plenty of debate on TBP. No one is shutting anyone down. I pointed out facts which were already in the article to contest your snarky questions. I await your facts to support your position. I find that ideologues and know-it-alls don’t like facts. They destroy their little preconceived storylines that comfort them.

  63. You Americans are excellent at closing down debate by labelling and positioning others that you don’t agree with -HH

    We call it pigeon-holing. Which you just did.

  64. llpoh

    The College Testing Board says in their report that they have equalized the scores over time to reflect those changes. I don’t know for sure and have no idea how to verify that fact. I couldn’t find a chart that went any further than 1967.

  65. I guess our society is really just in an advanced state of rot. So many professions that can be roundly condemned: doctors, cops, teachers…

    But we’ve left out LAWYERS! Or did I miss that one? Surely the ratio of despicable pricks to decent folks is as high in law as in virtually any profession? And they set the rules we play by, so when the cops, docs, and teachers all blame the crappy system they operate in, shouldn’t we be looking at lawyers?

    I don’t know much about the topic myself, but surely others do…

  66. “They can be trusted, unless they are Dartmouth grads.” —— Admin

    Could be worse. They could be Colorodo College grads. Fuck tests!! Go Legos!!!

    “Colorado College, in an effort to attract minority and disadvantaged students, is dumping those stodgy old college-admission exams in favor of a novel Lego-building test for a handful of applicants. . . .The tests are seen as a way to help colleges maintain racial diversity even if racial preferences are eventually banned.”

    You think I’m bullshitting, don’t you? Guess again, grasshopper.


  67. Llpoh – Reminds me of a conversation I had with a professor, also in 1995. He insisted that the SAT had been made easier over the years.

  68. @LLPOH “Guess maybe I am right after all! ”

    All that IQ and he still fails at reading comprehension!


    @GJH – The number of “premed” students entering college is laughable.

    “Ah’m gawna be a NERSE”

    Yeah honey, whatever it takes to make the pain go away as you give it away on camera to twenty frat guys. Hope you enjoy your life as a college drop out working as a secretary with 3 kids by 2 different men (neither of which you married.)

    “Ah’m gawna be a DOKTER”

    How’s that D- in Bio101 treating you? Hmmm? How about that 16 you got on the MCAT 5 years later when you FINALLY manged to hit your Junior year of college?

    Fucking scrubs.

    @GJH – “But we’ve left out LAWYERS!”

    A lawyer is a subset of human, not a profession.

    @MA – “When I was in K-12, I never did worth a crap. C’s and a few B’s and worked just hard enough to avoid the D’s or F’s which would have caused my Dad to bite me where it hurts.”

    Teachers weren’t sure whether they should hold me back a year, or skip me ahead two years. On the one hand, the school administration had a very harsh policy on those who failed their classes. On the other, they also liked to look progressive so they tried to get kids into higher grades whenever possible. I didn’t have the grades to move on, but my state scores placed me a couple grades in advance.

    This LOOKS like a standard Catch-22, however this neatlyh resolved itself when they simply kicked me out of the school and life went back to normal for them.

    I will say this. K-12 I can only state that I had about 4.5 teachers who were worth a damn. The rest were drawing a paycheck working as glorified baby sitters and that was that.

  69. I just saw a story on the news where parents should remove gadgets from the kids before bed. Seems it makes them overweight and not do so well in class.

    D U H

  70. Having taught college students at an ‘elite’ public university (Michigan), I can say that even college level courses were remedial in nature – we had to give them the training in writing and critical thinking that normal high school graduates had a generation ago, but no one bothered to instill in them. The notion that everyone should go to college is only necessary if they don’t learn to read in High School.

    That said, I went to inner-city public schools in California, and some of the claims here stink like a 3-day old fish. A 1:16 student-teacher ratio? Are you high? Where is this paradise? It was 30-35 students and one teacher, no aides, for almost every class I had K-12. And slagging off of teachers in general as lazy parasites is disgusting. Yes, there were a few drunks, incompetents, creationists, elderly deaf German ladies, what have you. Many others were heroes that put in 60-hour weeks for nine months, plus 30-hour weeks half the summer. ALL of them were the front line in dealing with our country’s social problems: broken families, poverty, welfare, the drug war, ghetto mentalities, and everything else. You try being a social worker, psychologist, and cop while trying to teach 32 teenagers about the Federalist Papers. Extra difficulty: at least four of them are drunk, four of them are stoned, and one of them is pregnant in any given class. Good f—ing luck!

    The idea that getting rid of unions and pensions or lowering teachers’ (already pathetic) paychecks is going to fix any of these problems is a joke. You couldn’t pay me enough to teach in my high school. Schools are mostly bad because society is broken, and society is broken because of the rise of the corporate socialist state and its lust to turn us all into dependent, rent-paying, slobbering consumerist drones.

  71. Nice post, Admin. Another example of why you and I can rarely get into it, save for your sucky taste in music and other inconsequential minutia (sp?). I hope the TBP readership can appreciate the research you did to come up with this article. I know I can, because it jives with everything I’ve researched on public K-12 education and public universities.

    As for your comment on the facts of test performance by students at public, religious, and private schools, I am puzzled by the 2 persons who voted thumbs down (public educators, perhaps?). I understand that religious and private schools get to select, more or less, who will attend their schools, but facts are facts.

    And you are correct, Admin, religious schools teach children for FAR less cost per student than public schools. Of course, the largest collection, by far, of religious schools in the nation is run by the Roman Catholic Church, (sarc on) an institution that our Irish Catholic Admin, would NEVER think to criticize (sarc off).

    To Dan and Charlie Rabbit: good comments. Stick around. Same for several other commentators whose screen names seem new (if not, I claim Alzheimer’s as a defense).

  72. Actually, Fred’s latest post is right on the money too.

    Just look at Orlando’s Trayvon Martin case where they are putting off doing anything to George Zimmerman, not because he did anything wrong, but to prevent Jesse and Da Rev. Al from stirring up violence that will result in hurting the tourist business down around Disney Hell and Universally Stupid and Legowhateverthefuckthatis Land (not to mention several dozen lesser lights of the kiddy entertainment business built in the swamps down there).

    So they will delay, delay , delay until such time as they can admit Travon Baby was a stupid black asshole that attacked and beat up the “self styled” community watch person (no law against that, is there?) who then, after his head was bashed into the concrete a few time and his nose busted by a good punch to the schnozz pulled a gun and blew the bounder away.

    Next June or so (that’s when the next court date set), they’ll float balloons and already have a time or two – very quietly, that there is nothing to charge George Z. with and if they brought it before a Grand Jury, the Jury would laugh them out of the Court Room..

    So maybe, if a sufficient number of black power ( i.e. publicity seeking bigots) idiots have not forgotten the incident, gone on to bigger publicity stunts or all been imprisoned by then, the cops and state attorney will try the water and admit George did nothing to be punished and Martin was a stupid perp. If that promises to stir up a “burn the car and break windows” party, they will just kick the can down the road another year and hope everyone dies or gets locked up on other charges.

    The whole thing is a race pacifying kiss ass don’t rock the boat holy shit they’re gonna riot CIRCUS of the first water. I call bullshit on the whole process.

    Let Zimmerman go, let the assholes riot, call out the National Guard and bust some heads. If they lose 2% of tourist income this year who da flock cares (they do! which is why it won’t happen).

    Not my America anymore. It’s called “Feelgoodmerika” now. Or “Diversimerika”. Or maybe that why we get old and die when we’re too far gone to fit in anymore.


  73. “TPC – I guess I am going to have to take the paddle to your ass again in front of all these nice folks.”

    Actual image of llpoh


    I’ve thumped you twice old man, don’t make me strike you a third time!

  74. Juxtapose – you know there is no such thing as an “elite” public school, don’t you? And very few around here will believe your bleating about over-worked underpaid school teachers. I certainly will not. Gee – all of the money thrown at puplic schools sure has paid off, hasn’t it?

    My kids went to private school – started off in public. The difference in the education was startling, and I put it down to one and one thing only – the kids in private school MUST BEHAVE or they are tossed out. I have spoke to all my kids teachers, and most moved from the public school system to the private, and they all agree with me. They say the difference is that in private schools they spend all of their time teaching, and in public schools they spend all of their time trying to maintain order.

    That little problem can be fixed instantly – but it requires a revamping of school attendance laws and such. The little beggars are getting away with murder – sometimes literally. If the discipline issues are not fixed, the other issues cannot be fixed.

  75. Schools are mostly bad because society is broken, and society is broken because of the rise of the corporate socialist state and its lust to turn us all into dependent, rent-paying, slobbering consumerist drones. -Juxtapose

    Good post. Im stealing slobbering consumerist drones.

  76. Juxtapose, I believe what you say. My friend who teaches 8th-grade “at risk’ students confirms every word of it. When I first met her, and was asking about her job, I naively assumed “at risk” meant the kids she taught had some kind of learning disability. I thought she was a special ed teacher or something. Turns out, she just gets the kids who, there is nothing wrong with them, but they come from really fucked-up, unstable families. People who should not be having kids – at least, they shouldn’t be having them right now.

    They have them too young. Some of them are well-meaning and hard-working, just dumb. They don’t get that the minimum wage job you have when you’re 15 can’t support a family, and is not intended to. Minimum wage jobs are FOR kids – not the people HAVING kids. If they’d had the sense to wait another 15-20 years before breeding, they’d be solidly middle-class. I want to wring their necks and ask them what they were thinking, IF they were thinking.

    Anyway, sometimes I wonder how she (and you) can go to work and do what you do. I think that if I was in your position, I’d go to work every day, look out at that class of 30-35 kids, and I’d think most of them shouldn’t have been born. I’d think about their parents, who have hopeless lives, and feel depressed that none of them can think of anything else they might accomplish in life except reproduction, yet the only way any of them could make the world a better place would be by dying without reproducing.

    You must get some kind of high out of what you do when you encounter that one out of 30 kids who actually has a brain growing between their ears. Too bad they’re the exception. If it was me, I’d just feel sorry as fuck for them.

    Most of the time, I just want to put birth control in the water.

  77. i hate it when you m*otherf**kers write shit that makes me post….

    i taught juniors and seniors at a supposedly prestigious catholic/jesuit university in lost angeles for two years and was blown away by their inability to spell and write critically. it was so bad i started grading papers as much on spelling/writing as much as i did on content. i also worked in administration for the university and the leadership was astoundingly pompous and corrupt (we’re talking priests, baby). i could tell stories. but i won’t. why? they’ll get theirs.

    now, as a technocrat/corporate leader/puppet in business, i witness almost daily the inability of people to spell or write effectively. i used to tell students that how a person writes shows how they think. can you tell where i’m going with this?

    give it up, man. just give it up. it’s over. all over. and i want out. a person who has no “skin in the game” can no longer be manipulated.

  78. I’ve had to add money into our budget for a new program to teach our MBA students how to write. The stories I’ve been told about their writing abilities would make your hair curl.

  79. Admin – it has ever been the same. When I was at grad school, I was stunned by the number of folks that could not write. Further, there were a lot of the students there who had never taken anything but a multiple choice test at college. Needless to say, when test time rolled around, and it was all written answer stuff, they were screwed and tattooed. Many flunked out. Oops.

  80. 19th C American literacy rates

    1787 – 60%
    1870 – 80%

    and no ED in sight, Colma — that’s the elephant in the room.

  81. “For he who pays the piper picks the tune.” When the FED pays for everything- indoctrination/education, food, clothing, shelter, parenting- then the FED will determine what is fact, what is order, what is equality and what is lawful. This nation cannot be saved. Sure there may be a few brave souls willing to take a stand, but for what exactly? Sorry, but this country doesn’t want to be saved. Boobus Americanus wants their FREEDUMB.

  82. Most parents lack motivation and therefore don’t teach their kids to be motivated. Unless someone has a goal to achieve they aren’t prepared to make the effort. Going back to Muck’s post about when he was in K-12 — he just got by because he had to, no one had given him a good reason to perform. He was motivated to get into college and performed when he had to.

    Those that are successful are so because they have high goals and want to achieve them.

    Korea, Japan, Hong Kong are in the top 5 for math. There is no chart but for the most part they are 2 parent families as well. It is my belief that the Asians are more motivated and teach their kids to be as well. Two parents with a simple message, you need to do well to have a good life.

    The best teachers are those that are capable of motivating their students to perform well. To ever turn this thing around we need to train the teachers (and parents) to motivate their students.

    Admin said it — “The job of teachers and educators is to inspire children and create a desire to learn, question and think.”

  83. “My kids went to private school – started off in public. The difference in the education was startling, and I put it down to one and one thing only – the kids in private school MUST BEHAVE or they are tossed out.”


  84. “but they (problem school children) come from really fucked-up, unstable families. People who should not be having kids – at least, they shouldn’t be having them right now.”
    —-Pirate Jo

    Look, cupcake, you’ve been on this “having children” (birth control?) rant longer than AWD has been railing about obesity. Really, you have. And I’m getting a bit more than tired of it, so …..

    Let’s work with that. What’s your solution? How’re you going to tell ignorant assholes when or when not to fuck? Or how to fuck? Seriously, how’re you going to do that?

    AWD’s campaign against obesity at least has a fighting chance through education and getting the word out to the public. But let’s get serious about fucking. It’s a primal urge among humans, and the dumber you are, the poorer choices you make on fucking. Just that simple.

    We’re all waiting for the wisdom of Dr. Pirate Jo to solve the problem of irrational, irresponsible fucking. If she can answer that question acceptably, Pirate Jo for President. Of the World.

  85. Putting birth control in the water would have all the pro-lifers after you, But the progs would probably vote for -PJ

  86. I recently retired from many years in education in a variety of settings including a state prison. I spent the last 11 years as an English teacher in an inner city middle school in Southern California, and I offer my views in light of Administrator’s wonderful article and the discussion following.

    I believe that the multitude of problems plaguing the educational community is so complex as to literally defy solution. The same issues are negatively affecting our culture as a whole, as has been hashed out on this site many times. If only a reformation of the teaching profession was the magic bullet to turn everything around!

    Pick on teachers all you want, but I suspect that if you spent two weeks trying to do their job, your view of them might be revised. Of course there are bad teachers. There are also bad doctors, cops, accountants, plumbers, and presidents. As in all professions, most teachers do a good job, and a few stand out as exceptional.

    Let me describe a typical 7th grade student in my school. She can’t read the big clock on the wall because it’s not digital, and she can’t write in cursive. Capital letters are sprinkled randomly in the middle of words, but they are frequently missing at the beginning of a sentence. “I” is “i” more often than not. He is not working in his native tongue, and his cultural background and assumptions are not matched by the educational establishment nor the literature he is asked to analyze and evaluate. Nobody in his life reads books, and he is offended by being asked to read a fiction book from the library, which he can pick from the wide selection of books written at the 3rd grade level, his level. She cannot name the continents, and in fact her concept of “continent” is pretty shaky. She does not know the name of the ocean that laps at the shore 50 miles to the west. He is likely to be unsure or completely lost in the tangled web called the times tables. How are teachers supposed to deal with these kinds of deficits while at the same time trying to teach challenging grade-level material to be covered on the dreaded NCLB-mandated tests? They try, but let me tell you, they are tired.

    For all of their academic ignorance, there is much these students do know. They accurately use all the different grammatical forms of the f-word freely and with gusto. They can text on their cell phones a mile a minute. They know more about sex than I did when I was 21, and I wasn’t exactly a prude. They are preoccupied with homosexuality, who’s gay and who isn’t. They know how to order a frappucino at Starbucks and then bring it to school to enjoy with their free breakfast. They know what it’s like to lay in bed at night and hear the gunfire in the hood, and most know someone who has been shot.

    A few years ago I read a great article by a former CEO of a midsized company who quit, in his 50’s, to become a public school teacher. The gist of the piece was that it was way easier to work as a CEO than as a teacher.

  87. Gayle

    Anecdotal stories don’t cut it on this site. I’m sure your comment is 100% accurate, but this shit just doesn’t work here. The big picture does.

    And the big picture says, the more money we throw at public education, the worse it gets. The old slogans (“Better pay, smaller classrooms”) worked for two generations, but the Public Ponzi Scheme of Public Education is starting to crumble.

    Tell us all the heroic stories you want about teachers. We’re starting to get deaf. Pass it on to the NEA.

  88. SSS

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the wasted money thrown at education. Also, I am not fond of my union (which I was forced to join) and I have thought for years that tenure should go.

    Jim stated in his article that ‘the majority of teachers are mediocre at best, and are just glorified baby sitters. I disagree. Most that I know are working their asses off.

    As for the big picture, I was attempting (poorly, evidently) to agree that the dumbed down culture is more than evident in my students, thus the anecdotal description. By the way, I have read a lot of anecdotes on this site.

  89. I’m feeling conflicted about this post. I agree wholeheartedly with some of it, while other parts of it absolutely scare me to death.

    Your comments about being taught about multiculturalism etc… I think those points are really important. Remember, this extremely fucked up developed world is raising extremely fucked up children. They need to be taught feel-good shit today because being a child or a teenager these days is on a whole new level of messed up. They can cut that from the curriculum when the rest of society is no longer fucked up beyond belief. There is so much more shit going on at schools nowadays. You can try and say it’s the same old shit painted a new colour but it’s not, it’s complex and ugly and kids do need to be taught to feel okay about themselves, because of society at large.

    The things I absolutely agree with is that it’s too easy to get into college, and education standards are definitely lacking. Why can’t they teach them to be normal fucking humans AND literate though? I am still at college now and I still meet people who can barely spell, let alone construct sentences. I am in the top 20% of all of my classes at least and I’m not even confident that I’m really smart enough to be in college. I tutor high school kids and first year college kids as my job and it’s shocking. One of my 15 year old students doesn’t know the name of a calculator, and is barely literate, yet she passes everything. I’m working on it but my one hour with her a week is not enough, and the small effect I have on her will never be enough to fix whatever the heck has gone wrong in her educational life. Her family is highly dysfunctional but it is a 2 parent family. I don’t know that I 100% agree with the sentiments about single parent families. There are some exceptional solo mothers. Unfortunately there are plenty more that are not. But again, that’s a wider group issue and not an individual issue – we cannot persecute every single mother, many of them break the mold and are better at raising their children than fucked up two parent families with no self responsibility who couldn’t care less about raising their kids.

    I just don’t even know how to go about fixing these issues. It is overwhelming. Things are so inter-connected and misunderstood that finding a clear agreeable path forward seems impossible at this point.

    Individualisation of society has progressed so much, we have become so materialistic and narcissistic. The communities of previous, successful societies disappeared rapidly in this last century… no coincidence that this is also the period when all of these social problems arose. Youth have no support, and they grow up with this media-centric view that centres on themselves so solidly. I can hardly blame them for being absolute fuck ups.

    Every time I get involved in one of these internet discussions all it all comes back to for me is self responsibility. You can’t force it on people, and no one has it these days. What do they care if they ride around in scooters because they’re too fat to walk? People have no passion for their lives besides acquiring things. How do you instill a passion back into someone, to live a worthwhile life? We are all more than happy to blame everything on other people constantly. I do it too. But for us to even be involved in this discussion – we are not the people who have no self responsibility. In fact we have too much and in turn, try and put it onto others. At this point I’d just be happier living on an island alone.

  90. By the time kids reach college they have already been dumbed down and indoctrinated to “fit in” and not question authority. Individuality is discouraged. And being taught to respect god and country promotes the two external authorities that cause most global and societal problems, government and religion.

    At college age they have already accepted a ton of BS into their belief systems and are ripe to be led into political interests and careers. Now they’re ready to perpetrate the lies on others.

    Assuming self-responsibility allows for a clearer perspective of external authorities: defining them as detrimental entities which are a net drain on the planet.

  91. @SSS: Quit being an asshole ex-CIA spook who’s used to criticizing anything that smokes pot.

    Get off Gayle’s butt about personal experience and anecdotal stories on TBP OR JUMP MY SORRY ASS about doing it too.

    Go play golf. It’s such a deep thinking game.


  92. @gayle: Even if SSS didn’t enjoy your post, I did. You seem like a really nice lady who’s done her best in a really bad environment with impossible students.

    You may be too nice and therefore attract artillery incoming from other barnacled crustaceans that dwell in these depths..

    TBP is still the best place around to pass your version of the truth to thinking people and I’d love to have you stay around and be our teacher’s advocate. With all the smelly old men that lurk around here, your clean language is a good thing – kind of 1950ish – and refreshing to one who grew up back then…


  93. Ah Google, it’s a wonderful thing.
    Hi Kill Bill – yep that’s me on the Panthers website. I love my Pennie Panthers !
    I’m from New South Wales, not South Wales !
    In terms of being a know it all – why then am I asking questions ? Admin -In terms of your other derogatory remarks, they’re cliches you’ve used before that allow you some certainty. Its your site, I’m fine with that.

    Admin – if you’re suggesting that I’m a Liberal troll that would be mistaken. I don’t come to this site to stir trouble. I come to read your prodigious works which really give me something to think about. I appreciated it when you responded to my question with evidence to disagree. It’s all good but you’ve been overly quick to jump to some conclusions about me, Clearly there is sensitivity here to any disagreement. Wow, I thought that the critical thinking that you all long for in schools is about robust discussion of different points of view.
    If my questions were snarky that was in response to the ridiculous generalisation that except for a few exceptions, public school teachers are mediocre. Like any large population there will be a full range of performance levels and there are many extrinsic factors that other posters have ably described as to why public schools don’t perform as well, with the main one being that public systems by their nature are inclusive while private schools by their nature are exclusive.
    From my experience in a similar public school system the vast majority of teachers are hard working professionals who do their best each day. Yes, there are incompetent teachers, they frustrate me as well but it can be very difficult to consolidate that ineffectiveness into a situation leading to dismissal. As uncomfortable as it is there are many shades of gray in teacher performance.
    I want to ask a genuine question that helps me to understand your system. Does “tenure” mean a job for life or only while the teacher if deemed efficient ? If it’s a job for life I can see why so many people are against it.
    In terms of the US system failing, that’s hard dispute but as The Pessimistic Chemist points out, there is a lot of blame to go around and all of the parties he names do share that responsibility, yes even teachers to some degree.
    I’m asking the question again, and please, I’m not being smart arse or snarky. What realistic steps would you take to improve teacher quality ? I actually want to generate discussion, not to fight but to hear varied points of view. I reckon it’s a really hard question that education systems around the world are grappling with.

    One thing that I believe that is wrong with my education system (and the US one too ?) is the right to automatic progression through the grades. That to me is the key to a lack of accountability by students, families and schools. Where I work we don’t give kids “feelgood” grades but on the other hand there is little accountability available at younger ages for students who choose not to do the work as often parents are too busy sorting out their own lives to help their kids. They progress through the system and by the time they reach my school (12/13 years old) the learning deficits are huge. I reckon we would be better with systems where children had to demonstrate certain levels of learning before they progressed from grade to grade.

    1. Hivnoh

      The liberal troll comment was directed at Sharonsj. You are most certainly not a troll. Keep posting. I have also referenced Finland in previous posts about education. Americans need to learn from what works. Our public schools are focused on the joys of diversity and everyone being equal. Top performers are not encouraged.

  94. Here’s an article in a Sydney newspaper published yesterday that looks at the Finnish education system, a system that regularly tops the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) testing results. I don’t post it to make any particular point, rather to give people a chance to reflect their local education system when compared to one that is shown to be successful.

    First past Finnishing line

    Public education need not be a political battlefield. It can be an undisputed national priority that operates on the basis of equity, goodwill and trust, unhampered by government demands for accountability. It can be the sole provider of education to all children across a nation without any division of resources across competing school systems. It can be a product of highly trained and respected professionals who know their work is valued and their integrity unquestioned throughout all levels of their society.
    It can be regarded as so important to that society that it is the first choice of the professions for school-leavers and only 10 per cent of those who apply to enter teacher training courses are accepted. After a rigorous series of entry tests where personal aptitude for teaching and a capacity for research must be demonstrated, these students attend university for five years, pay no fees and receive an allowance that is not means-tested.

    The above scenario is not an imagined utopia but the effective features of the education system I observed on a recent study tour of schools and universities in Finland. It is a nation that has demonstrated what can be achieved when ”achievement”, as measured by scores from national tests, is not driving classroom teaching and learning.

    We know that Finland ranks near the top of the world in literacy and numeracy outcomes according to the Program for International Student Assessment, an international testing system of 15-year-old students undertaken every three years by the OECD.

    That the Finns consistently do so in the absence of any national testing program, or school inspections as in Britain, should be enough to shake the confidence of those in our society who are bent on adopting models from the US or Britain, especially when we already outrank both those nations in PISA. Ultimately, beyond any comparisons that arise from national or international testing, the true efficacy of any education system lies in how well it nurtures children in terms of present needs and future life outcomes. Arguably, the more thoroughly present needs are addressed, the more likely it is that potential in a child will be developed and therefore life outcomes will be positive.

    This is something the Finnish people understand well and which informs every level of their education system. As a precursor to academic learning, physical, social and emotional wellbeing are treated as a communal responsibility, not just the preserve of a child’s parents.

    Since the 1930s, all children have been provided with a free, nutritious meal for lunch every day at school or preschool. Children go to school when they are turning seven but all are individually assessed for social and emotional development as indicators of school readiness.

    At age six, Finnish children attend a free year of preschool where they play together, eat their soup, drink their milk and lie down for afternoon naps in birchwood beds. Informal interactions with each other and adults encourage natural language development in Finnish and English without pressure to acquire academic skills.

    After sufficient developmental play in preschool, they go to school in small class groups of 15 students. Children are ready for academic learning and attend to demanding, teacher-directed lessons where content is delivered without disruption. Children are quiet and focused without the use of overt reward systems. They mostly learn to read in Finnish in their first school year and go on to learn English and Swedish as well from the next year on.

    Crucially, for those who demonstrate reading or learning difficulties in that first year or at any time thereafter, support is immediately and indefinitely available. Each school has a full-time special-education teacher and, like all other teachers in Finland, each of them holds a master’s degree.

    Finnish education is guided by the social mission of equity across the nation and the understanding that quality education enhances long-term life outcomes for citizens. It is therefore a sound investment of taxes, as defined by the practical and humane attitude that exclusion is more expensive than education.

    It is worth noting that equal opportunity turns out to be the underpinning of the proven excellence of public education in Finland.

  95. I don’t buy the pushback on the majority of teachers being mediocre. It seems some people associate hard working teachers with being a good teacher.

    A hamster running on his little wheel for two hours is also hard working.

    The job of a GOOD teacher is to inspire and motivate students to love learning. People don’t learn because the have to. People learn because they want to.

    This is not a new phenomenon. During my 18 years of education I remember exactly 3 teachers who inspired me. In my opinion the other 100 teachers I came across were mediocre.

    As my article reflects, this problem has multiple and far reaching causes. There is no one answer. But, there is one consistent factor in the dysfuction of our society and educational system – THE EVER INCREASING CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT IN OUR LIVES.

  96. Off topic, but relevant because due to the dumbing down of the American masses , we the callous , ignorant and compliant allow atrocities to be committed in our name that no advanced civilized , and purportedly Christian nation should ever condone….but , yet here we are. Vietnam Act II

    War Crimes Exposed – On the Dark Side in Al Doura – A Soldier in the Shadows
    October 18, 2012
    By michaelsuede

  97. @Hivnoh Holova: Calm, reasoned comment posts here attract all manner of sulfurous responses that Admin encourages to keep TBP —well —- TBP.

    You have to have a thick skin and not take any of the critics BS personally – they are just trying to light up the platform, so to speak.

    This thread has brought several new commenter out of hiding which is a good thing as I’m sure people are sick and tired of a little pig with 4 red boots..

    Stick around and teach us some new things from your point of view way down under!!


  98. Finland has a remarkably homogenous population of people with the same history, culture and ethnicity.

    They are of the same tribe.

    We are a country with three mainly conflicting tribes. We have the Euro/White tribe, which isn’t all that homogenous, actually, but is more of a catch-all for a melting pot culture of various and sundry diverse groups of European ancestry.

    We have the Black Tribe whose main ethnicity is African and mixed African/European. There main defining characteristic is that most of them can trace their ancestry back to slavery.

    We have the Hispanic Tribe, who are the most recent addition to the mix, who trace their ancestry mostly to Mexico where they were of mixed Spanish/Native roots. They are the most rapidly growing demographic group, and bound tightly by bonds of common religion and also their language, which is different than the accepted national language.

    Although we have a legislated mandate to treat them all equally, the truth is that deep and unresolved prejudices exists among all these groups.

    These tribes all hate and fear each other.

    Since the 1960’s we have used our school system, which is supposed to be committed to teaching, as a test tube for conducting a grand experiment in social engineering. The process of education has been first deconstructed, and then reconstructed in ways that are aimed at making it possible for all these tribes to get the exact same education.

    This is the main reason why we don’t educate our kids very well in this country.

    It isn’t because we send too many kids to college…or we don’t have enough trade schools..or any other reason. It is because our schools are not really schools. They are primarily indoctrination centers aimed, for better or worse, at teaching racial equality, racial tolerance,and racial justice. Added to that in more recent years has been a mandate to also promote social justice for the physically, and now even the intellectually handicapped.

    Our schools are epic failures at this, for a variety of reasons. It isn’t working all that well.

    But more importantly, their primary purpose, which was originally to teach students basic knowledge in a variety of subjects, has been subjugated and made completely secondary to that of social/racial concerns.

    This is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. To even bring it up immediately brings down angry criticism and finger pointing from all sides.

    But this is THE issue. The real issue, and the real reason behind the shitty test scores admin is always posting and harping about.

  99. Gayle

    Some of us welcome anecdotal information. Hey, I even have some. Heh. Pay no attention to the resident spook. As some old bloke once said, “My father’s house has many mansions” …

    Anyway, anecdote follows:

    When I was on a contract job in American Samoa, my older son was expelled for some minor infraction. So I made an appointment with the principal. But no, when I turned out, him and said teacher, OK, bring it, one … ten … whatever. There was a lot of vague waffle from them, never really addressing the point. My take was the teacher was a control freak, could not handle an independently raised son.

    When she said, “You people just don’t understand how hard it is.” LOL. “You people.” Love it! I raised my hand and said, “You may know the Chinese have ‘face’ and all that entails. Well, I had to train Saudis in their TV station, and that’s an order of magnitude worse — so, yes, even as an engineer I do know that teaching is difficult.”

    And in later years, with another qualifiaction in adult literacy teaching, i’ve worked with migrants in Australia, ‘impaired’ persons of various types, helped a young woman with cerebral palsy get a certificate at a TAFE college. Overall, I had less problem with students than administrations.

    OK, that addresses one of your points. As for “most teachers do a good job” … why cannot I remember them? None from primary school (save one that should have been shot, long story) and two from high school, latter being about 9% of the total I had any connection with. Bearing in mind, I was an honor student with parents, neither of whom finished high school as a prod … there was not a discipline problem. But when you’re jump-started into 2nd grade because you could already read a newspaper when you’re about 5 years old, you quickly ascertain who is spinning shit.

    Like good ol’ Mrs. WAGner in 9th grade. I’m reading a report On Ric-ard Vog-ner in this history class, and this loser shrieked, WAGner ..l. WAGner … my name is WAGner, his is WAGner …

    Or what about the time I was sent to take a note to the office in sixth grade from the teacher … and I came back and, hearing voices in the hallway, slowed … in time to hear ome smoking teacher tell another, “NO boy deserves an A!”

    Hey, you want anecdores? Don’t talk your own book — I am sure you are sincere but … take a walk on the wild side: do a survey with reasonably good students, “no names, no pack drill”, get the real assessment of your peers. You might be surprised.

  100. HH

    Welcome to the ‘wild west’ … as someone would say. No PC here, hack and slash, it’s part of the rare to find charm.

    That being said … fucking ‘Mexican’ … spoken as an Armerican now living in Queensland. Heh.

    I can give you a different perspective, having lived there and here. From 1969, over the next five years, our family was in Saudi Arabia, Beirut, Belgrade, Istanbul, Vienna, London, Guiseley, then back to the effing U.S., and Providence, RI. Thankfully rescued by a contract job offer in American Samoa. Two years there (fun!) and a job offer in Hobart. That was 1974, conversion to the colo{u}r system and I was a broadcast engineer with the bones, and given pernament residentcy without asking for it. “Preferred occupation”, you see. Heh.

    So after five years of moving about, my wife reckoned, good school system here (librarian, she was) so we will get the boys through that, and then see what next.

    At some point, Barbara had to go back stateside to sell our house, and I ended up at a PT evening at the school. Had taken little notice of younger son grizzling about ‘skool’ … by the end of the evening, having talked to all of his teachers, I walked out and said, “Son, they’re all dickheads. You were right.”

    Every one of the dickheads, talking their own book, ‘your son should do more {for my subject!)/’ Why? No, really, there is more to life and learning that just one person’s subject they are comparmentalized on. Fuck me dead, the way they taught history in high school I was at would put a zombile to sleep.

    Now, I get it … but no thanks to those fuckwits.

    Anyway, at the time Tasmanian schools were OK. Then, it seemed, every bad idea that failed in the U.S. came here. New math, spillung dun mattuh, et bloody cetera and so forth, and we have younguns that can’t even make change out of a u-beaut cash register. Etc.

    So I’ve had ten years in Tassie, a year in Orange, NSW, almost ten years in Melbourne, and now here and (not counting one trip to Perth) a fair view of the overall output of the school system.

    Colour me unimpressed.

    My first wife, the librarian, got a temporary job in Hobart to organize and catalogue the books in the facility. Nothing but hostility from the teachers there, initially. Turf wars. ‘We dun need no steenkin librarian, we know everything.”

    She ended up with a permanent job AND a library building.

    So, I’ve seen the good, bad, and ugly of two systems, not to mention the private schooling in Riyadh, which seemed to be the best of the lot.

  101. I would imagine there are a fair number of “anti-authoritarians” by temperament at TBP. But when the schools insist for decade after decade that “questioning authority” is not allowed – not to mention subversive – then we are going to get sheep, and lots of them.

    And then the sheep have children of their own and before you know it there are generations of authoritarian-loving sheep being taught a curriculum that has removed critical thinking and mentions any revolts and uprisings (anti-authoritarian behavior) only in passing and then downplayed as not a terribly pivotal part of American history.



    Authoritarianism is unquestioning obedience to authority. Authoritarians in control demand unquestioning obedience and authoritarian subordinates give them that unquestioning obedience.

    In contrast, anti-authoritarians question the legitimacy of an authority before taking it seriously. Does the authority know what it’s talking about or not? Does it tell the truth or lie? Does it care about the people who are taking it seriously or is it exploitative? And if anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they then challenge and resist it.

    By pathologizing and “treating” anti-authoritarians, psychologists and other mental health professionals are taking them off “democracy battlefields.”

  102. Gayle – good comment. I like anecdotes. I agree, very few people on this site would want to do what teachers do. I wouldn’t. It’s a burnout profession as currently constituted.

    Everything I’ve seen tells me that many teachers work far harder than characterized by Admin in this article. Lots of overtime work during the school year, and their summers aren’t as long as people think, as they must attend meetings and do continuing ed coursework. And I don’t know where all these highly paid teachers are, maybe in Illinois, not in Utah and Montana.

    Admin – If only 3 out of 103 teachers were GOOD, what do you think is going on?

    I’d suggest a couple things.

    1) Unrealistic expectations. If the job description is having to inspire people, I don’t think you’ll ever get many GOOD ones, as only so many people are inspiring (and they can make a lot more $$ doing something other than teaching). I’d suggest your 3 good teachers were actually ‘outstanding’.

    2) The system is conceptually flawed, based on a coercive philosophy. Good luck jamming inspiration and knowledge down peoples’ throats coercively. It’s a huge waste of time and effort. This is the job we’ve given to teachers, and as society has degenerated it’s become a worse and worse job.

    People naturally want to better themselves, in general. Do away with welfare, and with obligatory schooling, and let people sink or rise to the level where they belong, of their own accord. When they come around to wanting to improve themselves in some way of their own choosing, then good things can happen.

    Mencken hit the nail on the head: Americans have some sort of mania to coerce and control others, ‘for their own good’. If we could get over that, we’d have a much nicer country.

  103. @Novi: Cool stories.. The reason I like anecdotal comments is that, within them, lie jewels of the person you are, your family and where, what, when and why you tick!

    That makes other posts more personal and – dare I say it — meaningful.. To me.

    My sweetie and (when I was working on Kwajalein) took a vacation to your fair country. Got to Hobart a week after the big massacre in 1995 or 96??

    Absolutely loved it. Our favorite restaurant was a two story affair down by the docks that had the restaurant upstairs and a deli-fish market down.. they also had two boats tied up at the dock that went out and literally caught the catch of the day. Fresher seafood you could not find anywhere.

    Keep on talking!


  104. Penrith Tigers Have a Horrible Record.



    Welcome, Hinovh. Butting heads around here is something we do. But we dont hold it against another. Yeh, alot of it looks like angry hotheads but we are generally laughing while doing it.


    I say lets not raise or lower teacher pay.

    I wager that students scores continue to drop.
    We need an i451 day (burn all the gadgets)
    Then we need to make the parents read Animal Farm to their kids so they understand our political system and media. And if that fails put the unruly ones in boot camp for a year. It will make school a year longer but I am sure the teachers and staff would have an easier time teaching and not having to spend time tryng to get an unruly bunch of ignoramii to start lernin;

  105. “We’re all waiting for the wisdom of Dr. Pirate Jo to solve the problem of irrational, irresponsible fucking. If she can answer that question acceptably, Pirate Jo for President. Of the World.”

    Well the FSA certainly seems to respond well to financial incentives. We keep looking at the results of their misbegotten spawning, wringing our hands over it, and vowing to throw more money at the problem.

    And we get more of what we subsidize.

    I propose that instead of handing over $35K a year in benefits to support people simply for breeding, we only give them the money if they DON’T breed. We’d still be handing over the same amount of money to the same deadbeats, but at least the problem would stop growing, and eventually there wouldn’t be any more.

    People would either take the free money and live their lives on the dole, but without adding to the problem, or they’d go off and make money and have all the kids they wanted and could support on their own, or they’d just have to figure out how to get their friends and families to take care of them.

    Problem solved.

    When I’m President of the World, I would like a more comfortable chair.

  106. Thank you SSS, Muck About, Administrator,Novista, and GJH for commenting on my post.

    Admin, I too remember precisely three inspiring teachers, one in elementary school and two in high school. I don’t recall any of my profs at UC inspiring me, but maybe that was because it was the 60’s and I was seriously distracted.

    Despite all that lack of inspiration, I managed to actually learn quite a lot. Somewhere or other (of course this was in a period of antiquity) I picked up the quaint notion that my task was to be in class, pay attention, and do the work whether I particularly felt like it or not. Presto – learning occurred.

    And I too have my share of horror stories, the most vivid being the 3rd grade teacher who literally beat me with a wooden ruler in front of the class because I couldn’t read what was on the blackboard; my eyes were starting their slide into nearsightedness. There were other less dramatic instances of bad teaching.

    Exceptional teachers do indeed inspire, at least some of the students some of the time. Perhaps the JOB of a teacher is to present well-crafted lessons in an environment that makes learning easier than not, provide remediation and enrichment as necessary, assess to determine if learning has occurred, and do reteaching as necessary. Those who are able to inspire while doing so are gifts to us all.

    The argument about extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation to learn will go on and on. Success probably comes from a fine balance between the two. I suggest that our culture has effectively reduced the level of internal motivation in our students. I think a complete revamping of our educational system would be a way to begin the reversal.

  107. “Go play golf. It’s such a deep thinking game.”
    Muck @ SSS

    You’ve obviously NEVER played golf, or at least not at a competent level. The list of physical variables is literally endless – wind direction, wind speed, temperature (ball doesn’t carry as far as it gets colder), type of lie (sidehill, uphill, downhill, level, etc), length of grass (fairway, 1-inch rough, deep rough, etc), location of trees, fairway bunkers, greenside bunkers, grain of the green, type of grass used to build the greens, slope of the greens, altitude of the golf course (ball carries further the higher the altitude), type of sand in the bunkers, and on and on and on.

    So I don’t have any problem with thinking on the golf course, Muck. My problem is execution.

    Speaking of thinking, Murky (not a typo), I think I don’t need any lectures from you on what I can and cannot say on this site. And to whom I say it. Got that?

  108. @SSS: No, lectures on what to post you do not need to hear… But equal treatment of posters in appreciated. You don’t like anecdotal posts and jump someone’s ass about it at least be consistent and jump anyone who tells a personal story, me included.

    Gold, smolf.. enjoy the sand traps (or can Tucson afford water traps too?)… I don’t execute much very well anymore either.



  109. SSS forgot about water shots. Not much water in Arizona.


    “Golf courses and cemeteries, biggest waste of prime real estate in history”

    Rodney Dangerfield, “Caddyshack”

  110. Muck

    I treat no one consistently on this site. Pirate Jo and Gayle included. Inconsistency is one of my better traits, along with arrogance and an insufferable ego. I have a huge fan following, populated by ….. me. It’s a heavy burden.

  111. I don’t know if I buy in to the idea that our education system has been deliberately designed to create “sheeple”. I’ve noticed the trend of declining expectations coincides with the number and types of television programming aimed at young children and teens to get their attention. Even more adult-oriented programming is enough to drive you nuts with the constant hyped-narration and rapid image switching. If you turn the sound off on most programming, you will notice how rapidly images are blasted at the brain. You won’t see those long camera shots with actual dialog between two human beings that earlier programming had.

    What does this type of mind-numbing TV viewing create? I think it creates a brain that can’t focus on anything for more than a few seconds. Entire generations of A.D.D. individuals is being created — but I don’t believe some sinister plot is behind it. It simply has been proven to be the most effective way to hold the attention of the youth, and now the adults who grew up being trained not to focus very long on anything. Combine ultra-fast moving images with hyped-narration and superficial, often ego stroking, programming, and you’re creating a nation of shallow, self-serving, non-thinking, droids. Throw in “smart” phones (ironic isn’t it?) and iPads for good measure to really finish off and entire generation.

    I shudder to think what this country will be like when they are of an age when they are supposed to be the movers and shakers. Scary…

  112. The reason things are “Dysfunctional, Dishonest, Insane and Intolerable” is two-fold; both government and We the People are at fault.

    Let’s look at Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” …. a two-sided coin.

    On the one hand, self-interest creates an economy whereby everyone fills their own unique slot. Capitalism emerged, in part, from COLLECTIVE COOPERATION from individual self-interests. This is one reason Communism failed: it removed the human element and replaced it with state-centralized planning.

    But there is another kind of self-interest; …. those individuals who desire to control everyone else and to elevate themselves above society … be they kings, czars, dictators, senators, or even Presidents of the United States.

    These usurpers may not have started out with such intent, but it almost always ends up badly … in three easy steps; — “We have conquered the enemy. We occupy their hill. We have become the enemy.”, said John Quincy Adams.

    Society collapses when the idea of cooperation (even though self-interest is the motivation) morphs into self-interest only of the individual …. when powerful individuals evolve into scumbag fukwads who legislate laws to get whatever THEY can get.

    This is where we’re at today. A government that ONLY pursues its own interests, and in so doing becomes ever more progressively corrupt. There are no Noble Statesmen left … at least none that can get elected … since even the majority of the people no longer give a shit about cooperation. “What’s in it for me alone!”, is the new battle cry of both the government and the people. A Noble Government COULD make a difference and get us back on track. But …. government doesn’t give a rats ass about saving us. They exist to save themselves.

    In fact, we rats should consider jumping off this sinking ship.

  113. “I don’t know if I buy in to the idea that our education system has been deliberately designed to create “sheeple”.” —– soul_searcher

    I agree with you 100% regarding The Scourge Upon Mankind known as “television”.

    But, imho, ALL education systems are designed to create sheeple. For example, what would be YOUR intent if you home-schooled? You may think and believe your intent is to teach and expose little Johnny to all viewpoints, not just your own. But, in real life practical terms you ARE going to teach and emphasize to little Johnny your own preferences. It can’t be helped.

    Jewish schools teach kiddies to become ……….. good little Jewish sheeple.
    Catholic schools teach kiddies to become ……….. good little Catholic sheeple.
    Christian schools teach kiddies to become ……….. good little Christian sheeple.
    Government (public) schools teach kiddies to become ….. good little American sheeple.

    That’s how it rolls. Education of the kiddies is mostly indoctrination. The really smart kiddies have to wait until adulthood to learn to truly think for themselves … probably less than 10% will.

  114. Stucko

    “teaching your own preferences” is just indoctrination. The nice thing about being a contrarian is, you can make your own choices and still suggest to your kids, this may not work for you.

    My younger son, acout to graduate from high school, said, “I know you both want me to go to university.”

    Eh? I said he was an adult now and could make his own life choices — uni might offer some advantages, for some, less likely for someone who wasn’t keen to begin with. So he’s followed his own path and doing well, and surely happier than following someone else’s preference.

  115. Admin asks:

    The question remains. Can a small minority of critical thinking citizens lead a revolution that topples the existing social order and restores the Republic to its founding principles of liberty, self-responsibility, civic duty, and mutual obligation to future generations? The original Ron Paul led Tea Party movement was hijacked and defused by the overlords. The original OWS movement, with its focus on the criminal Wall Street banks, was crushed through brute force and corporate media propaganda. The few remaining citizens capable of critical thought need to decide whether they will fight for the country we should be or bow down to the overlords and accept that we have become so corrupted as to need a despotic government, being incapable of any other. The choice is ours.


    You have almost answered your own question. As you point out, reasonable, peaceful approaches have been tried and were co-opted, hijacked, shut down, and/or subverted into support of the current paradigm.

    In the 1970s I was on a state committee for the Libertarian Party. I attended their national convention in Boston that nominated Roger MacBride to run for president in 1976 . I was amazed at the number of spooks (military intelligence, CIA, OSI, NSA, etc) attending that convention. No doubt there were more I could not ID, ie. operatives as libertarian activists. So even then, they were prepared to subvert anything that gained momentum. It was obvious to me then that no additional political party would be allowed traction without oligarchy approval.

    So IMHO any movement approaching the critical mass to impact the status quo adversely from the point of view of “the owners” will be controlled by` them before it reaches that point. If a revolution is allowed to proceed, it will either produce an excuse for a Soviet style gulag crackdown, or will produce a result worse that what now exists; maybe something approaching the Inquisition.

    The only option remaining is to detach and walk away.

    Some baby steps on this path:

    Grow your own food. Barter, trade and purchase locally to the extent possible. Home school, self-employ. Avoid debt, finance, insurance, banks, and even currency when possible. Don’t vote or involve with the system in any way that is not “mandatory”, and consider if you can avoid what is “mandatory”. Take care of your health. Take care of your own: Don’t ask government for help or advice, don’t believe their propaganda or trust their statistics, don’t bring them complaints, don’t belive their propaganda or even listen to their media, including entertainment media as it is all “programming”. Don’t pay them attention unless they force you to.

  116. We are the real problem because we put up with our crazy corrupt government. It is our job to fix government. Criminals never police themselves. That is our job.
    We have to fix our government. Otherwise we will never get anywhere. Complaining and screaming at your government will not change anything.
    Everyone feels hopeless because they have no idea what to do. We have one way out. Fix your government and stop Complaining. Get off your couches and do something before something gets done to you. Don’t be a casualty or a victim. Stop asking for change. Stop voting for change. You have to MAKE the CHANGE.
    The three most important words in the constitution are “We the people” That means us.
    Democracy is more than just voting and complaining about the government.
    The revolution has started! It’s just waiting for you!

    “Be Smart!” –

    U.S. Citizens
    Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://revolution2.osixs.org )

    Non U.S. Citizens
    Read “Common Sense 3.2” at ( http://SaveTheWorldNow.osixs.org )

    How else can I say this? “We Are Free!”http://WeAreFree.osixs.org “Spread the News”

  117. This article is a gross oversimplification of a very complex problem. First the culture must address the failure of parents and leaders to instill respect for education and teachers. Little is said about the anti-intellectualism that permeates the social fabric of America at all levels. We are not educating; rather, we are teaching people to take tests. Critical thinking is not encouraged in a culture dominated by sound bites and politicians who have learned to frame issues and repeat them like parrots so that our political discourse is reduced to branding statements like JUST DO IT! Essentially, you cannot blame the problem on educators. It is a problem, yes, but until the country looks at itself honestly and accepts the fact that only a few are stepping up to the civic plate in support of learning, we will continue to flounder. The best and brightest today seem to avoid the teaching profession because they know that the culture does not value them. We are all about dollar snatching. Too many want to reduce the effectiveness of education to an assessment of Return on Investment as you have here. Education is not a product in the same way computers are products. You can’t apply ROI in that way. We have forsaken the values of the greatest generation when leaders funded higher education for veterans in order to create opportunity for all. Individually, we paid a greater percentage in taxes to underwrite the creation of an educated group of men and women to assume positions of leadership, to think beyond their own personal interests, to create wealth for the country (not just themselves) through discipline. Any statistician can affirm that you can make numbers say anything in support of an agenda. It’s done everyday. Yet, Americans haven’t the critical thinking skills to evaluate what they are told, nor the patience and discipline to formulate the long term plans needed to fix problems. Being able to do that , moreover, does not mean looking to the past, because we no longer live there. We need visionaries who can inspire, not critics who want to go back to the 50’s. We are losing ground educationally because other countries want what we have. They are doing what is necessary to see that their children are supported with nutritious food, healthcare, child care, and strong educators. It costs the culture, yes, but it generates wealth in the long run. It is the best long term investment a culture can make.

    1. Cynthia finally gets to her true point. Are you saying we aren’t spending enough Cynthia? Every kid in the country whose family makes under 135% of the poverty level gets free breakfast and lunch. Why does the government need to feed kids? Isn’t that the job of families?

      What does healthcare have to do with opening a book and getting smart.

      You bloviated and didn’t say anything? I’ve found that keeping it simple is how you see the truth. Those who have no facts to back up their bloviating like to make things complex so they can convince taxpayers to pay more.

  118. Excellent, well-written article. I was going to comment about the Finnish system but Eddie beat me to it. The problem with federally-funded education in a nation composed of 330 million immigrants from all over the world is that it is impossible to cater to everyone’s needs. In general, the combination of democratic-socialism that sort of works in the Scandinavian countries (nice if you live near a giant patch of oil) is due a relatively homogenous culture. Everyone’s for the most part on the same page. Even in multicultural Switzerland, there is a uniform “Swiss” identity that transcends all the different languages and subcultures. The population is not so big, either.

    The other problem, like with most US government programs, is that it’s not cost-effective. Gary Johnson proposes eliminating the Dept of Education and instead allowing the States to have their own approach to education. He envisions “50 laboratories of innovation” where successes and failures will be observed and best practices will be copied and improved upon.

    For example, a state dominated by agriculture will likely gear their educational system towards biology, botany, mechanical engineering, genetics and the like. A state dominated by manufacturing might focus more on robotics and states with diverse economies might have a different approach. Some states might champion home schooling and provide a friendly environment for it. These are all oversimplifications but they give you an idea just how the problem of education in the US could be turned around and become vibrant and inspiring again. For sure, the DoE is a waste of money. As Johnson puts it:

    “The Department of Education grants each state 11 cents out of every dollar it spends on education. Unfortunately, every dollar of this money comes with 16 cents of strings attached. States that accept federal funding lose five cents for every dollar spent on education to pay for federal mandates and regulations, taking millions of dollars out of the classroom.

    Schools should have the authority to decide how best to spend educational dollars, not those in Washington. Without federal regulations and mandates, schools could choose to purchase new computers, better lab equipment, and maintain after-school sports and music programs even during times of tight budgets.”

    So those millions of dollars could just stay in the state and be used for… whatever the state and its elected representatives decide to do with it.

  119. Um, is it just me or are the timestamps for comments wayyy off? I’m seeing “21st October 2012” when I’m fairly certain it’s 28th October 2012 right now. Jokes about analogies to educational anachronisms of throwing money at the problem withheld 😀

  120. I’m guessing this blogging software just keeps the same day of the initial post. That’s retarded; why bother even posting it at all when it is inaccurate.

  121. Stuck – “For example, what would be YOUR intent if you home-schooled? You may think and believe your intent is to teach and expose little Johnny to all viewpoints, not just your own. But, in real life practical terms you ARE going to teach and emphasize to little Johnny your own preferences. It can’t be helped.”

    As always, I enjoy your comments. And of course one can’t help but infuse teaching with one’s own point of view. But surely one can also encourage independence and critical thinking as well. So no, I don’t buy that all home schooling is indoctrination. At the very least there are VERY significant degrees of difference between different approaches to teaching.

    note: I have no dog in this hunt — no kids, an anti-Larmondo you might say.

    10% independent thinkers seems optimistic to me in modern, propaganda-marinated societies.

  122. I’m just going to drop this a bit late.

    The word “language” comes from the Greek word “logos”, also translated as “logic”. The structure of any given language provides the way thoughts are formed.

    Asian languages are different from Western languages. The way you say 22 in Chinese is phonetically “ar-sure-ar” (two-ten-two). 222 is “ar-bi-ar-sure-ar”, or “two-hundred-two-ten-two”.

    Chinese, Korean, and Japanese numbers are all one syllable for both the number and placeholder. So teaching a kid to say “77777” in Chinese is “chi-wan-chi-qian-chi-bai-chi-shi-chi” for a grand total of 9 syllables for a 5 digit number. In English, this comes out to “seventy seven thousand seven hundred seventy seven” or 16 syllables. In fact, this numerical nonsense disconnects all Westerners from math in a very fundamental way. The bigger the numbers get, the more Westerners have to keep up the mumbles.

    When I was teaching my son how to count in English, he was tripping all over double digit numbers. There is no mental bridge between the numbers themselves and how to say them. I myself couldn’t get past fifty until I was in pre-school. I kept saying “five-ty” in my mind, but somehow it didn’t sound right. I knew 3 digits was hundred, 4 was thousand, I could even do up to a million, but the big 5-0 was a linguistic stop. Our whole counting language is utter nonsense, but I suppose that it is too late to educate the masses in Asian counting.

    English fucking sucks for math. That’s it. That accounts for *some* of the gaps in math.

  123. Jiggerjuice

    Very interesting information. Thanks for sharing.

    The idea fits right with my assertion of IQ tests with unconscious biases. As for numbers themselves, when I took a contract job in Saudi Arabia in 1969, I was disconcerted to find the Arabs used Hindu numbering. I learned a lot about why later.

    When I did ‘psychological tests and measures’ at U. of Cincinnati, we deconstructed a real life business employment profile. The howler question was:

    Would you rather (a) watch wrestling on TV or (b) go to a live performance of the ballet?

    And (a) was the ~correct~ answer on the basis that No Real Man would admit liking ballet.

    Ironically, I encountered a similar test as the final step for employment with Remind Rand (just a pro forma thing). That was after the initial interview went well and the two general and technical written tests flew.

    And the howler question. Heh. Once I saw that, I looked for the cross-check questions and unpeeled the whole test — and answered approrpriately, probably a perfect wrong score.

    I guess they never realized I was jerking their chain — assholes like that weren’t worth working for.


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