Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

How come the US government can't do more for schools when they have 58 billion for 2 failing wars?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) July 27th, 2010

If the US government can crap 58 billion dollars out of thin air for two unwinnable wars why can’t they find even 3 billion in the couch cushions for US. schools and education? How many teachers can 58 billion hire and how many schools and/or computer and science labs can be had with that amount of dough?

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134 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

prioities

mammal's avatar

Who needs schools when you got the Fox network and it’s free.

ragingloli's avatar

War is glorious, public school is evil socialism.

zophu's avatar

Well, you have to have people willing to go into the expensive wars. Can’t have as much of that with well-running schools.

jerv's avatar

If we spend money on schools then that is less money for Halliburton. We can’t have that!

Luffle's avatar

There aren’t winners in any war, just people that lose more than others.

It’s not as simple as winning or losing but I think that people who are in favor of the war believe that protecting our country and an attempt end terrorism is a priority to having more schools and labs.

I don’t even know what the war is about any more.

I just know that there are people out there risking their lives for the rest of us. I don’t believe they prefer being there than at home with their families. I appreciate it even if I don’t understand.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Luffle “I don’t believe they prefer being there than at home with their families.” At this point near half of them joined after the war was under way, not like they got drafted and made to go. The US armed forces did not have that large of a reserve even when you count in the National Guard and the actual reservist.

judochop's avatar

Wow…I am a vet and a father. So both the war and schools are very important to me. I never even looked at the two to be linked.
War is expensive. Very F’ing expensive. There is labor that goes in to killing things and making things dead. It is sad but true. Probably the only thing keeping the economy somewhat afloat is the war. And it is war, not “wars.”
Schools…? Well people don’t desire to pay more taxes for better schooling so most of it gets voted down. I guess we could blame ourselves. I mean, if you don’t have kids do you vote for a higher tax so that 3% can go towards gym class and new computers? I doubt that you do even if you do have children. You want better schools with better things? Pay more in taxes and get it.
Why does the government not give us the money we already gave to them as tax? The government is big business and big business does not care if your school on the local level is not funded. Take that issue up with your local representatives. They need to make sure no one takes away democracy. They have fights to fight all over the world. You had better watch out. If your country does not have democracy we sure as hell will bring some there with our guns, even if we misspell a few words in your propaganda leaflets.

ratboy's avatar

Schools are far too dangerous for soldiers.

truecomedian's avatar

You could have pumped that 58 billion into our school system and it still wouldnt gauruntee that the main problem with out schools would be fixed. These schools are the way they are because they are American, they arent Japanese or German, they are American, and no amount of money can change that. If money would make our schools like German schools, which are much better because they have to be, then money would be given. America is great, if you want to be lazy and opinionated you can be, and if you want to create and control and gain power, you can try your luck. And as far as the wars failing, does that mean that no good has been done?

dynamicduo's avatar

…Because those who ran the government were taking the war money for themselves? Because politicians don’t make money off improving schools? It’s obvious! Politicians are corrupt and only want more money and power. The US COULD have improved their schools, paid for health insurance for everyone, etc with all that money. But Bush and Cheney and co knew that they could steal the money and hardly enough Americans would give a shit to do anything (and even then, all they did was protest). Get up and revolt, Americans! I’m actually quite amazed it didn’t happen when those torture photos came out. Like, how much more can you abandon your entire purpose of being by engaging in torture.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Responsibility for education is a local matter at the State and school district levels. The federal government has no business being involved in education.

Cruiser's avatar

@CaptainHarley No offense sir, but the military is chock full of servicemen and women who joined the service just to get a decent education they otherwise could not afford. And that education is the carrot our government effectively uses to fill the ranks. So our government is very much in the business of higher education.

Facade's avatar

If they did that, kids would be more educated and would be more difficult to convince to fight in our wars. Gotta keep ‘em dumb.

ragingloli's avatar

The feds are certainly able to provide excellent education.
I mean, if you seen jerv complaining that they made him overqualified, you just know it is true.

wundayatta's avatar

Republicans (most of them) and their slimy Democrat fellow travelers.

To be a little kinder, Republicans do care about education, they just do the wrong things to help it. They care more about what they believe is protecting the nation. Once again, they do the wrong things.

Worse, they get some weak-kneed Democrats to go along with them. Democrats are constantly afeared of seeming weak on defense (never mind that this is offence).

Oddly, from what I understand, business, traditionally supporters of the Republicans, are screaming because they can’t find an educated workforce. In some towns and cities, they are actually ponying up voluntarily to help make the schools better.

I will grant that there is a lot that is unknown about how to improve education, and what is known is the most expensive thing. I.e., just working on schools or teachers won’t do much. It’s parents and the home environment that have much more of an influence on how well children do in school. Schools can certainly make a difference, but that can only go so far.

So jobs and parental education, and decent housing and regular, nutritious meals and on and on are all related to educational success for children. Of course, fixing these things is seen as governmental intervention in private lives, and thus, Republicans hate it and won’t do it. As a result, they can never fix the education problem, because they don’t acknowledge the true extent of the problem and the solution.

Of course, Democrats can’t fix it either, because most of them are too weak to stand up to Republicans. So, in the end, it’s easier to have a war. That, at least, is easy to see when you’ve succeeded.

Or is it?

Strauss's avatar

Politics. Political priorities seem to be more important than things like education, economy, ethics.An educated populace is more likely to vote intelligently than to vote on sound bites.

CMaz's avatar

Schools are useless if the military is not strong enough to keep our country and its children safe.

Military spending creates jobs for the daddies and mommies that have children that are going to school. So, we do with what we have for schools in this country.
Or, cut military spending. Meaning letting daddy and mommy be discharged and out of work.
So their child can have a better schooling experience.

Don’t stress people, just a perspective.

Ron_C's avatar

Like @YARNLADY says “priorities”. By the way, I think you are low on your estimate of what we pay for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

If the schools were actually properly funded and managed, then the American educational system would be effective and there would be no kids that would, in their right minds, volunteer to fight in any of our immoral colonial wars based on lies and propaganda. In this respect, the American educational system has been quite successful in providing duped kids who cannot decipher fact from fallacy, nor have any real-world marketable skills right out of highschool. The last thing this government wants is educated constituencies.

missingbite's avatar

We have been pumping money into school systems for years and it doesn’t seem to work. We need to revamp the entire school system before we just pour billions more into a broken system.

wundayatta's avatar

Using military spending to create jobs is like using a waterfall to fill a bucket. You get fewer jobs per dollar spending on military than for any other sector of the economy. Peace brings far more prosperity than war. In fact, it is not just a coincidence that we have a recession starting after we’d been at war six years or so. That giant sucking sound is the military “creating” jobs.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Cruiser

I was referring to primary and secondary education, Cruiser, not financing for college, something I made use of myself.

Cruiser's avatar

@CaptainHarley Thanks for clearing that up!

Ron_C's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus excellent point. I think that part of the dumbing down and lowering wages is to insure that we have a vast imperial army of properly trained and brainwashed individuals ready to do our corporate master’s bidding.

Don’t be surprised if some day, that army is turned against the dissatisfied citizens of the U.S.A.

After all, where can a young ambitious person go if there is no education or jobs available? If you have an army, you must use the army. When we run out of targets overseas where else will the army fight?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Sounds like something out of Kipling, doesn’t it, C?

The Labor government of the time complained that the schools for the working class, what we would call the public school system, were doing the same disservice to those citizens by ensuring an education level that would pipe boys directly into the colonial army, and, for the especially gifted boy, Her Majesty’s Royal Navy.

rooeytoo's avatar

Fluther seems to have become a haven for the conspiracy theorists and the chronically dissatisfied. I have a great niece who has just entered her residency at a large metropolitan hospital. I have a younger great niece who is just entering high school and has excellent grades and is extremely intelligent and well trained. One lived in a medium size city, the other in a small town. Education is better in some areas than others, that cannot be denied, but again that is the reward for working hard and living in an area where the schools reflect the community work ethic. I think education is available, it is simply that so many feel the government, world, owes them a living so why bother to avail yourself of an education, after all, it requires more than a couple of hours a day! The niece who is becoming a doctor has student loans she will be paying off for a long time but she was thrilled to be able to access the loans in order to pursue her dream.

zophu's avatar

@rooeytoo So the children in poor areas need to learn how to work harder before they have the right to have their learning funded as much as other children’s learning.

Tomfafa's avatar

Schools can never get enough money… the more money they get the lousier job they do. If we ban all conservative talk and thought, then there will be nobody around to show us how stupid we are, so we can just call ourselves educated.
.
I, like my president, get my education from x-box and play station.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Most schools teach a standard set of courses. This teaches the child to be dutiful to the government. As long as its citizens are dutiful & loyal to the government, the government does not feel the need to spend anymore than they absolutely have to spend & frees the money up to be spent on wars.

rooeytoo's avatar

@zophu -my parents worked hard to get me into a good school, then I had to work hard to make the most of the opportunity. It is the way the world operates.

Funding to schools is not the issue, it is what the students do with the opportunities. You can provide the best and if it is not utilized, it is wasted. Yougottawanna is the slogan and it is so true.

jerv's avatar

@Linda_Owl That makes me glad I went to school in the notoriously liberal Northeast.

zophu's avatar

@rooeytoo Yeah, you’re right about that. But more funding would only help if the right people were there to apply it wisely, don’t you think? Children (and parents) can be taught how to yougottawanna. Should we really leave every person who doesn’t have the innate drive to work in whatever ways their culture tells them to, to be impoverished? How is that going to help anyone?

So, why don’t we put more funding to education? It doesn’t seem like much of a financial priority yet it is literally the most important aspect of society. There are always ways to improve with determination and hard work, so why not focus on the education systems?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@rooeytoo ” Education is better in some areas than others, that cannot be denied, but again that is the reward for working hard and living in an area where the schools reflect the community work ethic.” You can be a super student and a classaholic but if you do no have microscopes, Bunsen burners, beakers, spectrophotometers, Pipettes, etc. it will be like a bunch of Amish standing about with hammers and wood and no nails; all their skill and desire won’t raise a barn with out all the pieces in place to do it.

” The niece who is becoming a doctor has student loans she will be paying off for a long time but she was thrilled to be able to access the loans in order to pursue her dream.” You don’t figure 3 to 7 billion dollars could have knocked her cost down a huge bit or maybe even given her a free ride through collage?

Ron_C's avatar

So the choice seems to be join the military or spend years in indentured servitude to pay off student loans.

Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia with the idea of providing a free quality education for the people of his state. He made a point of not wasting space for a professorship in religion.

The point is that the government is rationing education for a couple reasons. A good portion of our elected officials don’t believe public education is necessary and parents are too busy working too many jobs to get involved in the child’s education.

Without government insistence in a quality education, pushed by parental support, you get exactly what we now have, education only for the elite and a small portion of the proletariat and the military for the ambitious remainder. This is just what the right wing want because uneducated people are easier to distract and control. Democracy just gets in the way of government leadership.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central – As I said, my niece is happy that she can access student loans, she never expected a free ride. Many people obtain 12 years of free education and go on to get jobs and are happy (I apprenticed and paid the master for the privilege of learning from him). She wanted more and is working for it and has no complaints.

You will have to show me schools that don’t have bunson burners and pipettes.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@rooeytoo I know you did not say she asked for a free ride or full scholarship but that doesn’t mean she should not have it, especially when it is shown the money could be there for her and every other student. Sure you have to do the work to pass but you have to get there to have a shot at doing the work. No person should have to mortgage their future on the back of loan after loan to get a good to very good education; certainly do more than pissing it away in the desert.

jerv's avatar

Has anyone else here noticed that other industrial nations are far ahead of us in healthcare and education? Sure, we lead in per capita medical expenditures though our average life expectancy doesn’t show any benefit from that and we have lower taxes especially of the rich and on corporations, and our cheap gas allows us to ride around in oversized low-MPG fuckwadmobiles, but there are children in remote villages in Africa that are better educated than many of our high school graduates and that should be a wakeup call for us!

missingbite's avatar

@jerv We also pump billions of dollars into countries like Africa to fight AIDS and everything else. Should we stop sending that money to help them since they are so much smarter than we are. Let’s stop taking snapshots of things that make one point and look at the big picture.

YARNLADY's avatar

@jerv It makes me wonder when the Old World immigration is going to go into reverse.

jerv's avatar

@missingbite What big picture? That we don’t know how to spend our money efficiently? I mean, look at the ROI there and compare it to the results we get on the same money here.

We have a large enough economy to be able to send billions to Africa, a far larger budget than pretty much anyone else, and we can’t even afford a high school graduate that can count correct change at McDonalds while other places are spending far less and getting better results?

It’s hard to put the Big Picture down in this discussion since even this small slice could fill a book and I don’t feel like doing that much typing, but my point remains that other places are doing things differently and it’s working out better for them than our way is working for us.

missingbite's avatar

@jerv The big picture being that money isn’t always the answer. If it were, we should stop sending billions if not trillions of dollars all around the world so they can do better than us.

jerv's avatar

@missingbite I actually somewhat agree, but it’s nowhere near as simple as that. Hell, our current system cuts funding for schools that are failing, making them fail more for lack of materials, staff, etcetera; how does that help?

But back to the original question, why are we pissing away so much on something rather futile when we could be focusing our resources on making a better future? And if you are thinking of going off on how essential those wars are, look at how inefficiently and ineffectively they are being waged. They aren’t making good use of taxpayer money either, and may actually be doing more harm than good.

Are our priorities that screwed up? Or is it that we can’t do anything right? What the fuck is going on here?

missingbite's avatar

@jerv I don’t disagree with you about the wars at all. We are screwing up big time and if we aren’t in it to win it, get out. I believe we need to be in Afghanistan, just not like we are now. Time will tell. To answer your question, yes we are that screwed up. We play politics with EVERYTHING and tend to get NOTHING done correctly. I have said that for some time. Politics and political correctness has all but destroyed this country. Should we put more money into failing schools, no. Money doesn’t solve problems. Ingenuity does. Leave the politics out and let creative people take control.

jerv's avatar

@missingbite “What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.”
— Albert Einstein

Creative people who are actually capable of solving problems don’t have what it takes to get elected into office. That means that we would need a massive overhaul or total replacement of our current system to do things right. Sadly, there are too many people that believe that our nation is superior because we do things differently than they do, and we will intentionally choose a doomed-to-fail course of action over one that works solely out of ego and pride.

Just out of curiosity, how many other successful nations have started nearly as many wars as us, how many have higher taxes than us and use that revenue wisely and for the good of all (education, better care for the non-rich, etcetera), and how long do you think it will take for us to at least be willing to learn from other nations even if we don’t follow in their footsteps? I believe our pride is our undoing.

missingbite's avatar

@jerv Which successful nations are you referring to?

Tomfafa's avatar

@jerv SO…. jerv…. when you need an operation on your prostate (from sitting on your ass all day in front of fluther)... which village in africa will you go to have it done?

jerv's avatar

@missingbite The nations that have a populace that can do basic math and don’t have the problems with people starving in the streets like we do, mostly in Western Europe. Maybe you should have ETpro explain the numbers to you some time. You might learn a thing or two.

@Tomfafa I only sit on my ass all night since spending all day working in a casting foundry can take a lot out of a guy. That said, I would rather go somewhere where they care more about the health of the patient than the health of the patient’s finances or their own profit.

mattbrowne's avatar

I think better parenting is even more important than better schools. Our modern age seems to be defined by the breakdown of family, extended family and community. Schools even with additional money can’t fix this. But how can we help parents to become better parents? How can we invest money in this?

ragingloli's avatar

@mattbrowne
One could give schools the resources and funding to do some of that neglected parenting themselves.

missingbite's avatar

@jerv I know I have gone over this many times but I will say it again. You and many others on Fluther like to compare America to Western Europe. That is comparing apples to baseballs. Not even close. How many Western European countries are World Powers? Have we forgotten about WWII? This simple fact of size difference alone makes logistics a nightmare.

“That said, I would rather go somewhere where they care more about the health of the patient than the health of the patient’s finances or their own profit.” That’s another beauty of America, you have the “right” to go. I hear some people love the Cuban health care system. Would you like to move to Havana?

jerv's avatar

@missingbite So I take it that you believe that the US is 250% perfect, can never improve, and has no need to then, especially since we are the only power left after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
I am going to stop talking to an obviously delusional egomaniac.

@mattbrowne You can’t fix stupid.

@ragingloli Given the uproar over teaching that the Theory of Evolution even exists or that The Holocaust actually happened, I don’t see that going over too well. Look how many people pull their kids out of school for those reasons, or because public schools are a haven for sex, drugs, and violence. Until we can get more people to be more rational, we can’t do much of anything no matter what.

missingbite's avatar

@jerv Wow. Lay off the caffeine! I have never said we (America) were perfect. In fact if you look just two posts of mine up I freely admit that we are not doing the right thing in the War we are fighting right now. What I won’t do is apologize for our country. I also won’t blindly follow other countries that don’t match our infrastructure. Do we need to improve, sure. Should we mimic Germany or France, no. Can we take some of their ideas to incorporate with us, maybe. Call me a delusional egomaniac if you like, but most on here will admit that I have an open mind. Opinionated mind, yes, closed minded, no. Are you open to the fact that we are not the worst country in the world because I don’t see you complementing our great country a whole lot? Do you think we do anything correctly? We already know from your posts that we are destroying the world with our gas guzzling SUV’s and are killing off the poor with horrible health care. Not to mention, we are war mongers that just start wars for the fun of it. Do we do anything right?

missingbite's avatar

@ragingloli I would never let my kids (if I had any) go to a school that was openly trying to “parent” children with taxpayer money. That would do nothing but confuse children. Some people are bad parents. It should never be the governments responsibility to parent. @mattbrowne is exactly right. Parents need to be way more involved in a child’s education.

rooeytoo's avatar

@missingbite – thank you, I get so tired of hearing nothing but criticism about the USA. Usually spouted by those who are enjoying its benefits. I always think if you are so disgusted move to Germany (just don’t attend concerts) or one of these other “better” places to be and look around. None are perfect.

It reminds me of the bumper sticker “Don’t complain about farmers with your mouth full.”

I gave you a ga and if I could I would click the “dislike” button on a bunch of others.

The more that is given, the more that is wanted and demanded.

Ron_C's avatar

@rooeytoo the people that I get tired of hearing are the ones that say this country is great but have never served in the military or Peace Corps, seldom vote, pay much less than their fair share of taxes and seldom vote. I believe that you have rights and duties. People complain about how government is run but don’t work for a candidate that will actually work for the constituents, and treat the presidential election like a horse race by voting for the person that they thing will win instead of someone that reflects real values.

I especially dislike those people that think that the U.S. is always right. Past presidents have fomented war, supported terrorists and genocide, protected dictators, encouraged drug cartels, ignored human trafficking and a wide range of deeds justified because they served this country’s interests.

It is our duty, as citizens to demand that these practices end and the offenders, no matter what their position, be punished.

Tomfafa's avatar

Well then Ron C… this president is for you.

Ron_C's avatar

@Tomfafa he may be for me but he seems to be falling into traps left by previous presidents. He is trying a “surge” in Afghanistan, he has a treasury secretary that came directly from the failed banking industry (and the Fed), and he tried to accommodate people that only care that he fails. I am getting worried.

Tomfafa's avatar

I agree with you rooeytoo… There are those of us who rightfully worry about this country. Than there those like obama who plain hate this country and anything ‘western.’ I meet these at union square park all the time… and not because of the slavery thing, but because these d students are just angry, very angry. They found an outlet with bill aires et al. They just can’t get over the fact that the best can aspire to be is mediocre at the lower end… like obama. These are useful idiots for every despot and two bit dictator who need to put down the US to inflate themselves. This why obama bows low to every despot and he admires that they are not constrained by laws.

Ron_C's avatar

@Tomfafa I can’t remember anyone who has written a statement as completely wrong as your above statement.

Tomfafa's avatar

@Ron_C Strangly…. I agree with you mostly, but I too wish he fails. As far as I’m concerned obama desperately wants to turn this great nation into a banana republic… or a zimbabwe. After all, in zimbabwe he would be great… in america, he is nothing more than a street corner huckster.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jerv ” Look how many people pull their kids out of school for those reasons, or because public schools are a haven for sex, drugs, and violence. Until we can get more people to be more rational, we can’t do much of anything no matter what.” Sex, drugs, and violence in schools seem much of our own creation and then we act shocked because we got what we created.

Violence: as can be seen here parents don’t want the schools involved in the parenting or “palanting” they want to do it themselves. So, it is a virtual Kobayashi Maru. The butler has been handed the keys to the Bentley and given the charge card and not asked where the car has been driven to, or how much money was spent that day. I would not think the parents of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were heinous or evil people but they certainly missed something, maybe they were too busy doing what they were doing to notice what was up with their kids. With a lot of parents they are too busy or trying to hard to be friends with their kids by not intruding and snooping which is BS, if I am footing the bills and paying the taxes I will look anywhere I want in the house I pay for, they don’t call them MINORS for nothing. When they can sign a contract and they pay property tax etc. then we can talk.

Drugs: heck, it is almost accepted that if you are in the right occupation or at some point along the line you can or will be a junkie. How many celeb marches on Larry King, Oprah, or other shows and say how they were addicted but got clean? No one even thinks anything of it is is seen about as shocking as hawking a luggie on the sidewalk. You can’t go to a rav or party sober that is for suckers and nerds. We Americans are too unimagined to do most things without being stoned in some fashion.

Sex: that wink and a nod “you should not be doing that, but goody for you just use these condoms“
Sex is used to sell everything from burgers to breath mints, if you aren’t getting any you have to be some troll or ogre. No one is really serious about doing anything about it they just want to look as if they are. The schools can’t do anything because the parents want that control for but they are too busy or they acquiesce the notion of doing anything about it because “it is natural for them to do and I can’t spot it”, and society in general is so caught up in it that there is no stomach to do anything about it.

You are right, those things money can help unless the monetary incentive for parents to be parents was too large to ignore.

Tomfafa's avatar

@Ron_C I am telling you my feelings and my experiences,,, how can that be wrong?
Sooooo…. You know obamas’ GPA?

Ron_C's avatar

@Tomfafa I though we already have a banana republic. What do you call it when corporations have more say than citizens, when the rich make laws to consolidate wealth and maintain their positions of control? This is a country where it is more important to raise money than raise and issue. 90% of the incumbents are re-elected not because they do a good job but because they do the bidding and have the support of the people that hold the real power. Unions are demonized and if workers can’t be found willing to work for slave rates, foreign workers are imported.

Whistle blowers are punished even to the extend of jeopardizing the life of undercover agents. Citizens are spied upon, citizens can even be “disappeared” because we have the “Patriot Act” that authorizes practices similar to those of the old Soviet Union. The only thing is, Obama didn’t write or sign those law. They were brought by your good old boy Republicans. And you call Obama un-American. Huh!

Tomfafa's avatar

@Ron_C I some what agree with you… foreign workers are imported, was brilliant… you describe the way of the world and the way of liberals and the way of old marxists. We stand the best chance of changing things in this country than any other. Vote conservative!

Tomfafa's avatar

By the way Ron C…. I am part of that which you hate… even tho I pay over 20 thousand dollars a week in taxes. I get audited every fuckin year, I once chased the auditer out of my house with a knife… still, I pay my taxes and live in NYC.

zophu's avatar

I think the rule here is:

If you don’t like how the government is doing something, do it better.

It’s the best form of revolt, because it’s the one that is feared the most. People should start education-funds, donate and rent-out office buildings, convert them into makeshift schools. Get the fuck out of the government and religious institution based educational facilities. Competent teachers teach for the sake of teaching. Get them enough to live on, and there should be no shortage.

The core problem has been mentioned though; parents suck.

ragingloli's avatar

The banana republic is what conservatives stand for. Less impediments for corporations, less rights for workers, less taxes for the rich. That is what conservatives want, and that is what turns a country into a banana republic. Voting conservative will not change things in America. It will make it worse.
And RonC described the very opposite of Marxism.
Marxism is all about turning all control over to the people, the complete democratisation of society, where not only politics and laws are controlled by the people via democracy, but the economy, too.
Companies and its assets would be owned by its workers, and its workers would be deciding, democratically, how the company is run, not some despotic CEO at the top.
It already exists on a very small scale, called ‘Worker Cooperatives’. You might want to read about it.

Tomfafa's avatar

@zophu Sounds good to me. I give direct help to many people, without government intervention. I also maintain huge tax trusts that disburses a lot of money, because than I get invited to the best parties and meet celebrities. At 36 the celebrities thing is getting old… mostly because they hate it when I have more fun then they do.

@ragingloli I have no idea what you said (I tried) but I like your avatar!

jerv's avatar

@rooeytoo I complain about anything that doesn’t live up to all of the hype and unwarranted acclaim. I think you’ve seen how I feel about Apple. The same rules apply to the US; either be as all-around superior in everything as people seem to think or STFU.

@Ron_C I agree with damn near everything you said.

Ron_C's avatar

@Tomfafa congradulations for paying your taxes. I don’t hate people that pay their fair share. I am talking about predatory business like BP, like health insurance companies, like some of the Wall street banks. They take huge tax breaks, government bail-outs then pay ridiculous fees to their CEO’s and board members.

When I was in business I wanted to pay a lot of taxes because that meant that we were making a lot of profit.

If you pay over $20k a week in taxes you must be doing something right and you should be proud. I have a suggestion, you can probably reduce your tax burden by giving your employees a good pension plan or adding a little more into their 401K accounts.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ragingloli – Yes, it will help somewhat. I’m in favor of whole-day schooling especially for students from disrupted families. Germany has a lot of catching up to do in this respect. People need to learn how to drive a car. They should also learn how to raise kids.

jerv's avatar

@mattbrowne I am in favor of Parenting licenses :D

rooeytoo's avatar

@jerv – I think you like to complain because it seems as if you are critical of just about everything. Can you show me an example of where you have praised your government for all the good things it does provide? Or does nothing live up to your high standards and expectations? Just curious.

Tomfafa's avatar

@Ron_C I am retired, sold my company. I do already take HUGE tax breaks. When it comes to taxes… liberals like obama don’t care about fairness, they want what they think is social justice.
PS… I have contributed more to society by the age of 24 then obama ever will in ten generations!

zophu's avatar

About the parent-licenses. Maybe they should be called child-care licenses. They aren’t licensing you to be a parent, they’re licensing you to be qualified to take care of a child’s basic needs. It sounds less ominous.

Tomfafa's avatar

Want better schooling? Then take some parents and kick their fuckin asses… break the ‘cycle’ of entitlements and stupidity!

zophu's avatar

We need parent schools! I wonder how utterly terrified bad parents would be at that idea. All their excuses gone.

jerv's avatar

@rooeytoo When it comes to people, if I am skeptical as opposed to outright cynical then that is praise, and mere criticism is high praise!

That said, I acknowledge the value of a good effort so I am not as down on the government as I otherwise would be simply because I understand that it’s not easy trying to parse legislation, figure out whether it’s good or not, deal with screaming voters on both sides of the issue, etcetera. Sometimes I almost wonder if the reason that Congress isn’t more effective is because they aren’t paid enough to deal with that much bullshit!

rooeytoo's avatar

@jerv – sometimes I think we might be almost on the same side, but the bullshit rhetoric gets in the middle, but I’m not sure and I kind of doubt it

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Tomfafa Maybe some of those wasted billions should be used as an incentive bonus for those parents who can motivate their child to score above the curve even if their school don’t have all the tools to make it easier for them to do it. Getting a possible bonus check twice a year for each kid that does very well might make them less busy and more hands-on.

jerv's avatar

@rooeytoo All I am going to say on that is that we disagree less than you think.

Ron_C's avatar

@Tomfafa I am a progressive and much of what Obama wants is about fairness. I think that it is eminently fair for the people that caused a problem pay for its resolution.

For instance I think that “investment” and commercial banks should be separated and the investment banks should pay into some “super fund” to protect the system when they, next, switch from investment to gambling. I think that there should be a small transaction fee to slow trading and discourage large sell-offs to take a short-term profit from minor price changes.

I think that there should be an inheritance tax for the largest estates to “stir the pot” and reduce the chances to sequester wealth for the richest .1%. There is nothing wrong with leaving millions to your children but look at what happens when you make all wealth hereditary, you get families like the royal family in Britain.

We completely agree on parenting being the most important aspect of a child’s education. I have long said “you need a license to catch a fish, but any idiot can have a kid”. Schools should insist in parental participation in education. One obstacle to that is the need for some families to have 2 to 4 jobs just to maintain a household. That mostly happens in poor neighborhoods with the poorest schools.

I support a “living wage” scenario. True, some jobs will be lost but in my opinion companies that require many people at the lowest possible wages, don’t deserve to exit.

How can you raise kids and work 16 or 18 hours a day?

mattbrowne's avatar

Well, we’d need to come up with good incentives so parents will pay attention in parent school. Their motivation must be real. And a threat for penalties won’t work.

Ron_C's avatar

@mattbrowne I agree but there is probably no incentive to make some parents responsible. I suggest if a child is failing to learn that we set up residential schools. I know institutions like the English boarding schools are a bit of a cold way to raise a kid but their product is usually a pretty successful person. Maybe the best thing that can happen for the children of over burdened parents is to only allow the kids to go home on weekends and holidays.

SVTSuzie's avatar

They don’t want to. They want to keep the masses stupid while they get more money for sex, power, homes, travel, etc.

mattbrowne's avatar

@SVTSuzie – I don’t agree with your cynicism about the role of our governments.

zophu's avatar

@SVTSuzie Should she have said that some people in the government want the masses stupid while they get more money for sex, power, homes, travel, etc.?

YARNLADY's avatar

@mattbrowne And yet, it’s probably true. The reason is it won’t benefit the people who are behind the power in government as much as the war spending does.

Ron_C's avatar

@SVTSuzie and @mattbrowne I don’t believe the government is really at fault. The problem with schools and law in general is that our representatives don’t really represent us. The may start out that way but shortly after they are in office, they learn that real power and control lies outside government. The rich and powerful and not necessarily citizens control the legislative process. Want proof? Watch a little C-Span and see congressmen and senators vote against their conscience, against the wishes of their constituents and rationalize their lies and positions. A person in our current government cannot rise very far without falling into line. Please notice that 90% of the incumbents are re-elected and those like Kucinich are marginalize and made ineffective.

zophu's avatar

edit above: @mattbrowne, not @SVTSuzie. sorry.

@Ron_C Isn’t that just a more specific version of what was said?

YARNLADY's avatar

@zophu I found @Ron_C easier to understand than your answer. Each answer brings a different way to see the situation.

zophu's avatar

@YARNLADY I’m just trying to encourage elaboration. Sorry my answer isn’t easier to understand. It’s sometimes hard for me to articulate things.

Ron_C's avatar

@zophu my point is that we do not have a real government any more that Mexico (for instance) has a real government. There is only one side with two parties pretending to represent the people. The corporate elite and oligarchs run the government.

zophu's avatar

@Ron_C Then they are the government.

Ron_C's avatar

@zophu that’s my point, they are, we are not. That is the only point where I agree with the Tea Party people. Those poor people don’t understand that they are corporate shills.

zophu's avatar

@Ron_C So, what controls the corporations? Money is a government thing. If government regulates money and corporations regulate government, then what regulates corporations? What drives them besides money? Wouldn’t it be social agenda? Why wouldn’t you make schools better if you were in charge? Are you sure it isn’t just incompetent government systems that keep many schools shitty? I don’t see how it could be by choice.

mattbrowne's avatar

@YARNLADY – The reasons for people remaining stupid is about something else. It’s mostly about parenting and the lack of extended families and caring communities. When kids grow up observing their parents watching trash tv all the time and making cynical remarks about governments and companies and schools kids often copy this behavior. And it’s so much easier blaming everyone else than blaming yourself. Of course there are unethical companies and unethical managers and unethical politicians. It’s a real problem. But it’s not the whole picture.

Ron_C's avatar

@zophu corporations have one goal and that is to make a profit for its shareholder. Corporations are amoral and are only concerned about money and expansion. The government does not control money, the federal reserve system does and they are specifically formulated to be a power unto themselves. The government gets to appoint board members, that’s it.

The reason schools are not doing their job is that parents are not involved. Why aren’t they involved? Probably because they work so many jobs, the only thing they do at home is sleep. It is not easy competing with international workers that make less than a dollar an hour. That and the system of teaching to invasive tests undermines all schools. Successful schools are judged by successful test results instead of the success of students.

zophu's avatar

@Ron_C So, even though the power is in the hands of the few, there is no real endgame here. It’s all about money.

Ron_C's avatar

@zophu the end game is that the only way to maintain a democracy is to have an informed and active electorate. Dumbing down the education system is one way to assure that you have a malleable electorate. Like mushrooms, keep them in the dark and feed them shit.

zophu's avatar

@Ron_C To what purpose? The world’s truly powerful can’t just be children clawing at a fat busted pinata of infinite money and influence. There must be a point to all of the madness beyond competition for competition’s sake. Why wouldn’t someone with the power to change the world for the better abstain?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@zophu You got it. But money is just a vehicle to power and control. It’s all about power and concentrating it into the hands of a few. Democracy prevents this, but our democracy has been hijacked by that very same “few,” through a lobbying system that is weighted thoroughy on the side of corporate interests over individual citizens, Supreme Court decisions giving individual rights to corporations since the 1870s, the erosion of the middle class through real salary reduction and civil rights in the last 30 years, a mainstream news media owned by eight to ten international corporations with a homogenous political view that does not represent or serve the interest of American citizens and has supplanted their responsibility as our Fourth Estate to inform with a policy to indoctrinate, the control of the money supply in the hands of a cartel of private banks (the Federal Reserve System) which is more than 60% foreign owned that also do not serve the interest of American citizens, a two party political system that history shows supports the policies of each successive regime no matter which is elected, thus ensuring no real change in the march toward undemocratic corporatocracy; a senatorial, congressional and presidential election campaign system that guarantees candidates will be compliant political whores of the corporatocracy by the time they reach Washington, an inefficient school system that produces a somnolent, ignorant, politically apathetic constituency devoid of the ability to detect fact from fallacy and obsessed by entertainment and celebrity—enabling all the above to occur with very little notice.

zophu's avatar

We’re all gunna die. Oh well, maybe whoever’s left will do a better job.

Ron_C's avatar

@zophu my experience is that people tend to work toward the lowest common denominator. There were and are some people in the world that accumulated great wealth and power and, in a fit of responsibility, gave it to charity or created great institutions like the Carnegie Library system. Bill Gates and others have decided to give at least half their wealth away to charity and worthy causes.

My worry is about the heirs to those remaining fortunes. They have a sense of entitlement; that they deserve to preserve their wealth for themselves and their children. I believe that that mentality prevents them from acting in concert with anyone outside their group and also prevents them from looking at the consequences of their actions. Those that do form bonds work with groups like the Tea Party movement to preserve the status quo without regard to outsiders (us).

There is not a world wide conspiracy to run the world, there is a world-wide selfishness to preserve privileges for the privileges.

Never underestimate the power of self-interest and stupidity.

zophu's avatar

It’s absurd to think there’s a single potent world-domination conspiracy. It’s more absurd to think that there are none. You don’t need to psychoanalyze the super-powerful to understand that they cause instability through more than just self-absorbed stupidity.

It’s too much choice for too few minds. The wisest person in the world could not be a good king, and consequently knows it. Until enough people are wise, we are going to find ourselves living on the straining foundation of an unsustainable civilization; probably even after this one seems to collapse, since it would be collapsing on the powerful’s terms to be rebuilt on the powerful’s terms.

It’s a neurosis we have developed over the millennia to trust in some kind of natural order over the actions of the super-powerful besides their own wills, in contention only with themselves. It’s made spending all day dragging stones much easier on busy workers’ minds over thousands of years, but it’s not going to help us anymore.

Ron_C's avatar

@zophu the authors of our Constitution spent a lot of time and energy in the attempt to insure that the minority did not suffer from the tyranny of the majority. They didn’t spend much time trying to defend the majority against an economic elite, probably because they were principled and it is hard to think that your own class would be unprincipled. They did address the attempts by corporations to buy political influence. They made it illegal. The both the corporate heads and the politicians that accepted the money went to jail. No fines, no reprimands, just go directly to jail.

Today’s Supreme court has given full rights of citizenship to corporations including the right to spend as much money as they want and to do it anonymously.

And the conservatives talk about the liberal court writing their own law….ha!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

“There are two subjects, indeed, which I shall claim a right to further as long as I breathe: the public education, and the sub-division of counties into wards. I consider the continuance of republican government as absolutely hanging on these two hooks.”
—Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell, 1814. ME 14:84

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
—Thomas Jefferson

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”
—Thomas Jefferson

ragingloli's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus
well, jefferson was obviously a filthy communist~

Ron_C's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Excelent! That is also why Texas is trying to write Jefferson out of their history books.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Well, Jeezuz on a bicycle, why don’t they just save themselves the trouble and money and have the Gideon Society provide them with their textbooks?: They’re free, fer chrissakes!

YARNLADY's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Hee, hee, great answer

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I mean, really, what can you say about leadership that wants to rewrite American history to fit their bible and do away entirely with basic scientific theories to replace them with the ramblings of this crazy son of a bitch

Ron_C's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Oh man! I could only listen to a few minutes of that tripe. The guy’s supposed to be a chemist because he’s wearing a lab coat. He actually considers the bible real history and the genealogy stated is correct. He has no problem with some of the biblical characters being hundreds of years old and believe that Noah’s flood was actually world wide.

and we wonder why the U.S. education is being taken over by foreigners. Maybe we deserve the decline we are suffering.

Tomfafa's avatar

The old testament is mostly a histrical document (never read the new) and there is archaeological evidence of a great flood… not sure about worldwide, less sure about noah… I am a skeptic.
You @Ron_C are doing a poor job of being an elitist… but a great job of being an asshole.

Tomfafa's avatar

Our founding fathers were way ahead of their time… as a nation, we are still growing… even while liberals (and many on the right) are trying to drag down tribal marxism, just to stay in power.

ragingloli's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus
Watching the video, I have not rolled my eyes that much since I had this demonic possession.

Ron_C's avatar

Thank you @Tomfafa I am not aware that I was trying to be elitist, the other comment, I’ll accept. I am proud that I have a secular education and am smart enough to understand truth from fiction.

The flood is probably a racial memory of when the waters entered the Mediterranean sea. There is a lot of evidence that the plain was fertile and well populated. Indeed it probably looked to the residents that the entire world flooded.

The rest about the ark and the floods subsiding are pure myth because the Med. is still there.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I think the best example of how poor education endangers constitutional rights are statements like “the US was founded as a Republic, not a Democracy,” made by adults of late. This has become a popular echo in the past few years in response to statements concerning the deterioration of democracy in America. If enough people don’t know this was ever meant to be a democracy and “Republic” and “Democracy ” aren’t mutually exclusive, then their democracy can be easily taken from them. If one doesn’t know their rights, they are defenseless when those rights are threatened. A generation growing up under the Patriot Act may be prime targets for something like this.

Ron_C's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus The Patriot Act is one of the great disappointment from the last regime. What puzzles me is why it hasn’t been rescinded. That and “Homeland Security” sounds a lot like something our of “1984” or a Sinclair Louis novel. They sound nothing like the America where I was born.

When Fascism come to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross—Sinclair Lewis. Sounds exactly like the Christian right of the Republican Party.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Ron_C “What puzzles me is why hasn’t this been rescinded?

Well, my friend, this might be where we come to the fork in the road of our opinions, because I find it quite obvious why the Patriot Act hasn’t been rescinded along with many other laws.

Think about it:
Like Bush, Clinton and every president before him since Wilson, Obama has populated key federal government positions with former top Federal Reserve Bank officers, Wall Street investment bank executives and Wall Street firm lobbyists from institutions such as Goldman Sachs and (the now defunct) Lehmann Brothers—the very same people who perpetrated the present economic fiasco. The new Treasury Secretary is the former head of Federal Reserve Bank of New York; his predecessor was a former head of Goldman Sachs. Obama chose Ben Bernanke (the man at the FRB’s tiller during the years running up to this disaster and during the bailouts) to continue as head of the Federal Reserve Banking System.

Banking deregulation that led directly to the present economic situation, such as the repeal of Glass-Steagall , aka the Gramm, Leach Bliley Act, although aggressively fought for by Wall Street Lobbyists since Reagan and approved in congress by Republicans, was signed into law by Democrat Bill Clinton.

The bailouts continue as they did under Bush, the wars continue as they did under Bush, the no-bid contracts that have been draining the war chest continue as they did under Bush. Renditions, torture and the incarceration of children at Guantanamo—all illegal under US and international law—have continued as they did under Bush. Obama has penned support for the unwarranted surveillance of American citizens under FISA and the Patriot Act continues—just like Bush.

So, what has changed?

Nothing important will change because it is obvious that our government does not work in the interests of its people or faithfully under the Constitution, but in the interests of the corporation. And if the corporation wants an economic reset, or a war, or finds it easier to perpetrate the wholesale theft of the US treasury for years to come, it will have it no matter which political party dominates the Hill or occupies the White House.

jerv's avatar

@Ron_C Don’t forget that most of the Congress-critters that voted for the Patriot Act did not actually read it, at least not fully and in detail.
The average voter is even less critical and has less foresight that the average politician.

I think I’ll go cry in the corner at that depressing thought.

missingbite's avatar

@jerv Do they read anything they pass? Sad!

Ron_C's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus I am afraid that we agree and have came the the same conclusion. Even though freedom and the quality of government has been in a steady decline, especially since Reagen, our vote for change with Obama has been sadly ignored. Either Obama lied about his goals during the election process or he has been seduced by Washington.

I hope that he has been seduced and breaks out of the spell cast by power and money. He still has time to save his presidency, otherwise, we will have to start again. I can’t imagine a proper candidate, Maybe Greyson from Florida. He hasn’t be in government long enough to be corrupted.

missingbite's avatar

@Ron_C “He hasn’t be in government long enough to be corrupted”

Neither has Obama.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Ron_C Take a look at campaign financing. Take a look at how the national debates are run and their corporate sponsors and then wonder why you don’t see the participation of viable third party and fourth candidates. Anybody who gets to Washington has become compliant to the corporation, or they wouldn’t get there. The deals are made along the way.

As former Minnesota governor Jessie Ventura said, the national campaign process makes the veracity of the WWF look impeccable.

Ron_C's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus you have that right!

@missingbite look at Obama’s financial, legal, and military advisors. Look how healt care was presented with the single payer crowd excluded from the start. Why are we still in Iraq, and surging in Afghanistan? Why didn’t he commence treason and war crimes against the Bush administration as soon as he got into office?

I know he gave excuses for all of this but no reasons. Look at all of this and tell me he hasn’t been corrupted by Washington and corporate interests.

missingbite's avatar

@Ron_C I should have been more clear. I was pointing out that it doesn’t matter how little you have been in Washington to be corrupt. My theory is, if you are trying to get to Washington, you are already corrupt. I was not defending Obama at all. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Ron_C's avatar

@missingbite There is no need to apologize but I think that you are being a little too cynical, at least I hope so.

There are people in congress we don’t hear much about like Greyson from Florida and Krsinich from Ohio that seem to hold to their original values. Of course they are different and thus painted as nut cases by their fellow members. I mean, when everyone around you is grabbing for all the power and money possible and you don’t, then you must be the weird one.

jerv's avatar

@Ron_C I think pretty much any Congressperson from the Northeast also gets the “nut case” stigma, especially since there are at least three Republican Senators that aren’t afraid to break away from the party at times (two from Maine, one from Mass.) and an Independent who ran as a Socialist for his first term.(Bernie Sanders).
Of course, you don’t hear much about them since the states they represent are small and many Americans believe that the United States ceases to exist North or East of New York City.

Ron_C's avatar

@jerv I like Bernie Sanders, too bad there aren’t one of him for each state.

Strauss's avatar

@jerv @Ron_C Bernie Sanders has a regular spot called “Brunch with Bernie” Fridays on The Thom Hartmann Radio Show.

Ron_C's avatar

@Yetanotheruser I’m a regular listener. Thom Hartmann is possibly the most intelligent and well rounded radio/tv commentator alive today. I highly recommend the last two books that I read “Screwed” and “Breaking the Code”. He has real insight and a great way to explain things so that even a conservative might understand.

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