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allison

What should the gummint spend money on, and what shouldn't it?

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chuck- but if i chose to go to a priate school (which i did) i would be punished financially if vouchers were not allowed as i would be paying for public school tax wise and then i would be paying my tuition at my private school... that is being punished...

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So what about all those taxpayers who do not currently have kids in school? Are they being punished? Why should they pay?

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Exactly. I just have to shake my head when I hear people argue along the lines of, "well, now that my kids are out of school, I always vote no on the tax levies." If that's the kind of society you want to have, go ahead and vote no, but also remember, you get what you pay for.

 

Same goes for health care. Apparently, as a society, we have decided we are comfortable with a trade-off whereby the medical establishment makes a very comfortable living but we have somewhere around 100 million or more people who are either uninsured or underinsured. That's living in America, circa 2002.

 

Yes, most of the European societies have "high taxes," but that money goes to fund things that I would think civilized countries would want: single payer health care, free university, and so on.

 

Go ahead and take the libertarian track if you like, but be prepared to argue that it's okay to have a high infant mortality rate, high functional illiteracy rate, etc.

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quote:

So what about all those taxpayers who do not currently have kids in school? Are they being punished? Why should they pay?

because we live in a generally socailist country...true we are capitolistic, but in terms of welfare, education adn other such services which are "essential." my point though is that if we find our services unsatisfactory, we should be able to use our educational stipend on which ever financial institution serves our needs... does that make sense?

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Thanks to all for providing me yet another evening of entertaining reading, after another long day at work, to pay for my upcoming obscene copay on surgery "out of network" (yes my ankle is going to go to "private school", aka getting worked on by a non-HMO doc, for an hour next month), and lost time.

 

A few remarks:

 

Excellent commentary from Chuck and Jonathon, you guys did a great job of saying it like I can't sometimes. Chuck, I'm childless and will likely stay that way, but if your kids want to go to public skool, I'm glad to pay for it. I'd even pay for their higher education, or at least a good part of it, especially if their academics are on the high end. A buddy of mine is in her first Q at the UW and told me what tuition runs these days, and it absolutely floors me that the taxpayers aren't picking up more of the tab. I'm fine assuming that tax burden, but am ABSOLUTELY not paying for anyone to go to private school who is not related to me. Your choice, your dime. If you don't like the public schoools, use your power as a citizen to make it better, or pay for private school.

 

Yaya, I knew it was you. Babe, you are so unmistakeable. [big Grin]

 

FS, please stay in school. Don't forget to take some Poli Sci and Econ, and maybe a little English 99 wouldn't hurt either. [Wink]

 

[ 11-19-2002, 12:36 AM: Message edited by: allison ]

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For such a rich country we spend quite a large proportion on military and not so much on social issues, health, education, etc. compared to other industrialized countries. While our GDP and average income is high, this is because our rich are much richer than other countries. Our average and lower income levels are much less off than those of most industralized conutries. Our life expectancy is about the same of Costa Rica for crying out loud.

 

Productivity is higher in countries such as Canada, Sweden, and France (really!) and they have more time (vacation), better health (life expectancy & infant mortality), education, and other social indicators. So where the heck are all our tax dollars going? It's not hard to figure out the priorities. [Frown]

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quote:

Originally posted by Fence Sitter:

quote:

So what about all those taxpayers who do not currently have kids in school? Are they being punished? Why should they pay?

because we live in a generally socailist country...true we are capitolistic, but in terms of welfare, education adn other such services which are "essential." my point though is that if we find our services unsatisfactory, we should be able to use our educational stipend on which ever financial institution serves our needs... does that make sense?

It does not make sense because there is no "educational stipend". People pay money into the school system regardless of whether or not they have dependents directly utilizing the services. King County subsidizes Metro (the buses, etc..) should those who refuse to ride the bus get "vouchers" toward the purchase of a car if they don't like riding the bus?

 

Public school system is a service avaible to individuals in the community. You can utilize it or not. You pay for it regardless. I feel the public school system is valuable to our society in general. That is why I happily pay for that part of the taxes and vote for increasing funding to the schools. The education of my children is a secondary reason I happily pay for public schools. Currently my schoolage child attends a private school.

 

I will reiterate. You are not penalized. You pay the same as everyone else. The fact that you decided to buy a different education is irrelevant. You made that choice.

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But Jim, what about all those terrorists lurking behind every sand dune? We must either convert them to our way of thinking or eliminate them, and either path is very, very expensive.

 

For a country with such wealth, we are extremely pound-foolish.

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quote:

It does not make sense because there is no "educational stipend".

yes there is actually... just by being an american, you have the right to an education and by being given a free education, you are receiveing this $. my position is that since that money is going to be spent by you regardless of whether you go private or public, it whould be yourf choice whether or not you spend it on public education or a privatized one... i find you people extremely partisan and have a stout refusal to look at issues as they exist and rather choose to defend every facet of being a DEm or Rep. i think this is a hazardous way of thinking... we should be dtermining our preferences for issues based on our value structures rather than our partisan alignment. how many people here can be easily put into a partisan category? a great majority...i dont think this has to do with their preferences, but rather their party. perhaps we can try to look at each issue individually... [Roll Eyes]

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And as a bleeding heart, tax and spend, tree huggin' Pacific Northwest liberal, I'd like to add to Allison's priaseworthy list: subsidies for just about any form of transportation that gets our fat arses out of our single occupant gas guzzlers and onto busses, bikes, our feet, trains, trollies, those silly segways, monorails, carpools, yak trains, marmot sleds, whatever. Cars are great, don't get me wrong, but we've way abused the privilege.

 

Oh, and let's not forget our pitiful social net--aid for the unemployed, the old, the sick, the physically and mentally challenged. We offer the piss-poorest social net of any of our peer nations.

 

Jonathan

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quote:

I will reiterate. You are not penalized. You pay the same as everyone else. The fact that you decided to buy a different education is irrelevant. You made that choice.

yes i am being penalized...whether or not you know it...you are paying for your education...think of it as a loan...you go to school for free granted...but you will pay for it later...two-three-or four-fold...so given that perspective, i am also paying $10,000 a year on top of that... how am i not being penalized? i am paying twice...i dont think i whould have to pay extra just because i find the public school system blatently inadequate... [Roll Eyes]

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quote:

We offer the piss-poorest social net of any of our peer nations.

yes...but we give it to 10x the number of people who deserve it... if people would stop mooching off of welfare uneeded, there would be plenty of money to cover it... and which countries are you comparing it to? canada? hahaha yeah given that we are exporting their logs raw and stealing their labor i can see why... i am curious what statisticcs you are using...

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How many times can we say it Fency!? Public Education is an asset of the community. It is not something one puts money in to get it out in your own education. Noone is allocated a stipend! Everyone is given a free alternative for their education. This is consistent with the fact that all taxpayers pay for schools regardless of whether they have kids in school.

 

That has been my stance. I think that has been very clear. Just because you cannot understand this concept after repeated readings does not imply that the only reason I say this is because of party line.

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Jim said:

quote:

I would also say they are getting something out of - not nothing - but a more meaningful life, less stress, more time with their families, better health, etc. It's not all about money.

You could also (partly) make this argument for eastern Europeans under communism. Traveling through eastern Germany immediately after the wall came down, I got the distinct impression that while the Ossies didn't like communism, they were probably having a lot more sex, doing and thinking a lot more about non-work-related things than the Wessies were. [smile]

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We should spend our money on expanded military capabilities and highly trained covert units.

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And a high level anti-terrorist police force similar to FBI's HRT with wider scope and goals.

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"In a perfect world, what services should the governments (from local to federal and all in between) of our great nation provide?"

 

"In a perfect world," we would need any government.

 

[big Drink]

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chuck said:

quote:

... Vouchers suck money away from the already woefully underfunded public school system.


How does this work? If a public school system has 100 kids and $8,000 per kid to spend, it has an $800K budget. Now if ten percent of the kids make use of a $4,000 voucher to attend a private school, $40K gets sucked out of the public school system; it ends up with $760K for 90 kids, or $8444 per kid.

 

The end result is that when vouchers are used, the public school system ends up with MORE MONEY PER STUDENT.

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woefully underfunded.. budgets at all time highs and still not enough money? Seems someone trying to spend more and getting the same results maybe ought to think about *how* they are doing what they are doing.

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Couldn't let these shaky numbers pass. Budgets at all time highs? Are you nuts? Maybe if you don't adjust for inflation. When you do public schools are dragging budgets lower than the 70's with increasing demands to get technology into classes.

 

As far as getting more money per student if less kids go to public school - this one is way off. Budgets are razor thin. Talk to your kids school teachers. I assume you have none in pubic school, or you're not connected to them, otherwise you might show some knowledge on the subject. Schools need a high number of students/teacher to make the budget work, these days around 25-30. If students left for private school because of vouchers then the cost per student would rise because of the loss of state supplied income, loss of federal contribution, and the fixed costs of facilities, heating, lights, janitors, etc.

 

In addition, public schools have to take all comers. That means a variety of skills, language issues, income levels, etc. Private schools are dealing with a much smaller piece of the pie, usually white, middle to upper class, with a supportive homelife. It takes more money in public school to address these special needs with language teachers and special education teachers that private schools don't have to worry about.

 

These two previous posts are simply not true. I have no problem with private schools mind you. Just don't come asking for a government handout to go. If you want to go, have at it.

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quote:

Originally posted by z:

And a high level anti-terrorist police force similar to FBI's HRT with wider scope and goals.

According to an Executive order (I think made by Carter) U.S. military forces are not allowed to act in police roles inside the US. Nor are they able to assassinate foriegn officials. The US still has to follow our own constition and laws.

 

We don't need more covert paramilitary groups. HRT works great in the States, and other units work overseas. We need better intellingence, ecspecially HUMINT, for these units to proform properlly.

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