Cato Institute has an excellent paper on government debt here…
Historically, federal debt has spiked during wars, but lawmakers have always reduced the load when crises subsided. Recently, however, deficits have been chronic and official projections show a nonstop gusher of red ink in coming years. When measured as a percent of the economy, federal debt has never been as high during peacetime as it is today.
EdSource is highlighting the deleting of 15 years of standardized test score data by California’s Department of Education, in a desperate attempt to avoid people seeing what an unmitigated disaster Common Core has been. they’ve pulled test results for math and English from 1998, expunged the STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) database. They haven’t touched other subjects, like history, where the standards haven’t altered.
There’s one reason for this: the test scores are going to suck like a ten-penny whore. Badly. A lot. And they knew it would — in 2013, the Superintendent of of Public Instruction, pushed for a law that would prevent the state from comparing test results prior to the implementation of Common Core and the CAASPP California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress.
The CC supporters tell us that’s because the stardards are more rigorous and the tests “harder” It’s not fair to compare them. Except it is. Test scores have remained steady for decades, despite huge influxes of funding from the federal government. Money isn’t solving anything, but it has built massive public education bureaucracies that fail the children at every step.
As for the rigor and difficulty…having neices and nephews dealing with this technocratically-created collection of bullshit, the tests are certainly harder. The amount of homework is crushing and will lead students to learn less as they give up or get bored. The teachers have zero ability to tailor their lessons and they spend more time doing paperwork and “teaching the test.” And the whole time, Microsoft, Pearson, and EDS are making tons of money while your kids fail.
Most Americans think that the federal government is incompetent and wasteful. Their negative view is not surprising given the steady stream of scandals emanating from Washington. Scholarly studies support the idea that many federal activities are misguided and harmful. A recent book on federal performance by Yale University law professor Peter Schuck concluded that failure is “endemic.” What causes all the failures?
(Yet still keep flapping their gums about how the government “should do something…”)
Here’s an excellent policy piece by Chris Edwards over at the Cato Institute, examining the main reasons that waste and inefficiency are baked into government action. Read it here. For the lazy, here’s a quick recap:
1) Planning and coercion, which allow connected groups and companies to be protected from market forces and public opinion.
2) Experts, but no expertise. Reliance on “experts” from academia with little real world experience, and connected interests which skew “facts” to their advantage. (See #1)
3) Politician look to hide their actions and the costs of the same with debt, and tax and fee schemes to disguise the true cost of programs.
4) Civil service bureaucracies reward inertia, not innovation. Poor performance perversely encourages growth of government bureaucracy as you fill more positions to “fix” broken processes. (And you get your Ivy League buddies jobs they would otherwise have trouble getting in the private sector…)
5) Bigger government costs more and have less benefit.
Over on The Federalist, Tom Nichols has an fantastic article on the nature of the political class these days titled The New Totalitarians Are Here. One feature of Progressivism is the reformist fervor, something it borrowed from the Second Great American Awakening — a period of explosive religious expression in the mid-1800s — and the abolitionist groups, be it slavery, alcohol, drugs, or “bad” foods. This was combined with the elitist culture of American universities — many of these people trained at German and British universities, where they were exposed to the authoritarian, socialist musings of other rich, educated types. These “experts” desperately wanted to be considered important, have political influence, and be overly-compensated for the privilege.
The movement has always seen people outside of the political or academic class as lesser examples of humankind, a mass of people to be educated, directed, managed, and molded into some perfect form. The problem is that people have a tendency to be — if not unique, at least different enough not to conveniently fit in some categorization scheme. They are often obstinate,can be violent, and many don’t take well to being told what to do. People are messy. This is naturally frustrating to the mind that desires order, obedience, and adulation, and their tendency is to force people to do as they say.
These are authoritarians. However, there is a stripe of authoritarian that is much, much worse…
Simply put, authoritarians merely want obedience, while totalitarians, whose rule is rooted in an ideology, want obedience and conversion. Authoritarians are a dime a dozen; totalitarians are rare. The authoritarians are the guys in charge who want to stay in charge, and don’t much care about you, or what you’re doing, so long as you stay out of their way…[t]otalitarians are a different breed. These are the people who have a plan, who think they see the future more clearly than you or who are convinced they grasp reality in a way that you do not. They don’t serve themselves—or, they don’t serve themselves exclusively—they serve History, or The People, or The Idea, or some other ideological totem that justifies their actions…[t]hey want obedience, of course. But even more, they want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining.
In yet another example of why Progressives are such truly awful people, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D, WI) informs us that
Certainly the First Amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. But I don’t think it extends far beyond that. . . . [I]n this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country. I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.
Actually, she didn’t say that. The transcript from MSNBC conveniently cuts out an “uh” every other word. Watching the video is like watching a victim of brain trauma try to manufacture a thought.
This elitist puke — and of course, she’s from Wisconsin, home of Progressivism — seems to think that religious protects only apply to institutiions…see, you have no right to religious expression. That would be the exact opposite of the intent of the amendment as specified by its authors, as shown in The Federalist Papers or repeated legal findings from the lowest courts to the Supreme Court. But that doesn’t matter to Progressives — they don’t like you expressing or living by standards that aren’t set by politicians and their “expert” advisors.
Let’s have another look at the First Amendment and see how ambiguous the writing is…
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Damn that’s some hard reading. (Emphasis mine.) Take a gander at the spot Progressives and atheists always miss — or the free expression thereof…the state cannot establish or favor a religion (sorry, Bible-thumpers and Allah-grovellers!), but it also cannot stop you from exercising it. That means wearing garb or a symbol of your faith; that means speaking of your faith; that means live by those precepts as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others.
That’s what we call “tolerance”, folks who claim to be tolerant… Here’s the dictionary definition, if you are confused:
Here’s the natural evolution of this sort of thinking. The First Amendment is not an individual right for religious expression. If it’s not an individual right, then the rest of the law is also not an individual right….that means not right to free expression of any kind, nor the ability to redress the government for its many transgressions. And since one of the Bill of Rights isn’t a individual right, aren’t they all — by extension — reserved to the People. They’re a gift from a benevolent state that will revoke them when they don’t like what you are doing, saying, or thinking.
Which is exactly what people like this awful example of human being, Baldwin, are after: not just obedience, but by curtailing your speech and thought, they hope to make you believe. All they need is a Room 101.
From the dream team of Diane “DiFi” Feinstein and Susan “MiniDi” Collins seek to “protect” you by destroying small businesses…
Here’s “clarification” on what the law is alleged to require…but then again, it’s not like Feinstein has lied to the public — baldfaced — before. The point of the law is clear: to protect big cosmetics from competition by small companies by claiming some kind of danger to the public. It’s bullshit, of course; these aged crones are doing what everyone in Congress does — screw the middle class to help their big biz friends.
So, this thing has been banging around Facebook for a while and today it gave me impetus that the constant idiocy of the infant campaign season has not to comment:
Look at those numbers. The average household in the United States in 2014 made just shy of $52,000 a year (down from the high of $56,000 in the late ’90s, but the people that constantly interfere with your life — by making it harder to start a business thanks to taxes and regulation, that wrecked your ability to get cheap insurance with ACA, that start wars they don’t even intend to win, that have “brought the War to the Homeland” (That quote was Lindsey Graham, prospective presidential candidate) and have made traveling a pain in the ass between the TSA in the airports, Border Patrol “near” your borders, and the ridiculous gasoline prices that are partly due to their interference in the value of your money, which they’ve steadily degraded with their ham-fisted, bungling efforts to destroy the middle class — they make almost four times what you do a year.
This is not a screed about the evils of capitalism — there are a lot of people that get wealthy making sure that the products you need or desire are there to buy, that people have jobs making that stuff, and do things. It’s not even a screed about the bankers that provide a lot of the capital to allow the doers to do…while all the while gambling with your money on derivatives and other get rich quick schemes.
These are public officials that are purported to serve us…do you feel served? Or does the burger-flipper who makes $18,000 a year (and yes, kids, that’s all your labor is worth) do more for you every day? Have any of their big ticket programs helped you — outside of the massive federal bureaucracy? We keep getting told the roads are shit, that the TSA can’t find 95% of the contraband that passed through their gates, and that the schools don’t teach. What do these all have in common? Federal money and regulation.
People are bitching about police violence and the militarization of law enforcement (yours truly, included — but at least I’m not stupid enough to follow that up by opining the police should be the only people with guns…’cause that can’t go wrong.) We jail more people, mostly for moronic, non-violent drug offenses, than any other nation on the planet — including the truly evil ones like North Korea, China, or pretty much every Middle Eastern nation. Ho could this happen..? Oh, that’s right, government and their “wars” on ephemeral things and ideas. Their Title IX laws are now used to shut people up at universities about the country because it “triggers” their desire to be victims and get free shit from a lawsuit. Thanks, government!
And these people make $175,000 to a quarter million a year. To ruin your life. The president, who is essentially a figurehead, gets almost half a million dollars. This is the “rich” you should be angry at. These people harm you every day, and you pay them for the privilege. Worse, you admire them for it. They get rich off of you — $175,000 to a quarter million for life is a pretty damned good setup, isn’t it? And they’ll earn more lobbying against your interests after they leave office.
Let’s focus on another issues: FOR LIFE! I find the notion your company should pay for your ass after you leave their employment untoward. You allegedly got paid a fair wage, and you didn’t save for your retirement? That’s on you, dipshit. once you leave the company, you should be making a go of it yourself. Or you could rely on the same idiots we were just talking about to take care of you with $12,000 a year. You’d be better off, and would probably live longer and feel more useful if you got a job flipping burgers. Do you think, after boning you for the average 32 years they’re in Congress, they deserve to keep getting paid?
There are still about a third of the population that look to government as a solution to every problem. They look at the organs of the state as some extrahuman thing that is inherently noble, instead of recognizing it as a scam by hundreds of thousands of elected and appointed officials, who live off your backs and provide very little in return. These same people tend to also vote for one party, thinking that somehow the difference between Democrat and Republican is important. These people all go the same schools, are in the same social clubs, get jobs in the same institutions, and they protect their own. Even the ones that break into the game by luck or hard fought lying and cheating become them.
They do not deserve your allegiance, nor your respect and obedience, and so long as you give them this, they will own you.