Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]
On Sat, Apr 29, 2006 at 09:43:35PM -0400, Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
> Christopher Nelson wrote:
> > On Sat, Apr 29, 2006 at 07:02:30PM -0400, Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
> >>Mumia W wrote:
> >>>[somebody] wrote:
> >>>> And public schools are doing such a fine job of educating, too!
> >>>Yes, they are. I was educated in a public school.
> >>As was I. That is exactly the reason why none of my children will
> >>*ever* go to a public school. I like to think that I am succeeding in
> >>life *in spite* of the fact that I went to public school.
> > That's your right, but unless you can *gaurantee* that I can, for no
> > cost, send my children to a 100% secular school with decent teaching,
> > there is no way I can support abolishing public schools. And if you can
> > gaurantee that, where does the line between public and private come?
> Umm. You do realize that not all private schools are Christian,
> correct? There are Jewish, Muslim, and yes even secular private
> schools. If there are not enough secular private schools now, I'm sure
> that a market would open up for them if public education was abolished.
> Besides, why is it my job to *guarantee* that you can send your children
> to school for free? If you can't afford to raise them, then don't have
> them. Really, why should I pay taxes for education my entire life when
> kids only go to school for 12-16 years?
> Besides, my contempt of public education has little to do with my
> religious beliefs and more to do with the utterly dismal quality of them.
> > And yes, I had a nearly 100% secular learning experience, and we got the
> > one temp for was trying to preach at us disinvited to return; my
> > teaching was more than adequate prep for college; those aren't
> > unreasonable demands.
> Ah. So you want a venue where you as a student can get a teacher
> disinvited to return. That is exactly the kind of thing I am talking
> about with public education. The kids basically run the schools. Not
> to say that this doesn't happen in expensive prep schools either, but
> that is the beauty of private education. I can take my kids and dollars
> to another school. I can't do that in the public school system.
In Quebec we have both public and private schools. Public schools are
funded by the government. Private schools, provided that they are
classified as being "in the public interest", are subsidized (i/e/,
partially finded). You have to pay real money to send your children to
private shools, though.
The public school I sent my children to was rated as "every bit as good
as the better private schools" by a principal of a well-respected
One of the things that make this work is that we *do* have freedom of
choice between public schools. The public school whose district I live
in has to take me in, but once the locals are in, the school takes in
students from elsewhere, as many as it has capacity for. Admission is
first-com first-served, so it isn't a matter of skimming the best
students from elsewhere. Though there are some limits -- in promary
school you don't get school buses provided if you are too far outside the
school district. And high schoold son't get school buses anyway
-- high-schoolers are presumed able to take public transportation.
Private schools do tend to admit only the best -- and that limited to
the best who happen to have parents rich enough to afford them, of
And finally, public schools are funded proportional to the number of
students that attend them. This, in the long run, makes capacity
constraints less of a constraint to student movement.
But the story isn't all rosy.
We have two independent sets of school boards -- for English and for
French students. There are constraints, too byzantine to into here, on
which students can go to which language's schools. These are intended
to protect the French language and culture. The government seems
terrified that all the French students will go to English schools and
wipe out the French fact in Quebec in a generation. And the English
schools, on the average, seem to be better than the French schools,
although this is changing now.
It seems to be a historical legacy from the days that the French school
system was actually a Catholic school system run by the Catholic Church.
The main purpose of the Catholic school system was to bring up good
Catholics. And it had been noticed that in countries where the
population gets a serious scientific and techonogical education the
Catholic Church was in decline. So the Catholic schools tended to
skimp on science and technology and emphasize the liberal arts and
catechism. This, too , has changed with the replacement of
religion-based school boards by language-based ones.
> > <snip>
> >>>> Income taxes, hell yes. Consumption taxes levied equally upon
> >>>>all? No.
> >>>Consumption taxes are a regressive (targeting the poor) idea that the
> >>>Right Wing has touted for years.
> >>For an example of a consumption tax that is super-advantageous to the
> >>poor, please go review the FiarTax.
> > It's a very interesting idea (I just read a brief on it). It would be
> > interesting to see it at work, I'm not sure if people would look at the
> > 23% sales tax and balk at buying any luxuries, though. But then I don't
> > know much about tax systems besides that I put money in and file for a
> > refund the beginning of the next year, so take my thoughts for what you
> > will...
> If you can, read the book. If not, watch the debate that Neal Boortz
> had with Michael Graetz:
> Graetz has some good points, but I still think that the FairTax is the
> way to go.
> Roberto C. Sanchez