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The Truth About the Detroit Public Schools   Leave a comment

Walter E. Williams

Detroit school students, represented by the Los Angeles-based public interest firm Public Counsel, filed suit last month against the state of Michigan, claiming a legal right to literacy based on the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Ninety-three percent of Detroit’s predominantly black public school eighth-graders are not proficient in reading, and 96 percent are not proficient in mathematics. According to the lawsuit, “decades of State disinvestment in and deliberate indifference to Detroit schools have denied Plaintiff schoolchildren access to the most basic building block of education: literacy.”

Source: The Truth About the Detroit Public Schools

 

In terms of per-pupil expenditures, the state does not treat Detroit public school students any differently than it does other students. According to the Michigan Department of Education, the Detroit school district ranks 50th in state spending, at $13,743 per pupil. This is out of 841 total districts. That puts Detroit schools in the top 6 percent of per-pupil expenditures in the state. Discrimination in school expenditures cannot explain poor educational outcomes for black students in Detroit or anywhere else in the nation. Let’s look at routinely ignored educational impediments in Detroit and elsewhere.https://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=lewrockwell&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0817918752&MsrketPlace=US

Annie Ellington, director of the Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, reported that 87 percent of the 1,301 Detroit public school students interviewed in a survey last year knew someone who had been killed, disabled or wounded by gun violence. According to an article published by the American Psychological Association, 80 percent of teachers surveyed nationally in 2011 had been victimized at school at least once during that school year or the prior year. Detroit public schools are plagued with the same problems of violence faced by other predominately black schools in other cities.

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In Baltimore, each school day in 2010, an average of four teachers and staff were assaulted. In February 2014, The Baltimore Sun reported that more than 300 Baltimore school staff members had filed workers’ compensation claims during the previous fiscal year because of injuries received through assaults or altercations on the job. A 1999 Michigan law requires school districts to expel any student in sixth grade or above who physically assaults a school employee. The Lansing Board of Education ignored the law and refused to expel four students for throwing chairs at an employee, slapping a teacher and punching another in the face. It took a Michigan Supreme Court https://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=lewrockwell&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0817912452&MsrketPlace=USruling to get the board to enforce the law. The court said the law was enacted “specifically (to) protect teachers from assault and to assist them in more effectively performing their jobs.”

Colin Flaherty, author of “Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry,” has compiled news stories and videos that show how black students target teachers for violence. He discusses some of it in his Jan. 12, 2015, American Thinker article, titled “Documented: Black Students Target Teachers for Violence” (http://tinyurl.com/l67857g). As a result of school violence and other problems, many teachers quit when June rolls around. Every year, Detroit loses about 5 percent of its teaching positions (135 teachers). According to a Detroit schools representative, substitutes, principals and other staffers must cover classes, a situation not unique to Detroit (http://tinyurl.com/p9sf2d9). In California, signing bonuses of $20,000, “combat pay,” aren’t enough to prevent teachers from leaving altogether or seeking out less violent schools.

The departments of Education and Justice have launched a campaign against disproportionate minority discipline rates, which show up in virtually every school district with significant numbers of black and Hispanic students. The possibility that students’ behavior, not educators’ racism, drives those rates lies outside the Obama administration’s conceptual universe. Black people ought to heed the sentiments of Aaron Benner, a black teacher in a St. Paul, Minnesota, school who abhors the idea of different behavioral standards for black students. He says: “They’re trying to pull one over on us. Black folks are drinking the Kool-Aid; this ‘let-them-clown’ philosophy could have been devised by the KKK.” Personally, I can’t think of a more racist argument than one that holds that disruptive, rude behavior and foul language are a part of black culture.

Here’s my prediction: If the Michigan lawsuit is successful, it will line the pockets of Detroit’s teaching establishment and do absolutely nothing for black academic achievement.

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Posted October 22, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in culture, Uncategorized

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Regulators Are Trying to Derail the Success of our Private Railroads | Ian Adams   Leave a comment

Found on FEE

By virtually any measure, America’s freight rail system is one of the best in the world. In fact, rail transports a full 40 percent of freight moved in the United States. But rogue federal regulators may change that.

Image result for image of a freight train

Since 1981, when a bipartisan congressional effort largely deregulated the nation’s freight rail providers, Americans have enjoyed a 45 percent decrease in rates for transport by freight train.

That means nearly twice as much freight can be moved on the rails today, compared to 35 years ago, for roughly the same cost. New rules under review by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, however, largely would undo those striking gains.

The Rail Industry Doesn’t Need Micro Conductors

The Surface Transportation Board is considering implementing a “reciprocal switching arrangement” rule, better known as “forced access,” which would require railroads to grant competitors a right to use their rails.For decades, railroads have negotiated terms among themselves for interchanging traffic.

Supporters of the rule maintain the measure would improve competition. However, they seek to do so by reinstating the kind of pre-1981 regulatory regime that brought the railroads to the brink of financial ruin.

Before passage of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, railroads were unable to account for the true costs of their services because of regulations that restricted their rates and practices. Similarly, forced access would prescribe how railroads interact, independent of the public’s interest in competition.

The case for forced access is built on two seemingly reasonable, but ultimately incorrect assumptions.

The first incorrect assumption is that rail lines are public property and should be treated the same as roads; they aren’t, and they shouldn’t be. In fact, for the most part rail lines are owned by private firms.

The second misconception is that railroads can’t already coordinate the use of each other’s rail lines on their own, even though they do it all the time.

In fact, for decades, railroads have negotiated terms among themselves for interchanging traffic. The Surface Transportation Board is asked to intervene only when one railroad complains that another is charging rates that are excessive.

Why Fix What Ain’t Broken?

This system has worked well. The public benefits from rails being held in private hands, as that arrangement has provided incentives for private capital to be invested in maintaining those lines.Forced Access would lead to less private railroad investment, and consumers would feel the pain.

Compared to other major industries, railroads invest one of the highest percentages of their own revenues to maintain and add capacity to their systems, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. This has saved taxpayers billions.

Compelling railroads to open their routes to other operators under terms dictated by the government would render railroads’ billions in private investment less valuable. Over time, they would have less and less reason to invest, and consumers would feel the pain.

Of course, proposals for forced-access regulations would be unthinkable were the railroads in the state they found themselves in before the Staggers Rail Act’s reforms, in the wake of eight large railroads filing for bankruptcy.

As is often the case, memories of past foibles fade quickly. The cost of forgetting the past, and the great benefits that liberalization has brought, would be a return to worse service, expensive taxpayer subsidies, and, perhaps, outright nationalization of our railroads.

That would be a move in the wrong direction.

Source: Regulators Are Trying to Derail the Success of our Private Railroads | Ian Adams

Posted October 7, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in economics

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Hillary’s Economically Clueless Plans Will Create Poverty | Daniel J. Mitchell   Leave a comment

Hillary Will Tax You to Death... And Then Tax You for DyingBecause of my disdain for the two statists that were nominated by the Republicans and Democrats, I’m trying to ignore the election. But every so often, something gets said or written that cries out for analysis.

Today is one of those days. Hillary Clinton has an editorial in the New York Timesentitled “My Plan for Helping America’s Poor” and it is so filled with errors and mistakes that it requires a full fisking (i.e., a “point-by-point debunking of lies and/or idiocies”).

We’ll start with her very first sentence.

Source: Hillary’s Economically Clueless Plans Will Create Poverty | Daniel J. Mitchell

Trump’s Big-Government Budget Plan | James Capretta   1 comment

Trump's Big-Government Budget PlanDonald Trump issued a revised economic plan last week, and claimed it would create 25 million new jobs over ten years, driven by 4 percent real annual growth. Real growth from 1983 through 2000 — the long period of expansion started under Ronald Reagan that many now understandably look back on with such fondness — averaged just 3.8 percent annually. Beating that over the coming decade would be remarkable, and highly unlikely, given that growth has topped 4 percent in only three of the last 61 quarters.

It should surprise no one at this point to hear Donald Trump make over-the-top promises. He’s been doing that his entire adult life, and especially over the last year.

The Status Quo Plus More Spending

Trump’s supporters say they are attracted to him because he is breaking all the normal rules, and it is certainly true that he has defied political convention in the way he has run his campaign. But with respect to policy — what he would actually do if elected — Trump invariably tells his supporters what they want to hear, whether it is true or not. That’s nothing if not typical for a presidential candidate.

Source: Trump’s Big-Government Budget Plan | James Capretta

You Never Go Full Keynesian | Daniel J. Mitchell   Leave a comment

Daniel J. Mitchell

Found on FEE

Keynesian spending has an unparalleled track record of failure in the real world. Perhaps it’s time for The Economist to be known as the “anti-economics economic weekly.”

Source: You Never Go Full Keynesian | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted September 30, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Keynesianism Is the Real Trickle-Down Economics | Daniel J. Mitchell   Leave a comment

Daniel J. Mitchell

Found on FEE

Keynesianism Is the Real Trickle-Down EconomicsMy buddy from grad school, Steve Horwitz, has a column for FEE that looks at the argument over “trickle-down economics.” As he points out (and as captured by the semi-clever nearby image), this is mostly a term used by leftiststo imply that supporters of economic liberty want tax cuts for the “rich” based on a theory that some of those tax cuts eventually will trickle down to the less fortunate.

People who argue for tax cuts, less government spending, and more freedom for people to produce and trade what they think is valuable are often accused of supporting something called “trickle-down economics.” It’s hard to pin down exactly what that term means, but it seems to be something like the following: “those free market folks believe that if you give tax cuts or subsidies to rich people, the wealth they acquire will (somehow) ‘trickle down’ to the poor.”

Source: Keynesianism Is the Real Trickle-Down Economics | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted September 30, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in economics

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There is No Such Thing as Trickle-Down Economics | Steven Horwitz   Leave a comment

Steven Horowitz

Found on FEE

Critics of liberalism and the market economy have made a long-standing habit of inventing terms we would never use to describe ourselves. The most common of these is “neo-liberal” or “neo-liberalism,” which appears to mean whatever the critics wish it to mean to describe ideas they don’t like. To the extent the terms have clear definitions, they certainly don’t align with the actual views of defenders of markets and liberal society.

Trickle Down

Economists have never used that term to describe their views.Another related term is “trickle-down economics.” People who argue for tax cuts, less government spending, and more freedom for people to produce and trade what they think is valuable are often accused of supporting something called “trickle-down economics.” It’s hard to pin down exactly what that term means, but it seems to be something like the following: “those free market folks believe that if you give tax cuts or subsidies to rich people, the wealth they acquire will (somehow) ‘trickle down’ to the poor.”

Source: There is No Such Thing as Trickle-Down Economics | Steven Horwitz

Posted September 30, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in economics

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