Date: Jun 13, 2006 10:02 PM
Author: Kirby Urner
Subject: Re: MPG: Vast Underfunding
> Kirby writes:
> >You're talking about 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM day care for
> >like bambini through almost-adults, complete with
> >meal service, opportunities for physical activity,
> >transportation to and from.
> I am talking about public education in the U.S.
> You know, school boards, teachers unions, PTA's,
> state departments of education, etc. Oh, and I
> almost forgot: children in classrooms.
Right. A huge amount of infrastructure. Very expensive, no question.
> Oddly enough, this is why most analysts discuss
> this subject in terms of cost per student. You
> know the figure I mean, the one that has been rising
> exponentially since about 1950. Since this figure
> seems not to make much of an impression on people, I
> thought, for a change of pace, to discuss cost of
> education as a fraction of a city's operating budget.
> I must say, even I was startled by the result: I
> I had not realized, for instance, that NYC spends on
> education more than twice the sum of police, fire,
> and sanitation.
I'm surprised the figure is so low. But then it's hard to be precise with such figures. Are we including pensions? What sources would you like to cite for your figures, just so we get the idea of how the computation is done (so we can do apples to apples when comparing with other cities)?
> So, does that mean you want to spend more, or
> or less, money on education? Just give me a figure,
> tell me what you think is right. I have a checkbook
> in my hand and I am ready make it out.
I'd like us to not be shocked that providing day care for this many pre-adults costs more than policing plus fire.
Did your police budget include anything about the penal system?
And with theft and fire especially, there's the insurance industry to consider. May we consider some insurance company profits a net expense (like a tax) on families trying to cover potential losses to these two calamities?
Certainly the government sees insurance costs and taxes as similar outlays, given the various deductions for same.
> Ahh, but you are new-age free spirit. You are
> are above all this money-grubbiness. Money means
> nothing to you (as long as it is someone else's
> money). Our mistake, no doubt, is thinking about it
> as "our" money. We should just fork it all over to
> you (you would take it if you could) and you will
> know just what to do with it.
Actually, just so you understand, in general systems theory, unlike traditional economics, we credit the solar fusion furnace known as the sun for a lot of the energy (juice) used by our schools (even if it comes indirectly through coal or whatever).
Humans don't get to take credit for all the valuable raw energy we pump through our systems, although some humans definitely value-add (coal miners for example). This isn't Marxism in other words, wherein only labor creates wealth -- or maybe I got that wrong, not being a serious student of his.
On any global accounting ledger, you need to put energy available for work, plus intelligence (ingenuity) on the assets side. Under liabilities come all the expenses.
It'd make sense to endow each individual human with some private account upon birth, with the understanding that enough competent players would repay in value-added to float the newcomers still trying to get oriented.
That's science fiction of course, but I think this accompanying sense of entitlement to at least minimal goods and services (enough to live on) should be advertised. It's *your* Spaceship. You have a right to an education, food services, air, shelter.
I think humans have a drive to be competent at something in the eyes of their fellow humans, which is why many of them study economics and banking, in order to get a better grip on precisely these bread and butter issues.
General systems theory (GST) is another newer discipline covering a lot of the same territory (sometimes competitively). We understand thermodynamics and what it means to "surf the solar gradient" (per 'Into the Cool').
> I am sure you understand that I think of it
> it differently. The public purse is a fatted calf
> that has been run down and devoured. But the lions
> and hyenas (teachers unions and various hangers on)
> are inefficient eaters and leave plenty of meat on
> the bones for scavengers like you. No wonder,
> really, why you are so keen to get more and bigger
> fatted calves coming your way.
The LAWCAP's USA is essentially bankrupt. I don't know about any fatted calf, given the hugely negative overall balance.
When I write about funding, I'm looking more to the sun than to anyone in particular in Washington, DC. I'm also not insisting my reforms be implemented within the USA's jurisdiction.
Given LAWCAP's overt hostility towards children (it deprives them of their American heritage, decade after decade), I see no hope of saving it from oblivion.