Date: Oct 11, 2012 2:02 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:
> On Oct 11, 2012, at 11:48 AM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:
> "Would you ever be prepared to see all those extra-curricular school
> activities that you enjoyed and your children would enjoy flushed so
> that the schools would then have the money to hire enough extra
> teachers to see their working time spent in front of a class cut
> almost in half and thus their working time spent not in front of a
> class almost doubled, even if the standards in terms of minimum
> requirements to become a teacher became the highest in the world?
> Are you telling me that Finnish students don't play sports? Japanese
> students don't play baseball?
> This is a good discussion, about where the money goes and why teachers can't
> get a raise.

Not just a raise, but to have many more teachers so as to lower the
teaching load to almost half as it is in those three top performers of
Japan, Korea, and Finland (where the non-teaching load is increased of
course, per what I said before).

> This is like comparing Finish taxes to American taxes, without comparing the
> income statements of a Finnish citizen to that of an American citizen you
> can't make such a comparison. For example, Finland has nationalized health
> care, we on the other hand pay for healthcare (or insurance) ourselves. In
> Finland, college and living expenses are covered, here, we must pay for
> them.
> Over the last few decades, public school has become public social service
> (in this country). First you had Title 1, then IDEA, then Title IX. Free
> lunch, free breakfast, NCLB, etc, etc. I am not picking on any one of these
> things individually, but they all cost money. We pay taxes. We pay health
> care. We pay college tuition. If you can't get any more money from us (the
> taxpayer) then won't you have to eventually reevaluate all of the "other"
> stuff eating up school budgets? Or move to Finland.

You think that government revenues as a percentage of nominal GDP is
too high in the US? Nonsense. They are essentially at the lowest point
since WWII - 15% and 25% for federal and for combined federal, state,
and local, respectively. For each of the major Scandinavian countries
of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway the combined is roughly 50% of
GDP, about twice ours, and the nominal per capita GDP has been larger
than the US almost every year for the last few decades, especially
Norway at now twice as large.