blue bits. red rocks.

On Government and Opportunity


Government usually fails at making sure everybody’s got a shot

Cow cookies!

So sad that what passes for “serious” conservative discourse is easily disposed of. Sadder that deluded minions still cling blindly to such dogma, in spite of factual remonstrance. Suppose that is the state of living in a post-factual society.

…lots of politicians continue to talk about the priority of “making sure everybody’s got a shot.” Almost every American believes in it, and voters like to hear politicians talking about how important that is.… Think about it; we spend about $600 billion on public schools, more per pupil than any other country except Switzerland, and the results are consistently disappointing as a whole: “14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.”

Our public education system was (and still is, at levels) a model for the world to emulate and charged the U.S. into an technological powerhouse. The cracks and faults in education have more to do with inequality and the sapping of resources into privatization schemes like standardized testing, administrative kludges, and other corporate boondoggles that funnel money away from students and teachers.

The federal government spends about $18 billion per year on “job training” programs, but the GAO has concluded that the data on the effectiveness of job-training programs collecting federal funds is either outdated or nonexistent…

OK, will not dispute this (though someone else is free to chime in here with dissent if I am just ignorant of benefits) and would soon see more higher education, classical education, language learning, etc.… than vanilla “job training” programs.

Most of our anti-poverty programs have made no real dent in the problem, despite the fortunes spent on them…

Dead wrong. I realize people are tired of the “War on…” meme applied to every social ill, but when the “war on poverty” was waged in more earnest, it did indeed strike down a significant swath. The LBJ campaign against poverty cut it in half — along with reductions in infant mortality and increases in health. Writing this, off the cuff, but I will look, in future posts, to highlight more statistics bearing this truth out. But here is a little chart I shared recently that illustrates the matter in vivid fashion.

Governments have the power to reduce poverty, and reduce it a lot.

Will save the lecture on how college grants, loans and GI Bill fueled an economic golden age, with opportunity opened up to most all and led to a flourishing republic. Such “redistribution” created the American middle class, an entity never before as ubiquitous — so much so, that it is taken for granted, and the “diamond shaped” economic structure it ushered in.


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    Dead wrong. I realize people are tired of the “War on…” meme applied to every social ill, but when the “war on poverty”...
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