2015/01/27

School Choice Week

The State of Hawaii maintains the most highly centralized school system in the US. The Governor appoints the members of the Board of Education. The Board (with frequent interference from the Legislature) controls the single, State-wide school district. Hawaii's relaxed position on homeschooling  provides the only bright contrast in this dark picture.

Elsewhere in the USA, parents and politicians promote expansion of parent control (school choice). In the wider world, bureaucrats do what bureaucrats do.     

2014/04/25

Chance Discovery

TV costs time and money, so I cancelled my cable. Now I get more reading done. My favorite type of TV was a C-Span presentation of an AEI or Brookings or Cato or Heritage panel of six or so 55-year-old white guys discussing tax policy or education policy or trade policy or America's options in the Mid East . The internet will supply that. Even the best news shows have to move along at a pace guaranteed not to bore the most distractible stoner  so even the most considerate anchors  interrupt their guests in a style  that would earn them a permanent dis-invite from my house. Bill O'Reilly appears to have no clue how oafish he acts. Anyway,  I chanced upon this, following links from Kathy Shaidle's site.  .    

2013/10/03

James Buchanan (1919-Oct.-03 to 2013-Jan.-09)

Don Bourdeaux observes: "Jim died this past January.  Were he still alive, he would today celebrate his 94th birthday."

James Buchanan attributed his success, in part, to his education in a one-room schoolhouse. Since the teacher could not instruct all students simultaneously, she allowed those students who could study on their own to work through the material without her help.

Self-paced, well-scripted curricula would demonstrate the irrelevance of a large swath of the public-sector workforce and so threaten the $500 billion+ per year revenue stream that flows through the "public" school system. 

2013/09/17

Incentives and Insiders

One interesting read here:
Eighty to 90 percent of people are not negatively affected by drugs, but in the scientific literature nearly 100 percent of the reports are negative,” Dr. Hart said. “There’s a skewed focus on pathology. We scientists know that we get more money if we keep telling Congress that we’re solving this terrible problem. We’ve played a less than honorable role in the war on drugs.

The point applies to as well to climate science, foreign aid (which isn't aid) and development (which isn't development) economics, allegedly crumbling infrastructure, education (which isn't education) policy, etc.
Now read Robert Higgs, "All Government Policies Succeed in the Long Run":
Many people, for good reason, have concluded that the surest test of whether a politician or public official is lying is to ask, Are his lips moving? An equally simple test may be proposed to determine whether a seemingly failed policy is actually a success for the movers and shakers of the political class. This test requires only that we ask, Does the policy remain in effect? If it does, we can be sure that it continues to serve the interests of those who are actually decisive in determining the sorts of policy the government establishes and implements. Now, as before, “failed” policies are a myth in regard to all policies that persist beyond the short run. The people who effectively run the government, whether from inside or outside the beast, do not run it for the purpose of hampering the attainment of their own interests; on the contrary.

"All of us have sufficient fortitude to bear the misfortunes of others."
Francois de La Rochefoucauld 

And if one is a politician, to inflict them for a sufficient consideration.