Homeschooling by the Numbers

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Nope. Well, the sidebar abbreviates it. Go here.


"More Gangs. Less Crime"

(W)ell-established economic theories on how and why governments evolve from situations of anarchy...suggest(s) that within a society without law and order, individuals are under constant threat of being victims of aggression and crime, and small "gangs" evolve to provide protection services to people. By forming groups, people who cannot protect themselves individually can be more secure...A clear example of our logic is the case of gangs in the prison system. This is one of the only (sic. "few") places where a 40-year old white man would be a gang member, and for good reason. In prison, inmates are frequently the victims of violence and intimidation that go unreported (or if reported, unpunished). This makes the environment similar to that in government-run schools and on inner-city streets. An inmate who joins a gang receives protection, which lowers the odds that he will be a victim of violent crime. Once again, the underlying demand for gangs stems from the presence of pre-existing violence.


Abortion and Gay Marriage

This post is not about the school system.

Someone called and said he and his friends were asking about the candidates' position on abortion and gay marriage. This question makes more sense addressed to legislators than to candidates for the Board of Education. Schools don't have much to do with either issue. A requirement that schools notify parents when schools refer students for any medical procedure makes sense.

Perhaps the fellow was not seeking policy positions but some sense of the candidate's moral compass. Here goes.

Love is wonderful, and everyone would benefit from a loving relationship with a supportive partner or two. Or five. Your housekeeping and sleeping arrangements are not my business. That said, a court-mandated or legislatively-mandated expansion of the population covered by legally-mandated spousal benefits amounts to a tax increase, and US taxpayers are already overtaxed.

Abortion? Let's think this through. Morality is a result of biological and cultural evolution. Across time, various societies have applied different definitions of "human" (meaning, deserving of the protection given to humans). In ancient Greece, deformed newborn babies were left outside the city walls at night. Some African societies regarded twins as so unlucky that one would be left in the forest overnight. In ancient Rome, children were their fathers' property until they became adults (if male) or until they married (if female, at which point they became their husband's property). Basically, abortion was legal until the end of the 83rd trimester (20 years and nine months) for male children and indefinitely for female children.

1. The government of a locality is the largest dealer in interpersonal violence in that locality (definition).
2. Value is determined by supply and demand, therefore a world in which human life is precious is a world in which human life is scarce.
3. The Earth's human population cannot grow without limit.
4. The Earth's human population will stop growing when either...
a) the birth rate falls to meet the death rate or
b) the death rate rises to meet the birth rate.
5. The Earth's human population will stop growing as a result of either
a) deliberate human agency or
b) other.
6. Deliberate human agency is either
a) democratically controled or
b) other.
7. All human behavioral traits are heritable (google the entire phrase).
8. Voluntary programs for population control selectively breed non-compliant individuals.
9. Humans who will reproduce at high density have a selective advantage over humans who require lots of open space.
10. Human misery is like heat; in the absence of insulators (barriers to immigration) it will flow until evenly distributed.
11. The world's maximum possible instantaneous human population is greater than it's maximum sustainable human population. Absent a reduction in the human birth rate or a gradual increase in the human death rate, expect a sharp decline in human population numbers from the instantaneous maximum.
12. Humans displace wilderness. The world's maximum possible sustainable human poulation leaves little room for wildnerness or terrestrial wildlife. Absent a reduction in the human birth rate or an increase in the death rate, expect a reduction in biodiversity before the Earth's human population stabilizes.

Malthus was right. Between vice (forced sterilization, forced abortion) misery (starvation, pollution-induced illness, epidemic disease, genocide, war) and moral restraint (hopeless, see #8), your choices are limited. Where do you disagree? I know: "Everything's fine so far" (said the man who jumped from the 50th floor, as he passed the tenth floor).

The feminists don't like this argument. Libertarians don't like this argument. Christians don't like this argument. Only the Christians (Baldilocks, The Common Room) and the Brits at Prospect magazine and at Dave Thompson's site remain polite. The argument basically summarizes Garrett Hardin's essay "The Tragedy of the Commons" (Science, 1968).


Schools, Markets, and Federalism

As this article observes, the US State-monopoly school system stifles innovation and preserves inept practice.


In a Better World...

If election ballots looked like referendum ballots, where voters could vote "no" (-1) for a candidate, incumbency could just as easily count against a candidate. This would make no difference in a two-way contest, but in a multi-candidate primary or a three-or-more party general election, the outcome of an election that allowed voters to cast a negative ballot could well differ from the outcome in the current system.
Think on it.

Voter Information

The Office of Elections list of candidates.
Star-Advertiser voters' guide.
Project Vote Smart.
League of Women Voters candidate profiles.
Honolulu Weekly Board candidate profiles.
Olelo, Board candidate videos.
Saave Our Schools Board Candidates' Forum.
Family Forum candidate survey. A friend called to ask why this survey includes no response from Malcolm Kirkpatrick. Dunno. Perhaps it went into the round file by mistake. Here are my responses. Y,Y,U,U,Y.