Business Ethics, or…

John Stossel has an interesting column this morning, Keeping Business Honest. The theme of his column is that “business” desire for profits is a good thing.

Instinctively, we look for people’s motives. We need to know whom we can trust and whom we can’t. We’re especially skeptical of business because we know business wants our money.

It took me too long to understand that business’s desire for profit is a good thing. To get our money, businesses — if they can’t look to the government for favors — need to give us what we want. Then they must make continuous improvements and do it better than the competition does.That competition is enough to protect consumers. But that’s not intuitive. It’s intuitive to assume that competition isn’t really consumer protection and that experts at the FDA, FTC, DEA, FCC, CPSC, OSHA and so on must protect us. These experts consult “responsible” businessmen for advice on creating rules to make sure businesses meets minimum “standards.” — Washington Examiner.

The down side is that regulations, created by local, state and federal agencies, intended to “level the playing field” stifle innovation. Under the camouflage of consumer protectionism, licensing and other business restrictions have a tendency to make innovation, business startups and competition difficult. The result is protectionism. the question is, what is being protected.  Stossel provides some examples.

Las Vegas regulators require anyone who wants to start a limousine business to prove his new business is needed and, worse, will not “adversely affect other carriers.” But every new business intends to beat its competitors. That’s the point. Competition is good for us. Las Vegas’ anticompetitive licensing rules mean limo customers pay more.

In Nashville, Tenn., regulators ruled it illegal for a limo to charge less than $45 a ride. One entrepreneur had won customers by charging half that, but the new regulations mean the established car service businesses no longer have to worry about him.

Perhaps Nashville’s and Vegas’ regulators really believe “this is an area where the free market doesn’t work,” as the manager of the Nevada Transportation Services Authority put it. But it’s fishy that charging big fees for licenses just happens to be a very effective shakedown operation. Vegas cab and limousine businesses give “substantial” donations to Vegas-area political candidates, according to the Las Vegas Sun. — Washington Examiner.

Stossel makes an interesting point in that last paragraph.  It has parallels locally.

Up until a month or so ago, my home town had a tax on businesses. It was a one time tax on new businesses who constructed a building for their business or expanded their existing place of business.  Supposedly the tax was to pay for increased use…at that location…of city resources such as street maintenance, water, sewer and power usage.  Basically, infrastructure costs. The tax was not levied if a business moved into an existing structure and did not alter the building beyond the usual interior make-over. No, it was targeted towards new or growing businesses.

The tax created a reluctance of new businesses to come to our city.  From the statement of a former councilman, who was not re-elected to the council after saying, “We don’t need more burger-flipping jobs here.” 

I was present when that statement was made. Shortly thereafter the council repealed the tax.

Was the purpose of the tax to discourage businesses, business startups without the capitalization of a large company, from doing business here? “We want good jobs!” was one reasoning. I would submit that to one without a job, ANY job is a good one, burger-flipping or not. Perhaps the exposure of one purpose of the tax was sufficient to overcome the reluctance of other members on the council who had previously supported the business tax.

That local tax was repealed just before our local city elections. Since then we’ve already seen fruit of the repeal.  Our local Micky-Ds has renovated their building.  Did it add new jobs? Probably not.  Would the tax have applied to the renovation if it had still existed? I don’t know.  But we have other evidence that the lack of the tax is bringing new jobs to town.  Next week we’ll have a ground-breaking on a new Steak ‘n Shake.  The tax would have applied to them because they are building a new presence on an empty lot.

Yep, a new business and a half-dozen or more new jobs. Minimum wage? Probably, but to someone without a job, minimum wage is attractive.  Remember the original purpose of minimum wage: a starting wage to gain experience to allow the worker to build skills useful for acquiring a better job.  It may be those skills are simply coming to work on-time, every-time, and putting in a full-shift.  You’d be amazed how many job-seekers lack those basic skills.

So let’s ask ourselves, what is the purpose of these regulations, these taxes? Are they for consumer protection? Are they to preserve city resources? Or, are they to protect favored cronies or simply to make doing business more difficult?

The economic recovery of our country…post Obama, will be difficult enough without our adding to those difficulties through the imposition of anti-business taxes and regulations. Remember, juvenile unemployment is above 50% in some areas. We need to be pro-business, especially to startups. That is where jobs are created. And burger-flipping frequently is an eye-opener to our young folks just starting or approaching adult life. They need jobs and experience, too.

United we stand. Divided…

Those who really know me understand that I’m not a talker.  I listen. You can pick up jewels by listening. One phrase I continually hear is the hyphenated-American—African American, Mexican-American, Asian-American and many others.

Every time I hear one of these I wonder why they believe they’re only half American?  My Father was born in the UK. My paternal grandparents were too. On that side, I’m a second generation American.  Some on my mother’s side were from Germany. We’re not sure about the rest although family lore says one of my great-grandmothers was a Blackfoot.

The point is that none of my parents nor any of my extended family thought of themselves as anything but American.  I remember seeing my Grandfather knock a man down for calling him a “Johnny Bull“. My Grandfather said he was an American and had the papers to prove it!

When the great Immigration, as some call it, occurred during the last half of the 19th Century and the first decade of the the 20th, immigrants fled their homelands coming here for a variety of reasons.  Most came here for a fresh start. They came to this nation to start anew, create and grow families. Many sent funds back to the Old Country to bring other family members to the United States. Few returned home.

My ancestors were no different. They fled a life to make a new one.

The common pursuit, once here, was to become an American—not German-American nor Polish-American nor Swedish-American, just an American. It was a personal insult to imply they were only half-American. My Grandfather didn’t hesitate to make his displeasure known with his fists.

All that has changed. For sixty years, progressives, liberals, have been working diligently to divide our people. We’re no longer Americans, no we must now be something-American. Half-American.

Historians  look at that period of our country, from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of WW1 as the period of greatest growth of our nation. People came to the United States to renew themselves and seize the opportunities available through diligence and hard work. The only thing they expected was the freedom to make the best of those opportunities.

Look at the difference now, since the end of WW2. What was once a united country is being Balkanized. There are forces within this country, call them Socialist, Marxist, Progressives, or liberals, who believe that dividing this country provides an opportunity for them to seize control. They believe they can reform the country into an image of central control—with them at the top controlling everyone else.

If one can receive favor via “entitlements” or other benefits, by being half-American, that increases division. Being different is now a benefit. And increases division. Divisiveness disrupts the common American culture. The half-Americans feel alienated and unable to relate to the core beliefs of the immigrants of a century ago…the ones who built this nation. It is easy to manipulate those alienated from the common culture.

The progressives, the elitists, cannot seize control when the country is united. No, it must be divided into groups and factions, factions who view themselves as half-Americans. They are disunited and vulnerable…and easily controlled and ruled. The country must be Balkanized for them to succeed.

United we stand. Divided we fall. I am not a half-American. I am united with that vision of our Founders and of my Grandfather. I am an American. What are you?

US Servicemen: Win some, lose some

Two issues appeared in the news this last week concerning our servicemen. In one case, the serviceman won, in the other, servicemen across Kansas will likely be disenfranchised this coming election.

The good news first.  In this case, South Carolina National Guardsman, 1st Lt. Augustine Kim. on active duty, ran afoul of DC’s gun laws, i.e., possessing an unregistered firearm.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) arrested Lt. Kim on four felony charges of carrying firearms in the District after he was pulled over with the items securely stored in his trunk, as is allowed under federal law.

Lt. Kim pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of possessing an unregistered gun, and that charge was dismissed in May 2011. — Washington Times.

D.C. property clerk Derek Gray refused to return Lt. Kim’s firearms claiming they were “dangerous articles”. Gray furthermore refused to communicate with Lt. Kim’s lawyer on the matter.  It took the actions of a lawyer, two Senators, another Member of Congress and an editorial in the Washington Times to get DC to release Lt. Kim’s property.

That changed after The Washington Times published a story about the case last Monday. The long-time firearms lawyer had never known the city to set up a hearing within a matter of days. Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, spoke with Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on Thursday. Fellow Palmetto State Republican Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Tim Scott have also been engaged. “When you get two senior U.S. senators and a member of Congress calling the chief of police, it makes a difference,” Mr. Gardiner explained.

Friday’s hearing was held in a tiny, windowless room in the massive MPD evidence building in Southwest. Mr. Gray spent 17 minutes going through the papers in Mr. Kim’s file with the attorney before arriving announcing the decision. MPD would transfer the guns to a police department near Lt. Kim’s home in Charleston, S.C. next week. After the hearing, Mr. Gardiner called his client. “Auggie is so laconic,” said his smiling defense attorney. “All he said was, ‘That’s good news.’” 

The second story is, as yet, unresolved.  Here is a short summary.

Kansas legislators worked Thursday on new proposals for redrawing the state’s political boundaries, but a federal court could take redistricting out of their hands at the end of the month.

Majority Republicans in the Senate were trying to end a bitter internal feud over the chamber’s 40 districts, driven by a coming struggle between GOP conservatives and moderates in this year’s Republican primaries. The Senate’s moderate GOP leaders hope to fend off conservative challenges and retain power, allowing them to remain as a check on conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s agenda.

The most contentious dispute has been over redrawing state Senate districts. Conservatives believe proposals backed by moderate Republicans and most Democrats are designed to thwart conservative primary challengers. Many legislators view alternatives from conservatives as designed to help them oust the Senate’s current leaders — with Brownback’s blessing, though he has said he isn’t involved in primary races.Midwest Democracy.

The Kansas House submitted a congressional redistricting plan on schedule.  The RINOs in the Senate, however, rebuffed the plan. Why? Because the new boundaries contained potential opponents…opponents likely to send those RINOs home come the fall.  The RINOs wanted to gerrymander the districts to eliminate potential rivals.  The conservatives wanted the redistricting plan submitted by the KS House to remain as-is.

As of this last weekend, the impasse remains.  The issue is that a federal deadline is coming up.  Military ballots must be mailed to servicemen serving outside the state 45 days prior to an election.  That is federal law.  Without redistricting, not only will the ballot not be mailed, political opponents cannot file for office.

Conservative KS Secretary of State Kris Kobach is caught in a dilemma. He is the defendant of a federal lawsuit. He has filed a request with the federal court asking for a three-judge panel to break the deadlock and settle the boundary issue.

Kobach should not have been placed in this position.  The fault lies in the KS Senate—specifically in the persons of the democrat senators supporting the impasse, the “moderate” republicans and the KS Senate leadership who refuse to act.

While these RINOs dither, Kansas servicemen will be the one to suffer disenfranchisement.  Kansas voters should remember who is at fault, the RINOs and their democrat allies. Vote’m out of office. If there isn’t a primary opponent ready, choose ome. Boot every RINO and democrat out of office in the primary and then elect Conservatives in the fall.

Those who fail our servicemen do not deserve to serve in any elected or appointed office.

Gulag America

Gulag America.  Senator Schumer (D-NY) must have been re-reading his communist history. After WW II, eastern Europe was losing population to the west. Rather than live in the Communist paradise, Eastern Europeans fled to escape the oppression. The communists retaliated. Churchill named the creation of that retaliation the Iron Curtain. A few years later they added the Berlin Wall.  If anyone was captured (rather than killed outright) trying to leave, they were sent off to the Gulags where no one was able to escape. That is what Senator Schumer and Senator Bob Casey want to create—Gulag America where no one can escape. Paying taxes, that is.

Schumer has introduced a bill, called the Ex-Patriot Act by some, that would punish anyone who gives up US citizenship to save their asset from Schumer’s taxman.  Schumer doesn’t mind people leaving. In fact in bill prohibits them from returning.  No, he just wants them to leave their money behind…at least 30% behind.

Why is Schumer doing this? Because Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook, renounced his U.S. citizenship last year and moved to Singapore. If he make a few billion off the Facebook IPO, Saverin would pay taxes in Singapore, where there is no capital gains tax.

The nerve of Saverin! Leaving the country just to preserve a few billions of dollars. It’s immaterial that Saverin pays taxes in Singapore. No, Schumer wants this non-citizen, who doesn’t live in the US, to pay US taxes.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., accompanied by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday after unveiling legislation inspired by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's scheme to renounce his U.S. citizenship in order to dodge taxes on profits he will collect when Facebook goes public. The bill will harshly tax people like Saverin should they depart America to save on business taxes.

Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.) announced legislation on Thursday designed to punish people who renounce their citizenship in order to dodge taxes.

Their bill, the Ex-Patriot Act, is a direct response to Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook, who renounced his U.S. citizenship last year. The news became public last week.

“Eduardo Saverin wants to de-friend the United States of America just to avoid paying taxes. We aren’t going to let him get away with it,” Schumer said at a press conference Thursday where he announced the new legislation.

The citizenship move will save Saverin, who was born in Brazil and now lives in Singapore, an estimated $67 million to $100 million in taxes. That amount could increase if Facebook’s stock price rises.

Schumer called Saverin’s actions “outrageous.”

“Saverin has turned his back on the country that welcomed him and kept him safe, educated him and helped him become a billionaire,” Schumer said.

Casey called Saverin’s plan an “insult to the American people” that “cries out for some basic justice.”

Under the bill, anyone who renounces their citizenship and has a net worth of $2 million or an average income tax liability of $148,000 over the last five years will be presumed to be trying to dodge taxes. The person can appeal that designation to the Internal Revenue Service.

But if the IRS determines a person gave up their passport for primarily tax reasons, all of the person’s U.S. assets will be taxed at 30 percent, double the usual rate of 15 percent.

The person will also be barred from ever entering the United States again.

Instead of punishing Saverin and others like him who are leaving the US for better tax waters, perhaps Senators Schumer and Casey should be asking themselves WHY people are leaving this People’s Paradise?  Perhaps if they would try to resolve that question people wouldn’t have a need to leave.

How about that Chuckie, old boy?

Nah, you’ll never do that, will you Chuckie. You’d rather be a Socialist elite.  After all, it’s the State’s responsibility to control the economy. It worked so well for the Soviets.

It Ain’t Fair!!!

Life. It’s not fair, nor will it ever be.

I came across a column by John Stossel titled, “Making it Fair.” In his column, he quoted a Michael Moore interview where Moore declared…

Filmmaker Michael Moore took this notion about fairness to its intuitive conclusion during an interview with Laura Flanders of GRITtv, saying of rich people’s fortunes: “That’s not theirs! That’s a national resource! That’s ours!” As is typical, Moore was confused or disingenuous. In our corporatist economy, some fortunes are indeed made illegitimately though political means. The privileges that produce those fortunes should be abolished. But contrary to Moore, incomes are not “national resources.” — Washington Examiner.

To the collectivist, what is your is his, and in the case of Moore and others like him, what is theirs, is theirs.  In reality, they’re a pack of thieves. Fairness, to them, is taking the assets, hard earned assets, of others. Fairness, to such as Moore, is equal outcome…as long as that same rule isn’t applied to them. I haven’t seen Moore, nor any of the Hollywood libs, donating their fortunes to those in need.

Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals. — NY Times.

When we examine the differences between the “fairness” liberals preach, and the “fairness” liberals practice, we discover that liberals really do not believe in fairness.  No, they’ll do whatever they can to insure “fairness” is biased in their favor.

Liberals complain that conservative principles and actions are unfair. In Obama’s last State of the Union speech, he mentioned “fairness” at least nine times.  Why is there such an emphasis on “being fair” by the libs? One possibility is their inability to understand that there is no fairness in life.

Life is not fair. There is no guarantee of fairness. If life was fair, no child would die through accident or illness. Pediatric diabetes would disappear. Every mother, father and child would be happy and healthy.

But life is not fair. Some families are not happy while others are. Some children die in accidents, such as the man and two children who died in a fire this week as the mother, who had just returned home from work, watched.

If life is not fair, why are conservatives, when interviewed, judge themselves happy more often than liberals?  In an exchange on PBS Newshour host Jeffrey Brown, correspondent  Paul Solman, Lori Sanders of the American Enterprise Institute and others, the topic was happiness.

PAUL SOLMAN: How happy are you, scale of one to four, one not at all happy, four very happy?

LORI SANDERS, American Enterprise Institute: I’m a four.

PAUL SOLMAN: A four?

LORI SANDERS: I’m very happy.

PAUL SOLMAN: Lori Sanders works at the conservative Washington think tank the American Enterprise Institute. A few blocks away, Occupy D.C.er Eric is on the more liberal end of the spectrum.

What number would you give yourself?

MAN: A one.

PAUL SOLMAN: Are you unhappy, do you think, because of the inequality, economic inequality in this country?

MAN: Well, yes.

PAUL SOLMAN: Study after study, it turns out, finds conservatives happier than liberals.

Yale social psychologist Jaime Napier has a theory as to why.

JAIME NAPIER, Yale University: Economic inequality really does affect people’s subjective well-being.

PAUL SOLMAN: Napier’s work has convinced her conservatives are happier than liberals because they think there’s equality of opportunity in America.

JAIME NAPIER: One of the biggest correlates with happiness in our surveys was the belief of a meritocracy, which is the belief that anybody who works hard can make it. That was the biggest predictor of happiness. That was also one of the biggest predictors of political ideology. So, the conservatives were much higher on these meritocratic beliefs than liberals were.

PAUL SOLMAN: Liberals like the folks we found at Occupy D.C., who don’t think the opportunities out there are equal these days. Their message is clear: The system is not fair.

WOMAN: Everybody here at this Occupy movement is here because they have had enough. So, they’re angry. And chances are, you know, people here are very unhappy with the way that our society works.

WOMAN: I believe that things should be equal, or people should have more of an opportunity to become closer to the 1 percent, because, right now, it’s like the 1 percent is the 1 percent, the 99 is the 99, and we kind of don’t stand a chance.

PAUL SOLMAN: The conservative AEI staffers, on the other hand, think we do.

How many of you, on average, think Americans get what they deserve they deserve economically?

Reza Jan, who grew up in Pakistan, believe in Horatio Algerism for all, sort of.

REZA JAN, American Enterprise Institute: I would say not everybody is able to pull off those kinds of success stories. But, in this country, more than any other, for the work you do, you are able to better yourself.

PAUL SOLMAN: That’s true no matter who you are, said Jesse Blumenthal.

JESSE BLUMENTHAL, American Enterprise Institute: The “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” notion works here more than really anywhere else in the world.

PAUL SOLMAN: Now, optimism alone doesn’t determine contentment. Religion boosts happiness. So does marriage. But Napier’s research accounted for that.

JAIME NAPIER: We adjusted for education, for income, for marital status, religion, people who lived urban vs. rural, all kinds of things. So, you know, on average, just your ideology alone is an independent predictor of your subjective well-being.

ARTHUR BROOKS, American Enterprise Institute: It is true that conservatives tend to be less concerned about income inequality.

Arthur Brooks, president of the AEI, and the author of “Gross National Happiness,” agrees with Napier about the conservative happiness edge.

ARTHUR BROOKS: Conservatives think that fairness is one in which outcomes are based on merit and people start with more or less equal opportunities, or at least we’re working for equal opportunities. If you believe those things, and you see that some person makes more than others or the top 1 percent is breaking away than the bottom 99 percent, that’s not going to affect your happiness very much at all.

Look closely at that last statement. “Conservatives think that fairness is one in which outcomes are based on merit and people start with more or less equal opportunities, or at least we’re working for equal opportunities.”

That is the primary difference between conservatives and liberals.  Conservatives take action—personally, to better themselves. Liberals wait for someone else to take action so they can take advantage of the results. The conservative governs, through his own actions, his life. The liberal subordinates his life to the governance of others.

No, life isn’t fair. No one in touch with reality believes that. Fairness and happiness is what we create for ourselves.

Resistance to Federal takeover of Education building

If you’ve scanned through the Court’s archives, you’ll see a number of post concerning education…or rather the lack of education.  The reason for my interest is that the current educational system is broken.  When a large metropolitan area, say like that of Kansas City, has a school district that has lost its state accreditation, say like Kansas City, and has a 22% illiteracy rate among its high school graduates, say like Kansas City, the educational system is broken.

The Kansas City school district has a liberal social-engineering agenda since the 1970s. Literally, billions of dollars has been spent over the decades on the KC school district will no progress made in the primary purpose of the district—educating the children of Kansas City.

Another questionable federal initiative is the Federal Core State Standards program.  If you read the overview, the goals seem praiseworthy. The program establishes goals by grade for reading, writing, math and social sciences.  On the surface, it seems to be something we could all support.

If that is true, why are states dropping out of the program?

Rachel Sheffield, May 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Alabama has joined a growing number of states opposing the Common Core national education standards.

Last week, the state senate adopted a resolution to “encourage the State Board of Education to take all steps it deems appropriate, including revocation of the adoption of the initiative’s standards if necessary, to retain complete control over Alabama’s academic standards, curriculum, instruction, and testing system.”

This comes at the same time other states are backing away from the standards. Education Week reported earlier this month:

Utah has been surfing the waves of common-standards controversy lately. Now it appears that the standards aren’t the only thing the state is uneasy about. It’s also uneasy about the tests being designed for them.

We are getting word that Utah plans to downgrade its membership in one of the assessment consortia from “governing” to “advisory.” Governing states have voting power on key policy and design questions. They also are committed to using the tests.… Advisory states can sit in on discussions, but have no voting power and do not have to promise to use the tests.

Colorado seems to be similarly queasy. In the last couple of weeks the state board of education rejected a proposal that would have made Colorado a governing partner of one of the consortia developing the Common Core assessments.

And back in February legislators in South Carolina introduced a measure to pull their state out of the Common Core national standards. Governor Nikki Haley likewise publicly expressed her opposition to the standards.

If the standards program is as good as it appears at first glance, why are states dropping out of the program or scaling back their membership and adherence to the program’s initiatives?

 

School-Standards Pushback

 

Conservative Groups Oppose National ‘Common Core’ as an Intrusion on States

 

The Common Core national math and reading standards, adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia two years ago, are coming under attack from some quarters as a federal intrusion into state education matters.

The voluntary academic standards, which specify what students should know in each grade, were heavily promoted by the Obama administration through its $4.35 billion Race to the Top education-grant competition. States that instituted changes such as common learning goals received bonus points in their applications.

…conservative lawmakers and governors in at least five states, including Utah and Alabama, recently have been pushing to back out, or slow down implementation, of Common Core. They worry that adoption of the standards has created a de facto national curriculum that could at some point be extended into more controversial areas such as science.

Critics argue that the standards are weak and could, for example, de-emphasize literature in favor of informational texts, such as technical manuals. They also dislike that the standards postpone teaching algebra until ninth grade from the current eighth grade in many schools.

A study released this year by a researcher at the Brookings Institution think tank projected Common Core will have no effect on student achievement. The study said states with high standards improved their national math and reading scores at the same rate as states with low standards from 2003 to 2009.

But mainly, critics of Common Core object to what they see as the federal government’s involvement in local-school matters.

“The Common Core takes education out of the hands of South Carolina and parents, so we have no control over what happens in the classroom,” said Michael Fair, a Republican state senator who plans to introduce a measure that would bar his state from spending money on activities related to the standards, such as training teachers and purchasing textbooks.

More and more states have plans to either drop-out or oppose in some fashion this federal plan.  They, rightfully so, fear more federal intrusion into the states prerogatives. Education has historically been a local function. The states began to consolidate education at the state level in the last century. Jimmy Carter created a cabinet level Department of Education in 1980.

If the pattern of federal actions continue as they have in other areas, the states will next see federally required curriculum followed by mandatory spending standards. Soon, the states will have no control of education at all.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who took office after the state adopted Common Core, wrote in a letter to Mr. Fair that the state should not “relinquish control of education to the federal government, neither should we cede it to the consensus of other states.” — The Wall Street Journal

The states must wrest education back from the federal government.  The federal success rate is flat at best.  In the article above, one statistic indicated that no progress was made following the standards regardless of the level of funding.  The Kansas City School District is an excellent example that throwing money at a problem does not work.  After forty years of federal oversight and on occasion outright control, the Kansas City School District is a complete failure.  The reading comprehension levels, math proficiency and the results in other measured categories are worse now than they were in 1970.

If the states can gain control of education, the next step must be to wrest local control back from the state.  Let the school districts rise or fall based on their own merits. And, if a district such as Kansas City fails, the parents of that district will respond by voting with their feet to better schools, public or private, start their own schools, or perhaps home school. When Judge Clark took personal control of the Kansas City School District, private schools appeared overnight and many still exist.

It is the parent’s responsibility to educate their children.  If the parents can’t…or won’t educate their children, perhaps they shouldn’t be parents?

Thieves in the night…

There are a sundry of news items on the ‘net today. Although it’s not getting much press with the State Media, the political news is that Ron Paul says he’s not going to spend anymore money trying to win votes and delegates in the remaining primaries.

No, Ron Paul has another plan. What he can’t get through the ballot box, i.e., delegates to the ‘Pub convention this summer, he’ll use his supporters to seize in state conventions what he couldn’t win in the local caucuses.  This tactic was exposed in recent news items out of Iowa.

“I think we’re going to spend money and campaign time in Iowa making sure that we have ID’d every single delegate to the state convention and that we turn out all of our delegates to the Iowa state convention to make sure that they vote and get their voices heard,” Benton says.

The man who was elected chairman of the Iowa GOP in February is a Ron Paul supporter and former campaign aide. Ron Paul supporters now hold a majority of seats on the Iowa Republican Party’s state central committee.

“We want to get our people involved in the process,” Benton says, “and we want our people in positions of influence.” — Radio Iowa.

Ron Paul came in a distant third after Romney and Santorum in Iowa. That doesn’t matter to the Ron Paul controlled Iowa state ‘Pub committee. No, they’ll use parliamentary procedures to “pack” the convention. Apparently the plan is to disenfranchise the Romney and Santorum local delegates in favor of those who will toe the Paul party line.

We have seen such tactics here in Missouri. Ron Paul partisans seized control of a number of Missouri county caucuses in Jackson, Boone, St. Charles and other counties.  In the district caucuses, Ron Paul partisans attempted to seize control as well.  They failed. Across Missouri, Romney, followed by Santorum won most of the delegates with Ron Paul getting four and Gingrich one. 

The remaining Missouri delegates will be chosen next month at the state convention. I am already hearing rumbles that Ron Paul partisans will attempt a power play to gain more delegates. Unlike Iowa, the Missouri central committee tilts toward Romney the last I heard. But…the same delegates that attended the District Caucuses will likely attend the state convention. And, those counties controlled by Ron Paul have large delegations. There is still a chance for an ambush by the Paulbots.

Ron Paul knows he has no chance of winning anything via the ballot box. But, like any wannabe tyrant, he’ll not let such a technicality to be an obstacle. What he can’t achieve in the light of day, he’ll try to take “like a thief in the night.”

I don’t know what Paul thinks he’ll achieve. Even if he is successful, he still won’t have enough delegates to win the party nomination.  Pundits speculate that Paul wants concessions—selecting his son Rand Paul for Veep, adding items to the party plank such as an audit of the Federal Reserve or perhaps a cabinet position (Treasury?) for Paul.

Whatever the reason, his tactics, such as his supporters heckling Romney’s son in Arizona, are reminiscent of some 3rd-world dictator. Here is a quote from a Paul supporter in Arizona. Perhaps this quote is more telling about Paul’s tactics and goals than my speculation.

Paul supporters hope to disrupt conventions across the country. Their intent is to force a second vote at the national convention, in which they are not bound to Romney who won delegates in the primaries.

One young woman told the Paul supporters that they must not value the democratic process because they are trying to subvert the will of the people who mostly supported Romney. Mitt Romney won 47 percent and Ron Paul won 8.6 percent of the vote in Arizona’s primary vote. The remainder of the vote was divided between Gingrich and Santorum. — Arizona Daily Independent.