Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday introduced her first standalone bill in the U.S. Senate – a bill to lower student loan interest rates.
If Congress does not act, interest rates for newly issued subsidized Stafford loans are set to rise from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July. Warren wants to prevent that raise, and lower the rates even further, to a "discount rate" given by the Federal Reserve to banks, which currently stands at 0.75 percent.
So let's see.
We have a problem with college being too expensive for people to pay cash with money they earn by flipping pizzas. This was most-emphatically not true 30 years ago when a full semester's tuition was typically under $1,000. Classical economics tells us the ridiculous escalation in price has occurred because there is too much money chasing too few services.
Subsidized loans, changes in loan terms so they are non-dischargeable and similar acts of Congress have caused colleges to be able to raise prices at rates that are multiples of general inflation due to these gross and intentional distortions in the market.
Prices have risen to consume all available loans and now have risen to the point that for many students and paths of study the net return on said "education" is in fact negative.
Warren's answer to this is to drive yet more inflation into college prices by making the loans "cheaper", thereby expanding the pool of people who can "afford" to pay said fees ignoring the fact that the cost increases that will inevitably follow will simply make the economic argument for said education even worse than it is now!
This is called theft, in this case from students into the pockets of colleges undertaken at gunpoint by douchebags like Elizabeth Warren.
This sort of "bill", say much less anyone proposing, voting for or enforcing so-called "laws" that grant special status to loans made for education, ought to constitute a felony for which the responsible "lawmakers" should do life in prison plus forfeit their entire net worth to the young adults so-harmed.
Last night I was invited to lead a discussion of "Common Core" as it relates to the school systems at our local Tea Party meeting. The meeting was interesting, with one gentleman who showed up "loaded for bear" defending the premise that Common Core consisted of "mere standards" much like our current Sunshine State Standards.
I pushed back hard with the following arguments which, astonishingly, he actually tried to argue against!
One of the primary arguments the proponent brought proved up to be, under questioning, that it would make his job easier. It turns out that he writes lesson plans across three states and now must check conformance against three state standards. This was the only provable reference to "benefit" that he was able to cite! Making your work easier is an interesting rationale for doing something that may harm our children.
Now this morning I found this article in which actual harm has been alleged:
STEM rules the day and “data driven” education seeks only conformity, standardization, testing and a zombie-like adherence to the shallow and generic Common Core, along with a lockstep of oversimplified so-called Essential Learnings. Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education and particularly not at Westhill.
A long train of failures has brought us to this unfortunate pass. In their pursuit of Federal tax dollars, our legislators have failed us by selling children out to private industries such as Pearson Education. The New York State United Teachers union has let down its membership by failing to mount a much more effective and vigorous campaign against this same costly and dangerous debacle. Finally, it is with sad reluctance that I say our own administration has been both uncommunicative and unresponsive to the concerns and needs of our staff and students by establishing testing and evaluation systems that are Byzantine at best and at worst, draconian. This situation has been exacerbated by other actions of the administration, in either refusing to call open forum meetings to discuss these pressing issues, or by so constraining the time limits of such meetings that little more than a conveying of information could take place.
One of the questions raised last night was exactly when did our local County School Board engage in a robust, public process of debate and analysis of both cost and benefit before beginning to implement "Common Core"? The antagonist did not know, and neither did anyone else -- including myself. It appears that Okaloosa County's School Board, as with the board involved in the letter above, simply "decided to do it" internally without that robust and public debate.
This was defended as "representative government" but it is in fact nothing of the sort when the process is obscured and public input either not sought or ignored. Indeed it makes a mockery of the premise of "representative government" when there is no representation as the so-called "representatives" take actions in the dark of night and/or willfully obscure and obstruct public debate and participation.
The club of coercive federal dollars is a large part of this process as well. As just one example Medicaid is in fact voluntary on the part of the States -- no State is compelled to offer it within its boundaries. Compliance is achieved by threatening to withhold billions in federal funds if the State does not do as the Federal Government wishes. This same process was abused to enact a "55" mph speed limit; there was no federal authority to do so, but the threat of withholding all federal highway funds from any state that refused to pass the necessary law was put in place.
If I stick a gun up your nose and threaten to blow your brains out if you don't give me the contents of your wallet the fact that you hand over your wallet can hardly be called "voluntary."
Finally, implementation of "Common Core" will destroy competing textbook publication. This is already a huge problem in that there are two large state populations, California and Texas, that effectively drive the publication of all K-12 educational material. The further consolidation of this industry and decimation of choice will make impossible the furnishing of texts even by boutique publications, which will wind up with no market of any size when all 50 states comply. With the movement of texts to electronic distribution, a movement the schools are embracing piece-by-piece, this will get much worse since old texts can be resold and re-distributed but a DRM'd electronic version is locked to the device to which it is originally delivered.
Those who wish to argue for "Common Core" have a heavy and, I assert, impossible-to-meet burden of proof. They wish to argue that the states should voluntarily but permanently cede sovereignty over their educational process.
To sustain such an argument it is my position that they must demonstrate real, tangible, scientifically proven benefit and be willing to take personal criminal liability for any deception or failure to disclose contrary information. This benefit must show:
The last is already known to be false, and thus as constituted Common Core must be defeated.
Those School Boards who attempt to adopt this nonsense must be removed from office in their entirety by the parents and citizens of the districts in which this trash has been proposed and/or implemented.
A Michigan elementary school is defending its decision to confiscate a third-graders batch of homemade cupcakes because the birthday treats were decorated with plastic green Army soldiers.
Principal Susan Wright released a statement to local media defending the decision.
“These are toys that were commonplace in the past,” she wrote. “However, some parents prohibit all guns as toys. In light of that difference, the school offered to replace the soldiers with another item and the soldiers were returned home with the student.”
“Living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions,” she stated. “In the climate of recent events in schools we walk a delicate balance in teaching non-violence in our buildings and trying to ensure a safe, peaceful atmosphere.”
So first you claim that respect for opposing opinions is part of your educational mandate (and it is, according to the US Supreme Court) and then you defecate all over both that respect and The Constitution. (USSC Tinker .v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 7-2, 1969.)
Fountain said it was beyond outrageous to compare American soldiers to deranged mass murderers.
“In our politically correct society they can’t separate the good from the bad,” he said. ”I’m sure hammers are allowed in schools — although a lot of people are killed by hammers.”
Not only is this act outrageous it is also unlawful.
The Supreme Court in that 1969 decision stated that school officials cannot censor student expression unless they can reasonably forecast that the expression will cause a substantial disruption of student activities or invade the rights of others. And yes, this applies to third graders.
You have no right not to be offended, ergo whether someone else doesn't like toy soldiers is immaterial.
So let's do something about it rather than whine online.
Schall Elementary is located at 325 East Frank Street in Caro, Michigan, 48723.
I recommend that all readers stimulate the economy by going to Amazon and sending Susan Wright, the Principal, one package of gen-u-ine Made-In-The-USA package of toy plastic soldiers complete with rifles, pistols, machine guns, mortars and bazookas.
For a mere $12.50 (plus shipping) you can tell Susan Wright what you think of her stomping all over a third grader's birthday party -- and The Constitution.
(If $12.50 is too much I'm sure one or two toy soldiers in an envelope, assuming you have a couple still laying around, will work just fine as well -- and costs just a stamp or two.)
Oh, and if Susan doesn't want these soldiers perhaps she can give them to her students who believe in America, including our freedoms and values.
My package is already on the way to Susan for delivery sometime next week -- is yours?
A Maryland lawmaker has introduced legislation after a 7-year-old boy in his district was suspended for shaping a pastry into what his teacher thought looked like a gun.
The Star Democrat reports that Republican Sen. J.B. Jennings introduced a bill that would prohibit schools from suspending students for seemingly harmless childish acts, such as playing games with fingers pointed like guns or chewing food into the shape of a firearm.
"These kids can't comprehend what they are doing or the ramifications of their actions," Jennings told the paper. "These suspensions are going on their permanent records and could have lasting effects on their educations."
The ramifications of chewing a pastry? I get to eat!
The ramification of pointing my finger at someone and saying "bang"? It's called PLAY.
The ramifications of jackbooted tyrannical douchebags holding these two things over a kid's head by entering a suspension into his or her "permanent record", which can be and will be used well beyond that kid's 18th birthday as there is no means by which you can have even inaccurate or outrageously slanderous material removed later one -- a record that is now being digitally stored, aggregated and sold by these same jackasses with zero accountability under the law?
Now that has ramifications.
He told the paper the legislation includes counseling and disciplinary procedures for school administrators who violate the guidelines on school punishments.
How about stripping all state-granted immunity from any school administrator or other school employee who causes, aids or abets such an act such that they are jointly and severably liable for any and all harm that such an entry causes?
How about barring the use of any such "record" beyond (1) the immediate and actual conduct of the current or prospective school of attendance of said child and (2) mandating that it be destroyed, with criminal and personally-enforcable civil penalties (see above) for non-compliance or leaks to third parties, upon said child reaching the age of 18 years?
Now that might get their attention.
Save actual justice this sort of mealy-mouthed crap from both lawmakers and Stasi-employed educators indoctrinators deserves immediate shunning and refusal of all cooperation by students parents and all in the community at-large.
Disclosure: Long the 6x bullish boiled rope ETF.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s an education bombshell.
Nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system.
It's not a bombshell.
In the 1990s I observed the same thing in Chicago. I required a High School diploma or GED to apply for a job at my company in the city. Of the applicants approximately 80% could not make change for a $20 in their head nor could they write a basic, grammatically-correct business letter.
In other words they could not read, write and calculate at the level of basic competence expected of 8th graders.
Not a damn thing has changed in the intervening 20 years despite ever-escalating costs.
The teachers unions and public school administrators have all argued they're "essential." When you fail 8 times out of 10 you're not essential, you're a public menace and a fraud. You turn out not educated, prepared citizens but budding felons and thugs.
You've had your ever-escalating per-student spending and your technology, and yet you have continually failed despite coming back to the trough for more year after year.
Your time has expired, your bogus pronouncements no longer carry weight and your legitimacy has evaporated. You deserve nothing -- not a salary, not a pension, nothing. You're lucky you're not being charged with felony child neglect en-masse.
Get out and go live with the rats in the subway and let the private sector take over.
No, it won't be perfect. Yes, some parents will do nothing and their kids will founder.
But the outcome will be better than it is now and eliminate all of the taxes and borrowing you consume at the same time, which is the only test that matters -- outcome.
Anything -- including literally nothing more than paying for libraries and letting those kids who want to learn sit in them and read -- is better than what we have now.
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