Economic Thought

I am going crazy listening to conservative pundits pontificate about the troubled market and how the blame should “essentially” fall on all of those consumers who buy homes they cannot afford. They further contend that banks made poor decisions lending money to consumers at an unregulated and unadvised rate. But you never hear FOX news and others talking about the inherent problem of pure capitalism. Runaway markets and high tuition on college campuses are killing us. If we value the process of a free American society, then I contend that all “people” should have the right to own a home. But what do you do if you live in an area in which the 1% of society dictates property value? I listen to people complain about homeowners buying homes they cannot afford, often ignoring the market economy. If I live in a pricey city such as Tampa or San Francisco, are you telling me I do not have a right to own a home due to the fact that a bank will have to give me a 62 – 70 year mortgage rate? Oh, when the government cut taxes for 8 years while deficit spending increases, the economy only has one direction to shift — downward. Ask H.W. Bush about this. After a decade of spending under the Reagan regime, he went into office assuring the neocons that he would not bring about any new taxes. However, once in office he realized that the government cannot operate in the red due to tax cuts.

When Bill Clinton was elected, he had to change the national mentality of allowing economic elites run the country. Bill accepted welfare reform as well as a new commitment to reducing the size of government. Although I did not like his 1996 welfare reform, he promised not to leave those who needed help stranded. Moreover, when he left office, the country saw the deficit reduced and enjoyed a surplus that allowed the country to with stand the 9/11 economic hit. Funny, but if “W” was wise, he would have used that surplus to address social security reform; instead, he launched the country into a pricey war that has increased the deficit.

We are forgetting that our current condition is to an extent driven by the flaws of capitalism. I do think we should undertake radical economic reforms. Obama’s stimulus does not go far enough. The state should regulate and even subsidise tuition and the purchase of homes so that a poor person can purchase without going into debt; I have found a number of my own students amazed that people have to borrow a substantial amount of money to attend school. Thus setting them back decades upon graduation due to a heavy student repayment plan. Oh, these are the good students that got some money to attend. I called the current economic crises years ago; it is not because I am some economic rocket scientist. I just used objective common sense. When I taught AP Macroeconomics, I started this way:

I like the simple though somewhat outdated Keynes ratchet-effect graph, which states:”changes of the relationship from nominal wage to price level (real wages) in the Keynesian variant of the total models for the open and closed national economy.”

Graph 1

Keynesian Cross

gdp1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In layman’s terms, let us look at the above graphs this way: In graph one, AD=C+I (aggregate demand [equals] consumption [plus] investment. According to this visual, we are looking at a closed private economy with no government. Consumption is the function of disposable income. If people are not spending their income, the economy slows ; however, if we look at graph 2, we see as is true for graph 1 that Y represents equilibrium of income. Thus this happens when AD is equal to AS. The key to all of this is spending and avoiding a trade imbalance.

The government can hence “stimulate” or use “injections” to move the economy forward if spending is slow. I like the ratchet effect to denote this concept:

Ideally, we want AD to operate at point (a), but we do not want it to shift to the left — which notes a possible recession. We do not want the AD line to shift to the right toward the vertical line showcasing the classical range. This means the economy is operating too fast thus there are no more resources for output.

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25 thoughts on “Economic Thought

  1. Great post, Carson.

    You make a great point about conservatives placing the blame on homeowners for buying homes they cannot afford. You also never hear FOX mention the banks that used predatory lending tactics and convinced people they needed to refinance their homes and such. Not sure if I already posted this, but The New Yorker ran a great piece about this a few months ago:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/24/081124fa_fact_boyer

  2. So, no blame should be placed on those folks? They just get off scott free?

    Yeah, many brokers and banks did use predatory tactics but no one forced people to sign documents. Fraud? That’s another story all together.

    Where is the responsibility? It’s gone. That is the whole Liberal mindset. No responisiblity. None. It’s always someone else’s fault.

    Also, where is this “right” to a home? I can’t seem to find it in the constitution.

    Another also…who said that Capitalism is perfect and without flaws? ANYTHING, when parts of it are taken to excess, is bad. Whether it be food, sex, money, capitalism, video games, etc…

  3. Oh, how I love the simple mindedness of Keynesian economics and how people quickly flock to it despite the fact that it has never proven correct and has failed whenever it has been employed. Sounds a bit like scientific racial superiority and evolution huh?

    First, I would like to point out that it was a myth that Clinton created a surplus during his time in office. True, in the public market, the debt was reduced each year, but the national debt is the sum of public holdings and intergovernmental holdings. Guess what, the government always outspent whatever gains that the public could make towards paying off some of its debt. Thus, the national debt always stayed above the benchmark for creating a surplus. You can check me, I got the information directly off of the US national treasury records website. You would think that they would know, but with Tim Geithner in office, I am not so sure that those records wont be changed soon enough.

    Second, I would like to point out that there have been plenty of people who have paid for their own college attendance. Are we supposed to pay for a bunch of whiny brats to go all the way from kindergarten through college now because they don’t want to have to pay some debt when they get out of school? Debt is a part of life and always will be. I will be in large amounts of debt when I get out of college and so will many of my piers who do not have the monetary means to have it paid for by their parents, but that is a reality of life. You may go in the hole every now and again, but think about how many others before you have done the same and are now providing well for themselves. Maybe you are not going to be able to buy that luxury car or house right out of college because you are still paying off student loans and whatnot; but guess what, you still have a heck of a lot more than people in countries like China and North Korea where people are dieing by the hundreds daily because of poor publicly funded health-care and medical technology simply because it has been government subsidized. And you are especially getting a better education than government funded institutions in countries elsewhere. Not to mention, that school debt is only temporary and will be paid off just like it has been paid off by millions of others before you who didn’t have the delusions of grandeur that told every person that they are entitled to a house and college education out of fairness. It is neither the governments place, purpose, or responsibility to pay for people to attend institutions of higher education simply because a few people feel that it is unfair that they have to pay for something that only they can benefit from.

    Third, look at everything that the government had to cut and steal to make their supposed “balanced budget” during the 1990s. The military and new technology for it was almost completely destroyed during the Clinton years because of low funding and the same is true of Social security which was repetitively stolen from by the National Government to pay of debt. True, the budget was “balanced” during the presidency of Bill Clinton. And it is also true that the momentum of the Republican Revolution led by Newt Gingrich stalled in late 1995 and early 1996 as a result of a budget fight between Congressional Republicans and President Bill Clinton (Clinton wanted a bigger budget but the Republican majority in Congress wanted to stop big budget spending and slow the increase in debt). But neither of them were responsible for the balanced budget. As Stephen Moore of the CATO Institute Policy Think Tank put it, “The historical irony is that the person most responsible for deficit reduction gets very little attention in the national media. The president who deserves the most credit for the fast-approaching balanced budget we are now witnessing is not Bill Clinton. And the Republican who deserves the most credit is not Newt Gingrich. Rather, the politician whose long-run policies are most responsible for leading us to a potential balanced budget next year is Ronald Reagan. Yes, Reagan, the man vilified by Clinton for “tripling the national debt in the 1980s.

    Reagan’s legacy affects us dramatically today in two ways. First, Reagan’s anti-Communist foreign policy and his military buildup hastened the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In the past eight years, America’s victory in the Cold War generated a half-trillion-dollar peace dividend. That peace dividend grows every year, and it fell like manna from heaven into President Clinton’s lap. The budget deficit is falling, not primarily because Clinton raised taxes and not primarily because the congressional Republicans committed themselves to a balanced budget, but because the defense budget is nearly $100 billion lower today than when the Berlin Wall came down.

    The second effect of the Reagan years was to launch America into what is now widely regarded as a remarkable 15-year low-inflation, high-employment bull market (the Dow was at 800 in 1982, 8,000 today)–interrupted only mildly in the middle Bush years. These 15 years of prosperity were propelled by Reaganomics: lower tax rates, a long-run decline in inflation and interest rates (which also lowers tax rates), freer international trade and a strong dollar. Even with the anti-supply-side Bush and Clinton tax hikes, the top tax rate today of 40% is far below the towering 70% tax rate that disabled the economy in the 1970s. The end of the Cold War has created an international environment of peace and stability, nudging the economy into still higher gear in recent years.”

    Fourth (and I will keep this one short), I have not heard the conservatives down talking our economy, rather it has been the man who has the highest deficit between republican and democratic support in the history of all United States Presidents (all in the name of bipartisanship too).

  4. Good points Patrick. If America is “failed capitalism”, I am ALL for it. 🙂

    Also, what many of the anti-capitalists forget is that communism is what has failed every single time it is tried. Unless, of course, you call forced abotions, lack of freedom of the press and sacrificing individual liberties a success.

  5. Congress forcing lenders to offer risky loans is not the type of regulation that helps capitalism. To judge this form of manipulated capitalism is setting up a straw man to knock down.

    Conservatives do tend to evaluate personal responsibility, but I dunno that they are only going after home buyers. While the buyers are part of the problem, there is a lot of anger at Congress—regardless of party. On FOX, O’Reilly *hammered* Rep. Barney Frank for not owning up to Congress’ role in this mess. Conservative blogs are also frustrated with Bush and the GOP for quitting on the problem before it got to this point.

    To suggest the federal government subsidize housing is really saying that richer citizens should be forced to subsidize poorer citizens (more than they already are). It’s pretty easy to spend other people’s money…

    Even in our current recession, is not America one of the most successful nations…EVER? To say capitalism is inherently flawed is like complaining that Steve Kerr hit a series-winning shot instead of Michael Jordan in a run of six titles.

  6. Thank you Roland, communism and socialism look good on paper, but are both inherently flawed when you take into account that it allows people to take no personal accountability for their actions. Sorry, but owning a house, free medical care, and college education are not rights of the people. They are privileges offered to those who work hard enough to enjoy them.

  7. For what it’s worth, I think there is certainly room for some government programs to help people. Where it can go off the rails though:

    1) The government begins to suggest it is spending its own money rather than money it taxed from citizens. Ethically, it’s…icky, and leads to a warped view of government’s role.

    2) The tax burden begins to reach a tipping point, where the wealthy are fleeced. Why should a person put out the effort if 50% of their efforts are for someone else? Why continue to do business in such a tax environment? In other words: let us not kill the geese that lay the golden eggs. Investors and job creators help fuel the economy.

    3) Rather than try to help with a few key areas, government keeps adding more programs. End result: nanny state.

    4) Government is the anti-thesis of efficiency. It would be more efficient to help free markets work to solve problems. This not only saves money to taxpayers, it can create private-sector jobs that provides a better product in the end.

  8. Matt S, I really like point number 4; I believe that is why we live in a polity.

    Patrick: “Sorry, but owning a house, free medical care, and college education are not rights of the people. They are privileges offered to those who work hard enough to enjoy them.”

    Have you seen some of the work students have done in some of your classes? They attend a top tier school and are granted the best out of opportunity. I know students that deserve to be on our campus and want to be there but cannot due to factors beyond their control. Working hard does not mean one can pay his or her bills; it is far more complex than this. Challenge for you: If I told you that you could switch positions with another person who attends a rough school, owns no car, folks must rent from a landlord who changes rent, and college would be taken care of by loans, would you switch? Oh, you are sick but are subject to secondary health care b/c paying the additional amount for your illness means less food or no rent — interested? Life is tough for a lot of people. A lot of hardworking people.

  9. Well, I can’t use fancy words like some of you but I do know this. I’ve seen and experienced both sides of this issue. I’ve lived in homes that are financially stable and homes that have needed government help. The stable homes have been families who really do value hard work, save enough to buy what they need, do without what they can’t afford and in general don’t whine about not having the fanciest up to date “needs”. Some homes have been owned by the family, some have been temporary dwellings while the family saved the money to buy a home. Some families took extra jobs to afford the schooling needed some made the most out of public school, some choose to live frugally and homeschool so that the children had what they needed.

    The homes that needed government help afforded me the opportunity to spend MANY days in welfare type offices being exposed to the various types of people who use public funding. Some, as was the family I was with, genuinely needed the helping hand while they got back on their feet. They worked hard to get off public funding and lived on what they had and made careful choices and worked hard to get themselves out of debt. (no small feat for this family I assure you.) Some of the others I was around would actually say things like, “I just want to have more kids so I can get more money?!?!?!” They often choose to let the government pay for their food, healthcare, and housing and would spend their own money on fancy shoes, fast food (which in my mind creates more need for healthcare) and other such luxuries that responsible people in hard times do without. All the while whining about how the government doesn’t do enough to help them out!

    Now, I’m not saying that everyone is taking advantage of government help. I’ve known many who’ve really needed it but they are working to get off of the help not making a career out of living off of the government. Personal responsibility is needed. So is government support for those in trouble. If you are living a life that way however, then I have a problem with you. Give a man a fish so he can eat while he learns…. but DO expect him to learn.

    I had 3 scholarships and 5 jobs to put myself through college. I took classes as I could afford them. I went to the school I could afford. I do not carry any student loans that I have to pay back at exorbitant rates. THIS is how capitalism works. If students can’t afford your school, they don’t go to your school. You have to lower your fees or raise your quality to get students. Here’s some Darwin for you…. “the fittest survive!” Not the pathetic whiney freeloaders on government bailout that are too lazy to do the work for themselves. Yes, some people genuinely need Pell Grants ( I did to help me get through the first 2 years…. but I soon got on my feet with enough jobs to do it myself). I have no respect for people who want help but do no work. Sorry. I don’t. I’ve clawed my way and it’s been hard. If I can do it, anybody can.

    Yes, in times like these the government should step in and help…. with job training, healthy living education, debt management skills. I was actually told in a government health clinic that letting the child I was caring for eat bologna and hot dogs and macaroni was HEALTHY! Come on! If that is what they are telling people then that is why diabetes is such an issue and obesity is the standard in these government clinics. No wonder we have an over worked healthcare system. A+B always =C. Plain and simple.

    Our children need a better education, our parents need to know what real nutrition is and our government officials need to have the same social security plan that we common folk have. If they rowed our boat, they would care about fixing the leaks.

    Ok enough soap box.

  10. You have some great points anonymous, you are very well articulated and that more than compensates for the lack of flashy words.

    Carson: You know, there is some validity to what you say, but you tend to forget that I grew up in such circumstances. It took a man with a big heart to get me out of them and a woman who was willing to give everything to keep me alive to get me where I am today. Now, consider that I had not had someone to help my mother pay over $15,000 in medical bills to get me past age seven and my mother had to do it on her own, I believe that you are right, I would have wanted to attend our school. But I would also have accepted the reality that we simply did not have the monetary means for me to do so. The fact is, there are going to be people who have been babied through life and are going to have to work a lost less hard than the rest of us. Maybe it is not fair, but it is reality. I’ve chosen to accept that because somewhere along the lines, someone in their family worked their butt off for future generations so that they could have a better and easier life (rather than stealing from them to build frisby golf courses and expand gun regulation). For the rest of us who were less fortunate, if we spent half of the energy expended by whining about the unfairness of life towards actually accomplishing something, we wouldn’t be in the predicament that we are in. Entitlement is a dangerous business. Please remember my table that I presented to you in class as an answer to students who have the grades to go to our school but can’t afford it. I will recount it here for others to understand.

    Say that there are five friends who go to dinner together every night, each representing one of the five classes of society. Upper, middle-upper, middle, lower-middle, and lower. They all pay the same proportion of their income to have identical meals wherein the upper class man pays 10 dollars, the second 8, the third 6, and so on. That adds up to 30 dollars which allows each person to afford a six dollar meal. Now, consider that the other four want to now pay less of a percentage for their meal and want the upper class man to pay double. He would stop eating with them would he not? Now, we are left with 20 dollars to split between four people which allows each member to only buy a five dollar meal (thus of lesser quality).

    Now, imagine that the meal is private education. We begin to let students who cannot afford the means to attend, thus raising the price on students who could afford it. When those students find that they are subsequently being charged exorbitant amounts of money to get an education that is below what they are spending, they too would leave would they not? Thus, the school suddenly has less operating income, must lower its standards because it doesn’t have the monetary means to operate efficiently, and becomes an average non-accredited private institution. Like I said, it looks good on paper and sounds good, but how plausible is it really? Do I have sympathy for them? Absolutely, but telling people that everything is okay and that they can buy things that they cannot afford because others will feel sorry for them is what has gotten us into the situation that we are in. People went out and bought things that they didn’t have the monetary means to purchase and are now surprised that others are blaming them because they expected others to pick up the slack. Kind of like being spoiled without the money isn’t it?

    The truth is, there are ways to do anything in America as long as you don’t give up hope. The cruel irony is that our new president ran an entire campaign preaching hope and change while all the while telling others that they cannot escape the situation that they are in without government regulation and assistance. I would rather protect my freedom by working hard to create a nice living by myself and for myself and not become a leftist fascist/socialist nation thank you, but that is just me.

  11. Heh…I just got this email today that has been making the rounds over the years. Snopes.com files it as legend, unable to trace the story back to its origin. Therefore, take the “Texas Tech” and the authenticity of it with a grain of salt. That being said, it is an interesting illustration of why trying to equalize success could make things worse.

    ___

    “When my dad attended Texas Tech, he had an economics professor that said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism.

    All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. But, as the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too; so they studied little. The second Test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around the average was an F.

    The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for anyone else. All failed to their great surprise and the professor told them that socialism would ultimately fail because the harder to succeed the greater the reward but when a government takes all the reward away, no one will try or succeed.”

    ___

    I have heard a similar story regarding the Pilgrims or early colonists, suggesting they initially tried a communal storehouse but had to go back to a every-man-for-himself system after the colony almost starved to death. The moral of these types of stories (true or not) would be that reward for personal effort is a powerful motivator. A lack of reward is a de-motivator. Dynamism versus stagnation. Again, capitalism is not perfect because humans are not perfect, but allowing people the opportunity to excel has proven successful. We can have a whole other debate on creating opportunities, such as solving education, but the option to risk, fail, and succeed sounds like true freedom.

  12. Patrick,

    You disagreeing with something does mean that it is incorrect. Keynesian economics has been proven correct, and it is a widely accepted economic theory. And there is evidence for scientific racial superiority and evolution, but that is for another discussion.

    Heslthcare and education are natural rights. Maybe you are not familiar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

    “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

    “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.”

  13. I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments.

    Our country’s views on certain issues have become skewed. There is a HUGE difference between a privilege and a right. I think the assumption that everyone should have the right to a home is bogus. If that is the case, wouldn’t you have to arrive to the conclusion that everyone in America has the right to full health insurance/life insurance? Car? College? Where does it stop? That’s absurd thinking. Those are privileges, not rights.

    Responsibility. Does anyone want to claim any responsibility these days? It’s always someone else’s fault OR we turn it into a fluff Master’s class essay that dodges the claim. This starts with me/you and ends with the President.

    Oh by the way, IF rights and privileges are the same now, I want to put in my order – I want a new house.

    I deserve the right, don’t I?

  14. “After a decade of spending under the Reagan regime, he went into office assuring the neocons that he would not bring about any new taxes. However, once in office he realized that the government cannot operate in the red due to tax cuts.”
    His other choice, the “road less taken” if you will, was to cut spending. But I have yet to meet a politician who doesn’t like spending the people’s money. They raise taxes “on the rich”, although who is rich depends on the day of the week and the politician you are asking, to supposedly help the poor. But there are negative effects to that as well.
    I would suggest that we, as a country, need to ask and answer a question which should have been asked 20 years ago. With the end of the cold war and the downfall of the Soviet Union, what is OUR role in the world? What are our goals as a nation? How do we create a system/budget to meet those goals? We put off asking/answering that question during the Bush I years, and during the Clinton years. We did the same with W, and appear to be unwilling to do so under Obama,at least so far. I do find his foreign policy, so far, to be fairly restrained and that is a good thing. His economic policy, on the other hand, seems to be disjointed and a continuation of W… and that is not a good thing.
    Finally, as for the “conservative” pundits, where were they when W and the neo-cons were spending all that money? And now that the Democrats are in power, what happened to all those speeches calling for fiscal responsibility?
    Now I apologize for getting up on my soapbox….

  15. “Universal Declaration of Human Rights?”

    …and that applies to me how?

    Patrick, good points and, as I said, anything to excess is bad including Govco help.

    • Roland,

      You live in the United States. The United States is part of the United Nations. The U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and the United States voted in favor of it.

      THAT’S how it applies to you.

  16. Roland,

    You live in the United States. The United States is part of the United Nations. The U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and the United States voted in favor of it.

    THAT’S how it applies to you.

  17. The Universal Declaration of Human rights is only a declaration, not a binding treaty. I’m not saying that’s bad or that it makes the whole thing unnecessary, just that it’s more “rah rah” than “law law”. Written after the travesties of World War II, it was a good way to remind everyone of their humanity. The social subtext is pretty thick.

    MAYKIN JOY McCROCKERY: (finishes singing “You’re The Best” as a ballad)

    RANDY: Hey, Maykin, wazup? Here’s the thing, yo… for me, for you, for me…it was pretty good. There was a few wonky notes in there that veered off the melody of individual rights, but hey, there’s no doubt you can “blow”. I kinda understood where you were going with the arrangement, trying to play up society, but when you have such a strong melody like the right to self-determination there’s no need to try to improve it with fancy riffs on public freebies. Can I ask why you picked that song?

    MAYKIN JOY: My brother, like, tried to buy a $200,000 house, but he was denied a loan ’cause his job at the QuikMart, like, didn’t pay enough. Between that and all the people dying in the world, this song really meant a lot to me.”

    RANDY: Okay…okay…I feel ya.

    MAYKIN JOY: Maykin, I can really see you as a package artist. I think a lot of people are going to hear your music and think, “You know what… I DO deserve more from society than protection and non-discrimination!” That is really going to inspire people to get out and vote for a better life courtesy of other individuals.

    MAYKIN JOY: Wow…thanks!

    KARA: Don’t you agree, Paula?

    PAULA: Maykin… you look absolutely beautiful tonight. I… think… I could put earplugs in…and watch you sing all day. It…could be…the painkillers talking…but…I thought… you did pretty good tonight. Did you sing… about free drugs?

    MAYKIN JOY: I think everyone deserves everything.

    PAULA: You are just so cute. See you in the finals!

    SIMON: Okay, here’s the thing Maykin. I actually disagree with Randy about the arrangement, because if everyone were limited to wearing a few neutral-colored v-necked shirts, jeans, and platform boots we’d all be a much happier society…

    RANDY: NAW! Ignore him! Look at my custom t-shirt with a white belt and white shoes! This is true style!

    SIMON: … may I finish? That being said, do agree with him about the melody because I exude individual excellence. It works. So much so that I’m getting KILLED on taxes right now. I was thinking of opting out of this show and stick with my British ones, which would at least save me air fare. Anyway, this show is about finding the best of the best, not giving everyone a pat on the head. You’ve got potential, Maykin, you’ve just got to remember there is a spirit behind the music that drives it to succeed. Adding in a confusing arrangement makes people forget how good life can be.

    RYAN: Did you understand any of what Simon just said?

    MAYKIN JOY: Do you have the number for the IRS?

  18. Matt S, and Patrick Ryan… great word pictures! THAT’S what I was trying to say. Socialism sounds great. The utopian (did I spell that right?)world would be a great thing but….. the theory never plays out right in the real world. There must be a balance. Yes, sometimes the government has to step in and help those who need a hand and to regulate the extreme predators who would take advantage of innocent people but if people are not allowed to be individuals and to succeed based on the work of their own hands then the general population will give up and we’ll have anarchy.

    I currently live in a home with 5 children. All very unique and different. All bright and intelligent and in their own unique ways. It’s interesting to watch the parents try to respect the different needs and personalities of them while creating a fair and balanced atmosphere of personal responsibility and justice! These kids are all so close in age that they are practically one unit! They are so fun! It’s amazing how a large family unit can mirror society’s issues… but it does. I know for a fact, socialism in this family would tank the drive to succeed in every single one of these kids! And the world would miss out on what will become some amazing contributions to the world stage.

  19. Dillon,

    Uh…..did you ever take the time to read Article 26 of the Universal Declaration?

    “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.”

    What part of that exactly applies to your argument? It clearly says “Elementary” education. Last I checked, Undergraduate schooling did not count as Elementary. Also, I hardly see a merit basis to school acceptance when schools like Rice and Harvard have a racial quota to meet rather than accepting students based on actual academic scholarship.

    “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.”

    Since when is it the respect of Human Rights to ban public displays of prayer in schools? Since when is it respect of human rights to not allow teachers in public schools to not teach creationism as opposed to evolution? Freedom of speech is definitely important right?

    “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”

    Notice that it does not say, “we reserve the right to tax you like you are attending one of our public schools and then still will force you to actually pay tuition because you want to attend private school.”

    I’m not sure what part of that supported your argument. Secondly, we have a standard of health care. It is called the emergency room. They are not allowed to turn away a sick patient. Why do you think that they are always crowded by illegal aliens who want to visit the “general practitioner?” We also have places for the homeless to stay, it is called mission centers. There is no right to a home because we provide places for those without them to stay, safe from the horrors of our world.

  20. It might FEEL good to give everyone a decent home. It might FEEL good to offer full coverage health care. It might FEEL good to know everyone gets a free education from birth through college. What about the practical consequences of wealth redistribution and increased government influence? On a small scale, we would recoil at the thought of our city government forcing us to specifically subsidize our next door neighbor. It seems to be more palatable to suggest we force “the rich” to pay, faces we never have to see.

    If you literally had to write out a check to the government every paycheck rather than have it magically withdrawn in an anesthetic matter, it might be easier to remember where the government gets its money.

    HOUSING
    – Who pays for all the free or subsidized housing?
    – At what point are you too rich to get federal help? Is that fair?
    – Would the government cap how big a house you could own?

    HEALTH CARE
    – Who pays for all the free or subsidized health care?
    – At what point are you too rich to get free health care? Is that fair?
    – Would the government have to ration services, and how? It that wise?

    EDUCATION
    – Who pays for all the free education?
    – Would government-subsidized education result in better learning?
    – Would government-subsidized education allow intellectual freedom?
    – Could government demand one curriculum, since it claims to foot the bill?

    Socialized entitlements are one big Ponzi scheme, demanding more and more new participants to pay for the increasing demands of the current “investors”. (Europe’s low birth rate has caused them to rely on immigrants, which are naturally eager to accept the Western handouts with little requirement to assimilate… sound familiar?) At some point, this is doomed to failure. Removing the carrot of capitalism makes the economic engine stall even earlier.

    We can’t tax AND spend and keep functioning. That is infantile reasoning (aka Washington D.C. reasoning). To breezily claim we can throw a yoke on “the rich” and whip them into a utopian society forgets the very spirit of man.

    While there is room for federal assistance, let us be careful how much power we cede to the government.

  21. “You disagreeing with something does mean that it is incorrect. Keynesian economics has been proven correct, and it is a widely accepted economic theory. And there is evidence for scientific racial superiority and evolution, but that is for another discussion.”

    Dillion, your saying something has been proven correct does not make it so. The Keynesian school of economics is far from “proven correct” as you assert in your above quoted statement. There are several alternative “schools” of economics, one of which is the Austrian school, which disagree with Keynesian theories. In the 1970’s Richard Nixon (if memory serves correct on this occasion) stated “we are all Keynesian’s now.” By the end of the Carter presidency you would have been hard pressed to find anyone admitting they were Keynesian.

    Anytime anyone asserts something is a “right” there is a follow on to that statement. If you have a “right” to “affordable health care” someone or something has an obligation to provide that for you. When government provides these things it is not done on a voluntary basis.

    You would probably argue the “free market” has failed. I would argue the free market has not, in fact, existed in this country since about the late 19th to very early 20th century.

  22. So, political theorists are great and all, but to completely revolutionize this concept and stop the contemplative argumentation. To truly actualize this concept of “right to education”, one must first confine the extent to which the process would be actualized. Realistically, as so many others have pointed out, this right to education is unable to be a right that is equally distributed. Sure, we can all have the “right to education”, because it falls under the pursuit of happiness, but this essentially must be undermined by the economic status of an individual. This gap is trying to be bridged through need-based scholarships. Is it not the left’s perogative that the government meddle less in society’s affairs. The government’s place as is stated in Locke’s Second Treatise on Government is not to control the market, but to create basic parameters that allow for the least amount of force to create the least amount of problems. Now if we want the government to enforce this right to education, why do we not expand this drastic measure to enforce citizens’ right to owning a home by buying everyone a home. Totally unrealistic. I sympathize with the fact that there are people who pass through the system because of thier socioeconomic conditions, I can not relate in the least bit, because I realize that I am the sheltered typical white person, that through my community service work, have not even scratched the surface of what it is like to be in need. This is a concept that some of the previous posts need to realize. Although because I cannot percieve who these people are because this is the internet, the emotion catharsis drastically dramatizes who they are. We may have rights, but the government cannot overextend its tentacled into the private domain and afix benefits to those they deem of academic merit due to thier need of quotas.

  23. So where in the constitution does it say that the government is supposed to give you money for college? We do not need bigger government, we need smaller government. If the government gives people money for being poor, then what is their motivation to work harder and become wealthier? Especially if the wealthier they get, the more money they get taken away from them through taxes. I would much rather have a society where I can work hard, keep my money, and be independent of the government. Your far-left ideology is going to be the downfall of democracy: When people realize they can vote themselves a check. That is what Obama believes in. “Spreading the wealth” Excuse me but I do not want to work my butt off just to get my money taken away from me and given to some lazy prick who lives off the governments check. I might as well just write a check to that person so it doesn’t have to get smaller while going though the corrupt, wasteful machine we call our government.

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