Saturday, December 10, 2016

Baby Makers or Parents

From Jerry at the DeVos Post
"And you keep waltzing around the idea that the almighty State is the right person to decide who has children, how they are raised and what education they can get. Until you are ready to give people the freedom to make choices in all these things, even bad choices, you have no grounds on which to call them irresponsible. 
Besides, you still have not said how government will control these "irresponsible parents," while you seem unwilling to take even minimum steps to improve the public schools that government already controls. 
If you are correct, which I doubt, we could almost immediately solve 30% of the problem, and then try to figure out the other 70%. Myself, I think if you got the schools where they need to be, the other 70% would start to decline over time. That's the very promise of public schools, was it not?" Jerry
Here is two of my comments that preceded his.
"While disagreeing with Jerry, I decided to stop referring to all adults who make babies as Parents. Here is an interesting link regarding what it means to be a Real Actual Parent.

Not someone who just happened to have irresponsible sex and kept the resulting child. 
And yes I do think society should ensure that kids are raised by Parents, not just people who had sex and kept the resulting child." G2A
"People are often happier when they get to choose. That does not mean their children will get smarter faster. In fact it may mean their children will get smarter more slowly.
I mean the Parent may choose a school because of a charismatic administrator, a curriculum that they agree with, they love the arts, they love religion, the teachers are so sweet or other. And yet none of these ensure the child will effectively learn what is important." G2A
Here is another of my comments from MP Morrison County. (the moderators won't let me reply to Dennis...  so frustrating...)
"I have been arguing with my readers what the most basic Parental expectation should be.
  • Child is prepared for kindergarten. (ie socially, behaviorally, physically, academically, etc)
  • Child is fed, washed, rested and their homework is complete when they arrive at school each day.
  • Child can stay in the same school for years at a time.
  • Parent attends conferences and strives to learn how they can help.
These people made these babies and should be held responsible for raising them successfully. We should not be expecting our education system to be Teachers and "Parents" also. 
Currently we do spend Trillions of dollars per year via government to "fix poverty". You correctly point out that the systems are wasteful and ineffective. I am happy to try something different. 
As for what they will do with that basic knowledge, motivation, self confidence and skills... Only time will tell." G2A
The irony of course is that a Liberal like Dennis has similar views to Jerry...
"What do we do when the parents don't or fail at the responsibility clause? Oliver Twist 101? How are we going to hold them responsible, jail, take away WIC, food stamps, housing vouchers, throw them out in the street, deny them food? Many of these families move 2-3 times a year. Can we restrict their right to move? There seems to be a gigantic over "simple" of how the real world works." Dennis
My thoughts:

  • Jerry is a huge supporter of giving school vouchers (public money) to people who  "make babies" in the name of fairness, civil rights, equality, etc. And yet he is against giving these financially challenged individuals free Long Acting Reversible Contraception which would enable them to choose when to make babies (or not)...  Just like the well off men and women of America.
  • In MN Baby Makers have the choice of status quo public schools, magnets, charters, home schooling, online learning, private schools, open enrollment and moving to a new district, and I support all of these.  I am also for stopping seniority/ degrees based compensation / job security, and replacing it with performance / position difficulty based compensation and job security. Seems to me I support school choice/ school improvement.
  • In my opinion, vouchers may help some of the middle income folks who live in poor districts that have a high percentage of at risk / unlucky children.  The voucher will subsidize what they can afford to pay and they may be able to enroll their child in a Private school that has a much lower percentage of at risk / unlucky children.  So yes some people will be helped. Just as magnets, privates, open enrollment, moving, etc enable others to leave their unlucky peers and community behind.
  • Of course, that means that the density of unlucky and special needs kids left behind will increase, the number of good students and families will decrease and the status quo schools will become worse and more expensive.  Just as when the lucky students and families fled N Mpls over the decades leaving behind all the unlucky students and families.
  • As for stopping Baby Makers from making babies until they are truly ready to be Parents. My simplistic view is that having babies and raising children should be a privilege and not a right. Adults are not allowed to drive a car legally until they can afford insurance and pass 2 tests.  Yet to be a Baby Maker all one has to do is have unprotected sex...  No test required.
  • And ironically it is those who are least prepared, self disciplined and responsible who are more likely to unintentionally make a baby...  Now I think raising a child is far more difficult and important than driving a car.
  • In summary, Jerry wants to give many people who have proven themselves irresponsible even more responsibility for spending our tax dollars.
  • And I think Dennis wants the tax payers to keep spending more money to bear the consequences that should carried by the baby makers
  • And neither wants to discuss how to promote reducing the number of unlucky kids born each year. I will leave you with this reminder...

Housing for Starving Artists

Since I am a STEM / business / buy a nice house guy pretty much through and through, I can not relate to this chosen artistic life style.  I figure it is good to pursue your passions "after you work to pay the bills".

And the idea that someone else is responsible for you choosing to live in a warehouse, surrounded by paint thinner and other highly flammable substances is amazing.  Thoughts?

Slate Blame the Housing Crisis for Deaths
USA Today Space for Artists

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Trump, Carrier, Employees and Attacking

How does this guy have any credibility?  He brags up the 1,100 jobs will not be moving and hints that Carrier will not be using the Mexican Plant.(ie sell it)  Neither being true... Amazing...

And instead of apologizing he goes after the Union guy..  Amazing...
CNN When Trump Attacks
CNN Union Boss has No Regrets
Trump Speech Video (at ~23:00 to 24:00)

Importance of Credibility

DeVos and School Choice

Good timing for this MP Article

 "What do we have to loose?  Inner city schools have failed our inner city families. The racial disparities have been alarming for decades. School choice for inner city youth has worked yet the unions and elites fight school choice all the time. 
What do we have to do to stop the elites from further harming the inner city youth?!" Mike 
"The Mpls and St Paul school districts are poster children for this.
  • High Administration costs
  • Highest paid Teachers in easiest classrooms
  • Lowest paid Teachers in hardest classrooms
  • Compensation / Job Security not based on results
  • Many Children Left Behind
I especially like the Ed Mn reps comment. “It’s my understanding that President-elect Trump wants to take $20 billion ... from public schools and funnel it to for-profit enterprises. That will hurt a lot of students in the public system,” she said."
Hearing this from the same person who supports all the dysfunctions noted above is amazing. The reality is that the Union exists to ensure their employees make more, have more control and don't get fired. It is exists for the betterment of the adults, not the children.
By the way, please remember that I think the Public School are 30% of the problem. And irresponsible, incapable and/or neglectful Parents and our societal tolerance / support of them are 70% of the problem. Unfortunately the current systems care for all the adults and sacrifice the unlucky kids." G2A

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Where Did the Money Go?

From Laurie

"Stagnant wages have sliced the share of income collected by the bottom half of the population to 12.5 percent in 2014, from 20 percent of the total in 1980. Where did that money go? Essentially, to the top 1 percent, whose share of the nation’s income nearly doubled to more than 20 percent during that same 34-year period."

A Bigger Economic Pie, but a Smaller Slice for Half of the U.S.

So John can continue to blame people buying foreign goods for leaving so many workers behind in our economy and I will continue to blame the greedy top 1%.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What One Beggar Said to the Other Beggar

The Urban Liberal comments on MP are driving me CRAZY...  Repeatedly they bring up that the rural areas of MN receive LGA from the metro...  Then imply that this should in some way impact what and/or who the rural folks choose to vote for...  All the while ignoring the fact that most of the DFL controlled urban areas in MN receive LOTS and LOTS of LGA in absolute dollars.

So who is supplying all this LGA and receiving none? Per the MP tool below, it is the GOP controlled outer suburbs.  So does this mean that the DFL urban communities should comply with the wishes of the citizens of the outer burbs just because they are paying the bills?

I think the Urban Liberals need to develop their gratitude and giving skills further.

MP Confused
MP Morrison County Voted Trump
"Minnpost created an interesting tool awhile back. MP LGA Tool

Please note that it is the GOP controlled Burbs that are supporting the folks in the other cities. And as a citizen of Plymouth, you are all welcome. Those of you who live in Minneapolis/St Paul and those who live in Little Falls." G2A
And no I am not saying that the Urban Liberals should change their beliefs or votes, but I do think they should stop criticizing their fellow beggar just because they believe differently. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Downside of Protectionism

CNN Why Protecting Steel Workers is Bad for America

This piece explains things pretty well. It is pretty well aligned to the comment I made on the Carrier post.
"Now raising the import fees seem like a good idea if we can do it without killing our exports.

That will force people who want to buy that foreign car to pay more. A Prius price may increase by $10,000 until Toyota fires up a factory in the US to avoid the fee. But then it may cost more because we pay people more.

Just imagine if the price of everything foreign made at Target, Walmart, Car Dealerships, etc jumped by 30%... How will the lower income folks make do?

The reality is that this is apparently what Liberals want. (ie higher wages) Now the question is are they willing to pay for it? "
Here is an interesting piece regarding car choices.  I'll never understand why the people who supposedly support American Workers, American Unions, Higher Wages for American Employees, etc (ie Liberals) consistently buy more foreign designed / manufactured vehicles than the people who are supposedly greedy, self centered, against Unions, etc (ie Conservatives) ...

By the way, please note the difference between my 2 most recent purchases.
  • 2010 Subaru Forester - Scored 1 out 100 for domestic content
  • 2010 Ford Mustang Convertible - Scored 80 out of 100 for DC
Due to my "Buy American / Support Jobs Here" bias I feel guilty about buying the Subaru, but there were complicating factors...  On the upside I will be getting rid of a Yamaha so it will net out.

Ps...  My 2004 Yamaha FJR1300 is for sale...

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Trump Voucher Plan

From Laurie

Donald Trump’s huge, ambitious school voucher plan, explained

The title one portability could have a large impact on my school, though it is much too complicated for me to understand what it would be. We have nearly 100% students who would qualify for these vouchers. If they choose to stay at my school would we wind up with more or less money for title one intervention teachers? We currently have 3 in a building with about 350 students, so there are a great many students not getting the academic support they need. More intervention teachers funded by federal dollars would be great, or on the other hand we could lose students and dollars. I think there may be Somali private schools that families could choose with a really expanded voucher program, but I am not sure about this.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Carrier Deal

From Laurie:

Here is a topic slightly related to the concept of freeloaders if one thinks of corporate take breaks as freeloading. Here are 2 articles which seem like opposing views about the carrier deal. I haven't actually read them yet but they sounded interesting. Maybe somebody here can read them and tell me what to think about this. My first inclination is to go with the first viewpoint.

Trump’s Carrier deal could permanently damage American capitalism

but this second one sounds interesting, as who loves corporations, and maybe they should be forced to show more consideration for their workers.

Donald Trump’s Carrier deal could make American capitalism better

I am going to read them later as it is happy hour time. So what do people think of the Carrier deal?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Birth Control Funding

I agree with this writer that it is stupid for Conservatives to cut funding to anything that prevents unwanted babies from being conceived.  Especially since they want nothing to do with funding the care and early education of these young unplanned/unwanted children. And yet they do have a tendency to be stupid at times, so I have no doubt that they will try. CNN Opinion: Birth Control

On the other hand I am not sure how one can say that the funding does not support PP's ability to do abortions? I mean if the funding goes away, I assume PP will need to reprioritize their spend unless make up donations can be found.

Well if their funding does get cut, I will probably have another charity to add to my list.  And if there are 10 million households like mine out there...  We only need to give $50 per year...  And the upside is that maybe PP can become more efficient and effective if they don't have their hands tied by the Religious Right Politicians / Bureaucrats...
Life News $500 Million / yr to PP

Those Thankless Free Loaders

Now MP Confused is a gift that keeps giving.
"As I read through these comments I am amazed at the spitefulness displayed by those who chose to live the urban lifestyle. I truly do not know where these folks get their information.

Perhaps the most significant statement is the one defining rural as people who want there roads and bridges and urbanites as people who want light rail and buses. No matter how many rail lines you build and bus routes are available urbanites are still dependent on someone else to transport them. Rural residents do want decent roads and bridges but they can and will travel independently when necessary. Just remember every dollar the government spends comes out of the working taxpayer's income. The government has no money to spend that it hasn't taken from some who earned it." Candace

"They take it from us (actively employed and successful urban folks) to give to you (unemployed, struggling rural folks). Kinda underlined by the premise of the article. Don't get me wrong, we're happy to help, as is our nature, being generally liberal and such. We just tend to get a bit miffed when folks decide they need to "take their country back" at the expense of those footing their ever increasing tab. Just because rural folks seem to want to be left to fail out of some misguided sense of duty doesn't mean we as a society should just leave them to it. Pride truly is one of humankind's greatest impediments to progress." Matt

"Being from an extended family who is footing a lot of the bills for many low income folks in the state. Somehow I find this amusing.

Now you do realize that most citizens get more out of the system than they pay in in taxes. I mean education costs for those who have children are huge, then there is Medicaid, food stamps, child tax credit, safety, roads, etc...

For a minute there I though it was a Conservative commenting... :-) " G2A

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Money Tree

Liberal commenters on MP often state that the way to the out state voter's heart is by spending more money on them. Since I came from out state this concept often confuses me. MP Confused
"I am always fascinated at where folks think the government money to service bonds and spend on projects comes from? Is there a secret money tree in St Paul?

From my simplistic understanding, every dollar that the government spends has to be taken from the citizens. Or in the case of bonds, it is spent on the current citizens while the burden of paying the bill is transferred to our children.

Now I understand that many here think that the MN government has not been increasing their spending fast enough. However this data from the MMB clearly shows that gov't spending is/has been increasing more rapidly than our incomes. Probably not a good trend. MN Spending History

And please remember that it was the DFL who wanted to raise taxes on fuel (regressive tax), rather than finding ways to make government more effective and efficient.
 A related string from MP GOP Surprise. (see link for responses from Dan)
"When I was visiting my family in SW MN, I heard this interesting story. Apparently one of our neighbors works road construction in MN and SD, he is apparently paid $16/hr in SD and $32/hr in MN due to MN's wage laws. Now the reality is that $16/hr is a good wage in that community, however the folks in St Paul apparently know better than the employers what a fair wage is.

Therefore citizens across MN are paying more in taxes, and the locals are not too happy about that."

"Actually they mandate much higher wages in the Metro...Prevailing Wage

Just remember that when you are wondering at the staggering cost of road, bridge, light rail, stadium, etc construction. It is the folks in St Paul who mandated the wages and drove up the project costs.

Not sure how taking more from all of us citizens to give more to certain citizens makes sense. Maybe it encourages those folks to vote for them..." G2A

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The MN GOP Surprise

Sean and the Urbanites are picking on the farm hicks again...
MP GOP Surprise
"I would be fine with lowering farm property taxes, for example, if that is what rural people want. If we're doing that I would like them to cut the MN Department of Agriculture or cut them out of Local Government Aid to pay for it, not make cuts to Metro Transit or the University of Minnesota.

People in rural areas need to realize that the Twin Cities are the engine of the local economy and metro taxes are paying for their schools, their nursing homes and their local government. If lower taxes are their highest priority then we need to stop paying for those items in rural areas to compensate for the loss of revenue.

I don't believe that is the best tactic in the long run. After all, those Greater Minnesota kids end up moving to the Twin Cities when they want a career and we need them prepared to contribute." Dan
"If rural Minnesota really wants to be left alone, they best make sure they understand what that means. Because without LGA or the state K-12 education funding formula or the historical 50-50 distribution of road funding dollars, the ability to kick gay people out of the local bakery may prove to be a hollow victory in the long run." Sean
"I think you underestimate how reliant the MN and Metro economy are on Agriculture, Tourism, Ag Business, etc.

Just like a 6 cylinder engine, 2 fouled plugs can ruin a car's performance.

It would be interesting to learn how many metro jobs our rural economy enables? A start is General Mills, Cargill, Land O'Lakes, CHS / Cenex, the Banks, U of MN, Syngenta, Hormel, Koch and Other Petroleum Industries, other food processing companies, Labs that focus on animal supplies/ medication / food, etc." G2A

And without rural MN, Minnesota would be a pretty boring and broke State. Who would want to live in a cold city if it were not for Cabin country, all those pristine lakes, hiking trails, etc?

Not to mention that agriculture is what made this State and the Metro what it is... Remember the term "Mill City" and some of those key businesses like General Mills, Pillsbury, Cargill, Land O Lakes, Minneapolis Moline, etc, etc.

Here is an interesting history of our area.
Development Periods 

My simple point is that somehow all Minnesotans need to work together. And respect each others views. Our system was wisely set up to force us to do so...  G2A

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Recount Equals Scam

NBC Recount Coverage  Trump's response is amusing/sad, especially after all his talk of a rigged system and not committing to accepting the results if he lost.

Of course on the other hand, it is very strange that Hillary is getting involved in this very long shot attempt after her previous comments and actions.. Thoughts?
"President-elect Donald Trump slammed the effort as a "scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded." He also posted on Twitter, including a series of tweets early Sunday quoting Clinton's previous comments on respecting the outcome of the election and calling the recount effort "sad.""