Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Popularity Tactics

It seems to me that popularity is a relative thing here and it reminds me of the bear joke...

Bob and Dan are camping when they see a big grizzly bear running their way.  Bob stops to change into his running shoes and Dan tells him, "that is stupid because you'll never out run the bear".  To which Bob replies, "I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to out run you..."

With this in mind, is it easier to gain personal popularity or to make the opponent less popular?  Why?

What are the most effective methods?  Can one go too far?

I am most interested in the Romney vs Obama contest right now, since I am pretty sure that is going to be a knock down drag out fight....  However, other examples are encouraged...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Politics: The Popularity Contest

I had been planning to post on this topic and was delighted to find the first article just now.

I have been wondering how in the world we are going to reduce the debt when both sides just want to increase it...  The Liberals of course want to GROW government and spending, somehow thinking that the "Rich" should and can afford it.  And the Conservatives want to SHRINK government and keep all their money in their pockets. (ie thinking that they deserve it all and that our society had little to do with their "personal" success)

So what is a politician to do in order to gain popularity? 

The upside I guess is that ours is a self correcting system.  If the majority are doing well, they will likely support smaller government and less wealth transfer. (ie keep their own money)  However if the majority are doing poorly and have little money to keep, they will likely vote for bigger government and more wealth transfer. (get "that guys" money)

And this only addresses the Left/Right issues. (G2A L or R)  There are a whole lot more popularity points available in the Up/Down direction.

So are we citizens capable of behaving like responsible adults or will we continue to vote whatever is good for our personal wallet in the short term?

CNN: Is Democracy in Crisis?
Foreign Affairs The Present Crisis in Democracy
CNN: Who's the Problem: People or Politicians?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Philosophy of Taxes and Funding

Well J has me thinking again...  Here are the comments that I found of interest...
"Nope. You are not the one I am paying. Your tax deduction allows you to keep more of your own money, and the taxes you do pay partly support the cost of your kids' educations." J Ewing  (G2A Pay For) 
"The first is a service a company willingly pays, even though it may be incidental and "overhead" expense to the business. Bureaucrats peddling meddling over-regulation are NOT an expense we willingly pay and one we do not need-- indeed would be wealthier without." J Ewing  (G2A DFL and Jobs)
The first seems to say that us Parents should be allowed to reduce our tax contribution just because we chose to have kids.  And in some way we deserve this benefit because it is our money.  (ie instead of "make work" policy, this may be "make babies" policy)  The second infers that the government/society is forced wasteful spending that is against "our" will.

I kind of believe that we all contribute into the "community chest".  This may be a forced contribution, yet the amount is set by our society's will and it is the charge for being part of this society.  The decision to provide credits, allow deductions or fund certain activities is society's way of encouraging or discouraging certain behaviors.  Thus this child credit is there to encourage citizens to have kids or help subsidize their care.  Also, society then chooses to spend the money on things that they think will improve our country. (ie have value)  The point being that once it is in the "Community Chest", society is using it to benefit some group of citizens.(ie education funding benefits parents, children & society)

J's comments lead me to believe that another view is that there should be no "community chest" and that people should only fund what they agree with.  The other expenditures that society chooses are apparently waste.  I'll let him reply with more detail regarding this philosophy.


Monday, May 14, 2012

RDALE Updates

Some followup thoughts regarding the RMS discpline discussions.

Sun Sailor: RMS has come a long way
Sun Sailor: District Listens and Acts

Pay for Good Parenting?

This article, "Although Parenting is Hard Work, it's Rewarding" by Jenny Holte in the Sun Sailor, got me thinking...  Which isn't always a good thing...

What if we changed the tax code to reward "good responsible hard working parents".  Currently there is a tax credit for citizens that have children that are 16 yrs old and under, however it phases out based on income. (Child Tax Credit) {bummer: I'm losing one of them this yr as my oldest is now 17... note to self: change with holding...}  There are also several other tests.

Now why don't we just insert a test that reduces/increases the payment based on the child's grades or discipline record.  People get a financial incentive to support their child, make sure they learn, and make sure they behave.

Or if that seems too biased because the kid's capability varies.  Maybe we have the Principals assign each family an "EFFORT" grade??? (0% to 100%) This could go write into the tax form.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Put Me In Charge

A reader just forwarded me a chain letter.  Of course I don't forward them, however I do sometimes post them.  Here is another blog that posted the text. Patrick: Put me in Charge.  The comments are almost as interesting as the letter...  Thoughts?

Would this provide adequate motivation to help people work real hard to get out of poverty.  (G2A Why are Poor People Poor?)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

DFL Creates More Jobs than GOP

Bloomberg: Private Jobs Increase More with Democrats in WH

This link was provided today on the last post, with the following guidance from Anonymous.
"As someone concerned about our country's long term economic strength you should really vote for a Democrat for President."
I'll need to do some more research before I understand why this would be the case.  However my first question will be:

Are they wealth creating or depleting jobs?

The quick version:

  • Inventors, Manufacturers, Farmers, Teachers, etc create wealth.
  • Bureaucrats, Service Providers, Maintainers, etc are at best wealth neutral. 

Just like home maintenance depletes wealth (ie same value after spend) and home improvements add wealth (ie more value after spend).  Did these jobs add value to the USA?
G2A Made in America: The Myth?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

What Punishment Fits this Crime?

My daughter's first Prom was disrupted soon after it started last night.  I am sure this was very frustrating in oh so many ways for oh so many people.  Though I agree that the Police and 281 AHS administrators made the right call in evacuating the Students very quickly.

Since we just discussed Student behavior, policy and discipline...  If they find that it was a student(s), what do you think the district should do to them as an adequate punishment?  Thoughts?

KARE11 Prom and Wedding Receptions Evacuated
CBS Local Prom Cut Short
KSTP Prom Cut Short
G2A RDALE Policies

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dayton Puts Bad Teachers before Students

Star Tribune: Dayton Vetoes Teacher Tenure Bill
Scribd Dayton's Letter
G2A Tenure Pro/Con
G2A Tenure Stress

All I can hope is that this bites the Democrats in the butt come election time...  It should make for some great ads...  "Democrats Believe !!!  Teachers First !!!  Students Second !!!"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

RDALE: Problems with Study Hall

As I often mention, I am blessed to have great daughters who are very academically minded.  They work hard to get good grades and take challenging classes.  Yet Armstrong High School has one of those strange rules that though I understand the rationale, makes no sense to me.

Apparently if you are not out for choir, band  and/or orchestra, you are required to spend an period of your day parked in Study Hall...  Now I understand that budgets are tight and I assume that Study Hall doubles for Teacher Prep time. (vs class/teaching time)  Yet to have a bright and inquisitive mind parked for 1/7th of the relatively short school day seems like an incredible waste.

I had pretty well accepted this strange policy, because the students at least had the freedom during study hall to make use of resource rooms.  This meant that they could get passes to go to the computer labs, get questions answered by available Teachers, take make up tests, do test corrections, etc.  Unfortunately the AHS administration has decided to discontinue these  passes...  Instead they have decided to only allow students out if a Teacher specifically calls the Study Hall to ask for a student that needs additional help.

Now I am certain that there are students that take advantage of this freedom and privilege to waste time, make noise, etc.  And it likely does take some time away from Teachers that are in the Resource rooms doing their prep.  Yet how does it make any sense to prevent good and dedicated students from using this time effectively to learn?


If you want to voice your opinion, here are some contacts:
RDALE School Board
RDALE Administration
RDALE AHS Administration

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Heritage Foundation: Rational or Insane?

An Anonymous commenter weighed in on the G2A FICA: Income vs Benefit post with a link that has a wealth of charts, ideas, etc. (Heritage: Federal Budget in Pictures) (Heritage: About Fed budget Pics)

Now it looks like the Heritage Foundation has been around for quite awhile. (About Heritage Foundation)  So one may assume they are relatively reasonable and supported by someone, yet to me they definitely seem to be far off to the Right and somewhat Totalitarian. (Heritage: Issues) Which is where the Nolan chart would put them. (Nolan Chart)

Including one of my favorite inconsistencies. (Heritage: Obamacare)  Where they complain about their Religious Rights being trampled on while trying to take away the Rights of those that are Pro-Choice. (G2A Abortion and Conservatives)

With this wealth of info and opinion, I am sure I'll be looking further into their web pages.  Until then...  What do you think about this Organization and their beliefs?  Especially their plan to Save the Dream.