[ExI] Americans are poor drivers

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Jul 12 14:20:24 UTC 2009

2009/7/12 Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it>:
> Stathis Papaioannou ha scritto:
>> 2009/7/12 Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it>:
>>> The real history usually is a bit different:
>>> for example education was entirely private and public education was
>>> introduced, by governments, to "help the poor" that could not pay and
>>> send the children to school. Then they enlarged the pool to the people
>>> that could pay, driving out the private providers. The fact that private
>>> providers exist after a century or more is testament that free and good
>>> rarely come together.
>> Public education is not free, it's paid for, and it's a major drain on
>> taxpayers.
> It is free after the government have extorted your money from you.
> The choice is "free" public education or paid (anew) private education.
> But this beg the question, "Why is it a major drain for the taxpayers?"
> For example ( from here
> http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/a_lesson_in_stupid_tax_policy.html
> ) North Carolina have 2.300.000 inhabitants under 18 years, so I suppose
> they go to school. The state budget for public schools is 8 billions of
> $ (37% of the state budget). So, around 2 million of students cost 8
> billions every years. This is 4.000$ per head per years
> Now, looking at Cato Institute paper (
> http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3231 ) I find that
> "The most recent figures available from the U.S. Department of Education
> show that in 2000 the average tuition for private elementary schools
> nationwide was $3,267. Government figures also indicate that 41 percent
> of all private elementary and secondary schools -- more than 27,000
> nationwide -- charged less than $2,500 for tuition. Less than 21 percent
> of all private schools charged more than $5,000 per year in tuition.
> According to these figures, elite and very expensive private schools
> tend to be the exception in their communities, not the rule."
> Now, supposing the worst private school is at par of the median public
> school, moving to all private schools would save North Carolina 1.8-2.0
> Billions $ every year. They could repay debts (so paying less in the
> long run) or lower taxes. But, as the politicos need the support of the
> teacher's unions to be re-elected, this is out of question. Better raise
> taxes and make people poorer.

If a private enterprise is demonstrably cheaper *and* better than a
public enterprise, then the public enterprise should reform itself.
Sack management, make each school accountable for its own budget,
privatise the schools and allow them to compete for students (while
the government still pays the tuition), whatever - unless a good
reason can be found against doing so. It might be OK to waste private
money, but if it's taxpayer's money that's being wasted, the taxpayers
should get rid of the government, and if they won't go, overthrow

>> You mean, losing out to the communists, who maintain a tight grip on
>> every aspect of their "market" economy, even to the point of arresting
>> the executives of commercial rivals:
>> http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25768420-601,00.html
> Cheap shot.
> This don't change the facts that their economy is growing faster than
> ours. Why? We, in theory, have more wealth available to reinvestment, so
>  Why we are not growing faster than them?

I think it's because the West has grown fat and lazy on easy credit
and an overvalued currency. An American hairdresser gets a lot more
gold per haircut than an Indian or a Chinese hairdresser, when they do
exactly the same work. This is currently what the market says should
be the case and some people will argue that ipso facto, an American
haircut *is* more valuable than a Chinese haircut. Ultimately these
things correct themselves and in 50 years time, it might be the
Chinese buying cheap American and European imports. Against this
happening would be a grossly inefficient economic system closed to
foreign investment, such as used to be the case in China and the
Soviet Union. But the point is, the Chinese economy today is still
much less "free" of government control than any Western economy. The
politburo supervises, finances, even sits on the board of directors of
large "private" firms. I'm not saying this is good, but it does show
that it is not incompatible with high and sustained economic growth.

Stathis Papaioannou

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