A Republic, If You Can Keep It (Part 3.4)

02 Nov

I know that it’s been a few days, and I know that you’ve been chomping at the bit for more. Here you go:

The role of the US government in Public education has changed dramatically over the past 100 years….

After hundreds of billions of dollars, we have yet to see a shred of evidence that the drift toward central control over education has helped. By all measurements, the quality of education is down. There are more drugs and violence in the public schools than ever before. Discipline is impossible out of fear of lawsuits or charges of civil rights violations.

Controlled curricula have downplayed the importance of our constitutional heritage while indoctrinating our children, even in kindergarten, with environmental mythology, internationalism, and sexual liberation….

There is no doubt that the way schools are run, how the teachers teach, and how the bills are paid is dramatically different from 100 years ago. And even though some that go through public schools do exceptionally well, there is clear evidence that the average high school graduate today is far less educated than his counterpart was in the early part of this century.

Due to the poor preparation of our high school graduates, colleges expect very little from their students, since nearly everyone gets to go to college who wants to. Public school is compulsory and college is available to almost everyone regardless of qualifications. In 1914, English composition was required in 98% of our college; today it’s about one-third. Only 12% of today’s colleges require mathematics be taught, where in 1914, 82% did. No college now requires literature courses. But rest assured plenty of social-babble courses are required as we continue to dumb down our nation.

Federal funding for education grows every year, hitting $38 billion this year, $1 billion more than requested by the administration and 7% over last year. Great congressional debates occur over the size of a classroom, student and teacher testing, bilingual education , teacher’s salaries, school violence, and drug usage. And it’s politically incorrect to point out that all these problems are not present in the private schools. Every year there is less effort at the federal level to return education tot he people, the parents, and the local officials. For 20 years at least, some of tour presidential candidates advocated abolishing the Department of Education and for the federal government to get completely our of the public education business. This year we will hear no more of that. The President got more money for education than he asked for, and it’s considered not only bad manners but also political suicide to argue the case for stopping all federal government education programs. Talk of returning some control of federal programs to the state is not the same as keeping the federal government out of education as directed by the Constitution.

The best thing we cold do now is pass a bill to give parents a $3,000 tax credit for each child they educate. This would encourage competition and allow a lot more choice for parents struggling to help their children get a decent education.

The practice of medicine is now a government-managed care system, and very few Americans are happy with it. Not only is there little effort to extricate the federal government from the medical-care business, but the process of expanding the government’s role continues unabated. At the turn of the 19th Century, it was not even considered a possibility that medical care was the responsibility of the federal government. Since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs of the 1960s, the role of the federal government in delivering medical care has grown exponentially. Today the federal government pays more than 60% of all the medical bills and regulates all of it. The demands continue for more free care at the same time complaints about the shortcomings of managed care multiply. Yet it’s natural to assume that government planning and financing will sacrifice quality care. It is now accepted that people who need care are entitled to it as a right. This is a serious error in judgment.

There’s no reason to believe the market cannot deliver medical care in as efficient a manner as it does computers, automobiles, and televisions. But the confidence is gone and everyone assumes, just as it is in education, that only a federal bureaucracy is capable of solving the problems of maximizing the number of people, including the poor, who receive the best medical care available. In an effort to help the poor, the quality of care has gone down for everyone else and the costs have skyrocketed.

Government housing programs are no more successful than the federal government’s medical and education programs. …The HUD budget commands over $30 billion each year and increases every year. Finances of mortgages through the FEderal HOme Loan Bank, the largest federal government borrower, is the key financial institution pumping in hundreds of billion s of dollars of credit into the housing market, making things worse. The Federal Reserve has now started to use home mortgage securities for monetizing debt.

Public housing has a reputation for being a refuge for drugs, crimes, and filth, with projects being torn down as routinely as they are built. There’s every indication that this entitlement will continue to expand in size, regardless of its failures. Token local control over these expenditures will do nothing to solve the problem. Recently the Secretary of HUD, using public funds to sue gun manufacturers, claimed this is necessary to solve the problem of crime which government housing perpetuates. If a government agency, which was never meant to exist in the first place under the Constitution, can expand their role into legislative and legal matters without the consent of Congress, we indeed have a serious problem on our hands. The programs are bad enough in themselves, but the abuse of the rule of law and ignoring the separation of powers makes these expanding programs that much more dangerous to our entire political system and is a direct attack on personal liberty.

If one cares about providing the maximum and best housing for the maximum number of people, one must consider a free-market approach in association with a sound non-depreciating currency. We have been operating a public housing program directly opposite to this, and along with steady inflation and government promotion of housing since the 1960s, the housing market has been grossly distorted. We can soon expect a major downward correction in the housing industry, prompted by rising interest rates.

Remember, this speach was given February 2, 2000. Ron Paul was already on top of it.

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Posted by on November 2, 2008 in Education, History, Politics


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