Catholic Bishop: Hitler and Mussolini Would Love American Public Schools

The Catholic bishop of Harrisburg, Pa., Bishop Joseph McFadden is being criticized for comments where he compares American public schools to the system that Hitler and Mussolini sought to create. I actually think that part of the criticism of McFadden is misplaced, though he is certainly worthy of criticism. McFadden’s controversial statements follow a call for Catholics to organize against President Obama and his health care program by leading Catholic leaders.

In an interview with the ABC affiliate in Harrisburg, McFadden was objecting to the lack of school vouchers in Pennsylvania and the lack of choice for many parents: “In the totalitarian government, they would love our system,” McFadden said. “This is what Hitler and Mussolini and all them tried to establish — a monolith; so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things.” The Anti-Defamation League has condemned the statement and said “he should not be making his point at the expense of the memory of six million Jews and millions of others who perished in the Holocaust.”

I understand the sensitivity to such a comparison, but I do not think that the Bishop was referring to the Holocaust. People should be able to make comparisons to aspects of prior totalitarian regimes without fear of being call insensitive to the Holocaust. The Nazi regime was a worldwide tragedy with many aspects and precursors that are the subject of historical and political discourse.

Where McFadden is wrong is that the comparison is wildly misplaced. First, Hitler was raised by a devout Catholic mother and many Nazis were taught in religious schools. Indeed, the Vatican was criticized by some for not doing more to confront the Nazi regime. Second, the fascists sought to use schools to indoctrinate children to accept narrow values to the exclusion of other values and the objectification of other people. American public schools do the opposite. They are motivated by pluralistic principles to help shape citizens who are tolerant and well-rounded. They are the antithesis of what fascists want from education.

Finally, this is about vouchers and whether the people of Pennsylvania should subsidize alternative schools, such as Catholic schools. With the church experiencing severe shortfalls in attendance and donations, they need more from the state more than ever. However, there are very good reasons for opposition to vouchers. I attended Catholic schools for part of my earlier education and I am very thankful for the education that I received in those schools. However, Leslie and I are committed to the model of public education. While we can afford a private education, we have kept our children in public schools where they are taught in a more diverse class. I have long been an advocate for public education, particularly in the elementary and middle school levels, as a critical part of shaping good citizens. While I have often been critical of the curriculum particularly on civics, I believe that the public schools have always been the key to maintaining a citizenry that is educated and tolerant.

The comparison to Hitler and Mussolini reflects less disrespect on the part of Bishop McFadden than it does a lack of understanding of the fascistic agenda on education: dogma and exclusionary learning. While I believe Catholic schools are excellent choices for learning, it is outrageous to compare fascistic systems to our public schools. Hitler and Mussolini would find our current curriculum in public schools to be a threat to their type of indoctrination model for children.

Source: ABC

151 thoughts on “Catholic Bishop: Hitler and Mussolini Would Love American Public Schools

  1. As something of a history buff (especially around Nazi Germany), the lack of actual historical perspective from this bishop is not surprising. Most Americans have little idea of the complexity of the rise of totalitarian regimes in the 20th century. Too often the simple “they bad, we good” mantra is used with no real concept of what happened.
    Hitler (and to a lesser extent Mussolini) came to power by claiming all kinds of wrongs being perpetrated on the “real people” (i.e. non-Jewish Germans) by the “international Jewish/Bolshevik conspiracy”.
    Driving dissent and free speech and thought from the public was a major tactic of the Nazis. Simply put, they only allowed there point of view to be heard, all else was treason.

  2. The issue is school vouchers. These vouchers are being pushed by people who have political, rather than educational agenda’s, though they pretend it is in the interests of children. One segment of those pushing this agenda are the remnants of segregationists who don’t want their children attending school with people of color. Another segment represents religionists who want the government to subsidize the propagation of their religious belief and maintain their church members via indoctrination of their children. Finally, there are those who politically believe that government doesn’t have a role in education. These segments often overlap, however, in all cases their overarching aim is to destroy free public education in this country for all citizens. They have already made inroads towards that aim and done so
    by refusing to openly state the true aims of the voucher movement.

  3. “In the totalitarian government, they would love our system,” McFadden said. “This is what Hitler and Mussolini and all them tried to establish — a monolith; so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things.”

    I think that he knows its bad…they have been doing it for years as well….Now when does that piece of coal turn into a diamond…

  4. Mike,

    You’re right. There are plenty of people and organizations in this country who want to privatize schools.

    *****

    Gates Foundation Raises Eyebrows with Grant to Right-Wing Lobbying Group
    Submitted by Josh Glasstetter on December 7, 2011
    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/gates-foundation-raises-eyebrows-grant-right-wing-lobbying-group

    “We don’t want to be part of the controversy.” That’s what Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, told NPR when asked why the foundation’s work on reproductive health avoided support for abortion care. While this was a grave disappointment to global women’s health advocates, it wasn’t altogether surprising. Despite the Gates Foundation’s staggering wealth and influence and willingness to try new – sometimes controversial – approaches, it steadfastly steers clear of political fights.
    That’s why a recent award of $376,635 to a right-wing lobbying group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is raising eyebrows, and more, in progressive and philanthropy circles. Knowingly or not, the Gates Foundation has just stepped on a political landmine.

    ALEC is engaged in all of the fiercest political fights of our day – working hand-in-hand with companies seeking to roll back healthcare reform, environmental protections, workers’ rights, corporate accountability, and taxes on the wealthy. The Gates Foundation, which is “dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy and productive life,” should know that those aims are incompatible with ALEC’s efforts to undermine Americans’ health, safety, and economic security to benefit the bottom line of its corporate backers.

    The stated purpose of the Gates Foundation grant to ALEC is “to educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement.” On the face of it, this pales in comparison to ALEC’s other education work, which promotes large-scale voucher and privatization schemes that would destroy, not improve, the public education system.

    Interestingly, Lee Fang recently reported in The Nation on the various ways that the Gates Foundation and ALEC are working – independently – to promote for-profit distance learning. These programs typically undermine public schools while benefiting technology and software companies, including Microsoft. The educational value of such programs is also highly contested.

    But the bigger issue here is that the Gates Foundation – a grant-making behemoth – is legitimizing ALEC and all of its egregious lobbying by directly supporting a portion of the group’s work. One can only hope that the Gates Foundation staff responsible for the grant were narrowly focused on education policy and unaware of ALEC’s broader agenda. Either way, the foundation seems headed into the middle of a controversy, which is remarkable for an organization that took pains to avoid “the controversy” in the reproductive health arena.

    *****

    How Online Learning Companies Bought America’s Schools
    by Lee Fang
    The Nation
    11/16/2011
    http://www.thenation.com/print/article/164651/how-online-learning-companies-bought-americas-schools

    Excerpt;
    If the national movement to “reform” public education through vouchers, charters and privatization has a laboratory, it is Florida. It was one of the first states to undertake a program of “virtual schools”—charters operated online, with teachers instructing students over the Internet—as well as one of the first to use vouchers to channel taxpayer money to charter schools run by for-profits.

    But as recently as last year, the radical change envisioned by school reformers still seemed far off, even there. With some of the movement’s cherished ideas on the table, Florida Republicans, once known for championing extreme education laws, seemed to recoil from the fight. SB 2262, a bill to allow the creation of private virtual charters, vastly expanding the Florida Virtual School program, languished and died in committee. Charlie Crist, then the Republican governor, vetoed a bill to eliminate teacher tenure. The move, seen as a political offering to the teachers unions, disheartened privatization reform advocates. At one point, the GOP’s budget proposal even suggested a cut for state aid going to virtual school programs.

    Lamenting this series of defeats, Patricia Levesque, a top adviser to former Governor Jeb Bush, spoke to fellow reformers at a retreat in October 2010. Levesque noted that reform efforts had failed because the opposition had time to organize. Next year, Levesque advised, reformers should “spread” the unions thin “by playing offense” with decoy legislation. Levesque said she planned to sponsor a series of statewide reforms, like allowing taxpayer dollars to go to religious schools by overturning the so-called Blaine Amendment, “even if it doesn’t pass…to keep them busy on that front.” She also advised paycheck protection, a unionbusting scheme, as well as a state-provided insurance program to encourage teachers to leave the union and a transparency law to force teachers unions to show additional information to the public. Needling the labor unions with all these bills, Levesque said, allows certain charter bills to fly “under the radar.”

  5. Prof:

    Fairfax County has great schools and excellent programs for children with above average intelligence. You are probably going to get the same quality of education in Fairfax that you would at Sidwell Friends or Georgetown Prep or any of the other fine local private schools.

    There are many excellent public schools in this country but there are others which are not, shouldnt parents be able to have access to the same quality of education that parents of school age children in Fairfax County enjoy?

    Vouchers are one way to provide access in public school systems which fail to provide a good education.

  6. Bron,

    You may want to see your tax dollars help to support for-profit private and religious schools. I don’t. Private and parochial schools can pick and choose the children who attend them. Public schools must accept all children who live in their districts.

  7. Elaine – Exactly right. Better still in MN at least if the private school does take in a child with special needs (rare beyond elementary where needs are often discovered) the local public school is on the hook for all the additional costs to provide services for that child.

    The Catholic High School in Richfield MN took 1 twin but rejected the other with equal academic ratings – wanna guess which twin has MS & which does not?

    The ultimate goal for these groups is the destruction of public education plain and simple. They can not remain in power in a neutral environment and must have control to teach the foundational lies that will buttress their political stranglehold on the nation.

  8. and John Wayne Gacy and all of the other child rapists of our time would love Catholic schools and churches, which have been supporting known child rapists for at least our lifetimes.

  9. Since The Most Reverend McFadden likes to recall the history of Hitler and Mussolini as an avenue to make his point, why don’t we recall a bit of The Most Reverend McFadden’s own history to illustrate the sheer irrelevancy of anything the man has to say about education. or anything else.

    In 1988, while serving as administrative secretary to Cardinal Krol, McFadden was designated as a go-between with the family of an abuse victim in order to free Archdiocese managers of the legal duty to report the victim’s abuse. (It was during McFadden’s service as a secretary to Cardinal Krol that Krol is believed to have excused and enabled the sexual abuse of hundreds of children within the Philadelphia Archdiocese.) http://www.philadelphiadistrictattorney.com/images/Grand_Jury_Report.pdf

    Having served and protected pedophile priests well, he has been promoted up the ranks to the position he now enjoys.

  10. You are right about the excellence of the Fairfax County schools, bron. There is a public magnet school there that produces more national merit scholars than any other high school in the country. My son’s girlfriend went to those schools so I am a bit familiar with them. I agree with you on that but not about the use of vouchers as a solution.

  11. Mike Spindell:

    There are some school systems which fail to provide students with an education. There should be some method to provide parents what they are paying for. Public education is not free, our tax dollars pay for it.

    I am for vouchers in education and it has nothing to do with segregation or religion. But I will admit that I dont think government has any business in education. But in a free society if people want to go to government schools that option should be available.

    It should be about what a family thinks is best for their children.

    The current system of education limits competition, who can afford $25,000 to $40,000 a year to send their children to a private school? Vouchers might lower the price of private schools, at the very least children in poor performing public schools could go to other schools or even other public school systems where the outcome is much better.

    I imagine private schools flourish where public education flounders. Where public education fails, only the poor are hurt. The rich can afford the private schools and the middle class can afford to move to a better school system.

    In Fairfax we have an outstanding public school program with many bells and whistles; they have many programs for good students such as AP and IB. One of my children got a world class high school education in the IB program. The teachers were all outstanding and were well credentialed, they all had at least masters degrees in their field and a couple had a PhD.

    With vouchers children from DC public schools could come to Fairfax and enjoy the same level of excellence or they could use them at one of the local private schools or send them out of state to a boarding school if that was what they wanted to do.

  12. Bron, Vouchers won’t lower the price at the top private schools. They have large numbers of students applying, and they can easily fill the seats with the top 1% while offering scholarships to very high scoring students that do not have the means to attend.

  13. I am always amazed when someone cites private schools, or specifically Catholic schools as good choices for educating children. I do not claim they are always bad choices, but simply want to say that they are not all good choices. It is possible to have a really bad private school, even a really bad Catholic private school. I know this because I attended a really bad Catholic private school for six and a half years.

    I owe my elementary education to the New York City Public Library.

    My problem with vouchers is spending my tax dollars to support organizations over which neither I, not my elected representatives have any control.

    And before anyone gets upset – Yes, I do know that we need to do a better job of educating America’s children.

  14. Elaine:

    “You may want to see your tax dollars help to support for-profit private and religious schools. I don’t.”

    I see my tax dollars used for all kinds of things I dont agree to either; funding of the arts, abortion, public science funding and the list goes on and on. And that is the problem with big government, it really doesnt care what the individual thinks.

    Why should art be publicly funded? If an artists works are good, they will be purchased by the public. Many people have deep convictions about when human life begins, why should they have to see their tax dollars used to fund abortions? And conversely if someone believes in abortion they should be able to donate to any charity they want or to have their tax dollars fund abortions. And public funding of science? Just wait until an evangelical Christian becomes president, what a 10th century show that will be. Angelology will be the new genetics, science will answer that age old question of how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  15. Public Schools.

    Mandatory. Monopoly.

    Failed in global competitiveness. Absurd zero tolerance policies. Widespread promotion of mind-altering medications. Conditioning minds for a lifetime without privacy or independence. Surprise drug raids. Twelve years of pro-State propaganda. Prison-level security. Punishment of nonconformity. TSA gauntlet at Prom. Webcam surveillance in the home. Corporal punishment. Ketchup = vegetable. Banned private lunches. Strip searches for Tylenol. Ubiquitous surveillance cameras. Fines for swearing. Handcuffs and arrests for tantrums. Compelled psychological testing. Incompetent, abusive and violent teachers protected by unions. Tasers and pepper spray used on children. Glorification of US wars and American exceptionalism.

    Any empire would love this system. And we live in one.

  16. Bron,

    “With vouchers children from DC public schools could come to Fairfax and enjoy the same level of excellence or they could use them at one of the local private schools or send them out of state to a boarding school if that was what they wanted to do.”

    Do the Fairfax Public Schools have school choice? We do in Massachusetts. Cities and towns can choose to opt in. If so, children from poor districts can attend schools in wealthy districts that participate in the school choice program. Of course, there is a cost to the poor districts, which lose money. Money from the poor districts follows children to the wealthy districts. One hurdle is transportation for the children from the poor districts to the wealthy school systems, which can often be many miles away.

  17. Swarthmore Mom:

    It may not lower the price of top private schools but I am pretty sure around here people in DC pay for private schools because of the quality of the DC public school system. If they had a voucher system they may opt to send their children to Fairfax or other surrounding public school.

    Granted some people send their children to exclusive private schools for bragging rights so it may not effect the top private schools at all.

  18. Given the fact that Hitler learned his anti-Semitism at an early age from the Catholic Church, was supported in his rise to powe by them, signed a Concordat with his regime, was responsible for running the Odessa rat line to get Nazi war criminals out of Europe and many other outrages, this bishop and the church have NO basis for criticism.

    Then we have the Panzer pope now whose history is whitewashed by claiming he was only building foritifications on the Eastern Front. In FACT it was the slave labor doing the work while he held machine guns to keep them in line. Then we have them trying to canonize the most obnoxious people who are guilty of supporting mass murder such as Stepanic who was a great partisan of the genocidal Ustashi regime. Pius XII complained to Musolini about the fact that the Italian troops in the Italian part of Yugoslavia were sheltering Serbs, instead of turning them over to the Ustashis for mass murder.

    In short, it is we who should be condemning the Cathoic church for its role in fascism in Spain, Italy, and Germany.

  19. There are two kinds of catholic schools – parochial and private. They are funded in different manners. I know this because my children attended parochial schools in their younger years. I became very interested in education and was elected to the school board. Later they attended private schools. My husband was a firm believer in public schools as he attended Chicago public schools, but when we moved to Texas he changed his mind. I attended catholic schools for twelve years.

  20. puzzling:

    going a little overboard arent you? What you relate inst the norm, at least from my experience with 2 children in the public school system.

  21. I was struck by a comment bel hooks made in one of her books, that some black kids in black schools were wised up to the situation around them and treated with respect. When they were transferred to integrated schools, they were taught that America is fair, you get what you deserve, and treated with disrespect. Something like that.

    An argument for more than one system.

  22. As an opponent of public education, many fail to understand why you don’t want your child’s curriculum determined by the political means of government. It also has not cured it intended purpose of solving the problems of high truancy and dropouts rates. In fact it has exacerbated these problems with today’s rates the highest in history. Everyone wants the poor to have access to quality education, but as always, they choose the wrong methods of accomplishing a real solution. If you haven’t noticed yet, government has not solved one major social problem in the last 50 years and in fact the problems are getting worse, as the negative ramifications of advanced socialism (fascism) permeate our society. I can’t beleive I would ever say this but the Bishop is right on the money on this issue.

  23. H. Skip Robinson,

    “…the Bishop is right on the money on this issue.”

    You’re right–money is central to this issue. I’m sure the bishop would love to see public money helping to subsidize Catholic schools.

  24. I’m pretty sure if you read the link I posted and follow the links within that link, you might understand a little about where the Bishop was coming from. I wonder what exactly what the public school advocates have been advocating.

  25. “where he compares American public schools to the system that Hitler and Mussolini sought to create.”

    ***********************************
    Given recent horrific examples of abuse from around the globe one might say that Catholic boarding schools and orphanages are comparable to the system that the Marquis de Sade sought to create. But that would be hyperbole of the rankest kind wouldn’t it?

    Two can play at this rhetorical game signifying not much at all.

  26. Personally, I never trust a guy dressed in a red frock with a red beenie on his bald head and a big smile on his puss. When I learn from one of the comments above that he is a child rapist enabler for the cult of the catholic rear enders then my four legs want to run in his presence because those predators do have a predilection for for dogs. In my neighborhood there were two grade schools: one Catholic and one public, I knew a hundred kids who went to that cat-lick place and only one, just one, went on to graduate from college. The public school where my pal attended had about 50% who graduated from college. If you think about sending your sonny boy to a catholic school think about the nuns with the rulers and the Rulers from above with the dumb notions about Hitler, Mussolini and no knowledge about their own conniving Pope at that time.
    As for vouchers: Mike Spendell above hit the nail on the head. The segregationists love vouchers.
    If you are now a parent with a kid in a cat-lick school then you must question your kid about the conduct of the priests. And, never, ever let your son be an alter boy.

  27. We witness a Bishop who has pedophile abuse on his hands claiming that the public school system is akin to a Nazi model and why shouldn’t we laugh out loud? It is interesting that those who believe that the market will always self control itself, just don’t believe that the private schools can make it on their own without government subsidy. If you want your kids to go to a private school, then pony up the cash and send them. The public schools are there for your use, but you don’t have to use them.

  28. Neil,

    I attended parochial schools from first through 12th grade. I was married in a Catholic Church–and my daughter was baptized in one. I think I know where the bishop is “coming from.”

    I was a public school teacher for more than three decades. My daughter attended public schools from kindergarten through the 12th grade. I’m an advocate of public schools.

    *****

    Mespo,

    Right you are!

  29. rafflaw:

    “The public schools are there for your use, but you don’t have to use them.”

    then why should you be forced to pay for them?

    “It is interesting that those who believe that the market will always self control itself, just don’t believe that the private schools can make it on their own without government subsidy.”

    I believe the market will self control and I dont believe in government subsidies for private schools. A voucher is not a subsidy, it is your tax money being given back to you to spend where you see fit to spend it. Many times it is less than what a public school costs per pupil and less than you pay in local, state and federal taxes.

    For the poor you are probably right, it would be a subsidy to a private school, but then the poor are subsidized by public schools as well, so there really isnt much of a difference except where the money goes. Personally I am all for the poor being subsidized to send their children to school where they want to send them. A little bit more freedom is never a bad thing.

  30. “I believe the market will self control…”

    Alan Greenspan thought so too–as did many other people in Washington. That’s why we had a near financial meltdown in this country. Keep drinking the Kool-aid.

  31. Private schools don’t have to accept any of/all of the poor children who apply to them. I don’t want my tax dollars helping to subsidize schools that can discriminate. As I said earlier, public schools have to accept all children who live in their districts.

  32. Bron,

    >>“The public schools are there for your use, but you don’t have to use
    >>them.”
    >then why should you be forced to pay for them?

    Because we all need them.

    Here’s an example. The Catholic church and their congregation doesn’t want to pay for the prosecutors that prosecute your pedophile priests, but the rest of the country does want that, so taxpayers have to pay for them.

    Catholics shouldn’t get their own schools, or water lines, or roads or anything else.

    If you want to send your kids to your own schools, pay for the whole thing.

  33. Elaine:

    “Alan Greenspan thought so too–as did many other people in Washington. That’s why we had a near financial meltdown in this country. Keep drinking the Kool-aid.”

    Go and look at the CFR for banking and financial institutions. There are thousands of regulations that control the market. The Fed controls the interest rate which is a control on the market. We dont have a free market, everywhere you turn there are regulations and controls on market forces.

    The bail-out itself was a control mechanism that distorted market forces.

    Do you really believe we have a free market which failed? We have a controlled system which failed.

    If a child using a voucher does not get into a school, then that school doesnt get the voucher money and your tax dollars are not used. And if another poor kid does get in then the school discriminates on the basis of merit which isnt discrimination at all.

  34. Bron,
    As I suggested earlier, you have to pay for them because they are there for your use and your community’s use. Good school systems are also a benefit to the community in that they raise the housing values. Finally, it is your choice to go to a private school, most of which are tied to a religious ideology. The taxpayer should not subsidize religious schools.
    And I will second what Neil Allen said.

  35. Elaine,

    Public schools are in principle a bad idea because the government determines the curriculum. Evil governments will devise sinister propaganda with which to indoctrinate its pupils. For instance, I doubt you’d have been a proponent of public schools if you had school age children and lived in Germany in 1935.

  36. Bron is correct. A nation which has a central bank that fixes interest rates and issues a pure fiat currency does not have a free market economy. Such a nation has a centrally planned economy, which is what all politicians with a lust for power desire.

  37. “Such a nation has a centrally planned economy, which is what all politicians with a lust for power desire.”

    As well as all people who don’t want to live in a survival of the fittest jungle controlled by wealth and power.

  38. Mike,

    The very definition of a free market means that there is no control by wealth or power. The market is free to function without the hinderances of government regulation and manipulation. American didn’t have a central bank until 1913, and prior to that it seemed to do just fine economically. Now, it is on the downward slope.

  39. Neil,
    Once the big banks and brokerage houses do business honestly, then maybe we can talk about removing regulations. In light of the crap that caused the recession, I think the market needs regulating.

  40. Neil,

    Do we have a nationalized curriculum? Is every state’s curriculum the same? Do you know who writes curricula in this country?

    Who writes the curricula for private schools? For religious schools?

    If you think that there should be no such thing as public education, how would you propose that all children be educated in this country?

  41. Bron,

    Clinton: I Was Wrong to Listen to Wrong Advice Against Regulating Derivatives*
    By Evan Harris
    4/17/10
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/04/clinton-rubin-and-summers-gave-me-wrong-advice-on-derivatives-and-i-was-wrong-to-take-it/

    Excerpt:
    In my EXCLUSIVE “This Week” interview, I asked former President Bill Clinton if he thought he got bad advice on regulating complex financial instruments known as derivatives from his former Treasury Secretaries, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. He acknowledged that he was wrong to take the advice of those advising him against regulating derivatives.

    “On derivatives, yeah I think they were wrong and I think I was wrong to take [their advice] because the argument on derivatives was that these things are expensive and sophisticated and only a handful of investors will buy them and they don’t need any extra protection, and any extra transparency. The money they’re putting up guarantees them transparency,” Clinton told me.

    “And the flaw in that argument,” Clinton added, “was that first of all sometimes people with a lot of money make stupid decisions and make it without transparency.”

    The former President also said he was also wrong about understanding the consequences if the derivatives market tanked. “The most important flaw was even if less than 1 percent of the total investment community is involved in derivative exchanges, so much money was involved that if they went bad, they could affect a 100 percent of the investments, and indeed a 100 percent of the citizens in countries, not investors, and I was wrong about that.”

    Clinton also blamed the Bush administration for scaling back on policing the financial industry. “I think what happened was the SEC and the whole regulatory apparatus after I left office was just let go.”

  42. Prophet and Loss
    Brooksley Born warned that unchecked trading in the credit market could lead to disaster, but power brokers in Washington ignored her. Now we’re all paying the price.
    BY RICK SCHMITT
    http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2009/marapr/features/born.html

    Excerpt:
    Shortly after she was named to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 1996, Brooksley E. Born was invited to lunch by Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan.

    The influential Greenspan was an ardent proponent of unfettered markets. Born was a powerful Washington lawyer with a track record for activist causes. Over lunch, in his private dining room at the stately headquarters of the Fed in Washington, Greenspan probed their differences.

    “Well, Brooksley, I guess you and I will never agree about fraud,” Born, in a recent interview, remembers Greenspan saying.

    “What is there not to agree on?” Born says she replied.

    “Well, you probably will always believe there should be laws against fraud, and I don’t think there is any need for a law against fraud,” she recalls. Greenspan, Born says, believed the market would take care of itself.

    For the incoming regulator, the meeting was a wake-up call. “That underscored to me how absolutist Alan was in his opposition to any regulation,” she said in the interview.

    Over the next three years, Born, ’61, JD ’64, would learn first-hand the potency of those absolutist views, confronting Greenspan and other powerful figures in the capital over how to regulate Wall Street.

    More recently, as analysts sort out the origins of what has become the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Born has emerged as a sort of modern-day Cassandra. Some people believe the debacle could have been averted or muted had Greenspan and others followed her advice.

    As chairperson of the CFTC, Born advocated reining in the huge and growing market for financial derivatives. Derivatives get their name because the value is derived from fluctuations in, for example, interest rates or foreign exchange. They started out as ways for big corporations and banks to manage their risk across a range of investments. One type of derivative—known as a credit-default swap—has been a key contributor to the economy’s recent unraveling.

  43. “Mike,
    The very definition of a free market means that there is no control by wealth or power.”

    Neal,

    With all due respect that is Von Mises nonsense. No control on a market will lead inevitably to corruption, monopoly ad then totalitarian oppression.

  44. There shouldn’t be a law against fraud because the market would take care of itself?

    Wow. I mean really . . . just wow.

    I knew Greenspan was a fool, but apparently he’s also crazy. I’ve said before that the fundamental problem with laissez-faire capitalism is the same fundamental problem with communism. Both ideas and their subsequent models are based on disastrously false assumptions about human nature.

    That story only emphasizes the truth of that statement.

    Thanks for the relay, Elaine.

  45. Elaine:

    “He acknowledged that he was wrong to take the advice of those advising him against regulating derivatives.”

    The economy has very complex controls on it. At this stage how do you know what the impact will be? You cant take this economy and deregulate by presidential fiat, that would lead to chaos. The layers have to be peeled back a little bit at a time.

    I would love to see a truly free market but it will take years of deregulation to set it right, a little bit at a time so as not to trash it.

    You cant have a regulated market and introduce a non-regulated financial concept into that mix and not expect some problems. I cant think of a good analogy but maybe an engine which uses gasoline and the flow of fuel is controlled because you only want so much output and all of a sudden you throw in a couple of gallons of very high octane fuel. Boom. The high octane fuel could be used but you would need to find the right mix for the optimization of the engine.

  46. “I cant think of a good analogy”

    That would be because there isn’t one. What you are saying is the equivalent of “you can’t have rules in a system and then introduce a concept that requires no rules into that mix and not expect problems.”

    And that, Bron, falls under the category of “Duh.”

    Laissez-faire economics doesn’t work because unregulated capitalism? Is the same model black markets use. Markets with no rules but supply and demand. Who benefits most from black markets? Criminals.

    Von Mises and his ilk are proponents of a methodology that will guarantee economic tyranny from and the oligarchical concentration of power to the most ruthless actors (who are always sociopaths).

    Then again, that does explain why the Austrian School appeals to Objectivists.

  47. “where he compares American public schools to the system that Hitler and Mussolini sought to create.”

    Those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. The NAZI’s encouraged young “Aryan” girls to get pregnant, from “Aryan” men of course, as a duty to The
    “Fatherland” to increase “Aryan” population. The NAZI’s offered payments and support to those girls who did, both in and out of marriage. From this perspective what side does the Bishop find himself on?

  48. Enter the enraged…..
    Bron said:
    “And that is the problem with big government, it really doesnt care what the individual thinks.”

    My question: What does the church or other private sponsor care about what the individual thinks??? Not batshit!!! “Kiss my ring after……” says McFadden….
    You will need a lot of help, Good place to get it, I know myself for a fact.

  49. H. Skip Robinson,
    said: “intended purpose of solving the problems of high truancy and dropouts rates.”

    Where do you get that from? Those problems are social problems for society to solve. Schools are for education; neither for entertainment nor for locking up the students. Take responsibility for your life and those of your kids.

    Our last black maid (once a week) was the proud mother of 3 college graduates, and expecting 2 more within a few years. And that was before 1954. My drama group at NCSU hosted for the first time a multi-racial one-act play festival with “student original” manuscripts. We had three black colleges competing; more would have liked to have a spot.

    Social influence and parental support means a lot.

  50. Bron said:
    “Do you really believe we have a free market which failed? We have a controlled system which failed.”

    Amazing how you are so ill informed and wrong, wrong, wrong.

    CDC’s derivative market was OTC in that no reporting OR control was exercised by regulators. Check it out. That market in itself was a hundred times larger than the stocks and bonds. It was gargantuan. No wonder when the Ponzi scheme blew up the banks sank too..

    Read up on it . You’ve got a lot to learn.

  51. “And that, Bron, falls under the category of “Duh.””

    Obviously not because Clinton didnt get it and neither did Rubin or Summers.

  52. Idealist707:

    market is regulated, by thousands of SEC rules, CFR regulations, Federal Reserve controls interest rates.

    Maybe you need to do some reading as well.

  53. Mike S.
    “Such a nation has a centrally planned economy, which is what all politicians with a lust for power desire.”

    As well as all people who don’t want to live in a survival of the fittest jungle controlled by wealth and power.

    =============================

    They actually are not fittest in my opinion. They just have connections and no ethics—-and know all the tricks, it comes with the upbringing.

    I was invited to an exclusive party once, an informal gathering. All they talked about was money, in all its forms and aspects. They even gossiped about the host whose business was said to be doing badly. Nice folks.
    Lot’s of culture too. Broad minded (ha!). If I was Dylan I’d do a song about them.

  54. Bron,
    You’re amazing. Don’t your spots feel odd in these striped quarters.
    You are perhaps enjoying the attention of center-stage and are just trolling us for fun and mischief.

    In all sincerity and respect for your innocence, please go back to your ivory tower and build economic models to dream about.
    If you want free markets, truly lassez-faire, then go to history, and read, read, read. Tell us then what you found.

    I’ll take “blue-dress spots” word in this instance.
    And yes Elaine, Greenspan was crazy, obviously.

    Being smart, as the present FED one proves, does not mean you produce or back the right theory.
    As any scientist knows.

  55. Bron,

    Three crooks point fingers at each other. Do you really believe any of them?

    We have that problem in criminal justice here when two murderers blame each other. They go free. True.

    Apparently the American public believe these murderers too. And all three are still on free foot. And one recently resigned (?) as a Presidential adviser.

    Sleepíng with thieves doesn’t bother our man, but maybe it comes with the job.

  56. Bron,
    Not derivatives, if “blue-dress spots” is right about derivatives.
    I think his comment about the economic range and effects was quite enlightening; the first honest (to me of course) to come from that level.
    But you are immoveable, I guess you did not get hit, nor your bank.
    Or were they saved by the rest of us with TARP.

    As for reading, I read the true stuff, not the austrian totalitarian stuff.

  57. I always thought that public education was considered a very important element in the formation of the United States of America by our founding fathers.

  58. Bonnie,

    “The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and must be willing to bear the expense of it.” … John Adams

    Jefferson’s plan for education asserted four basic principles ( preparation of the voter so that he might express his opinion by means of the ballot, thus insuring political liberty):

    1. that democracy cannot long exist without enlightenment.

    2. that it cannot function without wise and honest officials.

    3. that talent and virtue, needed in a free society, should be educated regardless of wealth, birth or other accidental condition.

    4. that the children of the poor must be thus educated at common expense.” … Padover, 1952, p. 43

  59. Bonnie,

    If I may…Public Education is not one of those Rights we have spelled out in the Constitution….But if it is given by a state…it must not be done so in a discriminatory manner…

    It is my understanding that the Founding Fathers….did not contemplate a system that is in place today….They were used to Private Schools and Universities….They may have had lots of space available but for the most part…You had to be selected to get it….

    I may be wrong…but I think the above is right….mespo…do you agree or not?

  60. Bonnie:

    Jefferson said this in later life:

    “7723. SCHOOLS, Government of.-If it
    is believed that the elementary schools will be
    better managed by the Governor and Council,
    the Commissioners of the Literary Fund, or
    any other general authority of the government,
    than by the parents within each ward, it is a
    helief against all expertence.-To JOSEPH C.
    CABELL. vi, 543. ( 1816.)”

  61. “‘And that, Bron, falls under the category of “Duh.’

    Obviously not because Clinton didnt get it and neither did Rubin or Summers.”

    Did I ever say stupidity and greed was partisan biased?

    No.

    In fact, I’ve said many times that the root of the problem was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act under Clinton’s watch. A repeal that was driven by the certainly biased advice of Wall Street insiders – the very same people who push for deregulation every chance they get by buying favors from both parties in the form of “campaign contributions”. But you don’t want to hear the truth that the law and government itself as an institution isn’t the problem, but rather the problem is the government co-opted by corporate graft and distorted from a tool of and for the interests of We the People into a tool for furthering unfettered greed in the white collar criminal class on Wall Street. That’s just too contrary to your Objectivist/Austrian School religion, its faith in free-markets as a self-correcting mechanism capable of providing just outcomes, and your Libertarian “small government fixes everything” mantra. Too bad for you that your pseudo-philosophy and economics are based on fundamentally flawed assumptions about human nature and your “small is better” politic is based on the wrong metric for measuring the functionality of government.

  62. Bron and Bonnie,

    I think Plessey and Brown v the Board of Education answers the question….for most recent time….the cases were expanded in the 60’s and 70’s….to the point that we take Free Public Education as a given….that has been chipped away so much that…it will come down to what each school district does…..

    Just remember….if the State offers it…then it must be offered to everyone equally…then came the attempt at vouchers… magnet schools….etc…cutting services and money all along the way….

    In the reality of it all…I think that they had Union Busting in mind….Now they have (the state legislators) created Mandated School take overs for failure to test adequately….to..taking them over for not being able to pay bills once they cannot make payments or they are in a financial crises….this has been extended to other Political Subdivisions….So far Michigan and Wisconsin have the ability to take over…Ohio if not there is on its way just like Indiana…

    To me it is a very simple complex game of chess….the state creates the emergency….and them goes in and get rids of Union Contract….Teachers Contracts as well….Hmmmmm……

  63. We need public schools. It is somewhat analogous to the Post Office. Some folks prefer the United Parcel Service or Federal Express. Those could go away. We all need to be able to send a letter or package to some bumfuk town and if we live in that place be able to receive a letter from anyone. Some day the internet will replace this but right now we need it.

    Public schools do keep a secular approach to education. Maybe it is milktoast sometimes. Milktoast is better than salmonella offered at some private schools. Vouchers are for grouchers.

  64. Anonymously Yours,

    Hamilton was against the Bill of Rights. His argument leads to what we see today. He said; by enumerating the rights of the “persons”, that this would easily lead to thinking that rights not enumerated did not exist, and the people would not be entitled to them as well.

    Well as a addition to satisfy and get ratification, the Bill was included.
    And yet today, we have to fight like hell against those who would attack them, or remove them outright. Some even say, it would be better if we were ruled by a WISE and POWERFUL MAN. Well, how about appointing the governors as nobles with hereditary titles. So we insure the continuance of a good line like Phillip of Spain as rendered by Velasquez, in you’ve been to the Prado to see their inbred faces.

    Others countered this idea, and the Constitution specifically says in one place that (or is it the Declaration) all power descendeth from the people,
    The constitution does say that numerous other non-enumerated powers are so common and are also the peoples too, for them to determine. Not by government.
    Not by government—–by not following that is where we went wrong, I feel.

  65. Bron.
    True stuff is obviously that part you don’t read.

    But I think Gene H. gave a better answer. Why do you challenge him?

    You are a perfect example, IMHO, of someone whose opinions were formed before knowledge was acquired, and you appear to lack the capability of considering ideas critical of your position. Would you agree to these opinions of your capabilities?

  66. raff,

    The problem with most folks….. They fail to read history as relevant today…. when the were coming for the unions…. I did not care…. I was not a unionist…when they came for the street vendors, I did not care….I was not a street vendor… when they came…. the jobs were all gone and I was too afraid to ask what happened….

    The above can be changed to just about every aspect of our lives….if you think about it… everything is neither good nor bad….it is how its balanced…Its like trying to sit on a two legged stool…it can be done… but it takes more effort than three… hence the three branches of government….

  67. id707,

    Do not we have Hamilton to thank for dueling being out lawed in the US to settle a dispute? That is a Burring statement I know….. The next time you spend a 10$ spot…. thank Alex for the National Banking system…..

  68. AY
    Hey thanks, got any good links?
    Some believe the Fed started in 1913. It’s been around earlier in different versions Even Lincoln is said to have fought it. And the different foots.
    “do not crucify man on a cross of gold”. Can you summarize in ten sentences or less?
    Irony is great isn’t it? Sarcasm is even better. And ridicule is best.
    What’s your plain vanilla?

  69. id707,

    Pray tell what do you ever mean….You want links to the 10$ spot, Lincoln, the National Bank, Hamilton Burr duel…..or what?

    Just remember John Prine say….His Grandpa voted for Eisenhower cause Lincoln won the war…..then Sam Stones alone….every since the Vietnam war…..

  70. id707,

    “someone whose opinions were formed before knowledge was acquired” … I really like that wording and am hereby informing you that I have every intention of stealing it.

  71. Hey I thought you were kinda suspect, and particularly today.
    Hate to descend to this level. What exactly did I say that rattles your chain?

    But anyway, I want links, not conserved taling points. The worst I know is the smell when you open the can.

    So what are you hitting on today. Go back and hit again and get some shuteye. Maybe you’ll wake up in better form.

    Or as they said in TV’s B/W era on the then famous police program:
    “Just the facts, ma’am; just the facts.”

  72. Declaration to AY and others:

    I don’t identify myself with the ideas I espouse. Abandoning ideas for better ones is no threat to my sense of self-esteem or personal wholeness. Ideas are just ideas, preferably empirically grounded; and never based on faith.

    So if there comes proof that Obama was born outside the USA, then I think I could still support him. A citizen is a citizen, born or naturalized. It’s his qualities I liked.

    And justtot surprise you, it is strongly likely that Mitt Romney was born in Mexico. His grandfather was there for many years, and made a very nice pile before his son returneed much later. Check it out….. Common knowledge among AZ folks whose grandparents were there competing with Romney grandpere.

  73. Your picking up Bron’s thread just shows that one of you is a pseudonym for the other. You forgot which one you were representing I think
    You took up the Hamilton-Burr duel from Bron, and forgot that what I said to you was about the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, not about Bron’s thread.

    Will you admit you got at least two covers here, maybe more?
    Or will you say you decided to help Bron defend his position.
    What is yours? Mine is radical cynicist who believes (there is that word again) in humankind in its non-combative form.

  74. Elaine M.,

    You must have been a great teacher (and librarian).
    You and Blouise come with the best links of all here.
    Thanks for helping me with PBS link. Google does a lot, but it can’t read my mind; although it anticipates a lot of needs.
    But you find, as Rumsfeld said, “the things we didn’t know that we don’t know—and thus the greatest dangers”. The pendang iafter the dashes is my own.

  75. id707,

    I only steal from those who have something worthwhile to say. ;)

    As to link givers … anon nurse, SwM, and lotta are always worth a click.

    Mike S., Gene, mespo, Mike A., Bob S., and others just know so damn much they don’t often need links but they will listen. Oh, gbk who posts infrequently, can always be taken to the bank and one guy from a while ago … Vince Treacy, had a wonderful mind and if he ever returns I’m going to throw a welcome back party that’ll knock your socks off.

  76. Blouise,

    I know Vince is lurking about. If he feels strongly enough about something, I’m sure he’ll speak up. Rest assured though, he still reads this blog even if he doesn’t participate as much as he once did. Personally, I’d welcome a chance to party. I’ve missed his Enterprise gravatar around here.

  77. Blouise,
    Hey, I knew I had tumbled into the right place. But would I make the grade?
    Thanks for the puff. Below find the latest frog quackings.
    Thanks for pointing out the parade of stars here on H’wood Blvd. Obs, No rankings, no diagrams, no heavy analysis. Pure Blouise.

    Re: Knowledge vs opinions. I won’t belabor this. Just note that they interact for some, can we say the non-RWAs. But not for RWA’s.

    The other puzzle to me is the timeline for human development of technology.
    The calculus of infinitesimals is proven to have been developed 3000 years ago in the Sumerian culture. Why did it take so long to get where Newton and Liebnitz got it going again for the nth time.

    And the last point, why did we spend so many centuries in the stone age.
    Perhaps it was the ice age cycles that prevented advance, although they claim that crisis stimulates adaptive growth.

    Am not seeking admiration as Prof.know-it-all, only launching some of my favorites, although off-topic. Eager to see if any others speculate similarly.
    A big silence will not quell me, only encourage rumination.

  78. “And the last point, why did we spend so many centuries in the stone age.
    Perhaps it was the ice age cycles that prevented advance, although they claim that crisis stimulates adaptive growth.”

    I suspect that population density had a lot to do with that. Lower population densities make living off of the land in the ad hoc manner stone age cultures do it much easier. The invention of agriculture, like all inventions, came about by necessity. As population densities increased, hunting and gathering was simply insufficient to fed the people. The development of all other technology is dependent upon the free time agriculture created by freeing up manpower from subsistence living tasks.

  79. Gene H.
    Yes, yes indeed.
    Studies of bushmen cultures, in a very meager environment in the 1930’s. showed the women would spend max 3 hours a day gathering.
    They ate at that time over 200 different nutrition sources a year.
    The men did nothing on a daily basis, hunting max two days a week.

    The point of free time released by agriculture, yeah!, but the bushmen had oodles too. But no results. Was the environment simply poor in opportunities.. You can’t extract copper where there is no ore.

  80. Elaine,

    No, I haven’t, but after reading the description over at Amazon I have added to my “To Read” list. Quite fortuitously, I am in need of a new book to read and looking for some non-fiction to break up my recent fiction frenzy. Spencer may even go to the front of the line. :D Thanks!

  81. id707,

    Certainly environmental opportunity could/would impact the scenario. However, the Bushmen example I think only proves the point about necessity being the Mother of Invention. They had a robust and largely sub-tropical environment to live of off with a variety of food sources. Compare this to the desert and temperate climates where farming and herding first developed: more extreme weather and seasonal variations combined with less options for hunting and foraging. This is also seen in the general trend that technology developed all along the temperate zones much faster than in the tropical and sub-tropical zones.

  82. Blouise, Where are you going to have your party? (SwM),

    Anywhere that will allow bobcats … which probably means my backyard. But it’s big and I’ll get it mowed and set up porta-potties and everything.

  83. “But would I make the grade?” (id707)

    Nobody makes the grade here for top grade means designation as the “Top Inglorious Bastard” which is not necessarily good for the resume. ;)

  84. Blouise, I assume it is in the summer. I will come up and campaign for Sherrod and Obama. Santorum will carry Texas if he is the nominee.

  85. AY,

    Thanks for coming back to me with another John Prine. It wasn’t until you mentioned “Sam Stone” that I had thought of him for years. I really loved his music way back when, but other musical passions put him out of mind. It’s time to bring him back into my life. I think “Sam Stone” was the all time great song dealing with Viet Nam and what we put our soldiers through for nothing, only to forget them when they returned. Sort of like Iraq I think.

  86. “But would I make the grade?”

    ID707,

    Your here. You’re interesting. You made the grade.

    “The other puzzle to me is the timeline for human development of technology.
    The calculus of infinitesimals is proven to have been developed 3000 years ago in the Sumerian culture. Why did it take so long to get where Newton and Liebnitz got it going again for the nth time.”

    I one of those wackos that thinks maybe it didn’t take so long, but was lost and
    rediscovered. Graham Hancock has some interesting speculation, http://www.grahamhancock.com/news/index.php as does Alexander Sitchin. Archaeology is still in its infancy, as is Anthropology. I don’t know if Hancock and Sitchin are to be believed, but they have some interesting speculation.

    We know much about the culture of ancient Egypt, however, no one has any real proof as to how the that great culture evolved, or why they could do such extraordinary building. I started out in my teens towards becoming an Archaeologist, but chickened out because I didn’t think I could afford the schooling. Ancient history still fascinates me though and viewing humanity across a broader spectrum adds much context.

  87. that Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey is bad news for the Klan.

    Turns out the whole world is of African descent.

    What is that going to do to the 8a program?

    The poor Australian Aborigines are going to have to change their creation story.

    The bible publishers are going to have to change the color of Adam and Eve, looks like they werent white after all.

  88. id707,

    Mostly S/F and detective fiction. Alistair Reynolds, William Gibson, Harlan Ellison, Walter Mosley, Jeff Lindsey and Dashiell Hammett.

  89. The US now ranks 25th out of 34 OECD countries in mathematics.

    Yet efforts to pilot privatization and private innovations are met with claims that freedom of choice for students would affect “housing values” and “subsidize schools that discriminate”, which is why our public school students start off behind their global competitors and become even more disadvantaged after a decade or more of pro-government indoctrination.

  90. The “education crisis” myth
    Ignore the media spin. Wages and working conditions — not skills — are the real reasons jobs get outsourced
    By David Sirota
    http://www.salon.com/2012/01/30/the_education_crisis_myth/singleton/

    Excerpt:
    Has the term “education” become a code word? And if so, a code word for what?

    These are the major unasked — but resoundingly answered — questions to emerge from two much-discussed articles about the future of American manufacturing. One is a cover story in the Atlantic Monthly about why jobs are being shipped overseas. It concludes that “to solve all the problems that keep people from acquiring skills would require tackling the toughest issues our country faces” — the first of those being “a broken educational system.” The second and even more talked about article comes from the New York Times. It looked at why Apple Computer has moved its production facilities overseas, concluding in sensationalistic fashion that “it isn’t just that workers are cheaper abroad” but that America “has stopped training enough people in the mid-level skills that factories need.”

    These pieces were clearly written with a very specific objective in mind: to draw media attention to the supposed “education crisis” in America — a favorite topic of these publications’ elite readers, who have a vested interest in blaming the recession on the poor rather than on the economic policies that enrich the already rich. No doubt, both the Times and the Atlantic achieved their goal, with various NPR shows, cable gabfests and elite magazines spending the last week frothing over the articles’ central thesis.

    The tragedy in all of this is that in both the articles and in most of the discussions that followed, few bothered to question the fundamental assumptions about education in America — and fewer still bothered to ask if “education” in the modern parlance has now become a synonym for “acquiescence.”

    To see how this linguistic shift is occurring, reread the Times article with a critical eye. Specifically, notice that after the reporters structure their piece around Apple executives’ (unchallenged) claim that “the U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need,” there’s not a single shred of proof — empirical or otherwise — offered in support of that assertion. On the contrary, after a sweeping declaration at the top of the piece that wage and human rights differences between Chinese and American workers have little to do with offshoring, the article inadvertently goes on to prove those differentials — not skill levels and education — are the driving force behind the domestic job losses in America.

    In one section of the piece, for example, the Times notes that Apple’s big Chinese factory, Foxconn, attracts American investment because “over a quarter of (the) work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day” — and “many work six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant.” In another section of the piece, the Times notes that the cost of “building a $1,500 computer in (California) was $22 a machine … In Singapore, it was $6 … In Taiwan, $4.85.” While the Times unquestioningly forwards Apple’s impossible-to-believe explanation for these figures (“wages weren’t the major reason for the disparities”), the statistics are yet more proof that wage differences, not education, are the real offshoring motive.

    The Times also quotes an Apple executive saying the company must outsource because “the entire supply chain is in China now” — and though the article doesn’t bother to mention it, that is true precisely because other factories in that supply chain have moved to China for the cheap wages and lax human rights/labor regulations. The Times later talks to Eric Saragoza, an American worker laid off by Apple, who says that Apple told him to keep his job he didn’t need to acquire more skills, but instead “to do 12-hour days, and come in on Saturdays.” And in another part of the piece, the Times quotes a former Apple executive who insists Apple was forced to move to China because there’s no “U.S. plant (that) can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms” — an admission, again, that Apple’s move to offshore isn’t about skills, but about a desire to employ a “flexible” (read: exploitable) workforce.*

    In light of all this, the absurdity of the Times’ “education crisis” conclusion is obvious. Somehow, Dickensian realities are meticulously recounted, but Apple is permitted to plead helplessness without so much as a contradictory fact being mentioned — as if the company isn’t making calculated choices that are generating record profits off sweatshop conditions. China’s super-low wages and nonexistent labor, environmental and human rights protections are shown over and over again to be the driving force behind American corporate offshoring, and yet the conclusion is nonetheless that the problem for America is our education system. And somehow, that conclusion is made without the Times, the Atlantic Monthly or any part of the media echoing their stories measuring it against actual data from the American education system.

    And what, pray tell, does that data say? It says that far from a drought of skilled high-tech workers forcing supposedly helpless victims like Apple to move to China, America is actually producing more of such workers than Apple and other high-tech companies are willing to employ…

  91. Here is a statistic for you guys. Based on deviation IQ, a statistically derived number used by all standardized IQ tests, China and India both have more kids who would qualify for membership in Mensa than we have kids, total.

  92. Elaine,

    If wages and working conditions are the reason jobs get outsourced, are the Japanese overpaid in comparison to their American counterparts?

    From today:

    Toyota to Shift Highlander Hybrid Production to U.S. From Japan

    CHICAGO—Toyota Motor Corp. will invest $400 million in its Indiana plant as it shifts production of its Highlander sport-utility vehicle hybrid to the U.S. from Japan.

    Toyota Motor will invest $400 million in its Indiana plant as it shifts production of its Highlander sport-utility vehicle hybrid to the U.S. from Japan. Jeff Bennett has details on The News Hub. Photo: Getty Images

    The move will create 400 jobs at the Princeton factory that will produce 50,000 more Highlander vehicles a year, Toyota North American President Yoshi Inaba said during a keynote speech at the Chicago Auto Show Wednesday. Mr. Inaba said he also expects more jobs to be created at the auto-parts makers that supply the plant.

    “We plan to export some of those Highlanders to other countries,” Mr. Inaba said. “Our exports of made-in-America products to 21 countries has topped 100,000 vehicles and we’ve just begun exporting American Camry sedans and Sienna minivans to South Korea.”

    Explain.

    Why are these jobs not moving to Mexico? Brazil? China?

  93. Mike S.,

    Somethings in the 70/80’s were forgotten as soon as they happened…..but some memories will neverbe erased…..hearing even the Doors evokes sentimental memories…… Thanks….

  94. puzzling,

    Honda is building a new $800-million auto plant in Mexico. It’s going to open in 2014 and employ 3,200.

    The rising value of the yen vs. the dollar has been killing profits for cars manufactured in Japan and shipped to U S. Also shipping cost from the countries you mentioned to the U S cuts deeply into profits. All profits go to Japan and if the cars are manufactured in North America for the North and South American markets then the Japanese enjoy higher returns.

  95. puzzling,

    I wasn’t completely clear … Japanese cars built in Japan, China, India etc and shipped here aren’t profitable for Japan. Japanese cars built in U S, Mexico, Brazil etc are profitable. That’s why Ford and GM have plants in China for their Asian markets …

    Now Japanese parts for U.S Auto … that’s a whole different ballgame.

  96. Elaine M.
    Great. Thanks. The summation I needed.
    You mentioned education becoming a code word. You made your point.

    But it could be: Education=american worker adaptation to chinese conditions…….forcibly or subtlely.

  97. Elaine:

    Is that true? A computer cost $22 to build in CA and $5 to build in Taiwan? I would gladly pay the extra $17, what is that, around 1% of the cost of a computer?

    That cannot be right, that isnt even 30 pcs of silver we are getting screwed for.

    I spent some time searching for stats on unit costs for computers but cannot find any cost info.

  98. puzzling:

    China can build all the Ipads and Iphones they want. We are learning how to build human organs.

    Free people engaged in voluntary, mutually beneficial transactions are what does the most good for the most people.

  99. Bron,

    Another idea: those figures of 22perPC is I believe final assembly and plugging in the autotest equipment. There is in fact a lot of labor concealed in the purchase prices of the pieces which are parts used in the final assembly. How much is Foxconn owned and how much independent sweatshops is not revealed (Foxconn secret, except to Apple).

    As to:
    Free people engaged in voluntary, mutually beneficial transactions are what does the most good for the most people.

    Find me one country like that and I’ll move there tomorrow. Eureka! Or should I say Utopia????

    Keep on trying to cheer us up. It’s needed.

  100. http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/08/white-house-hints-at-compromise-on-birth-control-mandate/?xid=newsletter-healthland

    Can someone send O. a stiff iron rod for his weak will?

    And as to his vote-fishing: We’ve seen here figures showing that over 85 percent of Catholic women pray to God and arrange for modern contraceptives, that the Bishop sells on the black market. That last bit about the Bishop is obviously a lie, and meant as a poor example of humor. Mea culpa, max mea culpa.

    Does he think he gets catholic votes by caving? Netto minus 50 million instead, he lost the womens’ vote.

  101. Frankly, I’m astounded that any member of the Roman Catholic hierarchy would dare make public utterances about anything our government does considering they have been running the largest criminal enterprise in the nation that protects child absuers and denies their victims proper compensation. The way the Catholic hierarchy has been behaving the past few years is the very manifestation of the Catholic Bishops and Cardinals trying to impose their medieval doctrines and beliefs on all Americans that the anti-Catholic Republican Party so loudly protested throughout the 19th Century when it campaigned against “Rum, Romanism and Rebellion”. Once the Catholic Bishops and Cardinals get their own house in order, start turning pedophiles over to the police, and flush their institution of all those who harbored and made excuses for them then maybe they could appropriately offer their opinions on our public schools and healthcare. But not before.

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