Home > Regular Features > Monday Message Board

Monday Message Board

January 25th, 2010

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

Categories: Regular Features Tags:
  1. Ernestine Gross
    January 29th, 2010 at 07:30 | #1

    @Jarrah

    Jarrah, I am particularly interested in your answer to the question: Why are childles taxpayers forced to contribute toward publicly subsidised education in ‘elite’ schools and in religious schools?

  2. Chris Warren
    January 29th, 2010 at 07:37 | #2

    @nanks

    This is hard to fathom. Maybe you could provide an example.

    Tony G’s logic was:

    that would make their students worse off by spreading scarce resources (gov.monies) between more students;

    But by using 30 billion before and after a policy change his results are false. Normally funding would increase.

    Co-payments/top-ups (whatever), depending on their basis, could also change and in a public school system could be rigorously means tested.

    Yes – current private fees, if dispensed with because students attend public schools, would then be released back into rich family budgets. Was this your point?

  3. nanks
    January 29th, 2010 at 08:01 | #3

    @Chris Warren
    a lot of speculation here Chris Warren – normally fnding increases ? co-payments could increase – well lots of things could happen I guess, but keeping other things equal and just getting rid of the private schools is the framework within which i was posting. Maybe you are right though and getting rid of private schools would usher in a new era of decent govt.
    My point is that release of the monies helps the rich more than the poor. So arguing that getting rid of private schools will increase social equity is misplaced. Something else a lot of something elses – has to happen

  4. January 29th, 2010 at 08:03 | #4

    Re eg at 50

    Can you tell me why car less taxpayers are forced to contribute toward publicly subsidised streets that buses do not go down?

  5. January 29th, 2010 at 08:17 | #5

    EG@ 50 said

    “Tony G, I am particularly interested in your application of simple arithmetic to answer the question: Why are childless taxpayers forced to contribute toward publicly subsidised education in ‘elite’ and in religious schools.”

    No but,

    Can you tell me why car less taxpayers are forced to contribute toward publicly subsidised streets that buses do not go down?

  6. Chris Warren
    January 29th, 2010 at 08:55 | #6

    @Ernestine Gross

    The allocation of taxation revenue between public and private schools has been discussed from various perspectives, except one*, namely that of people who have paid tax throughout their working life but have no children. ** How do these people feature in the opinions of the discussants?

    DINKs (double income no kids) just grin and wear it.

    It would be extraordinarily mean spirited for them to begrudge public funds going to public schools because they have no kids.

  7. Ernestine Gross
    January 29th, 2010 at 08:57 | #7

    Tony G :EG@ 50 said
    “Tony G, I am particularly interested in your application of simple arithmetic to answer the question: Why are childless taxpayers forced to contribute toward publicly subsidised education in ‘elite’ and in religious schools.”
    No but,
    Can you tell me why car less taxpayers are forced to contribute toward publicly subsidised streets that buses do not go down?

    You have no answer to my question. I understand that you would agree that childless taxpayers should not be forced to contribute to subsidisation of ‘elite’ and religious schools. Thank you.

    Yes, I can provide an answer to your question. Without a road outside their house or appartment building, the motorised postman would be unable to deliver mail to the carless taxpayer. This is the simplest example which comes to mind quickly. Another obvious one is that a carless taxpayer may hire a taxi on occasions. Another obvious one, the carless taxpayer may get visitors who come by car. The ambulance, if required, would come by car. I am really surprised about your question, given that there are so many obvious answers.

  8. Ernestine Gross
    January 29th, 2010 at 09:11 | #8

    Chris Warren :@Ernestine Gross

    The allocation of taxation revenue between public and private schools has been discussed from various perspectives, except one*, namely that of people who have paid tax throughout their working life but have no children. ** How do these people feature in the opinions of the discussants?

    DINKs (double income no kids) just grin and wear it.
    It would be extraordinarily mean spirited for them to begrudge public funds going to public schools because they have no kids.

    Chris,

    The ‘just grin and wear it’ is not a good one. It could be applied to all cases discussed, including your own argument.

    Your second point (mean spirited) is unnecessarily moralistic. I refer to my reply to nanks in which I gave an argument why it is in the interest of childless taxpayers to contribute toward public education.

  9. Chris Warren
    January 29th, 2010 at 11:14 | #9

    @Ernestine Gross

    Please, in future, do not ask:

    ** How do these people feature in the opinions of the discussants?

    If you are then going to target such requested opinions.

  10. Donald Oats
    January 29th, 2010 at 11:25 | #10

    Interesting article that you provide, Tony G. I had a read of it.

    Tony G :
    http://www.history.ac.uk/resources/e-seminars/potts-paper

    Don.

  11. January 29th, 2010 at 11:35 | #11

    @Ernestine Gross
    Like I said before, generalised education has positive externalities that are not capable of internalisation. I’m not sure if you or others have noticed, but I’m not a hardcore libertarian – eg, I believe education and health need a large involvement by government, paid for by all taxpayers, for an efficient level of both to be achieved. I simply prefer government funded, but did not provide, those services. Hence my in-principle support of school mutualisation and privatisation, charter schools, voucher systems.

  12. Chris Warren
    January 29th, 2010 at 12:47 | #12

    @nanks

    So, I’m guessing…

    Can this be generalised beyond education specifically.

    Is the argument like saying

    “the rich need their luxuries because if they became public funded, the rich would save the money otherwise used to purchase luxuries.

    This public funding releases money back into rich family budgets which benefits the rich more than the poor.

    So making luxuries public goods does not increase social equity”

    This is quite a useful argument for the rich to have in their pockets.

  13. nanks
    January 29th, 2010 at 12:51 | #13

    @Chris Warren
    no its nothing like that argument Chris – it’s more like an argument that says you are looking to the wrong solution re improving equity/fairness in education because getting rid of private schools will do little to nothing – and quite possibly make things worse.

  14. nanks
    January 29th, 2010 at 12:52 | #14

    @Chris Warren

    and the claim that the bulk of people sending their kids to private schools are rich is wrong – although on average they have more money than people who send their kids to public schools – but that is a very different claim.

  15. Donald Oats
    January 29th, 2010 at 13:40 | #15

    Well, consider what is considered to be the significance of the Victorian Education Act 1872:

    Significance
    This law set up in Victoria the basis for a uniquely centralised model of school education, unlike those in Britain, the United States or Canada. Victoria was the first of the Australian colonies to set up a central public school system based on the principles of free, secular and compulsory education. History
    In the second half of the 19th century the Australian colonies assumed direct responsibility for education from the churches, local groups and private providers. Until then, these private organisations had supplemented the inadequate public schools. The creation of the new government schools came as the result of protracted argument and absorbed substantial public resources.

    The new system was based on principles of secular, compulsory and free education. Religion was a source of conflict to be avoided in the new government school system, so government schools were to be secular with no teaching of religion.

    Schooling was compulsory and children were required to attend school both because literacy and numeracy were a way to the common good, and because educated citizens were essential to self-government. Education was free, because it served the public benefit.

    This Act and subsequent Education Acts created large, centralised education departments that had close control over classroom practice. The needs of the state took precedence over parents, and these public schools drilled their charges with the knowledge and capacities that would equip them for citizenship.

    Sources

    Macintyre, Stuart, A Colonial Liberalism: The Life and Times of Three Victorian Visionaries, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1991.

    [My bolding of text.]

    Seems good to me :-)

  16. January 29th, 2010 at 13:49 | #16

    EG @ 7 said;

    “You have no answer to my question. I understand that you would agree that childless taxpayers should not be forced to contribute to subsidisation of ‘elite’ and religious schools. Thank you.”

    That is right EG “taxpayers should not be forced to contribute” to anything ‘as taxation is theft’.

    Similar to the way a lot of American taxpayers got ripped off when they contributed to the luna program, as only a handfull went?

  17. January 29th, 2010 at 13:55 | #17

    Don,

    I have a problem with this bit;

    “created large, centralised education departments that had close control over classroom practice. The needs of the state took precedence over parents, and these public schools drilled their charges”

    The needs of the NSW government should take precedence over anybody.

  18. January 29th, 2010 at 13:56 | #18

    Should be;

    The needs of the NSW government should not take precedence over anybody.

  19. David Booth
    January 29th, 2010 at 15:04 | #19

    Nanks (#42) thank you for your reply to my post. It seems you embraced the idea that private schools could be abolished immediately releasing the fees paid now by parents (rich or poor) with children at Private schools. You would get an education system that reflected society in that it would cater for all levels and not be a two tier system where privilege is reinforced. The amount per student would not be reduced as claimed by others but an efficient allocation would be possible (like economies of scale). If some weird religion wants to run a school they are free to do so (provided they meet minimum standards just as home education must), but they would not receive any government subsidy and the parents would need to pay the full costs. In you reply Nanks in this quote
    What the ‘rich’ can’t access under the proposed fully public system is the social relations side of private edu. But how serious is that? I would argue that it is not serious to the extent that a society is a meritocracy – after all the rich child is now on the receiving end of far greater resources that can be targetted to achieving meritorious performance.

    you almost argued in a full circle and I thought you had almost convinced yourself that abolishing subsidies to Private schools would be a good starting point to embark upon a real education revolution (not the phoney one we see at present).

  20. Chris Warren
    January 29th, 2010 at 15:35 | #20

    nanks :
    @Chris Warren
    and the claim that the bulk of people sending their kids to private schools are rich is

    Where is the claim about the “bulk” of people.

    on average they have more money than people who send their kids to public schools – but that is a very different claim.

    What is the difference between “having more money” and being “richer”?

    In my view rich parents “have more money” than poor parents and rich parents tend to purchase different education services than poor parents because they have more money.

    I cannot see a real difference.

  21. January 29th, 2010 at 15:36 | #21

    @David Booth
    “where privilege is reinforced”

    Another unexamined assumption. This is common amongst the single-provider advocates. The evidence for it is not strong.

  22. nanks
    January 29th, 2010 at 15:43 | #22

    @Chris Warren
    there is a difference between being richer and being rich. getting $2 a day is richer than getting $1 a day but it isn’t rich. The public vs private schooling debate is filled with the conflation of ‘rich’ and ‘richer’. Without checking back I’m pretty sure you were writing at times as if all people sending kids to private schools were rich. And of course many people sending their kids to public schools are richer than some of the people sending their kids to private schools. The point of my argument though is that sending everyone to public school will do little to ameliorate disadvantage.

  23. nanks
    January 29th, 2010 at 17:38 | #23

    @Ernestine Gross
    “But I can’t think of an argument why this segment of taxpayers should be prepared to pay for other people’s preferences for religious education or their belief in ‘choice’ when they are not even asked their opinion. ”

    One could claim that they don’t have to – that is the fraction taken up by the co-payment required of the private student to reach parity with the state contribution to the public student. After all, most of the schooling for private and public school kids is the same.

  24. Alice
    January 29th, 2010 at 21:15 | #24

    @Ernestine Gross
    Thankyou Ernestine… for this comment

    “But I can’t think of an argument why this segment of taxpayers should be prepared to pay for other people’s preferences for religious education or their belief in ‘choice’ when they are not even asked their opinion.”

  25. Alice
    January 29th, 2010 at 21:29 | #25

    @nanks
    Why should the fraction of the co-payment required of a private student be intended “to reach parity” with the state contribution to a public school student.

    Its not a contribution to a “student” – its a contribution to an affordable education system for all students. Do we want to be a backward country?? – the state contribution is so all children can attend school…not a per child hand out, for richer for poorer Nanks….and certainly not to inspire jeaolousy and infighting and scarbbling over which kid gets what, no matter their family means.

    What you are suggesting is that al taxpayers with children line up for a handout and as long as there is a co-payment from a richer parent it justifies the state handout to a richer kid…if they want choice (where the fees keep rising and their choices cost more).

    Thats not what I understand a progressive tax system to be.. if it isnt progressive then why bother to have our money laundered by the state at all?

    I will only lose interest and the government will gain interest on my money while it takes its time to hand it back equally or less progressively to all. This is rididulous argument. Mark my word, in the privatisation game – the ATO will be the last department to be privatised.

    Have you ever thought that your taxes could have been better spent providing access and support for your child in a state school…instead of going to a private school, where they could afford to have such facilities and for which you paid more and added a co-payment from your tax?

    Thanks to state subsidies it would seem.

  26. Donald Oats
    January 29th, 2010 at 23:15 | #26

    @Jarrah

    Thanks.

    On the issue of freedom of religion and how a compulsory secular public education might conflict with it, I guess my main points would be that:

    a) The public school education is secular and it is a question of our society ensuring that every child receives such an education. Religious organisations may argue that they have particular requirements of their members, and that one or more of these requirements may be in conflict with a public secular education. I would in return argue that religions have adapted in the past to the changes occurring around them and that this issue is no different in that regard.
    Furthermore, a secular education during school hours does not in fact contravene freedom of religion, for religious education may be performed outside of school hours. Being free to practice a religion is quite a different proposition to being free to do whatever one pleases.
    As a trite example: It is compulsory to pass a test (or to do a log book successfully) for a driver’s license before being allowed to drive. No one I know argues that the hours spent on this secular activity of passing the license requirements is in some way preventing freedom of religion, for the simple reasons that religion may be practised outside of the hours spent learning to drive; and, the secular “education” in learning to drive and to demonstrating that satisfactorily is irrelevant in so far as freedom of religion goes (to the best of my knowledge).

    b) There is an argument raised by some that various components of the content (ie subjects taught and their subject matter) of a compulsory secular education may be either in conflict with sacred texts for a particular religion, and consequently such compulsory learning of that subject matter is immoral, in so far as that religion is concerned. The by now classic example of this is the Creationist variant of conservative Christian sects. Creationism is a direct expression of a literal reading of the first two books of the bible, and in particular “Genesis”. There are many creationists who believe in a “young Earth” (aka YEC for “Young Earth Creationism”), an Earth that was created perhaps 4000 or so years ago. There are also interpretative creationists who believe that the six days of creation are metaphorical days, whereas other creationists brook no disent that a day of creation is a standard 24 hour day.
    If we stick with the creationist doctrine as espoused by some branch of conservative Christians, it should be immediately obvious that not only is it impossible to reconcile any of the subject matter of evolutionary biology with the Creationists’ various accounts of creation, it is simply impossible to reconcile the different creationist sects own accounts of creation with each others. Yet by and large, the various creationists have no issue with congregating together to formally celebrate and learn about their Christian religion together.. So what is the distinction between acceptable conflict of religious beliefs – the 24hr day “Genesis” creationists vs the “metaphorical day” creationists, and YEC creationists vs old Earth recent human creation creationists, etc – and unacceptable conflict of belief – creationist version of humankind’s creation vs Darwin’s account of evolution by natural selection (and other natural factors)?

    Are we to abandon the goal of Australian citizens knowing at least a bit of science? Just because there is a religion somewhere that is in conflict with the scientific discoveries concerning humankind’s origins? I think not, and yet in practice we have done just that.

  27. January 30th, 2010 at 15:15 | #27

    This is in response to a comment on the forum “My response to Monckton’s conspiracy theory”.

    @freelander, one of the rituals before boarding planes that we may have to go through are full body scans. There are many concerns that there may be serious health risks. (See a href=”http://peaksurfer.blogspot.com/2009/12/airport-droids-attack-human-gene-pool.html”>”Airport Droids Attack Human Gene Pool” about the health risks posed by full body scanners of 29 Dec 09 on peaksurfer.blogspot.com, “DNA Full-body scanners used on air passengers may damage human DNA” of 11 Jan 10. )

    If the security agencies had done their job properly, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab would have got nowhere near flight 253 and the alleged need for the rituals before getting on a plane, of which you write, would not exist.

    Of course, I no more accept the incompetence theory in regard toFlight 253 than I do in regard to 9/11 or the AWB scandal.

Comment pages
1 2 3 4 8274
Comments are closed.