Tuesday, April 01, 2008

At least some folks didn't forget April Fools' Day

I would have forgotten that today was April Fools' Day save for a few misguided readers of this blog. Here's my favorite comment from an April Fool:
Jim, you want to ignore the fact that there are market forces in government because it doesn't fit your political ideology.
"[T]here are market forces in government ..." You just have to love that one. This April Fool must still be working his way through either Das Kapital or the latest rants and raves from the favorite socialist writer of the NY Times, Paul Krugman.

There are political forces in government -- just recall the levy campaign. But, there are no market forces.

Consider this: Private teachers get about one half of the salary of government teachers.

Or, consider this: No district is willing to hire a teacher with 25 years experience and credit all 25 years on their salary schedule. Why? There is neither a market nor value for such an employee since no measurable performance improvements occur after five years of teaching. None. Yet, their salaries continue to rise.

That's right, wages rise even after performance plateaus. The reason? Politics.

The correct statement is: There are political forces in government. The concepts of market and politics are not tautologies -- they are not substitutable. That is, unless, of course, you spend your days dreaming of the coming workers' utopia.

And, on this April Fools' Day, a few readers are deep in a Soma-induced sleep. Dream well!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad I could make your day and give some front page fodder.

I find it interesting that someone so enamored with free markets can find that they are so easily discontinued that they don't have effects within government organizations.

But of course they do, market forces just don't get suspended so easily. The laws still apply to economic interactions within governmental structures. They may be distorted by outside forces just like they are in business today but they are present and are still the underlying economic forces that drive outcomes.

I would think you would have a better appreciation of the power and persistence of market forces.
But of course, admitting that government is subject to these forces and apparently government isn't the big, bad, hated boogieman you want it to be goes against your political beliefs. It is better to just shut your eyes and try to ignore that which challenges those beliefs.

Anonymous said...

As to public versus private teacher pay, equal pay would indicate a counter free-market force at work. It would be more socialistic to require equal pay for all teachers.

You seem to believe that all teachers are equal and as such should have equal pay. But the consumer base for public education has accepted higher pay for their teachers.

Jim Fedako said...

It's April 2nd and you are still going strong.

Creating strawmen is a simple way to argue: simple for the simple.

I never state that teacher pay should be equal. Please identify references to where I make that claim.

I note the discrepancy in pay scales to show that the market values teachers much less than the political forces of government.

In the market, it's all about subjective value. In government, it's all about votes.

Regardless, thanks for showing that, indeed, public schools -- with their equal pay scales -- are socialist entities. That has been my point all along. Thanks!

Jim Fedako said...

And, like an ardent Marxist, you employ fluid definitions.

To wit: A market is any place where the sellers of a particular good or service can meet with the buyers of that goods and service where there is a potential for a transaction to take place. The buyers must have something they can offer in exchange for there to be a potential transaction.

Redefining and substituting words and meanings does not make for good argumentation. Sophism? Yes. Argumentation? No.

Anonymous said...

It would seem your constant comparison of pay inequality between private and public teachers would indicate you believe that their pay should equalized. If that is not what you were inferring with your attacks than so be it.

Of course it could be that people value public education more than private education.

Anonymous said...

Yep, that is the definition which I use for a market. So tell me, how does public schools not fit this definition?

Jim Fedako said...

No, their pay WOULD equalize.

This is the difference between those of us who love Liberty (me) and those who love the state (you): Since we do not seek government to equalize anything, we drop the value-laden concept of should.

Don't worry, I don't expect you to grasp that.

If you read and agree with the definition market, and are still asking me such inane questions, there is no point in me responding.

Nothing is gained by debating a fool.

Anonymous said...

Funny, you argue that you are not trying to equalize anything but then you keep pointing out the pay difference between public and private teachers as if that is somehow wrong. It is hard to have it both ways.

I recognize your comment about the fool. I wonder why I bother to correct you but then I realize it is important for those others that follow the pied piper over the cliff.

Jim Fedako said...

It's the Pied Piper and the Weser River, and lemmings and cliffs.

And, I'm not trying to equalize anything. It markets that are equilibrating, not bloggers.

Three Days of the April Fool!

taxpayer of 3 said...

Jim....did you learn to be so witty and analytical in all those art classes?

Or was it perhaps all the discipline and repetition in those literature, math and science classes that developed your keen intellect?

Just curious for our feel gooders sake.

Jim Fedako said...

taxpayer of 3:

Actually, I benefited from a highly paid superintendent and administrative team (or cabinet, as Devis refers to his team of lackeys), just like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

"Of course it could be that people value public education more than private education."


A free market would indicate that people have a choice. I would suggest that the public school system has a monopoly, and that they, and the teachers unions, know it.

Who can afford to pay crazy property taxes AND private education tuition? Not to many of us. Thus, not too many of us have a choice, which eliminates the remote possibility that our education system operates in a "free market."

If this were truly a free market, as you have agreed to the definition, then we would have the option to either 1) Pay property taxes to support public education or 2) Pay tuition to private institutions.

The fact remains that we don't have that option. Everyone MUST pay property tax that funds public education. Those that find more value in private educational offerings then have to pay again to acquire the extra value that those oferrings provide. Thus, the notion that "people value public over private" is a farce. Rather, people must support their public education institutions because they don't have a choice.

I'm confident that you would see a change in all public school districs behavior, and the level of support those districts currently enjoy if the market were truly free. In fact, I'm certain the teachers union would back down and fall in line with the education market base line, Private Education Salaries and Benefits, because any job is better than no job.

Additionally, a free market would fuel the need for OLSD to improve thier offering and ensure the delivery of a differentiated highly effective education system.

But, we're not in a free market, so don't expect anything to change.

Anonymous said...

Shhhh....be careful guys: the administration might get an idea of putting "blogging" courses into the curriculum.

Anonymous said...

Actually the market has shown that OLSD does provided a differentiated highly effective education system that people value. The real estate market that is and people move into the district for the schools and the value.

As far as choice, we do have a choice. We make that choice every time we go to the ballot box. Over and over, the people of OLSD and the State of Ohio have choosen to support local public education. The real problem is you and your ideals are in the minority, a very very minor minority.

Jim Fedako said...

No, you vote and I pay. Not much of a choice on my part.

Regarding reaal estate values within the district: There is NO statistical or real difference between similar homes in Olentangy, Big Walnut, and Buckeye Valley.

It easy to verify since there are a few developments which span districts. I posted on this before.

But, continue to believe the administration ... all is well.

Anonymous said...

I laugh whenever someone from the administration self aggrandizes about this supposed education miracle they've helped create. The improvements this district has enjoyed over the last decade are the result of demographic shift and not the guiding hand of prima donna superintendents and their minions.

This district has been gentrified from a rural/agricultural and blue collar backwater to a wealthy, upper middle class enclave of college graduates and professionals. With that socioeconomic shift came a change in the Bell Curve of educational outcomes and achievements.

Hasn't the district's rating declined since Davis became super?

Anonymous said...

4:57 Anonymous ... you missed my point completely.

In a free market, there is choice. I, as an individual, do not have a choice when it comes to funding public schooling. Rather, I am forced to pay via taxes (property/sales/etc...) that fund the public education system.

That being said, if I find greater value in another competetive offering (such as private / parochial / charter schools), I have to pay a seperate fee to that learning institution. I don't recieve any value out of the taxes that I've paid to fund the public education system that I do not use. That money is gone.

In a free market, if I choose to buy a product from company A, company b/c/d lose and recieve NO MONEY from me. That forces evolution, differentiation, increased value, etc...

This is relevant to our discussions because you stated that people value public over private education.

The simple truth is that MANY people can't afford to pay the additional cost of a private institution, in addition to the mandatory public education tax burden. Thus, they have no choice but to send their kids to public schools.

By definition, that is socialism, but from an economic perspective, we can consider it a monopoly. Best case, an oligopoly. Either way, it doesn't benefit the consumer becuase competetive forces do not exist that force differentiation, development, improved service delivery, etc...

You can say "real estate values benefit the distric, etc.. etc.." but the district isn't in the business of generating real estate value. They are in the business of educating students.

Anonymous said...

There are many benefits of a strong public education system. Real Estate values are only one.

You can always vote by moving out of the district. The district must compete for voters as we saw with the last election. Schools do compete and consumers do select both with their feet and their vote. Schools that do not satisfy the consumer lose their population or their funding. Olentangy satisfies the consumer.

Jim Fedako said...


"Schools that do not satisfy the consumer lose their population or their funding. Olentangy satisfies the consumer."

Consumer of what? I thought you folks like to claim that public schools were free.

I refuted Tiebout years ago.

The next time you see a school district react to the housing market, let me know what actions they take. And, the next time you hear a board review the real estate conditions in their district prior to negotating contracts or proposing levies, give me a shout.

Until then, put your Tiebout nonsense away. It is SOOO tiresome.

Oh, and remember that school districts complain about development and growth. That is NOT the way a "market" would react toward additional consumers.

The only thing being consumed is taxes, nothing else.

Anonymous said...

The school district did react to the housing market--by stuffing its budgets with more and more nonsense.

Anonymous said...

You can always vote by moving out of the district. The district must compete for voters as we saw with the last election. Schools do compete and consumers do select both with their feet and their vote.

Wow... now I'm in a district of elitists.

"Pay taxes or move out you simple peasant! And take your trashy kids with you!"

And I thought this was a "free market" discussion, but it appears that Socialism rises again!