What the Right is right about

Explore the business, economy, finance and trade aspects of human society.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

What the Right is right about

#1  Postby UtilityMonster » Apr 24, 2013 6:09 pm

On economic issues, I am curious what right wing parties are right about. I'm pressed for time so I won't write out holistic defenses of these policies, but will instead take up defenses for whichever ones you disagree with. Here are a few:

1. The Right has historically been the ideology defensive of free trade. They are absolutely correct that free trade is good for all parties involved.
2. The Right in the U.S. has been openly commenting on the need to cut entitlement programs. They are correct that, in order to be fiscally solvent in future, we will have to cut entitlement programs. However they are wrong that:
a. Those programs need to or should be cut now.
b. About what programs need to be cut and how to cut them.
c. That this should be done without any revenue increases.
3. The Right has typically been more cognizant of the existence of market efficiencies and the good that markets can do.
a. Admittedly, they see market efficiencies were none exist far too often.
4. In the US, they correctly support charter schools and attempts at decentralizing education, reducing the power/influence of teachers' unions, and creating competition between schools to improve children's educational outcomes.

I am sure I could think of more, but I've started actually having difficulty thinking of more at this point, so I'll stop here.

While I only listed a few issues (let me know if you agree/disagree, whether you think there are other issues they are right about) with a number of caveats, I do think these are important issues, principally.
The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
User avatar
UtilityMonster
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1416
Age: 30
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: What the Right is right about

#2  Postby Sonoran Lion » Apr 25, 2013 7:46 am

I would like to see you expand on number 4 on your list. That is a topic I have not been made familiar with and I would be appreciative of your response or some sources you think would be a good place to start.
"I would rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are,
Because a could-be is a maybe that is reaching for a star.
I would rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far,
For a might-have-been has never been, but a has was once an are".
User avatar
Sonoran Lion
 
Posts: 695
Age: 36

Country: USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#3  Postby chairman bill » Apr 25, 2013 1:08 pm

Free Trade is predicated on property rights - you can't sell what you don't own. OK, you can, and various bridges in London & New York have been sold, several times over, without actually changing hands. But you get the drift.

If a farmer grows a crop & sells it, that seems pretty fair.

If a miner digs up some coal & sells it, that also seems fair.

But who owns the land the farmer uses to grow the crops?

Who owns the coal under the ground?

And if the farmer diverts water from a river to irrigate his crops, who owns the water?

When someone announces property rights over land & other resources, they deprive others of that land & resources.

In the UK, whole communities have been forcibly uprooted to make way for dams, flooding whole villages & farms. By what right? Well, usually this has been by municipal corporations (councils), in order to provide water for the common good. It has also been in order to provide water for factories and workers therein, so benefiting the employers out of proportion to that of their employees, and not benefiting the evicted farmers and villagers at all.

Land has been owned by Robber Barons & their descendants. Enclosure has brought common land into private ownership. In the US, the native population was systematically murdered or otherwise driven off their land.

All property is theft. Or as Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote "The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying 'This is mine,' and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."
“There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.” Terry Pratchett
User avatar
chairman bill
RS Donator
 
Posts: 28319
Male

Country: UK: fucked since 2010
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#4  Postby epete » Apr 25, 2013 1:17 pm

1. Slavery is not "good". "Fair trade" is better than "free trade".
2. Why is it necessary to cut entitlement programs, and not solely increase revenue from the better off in society?
3. Market efficiencies are directed soley at making money, not necessarily a better product. If the two intersect, then that is good and works out well. How often does it (or doesn't it) intersect?
4. How does competition between schools improve educational outcomes? Why is influence from teachers unions necessarily bad?
High rise living is for communists and termites. - laklak
User avatar
epete
Banned Sockpuppet
 
Posts: 1539

Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#5  Postby Beatsong » Apr 25, 2013 7:52 pm

I could offer similar critiques but Bill and epete have pretty much covered it.

However, in the spirit of the OP, for me the main thing that the right is right about is one that you haven't even mentioned. They're right to draw attention to the link between private property and reward for labour - both pragmatically (when people are allowed to keep the fruits of their labour, they are more likely to work hard and to maintain what they own responsibly), and morally (people deserve to be able to keep the fruits of their labour).

I just wish the practical policies they espouse actually matched up and supported this lofty ideal. But alas, they rarely do, and often directly contradict it.
User avatar
Beatsong
 
Posts: 7027

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#6  Postby UtilityMonster » Apr 26, 2013 2:01 am

Sonoran Lion wrote:I would like to see you expand on number 4 on your list. That is a topic I have not been made familiar with and I would be appreciative of your response or some sources you think would be a good place to start.


Ah, an inquisitive mind! I'd be delighted to delve deeper into the issue with you.

First, I would say that taking a generally anti-teachers union position is not totally right wing. Arne Duncan, Obama's education secretary, has made many criticisms of the unions and has proposed policies that they oppose. Rom Emmanuel, another prominent liberal and the mayor of Chicago, has also achieved national fame/infamy for his position against the unions. I think this is important to note, because whenever there is a complete consensus on the left (by that I mean all 50% of the population that is left of center) they are generally correct. It is certainly a good heuristic to use.

So, what are the primary problems with the National Education Association? The primary one is that they put the interests of teachers ahead of those of students when reforms are proposed that would benefit students but hurt teachers.

They oppose basing pay on teacher performance. The response is typically that it is impossible to accurately gauge teacher performance. I disagree. Perhaps teachers should be filmed every class and random days can be examined to see how well the teacher was teaching. If standardized tests measure all or almost all knowledge that students need to know at a given age, then they can accurately show how much teachers improved students from where they were before entering their classes, which is very useful to indicate the value a teacher is adding to students' education. Yes, teaching to a test discourages a lot of creative learning, but creative learning is often not creative, doesn't involve learning, or is a front for broader incompetence or a boredom on the part of the teacher teaching the same fundamental skills over and over. Teaching children the fundamentals of mathematics, critical reading ability, and vocabulary, is paramount to those children who are struggling in school. It provides them a foundation for the rest of their lives, and a gateway to higher education.

The teachers union have it so that pay is based on the length of time a teacher has served, and tenure is given to teachers merely because they have served a long time. Why would someone support tenure for teachers? So they can express radical ideas and not be afraid of a school censoring them. Is this really an issue for teachers at public K-12 schools? No. Another reason tenure is a supposedly a good idea is because it draws brilliant minds to a school. I agree that is the case, but tenure should be given to teachers by school administrators who evaluate teachers' histories and determine they are top notch teachers. It should not be given to teachers because it is simply something they get for being a teacher a long time. It protects bad teachers from being fired. This is a huge deal. Every study on the subject has shown that the quality of teaching matters. The bottom 5% of teachers in the U.S. are incredibly detrimental to student outcomes, and students do not progress at all in their classes. Firing these teachers and replacing them with competent teachers would make a huge difference to the educations of millions of children - it could literally change their lives. Lawrence Lessig, in Republic, Lost, says a lot of smart things about the issue. He is a huge liberal, too. I recommend you check out his book. Also, look at this article about how hard it is to fire teachers:


http://www.timesunion.com/local/article ... 232004.php
In fact, according to a state Education Department database obtained by the Times Union through a Freedom of Information request, it appears to be nearly impossible for a school district to fire a tenured public school teacher. The reason is twofold: job protection for unionized teachers is strong and the process for firing bad teachers — called a 3020-a hearing — is so drawn out and costly that most districts can’t afford it.

Because it is so expensive and difficult, school districts outside of New York City are far less likely to even attempt to fire troubled educators although they enroll almost twice as many students, according to the comprehensive database of 2,087 3020-a hearings filed from 2006 to June 2011.

“It’s cheaper to pay them a salary and stick them in a corner somewhere than go through the 3020-a process,” said Sharon Sweeney, executive director of the Four County School Boards Association, based in Wayne County. She said the 27 small districts she represents have only tried to fire about a dozen educators in 15 years, a number that does not reflect the reality of workplaces with thousands of employees.
The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
User avatar
UtilityMonster
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1416
Age: 30
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#7  Postby UtilityMonster » Apr 26, 2013 2:16 am

epete wrote:1. Slavery is not "good". "Fair trade" is better than "free trade".


Free trade is not slavery. Slavery is forced servitude. Workers choose to work at outsourced factories because those jobs are better than the alternative. If I offer you an alternative that is better than what you are currently doing, and you take it, am I enslaving you? Unless you are willing to be precise with your language, we cannot have a serious conversation on this topic. I recommend reading Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. It is a great story of the kind of people who would kill to have an outsourced job. There are at least a billion such people living right now. Jeffrey Sachs, himself a liberal, said "My problem is not there are too many sweatshops in Sub Saharan Africa, but that there are too few." Wise words from a person who has studied development economics his entire professional career.

epete wrote:
2. Why is it necessary to cut entitlement programs, and not solely increase revenue from the better off in society?


It wouldn't be enough money to solve the problem. Let's ignore all economic analysis and assume that if we taxed all incomes above $1 million a year at 100%, the wealthy would keep working and trying to earn more money. That would net us a little over $600 billion a year, which is about a third of what the deficit was in 2012. The deficit is currently shrinking, but in the long term it will jump back up as the ratio of workers to retired people shrinks. In order to actually solve the deficit problem in the long term, spending will have to be cut. The question is what should be cut. I think the military should be slashed, yes, but I also support a whole host of new spending programs in investment that might offset any money saved from that. As a result, we are left with cutting entitlement programs. I do think it is a problem that so much of our money goes to the elderly.

epete wrote:
3. Market efficiencies are directed soley at making money, not necessarily a better product. If the two intersect, then that is good and works out well. How often does it (or doesn't it) intersect?


I can't put a number on that, but they often do intersect, and they often don't intersect. It should be addressed in a case by case basis, and reasonable regulations should be enacted to align market costs with social costs, inform consumers of what they are purchased, ban certain items from being sold, etc. depending on the product in question.

My point is that markets oftentimes work very well at creating efficient outcomes, such as in providing the kind of goods you buy at Walmart. Health care is an example of markets failing abysmally. The right seems to more cognizant of situations where markets work than the left, generally speaking. The left is more cognizant of when markets fail.
The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
User avatar
UtilityMonster
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1416
Age: 30
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: What the Right is right about

#8  Postby UtilityMonster » Apr 26, 2013 2:34 am

chairman bill wrote:But who owns the land the farmer uses to grow the crops?


Whoever owns it. I would assume the farmers own the land on which he grows his crops. Almost all land is owned by someone currently.

chairman bill wrote:Who owns the coal under the ground?


Whoever owns the land above the coal.

chairman bill wrote:And if the farmer diverts water from a river to irrigate his crops, who owns the water?


Do you want me to answer that positively or normatively? I have no idea who owns this theoretical river you speak of, but I would say rivers provide positive externalities, so they should be regulated by reasonable laws that should allocate river water to different individuals based on how important the different uses of the river water would be for those different individuals. This would be determined by people who could study these issues in depth and can accurately gauge optimal outcomes.

chairman bill wrote:When someone announces property rights over land & other resources, they deprive others of that land & resources.


Of course, because all land has people who legally own it, you deprive those individuals of that land and the resources accompanying it when you deny they legally own it. The question is what creates optimal consequences. Would it be a good thing if all land was publicly owned? Are you suggesting we do this? I have criticisms of this idea, but will withhold them until I am aware someone thinks this is a good idea.

chairman bill wrote:
In the UK, whole communities have been forcibly uprooted to make way for dams, flooding whole villages & farms. By what right? Well, usually this has been by municipal corporations (councils), in order to provide water for the common good. It has also been in order to provide water for factories and workers therein, so benefiting the employers out of proportion to that of their employees, and not benefiting the evicted farmers and villagers at all.

Land has been owned by Robber Barons & their descendants. Enclosure has brought common land into private ownership. In the US, the native population was systematically murdered or otherwise driven off their land.


I certainly agree that land has been acquired in ethically dubious ways for centuries. However, this seems besides the point to me. What matters, I think, is whether it is a good idea to seize private land. Is this what you are advocating?

chairman bill wrote:All property is theft. Or as Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote "The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying 'This is mine,' and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."


I don't see what practical policy implications are derived from this.
The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
User avatar
UtilityMonster
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1416
Age: 30
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#9  Postby epete » Apr 26, 2013 2:39 am

UtilityMonster wrote:
Sonoran Lion wrote:I would like to see you expand on number 4 on your list. That is a topic I have not been made familiar with and I would be appreciative of your response or some sources you think would be a good place to start.


Ah, an inquisitive mind! I'd be delighted to delve deeper into the issue with you.

First, I would say that taking a generally anti-teachers union position is not totally right wing. Arne Duncan, Obama's education secretary, has made many criticisms of the unions and has proposed policies that they oppose. Rom Emmanuel, another prominent liberal and the mayor of Chicago, has also achieved national fame/infamy for his position against the unions. I think this is important to note, because whenever there is a complete consensus on the left (by that I mean all 50% of the population that is left of center) they are generally correct. It is certainly a good heuristic to use.

So, what are the primary problems with the National Education Association? The primary one is that they put the interests of teachers ahead of those of students when reforms are proposed that would benefit students but hurt teachers.

They oppose basing pay on teacher performance. The response is typically that it is impossible to accurately gauge teacher performance. I disagree. Perhaps teachers should be filmed every class and random days can be examined to see how well the teacher was teaching. If standardized tests measure all or almost all knowledge that students need to know at a given age, then they can accurately show how much teachers improved students from where they were before entering their classes, which is very useful to indicate the value a teacher is adding to students' education. Yes, teaching to a test discourages a lot of creative learning, but creative learning is often not creative, doesn't involve learning, or is a front for broader incompetence or a boredom on the part of the teacher teaching the same fundamental skills over and over. Teaching children the fundamentals of mathematics, critical reading ability, and vocabulary, is paramount to those children who are struggling in school. It provides them a foundation for the rest of their lives, and a gateway to higher education.


Their are a couple of problems with this. One is, as you intimated, a problem with focussing on metrics instead of learning. There's been a number of studies around the place looking at the effects this has. Some teachers/schools will teach the test questions to boost the metrics, but not teach much else.

The other problem is "environment'. Both socio-economic environment of the student/family, and the funding/resource environment in the school. This is something that is always sorely under-represented in debates like this. My wife is a teacher, so I have seen first hand the wild difference in resources and support that teachers get at different schools. This makes a BIG difference in the ability of a teacher to teach effectively. As an extreme example, you can have State Schools within kilometres of each other here that can differ such as: One is a fibro shack with louvre windows without fly screens; and the other is a modern airconditioned building. In 40+ degree C summers, this makes a HUGE difference to the ability of kids to stay focussed and learn.

This issue is way more complicated than pundits would like to present it as. It's not simply a case of good teachers get good student results and vice-versa. There's a lot more factors involved. And pinging bad teachers (which is really what the ideology underpinning this "bonus" thing always is) is only going to make the discrepancy worse.

The teachers union have it so that pay is based on the length of time a teacher has served, and tenure is given to teachers merely because they have served a long time. Why would someone support tenure for teachers? So they can express radical ideas and not be afraid of a school censoring them. Is this really an issue for teachers at public K-12 schools? No. Another reason tenure is a supposedly a good idea is because it draws brilliant minds to a school. I agree that is the case, but tenure should be given to teachers by school administrators who evaluate teachers' histories and determine they are top notch teachers. It should not be given to teachers because it is simply something they get for being a teacher a long time. It protects bad teachers from being fired. This is a huge deal. Every study on the subject has shown that the quality of teaching matters. The bottom 5% of teachers in the U.S. are incredibly detrimental to student outcomes, and students do not progress at all in their classes. Firing these teachers and replacing them with competent teachers would make a huge difference to the educations of millions of children - it could literally change their lives. Lawrence Lessig, in Republic, Lost, says a lot of smart things about the issue. He is a huge liberal, too. I recommend you check out his book. Also, look at this article about how hard it is to fire teachers:


http://www.timesunion.com/local/article ... 232004.php
In fact, according to a state Education Department database obtained by the Times Union through a Freedom of Information request, it appears to be nearly impossible for a school district to fire a tenured public school teacher. The reason is twofold: job protection for unionized teachers is strong and the process for firing bad teachers — called a 3020-a hearing — is so drawn out and costly that most districts can’t afford it.

Because it is so expensive and difficult, school districts outside of New York City are far less likely to even attempt to fire troubled educators although they enroll almost twice as many students, according to the comprehensive database of 2,087 3020-a hearings filed from 2006 to June 2011.

“It’s cheaper to pay them a salary and stick them in a corner somewhere than go through the 3020-a process,” said Sharon Sweeney, executive director of the Four County School Boards Association, based in Wayne County. She said the 27 small districts she represents have only tried to fire about a dozen educators in 15 years, a number that does not reflect the reality of workplaces with thousands of employees.


I don't disagree that firing someone who is a bad worker in a unionised workplace can be a difficult drawn out process. That's a bit of a different issue though. That's not really related to teachers alone. I think the real debate is around rewarding "good" teachers and essentially punishing those seen to be not as good. I think it's an impossible metric to determine while ever there are so many other critical factors determining how well kids do (like level of school funding and resources and support; and the socio-economic background of the students).
High rise living is for communists and termites. - laklak
User avatar
epete
Banned Sockpuppet
 
Posts: 1539

Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#10  Postby UtilityMonster » Apr 26, 2013 2:46 am

Beatsong wrote:However, in the spirit of the OP, for me the main thing that the right is right about is one that you haven't even mentioned. They're right to draw attention to the link between private property and reward for labour - both pragmatically (when people are allowed to keep the fruits of their labour, they are more likely to work hard and to maintain what they own responsibly), and morally (people deserve to be able to keep the fruits of their labour).


I think they are wrong to say that people deserve to be able to keep the fruits of their labor. Why do they deserve it? The pragmatic argument is the only one I think is a good idea, and that is a leftist reason to reward labor. It is basically using hard/educated workers as tools for society to maximize their combined output/tax payments, to maximize their overall benefit to society, with little regard at all for their feelings on the matter. It is important to people's well-being that they get what they think they deserve, but people will get what they deserve by definition if you only use the pragmatic argument to find a reasonable level of taxation, because they will not maximize output/tax payments if they feel truly wronged by the tax system. People bitching about the tax system is just not a big concern of mine. So long as there is not forced labor, they can stop/reduce labor output or move out of a country that taxes them too highly.
The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
User avatar
UtilityMonster
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1416
Age: 30
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#11  Postby epete » Apr 26, 2013 2:54 am

UtilityMonster wrote:
epete wrote:1. Slavery is not "good". "Fair trade" is better than "free trade".


Free trade is not slavery. Slavery is forced servitude. Workers choose to work at outsourced factories because those jobs are better than the alternative. If I offer you an alternative that is better than what you are currently doing, and you take it, am I enslaving you? Unless you are willing to be precise with your language, we cannot have a serious conversation on this topic. I recommend reading Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. It is a great story of the kind of people who would kill to have an outsourced job. There are at least a billion such people living right now. Jeffrey Sachs, himself a liberal, said "My problem is not there are too many sweatshops in Sub Saharan Africa, but that there are too few." Wise words from a person who has studied development economics his entire professional career.


I was posting in a short and sweet manner to reflect your own rushed OP, and the fact that you appear to be trolling the forum (see your feedback threads). I wasn't really meaning that working in a globalised sweatshop is necessarily slavery (although, there is an argument to be had on that, but that's a general argument about capitalism, and does broaden the definition of the word). What I meant was to highlight your statement that free trade is "good" for all parties involved. It might be "better" than the alternative, but that doesn't necessarily make it "good". The slavery reference was to the phenomenon of some slaves being superficially (or perhaps otherwise) better off in slavery than they were in their home environment. We could say slavery was good for all parties involved, in that case. But it wasn't really "good".

Fair trade is basically adopting the good principles of free trade but being better for the working poor then the case under "free" trade. The other issue, is, like a lot of these cases with economic rationalists arguing for stuff, that it's not quite as simple as you would have us (or yourself) believe. Free trade often isn't free, as there are usually conditions imposed from the more powerful western nations upon the developing nations. One that comes to mind right away is the issue of "tax free areas" where the factories are positioned, and also the mandated use of western materials as opposed to local materials. I've even heard arguments that suggest that free-trade is particularly bad for global warming as it involves massively more amounts of freight (both from the developed country to the west, but also via the mandated freight from west to developed world).


epete wrote:
2. Why is it necessary to cut entitlement programs, and not solely increase revenue from the better off in society?


It wouldn't be enough money to solve the problem. Let's ignore all economic analysis and assume that if we taxed all incomes above $1 million a year at 100%, the wealthy would keep working and trying to earn more money. That would net us a little over $600 billion a year, which is about a third of what the deficit was in 2012. The deficit is currently shrinking, but in the long term it will jump back up as the ratio of workers to retired people shrinks. In order to actually solve the deficit problem in the long term, spending will have to be cut. The question is what should be cut. I think the military should be slashed, yes, but I also support a whole host of new spending programs in investment that might offset any money saved from that. As a result, we are left with cutting entitlement programs. I do think it is a problem that so much of our money goes to the elderly.


I don't really follow your argument here.

epete wrote:
3. Market efficiencies are directed soley at making money, not necessarily a better product. If the two intersect, then that is good and works out well. How often does it (or doesn't it) intersect?


I can't put a number on that, but they often do intersect, and they often don't intersect. It should be addressed in a case by case basis, and reasonable regulations should be enacted to align market costs with social costs, inform consumers of what they are purchased, ban certain items from being sold, etc. depending on the product in question.

My point is that markets oftentimes work very well at creating efficient outcomes, such as in providing the kind of goods you buy at Walmart. Health care is an example of markets failing abysmally. The right seems to more cognizant of situations where markets work than the left, generally speaking. The left is more cognizant of when markets fail.
[/quote]

Perhaps. I guess the other point is: Is efficiency worth more than other concerns? Walmart type stores is a good example. Basically we have cheap disposable crap (which leads to way more pollution), and a domination of the market by the giant stores over local stores and more diversity. It's a double-edge sword, as you pay more for the same goods in a smaller more local store than a branch of a giant franchise. These sort of issues go to the wider question of what kinds of societies we want to live in, and as such are about more than just economics and market efficiency. Not sure of the answer there, other than allowing democratic processes of governance of society to play out. The problem is democracy is so skewed these days by marketing and a shallow media.
High rise living is for communists and termites. - laklak
User avatar
epete
Banned Sockpuppet
 
Posts: 1539

Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#12  Postby epete » Apr 26, 2013 3:02 am

UtilityMonster wrote:
chairman bill wrote:But who owns the land the farmer uses to grow the crops?


Whoever owns it. I would assume the farmers own the land on which he grows his crops. Almost all land is owned by someone currently.


Nope. A lot of farmland is owned by giant corporations who hire workers to work the land.

chairman bill wrote:Who owns the coal under the ground?


Whoever owns the land above the coal.


Nope. Typically you only own the top 6 feet or so of land. The government owns what's below.
High rise living is for communists and termites. - laklak
User avatar
epete
Banned Sockpuppet
 
Posts: 1539

Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#13  Postby UtilityMonster » Apr 26, 2013 4:06 am

epete wrote:
Their are a couple of problems with this. One is, as you intimated, a problem with focussing on metrics instead of learning. There's been a number of studies around the place looking at the effects this has. Some teachers/schools will teach the test questions to boost the metrics, but not teach much else.


I see this as a minor problem relative to the problem of not having any standardized means of keeping teachers accountable. Also, like I said, if a test accurately gauges students understanding of math and reading, it is kind of hard to teach children the test. You have to provide them a deep understanding of basic mathematical concepts.

epete wrote:
The other problem is "environment'. Both socio-economic environment of the student/family, and the funding/resource environment in the school. This is something that is always sorely under-represented in debates like this. My wife is a teacher, so I have seen first hand the wild difference in resources and support that teachers get at different schools. This makes a BIG difference in the ability of a teacher to teach effectively. As an extreme example, you can have State Schools within kilometres of each other here that can differ such as: One is a fibro shack with louvre windows without fly screens; and the other is a modern airconditioned building. In 40+ degree C summers, this makes a HUGE difference to the ability of kids to stay focussed and learn.


The funding/resource environment is definitely an important consideration, and I'm happy you pointed it out. I'm not sure how big of a difference it makes, though I suspect it does make some (although in the US I was under the impression that public schools were financed the same amount per student?). The socio-economic environment is already accounted for in evaluating teachers. Children are tested before they enter your class for a school year, so while one could say you are disadvantaged in having to teach 4th graders who are at a third grade level, you would be considered a solid teacher for having them just progress to a 4th grade level over the course of the year. No one is demanding teachers raise students two or three levels in one year. Also, if teachers are typically unable to teach children as well in poor environments, administrators would take that into consideration when evaluating teachers.

epete wrote:
This issue is way more complicated than pundits would like to present it as. It's not simply a case of good teachers get good student results and vice-versa. There's a lot more factors involved. And pinging bad teachers (which is really what the ideology underpinning this "bonus" thing always is) is only going to make the discrepancy worse.


Ping? I don't think the fact that some schools have better facilities than other schools makes a huge difference in student educational outcomes. Even if it does, if you are a 4th grade teacher, that would mean your students have already suffered academically due to the bad facilities in grades K-3, and as a result would be behind other students. This would be taken into consideration upon them entering your class, and you would not be held accountable for this. Perhaps they really would perform worse because the desks are less comfortable or something, but I doubt it amounts to much.

Also, just FYI, the U.S. spends more per pupil on education than any other nation in the world. This is all the evidence you need that the problem is not one of funding.
http://www.oecd.org/edu/educationatagla ... cators.htm
http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/18515

epete wrote:
I don't disagree that firing someone who is a bad worker in a unionised workplace can be a difficult drawn out process. That's a bit of a different issue though. That's not really related to teachers alone. I think the real debate is around rewarding "good" teachers and essentially punishing those seen to be not as good. I think it's an impossible metric to determine while ever there are so many other critical factors determining how well kids do (like level of school funding and resources and support; and the socio-economic background of the students).


It is obviously not impossible to determine. You have not provided any evidence that standardized testing is not effective at evaluating student progression on important metrics. You have used socio-economic background to suggest some teachers are at a disadvantage, while failing to acknowledge that this is accounted for by administrators when evaluating teachers. You have merely pointed out a possibility that facilities can affect the capacity of teachers to teach well, not shown that it actually makes a significant difference. You have not addressed the point that teachers can be watched in class by experts to determine their competency. By your logic, we should just hire people who are qualified and then, unless they commit some crime or violate some important rule, just say "fuck it" and not try anything to determine who is doing their job well and who is doing it poorly. It is patently ridiculous to draw such a strong conclusion from the few points you made.

You could have two 3rd grade teachers in your school, both have entering classes with students at a 2nd grade reading and math level. If in one class the students hit 4th grade levels by the end of the class in both subjects, while in the other class, no progression is made whatsoever, is it "impossible" to determine that one teacher did a significantly better job teaching critical material to the youths? By the way, this is not "unrealistic." This is the kind of differences we see between top 20% teachers and bottom 5%. This is why we need to pay teachers more to attract more talent, but why we also need to be able to fire those who cannot do their job well.

epete wrote:
I was posting in a short and sweet manner to reflect your own rushed OP, and the fact that you appear to be trolling the forum (see your feedback threads).


So you made a false claim? Also, are you directing me to my own posts as if I am not aware of what I have written?

epete wrote:
Fair trade is basically adopting the good principles of free trade but being better for the working poor then the case under "free" trade. The other issue, is, like a lot of these cases with economic rationalists arguing for stuff, that it's not quite as simple as you would have us (or yourself) believe. Free trade often isn't free, as there are usually conditions imposed from the more powerful western nations upon the developing nations. One that comes to mind right away is the issue of "tax free areas" where the factories are positioned, and also the mandated use of western materials as opposed to local materials. I've even heard arguments that suggest that free-trade is particularly bad for global warming as it involves massively more amounts of freight (both from the developed country to the west, but also via the mandated freight from west to developed world).


So, in respect to your point about climate change, I do concede that free trade exacerbates climate change. The reality, though, is that improving the lives of the world's poor necessarily increases greenhouse gas emissions. In light of this, do you think we should promote development assistance or not? I fall on the side of thinking growth in the long term will create new technologies that will help us prevent worse climate change, that trade speeds up the development of these technologies, and that while trade may ultimately increase climate change even in the long term, the benefits to humans, like in development aid, outweigh the costs. After all, the whole reason climate change is bad is because it hurts sentient beings like ourselves.

In regards to circumstances where nations place restrictions on trade and these are detrimental to one or both parties, I feel you are actually just making the case for free trade. Yes, they are a problem and contradict the idea that is "free trade" - get rid of them. The WTO does a pretty admirable job at that, anyway. Free trade inevitably does create a race to the bottom to some extent, where businesses will go to the nation that places upon them the fewest labor restrictions, but those nations are also usually the poorest nations. Notice how China has developed more pro-labor policies as its economy has grown, and now corporations are moving to Vietnam, Cambodia, etc. Their economies will now speed up accordingly, which is good, because they need it the most.

epete wrote:
Perhaps. I guess the other point is: Is efficiency worth more than other concerns? Walmart type stores is a good example. Basically we have cheap disposable crap (which leads to way more pollution), and a domination of the market by the giant stores over local stores and more diversity. It's a double-edge sword, as you pay more for the same goods in a smaller more local store than a branch of a giant franchise. These sort of issues go to the wider question of what kinds of societies we want to live in, and as such are about more than just economics and market efficiency. Not sure of the answer there, other than allowing democratic processes of governance of society to play out. The problem is democracy is so skewed these days by marketing and a shallow media.


Okay, not everything, and in fact very little of what Walmart sells, is "crap." I know everyone loves saying that because, well, its Walmart. The reality is, Walmart sells goods at the lowest prices, to the lowest income consumers, and those goods are in fact high quality. The food Walmart sells is nutritious and inexpensive (assuming you buy the healthy foods), the televisions are as good as any other store, the clothes are durable and oftentimes quite appealing, and so on. This benefits the poor immensely, yet the left is loath to admit this.

There may be more local stores before a Walmart comes into town and puts them all out of business, but what exactly is the problem with that? Those stores have worse selections of goods, higher prices, and shorter hours of operation. They get put out of business for a reason: consumers prefer the convenience of Walmart.

epete wrote:
UtilityMonster wrote:
chairman bill wrote:But who owns the land the farmer uses to grow the crops?


Whoever owns it. I would assume the farmers own the land on which he grows his crops. Almost all land is owned by someone currently.


Nope. A lot of farmland is owned by giant corporations who hire workers to work the land.

chairman bill wrote:Who owns the coal under the ground?


Whoever owns the land above the coal.


Nope. Typically you only own the top 6 feet or so of land. The government owns what's below.


Well, the government or any corporation would have to pay you to mine for coal on your land, which would be required to reach coal underground. And while the situation in the US is that megacorporations do most of the farming, it is not that way at all in many developing countries. Regardless, there is no purpose in asking hypothetical questions to which there are 100's of different answers because there are hundreds of different situations that they apply to. It is like me asking "What is the man watching on television right now?" As there are billions of men, or as there are billions of plots of land, these questions don't have an answer, so the only appropriate "Nope" in this situation is one referring to your nopes.
The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
User avatar
UtilityMonster
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1416
Age: 30
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#14  Postby epete » Apr 26, 2013 4:29 am

I'll address the rest of your post later when I have more time, but just wanted to address this bollocks:
UtilityMonster wrote:
epete wrote:
I was posting in a short and sweet manner to reflect your own rushed OP, and the fact that you appear to be trolling the forum (see your feedback threads).


So you made a false claim?


How did I make a "false claim"? I explained it in the bit you haven't bothered to address here. And it is an important thing to discuss, as "being better" is not equivalent to "good"/"best"/"right". Are you going to address this point, or have a sook coz I took your threads where you announce to the forum you are trolling, at face value?

Also, are you directing me to my own posts as if I am not aware of what I have written?


I'm providing the evidence to back up my accusation of trolling. It's for the moderators' (and therefore my) sake, not yours. :roll:
High rise living is for communists and termites. - laklak
User avatar
epete
Banned Sockpuppet
 
Posts: 1539

Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#15  Postby UtilityMonster » Apr 26, 2013 4:36 am

I have never once said I was a troll. You interpret rational thought as trolling. You treat it as just incomprehensible that someone who is open minded and rational could be aware of these qualities in him/herself, also be aware of the lack of open mindedness/rationality in other people, and comment on them. Oh the arrogance and bias! No chance that anyone could do that, no no no!
The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
User avatar
UtilityMonster
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1416
Age: 30
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: What the Right is right about

#16  Postby Steve » Apr 26, 2013 4:58 am

In your free market Wall Street gets all the money and the financial system collapses. We tried it. The results are in.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny
Blue Mountain Center of Meditation
User avatar
Steve
RS Donator
 
Posts: 6908
Age: 66
Male

New Zealand (nz)
Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#17  Postby epete » Apr 26, 2013 5:20 am

UtilityMonster wrote:I have never once said I was a troll.


UtilityMonster wrote:Unlike every other thread I have made, I do not intend this to be inflammatory.
High rise living is for communists and termites. - laklak
User avatar
epete
Banned Sockpuppet
 
Posts: 1539

Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#18  Postby epete » Apr 26, 2013 5:58 am

UtilityMonster wrote:
The funding/resource environment is definitely an important consideration, and I'm happy you pointed it out. I'm not sure how big of a difference it makes, though I suspect it does make some (although in the US I was under the impression that public schools were financed the same amount per student?).


They are more or less here too. But because in a general sense they are so underfunded, most schools rely heavily on P&C activities and donations. In good neighbourhoods, schools get much more funding from the community than they do in poorer neighbourhoods.

The other discrepancy is that some schools, infrastructure-wise, are well in the last century. They pretty much have to wait around till the infrastructure breaks enough for the government to be bothered upgrading it.


The socio-economic environment is already accounted for in evaluating teachers. Children are tested before they enter your class for a school year, so while one could say you are disadvantaged in having to teach 4th graders who are at a third grade level, you would be considered a solid teacher for having them just progress to a 4th grade level over the course of the year. No one is demanding teachers raise students two or three levels in one year.


But a student from a poor socio-economic environment on average will achieve less in a year than one in a more supportive environment.

Also, if teachers are typically unable to teach children as well in poor environments, administrators would take that into consideration when evaluating teachers.


You'd hope so, but this issue is such a political football. We are dealing with these debates here too in Australia. The media really loves to beat up a story about a "bad" school or a "bad" teacher. And the political debate here is so centred around simplistic populist outcry.

The way I see education going in my country, is a system of just functioning state schools that the government really is happy to have lag the rest of the education sector (including certain high-funded high-acheiving State Schools). That's why government funds private and religious schools as well here. Their goal is to output some percentage of top notch students, whatever school system they come from, and just scrape through the rest of the plebs. Education here is no longer about trying to give the most number of people as good an education as they can. It's about taking resources from the bulk of students, and funnelling them into a small percentage of gifted and high achieving students. I suspect this good teacher / bad teacher thing is just another part of that program.

epete wrote:
This issue is way more complicated than pundits would like to present it as. It's not simply a case of good teachers get good student results and vice-versa. There's a lot more factors involved. And pinging bad teachers (which is really what the ideology underpinning this "bonus" thing always is) is only going to make the discrepancy worse.


Ping? I don't think the fact that some schools have better facilities than other schools makes a huge difference in student educational outcomes. Even if it does, if you are a 4th grade teacher, that would mean your students have already suffered academically due to the bad facilities in grades K-3, and as a result would be behind other students. This would be taken into consideration upon them entering your class, and you would not be held accountable for this. Perhaps they really would perform worse because the desks are less comfortable or something, but I doubt it amounts to much.


It's not just about physical infrastructure, although that counts. It's also about teaching resources (books, papers, computers, other presentation technology) and teaching support (like support for misbehaving students and disabled/disadvantaged students). In the case of 'support', it's not just about the student who is misbehaving/disadvantaged. It's also seriously about the effect they have on other students. My wife used to have to deal with kids throwing chairs at her and the other students and trying to stab them with pens etc, as there was no facility a lot of the time to send them to someone else outside the classroom to deal with.

Also, just FYI, the U.S. spends more per pupil on education than any other nation in the world. This is all the evidence you need that the problem is not one of funding.


True. But it's also, like most sectors of our society/economy, about how the funding is used and where it is directed.

epete wrote:
I don't disagree that firing someone who is a bad worker in a unionised workplace can be a difficult drawn out process. That's a bit of a different issue though. That's not really related to teachers alone. I think the real debate is around rewarding "good" teachers and essentially punishing those seen to be not as good. I think it's an impossible metric to determine while ever there are so many other critical factors determining how well kids do (like level of school funding and resources and support; and the socio-economic background of the students).


It is obviously not impossible to determine. You have not provided any evidence that standardized testing is not effective at evaluating student progression on important metrics. You have used socio-economic background to suggest some teachers are at a disadvantage, while failing to acknowledge that this is accounted for by administrators when evaluating teachers.


Hang on. YOU haven't provided any evidence that this is accounted for by administrators, so why would you chastise me for not providing evidence to counter it? I've seen and read reports on this, as it's been quite a big issue here in Australia for the last decade at least. When I get time, I'll see if I can google some reports.

You have merely pointed out a possibility that facilities can affect the capacity of teachers to teach well, not shown that it actually makes a significant difference.


Not just facilities. As I said, the issues involved are more complicated than you or other pundits would lead us to believe.

You have not addressed the point that teachers can be watched in class by experts to determine their competency. By your logic, we should just hire people who are qualified and then, unless they commit some crime or violate some important rule, just say "fuck it" and not try anything to determine who is doing their job well and who is doing it poorly. It is patently ridiculous to draw such a strong conclusion from the few points you made.


You need to ban yourself for continually raising idiotic strawmen.


You could have two 3rd grade teachers in your school, both have entering classes with students at a 2nd grade reading and math level. If in one class the students hit 4th grade levels by the end of the class in both subjects, while in the other class, no progression is made whatsoever, is it "impossible" to determine that one teacher did a significantly better job teaching critical material to the youths?


It's not impossible, within the one school or socio-economic area, but you've got to have statistically significant results. You should ban yourself for not understanding statistics. :tehe:


epete wrote:
Fair trade is basically adopting the good principles of free trade but being better for the working poor then the case under "free" trade. The other issue, is, like a lot of these cases with economic rationalists arguing for stuff, that it's not quite as simple as you would have us (or yourself) believe. Free trade often isn't free, as there are usually conditions imposed from the more powerful western nations upon the developing nations. One that comes to mind right away is the issue of "tax free areas" where the factories are positioned, and also the mandated use of western materials as opposed to local materials. I've even heard arguments that suggest that free-trade is particularly bad for global warming as it involves massively more amounts of freight (both from the developed country to the west, but also via the mandated freight from west to developed world).


So, in respect to your point about climate change, I do concede that free trade exacerbates climate change. The reality, though, is that improving the lives of the world's poor necessarily increases greenhouse gas emissions. In light of this, do you think we should promote development assistance or not?


We definitely should. It should be done a bit more sustainably though. That would mean using local materials in a lot more cases.

I fall on the side of thinking growth in the long term will create new technologies that will help us prevent worse climate change, that trade speeds up the development of these technologies, and that while trade may ultimately increase climate change even in the long term, the benefits to humans, like in development aid, outweigh the costs. After all, the whole reason climate change is bad is because it hurts sentient beings like ourselves.


I don't worship at the "technological alter", but I basically agree with your overall sentiment that in this instance climate change comes a second place behind lifting the welfare of the developing world. Climate change has occurred because of the first world, and it is the first world (and China) that need to deal with it now. If anyone should suffer hits to growth (if that is even the outcome of changing to sustainable technologies - something many argue is not) it should be the rich developed world, not the poor developing world.

In regards to circumstances where nations place restrictions on trade and these are detrimental to one or both parties, I feel you are actually just making the case for free trade.


In that sense, I am. But the reality is, it's not "free". So we don't actually have "free trade". But as you can probably guess, even if it was properly "free", I wouldn't support it for the same reasons I don't support a fully free market.


Yes, they are a problem and contradict the idea that is "free trade" - get rid of them. The WTO does a pretty admirable job at that, anyway. Free trade inevitably does create a race to the bottom to some extent, where businesses will go to the nation that places upon them the fewest labor restrictions, but those nations are also usually the poorest nations. Notice how China has developed more pro-labor policies as its economy has grown, and now corporations are moving to Vietnam, Cambodia, etc. Their economies will now speed up accordingly, which is good, because they need it the most.


I definitely agree that they have benefited. The problem is as I highlighted with the slavery analogy. Just because they are better off, does that mean what we are doing is moral? Particularly in light of the fact that it doesn't have to be a 'race to the bottom'. It could be a race to cheaper production in the west, while providing a solid living wage and employment conditions in the much cheaper third world.

epete wrote:
Perhaps. I guess the other point is: Is efficiency worth more than other concerns? Walmart type stores is a good example. Basically we have cheap disposable crap (which leads to way more pollution), and a domination of the market by the giant stores over local stores and more diversity. It's a double-edge sword, as you pay more for the same goods in a smaller more local store than a branch of a giant franchise. These sort of issues go to the wider question of what kinds of societies we want to live in, and as such are about more than just economics and market efficiency. Not sure of the answer there, other than allowing democratic processes of governance of society to play out. The problem is democracy is so skewed these days by marketing and a shallow media.


Okay, not everything, and in fact very little of what Walmart sells, is "crap." I know everyone loves saying that because, well, its Walmart. The reality is, Walmart sells goods at the lowest prices, to the lowest income consumers, and those goods are in fact high quality. The food Walmart sells is nutritious and inexpensive (assuming you buy the healthy foods), the televisions are as good as any other store, the clothes are durable and oftentimes quite appealing, and so on. This benefits the poor immensely, yet the left is loath to admit this.


Ok, I don't actually know what Walmart sells. I just thought it would be equivalent to the giant big box stores we have here. And as a general rule, they sell cheap chinese crap. It's a conundrum, and I'm not really sure on what the best answer to it is. The problem I think we have as western societies, is that we are driven by marketing and advertising to always strive for more bling and more "stuff". Somehow we need to train ourselves to be more content with less. This would also help alleviate the massive personal debt problem most of our western countries face.

There may be more local stores before a Walmart comes into town and puts them all out of business, but what exactly is the problem with that? Those stores have worse selections of goods, higher prices, and shorter hours of operation. They get put out of business for a reason: consumers prefer the convenience of Walmart.


Yeah. But is the tail wagging the dog? ;)

epete wrote:
UtilityMonster wrote:
chairman bill wrote:But who owns the land the farmer uses to grow the crops?


Whoever owns it. I would assume the farmers own the land on which he grows his crops. Almost all land is owned by someone currently.


Nope. A lot of farmland is owned by giant corporations who hire workers to work the land.

chairman bill wrote:Who owns the coal under the ground?


Whoever owns the land above the coal.


Nope. Typically you only own the top 6 feet or so of land. The government owns what's below.


Well, the government or any corporation would have to pay you to mine for coal on your land, which would be required to reach coal underground.


Not necessarily. Underground resource mining does go under peoples properties without their permission. And the big one currently here and in the US is coal seam gas. Here (and it looks like the same in the US, judging by the scale of the industry), you can't deny someone the right to prospect and drill for gas on your property. The government has set compensation levels that the mining company has to pay to put tracks and gas wells on your property. But you can't really stop them.
High rise living is for communists and termites. - laklak
User avatar
epete
Banned Sockpuppet
 
Posts: 1539

Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#19  Postby Loren Michael » Apr 27, 2013 4:19 am

At least with respect to America, I think there should be a much clearer line separating what the Right apparently desires politically given legislative pushes and successes (its actions), and what the right supports in words. The right in America doesn't support freer markets or freer trade except insofar as those policies benefit its relatively narrow constituency of established businesses and their owners.

I do like the emphasis on free trade, but the right are terrible boosters for it. They boost freer trade to the extent that it, again, supports their narrow interests, and no further.

I would argue that the right in America does a disservice to the eminently worthy cause of free trade because it sets free trade as the opponent of a lot of left-of-center ideals, so the relatively economically-illiterate-but-moneyed-left opens itself to exploitation by marketing schemes like "fair trade", "buy America" and the local food movement and such.
Image
User avatar
Loren Michael
 
Name: Loren Michael
Posts: 7411

Country: China
China (cn)
Print view this post

Re: What the Right is right about

#20  Postby Loren Michael » Apr 27, 2013 4:23 am

I can think of a lot of things the left (as it were) gets wrong. I don't know that necessarily overlaps with something the right gets right. I see that the OP has at least taken the approach of noting a few occasions where an ideal on the right has been overshot into being problematic.
Image
User avatar
Loren Michael
 
Name: Loren Michael
Posts: 7411

Country: China
China (cn)
Print view this post

Next

Return to Economics

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest