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Michael Tanczos

Are 99%ers poking fingers at a failure of capitalism?

152 posts in this topic

[quote name='Ravyne' timestamp='1320354594' post='4880280']
if the average person makes 16k/yr, and that provides for a reasonable living, then make them pay taxes on at least some of it, maybe everything above 8-12k, so that everyone has some skin in the game. Not so much to over-burden them, but enough that they understand that government benefits cost money.[/quote]
It takes money to make money. You aren't going to get anything out of the poor if you keep them poor. They'll just be continuously poor usually. I see where you're going, but you need to make sure it makes financial sense to tax for a few dollars. It's a burden on the IRS if anything to deal with small taxes.

[quote name='Ravyne' timestamp='1320354594' post='4880280']
Honestly, I'd like to see a three-tiered flat-tax -- low-income people pay some percentage (around 10-12 percent probably) on money they make above a threshold, cross another threshold at around 120k/yr and pay an additional 3-5% on what you made beyond that, cross the final threshold at around 250k/yr and pay another 3-5% beyond that on all earnings greater than the final threshold.[/quote]
I'd prefer a continuous function specified by a single tax equation. Brackets are a thing of that past. We have computers now. Also you're focusing on income tax. There's also interest income which is where a lot of rich people get their steady wealth.

I think the concept of paper and coin money is really holding us back in this day and age. A real tax system could use a much much smaller IRS if we just tracked changes within accounts with full tracking. That is any transfer of income in and out of accounts has their reason. If you get paid for instance you would see the amount put into one account and subtracted from another and marked as "income" noting an amount was subtracted if applicable and put into another account. Shadow economies would basically disappear with such a system.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1320352786' post='4880275'][quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320347790' post='4880244']
I just really wish people would stop attributing the wealth redistribution complaint to OWS. That's not what they are asking for. They are asking for jobs. They are asking for corporations to be corporations not the 4th branch of the government. They are asking "why are you sitting on trillions of dollars, but are not hiring?".
[/quote]
I think the problem here is that if you go to an OWS protest/rally the majority of people ARE asking for wealth redistribution in one way or another. It is not what the movement is supposed to be, but it is very much what it's turning into.
[/quote]
I take it you've been to a few? (Not being snarky, genuinely asking)
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My issues are:
1) Corporations are not people (even though the supreme court tells me they are), its just not true.
2) Someone more successful then me pays less taxes, that is not right as we should all be equals.
3) Corporations get bailouts when they fail, but when I fail, I am considered a worthless bum/leach on society.

Im not out to take other peoples money and smash their successes. However, I do expect people to pay the same share back to society as everyone else (the 99%). The most important thing the protests have accomplished is putting the political conversation back on track to discuss these things.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1320352786' post='4880275']
[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320347790' post='4880244']
I just really wish people would stop attributing the wealth redistribution complaint to OWS. That's not what they are asking for. They are asking for jobs. They are asking for corporations to be corporations not the 4th branch of the government. They are asking "why are you sitting on trillions of dollars, but are not hiring?".
[/quote]
I think the problem here is that if you go to an OWS protest/rally the majority of people ARE asking for wealth redistribution in one way or another. It is not what the movement is supposed to be, but it is very much what it's turning into.
[/quote]

I think it's desperation that these people are having. They want a way out, but nobody really is sure what it is, and they will probably take any logical answer at this point. The most obvious one is to tax the rich as they have been getting a lot of tax breaks. So, people have been chanting that. Although the problems are actually deeper and more complicated than that.
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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320358487' post='4880311']
I take it you've been to a few? (Not being snarky, genuinely asking)
[/quote]

Yea, but it was in Canada. I imagine the US ones are fairly more educated on how politics in the US work, but from what I've heard from friends and seen/read on the news it's fairly similar other than that obvious difference.
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[quote name='BLG' timestamp='1320359558' post='4880316']
2) Someone more successful then me pays less taxes, that is not right as we should all be equals.
[/quote]

Just a note on this. They rarely pay less taxes, they just might have lower tax rates. The sticky thing about Warren Buffet's case with his secretary is fairly isolated. His secretary makes a lot of money compared to you or I most likely, but he makes an absurd amount of money. What ends up happening is you get someone in a high tax bracket who can afford a lot of write offs compared to someone in a high tax bracket that can't afford a lot of write offs. Warren Buffet still pays more taxes in a year than any of us will pay in our lifetimes (most likely unless you're super rich, in which case go you!).

A good illustration is that A lot of people have household incomes that are easily livable ($70,000+ household salaries make up 31% of the population) and all of these people are in the top 3 tax brackets. The top 1.5% makes over $250,000/year. Just keep in mind when you say, "Increasing taxes on the rich," doesn't always mean, "increase taxes on the absurdly rich," without changing the tax code and adding new tax brackets that include less than 1% of the population, which isn't exactly fair when they already have a base higher tax rate if they don't apply for all the loopholes the absurdly rich people do and already pay a proportionate amount of taxes to the amount of income they make.

To use the case of Warren Buffet again, because of various tax loopholes he pays approximately half of the taxes he would be paying based off of his starting tax rate. If we just close those loopholes, it will have the same affect as increasing taxes on the absurdly rich, won't hurt the people who make a lot of money but don't apply for these loopholes, and make the us tax code much nicer in the process. They could probably even lower tax rates across the board and still take in more income.

How great would it be if your tax return form only had your identifying information, your income, and the number of dependents you have with a nice table underneath that shows how much you owe? Of course I say this like I'm not taking advantage of the write offs I get, but I'd be just as happy to see them gone as I am to get a check every May. Obviously this is an oversimplification, but it could still be much cleaner than it is.
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[quote name='Ravyne' timestamp='1320354594' post='4880280']
*snip*
[/quote]

[quote name='Sirisian' timestamp='1320357981' post='4880306']
*snip*
[/quote]

While I don't necessarily agree with each of you 100% in every minor detail, I wish more politicians had common sense like you two have (and for that matter, the people who elect our politicians as well).
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Oh nice, today we get a look at Fortune 500 companies that pay ZERO dollars in taxes:

[url="http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/CorporateTaxDodgersReport.pdf"]http://www.ctj.org/c...dgersReport.pdf[/url]

On a combined $160,000,000,000 in profits for these companies.. our government paid THEM a refund of $10 BILLION, making taxation actually profitable for these companies.

How the hell do you keep billions of dollars from being taxed? Oh.. jeez it gets complicated - [url="http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20020329-265.html"]http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20020329-265.html[/url]
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1320359848' post='4880322']
[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320358487' post='4880311']
I take it you've been to a few? (Not being snarky, genuinely asking)
[/quote]

Yea, but it was in Canada. I imagine the US ones are fairly more educated on how politics in the US work, but from what I've heard from friends and seen/read on the news it's fairly similar other than that obvious difference.
[/quote]
You and I just have very different views on the same events. There was an Occupy rally in my city just last week. That rally was about corporate greed and lack of jobs. Something every state in the nation faces. However, I disagree that wealth distribution is somehow the same as corporations getting billions of dollars of tax cuts which effectively cuts their tax rate in half. These tax loopholes need to go. For everyone. Bush and Obama tax cuts, just go away.
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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320376612' post='4880360']
You and I just have very different views on the same events. There was an Occupy rally in my city just last week. [b]That rally was about corporate greed and lack of jobs.[/b] Something every state in the nation faces. However, I disagree that wealth distribution is somehow the same as corporations getting billions of dollars of tax cuts which effectively cuts their tax rate in half. These tax loopholes need to go. For everyone. Bush and Obama tax cuts, just go away.
[/quote]
What happened to the campaign funding issues and the desire for legal repercussions for those responsible for the financial crisis that the occupy movement was founded on?
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How do those things not fall under corporate greed? What makes you think that the OWS protesters have to have the same message? There are a variety of issues and problem so they are allowed to protest on a variety of issues and problems. I don't understand this "one message/one complaint" label some people try to put on the OWS movement. Different cities can protest about different issues.
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But here's a question for Michael, but of course anyone can answer, do you think the US has a problem with capitalism or corporate socialism? To put be another way, are the US companies really capitalist? Or some funky hybrid or spin-off of capitalism?
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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320375587' post='4880355']
Oh nice, today we get a look at Fortune 500 companies that pay ZERO dollars in taxes:

[url="http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/CorporateTaxDodgersReport.pdf"]http://www.ctj.org/c...dgersReport.pdf[/url]

On a combined $160,000,000,000 in profits for these companies.. our government paid THEM a refund of $10 BILLION, making taxation actually profitable for these companies.

How the hell do you keep billions of dollars from being taxed? Oh.. jeez it gets complicated - [url="http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20020329-265.html"]http://news.cnet.com...020329-265.html[/url]
[/quote]

I don't believe that the problems OWS are complaining about are a problem of capitalism. Our government effectively creates and supports monopolies. Politicians are sitting on the boards of these giant corporations and have a monetary interest in ensuring there are plenty of loopholes for the company to take advantage of all while the would be competition is saddled with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We have a two party system where democrats and republicans simply trade power back and forth as you get pissed off at one side and turn to the other for support. It is a system designed to keep power consolidated in a relatively small group. OWS would probably be more on target if they were occupying DC instead.

The worst part of it is there [b]are[/b] jobs to be had, but they are not and are no longer going to be unskilled. We are not just exporting our jobs, we are importing skilled workers from other countries because there are not enough qualified Americans to do the jobs. The US education system is broken and failing at preparing our children to compete in the future market and despite what many claim, it's not simply a matter of being underfunded. The teachers unions have a stranglehold on our education system and are putting the future of this country in jeopardy. There is another great target for the OWS crowd, but they seem more interested in calling attention to the symptoms than the underlying problems.
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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320347790' post='4880244']
I just really wish people would stop attributing the wealth redistribution complaint to OWS. That's not what they are asking for. They are asking for jobs. They are asking for corporations to be corporations not the 4th branch of the government. They are asking "why are you sitting on trillions of dollars, but are not hiring?". [/quote]

This is the biggest problems I have about the OWS complaints. These people need to realize that corporations do not owe them jobs. It's not their right to be employed at a large company just because the company is successful. The large companies did not force them to go tens of thousands of dollars into debt getting a useless degree. Lets be perfectly clear, corporations exist to make money and I don't believe that there is anything wrong with that as long as those corporations cannot simply buy monopolies via the government. I expect corporations to be greedy to an extent, but it's a problem when politicians who are supposed to be representing [b]us [/b]are that greedy.
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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320382872' post='4880379']
[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320347790' post='4880244']
I just really wish people would stop attributing the wealth redistribution complaint to OWS. That's not what they are asking for. They are asking for jobs. They are asking for corporations to be corporations not the 4th branch of the government. They are asking "why are you sitting on trillions of dollars, but are not hiring?". [/quote]

This is the biggest problems I have about the OWS complaints. These people need to realize that corporations do not owe them jobs. It's not their right to be employed at a large company just because the company is successful. The large companies did not force them to go tens of thousands of dollars into debt getting a useless degree. Lets be perfectly clear, corporations exist to make money and I don't believe that there is anything wrong with that as long as those corporations cannot simply buy monopolies via the government. I expect corporations to be greedy to an extent, but it's a problem when politicians who are supposed to be representing [b]us [/b]are that greedy.
[/quote]

I guess that's not really my take on what the OWS protests are about (though there are so many disparate voices, you can probably pick about anything you want and find a decent segment of protesters supporting it). I agree that no corporation owes anyone a job. However, there are a couple of issues with the current economy that produce complaints that sound a lot like that.

A major factor affecting the poor economy is slack demand, which is fostered by low employment and poor wages. Even though many (but certainly not all) large corporations have returned to record profits, [url="http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/30/the-wageless-profitable-recovery/"]something like ~88% of that money has been captured by those corporations[/url], even though what workers are more productive than ever. There are definitely reasons why that money might defensibly go elsewhere, like to prop up share prices, but there are others that are less so, like record executive compensation. Those corporations may not owe jobs to people, but nor do they owe an extra million to a CEO's salary. And yet they still manage to do the second.

There is little reason why the company's income needs to be directed so overwhelmingly to the top rather than being spread more evenly, either with more jobs or fewer but better paying jobs. And yet that's [url="http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/03/inequality-trends-in-one-picture/"]exactly what's happened[/url] ([url="http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=12485"]here's a broader graph[/url]), including in firms where those executives were either incompetent or did well for their companies by tanking the world economy. It's not that they can't do so, or even that the richest don't deserve a greater share of the national income than they had previously. But to happen to that degree while worker productivity has risen with only a modest increase in real wages for the vast majority of workers over the same period definitely sucks (unless you're one of the rich, of course). People really don't have any other recourse, so why not protest?

Additionally, corporations didn't just conjure the cash they're sitting on out of nowhere. It came out of the pockets of everyone, consumers and investors alike. Even if they have the best reasons in the world for not disbursing it as wages or new jobs or anything else, and there are valid reasons why they won't, it still sucks to have ~1/15 of the GDP tied up and not doing anything.

Another thing is that college degrees which might be called worthless now weren't worthless the farther back in time you go. For a long time a college degree was a sure way to get to a good job. A degree is still a huge help in landing a good job-- but there are way, way fewer of them to go around. Not to mention the hyper-specialization of certifications that exists in a lot of fields now making broader degree less valuable, and limiting the flexibility a job seeker has based on training. And one of my favorite quotes from the Simpsons demonstrates a reality that college graduates are facing now, "Joblessness: it's not just for philosophy majors anymore." It's not just English majors that are having trouble getting work. And it's not just college graduates that are unable to find work either; the job market is awful for a huge segment of the population including those who determined that college was too expensive.

I too expect corporations to be greedy, but that doesn't stop that greed from impeding the economy or hollowing out economic opportunity for vast numbers of people. Bad politicians are also a problem, as well as the corporate subversion of democracy. So is an increasingly bad payoff for college degrees, since there isn't a replacement for the opportunity they used to provide. And there are still other serious problems as well. But to say that the protesters are wrong for wanting jobs when there is at most one available for every three unemployed people, and when an extremely tiny portion of the country has sucked up a hugely disproportionate share of economic gains and still seeking to push the burden onto those who have barely progressed, suggests to me that you aren't perceiving the motivations behind the protests accurately. Even if one of their most popular talking points is somewhat inapt.
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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1320380061' post='4880371']
How do those things not fall under corporate greed? What makes you think that the OWS protesters have to have the same message? There are a variety of issues and problem so they are allowed to protest on a variety of issues and problems. I don't understand this "one message/one complaint" label some people try to put on the OWS movement. Different cities can protest about different issues.
[/quote]

This was in reply to this, " What happened to the campaign funding issues and the desire for legal repercussions for those responsible for the financial crisis that the occupy movement was founded on?" for context.

The problem with protesting "corporate greed" is that greediness is in a corporations nature. They operate best when they are greedy. For the first problem (corporate donations to political campaigns), this is a problem of the political system that allows that greed to boil over and corrupt our politicians. For the second problem, that has nothing to do with corporate greed. That is 100% individual greed. If you are a shareholder of a company where you think the CEO is being over payed (CEO pay packages should be released to the public in full now I believe as of last year) and it is hurting the company's profits you can report them to the SEC to be investigated.

To generalize a protest to "corporate greed" cheapens the argument against the valid problems with non-abstract definitions.
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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320381718' post='4880377']
I don't believe that the problems OWS are complaining about are not a problem of capitalism. Our government effectively creates and supports monopolies. Politicians are sitting on the boards of these giant corporations and have a monetary interest in ensuring there are plenty of loopholes for the company to take advantage of all while the would be competition is saddled with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We have a two party system where democrats and republicans simply trade power back and forth as you get pissed off at one side and turn to the other for support. It is a system designed to keep power consolidated in a relatively small group. OWS would probably be more on target if they were occupying DC instead.

The worst part of it is there [b]are[/b] jobs to be had, but they are not and are no longer going to be unskilled. We are not just exporting our jobs, we are importing skilled workers from other countries because there are not enough qualified Americans to do the jobs. The US education system is broken and failing at preparing our children to compete in the future market and despite what many claim, it's not simply a matter of being underfunded. The teachers unions have a stranglehold on our education system and are putting the future of this country in jeopardy. There is another great target for the OWS crowd, but they seem more interested in calling attention to the symptoms than the underlying problems.
[/quote]

1000 times this.
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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320381718' post='4880377']

The worst part of it is there [b]are[/b] jobs to be had, but they are not and are no longer going to be unskilled. We are not just exporting our jobs, we are importing skilled workers from other countries because there are not enough qualified Americans to do the jobs. The US education system is broken and failing at preparing our children to compete in the future market and despite what many claim, it's not simply a matter of being underfunded. The teachers unions have a stranglehold on our education system and are putting the future of this country in jeopardy. There is another great target for the OWS crowd, but they seem more interested in calling attention to the symptoms than the underlying problems.

[/quote]

The idea that the US education system is broken and failing is laughable and is likely fueled by propaganda. Our students are performing at levels much higher than those even 15 years ago and especially more than those from 30+ years ago. Smart kids are still smart kids and they will continue to perform well regardless of the school.. The kids that are struggling have more resources behind them than ever to help them bring up the bar. The reason schools are "failing" now is because failure has been continually defined by a higher standard. It's an illusion created by setting unreasonable standards. Outside of school, many kids don't have the support structures they need to be successful.. kids from poor families don't often have parents who are going to be harping on them for not getting homework done.

Teachers unions have nothing to do with it - in fact, states with teachers unions outperform those who don't. This is likely because unions can negotiate for better wages, thus attracting a larger applicant pool for schools to select from. The idea that teachers can't be dismissed or fired because of tenure is also patently false - it doesn't take much more than a few negative evaluations to boot a teacher regardless of tenure.
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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320413180' post='4880458']
The idea that the US education system is broken and failing is laughable and is likely fueled by propaganda. Our students are performing at levels much higher than those even 15 years ago and especially more than those from 30+ years ago. Smart kids are still smart kids and they will continue to perform well regardless of the school.. The kids that are struggling have more resources behind them than ever to help them bring up the bar. The reason schools are "failing" now is because failure has been continually defined by a higher standard.[/quote]
That's exactly how failure should be defined because we have a continually growing knowledge base. To define it differently is just to cover the problem, and the problem is real.

By every metric and at almost every level the US is under performing compared to other developed nations. It spends more money per student to get average results.

[quote]Teachers unions have nothing to do with it - in fact, states with teachers unions outperform those who don't. This is likely because unions can negotiate for better wages, thus attracting a larger applicant pool for schools to select from. The idea that teachers can't be dismissed or fired because of tenure is also patently false - it doesn't take much more than a few negative evaluations to boot a teacher regardless of tenure.
[/quote]
Have you seen "Kids Aren't Cars" or "Waiting for Superman"? Kids aren't cars is available online for free, and waiting for superman is on netflix if you want to watch it. Specifically your statement, "The idea that teachers can't be dismissed or fired because of tenure is also patently false," is proven quite wrong in both.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1320415024' post='4880464']
That's exactly how failure should be defined because we have a continually growing knowledge base. To define it differently is just to cover the problem, and the problem is real.

By every metric and at almost every level the US is under performing compared to other developed nations. It spends more money per student to get average results.
[/quote]

These are not apples to apples comparisons. A shockingly huge amount of education spending goes to special education. If you set up specialized schools that discriminate on who can get in, of course you're going to get better results.

[quote]
Have you seen "Kids Aren't Cars" or "Waiting for Superman"? Kids aren't cars is available online for free, and waiting for superman is on netflix if you want to watch it. Specifically your statement, "The idea that teachers can't be dismissed or fired because of tenure is also patently false," is proven quite wrong in both.
[/quote]


Yes, and I've seen Michael Moore films too, and have watched Fox News and MSNBC.. clearly there isn't bias in any of them. These are terrible sources of evidence.
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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320413180' post='4880458']
[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320381718' post='4880377']
The worst part of it is there [b]are[/b] jobs to be had, but they are not and are no longer going to be unskilled. We are not just exporting our jobs, we are importing skilled workers from other countries because there are not enough qualified Americans to do the jobs. The US education system is broken and failing at preparing our children to compete in the future market and despite what many claim, it's not simply a matter of being underfunded. The teachers unions have a stranglehold on our education system and are putting the future of this country in jeopardy. There is another great target for the OWS crowd, but they seem more interested in calling attention to the symptoms than the underlying problems.

[/quote]

The idea that the US education system is broken and failing is laughable and is likely fueled by propaganda. Our students are performing at levels much higher than those even 15 years ago and especially more than those from 30+ years ago. Smart kids are still smart kids and they will continue to perform well regardless of the school.. The kids that are struggling have more resources behind them than ever to help them bring up the bar. The reason schools are "failing" now is because failure has been continually defined by a higher standard. It's an illusion created by setting unreasonable standards. Outside of school, many kids don't have the support structures they need to be successful.. kids from poor families don't often have parents who are going to be harping on them for not getting homework done.

Teachers unions have nothing to do with it - in fact, states with teachers unions outperform those who don't. This is likely because unions can negotiate for better wages, thus attracting a larger applicant pool for schools to select from. The idea that teachers can't be dismissed or fired because of tenure is also patently false - it doesn't take much more than a few negative evaluations to boot a teacher regardless of tenure.
[/quote]

My girlfriend is a teacher, so I hear about the problems teachers and education face almost every day. Tenure does make it hard to get rid of bad teachers, but it's not impossible. But bad teachers are exceptions, not rules. The problem is twofold: No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and parents.

The NCLB act is raising the bar every year to the point where good schools will have no chance to meet or exceed. My girlfriend's school passed with an 86 percent meets or exceeds last year. That's a B grade by most standards, but next year that 86% will be a failing grade. Schools will have to score 92.5% to satisfy the NCLB requirement. By 2014 NCLB requires EVERY STUDENT IN HER SCHOOL to pass the standardized test at his or her grade level. Even students who have special needs, some of whom read at less than half of their actual grade level, are expected to pass. They do not get to take a different test, otherwise schools could just label poor students as special needs kids and improve their scores.

The school she teaches at is an excellent school by any standard. Small class size (average class size is around 18 students), high parental involvement, good facilities, etc. Next year they will likely not meet or exceed the unreasonable 92.5% standard, and that won't be their fault. In her school, that's just two kids not passing the test. Two kids who know that this test doesn't affect their grades and that there are no personal consequences for just blowing it off. There are just some students that teachers cannot force to care about education, and those one or two kids will put a stain on a great school's reputation and possibly cost funding and, eventually, takeover of the school. How is that right?

Some schools, and I know this for a fact, have completely stopped focusing on real education and are entirely focused on standardized tests. They have stopped handing out homework, they have started teaching reading and writing in other subjects, they've reduced class times for history, art, science, etc. Anything that will not help a kid pass a standardized test is being phased out. And I can't blame them for doing this. They're just trying to survive in a country where they've been set up for failure.

And second, parents: Teachers can't parent your kid. If the parents do not make education a priority for their kids, the kids won't either. If a teacher calls a parent and tells that parent that he is not doing his job at home, they will not hear it, and will probably get pissed off and contact the administration. When kids get in trouble at school, parents are defending the kids now instead of punishing them. After all, they're just picking on the sweet little angel. Most of the time though, what you get is a parent who comes in and talks a good game when they're meeting the teacher, but do not follow through at home. It's just easier to let little Jimmy play Call of Duty until his fingers bleed than to actually be bothered to make sure he does his homework.

I'm actually wondering if the motivation behind NCLB was to privatize education by forcing every public school to look like a failure.
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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320416997' post='4880473']
Yes, and I've seen Michael Moore films too, and have watched Fox News and MSNBC.. clearly there isn't bias in any of them. These are terrible sources of evidence.
[/quote]

That's fairly ad hominem. There are factual accounts in both movies of teachers who won awards for teaching ability being passed up for promotions because of unions and factual accounts of teachers who didn't teach and allowed their students to gamble in the classroom IN MY HOME TOWN being re-hired because they were part of a union. Neither documentary inserts the opinion of the director too greatly. Large portions of the movie are superintendents, principles, teachers, and parents giving first hand accounts of why the system is broken and how to fix it backed up by statistics and scientific studies.

Compare that to a Michael Moore film where his primary interviewee and case study is himself and the unreasonable situations he forces people into(see: Michael Moore Hates America).

You say you've seen them, but I don't understand how you can say your above statement honestly if you were paying attention through the whole movie

edit:
http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Solving-puzzle-of-bad-teachers-2232004.php

Do you consider beating children, being late over 50% of the school year, and downloading porn on work computers for over a year cases where teachers shouldn't be fired? It would appear the New York teachers union does.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1320418703' post='4880481']
[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1320416997' post='4880473']
Yes, and I've seen Michael Moore films too, and have watched Fox News and MSNBC.. clearly there isn't bias in any of them. These are terrible sources of evidence.
[/quote]

That's fairly ad hominem. There are factual accounts in both movies of teachers who won awards for teaching ability being passed up for promotions because of unions and factual accounts of teachers who didn't teach and allowed their students to gamble in the classroom IN MY HOME TOWN being re-hired because they were part of a union. Neither documentary inserts the opinion of the director too greatly. Large portions of the movie are superintendents, principles, teachers, and parents giving first hand accounts of why the system is broken and how to fix it backed up by statistics and scientific studies.

Compare that to a Michael Moore film where his primary interviewee and case study is himself and the unreasonable situations he forces people into(see: Michael Moore Hates America).

You say you've seen them, but I don't understand how you can say your above statement honestly if you were paying attention through the whole movie.
[/quote]

The problem with these movies is lack of balance - you take a microcosm of the whole system that is failing and then brand the whole system as a failure. That's ridiculous and suspiciously self-serving. The stench of videos like this is as bad as Michael Moore's, because they clearly are promoting a political agenda. I agree that there is inequity for struggling poor districts, but our education system doesn't consist wholly of inner city schools.

Dismissing teachers is also state controlled - in my state (Pennsylvania) you could never get away with that kind of blatant negligence as a teacher.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1320410549' post='4880448']
[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1320381718' post='4880377']
I don't believe that the problems OWS are complaining about are not a problem of capitalism. Our government effectively creates and supports monopolies. Politicians are sitting on the boards of these giant corporations and have a monetary interest in ensuring there are plenty of loopholes for the company to take advantage of all while the would be competition is saddled with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We have a two party system where democrats and republicans simply trade power back and forth as you get pissed off at one side and turn to the other for support. It is a system designed to keep power consolidated in a relatively small group. OWS would probably be more on target if they were occupying DC instead.

The worst part of it is there [b]are[/b] jobs to be had, but they are not and are no longer going to be unskilled. We are not just exporting our jobs, we are importing skilled workers from other countries because there are not enough qualified Americans to do the jobs. The US education system is broken and failing at preparing our children to compete in the future market and despite what many claim, it's not simply a matter of being underfunded. The teachers unions have a stranglehold on our education system and are putting the future of this country in jeopardy. There is another great target for the OWS crowd, but they seem more interested in calling attention to the symptoms than the underlying problems.
[/quote]

1000 times this.
[/quote]
So all those college graduates in sitting parks across the nation are unskilled?
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