Saturday, August 23, 2008

School’s Open – Hide All the Children!

Hat tip to NH Free for directing me to the excellent article below by Bill Huff. The article appears on Lew The sign in this post is on Hwy 119 in Winchester, NH.

School’s Open – Hide All the Children!

by Bill Huff

Is Kalifornia poised to launch one of the biggest manhunts in history? Are they going stamp out the scourge of homeschooling, once and for all – before it’s too late? Is a free market in education the greatest domestic threat after al-Qaeda? Was John Connor homeschooled?

I have taught in government schools and thought I was a slow learner because it took me five years to leave. John Taylor Gatto stayed and documented an exhaustive indictment of the system. However, we should never be as upset about the "failures" of public education as we are about its "successes": Charlotte Thompson Iserbyt can tell you more than you want to know about the real agenda of government-controlled education. The dumbing down is quite deliberate.

A few observations I made have been validated again and again:

Government Schools are the Reproductive Organs of the State. They have been formulated according to the Prussian Model for State Control to train Obedient Servants of the State.
Academics take a back seat to Socialization/Compliance.
The students are Never the main concern of the system. It’s not "for the Children." It’s for the State.
The "Honor" of government school honor students cannot be recognized except within the bounds of Compliance. But how can compliance with Evil be defined as "Honor"? The young pliable minds of our children are often conditioned to think going along to get along is the equivalent of being smart.
Sam Blumenfeld has compared public school indoctrination to an "involuntary non-surgical prefrontal lobotomy." I agree! The child study team is studying the right kids for all the wrong reasons. If a young boy seems fidgety; inattentive; or doesn’t seem to be able to get along with his "peers," he is studied, referred and drugged. The result: "Free Drug School Zones."

For a good read, get one of Blumenfeld’s books: NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, Is Public Education Necessary? If the teacher’s unions really believed in excellence and academic integrity they would be overtly critical of government so as to make it impossible for them to survive as the most powerful lobbying entities. Their funding would dry up fast. What they do believe in is "Entrenched Mediocrity." They absolutely worship Tenure. And the worst teachers gravitate toward Administration where they can work less and do more damage. Thankfully, a small remnant has always existed and Sam maintains they were teaching "Closet Phonics" for decades. Otherwise almost no one would have learned to read during the plague called the Whole-Word Approach. Phonics is still trying to kill it! If you or your kid can’t read – buy Sam’s Phonics Book and call me in the morning.

As an academic exercise I emailed the Governator when he first took office to recommend two things that could help balance the California State budget. His website said he was open to viable solutions from anyone, anywhere. My first suggestion was a device that I am convinced can remove all emissions from any fossil fuel internal combustion exhaust. It is less expensive to make than a catalytic converter and can also increase fuel economy. You see, I had naïvely thought California had a smog problem.

The second recommendation I made was for California to lead the Union in aggressively promoting Home Education for as many of its students as possible. I was Not recommending Vouchers or any State funding for home schools. I was advocating for truly Free public education of a 100% voluntary nature, Free of State Money – Free of State Control. Could there be a better way to ease the fiscal crunch? The State would also be able to save all the money it is now wasting to advocate for State-Controlled "Free" Public Education. At the very least this plan could ease the burden of building more and more K-12 minimum security facilities. I reasoned: if Arnold were really sharp he might be inviting homeschoolers to tutor the hapless victims of State education. It might not be PC. But I bet it would work like magic.

I never received a response from Arnold. But I understand he is planning to support the Right to homeschool in the wake of the present controversial situation developing in his State. In that I can support him. Nevertheless, it would take a Terminator to loosen the grip the teachers unions have on education in this country. They are a bunch of Spoiled Brats if not Bolshevik Thugs.

In my book there is no such thing as a good reason to donate your children to the State. Homeschooling is the best option. Government-controlled schools are to be avoided at all cost.

Now back to Bastiat:

You say: "There are persons who lack education," and you turn to the law. But the law is not, in itself, a torch of learning which shines its light abroad. The law extends over a society where some persons have knowledge and others do not; where some citizens need to learn, and others can teach. In this matter of education, the law has only two alternatives: It can permit this transaction of teaching and learning to operate freely and without the use of force, or it can force human wills in this matter by taking from some of them enough to pay the teachers who are appointed by government to instruct others, without charge. But in this second case, the law commits legal plunder by violating liberty and property.

Homeschoolers are obviously dangerous! Everyone knows! And the data are frightening – especially to anyone who believes in the State as their god – or in "Democracy." In fact, the agendas drip from every word as you listen to the advocates of the System explaining why there must be some level of "control" over Homeschooling – and that it only "works" in very limited ideal circumstances.

They say they want to make sure Homeschoolers can pass the standardized tests. That makes sense. We don’t want any misfits out there [like almost every person in history who ever changed anything for the better]. Statistically speaking homeschoolers can dance through the standardized tests. And, let’s face it, the equivalency tests are not based on the highest common denominator. You may already know the standardized tests have been dumbed down as well. The public schools are graduating dumber and dumber classes every year. It’s working!

If you want to see some socialization – go to the mall on a Friday evening when many of the public schools kids are dropped off for a few hours. One has to wonder how many tattoos are required to feel like one fits in [now I’ll get hate email from Lydia the Tattooed Lady]. I have observed many thousands of homeschoolers as well, and I think I’ll take my chances with free choice in education. Socialization in prison is also defined as compliance – and inmates often compare tattoos. But what is the difference between a public school and a prison if attendance is compulsory and they drug or coerce you into compliance? Are they training our kids to be good inmates or free thinkers? "School to work" has about the same ring to me as "Workers of the World Unite!"

I heard a lot of candid conversations in the teachers’ lounge when I was teaching in the public schools. When homeschooling is challenged I often suggest the publication of covertly recorded conversations from public school teachers’ lounges. I don’t care if the voices are distorted to protect the guilty. I just want parents to hear what I heard. By and large the flowery rhetoric of teachers’ convention keynote speeches has not yet penetrated the smoke of the teachers’ lounge.

We need to do some "values clarification" training for anyone who is standing in loco parentis to protect and nurture our children. Equality before the law and asserting a "compelling interest of the State, in the education of Its children," are mutually exclusive values. The State cannot get pregnant – and it has no right to your children. Therefore, before you drop the kids off, you may want to know a lot more about what is being inculcated. Talk to your kids about everything going on in their schools.

There are many dedicated and sincere folks out there who have decided to sacrifice for high ideals to engage in a teaching career. But given better information and free choices I don’t think the government would recognize the free public school they would create. When given the opportunity to describe an ideal teaching situation, many of them will list the best aspects of homeschooling without realizing it.

Part of the problem today is that most of us were never taught anything very well. Many of us caught the compliance message. But we don’t really have solid criteria for measuring the academic aspects of the government schools – much less the more crucial values of creativity and independent thinking. The standardized tests are controlled by a monopoly. And it would be counterproductive from their point of view to test for Classical Libertarian ideals. The teachers might start teaching to the test.

The public schools as they exist can Never compete with the free market on a level playing field. Whereas public school administrators are clamoring for regulation of homeschooling it should be the other way around. The public should be made aware of the effectiveness of homeschooling and demanding that any "free" public school be brought under scrutiny of the public and subject to comparison with all free models for education.

Free homeschooling is a threat to all forms of collectivism and totalitarianism.

How can you tell what those homeschool kids are thinking? We must all be controlled you know. Otherwise we’ll have chaos. Homeschooling is a scary prospect to a control-freak government. Not only do all collectivists have to Know what’s going on inside your head. They have to Design what’s going on inside your head. Homeschooling will always cause problems for Collectivists, Totalitarians, Despots and Aristocrats. That’s why I love it.

There are two kinds of people who are comfortable with leaving you to your own devices: those who don’t care, and those who are comfortable enough to believe their own worldview can thrive without the support of the State. Therefore, public government-funded and controlled schools can Never leave you or your kids alone. They can never teach Liberty. They know they have a tenuous hold on their previous monopoly. Without compulsory attendance laws they would have never gained their present stronghold. We had a free market in education for a very long time in America. It served us well.

Perhaps Arnold realizes his State can never survive economically without creativity and productivity from the grassroots. Homeschooling and Austrian Economics may be the future for Kalifornia. Research shows homeschooling to be about 10+ times as economical as public schools if we only take the cost per student into account. New data also show that the amount spent per student in some of the most challenged public schools is inversely proportionate to the test scores. Take a look the DC schools if you really want to see what public school educators can do with more and more money per student. You can factor out the body armor if you insist.

Caveats: Homeschoolers must realize excellence in academics is only one reason for homeschooling. The protection of the hearts, minds and souls of our children is paramount. Liberty is the reason for homeschooling. When you use academics as your only measuring stick you are falling into a trap. If your goal is only to score ten points higher in all the measures used by the Establishment, you probably need better reasons to homeschool.

Homeschoolers can, and do, excel in many disciplines. The news is full of success stories all the time. They should also excel in free thinking and living. In addition, it is important to recognize that State Education facilitates State Worship. If you have spiritual values that you want to pass along to your children you will want to contemplate the essentially religious nature of the Omnipotent State and how it plays out in what is being passed off as "religion-neutral" education. The god of government must have its own schools.

"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God." ~ G. K. Chesterton

Those of you who are considering other non-State schools for whatever reason should also be warned: The elitist, globalist agenda is more dominant in many of the most exclusive and expensive alternative schools. Just ask yourself: "Would Al Gore’s kids go to this school?" Then you’ll know what to do. Clue: Homeschool your kids!

Another insider tip: The right to homeschool is not a gift from the government. Therefore, those clamoring for "good homeschooling laws" are just as constitutionally confused as those who want "more good gun laws." The results will be analogous.

Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia without the "help" of the federal government. And if Tom were alive today, I am quite sure he would be looking to Homeschooling as a wellspring for the next great exploits in truly free education and the transmission of Liberty to our posterity.

Finally, I have a little homework assignment for those of you who would like to test some of the ideas above. You can purchase a tasteful bumper sticker with the title of this article to grace your Prius. Click here to order. I have already tried the exercise and had endless hours of amusement as cars with students and parents pulled up behind me and I watched in the rearview mirror as the kids started talking to their parents about the meaning of the message.

Were those children contemplating Academic Liberty for the first time in their lives?

Do they have a right?

March 12, 2008

Bill Huff [send him mail] is a Classical Libertarian and proprietor of and; a former public school music teacher turned home schooling advocate; a US Navy veteran, and host of He is available as a guest lecturer or for interviews on talk radio.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Huff

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Things We Could Accomplish If Only

One of my favorite quotes regarding public schools is by Ben Chavis when responding to public schools' complaints about money. His response is as follows "That is the biggest lie in America. They waste money." I first heard about Ben Chavis from
John Stossel's 'Stupid in America' How Lack of Choice Cheats Our Kids Out of a Good Education. The whole Stupid in America show can be viewed on You Tube. You can also order a copy from ABC News.

Today's piece is about Ben Chavis and written by George Will. The piece appears in the Union Leader.

Cathy Peschke

George Will: In school, paternalism of the right kind

Seated at a solitary desk in the hall outside a classroom, the slender 13-year-old boy with a smile like a sunrise earnestly does remedial algebra, assisted by a paid tutor. She, too, is 13.

Both wear the uniform -- white polo shirt, khaki slacks -- of a school that has not yet admitted the boy. It will, because he refuses to go away.

The son of Indian immigrants from Mexico, the boy decided he is going to be a doctor, heard about the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, Calif., and started showing up. Ben Chavis, AIPCS' benevolent dictator, told the boy that although he was doing well at school, he was not up to the rigors of AIPCS, which is decorated with photographs of the many students it has sent to the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. So the boy asked, what must I do?

Telling young people what they must do is what Chavis does. With close-cropped hair and a short beard flecked with gray, he looks somewhat like Lenin, but is less democratic. A Lumbee Indian from North Carolina, he ran track, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, got rich in real estate ("I wanted to buy back America and lease it to the whites") and decided to fix the world, beginning with AIPCS.

Founded in 1996, it swiftly became a multiculturalists' playground where much was tolerated and little was learned. Chavis arrived in 2000 to reverse that condition. Charter schools are not unionized, so he could trim the dead wood, which included all but one staff member.

David Whitman, in his book "Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner-City Schools and the New Paternalism," reports that in Chicago, from 2003 through 2006, just three of every 1,000 teachers received an "unsatisfactory" rating in annual evaluations; in 87 "failing schools" -- with below average and declining test scores -- 69 had no teachers rated unsatisfactory; in all of Chicago, just nine teachers received more than one unsatisfactory rating and none was dismissed. Chavis' teachers come from places such as Harvard, Dartmouth, Oberlin, Columbia, Berkeley, Brown and Wesleyan.

AIPCS is one of six highly prescriptive schools Whitman studied, where "noncognitive skills" -- responsible behaviors such as self-discipline and cooperativeness -- are part of the cultural capital the curriculum delivers. Many inner-city schools feature a monotonous chaos of disruption.

AIPCS -- Oakland's highest performing middle school -- stresses obligation, not self-expression. Chavis, now "administrator emeritus," is adamant: "Everyone says we should ...preserve our culture.' There is a lot of our culture we should wipe out."

A visitor to an AIPCS classroom notices that the children do not notice visitors. Students are taught to sit properly -- no slumping -- and keep their eyes on the teacher. No makeup, no jewelry, no electronic devices. AIPCS' 200 pupils take just 20 minutes for lunch and are with the same teacher in the same classroom all day. Rotating would consume at least 10 minutes, seven times a day. Seventy minutes a day in AIPCS' extra-long 196-day school year would be a lot of lost instruction. The school does not close for Columbus Day, Martin Luther King Day or Cesar Chavez Day.

Every student takes four pre-AP (advanced placement) classes. There are three weeks of summer math instruction, three hours of homework a night. Seventh-graders take the SAT. College is assumed.

Paternalism is the restriction of freedom for the good of the person restricted. AIPCS acts in loco parentis because Chavis, who is cool toward parental involvement, wants an enveloping school culture that combats the culture of poverty and the streets.

He and other practitioners of the new paternalism -- once upon a time, schooling was understood as democracy's permissible, indeed obligatory, paternalism -- are proving that cultural pessimists are mistaken: We know how to close the achievement gap that often separates minorities from whites before kindergarten and widens through high school. A growing cohort of people possess the pedagogic skills to make "no excuses" schools flourish.

Unfortunately, powerful factions fiercely oppose the flourishing. Among them are education schools with their romantic progressivism -- teachers should be mere "enablers" of group learning; self-esteem is a prerequisite for accomplishment, not a consequence thereof. Other opponents are the teachers unions and their handmaiden, the Democratic Party.

Today's liberals favor paternalism -- you cannot eat trans fats; you must buy health insurance -- for everyone except children.


George Will's e-mail address is

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A tax cap would be good for Croydon.

As far as spending goes the selectman of Croydon have been keeping spending below the rate of inflation and that is wonderful. With this years reassessment and the cost of heating fuel it would be wise for the people of Croydon to pass a tax and spending cap to ensure spending remains below the rate of inflation.

Cathy Peschke

Tipping the cap: Voters get to decide

Manchester will have a tax and spending cap on the ballot this fall, thanks to the efforts of Rep. Mike Biundo, Tammy Simmons and their volunteers at the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition.

The group did an excellent job obtaining the 4,000 signatures needed to put the cap to a vote of the people. Now it will be up to the public to decide whether to restrain city taxing and spending.

The cap is an amendment to the city charter. If approved, it would prohibit the city from raising spending at a rate higher than the previous year's inflation rate. The property tax rate would be allowed to rise no higher than the rate of inflation combined with the net increase in new construction in the city.

Manchester residents have suffered through more than a decade of perpetual tax increases. Those tax hikes are the direct result of overspending at City Hall. The tax and spending cap might not put an end to tax hikes. But it would prevent them from being as large as they were under Mayor Bob Baines, who proposed a series of huge, tax-hiking budgets that continue to burden the people to this day.

The taxpayers of this city have fought in vain for years to restrain spending at City Hall. This tax and spending cap would give them an excellent tool for achieving that goal. We are glad to see it on the ballot, and we urge voters to approve it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our interests won't be served.

The following piece appeared in the Union Leader. The loss of secret ballots will lead to a loss of democracy and give more strength to unions and lead to more taxes as well.

Cathy Peschke

Thomas Sowell: Whose special interests are being served in Washington?

Thomas Sowell: Whose special interests are being served in Washington?

We take it for granted that a vote means a secret ballot, but it was not always that way. Moreover, it will not remain that way for workers who vote on whether they want a labor union, if legislation sponsored by congressional Democrats and endorsed by Sen. Barack Obama becomes law.

Before there were secret ballots, voters dared not express their true preferences if those who watched them vote could retaliate -- whether by firing them, beating them up or in other ways.

Anyone who is serious about people being free to express themselves with their votes wants a secret ballot.

The problem for labor unions is that workers in the private sector increasingly vote against being represented by unions. The proportion of workers in the private sector who are represented by unions has fallen below 10 percent.

Since unions are losing the game under the current rules, their obvious answer is to change the rules. Specifically, they want to do away with secret ballots when the government conducts elections to determine whether the workers in a particular company or industry want to be represented by a union.

With labor unions being major supporters of the Democratic Party -- spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this year's election campaign -- it is hardly surprising that congressional Democrats have lined up solidly behind legislation to let union organizers simply collect signed cards from a majority of workers in order to be certified as the officially recognized union for those workers.

Of course, the union organizers will then know who did and who did not vote for them. And they may have long memories or short fuses, or both. Moreover, the workers themselves know that, so they may find it prudent to sign up for a union, whether they want one or not.

This legislation passed the House of Representatives last year but did not make it through the Senate. "I will make it the law of the land when I'm President of the United States," Barack Obama has said to the AFL-CIO.

Sen. Obama has also said many times that he is against "special interests." But, like most politicians who say that, he means that he is against other politicians' special interests.

His own special interests are never called special interests.

Neither are the environmental extremists who support the Democrats called special interests. But the green zealots who have for decades blocked the country from using oil within our own borders -- more oil than in Saudi Arabia, by the way -- are also among the special interests with a big voice in the Democratic Party.

They are also a major factor in shutting down the democratic voting process -- in this case, in the House of Representatives, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to allow a vote on drilling for oil in places where the green zealots don't want drilling.

The congressional Democrats could, of course, vote to continue forbidding drilling in those places. But voters paying $4 a gallon for gas are not likely to agree with the green zealots -- and recent polls show that they do not.

Rather than lose votes in the November elections by voting with the green zealots or lose the money that the green zealots contribute to the Democratic Party coffers, Nancy Pelosi simply shut down the House of Representatives, so that there could be no votes, and turned off the lights so that C-SPAN could not broadcast Republicans' speeches protesting what happened.

After all, what is democracy compared to support from the green zealots?

It is the same story when it comes to the teachers unions, the biggest special interest of all in the Democratic Party. They not only contribute money, they can contribute people who walk the precincts on election nights, rounding up the faithful to go vote.

Even the Congressional Black Caucus dares not vote for vouchers or any other form of school choice that the teachers unions oppose. Better to let a whole generation of black children be trapped in failing schools that employ union teachers.

But special interests? Not at all.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His Web site is

Quote of the Day - "Even the Congressional Black Caucus dares not vote for vouchers or any other form of school choice that the teachers unions oppose. Better to let a whole generation of black children be trapped in failing schools that employ union teachers." Thomas Sowell

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Classroom At Risk: How Teacher Unions and the Federal Government have ruined Public Education

I ran across this paper browsing the internet. It appears to be an english paper of a first year college student. A very interesting must read. I searched the author but there were too many Matt Kerns to find out more information about this individual given my time constraints.

Cathy Peschke

A Classroom At Risk: How Teacher Unions and the Federal Government have ruined Public Education

In the 1970’s, a man by the name of Jimmy Carter was running for the office of the president of the United States. Mr. Carter wished to insure his victory on election day so he formed an alliance with the largest union in North America, The National Education Association. The NEA promised Carter the votes of its members and campaign contributions under one condition, the establishment of a Federal Department of Education. In 1977 Jimmy Carter was sworn into office and followed through on his promise. The Department of Education was established in 1979 and still exists today. In 1981 Ronald Reagan handily defeated Jimmy Carter and threatened to dismantle the DOE, which he referred to as “…President Carter’s bureaucratic boondoggle…”. Ronald Reagan failed to deliver upon this threat partly due to a report in 1983 title “A Nation at Risk” (Salisbury, Leiberman). In the report the Reagan administration was told that drop out rates were going to soar and America’s students would not be able to fill jobs that required a strong education. The DOE’s mission: to prevent this from happening. Amazingly, drop out rates are still very high, drugs and violence are commonplace, and our nation’s schools are losing ground to foreign public education. How could this happen? On the surface it seems the Feds and the Unions have our children’s best interest at heart, but more often than not students just become a means to a political end. Simply put, the Federal Government and Teachers Unions are ruining public education.

The NEA takes a consistent stance that our schools need more money. What most people don’t know is that per pupil spending adjusted for inflation has doubled since the 1970’s, and we have nothing to show for it (Stossel). Graduation rates have remained stagnant and achievement scores haven’t moved either. America spends on average a little under $9,000 per student per year (DOE). This is a price tag that other countries would scoff at after they consider how little our student’s actually achieve. In international tests among 40 countries America places 25th while we spend more than any other country on our students (Stossel). South Korea consistently scores in the high 90th percentiles while only spending a third of what America does per pupil (Ludger Woessmann, If there were to be a monument dedicated to the lack of a correlation between money and school performance it would be the Kansas City school experiment. In 1985 Kansas City schools spent $11,700 annually per pupil and spent an extra 2 billion dollars over the next 12 years (Paul Ciotti, Cato). The experiment yielded higher teacher salaries, 15 new schools, a zoo, and other lavish amenities. Kansas City schools did not fail, to disappoint that is. Achievement remained stagnant and there was no closing of the black-white gap. As you might guess the NEA’s motives for increased spending does not lie with the student’s success, rather it is with the teachers and themselves. Sixty Percent of school expenditures go to teacher salaries and benefits (Kauchak, Eggen). So as Federal spending goes up so do the salaries of these mediocre union workers, which leads to more union dues, which allows the NEA more lobbying power.

A common myth is that teacher unions do indeed wish to help our students. With so many initiatives for Education Equality, Culturally Responsive Teaching Studies, and other various causes, it’s hard to argue against the myth. But in a blurt of honesty former American Federation of Teachers president Albert Shanker said, “I’ll start representing kids when kids start paying union dues.” A specific group of students which the NEA claims to champion are the inner city minorities. In 1954 the supreme court of the United States of America heard the case of Brown v. Board of Education. This was the most significant moment in the civil rights movement. After the Supreme Court ruling no longer could there be segregation in our nation’s schools (Kauchak, Eggen). This certainly was to be the defining factor of equality. Wrong. Since the historic decision our public schools have become re-segregated with many minorities zoned into failing inner city schools (Stossel). Many fiscal conservatives support the idea of school choice and voucher programs. Such programs have found success in other countries, introducing a type of free market competition that makes schools strive to become better.

These programs could also allow these under privileged inner city kids the chance of a good education (Rod Paige, at Cato book Forum better find the date). The NEA refuses such reforms and allows zoning laws to continue. The reason for this is that as soon as market competition reaches our schools thousands of sub par teachers will be out of jobs. It may sound cruel but it is not. It’s simple, if you are being paid to do a job you should be expected to do it well especially if it is on the taxpayer dollar. One example of such betrayal to the students and tax payers is the case of the Gary Indiana teacher’s strike. Since the 2000-2001 school year Indiana schools have slowly been doing better on the Istep+ achievement exam. At Theodore Roosevelt High School in Gary they have been getting much worse. Since 2000 they have gone from a dismal 28% percent pass rate to a pathetic less than 20% passing today (Indiana Department of Education). So at the start of the 2006 school year what did they do? They walked, demanding higher salaries. Not only that, they kept the students out of the classroom just weeks before the Istep was to be administered. Kids who fail the Istep are unable to graduate and are more likely to drop out. Did the teacher’s union have the students in mind? Do these teachers deserve higher salaries despite their lack of competence? The publicly elected bureaucrats caved and the teacher’s got a new contract and a higher salary. This is a classic example of the system’s lack of consideration of the student.

The loss of the "NH Advantage"

I received the following message from the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers. This was a list sent from The House of Representatives to all the candidates.

Of all the issues facing NH, the loss of the "NH Advantage" due to fiscal irresponsibility, is one of the most pressing.

Over the last two years, spending has increased by $475 Million or 17.5%. To defray the costs of this overspending, taxes and fees have been raised on 20 seperate items.

Below, you can see all the 2007-2008 increases.

Home and Personal

* Repealed communications tax exemption, increasing residential phone rates (HB 2)
* Increase in motorcycle registration fee by 25% (HB 2)
* Increase in registration fee for all automobiles of at least $6 per year (HB 2) * Increase on the tax on both diesel and regular gasoline for cleanup fund (HB 1426)
* Increase in certain motor vehicle fees (HB 1596)
* HB 2 shifts to the county taxpayers all future responsibility for all nursing home and Medicaid costs


* Increase in tobacco tax by $.28 per pack (HB 2, 2007)
* Increase in tobacco tax by $.25 per pack (if $50M is not raised by Oct-SB 321)
* New tax on cigars (HB 1309)
* Increase in tobacco licensing fees (SB 317)
* New tax on charitable gaming (HB 1509)


* Increase in the wild turkey fee from $5 to $15 for residents, and $5 to $30 for nonresidents (HB 2)
* Increase in the nonresident fee for moose permits too $450 (HB 2)

Business/Real Estate

* Increase in tractor trailer registrations (HB 2)
* New fee for meals and rentals licenses (HB 599)
* New $25 fee assessed on each property transaction recording for LCHIP (HB 2)
* Increase of registration fee for mortgage servicing companies (SB 162)


* Increase of fees for reviewing terrain alterations from $500 to $1250 (HB 2)
* Increase of fees for shoreline structure application from $100 to $200, plus impact fee increase (HB 2)
* Increase of fees for impact dredge and fill projects application from $100 to $200 (HB 2)
* Increase of fees for hazardous waste management by $2500 (HB 472)

Access to Courts

* New fees for certain cases in the judicial family court (SB 350)
* New $25 filing fee for court proceedings (HB 2)

Quote of the Day - "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” -Ronald Reagan

Sunday, August 17, 2008

John Stossel: Sorry, but you don't own your job

Yesterday's post pointed out how it appears that the taxpayers work for the schools and not vice versa. We also pointed out the entitlement mentality of school employees. Educrats talk of how it is "for the kids" when pushing tax warrants but how come there are so many laws to protect school employees? When are we going to see education laws that are for the Children of America and not for the educrats that are suppose to educate our children? Until the money follows the child and not the institution we are serving those that are to serve us and not vice versa.

Educrats should not have protected jobs (tenure). School boards should be able to hire the best individuals to provide the best education for our children as efficiently and effectively as possible. For example keeping math teachers who can't teach calculus is not in the best interest of our children. Children suffer because someone's job security has taken precedent over the education of our children.

When will children truly come first?

Cathy Peschke

The Union Leader had a great article today titled Sorry, but you don't own your job by John Stossel.

John Stossel: Sorry, but you don't own your job


"Stossel is a pig."

"Wait and see how he is going to react when he (gets) fired by ABC News without a reason, just because he is skinny like a monkey."

Lots of "20/20" viewers hated what I said about age discrimination laws on TV.

Most everyone says anti-discrimination laws are good laws, especially those that protect older workers.

But they're not.

This year, Kansas City DJs Max Floyd and Tanna Guthrie sued their radio station for firing them.

"The reason for firing was (that) they're changing formats, which they didn't really," Max Floyd told me for my "Give Me a Break" segment.

"Why wouldn't they keep us?" Tanna Guthrie asks. "We've been there, loyal with the company, and they didn't change the music a lot."

Discrimination lawsuits like theirs are common today. They create nasty, unintended consequences: Older workers find it more difficult to get hired since companies are reluctant to hire people who could become lawsuit age-discrimination bombs. I'm told some companies set aside $100,000 for legal fees and settlement money for every older worker who isn't doing a good job. What a waste.

Lawyer Murray Schwartz has won millions suing companies for age discrimination. He told me, "A company shouldn't be able to say, 'A 36-year-old fellow would do it better than the 52-year-old fellow.'"

They just shouldn't be allowed?

"Never. And that's what the law says."

The law does. But the law can be an ass, and American law contradicts itself. FBI agents must retire at 57, airline pilots by 65. But it's illegal for ABC to fire me if my boss thinks I'm too old?

Bruce Morrow has been a radio star for decades. When the Beatles came to America, "Cousin Brucie" introduced them.

Three years ago, he was fired. Abruptly.

He was furious, but Morrow has a new perspective on the issue because he's owned radio stations.

"I've fired several disc jockeys. We are in a business of change. Many people on the radio station who have worked there 15, 20 years don't fit there anymore. They might not sound, age-wise, proper. There's ethics here. But (then) there's reality."

American labor law clashes with reality. The government once even tried to force Hooters, that restaurant chain famous for sexy waitresses, to hire men to wait on tables. Only after Hooters mocked the government by running ads depicting a hairy Hooters man in a skimpy waitress outfit did the EEOC lawyers drop their case.

Protecting older workers interferes with the market's "creative destruction," the dynamic process that allows businesses to grow though constant change. That growth creates new opportunity for other workers, including older workers.

Roger Pilon of the libertarian Cato Institute says workers should stop thinking they own their jobs: "Freedom permits unfairness, and free markets sometimes encourage it; but what's the alternative? Since the categories in which discrimination might be prohibited are in principle infinite, down that road is the death of individual choice."

Pilon asks the basic question: "Whose business is it? Suppose you're an Italian restaurateur and you want to have only Italian men as your waiters because that's the ambience you want. Shouldn't you be able to do that?"

I would think so, but American law says no.

We don't need laws against discrimination. We need a free, competitive marketplace. Competition is better at punishing sexists, racists and "ageists" than clumsy laws. If a boss discriminated against, say, women, he would be demolished by a competitor who obtains better workers by hiring the women the first boss turned away. If an entire group of bosses turned women away, then men's wages would be bid up over women's, and a new competitor would defeat the discriminators by hiring only women.

Schwartz indignantly asked me, "Who has the right to say that you should stop working when you're 50 or 52 or 53? The boss?"

I said yes, the guy who's paying you ought to get to decide.

"No," he said. "You own your job as long as you're performing effectively."

That's the attitude of today's parasitic labor lawyers: You "own" your job. And this attitude is winning in the arena of public opinion. Never have I received such consistently hostile e-mail.

"I hope you get fired."

"You think that mid-50s is too old to hold a job?"

"Give me a break! Unless you plan on supporting me for the next 10 years, I suggest you revise your segment."

Give me a break. I didn't say older workers ought to be fired. Heck, I'm 61. Viewers are so invested in job "rights" that they missed the point about freedom of association, private property, an employer's right to control a business he created, etc.

Good intentions are irrelevant. Public policy always has unintended bad consequences. One reason France has nasty riots over high unemployment is France's restrictive labor laws. French employers think, "I don't want to hire someone whom I'll never be able to fire."

Schwartz says repealing the worker-protection laws would be a "disaster."

No, innovation-stifling laws and lawsuits are the disaster.

John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20" and the author of "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity."