Third,we have to pay teaches more.
However, the rest of it….
The basic argument is that wages paid by businesses like Tesco are too low and that this, plus the lack of tax money being spent on education means that we\’re locked into an underperforming economy by dint of the effects of a) depriviation and b) underspending on education.
The solution is thus that companies must pay more tax to fund education.
But average full time equivalent pay at Tescos in 2008 was under £13,000. Now, I know that might be distorted by pay in Asia – but the majority of employees are in the UK and so whilst pay may be higher than that in the UK on average it remains massively below UK average pay however calculated, which exceeds £20,000 by all measures used. And Tescos are the UK’s biggest private sector employer.
Lambert says that underachievement is linked to free school meals. These can be claimed by anyone with pay of less than £16,040. That’s on average all the staff at Tescos.
So like it or not Tescos, and employers like it, are paying the wages that ensure people claim free school meals which seem to be linked with a lack of aspiration and poor education results.
The solution to this is that there should be…. wait for it…..
The second is to massively reduce differentials in society by serious redistribution of income and wealth
You couldn\’t see that one coming, couldn\’t you?
Now there\’s a logical error here. If we\’re going to talk about how much more redistribution we should have then we need actually to be talking about how much redistribution we already have. We cannot simply look at market incomes and decide that more should be done: we have to look at market incomes plus what we already do to see whether more redistribution is justified or not.
Ritchie of course fails to do this.
But the real howler is here:
Third,we have to pay teaches more. Especially those in difficult subjects. It’s absurd for example that few state schools can offer really good science curricula now. This has nothing to do with quangos or anything else. this is undervaluing education. and business must pay for this by paying more tax.
Firslty, there\’s the question of whether we do or do not pay enough for there to be a decent State education system. Cross country comparisons seem to show that Finland (often rated the best State education system in the world) spends less per pupil than we do (yes, adjusted or standard of living etc). Sweden is rated very well and they also spend less per head than we do. But their structures are different. For example, Finland has something like the grammar/secondary modern split. It\’s not at 11, true, a couple of years later, but there are two different school systems, one for the academic goats and another for the vocational sheep.
It\’s just ain\’t yer Auntie\’s comprehensive system.
Sweden of course famously has school vouchers.
Within country comparisons also don\’t seem to show a lack of resources as being the problem. Private day schools (when you include capital and pensions budgets) seem to have similar costs to the State system. Again, famously in the US, parochial schools have much better results on much lower budgets than the State schools.
So we\’d be justified in at least thinking that perhaps it\’s the structure of the education system, the way the budget is allocated, which is the problem, not the size of the budget itself.
But the truly barking part is that business taxation should rise to pay for the effects on education of low wages.
For as Vince Cable and even Larry Elliott have agreed, businesses don\’t pay taxes. People do. And in an open economy like ours, the largest share (according to the Congressional Budget Office at least, for the US) 70% of the burden of corporate taxation is carried by the workforce in the form of lower wages. Mike Deveraux (who Ritchie would never admit could be right about anything) has a paper out there that a £1 raised in corporate taxation reduces workers\’ incomes by more than £1.
And it\’s this (something I\’ve already mentioned over at Sunny\’s place) which absolutely drives me up the fucking wall about the varied unthinking leftists we have proposing policies.
Some of the goals I share: a better education system being one of them. Some of them I don\’t particularly: equitable distribution in the sense of more equal distribution isn\’t one of the scabs of our society I particularly care to pick. But my ire comes from those proposing things which will be entirely counter-productive. Things which on the surface sound vaguely plausible (Tax companies more to pay to teach Diddikins to read!) but on examination turn out to be barking mad.
Follow Ritchie\’s chain of logic here. Companies don\’t pay high enough wages which leads to deprivation. We should thus tax companies more to pay for the deprived to get a better education.
But on examination we find that the vast majority of corporate taxes come from lower wages for the workers: so the actual suggestion is that we should lower wages in order to deal with the effects of lower wages.
It\’s barking, innit?