The only solution is to tax the rich more

It’s a staggering scenario: that people are asked to choose between the rich getting richer and children getting an education. And yet that is where we’ve got to.

I guess the real question is not the micro one of the right and wrong of this but the macro one, which is can any society really survive when its value system has been so corroded that such questions are even asked?

So says Ritchie about California\’s school system. The only possible thing one could do is tax the rich more.

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Recent news reports shed light on the world\’s most expensive high schools located in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Cost estimates range from a billion to two billion dollars for just two high schools. The Belmont Learning Center cost reached a billion in construction and financing and the Robert F. Kennedy High School over half a billion without financing.

The alternative of not pissing the money away is unthinkable, of course. For there is no such thing as wasted government spending in The Courageous State, is there?

12 thoughts on “The only solution is to tax the rich more”

  1. I have yet to understand why my “fair share” includes so much governmental graft, embezzlement, corruption, and waste. How fair is that?

    Isn’t it preferable to ensure adequate audit resources in government to maximize detection of government waste, and then prosecute the offenders?

    Yeah, I’m clearly out of step, because that’s one thing most governments show little willingness to “invest” in.

    Unfortunately, Americans are all too willing to re-elect the bozos that embezzle and / or waste taxpayer money – who then inform me unctuously that my “fair share” must now increase.

  2. The US is pretty good at arranging for something new to be built. Maintaining it is someone else’s problem, often on a very limited budget.

    Big shiny new bridge over a river, lots of local jobs in construction, lots of construction workers spending money, politician opening the bridge, great. Preventing it falling apart, not so important and often too little extra included in local budgets. Keeping something being used going is not so sexy for politicians…

    Its not just waste, its bad maths in assigning money to build but not enough to maintain. Do too little maintenance and the costs spiral. Badly.

  3. Read Victor Davis Hanson to see how totally screwed California is:

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson101212.html

    California schools rate among the nation’s lowest in math and English, but our shrinking numbers of teachers are among the country’s highest paid. One-third of the nation’s welfare recipients live in California, and 8 out of the last 11 million people added to the California population are enrolled in Medicaid, but we are also the most generous state in sending remittances to foreign countries — we contribute a third to a half of the estimated $50 billion that leaves the US each year for Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America.

  4. Martin (#2), in some cases of government construction letting it fall down through lack of maintenance might be the better option.

    Some spending is so bad that the benefits aren’t even worth the maintenance, never mind the initial cost.

  5. There is that Richard, yes.
    Maybe because its only a young nation it doesn’t know how to build to last?

  6. “not the micro one of the right and wrong of this but the macro one”
    Er, what is more macro than right or wrong?
    Just Murphy’s prejudices.
    Saints preserve us from Murphy

  7. Ritchie is misframing the question. The question is whether they keep funding exploding public worker pension costs or pay for education. The biggest problem in California’s financials is is overgenerous underfunded public sector union pensions. And we all know the correlation between who they support for and who has approved the pensions,

  8. No, the biggest problem in California’s financials is that voters, being halfwits, have simultaneously voted for referendum propositions that force the government to spend certain minimum amounts of money on specific items, and also prevent the government from raising most of the taxes it controls.

    This isn’t exactly surprising – most people would vote for “do lovely things and charge me less tax”. It is, however, an excellent argument against direct democracy.

  9. I dunno. Many of the US’s smartest non-FS jobs are based in Cali. You just have to accept the dysfunctional clownshow and negotiate a big enough paycheck to make up for it. Also, the weather’s nice.

  10. I can’t speak for California, but in my school district the teachers average six figures for 40 weeks of six hour days (plus preparation). They have recently agreed to pay 10% of their families healthcare (up from 7%) with the rest paid by the district. They also have a final salary pension, oh and the healthcare benefit continues into retirement.

    I think they’re all doing very well.

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