Does God care whether we people marry and have children?
Does God care whether Christian parents raise their children to know him?
Should government promote bearing children?
What are some effects of declining birth rates in other countries?
What are the economic effects of declining birth rates?
Who has the right to decide how children are trained: government or parents?
What does the Bible say about parents having to raise children to know him?
Does the government have the responsibility for training children?
What do educational bureaucrats think of parents training children?
What do school boards think of parents training children?
Should school boards be elected by local, state or federal government?
Should Christians be opposed to government-run education? (public schools)
How should schools be viewed by parents? As a replacement or as a helper?
How are schools viewed by those on the left and in communist countries?
How can you measure how supporting a government is of parental rights?
How is parental authority viewed in left-wing EU countries like Germany?
How is parental authority respected in the United States?
Should parents have a choice of where their children go to school?
What is a voucher program? How is it related to parental autonomy?
How does competition (school choice) in education serve parental needs?
Why do public school teachers, unions and educrats oppose competitition?
How well do public schools do in educating children to achieve?
Does the government-run monopoly of public schools produce results?
Does paying more and more money to public schools make them perform?
How do teacher unions feel about having to compete in a voucher system?
Does the public school monopoly penalize the poorest students?
Does the public school monopoly penalize children of certain races?
Does the public school monopoly cause racial prejudice?
What else should parents demand on education policy?
Is it good for parents when schools refuse to fire underperforming teachers?
This podcast is just amazing! This is what we need to be teaching in church. Church should be the place where you go to learn and reflect about how to tailor your life plan based on what the Bible says. And I think that this whole notion of free market – of choice and competition benefiting the consumer (parents) – applies to everything that government does, especially education and health care. The genius of America is that our Founding Fathers engineered a system that reflected all of this knowledge of economics, which then made it much easier for individuals and families to enjoy liberty and a higher quality of life. If we want to keep the benefits, we have to remember why these decisions were made at the founding of our nation.
It’s hard to see into the minds of the Democrat party candidates to know what they believe about God. But I think that support for infanticide and opposition to Christian churches, schools and other organizations is a pretty good sign of what they really believe. Elizabeth Warren for example is pretty clearly not a Christian, and has an obvious contempt for the Bible.
On Sunday Sen. Elizabeth Warren shared a HuffPost article on Twitter bashing private Christian schools for having “anti-LGBTQ+ policies.”
The article focused attention on a U.S. Supreme Court case attacking Montana private religious schools and attempting to take away tax credits to individuals who contributed to private schools because the money supports policies that “discriminate against LGBTQ staff and employees.”
Such policies include having bathrooms designated for people according to their biological gender and hiring faculty and staff who abide by Christian marriage values.
“States should focus on funding public schools, not private ones — especially ones that maintain anti-LGBTQ+ policies. We must ensure every kid–especially LGBTQ+ kids–can get a high-quality public education,” Warren tweeted.
The article explains that these Christians schools respect what the Bible teaches in various areas. Some schools expect teaches to be Christians. Others affirm a Biblical view of sexuality – sex allowed only within a heterosexual marriage. Some of them just don’t want men in women’s bathrooms. But none of this is OK with Elizabeth Warren, because she thinks that the hurt feelings of LGBT people are more important than the Constitutional rights of Christians.
Why might Warren be taking this position? Well, Democrats have traditionally enjoyed massive support from public schools. And public schools see private schools as threats to their monopoly. When private schools offer children a better education, public schools prefer to shut them down rather than work harder.
Take a look at these donations by the American Federation of Teachers:
The article notes:
Public school groups have been vocal about their feelings towards the case, claiming that it “could have a devastating effect on education and play a major role in disintegrating the U.S. doctrine of the separation of church and state.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said that this case could turn the American understanding of “separation of church and state” upside down, and that “it will basically change over 200 years of practice in the United States,” The Daily Wire reported.
Those in favor of public funding for private schools argue that school choice and voucher programs give lower income students the same opportunities as students from more well-to-do families.
Democrats like to talk about how they don’t take money from “big corporations”. But if you take a look at that graph above, you’ll see that some people have bought themselves a whole lot of influence with the Democrat party. Do these unionized public school teachers and administrators have YOUR interests at heart?
It occurred to me that young people are being taught in government-run schools that central planning of the economy by the federal government works better than allowing states to decide policy for themselves. Naturally, the students – lacking life experience and at the mercy of the unionized teacher’s grading pen – have no choice except to be indoctrinated. But what are the facts?
The genius of America is that the Founding Fathers allowed the federal government to only have power in certain areas of life. Other areas of policy were delegated to the states. This allows states to try different policies to see what works best, or even just what works best for them. Then the other states have the option to emulate that success, or continue doing what doesn’t work. States that do what works will see more success, with more businesses and people migrating to their states. States that persist in doing what doesn’t work will see business and taxpayers flee. That is the genius of America’s design.
Federalism encourages states to operate according to the “principle of subsidiarity”, which is an economic principle that states that problems are best solved at the lowest level possible (individual -> family -> church – > business -> community -> local government -> state government -> federal government). This is because the people at the lowest level have the most KNOWLEDGE about how to solve the problem.
Case study: right-to-work laws
Let’s look at an example – unions and right to work laws. Starting after world war 2, some states decided to pass right to work laws. These laws allowed workers to decide for themselves whether to join a union or not. Since workers had the choice about whether to join the union, the union had to care about the workers and advocate for them, instead of enriching themselves at the expense of the workers via corruption and thuggery.
Here is how different states adopted right to work laws at different times:
What happened in these states? Well job creating businesses started to move from forced-union-membership states to right-to-work states. Why? Because unions were stopping them from innovating. Companies would figure out new ways to improve productivity, such as using machines and computers. But the unions would step in and insist that the old ways were best. The unions wanted their union members to just be able to do the same job, e.g. – pulling a lever over and over, for the entire 35 years of their career. And the unions wanted their members to be paid like a software engineer or a doctor for pulling a lever over and over. The unions also wanted to make sure that underperforming workers could never be fired, or replaced. And so on. Companies realized that they couldn’t compete in a global market like this, so they got up and left for right-to-work states.
Here’s what happened next:
States with right-to-work laws never said that there couldn’t be unions, only that workers wouldn’t have to join a union to work. And in right-to-work states, not only did workers not join unions, they voted not to unionize at all. This resulted in a massive decline in private sector unions in America:
As a result of job creating businesses not being hampered by union corruption and thuggery, American businesses quickly outpaced their rivals in forced union membership states in productivity, as measured by GDP. They also outpaced the productivity per worker in other economically illiterate countries. Why? Because allowing companies to innovate meant that workers were using more machinery and computers to do their jobs. They learned new skills. Underperforming workers could be replaced with workers who were willing to grow and adapt. Non-union workers higher productivity allowed them to find other jobs if they were laid off.
The job security of the American worker comes from his improved worker productivity – not from the union. Not only did unemployment go down in right to work states (more jobs!) but salaries and benefits also increases, as companies had to compete with each other for workers. However, companies were ok with paying more for workers, because they would rather pay ONLY the workers who deserved it, rather than pay one rate for all union workers, regardless of performance.
This article from the far-left New York Times explains how slaries and benefits rise when job creators move to right-to-work states: Income Rises When Right-to-Work Laws Are Passed because job creators must offer workers a lot in order to get them to sign. Not just salaries and benefits, but realistic development plans to grow the workers skills, making them even more resistant to layoffs and economic downturns.
While some persons may favor right-to-work laws largely on philosophical grounds (people should have the freedom to decide whether they want to belong to a union or not), the major reason I support such laws is that they seem to promote prosperity — specifically, higher incomes. Real personal income in the right-to-work states rose nearly twice as much as in other states from 1970 and 2013.
To be sure, most of that reflected higher population growth in right-to-work states — there was massive in-migration to these states from the states denying workers the right to not join a union. Yet even after correcting for population growth, income per person on average rose somewhat more in the right to work jurisdictions. Capital moves to right-to-work states with a more stable labor environment, and that increases labor demand and, ultimately, income and wages.
Although unions mostly died out in the private sector, the ones that remained actually functioned well as unions – focusing on their workers instead of enriching union bosses. They had to, because if they didn’t, then the workers would just opt out of them. The only places where unions still survive is in the public sector, i.e. – government. This is because government is (by law) a monopoly, where consumers have no choice except to accept the garbage that they are offered. They can’t go anywhere else for a lower price, or a better product, or a better service. Public sector unions are immune to innovation, because they lobby the government to prevent any improvement or accountability.
Here is an example of a public sector union’s effort to “help the customer”:
And here’s what those efforts to “help the customer” produced for the customer:
They aren’t really helping the customer, are they? What they do is collect dues, enrich their union leaders, intimidate their opponents with threats and force, and then give money to secular left politicians to prevent their customers from opting out of a system that doesn’t produce higher quality and lower prices for the customer. The secular left politicians pass laws that prevent the customers (parents) from being able to get a better product (education for their children) for a lower price. We should abolish public sector unions in order to get the benefits for the customer that we see in the private sector.
The Stream had an interesting article written by a motherwho explained what happened when she went to experts for help for her a daughter. Her daughter wanted everyone around her to treat her as if she were a boy. The experts didn’t much care what the mother had to say, they just assumed that the child was the authority, and the parents were expected to toe the lie… or else.
If you take your child to a clinic to seek help, affirmative care means the therapist must follow the child’s lead. The professionals must accept a child’s professed gender identity. In fact, this is the law in many states.
Under “conversion therapy” bans, questioning a child’s professed gender identity is now illegal.
[…]Parents are encouraged to refer to him as their “daughter” and let him choose a feminine name. Teachers are told to let him use the girls’ bathroom at school. Therapists will reassure parents that social transition is harmless and reversible.
[…]The “experts” tell parents that it is harmful to question their children’s beliefs, that they must support their children’s medical transition, which includes a lifetime dependence on hormones, and that if parents do not comply, their children will be at higher risk of suicide.
The medical personnel prescribed hormone altering drugs to the child:
Once the teenage years begin, affirmative care means giving young people cross-sex hormones. Girls as young as 12 are prescribed testosterone for lifetime usage, while boys are given estrogen.
These are serious hormonal treatments that impact brain development, cardiovascular health, and may increase the risk of cancer.
And it’s not just drugs, it’s surgery, too:
For girls, one standard procedure is called “gender-affirming top surgery,” also known as a double mastectomy. They are performed on girls as young as 13 years old — otherwise healthy girls who believe they are transgender.
[…]There are also teenage girls undergoing radical hysterectomies in the name of gender identity.
Now, the first thing that occurred to me when reading this story was: what happens if the parents don’t want to go along with this? And also, how did these pro-transgender non-parent actors even find out about it?
In Canada, transgender children can approach teachers in the government-run public schools, and medical personnel in the government-run health care system. And then those government workers can take the parents to the government-run courts to get the will of the secular left state imposed on the parents.
The Federalist first reported on the story in the last week of February:
Clark* first found out that his 12-year-old daughter Maxine was being treated as a boy by her school when he saw her new name in her class’s grade seven yearbook. “Quinn” was the new name her counselor had helped her pick out, and Maxine’s school district in Delta, British Columbia, Canada, had decided that “Quinn” should be treated, for all intents and purposes, as a boy.
According to education policy, parents have no right to know their child’s “preferred sex, gender, or name” at school.
Maxine’s counselors at school … referred Maxine and her mother, Sarah, to a “Dr.” Wallace Wong — a psychologist and LGBT activist who predictably decided that Maxine should be referred to a children’s hospital for testosterone injections when she was only 13. Not to be outdone, the children’s hospital asked Maxine’s parents for permission to begin injecting Maxine with testosterone on her very first visit. Clark said no and refused to sign.
From the middle of August until October, the hospital worked Clark over, trying to get his consent. When he finally refused, the hospital dropped a bombshell threat: simply put, they declared that they didn’t need Clark’s or Sarah’s permission for that matter.
The Federalist later reported that the courts had sided with the government-run school and the government-run health care personnel against the parents.
You might wonder what happens in America, if parents choose to fight the experts on the secular left.
Here’s a recent example reported at the Daily Wire:
On Friday, Ohio parents were denied custody of their daughter for not being supportive enough of her alleged transgenderism.
The 17-year-old biologically female child identifies as a boy and claims she has suicidal thoughts over her parents’ lack of support for her transgenderism (they won’t, for example, call her by her new chosen male name). The parents were fighting for custody of their daughter back from the state in an effort to stop potential transgender hormone treatment.
The Hamilton County Judge, Sylvia Sieve Hendon, took the child away from the parents, so that the child could get transgender hormon replacement therapy.
I thought this part was very interesting:
The parents’ Christian faith was used against them in the case by Donald Clancy of the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office.
I looked at where Hamilton County is, thinking that it would be in a liberal city like Toledo or Cleveland, or even Columbus. But it’s actually a suburb of Cincinnati, close to Indiana. I assume that the judge, like all government workers, is paid out of the money taken from peope like the parents in taxes. They’re paying this judge to do this to them.
Be careful how you vote
In cases like this, I always like to remind Christians to remember how they vote. Many Christians think that a big secular government should be empowered to hand out welfare, stop global warming, provide free sex changes, free abortions and free contraceptives, etc. But they don’t understand that a big secular government does not care about religious liberty, parental autonomy, or conscience rights. They care about redistributing taxpayer money to buy the votes of people who depend on government.
When the secular leftists control so much of society (the schools, the hospitals, regulations on business, and even regulating free speech!), it’s harder and harder to be a Christian with integrity. Eventually, you’re going to conflict with the secular left, because they’re just everywhere. That’s why Christians should never vote for bigger government. It increases the area of conflict, while simultaneously draining away the money we would need to defend outselves. Because bigger government requires higher taxes, and that means less of what you earn can be used to fight back against the secular leftists.
Public school teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia and Arizona are striking this spring, affecting hundreds of thousands of students. The teachers say that spending more money on education will help children learn more. There’s an excellent article by Joy Pullmann in The Federalist that looks at whether increasing spending raises student performance. (H/T Vanessa)
Oklahoma teachers want a $10,000 raise, and Arizona teachers want a 20% increase in base pay. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get anything near that for my annual raise.
Will raising taxes on taxpayers in order to spend more on education improve student performance? Joy says we can look at the past in order to understand whether spending more money gets results.
Research has also long and conclusively shown that school spending hikes usually don’t go to teachers, they go to administrators and other bloat outside classrooms. So the kids are just unions’ human shields on their way to raid the kids’ public bank accounts — again.
[…]As the Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey has shown, U.S. public K-12 spending has skyrocketed over the past 50 years with no improvement in academic outcomes. Other researchers repeatedly find increasing spending doesn’t help students. That’s because, as noted above, schools typically don’t send more money to classrooms, they use it to increase bureaucracy and nonacademic programming.
Got that? When taxpayers throw money at public schools, the teachers don’t see very much of that money. It gets put into education administrators and indoctrinators – people whose sole job is to make sure that the children accept secular left values.
Check out this graph of education spending compared to test scores:
Spending more doesn’t produce the results that parents are looking for, for their children. Parents want children to learn what they need to find work and become financially independent. But teachers, adminsitrators, etc. have a very different goal: making little secular leftists. And that’s what they use increased funding for that. Numbers don’t lie.
Another way that public schools waste money is by promising massive gold-plated public sector pensions to teachers – pensions that no private sector taxpayer would ever get themselves. And they use any increase in their budgets to pay the pensions of teachers who are retired, and not helping students to learn.
I saw a really nice map of the United States over at Daily Signal, with all the outstanding pensions liabilities, and the amount ranges from about $7600 in Tennessee (the best state in the union) to tens of thousands in the big blue socialist states.
States promised such outsized retirement benefits to the last generation of public-school teachers that they’re paying off this promise with current revenues. A national average of $6,800 per year per teacher pays former teachers’ pensions that state and local governments failed to save up for while those teachers were working. That’s money that could have instead boosted current teachers’ salaries. The problem is only going to get worse as more baby boomers retire and legislatures continue to hide their heads in the sand.
It’s not just that states and districts failed to save up for pensions they knew would come due, it’s that they offered literally the cushiest pensions available to teachers, notes a 2016 study: “as a group, [teachers] have by far the highest retirement costs, even compared with other public-sector employees. While the average civilian employee receives $1.78 for retirement benefits per hour of work, public school teachers receive $6.22 per hour in retirement compensation.”
Like I said, I don’t have a pension funded by taxpayers. I’m having to saving for my own retirement, as well of the retirement of these wealthy government workers. Public sector benefits are paid by taxpayers in the private (free market) sector. We are the ones wh have to make products and services that consumers are actually willing to pay for in a free market. Unlike teachers, I can’t go on strike if I feel I’m not paid enough. If I go on strike, I’ll be fired. But they go on strike, holding children hostage to get more money. With no guarantee of improved student performance.
Joy also notes that teachers are actually vastly overpaid already, based on what their marketable skills:
[…][R]esearch finds teachers are overpaid by an average of 50 percent relative to their skills and mental abilities. The overage comes almost exclusively from their fat benefit packages.
The reason they complain about pay is because the majority of their pay is going into extravagant health care, paid time off, pension, paid training, etc. benefits. When you add back all those benefits, they’re being overpaid compared to an equivalent private sector worker.
Another factor that lowers student performance is that the fact that teachers are highly regulated. Instead of spending their time teaching students, they are forced to waste time doing other non-teaching tasks.
Education regulations are almost always decided by non-teachers, and the effects are about what you would guess from that fact. Rather than benefiting students, these regulations typically require or justify ever-expanding employment for the very bureaucrat types who come up with them. I’m talking about things like teacher licensing mandates, which researchers have long found do not improve teacher quality and traffic in disproven education fads (but do provide easy-access cash cows for state departments of education and teacher colleges since teachers are required to keep buying their products to maintain certification); ever-increasing testing and data-entry mandates; centralized curriculum mandates like Common Core; centralized teacher evaluation and ratings systems; and the massive data entry required to document things like student behavior problems and special education services.
More money being wasted that doesn’t help students to learn more at all.
So what’s the solution?
The solution is to allow parents to choose who provides their children with an education, instead of having the money automatically taxed and spent by a massive secular left education bureaucracy. If teachers have their money in their hands, they will spend it where they can get the best quality for the best price – just like they do in every other area of their lives. That might be scary for teachers, administrators and indoctrinators, but in a free market, the parents should not be obligated to pay for something they don’t want. We should be concerned about the children first and foremost.