Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

How to fund education in a free society

15 Sep

Another commission.  Puleez!  The only solution to “school funding” is to make each government school a 501(c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit funded by tuition, grants, endowment income and other non-coercive means.  No more commissions, no income tax, no school property tax, no more politicians running schools, no more federal government mandates,  no more state mandates…and finally teachers in control of curriculum and other educational matters and accountable to parents for the quality of their teaching.  As far as the educational needs of low income students throughout the state, families would create co-ops to educate their kids.

If you support the above proposals, you are a “revolutionary” who wants to create a free society.  Otherwise, you are a tinkerer of the status coercive quo.

“As the Senate President Steve Sweeney has the power to get his school-funding reforms enacted into law; instead he’s proposing setting up yet another committee…”

Source: Steve Sweeney could pass his school-funding reforms; instead he’s creating a commission

Comments Off on How to fund education in a free society

Posted in Education, Federal Government, Free markets, Local government, New Jersey, Nonprofits, State government


You can just call me Jeff

20 Jul

Tom DiLorenzo sent me a copy of his new book, The Problem With Socialism, with the following inscription.  You can hear Tom Woods interview Tom here.  This book should be a best seller based on my review of the contents.   I will read it ASAP and discuss it in a future post. 

Tom's kind words


The Criminal Rip-Off Called Socialism

18 Jul

Tom DiLorenzo’s new book is published today. 


Source: The Criminal Rip-Off Called Socialism


New Jersey keeps getting on a bad list…and one that is off beat

15 Jul

“A new survey says N.J. has America’s most miserable town, but it’s also among the state’s 100 “kinkiest” communities. Below are both lists.”

Source: N.J. Has America’s Most Miserable Town — But It’s Among State’s 100 ‘Kinkiest,’ Surveys Say

Comments Off on New Jersey keeps getting on a bad list…and one that is off beat

Posted in Economy, Education, Employment, Healthcare, New Jersey, Politicians, Poverty, Welfare state


A reader responds to the open letter to Trump

13 Jul
Rick Merkt, former assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate, emails:
“One of the interesting observations I have made over a lifetime:  “Liberals” a/k/a “Progressives” believe as an article of faith (Perish the thought!) that the smartest man (or woman) in the world should be charge of everything, because, obviously, he (or she) is more qualified to decide everything than the poor average Joe.  They really, actually believe this!  It never occurs to them that even the smartest person in the world couldn’t possibly access or process the number of inputs necessary to reach a right decision on most complex matters.  This is why the “invisible hand” of the market works, where individual or collective “geniuses” fail repeatedly.  To be sure, the market commits its errors — in fact, all the time.  Yet, perhaps because it is not hobbled by ego, the market constantly adjusts for its mistakes, disciplines the losers, and rewards the winners, all to the greater benefit of society.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on A reader responds to the open letter to Trump

Posted in Civil liberties, Constitution, Corruption, Crony capitalism, Democrats, Economy, Education, President Obama, Progressives, Welfare state


Walter Williams lays down the gauntlet

12 Jul

“President Barack Obama and his first attorney general, Eric Holder, called for an honest conversation about race. Holder even called us “a nation of cowards” because we were unwilling to have a “national conversation” about race. The truth of the matter is there’s been more than a half-century of conversations about race. We do not need more. Instead, black people need to have frank conversations among ourselves, no matter how uncomfortable and embarrassing the topics may be.”

Source: Challenges for Black People

Comments Off on Walter Williams lays down the gauntlet

Posted in Corruption, Crime, Democrats, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Gun control, Local government, Police, Politicians, Politics, Poverty, Race, Welfare state


The new oath of “allegiance”

11 Jul

Here we go.  Entrenching a political paradigm.  

“University of Cincinnati requires ‘diversity and inclusion’ statement.”

Source: Public university now requires applicants pledge commitment to ‘diversity and inclusion’ – The College Fix

Comments Off on The new oath of “allegiance”

Posted in Civil liberties, Education, Higher education, Politics


A new “formula” for education

11 Jul

Former Ramsey Mayor Richard Muti asserts in The Record that Gov. Christie’s “fairness formula” for state education aid to local school districts would result in “chaos”. Mr. Muti bases his conclusion on the premise that so-called children in poor districts have “substantial needs” that cannot be supported by local property taxes. Thus, he concludes, the New Jersey Supreme Court’s 1990 Abbott v. Burke decision that created the aid formula that has funneled tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars to primarily urban school districts was correct, because it provided a “thorough and efficient” education that the state constitution requires.

However, Mr. Muti, also writes the following: “The ruling was unanimous — all seven justices concurred, Republicans and Democrats alike. They acknowledged that equal funding alone would not cure the problem of failing schools in urban districts. (emphasis added) ‘We realize our remedy here may fail to achieve the constitutional object,’ Chief Justice Robert Wilentz wrote. ‘No amount of money may be able to erase the impact of the socioeconomic factors that define and cause these pupils’ disadvantages. We realize that perhaps nothing short of substantial social and economic change affecting housing, employment, child care, taxation, welfare will make the difference for these students; and that this kind of change is far beyond the power or responsibility of school districts.’ “ (emphasis added)

By its own admission, the Court made a “sociological – political” decision, not one based on sound legal principles. Moreover, “equal spending” that the court ordered has been turned on its head. Asbury Park spends more than $33,000 per pupil, and receives nearly $29,000 per pupil in state aid, while Cherry Hill spends almost $18,000 per pupil and receives slightly less than $3,000 in state aid for each public school student. In other words Asbury Park receives 10 times per state aid per pupil than Cherry Hill. The discrepancy in state aid not only is beyond the pale but Asbury Park only has a 66% graduation rate compared with 94% in Cherry Hill. The Supreme Court was correct; money is not providing educational success in the so-called Abbott school districts.

Instead of debating back and forth the proper aid formula for local school districts, the public, legislators and policy wonks should focus their energies on evaluating the whole premise of government schools.

Instead of debating which education funding law is constitutionally sound and compatible with the states constitution “thorough and efficient” clause, we should embrace the insight of Frederick Bastiat in his classic monograph, The Law, where he wrote the following about education and the state.


“You say, “There are men who want knowledge,” and

you apply to the law. But the law is not a torch that sheds

light that originates within itself. It extends over a society

where there are men who have knowledge, and others

who have not; citizens who want to learn, and others who

are disposed to teach. It can only do one of two things:

either allow a free operation to this kind of transaction,

i.e., let this kind of want satisfy itself freely; or else preempt

the will of the people in the matter, and take from

some of them sufficient to pay professors commissioned

to instruct others for free. But, in this second case there

cannot fail to be a violation of liberty and property—legal


Bastiat wrote passionately about the structure of a free society. He combined the insights of sociology, economics, politics, and philosophy to describe what the law would be in a free society. Education, an important element of human development, is the responsibility of parents, not the state. Until this paradigm becomes one of the components of our society, the conflict over education spending and “fairness formulas” will be endlessly debated.

Gov. Christie fired the first shot in this continuous and contentious – and needless – argument over how to distribute money extracted from taxpayers. The next “battleground,” which the two sides in the education state aid formula must address is why the state and local governments have socialized education. This debate is long overdue and when cooler heads on both sides of the current debate take a timeout, we will finally address one of the most important issues in the country, how we can desocialize education, which in the final analysis will increase educational opportunities for all children and provide the much-needed tax relief for taxpayers throughout the state.

Comments Off on A new “formula” for education

Posted in Education, Local government, New Jersey Supreme Court, State government


Taxpayer funding of religious institutions declared unconstitutional in New Jersey

06 Jul

Virally all spending by government is unconstitutional.  This is one of the most flagrant examples.  Taking money from people (taxation) to pay for spending that violates people’s consciences is sufficient reason to end the funding or make it voluntary   Government schools, known as public schools, is the best example of the improper use of taxpayer dollars.  Schools, no matter how they are structured, should be funded by fees, scholarships, private grants, donations. etc.  

Source: Landmark Ruling Halts Unconstitutional Taxpayer Funding of NJ Yeshiva and Seminary

Comments Off on Taxpayer funding of religious institutions declared unconstitutional in New Jersey

Posted in Civil liberties, Constitution, Education, Federal Government, Local government, Property taxes, State government, Welfare state


Free Summer Reading: These Five Freedom Philosophers Will Liberate Your Mind

02 Jul

To battle the statists in New Jersey and around the country, you must be armed with the knowledge to advocate for free markets and limited government.  Here is your free summer reading list.  

“We at FEE are happy to present the Essential series, five free ebooks collecting the key works of five great freedom philosophers: Leonard Read, Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, F.A. Hayek, and Frédéric Bastiat. In each of these compact anthologies, you will find a powerful case for liberty.  The ideas within are not mere fodder for debate. Like all great sages, these authors offer true wisdom that can inspire and benefit you personally in your own life. Here is a discussion of just a few of the included works.”

Source: Free Ebooks: These Five Freedom Philosophers Will Liberate Your Mind | Foundation for Economic Education

Comments Off on Free Summer Reading: These Five Freedom Philosophers Will Liberate Your Mind

Posted in Economy, Education, Free markets, Welfare state


College is not for everyone

29 Jun

The comeback of the blue collar worker? 

“In the next decade, as many as 25 million new job openings will be middle-skills positions that will not necessarily require a four-year degree.”

Source: Giving Young People an Alternative to College

Comments Off on College is not for everyone

Posted in Economy, Education, Higher education, Innovation


An unhappy 40th anniversary for the income tax; Republicans got outsmarted once more | Mulshine

28 Jun

The income tax is the root of all evil, so wrote Frank Chodorov in 1954.  We have seen it here in New Jersey for four decades.  The Supreme Court is responsible for forcing the State of New Jersey to expropriate more of the people’s income in the name of “fairness.”


“When the income tax was passed back in 1976 the Republicans could have forced real property-tax reform; instead they got outsmarted by the Democrats – and not for the last time”

Source: An unhappy 40th anniversary for the income tax; Republicans got outsmarted once more | Mulshine

Comments Off on An unhappy 40th anniversary for the income tax; Republicans got outsmarted once more | Mulshine

Posted in Democrats, Education, Income taxes, New Jersey, New Jersey Supreme Court, Property taxes


New Jersey’s entrenched Marxist culture

26 Jun

David Sciarra, executive director of the Education Law Center, asserts that the “needs” of so-called at risk children trumps the needs of income earners who are forced to subsidize government (taxpayer funded) schools in urban and some rural low income districts.   Mr. Sciarra claims that Gov. Christie’s proposal to provide equal state funding for all school children is a reverse Robin Hood policy, because it would “take” funds away from “high needs” children and redistribute it to middle and upper income school districts.

Mr. Sciarra is unabashedly echoing Karl Marx’s dictum that “society”  should be based on “From each according to his ability to each according to his needs.”  Whether he knows it or not, Mr. Sciarra has internalized the key principle of socialism, government–in this case the State of New Jersey–should tax people who earn sufficient incomes that make them financially independent to support so-called underprivileged or disadvantaged children whose families earn relatively low incomes.  (However, in income “rich” Hoboken, state education aid dwarfs that of many modest suburban school districts. That’s fairness?)

The bottom line is that public education has created unnecessary financial, cultural and political conflicts.  Gov. Christie’s proposal treats all children “equal.”  But the governor’s proposal does not go far enough.  We should have that much needed and long overdue conversation about education that would in Mr. Sciarra’s words lead to productive individuals.  The current funding formula and structure has been a failure for students who barely graduate high school in four years and leave with poor skills that they should have mastered in 12 years of schooling.   

“The governor’s ‘Fairness Formula’ school aid plan would end the Garden State’s longstanding commitment to giving all children an education that will prepare them for good citizenship, civic responsibility and productive participation in the state’s economy.”

Source: Sciarra: Governor’s new school funding proposal – anything but fair

Comments Off on New Jersey’s entrenched Marxist culture

Posted in Education, Income taxes, New Jersey, Politics, Property taxes, Welfare state


Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | TED Talk |

23 Jun

This is one of the best talks about innovation and the diffusion of ideas I have ever heard, which could also be applied to the liberty movement.

Comments Off on Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | TED Talk |

Posted in Education, Innovation, Leadership


Christie’s proposal is half way to education freedom

22 Jun

Governor Christie’s public school aid funding proposal would treat each child “equally,” that is, the state would send every school district the same amount for each child in its school district.  Most school districts would get a huge increase in state aid so that should mean substantially property tax relief for suburban taxpayers, assuming of course the school districts pass along the new aid in the form of lower property taxes.  The criticism from the usual suspects is disingenuous.  Instead of applauding the fact that many of their constituents would finally get property tax relief,  which was the goal of the 1976 income tax, suburban legislators are voicing their objections, because urban districts would be “shortchanged.”  

Despite what the state constitution regarding education funding and a series of state Supreme Court rulings, there is no reason education should be provided by the government.  In fact, education should be provided by teachers, parents and others, without the need for taxpayers to shell out an obscene amount of money for an education monopoly.  The case for delinking government and education has been made by several analysts such as Sheldon Richman, John Taylor Gatto, and Samuel Blumenfeld, among others.

Education  socialism is expensive and has failed to educate urban students effectively.  It is time for education freedom.  Christie gets us one step closer.


 Seeking to bypass the state Supreme Court, upend three decades of education funding and lower property tax  bills, Governor Christie will spend the summer campaigning for a sweeping new plan to spend the same  amount of money on every student in the state — regardless of where they live.

Source: School aid: Christie proposes equal funding statewide – News –

Comments Off on Christie’s proposal is half way to education freedom

Posted in Democrats, Education, Income taxes, New Jersey, Politics, Property taxes, State government