Tuesday, December 12, 2006


It's funny how our politicians want to tie the $20 million bond to our children, because it will be our children who will have to pay back the loan with interest. How appropriate! Nothing says "I love the tamaiti" more than putting a higher tax burden upon their backs.

ABC's John Stossel did a 20/20 report titled "Stupid In America." He reveals how despite the fact that spending per American child in public schools increased "by 100% since 1971", "national graduation rates and achievement scores" remained flat. Makes sense. Money doesn't teach. Money doesn't get up in front of a class and explain things. Throwing money at a problem apparently doesn't solve it.

It's what you do with the money you got that counts. Senator Lolo Moliga saw for himself how well Faasao maintains their property and their computers, and I doubt the school is rolling in dough. The private school understands that if they don't provide a clean environment and live up to parents' expectations, parents will take their money elsewhere. That's the benefit of freedom of choice.

Parental and community involvement and religious and cultural values shouldn't be the only incentives for schools to make their services to our children better. Pegging funding to performance works in the private sector. It will work in public sector as well, and a properly implemented school voucher program will be the vehicle for that to happen.

Once we see our tax dollars working in a competitive environment, then we will see if public schools really need more money. Medicare Part D, for example, came in $7 billion below '06 projections due to competition between insurance companies over this elderly entitlement.

Meanwhile, I question the sincerity of our politicians' concern for the plight of our children's education. If they were truly concerned, they would prioritize government spending to reflect that. But it's hard to see how that's the case when you have a 100% increase in Fono allowances, exorbitant personnel payroll expenses and assets that the private sector should handle: a government airplane, hotel, telecommunication, broadcasting, library, hospital, golf course, boat and bank.

But like the poor, our children are being used as reason for our government to spend irresponsibly and feel good about it at the same time.


At 11:13 PM , Blogger Stuart K. Hayashi said...

Hey Tallyho,

Your astute commentaries are exactly what the UH newspaper needs. And it would print your letters as a "Community Perspective."

I believe that the statist would reply to you that the reason why U.S. government school test scores are just as low today as they were in 1971, even though spending has increased by 100 percent, is that funding was too low then and funding is still too low now. Suppose you first gave a starving man 0.00001 grams of salt to eat. He would still starve. Then suppose you gave him 0.00002 grams to eat. You would have increased his dosage of food by 100 percent, but he would still starve.

Thus, if more money were spent on U.S. government schools -- if the funding increased hundredfold -- then U.S. government schools would see an improvement in scores.

How do you respond to that?

I believe that if you named the exact dollar value that the U.S. government now spends on government schools, your readers would have an easier time comprehending the fact that one could flush trillions of dollars down into the government school system and it still won't improve anything as long as the government school employees work under a coercive incentive system that rewards failure and penalizes constructive results.

Mele Kalikimaka,


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