Ep. 136 You Hate Schoolteachers, and Education, and Knowledge

30 April 2018     |     Tom Woods     |     10

Are Republicans at war with schoolteachers? Krugman thinks so: their state-level tax cuts have wrought havoc on education budgets, and it’s teachers’ salaries that have suffered.

We discuss the real truth of that question, plus the more general claim that education funding has suffered or that money or lack thereof accounts for how good the results are. This one’s a smash.

Krugman Column

We Don’t Need No Education” (April 23, 2018)

Contra Columns

Rich States, Poor States,” by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, & Jonathan Williams
Study: Half of All School Employees Not Teachers, 130% Increase Since 1970,” by Zoey DiMauro

Book Mentioned

The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money, by Bryan Caplan

Video Mentioned

The Contra Cruise!

Join Bob, Tom, and special guests for the third Contra Cruise — the best liberty week of the year!

Need More Episodes?

Tom and Bob have their own podcasts! Check out the Tom Woods Show and the Lara-Murphy Report.

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  • daCrash

    $12k a year for k-12 sounds really low. there is a cato article from 2010 that proves Los Angeles county in California spent $26,000 per kid (in 2010) when they claimed only $10k. apparently they leave out things like all the retirement costs. https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/they-spend-what-real-cost-public-schools

    • LP

      My local schools are around $12k, I think the current figure is like 12.5 or 13, as measured by taking the total school district budget and dividing by the number of students.

      • mary

        The $$$ is in fact much hire. The $12k/ seat does NOT include the cost of building and financing the buildings, some of which are gargantuan with many unnecessary “amenities.”

        • Ledora Hubbard

          A high school in my city recently opened a new media center featuring a coffee shop with over $24,000 worth of coffee makers (professional grade). What was wrong with the Mr. Coffee machines in the breakrooms, and why is the school competing with the Starbucks on the next street over?

      • daCrash

        but I’m thinking that doesn’t include retirement and capital costs (see mary’s comment below).

  • http://2vnews.com 2VNews

    Get government completely out of education.

  • mary

    Usually when people such as Krugman talk about teacher salaries, they are using data on entry level salaries. This scam needs to be revealed by some enterprising researcher.

    Bob’s information about the bureaucracy is right to the point. The fact of the matter is that the government schools are not for teaching children. They are primarily for 1. brainwashing the citizenry, 2. providing cushy jobs to garner votes and 3. providing a vehicle for sweet heart deals, kickbacks and other corruption with construction industry and Wall Street (bond issues) cronies.

    Tom’s right that money is not needed for a good education. The patron saint of the modern USA, Abraham Lincoln, is an excellent example of this fact–to use the far left’s icon against them. As the homeschool saying goes, “All you need is a library card.” These days, you don’t even need that. All you need is an internet connection.

    An excellent book on private schools in the third world is well worth reading–The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves by James Tooley. If these desperately poor people can send their children to schools where a seat costs pennies a day, why can’t the USA provide inexpensive schools? The problem is the list of the real social purposes of government schools above.

  • Robert

    Another contribution to the Tom Woods Lexicon this week, from the back catalog (ep. 43). “The new normal” has been added to the list of hated expressions.

  • Michael Thompson

    LOL those proficiency standards were down right comical! Had to stop the tape for “No points off for spelling.”. 🙂

  • Stuart Morrow