Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama Embraces Neo-Con Agenda

President Obama continues to embrace a conservative reformist agenda with his Monday fiscal summit and his speech to the congress last night. In particular in education he has embraced merit pay and he told congress his administration wishes to expand charter schools. This later move has been the child of the Cato institute in the U.S. and the Fraser Institute in Canada. It is the bugaboo of the neo-con revolution, market delivery of public education by private companies. Setting up competitive private schools in competition with public schools. It as been tried in Alberta and B.C. and has not delivered any greater success in student achievement than public schools. Where it has succceeded is due to a simple fact; smaller class sizes which results in more indidivdual student attention.
At his Monday joint summit meeting, proposals for education reform included merit pay, despite union opposition to this idea, While on the surface merit pay may appear a good idea, it is all in the details. Who decides what merits the pay increase? Is it test scores? Is it an evaluation by students and parents? If it is the former test scores do not reflect real cognitive learning, rather they reflect the limited ability of rote learning; memorising anwsers to test questions.
The Obama administration is embracing other neo-con ideas as well in the areas of health care and social security reform. They begin with the premise that some one is ripping off the system, and a review of health care rip offs was announced to congress by Obama. He also promised that younger American workers would be able to supplement their social security with a persoanl tax free retirement investment plan. Where have we heard this before? Why from the Bush and Clinton administrations of course.
Like Clinton before him, he is a classic liberal, and as I have pointed out here before, classic liberals are embraced by libertarians, radical republicans and liberals. That he is willing to embrace ideas of the neo-con era, shows he truly is bipartisan

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Charter schools are arguably another form of public-private business partnership, no?

The term charter reflects a grant by the state similar to the phrase "corporate charter".

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1995 Published in: ~ Technocracy Digest, 1st quarter 1996, No. 319 - Information elsewhere as to the link: A new way article
From the official Technocracy Incorporated site archive.

Before, during, and now, after the election of a new batch of politicians, the media continues to flood us with ``cutting the deficit'' and ``balancing the budget'' analysis. My comments on these phenomena reflect a background in Technocracy, Inc., an educational, research organization.

Deficit spending has been an important part of our way of life ever since the '30s. The only change has been its astronomical growth. Our memories are short. During the Great Depression, budget cuts were enacted to reduce deficit spending. What happened? We had a depression within the depression. Deficit spending had to be increased to solve the problem.

Good times, or what were considered good times, and deficit spending, go hand in hand. Without it, the economy would crumble. Now, we are told that deficits will crumble the economy as well. So, we are damned if we deficit and damned if we don't deficit! In other words, no matter what maneuvers politicians try, the system just won't work.

What we know, for sure, is that we are in serious trouble. Politicians -- collectively and singly -- offer no solution, just promises tried before and found wanting then. Bluntly put, politicians are useless. The security of our society depends on doing something drastic, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with deficit spending, balancing the budget, etc.

Our socioeconomic structure, our ``Price System'', adequately handled the operation of society during the slow-pace, hand-tool, stoop-labour days of the primitive, agrarian age. Practically everyone had a job, or could get a job. There was no welfare or mass-unemployment. Today, because assembly-line production, computer robotic automation, downsizing, reinventing government, etc., employing the entire workforce is a physical impossibility. Deficit spending has been the linchpin that has maintained the economy, as bad as it is, and has kept it from terminal disaster.

In our high-tech, modern technological age, our Price System manipulations are a tragedy, causing widespread, unnecessary suffering. We must install a design of social operation that is in sync. with our modern times, and take advantage of the technological advances, not leave ourselves punished by them.

Technocracy proposes that we trash our Price System and install a modern technological social design. We are talking about a whole new way of life. Deficit spending, balancing the budget, welfare, unemployment, poverty, taxes, etc. vanish.

Those who study Technocracy's proposal find its concepts exhilarating. Yes, it's a whole new way of life. Check it out.

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