I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, April 29, 2011

Crazy Uncle Paul Gets Dumberer

On most days, if you asked me who the biggest dumb-ass in New Jersey is, I'd say Bob "Hoover" Ingle.

Every now and then, however, Paul Mulshine puts down the crazy and picks up the stupid:
Nothing amuses me more than the tendency of my readers to defend public schools.
There is no defense. Imagine if the computer industry were like the education industry. We'd still be using Commodore 64's. But now we'd be paying $3,000 for a computer that cost $1,000 when it was new 30 years ago.
That's the public school system - only worse.
Believe it or not, the annual per-pupil cost of education in this state in 1970 was a mere $1,009 in 1970.
It's now $18,000 per pupil.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking you can't compare those numbers.
You must have gone to public school.
It's simple to compare them. Just go to this site or any similar site and adjust for inflation.
You will find that the cost of education has more than tripled in real dollars since that time.
Arrogant and stupid! A two-fer!

Paul, why do you think computers cost so much less to make than 30 years ago? Automation: the increasing power of computers actually makes it cheaper to manufacture them.

Does that apply to a human-intensive activity like teaching? Think hard, Paul...

Further: I'm no economist, but I know that using CPI to judge the relative cost of education is massively dumb. The price of bananas has nothing to do with the costs of educating a child; CPI was never intended to be used this way.
But those of us who understand this sort of thing realize we will never solve our property-tax problem in New Jersey until we find an alternative to an unaffordable system.
To that end, I suggest you read this piece on the Lew Rockwell blog.  It's about Montessori schools. I'm not advocating them. But I am saying they offer a far more efficient means of educating children from the taxpayers' perspective.
Thank you, Paul, for linking to a post that says nothing about how Maria Montessori's methods would save taxpayers money. In fact, those of us who had our children in Montessori schools know there is a huge emphasis on early childhood education; given Mulshine's disdain for universal Pre-K, I don't know why he's claiming Montessori could be "far more efficient."

Of course, Mulshine has a proclivity for promoting anything published by a fellow libertarian, regardless of its relevance to his argument.

But so it goes in Crazy Uncle Paul's little playpen: harping on spelling errors and lazy, muddled thinking. At least his attention will soon turn away from things he knows nothing about, like schools, and toward surfing, beer, and various combinations of the two.

ADDING: In his comments Crazy Uncle Paul extolls the virtues of Catholic schools. Paul, do you think the increases in per student spending in Catholic schools over the past 30 years have tracked with CPI?

Yeah, I didn't think so.


Deciminyan said...

My response to Paul's dissing me because of my spelling errors:

Duke said...

He is not in your league, deciminyan.

thinker said...

This point, of course, is meaningless without an examination of the changes in education law in the past thirty years and the impact of IDEA, NCLB, increased standardized testing, and a host of other laws and legal factors, not to mention the various other costs that do not follow CPI and which are utterly out of the control of a local school board.