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So am I the only libertarian? - Page 2

post #21 of 127
[QUOTE=sunnmama]I like this idea
I think schooling should be voluntary, but I do think they are necessary (at this point in time). If there were no schools, I would worry about the children of those who can not teach their kids really important skills because they, themselves, do not have those skills (reading, consumer math, speaking English). And, of course, those families are typically in the lowest income bracket, so the least likely to be able to afford alternative education.


I too like the idea of a real "public" school much like a public library etc. but I think that schools should still exist. They just shouldn't be mandatory. I am thinking about those children with families who use school as an escape. I think of some of my friends and their childhoods and school was the only place they could go to get away from their insanely abusive parents. It's really sad because they weren't learning there so it wasn't an education, it was just a refuge.

I too am an independent more so than someone who aligns themselves with one of those two main political parties (though if I had to...I would go with democrat) so I dont know if consider myself a liberatarian.

post #22 of 127
I tend to have my "in a perfect world" ideals, and then my "in this world" ideas.

In this world, I think we need to retain some form of free childcare for working parents. The economic blow to many families if school-as-childcare disappeared would be staggering.

In this world, I think there are parents who either don't want to be responsible for their child's education, or are incapable of doing so at the present time because of the damage done to them by schools, or for other reasons. There are also parents who truly see the school-education their children are getting as optimal, for the child and the family.

I'm not a libertarian. I've spent most of my entire working life with people who need special help in one way or another, and that has perhaps skewed my perceptions of how much governmental help people need. Still, I think there is a sizable population of people who do need help, and the government does actually manage to provide it occasionally. The government is made up of people on the front lines, and it's really these people who are sometimes able to help. A lot of people just aren't able to provide everything they and their families need.

The tricky part, of course, is determing who needs help and who doesn't. Clearly, right now, mistakes are made in botrh directions. The gov't steps in and takes over with parent who don't need help, but are doing things differently. The gov't also fails to step in and help parents who truly aren't doing an adequate job of caring for their children, or people who aren't doing an adequate job of caring for themselves. Working with the Seriously Mentally Ill population for 4 years taught me this, quite clearly. People I knew died because they couldn't care for themselves, and no one, no agency helped.

I've wandered a bit afield. As far as schools, I think we need to overhaul both the schools themselves - we need to leave a few children "behind", so that they can blossom at their own speed, and we need to create schools that focus of creating happy, competent people, rather than people who can do worksheets - as well as the system of schooling. We need to create a whole continuum of options, and judge our outcomes differently. Parents should have the right to educate their children as they see fit - as it is now in many states - and the same financial support that public school students have now should we expanded to other sorts of programs.

Some of that is happening now, with charters and other programs, but we need to go farther. I do think having Resource Centers or Community Centers open to the entire community would be a grand use of tax dollars. I also think local communities shouls have more freedom in determining how their tax dollars are allocated, whether on traditional schools or other programs. Eventually, I would like to see education as a sort of learning smorgasbord, with options for everyone, at any age, and the only "accountability" being the choice of the people to stay with a program or not and the choice of theb people whether to continue funding a program or not.


post #23 of 127
Just wanted to say that I am another lurking libertarian. We are out there....
post #24 of 127
What would happen to children whose parents don't read to them, talk to them in a meaningful way, model learning and attempt to provide enrichment? I'm not a lover of the institution of "school", but I worry about those kids.
I would hope that friends, family or neighbors would intervene. In fact, I remember as a kid my mom reading to neighborhood kids and feeding them lunch (we lived in a not good part of the city for two years). However, I don't think that we should force every kid into school for 7 hours a day because we're worried about a minority of kids that it truly benefits.
post #25 of 127
Originally Posted by LeftField
This is a genuine question. What would happen to children whose parents don't read to them, talk to them in a meaningful way, model learning and attempt to provide enrichment? I'm not a lover of the institution of "school", but I worry about those kids.
In *MY* world, schools would exist for those who WANT to use them. If someone wants to use the schools because they can't or don't want to do it otherwise, or because they need daycare, then that would be available. It wouldn't be funded by tax dollars though.
post #26 of 127
Ok, I have a serious question too, not sarcastic. Isn't this why homeschooling is legal in all states? In that manner, isn't school optional? I choose to homeschool my kids, my neighbor chooses to send her to school.

I like reading this thread. Gosh, what a different world it would be if it were voluntary or non-existent. It would entirely restructure our economics and culture to do away with schools. Not saying that would be good or bad, but it's interesting to think of all the things that would have to change.
post #27 of 127
Thread Starter 
There is a lot of important ideas brough up here, I love it

I think in respose to the 'what if the parents won't or can't teach' the answer is A. they are in the minority still, and B. the numbers grow BECAUSE of the ps system we have. When I hear parents lamenting the lack of manners taught in school I want to rant at them for not doing it! Who made schools the be all and end all of apropriate behavior! (answer polititicians who wanted good little voters)

In response to "what about people who truly need help" there would be MORE private institutions offering to help if there were less assumption that the govt did it all. Instead of thinking 'there auta be a law' or 'why wont the govt help' we need to think 'what can I do to help and get others involved'. I for one would gladly teach and or read to my friends neighbors, people at school etc. I like to teach, bring me an interested kid I'll give you a learned kid!
post #28 of 127
Thread Starter 
Oh and needing school as a daycare, this is again a case where since there is so much availible there is so much use, it creates a dependancy. If we take it away yes there would be a major upheaval, but we should settle down to a country where people take care of there own kids and do not leave them for 6,7, or 10 hours a day so that they can afford the fancy car and all that 'stuff'. Now there are some single parents that MUST have help. Again if we stopped assuming the govt would od it all there would be more willingness in the community to help. Not total, but more. I again would help anyone in need, but for the free daycare they need to prove to me that the cable is cut off, the manicures are gone, and quite a few other splurges that I can't have are out. THen I will assist with childcare.
post #29 of 127
So free childcare is only available to children whose parents you deem worthy? What happens to the rest of them?

Compulsory education began in the US 100 years ago, in large part, as a way to provide childcare for children whose parents had to work. Prior to compulsory education, these children were either working in the factories alongside adults (starting at age 4 or so) or caring for themselves. Being a certified Poor Person, I have personally known many children, 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 year olds, who spent hours caring for themselves when school wasn't in session. And yeah, some of their moms got manicures sometimes. A manicure will pay for a couple of hours of childen for 2 school-age children. Giving up manicures won't solve the underlying problem.
there would be MORE private institutions offering to help if there were less assumption that the govt did it all
The idea that private institutions would step in and take up the slack if the government stopped helping people hasn't been borne out by the facts. After the welfare deforms in the nineties, private charities were stretched to their capacities and beyond, and countless people - children - fell through the cracks because there simply weren't resources available for them. We've tried this idea, and it hasn't worked. People have suffered. Children have suffered. Private institutions can't or won't help all who need help.
I think in respose to the 'what if the parents won't or can't teach' the answer is A. they are in the minority still
Do you really think so? About 98% of parents currently chose school - a vast, vast majority - so where do you get the idea that a minority of people can't or won't teach? If they can and will, why are they not homeschooling now?

I do think schools should be voluntary - they really are already, because one can homeschool or unschool. But I also strongly feel that they should still be free and available, becuse children will suffer if they aren't. Not your children, or mine, but the children living in the impoverished farm community where I sub definitely will, and I care about them, too. I wish there were more educational options for them, but cutting off access to free schooling would hurt them.

post #30 of 127
This is mostly just getting on board with PrincessPerky's last two posts, but as a pp said:

In *my* world ....not having institutionalized education would force (in a happy way!) parents to really evaluate when, where, how and what their children were learning and absorbing...

...knowing all along that they wouldn't be able to afford 'daycare' because it would no longer be masquerading as education, parents would choose to manage their lives differently so that they could actually raise their children themselves....

...I'll get crazy and say that maybe MAYBE (as if, but I can dream!! ) if more responsibility were sort of forced onto parents in regards to how the lives of their children went, and we all grew up seeing how much a parent really should do in order to truly parent well, MAYBE people would seriously consider whether or not they should have the little darlings in the first place... maybe. Just, yk, possibly...

So, yeah... I'm definitely leaning towards the libertarian-ish approach. I think the PS system is more damaging now than beneficial. I haven't read it yet, but there's a book out there called "Uncle Sam's Plantation"... I can only imagine that it's about daycare and public schools and the institutionalization of our children...

They start telling you to pick a career to focus on when you're 13 (!!!!??)... at least, that's when they told my class to start figuring that out... and that was 18 years ago! (I told them I wanted to be a funeral director )Tell me kids don't get brainwashed to the "9-5 gimme gimme perpetuate that economy" subconcious mindset before they can even drive... I can't surrender my beautiful babies to that life. I won't. *NOT* knocking higher education, but so many people tell me all the things I've missed by not having that 'college experience'.. (yes, yes... How WILL I teach my children without binge drinking and date rape in my resume?) (I was in the Navy and didn't even have to cope with that!)

So, I'm just figuring out what I want to do with my life now, and it has nothing to do with anything I learned during my multiple brick box experience. It has a lot to do with educating myself (HS starts with the mommy!) and learning not to expect things to be done for me (like when my supervisor would tell me I was on the dental list..? Can't even determine if you need to stay in bed for yourself, have to get up and go to 'sick-call' even if you have a 103 temp so THEY can tell you if you're sick enough to stay home...) by the gov't or anyone else, and figuring out how to be the best mama I can to the little ones I asked God to give me.

: sorry
post #31 of 127
Originally Posted by raleigh_mom
Isn't this why homeschooling is legal in all states? In that manner, isn't school optional?
Yes, attending school is optional. PAYING for school, is not.

If people had more $$ in their pockets, (because they would not be paying for government) then paying for schools that they *choose* to use would be possible. People would need to take responsibility for their own lives and their families and not count on government for help though.

The welfare cuts in the 90's aren't a good example of how this would play out because, while services were cut, no other changes in the system were made. I have no problem with a temporary public assistance fund--things happen, people need help (look at how much $$ people have poured into the tsunami relief projects--we could do that for poor people here.) But I think there needs to be an adjustment in people's expectations of what the government "should" do for them.

I used to be a social worker. I met many, many people who were deeply involved in public assistance--people who knew no other way. I remember asking one 16 y/o if she had any plans for after high school and her response was, "After I have my baby, I'll go get on welfare." I was surprised, because I didn't know she was pregnant, turns out, she wasn't---but that was her PLAN. That was what every woman in her family had done and she accepted it as what you did.

Other women were so stuck in the system that the only direction they knew to go in was deeper. The payout for a woman with one or two children was not enough to pay the rent. So, instead of the woman looking to get OUT of the system, she'd plan to have a third child so that her welfare check would increase and she could afford a place to live.

I'm in no way saying that everyone who uses welfare thinks like this, but in the city I worked in, welfare was a way of life to many, many people. I don't believe they were trying to use the system, (as in abuse it) but people get to the point where they're entrenched in the system. Similarly, I think we've all gotten that way about other services the government provides--we're so used to it that we can't envision another way, we can't see a way out.
post #32 of 127
Originally Posted by Joan
Similarly, I think we've all gotten that way about other services the government provides--we're so used to it that we can't envision another way, we can't see a way out.

you said what I was thinking so much more succinctly!!
post #33 of 127
Hi mamas!

I'm joining in....
I'm a Libertarian, raised by folks who are active in Libertarian politics.

I agree with those who would like to see the end to public education. It's our right to choose how to educate our own children.

Parents who send their children to private schools or homeschool still pay taxes that go into public education. Shouldn't those people be able to keep their money or see it spent in ways that all can utilize?
post #34 of 127
But with the current school funding, the richer really do pay more. People who don't own their own homes (who tend to be poorer) pay less. People who own more expensive homes (and who are generally better off) pay more, on average, than people with smaller, cheaper homes. The way things are, all children get the option of school, and the burden is shared according to financial means.

If people kept their property taxes and were able to pay for private schools if they desired, the burden would shift. Families who were paying little or no property tax would suddenly have to come up with thousands a year. These are families already living below the poverty time, even with two working parents and free childcare. What option will they have besides leaving their children home by themselves all day?

The rich will get richer, though.

Right now, most of the people paying to fund the school system have no children in that system - either they have no children, or their children aren't yet school age, or their children are past school-age, or they utilize private schools or homeschool. The theory behind education funding in the US is that doing things that benefit children directly benefit our society indirectly. When these children grow up, they will either be an asset to our society, paying taxes and contributing in other ways, or a liability to our society, in jail or on assistance or whatever. I think that's a good way of doing things, a good investment.

I'm all for options - supporting parents who want to homeschool, or to not utilize the puiblic schools for other options. I'm not comfortable with the sort of "sink or swim" technique being used where children are involved.

Joan, do you know what happened to the intergenerational welfare families you knew after the welfare deforms? Statistically, I know thtat most families like this didn't make it. They didn't have the support or options necessary to help them become self-sufficient, and most slipped through the cracks. A good number lost custody of their children. Few intergenerational welfare families became self sufficient. Many became homeless.

It's easy to blame people for being on welfare, until you realize that they live in a neighborhood where an opening at the local fast food place gets over 100 applications (that would be Harlem, in the early nineties). For many of these people, it's not that they don't want to work, it's that they don't have the opportunity. If you know that those are the odds that you face, it kinda makes sense to just go on welfare.

Just like schools. I think the answer is offering more, rather than taking away. Offer more options, services, training. Meet people's needs, and most of them won't want to be on welfare, or in the schools...

post #35 of 127
Thank you Dar, for saying it so well.
post #36 of 127
Actually you are wrong.

People who have money will always seek out the very best because they can afford it. That is the way our society works. I am not condoning that, it is just the way it is.

Study after study has shown that when education is put into private hands, whether it be a small church school, a secular private school or a mother homeschooling her own children, the cost per child goes down for their education since there is less waste.

The last time I checked on cost per child by state, New Jersey spent the most per pupil, $11,000 a year, yet, New Jersey only ranked about fifteenth. California spends nearly $9,000.00 a year per pupil, yet California, once the pride of the educational community, ranks now at 49th, straddled by Arkansas and Mississippi. The teachers here in California take no responsibility for this, yet they are among the best paid in the nation, mostly because they have to pay to live here also, but their benefits are excellent also.
post #37 of 127
Originally Posted by applejuice
Actually you are wrong.
? I'm confused. What did I say that you think is wrong?

This is another subject, but when I was involved in forming a new charter school 5 years ago, per-student funding in districts near us (bay area) ranged from $4400 per student in Alameda to about $7000 in Sunol.

Yes, there is a lot of waste in public schooling. OTOH, small private schools also have the option to pick and chose among students, and take only kids without significant special needs, or English language learners. I believe California schools have the highest percentage of English language learners - if not #1, then within the top 3. Comparing New Jersey schools to California schools is apples and oranges, as is comparing small private school costs to public school costs.

post #38 of 127
Originally Posted by Dar
Joan, do you know what happened to the intergenerational welfare families you knew after the welfare deforms?
Sure. Some got jobs. Some moved in with family. Some lost custody of their children. But you know, no one lost their benefits overnight. They all were informed that, "As of 199_ your benefits will be reduced/cut." There WERE options for job training and childcare and continued medical benefits. Some people took advantage of that, and others did nothing. It's a sad situation, but I don't think it's government's job to support people who won't help themselves. (Note: I said "won't" and not "can't.")

It's easy to blame people for being on welfare,
Nope. Not blaming them. It's the screwed up system that perpetuates this. (And this is where I'm not 100% libertarian.) I do think we should have a temporary welfare system. But it would look very different from the current one. It would be designed to help people in a crisis--people who have hit a rought spot and need help getting back on their feet. It would NOT be a way of life. I agree with you, that many people would prefer to work than be on welfare. Welfare is no fun, but for many people, it's seen as the only way--THAT's what needs to change. People need to see options.

To bring this back ot, People need to see options in learning too. How many people have we heard say, "I wish I could homeschool, but I work." Or, "I wish I could homeschool, but I'm a single mom." That homeschooling is an option under these circumstances isn't even on their radar. People have a very limited idea of what's possible.

It would take a huge shift in our mindsets to move away from government subsidized life, but I don't think our world would fall apart.

Here's a thought: What if clothing was a government program? All people get clothing paid for by taxes. For some people, it would be all they had. Others would take the gov. clothing and add their own accessories and special touches. The wealthy wouldn't use the clothing, but would go out and buy their own clothes. Then the clothing program ends. The wealthy would still buy their clothes. What about the rest? Would they go naked? My feeling is that some people would juggle their budget to accomodate the added expense. Of course, they'd get their tax money back that they used to pay into the program, so that would help. Clothing banks would spring up, community service organizations would mobilize to provide clothing. Families, friends, neighbors would hand clothing down from larger kids to smaller. Second-hand shops would open. Freecycle would be invented. In short, other programs (not tax-payer funded) would form to fill the need.

I see this as something that could happen with a lot of tax-payer funded services.
post #39 of 127
Thread Starter 
As much as I would love to debate the whole welfare thing I am going to try and stick to the manditory schooling topic.

And several people have made great points, I particularly like the clothing analogy.

First I DO support FREE VOLUNTARY classes! I am not saying we should remove all school, just the welfare school/daycare system we have needs thrown out the window.

Second there was alot of education in america, before compulsory schooling. While you may read the statistics of 'only third grade education' that third grade education rivaled many ps highschool graduates knowledge. (OT -There were however many people who needed a place to send children and who took them with them, I have no problem persnally taking my kid with me and niether would my husband, the factory setting was not safe for children but then it wasn't safe often times for the mom or dad either! child labor laws, and children and safety in the workplace are seperate issues.)

Third, so many have stated this so well before but I just want to chime in, If there was no assumption that school would baby sit, more people would stretch, and figure out how to be with them. neccessity is the mother of invention.

Fourth, Someone said that since the people sending children to ps were the majority that meant the people not willing to educate were in the majority, I don't find that so. Many of my friends whos kids are in the ps system care very much about education, they simply assume that the ps is the only option, or the best option. Now mass schooling is ok for some but it is often seen as the ONLY option. which just isn't true.

Fifth, it was said that since the current system has the cost of education shared, poor people who pay hardly anything now wouldn't have enough to educate (btw renters pay out of their rent, property owners wouldn't charge as much if the property taxes for schools were less) This is not true, take a look at the thread on the cost of hsing a kid, way way less than the ps spends! Education doesn't have to cost a fortune! Also see my first point, I am not advocating a zero education policy, I am suggesting it be voluntary and easy to access at any age.

sixth I have much more to say, but I need to go play with my kids.
post #40 of 127
I am a registered and voting Libertarian and I agree.
I believe the system as it is needs to be scrapped and it needs to be re-formed into something new and different. This system is not working and it is to the detriment of most kids and society in general IMO.
I also don't want to get into a deep debate on welfare the the implications. I will say, however, that some kids will fall through the cracks. Kids fall through the cracks NOW. This will always be so no matter what.
We need to get back to a place where parents are not so dependant on the government. Parents need to learn to be parents again and be responsible for their own lives and that of their own children.
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