The Future Electoral Fortunes of the Democratic Party

Posted by Mike Merritt in Politics, Television on | No Comments

dodd nancy_pelosi

We’re hearing a lot these days about the Republican Party.  We hear/read about where they’re were.  We hear a lot about where they’re supposedly going. Then we hear a lot about where they should be going, which is different depending on your exact political views.  It’s all exciting debate, and one that is necessary to ensure that the party is successful in the future.

What we don’t hear a lot about these days is the fortunes of the Democratic Party.  The assumption seems to be that there needs to be no discussion of this party’s future because they’re currently in power.  Yet, the actions of those inside the party, especially of those in positions of power, could have reverberations that affect the electoral success of the party come next year.  The only thing that is possibly more important than actions themselves is the response to those actions.

So far, the response to some of the scandals by party members has been pretty awful, and it could harm the Democrats in 2010.

Continue reading »

 

The Infraction Tax

Posted by Mike Merritt in Society on | No Comments

800px-lapd_police_car

So today the road in front of my house was full of police.  No, they weren’t there to investigate a crime.  Well, sort of, but more in a minute.  However, the crime wasn’t one of murder or even robbery.  No, the police were there to look out for cars, and specifically, drivers in those cars.  What kind of drivers?

Those not wearing seatbelts and those using cell phones while driving, of course.

Continue reading »

 

Education in America: Why Both School Choice and Improvements in Public Education Are Needed

Posted by Mike Merritt in Society on | No Comments

800px-pencil_357

I just finished reading Michael van der Galien’s article at Poligazette [ed: removed dead link] and at Hot Air’s Green Room on the Obama administration’s plans to spend over $100 billion from the stimulus bill on education reform.  I’ve also read Andrew J. Rotherham’s article at US News where he suggests the efforts the administration are putting forth are not enough:

The recent economic stimulus bill contains more than $100 billon in education spending, a historic investment equal to about 16 percent of the nation’s annual expenditures on public elementary and secondary schools. In exchange, states are required to report more information about student performance and make “assurances” that they will work to improve schools. However, the law requires little in the way of actual changes.

Michael criticizes Rotherham:

Rothberg [sic] does not actually offer a solution – that would be taking responsibility and that is of course above the good man – but he implies that more government interference is the answer. […]

[…] not more money nor government interference but less of both is needed to improve American schools. They suffer not from too little money and too few checks, but from a tremendous lack of competition. It has to become easier for parents to send their children to private schools: this will help those students receive a better education, and research shows it helps the public school they left behind improve as well, because teachers feel pressure to improve the quality of their work if they want to keep their students (and they do).

I agree with Rotherham that the bill doesn’t do enough to make actual reforms.  It’s basically a continuation of No Child Left Behind.  Money while collecting information does little to actually change anything.

However, I also agree with Michael that Rotherham doesn’t suggest any solutions himself.  Conversely, I disagree with Michael that school choice is the ultimate solution to the education problem.  The problems with education in America are multi-pronged and will require a multi-pronged solution of which school choice is just one part.

Continue reading »