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Sunday, September 26, 2010

No Solution Pledged

In which we see Chris Wallace do his best "hey, look, I'm being balanced" on Fox.

So, the American people aren't ready to hear your solutions? I mean, you've have a LONG time to formulate something. Are you just not going to let us know?

While Think Progress drills down on this a little more, there's something that I think should be pointed out - conservatives are good at making noise but not making progress. Oh wait, I forgot that that's the root word for "progressive". Can't expect a conservatives to use, much less understand, that word.

It's pretty clear to me that John Boehner is not only fumbling for an answer regarding Wallaces meager challenge, but he is crystallizing the modern conservative movements position - talk about how bad things are but don't provide any ideas for how to fix the problems. Sure, we hear things like doing away with the Department of Education, the IRS, or even the FDA, but what would actually happen if one or all three of those were dismantled? You never hear about what would be there to take it's place, or if anything would. That's when people like Boehner fall back on the "free market solutions" talking point. At the end of the day, that's just not so cleverly disguised code for "I don't have any clue what we're going to do".

So this "pledge" was not so much about telling America what they wanted to do, but tell them we are all in trouble but they don't have any real solutions yet - or one's they are comfortable talking about. Well, now that's comforting, isn't it.


Troy Camplin said...

What would take their place? To paraphrase Thomas Sowell, when you put out a fire, you don't ask, "What will take its place?"

aironlater said...

And precisely what I would expect someone like Sowell, or Limbaugh, Hannity, or even Beck to say - considering all four are required to provide spin coverage for the elected officials ( and their poor ideas ) that they are protecting at the time. The same could be said as such: If you tear your home down because it's costing you too much money to fix, what are you going to do about a place to live? Also, to use Sowell's same example, if you are using that fire for heat and you put it out because it's becoming too dangerous, would you build another fire in its place or simply remain cold? Each time you remove a piece of a puzzle, the picture is incomplete. There has to be something to take its place. And simply stating that there are "free market solutions" to things like The Department Of Education just doesn't cut it for me or many people in America.

Troy Camplin said...

What does the Dept. of Education do? Can you tell me? I'm guessing you cannot. The fact of the matter is that education -- including public education -- he traditionally been locally controlled. Even after the ill-conceived Dept. of Education was created, that was mostly true. Over the years, education has become increasingly centralized, first in the states, and more recently, with Bush's No Child Left Behind, in the federal government. The more centralized education has become, the worse it has gotten.

What would replace the Dept. of Education? Nothing! It has been what is worst about education in the U.S. The answer to the government screwing up everything isn't to give it more power. Let me rephrase what I said in a less ambiguous way: if you ahve cancer, you want to be cured of it; you don't ask, "What will replace it?" There are things that aren't proper pieces to the puzzle - they are extraneous to what anyone needs. The Dept. of Education is certianly one of these. If it were gone, it would have no effect on anything -- except possibly a positive effect insofar as it made central control more difficult.

Now, I think that calls to get rid of the IRS are silly. So long as we have a government, it needs revenue, and so long as it needs revenue, it needs a dept. to take in that revenue. More, it prevents people from having a real discusson about the nature of taxation. Even if we repealed the income tax, the IRS would be necessary to collect whatever taxes we had, be it sales taxes or any other kind.

I would hardly consider Sowell, by the way, in the same category of Libaugh, Hannity, ro Beck. Sowell is an actual economists, and his works on economics are well worth reading. Indeed, I would recommend learning a consierable bit about economics. Folk economics doesn't cut it when it comes to understanding how the real world of the economy works and more than folk cosmology -- both are creationist or intelligent designer theories of the world, just different parts of it.

Troy Camplin said...

You might find this, which by some cosmic coincidence was just published, of interest to our discussion regarding the government and public schools.

aironlater said...

As far as what I have learned about the DoE over the years, here is what they do: They strive to encourage, promote, and facilitate the achievement of students in America as well as seeing that those same students are provided with an environment conducive to the learning process ( i.e. no discrimination, segregation, et. al. ) as well as distributing funds to students and educational districts that apply for them - provided they meet the necessary requirements. Lastly, the DoE monitors progress of individual schools and districts and collects/processes data which is used to determine actions that may need to be taken to improve specific areas of an individual school or district.

Troy Camplin said...

In that case, the DoE has failed miserably at its job, and most definitely should be eliminated. In a free market, something that has failed as miserably at providing a service as the DoE would have vanished a long time ago, and have been replaced by nothing -- and nobody would have missed it. In fact, we only got that bureaucratic waste of money in 1979. We didn't need it before, and its failure to do anything positive for education proves we don't need it at all. More, it is a cancer on the educational system, and should be removed before it finishes killing the host.

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