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The basic idea of common core is good. Japan has a national common core. Then again, in Japan, algebra starts in 7th grade. In New York, they're now using a "core" for reading instruction built around the idea of E D Hirsch that students should learn to read by reading about stuff that they'll need to know anyhow. So, instead of stories about nothing of note, they'll read about Columbus, about the first airplane, etc. Abolishing algebra from school until it's too late for students to hit their pace and be ready for college is an atrocity. Just because some students aren't ready for algebra until late in the day is no reason why others should be denied the right to a developmentally appropriate education. (Yeah, Edu-Speak!)
In one throw, some day down the road, North Korean communists could kill a thousand times as many Americans as all the Muslim terrorist attacks combined have ever killed. We have our quarrels with Islam but a sense of proportion is necessary. Right now, NK's missiles probably don't have the reliability at the extreme range they'd be firing at to hit the US. But they're not stupid and they're persistent. Given time, they'll achieve the capacity. And right now, their talk is carpet chewing Hitler-like frenzied rants.
Two men, two bombs. There is no evidence at all that this Saudi man had anything to do with this attack. Interrogating him would be a total waste of time, his and ours. You need to be careful here to distinguish: nowadays, with the Communists and the anarchists gone dormant, and with Aum Shinrikyu taken down, almost all such terrorists are Muslim. Almost all, but not all. William Ayers and Katherine Boudin are off the hook and beyond reach of any further legal punishment. Tim McVeigh has quite properly been executed. Terry Nichols is in jail. But in the other direction, the "almost all" becomes false. Most Muslims are rather decent folk. Most of the rest lack that cold steel that makes a mass murderer unafraid of death.
In response to:

Why Don Opposes Capital Rape

Doug3370 Wrote: Apr 19, 2013 12:58 PM
You will find that speeding tickets are less expensive in states where people are generally law abiding and hardly ever speed. The reason is that the sterner deterrent of large fines is unnecessary. Same thing with the death penalty. You have cause and effect reversed.
As it happens, as often happens to those who jump to conclusions, there was a reason to the "madness" of the people who refused to name this guy a suspect. He's clean.
In response to:

Price Versus Cost

Doug3370 Wrote: Apr 17, 2013 11:06 AM
Williams has a point but it's not as strong as he makes it out to be. There is a division of labor because some people get really good at what they do. Say it would cost me $200 to get my computer fixed by Joe The Expert. I earn 260 doing what I'm good at, have 200 left over after taxes. Joe gets the 200, has 150 left over after taxes. Why don't I do it myself? Because it would cost me endless hours of study to learn enough to fix the thing myself. I'd have to forgo much more than $260 in wages to put in that time. These differences in efficiency across tasks make possible transactions that are taxed at 20% or 30% and sometimes even at 50%. It's low skill transactions that dry up.
Why not $50 an hour? No one can afford to live in Manhattan for less, after all.
Whether or not $9 an hour is a good living is not the point. If we want people with low skills and energy to work at all, we have to set things up to where they can get a job. That means low wages, so employers can afford to employ them. Then, the earned income tax credit and other income support programs can kick in and boost their after tax spending power to where the push and pull of politics wants it to be.
It's called the earned income tax credit and it's already in force. It's much the best of the redistributive side of the tax code. It doesn't kill jobs, it doesn't price workers out of the job market, it's not as easy to game as many welfare programs, and it doesn't have hardly any overhead. No case workers, no program managers, no conferences to study how the thing might be done.
In response to:

Better Never Than Late

Doug3370 Wrote: Apr 12, 2013 10:05 AM
Wild pipe dreams such as impeachment are no answer to our problems. It's not going to happen, first, because the votes aren't remotely there, and second, because the facts aren't there. You don't impeach a president over policy differences. It's not a "high crime and misdemeanor" to be late with budgets. Or to put forward unwise budgets. Those are details and policy differences, which we settle with elections. We had an election. He won. In time, there will be another election. To the extent that we're right about policy, it will gradually become apparent and the voters will come around.
In response to:

IRS Now Robo-audits Your Spending

Doug3370 Wrote: Apr 09, 2013 10:57 AM
The IRS is a constitutional system. The constitution was amended to provide for a federal income tax. As to "improving voluntary compliance", I'm all in favor of it. Why should I pay more because others cheat their way out of paying their own? When you put it on the internet about your fabulous 3 week vacation in luxurious splendor at $2000 a night hotels, and then turn around and claim income for the year of $50000, the IRS has every reason to expect that you're a lying tax cheat and to schedule you for an audit. Now maybe you just blew your life savings and your tax return is legit, but odds are...
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