Morning Shots | December 8, 2010

Upping the direct cost for rebellious motorists. (Sioux City Journal) Incentives do indeed make a difference.

Group which depends on education jobs for livelihood against Round’s budget cuts. (KELO) I know, I know: news of the tautological.

Need a job? Try SD, ND, NE, or IA. Or, you could go to VT or NH. (Rapid City Journal) Then again, this is not so much measuring the availability of work as it is saying that jobs are holding steady.

6 thoughts on “Morning Shots | December 8, 2010

      1. What’s the practical alternative to public education in a state where three-quarters of all families have both parents in the workforce, unable to do homeschool, and where I’m betting sustainable private school tuition is out of reach, even if we put all those public school tax dollars back in private hands?

        1. Accepting the number you provide of three-quarters of families who have both parents working, I would have to say that they have made the choice to do so–based on a variety of incentives. Many of them do not need to do so, in the sense of requiring two incomes to remain above the poverty line. Rather, they have established a certain standard of living and wish to maintain that standard. Nothing intrinsically wrong with that–but a far cry from being forced to work.

          I believe that sustainable private school tuition is far from out of reach, if there were some good reason for private schools to actually compete (without restriction or government-mandated disadvantage) with public schools.

          Or, to put it another way, a little applied capitalism by way of a market. If public and private schools were actually competing with each other for pupils (in terms of providing a desirable service to members of the community), I believe that we would see costs reduced on both sides. That is, after all, what competition does: it tends to lower prices, increase options and create new products and markets for those products.

          Then again, I believe the market is the best place to solve problems of supply, demand and cost–not the legislature.

          1. My worry is that, given our small market, we don’t get to do much of a hybrid system. This is speculation, not hard evidenced analysis, but I’ll bet that most areas in South Dakota can afford either a strong public school system or a private system, but not both. To make the resources available for a sufficient private system, we’d have to abolish the public system. How many communities in South Dakota could support competing schools?

          2. If the real goal is that we sufficiently educate children, then should not each community decide what it would be happy supporting in order to get the job done?

            I’ll be posting a bit later on a novel approach to fixing failing public schools which is coming out of California. Bottom line? The parents should have a say.

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