Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Detroit to Shutter Its Schools?

I love to argue with individuals which claim there is no consequences to obscene levels of government spending -
Detroit Public Schools would close nearly half of its schools in the next two years, and increase high school class sizes to 62 by the following year, under a deficit-reduction plan filed with the state.

The plan, part of a monthly update Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb gives the Department of Education, was filed late Monday to provide insight into Bobb's progress in his attempt to slash a $327 million deficit in the district to zero over the next several years. Under it, the district would slim down from 142 schools now to 72 during 2012-13.

Bobb has said school closures, bigger classes and other measures would be needed if he cannot get help from lawmakers to restructure finances in the state's largest school district.

DPS considered but declined to file for bankruptcy in 2009. In the past year, debt in the district has increased by more than $100 million, brought on by a mix of revenue declines in property taxes, reduced state aid, declining enrollment and an unplanned staffing surge this past fall.
Wow, that's pretty brutal. Think the unions have learned their lessons yet? Nope...
Keith Johnson, president of the teachers union, said the proposed class size increases won't work and will never happen.

"I will never agree to any class-size increases," Johnson said. "These increases are antithetical to learning. Secondly, our classrooms aren't even built to accommodate those numbers.
Oh, but wait there's more.
District officials said they are pursuing "renaissance" legislation to free up $400 million in future tobacco settlement funds that could help mend DPS' deficit and those of 40 other districts statewide. In return, the districts would make dramatic reforms based on the federal Race to the Top initiative, such as eliminating teacher seniority.

The Real Effect
Notice the gimmicks and games going on here? Detroit is looking at bankruptcy and even has an Emergency Financial Manager and yet the attitude of 'No concessions, it's for the children!' prevails? They are even going so far as to look at raiding special funds in order to plug the holes. Who doesn't think this will ultimately end up in even more draconian legislation outlawing more behaviors (of course with a huge financial penalty involved) in the name of safety?

This is why socialism, fascism and ultimately tyranny repeatedly fail. Despite their insistence to the contrary, these systems have no reliable method by which they can gauge the effectiveness or viability of a given system without systematically destroying innovation. Given, you can push, prod and cajole for a time, but inevitably the system finds a way around it. Eventually, the state will criminalize this behavior as well.

All you municipalities around the country, take notice now. This level of austerity IS coming to your area, Detroit is just years ahead of the rest of us.

You want to fix it? Implement the following:
  • Eliminate egregious taxation such as
    • Property Tax
    • Income Tax
  • Seize unowned/abandoned land and hold an auction to give it to the cheapest local bidder
  • Eliminate the interfering bureaucracy (Health codes, land use, registrations, etc...)
  • Ensure the courts are giving priority to cases of civil rights and property law. All other misc. cases such as 'traffic violations' unless violating the previous rights should be summarily dismissed.
An area that does this will become a bastion of freedom first and a beacon of economic prosperity later.

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