Communists Vs. The U.S. Constitution

The Constitution of the United States

Article I – The Legislative Branch

Section 9 – Limits on Congress

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

In the context of the Constitution, a Bill of Attainder is meant to mean a bill that has a negative effect on a single person or group (for example, a fine or term of imprisonment).

Ex post facto means formulated, enacted, or operating retroactively.

The bill passed yesterday to target AIG bonus recipients, and retroactively create a new 90% tax on them, violates both of those limits on Congress. It is clearly unconstitutional.

But the Communists don’t like the restrictions of our Constitution, and are in a continual battle to change our Constitution. They want to remove limits on government. But they do a “bait and switch”… they bait with positive historical examples of where “restrictions on democracy” were removed from individuals (non-land owners, blacks, women), then pull a switch with removing restrictions on the government.

The U.S. Constitution, as originally written, placed many restrictions on democracy, so from the time of the country’s founding there has been a continual battle to extend democracy. From demanding that the Bill of Rights be included in the Constitution to legal battles to ensure that all people have inalienable rights, from eliminating property requirements for voting to outlawing poll taxes, from not only freeing the slaves but enrolling them as voters to extending the franchise to women, from the Voting Rights Act to lowering the voting age, our history has been one of masses of people demanding their right to full participation in the decisions which affect their lives. Many victories have been won in this struggle, but it is far from over. Democratic rights in a capitalist society are always under attack.

The struggle to protect and expand democracy is the way to defeat the ultra-right. It is the way to prevent fascism. It is the path of curtailing the power of the monopolies. In and through the democratic struggle, the class struggle advances toward victory. Democratic struggle is the way to bring the working class and people’s forces to the brink of socialism.

The Constitution provides for political democracy, which though limited, is under attack by the ultra-right. Protecting and expanding democratic rights are crucial struggles which communists support. But we go further—we demand economic democracy and freedom from exploitation and oppression. We want the lives of all working people to be free not only of unwarranted governmental power but also to be free of unwarranted corporate power.

But they really want to give government more power, in the form of things like government-run health care.

Now, who said:

…the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf

Answer: The same Socialist who is not eligible to be POTUS, but is now using that office to “fundamentally transform” this country towards Socialism, and eventually Communism.

There are people in both political parties who have supported Socialist programs.

Many of the voters who voted for “CHANGE” in the 2008 elections wanted LESS Socialism, NOT MORE! They believed all the nice-sounding rhetoric and promises that Obama made before the election, but they are shocked to find out that he really does have a radical left agenda.

Coming back to the House-passed new retroactive 90% tax on AIG bonus recipients, you know who also uses the tax system as a weapon against his advisaries?  Vladimir Putin:

The threat of prosecution for tax fraud is the Kremlin’s weapon of choice against anyone who dares to challenge its hegemony.

Here is what the Communists think a Constitution should look like.

There is no significant difference between the agenda of the Democratic Party and the agenda of the Communist Party.  “Bill of Rights Socialism” is on its way. 

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32 Responses to Communists Vs. The U.S. Constitution

  1. Jonah says:

    I’m curious, is there something about CPUSA’s Constitution (other than, of course, that it advocates communism) that you find particularly offensive? I think the writing is terrible (especially in the Preamble), but I’m not sure what we’re supposed to find especially shocking about a communist organization promoting communism.

  2. I’m curious, is there something about CPUSA’s Constitution (other than, of course, that it advocates communism) that you find particularly offensive?

    That Constitution represents the “transformation” that the Democratic Socialist Communists want … they want to tranform our Constitution into that.

    If you don’t find Communism offensive, it is because you don’t understand what it is like to live in a Communist country.

    Listen to one who understands and speaks from intimate first-hand knowledge:

    I know what I am talking about, because I was on the side of the aggressor before I decided to take YOUR side. I do not believe– I KNOW that in this war no one is being “liberated, decolonised or made equal,” as Soviet doctrine proclaims. You may notice, if you give yourselves the trouble to observe, that the only “equality” and “liberation” this war produces is the equality of death and the “liberation” from freedom.

    You have too many concrete examples of what Communist “liberation” has done for other countries to believe that I am wrong when I warn you that we are on the brink of disaster. From one that has lived, worked and seen first-hand the realities of day to day life in a communist/ socialist state– you must wake up now and start defending the rights and freedoms you now have. No matter how many problems you think the U.S. may have, believe me when I say that they are nothing in comparison to the troubles you will experience if the U.S. continues to agree and sympathize with communist/ socialist doctrines.

    http://uselessdissident.blogspot.com/2008/12/love-letter-to-america-part-one.html

  3. You don’t think they want to change our Constitution?

    Yes they do…

    We advocate an expanded Bill of Rights to guarantee religious, political, and individual freedoms, but also freedom from poverty, hunger, joblessness, and racism.

    Bill of Rights Socialism in the USA

  4. Jonah says:

    they want to tranform our Constitution into that.

    You seem to be confused as to what a constitutional document is. Many organizations (political parties, states, corporations, religious groups, etc.) create founding documents to define their existence, goals and structure. There’s no implication that these internal constitutions are intended to replace the capital-C Constitution of the United States.

  5. Jonah says:

    (Sorry for the double-posting. I think the comment system is having trouble with links.)

    Are you equally suspicious of the Utah Republican Party? A Canadian automobile manufacturer?

  6. The Democrats have turned the “War on Terror” into the “War on Capitalism“.

  7. Jonah says:

    Am I supposed to be horrified by an expanded Bill of Rights? Which of the listed freedoms (religious, political, individual freedoms; freedom from poverty, hunger, joblessness, racism) are bad?

  8. Jonah,

    “Idle Drifter” is correct. The Communists’ “expanded Bill of Rights” is in direct conflict with the existing Bill of Rights.

    Just one example: The first ammendment is clear in who it limits (Congress). It’s purpose is to protect the Church from the State, not to protect the State from the Church. Anyone who studies the pre-Socialist history of the United States finds that our government was founded by men who were overwhelmingly Christian and who never made an attempt to separate religious expression from our government.

    Go read the mindset of our founders less than four months before they signed the Declaration of Independence

    Go look at God, Moses, Crosses and the Bible in Our Capitol Building

    Yet the Communists push a totally distorted interpretation of Thomas Jefferson’s “separation of church and state” (words that are not even in the Constitution, but rather were written in a letter to reassure a church that the government would not take rights away from them) and the Communists try to use that to take away the very rights that the first amendment was written to protect! The first amendment was intended to protect us from things like LBJ’s Unconstitutional Amendment.

    The Communists’ “expanded bill of rights” would remove 1st amendment freedom of religious expression in government, and replace it with making “separation of church and state” officially part of the Constitution:

    expansion of the Bill of Rights and all democratic rights; the complete separation of church and state

    And, in keeping with the theme that the agenda of the Democratic Party is not in any significant way different from the agenda of the Communist Party…

    U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D. Toledo) whipped the crowd up before Mr. Obama took the stage yesterday telling them that America needed a Second Bill of Rights

    Follow the link and see how what that Democrat wants sounds very close to what was written into the Constitution of the UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS.

  9. Idle Drifter says:

    Jonah your rights end at the tip of my noseand my wallet.

    Freedom from poverty, hunger, joblessness, racism infringes on the rights of other people. There is a contradiction in your idea of rights and what are true rights. You have the right to fail/succeed, prosper/perish, and eat/hunger of your own merit and ability. Expanding the government’s powers to insure that no one goes hungry, lives in poverty, find them a job, and never hear a racial slur comes into direct conflict with the Bill of Rights. When you have rights you have responsibilities, dependency on government is not being responsible. You have every right to go out get a job, save your money and invest it, eat what ever you can afford, and to tell the asshole who used a racial slur what exactly you think about his character at your own risk not the risk of another’s health and financial well being.

  10. Jonah says:

    I’ll agree that this whole notion of a Second Bill of Rights is dumb. In keeping with my earlier criticism of the CPUSA constitution as badly written, it’s clear that the sorts of rights (and I do believe they’re rights) Kaptur discussed are hardly the sort of thing that belong in the Constitution. That’s one of the reasons that I’m not a communist.

    But what I don’t get is how you all assume the worst when one talks about reducing poverty, hunger, joblessness and racism. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and though the measures invoked above (communism, censorship, uniform wealth redistribution) are clearly wrong, there are other ways to combat these evils without invading the rights of others.

    There is a remarkable surplus of food in the world. If we were all smarter about sharing it, we could eliminate hunger without putting a dent in anyone’s wallet (or stomach). Would it be easy? No, but the resources exist, and it would be great if politicians could talk seriously about them without being labeled as redistributionists.

    Banning racial epithets is, of course, an absurd proposition. But enacting laws to protect citizens from the effects of racism (e.g. hiring discrimination) and working to minimize racial achievement gaps is a worthy goal.

    Guaranteeing everyone a job is an impossible task for the government, sure. But the government does make jobs (despite Mr. Steele’s claims to the contrary), and increasing the number of such jobs can boost everyone’s well-being.

    Can we eliminate poverty? Of course not, especially in this economy. But the widening gulf in incomes between the rich and poor isn’t something worth celebrating, and a progressive tax system is not a radical way to address it.

    So, do I support communism? No. But, yes, I do have the same ideals as the communist party: I believe the world is a better place when hunger, poverty, joblessness and racism are reduced. If that is enough to make my “agenda” indistinguishable from that of the CPUSA, then so be it.

  11. Christinewjc says:

    I am guessing that “Jonah” is young and either doesn’t know enough about communist aggression and oppression; or chooses to ignore the fact that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Michael Savage was correct when he stated on his radio show recently:

    (paraphrased)

    ‘It is no longer a matter of the people in this country being left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican, conservative vs. liberal. What’s going on in this country is the the difference between the sane (pro-Constitutional Republic) vs. the insane (pro-socialism/communism – neo-Marxism).’

  12. Thank you to “LeePro” at littlegreenfootballs.com for your kind words and link to this post.

  13. Christinewjc,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Many people in this country, including Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, and more, are waking up to the fact that our Constitutional Republic is under attack from domestic enemies of our Constitution.

  14. Jonah,

    But what I don’t get is how you all assume the worst when one talks about reducing poverty…

    There is a remarkable surplus of food in the world. If we were all smarter about sharing it, we could eliminate hunger without putting a dent in anyone’s wallet (or stomach). Would it be easy? No, but the resources exist, and it would be great if politicians could talk seriously about them without being labeled as redistributionists.

    When Obama talks about reducing poverty, he doesn’t just talk about sharing food with hungry people. There are several ministries that do that very efficiently already. Though Obama claims to be a Christian, his approach to poverty goes contrary to what Jesus taught. Obama’s plans have a lot more in common with Karl Marx than they do with Jesus Christ. I have covered that in earlier posts:

    Obama’s Communist Global Poverty Act

    Obama vs. Jesus

  15. Jonah,
    (from earlier today)

    (Sorry for the double-posting. I think the comment system is having trouble with links.)

    I just found those posts in the “spam” folder. I don’t know why WordPress thought they were spam. They all said roughly the same thing as the comment that made it through above, so I’m choosing to delete them (rather than release them into the comments here).

  16. Jonah,

    You miss the point, and as a result draw a completely wrong conclusion.

    I never said Jesus Christ was against fighting poverty.
    Jesus didn’t say, “and the poor will be ignored”.

    Jesus not only encouraged fighting poverty but also explained how to fight poverty. Jesus said, “and the poor have the gospel preached to them”.

    Now, I “get it” that you don’t understand how preaching the gospel is a remedy to poverty.

    That’s because you don’t understand the power of the gospel.

    You don’t understand the source of poverty and source of abundance.

    You may write this off as the words of a “Jesus Freak”, but this is straight from the word of God:

    And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

    Deuteronomy 8:18

    This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

    Joshua 1:8

    Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

    3 John 1:2

    It is fairly clear that as your soul draws closer to Him and prospers, God wants you to prosper in all things, for the purpose of establishing His covenant. People who have a prospering soul are very generous, and as they prosper financially, their tithes (10% of their income) and offerings support ministries that minister to the needs of the poor around the world. Those poor are not only fed and clothed, but have the gospel preached to them so that their souls can begin to prosper. Again, it is fairly clear that God wants you to draw near to Him and prosper, while Satan wants you to follow him and be destroyed.

    Satan is “the thief” that Jesus refers to here:

    The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

    John 10:10

    In other words, Satan does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy, while Jesus has come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

    This is all spiritual warfare. Communists are rabidly against Jesus Christ, His followers, and the preaching of the gospel. People like me are the “ultra-right”, and the Communists actively speak of “Defeating the Ultra-Right“.

    Many Muslims are also rabidly against Jesus Christ, His followers, and the preaching of the gospel. Since “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, it is no surprise that Communist Russia is an observer nation of the “57 stateOrganisation of the Islamic Conference. Sidenote: I don’t find it funny at all that Obama spoke of having been in “57 states” (and that he “was not allowed to go to” Alaska and Hawaii…who didn’t allow him to go? Who’s really in charge?).

    For an example of how prosperity was turned to poverty when godless Communists forcefully “redistributed the wealth”, read this and follow the link.

  17. Jonah says:

    Christinewjc,

    I’m well aware of the horrors of various communist societies in the past. But I’m unconvinced that those horrors have anything to do with eliminating poverty, hunger, joblessness or racism. Anyone who thinks I’m advocating anything close to absolute power for any part of the government hasn’t been paying attention.

    Red,

    I’ve talked about your Obama vs. Jesus post before, and I still find it the most callous interpretation of Christianity I’ve ever seen. The notion that Christ would be against fighting poverty is something I’d think even you would find abhorrent.

  18. Jonah says:

    You miss the point, and as a result draw a completely wrong conclusion.

    I hope you’re correct. The post in question does seem especially out of character, and I hope that my previous interpretation of it wasn’t what you meant.

    I do accept your suggestion that religious organizations can be a great tool for fighting poverty. I’m currently (despite being an atheist) working with a school for underprivileged kids run through an Episcopal church, so I really do believe in the great good that churches can bring to the fight against inequality.

    I still object to your suggestion that one can only help the poor through Christ, but I understand why you feel that way. I would appreciate it, however, if you refrain from casting aspersions on those who try to do good through different methods.

  19. Jonah,

    The post in question is not out of character. Go back and re-read it in light of what I have just said here.

    The point in that post is that Obama seeks to “a bill to require…the elimination of extreme global poverty” by mandate of a secular government. The true objective of that bill is to forceably redistribute the wealth of the U.S. around the world and prevent the gospel from being preached at the same time (becuase they will falsely claim that the Constitution requires “Separation of Church and State”).

    Jesus said, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

    Each of those problems was addressed by Jesus Christ:
    Jesus made the blind see. (Jesus addressed the problem)
    Jesus made the lame walk. (Jesus addressed the problem)
    Jesus made the lepers clean. (Jesus addressed the problem)
    Jesus made the deaf hear. (Jesus addressed the problem)
    Jesus even raised the dead. (Jesus addressed the problem)

    And how did Jesus address poverty? He preached the gospel to them.

    That’s powerful when you understand it. He didn’t give the poor money. He didn’t instantly make them wealthy. He gave them the power to get wealth. How? By preaching the gospel to them. As explained in Deuteronomy 8:18, it is God who gives you power to get wealth. Why? So that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. In other words, that covenant applies as much today as it did in the time of Abraham.

    Is Jesus the only way to help the poor? It depends on what you mean by “help”… it is certainly possible to help meet their worldly needs as an atheist, and I applaud your efforts. To meet their spiritual needs, and help them prosper long-term, Jesus is the only way.

    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

    John 14:6

    In my opinion, ministering to physical needs without ministering to spirtual needs is like giving a man a fish without teaching him how to fish. He is fed for the time when you are there, but he hasn’t been taught how to prosper on his own.

    And even if you’ve taught him a skill that will enable him to make money, if you haven’t taught him the gospel then you haven’t taught him how to truly prosper… he will likely squander that money.

    It is my hope that the positive work you are doing is augmented by others from that Episcopal church who are preaching the gospel to them.

    Jesus provided the resolution for blindness by making them see, and just as Jesus provided resolution to each of the physical ailments brought to him, he also provided the resolution to the problem of poverty. And he wants that solution taken to every human being on this planet.

    Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

    Jesus is the answer to global poverty.

    So why did Jesus say, ”the poor you have with you always”?

    Because there will always be people who reject Jesus Christ.

  20. Follow up to one of my earlier comments…

    It is fairly clear that as your soul draws closer to Him and prospers, God wants you to prosper in all things, for the purpose of establishing His covenant. People who have a prospering soul are very generous, and as they prosper financially, their tithes (10% of their income) and offerings support ministries that minister to the needs of the poor around the world. Those poor are not only fed and clothed, but have the gospel preached to them so that their souls can begin to prosper.

    Most people want to help other people. I literally thank God for that.

    Jesus taught that the way to address poverty is by preaching the gospel. Preaching the gospel is the #1 thing we can do to help someone else.

    Often, though, an unsaved person has no interest in hearing the gospel. But, they do have an interest in having their physical needs met. If they are hungry, they want food, and if you feed them a good meal they are usually willing to listen to the gospel message.

    Ministering to their physical needs just provides the open door to minister to their spiritual needs. And if you minister to their spiritual needs, you are helping them to meet their future physical needs on their own.

  21. Jonah,

    You said

    I’m currently (despite being an atheist) working with a school for underprivileged kids run through an Episcopal church, so I really do believe in the great good that churches can bring to the fight against inequality.

    The fight against inequality“?

    Spoken like a true Socialist. You want equality of results.

    You would do well to heed the wisdom of Winston Churchill:

    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings;

    the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.

    — Winston Churchill

    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

    — Winston Churchill

    Whether you realize it or not, Socialism is the economics of greed and envy. Socialists think it’s “not fair” that some people have more financial resources than others. Socialists don’t care if some people have more because they risk more, work more, and are more obedient to God’s commandments.

    Marxists, Socialists, and Communists don’t care about being obedient to God’s commandments, and are more often than not downright hostile to God. Whether they realize it or not, their thought process breaks the 10th commandment…

    You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

    Exodus 20:17

    … and Socialists seek to use the power of the government to break the 8th commandment:

    You shall not steal.

    Exodus 20:15

    Do you think “Robin Hood” (Robbing Hoodlum) was seen in a positive light by the “Friar Tuck”s (medieval monks)? Think again.

    “Around this time, according to popular opinion, a certain outlaw named Robin Hood, with his accomplices, infested Sherwood and other law-abiding areas of England with continuous robberies

  22. Jonah says:

    Spoken like a true Socialist. You want equality of results.

    If a belief that children in low-income communities deserve better educational opportunities makes me a socialist, then I suppose I’m guilty.

    I don’t demand equality of results, but I think it’s important that when we do see such inequality, we ask whether it has been caused by an inequality of opportunity. In this case I believe the answer is a resounding “yes”, so I’m doing my best to give these kids more educational resources.

    Sorry if you think that makes me a Robin Hood. If it makes you feel better, I’ll have you know that I also teach advanced math classes in suburban areas populated mostly by rich white kids.

  23. Jonah,

    It appears that it is I who has misunderstood you this time, and I apologize for that. I misunterstood you because I’m used to hearing people speak of the “fight against inequality” as an excuse to play Robin Hood and “take from the rich and give to the poor”.

    Your last comment does not seem to advocate that at all. You are not taking anything from anyone else, you are giving of yourself. I very sincerely applaud what you are doing.

  24. Aaron says:

    It is interesting that the point of children in low income communities was brought up.

    There exists a right way to correct the inequalities in all aspects of a society and that extends to normally government managed aspects as well. One very good way to address the issue of education is to first analyze it down to an economic exchange.

    From an economic perspective, education is a service which is sold to the parents of children by the educators, just like healthcare is a service sold by medical professionals or car repair is a service sold by auto mechanics. In the case of public schools, the parents pay for that service through their local and state taxes. For private schools, the parents pay the private school organization for their service directly.

    It is well known that charter schools charge high tuition fees and for that reason, they are thought of as only available to wealthy families. It costs a lot of money to run a school, public or private, so the tuition has to be expensive or the school would close. The families that pay for that tuition do so not only because they can afford it, but because they do not like the quality of service provided by the public ed system. It’s no different than buying a Mercedes Benz because you don’t like the quality of a Dodge.

    However, under the current government, a family who buys private education service, still pays for the public ed service through their local and state taxes to include the (sizeable) portion that goes to the public schools. In effect, the family that buys private schooling is actually buying both ed services. How would you feel about a law forcing you to buy a Dodge when you want a Mercedes Benz? What if you buy the Benz, but you still have to pay for the Dodge anyway? It is the same with public vs private schooling. A family that is both a.) disgusted with the Dodge and b.) can afford the Dodge AND the Benz, will buy the Benz for its better quality.

    What if a politician was to propose a solution that would allow you to choose NOT to buy the Dodge? A few years ago, a private ed voucher program was proposed that would allow families to be reimbursed the cost of the public schooling service they were paying for but not using. This offset most of the cost of private schooling, because you got a refund on the service you didn’t use.

    It had two effects:
    1. Access to alternate ed services was expanded to far more families. Though you had to have the private tuition money upfront, you got reimbursed most of the cost, so the financial burden was light enough that most middle class and some working class could afford it if they prepared for the initial cost.
    2. The reimbursement of costs came directly out of the public school systems’ funding, reducing their revenue and making it harder to cover their own costs.

    Not too different from the effect on companies that lose revenue when they lose customers. Unfortunately, the public schools have NOT responded by improving the quality of their services to stay competitive. They instead have lobbied for the elimination of such voucher programs, thus denying to most of the middle class and some of the working class, the freedom to choose their childrens’ ed providers.

    The private ed voucher system is not perfect, as the cost offset is not 100%, meaning some will still not be able to afford it. Such is the nature of economics, but not everyone who wants a Mercedes can afford it, either. However, being freed from the burden of paying for the Dodge puts many more families in the position of being able to afford the Benz.

    A private ed voucher system makes public schools answerable to their customers (the parents of school children) by offering them more choices in the ed service they buy. Free market competition always benefits everyone…except the incumbent monopoly holder, hence the opposition by teachers’ unions.

  25. Jonah says:

    Aaron,

    Good points, though all ones I’ve heard before. The problem, though, is that our long-term goal should be to have the Dodge improve so that the Benz isn’t necessary at all. Unfortunately, more so than a regular company, the quality of a public school is very strongly tied to the amount money that goes into it.

    Schools are as good as their teachers, and the big problem in education today is that those who are really qualified in their subjects, especially the sciences, have plenty of options that pay two, three, even four times the salary of being a public school teacher. With just a BA in math, I could have picked a job that paid 70k/year right out of college. (And I know this because many of my friends did.) Instead, if I teach in a public school much like the one in my home town (which, though poorer than its neighbors, is still wealthier than most of the country), I’d be lucky to be making that much by the age of 50.

    Fortunately, I happen to love teaching enough that I’m willing to make that sacrifice. (It also doesn’t hurt that the person I fell in love with is earning three times what I am.) But there are many, many highly qualified potential teachers who aren’t going to make that leap, and the more money we drain out of the public schools, the worse it’s going to get.

    I don’t really have a solution to this problem. As long as society wants to invest more money in the military than in education, this will always be a problem. But it’s worth remembering that Aaron’s suggestion, though effective for individual families in the short term, only exacerbates the long-term problems of how we teach our kids.

  26. Aaron,

    Thank you very much for your comment. It is very well written, and I agree with you.

  27. Jonah,

    Aaron’s point is that vouchers give more families the choice of where their children go to school. Your point is that vouchers make the public school system even worse, and that hurts those families who are, even with vouchers, too poor to avoid a charter school. One answer to that could be charity… scholarships provided to those students to enable them to attend the charter school… possibly with the caveat, like most scholarships, they would have to maintain a certain grade point average.

    You yourself are providing a certain type of charitable donation… you are foregoing tens of thousands of dollars of income in the private sector by teaching in the public sector. I once again applaud your sacrificial giving of your talents. I’m sure, though, that you’ve seen a variety of responses from your students, in both environments (city and suburbs). Some students in each environment appreciate your service, and truly do their best to learn and apply what you are teaching. Other students in each environment don’t appreciate your service, and don’t do anything more than the bare minimum just to get by. I’m sure you’ve seen first-hand the difference between those with a striving, “maximum” mentality, and those with a lazy “minimum” mentality. Those who appreciate your service and give their best effort deserve to do better and enjoy the rewards. They deserve to get better grades, better future eductational opportunities, and better future job opportunities than their peers who did not appreciate your service and were lazy.

    Now understand that a Socialist system takes rewards away from those who gave their best, and gives those rewards to those who didn’t. It’s like taking points away from the “A” and “B” students, in order to raise the grade of the “D” and “F” students, and everyone in the class gets a “C”, regardless of how hard they worked. How long would the “A” and “B” students keep giving their best effort, if they don’t get to enjoy the rewards of that effort?

    I would think that your objective is to provide equal opportunity to all of your students. The ones who apply themselves to the best of their abilities deserve better opportunities in the future. The ones who don’t, don’t. Would you continue to teach a student who (literally or figuratively) spit in your face every time you tried to help him/her?

    I believe in providing equal opportunity to everyone, and rewarding those who produce the best improvement in results. I understand that kids in the city and kids in the suburbs may be starting at different places educationally. That’s why I say “the best improvement in results” and not just “the best results”. Measure the improvement… the delta between where the kids were at the beginning of the school year and where the kids were at the end of the school year. Reward the students, teachers, and schools that produce the greatest improvement. The best schools, in each environment, will attract more of the best students. The worst schools, in each environment, will lose students and get worse. Those schools deserve to close. We are currently, in essence, providing “government bailouts” to failing schools to keep them in business.

  28. Jonah says:

    I don’t think that any solution which involves taking all families (and money) out of the public schools is going to be good for the long term.

    Really what needs to be done is a radical rethinking of how we expect school systems to work. After the work I’ve done through the aforementioned after-school programs, I think alternative teaching models are the way out of this mess. For instance, in one class of 12-year-olds I’m teaching, we’re currently doing college math that I learned when I was 22. And hour by hour, we’re progressing at a faster pace than the corresponding class at Prestigious Liberal Arts College.

    Of course, this method (no tests, no homework, no grades, just active participation of everyone in the class) flies directly in the face of current standards and would never be compatible with something as stringent as No Child Left Behind. The fact that we have a group of middle schoolers learning combinatorial computer science better than college students almost twice their age be damned; if it’s not being measured, then it doesn’t matter.

    Meh. If it were possible for all education to be conducted through private schools and for everyone regardless of income to have access to it, I’d be all for it. But if there are no good and free options for those who can’t afford it, we’ll always keep seeing the inequality I talked about earlier.

  29. Jonah says:

    The liberal tendency to vouch for public schools while personally eschewing them for one’s own kids is one of the more regrettable trends we see today, though I sometimes wonder if it’s a class issue rather than a politics issue.

    Here are some good thoughts on the matter. (There’s a more recent article on the subject, I think from Slate, that I was hoping to link to, but I can’t find it. It’s by a mother who decided to send her kids to a public school she’d heard was terrible, but by becoming involved in the school committee and generally just being an active parent, found that her kids actually got a great education. Maybe someone else knows what I’m talking about.)

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