Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hooray for Central Falls, RI

It seems that the town doesn't have the patience for poor education.

In spite of the fact that the average income for teachers in that district is more than 3 times the average of Central Falls residents ($70-78K vs $22K), apparently working an extra 25 minutes per day to tutor students in the woefully underperforming school was to much for them.

When the teacher's union rejected this burdensome demand, the town fired them all.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lobbyists & influence

It seems that everyone (I imagine with the exception of the lobbyists themselves) laments the influence of lobbyists & money in our government.

The Democrats and President Obama railed against lobbying & special interests during the 2008 campaign cycle, however, 2009 was a record year for lobbyist spending.

It should come as no surprise to those who favor a limited government that a year which saw the largest attempted power grab (control of banks & automakers, the health care debate) would also see a huge jump in lobbying activity.

The surest way to reduce the effect of money on Washington (and state governments) would be to strip just about all regulatory authority. The biggest commodity that politicians have these days is the club of government regulation. Absent that power, they would have nothing to sell, and the dreaded lobbyists would have no influence to purchase.

NOTE: I don't perceive lobbying in and of itself as particularly evil, citizens are constitutionally guaranteed the right to air their views and policy positions, however the vast majority of lobbying today seems to be requests for particular government favors for their group.

The real issue is that the government should not be in the position to grant favors to one group over another.