April 3, 2013

George Will considers Wisconsin's Department of Public Propaganda.

Last week, I passed up this white wristband thing — this effort to make white kids more conscious of their "privilege" — but now that George Will is talking about it:
After criticism erupted, the DPI removed the flyer from its Web site and posted a dishonest statement claiming that the wristbands were a hoax perpetrated by conservatives. But, again, the flyer DPI posted explicitly advocated the wristbands. And Wisconsin’s taxpayer-funded indoctrination continues, funded by more than Wisconsin taxpayers.

125 comments:

edutcher said...

The Lefties always need somebody for everybody else to hate. 80 years ago, it was the Jews.

Now, it's gotten weirder.

AprilApple said...

Today, the school systems in 20 states employ more non-teachers than teachers. The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice reports that between 1950 and 2009, while the number of K-12 students increased 96 percent, full-time-equivalent school employees increased 386 percent. The number of teachers increased 252 percent, but the number of bureaucrats — including consciousness-raising sensitivity enforcers and other non-teachers — increased 702 percent. The report says states could have saved more than $24 billion annually if non-teaching staff had grown only as fast as student enrollment. And Americans wonder why their generous K-12 financing (higher per pupil than all but three of the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations) has done so little to improve reading, math and science scores.

Community, Identity, Stability... Forward!

Paco Wové said...

The comments to that post, as always, are very depressing.

madAsHell said...

by visiting a Wal-Mart toy section and counting the white and black dolls.

Try that in a penitentiary!!

chuck said...

I think employees of the DPI should be required to wear white robes and strap on wings to advertise their exalted moral status. Oh, and sandals in winter.

m stone said...

Someone, please, explain how this wristband exercise has any merit. Is Tony Evers behind this?

Oso Negro said...

How long will a white bracelet campaign last if it is billed as a White Pride statement?

Scott M said...

The comments to that post, as always, are very depressing.

My sentiments exactly.

Besides...it's one thing to have a discussion about race. An engaging debate is better for everyone. However, having the students wear a badge of shame is tantamount to abuse of power. Granted, nobody was forced to wear the wristband, but group dynamics can be just as destructive (if not more) than institutionalized coercion.

Methadras said...

Project leftist white guilt, get called on it, lie and claim conservatives did it. Brilliant.

Nathan Alexander said...

Oh, DPIs response makes sense from garage and Ing's ideological vantage:
The liberal progressive cause is 100% righteous, no thought required.
So things that harm the liberal progressive cause mist be either conservative hoaxes or conservative plots.

The second it started harming The Cause was the moment it became a conservative hoax.

ricpic said...

Only the supremely safe can afford to beat themselves up about their white privilege. Like Althouse, not an ugly word escapes their lips, not an ugly thought crosses their minds. The rest of us arm ourselves against the next vibrant home invasion. Stay safe, beautiful perfect ones, stay safe.

Chip Ahoy said...

I had a white wrist band.

White leather straps that come on a roll. Went into a very strange place called Let It Bead and marveled at their arrays of mesmerizing shiny stones that all looked like expensive necklaces but were actually just loops of stones to display and lure you into purchases by impulses aroused by the dazzling stones, to make necklaces. Woot! A crafts shop.

Soft white leather. (Made me think of Jane Auel and the urine incident) And I bought turquoise stones. Wired the stones to the leather bands and tied it to my wrist and wore it. Within a few hours a lady went, "Oh man, I LOVE that. Where'd you get that?" And before you know it she's trying it on, wearing it and it's gone. And that is the tale of the white leather bracelet and my white male supremacy, and I still do have, oh dear don't make a joke now, a couple of those blue stones.

rcommal said...

I think there has been so much "smoke and mirrors" over a long period of time that there is increasing inability to discern the difference between smoke and mirrors. Partisans of every opacity and translucence have been jumping on that bandwagon--perhaps one of perhaps only two shared bandwagons, from what I can tell--for years now. Only the actually stupid and truly dishonest are unable to acknowledge that to at least themselves.

Everyone hates moderation these days, and even more moderates, and most of all, the moderate.

Given that, how the hell is anything supposed to turn out?

rcommal said...

edutcher,

In your world there are just two kinds of people: true conservatives and lefties. You've made that plain repeatedly, and I am acknowledging your position.

mccullough said...

Better the wrist bands than the ribbons.

rcommal said...

Do I get points for doing that while still being of the sliver generation that will likely have put far more into supporting your generation while sucking up the most abrupt cutoff of generational support in, when it happens, in the better part of three-quarters of century? Which is pretty much what will have to happen, and therefore it will, and not little on account of loudmouths like you who couldn't be bothered to put their own selves on the line where their mouths are (SO LOUDLY!).

Which, in my individual circumstance, will probably work out at least OK enough, because--unlike you, it appears--20-30 years ago I took seriously the warnings. How convenient is it that you didn't.

You're a cluck-cluck, a bray-bray, a baaa-baaa, and so forth, is what you are.

Synova said...

"A flyer that was on the DPI Web site and distributed at a DPI-VISTA training class urged whites to “put a note on your mirror or computer screen as a reminder to think about privilege,” to “make a daily list of the ways privilege played out” and to conduct an “internal dialogue” asking questions such as “How do I make myself comfortable with privilege?” and “What am I doing today to undo my privilege?

The white privilege thing is pernicious. It's based on the sure belief that this isn't anything that a person can do anything about, it just IS. You're guilty of it no matter your own personal behavior or beliefs. And yet, somehow, by magic, if only all the bad white people buy-in to this ritualistic self-flagellation,.... something.

It's the underpants gnome race theory.

And what is the opposite to what I quoted above? The brown kid with a brown wristband, reminding himself that life is stacked against him no matter what he does, or how hard he works, or what he believes?

If someone really and truly hated minorities with ever fiber of their being and wanted them trapped and destroyed forever... they'd put as their priority the indoctrination that YOU CAN'T WIN.

The fact that the people doing this think they are the good guys disgusts me.

rcommal said...

You and your ilk, the dishonest ones, are responsible for so much. The great irony is that the reason you have so much time on your hands now is due to your great sense of irresponsibility: in the past and in the present.

Synova said...

"A flyer that was on the DPI Web site and distributed at a DPI-VISTA training class urged whites to “put a note on your mirror or computer screen as a reminder to think about privilege,” to “make a daily list of the ways privilege played out” and to conduct an “internal dialogue” asking questions such as “How do I make myself comfortable with privilege?” and “What am I doing today to undo my privilege?

The white privilege thing is pernicious. It's based on the sure belief that this isn't anything that a person can do anything about, it just IS. You're guilty of it no matter your own personal behavior or beliefs. And yet, somehow, by magic, if only all the bad white people buy-in to this ritualistic self-flagellation,.... something.

It's the underpants gnome race theory.

And what is the opposite to what I quoted above? The brown kid with a brown wristband, reminding himself that life is stacked against him no matter what he does, or how hard he works, or what he believes?

If someone really and truly hated minorities with ever fiber of their being and wanted them trapped and destroyed forever... they'd put as their priority the indoctrination that YOU CAN'T WIN.

The fact that the people doing this think they are the good guys disgusts me.

dreams said...

We're living in a sick world. We've had lots of technological advances that have made our lives easier with so much more entertainment opportunities but our leaders are spoiled privileged children of the sixties or younger wanna be versions who never really grew up, who think they can spend beyond our means and build a socialist utopia as they work to destroy time tested traditions.

Those of us who have tried to save and invest for our retirement have no security for who knows what is going to happen with our national debt and a big spending government cheered on by a corrupt liberal media, who knows where to have your money invested, who knows if our government will steal money from our IRA accounts or even if there will be any money to pay out social security. And oh yeah, not to forget Obamacare.

Can anyone seriously make the case that Obama has made the world a safer place for us?

chickelit said...

rcommal said...
You and your ilk, the dishonest ones, are responsible for so much. The great irony is that the reason you have so much time on your hands now is due to your great sense of irresponsibility: in the past and in the present.

I alway jump into threads at the bottom and read upwards--that's how i peruse most non-fiction too. When I saw this I thought "she's finally unloading on Althouse" But then I read upwards. Yikes!

chickelit said...

@rcommal: And you picked a doozy of a thread to unload on edutcher--I had the exact thought as he. So maybe you were offloading a bit of that more generically?

Alex said...

I can see the usual hysterical commetariat are out in full force clutching their pearls.

chickelit said...

Alex said...
I can see the usual hysterical commetariat are out in full force clutching their pearls.

What, exactly, do you know about Mikimoto?

bagoh20 said...

Isn't it clear that whoever is addressed this way is gonna start hating everyone else precisely because of this obvious racist treatment against them. Do this to any group, and you have just increased racism by openly expressing it and tempting it in others.

This is the kind of incompetence at best, and probably outright racism that should have some heads rolling at any organization private or public.

edutcher said...

rcommal said...

edutcher,

In your world there are just two kinds of people: true conservatives and lefties. You've made that plain repeatedly, and I am acknowledging your position.


Whatev.

No, there are others, but we usually end up in the arena of party politics, so that tends to restrict things.

And there are all kinds of Conservatives, some single issue, some spectral. It depends.

AJ Lynch said...

I gave some money to the Romney Ryan campaign. And they sent me some wristbands. Ithink I got 1 white band, 1 red and 1 blue one.

bagoh20 said...

Alex, nobody appreciates a flaccid dick flopping around left and right.

wyo sis said...

Why would anyone find ways to undo their privilege? You don't really think it's about undoing it do you? The most privileged white people around are liberals. They didn't get there by undoing their privilege, but by persuading someone else to undo theirs.

Mick Havoc said...

My family often talks about the white privilege my grandfather enjoyed while cleaning out oil tanks at Jones island during the winter of 1931 for 15 cents an hour

chickelit said...

My white father was the first of his family off the farm since oh, forever, going back to lilly white medieval Germany. Farmers didn't consider themselves privileged (more like deprived) but perhaps they were compared to slaves. But we were serfs once too. It's too bad that city people these days look down so much on farmers and flyoverland.

Whenever I hear one of those black UW students say "I'm the first in my family to go to college" I can relate because I was the same.

Erika said...

I live in a town in south Texas that is 50% Hispanic, 35% white and 15% black and other. Everyone gets along fine, and most people have mixed blood and speak both English and Spanish to varying degrees of fluency, but there are certain industries and parts of town where you don't have a snowball's chance of getting a job if your name is Anglo and you're not connected by marriage or close friendship.

*shrug* It's life. Whatever.

Scott M said...

Should we consider having the tall, black NBA players wear a black wristband?

rcommal said...

edutcher: Are you willing to put means-testing on current Social Security and Medicare recipients? If not, why not? (Full disclosure: I won't consider you a serious person on entitlements reform if you're not.) And how old are you, anyway? I'm assuming you've been around for at least the last 30-40 years as a full-blown adult, with voting and advocacy privileges, not to mention saving for your own damn retirement needs. Yes? Or, no? Hell, even I have been around for 30-odd years as a full-blown adult, with voting and advocacy privileges, not to mention saving for my own damn retirement needs. (Which I took seriously; didn't you? You did, didn't you?)

kentuckyliz said...

I prefer to take the American Express approach:

Membership has its privileges.

rcommal said...

You wanna say I'm a lefty? No doubt you do. But I am not. In many ways I'm a conservative. What I think is that you're a member of the blinkered class, shoveling it up for yourself and shoveling it out at anyone who happens to notice what you're doing, after all of those years NOT doing what you're now saying everyone must do.

Which they must. On that we agree.

edutcher said...

chickelit said...

My white father was the first of his family off the farm since oh, forever, going back to lilly white medieval Germany. Farmers didn't consider themselves privileged (more like deprived) but perhaps they were compared to slaves.

A slave had his food, clothing, housing, medical care, and transport provided. and he only had to work as hard or as much as he was told.

There were compensations.

rcommal said...

edutcher: Are you willing to put means-testing on current Social Security and Medicare recipients? If not, why not? (Full disclosure: I won't consider you a serious person on entitlements reform if you're not.) And how old are you, anyway?

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn what you think, but, if it makes you feel any better, I was a big believer in means testing long before it was fashionable.

And my age is nobody's business, but, if you want to dig back through several years of comments, you can pretty well divine my age.

bagoh20 said...

Means testing S.S.:

1) It's theft to change the terms at the time of payback after the way it was sold to people during their entire lives of contributing. Just immoral.

1.A) The advantage is that nobody actually suffers, they just get ripped off.

2) To sell it under new terms to young people not been sold a lie would be entirely fair, and politically doable.

3) Does means testing mean that if your kids can afford to take care of you, you don't get it?


I'd be in favor of all 3, if needed but I really don't like #1 at all. It's just wrong, even if painless.

bagoh20 said...

I'd be more than happy to give away my S.S. when I'm due, but not if it's just gonna be handed over to someone else who only needs it because they are or have been lazy leaches. So I would be in favor of giving those means tested out of their S.S. the option to forfeit it to S.S. or give it to charity.

rcommal said...

Ohmigod. And then I think about all those times that edutcher has thrown out--such a clever guy, he is!--squirrel!!!! as a witty (so-called) riposte/accusation. Oh, LMAO. I suspect that edutcher knows how to throw it because he's an expert in getting people to pay attention to squirrels. It's only admirable when he does it.

EMD said...

After reading George Will's column, it's clear acronyms are to blame.

rcommal said...

I was a big believer in means testing long before it was fashionable.

Great! I look forward to your advocating in favor of your belief in the next relevant thread (and many others, which we both know you have no problem doing in terms of other issues).

And my age is nobody's business, but, if you want to dig back through several years of comments, you can pretty well divine my age.

Indeed, edutcher. There's a technique known as asking a question to which you already know the answer. Ever heard of it?

CWJ said...

White wrist band - yellow six pointed star. Conservative hoax - Reichstag fire.
Poland attacked German border guards on 9/1/39 precipitating WWII.

JAL said...

So they are supposed to be ashamed of being white?

Please don't take this as minimizing the horros of WW II -- but wasn't shame a factor in the use of the yellow stars 70 years ago?

Sweet. I mean libs/lefties are so tolerant! It's just sweet.

EMD said...

Department of Public Instruction?


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Lame.



rcommal said...



I'd be more than happy to give away my S.S. when I'm due, but not if it's just gonna be handed over to someone else who only needs it because they are or have been lazy leaches. So I would be in favor of giving those means tested out of their S.S. the option to forfeit it to S.S. or give it to charity.


That's just great, bagoh. You're the next edutcher in the making. 20-30 or so years from now my son will get to ask the same questions of you that I just asked of edutcher. When does it stop?

Oh, wait. It won't matter then.

Never mind.

CWJ said...

Oh BTW and LOL, having worked through the worksheet to determine how much of social security is taxable, I'd say it is already means tested.

Luke Lea said...

"urged white students to wear white wristbands “as a reminder about your privilege. . ."

That could easily morph into something far uglier. Not a smart idea.

rcommal said...

bagoh20:

The terms of Social Security have been changed many times since its inception. That's a flat-out fact, and it's been the truth from the very start (go look up the history, if you don't believe me). The other flat-out fact is that from the start, the *norm* has been that people get way more out of that system than they put into it, unless they died young (that is, before even being eligible for benefits) or even just plain younger (that is, in terms of actuarial projections). Again, you could look it up.

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NotquiteunBuckley said...

"You're the next edutcher in the making."

You are either the next edutcher or not, no in-between around these parts.

JAL said...

Poland attacked German border guards on 9/1/39 precipitating WWII.

Well that is really pretty funny.

We have very dear German friends who live in Bavaria. We met them when we lived overseas and have children the same age.

One of our kids was born on Hans' birthday -- August 31. Yeah! Party on!

Only it turns out Hans' birthday really isn't August 31.

Hans was born September 1, 1939. His parents *changed* his birthday to August 31 because they did not want his birthday to be celebrated on the anniversary of the day Germany started WW II.

Now that might be called genuine Aryan Guilt, not this fake Wisconsin white privilege crap.

So believe what you want to believe -- I'll take it from the Germans who were there.

RecChief said...

Hey, this is the same as the Christian doctrine of original sin. Who says liberalism isn't a religion?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Edutcher received an Insta BQOTD for his first comment here.

That isn't what bagoh is aiming for, but I think he should be next.

His comments about the 9 year old philosopher were fantastic-plus, he is the next edutcher.

Thomas said...

The greatest advantage of "white privilege" is having the freedom to think for yourself without being called an Oreo, a coconut, an apple, or whatever the hell you can think up that's yellow on the outside and white on the inside. A Peep, maybe.

chickelit said...

Where's garage mahal, btw?

I'm wondering if he's wearing a white wristband or if he's gone full armband.

rcommal said...

Also, just so you all know that I'm noting it, I note that while the issue of Social Security has sorta, kinda been addressed, the issue of Medicare in its various parts has not even been acknowledged. I brought up both.

rcommal said...
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rcommal said...
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Inga said...

And whoa unto you if you have a German name.

Luke Lea said...

I don't think "white privilege" is accurate. There are privileged elites in our society (not all of them white, btw) and there are disadvantaged minorities by reasons of race. It can't be easy to be born black in America. OTH, the vast majority of whites in the middle are just there. They have no special privilege. To try to make them feel bad because of the color of their skin is worse than wrong. It is a mistake. Look at Peter Hitchins' article on the subject in Great Britain:

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2013/04/how-i-am-partly-to-blame-for-mass-immigration.html

rcommal said...

Sorry about the multiple posts of the same exact comment; not sure why there's a posting hiccup here. I deleted the duplicates, and I hope the original remains.

bagoh20 said...

rcommal, The terms have changed but not the basic sell that it's your money. I don't think people should get out more than they put in. That's not fair either. And it stops as soon as we stop lying to people, otherwise it's just a big scam.

I'm in favor of all that's moral. Not getting more than you put in, not having what you put in stolen, and the compromise changes of raising the starting age, and changing the terms for the young who have not been lied to their whole lives. The older recipients should be able to leave theirs to charity.

I know that leaving the money in government hands is the worse thing we can do with it, period. I wanna can the whole thing, but not by stealing it.

rcommal said...

Around here, we directly write our tax checks to the government. We also write our FICA tax checks directly to the government (both the employee and employer parts). That's been true, now, for the majority of each and both of our adult working lives. So it's not like we don't "get" what that's like.

David said...

Inga: A little more whoa and there would be less woe.

bagoh20 said...

As expensive as it is, I don't think we have any alternative to taking care of old people who can't support themselves, including minimal health care, but not including heroic measures, especially after 80 (my mom is 80).

I don't think it's acceptable for us to go after old people when so much is being taken by young employable people who simply won't work, because they don't have to. Unemployment, food stamps, disability, welfare, public pensions, should all come first. Six figure public employee pensions should be means tested before S.S. and medicare Those usually are not even paid for out of employee pay. They are just public gifts of tax money for life.

William said...

What with all the single mothers, I think women should wear a diaphragm. The color doesn't matter.

Inga said...

Woe is me, you is right, David,lol!

bagoh20 said...

"I think women should wear a diaphragm."

The women I'm with get one installed surreptitiously every time. I have a government contract to perform this service.

chickelit said...

Also, just so you all know that I'm noting it, I note that while the issue of Social Security has sorta, kinda been addressed, the issue of Medicare in its various parts has not even been acknowledged. I brought up both.

Well the prescription drug portion should take care of itself. The pipeline looks pretty dry so what's "overpriced" and draining the system now just won't be around for our kids nor will it be invented here. Generics from BRIC countries should be cheap so long as our currency holds but who knows?

Hands-on patient care is devolving away from traditional expensive delivery, but this will take time. The current generation of recalcitrant practitioners are not taking orders from DC easily. They may try a final Putsch. But when they're finally gone, an army nurses armed with the Internets will stand ready to replace them.

Superfluous testings and hospitalizations will be the hardest to get used to because it means that people may once again have to get used to dying at home.

chickelit said...

William said...
What with all the single mothers, I think women should wear a diaphragm. The color doesn't matter.

There was a chemistry professor at UW-Madison who wore a necklace made of linked IUD's. He was a big proponent of PP.

bagoh20 said...

I think there are lots of solutions to our fiscal problems, and most are not really much of a sacrifice. They involve stopping the freeloaders, that's all - corporate, private rich and poor.

We don't need to hurt the needy, we need to wean the lazy.

rcommal said...

bagoh20: The "basic sell that it's your money" wasn't true from the start.

And I do mean from the start. And that start was long enough ago that there's--well, basically no excuse for thinking otherwise, or believing otherwise, for many, many decades now. Especially among those who keep acting as if they know better, but won't actually admit that while they did, they sure as hell didn't plan their own lives as if they did. And they sure as hell weren't the voters and advocates "back in the day" that they pretend to be *now.*

To repeat: "The 'basic sell that it's your money' wasn't true from the start."

I suggested earlier that folks go look it up. The history is there to see. It's easy. Go Google (or whatever) the first recipient of Social Security. From there, review the history. It's not a hidden one, and it hasn't been, for decades and decades.

So, where's the excuse?

William said...

I get more money from an annuity than from Social Security. I put far more money in SS. However, my SS benefit keeps going up. Maybe if I live long enough and inflation becomes rampant, SS will prove to have been the better investment, but not right now....I'm pretty sure that someday soon they will start means testing for SS and Medicare.....I don't strongly obect but it would sweeten the pill if they waited until the SS payments were more than the contributions.

Kirk Parker said...

rcommal,

What happened to you? You used to be reasonable... did I miss the thread where edutcher ambushed you or spit on your mother's grave?

Cedarford said...

edutcher said...
The Lefties always need somebody for everybody else to hate. 80 years ago, it was the Jews.

=============
God, you are ignorant! 90 years ago, half the Politiburo, the Central Soviet, and delegates to COMINTERN were jewish.

80 years ago, 1/3rd of Stalins confidents were Jewish. 80 years ago, the Soviet secret police was headed by two jews - Yagoda and Yezhov. As were much of their staff. Many, like in the French Revolution where the purveyors of terror then were consumed by it, fell victim to the 1938-40 purges.

It was in part reaction to the heavy involvement of Jews in the Left and the Red Terror that people from Winston Churchill to many US Senators, in the 20s and 30s, placed heavy blame on Jews for the mass deaths done by the Left and the communists. As did Hitler.

Not that it excused what the Germans did, but when they moved east in WWII, they found many victims in many nations there -that initially saw the Germans as saviors and righeous avengers out to eliminate the bloody Reds. The Germans blew that goodwill that could have made the East Europeans and Ukrainians their allies in common cause...some 70 million people...with savagery towards the populations that outdid the Soviets.

bagoh20 said...

""The 'basic sell that it's your money' wasn't true from the start."

95% of all citizens think that's the deal, and they have been constructively contracted that way all along. There was never any means testing or life limit either was there? The contract is what the public thinks it is. If it's something different, we need to vote on it, and announce it in no uncertain terms. You are never gonna take something like this away on a technicality. This isn't a civil court. It's politics.

Why the need to take away this money that people honestly paid in expecting it back in some form, when there is so much other money handed out that people do not honestly deserve, and for which they contributed nothing ever? Taking away S.S. from 70 year olds is not my priority.

rcommal said...

bagoh20: You just made the enduring liberal argument for never, ever truly reforming Social Security, and as it has been made for decades now.

Kirk Parker: I'm not sure what to say to that other than that it seems clear that you never knew me even when you thought you did. Worry not; apparently you are in vast company.

rcommal said...

And I hold neither against either of you.

rcommal said...

Because what else can one do?

Kirk Parker said...

rcommal,

Please note by "reasonable" I don't mean "agrees with me"; I mean "able to have a civil discussion with others".

This latest round makes you look like you've been studying up on ST and Inga as role models... what gives?

MayBee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jcr said...

Lefties never did quit hating the Jews. They soft-pedaled it for a little while after the holocaust, but that's about it.

These days, they keep trotting out slander about Israel, knowing full well that the PLO and Hamas are the oppressors of the Palestinians.

-jcr

MayBee said...

Did you all hear the This American Life episode about the enormous number of people on Social Security Disability?
"Trends With Benefits" was the name, and it's available on podcast.

Truly, there is a problem. More people are moving onto disability than new jobs are being created. Once in, there is no reason to get out. This should be an area fertile for reform, before we start after retirees.

Jeff Teal said...

white wristbands,pink triangles,yellow stars what's the diff?

Revenant said...

They involve stopping the freeloaders, that's all - corporate, private rich and poor.

And elderly.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Compare and contrast:

..the sin and guilt based view of (e.g.) certain Protestant sects;

..the sin and guilt based view of certain secular Progressive organizations.

edutcher said...

FWIW, means testing should entail the simple test of whether an individual needs the money from Social Security, Medicare, or anything else we want to discuss for living on a fixed income.

Sit down with a financial planner sometime and work out how much you spend annually and how much you need to accumulate. The average Social Security benefit is about $1000/month; for many, it's a good bit less

Someone pulling down Ann's current salary as a retiree almost certainly doesn't need it. Someone pulling down half that probably doesn't, but you'd have to look to see medical requirements, etc. Someone pulling down a quarter of it almost certainly would need it.

Fact is, Social Security's been living hand to mouth since the Great Society, so any money that's been paid in has already been spent and, according to the wonks, any recipient gets everything he paid in during the first 2 years on full benefits.

If you want to seriously reform entitlements, you're going to have to set a cutoff date and tell the assembled multitudes if they're below whatever age, they'd better start saving now. They're also going to have to be told they'll still have to pay FICA for the people in the system who need it. A lot of those people in the system now need that extra 500 or whatever to survive, especially if they were wiped out in '08.

Whether they're willing to put up with that remains to be seen.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Edutcher received an Insta BQOTD for his first comment here.

Thank you for noting.

Inga said...

And whoa unto you if you have a German name.

You mean like Eisenhower or Streisand?

PS The word "tax" appears something like 34 times in the original Social Security Act, I've heard. Most of the recipients were originally those who worked outside the home - men, who didn't live much past 65. When antibiotics came into general medical use after WWII, life expectancy took a 5 year jump. Add another 5 years when people began quitting smoking and you had a demographic nightmare for what was supposed to be a program where the benefits weren't supposed to be collected.

I suppose ObamaTax is the projected remedy to this demographic glitch.

CWJ said...

JAL,

Perhaps you'll never see this since I never went back to this thread last night. But Poland starting WWII was deadpan sarcasm, not actual belief. It was meant to be just one more example of an absurd claim like "conservative hoax.". Sorry.

Marshal said...

bagoh20 said...
Means testing S.S.:

1) It's theft to change the terms at the time of payback after the way it was sold to people during their entire lives of contributing. Just immoral.


I think this is exactly wrong. The system was financially unstable from the start. This feeling that those who joined the ponzi scheme early enough have to be protected is bullshit. Everyone should take a hit, otherwise current workers both pay more and receive less. This idea that you can't reduce benefits for anyone except workers but you can tax workers again and again and again is bizarre.

And this isn't taking anything from the "needy". Means testing excludes them.

Nathan Alexander said...

rcommal,
Not that disagree with your comments, but the direction of your commentary has little or nothing to do with the topic.

Why didn't you choose an open thread to bring up this discussion?

That being said, I guess I'll perpetuate the thread swerve.

1) I think anyone under the age of 50 right now who is depending on seeing even a dime of social security is a fool. They might end up being right, but they shouldn't be depending on it, they should be working as hard as possible and saving as much as possible.
Not fair, but life isn't fair, is it?
2) I've noticed this argument about "it isn't fair if I don't get as much as I paid in" and/or "the promise to my generation must be fulfilled" seems to come mostly from baby boomers.
I understand their thought process: they paid in dutifully their whole lives based on the promise of social security payments, and now they might get nothing?!?!
...but why is the promise to them different than the exact same promise to generation X, generation Y, and the generations to come?
Baby boomer have it best: they got to support their parents with something like a 15:1 worker:recipient ratio, and many of the generation they supported died off within 3 years of taking benefits.
But Baby Boomers are going to enslave the younger generations at a ratio of 5:1 and declining. And they are going to take social security for decades (literally!) due to medical advances, and they are also going to demand increased medicare benefits along with their drug demands...

Keeping the promises to the Baby Boomers will mean breaking promises to everyone else.

Why are the promises to Baby Boomers more sacred than the exact same promise to later generations?

Kill social security today for anyone currently under the age of 59. Then provide welfare to anyone who needs it on the basis of need, just enough so no one eats cat food or dies from lack of heating/cooling.

It would hurt, it would suck, but you fix a problem when you must, not just when it will avoid inconveniencing the generation that has had the whole world dance to their tune their whole lives.

Steve Koch said...

I don't see the connection between the bracelets designed to shame white people and social security. The shame bracelets perpetrated by a state agency (!) is an interesting topic, too bad rcommal decided to hijack the thread with her social security stuff (which had zero to do with the white shame bracelets) and attacks on educher (btw, what did that have to do with anything?).

Wonder if Tony Evers, the head of DPI, will get fired by Scott Walker. Has Walker made any comments about this outrage?

Steve Koch said...

Turns out the head of the DPI is elected so I guess Walker can't fire him.

Steve Koch said...

Turns out Evers was reelected yesterday, looks like the white shame bracelets were a non issue in the election. The election is theoretically non partisan but Evers is obviously lefty and his opponent was a gop pol.

Rusty said...

Keeping the promises to the Baby Boomers will mean breaking promises to everyone else.

Nope. Just give me back all the money I paid in.
That's all I want.
Keep the interest.
They don't even have to pay me back in money.
I'll take it in federal land.
They can choose the land.
I'll come up with a way to exploit it.
I'll take it in surplus federal goods.

Steve Koch said...

Evers was supported by the teachers' unions and opposed school vouchers, charter schools, and Walker stopping the automatic collection of union dues by the state. He was in favor of shame bracelets for his white employees.

It looks like the hottest issues in the campaign were school vouchers and charter schools. Evers got over 60% of the vote so it looks like Wisconsin is not for school vouchers and charter schools. Of course the results must be skewed by the campaign contributions of the teacher's unions.

SDN said...

"chickelit said...

Where's garage mahal, btw?

I'm wondering if he's wearing a white wristband or if he's gone full armband.
4/3/13, 10:37 PM "

In garage's case, it's more like full white straitjacket....

joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joe said...

She Devil of the SS:

//And whoa unto you if you have a German name//

Eric HoldER.

Ah, those Aleman-Amerikans hoisting Amerika on the pitard of racism.

Culture, it's more than melatonin, it's Operation HimmlER, it's the Zimmerman Plan, it's collaborating with narco-terrorist as Fast and Furious as a Aleman can move his hooves.

EMD said...

white wristbands,pink triangles,yellow stars what's the diff?

Get yer hands off me Lucky Charms!

AprilApple said...

Bagoh said...

Six figure public employee pensions should be means tested before S.S. and medicare ...

This this this.

Peter said...

Means testing S.S.:

Keep in mind the practical politics here: If you means test it then it becomes just another form of welfare.

And if it becomes just another form of welfare then many more of those who pay for it are likely to resent it.

Which is likely to result in sharply reduced benefits (or perhaps no benefits at all).

As for Medicare, in effect it's already means-tested because Medicaid pays for plenty that Medicare does not pay for- such as, long-term care.

BTW, Social Security is a far better deal for white women than it is for black men, just because they live longer. Who's going to fix that?

gerry said...

White wristbands are boring. I want a big yellow Star of David like the German socialists made Jews wear back in the 1940's. Now, there was a privileged group that needed identifying and hating, right?

Do progressives ever change? They always need to hate some group. To blame their failures on.

AllenS said...

joe, with all due respects. A last name like Holder would more than likely be of English origins. My last name ends in er also and they came from England.

However HimmLER and HitLER would probably indicate Germanic origins.

AllenS said...

Not to say that Eric Holder came from England. He didn't. Black last names can be traced, but most blacks aren't interested in their origin. I can understand why.

edutcher said...

Nathan Alexander said...

Keeping the promises to the Baby Boomers will mean breaking promises to everyone else.

Why are the promises to Baby Boomers more sacred than the exact same promise to later generations?


They aren't, but we're also talking about a lot of X-ers and maybe Y-ers, too. A lot of people did provide - or thought they did, but pensions aren't what they were once cracked up to be. The Blonde worked for the same hospital network for 43 years, at one point pulling down better than 60,000 a year, but her pension is less than 800/month (said hospital network revoked pensions for anyone under 60 a couple of years ago), but her Social Security is about double that. She saved enough for an annuity, but she wants to sit on that until she sees where inflation is going before she taps into it.

Was she improvident?

Kill social security today for anyone currently under the age of 59. Then provide welfare to anyone who needs it on the basis of need, just enough so no one eats cat food or dies from lack of heating/cooling.

Social Security already is old age welfare, but nobody wants to admit it.

Peter said...

'bagoh20' said, "The terms have changed but not the basic sell that it's your money."

Except when it isn't. If the sole purpose of Social Security were to insure that everyone (well, everyone who's employed or married to someone who is or was) had funds for retirement then it would have an opt-out for those who chose to fund their own retirement.

BUT it can't do that, in part because Social Security already contains a strong redistributive element. That is, if you pay twice as much in you get less than twice as much out.

That redistributive element has always been in Social Security, and is why government couldn't permit opt-outs.

My guess would be that government could get away with making it more redistributive by removing the cap on how much income was subject to FICA tax without losing too much support for the program (but I don't know how much more money that would bring in).

Whereas if government simply turns Social Security into another means-tested program (i.e., welfare) it might lose so much political support that it couldn't survive.

ken in sc said...

Social Security is already partially means tested. If you have other income while on SS, a greater portion of your benefit is taxable.

Ken said...

rcommal,

Are you willing to put means-testing on current Social Security and Medicare recipients? If not, why not? (Full disclosure: I won't consider you a serious person on entitlements reform if you're not.)

Because nothing says your a serious person on entitlement reforms like supporting a policy that will increase the size and scope of government bureaucracy, right? After all, we know that increasing bureaucracy has the twin positive affect of making a program more efficient and reduces the corruption, right?

Ha! If you're going to say someone isn't serious because he doesn't support policy X because of problem Y, then you had better make sure that policy X doesn't exacerbate problem Y if you're to be taken seriously.

Jeff Teal said...

EMD thank you for my chuckle.

richard mcenroe said...

"m stone said...Someone, please, explain how this wristband exercise has any merit. Is Tony Evers behind this?"

It only has merit if you wear the white wristband while jumping up and down on a piece of paper with "Jesus" written on it.

Steve Koch said...

So, nobody defended the shame bracelets for white DPI workers and the thread got hijacked. Not saying that rcommal was trying to avoid discussing racial shame bracelets for whites but she sure was determined to hijack the thread (and succeeded).

joe said...

Allen S:


//My last name ends in er also and they came from England.//

Back, back we go to Saxons invading the island of Britannia. Which is why certain English had divided loyalties during/before WW2.

Steve Koch said...

Speaking of thread hijacking, it is funny how often it works. The two most obvious techniques are to either start a thread fight with somebody (like rcommal tried to do with educher in this thread) or to introduce an extraneous topic to divert the easily duped/diverted (like rcommal did by introducing social security when it had zero relevance to the thread).

rcommal said...

In the pantheon of thread-hijackers here at Althouse, I'm barely a blip (and a surpassing rare one, in terms of hijacking). Hell, I don't even make the A List of serial digressors (yep, I made that word form up) around here.

But we all have our moments. Get over it.

Steve Koch said...

rcommal,

So why did you hijack this thread?

Steve Koch said...

I am not criticizing you for frequently hijacking threads (I don't recall that you did that before), I am just wondering why you hijacked this particular thread. Was it something mundane like you work at the DPI and didn't wan t the head man to lose the election? Just curious.

AllenS said...

If you go back to when the Saxons invaded the island of Britannia, nobody had last names.

Amartel said...

"The Lefties always need somebody for everybody else to hate. 80 years ago, it was the Jews."

Oh, it still is. (See, Occupy Movement, Sirhan-Sirhan Wing of the Progressive Partaaaay.) All hatreds are accommodated in Lefty Land, so long as the object of hate can be framed as conservative. Diversity!
Intersectionality! Forward!

joe said...

Allen:


//If you go back to when the Saxons invaded the island of Britannia, nobody had last names.//

77th most common name

ROGERS Surname Meaning & Origin:
Rogers is a patronymic surname derived from the given name Roger, and meaning "son of Roger." The given name Roger means "famous spear," derived from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and ger "spear."

You are correct of course, but the common connection is still Saxons invading another nation and taking a "occupational name".


Himmler Name MeaningGerman: topographic name for someone living at a high altitude or in a pleasant place (see Himmel), the suffix -er denoting an inhabitant

OTOH, is that you Allen? Allen Alois SChicklgrubER-HeidlER,

rcommal said...

@Steve Koch

rcommal,

So why did you hijack this thread?


For the secondary reason:

Read the original post and then the first comment and initial, then my original comments, and then keep reading all of them carefully.

After you have done that, come back and ask me about the primary one (assuming you still need to, assuming you are a regular reader of this blog and its blog posts, and also of its comments sections, including its commenters, how they comment, and their comments).

rcommal said...

By the way--to digress back to the article that was the subject of Althouse's original post--here is what I would consider the nut graf:

Today, the school systems in 20 states employ more non-teachers than teachers. The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice reports that between 1950 and 2009, while the number of K-12 students increased 96 percent, full-time-equivalent school employees increased 386 percent. The number of teachers increased 252 percent, but the number of bureaucrats — including consciousness-raising sensitivity enforcers and other non-teachers — increased 702 percent.

FWTIW.

rcommal said...

( @SteveKoch: I'm pretty sure that is not a helpful hint as to the primary reason I hijacked this thread, although it does have to do with the secondary and others.)

Imagine Wisconsin said...

Will's sloppy journalism in this article of his....

Here is the truth:

http://oneteachersperspective.blogspot.com/2013/04/curiously-george-will-joins-demolition.html

chickelit said...

Nice article Imagine Wisconsin. If you had only denounced the wristband thing a bit more vigorously you'd have my support. But you didn't--and that was the whole reason got people excited.

If apparent educators such as yourself don't speak out against this guilt-mongering and stereotyping, don't be surprised when you get sucked into a maelstrom. We expect more from you.