Steve Jobs: Teachers Unions Cripple American Education

Everyone seems to recognize that the public education system in the United States is a joke, and that teachers unions are a major part of the problem. That “everyone” included Steve Jobs:

[Steve] Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.

Jobs’ specific idea about increasing the quantity of school time will be good for students from dysfunctional (“low socio-economic status”) families. For everyone else, just moving past a point where we trust teachers and principals to set education policy will be a big improvement.

Steve Jobs was a liberal, and that he (and Bill Gates, another liberal) are convinced that American education is broken in part because of unions shows how only a few knee-jerk bloggers even care about the teachers unions any more. One member of the knee-jerk crew writes at Daily Kos

If you were into the whole Steve Jobs cult of personality, hey, that’s great. But let’s lay off the hagiography for a second. Steve Jobs was just another wealthy douchebag who fancied himself an expert on education, just like his wealthy douchebag buddy Bill Gates:

Stay classy!

Related: The U.S. Economy and Public Education, by Bill Gates

OccupyWallStreet on the Dave Ramsey Show

The Dave Ramsey episode for October 19th, 2011 is dedicated to callers from #OccupyWallStreet.

It’s interesting. In general, the callers on the show match up with Lexington Green’s assessment of #OccupyChicago

The kids I spoke to — and I use the term because that is what people in their early twenties seem like to me — were nice, and reasonably intelligent. Two were recent college graduates who were not able to get jobs. They seemed to be sincere and sensible young people.

One girl had a printout of the “proposed grievances.” (I got the list off their site and put it below the fold, since it is apparently a work in progress and subject to change.) It is an interesting mix. I agree with some of it, as noted in square brackets. I was surprised that it was not more Left boilerplate. It seems to reflect an accurate understanding of the seriousness of crony capitalism as the heart of the problem we face.

These conversations I found enjoyable, though I was as usual saddened by the combination of earnestness and ignorance of this rising generation.

My hatred of the Boomers, who have brainwashed and wasted these kids is boundless. There is nothing wrong with them. They have just never been taught anything but bullshit. They have been betrayed by their parents and their teachers. It is very depressing. The country has been shamefully dumbed down.

The 10/19/11 episode is available for free streaming for about a week. Listen to it!

How to #OccupyWallStreet

Angry about big banks? Instead of blaming your problems on the President, the Congress, or the rich, actually make a difference:

1. Pay off your debts. Large banks cannot charge you interest on debt you don’t have.
2. Don’t use big banks. Large banks cannot charge you fees on accounts you don’t have. Try local banks or credit unions.
3. Get positive reinforcement for doing this. Try a show like the Dame Ramsey Show, instead of pro Wall Street “normal” shows that advocate stupid stuff like not paying off debt.

In other words, don’t go deep into debt, don’t use Chase, and don’t surround yourself with people who advocate those things.

100 years and 1 day

If a Qing strategist saw the outline map of China as it now stood, what would be his impressions?

He would first notice that Outer Mongolia had been cut-off. He would guess this was Russia’s doing (correctly), and that Outer Mongolia was most likely a Russian province (incorrect) under the Czar (also incorrect).

He would be struck that the ‘lost’ lands of Taiwan and Korea were as they had been in 1911, assume both were still controlled by Japan (incorrect) and that this remarkable stability of frontiers had meant that somehow Japan and China had avoided more wars (also incorrect).

He might ask if it was significant there was no areas carved out for foreign concessions or colonies — if we honestly answered ‘none are shown because there are none,’ he would assume that China must have prioritized defense of the coast over the territorial integrity of the interior (correct). Thinking of the stable Japanese frontier, he would assume that Japan had acted as an offshore balancer (incorrect).

For Japan to have acted to balance Russia against Europe, the 100 years after 1911 must have been catastrophic for Europe (correct), gloriously stable for Japan (incorrect), and successful for Russia (incorrect).

If he had inquired where the capital was, and we replied “Beijing,” he would have been absolutely correct: “Capitals only change when a frontier needs to be controlled. If one Emperor both lost Mongolia and moved the capital to Beijing, then he must have belived Russia to be our greatest threat.”

This might make him reconsider the nature of the eastern frontier, and if the evaporation of the colonies but the permanance of the loss of Korea nad Taiwan meant Japan had been partitioned by Russia and another, stronger power…

One Hundred Years of Revolution

On October 10, 1911, the Xinhai Revolution began. By February, the Empire of the Great Qing had fallen.

The Xinhai Revolution lead to the birth of the Chinese KMT, which had as its goal That a government of the People, by the People, and for the People, shall be Established in China.

It also lead to the disintegration of the Chinese state on multiple occasions, and probably a hundred million civilian deaths.

The century of the Chinese Revolution is now over.

It probably should have never begun.