Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Guess Who's Teaching Your Children?

RUSD teacher Todd Johnson had this to say about Republicans/Christians:

"Republicans have created a ghoul (I call it the "Christian Racketeer") to make religion a political weapon. They don't get the four most important words in American English: Equal protection under law. Their craving is for autocracy, an ayatollah all their own. They are unfit to mingle with free people."

I am sure that Mr. Johnson is able to contain his contempt for conservatives and Christians while teaching our children. Or perhaps his attitude explains the home schooling movement.

Planning Miracles

Is anyone else amused by Racine's upcoming health care referendum? The question is whether you would like the legislators to come up with a plan to reduce the cost of health care by 15% while also ensuing that everyone is offered affordable health insurance. While they are at it, I think they should come up with a plan to raise the average temperature in Wisconsin to 65 degrees, reduce precipitation to zero, while ensuring greater agricultural output.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Who's your buddy, who's your pal?

I don't often read the letters to the editor before an election, but I did anyway the other day. One letter was a fairly typical plea to readers to vote for their preferred candidates. But what I found most interesting was the following request: "Please join my family and friends as we vote for..."

I suppose it is possible, perhaps even likely, for families to have similar voting preferences, but friends too?

I am looking for some feedback here. Can you, or do you, have friends with whom you disagree politically?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Death Penalty Referendum

It comes as no surprise that the Journal Times would oppose the upcoming advisory referendum concerning the death penalty. "It's a visceral vote" they declare in sentence one. Of course all votes are visceral votes for leftists. If it feels good, vote for it. If it feels bad, vote against it. The very idea of a death penalty is abhorrent to the left, so the JT must oppose this, no matter what. Still, being a newspaper, they must provide reasons to justify their feelings. Lets take a look.

The JT is thankful to be in a state "whose citizens can be assured that they have not put to death an innocent man or woman." They note, however, that we have had our share of bad guys, including Jeffrey Dahmer, who was slain in prison. The JT does not mourn the death of Dahmer, the victim of vigilante jailhouse justice. I suspect they would mourn his death had the state decided to terminate it. The JT's attitude can be summed up as follows: We are not particularly saddened by the murder of Dahmer, but we feel better knowing that we did not condone it.

"The death penalty has not been shown to deter crime in any appreciable way." This sentence was immediately and predictably followed by the words "Some studies..." Their studies may well be correct, but I anxiously await the study detailing the recidivism rate of executed criminals. My hypothesis, awaiting study, is that executed criminals thereafter have a crime rate of zero. If my theory proves true, then execution is the most effective crime deterent.

The JT goes on to describe the "festival" like atmosphere that supposedly surrounded public executions in the distant past. And that, perhaps, "in this day of reality television shows, Wisconsin would welcome back such morbid entertainment." I am sure the JT editorialists are enjoying their moral superiority openly displayed here. I am sure it feels good. It's a visceral vote, remember.

For some, though, votes are registered for purposes other than confirming our feelings. Some people think about their votes. I suspect that the prospect of the state executing an innocent person would be abhorrent to anyone. For the JT, this can be avoided by voting against the death penalty referendum. But would this spell the end of innocent deaths? No, only state sponsored innocent deaths. As the Dahmer murder should make clear, prisoners can still commit murders. Dahmer of course is not an innocent victim, but the point is that prisoners can still commit crimes. And these crimes need not be confined by prison walls. Prisoners can communicate beyond the prison walls, commissioning crimes that could, of course, result in the murder of innocents. As I noted earlier, executed criminals will not be committing any crimes.

So the choice before us is not so simple as the JT would have us believe. Neither vote will protect us from the psychic pain of innocent deaths. The JT prefers the illusion that they are morally superior, though their policy choice may well result in more innocent deaths than a carefully crafted death penalty law. But again, remember, this vote is cast so the JT can feel good and morally superior to others.

The question to me is which policy choice will protect the most innocents. There may come a time when the state executes an innocent person, and this would be a tragedy indeed. But is it any less tragic when an innocent person is murdered when the crime could have been prevented by the death penalty? It is hard to feel good about the difficult choice before us, unless we abdicate our responsibility to protect the innocent, as the JT has done. But votes should not be about protecting our feelings of moral superiority. They should be about thinking and making the best of difficult choices. I will be voting "Yes" on the death penalty referendum, as I think it would protect the greatest number of innocents.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Better Idea for SOS

I have been interested in the efforts of the group SOS (Save Our Station) to prevent the Journal Times from razing an old fire station on Wisconsin Avenue. The group recently e-mailed me an invitation to attend a fund raising party. I don't plan to attend as I would not contribute any money to an organization intent on undermining property rights. But I share their interest in promoting development along the Root River. So I will offer a suggestion that I wish I could claim as my own. My wife recently reminder me that the owners of DP Wigley have an interest in developing their building. I know the Flynns a bit. They are a wonderful couple. They own an amazing old building along the river. There is so much potential in that building. What they need, I suspect, is investors. The energy and enthusiasm of SOS could be put to much better use trying to promote the development of DP Wigley instead of impeding the efforts of the Journal Times.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dear Jonathan Erwin-Frank

The following is a response to a commentary in the Milwaukee Journal concerning education.

Dear Jonathan,

I read your recent commentary with great enthusiasm, as I share your concerns about the importance of education. It is heartening to find young people engaged in important matters. I hope that you are willing to consider the few points that I have to offer.

You wrote "Not even the most hard-line conservatives would suggest that disadvantaged children do not deserve an education, but some have attempted to change the subject." I admit to some difficulty critiquing the first half of that sentence, but it suggests to me that hard-line conservatives are more inclined than, say, liberals, to suggest that the disadvantaged do not deserve an education. I am not aware of any conservative group, and that includes the Republican Party, to suggest any such thing. So in that respect, it sounds like a gratuitous insult to conservatives. My hope is that you did not intend it that way. With respect to part two of your sentence, I think that for this conservative at least, school choice, competition, or vouchers are not changing the subject at all. To me this is the only reform that might work.

As you continued to develop your argument, you seemed to embrace competition in the form of higher pay for teachers when you wrote "It all boils down to simple economics. If you raise the price, in this case, teacher salaries, suppliers will produce more and more people will want to become teachers, leading to the kind of healthy competition that really benefits schools and children." However, you did not offer any evidence to support your claim.

Ordinarily, you would be correct. Higher pay would result in more people seeking a job. And this would produce better results, assuming that the best teaching candidates were selected and promoted. However, this is not how the public school system works. For example, relative to many other jobs, teacher salaries are quite low relative to their retirement and health benefits. This is no accident, as this is what the teachers unions negotiate for. What you may not realize is the effect this has on competition. For example, a young teacher will receive a low salary and great health benefits. The health benefits here in Racine are in the neighborhood of $20,000 per year for families. Most young people do not need $20,000 worth of health insurance. They would probably prefer the cash, but that is not one of their options. Instead, young healthy teachers actually subsidize the health care costs of their older, less healthy coworkers. The low starting salaries, the costly health insurance plan, and the generous retirement rewards all serve to discourage young people from becoming teachers, unless they are prepared to do so for their entire careers. Also, the job market is changing. People change careers more frequently today. Thus any person who would like to teach for some length of time less than their entire career is also discouraged from becoming a teacher. Also, many bright people have found education degrees to be a monumental waste of time, further discouraging prospective teachers. And finally, teacher pay is not based on merit. It is based on longevity and this is what the union wants. This would discourage the very brightest from becoming teachers, because they will not be properly rewarded for their excellence. Thus they choose other careers. So you see it is not so simple to improve education merely by raising teacher pay. Presently, the system established by the teachers union discourages many people, including our brightest prospects, from becoming teachers. This is done to depress the number of teachers, thus providing an argument for higher salaries and more benefits.

I write to you hoping that you will realize that raising salaries will not necessarily improve education. A larger problem is the stranglehold that the teachers union has on the education system, a problem that could be remedied with more school choice. I suspect that you would not be exposed to this kind of thinking at your school, as it would be contrary to the financial interests of your teachers.

Thank you for your commentary and your interest in this most important of subjects. I will be sharing my letter to you with any readers who visit my blog. If you care to respond, please do so at my blog, freeracine.blogspot.com.

Thanks again. Sincerely, Denis Navratil.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More Liquor License Nonsense

I attended last nights License and Welfare Committee meeting at city hall. The mishandling of the City Haul underaged drinking/gun toting fiasco was not the only news. It may come as news to some that there is a cap on the number of liquor licenses. After reaching the cap, some additional licenses can be issued, but they cost $10,000. This cap apparently was instituted statewide with the full endorsement of the tavern league, which would make the tavern league much like a union, as this license cap would limit competition for license holders while upping the value of establishments that hold licenses. One perhaps unintended consequence of such legislation was evident last night. The owner of a property that had housed Peg and Lou's was seeking to secure a liquor license, even though he had no intention of operating the establishment. He wants the license, worth $10,000, so that he can more easily sell his building. I can hardly blame him. But if the city is to play favorites and issue licenses to people who don't intend to use them, they are being unfair, to the tune of $10,000, to anyone who does wish to operate an establishment that serves alcohol.

License and Welfare Committee Nonsense

In order to get a liquor license in Racine, an applicant must appear before the License and Welfare Committee. There the applicant will meet stern faced alderman who will lecture them on the consequences awaiting them if they violate the conditions of the license. The alderman will then look into a crystal ball in order to predict which applicants will run a clean establishment. For prospective license holders, I suggest that you not propose a hip-hop dance club. Anyway, some licenses will be denied because the committee wishes to prevent future problems.

Given this serious approach to eliminating future problems, we can be assured that the committee will address actual present day problems with the utmost seriousness. Lets say a license holder had twentyone underaged drinkers and three loaded handguns on the premises. This tough licensing committee would really go after that bar owner, right?

No. Last night members of this committee were quite deferential to license holder Lennie Hand, who has admitted that the bar was indeed filled with underaged drinkers and three loaded handguns. The committee could have voted to go to due process, which is a legal process which could result in suspension or revocation of the license. Instead, they opted to seek a negotiated settlement with Hand, all while complementing his proactive (actually reactive) steps to address the problems.

What kind of message does this send to the community and to bar owners?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Anywhere you have the public frequenting in numbers , you could very well expect this to happen."

This was city parks director Donnie Snow's comment following the recent execution style murder at the King Center.

Isn't it the job of a parks director to bring the public together?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Racine Problems

In a commentary in todays Journal Times, Laura Sumner Coon, former city editor at the JT, implores our elected officials to "work together across party lines to make Racine County a place where all can enjoy life, liberty and happiness." Coon remembers the days, twenty years ago, when our politicians did just that.

Coon lists four areas that our politicians should address. The first area concerns children. One-third of the children in Racine are poor. And our schools are failing to educate them. Coon includes many of the dismal statistics from RUSD. But we must not point to property taxes as the problem, as "RUSD ranks 47 out of 50 in the proportion of property tax that pays for education."

The second concern is economic development. Racine has 9% unemployment. While we have captured some Chicago wealth, we have not retained it. Coon sites a a Public Policy forum that noted "each year, beginning in 1994, Southeast Wisconsin has lost at least $100 million to other regions."

And then there is crime. Racine has as many murders as the national average, 62% more robberies, and 20% more property crimes.

And then taxes. We are not taxed enough apparently. "The average Racine County homeowner paid less than $3,000 in 2006 property taxes, making it one of the lowest property tax-paying areas of the state."

Ok, so there are the issues. We have poor children poorly educated, too much unemployment, we are hemmoraging cash, the crime rate is high, and our taxes are too low.

Coon recalls fondly the days of politicians of yesteryear doing the business of the people. But for as long as I can remember, Racine has been run by Democrats, not Republicans. And now she wants bipartisan solutions to our problems, so long as we all acknowledge how low our taxes are.

Sorry Ms. Coon, but Racine's problems can be traced to decades of liberalism. We have long been known as a destination for welfare recipients. Our high unemployment rate can easily be explained. Why work when others will take care of you? Tax the hell out of the businesses, strengthen the hands of the unions, etc... Sounds good to some I am sure, but then what happens? The wealth leaves, and this would explain the cash flow out of southeast Wisconsin. And the crime? Well, people not working, sucking the life out of a city, are also the types to commit crimes. And the liberals in our midst would prefer to blame this problem on society. So they will do all they can to embrace our criminals. And low tax amounts on property. That is because the property is not worth much. Much has been left to decay. Owners have fled the city. Landlords move in. So do criminals. It is a vicious cycle that the left has created here in Racine. There is not a bipartisan solution. The answer is not higher taxes as you suggest. We have tried that for years. Has it worked? No it hasn't. The answer is lower taxes, free market innovations like school vouchers, a friendly business environment, and a lower tolerance for crime. I don't think any Democrats would embrace any of the solutions to the problems that they created.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

False Headline in JT on RUSD Tax Increase

The headline reads "Unified District proposes 1.08 percent tax increase". But the amount of taxes collected will increase by 11.8%. So which is it? The headline is false because only the tax rate rose by 1.08%. Taxes collected will increase by 11.8%. If you own a home in Racine, and its value increased by the average amount, you will pay about 10.7% more towards RUSD than you did last year. A 1.08% tax rate increase is meaningless and misleading information. RUSD taxes are skyrocketing well past the rate of inflation, but the results are still lousy. A more accurate title might have been "Failing School District Proposes Massive Tax Increase."

Boning the Journal Times

A citizen group named "Save Our Station", led by local architect James Chambers, has won a temporary injunction which prevents the Racine Journal Times from razing Fire Station #5. The Journal Times owns the station and would like to tear it down. There will be a hearing on the matter on November 8th.

The name of Chambers group says it all. "Save Our Station" suggests that they own it, or that the public owns it. They don't and we don't. The city sold the building to the Journal Times many years ago.

But that is not fair, according to Chambers. "It's been an unfair process so far...I just feel in every bone of my body, as do others like me, it's totally inappropriate measure to make a parking lot out of a beautiful site and a beautiful building like this."

Obviously Chambers' bones don't like the idea of private ownership and property rights. It would be far more fair and appropriate, apparently, to be assured that Chambers' bones feel good before a property can be modified.

But maybe Chambers does believe in private ownership. According to the Journal Times article, Chambers said that developers were interested in buying and renovating the building into a "thriving business." Great, let them make an offer that the Journal Times can't refuse.

But don't use our courts to bone the Journal Times.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Public School Tidbits

I went to a special meeting of the RUSD school board the other day. I could not stay long but I thought I might share a bit of news. I listened to a presentation by a guest, Therese Fellner, who would likely be hired to complete a questionaire for the district, mainly for the purposes of gleaning the opinions of respondents on the subject of desegregation and redistricting. The first bit of noteworthy info was the revelation by Fellner that she was invited by Dr. Hicks. Randy Bangs seemed to think that her invitation should have been directed by the board rather than by Hicks. Also, board member Julie McKenna indicated that an anonymous active member of the minority community is concerned that gathering this data will be used simply to avoid desegragation. And finally, in order to get the required number of responses from black people, it is necessary to send twice the number of questionaires.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Indian Restaurant is Good

Some of my readers may know that my wife and I gave serious consideration to opening an Indian restaurant a few years back. We decided against it for a few reasons, and ever since we have been hoping that someone else would give it a go. Tonight we enjoyed a buffet at Sher-a-Punjab, a new Indian restaurant on Douglas Ave. There were some minor service issues, but most of the food was quite good. I particularly enjoyed the lamb curry and a dish called butter chicken. If you have never tried Indian food before, I suggest trying the buffet, as it allows you to sample several dishes. I am thrilled that we now have a good Indian restaurant in town. Give it a try.

Liberal of the Year

I just saw the movie "Man of the Year" starring Robin Williams. Williams plays a comedian/talk show host who runs for president as an independent. This following is what he stands for and against. Against Democrats and Republicans. For education with no specifics. Vague on border issues but believes an open border presents a greater threat than old ladies at airports. For the environment. Against lobbyists. Against oil companies. For, or at least not hostile to gay marriage. And, judging by his behavior, marital status (divorced) and attitude, he is far from a cultural conservative. The movie was mildly entertaining. Robin Williams is funny at times. But the funniest thing about the movie is the straight faced attempt to portray Williams as an independent when everything he stands for is liberal.

Political Advice for Bill McReynolds

As a third place finisher in the race for Racine County Executive, I am probably ill suited to offer political advice to the winner, Bill McReynolds. But I will anyway.

I have in the past complained that Republicans have not presented an alternative to the Democrats educational policy preferences. The Democrat's answer to education problems is to spend more money on education. Local Republicans have offered no alternative suggestions. Thankfully, this is beginning to change. Robin Vos supports school vouchers. Does Bill McReynolds? If he does, he has not been particularly vocal about it.

A Michigan based group called All Children Matter apparently believe that McReynolds would be more inclined than John Lehman to support school vouchers. I doubt they would be spending money slamming John Lehman if they did not think that a McReynolds victory would help their cause.

I can understand the reluctance of Republicans to come out in favor of school vouchers. Unions will muster all their financial and political resources to defeat any such candidate. But this cat is already out of the bag. A union led group has filed a complaint against All Children Matter for violating state campaign laws. The purpose of the complaint, from a political perspective, is to harm McReynolds election hopes by suggesting to voters that he is receiving political support from corrupt and secret out of state sources.

My suggestion to Bill McReynolds is to articulate to prospective voters his stance on school vouchers. It is only fair that voters know what a candidate stands for. Some vocal Democrats already have concluded that he supports school vouchers. They will make it an issue. Very well. Make it an issue. A strong case can be made for vouchers. Many people are rightly disillusioned by the high cost and poor results of the Racine Unified School District. The "we need more of your money" policy offered by Democrats is not working nor will it. Voters are ready for a new idea. Go for it!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Police Chief Endorses Business Harassment Policy

Last time I checked, congregating while black is not a crime. Neither is owning and running an all night convenient store. Even so, the late night crowds gathered at various locations in Racine are described as a "problem" in need of a solution.

New Police Chief Kurt Whalen has endorsed a political solution wherein city officials put pressure on liquor license holders. The pressure includes the threat to take away the liquor license. This process is initiated if the police are called to a business three or more times a month. The business owner will have to "fix the problem" or get a ticket. Ultimately they could lose their license.

To me this appears to be a pass-the-buck type of solution. It is the job of the police to enforce the law. If there are laws being violated, such as selling after hours or selling to minors, then by all means go after the license holders. If not, leave them alone. If some members of the congregating masses are breaking the law, then arrest them. Do not ask business owners to solve the vaguely defined problem of congregating black people.

And herein lies the real "problem". The "problem" is blacks congregating. But nobody wants to actually say that because they don't want a visit from Jesse Jackson. And I don't blame them.

For the record, I don't believe that black people congregating should be described as a problem. People committing crimes are a problem. If some of these black people are committing crimes, then arrest them. If the business owners are committing crimes, then arrest them and take away their liquor licenses. If neither are committing crimes, leave them alone.

Conspiracy Theory Gone Wild

It seems that Bill McReynolds is receiving political support from a Michigan based organization called All Children Matter. According to a letter written to the JT by Jeri Smith, (or Stephen J. Smith in the phone directory) ACM "is an organization which, on the surface, advocates the voucher system for school choice." By inserting the words "on the surface", Smith is suggesting that this education organization has other motives besides advocating for school vouchers. It couldn't be education reform in Wisconsin, according to Smith, who writes "But what does school choice in Michigan have to do with John Lehman and his supposed views on taxes or on any other issues- in Wisconsin?" What could possibly motivate ACM, since according to Smith, it can not be advocacy of school vouchers?

Thankfully, Smith delivers. ACM is funded by Michigan Multi-millionaire Dick DeVos of Amway fame. According to Smith,Devos has a brother-in-law who owns Blackwater Security Company, a business which has won no-bid contracts to provide security in Iraq. "The real reason ACM is interested in this election is because they want to put people in power who will continue to serve the interests of companies like Blackwater."

So there it is folks. Michigan multi-millionaire Dick DeVos has created a bogus school voucher advocacy organization. He has then entered into the fray of a Wisconsin state senate race, not to support the idea of school vouchers, but to help elect Bill McReynolds, who will in turn, wink wink, nod nod, help DeVos's brother in law secure more no-bid federal contracts.

Never mind that school vouchers are a state matter while awarding federal grants is a federal matter. McReynolds, as a state senator, would be powerless to deliver the goods to DeVos's brother-in-law.

Or perhaps DeVos actually believes in the merits of school vouchers.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Novel Idea?

Someone should write a book about the Mark Foley scandal. I am sure it would be a real page turner.


My faith in good government was dealt a severe blow this morning. I am shocked and deeply disturbed to learn that Bill McReynolds, the Republican candidate in our local state senate race, has made personal phone calls while at work. The taxpayers of Racine were bilked out of $13.46. Though McReynolds has acknowledged the accuracy of the charge against him, and has already reimbursed the county, I am nonetheless dismayed at the outrageous behavior. And it doesn't stop there folks. I have a very reliable inside source who has been in McReynold's home. My source tells me that in McReynold's tenure as County Executive, he has brazenly stolen two pens, four paper clips, and some scrap paper from his office. It gets worse folks. McReynold's has on numerous occasions distributed his COUNTY OWNED business cards to people for purposes wholly unrelated to county matters. The only good news I can report here is that, so far as I know, none of the business cards have been offered to underaged male pages.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Better Approach to Liquor Licensing, Enforcement

In my pre-blogging days, I was an occasional critic of Racine's liquor licensing process. My basic problem with the licensing process was that it allowed our alderman and their constituents to use subjective criteria for detirmining who will, or will not receive a liquor license. The subjective criteria that is most unfair is the political pressure from organized groups who can influence the votes of the alderman. This politicizing of the licensing process allows the larger and more influential group to get the result that they want, at the expense of the individual seeking the license. Licenses then can be denied, and have been, based partly on the bigotry of special interests groups. This subjective/political criteria has been justified because of the need to prevent license holders from operating an establishment that will require frequent visits from the police and because of the difficulty removing licenses from the license holders that violate the law. I have often thought that this process is unfair at best, and potentially racist, at worst. An objective criteria for license holding would be best, such as any non-felon over the age of 21 is eligible for a license.

Now the city has a problem with license holder Lenny Hand who owns the City Haul Lounge. According to the JT, 21 people were cited for underage drinking. Also, three guns were discarded on the floor during the raid.

The city should aggressively enforce the law here. They should seek the maximum penalty, which, I would hope would be license removal. But I suspect that they won't because I have often heard that it can be very costly to do so. Perhaps, but it would be costly as well for Mr. Hand to defend a legal case against him.

At any rate, I think it would be much fairer if we had an objective criteria for gaining access to liquor licenses, coupled with aggressive legal action taken against violaters. If we did so, we would not need to engage in the discriminatory practice of trying to detirmine who will violate the law in the future. But if they do violate the law, nail em. Word would get out that you will lose your license, and lots of money to lawyers, if you break the law. After some time, only law abiding individuals would seek the license, as it would be too costly for the scofflaws.

How to Grow

Lately I have been engaged in discussions about local economic development. I have disagreed with some of the actions of the city council, especially their attempts to limit or prevent certain legal businesses from operating in Racine. The argument in favor of government regulation/restrictions goes something like this. If we prevent or discourage businesses that we don't like, such as pawn shops or payday loan stores, we will clean up our image, and new businesses will be drawn to Racine.

I think that our local politicians would do well to read two articles in todays Wall Street Journal. The first was written by Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman, who wrote about Hong Kong's remarkable economic success. After World War II, Hong Kong's financial affairs were run by a man named John Cowperwaite, who "was so famously laissez-faire that he refused to collect economic statistics for fear this would only give governmentofficials an excuse for more meddling." The results of this hands off approach are stunning. Hong Kong, initially dirt poor, now has a per capita income equal to that of Britian, even though Britian has enjoyed remarkable growth as well.

The second article, entitled "Tax Tidal Wave" tells a story you are not likely to hear in most newspapers. "Tax collections have increased by $521 billion in the last two fiscal years, the largest two year revenue increase- even after adjusting for inflation- in American history." Note that this revenue increase is happening AFTER a reduction in tax rates.

The lesson here for any politicians actually interested in achieving economic growth is that all they can do to help is to create an environment conducive to growth. And the Hong Kong success and our own success in the US suggests strongly, if not irrefutably, that the way to do this is to stop meddling in the private affairs of citizens. Decrease taxes and decrease regulations, and sit back and enjoy an economic miracle right here in Racine.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Vouching for Immorality

Are school vouchers immoral? Yes, according to Joe Kieman of Racine. He had this to say in a recent JT editorial: "Vos (State Rep Robin Vos) and his radical buddies also wish to destroy the life-force that drives a community's a state's and a country's economic engine; namely, its public education system. They support unbridled support and expansion of voucher schools that would further sap funds from public schools. This would lead to a dual school system of those children left behind in underfunded dilapidated public schools, while those in voucher and charter schools would thrive. This also is immoral."

Kieman realizes that vouchers would result in students leaving the public schools for better educational oportunities. Though by his own admission those students would thrive, he believes that this would be immoral because the students left behind would be in underfunded and dilapidated schools. If vouchers are immoral, (despite the increased number of thriving students) because of a resulting decrease in public school children and public dollars for public education, then we must conclude that private schooling is also immoral for the same reasons.

Thus, according to Kieman, schools that remove the study of morality from their curriculum are moral, while religious schools that emphasize morality are immoral. The study of religion is immoral while avoiding such study is moral. More students thriving is immoral, while large numbers of students underperforming in public schools is moral. Voters that support Vos are immoral, because he supports a distribution of public funds that would result in more thriving students. Additional choices for parents are immoral, while having fewer educational options is moral. Parents taking charge of their childs education is immoral, while parents who accept a subpar public education are moral.

I send my child to a private school. I support school vouchers for all children. I will strongly support any effort by Robin Vos to bring school vouchers to Racine. And I would be honored if Kieman considered me immoral.