Sunshine Daydream: Florida Bill Would Make Daylight Saving Time Year-Round
It’s the Saturday before the mid-term election (2022), and tonight when the State of Florida goes to sleep, many of her citizens won’t know what to expect in the morning.
Do we, or don’t we, change the clocks?
It’s a time crunch question that Floridians ask every fall and spring for the past four years. Many of us will simply go to sleep and find out our destiny in the morning. For most, it’s an inconvenience that we’ve all dealt with in the past, and will do so in the future. But there’s a really good reason why that shouldn’t be.
Way back in the year 2018, the Florida Legislature, in a bipartisan vote, passed HB (house bill) 1013, otherwise known as the Daylight Protection Act (DPA). Yet here we are four years later and Floridians are still screwing around with their clocks.
I wondered why. So this inquisitive Simple Bus Driver did what comes naturally to inquisitive simple bus drivers. I asked Google. And here’s what I found.
Tonight, despite passage of the DPA, Floridians will turn back their clocks and lose that precious hour of daylight once again. It’s all because of the way the Florida DPA is written. It was passed, and stands today, as state legislation that inextricably ties us to a bigger federal version of the same bill. As I understand it, this larger bill is nationwide and represents a huge hurdle to overcome because a majority of states (not just Florida) have to be on board with the idea.
But wait! It just so happens that a majority of states are on board with the DPA and multiple pleas to vote on it have gone unaddressed by whom? You guessed it, the democrat controlled House and Senate.
So here we are; the Free State of Florida isn’t quite as free from the shackles of tyranny as we thought we were. The Washington DC autocrats (liberal politicians) have their collective thumbs in places you can’t imagine. And this leads me to an even bigger issue. It’s one that should concern every American, not just Floridians.
Sticking with my DPA example, the determination of how a state sets its clocks should be made by the state, not the federal government. What’s good in Florida may not be good in Alaska, just like what’s good in Washington DC, is typically not very good anywhere else. If DC can use its power to subjugate Floridians on such a minor issue as the DPA, what else are they subjugating us on?
In the end, elections have consequences, so Vote!
And if you like the O’Biden America of today — just remember Democrats, this year you only get to vote once.
PS – Why was the legislation written the way it was in the first place? I think the onus here is on Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, and Vern Buchanan. The Florida legislature should rewrite the DPA for Floridians only. Florida will pass it again as a Florida law, and DC can go pound sand. If other states want the same thing, they can write their own laws.
You know how it is, when you wake up in the morning and before your first cup of coffee, you make the grievous error of checking your Facebook notifications? Yeah, instant headache.
But this morning was different. No, not in the way that I ignored past lessons, not in the foolish way I tried to use brewing time to multi-task, and not in the way the pounding Kettle-Drum mutated into a headache from Hell. No, the difference was what happened after.
In the morning fog of my mind, clear thinking and logic erupted from of all things, a 5-minute video I was watching on Facebook. Real, unadulterated synaptic activity in the absence of a chemical catalyst congealed into thought, and voila; the headache was replaced by brain waves that are only generated in the presence of pragmatic truth.
The topic of Israel and its right to exist provokes instantaneous conjecture and innuendo, in most cases, designed to mislead; it was what I expected to see after reading the headline, “If You Hate Israel, You’re No Friend of the Jews”. I didn’t note the source of the video or I might have assumed differently. But in my defense, I’m a simple bus driver and it was first thing in the morning.
In all honesty, I have pondered the question on more than one occasion: Israel, why? If Jews are entitled to a state, why aren’t the Palestinians? And let’s take it to the ultimate conclusion: If the Palestinians are entitled to a land of their own, why not everyone else? What’s fair is fair, and on the surface, it makes sense. But in this case, there are significant reasons why fair, isn’t always fair.
For instance, did you know that the Palestinians were offered a land of their own, but they refused it? Did you know the offer was repeated, and they refused again? Did you know that they refused a land of their own a total of five times? I bet you didn’t, and neither did I, until I watched the video.
I wasn’t part of the negotiations, but I’d be willing to bet that it came with all sorts of humanitarian aid, logistical assistance, and all the other necessities required to establish an independent state; otherwise known as American Tax Dollars. It sounds like a no-brainer to me. Why say no — five times?
A little bird told me that it was because they had to acknowledge Israel’s existence. Israel does exist in today’s world so again, isn’t that kind of a no-brainer?
Hey, I wonder if agree to recognize Israel’s right to exist, would they give me the same deal? I think I’d call the new state Davydsland. Has a nice ring to it don’t you think?
I’ve watched Dennis Prager’s video more than once and I only have one point of contention. He argues that Jews cannot be Jews without their belief in G-d, the written word of G-d (the Torah), and their historic land of Israel. “If Israel isn’t a part of Judaism, neither is the Bible or G-d.”
I do agree that the Jewish State must survive, and more than just survive, it must thrive. The religious and geopolitical ramifications of a world without Israel are unthinkable. But the same could be said for the USA, Great Britain, France, and yes, even Germany. What can’t be said for any of these other places is that the Promised Land, was given by G-d, to Jews, and that’s what needs to be remembered.
A place is just a place. To better understand my perspective, let me use the mechanism of analogy the way Dennis does so effectively. If Russia were to launch a nuclear attack on America and by some miracle, I survived, I wouldn’t have my country anymore, but I’d still be an American in my heart, soul, and mind. In the same way, Israel is a nation of Israelis, most of whom are Jewish, but not all. So, I have a hard time understanding the need for a particular location, in order to be Jewish. Jews require G-d and Torah just like Christians require Jesus and the Bible. G-d and Torah are parts of Judaism regardless of where the Jew is.
The way I see it, the Jews deserve their land (Israel) because it’s a gift from G-d. Need proof? Throughout recorded history, Israel has been destroyed, conquered, and destroyed again, yet here it is. Where’s the Philistine Army? Where’s the Babylonian Army? Where’s the Roman Army? Where’s the Israeli army? To deny Israel’s existence is to deny fact.
But it’s only a place. Christians have Rome, Muslims have Mecca, and Jews have Jerusalem; all three are places. The question begs; do you need to be in a particular place, just to be?
I guess this simple bus driver needs more clarification.
PS – Dennis, if you happen to read this post, please take a moment to comment, even if it’s just to call me a stupid moron. Don’t worry, I’m a bus driver, Stupid Moron qualifies as an endearment.
What the Biden Administration doesn’t want you to know.
In my posts on inflation parts 1 and 2, I discuss the Biden Administration’s 8.2% ruse. That was just one of many shortfalls Joe is hiding from you, and all need to be addressed. Of the many, there is one extremely vital problem that isn’t getting the attention it should, national security. The border has a stake in this area, but that’s a segment all its own.
What I want to talk about here deals with the current strength of our military. First and foremost, a leader needs to project strength even if his or her military isn’t as strong as it needs to be. People around the world know intuitively, a nation’s armed forces reflect a leader’s persona by design. Russia shows the world Putin, China shows the world Xi; we have Joseph Robinette Biden, whose projection is feeble, senile, and reeks of ineptitude.
To gauge the serious nature of the problem, the Heritage Foundation does an annual index of U.S. Military Strength. It’s one of those rare reports that won’t put you to sleep with droning statistics. I started reading it intending to cull a few important and interesting Bus Driver Simple facts (see below). But it was a fascinating read and if you have the time, I recommend it. Also, Carson Steelman has a very good 5 min podcast overview.
Here are my quick and easy index notes:
Regional Operations – the ability to operate effectively around the world.
Conflict Preparation – the readiness to address conflicts as they arise.
Adequate Resources – sufficient logistical (ammunition, food, transportation, etc.) inventories, manpower, and equipment to respond when necessary.
Military Modernization – new technologies developed, manufactured, and ready to deploy in sufficient quantities to counter those of other nations.
Full military funding prior to need.
We are weak in all five areas. Regardless, the US military is tasked with being able and ready to conduct two separate wars simultaneously anywhere in the world. If you think that’s overkill, think again, Ukraine and Taiwan.
In just two short years, under the Biden Administration, our military strength index has dropped to an all-time low of weak. Never before has this happened, and at this point, we would be hard-pressed to conduct just one modern conflict successfully. Our enemies recognize the fact and are using it to their advantage. Thank you, Gen. Mark “mealy-mouth” Milley.
There are two key points of cause: Woke Objectives (CRT, ESG, and Gender Issues) infiltrating our military culture; and an unprecedented lack of funding due to budget prioritization for Green New Deal expenditures.
With the mid-term election coming up, we need to pay attention to this as the serious problem it presents. Russia is threatening nuclear war in Ukraine; China is licking its chops over Taiwan (Japan is next), and we have Joe ‘LGB’ Biden and Gen. Milley-Mouth leading the way to Armageddon.
FYI – If you didn’t read part 1 STOP, and click here. It’s important to crawl before you run, so please, indulge me.
You already understand what I mean when I say that we pay inflation on past inflation. Now it’s time to dive into the way they fudge the inflation numbers using a tool called the CPI. The Biden Administration knows that most Americans have no clue how the inflation number is derived. Don’t worry. I’m no expert either, but I’ve done enough research to satisfy my curiosity. Why so curious? Well, I’ve heard that inflation numbers thirty years ago were calculated differently than they are now. I wanted to know why.
Inflation is calculated based on a number called the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Years ago, they calculated the CPI by taking a sample grocery bag of items deemed to be basic consumables for the average American. Then, they calculated the cost. They also came up with criteria for basic housing, transportation, and the list goes on. Let’s stick with the grocery bag sample for this illustration.
The next year they looked at the exact same bag of groceries and determined the current cost. The difference in price was the CPI, and they used that CPI to determine the inflation rate. Every once in a while the CPI would go down, which means low or negative inflation, but most of the time, it went up.
So how does someone fiddle around with something as straightforward and basic as the cost of groceries? Well, it works like this. The Biden Administration Muckety-Mucks said wait a minute. We aren’t taking into account consumer spending trends. If the price of Swiss Cheese goes up, shoppers start buying Provolone cheese which is cheaper. We need to adjust for that. We also need to adjust for Rye Bread to White Bread and so on, and so forth.
On the surface it makes sense, right?
Yeah, just like every other democrat lie. It sounds reasonable until you dive into the specifics.
Let’s stick with bread. For years you purchased Rye Bread to make the sandwiches you and your family enjoy for lunch. In the past, you paid $2 a loaf. Now it’s $5 a loaf. So you tell your kids, and yourself, White Bread is just as good. But is it? And what happens when White Bread becomes too expensive? Are Crackers just as good? Imagine the look on our kid’s faces when you give them a sandwich made with two crackers instead of two slices of bread. And it doesn’t stop there.
When calculating the current CPI, they do the same tomfoolery for just about everything, including housing costs. They completely ignore homeowners and the costs of buying, financing, and maintaining a home in good livable condition. Instead, they use average rents to set the standard cost of housing, and they justify it by claiming your home isn’t an expense, it’s an investment.
And the Muckety-Mucks aren’t through; they’re still manipulating the numbers even today. This is why the Biden Administration and the fake news media can tell you to your face, that you’re only experiencing an 8.2% inflation rate when in reality, it’s an inflation rate of 18-20%.
But there’s good news ahead. Mark my words. When Donald J. Trump ascends to his rightful place in the Whitehouse, you can bet your bottom dollar that the CPI, along with the inflation rate, employment rate, and everything else, will all be recalculated the right way (meaning applicable to those on the right). Then, the democrats, supported by the fake media, will complain for months about how the inflation rate spontaneously jumped to double digits as soon as Joe (LGB) Biden left office.
You heard it here first.
Democrats also feel the pain, but they feel it differently. To them, it’s almost masochistic in nature because it’s the pain of change in America; from a capitalist abomination full of deplorable individualists providing for themselves; to a Socialist Utopia full of mind-numbed robots willing to be subjugated for mere sustenance (otherwise known as Communism).
PS – For all you independent voters out there: We stand at the precipice, vote your mind, not your heart or it’ll cost you more than money.
For a more detailed discussion of what I just told you, see: Why Has the Inflation Calculation Changed Over Time? – DNyuz It’s not overly biased, but be careful just the same. The government Muckety-Mucks substitute the word consumption for the concept of same standards of living. The bias is subtle, but it’s there.
If the years 1977-1981, seem like a random selection to you when referencing the here and now, you’re simply too young to remember. 77-81 were the Jimmy Carter years and inflation reached a high of 14.8% with a Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 80.1. In 1980, inflation stayed over 14% for more than four consecutive months, with an average annual rate of 13.5%. These are the numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), so they must be true. 1980 CPI and Inflation Rate for the United States | CPI Inflation Calculator (2022 Updated Monthly)
First, let me apologize for throwing out a bunch of numbers right from the start. Don’t worry. This is Davyd’s blog, and you know I’m not going to bore you with statistical analysis, fudged numbers, and theoretical assumptions designed to cloud your ability to understand the truth. I live in the real world where working is a means of survival, not a euphemism for getting filthy rich off the labor of others through taxation i.e., The Big Guy (Let’s Go Brandon).
So, why does the Biden Administration tell us inflation is only 8.2%, but the same bag of groceries I bought last year costs 10% more this year; and closer to 20% more than the year before that? For those in Rio Linda, that’s two years ago.
Here’s a simple way to think of it. It’s kind of like compound interest. When you borrow money, you can pay straight interest; $10 for 1 year at 10% is $11. Or you can pay compound interest, which is interest on the principal of $10, plus interest on interest accrued over time. Simply put, you’re paying interest on principal and interest.
As I understand it, inflation is somewhat similar. If you buy a loaf of bread and it costs $1, one year later at 10% annual inflation, that same loaf of bread will cost $1.10. But if inflation stays at 10%, the next year the same loaf of bread costs $1.21. In other words, to get the same loaf of bread from two years ago, we now have to pay the $1 base cost, plus 10% for last year’s inflation, plus 10% on the whole thing for this year’s inflation. And that’s why we’re paying inflation on past inflation.
Now take that cost increase and apply it across the board to everything you buy and yeah, this is what the cost of living in Biden’s America feels like. Keep in mind, I didn’t even mention the fact that yesteryear’s loaf of bread was 20 ounces, and today’s loaf is only 16.
Democrats also feel the pain, but they feel it differently. To them, it’s almost masochistic in nature because it’s the pain of change in America; from a capitalist abomination full of deplorable individualists providing for themselves; to a socialist utopia full of mind-numbed robots willing to be subjugated for mere sustenance (otherwise known as Communism).
But wait Davyd, you’ve told us why the inflation rate feels like 20%, but you haven’t told us why the Biden Administration says it’s only 8.2%. Also, you mentioned the Consumer Price Index (CPI). What’s that got to do with this horror story?
Well, as bad as it already is, the truth is about to get even worse. The CPI and how it’s manipulated, is a big reason why the Biden Administration can look at 18% inflation and call it 8.2%. By the way, 8.2% inflation is really bad. Don’t just shake your head and get used to the new normal. It’s not normal; it’s the free market screaming for help.
But before we dive into some more numbers, for now, just let the basics settle in and keep reminding yourself that we are paying inflation on past inflation. Then, when you’re ready for the horrific truth, check out my next post. I promise the numbers will be bus driver simple to understand. And when it’s over, you’ll know why the Biden administration can claim 8.2% inflation when in reality, it feels like 18.2% or higher.
PS – They fudge the numbers on inflation, employment, illegal immigration, elections, national debt, and most everything else including national security. This post is only focusing on inflation.
Holy-Sh … Crap! When you start to list it all, it’s truly amazing how much damage the democrats caused in less than two years.
This is a true story that happened last night on the way home from work. I wanted desperately to tell you about it right then and there, but …
As you know, I’m a bus driver; I leave for work at 0900, I don’t return until 2200, and I do it all for $1 over the current starting salary at McDonald’s. By the way, for those in Rio Linda, 0900 means 9:00 am, and 2200 means 10:00 pm. Yes, it’s a long day and when I get home, I’m really tired. So now that I’m well rested, here’s the story.
Also, I wasn’t thinking at the time, or I would have tried to take a picture of the individual that inspired this post. Suffice it to say, he looked like this:
Disclaimer: I don’t know how to determine the gender of a grasshopper, so I’ll just refer to him as “He.”
With all that out of the way, here’s what happened.
At about the mid-point of my commute home last night, I came to a stop at a traffic light. I drive an old pickup truck, and even if I didn’t have to drive it for economic reasons, I’d still drive it out of preference. It’s a fantastic truck, and they don’t make them anymore.
Anyway, just before the light turned green, I noticed a grasshopper walking across the top edge of my windshield. How he got there was beyond me; I was already on the road for almost half an hour. It was a miracle that he survived this long, but I knew the light would turn green at any moment, and this grasshopper really didn’t stand a chance. The speed limit for the next part of my commute was 50 mph (60 mph in real life) on a two-lane road with double yellow stripes. No passing is allowed, and everyone expects you to go 60. I think you get the picture.
Anyway, I really felt bad for this creature, but the light turned green and it was time to go. Just then, it occurred to me that if I accelerated slowly, maybe the grasshopper would have time to make his way to the back of the cab and jump into the bed of my truck. If he did, he’d have no problem surviving the rest of the journey. I executed my plan and accelerated slowly. Oddly enough, my fellow late-night commuters were very patient: no one honked. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t patience; my truck is old and looks old too. Tolerance might be more accurate.
In all honesty, I really didn’t think the grasshopper would make it, but in that brief moment, there was a connection, so I did what I could and hoped for the best. Eventually, I made it home, pulled into my driveway, parked the truck, and jumped out to check for my grasshopper buddy. Even though it was night, the bed of my truck has a black liner; he would look almost white against the black and be easy to see. Sadly, he wasn’t there. I felt terrible and it was exacerbated by my severe fatigue, or maybe the other way around. Who knows?
Extremely bummed out (disappointed for my gen-x fan(s)), I walked around to the passenger door and retrieved my clipboard, lunch box, and miscellaneous paperwork. In a paperless society like ours, ‘hehehe’, I still have to document events on the bus by writing them down.
As a side note: Ostensibly, it’s for the protection of my employer, and by extension, the drivers. In reality, it’s more of a gotcha type of thing designed to blame the driver for as much as possible when things go wrong. In the past, written reports have bitten the less literate of us in the ass. But in my case, because I’m your favorite writing bus driver, my reports have bitten my employer in the ass. It took more than one or two times, but they learned their lesson. My reports stand the test of time, and scrutiny, and my supervisor dreads having to tell me over the radio, “Be sure to write up your report before you leave tonight”.
Ok, back to the story.
So, I grabbed my stuff and closed the door. I started for the house, still feeling bad about my grasshopper buddy, but something told me to stop and turn back, because I forgot something important. I looked down at my hands to check. I had everything I could think of, and at first, I ignored the voice, but it repeated, and I relented.
I turned around to make my laborious trek back to the truck, and when I looked up, who did I see staring me straight in the eye? Proud, defiant, and ultimately victorious over his vanquished foe (60 mph winds) stood Kung Fu Grasshopper. He faced the onslaught of insurmountable odds and succeeded, even when I didn’t think he stood a chance.
Sharing this (true) story is especially important to me because my Grasshopper Hero has given me renewed resolve. We all have our challenges; some are thrust upon us by fate, like hurricanes. Yes, I live in Florida, but I was lucky. With proper preparation I weathered the storm; Ian did his worst to others. By the way, Hurricane Ian – Volunteer Florida is a great place to help (I did).
Ian: a personal assessment of challenge.
Some challenges we take on willingly, and when we do, they become goals. Most goals are sensible and with smart decision-making along with hard work, can be realized. Then, there are goals of a more fanciful nature. They fall into the category of lofty dreams or wishes. By their very nature, they have no real chance of coming to fruition. These are the most insidious because if we really want them, we waste our time in a never-ending cycle of failure, only to succeed as a Dreamer. Eventually, when it’s far too late to correct our mistakes, we capitulate to the truth and despair over what could have been.
In my case, that fanciful dream is to stop driving a bus for a living and live the life of a successful writer. Lately, it seems the harder I work, the less I actually achieve, and it gets me down. Giving up and doing what I could to reverse the effects of wasting time on a dream, seemed more appropriate than ever; especially, when a storm like Hurricane Ian was passing overhead.
Enter Kung Fu Grasshopper, who has taught me something crucial — giving up is a loss. Yes, time is running out because life is finite, but I still have mornings left to wake up, get out of bed, and fight on regardless of the odds.
I know my personal battle pales in comparison to those on Florida’s west coast, but the concept is the same. The battle is never over until you succeed — or quit.
Thank you, Kung Fu Grasshopper.
PS – Kung Fu Grasshopper wasn’t the first to teach me this lesson, but I needed a refresher course. Roma’s story will come when I’m ready to tell it.
On Friday, September 9, 2022, I attended the Launch Celebration for the Education Freedom Report Card. Why did the Heritage Foundation invite me? That’s a great question because I’m not a PH.D., teacher, or a parent of school-age kids. If you read my blog, then you know I’m a bus driver. That said. Often, there are overlooked perspectives that a utilitarian mind sees as obvious and maybe that’s the reason. But we’ll get to that in a moment.
First, I’d like to thank the Heritage Foundation for sponsoring a fantastic event. I don’t go to many professional conferences, but when I do, I always count the number of times my head falls to my chest in slumber. A good conference lasting all day usually scores a three or four. A bad conference qualifies as a long nap. At the Education Freedom Report Card luncheon, I didn’t nod off once. Not even when the keynote speaker, Gov. Ron DeSantis, was delayed, and we were privileged to hear Dr. Jay P. Greene give an impromptu speech about gender affirming care in schools and actual suicide prevention. The fake media facts do not support the truth.
For those of you who didn’t attend the luncheon, Heritage Foundation’s Education Report Card provides parents and state policymakers information regarding what their schools do well, and what needs work. Under Gov. DeSantis and his Education Commissioner, Manny Diaz, Jr., Florida is #1. But we didn’t score tops in everything, so there’s room for improvement.
So what in the HE… world was a metro bus driver doing at an Education Conference? Well, I did do some time as a school bus driver. It sounds like a prison sentence, doesn’t it? For some drivers, it is, but not me. My students learned early and fast; how to behave on my bus. I use the same philosophy when dealing with unruly adult passengers. Suffice it to say that children, are pretty much the same, no matter the age.
As a school bus driver (my only qualification for attendance at the luncheon), I made some observations that your typical academician might overlook. That’s not meant as a criticism. PH.D.’s by definition, have a lot on their collective minds. But school bus drivers are in the trenches and have the time to make observations, maybe even formulate an opinion or two.
For what it’s worth—here’s my two cents.
Fuel and access are two important aspects of a quality education. Fuel (not diesel): I’m talking about access to basic nutrition like school breakfast and lunch. I think we all can agree that in order for students to achieve, they need the fuel to do it. When my school bus was late (not my fault), the only complaints I ever heard, came from the kids who wouldn’t get breakfast. If a child’s parents are forced to choose inferior schools just because there’s a menu, where’s the choice? I think there might be room on the education report card for a grade here.
Likewise, another area that comes to mind is the availability of transportation. I know that not all kids can have a bus stop at their front door. But another complaint I used to get was the inability to safely lock bikes up at the bus stops. If a child needs to ride a bike from one neighborhood to another just to catch a bus to their chosen school, a safe lockup just seems obvious. It directly affects access to quality education and may also have a place on the report card.
I don’t know if any of this helps, but it’s what came to my pedestrian mind.
As promised in my previous post, Public vs Private schools , there is a solution to our troubled public school system. It’s as beautiful as a Donald Trump telephone call; it’s as American as apple pie; and in spite of anything you may hear in the future or heard in the past, it is simple.
First, we need to start viewing education as an industry, and we better do it soon because the left already does. Only their description starts with the word indoctrination, not education.
Once we recognize that education is an industry in distress, it’s easy to understand the fix.
Step one: drastically reduce government regulation. Say what? Hear me out. In every instance where a suffering industry is released from the shackles of government regulation, it flourishes. Education is, and has been, suffering for a long time.
Step two: decentralize authority by taking it from Washington, DC, and giving it back to the states. We already know from past experience that what’s good for NYC isn’t necessarily good for Peoria, IL.
Step three: reward the best schools, teachers, and yes, even administrators with proper incentives. These incentives need to be fair and merit-based.
How do we accomplish all these seemingly impossible goals with the greatest of ease? Simple, introduce the perfect, most beautiful, and effective cure an ailing industry could possibly desire, free market competition. And the best way to do that is through school vouchers. Give parents the ability to vote with their dollars.
For a more detailed illustration of how it would work, please read this excerpt from a book published in 2014 (fictional reproduction with permission). It’s a conversation between two men about the public school system and how to fix it. Keep in mind, it takes place over eight years ago, but could be, and should be, taking place now.
Scott interjected. “Ray, we’re both products of the public school system. I think I came out okay, and most would argue that you didn’t do too badly either, so why the hostility? You don’t like our public schools?”
“I think every American child should be provided an education, and I don’t have a problem with government-mandated or funded education being the vehicle. But as a businessman, I do have a problem with monopolistic mediocrity. It’s the inevitable end for all monopolies as a function, it’s true in business, in government, and all you have to do to find an example of both is to look at our schools.”
Scott followed Ray’s lead. “Okay, let’s say that there’s a problem with our schools. How would you propose to fix it?”
“That’s not really much of a challenge. Introduce competition into the public school system and make them fight with proven results for every tax dollar. In twenty years you’ll have teachers making $100,000.00 a year, students in fifth-grade reading at tenth-grade levels, middle school kids resolving calculus proofs, and you wouldn’t need to raise taxes to do it.”
“Not raise taxes? Impossible.” Scott wasn’t seeing the forest for the trees.
“Not at all. Think about it. Americans would be better educated, more productive, and earn more money because of their increased capabilities. Then, as a result, they would pay more money into the system at the current tax rate. Eliminate redundancy and waste in the public school bureaucracy, limit spending, allow parents to choose which schools their kids attend, and then let the marketplace work its magic. The market will decide which schools get the money that we currently allocate and the problem of underpaid, underqualified teachers goes away.”
Scott wasn’t sold. “Teachers making 100 grand without a tax increase? I still don’t see how?”
“That’s because right now there are thousands of teachers who have no business teaching school. Think about it. If you did have a couple of 100 grand teachers, wouldn’t you expect to get higher productivity, quality, and efficiency out of each one? Of course you would.” Ray waited for Scott to catch up, but he could see that the wait would be long. “Oh for goodness sakes. The system is so bloated that for every 100 grand teacher you hire, you could fire three thirty-grand teachers. Isn’t that obvious? And the best part is—the equation starts to work as soon as it’s applied, and gets better with time. Five or ten years down the road, you have a streamlined, effective, and efficient school system filled with 100 grand teachers, or teachers aspiring to be 100 grand teachers. Each one, pulling his or her own weight and contributing their talents and expertise to a public school system that one day, may even provide a margin. Imagine that, public schools making a profit.”
“Don’t you mean surplus as in budget surplus?” Scott’s doubt seeped through his tone.
Ray sighed, “A first year student of economics would be capable of making the logic leap, but I’ll walk you through it, Scott. Say my budget is $1 billion and I only spend $950 million. That leaves me with a $50 million budget surplus. If I take that surplus and put it in a money market account or a high-quality municipal bond, the money is back in the system and working. I know this because my $50 million is earning interest. $50,000,000.00 times 2.5% is $1,250,000.00 profit. Another term for that is capital gains. Isn’t that ironic?”
“Public school systems across the country having to pay capital gains tax.”
“I don’t think it’s that simple?” Scott’s response was strictly defensive because Ray was making sense, even to him.
“Sure it is. The current bureaucracy doesn’t want you to think it’s easy, but it is. All you need to do is take the current federal and state budgets for education and cap them. Then, you take that money and distribute it to the people by issuing education vouchers.”
“Ray, wouldn’t that mean more governmental bureaucracy and massive layoffs?”
“No. The people whose jobs were eliminated by trimming the fat can be reassigned to processing the vouchers. Sure, they would earn less, but that’s because they shouldn’t be teaching in the first place. Besides, most of those people won’t take the new job. They’d be expected to work for a living instead of twiddling their collective thumbs while an obsolete union fights for their right to do so. They’ll quit, but that’ll make room for others who want to work, resulting in more productivity at less cost.
“By putting the purchasing decision into the consumer’s hands, you let the people decide which schools get funded, public or private—not some overpaid bureaucratic political flunky. Parents monitor the quality of the schools that they pay, and they do it voluntarily because they’re spending their money, not merely paying into a collective tax pool. Schools wanting more money will offer better programs and attract quality teachers with better pay incentives. They will in turn, draw more student vouchers and be able to expand their facilities while offering still higher salaries to keep the best teachers in place. When you add in the savings in commuting costs . . .”
“Commuting costs? Are you referring to busing? How would vouchers help that?” Scott was still missing the big picture.
“Not just busing and yes, routes would be shorter reducing costs however there’s another issue. You don’t have children yet, so you don’t know what it’s like to have to drop your kid off and pick him up at the end of the school day, or how much time and money goes into it, especially, when the school is inconveniently located. If parents have vouchers, they determine where a school is built, and that’s the key, the market decides, not some pork barrel government bureaucrat. It all benefits the children. Who knows? Maybe art, music, and P.E. will return and some of the displaced government bureaucrats with education degrees could get jobs teaching those subjects. Funding is the least of our problems. Parent involvement is a bigger issue and putting education vouchers in their hands gets them directly involved.
“If you’re a parent and you know you want your kid in a specific school, the same school thousands of other parents want their kids to attend, you’re going to take some time out at the end of the day to read with your son or daughter. Maybe you’ll work with flash cards, so math isn’t such a mystery, and by the time your child is ready for first grade, he or she is prepared to learn, not just attend. And because of the extra parenting, your kid is the one accepted into the school of your choice. It’s the other kids and their parents who have to settle. Scott, the studies have been done and the data is in; throwing money at a problem only makes the problem bigger.”
“You make it sound very simple.”
“No, I don’t. It simply is simple. But don’t worry, none of it will ever happen.”
Scott was a little disappointed to hear that. “Why?” He was beginning to see the forest—and it was green.
“Well, that’s simple too; it’s a simple truth. If I give you something that you think you’re getting for free and I give it to you year after year, eventually, you’ll learn to depend on it. At that point, why would I let you dictate to me how I’m going to give it to you? The answer is, I wouldn’t. You will take what you’re given, and you will be grateful to get it. This gives me extraordinary power because if that gift is your child’s free education, then they get educated the way I want, not the way you want. Liberal politicians have a death grip on public education, and there is no plan to loosen it. They wouldn’t dream of giving power like that back to their constituents . . . which is what would happen if they issued parents public education vouchers. And here’s the kicker, the free education everyone clamors for—it isn’t free, it’s paid for through property taxes.”
“True enough, but not everyone pays property taxes. I don’t, I rent.”
Scott’s statement took Ray aback, obviously, the result of public schools, he regrouped. “Okay—now try to follow along because this is going to get a little complicated, it’s actually basic economics, but I’ll try to keep it simple—er.” Ray took a deep breath. “Most people who don’t have very much aren’t property owners, and they don’t pay property taxes, they pay rent, for them, public education seems free. But wait, there’s a dirty little secret, one that landlords like me keep quiet about because we pay a lot of property taxes. Do you know what that secret is? We get the money to pay our taxes from those who rent; rent is our source of income. Likewise, homeowners get the money to pay property taxes from doing their job; work is their source of income, same as renters. Who pays the landlords, the private homeowners, and even the renters who don’t own property? The consumer pays them—that’s who. Therefore, everybody pays for free education, and Scott, that makes the term free education a perfect oxymoron.”
I don’t know about you, but I think this idea was ahead of its time, and more importantly, I think its time, has come. How about you?
No charts, graphs, or statistics here … just common sense.
Let me lay my cards on the table. I do not have school-age children. I’m not a teacher, principal, or college-educated school administrator. I’m a bus driver with two functioning eyes, and a brain. My observations may be basic by establishment standards, even rudimentary; but often, truth is overlooked by complicated sophistication masquerading as intelligence. Read on if you want a prime example.
I’ve been driving the same route for a while and learned its nuances. But before we get into that, you need to know that prior to driving a metro bus, I spent my days honing my craft as a school-bus driver. OK, enough back-story.
There are three school zones on my route that I pass many times a day, some twice in the same loop. Each is active at different hours, and they comprise students from elementary to high school. Depending on the time of day, these school zones can add 5-10 minutes of delay. On a tight one-hour loop, they have a devastating effect on the schedule.
As a professional in my field, I’ve developed techniques to mitigate these delays. One such technique involves a difficult but effective lane change to avoid parent loop overflow.
Bus drivers need to stay in the right-hand lane to make their stops. However, if there’s a large enough gap between bus stops, you can move over into the left-hand lane, get around the backup, and return to the right-hand lane before the next stop. Sounds simple right? Next time someone hands you the keys to a forty-foot bus, try it. FYI, some buses have keys … some don’t.
My next challenge comes at an intersection where I need to make a left-hand turn into a school zone. There’s only one problem, no left turn arrow or turn lane. There is, however, an abundance of traffic, crossing guards, and students impatiently waiting to cross the intersection. Drivers of lesser skill and experience could easily be looking at a five-minute delay. I never need more than one complete traffic-light cycle.
The third school zone is relatively standard and offers no real tactical challenges other than getting through it without incident.
So here we are, halfway through a typical post, and what’s my point? Well, let’s take them in order.
As of today, school has been in session for a few weeks. On the first day, I performed my lane change technique at the parent loop challenge only to discover that my efforts were for naught. There weren’t any cars backed up into the roadway. Then, at the intersection challenge, I didn’t even have to wait for one light cycle. The crossing guard had nothing to do but wave at me as I made my turn. And by the time I arrived at the last school zone, the crossing guard had gone home. I’m assuming it’s because there weren’t any kids left to cross.
And here’s an observation I’m uniquely qualified to make. At the first school zone on my route, the one with the parent loop, I also pass the school bus loop, where the buses drop off and load students. The bus drivers leave the same way they come in and have a difficult time getting back into traffic. I know this because I used to service the same school. As a courtesy, I always stop to let them in, and that’s when I notice it. Every bus was leaving with empty seats; most were less than half full. When I serviced that school, my bus was always packed, and so were all the others.
I don’t know if this is just a localized phenomenon, but it sure seems to me that the student body has thinned out at all grade levels. I bet if we looked inside these classrooms, we’d see a lot of empty seats.
I don’t think it’s a Covid issue because Florida schools have been open for a long time. As for summer stragglers, they should’ve been back a few days after school started.
Then, it occurred to me that maybe these missing kids are being homeschooled. I think that explains some of it. Home schooling might be right for a few, but I don’t think it’s sufficient to account for what I see.
I think parents everywhere, even here in Florida, are taking notice of the garbage our woke public schools are peddling, and they’re starting to vote with their feet. They want their kids to learn math, science, reading, and true American History. As it stands right now, state tax laws won’t let them vote with their dollars. So they put off buying that new home, car, or going on vacation, and they write a check to the private school of their choice. If this trend continues, school boards, teachers’ unions, and all the EdD bureaucrats (like Dr. Jill Biden) are going to be in for a rude awakening.