Monday, November 15, 2010

Ok, so, Its Education We're Going to Defund

Looks like 300 million dollars are going to be cut from our schools and social services. That's just a start, apparently, we've got to get to $2 billion this fiscal year and $3billion in the next. But just to be clear, unless our schools have been burning $300 million dollars in a literal fire, that's going to increase our unemployment rates at a time we already have 9.6% unemployment. I think its clear that this makes it more likely not less that our economy will fall into a double dip.

Even if we can make these kinds of cuts without affecting school quality (which I seriously doubt), even if we are able to find people to fire who are making zero impact on our school quality, those people will be added to our unemployment roles. Those people will have to immediately cut spending, which impacts demand, which will reduce the incentive for businesses to hire and the cycle continues.

For those who think the government stimulus was a waste of money, now as that stimulus expires, we'll see what happens, to some extent, to our economy without it.

By the way, these spending cuts will be offset somewhat, by the Fed's decision to increase the money supply through its monetary policy, which conservatives inexplicably are also against. In that link, Krugman argues that even Friedman is too liberal for today's conservatives.

All of this is worrying enough, but I assume that $300 million (plus the additional cuts still to come) are sizeable enough that it will affect educational quality.

I just ran across this article recently. It is short, but the author tries to pinpoint the source of America's wealth. Here's how the article concludes:

"America does seem to be special in important ways, but it's not always clear what those ways are. A liberal economic order and geographically mobile population are important, but so is the level of education, the promise of social mobility, and the openness of America's borders. It's worth keeping all of that in mind as the country's leaders think about the ways economic policy should change in the wake of the Great Recession."

It's like Arizona read that paragraph and decided to do the opposite of every item in this sentence.


Anonymous said...

Scott, what part of "budget deficit" do you not understand? Cuts have to be made -- and nearly all sectors of the state government are going to be impacted. We haven't even begun to get creative yet on how to make ends meet. You act like money and big government is the only solution to this crisis. Meanwhile countries that spend far less per pupil have students that are out performing the USA. I'd really like you to bring forward solutions given the current climate instead of living in the past (pre-midterm elections).


tempe turley said...

David, Arizona spend the least per pupil on education (or close to it) of any state.

Please tell me which country spend less than Arizona and still getting better results?

My solution is to increase taxes - which I think will be less damaging to our economy both in the long run and short run.

tempe turley said...


This article talks about why taxes really should be raised. He's speaking from the nation level, but the points apply.

"Second, Americans now have one of the most unequal distributions of income and wealth in the industrialized world, yet they still aspire to making a number of ever-more expensive basic services — education, justice and health care — available to all citizens on roughly equal terms, even though that vision is not consistently realized in practice. The lofty vision inevitably implies transfers from the well-to-do to the lower-income strata."

Anonymous said...

Scott, here's a study that says USA spends the most (at least on math):

Now take a look in the same study where we rank in math.

Seriously, Scott, you are arguing to raise taxes after this recent election in ARIZONA?! Is the entire Democratic party in denial of the recent election? Like I said, you'd be spending your energy much more productively if you started thinking of solutions that involve better teaching methods, cost effective solutions, more parent involvement, less illegal alien costs to education, etc. Until you come up with solutions for this climate, you are just part of the problem.


tempe turley said...

Sure increasing taxes is not viable in the current political climate but I voted Democrat so I earned the right to complain, isn't that right?

I'm all about doing more with less, bu they are trying to close massive budget gaps in a hurry.

By the way, your link is broken.

I do have ideas on education reform, but I'm not so sure they involve spending less than $6000 per pupil especially with the speed their trying to do it in.

Anonymous said...

So you are using your blog as a politically divisive, self theraputic ranting session? Thank you for reminding me why I don't read blogs that often. :)

tempe turley said...

David, isn't that the old prhase, if you don't vote, you can't complain? I voted so I can complain :-).

I also can warn, if you cut educational spending you will increase unemployment and most likely decrease quality which will have impact on our short and long term prosperity...

Also, I think the voters at large would support tax increases to avoid big education funding cuts. The sales tax increase Governor Brewer put on the ballot passed by large margins.

Its just the Republican party that has become a caricature of itself has decided that tax cuts can balance budgets and that spending cuts will always benefit the economy. :-).