Ten Steps to Prosperity: Step 5: Salary for attending school Monday, Feb 13 2017 

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.

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This is the fifth in the series of posts describing each of the Ten Steps to Prosperity, the previous Steps being:

Eliminate Fica (1)
Federally funded Medicare and long-term care for everyone (2)
Monthly economic bonus for everyone (3)
Free education for everyone (4)

By now, readers know that:

A. People create governments, the purpose of which are to protect and benefit the people, and governments create laws to effect those purposes, not to test the people’s ability to protect and benefit themselves.
B. The federal government being Monetarily Sovereign, never can run short of its own sovereign currency, and for that reason, federal taxes do not fund federal spending. In fact, federal taxes are destroyed — cease to be part of the money supply — upon receipt.
C. The Federal Reserve controls inflation by making the dollar more valuable, which is accomplished by increasing the reward for owning dollars (i.e. interest rates)
D. The Ten Steps are meant to be taken sequentially so the effects of each Step can be analyzed before the next Step is taken, and because each Step affects those that follow.

Step #5, Salary for attending school is nicely described in an original post For brevity, we don’t repeat the original post, so after reading today’s background and summary, please take the opportunity to click the link and read the original.

BACKGROUND:
Many years ago, my wife, who was a high school teacher, provided free teaching help to a charity that was both a service and an experiment.

The charity selected a freshman class from a high school in a nearby, low-income area. The students and their families were told this:

We will provide the students with teaching, additional tutoring, and counseling for the next four years. Each student will be given individual, personal attention, with the goal of helping everyone to graduate high school and go on to college.

For those who choose to go to college, we will provide 100% tuition, plus books and materials, plus living expenses. In short, each student will pay nothing to attend the college of his/her choice.

In one sense, the program was a success. A higher percentage graduated high school than did other comparable classes in that same school. The close supervision, counseling and individual tutoring worked. The children not only achieved better grades and attendance, but their overall attitudes about learning were excellent.

In another sense, the program was a failure. We had thought that the biggest problem would be to shepherd the children through high school, but we were wrong.

More students than we hoped, didn’t finish high school.  But more surprising, were those who did finish high school, but opted not to attend or finish college, despite the free opportunities.

Image result for student job

We did not anticipate what should have been obvious: The families of the students needed the money the children could have brought in by working. The parents did not want the children to continue schooling.

In the poor communities, education apparently is not considered a passport to future success, when today’s needs are so urgent. If you are starving, you don’t worry about next week’s meal.

It is mathematically probable that at least some of the students, who elected to (or were told to) refuse continuing their education, could have done great things.

Unfortunately, not only did they each personally lose a life’s opportunity, but America lost, too. Who knows what great scientists, mathematicians, leaders, and innovators never came into being?

Many stories have been written about what would have happened if people like Einstein, or M.L. King, Newton, Washington, Edison,  Salk and Sabin, and others never had been born. America and the world would have been much the lesser.

What we cannot know, and never will know, is what we have lost because all those children, who could have been great, did not go on with their learning.

Would one of them have found a cure for cancers or other diseases? Would one have led the world to peace?  Would one have solved the problems of a trip to Mars. Would one have found a way to double human lifespan? Would one of them merely have started a successful business, had he only been able to accept the opportunity?

We never will know. And it is with that thought that Step #5 was born.

The fundamental purpose of paying a salary to students is to encourage school attendance by reducing the motivation to quit school, and by relieving students of the time and effort needed to bring money home.

SUMMARY:

The original post describes a list of problems Step #5 addresses:

  1. Reduces the school dropout rate.
  2. Adds GDP-growth dollars to the economy
  3. Provides workers for our more sophisticated existing industries
  4. Provides creators of future sophisticated industries
  5. Improves our quality of life by providing more doctors, nurses, scientists, chemists, architects, businessmen, and engineers of all types
  6. Reduces the crime level associated with school dropouts
  7. Improves the knowledge and voting decisions of the public

The original post also discusses answers to such questions as:

  1. Pay a salary to attend what kinds of school? (An accredited school as opposed to a diploma mill or homeschooling.)
  2. How much salary? (Above the single person’s poverty guideline for each geographic area.)
  3. Should wealth, income or other federal benefits be considered? (No.)
  4. What about so-called, “professional students”? The salaries should not be so high as to encourage this behavior.
  5. What about scholarships? Schools should not be allowed to consider this salary among their criteria for impoverishment scholarships.
  6. Who would administer the program? The states should administer it, and the federal government should pay for it.

Interestingly, the experiment also taught us something about Step #4, “Free education for everyone.”

It demonstrated that giving students close individual attention — teaching, tutoring, involving parents, and counseling has a profound effect on high school attendance and results.

The fact that these things cost money sends a message to all those who denounce federal spending by claiming America’s educational problems cannot be addressed by “throwing money at them.”

Indeed, solutions to many of America’s problems do require “throwing money at them,” and fortunately, the U.S. federal government has an unlimited supply.

It only needs to be applied productively.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Guaranteed Income)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Down the dark road. How a nation loses its liberty. Thursday, Aug 18 2016 

Liberty. Privacy. Freedom of speech. Freedom of thought.

These are not natural freedoms. They are difficult to obtain and difficult to retain.

Our founders gave their lives to establish these freedoms, and always, always someone lurks in the shadows, ready to steal them away from us.

Inevitably, it begins the same: Something frightens the working class. A charismatic and bombastic leader proclaims his unique ability to solve all their problems. Only he has the knowledge and the will to protect the working class from the evils that threaten them.

All he asks is that the people give him the power to take away the liberties of “them” who are different from “us,” and who “cause trouble.”

It’s a small step, isn’t it? Those “other” people aren’t all that important, are they? It’s good to destroy “their” lives so long as “our” lives are protected.

Helping the majority at the expense of the minority, easily is justified.

Hitler did it. Mussolini did it. Mao Zedung did it. Joseph Stalin did it. Kim Il-sung did it. Pol Pot did it. Saddam Hussein did it. Robert Mugabe did it.

The list goes on and on. Always different,yet always the same.

In every case the country was under a threat, real or perceived, The working class was afraid and suffering. An evil minority was identified as being the cause.

The fearful citizens turned to a “strong man.” a dictator to save them. They didn’t care whom he hurt, so long as it wasn’t​ them.

But, when they made their deal with the devil, the trap snapped shut.

The “strong man” thereupon began to expunge all who disagreed with him, for he was the nation and the nation was him.

Liberty became an unnecessary inconvenience. Freedom of speech, freedom of privacy, even freedom of thought, all stood in the way of the strong man’s goals.

Eventually, the country was enslaved and even the working people, who originally supported the “strong man,” no longer could be trusted, and they too were expunged.

The people willingly had walked down the dark road, ready to allow others to be punished, so they themselves could be saved.

Ironically, but inevitably, the working people, their children, and all their loved ones were punished.

The people all entered​ upon the dark road, believing “it could not happen here,” but soon their hatred rebounded on them, and their hell began.

Freedom is a fragile concept, hard to win, easy to lose.

Remember that as you read the following.

Trump Said He’d Throw Orlando Shooter’s Dad, A US Citizen, Out Of Country

Donald Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he would force even U.S. citizens found to have extremist views to leave the country as president.

Hannity asked Trump what he would do about individuals like Seddique Mateen, the Afghanistan-born father of the man who killed dozens in an Orlando nightclub in June and has criticized the U.S.

“What do we do when we find somebody that has extreme views?” Hannity asked in a town hall that was taped Tuesday but aired Wednesday so that it wouldn’t interfere with the live broadcast of Trump’s speech in Milwaukee. “Do we throw them the hell out?”

“I’d throw him out,” Trump said of Mateen, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen. “If you look at him, I’d throw him out.”

To Trump, Mateen “looks like” a Muslim. That, and having “extremist views” is sufficient reason to deport Mateen, despite Mateen being a U.S. citizen.

And what are extremist views? Are they the views of anyone disagreeing with the American government (as all Republicans have done for 8 years)?

Are they the views of those who speak against American attacks in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc., as many Americans have done?

Are they the views of those who believe in a different God or in no God at all?

Only Trump is qualified to say what views are “extremist” and what are not.

Trump did not clarify where those identified as “extreme” would be sent, but said “racial profiling” was necessary to root out people who might pose a threat to national security.

“Whether it’s racial profiling or politically correct, we better get smart,” he said. “We are letting tens of thousands of people into our country. We don’t know what the hell we’re doing.”

As for racial profiling, Hitler would agree. He too felt it was necessary.

And the German people agreed. They voluntarily — eagerly in fact — walked down the dark path to hell — along with the Jews.

Trump first advocated profiling Muslim Americans after Seddique Mateen’s son Omar went on a deadly rampage at the Pulse LGBT nightclub. In the town hall, he insisted, yet again, that Muslim Americans are not doing their part to help U.S. authorities identify terrorist threats.

“We have to be so tough and so smart and so vigilant, and, frankly, the Muslims have to help us, because they see what’s going on in their community,” Trump said. “We don’t see it. They have to help us. If they are not going to help us, they are to blame also.

Trump never defines what “help us” means. What “help” does he expect from Muslim American citizens, that he does not demand from other American citizens?

If you don’t spy upon, and report against, your friends and family, are you too extreme? Shall we become a nation in which each of us fears the accusations of our neighbors, our neighbor’s children, or even our own children, lest the storm troopers kick down our door?

Nor does Trump specify who “us” are. Surely “us” cannot mean U.S. citizens, because he wants to deport many U.S. Muslim citizens.

And surely, “us” does not mean American citizens whose parents came from Mexico. He not only wants to deport many (calling them “anchor babies”) but doesn’t even trust a judge of that description.

And surely “us” doesn’t include blacks, or gays, or even women, who are not quite beautiful enough. Trump has no love for them.

One only can speculate that “us” means rich, white Christians born here to American citizens, just like him.

The Republican nominee gave a few more hints at the details of “extreme vetting” plan for refugees, which involves a ban on immigrants from countries with a “history of terrorism” and, as of this week, an ideological admissions test for all prospective immigrants.

Which countries have a “history of terrorism”? One easily might ask, “Which do not?”

Terrorists are everywhere. Many European nations have spawned terrorists. Shall we bar the English, the French, the Spanish, the Italians?

The United States has exported terrorists for training, and has suffered from terrorism. Clearly, the United States has a “history of terrorism.”

And what exactly is his “idealogical admissions test”? Who will create it? Who will grade it? Should it eliminate liberals? Democrats? Socialists? Fascists? Libertarians? Communists? Environmentalists? Buddhists? Satanists? Atheists?

Will it eliminate those who believe in Evolution? Those who don’t?

Who makes that determination? Surely not the United States Constitution.

Where does loss of freedom begin, and where does it end?

At least one proposal he introduced -— screening the social media accounts of refugees and terrorist suspects in the U.S. — is already in use by the intelligence community.

“We didn’t look at social media,” Trump said (falsely) of the married couple who went on a shooting spree at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California last December. “They just came in.”

After the San Bernardino shooting, FBI Director James Comey dismissed reports that shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik made open posts on social media about martyrdom or committing terrorism.

Comey said all their communications were private messages that would not have been readily accessible by intelligence agencies.

As George Santayana reputedly said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Trump backers cannot remember the past, or if they remember, they naively believe, “It cannot happen here,” and “This time is different.”

Ignorance has its penalties. If Trump is elected, his followers and their families will pay with their lives, for yes, it can happen here, and no, this time is not different.

Freedom is fragile. It is difficult to gain and easily lost.

Trump is the reincarnation of every merciless dictator who ever trod the earth. He is not new. He is not unique. We have seen him many times before, bearing many flags and wearing many faces.

Fools follow dictators down the dark road to their doom. First,​ they lose their compassion. Then they lose their morality. Then they lose their freedoms and their lives.

It all begins with one small step.

It is ever thus.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

–Salary for attending school, III Saturday, Jul 24 2010 

The debt hawks are to economics as the creationists are to biology.

The following article reinforces the posts, Salary for attending school and Salary for attending school, 2nd paper:
——————————————————————————————————————————————————
U.S. goes from leading to lagging in young college graduates

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 22, 2010; 6:07 AM

The United States has fallen from first to 12th in the share of adults ages 25 to 34 with postsecondary degrees, according to a new report from the College Board.

Canada is now the global leader in higher education among young adults, with 55.8 percent of that population holding an associate degree or better as of 2007, the year of the latest international ranking. The United States sits 11 places back, with 40.4 percent of young adults holding postsecondary credentials.

The report, to be presented Thursday to Capitol Hill policymakers, is backed by a commission of highly placed educators who have set a goal for the United States to reclaim world leadership in college completion — and attain a 55 percent completion rate — by 2025.

The campaign mirrors President Obama’s quest to reclaim world leadership in college graduates by 2020, although it gives the country five more years to get there. The Commission on Access, Admissions and Success in Higher Education set its goal in December 2008, seven months before Obama’s American Graduation Initiative.

“I don’t think what we’re saying and what the president’s saying are that different,” said Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, the New York nonprofit agency responsible for the SAT and AP tests.

The United States ranks somewhat higher, sixth, among all nations when older adults are added to the equation, according to the report, which Caperton said would be the first of many annual reports charting progress toward the 2025 goal.

But the report focuses more heavily on younger adults, who are feared to be the first generation in the modern era that will be less well-educated than their parents.
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Educational attainment has risen gradually among 25- to 34-year-olds in recent years, according to census data, with the share holding associate degrees or better rising from 38.1 percent in 2000 to 41.6 percent in 2008, the latest figure available.

The report is tailored to state leaders and ranks states by college completion among young adults. The District of Columbia ranks higher than any state, with 62.2 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds holding postsecondary degrees. Maryland ranks 12th among states, with a 38.6 percent completion rate; Virginia ranks 17th, with a 36.5 percent rate.

The commission is urging state and national leaders to pursue a 10-part “action agenda,” which recommends such initiatives as universal pre-kindergarten for low-income families, better college counseling and dropout prevention, and streamlined college admissions, all of which might raise college completion rates. The group is led by William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland.

“We have a real, objective way every year to look at every state and see how they’re doing,” Caperton said, “and we’re doing this with legislators all over the country.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
http://www.rodgermitchell.com

No nation can tax itself into prosperity

–Salary for attending school: 2nd paper Tuesday, Jul 20 2010 

The debt hawks are to economics as the creationists are to biology.

In the post, Salary for attending school I suggested and discussed paying all students — elementary school, high school and college — a salary. Warren Mosler wrote to me, suggesting that a combination of salary and high school vouchers might be appropriate. Salary offers several advantages, which the earlier post described.

Additionally, vouchers might help make an otherwise unaffordable school, affordable. Beyond cost savings, the voucher adds a new dimension to school attendance. Depending on the size of the voucher, it can create competition among schools. Public high schools, being free, do not require a voucher . So would giving someone a school voucher encourage that person to select a private high school over a free public school? Does this “coupon” have the same psychological function as a retail coupon? (People are reluctant to “waste” a coupon).

And if a voucher does encourage private high school attendance, is this bad? What effect does this have on public schools? These questions have been debated for years, and I’m not sure if there has been resolution. Teachers’ unions oppose vouchers, but that is not a good measure, since teachers unions tend to oppose anything that hints of teacher evaluations. (Parents could use the vouchers to vote with their feet, regarding school quality.) “Cream skimming” is said to be a significant high school voucher problem, though that is said about any system allowing students to choose schools.

One thing I like about high school federal vouchers: The federal government, which never is cash strapped, would take some of the educational cost burden off state and local governments, which always are cash strapped. While I have questions about high school vouchers, I do propose federal funding of all elementary and high schools, with a continuation of local supervision.

This brings us to the possibility of college vouchers. For reasons clouded by history, elementary and high school education is free; college is not. There are state colleges, supported by tuition and state taxes, and private colleges, supported by tuition and donations. The federal colleges are military, i.e. West Point, and are funded by the federal government, with no tuition.

What, I wonder, would be the effect of federally funded, free colleges, comparable to the free elementary and high schools and comparable to the military colleges? What is the unique characteristic of the 12th grade, that makes it the last free grade? Why should the military schools be the only federally funded colleges? Why not continue to provide free public schooling through the 16th grade and beyond?

Again, I question vouchers, but instead I suggest federal funding of free universities, as one step toward providing additional advanced education to economic growth.

Many people claim U.S. education is in something of a crisis. New ideas are needed. My suggestions:
1. Pay a salary to all students (Salary for attending school)
2. Federal government support for elementary and high schools.
3. Federal government support of colleges.

What are your thoughts?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
http://www.rodgermitchell.com

No nation can tax itself into prosperity

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