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Wanna know what pisses me off?

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » The Monkey Hole » Wanna know what pisses me off? « Previous Next »

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Archive through June 16, 2002_Blackjack25 6-16-02  2:04 pm
Archive through June 16, 2002Nolamour25 6-16-02  11:14 pm
Archive through June 17, 2002Bunnylebowski25 6-17-02  7:03 pm
Archive through June 19, 2002Mr_Rabid25 6-19-02  4:32 pm
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Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 3:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bob,

Although there is much in what you say and motivated parents do help (there are a lot of motivated parents who happen to be poor and not able to afford private schools) I believe that the major factor in the success of private schools is the class sizes. In the UK anyway the quality of teaching staff in private schools is quite poor, they'll even take teachers who have failed their final teaching practice so long as they have their academic teaching qualification. Such a teacher could not teach in a UK state school. Sure they also have lots of money and resources but you can teach well with limited resources (it just doesn't look as pretty). Where they win out is their small class sizes.

I teach a class of eight-year olds, I do a good job, I teach them well and they progress well in excess of National expectations. Why? Because they love coming to school and they enjoy what they are taught. But I have 34 children in my class so I cannot give these children much in the way of individual attention, there is simply not the time. I then speak to a friend of mine from a private school who has 16 children in her class. She can give them loads of individual attention. If I could give my children this sort of attention I could really do wonders with my children.

Anyway we have managed to agree a 1-day swap of classes within the next few weeks which should be interesting. I'm not quite sure how I'll fit into a school where the Queen recently paid a visit (and walked into her classroom!), where my friend had to call the gamekeeper to chase a pheasant out of the girl's toilets, where some of the parents personally know members of the Royal Family and where the children put their hands up before speaking. All I know is that she's in for a shock when she meets my fun-loving bunch of 34 multi-racial kids from the local public housing estate.

Hobgoblin
Bob_Chong
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 11:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

And to add to that, my current students (teacher education students, i.e., future teachers) understand the value of a good Chonging. Regardless of their (usually liberal) orientation, they recognize and appreciate my adherence to hard values. Some have pointed out that this makes me an anomaly in the university setting, and that is why it is so refreshing to them. I think people are getting sick of values-free thinking in education (the "everybody is right" mentality that led to college freshmen reporting a few years back that Hitler was OK because "that's how he felt"), and for one person to stand up and say, "Yes, there is right and wrong," is exactly what they needed. Even when they disagree, they respect my scholarship and respect the fact that I bother to take a position. You wouldn't think that would be so difficult, would you?

End of rant.
Bob_Chong
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 11:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

BJ:

You're right. We're both saying that the American school systems have problems.

I only took issue with the voucher problem because it seemed like you were basing your arguments on a purely economic standpoint. What I tried to do is show that ed funding is a lot more slippery than simply drawing from a set pool. Your last argument against vouchers--that they would most likely benefit parochial schools and their supporters--was valid, and it was what I was trying to prod you towards: a more substantial point, as the funding issues are a lot more complicated than they seem when discussed by legislators and non ed-folks. Selective reasoning tends to cloud the voucher debate, since 99% of people who have an opinion about vouchers don't understand much about the nuts and bolts of the education economy anyway.

I rejected teaching in a private school for two reasons: (1) the pay sucks (and this is nearly universal in private schooling; in fact, I have never seen otherwise) and (2) I wanted to teach everybody, not just group X or Y or Z.

I read a great article a while back in the Kappan (published by Phi Delta Kappa, and ed. society) about what they called "boiling over." It is the corollary to burning out. Old teachers burn out; young teachers boil over. They get stuck in a shitty school culture which denigrates creativity and risk taking, a dead-end culture which leaves no room for advancement or increased effectiveness on the part of the young teacher. I was once admonished for teaching "too much." If it weren't so sad, I'd probably laugh about it. My department head said that I "mete out Shakespeare," as if it were punishment. Too bad she wasn't around when no less than a dozen former students came up to me after commencement and told me I was the best teacher they *ever* had. That made all the bullshit worth it.

BC
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 10:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

For the most part, Bob, we're actually agreeing. I think the best investment is in making teaching more attractive as a career, not just salary wise, but, as you say, by creating paths of advancement which reward performance and don't lead entirely OUT of the classroom. Also reducing class sizes. I hadn't really considered the idea of limiting SCHOOL sizes, but, having graduated from a high-school of more then 4000, I can certainly see the issues raised by trying to create any sense of community, or even order...
Chrysippvs
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 9:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Go to see you around again Chong....

I think I am well due for a good grammar lesson or perhaps just an old smack in the cyber-chops..

- J
Traineraz
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 8:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have to wonder . . .

If there is such a tremendous amount of money available in education, why is it that so many lower-income urban school districts can't afford chalk, or new textbooks, or to have the leaky roof repaired?

Why are $18,000-a-year teachers, who can't afford to buy a house, going out and spending their own money on supplies?

Are ALL these schools horribly mismanaged, with a whole lot of embezzlement going on, while all the suburban schools are well-managed by upstanding citizens? Or could it possibly be that the numbers being cited are averages, and do not realistically reflect the financial situation of low-income school districts?
Bob_Chong
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 7:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

As it stands right now, I have every intention of sending my daughter to public school. The only reason I would consider sending her to a private school would be if her local school were unsafe and she were in physical danger.

I'm actually looking forward to being a big pain in the ass around the schools ("Shit, here comes Dr. Chong!). May even run for school board someday.

BC
Bob_Chong
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 7:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

BJ:

Regarding expenditures (or real cost) vs. tuition of private schools, the AFT (large, left-leaning public teachers' union) has some numbers for 1996: $4547 average per pupil expediture vs. about $3500 for tuition (they lack the 1996 number on tuition but list 93-94 as $3116 and 97-98 as $3895 )

The public per pupil expenditure for 1996 was $5961.

http://www.aft.org/research/reports/private/privcost/#a

I just found this, too, which makes for interesting reading:
http://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp-025.html

One thing of interest that they note is the administrative bloat of city schools vs. private.

But the real problem is not money. A major rethinking in what schools are all about is required. If I were the Ed. Czar and had unlimited power, the first order of business would be to limit school size to no more than 1000 students. The next thing I would do is require school districts to come up with a genuine system of professional development and advancement so that teachers do not stagnate. The current system rewards years of service and education level only. I think peer review would go a long way in improving this (and it costs absoultely no money to implement). This would also promote collegiality, which is lacking in most schools. Teaching is a very isolated profession, with each teacher presiding over a tiny fiefdom. There is virtually no cooperation or coordination among teachers (except somewhat at the elementary level in some schools). I have zillions of ideas, actually. The one thing I would advocate spending more money on is teachers' salaries (certainly the starting salaries, at the very least). If the profession were more lucrative, then it would attract more people and possibly better people.

BC
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 7:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

That's correct. But the non-tuition funding is a non-issue. No one has every proposed vouchers beyond tuition. The full name is often spoken as "tuition vouchers."




It's not a non-issue if you don't want to send your kid to a parochial school. There is a reason that so many of the voucher advocates are the same people who want to re-introduce religion into public schools. A voucher system would give a distinct advantage to religious schools in the "free market" of education. Those willing to have their children indoctrinated would have their pick of schools at little or no additional cost, but those seeking a secular education would have to either rely on the public system or pay extra.
Bob_Chong
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 6:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Pikkle:

Your local school board and school administrators should have been summarily executed for failing to do their jobs. If your school ran smoothly at (e.g.) 1000 kids but collapsed if only 500 kids came, then the school leaders are a bunch of idiots. There are thousands of small schools out there, and they don't run four hour school days or any other shit you had to endure.

BC
Pikkle
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 6:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My town's major employer did close up shop... it was a major source of our schools revenues. I don't know how many kids left because of it but I do know the last three years I was in school, they cut two hours out of our day, reduced class offerings by thirty percent, laid off more than a dozen newer teachers who educated circles around the status quo tenureds and basically eliminated any and all extracurriculars, not just sports but many other programs as well. During this time no programs at any of the three area parochial high schools were reduced. Now imagine if there had been vouchers during this time? You'd have not only a mass migration to private schools because of our unfortunate circumstances but those left behind would be getting even less than they did before. I think vouchers stink and if a public school system is really in that much trouble, either fix it or shut it down and consolidate. I really can't see any good in removing any amount of tax base from a district's budget for this purpose based on my own personal experiences.
Bob_Chong
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 6:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

BJ:

>The $3895 is based on TUITION, but includes parochial schools which
recieve considerable non-tuition funding.

That's correct. But the non-tuition funding is a non-issue. No one has every proposed vouchers beyond tuition. The full name is often spoken as "tuition vouchers."

The non-tuition funding is moot otherwise, as well. If we want to go into it, public schools also receive private donations and have other revenue streams (exclusive deals with Pepsi, vending machines, football games, grants, Federal programs, etc.) which are not counted in the per-pupil figures I quoted.

>The average cost of INDEPENDENT
private schools is something on the order of $7500 a year

You mean non-parochial? That excludes a majority of private schools then (51% of private schools are Catholic, another 33% are other religious, and the remaining 16% are non-sectarian). You're being too selective in the "facts" you are choosing to use to argue.

>Vouchers would, as usually imagined, take away
from the total pool of money available for public schools. I would prefer that the
money that would have otherwise gone to students who chose private school
instead INCREASE the availible funds for the rest of the students.

This varies from state to state, but let me tell you how many states actually fund schooling. For example, CA is willing to pay $6000 for little Timmy to go to school this year. However, Timmy misses 44 school days, so the state only pays the school district $4500 (since Timmy attended only 75% of the school days), NOT the full $6000 that had been allocated. Where do you think that leftover $1500 goes? If you think it goes back into some magical "pool" in the state capital, then you are sorely mistaken.

If the vouchers cover the tuition (as most voucher proponents suggest) for private schools, couldn't we require that the difference is churned back into the local public school district? For example, if the Chong Private Academy costs only $4000/yr, but the state had allocated $7000 per pupil, we could churn that extra $3000 back into the public schools.

example:
Desert High School (public) enrolls 2000 kids @ $7000/yr. That's $14M to educate 2000.
Then vouchers come along. 500 kids leave to attend the Chong Academy @ $4K/yr. That's $2M "taken away" from the public school.
Now churn back the remaining $3K/kid from the 500 who left. So NOW the public school has $12M to educate 1500. That's a per pupil increase of 15% (to $8K/yr)! That's enormous.

Again, funding is per pupil. If the town's largest employer closed shop and 500 kids left for that reason, the school would still only get funded for the 1500 remaining.


BTW--the baby is great! Thanks for asking, folks.

BC
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 5:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

And oddly, I don't think school voucher supporters want those of us without kids to get our tax money back so we can spend it on absinthe and 'personal services.'



Some of them do. Some of them really do see vouchers as a first step to eliminating public schools altogether. It seems kinda back-asswards, like giving tax money to private charties in order to eliminate public assistance programs, since the reason they want to eliminate the programs in the first place is to lower their taxes...
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 5:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

Sort of like saying if every landfill were required to accept radioctive waste, all landfills would be radioactively contaminated.



More like, if every landfill were required to accept radioactive waste, there would be nothing keeping previously un-contaminated landfills from becoming contaminated. While there certainly are valuable things to be learned fom private schools, MOST of their advantages would be eliminated if they had to fill the role presently provided by public schools.

Just to be clear, my primary argument isn't against the extreme position held by the most Uncivil Libertarians which favors elimination of public schooling altogether. Small scale experiments with various sources of funding and such have their place, but the goal should be to improve the quality of education availible to all children, not to try to shirk the responsibility off to the private sector.
Perruche_Verte
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 5:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Can I get a voucher to opt out of the Missile Defense System? If they give me back my share of the program, I promise that they won't have to protect me in the event of a nuclear attack... "

And oddly, I don't think school voucher supporters want those of us without kids to get our tax money back so we can spend it on absinthe and 'personal services.'

Which they shouldn't -- I mean, we're talking about the public good. I help pay for my neighbors' children's education because it wouldn't be nice to grow old in a world full of people who increasingly aren't able to read, add or make rational decisions.

WRT education costs -- yes, our public schools get refugee children who are deaf, blind, suffering PTSD, don't speak English and haven't been to school in four years because of the civil war back home. They have a mandate to teach these kids, and they do it.

I do agree with John Taylor Gatto that mandatory schooling is a pretty terrible idea, though. He says it takes only about 100 hours to teach someone to read and write who's actually interested in learning. Those who aren't interested shouldn't be warehoused and babysat by the State.
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 5:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

The nat'l average of per pupil expenditure for public schools in 97-98 was $6638/yr. I'm sure it's gone up in the last four years. The same year, for all private schools in the US, the average cost was $3895. So what these numbers say is that private schools (ignoring all other factors for a moment), do a better job at less than 60% of the cost.




Not QUITE. The $3895 is based on TUITION, but includes parochial schools which recieve considerable non-tuition funding. The average cost of INDEPENDENT private schools is something on the order of $7500 a year (I had the exact number yesterday but I've misplaced the link.

The "better job" question is also far from concrete, either, since no state requires its private schools to take the same tests that its public schools do, and there is usually little cirriculum guidence. Clearly SOME private schools do an incredibly good job, but it is impossible to gauge the average.

And this, of course, also plays into the universal avilibility question. Most private schools screen their students to a certain extent, based on factors like previous performance, disciplinary history, etc. More to the point, almost none, except those specifically geared to towards such students, accept kids with severe leaning disabilities, emotional disorders, or kids with limited English skills. You cannot fairly compare the two systems in terms of performance because you are dealing with two different populations.


Quote:

I don't think that's what the idea is about. If 500 kids had left my school to go elsewhere, then we'd fire some teachers and maybe an administrator. So now the school can educate 1500 instead of 2000. How does that hurt the 1500 who remained? School funding is per pupil, not per school. A school grows and shrinks with the population, regardless of vouchers.




I was thinking on a larger scale. Vouchers would, as usually imagined, take away from the total pool of money availible for public schools. I would prefer that the money that would have otherwise gone to students who chose private school instead INCREASE the availible funds for the rest of the students.

Obviously it isn't ALL about money, but taking money away won't help, and it will be that much easier to deal with all the various other problems if there is more than enough cash to go around. Like I said, I have no problem with the idea of vouchers; I just want as much money to go to the public schools as possible FIRST.

Can I get a voucher to opt out of the Missile Defense System? If they give me back my share of the program, I promise that they won't have to protect me in the event of a nuclear attack...
Chevalier
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 4:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bob Chong seems to have submerged again. A couple of posts, then ... glug. And we really do want to know how his baby's doing!
Pataphysician
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 3:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Bob Chong, those might be the most lucid, accurate posts you've ever made. Welcome back."

There ain't been a good CHONGIN' around here since the blessed event.
Mr_Rabid
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 2:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bob, thanks for the information.
Bunnylebowski
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 11:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I attended an experimental magnet school that was 50/50 private/public funded. It was started with private dollars, and gradually state dollars took over. The admissions policy was first come first serve, with a racial quota of 55% white, 46% black, and 9% other. The only limit was that each class (K-12th grade) was limited to 100 people. Classes were generally 20 or less students. The only applicants that were excluded were those who were learning disabled. The school also mandated 40 hours per term of school related service for PARENTS of the students. This forced the parents to take part in their childs education. If the student's parents didn't complete those 40 hours, the student actually lost credits which would have to be made up in order to graduate!

The school was based on the principals Mortimer Adler's "The Paedea Proposal", which is an excellent educational manifesto. It emphasizes arts education, and eliminates testing in favour of rigorous writing, discussions, and individual projects which the student invents, with guidance form their teacher.

The school is still doing far better than any other public school in my County. Their college placement rate is 98% for all graduates, and their test scores are higher than many of the private schools (not that the SATs mean shit, but the state requires them). Public education can be rescued, but it requires a total overhaul of the systems philosophy and approach to education, not just throwing money at it to put a bandaid on a severed artery!
Wolfgang
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 9:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I attended private school, my father is a teacher in a public school dealing everyday with stupid parents who don't give a fuck, I agree with Bob.
Chevalier
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 8:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

And how is your baby girl, Bob Chong?
Artemis
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 8:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"If private schools were required to accept ALL students, and were being funded with the same amount of tax money, they would have the EXACT same problems public schools are having now."

Sort of like saying if every landfill were required to accept radioctive waste, all landfills would be radioactively contaminated.

Bob Chong, those might be the most lucid, accurate posts you've ever made. Welcome back.
Mogan_David
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 7:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bob Chong,

Extremely well put.
Bob_Chong
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 10:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One thing I forgot to mention about the public vs. private ed. issue: if I had to single out one reason why private schools are "better," I'd say it is the parents. The parents took enouugh interest in education to say, "I care about your education so much that I am going to spend extra money, even though my tax dollars are holding a spot for you at the public school." The parent is the intervention (i.e., solution), not money, teachers, or the school itself. More importantly, the parent took the time to physically relocate their child to another location in which they believe the child will receive a better education. This is a powerful message to a young mind. It's not just the money. But the money adds an accountability factor for all involved: the parent, student, and school. Everyone has a geniune stake in the success of the student (at the very least, an economic one). Unfortunately, lots of parents think that public schools are just a place to warehouse their kids all day. No stake whatsoever.

And I think that's where vouchers could possibly help. The vouchers should be good for any school, public and private. It would force a little ownership, planning, and foresight on the part of the parents.

An example of ownership working: book rental. Back when kids had to rent their texts, they were almost never lost, damaged, or destroyed. When CA outlawed charging such fees, the ownership factor flew out the window and the schools now have to waste money replacing books at a ridiculous rate. Book rental was cheap and some of it was refundable. But the token amount was enough to give families a sense of ownership. Otherwise, it is just another handout to be shit upon, like every other fucking entitlement.

BC
Bob_Chong
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 10:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Blackjack:

Education is my bread'n'butter. It is what I do. If I didn't believe in it, I wouldn't be mere weeks away from getting my Ed.D. [waves credentials around as a signal for a general pile-on, as no one is allowed to be an expert in any field on this forum without being denigrated].

I wanted to offer my perspective as a former HS teacher and trained school administrator about a couple of things you said:

>>Do you know why private schools can often provide better education than public ones? Because they don't have to accept everybody.

This is true. When you accept everybody, a school can become a revolving door, esp. in urban areas. Where I taught (in LA county), my school had a 50% transcience rate. Which means that only 50% of the students who started the school year there also ended there. The other 50% came and went, often staying far less than a semester. What we found out, by looking at grades, test scores, etc., that the kids who came to our school and stayed there for four years did very well. It's the other kids who had bigger problems at home that could not really participate as much as we'd like them to. That itself is a huge problem that would require radical rethinking of not just a single school but an entire school district. A special school for transients would be a start, to say the least (or a school within a school, to help the kids get up to speed).

>They can limit class sizes and hire fewer teachers for better pay.

This is largely false, IME. Private school teachers make FAR less money and have fewer benefits than their public counterparts.

>Likewise, they charge MORE money, per student, than the public schools get in tax money.

Again, this is false. The nat'l average of per pupil expenditure for public schools in 97-98 was $6638/yr. I'm sure it's gone up in the last four years. The same year, for all private schools in the US, the average cost was $3895. So what these numbers say is that private schools (ignoring all other factors for a moment), do a better job at less than 60% of the cost.

>If private schools were required to accept ALL students, and were being funded with the same amount of tax money, they would have the EXACT same problems public schools are having now.

This might be true, but the argument collapses in light of the economic data posted above, no? The problems are WAY beyond money, my friend.

>The voucher solution is essentially saying "there's nothing wrong with schools that couldn't be fixed by taking away their funding".

I don't think that's what the idea is about. If 500 kids had left my school to go elsewhere, then we'd fire some teachers and maybe an administrator. So now the school can educate 1500 instead of 2000. How does that hurt the 1500 who remained? School funding is per pupil, not per school. A school grows and shrinks with the population, regardless of vouchers.

Again, money is not the problem.

>I refuse to dismiss the idea of public schooling as a failed experiment.

I agree. Think about the per pupil figures I gave you earlier. Let's say that I want to start the BlackJack School for Wayward Youth. It will enroll 1000 kids. That's $6.6M you have to play with: PER YEAR! Where would you start? Hire 50 teachers @ $50K/yr (20:1 pupil to teacher ratio), and you still have $4.1M left over. Now what? Tell me how this school needs more money. Hell, with that kind of money, you could pay the frigging kids two bucks for every class they attended, every day (say, put it in a scholarship for each kid: after one year, they'd have $2100 saved). Assuming no one missed a single class all year, you'd still have $2M left over. Now what?

I like your passion about education, but if you know the numbers involved, you might be able to craft some better arguments. The problems are to be found in the school systems themselves, not a lack of money.

BC
Bunnylebowski
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 8:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That pisses me off too Nascentvirion. I remember reading a thread a while back about RIAA vs. Napster/Audiogalaxy, so I don't want to turn this thread into another grenade toss, but here's an excellent insider article on the record industrys pathetic attempts to protect their archaic distribution methods:
http://mixonline.com/ar/audio_broken_record/index.htm. It's the future, and it's scary. The consumer is getting screwed big time!

I sit on the middle of the fence on this issue. It's clear that the record companies methods are not protecting the artists, but the artist should have a right to control their own music. The problem is right now, very few artists own their own songs (how fucked up is that? somebody should sue the labels, not Napster!).

Anyway, I just downloaded Rainbow Connection from Limewire. I'm so happy I can do that, because I really wanted to hear Kermit the frog sing, and didn't want to wait for a week for the muppets album to arrive from amazon. I say we give those pissed off refugee orphan palestinians a computer with Gnutella or Audiogalaxy or whatever and let them download Rainbow Connection. The violence will cease immediately. It may cost the record industry and Frank Oz a few bucks, but will save dozens of lives, i'm sure.
Nascentvirion
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 7:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wanna know what pisses me off... That Audiogalaxy is shut down !!!!!
_Blackjack
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 7:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The main difference is one of knowlege, I guess. The government SHOULD, by its structure, be somewhat transparent. We should know what it is doing and thus be able to excercise proper control.

Corporations have no reason to disclose their workings, unless forced to by law, and it is rarely to their advantage to do so. It is hard to avoid working for dickheads unless you KNOW they are dickheads.

This is one of the big flaws in the free-market-Libertarian eutopia: it would require perfect knowlege and education of the public.

But you are right, in a practical sense, that people fail to exercise the level of control they could over either of the forces. Which is why I tend to favor keeping things as inefficient and conflicted as possible. If I can't have a fair government or benevolent businesses, I'd at least prefer that fucking me over was as complicated and lumbering a process as possible.

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