Government Decisions vs. Private Decisions

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Two unrelated news stories on the same day show the contrast between government decisions and private decisions.

Under the headline “Foreclosed Homes Sell at Big Discounts,” USA Today reported that banks were selling the homes they foreclosed on, at discounts of 38 percent in Tennessee to 41 percent in Illinois and Ohio.

Banks in general try to get rid of the homes they acquire by foreclosure, by selling them quickly for whatever they can get. Why? Because banks are forced by economic realities to realize that they are not real estate companies.

No matter how much expertise bank officials may have in financial transactions, that is very different from knowing the best ways to maintain and market empty houses.

Meanwhile, there was a story on the Fox News Channel about schools that are using their time to indoctrinate kindergartners and fourth graders with politically correct attitudes about sex.

Anyone familiar with the low standards and mushy notions in the schools and departments of education that turn out our public school teachers might think that these teachers would have all they can do to make American children competent in reading, writing and math.

Anyone familiar with how our children stack up with children from other countries in basic education would be painfully aware that American children lag behind children in countries that spend far less per pupil than we do.

In other words, teachers and schools that are failing to provide the basics of education are branching out into all sorts of other areas, where they have even less competence.

Why are teachers so bold when banks are so cautious? The banks pay a price for being wrong. Teachers don’t.

If banks try to act like they are real estate companies and hold on to a huge inventory of foreclosed homes, they are likely to lose money big time, as those homes deteriorate and cannot compete with homes marketed by real estate companies with far more experience and expertise in this field.

But if teachers fail to educate children, they don’t lose one dime, no matter how much those children and the country lose by their failure.

If the schools waste precious time indoctrinating children, instead of educating them, that’s the children’s problem and the country’s problem, but not the teachers’ problem.

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  • Chezwick_mac

    Sowell strikes again! No-nonsense, penetrating, cogent.

    In a sane world, he would be celebrated as a great source of pride in the African-American community…a veritable living icon. But of course, it's not a sane world.

  • waldemar

    I hope Sowell will live forever – great insight. No, there is little hope he will ever be recognized as a "true" black. Just recently on Fox the venerable Congressman Rangel (a celebrated criminal) poohed-poohed Walter Williams, another great mind that happens to be black. It's really sad.

  • Supreme_Galooty

    While your observations are quite accurate regarding schools and the various pretenders who "teach" in them, you miss or don't mention an important point: Schools in America today are not in the business of education at all. They are trade schools, or training schools, where one can be expected to learn welding, drafting, the mechanics of condom use, and so forth. Actually providing a student with the opportunity for real education is as far away from the goals of teachers, administrators, and bureaucrats as is possible to get to without leaving the solar system.

    Because our schools crank out so many imbecilic automotons, our country is afflicted with politicians who want to rule instead of represent – and they get away with it handily, cultivating the art of demagoguery at the same time since it is so effective.

  • kblink45

    Schools are indeed poor providers of education, but parents are equally poor consumers of education. As a former teacher — and parent — I can say unequivocally that parents who are most engaged in their student's education also tend to be utterly delusional about their child's intelligence and character. They don't actually care about the truth, they just want Johnny to get an A. The educational crisis in America is first and foremost cultural. Obama is the model of a system that honors arrogance and celebrates victimhood.

  • jaded56

    Actually schools do not, generally, provide trade school training. That is left to specialty high school level career centers in most states. The mainstream schools want everyone to go to 4 year liberal arts colleges so their college bound numbers look good. They do not encourage students to go into the best profession for them but the best profession that makes the schools look good so voters will keep passing levy money. They tell the parents that their school system is great because they manage to send the majority of their kids to college where they are then indoctrinated in the leftist agenda.

    • Jim_C

      Why "liberal arts college?"

      Those are hella expensive, you know.

  • Mordavig

    Brazilian children fare much worse that the American ones by any standard.

    Nevertheless, the leftist Federal Government has surreptitiously comissioned a booklet for teaching school children aged 10-12 that homosexuality and bisexuality are “acceptable” “sexual options”.

    Were it not for some conservative House representatives, this booklet would be now being “taught” to Brazilian school children without the parents´ knowledge and certainly against their will.

    By the way, congratulations to Mr Sowell from a Brazilian fan.