Saturday, March 31, 2012

The "Impossible" Job

The solution for high stress (burnout) jobs is high turnover -- so that we have a constant new supply of enthusiastic people, and not just people hanging on until retirement, and fearing to start somewhere else.

We really have a built in solution in unemployed/unemployable veterans the newspaper wrote about recently. The prisons, police and firemen are natural jobs for them to transition (decompress) into -- if we didn't have all those union rules and protocols restricting the labor pool -- to prop up salaries and benefits for those with the most seniority doing the easiest jobs. Instead of compensating these burnout people more highly to keep them at these jobs, they also need to be moving on and relieving the school teachers who are burnt out from controlling their "impossible" charges.

That really is the underlying problem of labor throughout this society -- the many people who remain in their jobs because of their seniority, rather than their enthusiasm and passion at what they do. And that kills every organization and society -- that loses sight of its reason for being. Government is for the people -- all the people, and not just the government workers. Education is about learning -- and not just lifetime job security for "teachers" who don't want to teach -- and only teach that bitterness, resentment and demand for even more for doing less.

That is what our society has become -- rather than one that works, because it realizes that is what they are there for -- getting paid a lot of money for doing, and not just lobbying for more, as though that was their only job. So we have to make it easier for people to get into and out of jobs -- rather than creating these needless barriers to entry and exit -- just to keep full employment at the human resource departments and the unions, and maintain the status quo of these problems.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Trips Abroad Bring Awareness"

I think the author misses the whole point -- of what she should have learned in her travels -- that "middle class" Americans are the "rich," and not merely deploring the rare (mythical) "rich moguls" they blame for all the great inequities in the world, while claiming that all they have, is merely their own "middle class entitlements." It begins with themselves, and not only some others -- that they can bear witness to the great poverty in the world, while thinking it doesn't mean them -- foremost.

That 50% of the population has a much greater impact on the world than the 1% ever did, and that is why it is so troubling, that they take no responsibility for the problems of the world -- as they demand even more at their salary negotiations and lobbying, which is all the media has become anymore. At the great bastion of liberalism that the universities have become, I'm certain the public relations director receives 2-4 times the median income in the US, which places her in the top 20% at least -- who then point accusing fingers only at the 1% as though they are not part of that inequality -- and are actually the greatest defenders of that status quo.

Thus, in the recent arguments against the 1%, the middle class likes to blur that distinction between the 20% and 1%, and the middle class, as the "poor" in this country -- which they are not. So their rhetoric of protecting the middle class as the poor, is really the defense of the injustices of the educated "privileged" -- such as this individual is -- but she doesn't think so, because she thinks it is somebody else who gets even more.

But those people in the 1% don't get it because they're on a "career track." That kind of wealth and income is only achieved through extraordinary circumstances and conditions -- or we'd all be pursuing it, as a clearly established "career path." But the other 50%, is clearly delineated and institutionalized as the justification for inequalities and inequities that are deemed "proper and politically correct," because they confirm what one already wishes to believe -- and not to awaken any awareness and consciousness to her than to advise all other Americans with more money than they know what to do with, that they should visit the barrios of the world and see what she did, and be glorified in their own virtue.

Just the other day, there was a "liberal" editorial advising Oregonians that if they don't want to have a ban on plastic bags, they should go around and pick up these bags -- without the even better thought, that the author would do society a much greater service than instead of banning such useful containers for those who don't drive around in SUVs with all their reusable bags (the poor), if they would contribute that labor for society themselves. As anybody who has done so, one notices that those bags and litter doesn't immediately reappear the next day, or even after a week, but remains there because nobody does anything but to complain that somebody else should -- and that "somebody else" is anybody but themselves, who challenge why should they do anything.

As we see in the countless editorials which are the problem, people divide themselves into the virtuous and enlightened (aware) and the evil "others" -- which is the violence in the world, and never the (re)solution of anything. Rather than dividing themselves into liberals (enlightened) and conservatives (evil perpetrators), every individual has to see both aspects in themselves -- and own the problems individually, and wholly, and not just project and point to the 1% they claim is responsible for all the inequities and injustices in the world -- that they are just duly reporting as "fair-minded" and "objective" self-righteous citizens.

That would be an awareness worth noting -- and writing about.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How Do We Solve the Problem of Education

It is the teachers' own union that spreads the belief and fear that teachers are worthless people and if it wasn't for the union, they would be working at minimum wage jobs -- instead of the delusion that they would be stepping into the CEO of some Fortune 500 company -- from their remedial education classes. The world doesn't work that way -- but the greatest error, is their belief that they are getting paid way less than their comparable peers -- who they believe, are the CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies.

But even the beginning teachers, already get paid more than the MEDIAN income for all workers. Essentially, they get DOUBLE the median, because the typical starting salary is about $37,000, and then when you add in health and other nonworking compensation (which is the total compensation), they're up to $60,000 -- or double the median, which means they are in the upper 25% -- to begin, with a guarantee of lifetime employment and pension -- unlike most of the people who will have to go through several jobs in their lifetime, and at times, stretches of unemployment.

Generally, greater risk is required to obtain greater returns -- and very few can be guaranteed consistently high returns, except in the Madoff and Ponzi schemes -- of "guaranteed 8% returns." The actual guaranteed rate of return is what the bonds or Treasury notes are paying, which is currently 2-4%, while those who get more, assume the risk of also losing -- and not the assumed guaranteed 8%. And this is the kind of knowledge, and education, sorely needed by the young people, instead of the dysfunctional perceptions of people who think they are the lowest paid people in society -- while actually they are among the most privileged but ungrateful of that fact -- because most of these people have known nothing else but to be students all their lives (told what to think), rather than actually learning on their own -- which is the tradition and skill of all the great teachers, and not just people learning to pretend to be.

Children and students are usually perceptive of this, and give teachers who don't have that confidence and real mastery in their subject matter, a difficult if not hard time -- which is not cured by more teacher training and infinitely more money thrown at poor teachers while the union keeps the competent others out to prop up such high salaries way beyond their real value.

If one watches things like the National Spelling Bees, they are invariably dominated by the homeschooled teachers, who though comprising a tiny fraction of the population, virtually shut out the larger population schooled by the union public school teachers demanding more because their students are getting worse, and frequently hopeless under their tutelage. This should be sufficient evidence that simply throwing more money at "professional" educators, is not the answer, because that gets us the people who are only in it for the money, and not because that is truly what they love to do. That's what a real teacher would do -- even if all the jobs were paid the same, or even not paid -- as the homeschool teachers largely are. these are the people who should be getting paid to take on a few other students -- because they have proved their abilities, rather than creating the catastrophe that is the public school system corrupted by the unions (trade associations), leaving no resources for society to move beyond endless remedial education.

Teachers shouldn't have lifetime sinecures but should be rotated among the population at large for a few years and move on -- and in fact, should only begin teaching, after they have done something else to become real teachers (as well as students), and not just the union/education school certified kind, who know nothing but learning for its own sake -- and not any real world applications. We don't need to learn the medieval/traditional education (curriculum) but the real world one, which all people love to learn rather than are learning because it's always been done that way before -- and forcing them to learn that, which is the "compulsory" education and its well-known failure to create lifetime job security for "professional educators."

We need to move on from that dependence towards the new possibilities of people learning to teach themselves whatever it is they need to know, or want to, and if they need help, asking their fellow student prodigies, what they know and how to learn that -- instead of being taught by the least able adults, because they are in-charge.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Closing the Far-flung, Unprofitable Rural Post Offices

The politicians need to let the very competent Post-Master General, do what he sees fit to run an efficient organization and operation -- without the undue influence of the unions.

They've devastated such fine states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc. In Bell, California, the government was providing no government services, but paying their "leaders" half a million dollars each. Stockton, California has to file bankruptcy because they can't afford to pay all their government workers pensions and benefits -- while having no money "left over" to deliver government services anymore.

Those rural towns are usually resourceful enough to run a post office out of the town grocery store (rather than a dedicated, stand alone post office), and like the article below, if a community values it enough, people volunteer to do it -- as mayors of most of many communities do also. Even libraries, schools, fire departments have run as volunteer operations -- before the unions took over and demanded that the citizenry could do nothing for themselves anymore.

But really, the movement back towards voluntary participation -- even providing essential services to/for themselves, is probably a movement whose time has come. Additionally, there have never been more retired people (often government workers), who collect fat pensions, and instead of double-dipping, could offer their expertise as a reasonable justification for getting lavish entitlements.

A huge part of the alienation and non-participation of the younger generations is because of their deliberate exclusion -- to provide job security only for those with seniority and guaranteed lifetime job security, and cannot even volunteer if they wanted to. Thus there is a prohibitio9n that people cannot do anything unless people pay them obscene amounts to do anything at all -- even if it is for their own benefit, which of course, is damaging for their health, prosperity and well-being -- even when they have Cadillac health plans ensuring all the medical attention they will surely need.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Really, This is Too Much

If they were doing education right, then the cost of learning would be going to zero -- in the age of the information superhighway and information technologies.

If they're doing education wrong, then it would require more money for more teachers for less learning, and all learning would be illegal unless taught by a "certified" union teacher -- demanding more pay for doing even less., and the ideal class size would be one-to-one, at $100,000 per student -- guaranteed for the rest of their lives, with no possibility of termination.

Oh wait, that sounds suspiciously like what we have -- and no wonder they don't want any tests to see how well the students are actually learning anything. It is enough, that all the students learn, is that teachers should get more money -- for doing less than they're already doing. But that's alright: they are a nonprofit organization sacrificing themselves valiantly for everybody else's benefit.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Problem of Education

The only way to make unlimited education free -- is not to pay the teachers and administrators -- but only have people who are the creators of that knowledge, teach it because they want to -- and not because it is a guaranteed lifetime salary and pension for the self-designated/anointed few.

The problem of government as people live longer with more lavish pensions and benefits, is that there's little money "left over," for actually doing those jobs that government (jobs) was created for -- but instead, we are now paying twice as much for those not doing the jobs -- while those doing the jobs are also demanding increasingly more. So the costs rise geometrically, while the gains, if there are any anymore, become an inconvenience and impediment to their lifetime entitlements to job security -- no matter how poorly they do their jobs, or if they attempt them anymore.

Many of the faculty are proud that they have given the same lecture from their doctoral dissertations without changing a single word or thought, for the last 30-50 years, as proof of how much they knew as students so that it was unnecessary for them to learn any more since. That is doubly true for the grade school teachers, who will have no part or patience with kindergarteners already knowing how to iPhone and iPad and learning on their own -- from anyone and everyone -- and not just the properly certified and accredited education (normal) schools, where they properly prepare (indoctrinate) their charges in the Holy Grail of Education -- that the teachers should get increasingly more, because they sacrificed themselves to improve the "education" of their students -- that teachers and education professionals should get infinitely more -- without end or measurement of effectiveness.

The only fly in the ointment, as that those coming out with Cadillac health plans, then get milked as cash cows themselves by the health care profession -- who in turn, are preyed on by trial lawyers for whatever they can get, who then become the politicians, who are endorsed by the teacher unions. So evermore money is required just to maintain the status quo -- and doing less for more, until finally, most of the education is done as it always has been before there were professional lifelong educators -- by people who want to learn, and educate themselves, and are helped by those who have actually discovered the truth of these matters -- instead of all these professional educators, who teach only what they were taught as the political correctness (jargon) of that discipline, without discovering any truth for themselves -- and not knowing the difference.

And those who can't teach, become professional journalists.