Reinvest in Higher Education

California’s Universities Need Funding Parity with Lower Schools

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Those words, spoken by the activist and former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, still ring true today. An investment in education is an investment in our society’s future.

California leaders understood this decades ago when they devised the Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960. Under the leadership of Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, the Master Plan made a promise to Californians: There would be a place in higher education for every qualified high school graduate. But years of economic recession and rising tuition costs have made that promise increasingly out of reach. Rising tuition and fees have made higher education unaffordable for many California families, forcing students to reconsider their future or incur massive debt. Although programs like Cal Grants and the new Middle Class Scholarship are easing the burden of student debt for many, we must make an even greater commitment to our higher education system by allocating more funding to the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) systems. For decades, California has been a national leader in higher education; we shouldn’t leave that legacy behind.

As chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, I have made reinvesting in higher education a priority. I believe it is the responsibility of our state government and higher education institutions to ensure college is both affordable and accessible to all qualified students. There are countless reasons we should invest in higher education. According to the Campaign for College Opportunity (a nonprofit organization with a mission of ensuring all students have access to higher education), California receives a $4.50 return on investment for every $1 it invests in higher education.

Every time I meet a leader from local industries that pay good wages, I ask them why they locate in California. Ninety-five percent of the time they say it’s because they have access to skilled, well-educated employees. Higher education fuels the innovation that drives California’s robust economy, and a well-trained, skilled workforce can meet the growing needs of our state’s evolving industries. Well-educated workers can also expect to bring home larger paychecks, leading to increased state revenues. Additionally, higher education improves quality of life by expanding career opportunities, lifting families out of poverty, and exposing students to new ways of thinking.

Despite the obvious benefits of investing in higher education, the CSU and UC systems experienced deep cuts during the economic recession. Many schools were forced to increase tuition, lay off faculty and staff, cut programs, postpone necessary renovations, and make other painful cost reductions. This means thousands of eligible students were turned away, faced reduced services, or racked up debt. Now, with a recovering economy and passage of Proposition 30, California has the economic wherewithal to reinvest in our public education system. But the recent budget proposal released by Governor Brown falls short. In the governor’s proposed 2014-15 State Budget, the UC and CSU systems are each allocated a 5 percent increase in funding over the previous year, while K-12 and the community college system are each given 10 percent. The UC and CSU systems are asking for a 10 percent increase, consistent with their public education partners. With this funding, the schools can accept more students, hire quality teachers, and invest in new ways to help students graduate on-time and prepare for their careers.

However, this increase in funding will not mean business as usual. Policymakers like me must work with UC and CSU leaders to enact reforms that will reduce administrative costs, ensure students graduate on time, and ease the transfer process. The increase in funding will help the UC and CSU systems meet the needs of the growing number of applicants.

Preserving California’s world-leading higher education system will take smart reforms and sufficient funding. This investment will pay off for generations to come, bringing us closer to the equity revolutionaries like Nelson Mandela envisioned.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Das, California has only finite financial resources to accommodate future increases in spending. This is in addition to it's unfunded pension liabilities which I know you and your public employee union cronies don't want to touch. If you want to increase spending on higher education (which already has had outrageous tuition increases anyway), how about suggesting some spending cuts somewhere else in the budget to accommodate this increased spending? California already has the highest taxes in the nation.

Maybe high speed rail?

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 6:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

How many lies and buzz words can Das pack into a single article? What a wasted column reeking of special interest demands for even greater self-interest payoffs.

"Re-invest" is just one more way of saying line teacher union pockets with even more direct cash, but does not really come out and say it.

In typical teacher union shill language Das hides his real intent - max out teachers salaries and not do a darn thing about the high failure rates the existing educational institutions already refuse to acknowledge -- actually delivering education - that works for the student and for the state of California.

When K-12 keeps sending out students needing remedial education before they can even take college level classes, giving more money to higher ed to redo K-12 is a waste for everyone.

Don't forget K-12 teachers in this state have the third highest salaries in the US while turning out third from the bottom in education quality. The problems today in education are not from lack of funding. And Das knows this.

When higher ed expands its curriculum to include porn classes and non-productive majors leading to permanent vocational dead ends at the expense of preparing workers for California's economy, even more higher ed money is wasted.

And please stop using the bottom of the 2008 financial meltdown as your benchmark, because just today the state reported revenues now run 24% higher than that temporary low-point.

Maybe you need to start reading the NewsPress for your information before you write such disingenuous articles for the teacher union friendly Independent.

Bottom line Das, the K-12 teachers union darling, they way you "re-invest" in higher education is to finally get results from your massive but failing state investment in K-12.

A good culling of higher-ed course offerings and esoteric majors in publicly funded higher-ed also goes a long way to get the most value for the tax dollar already invested in higher ed.

Throwing more money at system that does not work is not "reinvestment". But this is not what your teacher union buddies want to hear. But that is the message you need to hear, Mr Chairman of Higher Ed.

Don't ever forget over-promising pension benefits to the teachers unions which is now nearly $74 billion in arrears also bites into the education budget leading to howls we are not "investing enough" in education.

Teacher union shills like Williams and Jackson are only good at is multiplying the state's problems in education mainly because they refuse to subtract what is not working and keep demanding all it needs is adding more money, more money and more money.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 8:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's too bad Das has so few ideas on how to fix the problem of affordability in California public universities. The student loan bubble produced the spike in tuition. Universities (across the US, but exorbitantly in CA) raised fees because student loans were granted freely, regardless of ability to pay back the loan or usefulness of degree. When that market tightens up, only degrees that produce well-paying jobs will likely be financed through loans. That will dry up demand for the basket-weaving degrees. So the answer to these spikes in tuition isn't to raise more taxes to further subsidize these schools. If they were forced to cut costs, they could, easily. There's a lot of fluff in their budgets to eliminate. Do they really need forced diversity classes and diversity administrators at each school, pulling down $200K+ annual salaries? The UC's have gotten notoriously administration-heavy, with departments creating little fiefdoms at huge expense. If people are unwilling or unable to pay their steep prices, expect the fluff programs to be cut first. That's the sensible way.

dogsnsand (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 8:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Cut unnecessary California government agencies and positions and return the money to the local where it originated. More taxes would be a typical leftwing Das solution, but is not the correct one.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 8:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

How are we investing in higher education today?

The website "Transparent California" sets out all higher ed salaries, benefits and total compensation for CSU and UC higher ed systems.

Here is the link for CSU and you can switch to UC once in this website for even more specific information:

The compensation information is listed by position, as well as individual name. How much does a UCSB porn professor make? Look it up by name.

Keep in mind these same people also qualify for CalPERS pensions which is also demanding massive tax dollar "reinvestments" so their union promised payouts can be met, once these educational professionals are no longer working for us.

Bottomline: today's problems in higher education is not about money; it is about mismanagement and misallocation of the money already "invested".

"Re-investment" is just one more union buzz word for please send us more cash. No strings attached. Just say no.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 9:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Foo, why do you expect people to work free? If you work free I have a job for you.
I certainly hope a "UCSB Porn Professor" makes triple what you do at least. Your anti-intellectualism is making your own brain eat itself.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 10:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken, you should hope Foo makes more. Someone needs to pay these salaries and pensions, not to mentions supporting all these fluff majors and courses that won't get anyone a job.

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 10:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)


Too bad your are content to spend the State budget on new unnecessary prisons. Lip service for education is great, but your support for prisons and the bullet train through prime farm-land kind of makes you appear hypocritical. Please set your own priorities instead of just following whatever Jerry Brown wants. You can do it.

Georgy (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 10:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Those "fluff courses" could very well get someone a job. University isn't tech school, there's a lot more to education than 2+2.
For sure PostColonial French Literature isn't for most people, but it is def what is needed for some.
Universities aren't supposed to grind out homogenized drones. The brain grows by stimulation, by thought - not rote memorization. It comes from knowing why you disagree with a concept etc, not just simply disagreeing.

Every single one of my University classes has come into use in my nonacademic professional career.

Do you see my point? University isn't for everyone just the same as I think the guy who fixes my car is a lot smarter than me (in his field.) Does this make sense without feeling flamed?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 10:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Divert the prison money to education; more education + more jobs= more entrpreneurs=more jobs=less crime.

The bullet train is nutty unless it's been planned with future geographical alterations due to climate change. Still, that farmland is precious as long as there's water.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 10:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The massive federal student loan program now leaving far too many students with college degrees that don't translate into viable jobs, and loan repayments that put their lives on hold now for decades has been just one more Democrat-progressive wealth redistribution program.

While they cry they are "friends of education", and you keep voting for them. Just thought you would want to know you have been diploma-washed by the unions and the education industrial complex, as much as you have been bamboozled by every other Democrat-progressive feel-good cause you keep handing our money over to.

Someday you will see the common denominator in this long-standing calculated fraud is the unions. For them, and only them, the American Dream is working. And the only sure career path to this pay-off. Do you want to sacrifice your own life to send your kid to the Ivy Leagues so he/she can get a union job?

If the Democrat-progressives really cared about education we would match graduation with strategic jobs for our national health, our economy would not be floundering as much as it is, we would not be demanding high-tech, high-skill immigration quotas be raised, and our own tax burdens would not be increasing.

"Education" as defined by the Democrat-progressives is a national disaster. Our own students got stupider, and only the self-serving unions and education industry got wealthier.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 11:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Public education serves the interest of the taxpayers who are funding it.

Private education is where you get Ancien Regime French Lit transgender poets writing under pseudonyms. And you pay for it yourself.

Take your pick.

PS: keep in mind teacher compensation is for a 9 month year, leaving the teacher 3 months to make even more money. So divide it by 9 and not 12, when looking for monthly salaries.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 11:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thats totally stupid and elitist, segregating education by economic class. Down with your privatization efforts.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 11:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

KV -"Those "fluff courses" could very well get someone a job."

You have a point Ken. Without graduates in those majors The Outback and The Olive Garden wouldn't be able to recruit waiters and waitresses.

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 11:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Rising tuitions and fees are caused by:

1/3 = government subsidizing the cost of college drives big increases in tuition.

1/3 = college admins allowing professors to barely show up and teach + bloated bureaucracies

1/3 = 50 year change in workforce skill sets and global competitiveness driving parents (and others) to push their kids into college for a "better life" (recent ROI discussions are challenging this view)

That's it!
It's *that* simple.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 11:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany, without graduates in tbose majors you'd be stuck reading Hansel & Gretel the rest of your life.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 12:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

First off, this article lacks depth. I could be generous and state that it brushes up against the points, but that may be a reach as well.

I personally love the people that are bashing the unions, bashing the system, etc. Why? Because of the irony. They are bashing what educated them. If they argue that it is terrible, isn't the beast that taught them that way of thinking responsible for that belief?

These same purported horrific, terrible, useless and any other negative adjective you want to spew produced your heroes. Here, let's choose some of them . . . Ronald Reagan went to public school, albeit not in California. Steve Jobs went to public school in California, Bill O'Reilly, went to a private Catholic school. Hmm.

An educated society is what differentiates the US from Afghanistan. Why anyone, regardless of their political leanings would wish to destroy our educational system to make us more like that country boggles my mind. I often believe that people who wish to do that are actually treasonous.

Unions are not the issue. Why? What is one of the most efficient companies in the world? UPS. It is heavily unionized. The issue is the terms and conditions that are negotiated and agreed upon. Don't like tenure? Fine, there is no need to destroy the union over it. Elect leaders that will fight against tenure.

In regards to useless degrees. Useless in whose eyes? Who made you judge, jury and executioner? I personally laugh at people who scream we need more STEM students. Why? It will create a bubble upon itself and thus the supply will be larger than the demand and then wages will be suppressed.

Our society, to be whole, needs people to bag your groceries, people who install your cable tv, people who cut your hair, people who design that computer you wrote this on, people who fix your car, people who write copy for your ads, people who understand history so that we, as a society do not repeat the mistakes, people who educate others, people who have dreams to change the world. Stop trying to put people in very tight and confining silos. That is not a free society, that is, in essence, what, I suspect Foo is against, communism.

As my mother once told me, complaining is easy and cheap. Making change and having an impact is expensive and very rewarding. So go ahead and argue on an internet forum all you want. I will not take the cheap and easy route.

netman (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 12:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, can't believe I'm about to say this, but Bots is right : 'Without graduates in those majors The Outback and The Olive Garden wouldn't be able to recruit waiters and waitresses.' Since there are no jobs except for corporate restaurants and other corporate/non corporate low wage jobs, we should be looking at what our government subsidizes with our taxes and make the change there. Reality, read your history. College used to be free. Your first point out of three is an air ball, laughable since it makes no cents. You do realize that unions used to level the paying field for everyone so that a factory worker could buy a house, raise a family....? That is a huge change from the reality of today. Maybe you are from a perpendicular universe?

spacey (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 12:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

what netman said...

spacey (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 12:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

agree netman! Foo with the four enormous posts, can be summarized: "Public education serves the interest of the taxpayers who are funding it." What heinous BS, foo, get off your high horse you mouthpiece for the 1%!
Robt. N Bellah has written eloquently about the "usefulness of uselessness" and higher ed fits into his scenario.
And this piece is weak, full of Das-type PC baloney...he is a terribly poor spokesperson for public ed and higher ed, the Chumash own him, and he was for charging higher prices to certain students at our City Colleges

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 1:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Das is also owned by the public employee unions as well. That's why Netman's UPS analogy is an apples and oranges comparison. In corporate union negotiations, the corporation negotiates in it's own interests. In public employee union contracts, no one speaks for the taxpayer. Both the politicians and the union negotiators work together to screw the taxpayer.

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 1:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I would like to add to my points above.

Foo may believe that teachers are paid a yearly salary for only 9 months worth of work. That is very misleading. If you want to do math, which, in all sincerity, I hope the public school you went to did a good job of, you will realize that we are expected to work 2000 hours a year. 50 weeks at 40 hours a week, 2 weeks vacation.

Now let's look at a teacher at a local high school. They are physically on the premise for 8 hours a day, 7:30 to 3:30. A high school teacher may easily have 250 students. I ask you a simple question, considering they are putting in, per your rant, 9 months of 40 hours a week physically on premise, when do they get to do the following:

Plan for the class?
Read and grade homework?
Meet with parents?
Meet with administration?
Get fingerprinted?
Get continuing education credits?

So now, again, let's use math to solve this simple problem. According to you, teachers are paid for 12 months but work 9. So, somehow they are missing 3 months worth of hours, or 25% of the 2000.

If the teacher spends 2 minutes per day per student grading homework, that is 500 minutes. Remember, they have 250 students. So, here we are adding an additional 8 hours and 20 minutes per day to the teacher. But let's not say they give homework every day of the week, because, well, that would be 'work.' Let's assume they do it 3 days a week. Now the teacher's week is 40 hours physically there, and then 25 hours just grading the papers. Of course that teacher has not met with parents, administration or done any other prep. For 9 months we have the teacher working 65 hours a week. So for those 9 months, that teacher has just worked 2,250 hours. So in 9 months that teacher has worked more than you, in theory, do in a year.

Yet, you want to say they are overpaid.

Please, destroy the school system. They failed you in teaching you math.

If you want to get change in the system, stop treating teachers as political pawns. It doesn't matter what side of the fence you are on, both sides use teachers for political gain. Pay teachers MORE. The more you pay them, the more you will see people who want to teach. That competition will bring us better teachers.

I am not a teacher. I have never been a teacher. Teachers have the utmost respect from me. They are put in a terrible situation by politicians. They are berated constantly by outsiders. And with all of this crap spewed towards them, they show up to see that smile, that eureka moment a child has when they grasp the material. That passing of knowledge is a wonderful euphoric feeling. I suppose they think it is worth it.

netman (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 1:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Uhh, no.

You are drawing out assumptions and calling them facts to support your belief.

The ups analogy is accurate. You have a company who is beholding, not to management, but to stakeholders. You know . . . the investors who OWN UPS. In the school scenario, you have politicians negotiating with the union. The politician is the representative of the people. He is their voice. If he does not produce, just like at UPS, the stakeholders (the public) will vote his butt out.

The only difference between the two is that one is driven by profit and the other is driven by the desire to stay in power.

netman (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 1:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"The politician is the representative of the people"

You're not really that naive, are you? Das wouldn't even vote to strip child molesting teachers of their jobs. Do you really think he will hold the taxpayers' interests above that of the public employee unions he's beholden to?

There's a reason we have these abusive pensions for public employees and the taxpayers are left with this huge unfunded pension liablities. Do you see this abusive pension issue occuring in private industry? Of course not. You seem like a smart guy. Why don't you acknowlege this?

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 1:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)


You are spraying and praying at this point. So let me address your multiple points.

1. When did you the taxpayer become we the taxpayers? If you believe a taxpayer is the same as taxpayers in their beliefs, we will never get anywhere. You may not like what he does, I may. Who is right? Of course, these are opinion based scenarios, not factual statements, like "It is HOT outside!" :)

I am safe to assume that your interest is in reducing what we pay teachers, what we spend on education? Because, as a taxpayer, that is not what I want.

If you want to work on mitigating wasteful spending, we can probably get a consensus on a lot of things. But I suspect the consensus will only be on the $720 hammer and not that desks that the kids sit in, nor the lights being on for them to see the material.

Now, I know this is going to blow your mind . . . Just like corporations are made up of people and we have been told by the supreme court that corporations can have free speech, unions are made up of people. They are entitled to free speech. If it is OK for GE to lobby for something, why is not OK for a union to lobby for something? Both are corporations, just one is registered as a tax exempt not for profit?

Abusive pensions - jeeze. Get over it. I already showed you the math on how they are underpaid. If you think that government has a monopoly on future pension issues, let me direct you to numerous corporations that are in the same boat. Now, I do agree that the pensions that were handed out in the past are handcuffing citizens today. But the costs are because of issues in the private world causing it. You know, the area that you are stating is better. Why is health care so expensive in these pensions? Because the private sector has made health care expensive!

And back to your pension liability issue - are you not aware that the Federal Government had to setup a solution to all the corporate pension issues? It is called the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. It has been around for about 40 years and is still needed.

If you can learn anything from this discussion, hopefully it is that the private sector and the public sector have both good and bad people running them. The private sector is not immune from dumb things (GM ignition switch?) just like the public sector is not immune from doing good things (clean water!)

To further this conversation . . . elaborate on why unions are bad. I would love to hear the argument. Please do not use WND as a research tool though. :)

netman (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 2:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Report: $100M donation to Newark schools largely gone

NEWARK - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million pledge in 2010 to help rebuild Newark's schools has largely run dry, according to a New Yorker magazine investigative report.

Four years later, it’s uncertain if the gift praised by Gov. Chris Christie and then-Newark mayor Cory Booker will have much of a lasting positive effect on city schools.

The New Yorker piece, titled “Schooled” by Dale Russakoff, looked at how the historic pledge came to be, where the money is being spent and what reforms are taking place in the city’s schools.

The report found more than $20 million of Zuckerberg’s gift and matching donations went to consulting firms with various specialties, including public relations, human resources, communications, data analysis, teacher evaluation.

"Everybody's getting paid, but Raheem still can't read," Vivian Cox Fraser, the president of the Urban League of Essex County, told The New Yorker.

According to the New Yorker, “despite millions of dollars spent on community engagement — [officials] have yet to hold tough, open conversations with the people of Newark about exactly how much money the district has, where it is going, and what students aren’t getting as a result."

loonpt (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 3:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

California today:

#3 in teacher pay
#47 in educational outcomes

If we make California teachers #1 in pay, will they in return guarantee we can become at least #39 in educational outcomes?

Now we are talking…………

Point is throwing money at education in this state has done nothing to improve educational outcomes.

BTW: teachers get paid for continuing ed, faculty conference days, parent conferences etc. Plus a highly dubious tax write off for "supplies used in the classroom".

Most teachers do not teach 125 students. Most teachers do not change their lesson plans once they get the right mix. Many posters here luckily got through California public education before teachers got unionized under Jerry Brown I.

Back when teaching the three "R's" alone prepared students for productive adult lives. And teachers dressed up, maintained class discipline and held students accountable for their own results. They made students want to learn; and not become their best buddies trying to be cool and popular.

What is most disturbing of all is the teacher union investment in continued failure in the classroom. Should our schools finally become successful, the unions lose all bargaining power to keep demanding more, more, more ….or else.

Let that self-defeating agenda sink in a bit.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 4:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Unions are bad because they now use their considerable wealth and power to sit on both sides of the bargaining table and have racked up unsustainable salaries, benefits and no accountability for results. Unions as a political force running school boards and the California legislature is what is bad about unions today.

Unions as an arms-length, independent, non-political collective bargaining agent are fine. Which is what they were intended to be. But once they grabbed political power, got union shop and automatically skimmed of millions of dollars in union dues going directly from the state to the union bosses, they became a destructive and voracious force of nature.

Unions instead of being fair and neutral bargaining agents only at times of contract negotiations instead use this new political clout to lard up the Ed Code with massive, job protection regulations and avoid any hint of teacher accountability for outcomes.

Teachers, heal thyself. And stop taking your marching orders from your very self-serving teacher union bosses. Get back to basics. We like what you are trained to do - instill the love of learning in our children. For that you get rewarded both tangibly if you are good, and intangibly if you are good, beyond measure.

Decertify your present unions because they are polarizing an important national institution and a previously well-regarded profession. Your unions are your own worst enemy. You need to do better.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 4:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The public sector unions did their members no favors bargaining for and getting unsustainable pensions promises that are now materially underfunded.

It is hard for courts to grant protected fiduciary status to Ponzi public pension schemes that were an irresponsible contract from the beginning.

CalBreitbart on the Stockton bankruptcy"

"…….The trial took a dramatic turn on Monday when U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Klein said, “We have a festering sore here. We got to get in there and excise it and figure out what the story is. Maybe CalPERS is correct, maybe not.”

His comments indicated that he is leaning toward deeming the pension claims as “garden variety creditors,” a term he used last year that indicated CalPERS was an unsecured creditor and could suffer a “haircut” in bankruptcy.

A decision that CalPERS' dollar recovery could be “impaired” has wide-ranging implications for public employee pensions across the country. It would come as public employee pension funds of many municipalities and states are considered grossly insolvent.

In December, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes ruled in the city of Detroit bankruptcy that pension benefits may be legally reduced in bankruptcy, despite the State of Michigan's constitutional protection of public pensions……."

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 5 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Such a high degree of hostility towards those in the creative and humanities fields.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 6:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Foo is jealous because no matter4 how much money he has, he can never buy creative talent or intellect. Foo has brain envy.

For Foo :

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 6:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Such a high degree of hostility towards economics, vocational arts and the business administration fields.

Put your money to work is what public money does best. The arts come with leisure, after earning one's own keep. Nothing wrong with the arts at all, but no reason they should be subsidized by the state.

Teaches artists a bad lesson and stifles their creativity if they have to please anyone other than themselves. Art is. And shall be. It is the soul food of humans, but not the spawn of tax dollars.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 6:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Throughout history artists have had patrons thru the state, ever hear of the De Medici's?

Art is work, but I'm not quite sure Foo knows what Art even is much less work.

Blogging behind a pseudonym is leisure unless you're a paid political operative.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 7 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Netman - The taxpayers are not all the same in their beliefs, but you can bet on one thing. They want to get their money's worth for their tax dollars. They want their dollars to go to services. Of course it's debatable how much services the taxpayer wants, but can we at least agree that the taxpayer doesn't want their money wasted?

Your argument about "free speech" is also false. I will agree that politicians that give favors to corporations are just as corrupt as unions that buy politicians to curry favor in union contracts. However, just because one is wrong doesn't make the other right. Doing favors based on political contributions is corruption no matter who is doing is wrong and always occurs at the expense of the taxpayer.

Your statement about health care is also false. Do you know why tuition has increased so rapidly in the last 5 years? It's the government intervention in the form of the student loan program. Colleges and universities raise tuition because they can and because the government enables them to do so. You will also find that health care will never be more expensive than when it's free.

And who funds the pension benefit guarantee corporation? I'll give you one guess. It's funded by sponsors of defined benefit programs. That's taxpayers like you and me.

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 7:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

right, foo gets paid to do his repetitive gig, clogging the threads, repeating himself ad nauseum, hater of education and the arts. And yes, KV, the state has very very often supported the arts: Pericles the Athenian use the state monies from the Athenian naval empire to fund the Parthenon, and so on. Go get a real job, foo.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 7:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The worth of just one genius is beyond monetary value.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 8 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Foo weren't you the veto vote on arts education funding a few years back?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 8:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ok then, Botany beat me to it straight out of the stall. I was going to bring up the the $100,000,000,000-and growing high speed rail proposal. Let's see...nix the high speed rail project (and there may be other such boondoggles) and educate people, help the homeless, and make California more business-friendly. Das, do you agree?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 8:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Botany: "It's the government intervention in the form of the student loan program."

It's funny listening to the same people who want government to run like a business complain when government runs like a business. I know... maybe we should fund higher education through a 'dog tax'?

@foofighter: "Put your money to work is what public money does best. The arts come with leisure, after earning one's own keep. Nothing wrong with the arts at all, but no reason they should be subsidized by the state."

Written by someone woefully ignorant (surprise?) of the technological advances and commercial applications made by people looking to produce art and music. Anyone who thinks art is solely for leisure doesn't think at all (and again, surprise?)

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 8:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So the Volok / Netman argument is this:
Education Is Good. Teachers are Heroic. Therefore, never question funding.

And that's how we got to this sad state of affairs where California kids can not afford access to their own state universities. You guys are dying on the sword of ideology, and missing what's going on here. There's no question education is valuable, teachers do great work, etc. The problem is that universities have no incentive to control costs, and have raised tuitions to cover their bloated budgets so as to now become unaffordable. Das' answer is terrible: just subsidize them even more!

That class thing you so fear, where the elitists privatize do you miss what's happening in front of you? Pat Brown wanted to provide an Ivy League education free to any California kid that wanted it. And some of the UC's are ranked up there with the Ivy League schools now, which is awesome.

Too bad most California kids can't afford to go to their own schools, because they've been outpriced by the foreign kids that can pay out-of-state rates. Their only option is to take on massive debt and be saddled for life, assuming they can get in.

How do you not see that this is a really poor outcome?

dogsnsand (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 8:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Too bad most California kids can't afford to go to their own schools, because they've been outpriced by the foreign kids that can pay out-of-state rates. " and THAT is a travesty. Domestic students should have priority admission.

But don't cut arts funding in retaliation (as an example, or student grants another.) That's destroying the village to save it.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 8:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks to my education at UCSB I've been able to create jobs; patronize other businesses and help them create jobs; help other entrepeneurs grow their businesses and create jobs; and to date I have made every movie my I've ever wanted to make in the process. All with the knowledge and concepts I learned as a Film Studies Major at UCSB.
But to many of you we just sit around fingerpainting or eating popcorn.
An investment in education is a bigger investment in the community and the nation, and potentially the world.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 8:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The Medici's were private bankers who amassed great wealth due to religious conventions about banking and lending. They in turn became powerful but private patrons of the arts. They were never the "state".

The church (Catholic) was also a primary patron of the arts, which was also an uber-wealthy institution as evidenced in the primarily religious themes of the Middle Ages that were commissioned by the church.

Did the artists of that time really want to paint only saints and madonnas, or did they do it only to pay the rent? Is a commissioned piece really art, or only a piece of masterful craftsmanship?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 9:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Your last paragraph brings up profound questions. Copolla's Godfather was a commissioned piece and that is rightfully considered high art.

I think in terms of Renaissance artists doing commissioned works of historical and mythical characters such as Michelangelo's David, there was often a great deal of emotional involvement with the models. In the end, whoever commissioned those works often could never conceptualize the compositions to begin with beyond words.

So there's a difference between providing someone a paint by number, and telling them you want them to part he Red Sea. The latter requires much more brainpower and passion.

Hope that's dense enough... way too hot today.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 9:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@foo - let's start with correcting YOUR grammar. Why do you keep saying unsustainable? In my best Princess Bride, I do not think that word means what you think it does. The pension program has been working, albeit more costly than projected, but it IS working. If you are from the ilk that states it must be funded 100% upon creation, then you do not understand finance.

However, I suspect that your knowledge comes from Fox and WND talking points. You are trying to start down the path of SSI and Medicare. You know those programs that are supposedly UNSUSTAINABLE.

Just so you can research things, when SSI inflows are greater than outflows, Congress has been known to steal it from the fund, make it a breakeven and use the money for other things. When the outlow is greater than the inflow, it is issued an IOU, borrows to pay for it. Sounds like odd accounting to me! However, SSI has some incredible levers so that it will never ever be an UNSUSTAINABLE program. One thing that can be done is raise the cap from ~100k to another number. That will get it into a serious inflow > outflow.

But let's stay with education.#3 in pay. Woo hoo, I guess the teachers need to get enough money to actually afford a roof over their head. Are you trying to create a situation where teachers have to be homeless or even paid at MOST minimum wage? But let me put it this way . . . when was the last time you saw a teacher OWN a house in Montecito, drive a Mercedes? If you go to the teachers parking lot at the schools, you don't see new cars, you see older cars and generally the accord/camry level. So you can argue that they get paid 3rd, but the cost of living is 1st in the nation.

I am utterly confused how Unions can sit on both sides of the table. That makes no sense.

But again, you want to blame the unions. That is the fallacy. Blame the people that agreed to it. They failed in negotiating. If you want to keep drawing the line that the politician is in bed with the union, then why do we have politicians trying to break the union? Why don't you just say it is the politician YOU do not like.

I stated before that taxpayers do not want their money wasted. The argument is what you and I deem to be wasted. As I mentioned, there probably is some consensus, but I doubt we agree on all of it, or even near all of it.

netman (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 10:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

part deux


You are 100% correct. I completely agree with you about the tuition game. This is the biggest tightly kept secret. Schools are overcoming their budget shortfalls by denying acceptance to state students and taking foreign/out of state students. This is a serious issue and honestly, this is partly where I think politicians need to work at. Using UCSB as an example, there are ~21k students, of those 6k are foreign. I have no idea how many are out of state. But you are looking at a minimum of 1/3rd paying 3x tuition. The question is WHY? That is what needs to be solved.

If you think it is salaries, pfft. Their salaries, including support staff is generally around 50-55% of their expenses. For a service based business, that is very low.

My argument about free speech is not wrong. I just reiterated what the US Supreme Court stated.

And if you think the tuition has gone up the last 5 years because of salaries, wow . . . perhaps you should have taken an econ or finance class in the past. The schools get funding from a few sources, but the main source is from the state. When the state cuts the income to the school, what is the school to do? Close? Nope, they raise rates. But then again, this is something funny because this is the 'free market' at work. Isn't government getting it's hand out of this making the schools run like a business what you want?

And I am still laughing at Foo for arguing against the arts. Without the arts, the state of California would not have it's largest industry. You know . . . the MOVIES!

netman (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 10:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

ETR - "It's funny listening to the same people who want government to run like a business complain when government runs like a business."

Do you really think the student loan program is run like a business? Obviously, you've never run one.

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 10:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Asperger's Syndrome is taking over this thread. High-functioning autism is where it's at.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 10:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Netman, you can use this website to prove your point that the MOVIE business is "California's largest industry", but I could not find this myself in CalFacts, though there is a lot of other very interesting information to be found here:

CalFacts is put out by the state's Legislative Analysts Office and is a basis of allegedly neutral information our legislators rely upon when making decisions on our behalf.

You might want to report your own findings which differ materially from theirs, because it appears they have overlooked this important role MOVIES play as the primary driver of our state's economic health.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 10:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Movies created California in more ways than one.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 14, 2014 at 11:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Botany: "Do you really think the student loan program is run like a business? Obviously, you've never run one."

Oh, really, Mr. Dog Tax?

"According to the latest projections from the CBO, the federal government will earn about $127 billion over the next ten years from its recently acquired role as the direct provider of most student loans."

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 5:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

ETR - Ah, some people never learn.

From your article:

"Would some people be turned down for student loans under a private system? Yes, some surely would be. Is this a bad thing? Probably not. After all, the current system allows the government to lend money to people with no examination of the probability they will be able to pay the money back. Funnily enough, the federal government now requires mortgage lenders to ensure that borrowers have the ability to repay their mortgage loans, yet it does not impose a similar requirement on itself in the student loan market."

I'm sure you are one of those that wants to put all the bankers in jail that engaged in trading of CDO's, MDO's and the like. What do you think this student loan debt is? It's even riskier than mortgage debt! And everything will be fine and good as long as the economy rises, of course you'll be the first one calling for people's heads if the economy turns around and most of these debts are defaulted on.

In business, there's a risk vs. reward ratio that must be considered. These risks were discarded which lead to the crisis we had in 2008. Student loan debt is MUCH riskier and there's no security for these debts. Do you really want to go down that path again?

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 5:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"An investment in education is a bigger investment in the community and the nation, and potentially the world."

Poverty is directly associated with lack of education - those who do not complete high school, are more likely to become criminals. (LA Police can predict crime by this number.) Where is money best spent - on education or on the prison system, and the courts, etc.

Not only does education help solve some of the ills of society, it makes for a safer, healthier, more economically stable country. Who would not prefer to worry less about crime in their lives? and encounter fewer homeless and gangs.

Das is correct; Mandela is correct. Too bad California could not lead the way in implementing online education that could help those who cannot afford current university fees.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 8:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

50% of all state general funds are dedicated exclusively to education. (See CalFacts)

This is a huge moral commitment we have made to education. It is also a perfectly adequate amount. It is shameful we have gotten such poor results so consistently for the huge investment we have long made in education in this state.

Something else is grossly wrong in this state and it is not lack of money.

You can start with the over-bloated California Education Code which takes up volumes primarily dedicated to teacher job protections.

This is the harvest of too many decades of the large teachers union in this state and their wholesale co-opting of "education (union) friendly legislators like Das Williams and Hannah-Beth Jackson.

"We need more money" no longer cuts it and the teachers unions need to get out of the game.

You got all them money you are going to get and the Prop 98 50% guarantee will only deliver more money when you start re-investing in your primary task - turning out graduates who create more wealth in this state instead of graduates who continue to take it down.

Your call, teachers unions.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 8:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The voters long ago passed the First Five pre-school bill funded with tobacco tax money. We were lavishly promised pre-schools would lead to a healthier community, less crime, better students and higher college success.

Those First Five students are now adults. We have not seen anything even remotely successful compared to the promises made, regardless of the billions of tax dollars now diverted permanently into this state run pre-school program.

Yet Tabatha, taking marching orders from Demorcrat central command, promises the exact same outcomes …if only we commit more money.

Sorry honey, we already did and it failed. No more money down a rat hole. You need to investigate why First Five so badly failed our students and where exactly those billions of dollars of tobacco tax money actually got spent.

Even worse, young people are smoking more. So the anti-tobacco education component failed as well.

So much for one more utopian social engineering program that ended up creating yet another tax dollar dependent job protection scheme successful only for those who drained out the First Five dollars for themselves.

Time to sunset the tobacco tax First Five initiative. It failed.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 8:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Considering the amount of financial burdens inflicted on young people today, no wonder Rand Paul and Libertarianism is so appealing to them.

They get stuck with the billions of unfunded baby boomer pension accounts.

They get stuck with funding the older, sicker baby boomers under Obamacare.

They get stuck with massive student loans they were required to take out that served to fund the lavish salaries and benefits for baby boomer teachers. (This the next huge financial bubble as previously stated.)

They get stuck with the declining US economy baby boomers have over- regulated into morbidity with their utopian demands for other people to pay, but not them.

There was a huge breaking point schism between the generations back in the 1960's between the "Establishment" and the free-living rebels.

There will be a flashpoint not that far off in the future between the equal generational disconnect that now demands young people be the makers in order to support the now "Establishment" generation of baby-boomers who are the primary takers.

The 1960's hippies said they were not going to fight old men's wars. And they didn't. It will be interesting to see where this new generational conflict finally has its own breaking point.

Baby boomers need to burn up the national credit card and the younger generations stuck with bills they never ran up themselves need to send a very new message to the now baby boomer Establishment, who gladly ate them for lunch.

The expansion of Big Government (public pensions, Obamacare, student loans) which feeds the public sector unions is the overwhelming common denominator in all of this tragic story of national decline.

Include the Big Government CRA-mandated "affordable housing" bubble as the primary driver of the recent Wall Street meltdown which you are also now stuck paying for.

Welcome to the world, young people. You can vote the Establishment out. You can clean up this mess in a few election cycles that breaks up this Establishment deadlock on your future. You can turn things around.

Do not vote union.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 9:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Foo IS establishment, why trust him?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 9:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

KV, here is how it works. You trust ideas; not people.

Put it all out into public debate and go with what emerges that works best; not who is for or against it.

Pragmatism is the order of the day; not partisan politics, utopian principles or perpetuating failure. Face a problem looking for measurable solutions; not partisan payoffs. And walk away when what seemed like a good idea does not generate the expected results.

Elevate the discussion beyond arguing personalities. This is only way to end this current state of petty squabbling. The Founders knew people themselves would always be flawed and wanted to build an institution that could take this into account and continue functioning. Step back and go long.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 10:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Education Inflation is a direct result of Government not only putting its finger in the pie put its whole ham fist.

Education was much more affordable before the Government got involved.

I paid $2800.00 per year at a private college, tuition, room and board per year, same college is now $50,000.00. I could earn $3,400.00 per summer at that time pounding nails.

Currently students must borrow as no summer job will pay the freight, student debt is 1.2 trillion, why because of Education Inflation, the cause Government.

The unintended consequences of Government Money is Inflation, now students are forced to borrow and thus Indentured Servants of the Government for 30 years.

This Student Debt precludes graduated students from purchasing homes, having families etc. and has a total ripple effect for an entire Generation of Americans.

Education is good but my generation was able to pay for it themselves, the current generation cannot due to Education Inflation ,which is bad.

Government manipulation of the money supply, interest rates, housing, education and now healthcare is a recipe for disaster.

Peggy Lee sang, "Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is"

Makes you understand Deltopia.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 10:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The ignorance of the "everything was a nickel when I was a kid" crowd is amazing. Gas was .22 a gallon when I was younger, a coke was .25, a car was $2200, a house was 25,000, and the average age of death was in the 60s. So did government cause the gas, the coke, the car, the house and the average age of death to increase?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but only the electronics type business self obsolete and race to zero. Everything else tends to move up in price over time.

Now with howgreen joining the discussion, let's look at his 2800 for a private school. Want to tell me how the GOVERNMENT forced a PRIVATE school to raise their tuition? There was nothing that compelled them to do that by the government. Take off the tinfoil, it didn't happen.

Education at the k-12 and higher has always been highly subsidized by the population mass. That 62 year old's property taxes are going to pay for the elementary school that he sees no direct benefit from. But the reality is that he does. He sees a significant benefit, it raises his property values, it creates educated people who will help fund his SSI and Medicare benefits.

What has occurred though is that politicians have changed their priorities on education. Instead of funding it as they have, they have reduced the amount of funding it has received. Thus causing a revenue issue. How does the school generate the revenue it needs to survive? It raises tuition.

So for the 'get off my lawn' crowd, you are welcome. You were fortunate enough to have politicians who prioritized education over other things. You got a cheap, government subsidized education.

It is a shame that our own government does not want to take our money and invest it back into the citizens at levels as they did in the past.

netman (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 1:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)


" And walk away when what seemed like a good idea does not generate the expected results."

That statement right there is where everything you have stated is proven to be wrong. Yes, everything.

If people did that, we would never have, the internet, the car, the rifle, the tv, medicine, et al. There is an evolution in progression, it is not binary. We do not go from cavemen to inventing the wheel without making the first one square.

netman (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 1:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

netman, I would recommend studying Austrian Economics. It is false to assume that prices on everything should go up. With increases in efficiency and mechanization, we should be seeing price decreases. The reason why the price of electronics go down and everything else is going up is because the government largely stays out of the regulation of electronics. It is one of the only industries that isn't heavily regulated.

Housing, food, energy and education are all very highly regulated.

You could literally watch the price of education explode as the government began guaranteeing more student loans and giving out more money for education. The students just kept bidding up the prices, year after year, because they all wanted to go and they all had unlimited funds from the government to do so.

The housing bubble occurred because the government decided that poor people should have the opportunity to buy a home, so they lowered the standards on loans that the government guaranteed in case they went bad. This caused the sub-prime housing bubble which destroyed the economy back in '08.

The Federal Reserve is responsible for the inflation we have been seeing in nearly every sector and while true inflation is probably around 8-12%, the government claims it is only around 3%.

This is a good video about how our monetary system works, everybody should see this because almost nobody knows how it actually works. Especially politicians and economists.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 1:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry Net,

Human Greed is at play here. The idea that if the Government made loans available, then Institutions would keep the same price structure, so more could be served, is Utopian Ignorance.

What happened is the demand increased with free money from the Government, well free if you like being indentured, and the Educational providers wanted their cut of the free money. It is called INFLATION.

A smart High School Junior receives hundreds of pieces to junk mail from every College/University under the sun. Hundreds more email solicitations, why because its big business, not because they are adorable young adults.

In my time I applied to a school, they did not promote me, it's Government Guaranteed Loans, follow the money.

Utopian Ideas just cannot seem to accept Natural Law, even though it controls the Universe.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 1:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let me expand netman, because I should not assume you can read my mind.

When public monies are involved you set measurable goals and audit them for effectiveness. If these expenditures prove not meet the agreed goals or have not resulted in unintended but measurable beneficial consequences not part of the original equation, then you stop pouring more money down a rat hole.

Continued employment devolving into ineffectual public make-work is not sufficient benefit for continued expenditure of public funds. Then it only becomes badly disguised welfare and we already have a system for that.

I agree, innovation often comes after failure, failure, failure. But that is not necessarily the best use of public monies.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 2:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The interesting thing is that both @foo and @how have ignored a simple fact. The salaries of the service business is 50-55% of all the expenses. That for a service business is not bad at all.

Unless you went to college and graduated before 65, you were more than likely involved in some form of government sponsored loans.

Why do I mention that? Because let's look at the tuition price. Here - this may help -

Now when did it get expensive? If you look it nearly tripled from 05 to 14. Now lets see if you can look at that objectively and see what the cause was. Hmm, I wonder what happened around 08 timeframe :)

Now look at how they get funded and see the decrease in funding from the state and see if you can see a correlation. Where oh where is the student loan issue involved? Here is your clue . . .


Now if you want to take the position that student loans have shifted the education burden from the state and it's citizens to the student, I would completely agree.

Austrian economics - I am aware of in detail. I didn't state that everything goes up, I said a majority of things do. But let's just go to a simple Econ 101 class. Let's look at supply and demand. With the destruction of true VoTech schools, the push by people, much like yourself for degrees that 'matter' there has been a demand increase with a supply issue. That in itself has caused prices to increase, as well as requirements for those seats to increase.

I am very sorry if you actually believe that the electronics industry is loosely regulated. It is regulated. Of course it is not as regulated as energy and food.

The housing bubble occurred because of greed. You can choose who the greed was on, but it was nothing but greed with a big ole dose of fraud.

netman (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 5:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Utopian Ideas just cannot seem to accept Natural Law, even though it controls the Universe." That is just a dumb statement and makes no sense. Comparing human behaviour to the laws of physics makes no sense. One is a law, one is an opinion.

Of course you set expectations. But you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. That is a concept that I think a lot of people who have similar beliefs to yours do not understand.

So let's try something . . .

You think teacher's unions are wrong, therefore you want to remove the union.
You think public education is a failure, therefore you want to remove it.
You think pensions are unsustainable, therefore you want to remove it.

In your 'utopian' world, what do you replace public education with? What do you replace pensions with?

Now to have some fun with you . . .

We have not won the war in Afghanistan. Let's get rid of the whole military. I mean, jeeze, they are a complete and utter failure.

"Continued employment devolving into ineffectual public make-work is not sufficient benefit for continued expenditure of public funds. Then it only becomes badly disguised welfare and we already have a system for that."

Yes, it is called the military.

netman (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Netman, When you end up with Rosemary's baby, you do toss it out with the bath water. And then run like heck.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 5:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

BTW Netman: I don't do straw dogs.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 5:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The tuition increase is explained by one thing and one thing only. Supply and demand. The easy availability of student loans as well as the recession drastically increased demand with no corresponding supply of college placements. Why did universities raise their tuition? Because they can.

Of course the next debt shoe to drop will be the student loan crisis. And it will be big. The only question is when.

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 5:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think it'd be better to open new campuses than expand to such a huge degree the existing ones.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 5:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Refusing to pay back student loans could well be this generation's rebellious flash point. Now is the time to plot how this will trickle down through the economy. My guess is, it is going to happen.

If you can't round up 13 million illegal immigrants who clearly broke the law, how are you going to round up many more defaulting students and haul them all off to debtors prison. Amnesty will be offered them too.

One more wealth redistribution scheme hidden this time in …… sheep's skin.

Soetoro did want to win the world's most college diplomas derby. Someone else can pay this off. Barry gets his victory lap, and that is all that matters.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 6:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here is where the student loan bubble default is going: mandatory debt forgiveness.

Students learn early you can get something for nothing and no matter what you agreed to up front you can walk away from it in good conscience. Works for pregnancy, marriage and child-rearing, so why not student loans too.

Hey dude it is like so inconvenient to pay all that money back. Cut me some slack. Sure kid, it was not like my money you got to spend. It was some other dude's money.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Isn't that the liberal mantra? Forgive those that break our laws and don't pay their debts. Those that pay back their loans and live by the rules are chumps.

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 6:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You paint with a very broad brush, Botany. I'm a liberal, I don't break laws, I repaid all my student loans, I live by the rules. Your narrow view limits your understanding, a pity, you understand so little, dude.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 6:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess Aristotle was dumb, stupid or had some other problem, or you don't have a clue, concerning the subject of Natural Law.

You are blowing smoke and passing it off for knowledge.

Education Inflation started way before the current economic mess, which by the way is a long way from being over, wait until the pendulem starts swinging the other direction, the Piper must be paid.

"Utopian Ideas just cannot seem to accept Natural Law, even though it controls the Universe." That is just a dumb statement and makes no sense. Comparing human behaviour to the laws of physics makes no sense. One is a law, one is an opinion.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 7:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To get back to Das's comment on the 1960 Education Plan for California...Back then, there was the University of California with many fewer campus locations. The concept was that the University was for just the top 10% of graduating California students. It was both a teaching and a research place. A University meant something elitist, top-notch, best in class.

Then, there were State Colleges, the next level down but also for Californians...they had large teaching credential missions to train teachers...but not research. Later, because 'elitism' became a political no no...they became, in name only, 'Universities'. But we don't need to be fooled about this matter.

And the third layer in this plan, were City Colleges for two year studies dedicated to those who couldn't make the grade for the University or State College but could, possibly, transfer in their Junior year if they did well. The City College mission was not just to develop transfer students for the two other systems but to give a educational training for certain kinds of jobs after high school. Everybody is not going to be a scholar or teacher.

This system was relatively inexpensive at the time. Tuition was incredibly low. It worked. It was hierarchical...but now...everybody's supposed to be a University...and equality is the name of the game...but there is no equality because people are truly different, with different talents, different intelligences, just plain different. That's where diversity is: in our natures. And we just don't have the money to make this over-grown educational monster work. And it couldn't work even if we did.

Das: Everybody can't be just doesn't work that way.

The California system as we see it now, is a perfect example of over-reaching coming out of a mindless belief in equality. You just can't have it all.

Governor Brown's 5% for the University system, and 10% for the younger student institutions is quite reasonable. Let's see how it works out. Some leader has to get real and cut this mess down to size. Education shouldn't cost this much. And as someone pointed out above...we're big spenders, but getting terrible results. Don't feel bad. Cut the budget. It's the only sane thing to do.

DonJosedelaGuerra (anonymous profile)
May 15, 2014 at 7:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)


You want to pull Aristole into this? That is the 'natural law' you are discussing?

If you want to go down this path, that is fine, but may I suggest you take a class at SBCC or UCSB on philosophy or metaethics first. I have spent too many semesters in philosophy classes.

"Netman, When you end up with Rosemary's baby, you do toss it out with the bath water. And then run like heck."

Best line in this thread! It is funny. But to be serious, again, we will argue what is Rosemary's baby and what is not.


You are on to something, but I do not think it is solely the reason. You are correct in that the downturn pushed more people to go and get degrees. You see more people in class that are not 18-22 anymore. However, if you fail to see how the reduction in money that the state has given the schools has had an impact on the cost going up, you are being disingenuous.

netman (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2014 at 9:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't think there needs to be any more investment in our current education model.

I'm currently taking free courses from Stanford on

You can take free courses from Harvard, MIT and some of the other top institutions in the world online.

That doesn't mean all of the institutions need to disappear, we just don't need to send so many people to them if they can learn what they need to online. Unless you need to go in and do labwork, most course material can be taught online at almost no cost.

There is so much information available online on just about any topic, if you want to learn something then just do it!

loonpt (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2014 at 11:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)


That is a great idea. Now just convince the people who hire and fire that the education that a person gets from coursera is just as valuable as going to stanford to take it.

I would love a more horizontal structure to higher education. I just think it is going to take quite a while for the people who hire, the people who recruit, to accept this as a norm.

netman (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2014 at 12:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The reason you don't see many 18-22 year olds in college classes is because too many of them are still stuck taking remedial courses for academic skills they never got in K-12.

This is a huge drag on higher ed budgets: the amount of remedial course work they are forced to provide to high school "graduates" today, before they can even function at the college level.

So when you look at how much money goes to K-12 today, be sure to also add how much money higher ed has to spend on K-12 remedial education to the same pot.

However, do you think K-12 teacher union shill Das Williams will even raise this troubling drain on higher ed resources? No way is he ever going to disturb the gal who brung him: the K-12 California Teachers Assn

Agree, all these segments of education in this state are getting plenty of money. And automatically they get even more as the state economy gets better. You don't need to supplement them, nor listen to their chronic wailing for more. Now, we want plenty of results in return.

Heaven protect us from ever having these conversations about education always being about money. Some good alternative delivery systems were mentioned and that is where our focus needs to be today in this new digital information age.

Get off this fiscal turf war and start caring more again about education, educational outcomes, and the art of education itself.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2014 at 1:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Das, yes let's invest more in education. Let's do it by reducing what we spend on pensions. Start by Working to get all the original Brown pension reform points passed as a starter. Then go deeper.

Free up 20% of the budget (without the extra short term taxes) and then let's invest in higher education.

loneranger (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2014 at 2:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Das, here is how you increase higher ed funding - stop asking them to do K-12 make-up work.

Today's "national report card" is shocking and this lands right on your CTA union buddies laps. And no, after throwing millions of dollars at this problem these past few, there has been no improvement..

Solve this Das, and you will open up vast new resources for higher ed, instead of asking them to now be K-12 remedial farm clubs.

Hint: Das, you might want to look at CSU teacher training as a good place to start the reforms necessary from the bottom up.

Then dump the current Ed Code and start over putting students, not teachers, as the centerpiece of our state's education legislation.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2014 at 2:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you loneranger for the reminder Gov Moonbeam is not so spacy this time around. Though the public sector unions he empowered last time through ironically is the bane of his existence today

Gov Brown's original pension reform proposals 2012:

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2014 at 2:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Can't blame it all on Moonbeam though. He certainly got the ball rolling. It really snowballed under Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger made an initial attempt to put up some resistance to this but then caved royally.

Botany (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2014 at 4:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Welcome to the Public Pension Animal Farm: Two donkeys and RINO.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2014 at 5:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

...and 14 dolphins.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
May 16, 2014 at 8:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This 2011 Indy "Voices" piece details how fees for UCSB increased by times 100 since 1966!

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
May 19, 2014 at 3:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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