Must-Reads for September 14
Investor's Business Daily: Fed's quantitative easing results are mixed, at best
The basic arithmetic is irrefutable: The Fed's tab for the QE program is now over $3 trillion. And most of that new money went to buy government debt — not to "stimulate" the private sector.
National Review: How much does the U.N. cost us?
According to OMB, FY 2010 marked the third consecutive year in which U.S. contributions reached record highs. In FY 2010, they exceeded $7.691 billion — more than $1.3 billion higher than FY 2009’s record of $6.347 billion.
The New York Times: Après Rahm, le déluge
The problem is that the bloated Economy II is becoming a burden that Economy I can no longer carry. Unless we reform Economy II and control its spending, the bloat will crush us. National productivity will slide. The economy will stagnate.
CNN: My view: To unions, Chicago is the next Wisconsin
Across the country, there is a growing recognition of the need for change. Reforms of different kinds are all growing in popularity among voters of both parties. But unions are proudly standing in the way.
Reason: Chicago strike shows how unions stifle reform
It was the latest reminder that teachers’ unions exist to expand the pay and protections of teachers, not to help "the children." Unions protect their worst-performing members, which is why Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s testing plan caused so much angst.
Must-Reads for September 13
Springfield Journal-Register: Chicago teachers strike could have downstate implications
Why should downstate care? Because gravity works the way it always does, and the issues up north will trickle down south eventually.
RealClearMarkets: The corporate tax: Republicans versus Democrats
The case seems to be clear: a pure territorial tax system, combined with a significant cut in federal corporation taxes, would remove perverse incentives to keep profits offshore. Companies would repatriate profits, resulting in more investment--and more jobs--in the U.S.
National Review: How poor is ‘poor’?
The Census Bureau determines that a family is poor if its annual "income" falls below specified thresholds. For 2011, the threshold for a family of four was around $23,000. But the bureau doesn’t count welfare benefits such as food stamps, public housing, the earned-income tax credit, and many other programs as "income" for purposes of determining whether a family is poor.
Must-Reads for September 12
Chicago Tribune: CPS kids would need vouchers to attend 'unreal' schools
Real school? You mean that public system where four of 10 students don't graduate? Since real school wasn't open, I was compelled to visit an unreal school.
Washington Post: Chicago teachers resisting much needed education reforms
A scandalously low 56 percent of Chicago students graduate from high school. That is the status quo the union is fighting to preserve.
National Review: High stakes in Chicago
While the mayor deserves some praise, his push for teacher-evaluation reforms illustrates the risks posed by the one-size-fits-all thinking of too many progressive reformers, Emanuel and Obama included.
Must-Reads for September 11
Chicago Tribune: Collateral damage
But now, the Chicago Teachers Union and its 25,000 striking teachers against 350,000 students have tested the limits of this town's historic support. They have tested the patience of many Chicagoans whose children are being used as pawns. And the tolerance of Chicago taxpayers to shell out more and more to support a teetering and failing institution.
Investor's Business Daily: Depending on dependency
Belief in the superior compassion of the political left is a worldwide phenomenon that goes back at least as far as the 18th century. But in all that time, and in all those places, there has been little, if any, effort on the left to check this crucial assumption against facts.
National Review: Chi-Town Shakedown
To put things in perspective, the Chicago Public Schools system is facing a budget shortfall roughly one and a half times the size of the salary-increase offer rejected by the unions, its bonds have been downgraded by two of the "big three" ratings agencies, and the state’s teacher-pension system is less than 20 percent funded.
Must-Reads for September 10
Investor's Business Daily: Chicago Teachers Union makes war on kids and parents
In a city with double-digit unemployment, teachers who can't be fired and who make more than double what their students' parents make, have gone on strike. Anyone for school choice?
National Review: The Democrats’ GM Fiction
Auto manufacturers and dealerships have indeed added about 236,000 jobs since then, but almost none are at GM, which has added only about 4,500 workers, a number not even close to offsetting the 63,000 workers that its dealerships had to let go when the terms of the bailout unilaterally shut them down.
Chicago Sun-Times: Teacher union’s unwise ‘strike of choice’
Monday starts Chicago’s first teachers strike in 25 years. It didn’t have to be. The Chicago school system this weekend put a good — not perfect — but good offer on the table.But the union, clinging to an unrealistic notion of what it can accomplish through labor negotiations, rejected it. From the get-go, the union seemed intent on striking. Sunday happened to be the trigger day.