No. of Recommendations: 5
whd23 wrote:

Here's my take on the inherent unfairness of this method of school funding. I live in a condo-townhouse, the other owners in the development obviously have almost identical property values and therefore pay the same amount of property tax that I do. I have no kids, while my neighbor has two kids and makes more than I do, and he gets more deductions on his federal income taxes. It costs our town an average of $4600/student for education. I can guarantee you that my neighbor does not pay $9200 in property taxes.

This discussion of the school tax issue has been excellent. Until now, I have not stepped in because, as a kid-free taxpayer, my viewpoint was being well expressed by others. I will play the devil's advocate here now for the sake of seeing that the view is expressed by somebody.

In the above example, whd23 basically wants the burden of educating the children to be placed on the parents. There is an argument that I don't necessarily subscribe to that says we all benefit from children and from an educated society. We prosper because there are consumers buying products. Educated consumers are more productive and buy more products. The need to provide for and protect children has a civilizing influence that helps minimize inefficiency in the economy. A good economy benefits all members of society and not just parents.

This is akin to the arguments for public roads. Even if you do not drive on the roads (and therefore do not pay gasoline taxes), you benefit from them. They are used for delivery of your groceries, clothing and mail to stores or to your house. They are used by the police and fire departments for access to your house. The benefits from children are less tangible, but the connection to wealth production for all investors is fairly strong.

My problems with the public school system are not the costs, they are the results. In general, the public school system has become a youth indoctrination system. Teachers are not being held accountable to the parents or to the society. Instead, many just convey the party line to students. This party line comes from from one political faction through the teachers unions to the teachers and then into the students without adequate oversight from parents or society. The teacher gets protection from accountability by the union. The union gets power and influence by trading votes and endorsements for candidates. The candidates get power and influence from the voters. The parents and society get politically brainwashed young people. Paying taxes for this product is detestable.

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