Larry Elder Interviews the Great Economist and thinker, Thomas Sowell. Larry asks Sowell about Biden, the Black Lives Matter Movement, the Coronavirus Shutdown, baseball, and more… Sowell just released his new book on Charter Schools and the education system, “Charter Schools and Their Enemies” (Interview Date 7-1-2020)
The day before this show was recorded, Dr. Thomas Sowell began his 10th decade of life. Remarkably on one hand and yet completely expected on the other, he remains as engaged, analytical, and thoughtful as ever. In this interview (one of roughly a dozen or so we’ve conducted with Dr. Sowell over the years), we delve into his new book Charter Schools and Their Enemies, a sobering look at the academic success of charter schools in New York City, and the fierce battles waged by teachers unions and progressive politicians to curtail them. Dr. Sowell’s conclusion is equally thought provoking: If the opponents of charter schools succeed, the biggest losers will be poor minority children for whom a quality education is the best chance for a better life.
The black-white educational achievement gap — so much discussed for so many years — has already been closed by black students attending New York City’s charter schools. This might be expected to be welcome news. But it has been very unwelcome news in traditional public schools whose students are transferring to charter schools. A backlash against charter schools has been led by teachers unions, politicians and others — not only in New York but across the country. If those attacks succeed, the biggest losers will be minority youngsters for whom a quality education is their biggest chance for a better life.
The pension crisis in California is the worst in the country, and it will continue to get worse as Jerry Brown and the environmentalists strap this state with regulations that choke businesses to death — see:
Pensions: California, which is known for its earthquakes, just had a major one. Didn’t feel it? You will. This quake isn’t the earthshaking kind, but rather the state’s decision to recognize reality when it comes to its insolvent public-employee pension fund.
Last week, the 85-year-old California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, slashed its official investment forecast going forward, meaning that state and local governments, police and sheriffs departments, and even school districts will have to spend billions of dollars more to CalPERS to support their future retirees. And, no doubt, it will mean higher taxes for all.
Sadly, this move won’t be enough. For years, the state has projected steady investment returns of 7.5% for CalPERS, the largest pension fund in the nation. But returns have been below that. So now CalPERS is trimming its return to 7% per year. But, given the pension fund’s mismanagement and poor performance, even that may be too high. Today the fund is a little over 60% fully funded, meaning it will have to raise billions of dollars more to be solvent. That means higher contributions for government workers, and higher taxes for average citizens.
It’s no accident. “CalPERS has … steered billions of dollars into politically connected firms,” wrote Steve Malanga in City Journal, back in 2013. “And it has ventured into ‘socially responsible’ investment strategies, making bad bets that have lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Such dubious practices have piled up a crushing amount of pension debt, which California residents — and their children — will somehow have to repay.”
That’s happening now. California’s famous Highway Patrol, for instance, has grossly underfunded its pensions. So it got the state to agree to a $10 hike in car registration fees to help make up the shortfall. No doubt, it will be asking for more soon.
It’s not just California. Across the country, pension funds have been underfunded, mismanaged and in some cases looted by managers. Today, according to the Fed, pension funds across the country are $2 trillion in the red — after being overfunded as recently as the year 2000. That means tax hikes are coming, like it or not…..
The Berkeley City Council recently debated the merits of adding sex-change operations to the city employee medical insurance plan, and tabled the idea for future consideration. Berkeley City employees remain trapped in their gender until further notice. (American Spectator)
It’s official — the former Golden State is now a freak show:
California lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday that would require public K-12 schools to let transgender students choose which restrooms they use and which school teams they join based on their gender identity instead of their chromosomes. …
California’s bill would give students the right “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities” based on their self-perception, regardless of their birth gender.
That is, since as we all know liberal ideology trumps physical reality, you are whatever gender you say you are — or if you are a horny teenager with no sense of shame, whatever gender will get you a pass to the girls’ showers.
I mentioned this desire to control nature in the past, but here is yet another example of this lunacy! In May Michael Medved commented on this bill [now law]: