Food Stamp Mantra[s] from Democrats Rebutted

Michael Medved responds to the food stamp issue that Democrats and the Left are bringing up. I take a clip from yesterday’s show and insert it into the middle of today’s show to give the listener some ammunition when these banal arguments come up. At the 5:17 mark, the caller mentions taxes for the millionaires as part of his argument. Medved Responds well to this challenge at the… and at the 6:24 mark you hear the caller respond with a bumper sticker jingle. In other words, talking about facts matters little to these people, but at least you will be able to influence those around you eavesdropping in on the conversation.

I posted this video on LIVELEAK, and a comment got me “clicking around” the internet to test what the person said. Here is the comment:

For every $1 spent on food stamps there’s a $1.80 stimulative effect to the economy. The poor person spends the funds at the grocery store, which allows the store to employ more people, the store spends the funds to buy more food which helps farmers and food producers. On the other hand, tax cuts for the wealthy have a negative effect on the economy, it just doesn’t trickle down enough so it drains economic growth. Plus it helps feed poor people that can’t afford to eat. — Warren H.

First, it should be noted that this idea was championed mainly by Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi, a hard-core Keynesian. However, it should be noted that unfortunately “for Zandi, there has never been any empirical evidence of the Keynesian multiplier.  Government doesn’t take one dollar and turn it into more by spending it.  God doesn’t live in the White House, no matter how much Paul Krugman prays.” (AMERICAN THINKER)

HERITAGE FOUNDATION puts it like this:

…The Keynesian argument also assumes that consumption spending adds to immediate economic growth while savings do not. By this reasoning, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and low-income tax rebates are among the most effective stimulus policies because of their likelihood to be consumed rather than saved.

Taking this analysis to its logical extreme, Mark Zandi of has boiled down the government’s influence on America’s broad and diverse $14 trillion economy into a simple menu of stimulus policy options, whereby Congress can decide how much economic growth it wants and then pull the appropriate levers. Zandi asserts that for each dollar of new government spending: temporary food stamps adds $1.73 to the economy, extended unemployment benefits adds $1.63, increased infrastructure spending adds $1.59, and aid to state and local governments adds $1.38. Jointly, these figures imply that, in a recession, a typical dollar in new deficit spending expands the economy by roughly $1.50. Over the past 40 years, this idea of government spending as stimulus has fallen out of favor among many economists. As this paper shows, it is contradicted both by empirical data and economic logic…

They then respond to the above:

The Evidence is In

Economic data contradict Keynesian stimulus theory. If deficits represented “new dollars” in the economy, the record $1.2 trillion in FY 2009 deficit spending that began in October 2008–well before the stimulus added $200 billion more–would have already overheated the economy. Yet despite the historic 7 percent increase in GDP deficit spending over the previous year, the economy shrank by 2.3 percent in FY 2009. To argue that deficits represent new money injected into the economy is to argue that the economy would have contracted by 9.3 percent without this “infusion” of added deficit spending (or even more, given the Keynesian multiplier effect that was supposed to further boost the impact). That is simply not plausible, and few if any economists have claimed otherwise.

And if the original $1.2 trillion in deficit spending failed to slow the economy’s slide, there was no reason to believe that adding $200 billion more in 2009 deficit spending from the stimulus bill would suddenly do the trick. Proponents of yet another stimulus should answer the following questions: (1) If nearly $1.4 trillion budget deficits are not enough stimulus, how much is enough? (2) If Keynesian stimulus repeatedly fails, why still rely on the theory?

This is no longer a theoretical exercise. The idea that increased deficit spending can cure recessions has been tested repeatedly, and it has failed repeatedly. The economic models that assert that every $1 of deficit spending grows the economy by $1.50 cannot explain why $1.4 trillion in deficit spending did not create a $2.1 trillion explosion of new economic activity.

(read it all)

CATO likewise notes that the numbers were fudged to provide exaggerated outcomes:

Food stamps are effective economic stimulus. Led by Mark Zandi and other Keynesian economists, food-stamp advocates have made wildly exaggerated claims about the program’s role in stimulating the economy. Zandi, for instance, claims that “extending food stamps is the most effective way to prime the economy’s pump.”

But aside from the fact that those economic models just as well predict an alien invasion would be a boon to the economy, there is little evidence to support the theory. Even the Agriculture Department’s own inspector general concluded that it was unable to determine whether the additional dollars in the stimulus’s food-stamp expansion were in any way effective in meeting the 2009 Recovery Act’s goals. Three of the four performance measures the program was supposed to use, the office found, “reflected outputs, such as the dollar amount of benefits issued and administrative costs expended” and did not provide any insight into outcomes.

On the other hand, we do know that a failure to get government spending under control will have long-term economic consequences. Food stamps are hardly the major cause of deficits and debt — that distinction lies with middle-class entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare — but every little bit helps.

Valerie Jarrett and Nancy Pelosi said similar things:

  • JARRETT: Let’s face it: Even though we had a terrible economic crisis three years ago, throughout our country many people were suffering before the last three years, particularly in the black community. And so we need to make sure that we continue to support that important safety net. It not only is good for the family, but it’s good for the economy. People who receive that unemployment check go out and spend it and help stimulate the economy, so that’s healthy as well.
  • PELOSI: Economists agree that unemployment benefits remain one of the best ways to grow the economy in a very immediate way. It immediately injects demand into our markets and increases employment. For every dollar spent on unemployment benefits, the economy grows by, according to one estimate, $1.52; by others, $2. So somewhere in that range, but much more than is spent on it…. We have a responsibility to the American people. These are people who have played by the rules, have lost their job through no fault of their own, and need these benefits in order to survive. So we must extend this insurance before the end of the year and we must extend it for at least a year. And I’d like to see that as we go forward before this year ends. Hopefully it could be part of a budget, but it doesn’t have to be part of a budget. It could be in its own vehicle as it goes forward, but it’s something we must consider.

Again, similar responses happened then as well:

Economists at the Heritage Foundation have written about this claim, explaining:

The theory behind extending UI [Unemployment Insurance] benefits as a stimulus assumes that unemployed workers will immediately spend any additional UI payments, instantly increasing consumption, boosting aggregate demand, and stimulating the economy.

This is not a new idea. Economists in the 1960s thought that unemployment insurance could function as an important automatic economic stabilizer. Empirical research in the 1970s demonstrated that this was not the case, and studies since then have concluded that unemployment insurance plays at best a small role in stabilizing the economy. Empirical research at the state level also finds that UI plays a negligible role in stimulating the economy.

Studies that have found that UI stimulates the economy effectively — such as studies by the Congressional Budget Office and economist Mark Zandi — rely on two faulty assumptions, thereby drawing a false conclusion:

They assume that unemployed workers spend every dollar of additional UI benefits almost immediately and that extending unemployment insurance does not affect workers’ behavior. In that case, every dollar spent on unemployment insurance adds a dollar to consumption without any direct effects on the labor market. Both assumptions are false.

Unemployment Insurance Prolongs Unemployment. One of the most thoroughly established results in labor economics is the effect of unemployment benefits on unemployed workers’ behavior. labor economists agree that extended unemployment benefits cause workers to remain unemployed longer than they otherwise would.

This occurs for obvious reasons: Workers respond to incentives. Unemployment benefits reduce the incentive and the pressure to find a new job by making it less costly to remain without work…..

“Game of Loans” ~ College Tuition Costs (ECON 101)


There is a law in economics, it deals with artificially propping up businesses, “goods” politicians deem necessary, production, etc. George Gilder notes this in a clip I isolated in an interview:

  • “A fundamental principle of information theory is that you can’t guarantee outcomes… in order for an experiment to yield knowledge, it has to be able to fail. If you have guaranteed experiments, you have zero knowledge”

R-PT’s note: this is how the USSR ended up with warehouses FULL of “widgets” (things made that it could not use or people did not want) no one needed in the real world. This economic law enforcers George Gilder’s contention that when government supports a venture from failing, no information is gained in knowing if the program actually works. Only the free-market can do this.

This applies to the real world in many ways, one being the co$t of college. Here is a very short video explaining this well:

OF course, one of my favorite videos of ALL TIME shows how students “benefit” from a subsidizing of college majors when in reality if they had to pay for college themselves it would be (a) cheaper, and (b) they would go into careers other than their majors… like sign flippers and bartenders (or other fields that are hurting):

The great conundrum of the U.S. economy today is that we have record numbers of working age people out of the labor ‎force at the same time we have businesses desperately trying to find workers. As an example, the American Transportation Research Institute estimates there are 30,000 – 35,000 trucker jobs that could be filled tomorrow if workers would take these jobs–a shortage that could rise to 240,000 by 2022.

While the jobs market overall remains weak, demand is high for in certain sectors. For skilled and reliable mechanics, welders, engineers, electricians, plumbers, computer technicians, and nurses, jobs are plentiful; one can often find a job in 48 hours. As Bob Funk, the president of Express Services, which matches almost one-half million temporary workers with emplo‎yers each year, “If you have a useful skill, we can find you a job. But too many are graduating from high school and college without any skills at all.”

The lesson, to play off of the famous Waylon Jennings song: Momma don’t let your babies grow up to be philosophy majors.


Kids commonly graduate from four year colleges with $100,000 of debt and little vocational training. A liberal arts education is valuable, but it should come paired with some practical skills.

Third, negative attitudes toward “blue collar” work. I’ve talked to parents who say they are disappointed if their kids want to become a craftsman–instead of going to college.This attitude discourages kids from learning how to make things, which contributes to sector-specific worker shortages….


(For full disclosure, my degree — theology — is one of the lowest paying degrees out there, and the lowest in employment opportunities.) In a short debate of the issue, Peter Schiff notes this “propping up” of useless degrees:

In the above discussion, Diana Carew seems to want jobs created by the government to fit the degrees earned. Otherwise, how would you force the private sector to create such opportunities unless you artificially demand [create] such opportunities? ~ There was zero unemployment in Soviet Russia, but all this “opportunity” collapsed due to economic laws… “this is how the USSR ended up with warehouses FULL of “widgets” (things made that it could not use or people did not want) no one needed in the real world. This economic law enforcers George Gilder’s contention that when government supports a venture from failing, no information is gained in knowing if the program actually works. Only the free-market can do this.” (Peter Schiff gets into the weeds a bit in this video.)

Here is another great PRAGER U video discussing the issue:

This is one of the areas Gary Johnson was correct — supply and demand:

FORBES notes well that most on the Left-end of the spectrum “don’t hate entrepreneurship and innovation,” but that their Econ 101 “part of the brain that deals with economics tends to shut down when discussing sectors like higher education (or healthcare).” A WASHINGTON FREE BEACON post relates findings from a Federal Reserve Bank (NY) study showing that the federal student loans have increased the cost of college tuition while at the same time college enrollment did not increase:

The expansion of federal student loans has caused tuition prices to increase without increasing college enrollment numbers, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The report evaluated student financial data as well as federal student aid programs “to identify the impact of increased student loan funding on tuition.”

According to the report, yearly student loan originations grew from $53 billion to $120 billion between 2001 and 2012, an increase of about 126 percent. During this time frame, average sticker-price tuition nearly doubled, rising from $6,950 to $10,200 in constant 2012 dollars.

The report found that for each dollar of federal aid applied, tuition increased as well.

“We find that each additional Pell Grant dollar to an institution leads to a roughly 55 cent increase in sticker price tuition,” the report says. “For subsidized loans, we find a somewhat larger passthrough effect of about 70 percent.”


The report makes reference to a hypothesis put forth by William Bennett, the Reagan-era secretary of education. The so-called “Bennett Hypothesis” holds that “increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities blithely to raise their tuitions, confident that federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.”

Many have compared the market for postsecondary education to the housing market…. [see video at the top]

Which brings me to finish this post with a humorous look at the hipster douche-bags scratching his or her head in regard to high tuition costs via REASON-TV:

The Venezuelan Diet!

See: Bernie Sanders Socialist Paradise!

Using an ancient Soviet method, 75% of Venezuelans have lost an average of 19 pounds and so can you! Who needs human rights and free press when you can get back to your old college weight? Watch the video and let Remy show you how it all works.

The “Card-Krueger” Study Debunked

The audio is the later part of Larry Elder commenting on Jane Fonda going to Detroit to advocate a $12.00 minimum wage (DETROIT FREE PRESS). I have already posted quite a bit on this (see the section titled “Minimum Wage,” on my “ECON 101” Page). While sitting many other studies… I wanted to zero in on Larry discussing the David Card and Alan Krueger study. I have had it cited to me in discussion, so I wanted to have a post to link to to refute the study.

I wish to have the reader view what is working against the “Card-Krueger” study:

  • A majority of professional economists surveyed in Britain, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, and the United States agreed that minimum wage laws increase unemployment among low-skilled workers. Economists in France and Austria did not. However, the majority among Canadian economists was 85 percent and among American economists was 90 percent. Dozens of studies of the effects of minimum wages in the United States and dozens more studies of the effects of minimum wages in various countries in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, Indonesia, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were reviewed in 2006 by two economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research. They concluded that, despite the various approaches and methods used in these studies, this literature as a whole was one “largely solidifying the conventional view that minimum wages reduce employment among low-skilled workers.”

Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, 4th Edition (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2011), 241. [Link to 5th edition]

  • Economists aren’t certain about many things, but on the minimum wage, nearly all of them (90 percent, according to one survey) believe that the case is open and shut. All else being equal, if you raise the price of something (for instance, labor), then the demand for it (for instance, by employers) will decline. That’s not just a theory; it’s a law.

James Glassman, “Don’t Raise the Minimum Wage,” Washington Post (Feb 24, 1998).

Here is the NEW YORK POST article the “Prince of Pico-Union” [Larry Elder] was referring to:

….Back in 1994, Princeton economists David Card and Alan Krueger claimed that they’d looked at Garden State fast-food outlets in the wake of the state’s 1992 minimum-wage hike — and found that employment increased relative to similar restaurants in next-door Pennsylvania.

But six years later, the Card & Krueger study was debunked in the same economics journal that originally published it.

The Jersey study first gained notoriety when President Bill Clinton cited it in support of his proposal to increase the federal minimum wage in the mid-’90s. The economists’ work provided for a compelling story: Telephoning restaurants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before and after Jersey hiked its minimum wage, they reported an increase in employment.

But other economists were skeptical. After all, just over a decade earlier, a seven-volume report from Congress’ Minimum Wage Study Commission had established conclusively that each 10 percent increase in the minimum wage reduced employment for young people by as much as 3 percent.

As it turned out, there was good reason to be skeptical. A team of researchers from the Employment Policies Institute (where I’m now research director) collected actual payroll data from 25 percent of the franchised restaurant locations that Card and Krueger had telephoned — and found that the hard info had little resemblance to what the economists (actually, students working for them) had gathered via phone interviews that used an ambiguous set of questions.

The funky data gave the Princeton economists a picture of businesses making implausibly large changes in employment — from zero full-timers to 35 in less than a year, for instance, or from 60 part-time staff down to 15.

EPI presented these results in a hearing before Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, and responsible outfits stopped relying on it. (Where media coverage of the Card-Krueger work once praised as a “most compelling study,” editorials now described it as “snake oil” that had been “dropped faster than a mis-flipped burger.”)

Economists David Neumark (then at Michigan State University) and William Wascher (Federal Reserve Board) followed up with a detailed independent analysis of the realrestaurant payroll data, and published their findings in the same journal where the Card-Krueger study first ran.

Far from boosting employment, they found, the mandated wage increase in New Jersey decreased employment — just as economic theory would predict.

Yet Jersey advocates for a higher minimum wage still cite the study. The liberal think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective recently cited the study as “groundbreaking,” while Rob Duffey of the New Jersey Working Families Alliancewrote in an op-ed last monththat it is “the seminal report on the impact minimum-wage increases have on employment.”

Sadly, some journalists are also playing this game: In recent months, writers inBloomberg, TheChicago Tribune, TheWashington Post and TheNew York Timeshave also trotted out the study to support their points.

Perhaps this is understandable — proponents don’t have many good studies to hang their hats on. The vast majority of economic research (including 85 percent of the best studies from the last two decades) points to job losses rather than job gains after a minimum-wage hike.


Unemployment is already 27 percent among New Jersey teens, and 35.5 percent for black teens — and hiking the minimum wage, as the advocates so dishonestly propose, will only make it worse.

To be fair, Paul Krugman has changed his view (as he has gone more Left… if that were even possible) on this over the years. FORBES notes the change with an “old” Paul Krugman quote and then some later commentary after some new ones:

…So what are the effects of increasing minimum wages? Any Econ 101 student can tell you the answer: The higher wage reduces the quantity of labor demanded, and hence leads to unemployment. This theoretical prediction has, however, been hard to confirm with actual data. Indeed, much-cited studies by two well-regarded labor economists, David Card and Alan Krueger, find that where there have been more or less controlled experiments, for example when New Jersey raised minimum wages but Pennsylvania did not, the effects of the increase on employment have been negligible or even positive. Exactly what to make of this result is a source of great dispute. Card and Krueger offered some complex theoretical rationales, but most of their colleagues are unconvinced; the centrist view is probably that minimum wages “do,” in fact, reduce employment, but that the effects are small and swamped by other forces.

What is remarkable, however, is how this rather iffy result has been seized upon by some liberals as a rationale for making large minimum wage increases a core component of the liberal agenda–for arguing that living wages “can play an important role in reversing the 25-year decline in wages experienced by most working people in America” (as this book’s back cover has it). Clearly these advocates very much want to believe that the price of labor–unlike that of gasoline, or Manhattan apartments–can be set based on considerations of justice, not supply and demand, without unpleasant side effects.


Old Krugman said that Walmart paying higher wages might lead to less turnover, better morale and higher productivity. But only at Walmart because the operative part was “higher wages than other employers”. And that’s the one thing that a general rise in wages, for example a rise in the minimum wage, cannot accomplish.

New Krugman tells us that a rise in the minimum wage will accomplish exactly that thing that Old Krugman tells us is impossible.

Economics is, as they say, all about the incentives. And my best guess here is that the incentives that Krugman faces have changed. In the earlier period the people who patted him on the head and said that he was a good little economist (read for which “excellent economist, one of the best”) were people who were economists, people who actually understood the subject. Today the people who pat him on the head and insist he’s a great economist are the editorial team at the New York Times. Not known as a hotbed of economic knowledge but equally well known as a hotbed of liberal ideology as being rather more important than reality.

Ho hum, how the mighty are fallen and all that.

Besides Paul Kugman getting worked over by economist Pedro Schwartz, and Krugman is woefully wrong on what Keynsianism can do and not do, there are also some funny memes of him!

Minimum Wage Realities (UPDATED)

UPDATE via the WASHINGTON EXAMINER with a shout-out to THE SAGE!

San Francisco’s higher minimum wage is causing an increasing number of restaurants to go out of business even before it is fully phased in, a new study by the Harvard Business School found.

The closings were concentrated among struggling, lower-rated restaurants. The higher minimum also caused fewer new restaurants to open, it found.

“We provide suggestive evidence that higher minimum wage increases overall exit rates among restaurants, where a $1 increase in the minimum wage leads to approximately a 4 to 10 percent increase in the likelihood of exit,” report Dara Lee and Michael Luca, authors of “Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit.” The study used as a case study San Francisco, which has an estimated 6,000 restaurants in the Bay Area and is ratcheting up its minimum wage. Restaurants are one of the largest employers of minimum wage workers.

The city’s minimum wage is currently $13 an hour, compared with California’s rate of $10.50 and the federal rate of $7.25. The city’s rate is set to increase to $14 in July and again to $15 next year. That rate, unlike federal law, does not include an exception for tipped employees. The rest of the Golden State will see the minimum rate rise to $15 in 2022. States are free to set rates higher than the federal level, and cities can do the same regarding state minimums.


Higher minimum wages also reduce the rate at which new restaurants open by 4-6 percent per $1 increase in the minimum, the study found.

Editor’s Note: In case you do not realize the outcome… the only food places able to stay open are the BIG… CORPORATE… CHAIN RESTAURANTS. Which is why they like raising wages… it kills any real competition — this is ECON 101. But we know that BIG GOVERNMENT likes to be in bed with BIG BUSINESS.

(clears throat… *Ehem*, Dems)

GAY PATRIOT comments on the recent study on the effects of minimum wage, hailing from lib-tard central San Francisco:


Leftists like to deny math and other facts of business and economics. What makes it odious is, they’re also smug about it. It isn’t just their ignorance; it’s their aggressive pride in staying ignorant.

Via HotAir, now a study confirms that San Francisco’s minimum wage does indeed injure the businesses and workers of that city.

San Francisco’s higher minimum wage is causing an increasing number of restaurants to go out of business even before it is fully phased in, a new study by the Harvard Business School found.

The closings were concentrated among struggling, lower-rated restaurants. The higher minimum also caused fewer new restaurants to open, it found.

“We provide suggestive evidence that higher minimum wage increases overall exit rates among restaurants, where a $1 increase in the minimum wage leads to approximately a 4 to 10 percent increase in the likelihood of exit,” report Dara Lee and Michael Luca, authors of “Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit.” The study used as a case study San Francisco, which has an estimated 6,000 restaurants in the Bay Area and is ratcheting up its minimum wage.

So, Nancy Pelosi and her fellow limousine-socialists are looking at fewer restaurant selections for themselves – and more unemployed people. Do they understand that? Or even notice it?

There is only one time when the minimum wage doesn’t hurt employment: When it’s low enough, in real terms, to be ineffectual…..

(read it all)

Gender Gaps In Education (Updated)

(Updated with a Post-Script)

A recent conversation made some connections to the final statement made in this clip about the very small gender wage gap left — after all things being equal are considered — may in fact be innocent. Not, in-other-words, the evil patriarchy keeping women down.

During the conversation some points were made that made clear some of these “innocent” aspects of the wage gap or even a disparity in women superintends in education. The two points made were that women wait too long to jump on a promotion, and, they do not negotiate for the pay they feel they are worth. While we all could use help in negotiating skills, this may be a natural aspect to womanhood and not one attributed to a patriarchal activity.

Having read through a couple studies years ago to help formulate thinking on a response to Matt Damon’s claim that teachers are not payed well. After this recent conversation however, I revisited a larger swath of reading on the topic. It took me a couple days, but I read through the following:

While many of these articles/studies mention gender bias… in them are more than enough reasons to suppose the differences that occur naturally between men and women account for the totality of the disparity. This doesn’t mean that there is not patriarchal biases, JUST LIKE there doesn’t mean there are matriarchal one’s as well. The point is that the rule we see is better explained by choice made by women in the West that is freer than anywhere else in the world.

This post deals less with the wage gap and more with a gap of female school superintendents as compared to male superintendent. HOWEVER, the same gross negligence of not comparing “apples-to-apples” stains any credibility in this regard… here are two quick examples:

Similarly, when you hear:

  • Of our nation’s 13,728 superintendents, 1,984 today are women. Yet 72 percent of all K-12 educators in this country are women, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

…something is not adding up. Here are five quick examples of divergences that go towards explaining this divergence noted above:

  1. Of the 297 women superintendents in the AASA study, 130 were former elementary teachers. Thus more than half came from a secondary background where men teachers are a considerable majority.
  2. Coaching activities traditionally have provided secondary and junior high teachers with an initial step toward administration.
  3. Women also are achieving the doctorate at comparable rates to male candidates. However, about only 10 percent of women in doctoral programs are opting to earn the superintendency credential along with their educational specialist or doctoral degree.
  4. Women are not as experienced nor as interested in districtwide fiscal management as men (and school boards prefer this).
  5. The role of a mother probably restrains many women teachers from pursuing the principalship.

So yes, if you compare ALL women and men and ignore differences, it looks bad. If you start to do what an economist does and ask questions about WHY or WHAT possible factors may contribute to the disparity we see, then the gap starts to be explained. Everyone should ask the minimal questions:

  1. Compared to what?
  2. At what cost?
  3. What hard-evidence do you have?

The rest of this post is basically commentary on the above linked studies or quoting from them. The two most used are:

  • Few Women Run the Nation’s School Districts. Why? (Education Week);
  • Where Are All the Women Superintendents? (AASA);

RPT’s Commentary

  • “I don’t want to be offered a position because I am a woman; likewise, I don’t want to lose a position because I am a woman…”

In the very next paragraph she added,

  • “I think it would be naïve to think there are not some stereotypes that exist.”

Like, mmm, I don’t know… being hired because you are a woman and a “number” to fulfill a quota? In this same article qualifications like a degree in superintendent studies or a financial background while statements like these are made:

  • which also plagues other sectors trying to address underrepresentation of women, African-Americans, Latinos, and other groups.
  • They can say we value diversity, we want women applicants, we want minority applicants…

This particular article had a myriad of unsubstantiated claims that were really non-quantifiable and wholly anecdotal. The worry of that woman quoted above in being chosen merely for gender (or ethnicity) is realized when standards for a job are the modern understanding of diversity as is presented in works like Race, Class & Gender: An Anthology, by Margaret Andersen and Patricia Collins.

Thomas Sowell rightly asked in a speech he gave that “given our limitations, what can we do to make this a better world — and what can we not do?” He responds:

One thing we can do is to try to make better rules — in the law and in schools, for example, — and to see that everybody plays by those rules. What we cannot do, that is, what is not within our intellectual or moral power, is to decide directly who deserves to win or lose, who deserves more income and who deserves less, what groups should be “represented” where and in what proportions.

So here are some bullet points I adapted and commented on:

  • approximately 75 percent of elementary classroom teachers are women. Nearly 75 percent of superintendents did not teach at the elementary level prior to working as a central-office administrator or superintendent. [women, when given a choice, would rather teach their passion… younger children. NOT ALL, but most.]
  • Nearly all superintendents previously worked as building principals and a majority are former assistant principals. Therefore the ladder from the classroom to the superintendency often begins as an assistant principalship or as a high school department chair. Even though about two-thirds of the nation’s schools are elementary, a small percentage have assistant principals and almost none have department chair positions. Elementary classroom teachers have to jump straight from the classroom to the principalship… [Most women prefer to stay longer in these positions because of more flexibility of hours and family/work life balance.]
  • Coaching activities traditionally have provided secondary and junior high teachers with an initial step toward administration. Athletic coaching and assignments such as band directorships often provide teachers an opportunity to demonstrate skills in leadership, management and an ability to work with community members. Today, most secondary schools sponsor at least six interscholastic sports for both boys and girls, which provides at least 12 head coaching jobs. A sizable majority of AASA study superintendents indicated they had a coaching assignment while working as a teacher or building administrator. [Men typically are – again, by their nature – drawn to these activities.]
  • Nationwide data indicate that women constitute more than 50 percent of the graduate students enrolled in educational administration programs. Women also are achieving the doctorate at comparable rates to male candidates. However, about only 10 percent of women in doctoral programs are opting to earn the superintendency credential along with their educational specialist or doctoral degree. [These are factors of choice typically.]
  • Most data indicate that school boards, while claiming keen interest in the instructional program, see the management of fiscal resources to be a critical component of the superintendency. The AASA study showed that boards place a high degree of emphasis on budget and financial decisions by using skills and experiences in these areas as key hiring criteria. [So some sort of business degree or time in a position that deals with fiscal issues is often times preferred. These opportunities are attained more so in the high school arena.]
  • About half of the 297 women superintendents in the study had experience in the central office but very few had responsibilities in personnel and finance. [see above]
  • [in the past] [b]oards of education while saying that the instructional program is important do not want an inexperienced superintendent in fiscal management. [This is changing because standardizing tests are requiring differing focuses on outcomes — leading to more women being considered for superintendency.]
  • The average superintendent spends more than 50 hours a week at work, including night meetings and sporting events. This type of work week often is not appealing to younger women (or men) accustomed to child-centered teaching in elementary classrooms and to people who prefer a better balance between work and family life. [in modern, rich, Western countries, women are afforded the choice to place family first, and more-often-than-not, do.]
  • The role of a mother probably restrains many women teachers from pursuing the principalship–a position they are well acquainted with. Women principals and central-office administrators recognize the time and pressure of the superintendency frequently interfere with family life and choose to spend non-working time with family rather than school board members and citizens. [By the way, Glass follows the above with “socialization” as the root of this difference… not nature. “Scholastics,” when fighting nature (whether God imbued, or millions of years of evolutionary honing, or any combination thereof), will lose every time.]
  • Women who do become superintendents spend more years as classroom teachers before moving into the administrative ranks. Women administrators typically spend 7 to 10 years as a teacher while men spend about 5 to 6 years in the classroom. [Again, this may be based mostly on family/child choices, and may make them better at what they do with more experience… however, as my friend stated, women tend to not jump on promotions as quick as men. THIS DOES NOT MEAN anything nefarious is taking place… these choices are more likely to do familial activity as well as the general nature of women not to compete or jump on opportunity as much as men. I would posit this has more to do with the nature of women than the socialization of them.]
  • Superintendents are not usually hired from within and have three superintendencies during their career of some 15 to 17 years as the school district CEO. This means the superintendent’s family will be making perhaps four moves after she or he leaves classroom teaching. [The conclusion Glass draws is covered up by gender equity. Women, more than men, wish to stay rooted in their community, placing a higher value on their children not having to “start all over” at another school making new friends versus having life-long ones. So this fact is a major inhibitor for why women CHOOSE to stay in the elementary level versus chasing a career.]
  • Nearly 82 percent of women superintendents in the AASA study indicated school board members do not see them as strong managers and 76 percent felt school boards did not view them as capable of handling district finances. [This has little to do with glass ceilings, rather, much of this was already discussed above. While many felt a “glass ceiling” was inhibiting them… I think more-so nature and choices have ~ speaking quantifiably and not anecdotally. Everybody thinks they are on the side of angels… who deserves more pay, a better position, and the like. I think I am worth waaay more than I have ever been paid — hubris to segue way into Sowell…]

Glass made mention of men having more mentors… I agree, for a couple reasons. First, something my wife mentioned that she was told by more than a few professors… if you want to break into the “good ol’ boy club,” play golf. Yep, men bond over sports and friendly competition. This comes more natural for men for a few reasons. One is that they tend more naturally towards this activity of meeting for a couple drinks or on the golf course. During these times they are not complaining as much as trying to solve issues (my wife has pointed out there is more negativity focused on when women meet). Men love more-so friendly competition to destress them and to build bridges of trust and openness.

Men tend to have ways to help each other through relationships that differ somewhat from their female counterparts. For instance, Nora Vincent dressed as a man for 18-months and later wrote a book on the experience. One reviewer at Amazon notes the following:

  • As an old-school feminist, I began the book with all the pre-conceived notions about men that we’ve gathered over the years and hugged to our chests. Bam! Norah Vincent dispels all of those and more in this can’t-put-down book. A woman posing as a man. Sensational? Perhaps. However, Ms. Vincent has managed to write an unbiased, often touching and frequently very funny book about the lives men lead. A lasting moment from the book, in my mind: Vincent’s description of a male handshake with another man, warm and welcoming, v. a woman-to-woman hug and air-kiss, superficial and fleeting.(See the 20/20 special on Nora Vincent)

In another article, there was mention of a superintendent referring to a candidate as a bitch.


Of course!

But am I being told women have never called a man a dick?


Glass continues at one point, saying:

  • Along with nursing, teaching long represented one of the two most accessible professions for women, who until the recent past were largely excluded from such professions as accounting, dentistry, medicine, engineering and law.

I reject this. As already pointed out, as societies get richer and likes in life/work balance are realized… women CHOOSE these professions (nursing and education) more than men.


  • As already mentioned, many women teach in the classroom for more years than men. Other women take several years out for child-rearing. The result is that many women enter the process of moving through the “chairs” to the superintendency too late. AASA’s 10-year studies always have shown that women superintendents are older than their male counterparts with comparable years in the superintendency.

AND THIS IS NOT A BAD THING (*big booming megaphone w/echoing reverb*… FX) As many women who swallowed the lie from feminists via the 60’s mention… they have regrets:

…I never expected to find myself in agreement with Ann Widdecombe on anything, yet I realized when she said last week that her most profound regret is never having had children, that we have something very important in common.

Like her, I didn’t plan it this way; I made no choice to be childless. Like so many other women of my generation, born in the Sixties when the fashionable wisdom was that women should postpone marriage and motherhood to forge careers, I left it [“it” ~ the bad thinking of the sixties and what “feminism” was telling women] too late to have a family. I always assumed it would happen at some stage, but I never gave it the focus it needed.

As a 20-something woman with the world at her feet, I chose to interpret feminism’s gift as the right to education and a career. Were I offering advice now to the young woman I was then, I would say: ‘If you want to marry and have children in your 20s, that is just as valid a choice as building a career. Don’t be afraid to make up your own mind.’…

(Many Women Who Limit Family for a Career Have Regrets)

What can be done? As education changes so too will the roles and natural talents needed in positions withing education. However, to force a change onto education that rejects qualifications for merely seeing gender and ethnicity will in the long run harm educations quality. Like the medical establishment (listen below). Another factor in this equation is that often times the school board members lack specialized knowledge about education and what is needed for their district. I fully acknowledge this. But to say that this gap in gender in superintendents is based on a patriarchy of some sort, is misleading at best.

Concluding Thoughts

What struck me the most about my conversation with this lovely lady? Well, when I brought up a couple studies that undermine the belief about the gender-pay-gap, she mentioned studies as well. I said “great, send them to me.” (We have each-others emails for the readers information.) I was excited that maybe something less anecdotal was going to be presented. I mentioned that after her busy schedule she may want to consider reading my short post on the issue or consider reading Thomas Sowell’s book, Economic Facts and Fallacies, 2nd edition. She quickly responded she would never read anything on the topic.

I was inwardly taken aback, but also had yet another confirmation about how the left approaches issues that marches, policy and deer beliefs are held closely to the vest as true. I doubt this academic woman had ever read anything outside the curricula given to her by her educators. Learning to think in a box incorporating a Marxian view of history and economics based on race, class, and gender is the norm.

You see, she had just mentioned to me how she hates the volatility of the political climate. Shortly thereafter she intimated that she would not budge an iota in her beliefs by blocking out new streams of information into her matrix, possibly changing her mind just a tad considering said new information that previously she may not have been aware of.

— BTW, this IS the definition of ensuring oneself and culture remain volatile —

 — by not allowing educational opportunities —

And when women march, people vandalize businesses and set fires (Berkeley for instance sustained over $100,000 in damage) as well as almost kill or permanently maim persons… all based on myths believed to be true (hands up don’t shoot, gender wage gaps, police more likely to shoot a black person, white privilege, war on women, white supremacy, my body my choice, etc., etc.), our climate will continue to become more volatile when even evidence from an opposing viewpoint is ignored out-of-hand.

(More at my GENDER WAGE GAP post)

Post Script

A friend sent this article to me: SEXISM AND ZOMBIE ECONOMICS. I wish to take two examples from it to make the point that these two examples are equal in their showing “sexism.” In other words, they don’t. The first example comes from Emma Watson,

I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women. Of the producers I’ve worked with 13 have been male and one has been a woman. I am lucky: I have always insisted on being treated equally and have generally won that equality…. I think my work with the UN has probably made me even more aware of the problems. I went out for a work dinner recently. It was seven men…and me.

This other example comes from the articles author,

Consider the following, real-life scenario. Prior to going to graduate school, I worked at a dance studio for eight years. I can count the number of male dancers I had during that entire period on one hand (our studio had a few hundred students a year). Care to guess how many male instructors there were? None. That’s right, every single student in our studio was “directed” exclusively by females! When we went out to lunch with others, there may be twelve or thirteen women, but no men! Most other studios have similar dynamics. If I said to you, “This proves that the dance industry is sexist!”, you’d look at me like I was insane.

What do these examples prove? Nada, Zilch, Zero.

If the dance had owners that were a substantially higher degree of males than females, as an economist I would look at what is separating (asking questions) WHY this is. If I noticed a larger percentage of them had differing backgrounds, say teaching varsity dance teams versus elementary plays. If they had business or accounting degrees, on-and-on.

What feminism (Leftism) has done is make women weak, in fact, all society. To wit the author of the article, near the end, notes as much:

The author concluded the article by quoting an academic report saying that “longer-term solutions and further monitoring are required,” but he fails to mention what these would be. Allow me to make a suggestion—none. As I have said elsewhere, the idea of legislating “protections” for women in the labor force is downright offensive and counterproductive to gender equality. Think about what message the author of the article is sending by suggesting monitoring. Essentially, “Women are incapable of letting our skills, ambition, and output do the talking for us. We need Big Brother to come and make those mean old men employ us/give us more money/additional benefits.”

Seemingly they always need a knight in shining armor. In this case[s], Big, Obtrusive, Government (BOG).

Gender Wage Gap (A Two-Fer) – Larry Elder and Christina Sommers

The first clip is from Larry Elder and he separates ALL men and women under a certain age group, and notes how women out earn men….

Women earn more than men until they hit their 30s when they fall behind, but the change is almost entirely explainable through parenthood and personal choices rather than sexism, according to experts.

Using data from the U.K.’s office of National Statistics, the Press Association found from 2006 to 2013 women aged between 22 and 29 earned roughly $1,700 more than their male counterparts. However, the wage differential between men and women flips in a big way when people move into their 30s.

A man who turned 30 in 2006 would rake in, on average, $13,464 more than a women by 2013. Campaigners and activists pounced on the figures claiming the working world was still stacked against women, and that for senior positions in private business, it’s still a mans world, entrenching the gender pay gap….


The second clip is the indomitable Christina Hoff Sommers being interviewed by Dave Rubin. The video Mr. Rubin references of Professor Sommers is THIS ONE.

Minimum Wage and Regulations Killing L.A.’s Garment District

Dennis Prager discusses a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed article regarding minimum wage entitled: “Leaving for Las Vegas: California’s minimum wage law leaves businesses no choice.” Here is the bottom line from the article (and this will definitely make it into my ECON 101 page):

…Here’s what the math looks like: I pay my employees $10.50 an hour, plus productivity bonuses. In addition, I pay payroll taxes and one of the highest worker compensation rates in the state. Even still, I could likely absorb a minimum wage as high as $11.50 an hour. But a $15-an-hour wage for my employees translates into $18.90 in costs for me — or just under $40,000 a year per full-time employee.

…When the $15 minimum wage is fully phased in, my company would be losing in excess of $200,000 a year (and far more if my workforce grows as anticipated). That may be a drop in the bucket for large corporations, but a small business cannot absorb such losses. I could try to charge more to offset that cost, but my customers —the companies that are looking for someone to produce their clothing line — wouldn’t pay it. The result would be layoffs.

When Los Angeles County’s minimum wage ordinance was approved in July, I began looking at Ventura County, Orange County and other parts of the state. Then, when California embraced a $15 wage target, I realized that my company couldn’t continue to operate in the state. After considering Texas and North Carolina, I’ve settled on moving the business to Las Vegas, where I’m looking for the right facility. About half of our employees will make the move with us.

Nevada’s minimum wage is only $8.25 right now, so I can keep my current pay structure or possibly increase wages. Even in the event that Nevada raises its minimum wage, I’ll still be better off with reduced regulations, no state taxes, and significantly less expensive worker compensation insurance. I have had the opportunity to meet with Las Vegas city officials (including the mayor)…

Conservatism Doesn’t Need a Qualifier Like, “Compassionate”

Dennis Prager asks Arthur Brooks a question regarding “‘Compassionate’ Conservatism.” Arthur Brooks responds that we do not need a qualifier to explain something so obvious.

Dennis talks Arthur Brooks, professor of public administration at Syracuse University, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism. (Originally broadcast December 28, 2006) One should see my main page for economic issues for more on these matters: