We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Now, from the Educational Testing Service, comes a report about "The Black-White Achievement Gap: When Progress Stopped," written by Paul E. Barton and Richard J. Coley. It examines the "startling" fact that most of the progress in closing the gap in reading and mathematics occurred in the 1970s and '80s. This means "progress generally halted for those born around the mid-1960s, a time when landmark legislative victories heralded an end to racial discrimination."
Hmmm. As I recall, anti-discrimination is not the only thing that was happening then.
Isn't it sexist (and racist) to say that cutting the size of government is sexist and racist? I mean, isn't it biased and demeaning to people of gender and color to assume that they must be dependent on others?
The sexist and racist effect of cutting government spending stems from the fact that poor people are most dependent on the government. If a single woman has a child, it's much harder for her to duck out than it is for a single man to disappear. The racist effect is because of a chain of events: women from minority communities are far more likely to become single mothers at a young age, they are far less likely to have help from the father, and their children are far less likely to make a successful start in the world. Thus the population of people that are poor and dependent is disproportionately female and disproportionately minority. This is well-established in America's statistics. I don't know how it applies in other countries.
The very programs to be cut seem to have fostered the problem in the first place. Pushing responsibility back to individuals is going to cause significant deprivation for some families and it will probably save a lot of other families from deprivation. It's a tough choice but the situation calls for tough love.
I know this is not going to be a very popular position, but I think the fisheries article is overstating the economic factor and under valuing the fisheries science that Dr. Lubchenko is using to support her position.
The simple truth is this - ground stocks are rapidly disappearing, in-shore/mid-range stocks are at the point of collapse and open ocean schools of blue fin and other pelagic species are in deep and very serious trouble. It is simply a case of over fishing by commercial interests and too many boats chasing too few fish.
Something has to give. The quota system is working in other parts of the US - notably Alaska where sustainability was the mantra during the '80s leading to the per boat quota system. Smaller operators who were diverse and fished for more than one species did just fine - others sold their quotas to big operators or other small operators. Those that coulnd't hold out or work with the quota, sold boats and moved on.
I'm not saying that there wouldn't be dislocation and some family operations will lose out. And this is where I disagree with Dr. Lubchenko - set the quota system and let the market, the oceans and the operators slug it out in the market place. Imposing a top down system will only lead to more problems - open competition in an open market is the only way to solve the problem.