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View Diary: Allow This Brit to Remind Some of You What Matters to Americans (205 comments)

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  •  As a Brit, perhaps you need to be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, twigg, Sylv

    reminded that traditionally, education has not been a federal matter. Also, a disturbingly large portion of the population blames "government spending" for our economic problems, which is pretty rich because the exact opposite is true--lack of government spending has stripped payrolls at all levels of government and contributed greatly to the unemployment rate and degraded the quality of government services. Your three priorities cannot be tackled without increasing government spending, while the Conventional Wisdom in Washington is that government spending must be cut, so we're kind of screwed so far as those priorities go.

    As for Obama's jobs program, he's knows it's dead in the water without a Democratically controlled Congress (which may or may not require 60 reliable votes in the Senate). Education, as noted, is primarily a matter for the states, and there are currently all kinds of fights breaking out over the latest reform movement ("Common Core") to go along with the ongoing warfare between privatizers and teacher's unions.

    The healthcare plan is to be Obama's signature accomplishment, and its success if far from assured, considering that it was designed as a state-federal partnership and many states are actively seeking to sabotage it.

    As a Brit, I would suggest that you take note of one important fact--the US government is basically broken at this point, and other countries would do well to PLEASE avoid imitating us in terms of giving a larger role to market forces, the private sector, etc. I have heard nasty things are happening to the National Health Service vis-a-vis a larger role for private health insurance--please tell me it's not true...?

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 07:52:59 AM PDT

    •  I take your point about education (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, Larsstephens

      However, it was largely Federalised with "No Child Left Behind".

      The states just kept the delivery.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 08:47:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

        In fact, the particular complaint about NCLB was that it set standards without providing funds...almost the opposite of what the federal role had traditionally been (since Kennedy), which was just providing funds. However, you will find a great deal of difference between various states in terms of education and how they deal with NCLB.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 09:59:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The "jobs" program (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell

      Was cooked up by his neoliberal advisors and relies on the magic hand.  Dead, and should be, if nothing else, because it insults our intelligence.  Sometimes, thank FSM for the teahadists.  

      Corporations - don't miss the opportunity to rent this space! Only $100 per word!

      by Nada Lemming on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 09:32:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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