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Comment: Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 1) 254

by nbauman (#48273941) Attached to: Power and Free Broadband To the People

The question is whether the people in public housing really are lazy, able-bodied, don't work, and make other people pay their bills, as you claim.

I live in New York and I know lots of people who live in public housing projects.

They're not lazy, they do work, and they pay their bills. The exceptions are that some people are retired and don't work, and some people are too handicapped or sick to work, like a couple of blind people I know.

I know that there are some places in the country where conservative governments have turned public housing projects into welfare housing, and in those places, there will be people on welfare who don't work. But that's the fault of conservative politicians, not the people in public housing.

How do you know that the people in public housing are lazy, able-bodied, don't work, and make other people pay their bills? How do you know that when I see with my own eyes that it isn't true?

Comment: Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 1) 254

by nbauman (#48265767) Attached to: Power and Free Broadband To the People

Good citation.

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management >
The long-term effects of public housing on self-sufficiency
Sandra J. Newman and Joseph M. Harkness
Article first published online: 17 DEC 2001
DOI: 10.1002/pam.1038
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 21–43, Winter 2002


Recent years have witnessed an intensification of the debate about the fundamental purpose of public assistance to the poor and the effects of these programs on children. This study uses enriched data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the effects of living in public housing as a child at some point between 1968 and 1982 on four young adult outcomes: welfare receipt; individual earnings; household earnings relative to the federal poverty line; and employment. Living in public housing during childhood increased employment, raised earnings, and reduced welfare use, but had no effect on household earnings relative to the poverty line. The beneficial effects could have arisen because public housing improved physical living conditions, reduced residential mobility, or enabled families to spend more of their income on items that benefit children's development. Whether these effects apply to contemporary public housing is unknown.

Comment: Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 2, Insightful) 254

by nbauman (#48265733) Attached to: Power and Free Broadband To the People

I'm sure that the upstanding U.S. citizens who live in public housing will take it upon themselves to learn how to code and contribute Open Source software to the world in complete gratitude for this benevolent entitlement.

Some of them already do, you fucking idiot.

I've been to their homes.

Kids live in city projects and go to Stuyvesant. Lots of programmers live in the projects.

Comment: Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 1) 254

by nbauman (#48265699) Attached to: Power and Free Broadband To the People

wrong, main problem is lazy people who assume responsibility for exactly nothing in their lives prefer to get handouts.

Wrong, main problem is stupid right-wingers who believe Ayn Rand novels and Fox News.

Big corporations get more handouts than poor people. All the employees in fast-food restaurants get government handouts -- food stamps, Medicaid, welfare. A government handout to an employee is the same as a government handout to his employer, who doesn't have to pay him as much.

I won't even get into subsidies for football stadiums, which is how George W. Bush, an alcoholic pothead loser, finally became a millionaire after he failed in everything else in life.

Comment: Re: Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 5, Informative) 254

by nbauman (#48265661) Attached to: Power and Free Broadband To the People


Yeah, right.

The New York Times compared Hampus Elofsson, 24, who works for Burger King in Copenhagen, Denmark, with Anthony Moore, shift manager at Burger King, Tampa, FL. Elofsson makes 20 an hour, time and a half for overtime and Sundays, has enough for a night out with his friends and a savings account (plus government health care). Moore makes $9 an hour for a 35-hour week, gets $164 a month in food stamps, is behind on his bills, can't buy clothes for his kids, and can't afford Burger King's health plan.

Comment: Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 1) 254

by nbauman (#48265621) Attached to: Power and Free Broadband To the People

indeed instead of broadband or slum-fodder those people should just get a job

Obviously you don't know anything about public housing in New York City. Most of the residents do have jobs. A lot of them are teachers, bus drivers, blue-collar workers, and the full run of middle-class occupations in NYC. I've met computer techies who live in public housing. A lot of successful people grew up in the projects.

It is true that when the conservatives took over, they tried to destroy public housing, and one of the ways was to turn it into "welfare housing." They would give preferences to admission to welfare people, and create maximum income limits. You take a development with 2,000 residents, discourage the working people, and fill it up with welfare recipients, and what do you think you're going to get? A prison. That's what they did in a lot of places outside NYC. How would you like it if I took your neighborhood and filled it up with welfare recipients?

Public housing worked best when new people from out of town would come in and meet more established residents, who could help them get jobs and education, and show them how to get along in the city, by not letting their kids throw garbage in the halls, for example. They taught them how to vote, and how to join unions. Of course the conservatives hate that.

Comment: Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 4, Insightful) 254

by nbauman (#48265509) Attached to: Power and Free Broadband To the People

You haven't been to much public housing in New York City. We've had public housing for over 100 years. It's good housing. During the 1920s, the unions built housing for their members.

The Wall Street Journal did a story on public housing a few years ago. The reporter thought it would be a mess. He was surprised to find out that it was pretty good housing. The residents liked public housing.

The residents were almost all working, mostly middle-class working people. Teachers, bus drivers.

They were black, however. I realize conservatives don't like it when black people get anything.

The NYC government actually produced housing projects more cheaply than the private developers, with lower rent, and the projects paid for themselves. It's a lot cheaper to build housing when you don't have to pay for the profits of a billion-dollar real estate consortium.

During WWII, NYC built housing for workers, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, etc. When you really need housing, you can't depend on the free market. It worked so well that they continued to build public housing after the war. That was Frederich Hayek's nightmare -- during wartime, people would see how efficiently the government worked, and they'd want the government to continue after wartime.

The main problem for public housing is that it worked so well that the Republicans are trying to destroy it.

For example, they passed the Fairclough amendment, which prohibits the construction of new public housing. They can tear down old public housing, but not build new units. They've been tearing down public housing throughout the country. NYC is one of the few places where the tenants have fought to preserve it.

Comment: Re:No spy stories or net neutrality stories (Score 1) 140

by nbauman (#48263969) Attached to: Verizon Launches Tech News Site That Bans Stories On US Spying

That is like making a crime website but not reporting on murders and robberies that the company committed.


All newspapers are like that. A.J. Liebling said that in one of the first stories he ever wrote, he said that "a Silvercup bakery truck had been in an accident." When the story came out, it said that "a bakery truck had been in an accident." Slivercup is an advertiser.

Comment: Re:$750 MILLION @ 114 schools (Score 1) 140

Bob Herbert explained this better than I can.
In The Arena
The Plot Against Public Education: How millionaires and billionaires are ruining our schools.
October 06, 2014
(Bill Gates got the idea that high schools were too big and should be broken up. With no evidence to support it, schools around the country were broken up. Gates spent $2 billion and disrupted 8% of the public high schools. There were problems, such as the loss of science labs, electives, and extracurricular activities. Gates admitted it was a failure.)

Comment: Re: $750 MILLION @ 114 schools (Score 1) 140

According to Diane Ravitch. who reviewed all the evidence as assistant secretary of education under GHW Bush and Clinton, the one factor that has the strongest association with school achievement is family income. That matters more than the effect of schools and teachers.

So in order to improve school performance, it seems to be necessary to lift families out of poverty. The US has more income inequality, and more poverty at the bottom of the distribution, than most other developed countries. If we had European levels of income distribution, we might have European levels of school performance.

New Jersey was the classic example of a state where schools were funded locally, and schools in low-income districts got much less money per student than schools in high-income districts. A lot of towns "divested" their low-income neighborhoods so the town wouldn't have poor children in their district.

The courts required the state to fund the schools more equally. They did it because it was fair, not because it would equalize achievement. If the goal was to have equal achievement between the poor and rich, they would always fail.

Comment: Re:cutting to German, Finnish levels might work (Score 1) 140

I noticed one difference between US public schools vs schools that work. When my step-daughters were in elementary school, there were three weeks out of five that were "special". The first week was Mexican culture week and they spent their time singing Mexican songs, making Mexican food, and learning Mexican dances. That was enriching, perhaps. A couple of weeks later was black history, and then "world diversity " or something. That's all fine and well, I understand the value of such things. I strongly suspect, though that Japanese students spent those weeks learning reading , writing and arithmetic. My stepdaughter can make enchiladas, but can't read so well. A good trade?

My niece is Mexican. I made sure that when she learned about Mexican culture, she learned about Diego Rivera, Mario Molina, and Nora Volkow. Quite a bit of science there. Ever see Diego Rivera's Man at the Crossroads? She also took a class in black history when she went to college. Ever hear of Madam C. J. Walker?

The Japanese have their problems. A Japanese architect found out that about 80 Korean forced laborers died during WWII making an airport, and their bodies were dumped into a pit. He wanted to build a memorial for them, but he ran into some vicious right-wing nationalist opposition, with death threats, and the town had to back down. In Japanese noodle shops, they sometimes have signs, "No Koreans." (And sometimes "No Americans.") While most educated Japanese embrace other cultures, a loud, dangerous minority don't. Perhaps they could use some American-style cultural diversity.

Comment: Re:$750 MILLION @ 114 schools (Score 1) 140

Hm. It does seem that the US spends more on elementary and high school education than most other countries.

It seems that education spending is unequally distributed throughout the US. First, there are wide variations by state. Second, since most ele/hi spending is raised from local taxes, the poor districts can't raise as much as the wealthy districts. I suspect that the poor districts also get a lot of federal and state funding for students with problems.

I'll put off any conclusions until I've learned more.

Comment: Re:Where is the money to hire support staff? (Score 0) 140

These gifts and grants are nice, but without long-term funding of support staff this is what happens:

You can't simply push tons of technology into schools and forget about it. The "light the fuse and run" approach never works. You need a staff of technology people who will train staff, maintain and repair the tech, and integrate the technology into the curriculum.

Without adequate support, these systems will simply collect dust and end up in a storage locker.

The little darlings.

Crocamo installed software called Net Nanny to block pornography, gaming sites, and Facebook. He disabled the built-in web cameras. He even installed software to block students from undoing these controls. But Crocamo says students found forums on the Internet that showed them how to access everything.

“There is no more determined hacker, so to speak, than a 12-year-old who has a computer,” said Crocamo.

Comment: Re:Wow $100 Million (Score 1) 140

More tax money will merely inflate teacher and administrative pay and pensions further. On the other hand, whatever costs these donations offset will end up in the same teacher/admin/union pockets, so it's a wash.

You mean the same way that corporate profits and tax breaks will merely inflate corporate executive pay further?

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.