Tuesday, October 30, 2012

.@mittromney Ann Romney on public education - "throw it out" - clueless of life for the average American #p2 #tcot


In an interview with Good HousekeepingAnn Romney gave some of her opinions on issues in the country right now. One of those covered was education. When asked, "Can you tell me, what campaign issue is closest to your heart?" her reply was:

"I've been a First Lady of the State. I have seen what happens to people's lives if they don't get a proper education. And we know the answers to that. The charter schools have provided the answers. The teachers' unions are preventing those things from happening, from bringing real change to our educational system. We need to throw out the system." (Emphasis mine.)

I agree with her on one thing — the system does have problems and it does need to be fixed. A huge problem is lack of money. A charter voucher system — something Mitt Romney has suggested — would not solve the monetary issues. Those children from higher income families would be able to afford better schooling (vouchers plus family supplement) and thus continue a trend of elitism, further separating the classes. Instead of that, why don't we pay teachers better and better fund the educational system overall? Smaller class sizes, updated textbooks, better access to technological aids for schooling; these things are all proven to benefit students.

Wait! I have a better idea! Instead, let's slash funding some more, and give the military an additional two trillion dollars that hasn't been asked for. Of course, the problems in the schooling system are all caused by teachers' unions; Ann Romney can speak on this with authority, given her complete lack of experience in both the educational system and administration. Also, isn't it interesting that she was interviewed by Good Housekeeping? I somehow doubt she cleans house very often; they probably have a few 47%-ers for that. Although, it wouldn't surprise me if the Romney household was misogynistic enough for her to actually have cleaning duties when there is no need.

To be fair, I also seriously doubt that Michelle Obama — also interviewed — cleans her own house. However, the Obamas don't have an upper-class millionaire heritage like the Romneys, and are much less out-of-touch with the thoughts and needs of everyday Americans. Barack, for example, worked as a community organizer, which seems a far cry from cannibalizing companies for profit.

Also in stark contrast were Michelle Obama's comments about education during her interview:

"Reinvest in education here in the United States so that we lay the groundwork to ensure that every child has access to a world-class education from preschool to beyond college." (Emphasis mine.)

Reinvest. Give every child a chance. That's a far cry from dismantling our public system in favor of charter schools. Investing in education is investing in the future of America; given that we are a government by the people and for the people (well, we used to be), the government has — and rightly so — direct stake in ensuring that the next generation of students comes out of the public school system with the best education possible.

Her comments regarding education are already well-publicized, however, and if you hadn't heard of them at the time of this reading I'm sure you'll see things about it during the next few days. In fact, the degree of attention paid to one astonishingly ignorant comment is sort of a shame; after all, there were a couple more that were equally fantastic (though none so spectacularly blind and offensive as her thoughts on military service).

I really dislike to make judgments about someone's intelligence when I've never met them, but Ann Romney is testing my self-imposed silence with the following excerpt from the Good Housekeeping interview:

GH:What are the steps your husband would take to improve the economy?

AR: Just his election itself is going to instantly turn up the gas and get people more optimistic, but he has five things that are simple for people to understand: One is to get rid of regulation; one is to start using our natural resources; one is to turn to human capital, which is education, and get that working again; and…oh, I'm not sure on the last two! (Laughs)

GH: Well, three is a very good start. A couple of years ago, we created the Green Good Housekeeping Seal as a way of helping consumers figure out what products are truly green versus what are just greenwashing claims. Are green issues something you think about?

AR: Everyone wants clean air and clean water. I mean, of course we all do. And then if you go to a country like China —

GH: Where there is no regulation...

AR: Where there is no regulation, and you see what's wrong there and how people are dying younger there. And the pollution and the air quality is just abysmal, and people are having to live in that. You understand how important it is, but you also have to recognize that we have to balance those things.

I've highlighted my favorite bits there. Emphasis mine once again. First of all, "his election itself is going to instantly turn up the gas and get people more optimistic" is a pretty interesting thing to say. Looks like the school she went to skipped out on economics. I'll leave that for you to think about yourself.

Now, in fairness, she never specifies which regulations she's against, but based on the fact that she can't even remember a list of five things, I'm guessing she doesn't happen to know, either. Let's recap:

"One is to get rid of regulation…" as a way to improve the economy. Because Wall Street does so fantastically well without regulation…does she not realize that the cause of the recession was due, in part, to a lack of Wall Street regulations that allowed them to privatize profits and socialize losses? Although the government bailouts are projected to cost less than expected, they are widely disfavored and viewed as a mistake. However, we've established that she thinks regulations are bad things. Let's move on.

With regard to China and green issues, she's suddenly all for regulation, even though her husband opposes such regulations because they are preventing access to more land and faster drilling for the oil companies (and coal, etc.). I really can't blame her — apparently she doesn't think she needs to worry about such things, because she literally has no idea what she's talking about. Excuse me, that statement was wrong; she has 60% of an idea of what she's talking about (3/5).

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