Friday, March 31, 2017

Read it and Weep

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

You may not agree with his approach, and most here don't, but Bill Gates has spent literally billions of dollars of his own money trying to improve education. It's the rest of us who haven't done our fair share.

-SDD

Anonymous said...

SDD - not logical. Another good reason to put teaching logic back in the curriculum.

"I spent billions building this wall and people still climb over and around and under it." It's not the money spent, it's what the money was spent on.

-McClureWatcher

Melissa Westbrook said...

SDD, really? How do you know who has and hasn't done their "fair share?" And please define "fair share?"

Gates is the definition of hubris. He has largely wasted that money because he has had negligible effect on academic outcomes. He did get Common Core done only to see it getting huge pushback and revamping.

Effort in this case doesn't count. Learning from mistakes and getting outside of his personal echo chamber would.

Robert Cruickshank said...

The Gates Foundation endowment is nearly $40 billion. That money was taken from our schools and our social services - it wound up in Gates' coffers because of post-1978 tax policies that favor the rich at the expense of our public services.

Every time you drive by the Gates Foundation HQ, in the shadow of the Space Needle, think about all the schools in Seattle and elsewhere in our state that are old, dilapidated, cold, with lead in the water, without enough new textbooks, with overcrowded classrooms. And then look again at those gleaming buildings. There's a direct correlation. Rather than money being used to maintain and repair classrooms and build new ones, we took that money and gave it to Bill Gates in the form of tax cuts.

Rather than fully and amply fund schools so that every child attends an amazing school, we gave that money to Bill Gates to use as he wishes. Now he spends it to try and dictate education policy.

The single best thing the Gates Foundation could do for our schools is to write a $10 billion check to the State of Washington, with the only stipulation being that it has to be spent on public schools. If they did that, then perhaps I might take their educational policy pronouncements more seriously.

Patrick said...

SDD, Gates wasn't spending money to improve schools. He was spending money to bust unions, hurt public schools, increase class sizes, and prove that standardized testing could help outcomes. He was partially successful on points 1, 2, and 3, so looked at that way his money wasn't totally wasted.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if you mean Gates and Bezos neither one live's in Seattle.

FAKE NEWS

Anonymous said...

You could say WA and then add in all the other billionaires then Fake News. But yeah Seattle is wrong.

Love life

Melissa Westbrook said...

Fake, well, they live in the region. So what?

alex said...

@Anonymous: They both live in Medina, which is 8 miles from Seattle. That makes this FAKE NEWS? You are utterly missing the point here, and going around calling things "fake news" is not really a way to engage in intelligent dialogue, but maybe that was not your intent?

Anonymous said...

Details my friend details. By your logic everyone living within 8 miles of Seattle lives in Seattle? I don't think so.

The author must think there some amount of chic having Seattle falsely listed as their home city.

FAKE NEWS

Melissa Westbrook said...

Chic? As compared to Medina? Yes, Alex, you have it right.

Anonymous said...

Very few people outside of this area have ever heard of Medina. It's also not relevant where they live when both have contributed greatly to this areas prosperity and are not in away obligated to do more than anyone else. I was simply pointing out the creators error which I'm guessing wasn't an error but a literary tool.

FAKE NEWS

alex said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You're a distraction from the main idea, Fake.

Shewhoknows

JLardizabal said...

Melissa, this meme has been circulated by WPD, and it's so illogical that you should be embarrassed to continue sharing it. It is attempting to manipulate an emotional response (in this case, envy) in place of a valid argument. I'm certain that you can present compelling rational reasons for a state income tax, or for capital gains taxes. You should do that.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm not embarassed at all to be advocating for fully funding schools. If I believe that Bezos and Gates are not paying their fair share of taxes (given their wealth), either via their companies or personally, I can say that.

I'm not saying how.

Melissa Westbrook said...

And envy? That's not it at all.

alex said...

Envy is not part of this at all.

It's about fairness, logic and equity. There are seven states in the US without a capital gains tax. WA is one of them. Our schools, human services and infrastructure are woefully underfunded.

Meanwhile, the two richest people on planet earth live in this state. They, and many many others, including myself, could afford & should pay more in taxes. I believe this state would work better for all of us if that were the case.

This is not based on emotion. It's based on logic. They (Gates & Bezos) among many others can & should pay more. They benefit from the public goods, they need to pay more in taxes.

Anonymous said...

Anyone see a problem with Microsoft employing a fleet of buses to get their worker bees to work while hiding their earnings in off shore accounts leaving the state with no tax base to support public transportation infrastructure? Anyone see a problem with Microsoft and Amazon importing large numbers of well-educated workers from other countries while forcing the state to support the company with tax shelters that could fund education in WA state? Here's hoping a Microsoft shuttle buses loses a tire one of our giant potholes. By overloading our roads and schools without contributing fairly in taxes Microsoft and Amazon are destroying the region.

Skol

Anonymous said...

If enough people like Alex would freely will give it all the state for education then the problem would be solved. If everyone in the state would stop spending money on Starbucks and give that money to the state for education the problem would be solved.

Instead people like Alex want everyone to be financially imposed on for what he believes is right.

Microsoft and Amazon have not destroyed this region, far from it.

The socialistic ideas by commenters on this blog are lacking any basis in reality.

If you want to see what a "destroyed" city looks like then head east to the mid-west and see what happens when you lose thousands of good paying jobs.

There's no evidence that bringing 10s of thousands of high paying jobs to a city "destroys" it, it's just the opposite.

FAKE NEWS

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't think you're being simplistic enough, Fake.

alex said...

So, FAKE NEWS, I guess I really touched a nerve.

What I am saying is that we all need to pay our fair share, and it's widely known that the upper class in WA is not paying its fair share. Neither are big corporations. When 43 states have a capital gains tax, but WA does not, and we can't fund our schools, that is wrong. When 40 states have an income tax, but WA does not, that is wrong. It means that our tax structure is regressive, and overly dependent on consumption, and property taxes, which is unfair. When the two wealthiest people on the planet live in WA, but don't pay taxes on their capital gains when they make a windfall on the stock market, yeah, I think that's wrong, because they are not paying their fair share, and could & would pay much more if they lived in another state.

Furthermore, corporations such as Microsoft & Amazon have benefited mightily from tax breaks & loop holes and are also not paying their fair share. They benefit from public goods, such as clean water, trained & skilled workers, good roads & bridges, police & fire departments, and government research. The internet was in large part created because of research & investment from DARPA, part of the department of defense. So, in all likelihood, no investment from DARPA (as in the U.S. government) --> no internet --> Bill Gates & Jeff Bezos would not be the two richest people on earth.

I am not anti-corporation. I know the value of good jobs, but I also know that companies and rich people don't get that way all on their own. They benefit hugely from public goods, which are funded by taxes. I am not anti-capitalism, but I am in favor of an honest discussion of how people get rich, which is based on a variety of factors, but it's not just because they're so smart and they do it all on their own. It takes a stable, functioning society for capitalism to thrive, and for it to benefit more than just those at the very top.

If that's FAKE to you, ok. But that is how I see it. The rich & corporations in WA a) did not become so all by themselves and b) are not paying their fair share.

Melissa Westbrook said...

All I can say is that citizens and businesses are in this together. It's what a society is - working together to create decent,good lives for all.

Anonymous said...

The idea that the wealthy don't pay more than the non wealthy by percentage or total is ridiculous. For example, a person I know who lives on a piece of property that has been in their family for generations and pays $27,000 per years in property taxes. Their income is now strictly from two sources, selling off parcels of property from that land and investment income from proceeds of those land transactions.

They did not want to sell but were forced in order to pay taxes on their home. Their property is slowly being liquidated for the re-distribution of wealth by force. I know they get sick when they see the waste by local, state and federal governments. I believe they have paid more in taxes than 80% of most people earn in a life time.

They are not a business nor a corporation. They are just of family that took care of land, land that others were not interested in 80 years ago. I really think enough is enough. I believe their total in local property taxes has exceeded 2 million dollars in the time they have owned their property. Isn't 2 million dollars enough for one family?

So what is a persons fair share? What is a citizen? I think citizenship means contributing and should not be limited to requiring taxes. Earmarked taxation without representation should be illegal...but even then do elected representatives keep their promises and are they good stewards of public funds. I think we know the answers to both...NO!

Our taxes continue to rise collectively to one of the highest of any major cities. We all contribute but the wealthy are often levied excessively only to see local bureaucracies waste those funds on excessive spending or doomed to fair bike sharing programs.

FAKE NEWS