Disparities remain in America's schools

Studies show minority students have less access to advanced classes, preschool and are more likely to be suspended or restrained
Associated Press
Mar 22, 2014


Sixty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that black children have the right to the same education as their white peers.

But civil rights data released Friday by the Education Department reflect an education system rife with inequities for blacks and other minority students and those with disabilities.

Minority students are less likely to have access to advanced math and science classes and veteran teachers. Black students of any age, even the youngest preschoolers, are more likely to be suspended. And students with disabilities are more likely than other students to be tied down or placed alone in a room as a form of discipline.

"It is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to succeed," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

But the department offered no explanation of why these disparities exist.

Here are five things to know about the department's findings:


STEM is the buzzword in education these days. Education in the fields of science, technology and engineering and math is considered critical for students to succeed in the global marketplace. Yet the department found that there was a "significant lack of access" to core classes like algebra, geometry, biology, and chemistry for many students. That lack of access was particularly striking when it came to minorities.

"A quarter of high schools with the highest percentage of black and Latino students do not offer Algebra II; a third of these schools do not offer chemistry," the department said.

And it's not just lack of access to core curriculum subjects.

Only a quarter of black and Latino students were enrolled in an Advanced Placement class, which allows high school students to earn college credit, and fewer than one in five got a high enough score generally necessary to get college credit.

Even as black and Latino students represent 40 percent of the enrollment in schools offering gifted and talented programs, they represent only a quarter of the students in their schools enrolled in them.

Christopher Emdin, a professor of science education at Teachers College, Columbia University, said if a school doesn't offer advanced math and science classes, students are told they are not expected to take those classes.

"There is nothing more severe in contemporary America, particularly as it relates to youth of color, than the soft bigotry of low expectations," Emdin said. "These inequities in the availability of science and math classes show young people that not much is expected of them. It highlights a subtle and severe bias that we will collectively suffer from as our STEM jobs continue to go unfilled, and our young people refuse to be scientists and engineers."


Quality teachers can play a key role in student performance.

Minority students are more likely to attend schools with a higher concentration of first-year teachers than white students. And while most teachers are certified, nearly half a million students nationally attend schools where nearly two-thirds or fewer of teachers meet all state certification and licensing requirements. Black and Latino students are more likely than white students to attend these schools.

There's also a teacher salary gap of more than $5,000 between high schools with the highest and lowest black and Latino students enrollments, according to the data.

Maddie Fennell, a literacy coach at Miller Park Elementary, an urban school in Omaha, Neb., said that too often in teaching, the mindset is that the more experienced a teacher is, the more deserving the teacher is of a less-challenging school environment. She said this doesn't make sense because, in comparison, an experienced surgeon wouldn't be given the healthiest patients. Ultimately, she said, the most qualified teachers will request to follow strong principals.

"A lot of it has to do with the leadership of a (school) building," Fennell said.


The Obama administration issued guidance earlier this year encouraging schools to abandon what it described as overly zealous discipline policies that send students to court instead of the principal's office, the so-called "schools-to-prisons pipeline." But even before the announcement, school districts had been adjusting policies that disproportionately affected minority students. The civil rights data released Friday from the 2011-2012 school year show the disparities begin among even the youngest of school kids. Black children represent about 18 percent of children in preschool programs in schools, but they make up almost half of the preschoolers who are suspended more than once. Six percent of the nation's districts with preschools reported suspending at least one preschool child.

Overall, the data show that black students of all ages are suspended and expelled at a rate that's three times higher than that of white children. Even as boys receive more than two-thirds of suspensions, black girls are suspended at higher rates than girls of any other race or most boys. More than half of students involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement were Hispanic or black.


"Seclusion and restraint" is a term used to describe when students are strapped down or physically restrained in schools. The data show students with disabilities represent about 12 percent of the student population, but about 60 percent of students placed in seclusion or involuntary confinement and three quarters of students restrained at school. While black students make up about one in five of students with disabilities, more than one-third of the students who are restrained at school are black. Overall, the data show that more than 37,000 students were placed in seclusion, and 4,000 students with disabilities were held in place by a mechanical restraint.

Democrats Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., have unsuccessfully fought for a federal law for years to end the practice. National associations representing school boards and superintendents have said such legislation would reduce the authority of states and districts, but that seclusion and restraint should only be used as a last resort to protect school staff and students.


The Obama administration views access to preschool as a civil rights issue. It says 40 percent of school districts do not offer preschool programs. Their numbers don't include private programs or some other types of publicly funded early childhood programs outside of school systems. Obama has sought a "preschool for all" program with the goal of providing universal preschool to America's 4-year-old that would use funding from a hike in tobacco taxes.


There you go again

So we are blaming schools (and teachers) because more minorities are brought up on discipline charges in schools? Hmmm, should teachers just ignore bad behavior by minorities so that we are politically correct??? Or do schools make sure thay have the "correct" percent of minority student in AP and gifted classes just to look good? Sounds like reverse discrimination to me. This article has spinned the statistics to make it look like schools are deliberately excluding minorities.


You are so ignorant to take a very little part and show how racist you are. Its amazing you ignored the rest of what is a pretty long article.

There you go again

I find your accusations offensive as I am directly involved in the schools. Are you? I have oversight as to the vast amount of money spent in my Title 1 school. The financial and educational assistance given to the students seems well spent but gets "lost" when students do not have parental guidance and assistance at home. How dare you call a person ignorant and, yes, I have read this and many more articles, summaries, and books on this topic. Ignorant, I am not.


Re;"So we are blaming schools (and teachers)"

I do think that to a degree the schools and teachers are lacking. In one of my past issues of the Mensa Research Journal there was an article about "No child left behind" and the government did take a hit as many persons did not feel it was funded properly however the whole concept of no child left behind was for the teachers to offer more assistance to the slower learners to motivate and bring them up to speed hoping they would graduate better equipped to enter the job market. It should have closed the gap between the faster and slower learning students.

However in lieu of offering additional assistance to the slower learners thus elevating them up to narrow the gap they found it easier to just offer less attention to the faster learners ergo bringing them down closer to the slower learning students closing the gap with less effort.


A family's socio-economic status is the single largest factor to predict student success at all levels.


"soft bigotry of low expectations"

Is this comment directed at the parents who don't care or the educators who push students to achieve more and are labeled "insensitive to our struggles" ?


When I was in college in the early 1970's the government tried to resolve some disparity in minority enrollment by offering kids of color the ability to attend college without cost. This offer also included a lower GPA to remain in school.

Was that "soft bigotry of low expectations" ? Forty years later and it's the same thing. Lack of personal responsibility for your life.


The article is true. Major inequities exist in our school system. Let's not forget about the Little Rock 9! Things are much better but still need attention.
Sprinkles, a small child or even a teenager should be afforded the chance to learn without all the negativity. The assumptions that minorities are less educated and tend to be under achievers are nothing more than false stereotypes.



First you say the article is true. Then you say the assumptions made are false stereotypes. I don't understand how you can have both views?

Do you believe that minority students don't have the same options in our community? I won't disagree there are issues in large urban areas but I don't believe this is going on in our little city.

I believe their are still some minorities using this as an excuse. But, let me tell you I have friends, that are a minority, that blow this concept totally out of the water.

They didn't use excuses. They in fact used the resources, only available to them, to rise above the fray. The took personal responsibility for their life and grew. They have instilled this mindset with their children.


Inequities exist in our school system. True! Assumptions made are false stereotypes. True. Where's the issue? Of course there are bottom feeders in all situations and it is not color specific. When you go on your rant about personal responsibility you make it seem that anyone less fortunate is so because of personal responsibility. You can instill all you want but that still does not guarantee the preferred outcome.



We are making progress. You acknowledged that their are bottom feeders and it's not color specific. Amen.

I'm sorry if you feel my continued promotion of personal responsibly as a rant. I personally believe that people should not rely on the government or someone else to improve their lives. I believe we all have it within ourselves to improve ourselves to what ever level we wish to obtain with our God given abilities .

No guarantees and no excuses.

It's a personal philosophy. Sorry if that bothers you. Have a great life waiting for someone else to solve your problems.


Re: "personal responsibly,"

Always enjoyed the anecdotal stories of two brothers growing up in the same ghetto household; one becomes a doctor (successful) and the other becomes a prison lifer (loser).

What prompted the difference?

Also, some unfortunately attach a stigma to being successful in school as being white.

Peer pressure does the rest.


I agree. Sometimes people are just wired differently. I also agree with the stigma of being successful in school. White kids used to cheat off my papers. My entire family was ridiculed because of the way we spoke. Too white for them. Never bothered any of us.

Peer pressure is rough!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

It is for reasons like this and others that are similar that I am proud to run the store/community I do. I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that there is a local place like this for "kids" (not all are children by age) that break the molds in which others wish to confine them. It's educational on both sides of the counter and reinforces in them that "they aren't the only ones".

I certainly echo your sentiments on peer pressure.

The Big Dog's back

I'm so glad to see the right wingnuts are all in for personal responsibility, again. Obamacare = Personal Responsibility!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I'm sorry, did you need something?


Re: "Obamacare,"

Off-topic, lil' piddles. Try again.


How is having everyone else pay for your insurance personal responsibility? Look the word up and learn something.


Re: "It is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to succeed,"

IOW: Let's throw a few more trillions of taxpayer dollars at it and hope for the best.

Typical of govt. bureaucrats to work feverishly on the wrong end of the problem.

ALL motivation is self-motivation.

Old quote:

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

The balance and usually omitted piece of the above saying is:

But, you can make him thirsty.

Therein lies the answer: How do you make 'em 'thirsty'?


Re: "Education Secretary Arne Duncan,"

Former CEO of the essentially bankrupt Chicago public school system and Pres. Obama handpicked crony.

Best to use him as a prime example regarding on how NOT to do things.


Two big factors not mentioned: Parents and their involvement and the students themselves. Doesn't matter how good the teacher, if the student doesn't want to learn, he/she won't.


Historically, true college level courses require an intellect in the top 20% of the population. So allowing 25% of a group to attempt college level work at an early age is IMO a recipe for disaster.

However, a high school that doesn't provide access to core education courses like Algebra II or basic Chemistry in high school is not meeting minimal education standards IMO. Maybe it's due to a lack of qualified science and math teachers, who are in great demand and probably can choose their education system.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

"But the department offered no explanation of why these disparities exist."

That is perhaps the most disappointing part of the article, and when we're talking about the education of kids and how important that is it's no laughing matter. Education is the greatest force for "equality" and something about which I am very passionate. His department with all it's presumed access to money, staff with alphabet soup designations, and direct access to any other source of information can't see a reason?

Or is it they "won't". It's pretty disingenuous to just lob out a statistic and leave it with a wink and a nod as the article suggests.

Here, I'll play at being Education Secretary and see if my background as a mere commoner can provide some insight into this. To do so I will reference this article: http://www.mauinews.com/page/con...

So it would seem that because there is a culture within the culture that can be difficult to break into as a teacher, break out of as a kid, or some other barrier such as a language issue it causes educational problems. There. It's pretty simple. Various minorities (or portions of) have their own culture that can seem exclusive to what many consider "normal". Those cultures don't express the same language, values, morals, nor expectations.

A teacher can only do so much, but when all the work at school is lost at home due to cultural clash or disappointing life standards/circumstances what can be done?

Until the walls of fear and exclusivity are torn down, this will be a repeating trend. This was perhaps the most uplifting part of the report:

"'There is nothing more severe in contemporary America, particularly as it relates to youth of color, than the soft bigotry of low expectations,' Emdin said."

Aside from that I have general grumblings about vague percentages listed in the story. It doesn't make the mood of the article any better but when we talk about percentages with no base numbers you may as well be bladder-voiding in the wind.

Case in point: "'A quarter of high schools with the highest percentage of black and Latino students do not offer Algebra II; a third of these schools do not offer chemistry,' the department said."

This could very well equal six. Ten? Let's say it is 200. According to the National Center of Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/dis...) there are around 120,000 schools in the U.S. So with all of these specific, cherry-picked (though no less unfortunate) statistics what are we talking about? Even if the actual numbers these unattached percentages were attached to were 10,000 that's less than 1% of school that suffer such poor conditions.

With as few of these schools that actually exist, what is keeping a targeted approach to treating them as they are so few in number? The same when it comes to the issue of "restraining/isolating" students. Depending on the school and disability, this is a known and accepted practice by people who are trained to employ it. I'm sure you can talk to the Erie County Board of MR/DD for more info from a local source.

Otherwise according to the same site as above but a different page (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/dis...) there are about 53,000,000 students in public and private schools who attended in fall of last year. So that means if 37,000 students were restrained for reasons that I doubt verge on a North Korean gulag, that means a very, very, very small percentage of the overall whole were treated this way.

I could go on and on about how foolish it is to declare preschool a civil right and especially on how dumb it is to fund it on a voluntary product that is declining in use thereby providing less money from the get-go. But perhaps I have blathered enough for now.




Before a school is accused of not providing algebra and chemistry we should ask how many students in that school can even spell those two words.


"Disparities remain in America's schools"
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"

The Big Dog's back

Until this country recognizes that education and healthcare are rights, we will continue to have disparities.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Please describe how they are "rights". Are you entitled at all hours of every day without question to the life of another person or entire group of people to administer these services?

If I were feeling snarky I'd point out that we already tried that in our history prior to the Civil War. I forget, can you tell me what it's called when someone else has the right to your life and service to them?

It's on the tip of my tongue. Dang it. Help me out here Big Dog. What's the word for when you legally obligate other people to your personal service and they have no other choice?

The Big Dog's back

So you don't think everyone in this country has a right to an education and healthcare? Really?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

A right to it? No. That's absurd. I don't think you actually know what a "right" is. I totally get your intention, but your word of choice is not correct. If health care is a RIGHT then you are entitled to it as a sovereign entity. Any time, any place, it is an absolute.

"A right must be exercised through your own initiative and action. It is not a claim on others. A right is not actualized and implemented by the actions of others. This means you do not have the right to the time in another person’s life. You do not have a right to other people’s money. You do not have the right to another person’s property."

Read more of this clip at: http://www.freerepublic.com/focu...

"Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory."

Read more of this clip at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights

"a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral: You have a right to say what you please."

Read more of this clip at: http://dictionary.reference.com/...

In other words if medical treatment is a right then you are entitled to it simply by existing. However, unlike others, this one must be dispensed by a person. That makes that person indentured to serve you. If you go to a hospital and aren't seen immediately then your rights have been violated and you can sue them. Because a doctor couldn't help you, you can sue them for violating your RIGHT to get their skills, talents, and education from them any time, any place, any where.

I will agree with you that we have a privilege to deserve a high standard of care. We have an expectation that it will be there. We have a legal requirement that we will deserve reasonable and due care. But we don't have the right to it. Please, if you think it is a right, go into your local Emergency Room and demand to see a doctor immediately. If one doesn't come, speak to a local attorney about suing them for violating your right to immediate, on-demand care with no barriers (such as payment). That doctor OWES YOU his time if it is a right.

The Big Dog's back

So by your comparison, which is dumb, you should be able to carry a gun anytime, anywhere, anyplace. You should be able to whatever, to whomever, whenever you like. Get the point yet? There are rules and regulations. Grow up.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Interestingly enough it seems that so long as I don't (or haven't in the past) infringe on other people I can do that. Huh...thanks for proving my point. High five!

There you go again

Hero Zone, you are giving some entitlement junkies some "ideas." Seriously, I enjoyed reading your comments and find them thought compelling. It just will take educating some people on what rights they have as Americans, I.e. understanding the Constitution..

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thank you for the compliment. It's always my hope to compel thought of some kind! Education is my burning desire and passion. There are many things I'd like to see introduced to the curriculum so that conversations like these are the standard and not the exception.


I really think your comparison to slavery is a bit off Hero. You need an education and your health to make it anywhere. The people you reference were deprived of both in an effort to oppress them. Encouraging good health, and promoting education are things that can help anyone if available and I think they should be. Slaves were punished for even trying to be better. I don't see how making you be responsible for something that is going to help you a bad thing.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

The comparison was to illustrate that, if made a right, doctors will owe you their time, their service, their life. There will be no barriers to prevent you from obtaining an education. If you don't get your diploma? Sue the schools for violating your rights. After all, the teachers didn't provide 24/7 service to you and it is their fault your rights weren't served. As I told Big Dog. Go to Firelands and demand to see a doctor immediately as is your RIGHT for simply existing.

Therein is my comparison, even if I am being picky with words. Slaves HAD to serve their masters. If they didn't? Bad things happened. If a doctor doesn't serve a patient, if a teacher doesn't serve a student then THEY can be sued for violating YOUR rights as YOU expect them.

In addition, responsibility isn't something that can be inflicted on another person as you suggest. Would you call everyone in the Erie County Jail responsible because they turned themselves in when they were supposed to according to the law? Or even after "being made to" go to jail by the police, are they responsible people? Are North Koreans responsible citizens because they cried a mandated amount of times at their last leader's passing under penalty of death?

Education and health are privileges. Opportunities that we deserve to be able to pursue. But they are not rights. Unless you intend to legally saddle doctors and teachers with the absolute burden of service to you at any point in your life for nothing in return.


Notice how piddles won't explain why education and healthcare should be rights? he has no answer to that. he demands others explain why they shouldn't be. All the other rights we have are listed in the Constitution and Amendments. Piddles explain why yours should be added. It is up to you to say why they should be, since you want them.


Having a "right" to something does not mean it should be free and no one is advocating for that. You have the "right" to bear arms but the arms are not free. The Constitution is over rated. Times have changed!


The Constitution gives us the right to bear arms, but I'm sure no one will try to prevent you from baring your arms.
The Constitution is over rated? If it can remain relevant for over 200 years, then it is still relevant today!


Relevant? Overrated!


Re: "The Constitution is over rated."

And with what "law of the land" should it be replaced?


Altered not replaced pooh!


The Constitution provided a way for it to be altered... It is called Amendments. If you wish to alter it simply get your Amendment passed. It is one of the things that make the Constitution a good document... if you can get enough backing in the country it can be changed. But then again you have to get the backing to make the change... till then you have nothing but whining to do.


Re: "Altered,"

The process is called Amendments.

Where is healthcare and education specifically mentioned in the Constitution?


Where is privacy?


Re: "privacy"

Off-topic. However, see: Fourth, Fifth and probably Sixth Amendments.

Besides, what do you care? To you the Constitution is "overrated."


Just askin' pooh!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

"The U.S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy."


I'm not going to touch the issue of abortion as it is a branch off this tree and is irrelevant to what we're talking about. However, the events leading up to Roe v. Wade were a series of cases built upon one another once various legal footholds were found in the "penumbras and emanations" of the Bill of Rights.

Check out 1961's Poe v. Ullman to see where this issue began.


Again, I'm not going to argue the morality of abortion but when Planned Parenthood/ACLU brought this case up after fishing up a specific set of people who would be "violated" by an old and unused law it was thrown down because the fact the law was old and unused. So it was tried again in another way and eventually it led to this declared "Right to Privacy".

Ignore the flag waving and partisan snips and such, but if you want to listen to the story about how the "privacy right" came to be, give less than 30 minutes of your time to this:


thinkagain's picture

The liberal idea of government requires no critical thinking acumen. They have been manipulated to believe that anything emanating from Obama's butt is sacrosanct.

The Big Dog's back

stumpy, if I have to explain to you why education and healthcare would benefit everyone, then you're not bright enough to understand anyways.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Education and health care are currently available to everyone. Are you "not bright enough" to see that? Also, just because something "would benefit" someone else does not make it a right as I have pointed out above. Unless you are arguing for equal outcomes guaranteed as a right for everyone?

Or is it enough that equal and opportunity is out there for people to grasp themselves as a privilege of living in our civil society?


A healthy, educated society is a prosperous society. Equal healthcare and equal education is not available to all but they should be. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this.


Re: "Equal healthcare and equal education is not available to all but they should be."

The Soviet Union was the first nation to guarantee both in their Constitution.

Per usual, American progressive-socialists foolishly think they're smarter than those 'dumb' Russians. :)

The Big Dog's back

You know, for you dissing the Soviet Union all the time pooh, you sure have a man crush on Putin, who more than anyone else, exemplifies the old Soviet Union.


That is so true Dog!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Unless we strip away all that makes every individual talented in ways over others (athleticism, educational capactiy, physical mobility, sensory aptitude, etc.) what "should be" is literally impossible. There is no way to accomplish this without standardizing human life, expectations, and providing the exact same cookie-cutter education or medical capacity above.

That's not a world I want to live in, as nice as it may be intended to be. So if that works for you then yes, I as you will respectfully agree to disagree and appreciate your politeness.

The Big Dog's back

What are you babbling about? Why would everything be the same? Says a lot about you if that is what you're thinking.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Ok, here, I'll hold your hand and walk you through it to answer your question. I'd rather teach you to fish than give you one. Your question of "Why would everything be the same?" was asked in the context of a conversation deertracker and I were having.

Deertracker: "Equal healthcare and equal education is not available to all but they should be."

The Hero Zone: "Unless we strip away all that makes every individual talented in ways over others...what 'should be' is literally impossible."

We can dream about a perfect utopia, but because of the fact that we are all different in talent and ability as well as flawed in innumerable ways we can never have that dream. Accepting this is an acceptance and/or tolerance of actual diversity. Imposing standardized templates on every individual, city, state, and the country strips away that diversity and, LITERALLY, dehumanizes us. It strips us of our backgrounds, abilities, life experiences, and every beautiful/awful part of us that makes us...us.

P.S. - I can always explain what is on my mind, why I think the way I do, and other such details. I'd urge you to exercise your ability to do so as well. Knowing where you sit before declaring where you stand is vitally important as is a firm grasp of literacy and extensive use of vocabulary. Else you may find your seat swiped from under you and you constantly fall on your butt.

The Big Dog's back

Once again, what are you babbling about? Read your comment that I posted to.

There you go again

You meant "anyway" right? Certainly your RIGHT to an education taught you correct grammar!



We have the Bill of Rights in this country. Can you please tell me where it specifically guarantees a citizen education and health care. We have laws about education and health care but no rights about education and health care.


FDR proposed a "Second Bill of Rights."


Not to worry; the progressive-socialists are on track to eventually provide every necessity and some luxuries free gratis to all citizens.



Sprinkles, how can one be personally responsible without healthcare and education?


Basic education and health care are available and always have been available. Whether one uses those resources is up to their personal responsibility.


Basic only gets you so far. If these two things were not available one would not even be able to read the Constitution. If by law I am required to go to school then it should be provided. The fact that these things have always been provided proves someone thinks we have a right to them.

The Big Dog's back

When the GOWP (grumpy old white people) went to school back in the 50's and 60's, everything was provided for them in school. Now there are a lot of out of pocket expenses. Also the GOWP's parents had better insurance back then.



That where we differ. Society has deemed that school is a good thing. But,no where is it written into our laws that it's a right. Sounds like I'm nitpicking but in times of trouble (economic depression) school and healthcare would not have to be funded.

Don S

Stop giving public school money to charter schools !!! The parents that send their kids to charter schools can a afford to pay for the schools.


Again notice that those who wish to make education and health "rights" won't give reasons for them to be "rights". They want others to give reasons why they shouldn't be. Those who wish those things to be rights need to give logical reasons for them to be. Then it will be clear that it is "just because it would be "fair". The Constitution was to make "rights" that were equal opportunities, not equal outcomes. Otherwise we would all have graduate degrees from Harvard, and such a degree would then be meaningless.

The second amendment gives you the opportunity to bear arms. It doesn't provide the arms, nor does it make you bear arms, you have the OPPORTUNITY to do so if you want to.

There are limits to these rights. You are not allowed some firearms and explosives. You are restricted from them. You are limited in speech. You can't lie to the court, you can't plagiarise, you can't break copyrights, can't yell fire when there is none, among many other things. Even though you have the right to "free speech". There are legal limits.

Give us reasons for education and health need to be made rights, or is it beyond your ability to do so? You are the ones who wish to make changes... give us your reasons, surely you can do so other than "why shouldn't they be".


Re: "The Constitution"

"Obama characterizes the Constitution as 'a charter of negative liberties,'"

It limits the power of the govt. over it's citizens.

Dear Leader and his progressive ilk want a 'positive' Bill of Rights in order to state what power the govt. will have over it's citizens.


Oh Brave New World!


The tenth Amendment grants power... everything not listed in the Constitution granting power to the federal gov't is granted... to the STATES. It makes no limits on the state gov't... except for the things listed in the Constitution that are granted to the federal gov't. The federal gov't wants to steal the power granted to the states by the Constitution.

The Big Dog's back

More opinion pieces.


Re: "opinion pieces."

True. It contains quotes of your Messiah's socialistic opinionated nonsense.


Is socialist your buzz word for the day? Your constant rants about the President or his policies when they are not even the topic of conversation makes you look really small.


Re: "the President or his policies,"

The Dept. of Education is not part of the Obama admin.?

You don't advocate socialism?


No I don't although parts of this society are already socialistic. Social Security?


Re: "No I don't"

But aren't you in favor of societal guaranteed education and healthcare for all citizens?

How is that not advocating socialism?


....because those two things are basic necessities. I am not saying the government has to provide higher education. There are no guarantees pooh. Nice try. Why does the government make you immunize your kids?


Re: "because those two things are basic necessities."

So you agree that you're a socialist?

What about food, clothing, job, housing, et. al.?

Aren't those "necessities"?

The Big Dog's back

Always ducking questions aren't pooh.




Re: "Always."

Forgot I was addressing a 12 yr. old with OCD.

"because those two things are basic necessities."

Whose providing them if it isn't at the direction of the central planners, i.e. socialism?


Yep, that was the start of relying on the government and not yourself to provide for your life. Now look at what we've started.


Not true! Welfare is a direct result of the Great Depression.


Re: "Welfare is a direct result of the Great Depression."

And the Great Depression was a result of central bank credit expansion (even greater today).

Boom and bust.


Just making the point that when things got really bad the gov't stepped in. Stay on point pooh!


Re: "gov't stepped in,"

Point: The "gov't" (Fed Resv.) caused it.

Regardless, The Great Depression is OLD NEWS.

The Fed set up:

2000 - Tech Bubble

2007 - Housing Bubble

? - The growing and next Bubble.

With $17.3T and growing Fed budget debt, where's the money for welfare gonna come from eh?

The Big Dog's back

pooh, aren't educated and healthy people more productive? More money for companies?


You guys can wrap yourselves in the Constitution but it's just a document. It is written on paper not stone. If society expects it's citizens to thrive certain necessities should be made available to them. Not free but available and affordable. Why do you have the right to protect yourself from a gun but not a disease? Some on here want to make it seem as if sick people are going to march into a hospital and DEMAND treatment. I am not suggesting that but if you want me to work and pay taxes I need to be well enough to do that. I need an education to do that. I just can't put 100% faith in a document that once considered a certain segment of it's population less than human. America has yet to get everything right so there obviously plenty of work to do.


Re: "Constitution but it's just a document."

Might as well disband the SCOTUS; obviously outdated.

What was that nonsense again about them ruling that Obamacare is a tax? :)


You are going too far pooh. No one is suggesting disbanding anything. Just make it work for all.


Re: "You are going too far,"

Asked of you previously above:

Upon what then should the 'law of the land' be based upon if not the Constitution?


Here it is "The Supremacy Clause" Article VI clause 2 of the US Constitution. http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-...

The Supremacy clause was included from the beginning as opposed to the Bill of Rights (Amendments I to X) which were added later. Note there are no Amendments guaranteeing a right to health care or education.


Answered previously above. Keep up!


Re: "Keep up!"

Asked almost two hours ago. Keep up! :)


Actually deertracker, you were lapped several times while you rambled on. The debate concerning the Constitution; supremacy of law; and right vs. privilege ended before you posted.


The debate ends when I say. YOU GOT THAT?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

There was a very specific reason for the Three-Fifths Compromise (and why slavery overall wasn't outlawed in the Constitution at its inception). I'd urge you to look into it, why it existed, and bring yourself up on history. Ignorance in this case only seems to cause turmoil, not bliss. If you'd like I can do for you what I do for Big Dog and provide the reason for you. If there is a lack of education, it is about this document and your pessimism about it is a shining example, especially knowing that through the amendment process it can be changed over time and with widely-accepted cultural norms.

Happiness, though, is often in the journey and not the destination.

Also for all the "I-I-I"s above, why aren't YOU keeping yourself from getting sick or learning? Why aren't YOU taking care of YOURSELF? Why do YOU want it passed as a "right" on your sovereign self so somebody ELSE has to do it for you? That's a helluva right, if you ask me! To just legally require swathes of the population to serve you. You don't have to do anything except demand other peoples' money, time, talents, and skills.

Can I have a right to a new car every five years? If society expects me to be productive I need that. Oh I also need to have a right that food be delivered to my house. How am I supposed to serve society if I have to waste time and money shopping myself or putting my money which could otherwise be taxed into food. Can I have a right to a monthly entertainment budget? It should be a right. Productive is proven to increase when people are happy. IT'S MY RIGHT TO THESE THINGS! You, deertracker, owe me these things. Or do you want to oppress me? Why do you hate me and want to violate my rights?

As for doctors and teachers, they owe them to you, after all, don't they? A doctor OWES YOU your health. A teacher OWES YOU your education. Simply by being born you have the right to require the services of these and others at any place, any time, with no barriers? That is what a right is, after all.

But to want you to work and pay taxes? I don't want you to do that any more than I want you to get sick, buy a new car, buy a blue shirt over a green, etc. Stop playing to what you think society wants of you and live your life. You are a contributor to and part of society, not beholden to and encapsulated by it.

Sheesh, deer, you ran a business. You should know all this. Come on, man.

Society owes neither you, me, Contango, Big Dog, etc. anything and if you think it does and demand your share I'd suggest you keep this phrase in mind: "First-world problems."

Whole lotta first-world problems goin' on in here...

Yeah there's some sarcasm above, but come on. Let's be real about this.


Hero, society owes me the opportunity to work and pay taxes. I did not ask to be born yet I am in debt to this country the moment I exit the womb. Happiness is the destination. Strife and turmoil is what you find on the journey. A car is not the only form of transportation to get to work. You are making all of this too simplistic.

There is no acceptable reason for the three fifths thing. None! It was a form of oppression. Plain and simple.
Doctors and teachers get paid to do a job. They owe their employer, not me. You cannot equate being able to breathe with buying a car or entertainment. Do you want uneducated and unhealthy people working for you? Can your business succeed with uneducated sick people?
The Constitution is flawed. Hence, amendments? Why do we have to vaccinate our kids? Who benefits? I want to work and pay taxes but I cannot do that if I am sick. Help me help society.

If the greedy continue to be excessively greedy, we are all going to be poor.

The Big Dog's back

I still can't believe we are arguing over educating people and keeping them healthy. Better education, better health equals a better society.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Hmmm it's here the answers split into two, but I promised you response.

1. No acceptable reason for the Three-Fifths Compromise? I can't imagine that you would have wanted the Southern slave states to take over legislative control of the Congress and dominate the lawmaking process to enshrine slavery for many more years to come if not "ever". By not counting the slave population fully, this hamstrung the amount of Representatives the slave states could send as well as their influence in the Electoral College (and vicariously the Supreme Court). In other words, this bought the Northern states the time they needed to start the process of emancipation.

How are any of those not reasons? Mien Gott in himmel...

2. Our main difference is that you are happy to lose your individuality to a broad "society". You want "society" to take care of you and to allow your work, thoughts, time, and money flow into its nebulous form. You feel society owes you everything in your life so you can then spend that life working thanklessly for said society. To you, it seems, only society can be good and individual people are irrelevant to it.

To me, society is comprised OF individuals who through the mere act of living their lives contribute infinitely more and in greater ways to "society" by bringing each of their unique experiences, flaws, and successes to the pool of people. In my model "society" intrinsically succeeds if the individuals succeed. In yours, I see, only "society" is allowed to succeed by its own measures and individuals are to conform to it.

They are simple views of authoritarianism, libertarianism, individualism, pluralism, or liberty versus tyranny. Hence we will come back to agreeing to disagree here because your world is stripped of humanity and individualism. We must all work not for ourselves nor our families, but for "society" i.e. other people.

I don't exist FOR the state. The state exists BECAUSE of me.

As for how I could equate the things I did? I simply used your logic. You are not allowed to suddenly be an individual when prior you were arguing on behalf of the state. What you had said was implying that society owes you your health so you can contribute to it. Well, if our only reason to live is to serve the state then the state (which somehow is an entity separate from "us"?) owes us: cars, groceries, housing, entertainment, and everything else we need.

So choose the premise of your thoughts and have them be one way or the other.

To quote a character from a thought-provoking game I enjoy, "A man chooses, a slave obeys." Are we men of the state or slaves of the state?


Re: "If the greedy continue to be excessively greedy, we are all going to be poor."


Socialism makes everyone equally poor.

- old Soviet East European saying.


This whole argument is nothing more than responsibility. Are you responsible for your life or is the government responsible for your life ?

Some of us believe we are responsible and don't need anymore government intervention. Some believe the government need to intervene more to provide for its citizens.

When times get tough those who have embraced personal responsibility will survive. Those who have relied on someone else will not.

It's your choice.


If you really want to get down to basic responsibility to goes back to God. Gender, intelligence, race or nationality falls back on the big one.

If you were born an American citizen no matter of gender, race or intelligence you were given a step above the rest of the world. Trust me on this one.

Sorry complainers, but your troubles are God's fault. Complain to him about rights and see what you get. Good luck.

The Big Dog's back

So, be thankful you were born here. OoooooooK.



Have you travelled overseas? Have you travelled into Mexico and parts south?

You should say a prayer every night you are an American. We have animals in America that live better than half the world.

I got about 2 billion people that would trade you places in a heart beat.


Great...lets take away social security .


Re: "take away social security ."

Not to worry. The "lock box" is empty, filled with non-marketable securities, i.e. broke.

"Social Security to See Payout Exceed Pay-In This Year (2010)":


The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

The President's MyRA, I believe, is a stepping stone to load us individually with public debt and have no option but to use that for retirement. That way all private retirement money is siezed and IOUs left in its place.


Re: "MyRA,"

You're on the right track!

They're placing new rules on 401(k) contributions for the highly compensated, leading some to believe that the number of 401(k) plans started will be reduced or current ones phased out will be the result.

The IRS and DOL placed so many rules and regs on defined benefit plans to the point where they're almost non-existent due in part to their administrative expense.

My spouse directed a pension admin. network for a fortune 500 co., so I know a thing or two from whence I write.


My bet today is the social security will be reduced over the next 20 years. The money's not there to fund the large group of baby boomers ready to join the entitlement rolls.

The money was there but our government decided to borrow against its assets to fund other useless services to keep getting elected.

Hope you all have made other arrangement to support your retirement years.

It's going to get really really ugly in the next few years.


Most people (individuals) who are smart enough to save for retirement (which is what SS was intended for) know better than to spend the principal. But since this is gov't... and federal gov't ( the furthest fromn the people) at that, we shouldn't be surprised at the outcome. Gov't (especially FEDERAL gov't) does what gov't (especially FEDERAL gov't) does best... the wrong thing... AKA spend the principal. Or in this case use the principla to borrow against... and never pay back on the principal. You can't spend the money twice... not even the federal gov't. Is it any wonder the economy is what it is today?


I was watching a business show last night and one of the talking heads was repeating what I have heard numerous times:

In spite of all the Fed's money printing, we have low inflation (CPI).

He asked: Where's the inflation that you guys keep warning us about?

The other talking head to which this statement and question was directed didn't have an adequate response.

And then this morning, I read the following:

"The Fourteen Year Recession"


And THEN I remembered: The Fed has built in survivor bias in the metric.

If you don't like the results, change the questions and what you measure.


Yes the schools are partly to blame, but why not go to the root cause which is the breakdown of the family unit, especially the father figure. Without strong parental support, I don't care how much you spend on the schools and teachers, it ain't gonna work.