A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Friday, October 14, 2005

Today's Big Questions

Is income tax a big socialistic income redistribution scheme, or is it just a more effecient means of helping people acquire services?

As one of my kids said,"Are we just chasing our tails here, or is there really the only difference that everyone gets at least something when government provides it versus when people have to use the marketplace?" And these are my regular history students! And young Mr. Capitalist came roaring into the fray to defend The Amuurican Way. And we were off for fifteen minutes of lively debate.

Hard to believe that this discussion started out by discussing the Populist party platform of 1892.

I'm so proud.


At 10/15/05, 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah -- heaven forbid that one of your students actually believe in Capitalism, which is, ultimately, one of the founding principles of the country for which you seem to have such contempt ("Amuurican Way").

I can only hope that your classroom demeanor is more professional when students dare to disagree with you.

At 10/15/05, 12:53 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Why, Thanks, Greg.

What I was trying to go for here was honest debate. And somehow I don't think that supporting the idea of open debate should be interpreted as contempt for my country-- oh, wait! Some people think exactly that. How disappointing, and yet so stereotypical at the same time. And that was actually exactly the way the kid said it-- I think he was trying to channel John Wayne, but I was the only one who got it.

Well, I was just being light-hearted and you took offense. Call off the attack dogs, pal. Each kid got to express his or her opinion, and they don't know when they disagree with me.

But don't impugn my patriotism, ever, you.

At 10/18/05, 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey -- consider how your word choice led me to the interpretation of this post that I have.

Your frst student "said X. Your second student, tagged with the seemingly condescending sobriquet of "Mr. Capitalist" is characterized as "roaring into the fray to defend The Amurrican Way." the word choice appears to belittle the student, his point of view, and the value of his contribution to the discussion -- and yes, seems to indicate a lack of respect for this country, every bit as much as if you had typed the word as "Amerikan". If, as you indicate, my perception does not match the reality, please accept my profound apology.

I'll take you at your word that the discussion was conducted in an equitable fashion.

At 10/20/05, 12:09 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Why is it that you assume that "Young Mr. Capitalist" is an insult? How is it condescending? It is, as you say, what our country was founded upon. What's next? Shall we take offense at "Young Mr. Republican" or "Young Ms. Democrat?" Is this some sort of latent shame or fear? Or should I put little cutesy emoticons around everything?

As Freud would say, "Sometimes a banana is just a banana." Holy Cow. Now you've got me quoting Freud.

Good God, everything is not an attack. That's one of the big problems in this country today-- we can't engage in civil conversation without calling the other person "evil" or "Nazis" or, my favorite discourse-killer: "unpatriotic"-- like these are words or thoughts that should just be tossed around blithely. And all of this is meant to actually stifle the free exchange of ideas, which I believe is dangerous to this democracy that I treasure even more than blind adherence to economic theory of one sort or another.

If you go jumping to conclusions any time you hear certain buzzwords, you cease to think. And I could let this garbage go by-- but a few years ago, I decided not to be silent in the face of such pusillanimous tactics.

And gee-- thanks for being so magnanimous as to sneer at my intentions YET AGAIN in your ersatz apology there in that last sentence.

I'm overwhelmed by your generosity in your apologia, but it sure ain't no apology (let me spell it out for you-- THAT was slightly, but not viciously, sarcastic, more in sorrow than in anger, to be precise).

At 5/31/11, 5:04 PM, Anonymous Discount Viagra said...

capitalism only cause us pain and unfair distribution of wealth, sad but true...that's why I hate it.


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