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WISCONSIN TEACHER PROTESTS SPARK NEW CALLS TO MAKE ALL SCHOOLS PRIVATE
TRACY BYRNES: Look at the way a company is run, and look at the way the public sector is run these days. That's all you need to know. If you privatize schools, people will take more ownership in the decisions they make. Kids will actually learn in school. Kids aren't learning anything when teachers are out protesting and calling in sick over a small increase in their health care. Show parents and kids that schools can be run like corporations. Privatize them.
JOHN LAYFIELD: No private enterprise runs like this. No private enterprise has a defined benefit plan anymore because they simply don't work. Most of these teachers unions contribute 0 percent to their plans, and they have a last in first out plan. There are lots of great teachers in America, but the teachers union is the worst union in America. Look at what they did in DC. They spend taxpayer dollars to get rid of Michelle Rhee because she tried to reform the schools. We have to do something about these unions.
CHRISTIAN DORSEY: Wisconsin was projected to have a surplus before Governor Walker took office. Through some actions he's taken and priorities he's had, its now running a deficit. He's seeking to erase the whole notion of collective bargaining as a way to solve it. It's a completely mismatched solution. This whole idea that we should privatize public education is laughable to me. If you think its better for our kids to be in a system that's governed by the rules of profit, as opposed to their educational outcomes, I don't know what kind of a country we are going to have.
JONATHAN HOENIG: We can only hope that education would be governed by the rules of profit - then, as Tracy said, maybe these kids would actually learn! No where in our founding documents is there anything about a right to education. It's an entitlement, and of course the bigger that government monopoly has become, the worse those schools have become. Private school teachers aren't the ones protesting here -- they're in class!
WAYNE ROGERS: Most schools are controlled by local school boards, who are elected officials. Therefore, people have control of their schools. It's a question of electing the right kind of people to the school board.
SURGE IN TEMPORARY HIRING SPARKS NEW FEARS ABOUT JOB MARKET
TRACY BYRNES: This is bad news. All of the uncertainty and regulation - how can anyone make a business decision? You have financial regulation, unknown healthcare costs, the EPA potentially imposing costs, not to mention what's going to happen with taxes in a couple of years. How does anyone hire anyone these days? They don't know what the cost of an employee will be!
WAYNE ROGERS: This is bad news if you are looking for a full-time job, because they are going to increase the number of temporary workers. The number of full-time workers has dropped by 2.6 million, and part-time workers have increased by 278,000. Home Depot is going to hire 60,000 people for the spring rush. More temporary workers hired means fewer permanent workers hired, and it's going to go that way because its more economical. It's how the free market system works.
CHRISTIAN DORSEY: Temporary workers are a lower percentage of the workforce right now than they were before the recession, before Obama came into office. They lost a lot of jobs in temporary work during the recession and right now we are seeing, as we always do, that sector rise at the beginning of a recovery. That is nothing new. And what Home Depot is doing is nothing new. They do this every year. And if you want to talk about regulations, you'd think health care is a sector where you'd see a lot of jobs lost, and in fact, you're seeing jobs rise in that sector. This whole idea that regulation is causing some kind of shift in temporary workers is not borne out by the evidence. With that said, I don't want to see this trend continue.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Companies don't hire because they are altruist, they hire because they want to make a profit. The problem is that our government has made hiring those employees so cumbersome and expensive. And forget about the uncertainty - what about the actual certainty of the Social Security tax, the Medicaid tax, the unemployment tax, the workers compensation tax. To hire someone for $50,000 actually costs the employer $60,000 - $75,000. We'd all love to have more full time workers, but we've made it more expensive for the employer, the guy actually creating the job, to make that happen.
JOHN LAYFIELD: Companies may not turn back from temporary to permanent. The government has exacerbated this problem. Christian is right - this is a normal progression. Normally you have productivity gains after you have massive layoffs, like we've had - 3 million in big business, 5 million in smaller business. But government has made this problem worse. Small business don't have a way to fund themselves anymore because of the unintended consequences of government regulation, and that's going to hurt hiring for the next several years.
NEW PUSH FOR AT LEAST 20 PERCENT DOWN ON HOME LOANS TO FIX THE HOUSING MARKET
TRACY BYRNES: We got into this mess because people were putting $4 down and walking out with a million dollar home. Home ownership is not a right, it's a privilege. You should have saved up the money if you want to buy a home. If you didn't, go rent. It will make the housing market stronger at the end of the day, because you can support a loan if 20 percent is down.
WAYNE ROGERS: When you're talking about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the President is right, you have to demand some kind of a down payment. After that it's up to analyses in the individual banks - its competition between the banks for making the loans that make them good or bad. That should be the free market choice to say, this guy has good credit, therefore I can make that loan.
CHRISTIAN DORSEY: I think this would cripple the housing market. 10 percent skin in the game to me makes a lot of sense. 20 percent is a huge step up for a middle class purchaser looking to get into a home. It would completely destroy the ability for a huge segment of the population to move into homeownership, which given the currently state of the housing market, would be detrimental. It would create a system where only the wealthy could afford to buy a home, which would be detrimental to our economy.
JOHN LAYFIELD: Average ownership in the U.S. is about 65 percent. The government tried to increase it to 70 percent in the mid ‘90s. That created this housing bust. We're still around 67 percent. There are still too many people in homes who can't afford them, and to go back to what we did in the ‘90s seems a bit reckless.
JONATHAN HOENIG: It's very arrogant for the President or any one committee to think that they know how much someone should have to put down on a home. The problem isn't the rate that Fannie and Freddie puts down, its Fannie and Freddie! We don't have a free market in housing and mortgages - government is still playing a central part. And those of us who do pay our mortgages are propping the whole thing up. If you want to see lower prices, let the housing market actually reflect reality and get the government out.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
TRACY BYRNES: Even kids in America losing appetite for the Nanny State
JONATHAN HOENIG: Money is fleeing emerging markets to developed nations and (SNE)
WAYNE ROGERS: Rising cost of goods good for (RJI)
JOHN LAYFIELD: (BP) is a slick way to profit from worldwide inflation