Reciently I engaged Badger Democracy on his blog on his post involving talk radio. Since then it appears that my posts have been blocked as spam.  They just disappear instead of showing awaiting moderation. I emailed the owner of the blog and recieved a nice response so I may be wrong in my assesment on being blocked. but that is the way it appears.

I’ll reply to your “challenge” in due time. I disagree with Friedman’s self analyisis of the Chilean situation…more on that later. I am in Chicago, getting some inside dope on the CTU strike. Look for my post later this am – being a libertarian, you’ll be astounded by what Rahm (and Daley) have been doing with TIF money and corporate welfare in the Windy City.
Ripping on Dems today. What fun.
Thanks for the healthy debate and thoughtful insights.
So I checked on his lattest post on the teachers strike in Chicago.  The problem with the “progressive” mindset is the over emphisis on corporate influence while ignoring the influence of the unions themselves. In his blog post he says.

Both sides claim they want what’s best for the kids. Emanuel elevated the rhetoric by calling the strike a “choice” of the union, saying it is unnecessary. What is going unreported by Chicago media is that the mayor is correct – this is a strike of choice. The choice, however, was not one made by CTU, teachers, or parents. It was made at the highest levels of corporate power that now dominate the city of Chicago. Teachers, students, taxpayers, and parents are just pawns.

There is no doubt that corporate influence aka fascism is a problem in our counry. On only need look at the influence of “Big Pharma” and their connections with all the “nanny state” laws that are being passed or the back room deals that took place with “Obamacare”. This is where Badger is not looking at the big picture.  Even the champion of the progressive cause FDR opposed public sector unions.

Unions by their very nature are an advisarial process and they spend tons of money to influence who sits on the opposite side of the negotiating table.  Even the George Soros funded site opensecrets shows that 11 out of the top 20 political donations come from Unions with public sector Unions heavily represented

The problems with our schools is indeed both the influence of both corporate interest and union interest which created the top down model under which we live. Every mandate from the top has been a dismal failure including “no child left behind”.

Yes Badger outside influence is a problem when it comes to the public sector, just look at the scores of the students.

( – Seventy-nine percent of the 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools are not grade-level proficient in reading, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and 80 percent are not grade-level proficient in math.

The real problem is the entire top down model.  Many progressives bash us Libertarians because we call for limited government not more regulation. Badger points to the fact that the school board is appointed by the Mayor.

The CPS School Board is appointed by the mayor, not elected by taxpayers and parents. In 2011, newly elected mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed seven people – only one with a public education background (Dr. Mahalia Hines). The board President (David Vitale) is in high finance, former President of the Chicago Board of Trade. The Vice President (Jesse Ruiz) is a corporate attorney who is an Exelon Board Member (this is important). There is another corporate attorney (Andrea Zopp), also an Exelon Board Member (again, important). The balance of the board is an economist/political scientist (Henry Bienen), real estate developer/multi-millionaire Penny Pritzker, and journalist/communications consultant Rodrigo Sierra.

Here I agree with Badger, school boards should be elected but he does not go far enough. If education were brought back under local control (with no mandates from either the federal or state) our schools would improve.  Our schools were at their best when they were under local control.  The schools and school boards were answerable to the people at the local level. Bad teachers were fired, bad school board members were voted out, all under the scrutiny of local PTA’s.  The more control taken by the State and Federal government the less control the people have over their childrens ecucation.

So while Badger’s comment on corporate influence is partially correct he does ignore the influence of the public sector unions.

The corporate dominant politics of Chicago have made it TIF (Tax Increment Financing project) central. Under Illinois state law, TIFs may only be used to prevent or remediate urban blight; or foster industrial development.  In Chicago, TIFs have become an addiction for developers and politicians looking to line their pocketbooks and garner influence. In the past decade, TIF districts have nearly doubled, from 87 in 2000 to 162 in 2010.

It is in fact the influence of both that has created the mandates at both the federal and state level.  To see the effects of this one does not even have to leave the state of Wisconsin.  Rather then putting emphisis on the quality of education Governer Doyle mandated the teaching collective bargaining.

Governor Jim Doyle made it official Thursday, Dec. 10: He signed into law AB 172, the Labor History in the Schools bill, culminating 12 years of efforts by key legislators, workers, unions and others to pass legislation to assure the teaching of labor history and collective bargaining. . . .
Once again Wisconsin leads the way in progressive labor legislation,” commented Steve Cupery, president of the Wisconsin Labor History Society.
“As far as we can tell, Wisconsin is the first state to have enacted such a law. We expect others will follow our example.”

So Badger, yes take all outside influence out of the educational process and put it back in the hands of the people.