First of all, go go go Bernie!

My favorite part of the caucuses is the face-to-face part. You have to engage with your community in order to have your vote counted. I know people complain that Iowa shouldn’t have so much weight in the primaries, but I think the act of caucusing should have weight in the primaries.

Until the Iowa caucus results come in, I am reading tweets. My favorite caucus tweets are the ones with pictures of kids. Those kids look like homeschoolers to me. They are out too late.

They are surrounded by adults. They are having a hard time following. They are surrounded by people who do not share the opinions of their parents. The adults are arguing and they are listening and they are talking about lofty ideals (hopefully) and the kids are seeing for real why we need to learn: to know how to think and talk about what we think.

There are times when I homeschool and I think, oh my gosh, I’m the only parent who is doing xxx. How can I be doing this?

Tonight I see so many kids who are out too late, because the family thinks caucusing is more important than bedtime. I think that, too.

I was going to write that I hope my kids grow up to care enough about their community to stay up late on a work night. But actually, my oldest son is 17. He’ll be voting in this year’s general election. And he cared enough about his community to spend the last six months convincing me to vote for Bernie.

So I guess I’m learning from him. And I’m telling you, that I’m voting for Bernie because as a homeschooler I believe our education system reinforces our class system, and squashes opportunity. We need deep, structural change to build a new government with a new mission of fairness and equality.

Imagine you’re building a government without knowing where your place is in society. You don’t know if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate. You don’t know your race or your gender. How would you structure the government? I think if you could get your brain to play this game, most of your would structure government in a very similar way to the government Bernie will push toward. Because that’s what’s fair.

Now, I’m going back to read caucus results.

11 replies
  1. Tucker
    Tucker says:

    I like the highlighting of the way homeschooling families can be involved and teach their kids by example and exposure to different ideas. It is a big factor in our choice to home school as well.

    Your thought experiment hides a key assumption – and that is that the size of the economic pie, or the overall wealth of the nation, is the same size regardless of government structure. But if that assumption is wrong, and certain forms of government are likely to make the country poorer over time, or even to make it grow much more slowly, the outcome of the experiment is completely different.

    If you do the thought experiment, and the only factor you get to choose is the country you get to be born into, with the current government, which country would you choose? I think it is fair to say that the US would be very high on the list if not right at the top. Even with all of the issues we have. And any of the socialist countries that do now or have in the past actually represented the government type Bernie espouses, would be very low. And before you say the Nordic countries (which wouldn’t be a bad choice), take a look at this article, and at least generally consider whether they represent socialist countries with the type of policies Bernie supports – I would argue they don’t.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/#353a16e674ad

    Reply
  2. R
    R says:

    I think upper middle class advanced degree people support Bernie. Bernie wrote a book on class issues became an unrepentant millionaire or hypocrite as I call them. He’s very against school vouchers is radically pro government control and i would wager he’d end homeschooling if he could. Are you Penelope looking to lift up the poor or out of envy bring down the well off?

    Reply
  3. R
    R says:

    Virtue signaling is very important to many people. I’m voting for Bernie because that means I’m a good person who cares about others. Communism has produced the most miserable systems in human history. Equality of misery is a virtue to the envious. No one who believes in the freedom to homeschool would ever vote sanders. But I think Penelope has always wanted to be the best better than the poor and as many people as she can so the idea of bringing down those more privileged than she appeals. It’s sad because you’ve been such an ardent supporter of homeschoolers. I hate to think it was counterfeit.
    Sanders and Wyden didn’t have the 51 votes necessary to defeat this provision, but under Senate rules they did have an argument about including homeschoolers. Cruz said:

    The Senator from Vermont stood up and raised a point of order and said they want to exclude homeschoolers from 529 plans. There are 1.8 million kids who are homeschooled right now. … [He said] ‘we are going to discriminate against homeschoolers. We are going to cut you out.’ Why? Because the Democratic Party can’t stand the audacity of a parent who would take it upon himself or herself to educate their child free of centralized control. So their point of order is to carve homeschoolers out. … Every other child in America has the ability to have their tuition paid for from these 529 plans, but children with disabilities being homeschooled, [and] every single Democrat stands united [in opposition].

    Reply
  4. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    I’m not a supporter of Bernie Sanders. Actually, not even close. His “solutions” to problems in the civil society reside with the federal government. And he’s quick to point to racism and other inequities in our society including those people who are wealthy as if it is they who are mostly to blame. Very strange for someone who has worked in government for his entire life and depends on the wealth generated by the private sector to redistribute to the less fortunate. It’s not just Bernie. The same can be said for the rest of the masterminds in D.C. and elsewhere who think they know better how to run other people’s lives. The most efficient use of money and resources in my estimation is best accomplished at the local level and the civil society. It’s for that reason and others that I’m a big proponent of limited government.
    As for Bernie’s stance on education and government’s role, I encourage you to read this article ( https://www.justfactsdaily.com/bernie-sanders-education-plan-is-rife-with-deceit/ ) which is well sourced with facts and makes many salient points. I like the idea of getting people together by caucusing and discussing issues and candidates. And I like it from a homeschool perspective where the children can listen to adults and offer their ideas even though they’re not of age to vote. What I don’t like is this idea that Bernie will be able to create more equity in our society including the education system with the force of government however it’s altered.

    Reply
  5. Cassie Boorn
    Cassie Boorn says:

    Solving problems at the local level works best for locations that have resources. A good example of this is schools. Local taxes go to local school boards to solve education problems.

    This method of governing leads to such extreme inequality that it was deemed unconstitutional. So how would you solve an education problem at the local level?

    And more than that, as a political theory major I have never even read a theory of government where we solve problems at a local level. Can you point to an example Of how this would work or at least a written discussion of how it would work? At least with socialism you have both politics treatises and real world implementations to see success factors and problems areas.

    Reply
  6. Katarina
    Katarina says:

    Fascinating to read this post. I’ve read many others in this site where you spend a lot of time worrying that your kids won’t be rich. You spend a lot of time strategizing opportunities to help your kids get the best financial future. You talk about the relationship between wealth and well being. You went to school in a very wealthy school district. Money, how to earn it and why it is necessary is a frequent topic in your posts.

    Equality is the topic of this one. Have you ever lived in a government planned economy? Like a pair of expensive shoes, you might want to try them on and go for a long walk before you make your purchase (cast your vote). I’m sure your son is very smart, but when it comes to questions about the realities of economics, there is no substitute for experience.

    If you think Bernie and let’s say 2000 people like him will do a great job in planning the economy to be more fair, vote Bernie.

    Rich people who feel guilty about having so much are much more inclined to choose him. He takes away the shame. The guilt.

    After Bernie gets elected, everyone will be able to sigh with relief that life will finally be fair, or on its way to being fair. Finally, someone with the genius and the guts to save civilization from itself!

    Reply
    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      A lot of my urgency about equality comes from writing about homeschooling. I am appalled by how irrelevant school has become. It serves only to cement the upper class. I am indignant that I’ve spent my life listening to politicians extoll the importance of public education and opportunity when our education system is just a means to take away opportunity from the poor.

      I don’t want my kids to slip out of our socioeconomic spot because I think there is a big gulf and they’ll drop into poverty. If we had a middle class and the rich and poor were closer together than falling out of one’s socioeconomic spot wouldn’t be so devastating.

      We are never going to get an education system with the power to topple to rich, which means we’re never going to get an education system with the power to elevate the poor. In my mind, prison reform is our number-one problem (after climate, which is like, duh) and there can’t be prison reform without education reform, and there can’t be education reform without deep, structural government services reform. So to me, voting for equal treatment under the law requires a vote for Bernie.

      Penelope

      Reply
      • Katarina
        Katarina says:

        Communist countries which value equality have traditionally had the best results in education in the world. Those counties experienced brain drain as soon as anyone could get out. Why? Because being educated doesn’t mean a good job is available. I also homeschool for a lot of reasons. I understand your thinking.

        You are familiar with OPRF. They have boatloads of money and no equality. Now they are trying new strategies with their boatloads of money. Look it up and you will find tons of information.

        There are many reasons for inequality. Bernie and his Buddies will use legislation to fix them. Much like they do in public schools. I highly doubt he is a fan of homeschooling. His party thinks it is unfair. They like public school. They think it has the answers. Or something like it.

        Reply
  7. Alia
    Alia says:

    Name a communist country with good education results. Only smartest got into top schools. Do you think communism eliminates talent? Privilege? Guess agAin. Bernie will solve nothing. Penelope spends every cent on tutors and isn’t poor. She’s been poor rich and middle. No one poor could hire tutors. Seriously???? The middle class exists. Average income now closer to 75k! Everyone is doing better!!! Guilt. Jealousy. Virtue signaling. Caricaturing rural people. All equals Bernie! He has no job experience has done nothing. Has praised Russia an evil led country and one with severe brain drain (when you mistreat talented Jewish people They leave) if Russia was so great why stop people from leaving which they did. You are all so uneducated insultingly about communism. Name one place where it’s produced wealth or equality. No homeschooler who WANTS homeschooling would vote Bernie. He’d outlaw it he’s made that clear. So much bitterness. So much fixation on ones own status. Penelope don’t be ugly on the inside. You’re so flamingly jealous of the rich it shows in every post. You can’t even exhale you’re so jealous of the very rich. You can’t even see you were once rich but maybe that’s it. Your younger son can earn a decent living teaching cello. So he won’t be a millionaire? You did this for status like parents with violin. You tutored your other son up the wazoo he’s diligent scores High. He may have issues but autism doesn’t seem to be it. He’s likely to be more successful than you and your other son. I think it’s easy to see they’ll both be comfortable. You poured a rich persons resources into them. Communism isn’t going to solve ugly faux liberal family breakdown in poor communities. You’ve been so pro marriage. But your marriages broke because you don’t think a husband exists. They don’t exist JUST to make the kids high achievers. Kids need to see happy parents so they can have happy relationships. I had a deeply unhappy marriage. I hated ending it. I know my kids will suffer. Likely divorce. I just felt it was worse being together. I want more than anything like you to remarry but most men I meet don’t want an older woman. You can’t have communities without fathers. And it’s patently false most people in prison are there for drugs only. Tops 15%. Why is crime so High? No dads. Women doing much better than men who cares about being ceo. Most women want a mix. In countries with high day care there are fewer women ceos duh! Women will gravitate to family life on average. Who will raise kids? Day care? It’s awful for gentle kids and kids with learning disabilities. Rich schools only serve well certain types of kids. You had rich schools Penelope but you OPTED OUT. It’s not the schools. It’s the parents caring!!! That’s why immigrant intact families prosper. It’s not rich vs poor. Chicago schools get like 20k+ PER CHILD! Utah schools do decently very low funding. There’s NO direct correlation between school money and results. Here’s an idea. Stop hiring awful teachers. But the good ones don’t teach. And don’t dare say teachers are underpaid. Every data shows depends on geography. Considering all their vacation they can’t be called underpaid nearly anywhere. K teachers in my school earn 75 to start going over 100k. Go to a rural area it’ll be HALF. The teachers at my school all came from middling schools. I believe in economic freedom freedom in general freedom to homeschool. Venezuela was once rich now it’s a hellhole but yay Che Guevara socialism. Trump may be crude but rich people and wannabes and jealous virtue signallers have never ever read a book by a communist dissenter or have a clue about what government run almost anything leads to. Dysfunction. Tyranny.

    Reply
  8. Passing
    Passing says:

    Your son and you sadly but not surprisingly are grotesquely uneducated.
    No communist country to date has ever produced Wealth or educational equality.
    Here’s an idea for you guys. Be born in a communist country. You don’t go to college if your grades are poor. It’s a total meritocracy combined with BRIBES by the well connected. You haven’t a clue. It’s just envy based. You don’t care about the poor you don’t want anyone to be rich. Totally different. Bernie Sanders is devoutly against homeschooling and charter schools, lifelines for the poor. Until the poor get nuclear families they’ll suffer in school. Penelope knows this but will never explain why kids in poor INTACT families do well on the whole. But well off people including Penelope (I agree no one poor can get tutors like she does) do not care it poor people marry. The poverty! Chicago gets like twenty grand a student, totally failed school system. Utah gets little money, decent schools. The reason rich schools do well is because the kids come from rich intact homes usually from bright Parents AND like Penelope they tutor up. Maybe tutoring should be illegal bc it gives Penelope kids an unfair advantage. She is a devoted mom nice writer but horridLy envious and uneducated . Penelope is partly interesting bc she writes conflicting things almost daily but the psych term is cognitive dissonance and the overused term is hypocrite.

    Reply
  9. A
    A says:

    Hey Penelope- just so you know. If your son is 17 now but will be 18 by the general election, he can register to vote in his primary as well!

    Reply

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