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Aug 27, 2010

Michael L Hays Profile

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Las Cruces Sun-News

Your View: Letters to the editor (Dec. 14)

M.r. Fokken, just to say that money buys little in education. If it did, the US would be leading the world instead of following many other countries with advanced economies. It spends nearly twice as much per capita as any other country on education. In other forums, I have made some suggestions which might actually cut costs and improve education. One other point. I think that it is most unwise to keep narrowing the scope of educaiton to just reading, writing, and 'rithmetic--though these are the most important basics. We need students who know science, history, civics, economics, and the arts as well. Students interested in these subjects are more likely to acquire and appreciate the basics.  (Dec 14, 2010 | post #3)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Our View: Investment in pre-K will pay off in long run

Sunday's lead editorial claims that early childhood education will have a long-term payoff. The only long-term payoff will be yet another effort to make education an employment booster, with an over-staffed, permanent constituency which will perform no service and get no results commensurate with the cost--and waste--of taxpayer dollars. The editorial frames the argument in terms of the comparable results between public and private pre-school programs. This argument is a distraction from the fact that there is no statistical academic difference between students who have attended such programs and those who have not by the fourth grade.  (Dec 14, 2010 | post #3)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Your View: Letters to the editor (Dec. 11)

Jan Thomas's Saturday's letter on Obama's religion is one. It is the official statement of the Mesilla's Holy Church of Christian Hypocrites (HCCH). First it refuses to accept Obama's word and the evidence of his Christian faith. Second, without any basis in any fact, it imputes a faith to him and then attacks this strawman. Third, conspicuously missing is even a trace of Christian love. Perhaps the decline in Christian allegiance may be attributed to the conduct of Christians like the members of the HCCH.  (Dec 14, 2010 | post #1)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Their View: Correcting misperceptions of limited government

Paul Gessing writes a strong first line, but it bears no relationship to the truth. Speaking only for myself, I did not attack the Rio Grande Foundation or its view of limited government. Paul cannot distinguish between criticisms of specific RGF proposals and such "attacks " The equivalence is his tacit rationale to misrepresent my views, even when they agree with his. This is his "attack" journalism, and it is unworthy of him and RGF. Gessing thus responds to my 4 December column assessing three Rio Grande Foundation recommendations to reduce the state’s budget deficit. This important issue deserves an honest and honorable discussion rather than misrepresentations concerned to score points and settle grudges. (No doubt he is smarting because, In agreeing in principle to a reduction in workforce, I noted his bad math (he wrote that 4000/22,000 = c. 2%, not, as it is, c. 20%.) Contrary to what Gessing would have readers believe, I split on RGF’s two education-related recommendations—cu tting college campuses and raising college tuition. He claims that I disagreed with its call “for … reducing branch campuses.” But I agreed: “RGF’s recommendation to close or consolidate many small campuses in sparsely populated areas is right.” Your guess is as good as mine why Gessing says otherwise. I disagreed with RGF’s recommendation to double state tuition to match the national average, for good reason: the economically and likely ethnically discriminatory effects of such a tuition hike on poorer students. Gessing does not balance the benefits of this revenue-enhancemen t and the costs of diminished opportunities for disadvantaged students. Noting, but ignoring, my point that RGF’s “deficit-reducing recommendations [do] not balance their savings and societal costs,” Gessing proves my point. When Gessing says that I make no “specific recommendations” of my own, he ignores my agreement on cutting the number of college campuses and my specific suggestion for tuition savings by basing state tuition support on need and academic record. (He also ignores my three recommended education cuts identified in another forum.) From this start to its finish, Gessing plays fast and loose with the facts of my words or of public education. His distortions represent RGF’s corporate sponsors’ win-by-any-means approach to public issues. A fuller response will be the subject to Saturday's column.  (Dec 14, 2010 | post #3)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Sound Off (Dec. 12)

Once again, the Sun-News delays or withholds what it knows to be disreputable letters and lead editorials. Jan Thomas's Saturday's letter on Obama's religion is one. It is the official statement of the Mesilla's Holy Church of Christian Hypocrites (HCCH). First it refuses to accept Obama's word and the evidence of his Christian faith. Second, without any basis in any fact, it imputes a faith to him and then attacks this strawman. Third, conspicuously missing is even a trace of Christian love. Perhaps the decline in Christian allegiance may be attributed to the conduct of Christians like the members of the HCCH. Sunday's lead editorial claims that early childhood education will have a long-term payoff. The only long-term payoff will be yet another effort to make education an employment booster, with an over-staffed, permanent constituency which will perform no service and get no results commensurate with the cost--and waste--of taxpayer dollars. The editorial frames the argument in terms of the comparable results between public and private pre-school programs. This argument is a distraction from the fact that there is no statistical academic difference between students who have attended such programs and those who have not by the fourth grade.  (Dec 12, 2010 | post #10)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Their View: Public sector critical to private sector well...

One, in both the Preamble and Article I, "common defense" and "general welfare" occur as two separate items, so I cannot agree with you that they are the same or even overlapping. Two, I do not advocate "social leveling." I suggest that everyone be confident of having enough to ensure necessities for a decent and dignified life--which is where I draw the line. Such assured minimal provisions hardly amounts to social leveling--far from it. Three, such assurance is not at all related to socialism. which is state ownership of the means of production, not state-mandated equality of personal income or wealth. Those "socialist " European states have wide economic disparities between the wealthy and the poor. This distinction is absolutely critical because "entitlement " programs, which I think should be means-tested, are entirely compatible with capitalism, if only as a means to ensure its continuance or survival. BTW, I think that your analysis of the decline of the Roman Empire mistakes an effect of economic failure with a cause.  (Dec 8, 2010 | post #15)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Their View: Public sector critical to private sector well...

I do not know whether to agree with you or not. There has never been a pure "free market" since the founding of this country. The Constitution explicitly allows the government to regulate the "infrastructu re" of the economy. It does not suggest wealth transfers to companies. And see my comment above for my view of the justification of "entitlement " programs. BTW, someone urged user fees instead of taxes for roads and schools, etc. What about user fees for aircraft carriers? I do not use them, so I guess I do not have to pay for them. And so it goes. Such talk simply defies basic economics and "common goods." I may not make use of a public library by borrowing books, etc., but I get use out of its existence because its presence as an option to residence enhanced housing values. So my taxes pay for that benefit.  (Dec 8, 2010 | post #13)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Their View: Public sector critical to private sector well...

First of all, I appreciate the civility of your comment, the lack of which has led me to swear off replies. But I make exceptions. Second, to answer your question directly" no. The Constitution, both in the preamble in in Article I, provides for the general welfare. As I understand it, there can be no "general welfare" if all people do not have at least a modest living permitting necessities and something more for decency and dignity. There is nothing in the Constitution which specifies any kind of economic system or any benefits for companies in the system. When we talk about the "entitlement " programs and other transfer programs like unemployment benefits, we talk about programs into which most people contribute. When, say, unemployment benefits run out, the need to extend them seems justified on the same basis as having them in the first place. The laid-off are not responsible for the severity of duration of a downturn. moreover, the distributions of all such "general welfare" programs circulate money at the local level to small businesses as well as large; Trickle down, if it occurs, is small and slow, and really requires, not the purchase of stocks and bonds already not he market, but new issues of bonds and IPOs. Third, I note that advocates of the free market for companies want government out of the market place--we are talking economic transactions--when it comes to regulation but not out of the market place when it comes to benefits for companies. I am addressing the having it both ways of free-market advocates.  (Dec 8, 2010 | post #12)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Their View: Public sector critical to private sector well...

"Free market" is BS. Pay attention to tax credits, tax deductions, subsidies, grants, etc., by which government selectively does not collect taxes from companies or just as selectively collects taxes from all taxpayers and transfers the funds to companies. For example, I wonder how the oil companies, big-mouthing "free-market " types would feel about losing their oil depletion allowances and the equipment depreciation deductions. "Free market" loopholes in the tax code, earmarks, etc, enable companies which make billions in profits to pay less in the taxes than wage-earners. But, hey, "drag out that slogan with the word "free" in it and you can use BS to justify BS. It is a mixed economy, and the mix is toxic.  (Dec 8, 2010 | post #9)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Our view: Despite obstacles, NMSU athletics has our support

It is no news that the Sun-News rationalizes the decisions of the power-elite for whom it is the mouthpiece. Its defense on this occasion rejects the 20-20 hindsight standards, as if anyone had accepted them. It says nothing about the foresight standards which might have been and should have been adopted in considering WAC membership. When Ben Woods and the Old Boys just agreed among themselves to join the WAC without one stitch of analysis, they forfeited any exemption from subsequent criticism of a non-considered decision betraying their fiduciary responsibilities, corroding public trust, and squandering tax millions. A smaller point. It would be interesting to compare the academic profile of student athletes with the academic profile of student-athletes. Are the major comparable in degree of difficulty? Do athletes have more tutors and other forms of academic assistance available to them than non-athletes? Do professors give them--shall I put it quaintly?--the benefit of the doubt in grading their work? So the GPR of students really tells us nothing. And, of course, NMSU did not join the WAC to raise the GPI of athletes.  (Dec 5, 2010 | post #3)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Michael Hays: Making tough choices to reduce government d...

You are correct, but for one thing. I followed your suggestion and returned to the blog. I did post #12;Think about It posted her response afterwards. I did not return to the site, and you cannot begin to claim otherwise. Now why don't you discuss something important, like the issues raised by my column. Surely, you have some better way of getting your exercise than jumping to conclusions and running at the mouth.  (Dec 4, 2010 | post #34)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Michael Hays: Making tough choices to reduce government d...

My apologies for giving you so much credit as to equate you with Paul, with whose views I often disagree but whose opinion l value. Since you are not Paul, then you cannot claim that 4000 is a typo for 400. But it is not a correction; it is a form-fitting alteration without the authority of the original writer. Indeed, it is a statement, though not quite a lie, made without regard for the truth. And thank you for giving me so much credit as to have read every blog in order to have read your "correction. " And if you did put it on "another blog," why did you not identify it and thus substantiate even this peripheral claim.  (Dec 4, 2010 | post #6)

Las Cruces Sun-News

Michael Hays: Making tough choices to reduce government d...

Paul, I have no recollection of any note from you about a typo. Whose typo? A proofreader would not change your text. Moreover, you diid not put a note of correction on Heath's website.  (Dec 4, 2010 | post #3)