Fundy, where did you get the first half of your formula? Who said the stimulus didn't add to GDP growth?
That said, and while I know I am no Goldman Sachs genius, that does sound like an impressive multiplier. I wonder if they factored in a reduction in domestic investment by people watching congress do fiscal policy the way a bear cub makes porcelain teacups.
RR, the "near-absolute" job security strikes me as a red herring. We all have near-absolute job security to the extent that demand for our labor rises faster than supply. I expect that's the case for most fully-accredited schoolteachers. Government gets all kinds of boondoggles and the fact that the prison guards have near-absolute job security galls me no end, but apart from the interminable disciplinary process in many municipalities, I've never heard of teachers teaching to empty classrooms to keep them on the payroll.
That's a good point, too, Mr. Dean. But the over-riding interest is in a sustainable budget. The Republicans might be more disgraceful but I'd sure like to see someone on the real job and I'm happy for either disgraceful party to lead.
OK, now I disagree with Anakha. Brother or sister, why would we assume that high-talent individuals prefer high-wahe paths? Granted cleverness may actually be a prerequisite to be a doctor, lawyer or quant, but the only data we have on ability is earnings and that's self-selected in this case.
Yep, I agree with both the post and Chestertonian's comment. The Republicans are trying to take credit for work they don't have the courage or wits to do. But someone really needs to do the actual work.
Rewt, I'm a big fan of evaluating all government programs but Teach for America isn't even on my list of programs in need of that. While we shake up, say, Homeland Security and Medicaid for outcomes and cost-benefit analysis I'm perfectly ok to tide over Teach for America with my annual nickel.
Very fine post and, in particular, this insight: "the unions always seem to give more thought to how certain reforms may not work, and less thought to how they could." In my own government adjacent business, we are now suffering under huge and reckless budget cuts, but a lot of us fought tooth and nail against more reasonable reforms that were offered years ago in exactly this way: Find a flaw and make that flaw not a problem for solution but the definition of the whole program.
I agree with Anakha and think demeaning all public schoolteachers would be a spectacularly ungrateful position to take. I don't want to bankrupt the taxpayers for their sake and I don't want the bad ones kept, but I appreciate the good public schoolteachers I had and wish them good compensation, which I'd be glad to pay for even though they are probably all retired, dead or embroiled in some scandal.