Education & Parenting

Tax Cut 101: Getting Less Loot is Not the Same Thing as Being Robbed

Another brilliant op-ed over at Forbes by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins of the Ayn Rand Institute:

[…] The truth is that Ryan actually proposes increasing government spending in the coming years–just at a lower rate than current projections. So why are Ryan’s critics so up in arms?

Because Ryan’s plan dares to touch (albeit, merely to scratch) the
untouchable entitlement state. Ryan’s plan would, among other things,
trim and reorganize Medicare and Medicaid and reduce federal support for
education. To the plan’s critics, this amounts to “reverse-Robin Hood
redistribution,” as former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Blinder put it.
“[A]bout two-thirds of Mr. Ryan’s so-called courageous budget cuts
would come from programs serving low- and moderate-income Americans,
while the rich would gain from copious tax cuts.”

The “reverse-Robin Hood” line suggests that Ryan’s plan robs from
“the poor” and gives to “the rich.” But cutting entitlements is not
robbery–and cutting taxes isn’t a gift.

Entitlements are essentially government handouts: the government
takes money from some people in order to finance other people’s
retirements, doctor’s visits, and whatever else the government deems
worthy. They are unearned benefits. It is shameful that in a
civilized society we have to say this, but getting less loot is not the
same thing as being robbed.

A tax cut, meanwhile, is not a government handout–it is a reduction
of how much of your income the government takes
. Whether you’re a
millionaire, billionaire, or an ambitious stock boy, a tax cut means you
get to keep more of what you earn.

In this context, consider president Obama’s recent budget speech,
in which he criticized Ryan’s plan for implying that “even though we
can’t afford to care for seniors and poor children, we can somehow
afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy.” When
Obama speaks of what “we” can afford, he is obviously smuggling in the
premise that all wealth rightfully belongs to society and that the
government–as society’s representative–will dole out that wealth as it
sees fit

We reject that premise. On our view, you earned your wealth and it
belongs to you, and no politician has any business talking about how
much of your money he can “afford” to let you keep

Read the rest of It’s Time To Kill The ‘Robin Hood’ Myth.

Philanthropist Yuri Vanetik Donates . . . Books?

IRVINE, Calif–Orange County business leader and philanthropist Yuri Vanetik’s contribution to the Ayn Rand Institute’s (ARI) Free Books to Teachers Program is estimated to provide more than 2,000 Ayn Rand novels to high schools in Orange County, California. In the last nine years, ARI, a nonprofit educational organization, has distributed more than 1.9 million copies of “Atlas Shrugged,” “The Fountainhead,” “Anthem” and “We the Living” to schools across the country.

Ayn Rand’s novels have been popular among English and literature teachers for decades. “They portray events of profound, timeless significance, and are inspiring and exciting stories with heroic characters fighting for their ideals,” says Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Institute. “They challenge readers to decide not just what will happen to particular characters, but what their own lives and the world should be like.”

“I know firsthand the importance of reading Ayn Rand,” says Vanetik. “Learning about her ideas on collectivism and individualism will challenge students to think about the impact that government, business and they themselves have on our future, and I am proud to be a part of this program.”

Funding for the Free Books to Teachers program comes from private donations. Yuri Vanetik is a private investor and philanthropist. He is the principal of Vanetik International, LLC, a consulting firm, and a National Board Member of Gen Next, an organization of business leaders dedicated to learning about, and becoming engaged with, the most pressing challenges facing future generations.

Lisa VanDamme Slams WSJ Article “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior”

Lisa runs the VanDamme Academy, a private school that provides a quality private education for elementary and middle school students, with a Montessori environment for 5 to 7- year – olds. This is the first of several videos in which Lisa VanDamme shares her thoughts about the Wall Street Journal Article “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.”In this video, Miss VanDamme implores listeners to consider the question on which the whole issue depends: By what standard do we say a child is “successful”?


WOW! You can read some of her CapMag articles here. You can visit Lisa’s video blog here.

UPDATE: See Part 2 here where Lisa answers the critics of Part 1.

The Separation of School and State: The Case for Abolishing America’s Government Schools

The Ayn Rand Institute website has a recording of Professor C. Bradley Thompson’s lecture “The Separation of School and State: The Case for Abolishing America’s Government Schools.”

From the description on the ARI website:

Why do so many Americans—liberal and conservative—support a compulsory system of government-run education? What role should the State play in educating America’s children? Are government schools compatible with a free society? Is it possible to have a free market in education?

In this lecture Dr. C. Bradley Thompson, Professor of Political Science at Clemson University, will examine the destructive effects of “public” education in America. He will critique the principal assumptions behind government schooling (e.g., that children have a “right” to an education and that government schools are for the “public good”). And he will call for the abolition of all government schools. Thompson will present a principled argument for a free market in education that begins with the rights and responsibilities of parents to provide for the education of their own children.

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The Separation of School and State: The Case for Abolishing America’s Government Schools—lecture only (59 mins.)