A really dumb article about bookstores

Good morning Farhad may I help you?

You never know what you're going to get on Slate, which tends toward the neo-liberal and sometimes libertarian, but I just read a particularly awful piece by technology writer Farhad Manjoo, who thinks that local bookstores are economically inefficient and should just go away:

Compared with online retailers, bookstores present a frustrating consumer experience. A physical store—whether it’s your favorite indie or the humongous Barnes & Noble at the mall—offers a relatively paltry selection, no customer reviews, no reliable way to find what you’re looking for, and a dubious recommendations engine.

For a tech writer, Manjoo has a remarkably shoddy understanding of economics:

After all, if you’re spending extra on books at your local indie, you’ve got less money to spend on everything else—including on authentically local cultural experiences. With the money you saved by buying books at Amazon, you could have gone to see a few productions at your local theater company, visited your city’s museum, purchased some locally crafted furniture, or spent more money at your farmers’ market. Each of these is a cultural experience that’s created in your community. Buying Steve Jobs at a store down the street isn’t.

He conveniently ignores that fact that money spent a locally owned, independent business stays in the community -- and thus creates more local economic activity and more jobs (not to mention tax revenue for local government). Money spent at Amazon goes to an out-of-town operation that doesn't even pay state sales tax. You want to read about the well-documehted economic value of shopping at a local story, you can find plenty here and here and here.

And let's talk about the One Percent -- would you rather that your money helps the owner of a small local store buy food for his or her kids, or see the money go to one of the richest people in the world?

But there's another point here. Like local coffee shops, local bookstores are places where people gather and have actual human interactions. I see my neigbors there; we talk about what we're reading. When I'm done with books, I can sell them back -- and someone else can buy them, used, and I can use the money to buy another new book. Which is a pretty efficient economic system.

And there are things you can't put a price on: At Red Hill Books, the allegedly inefficent, overpriced local bookstore in Bernal Heights, the employees know me and my kids -- and when my daughter, who is a voracious reader, finishes one series of books, they know what to recommend next.

That's not a "recommendations engine" -- that's a live person.

If Farhad Manjoo wants to live in robo-world where a machine tells you what to eat, drink and read, fine -- but I still think human beings, inefficient as we are, do a better job at selling books.



$25 at your neighborhood store and $15 at Amazon, then there is clearly a more fundamental issue here. Nobody enjoys throwing money away.

Having said that, there are a number of local book stores that are thriving. To my mind, the stores that Amazon has killed aren't the mom'n'pop stores but the intermediate chains like Borders. They've the worst of both worlds - large and impersonal, and yet with crappy prices.

There will always be a market for quirky book stores where you can go and feel the books, and buy on impulse and opportunistically. But there are too many average local bookstores that are, quite simply, too expensive. They should close. The idea that the internet shouldn't change anything is at 180 degrees variance with the truth - it changes everything.

As for Amazon not charging sales tax, well, of course they don't have to. That's the great thing about mail and online purchases. But it's only a problem for places with an excessively high rate of such a regressive tax. Oregon manages quite happily without a sales tax. Why not? SF voters told us what they think about it last month.

Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 15, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

I love shopping in Oregon. The price you see is the price you pay. Somehow Oregon seems to know how to make it all work.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 12:48 am

You hear some complaints about Oregon's property tax, which doesn't have the same homeowner protections as Prop 13, but the recently voter approved gross receipts tax should take some pressure off the property tax and keep the regressive sales tax out of the state. A gross receipts tax structure is smart since there can be higher graduated tax rates for bigger businesses, and different tax rates for various activities: high tax rates on rents and interest, moderate rates on services, and the smallest tax rates on low-margin businesses like retailers and distributors.

Washington has one of the best gross receipts taxes in the country. There's no personal income tax in Washington because the B&O gross receipts tax raises so much revenue. It's the home of Amazon and Microsoft so obviously the tax doesn't keep the big employers away either. In fact, a gross receipt tax is beneficial for local job creators and exporters since no tax is owed on sales shipped outside the state, which is why it's a good choice for San Francisco, California and the federal government too. There is a hefty sales tax in WA, unfortunately.

It's frustrating, but the economic landscape is always shifting. Creative destruction of some companies and the emergence of new ones that better meet the needs of fickle, cost-conscious consumers. Amazon is basically Webvan with a better business model: deliver Raisin Bran, TP, DVD's and a million other products with a 1 minute click of a button. You can even set up regular deliveries for often used products. Consumers save on gas and time. Products are often cheaper since they operate on razor thin cost mark-ups. And the CA sales tax issue goes away next fall since they've agreed to start collecting tax then, but they'll continue to rack up healthy sales in CA because of the time savings, product cost and convenience.

How we spend our time and how we try to fulfill our needs and desires are about the only two things we can control on earth, so we tend to highly value them both. So for now anyway, Amazon is in and many big-box and smaller stores are on the way out. Smaller, niche businesses always struggle with staying power for a variety of reasons, but they have other advantages being close to where consumers walk and live.

It's too bad the world's population has grown to 7 billion from 3 billion over the last 40 years, just when advanced technology is making most labor near obsolete. Machines can create most of our goods and services at a fraction of the time and cost.

Humans have reached the Golden Age where most menial work can be shared by all of us with only a few hours a week. This is one reason why I'm sure the 1%ers and politicians loaded up the world with so much debt, so they can continue to extract more slave labor from people before the 99%ers realize the 1%ers are no longer needed to control most of the world's wealth and economic output.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 2:28 am

It doesn't differentiate between large-volume, low-margin businesses like a food supermarket and a low-volume, high-margin business like a jewellery store.

So it's even more regressive than a sales tax, because it will tax food far more highly than luxuries.

If it applies to services, it also pushes up the cost of housing, healthcare etc.

Having said all that, I'd prefer to abolish the state income tax - works fine for NV, AK, WA, SD, WY, TN, TX, NH etc.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 7:00 am

It's a question of fairness. If local retailers charge a sales tax, which as Tim pointed out helps to pay for local govt needs, then Amazon and all online retailers should also. And though, as you say, "of course they don't have to," they will have to charge a sales tax in Cali starting next year which they should have had to do all along since govt was given them an unfair advantage over local bookstores.

And SF voters didn't vote last month on whether there should be a sales tax, they voted on whether to increase it - so your sentence about SF voters has nothing to do with what's being discussed.

With a local bookstore, you can quickly see lots of other books you wouldn't see at Amazon. Thus you find more surprises you like in a local bookstore than on Amazon. Thus local bookstores are also good for authors.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

should pay the sales tax of that State, not yours. So if I drive to the malls in Medford, OR then I pay no sales tax. That's the law and it's supported by the Constitution.

The 50 States should be competing with each other to deliver the cheapest products and services and I'm happy to buy in whichever of the 50 offers the better deal.

And yes, as I said, SF voters rejected an even higher sales tax last month. It's already almost higher than anywhere else in the country, without adding another 0.5%.

Amazon gets a lot of business for me for many reasons, but that 10% saving doesn't hurt. And given that I spend that extra money anyway, CA loses nothing.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

To compare buying from Amazon from you're computer to driving to Oregon to purchase the same thing is absurd. Amazon isn't based anywhere - there's no state you can drive to and go into a store where Amazon is to purchase goods.

Fact is Amazon is a creation of new technology that didn't exist prior to the year 1990 so changes to law have to be made to keep up with changes in technology.

One of those changes is what sales taxes should be charged. If the govt in a state is going to be fair to ALL businesses, it will force ALL businesses that sell goods to people in that state to charge the SAME sales tax. This isn't complicated even though you like to throw in ridiculous diversions like comparing driving to Oregon from California to purchase something as the same as sitting at your computer making the purchase.

Tell me the clause in the US Constitution that says states can't force Amazon to charge the same sales tax rate as businesses in their own states.

And just like the first time, your including the SF voters vote on the sales tax INCREASE has nothing to do with with the point you were making.

You said in that post, "Oregon manages quite happily without a sales tax. Why not? SF voters told us what they think about it last month."

Uh, no they didn't because there was no vote on whether there should be a sales tax, unless to you, an increase in sales tax (which is what the vote was on) = any sales tax (which is what you say Oregon doesn't have).

I assume you know these are two entirely separate things so why you keep bringing up the SF vote is puzzling. As soon as SF voters vote to abolish the sales tax, then you can make the point that that's what they're for but they have done no such thing so SF voters DID NOT tell us what they think about the existence of the sales tax last month.

And if I'm not mistaken, they have voted to increase the sales tax in the recent past.

Fact is taxes are what are used to obtain a functioning prosperous society. The federal tax was 90% on income above a certain level in the 1950's and somehow that didn't collapse society because it provided for funds that could be put to uses to benefit all of society (including those paying it).

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

It has a physical presence there. The idea that it is "virtual" is absurd.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

So you're saying Amazon has stores in WA state where a person can walk in and purchase something? Assuming such stores exists, what % of their revenue comes from such stores there? 0.00001% or less?

So in a reality-based world, Amazon IS a virtual company because they rely on their website, NOT any brick & mortar stores, for almost 100% of their sales (if not 100%). Those servers could be located anywhere.

So they can and should use those servers to calculate the proper sales tax to charge customers and return that money to the states people are buying from just like brick and mortar ones do. It's long past time the individual states stop giving Amazon a huge financial advantage over local retailers so Jeff Bezos can become an even richer multi-billionaire.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

according to you, no sales tax should belevied. Just as if you drove to Oregon and bought there. QED.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

A state can't tax out-of-state sellers because the Federal Government says so, not because of what the states say about it. The federal goverment passed a law (in 1986?) that explicity tells states they can't tax "out-of-state" sellers. The $250 million dollar question is, how is the line drawn between out-of-state vs. in-state sellers ina specific factual situation? Only the US Supreme Court can answer this question.

Most states would love to try to make Amazon collect taxes - CA was threatenting to sue them; New York and other states currently are suing them - and test the boundaries of the federal protection provided to out-of-state sellers. By the time these cases get to the US Supreme Court another 5-8 years will be gone. Until the final decision it's still uncertain if having a server in a state or having a related subsidiary in the state is enough "presence" to allow states to force Amazon and other companies like them to collect sales tax.

Federal laws and the consitution are real barriers to a state's taxing power, even if we wish this wasn't the case.

It's a moot point in CA since Amazon and state government came to an agreement a few months ago that Amazon will start collecting sales tax next fall, bypassing a bruisng, expensive, uncertain litigation and ballot initative process.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

other online vendors that do not. As you say, Federal inter-State commerce laws forbid such interference into free trade.

Moreover, it would not be hard to locate servers in States like OR and MT that don't have sales tax at all.

We need to start cutting back on invasive taxation practices and not seeking to tax everything that moves. As always, Reagan said it best:

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

not applying sales taxes. It's governed by inter-state trade laws.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

You're right: Farhad Manjoo was way off base. First what's confusing about a book store; fiction will be located in the section labeled fiction; poetry in the section labeled poetry. And so on. The selection? At Humongo Store, there is an extremely wide selection. In fact, what's really excellent: you want a copy of KING LEAR, by Shakespeare (and who doesn't?) there it is. Found in a nonce, purchased for less than five dollars--or a pittance as it were. And the serendipity of bookstore browsing can't be underestimated. Amazon will sell a book for $1.33--I just bought one by scholar Patricia Dutcher-Walls, but they charge $4 for shipping and handling. While still a bargain, that makes for an added expense.

Wait! I'm not done. San Francisco just saw the loss of four Border's bookstores. Those Malls can afford to set up an their own independent Bookstore with no significant loss on the mall's bottom line. (Westfield, are you listening?) That they haven't done so suggests that greed and stupidity controls their mindset. You'd think,they'd think a bookstore would improve a mall's ambiance.

The Donald's contribution to society would have been solidified had he bought Borders simply for the eleemosynary aspect. He can afford the loss. Better he should own Border's than hobnobbing with politicos and hoping to be a politico himself. Though I did read in MAD MAGAZINE, I think, that he was a closet intellectual--would they lie?

Posted by StevenTorrey on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 8:54 am

Kudos to Kate Rosenberger who is defying the odds and has just opened ANOTHER used bookstore. Alley Cat Books on Mission @ Treat Street makes it #4, the others are Phoenix(Noe Valley); Dog Eared(Mission); Red Hill(Bernal).

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 9:26 am

Although as I recall, Treat meanders in various pieces.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 10:18 am

24th between Treat & Balmy.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 11:26 am

I'm curious how all these people who want to abolish the sales tax and income tax think California should be financed. Where is the money for schools, roads, public health, public safety etc. going to come from? (And don't tell me it's going to come from cutting public employee pensions; you could fire every one of the 270,000 state employees and California would still need more than $70 billion to operate. Where's it going to come from?

Posted by tim on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 11:04 am

tax or don't have a sales tax.

Nine States have no income tax: WY, AK, NV, WA, TX, TN, SD, FL and NH. Of those, TN and NH tax investment income but not earned income.

Then there are five States with no sales tax: OR, MT, AK, NH and DE.

Meaning that two States - AK and NH - have neither a sales tax or an income tax.

So the answer to your question almost one quarter of States manage without at least one of those taxes. So impossible? Not at all.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

You didn't answer Tim's question. I guess magic is your explanation for how these states pay to educate their kids, pay for street improvements and fire and police, etc. You listed a bunch of states saying they apparently employ magic to pay their costs or they live in a fantasy world where things like kids' educations are free.

Fact is Tim is right. Amazon and the big chains DRAIN $ from the local economy. Lotta places have only chain stores and as a result a weak economy because the $ doesn't stay in the town.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

don't receive any education, then I'm not sure what your point is.

And given that CA figures dead last in many measures of educational achievement, it seems quite clear that having excessively high taxation is no guarantee of good education.

I'm seeing no correlation between high taxes and quality of education. How can that be, if you are correct?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

You keep avoiding the issue (if you are the one I responded to).

Tim made the point that taxes are needed to pay for things like educating the kids. Then you listed a bunch of states that don't have sales taxes and others that have neither sales taxes or income taxes implying that taxes aren't needed to pay for things like education.

So I asked how are they paying to educate the kids and you still don't answer - more of the same run-around. I get your answer - you either don't know or you're not being honest about their taxes because, unless the laws of math have been repealed, those people are paying taxes of some form because teachers don't teach for free.

The issue wasn't "excessive high taxation" the issue was taxation to support the needs of an area like fire, police, education, building of schools and airports and mass transit, etc.

I'll interpret the fact that you don't say how those costs will be paid as 1) you don't think they should be paid for = poor economy and poor standard of living, 2) you don't know what taxes pay for them but some form of taxes pay for them assuming they exist because the laws of math haven't been repealed (though Republicans like to try to convince ppl they have).

As for Cali, the unconstitutional Prop 13 explains a lot of the financial problems it faces. It's unconstitutional because it says one-third of the population has the same power as two-thirds by requiring a two-thirds vote to raise taxes. It was a typical stupid proposition put on the ballot by big-money real estate interests and showed it's pretty easy to fool people when it comes to initiatives.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

stats do so thru a combination of factors including:

1) More modest and affpordable pensions
2) Less bureaucrats and officials
3) More reasonable regulations
4) A pro-business environment

Tim equates higher taxes with better education but the stats shpw the exact opposite.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

Much of the tax discussion here seems to get far afield of the primary question: what are the best taxes to raise revenue?

Sales taxes are not a good by any measure. They apply to a narrow range of consumption. And out-of-state sellers can't be forced to collect it since they are protected under federal law. Things like laws and constitutions can be a nuisance, but welcome to reality.

Gross receipts taxes apply to everything - including services, rents and interest income that are the lifeblood of the 1%ers. Unlike sales taxes, there are no federal protections for out-of-state sellers so many more businesses are subject to the gross receipts tax, including mail order companies like Amazon.

There's no comparison. Sales taxes are terrible taxes. Stupid really, and no one who thinks they are "a progressive" should ever be supporting regressive sales taxes. Gross receipts taxes are far superior since they impact the wealthy more than lower and middle income working people, they apply to all goods and services, and are much easier to audit.

The "reform Prop 13" discussion is a moot point too since the legislature already has the power to tax the gross rents of landlords, precisely the group that benefits the most from Prop 13.

The CA legislature can impose this gross rents tax next month when they reconvene without any vote by the public. Why won't they? Because the landlord class is intertwined with big money and the Democratic Party. This is an issue for economic justice protestors. Why does the government continue to impose regressive high taxes on lower and middle income working people, and has low taxes on wealthy landlords and bondholders?

Lastly, there are billions of tax deductions given to the very wealthy every year - the biggest corporations, big landlords, and wealthy bondholders. If the Democratic controlled legislature wanted to, they could reduce regressive taxes on lower and middle income working people and substitute the same amount of tax revenue by eliminating these billion dollar welfare subsisides paid to the 1%ers.

All of the peope arguing over sales taxes, or reforms to Prop 13, are missing the much bigger picture. Large parts of the tax system directly favor the very wealthy and punish lower and middle income working people. Eliminating these tax welfare subsidies to the very wealthy and replacing regressive sales taxes with broad based gross receipts taxes moves the state much further ahead towards a robust and sustainable revenue model.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

Basically they penalize high-volume, low-margin enterprises like food stores, while giving a break to low-volume, high-margin goods like jewellery. as such, it's even worse than sales tax.

While a GRT on rents and mortgages will increase housing costs - again regressive.

I'd be willing to agree to getting rid of sales taxes but onyl to be replaced with a VAT, although that's best done nationally.

Far better to abolish state income taxes to give a kickstart to business and enterprise.

Oh, and the wealthy get most of the tax breaks and deductions because they pay most of the taxes. Duh.

Prop 13 changes require a 2/3 majority and 2/3 of people in CA are homeowners. Duh, again.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

From the earlier post about gross receipts taxes:

"A gross receipts tax structure is smart since there can be higher graduated tax rates for bigger businesses, and different tax rates for various activities: high tax rates on rents and interest, moderate rates on services, and ****the smallest tax rates on low-margin businesses like retailers and distributors.**** (emphasis added).

Thus, small businesses would be exempt from the tax or have the lowest tax rates, and larger *low-margin* businesses would have the lowest tax rates compared to services or rent income.

The last time San Francisco has a gross receipts tax the rate was something like .0035 for many businesses, or 35 CENTS per $100. If you think this low cost would impact the final sales price charged by a large retailer, then you're not very familiar with business costs. The proposed tax cost is so small it wouldn't even get its own line item on the expense statement.

After paying millions for salary costs, hundreds of thousands on rent/building costs; millions for insurance, utilties and transportation costs, a large retailer like Safeway or Trader Joe's is going to worry about a couple hundred thousand dollar gross receipts tax that funds the city's police force, fire department and other vital city services? The CEO who would worry about this doesn't exist, except in your mind. The Board of Directors would fire the CEO in a second if they found out she was worrying about something like this when there are much more serious issues facing any business, like competition from a dozen other businesses who want to eat its lunch and put it out of business.

And why do you want to protect food purchases of caviar, lobster tail, and $15 pound steaks from a tax? The $5,000 visit to the "medical" fat farm and the $400 per hour visit to the shrink should be exempt too? Your bias speaks for itself.

And maybe it's been you over and over again, but every month we hear the same false cannard: taxes make prices go higher. Wrong. Double wrong. If this were true, then the 10-unit apartment building inherited from grandpa - with a very low Prop 13 tax and no mortgage - would rent for much less than the same unit next door that has high Prop 13 taxes and a huge mortgage. Or Apple wouldn't sell its iphones for $400 when they only cost $125 to make. Or Oracle wouldn't charge $5 million for its software suite that only costs $300,000 to produce.

Business 101. Sell for as high as the market will pay. Costs are mostly irrelevant. I suspect you know this business lesson, but your soundbite sounds so alluring to an unsuspecting public, doesn't it?

If you want to observe a system where costs were used to determine prices, revisit the Soviet Union pricing system pre-1989. That approach didn't work out too well for them.

You're reactive posture against the gross receipts tax is understandable since big businesses don't like gross receipts taxes because they can't easily hide from them and they apply fairly for all similar-sized comapnies. But the political campaign advertising will have lots of scare tactics just like you're suggesting: "This tax will make your costs will go up! Grandma will be starved to death because her Wheaties might increase from to $2.77 from $2.75 per box."

The big bondholders and big landlords have the government and the public right where they want them: high rents and interest payments flowing from the public and government to the 1%ers. No one is suggesting that getting them to give up their elite economic privileges will be easy.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

"doesn't matter" because it is 0.001% or some such minute figure.

But of course that's a con. Not only does it really mount up when applied to gross revenues but laos, like all new taxes, once implemented, the rate quickly gets hiked.

That's why the American people historically have always been suspect of any new tax. and especially one like this thatt akes no account of ability to pay - it gets charged the same whether a business is profitable or losing money.

GRT is unfair, inflationary and regressive. Which is why pols and voters routinely reject it. Rightly so. Even sales tax is better - that's how bad an idea it is.

And if you really think that "costs are irrelevant" to a business then you are even more clueless than I thought.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

In most states. In California, thanks to Prop. 13, property taxes can't keep pace with the costs of education, so the state has had to take over. The state spends 40 percent of its money on education, something that used to come (and comes in other states) from local property taxes.

Posted by tim on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

There's something else going on than per pupil spending in Ca and the USA. We out spend all other nations per pupil, are above the national average per pupil, and yet the results are that we are at the bottom.

The problem isn't spending.

The USA has the worst parents, mixed with the most ridiculous self esteem building faddist professional educrat nonsense. America is forced to educate the off spring of illiterates who spawn illiterates.

The problems are structural not financial. All the money in the world isn't going to teach an aspiring thug to read.


Average teacher salary

$66,064 CA

$53,168 USA

1 rank

Spending per studenta

$9,015 CA

$9,509 USA

31 rank

Student/teacher ratio

20.8 Ca

15.3 USA

49 rank

Math achievementb

59% Ca

71% USA

48 Rank

Reading achievementb

64% Ca

74% USA

49 Rank

World wide Ca spends more per student than most every country.

I assume the below is using another criteria but the USA spends at the top, Ca spends over the USA average and are results lack luster.


Showing latest available data.
Rank Countries Amount
# 1 Denmark: $6,713.00 per student
Education in Denmark

# 2 Switzerland: $6,470.00 per student
Education in Switzerland

# 3 Austria: $6,065.00 per student
Education in Austria

# 4 United States: $6,043.00 per student
Education in United States

# 5 Norway: $5,761.00 per student
Education in Norway

# 6 Italy: $5,653.00 per student
Education in Italy

# 7 Sweden: $5,579.00 per student
Education in Sweden

# 8 Japan: $5,075.00 per student
Education in Japan

# 9 Israel: $4,135.00 per student
Education in Israel

# 10 Australia: $3,981.00 per student
Education in Australia

# 11 Netherlands: $3,795.00 per student
Education in Netherlands

# 12 France: $3,752.00 per student
Education in France

# 13 Germany: $3,531.00 per student
Education in Germany

# 14 United Kingdom: $3,329.00 per student
Education in United Kingdom

# 15 Spain: $3,267.00 per student
Education in Spain

# 16 Portugal: $3,121.00 per student
Education in Portugal

# 17 Ireland: $2,745.00 per student
Education in Ireland

# 18 Greece: $2,368.00 per student
Education in Greece

# 19 Hungary: $2,028.00 per student
Education in Hungary

# 20 Czech Republic: $1,645.00 per student
Education in Czech Republic

# 21 Thailand: $1,048.00 per student
Education in Thailand

Weighted average: $4,100.19 per student

Posted by Matlock on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

I hope this wasn't posted by the 'real' Matlock, who over the years has made many points worthy of consideration. The blatantly racist assertions 's/he' makes in the preamble to a list of numbers, is symptomatic of the shallow ignorant understanding exhibited by many of the 'posters' here.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 6:31 pm
Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

think posts got kinda cross-wired, responded elsewhere

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

I went to a high school what was 90% white, in the district there was public housing that was 99% white. It wasn't overly violent, but if you wanted something stolen from your car, that was the place to park.

BY the time we were all Sr's in high school 75% of those kids dropped out, all of them white and aspiring weed dealers.

Your progressive race theory seems to discount what the rest of us call the real world.

Posted by matlock on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

Would you share with the rest of us where this 99% all white 'public' housing, 90% white HS was located.
Oh never mind; was a peacock feather what your daddy tickled your neighbors wife coochie with in the hot tub while your mother was deep throating her teenage son. That's cool, I totally support your RFV (republican family values); if it feels good, just pucker up and swallow.
Mutt, Newter, Pawl-bearer or Obomber. Yes I'm conflicted, but it's still early days. The first two are abominations; The second two create a conundrum. Que sera.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

Prop 13 became law. Composed partly of the 2% allowable annual increases, partly parcel and ad valoren increases by ballot, and partly uplifting of assessed value upon sale.

So it's a total myth that Prop 13 holds back education since Prop Tax has been increasing much faster than inflation.

CA spend a fortune on education and gets terrible results. It's bad management and bad politics.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 5:58 pm