Missing out as the competition hots up – kids

Look around any old, inner city suburb and see how little we care about kids. Compare the grounds of most private girls schools to most private boys schools and see how little we care about girls. (Though perhaps their style of socialising actually requires less space).

In the last generation or so competition for resources has hotted up. That’s been good for ‘the economy’ as it has imposed greater disciplines and driven economic efficiencies. And from the late women jacked up about the one dimensional role they had been given as housewives. Fair enough too.

Trouble is in all these battles for hearts, minds and resources the battlers are adults. Kids are the great residual. Always were, always will be I guess. But in some important respects (though not others) the cultural conventions that oppressed protected children’s interests.

The Age has an interesting review of two books that deal with children’s welfare. I’m a bit suspicious of some of its rosey perspectives on the past. But its a very timely subject.

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Robert Patterson
Robert Patterson
2024 years ago

Howard gives our money to private companies that are very rich and are in the business to make a profit and who pay their shareholders dividends. I am talking about private schools of course.
And the same is done to private medical companies who again are there to make money and pay dividends to shareholders.
Then it’s the child minding (pre-schoolers) companies who again are very big and are making obscene profits. Getting money from us all.
I wonder if this use of our monies raises the level of money donated to the liberal party? – just a thought. numbat

2024 years ago

Who exactly are the “shareholders” of these private schools? Where can I buy shares in Church? Are they fully franked? What sort of dividend do they pay?

As the product of Catholic education, (from the days when there was no state aid, and Catholics paid their taxes for the common good, and paid again for their schools), most of the anti-state aid arguments leave me cold.

I’m quite convinced that the ‘secular’ part of the 1870s Education Acts in Australia was directed at Roman Catholics (mostly seditious Irish) and Lutherans (suspect Germans).

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26
… Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. …
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

So, following “international law” every Australian child, should get equal support from the government regardless of choice of school.

The current position is that the amount of taxpayers’ money that is spent depends on the school attended. If Mr Murdoch’s grandchildren go their local high, they will get a much bigger slice of tax money than it they go to his old school, Geelong Grammar.

And strangely enough, the government high schools in the suburbs where the rich live are much better than those where the poor live.

Of course, state schools are open to everyone in the community – provided they can afford to live in the zone!

Andrew Leigh
2024 years ago

I’m all for spending more public money on kids – you can point to a bunch of early-intervention programs that appear from the randomised trials to have great B/C payoffs. But I think we want to beware of taxing those who decide to spend private money on their kids (ie. through expensive private schools). It makes much more sense to get your education dollars from general revenue than from the kind of education consumption tax that was implicitly in the 2004 ALP proposal.