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Apr-10-2007 23:57printcomments

Op Ed: Learning Is Still Essential
For Any Possible
Pursuit of Happiness
In Oregon

Early and Continuing Education Is The Foundation for Democracy

school kid

(SALEM) - Every rational person in ANY civilized society today knows full well the essential, demanding necessities of learning from earliest age on to senility.

The multitudinous, heavily-pressing demands of all modern societies --in this, the 21st Century!-- make that fact one of the surely-shaping situations with surely-solid full findings in both research for centuries --and the human experience NOW.

Without that truly “saving grace”-blessing of democratic governance, based on the fundamental foundation of “the common school” for all, what we know as our culture might never have occurred; and surely cannot continue without common access NOW.

So why should there be any doubts-left within our Legislature about the overwhelming and unavoidable NOW-necessity for remedy of Oregon education --at ALL levels, fast and full-- after some prior decades of descent from once-nation/leading progress?

Rightly, the answer seems simple: BUT costs cannot be compromised, either. Effective education at any level demands deep resources, both human and commonplace.

SO we should commend and commiserate with our elected representatives facing forceful demands, reflecting wisdom and wise appreciations of Oregon citizens.

SO far, the effort has clearly provided for the larger-middle of the system at cost to community college/university and “early education”.

For community colleges --pioneered in Oregon by Dr. Amo DeBernardis at Portland Community College and others-- preliminary decision of the joint chairs on crucial budget-choice falls with unintentional damage and dollar-consequences/later: There’s no question of the strong role demanded for college opportunity for students of all kinds-and-levels, in a broadening array of learning-areas --to strengthen the Oregon working force.

Community-college provides opportunity for many otherwise denied preparation for solid futures, and stronger support for Oregon, via higher wages-earned -- in this 21st Century!

That’s fundamental to further progress in Oregon, demonstrated already by business interests rallying for deserving State educational components.

Fiscally-forced denigration of higher education physical facilities, faced head-on by Governor Kulongoski’s bond-paid remediation, offers a wise “spread the payments” plan. It provides essential learning-shaping sites and services we so badly need that neglect-now will invite much-higher, more interest-painful costs later.

There’s little doubt-left, after extensive all-media coverage, that classes are being cut, faculty lost, facilities closed-off or operations hampered by seismic dangers, AND costs-to-students magnified, the inevitable consequences of continuing neglect.

That is --unavoidably, too!-- steadily reducing Oregon appeal for ANY incoming corporate or industry jobs-builders.

To deny rational/reasonable funding-attention for “early education” --in any of several versions-- simply substitutes basic dollar-devotion now for much more costly consequences later; via more harmful, often dangerous and complex Constitution-challenging failures for full service to those whose societal fates may demand intervention.

Totality of impacts generated over several decades sliced away the fine Oregon impression for incoming “productivity-enhancers”, bringing larger tax incomes, and better economic climate for everyone.

Commonsense, rational/responsible consequence for struggling legislative “do-it-now demand-facers” is simple: There must be “more dollars-found, and put to work”, on a truly equitable basis --rapidly and rightly.

Anyone wish to volunteer as elected-Legislator?

Facing furious, forcing demands from determined advocates is only part of the problem. Previous confrontation-consequences are unavoidable, still threatening progress at every level, for every process, program, and probability possible.

Ongoing, hampering, interfering, irrational continuing political-cult confrontation --an “operational principle” still adopted by some-there-- still forces “operation-with-the-brakes/on”: As demonstrated recently at several levels, including the vaudeville-skit sequence preceding, finally, the significant adoption of Oregon’s first Rainy Day Fund, finally stabilizing fiscally-threatening times sure to come.

What must NOW happen is the essential remediation of corporate tax levels --become inescapable and invaluable.

Business, industry and agriculture form the foundations for all possible progress in any 21st Century situation, worldwide. Wisely, those managing these basic components for commonweal progress/prosperity understand by now that costs common to their society MUST be equitably shared.

We saw Oregon understandings of this fundamental principle well-demonstrated with strength of agreement on the Rainy Day Fund. Many now understand the deciding-power for demanded-decision came from mature, modernized attitude within the business communities.

The pattern is thus provided for similar mature, cooperative understandings for demanded remediation of low corporate tax-share carried in Oregon for decades.

Here's OCPP’s Charles Sheketoff in a recent Op Ed statement: “...over the course of the last 30 years Oregon has shifted income taxes away from large multi-state corporations at the expense of Oregon families and small businesses.

“A generation ago, corporations paid about 18 percent of Oregon’s income tax load. Today, they are paying about 6 percent, with individuals and small businesses picking up the tab for the difference.

“As a next step in strengthening our infrastructure, Oregon’s business leaders should be proposing to raise Oregon’s $10 minimum corporate income tax, paid by two-thirds of corporations.” (Emphasis supplied.)

“More than two-thirds of corporations pay the $10 minimum income tax”, OCPP’s Michael Leachman testified for the Legislators, updating the OCPP documentation neatly for any cogitating citizen --OR Legislator.

Deep --and, sometimes, “dirty”-- dispensing of corporate “campaign contributions” surely had shaping impacts on what was done --and-WHY!-- during past decades, resulting in Oregon’s lowest corporate taxes in the nation.

That’s a documented consequence of the Norquist-Abramson GOP-cult cabal.

Its weekly work-sessions were shared with “influentials” in every state over decades --albeit never now openly-acknowleged.

Consequences have been decimating to a much more equitable share-of-fundamental costs for basic commonweal components in Oregon, including much more than common school funding now the prime target for Legislative action.

This session for our elected representatives STILL has its major-work well cut out; with sensible, rational, reasonable deep-and-sure guidance from a crowding host of citizens, groups and agencies; ALL are making essentially the same demand: “Fix this mess NOW!! You know where to get more dollars to do the job.”

It’s intriguing to note a strong coalition of business, corporate and industry associations lead the way to the essential Rainy Day Fund. That demonstrates enlightened interest in very practical steps to remedy a woeful situation.

So TODAY -- if ever Oregon is to: “Fly With Her Own Wings!"

We confidently await Legislative “real action” to set straight the corporate share and standards shaping our Oregon lifestyle.

Anyone can --and undoubtedly will-- question detailed ways-to-get-it-done, but the basic necessity is surely now entirely clear --and also “clean!"-- for all to “see with own eyes”.


Editor’s Note: Documentation counts some 64 items, including a news-clip file too numerous to list. OCPP studies re corporate taxes are available at: Other major references include: “The Triple Bottom Line”: ISBN 0-7879-7907-4 “The Fifth Discipline”’ ISBN 0-385-26094-6 “Lean & Meaningful - A New Culture for Corporate America”: ISBN 1-886939-07-1

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Oracle April 12, 2007 6:12 pm (Pacific time)

I don't see the problem with what I've posted, in fact I lifted everything I said right out of the newspapers printed here in the Willamette Valley. If one is pro-NEA, then that's your cross to bare, and you have my sympathy. Once again simply look at the news on a local and national level and all the problems going on in the educational system. These problems are certainly multifaceted, but when you boil it down, it is because of a lack of leadership.The educational system is broke because of the unions inability to rise up and create solutions, in fact, they keep creating more and more problems as they continue unabated. Not just a big waste of money, but they are destroying so many lves. Look at the test scores from 40 years ago and look at them today! Now that is evidence that even Perry Mason would give up on, but some people, you can lead them to water, but they'll still perish from thirst because they forgot what to do with the water. They are not my facts, they are part of the public domain! Being stubborn can sometimes be a great trait, but sometimes it's not, and the latter is that...

Hank Ruark April 12, 2007 3:33 pm (Pacific time)

To all: O's response is precisely why I must insist on ID-with Editor and is complex, mostly either in error or otherwise mis-stated, and represents ONE life experience, against many, many thousands of others showing separate and exceedingly different outcomes. Again, ID-and let's continue direct dialog, when it is properly shaped by full knowledge on both sides of whom is talking, from what part of the cave we all live in now, thus demanding clarity and full illumination whenever possible to achieve.

Oracle April 12, 2007 1:59 pm (Pacific time)

Unions most certainly served a wonderful purpose, but that time is now over. There are plenty of state and federal statutes, administrative rules and regulations, etc. , to help agrieved party(ies). Unions have now morphed into more of a hinderence to improvement/advancement. I have been a union member, but only because I had to, to be able to work at a particular job. I quickly moved into management, and in time I saw the union dissolve. Worker's wages and benies went up immediately, as did the product quality, research and development and future sales. Once again, unions served a valuable purpose, but that time is gone. Nostalgia sometimes clouds ones contemporary judgement(s). Those involved in the educational community, who are competent, do not want unions to dictate to them, or protect those that are incompetent. Unfortunately there are oodles of very incompetent people out there teaching. Just look at the nations collective test scores over time. Look at the current drop-out rate, the suspension/expulsion rates (middle schoolers are suspended at higher rates than the high schoolers, now whats that portend!). This is what the NEA has shown me: No leadership. The public has no constitutional right to a public education, but since we are being taxed for one, then we need to change the leadership immediately. Also tax rates need to be revamped, a flat tax may have merit, but increasing rates on those who create jobs and wealth may simply cause a net job loss. Need adult leadership in Salem, maybe 2008 will change it to something better?

Hank Ruark April 12, 2007 10:05 am (Pacific time)

O: You prefer perhaps the heavy bias shown by Bush-gang for concentrated corporate control of most life-aspects ? Why do you think Supremes were misled to make decision permitting political-speech "rights", as if corporation is life-form, as clear intention of Founders ? It was "Big Railroad" for first such error; now it's BIG Pharma re healthcare, Big Arms re war-costs, Big Wall St. and Big Banks re stock-returns and mortgage rates. What's your beef re union action ? Ever been a member seeking protection from abuse by "big"-whatever ? Again, if you got it, "put it up..." OR ID to Editor for direct continuance, saving others space and speech-shots.

Hank Ruark April 12, 2007 7:08 am (Pacific time)

"See also" int/view by Betsy Hammond, OREGONIAN today (4/12) with Sen. Schrader opening door for further reforms for cc/univ. funding. "Most conservative" Sen.Gary George (R-Newberg) states: "Somebody needs to send (the budget co-chairs) a message this is unacceptable." See Big O story on Senate Revenue Committee review recommending heavier borrowing per Gov. K. original plan to remedy c/c and university facilities. Even "most conservative" GOP-er sees essential need, recognizes best-deal via real effort now vs higher-costs later, with bonds wise move.

Hank Ruark April 12, 2007 5:51 am (Pacific time)

O: You prove my "persiflage" buys competence when well-managed. Attack on unions also proves point: NEA members widely ranged in political beliefs, but also mutually joined as working professionals in complex jobs. Historically, U.S.-loyal union movement brought us huge gains for ordinary folk. Where were you, then ? What's yr affiliation now ? Why not ID-to Editor so I can provide whatever answers you really need ? To do otherwise only opens questions re your provocative purposes. SO "put up or..." per our custom here. Open channel also demands responsible action.

Oracle April 11, 2007 9:51 pm (Pacific time)

So how come money does not buy competence in the school system? Wherever the NEA has it's puppets, the system does proportionately worse as their numbers increase. Why is that?

Hank Ruark April 11, 2007 2:32 pm (Pacific time)

To all" "It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near one" --J.R.R. Tolkien. Does anyone believe we do not have several-such, living in Oregon ? Corporate-control via lobby and special/access via lavish "campaign contributions" is one such, highly evident at natonal level, too. See any respectable daily for details.

Hank Ruark April 11, 2007 2:19 pm (Pacific time)

O: Did you ever teach in an old-fashioned rural school ? I did...and learned much then, too--more than kids did ! One reason some (few) do better than metro schools is class size...fewer and more intense personal relations with teachers...which is what funding buys in cities, now. I had a very experienced mentor, too...another funding fact when monies are made well available after full study by legislators, and imposition of an equitable tax-share on all, which is why we elect them. Re wealth-to-governor, if you've got it, share it...via benevolence as you choose, if enough --and what better way that for kids hurting now ? OR simply by paying your equitable tax share --as now demanded by business/corporate groups, demonstrated herein. IF you ID-self, happy to pursue further with fat files of factual materials, drawn from 50 years in education and media --what's your foundation for statements ?? Without answers your words echo only personal, political persiflage motivated by lack of information; or attempt to impose "spin" on major issue killing off Oregon progress.

Oracle April 11, 2007 1:43 pm (Pacific time)

This article certainly acknowledges how our educational system has failed at least by one person. Bravo! I am contacting the governor via certified mail today and offer whatever wealth I have to fix the problem. Because no doubt it is chiefly the lack of dollars and the resources that money buys, which will dig us out of this morass. Though how come poor rural area's out do the large urban area's? And to the writer of this ahhh, article, it's never to late to go back and learn more yourself.

S.LaMarche; April 11, 2007 1:29 am (Pacific time)

o.k. so far, a small step for the people as the stone drops into the pond.

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