Labor Imbalance

This summer my three kids are in three different day camps. (What was I thinking?) I've done a lot of driving and listening to the radio as a result. I recently heard an intriguing Diane Rehm Show that made me think about something I rarely consider: starting another career when my children are grown. By 2030, one in four Americans will be over 60 years old: some interpretations of Bureau of Labor Statistics predict a coming labor shortage as more baby boomers retire. However, instead of living out their lives in retirement, more and more Americans are opting for second careers later in life, because they want to -- or need to.

Employers are catching on. Forget about recruiting Generation Next. A growing number of businesses are targeting stable, experienced, reliable folks over 50 years old. Employers as diverse as food and beverage retailers, churches, police forces and others are already recruiting older employees.

Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, was one of Diane Rehm's guests. His new book is Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life. According to Freedman, "baby boomers in search of encore careers are, in many ways, working to complete the unfinished agenda of the women's movement -- to transform the workplace in ways that allow for more balanced lives for people of all ages. We need more flexible jobs, more part-time jobs, and more jobs that allow people to come in and out of the workforce, as family demands such as raising kids and caring for parents increase."

Freedman cites Borders "corporate passport" program that allows workers the flexibility to move between store locations (say, Florida for six months of fall and winter, and then back to the grandkids for spring and summer). Borders offers excellent benefits to older workers as well. Another sign of the times, according to Freedman, can be seen in the Catholic Church's recruitment of people over 50 for deacon and lay ministry positions -- 95 percent of all deacon candidates in the U.S. today are over 40; 63 percent are over 50.

Another example is the Troops to Teachers program run by the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Defense, which helps eligible military personnel begin new careers as teachers. (Turn to AARP and Bill Novelli's book 50+ Igniting a Revolution for even more information about balancing 50+ work and life.)

Freedman has some advice for those of us who can hardly imagine getting to tomorrow, much less to 50+: "Use time out of the workforce to figure out what you really want to contribute to the world and to the world of work. Get to know your local community college. Community colleges can provide the kind of lifelong learning and training that will contribute to an encore career down the road. Look for flexible, low-commitment but high-quality volunteer opportunities that will allow you to test out new areas of interest, develop your skills, and network. Consider how your interests and labor shortages in critical areas -- education, health care, social services, government, and nonprofit leadership -- overlap. You may have more, and more flexible, opportunities in these areas down the road."

On this blog we dissect a lot of issues facing parents of young children. But what we are all going to do when our children are grown is a huge "balance" issue as well. I'm too frazzled by my current work/family chaos to even consider a second career. What about you? Do you plan to retire, start a second career or go fishing once you've got an empty nest? Can all of us, working together, force some long overdue change in how companies accomodate our need for balance, no matter our stage in life?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  July 23, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Division of Labor
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Comments

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First.

Old people should move to Florida and play shuffleboard.

Posted by: El Primo | July 23, 2007 7:00 AM

first

Posted by: bryn mawr | July 23, 2007 7:00 AM

third, dammit

Posted by: bryn mawr | July 23, 2007 7:02 AM

First -- define "old."

Having just gotten back from Florida, where I played a lot of shuffleboard, I recommend both. But not as a lifestyle when you are 50 -- maybe 90.

Posted by: Leslie | July 23, 2007 7:17 AM

I've been an empty nester for several years. I have no plans to retire or change careers. I got it right the first time.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 7:52 AM

I suppose I'll work until they wheel my corpse out of the office on a gurney, or I'm too senile to know how to get there.

Posted by: John L | July 23, 2007 7:55 AM

I suppose I'll work until they wheel my corpse out of the office on a gurney, or I'm too senile to know how to get there.

Posted by: John L | July 23, 2007 07:55 AM

Same here. Retirement has never been a viable part of our joint life plan. Chances are, one of us will experience a health crisis that will limit his or my ability to work and the other spouse will then carry the full burden of supporting us and maintaining our health insurance.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | July 23, 2007 8:17 AM

This weekend we had news from India that they have a new female president. She is 72 and I don't know if she was elected or appointed, but, personally I was encouraged by the news. Hillary is receiving a lot of grief in this country probably partly because she is a woman, even though there is denial about that. But would her candidacy be at all viable in this country if she was 72 years old? There must be a completely different value system operating there. Maybe we could learn something from them?

Posted by: noshuffleboard | July 23, 2007 8:22 AM

The female president is elected by the parliament, not appointed. But India had its first female prime minister--a much more important position in their government--in 1966. But yes--the objections to the new president have nothing to do with her age or gender.

As for whether someone this age would be considered a viable candidate here, how about Reagan and McCain?

Posted by: Gay mom to be | July 23, 2007 8:38 AM

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Will I end up 50 and unemployable as age discrimination rages these days? Or will the worker shortage force the issue and open up opportunities for the seasoned employee? Right now the deck is badly stacked against the worker. Until we demand better laws from our congress things will not change.

Posted by: HokieAnnie | July 23, 2007 8:39 AM

Sorry, but we are still paying Medicare and Social Security taxes to support our parents, and the grandparents of others, already retired to Florida.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 8:39 AM

I want to retire young (55-60) and travel, play golf, work out, read books, help my kids balance their lives, take cooking classes, volunteer, nap and anything else I can think of. I have absolutely no interest in starting a new career. I want to finish this one and then "play." That is why my DH and I are making plans with a financial planner now (we are 33 and 34) to make this a reality!

Posted by: Marie | July 23, 2007 8:40 AM

Well, I'll probably "have$$" to work until I die - or health prohibits otherwise. But ironically this weekend my brother told me the best person he has doing any work for him is his 78 year old mother in law.. who drives daily 30+ miles to baby sit a 2 and 3 year old - and also cleans the house and is reliable. His children and step children and now estranged wife (she can't take the kid pressure) - can't come close to how hard this lady works.

The same thing at work; 78 year old gal who is our day porter. Works streaks around the younger folks. However, she is being "released" due to a building move and she assumes it has to do with her age which appears to be the reason; illegal, but nothing she can do to prove it.

Posted by: C.W. | July 23, 2007 8:43 AM

Replying to gay mom: yes, I know McCain and Reagan were older, but they are/were men. Also know about Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Angele Merkel, the President of Chile and Margaret Thatcher. I guess I thought this latest example was interesting because of her age, and because India is in the news lately for allegedly having more brain power than we do. (According to some making hiring decisions, that is.)

Posted by: noshuffleboard | July 23, 2007 8:49 AM

India is in the news lately for allegedly having more brain power than we do. (According to some making hiring decisions, that is.)

Posted by: noshuffleboard | July 23, 2007 08:49 AM

According to some where? and who? I'm in IT and the commonly held view is that Indians are not smarter, but they also are not seeking balance and whining about paternity leave. Indians in India are vastly cheaper and that is their chief appeal.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 8:52 AM

Retire at 60ish, find a second "fun" career and do more volunteering. Only possible to have this dream because we both work, have only one child, and save lots.

Posted by: Olney | July 23, 2007 8:55 AM

Retirement? What's that? It's not in the cards for me at all, ever. (And yes, I've got a 401-k and an IRA -- I know SS won't be worth diddly in 40 years)

At the risk of sounding ageist (it's been a rough morning), I wish some of the boomers staying in the work force just for the heck of it would move on. They're keeping Xers from moving up in the job market and the housing market. (Where I live, no one's retiring to Florida anymore -- just staying in their houses until they can't.)

Flame away and sorry for being so negative.

Posted by: NYLurker | July 23, 2007 9:16 AM

i love when i hear how employers are 'catching on' in re older employees, where is the real evidence, as opposed to media hype or slim anecdotes, to show this? the reality is, companies do not hire those 50 or over unless it is for p/t jobs at home depot, burger king, and other supposedly 'senior friendly' co's. Earning a living wage is almost impossible for anyone trying to find a job after age 50, especially women. And most employers hope those 50+ will just leave as quickly as possible so they can hire interns at half the salary. Many of us will need to work till we drop, but our employers really do not want us around that long. I heard a woman in HR say to a man trying to transfer to a dif department,"You really don't think we're going to let you hang around here til you're 70, do you?"

Posted by: july 24 | July 23, 2007 9:16 AM

NYLurker -- I think you are right that Boomers are not moving on and that is causing "issues." We Xers certainly cannot do things like our parents did - -that is for sure!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 9:18 AM

Olney, I'm with you. I can't imagine not working. I'd like to "retire" from work and pick up fun jobs and volunteering when I'm older. I hope it will be possible for us because we also save lots and have no kids. I don't know what I'd do with myself if I weren't working. Maybe I'll see it differently when I'm older.

Neither of my parents can retire (even though they're both of age) because of their expensive and drawn out (15 years later) divorce. Sad, sad, sad.

Posted by: Meesh | July 23, 2007 9:19 AM

I hope to get off my mommy track career after my kids go to college. I would probably have to work (and hubby too) while they are in college because one of my personal financial goals is not to saddle my kids with a college debt. I am not worried about working well into my 60's as long as I am healthy. And I am pretty confident that we will still be able to have vacations, enjoy our leisure, and have balance. I remember how it was B.C. (before children) when I worked long hours but still had plenty of time to go out, go shopping, travel, and so on.

Posted by: fedmom | July 23, 2007 9:21 AM

but if the baby boomers retire it will kill Social Security even earlier, if they keep on working they won't collect and will even be contributing.

As for their needing to retire for you to move on up - you need a different compant/industry because if the only time there is a promotion in your company is when someone leaves it means your organization isn't growing and that is not a dynamic business.

Finally boomers are at the oldest 61 (born starting 1946) so they are not even at the traditional retirement age of 65 so stop blaming them for everything.

Posted by: to Nylurker | July 23, 2007 9:25 AM

Hey I'm a Boomer and I'm only 50. Where do you think I should go? The oldest Boomers are reaching age 62 next year. Boomers didn't have the options of 401Ks when they began their careers because the 401ks weren't around back then. The pensions they were promised disappeared. Their own parents are living longer and need assistance from the boomers.

I think that your idea that Boomers are hanging around the workforce just for the heck of it is true for a very small minority of the Boomers.

Posted by: to NYLurker | July 23, 2007 9:25 AM

I knew my post was just bitter sniping and I'm sorry. But anon at 9:25 has a good point, I've traditionally been in companies where there's only been promotions when someone leaves. And I'm not saying all boomers & older workers should get the heck out of Dodge -- I'm still at the point in my career where there is lots for me to learn from older employees and I recognize that they contribute a great deal. I just wish there were more opportunities for everyone.

Posted by: NYLurker | July 23, 2007 9:32 AM

the comment about community colleges is interesting-- does Dc have a community college? I think it really should-- maybe have UDC just focus on 2 year degrees and certificates rather than on 4 year degrees-- because really, how valuable is a 4 year degree from UDC? I suppose that soulds snobby, but with all the great private schools in DC and with DC kids permitted to pay in-state tuition at ANY public university in the whole contry-- why would anyone go to UDC for a four year degree?

Posted by: Jen S. | July 23, 2007 9:34 AM

You are really kidding yourselves if you think employers want to hire older workers and be on the hook for their medical bills. Just the boomers trying to pass the buck for their lack of planning and trying to get a freebie.

Posted by: Get a grip boomers | July 23, 2007 9:43 AM

Why would being in the military or being a military spouse automatically make you a good teacher? So, are they going to get extra points like they do at the post office? Do they have to have a bachelors degree?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 9:48 AM

I find the rosy view of post-children employment strange in light of the fact that we read a very different view only a few posts ago. "52 and Used Up" discussed the difficulty the author was having finding employment at 52. Leslie added to this by stating at the end that she has heard from many women whose post-children job search is complicated by ageism.

Facts, please.

Posted by: minniwanca | July 23, 2007 9:48 AM

"Just the boomers trying to pass the buck for their lack of planning and trying to get a freebie."

My plans for work after retirement are all about persuing different interests and making some extra money to supplement my other retirement income. I fully expect that I won't have benefits and plan to use that as in negotiations during the hiring process.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 9:51 AM

"Why would being in the military or being a military spouse automatically make you a good teacher?"

It doesn't.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 9:52 AM

"DC kids permitted to pay in-state tuition at ANY public university in the whole contry"

Is this really true??? I never had any idea!

Posted by: reston, va | July 23, 2007 9:56 AM

"DC kids permitted to pay in-state tuition at ANY public university in the whole contry"

Is this really true??? I never had any idea!

DC citizens are essentially wards of the government and the democrats love to shower them with stuff. Keeps them voting democratic, of course the rest of us get to pay the bill.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 9:59 AM

I am not ashamed to say that I plan to retire as early as possible and enjoy a life of travel, reading, taking classes, and helping my kids raise their children.

My husband and I are still in our 20s, so we have plenty of time to save, pay for college, and still be young enough to have a great life once the kiddos are out of the house!

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | July 23, 2007 10:00 AM

DC kids permitted to pay in-state tuition at ANY public university in the whole contry"

Is this really true??? I never had any idea!

Why?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:00 AM

This brings to mind what I read in "Aging with Grace" about the Nun Study (a fascinating book). According to the study, one of the reasons that nuns live longer generally and have less chance of Alzheimer's/dementia is because they keep their minds active until death by continuing to work in many cases until the very end. I remember one woman who had a 50-year career in one field who at the age of 71 switched and had another 20-year career as a teacher. I think I would be bored without some kind of work. That's not to say it will be paid work -- I rather like the idea of volunteering.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 23, 2007 10:03 AM

My dad is retired and currently splits his time between FL and where I grew up; when he's in FL he does part time engineering consulting work for property owners just to have some extra money in his pocket. Most of the time he goes fishing, though.

Posted by: John L | July 23, 2007 10:07 AM

DC kids permitted to pay in-state tuition at ANY public university in the whole contry"

Is this really true??? I never had any idea!

Why?

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 10:00 AM


Why?? Because instead of granting us statehood, they just throw us a bone like in-state tuition.
I'd rather have a congressional vote...

Also, there is an income cap.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:13 AM

Also, there is an income cap.

Of course there is.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:17 AM

This is a great topic. I think it's great that more people are starting a second career these days. People are living longer than ever and have better health for far longer than ever before, so it's certainly possible.

This is also a great option for stay-at-home moms. I hope to cut my hours back to part-time and maybe stay home with my kids if I can in a few years. I would love to start a new career when my kids are grown. At that point I could do whatever I want. Right now I'm not doing exactly what I want because I have to think about flexibility. There's so much I want to do when I have an empty nest - go to grad school, travel, write, read all the books I didn't get time to read when I had kids at home.

If I moved to Florida to play shuffleboard I would shoot myself. :)

Posted by: WannaBe SAHM | July 23, 2007 10:20 AM

A friend's mom raised her son as a SAHM, and when he was in high school, she went to grad school in hospital administration. She graduated and got a great job because that was a field where there is/was a high demand. Unfortunately, she was so excited about her career and being at the beginning of it, that she did not want to/could not take a lot of vacations. My friend's dad, however, had been working his tail off for the years where wife was a SAHM to support the family, that he saw the empty nest time as a time to play and travel. They ended up divorced based on many many issues, but this was a factor.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:27 AM

Minniwanca -- Facts show that both sides of the story are true. like so many work/life issues, this one isn't black and white, and it certainly isn't rosy. read marc freedman's advice -- good advice for 52 and Used Up? and others like her looking for Encore careers.

Posted by: Leslie | July 23, 2007 10:30 AM

By the time I retire in 2009 I will have worked non-stop for 44 years. No mommy leave, no extended vacations. I have been contributing to Social Security since my first job out of high school. Don't begrudge me my share of the rewards, if SS is still functioning. I plan to work part-time at a 'fun' job, volunteer, catch up on reading, travel.

Posted by: NW DC | July 23, 2007 10:38 AM

My mom is a boomer in her early 60s. She started a new job last month that pays a huge salary (around $200K/year). She and a 40-year-old coworker went to management and proposed a job share where each work work 60% time. My mom would be able to ratchet down her career and the coworker would get to have more time with her young kids. The job would be totally covered. So each woman I think is not making the $200K, but more like $100K. My mom is paranoid about retiring because she has a lot of female friends who are dependent on their husband's pensions or social security for their retirement income and don't ever quite have enough. Some of her friends' children have lower-paying jobs (teachers, public servants like police officers, non-profit employees) and can't spare extra money each month to support their parents, whereas my mom's kids can (we're a partner in an NYC law firm, a doctor, and an investment banker - we sold our souls to make cash!). We would never view her as a burden (and my brothers and I each contribute $1000/month to a joint bank account to do things like pay for nursing home or home nurse care for my mom should she ever need it). Plus, she's been working for so long (since my eldest, 42-year-old brother was 1) and was so focused on raising us as her main focus outside of work that I don't know what she would do if she were to retire. Move in with me and spend more time with my kids? I'd love it, but maybe if she moved like, next door. She acknowledges she's very lucky that her company endorsed a job share; if not, she'd work crazy hours because she doesn't know how to do anything else (my brother goes to help my mom with laundry because she ruins easy-care fabrics). Her best friend works in retail, but she's social and outgoing - my mom hates talking to new people.

Posted by: Anon today | July 23, 2007 10:43 AM

In many areas of the country, age discrimination is rampant, but try prooving it. Many companies only want permanant, full time, degreed, younger people and pay much lower salaries with no benefits. Companies look at an 50+ candidate and think Healthcare expense.
The other end of the scale for older workers is Wal-mart greeters and volunteer(no pay) work.
The current trend is to push Congress for increasing H1 Visas and then they use these workers for to fill lower level positions.

Baby Boomers are healthier, more experienced, living longer and are healthier and todays baby boomers, many having lost their pensions, company retirement plans and health plans are planning on working much longer, but I don't see Corporate America complying.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:45 AM

In many areas of the country, age discrimination is rampant, but try prooving it. Many companies only want permanant, full time, degreed, younger people and pay much lower salaries with no benefits. Companies look at an 50+ candidate and think Healthcare expense.
The other end of the scale for older workers is Wal-mart greeters and volunteer(no pay) work.
The current trend is to push Congress for increasing H1 Visas and then they use these workers for to fill lower level positions.

Baby Boomers are healthier, more experienced, living longer and are healthier and todays baby boomers, many having lost their pensions, company retirement plans and health plans are planning on working much longer, but I don't see Corporate America complying.

Posted by: Cheryl | July 23, 2007 10:45 AM

My parents are both retired teachers, age 70. They retired "early" 15 years ago with excellent benefits as they worked continually in the public school system for over 25 years each.

It took them a good 5-10 years to really adjust and settle into retirement life, but neither has taken up a second career. They are fortunate not to need to financially.

My father still substitutes part time in the schools in the winter - I think it keeps him mentally and physicaly healthy. They usually make one major domestic and one major international trip each year. And they have lots of hobbies and social networks to keep them busy.

Not to mention, it is great to have them generally available to child care when we need (they do not live locally, but close enough that they can come by in an emergency).

I think the secret to their success is that despite raising 3 kids and putting 2 of them through college, they were completely debt-adverse. I think it is a generational thing - they always "saved" for that rainy day.

I'm in my mid-30s, have very little savings excpet a small 401K savings. I'm carrying a small credit card debt, but finally all my grad school debt is paid off. I just assume that I'll have no choice but to work until I'm 65, and if there's a second career, I hope I start it way before then.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:45 AM

Sorry, but SS is a pay-as-you-go program. At retirement, there is no savings passbook with your name and tax contributions on it.

Your payments went immediately to your parents, and grandparents, like everyone else.

Posted by: To: NW DC | July 23, 2007 10:53 AM

Why would employers be on the hook for older workers' medical care when older workers have Medicare?

Posted by: noshuffleboard | July 23, 2007 10:56 AM

Medicare doesn't kick in until age 65.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:57 AM

Sorry, but SS is a pay-as-you-go program. "At retirement, there is no savings passbook with your name and tax contributions on it.

Your payments went immediately to your parents, and grandparents, like everyone else."

Yep, the world largest pyramid scheme. If you did this they would put you in jail.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:58 AM

Sorry, but SS is a pay-as-you-go program. "At retirement, there is no savings passbook with your name and tax contributions on it.

Your payments went immediately to your parents, and grandparents, like everyone else."

Yep, the world largest pyramid scheme. If you did this they would put you in jail.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:58 AM

I understand why previous generations relied on SS -- but are any of the post boomers relying on SS -- is there anyone out there saying, "well my retirement will be SS?" I put the most I can into my 401(k) and have since I started working. I put the max into an IRA every year and I am still worried.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 10:58 AM

Our city recently began an "Encore" program -- in whcih they rehire formerly rretired civil service employees to work for the city as temps and hourly workers without benefits.

This keeps them from having to create new jobs which include benefits such as health insurance for younger workers-- and also means they don't have to pay older workers as much or pay benefits for them. It's funny, but all the press releases talk about what a great program this is -- but it seems like it's mostly our city that wins, not the workers.

Posted by: Armchair Mom | July 23, 2007 10:59 AM

there is no income cap on the DC tuition assistance program.

Posted by: look it up | July 23, 2007 10:59 AM

Why would employers be on the hook for older workers' medical care when older workers have Medicare?

Posted by: noshuffleboard | July 23, 2007 10:56 AM

And if we had single-payer health insurance, employers might not view employees aged 50-65 as such a liability but as more of an asset.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:00 AM

Re: the DC Tuition Assistance Program...this was created because the District has no public university. It allows DC residents to pay in-state tuition at any state college or university, up to a cap of $10,000 a year. There is NO income requirement or cap.

Posted by: Bethesda | July 23, 2007 11:00 AM

"Sorry, but SS is a pay-as-you-go program. At retirement, there is no savings passbook with your name and tax contributions on it."

True.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:02 AM

noshuufelboard--so is it your intention that employers should not have to provide those over 65 health insurance, if they offer it to all other employees, because it is expected that Medicare will cover them. Medicare does not pay for everything.
BTW, we have to remember that the SS retirement age has been raised to 67 for future retirees, not 65.

Posted by: Cheryl | July 23, 2007 11:02 AM

And on the subject of Troops to Teachers, part of the idea is to have more male teachers, particularly in areas where kids don't have a lot of male role models because of high rates of single parenthood and so forth. And the fact that many of the troops are African-American means that lots of the teachers end up being African-American men, many of whom go into rougher neighborhoods where they do an awesome job both teaching and mentoring. These teachers frequently take the jobs that others don't want. It's not an entitlement program to get them the best jobs at suburban high schools -- rather it's one more way for people to give back to the community.

Posted by: Armchair Mom | July 23, 2007 11:04 AM

Re: the DC Tuition Assistance Program

does it apply to a degree beyond the Master's?

are there limits on the number of degrees that may be earned?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:06 AM

Here is a problem as I see it -- we have a generation (or part of a generation) that cannot retire until 67 because people are living longer. Yet, our obesity rate is skyrocketing, thereby making it reasonable that people will not live as long and/or have significant health problems. People make choices and boy do they not like answering for those choices when the time comes

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:06 AM

"People make choices and boy do they not like answering for those choices when the time comes"

The same applies to those who make the choice not to cut back on their fossil fuel addictions...

Pay me now or pay me later...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:10 AM

Right. But the workers who are working when I'm retired will be paying me, just like I paid for 44 years to retirees. SS will fold if there are no workers paying into it. I do have a healthy 401K plan, equity in my house, and I'm still quite healthy, just very tired of working full time. I won't be sleeping on the sidewalks.

Posted by: NW DC | July 23, 2007 11:12 AM

Cheryl, actually I didn't have any intention with the medicare post. After clicking submit, I thought a little more and realized that anyone over 45 probably qualifies as an "older worker" even though not eligible for medicare. My only point, maybe, would be that ageism isn't just about possible health care costs. And I would add that in my department at work, the two or three employees who have taken the most time off for health reasons in the past two years are all under 45.

Posted by: noshuffle | July 23, 2007 11:21 AM

I think people pitch these attractive ideas to enhance their own careers and sell their books and consulting services.

Just last week we had a guest blogger who is about 50 and finding it impossible to find a job.

Tell me how those things are compatible?

Sure, if you're retired construction and want to work for $10 @ hour at Home Depot maybe they'll hire you.

I think these outlooks are for low wage jobs and will not be helping boomers out that much.

Posted by: RoseG | July 23, 2007 11:22 AM

There may be other DC tuition programs that do help out for master's degre, but the one I am familiar with (DCTAPs) is only for undergrad degrees (bachelor's and associate degrees). I think it's a boon for community colleges just outside DC since DC doesn't have it's own community college.

Posted by: look into it | July 23, 2007 11:24 AM

My goal is to stay in the job I have now but switch from full-time to part-time. Fortunately, my company does allow this, but it is on a case-by-case basis, and hopefully when the time comes I will be able to swing it.

Posted by: CJB | July 23, 2007 11:24 AM

It's kind of sad that in a blog about balance the majority of people today would continue to work after retirement age. Even worse, some say that they can't imagine what their life would be without working. I frankly don't see myself working full-time after I reach retirement age...maybe I'll work part-time or maybe I'll volunteer once in a while, but I'll find something to fill the time.

Posted by: MV | July 23, 2007 11:28 AM

sorry-- " . . doesn't have its own . . ."

Posted by: look into it | July 23, 2007 11:29 AM

Re: the DC Tuition Assistance Program...this was created because the District has no public university. It allows DC residents to pay in-state tuition at any state college or university, up to a cap of $10,000 a year. There is NO income requirement or cap.

They should only be allowed instate for MD and VA, not the whole darn country.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:30 AM

Anon @ 11:30: "They should only be allowed instate for MD and VA, not the whole darn country."

Why?

Posted by: Anonymous coward | July 23, 2007 11:33 AM

I'm at the tail-end of the Boomers, so I've got at the very least 25 more years before I can even think of collecting any SS that is leftover fro the crop of Boomers in front of me. Retirement? Ha. What a dream!

Posted by: Phillyfilly | July 23, 2007 11:33 AM

I plan to become a teacher or a Nurse Practitioner/Physician's assistant. I also plan to travel as much as my schedule allows.

Posted by: KBJ | July 23, 2007 11:40 AM

MV

"I frankly don't see myself working full-time after I reach retirement age...maybe I'll work part-time or maybe I'll volunteer once in a while, but I'll find something to fill the time."

That's the point. Some people already live rich lives while working full-time. They don't need and won't settle for "something to fill the time."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:40 AM

"I'm too frazzled by my current work/family chaos to even consider a second career."

How can someone who has written about the subject of work/life balance for many years still be so unbalanced that she is "frazzled" and living in "chaos"?

Maybe a second career is the answer. But maybe the time for that second career - one that gives you more time for family and is less stressful - is now, not when you're 50+. Because to me, if you're frazzled and out of balance (especially after talking about it for hours every day for years) then something isn't working right.

Posted by: That's the real question | July 23, 2007 11:41 AM

Last week's blogger was looking to get into a very specific field of interest making good money after 20 years out of the workforce.

Older workers looking to make a career change fall into several categories.

The first is an older worker (over 45 LOL) who is looking to change careers and is also concerned about earnings potential due to their current age, aging parents, children in or approaching college, future retirement plans, etc.

Next is an older worker who is eligible for retirement income whether it be SS, drawing out 401K earnings/savings, or a traditional pension. Those workers may wish to make a career change based on personal interests, cut back to part time, or can't yet afford to retire completely. For these workers, earnings potential is less of a concern since they have other supplemental income. For example, at age 55 I will qualify for a pension of about 50% of my salary. If I were to pursue other interests or if I desire to work less than full time, I won't have to be concerned with replacing all of my salary, only 50%. If I want to arrange flowers in a florist shop part time, I may not care if the pay is $10 - $15 per hour as long as my total income from all sources is 'enough'. It may be more important to older workers to have more time for family than to continue to have bragging rights about the big salaries. There is also the reality that many people have spouse who are older and retired. Part time work may be the answer to still having some income but also be able to travel more with your retired spouse.

Posted by: to RoseG | July 23, 2007 11:44 AM

Is it scary for SAHM to think about getting a working outside the home job when their kids move on? Will handling the transition from caregiver to the minutia of working life be what is expected? Do SAHM think it will be easier once raising their kids at their house is over? What about the social identity that so much of a SAHM life has been in investing in their children but then realizing that their children need less and less of them? Is there a fear about 'the greatest calling on earth' being over at some point and if you've worked so hard to raise your kids correctly what do you invest that time and energy in now?

Posted by: wondering | July 23, 2007 11:48 AM

Most retired people are bored and boring. We have them come in and make the rounds. Come see us, drink coffee, waste our time. Leave go across the street, drink coffee, waste their time. Eat lunch, go somewhere else, cash a 5 dollar check, waste their time. Go home take a nap, wake up, watch tv. eat tv, rinse and repeat next day.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:49 AM

Anon @ 11:30: "They should only be allowed instate for MD and VA, not the whole darn country."

Why?

Why should they be allowed to have in state when other kids are not allowed? It makes no sense that they are given that just because they live in DC.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:54 AM

Why should they be allowed to have in state when other kids are not allowed? It makes no sense that they are given that just because they live in DC.

These same idiots want to give illegal aliens in state too. While YOU a taxpaying citizen gets to pay 4 times as much to send your kid out of state.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:58 AM

If you live in MD and go to college in another state, you can get in-state tuition if the school you attend offers a course of study not available in a MD public institution. I believe that it only applies to certain states under this agreement. I don't know the specifics, just that the program exists.

This seems to be the same principle for DC residents. If the course of study is not available where they live, they get in state tuition at the schools in the other states.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 12:00 PM

"Why should they be allowed to have in state when other kids are not allowed? It makes no sense that they are given that just because they live in DC."

Did you miss the part about there being no public universities in DC? If they can't get in-state tuition where they live, they have to go elsewhere to get the same benefit that others have.

Posted by: curious | July 23, 2007 12:02 PM

Most people don't realize, when they complain about the benefits age increasing, that when SS was created that life expectancy was about 65. So it was supposed to be a benefit for those who are unable to work...and a supplement.

Posted by: atlmom | July 23, 2007 12:09 PM

"Is there a fear about 'the greatest calling on earth' being over at some point and if you've worked so hard to raise your kids correctly what do you invest that time and energy in now? "

There is a fear of "real" performance evaluations. There is a fear of having a "real" boss, after having been your own boss for so many years.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 12:16 PM

I am at the end of the Boomer age range, born in 1962. I have a 3 yr old daughter, so I will NOT be retiring early. And I am like several other posters in that I will need to work at something (either paying or volunteer) to maintain a structure to my life. But, I know I will most likely be working until full retirement age of 67 since I'll need the money to pay for my daughter's college education (my choice, which is what I want to do). I hope I can continue to work and not become ill or injured, so we are putting the max away in 401K and funding a 529 in case either one of us (spouse) is unable to work in the future. I'm afraid to think about what would happen (financially) if we didn't prepare now.

Posted by: D in MD | July 23, 2007 12:18 PM

"They should only be allowed instate for MD and VA, not the whole darn country."

Why?

Why should they be allowed to have in state when other kids are not allowed? It makes no sense that they are given that just because they live in DC.
_________________________

Then why should they be allowed instate tuition at MD and VA colleges? What makes those states different other than geographical proximity? DC residents certainly don't pay taxes to those jurisdictions.

The point is this: DC is considered a special case because it's not a state (and thus has no Congressional representation, etc.) It has no public universities; thus DC residents couldn't get "in-state tuition" anywhere.

To address this situation, Congress passed a law granting DC residents "in-state tuition" at all public colleges in the US. Why not just MD and VA? Well, why? What's different about those states? (And it should be noted that MD and VA's representatives did NOT want the benefit limited to those two states; seemed pretty unfair to them.)

Posted by: Anonymous coward | July 23, 2007 12:26 PM

Anon @ 11:30: "They should only be allowed instate for MD and VA, not the whole darn country."

Why?

Posted by: Anonymous coward | July 23, 2007 11:33 AM

Yea, well, we also SHOULD have representation in Congress, but we don't.

We SHOULDN'T have to pay local taxes to shoulder FEDERAL expenses, yet we do.

We shouldn't have to deal with and pay for the hassles of so many commuters coming in to the city and paying no DC income taxes!!! Yet we do.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 12:33 PM

Then why should they be allowed instate tuition at MD and VA colleges? What makes those states different other than geographical proximity? DC residents certainly don't pay taxes to those jurisdictions.

Yes, exactly the reason why. Why should people in states no where near DC have to foot the bill. Same goes for illegals.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 12:36 PM

We shouldn't have to deal with and pay for the hassles of so many commuters coming in to the city and paying no DC income taxes!!! Yet we do.

Huh? Who is going to work there then?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 12:39 PM

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 12:43 PM

... actually the feds are paying.
The restriction may be to make the bureaucracy feasible? I am not sure what the resentment is - there is a 10K cap but given all of the normal financial/merit aid rigging that should cover how much the average out of state student pays.

"Finally, on Nov. 12 of last year, her work paid off: President Clinton signed the College Access Act into law. Taking effect this fall, the law calls for the federal government to pay the difference, up to $10,000 a year, between in-state and out-of-state tuition at public colleges and universities in Maryland and Virginia. It also calls on the federal government to pay $2,500 toward the tuition costs of attending certain private colleges in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Already, the legislation has helped D.C. students feel more optimistic about their futures, Day says."

Posted by: dc benefit | July 23, 2007 12:47 PM

I don't understand why people in DC haven't fought this whole taxation without representation thing more strongly. Take it to the supreme court. You pay taxes, but don't get reps in congress. That is just horrible to me. I bet most people in the country don't know this is the case (or maybe don't care? Didn't learn enough about the Am. revolution to understand that that was how this country was founded?).
The feds are stealing *my* money badly enough, and I *do* have representation - so I can only imagine how tough it would be to not have any representation at all (but, I'm the kinda person who writes my congressman/woman quite a bit).

Posted by: atlmom | July 23, 2007 12:47 PM

zzzzzzzzz

Posted by: nurse, mako, sand, and great white | July 23, 2007 12:54 PM

The amount of kids coming out of the DC schools getting in-state tuition is not likely very high. First of all, you have a lot of private schools in the DC area. I doubt those kids are going to state schools. They are likely going to private colleges. Then you look at the DC public school kids (the worst schools in the country). In my opinion, if any of these kids come out and can get into college, they should be able to go anywhere and get in-state tuition.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 12:55 PM

This is another reason why I could never be a SAHM. My husband and I are in our peak earning years, and could easily live off one income (combined income of around $400,000), but we live below our means so that we can pay our bills, save for college, and have a comfortable retirement. If one of us had stayed home, we wouldn't be able to do this, and frankly, we want to give our kids a college education and enjoy our older years! Our kids are happy and thriving, so it works for us.

Posted by: DC | July 23, 2007 12:58 PM

"Then you look at the DC public school kids (the worst schools in the country)."

Got any stats to back up that claim?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 1:07 PM

Is it scary for SAHM to think about getting a working outside the home job when their kids move on?

Why would it be scary? Most of us did actually have jobs before we became SAHMs. Some of us even had careers.

Will handling the transition from caregiver to the minutia of working life be what is expected?

See above.

Do SAHM think it will be easier once raising their kids at their house is over?

I'm not sure I understand the question, but I think that for most parents (SAHP or not) it becomes "easier" when their children are grown.

What about the social identity that so much of a SAHM life has been in investing in their children but then realizing that their children need less and less of them?

You assume that we don't have lives outside our children now. This isn't true for me, at least. And obviously I realize that my children will need less from me as they grow - duh.

Is there a fear about 'the greatest calling on earth' being over at some point and if you've worked so hard to raise your kids correctly what do you invest that time and energy in now?

No fear here. I will continue to be involved in my adult children's lives, hopefully in the lives of my grandchildren, will pursue volunteer and paid work, travel, and hobbies that are satisfying to me.

Posted by: a SAHM | July 23, 2007 1:07 PM

WASHINGTON DC, the only place where a crack smoking mayor gets elected -twice. and you want us to allow you to elect senators and reps? No thanks.

Posted by: dc sucks | July 23, 2007 1:10 PM

The reality is that the reason there is instate tuition is that the state is subsuduzing it thru taxes.

So realistically DC residents shouldn't be subsidized since they're not paying the state taxes.

That having been said I think it's preferable to have this law in place to having congress running a university.

Posted by: atlmom | July 23, 2007 1:13 PM

Last night, my significant other, who is a writer and an attorney, and I, a PR manager for a nonprofit, were musing about collaborating somewhere, somehow in the future and we were having an absolute BLAST considering the possibilities. I'm 50 and he'll be 52 this year. We've been dating for 6 months and, yes, are warily looking out to that region known as "retirement" someday. But neither of us thinks we'll actually "RETIRE" with a line-up only of leisure activities. First, we both have portable talents and enough chutzpah to think we can continue to sell ourselves for $$$ to various organizations until neither of us can find the computer keyboard. We both blithely assume we'll have fairly good health for many, many years(who would have thought we'd have the medical advances we have today when we were all kids?)and we WANT to keep busy and, most of all, PRODUCTIVE until the day we drop. If possible! I think the energy he and I find in our work now and our relationship, with such a positive outlook, is of great value as we do look to the future.

Posted by: SFMom | July 23, 2007 1:14 PM

HAs anyone had any experience getting an associate's degree or a certification through an online "college"? Sure, hanging out playing hackey-sack at the quad is a great part of the "college experience", but I wonder if you have already "been there done that" if the on-line learning experience to brush up skills and develop new ones is viable. i would imagine employers would love to have their employees do this kind of thing--- are there any "reputable" schools that provide on-line instruction for older workers?

Posted by: Jen S. | July 23, 2007 1:14 PM

to dc sucks: oh, please, people in the rest of the country elect idiots all the time, why should that right be taken away from anyone?

Who are you to say that they shouldn't have the right to vote - they should have just as much right to put some not so bright person into office as you do.

Posted by: atlmom | July 23, 2007 1:15 PM

"Then you look at the DC public school kids (the worst schools in the country)."

Got any stats to back up that claim?

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 01:07 PM

Sorry -- you are right . . . my error -- (close to the worst schools in the country). Its all over the papers around here (Washington post included) -- they are not the absolute worst in the country --) sorry for the sweeping generalization -- but I still believe (no facts --just believe) that there are not many students using this exection -- does anyone have any facts on this

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 1:17 PM

to dc sucks: oh, please, people in the rest of the country elect idiots all the time, why should that right be taken away from anyone.

idiots? yes. Crack smoking mayors-twice. No. DC already sucks at the teat of the government enough as it is. Pork on top of that? Nope

Posted by: DC still sucks | July 23, 2007 1:20 PM

Sorry -- you are right . . . my error -- (close to the worst schools in the country). Its all over the papers around here (Washington post included) -- they are not the absolute worst in the country --) sorry for the sweeping generalization -- but I still believe (no facts --just believe) that there are not many students using this exection -- does anyone have any facts on this

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 01:17 PM

Here is a study from 2002-2003 showing DC is the worst
http://www.psk12.com/rating/USthreeRsphp/STATE_US_level_Elementary_CountyID_0.html

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 1:28 PM

Isn't UDC a public university? I certainly wouldn't want to go there (I can read and write already), but does it qualify as a public university?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 1:29 PM

Isn't UDC a public university? I certainly wouldn't want to go there (I can read and write already), but does it qualify as a public university?

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 01:29 PM

According to its website, yes, its a DC public university. It is also an open university meaning that it accepts everyone. The application is two pages and simply asks if you have graduated high school.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 1:37 PM

What Dc really needs is a good community college- UDC doesn't do it because it's too busy trying to be a four year instituion-- and based in upper northwest? Come on! what DC really needs is something that will get the kids graduating from the DC schools into JOBS. A school in Southeast and accessible by metro. Look at all the construction going on in DC-- yet too many DC residents don't have the necessary skills to do those jobs, so the work goes to people out of the district. Unemployment in Dc isn't terrible, but it would be so much better and businesses and residents would all benefit if the workforce were more skilled.

Posted by: UDC | July 23, 2007 1:40 PM

to dc sucks: well, none of them ever was caught or acknowledged smoking crack, but since I came of age in Louisiana and am familiar with its politicians, I don't look down on DC.

Not that I'm defending DC politics, mind you, but I find the political world pretty boring in the mid-Atlantic, in all honesty.

I mean, Louisiana is a state which was dominated for decades by the Long clan, which at least delivered for the poor people, even if it was the most corrupt dictatorship the US has seen (in all likelihood).

The Governor when I came of age was "Fast Eddie" (Edwin W. Edwards), who was elected Governor four times. Heck, once his opponent was KKK official and American Nazi David Duke - leading to the campaign slogan "Vote for the crook - it's important." (Edwards was the crook, if there's any doubt.)

Fast Eddie was involved in any number of scandals, from taking bribes from Koreans (Tongsun Park) when he was in Congress, to taking payoffs to appoint members of the state highway commission to taking bribes for casino licenses. He used to stand up in press conferences and quote odds on his being indicted, and when indicted he'd give odds on conviction. (For the record, it was the casino bribes that finally put him in jail.)

As far as his personal life, Fast Eddie let his wife have her high school class reunion in the Governor's mansion during his fourth term. It was her 5-year reunion; he was 62 and she was 23 at the time. He met her because she was a good friend of his grand-daughter.

The first Congressman against which I voted, Rick Tonry, went to jail for vote fraud - rigging the primary election. Around there, the citizenry proclaimed that just desserts for being stupid enough to get caught.

And then the city of New Orleans re-elected Mayor Ray "chocolate city" Nagin after his sparkling performance during and after Katrina.

In any other state, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco would be toast when she comes up for re-election due to her sparkling Katrina performance, but I'm not sure about it.

So if you're arguing that any place should be dis-enfranchised because of the people it elects, I wouldn't start with DC. (Not that I'm arguing that such dis-enfranchisement should occur; just saying that if it did I could nominate a few places.)

Posted by: Army Brat | July 23, 2007 1:44 PM

Look at all the construction going on in DC-- yet too many DC residents don't have the necessary skills to do those jobs, so the work goes to people out of the district.

Yes, but they do murder and drug dealing so well, it's hard to be a jack of all trades. Can't have it all.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 1:44 PM

maybe there wouldn't be so much murder and drug dealing if there were better jobs. "Idle hands are the devil's playthings . . ." Dollars spent on education are great investments against future dollars spent on law enforcement. Human capital-- what do you want to do with it?

Posted by: jobs, not crimes | July 23, 2007 1:50 PM

Army Brat

"Fast Eddie let his wife have her high school class reunion in the Governor's mansion during his fourth term. It was her 5-year reunion; he was 62 and she was 23 at the time. He met her because she was a good friend of his grand-daughter."

Good for Fast Eddie! I should be so lucky!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 1:55 PM

maybe there wouldn't be so much murder and drug dealing if there were better jobs. "Idle hands are the devil's playthings . . ." Dollars spent on education are great investments against future dollars spent on law enforcement. Human capital-- what do you want to do with it?

They already spend nearly the most in the nation per student. Easier to jack someone for than go out clubbing every night.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 1:58 PM

he was 62 and she was 23 at the time. He met her because she was a good friend of his grand-daughter."


YEA BABY!

Posted by: austin powers | July 23, 2007 2:00 PM

oh, you've gotta love DC bashing!
Too bad it's the 2nd most educated city in the country and one of the wealthiest areas in the country.
But, I can't read or write, so what do I know?
After years of paying $25,000/year to send my DC born and bred child to private school, I will make sure to take advantage of in-state tuition around the country! Maybe UNC or UC-Berkley?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:08 PM

To answer the original question...

I have 19 years and 2 months until I'm eligible for full SSI. I'll be eligible for my employer's retirement in another 4 years and 3 months. My sons have 3 and 8 years respectively until their high school graduations. Estimates for when I'll have enough funds in my 401k for retirement have ranged from 15 to 35 more years, depending on a lot of factors, including my sons' post-high school education plans. So, when will I really be able to retire?

The plan for my retirement life, if I ever get there, is a second career as a midwife. I found my passion for mothers, babies, pregnancy and birth while planning for my VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). That birth was a turning point in my life.

But I was and still am the full-time wage earner for the family, so I can't just chuck my current career. We need my continued income to live on, buy a house, etc. I come from a very long-lived family, and I'll have time - 3 to 4 decades most likely - after the responsibilities to support my family are fulfilled. So, I wait, and anticipate someday doing something more meaningful than sitting at a monitor pounding on a keyboard all day.

Posted by: Sue | July 23, 2007 2:09 PM

So, I wait, and anticipate someday doing something more meaningful than sitting at a monitor pounding on a keyboard all day.

Posted by: Sue | July 23, 2007 02:09 PM

AMEN!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:13 PM

he was 62 and she was 23 at the time. He met her because she was a good friend of his grand-daughter."


YEA BABY!

Is it 1997?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:14 PM

It's kind of sad that in a blog about balance the majority of people today would continue to work after retirement age.

Posted by: MV | July 23, 2007 11:28 AM

bwaHAHAHAHA. If you feel like sending me a check every month 'til I die, I'll retire at "retirement age" - whatever that is. Until you find that motivation, I have to work to pay the light bill. Mumsy and Daddy didn't make a downpayment on my house for me either. I didn't work for an employer who offered a 401(k) plan until I was 39. Along with many friends, I worked in an industry that moved offshore and had to spend my own dollars to retrain. I know very few people in their 40s who are working in the same field in which they started in their 20s.

So, we don't need your pity, but perhaps your understanding of global trade would help you to see that not everyone has a realistic option of RETIREMENT in bright lights at the end of the rainbow. We do what we need to do to support ourselves in a changing world.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:15 PM

Maybe they have to spend so much extra on the kids in DC BECAUSE their parents don't have good jobs-- takes a bit more to educate kids when they don't get all the extras in life (like decent food, dental care, etc.) that typical kids get. It's the cycle of poverty. Just giving up ain't going to improve the situation! Giving kids a "hand up rather than a hand out" by providing a decent community college opportunity makes sense to me. No excuses for not finding a good job if there are quick and inexpensive certificate and two year degree programs available.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:16 PM

"I found my passion for mothers, babies, pregnancy and birth while planning for my VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). That birth was a turning point in my life."

Weird and creepy. Creepy and weird.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:17 PM

Maybe they have to spend so much extra on the kids in DC BECAUSE their parents don't have good jobs-- takes a bit more to educate kids when they don't get all the extras in life (like decent food, dental care, etc.) that typical kids get.

They are not the only kids who need help.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:20 PM

"They already spend nearly the most in the nation per student."

I think the focus of this blob is supposed to be education for adults-- how much does DC spend on educating its ADULT population? You know, like providing a comunity college so that people can get the degree or certificate to allow them change careers? Is the USDA Grad School a good option?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:23 PM

"They are not the only kids who need help."

There are porportionally more kids living in poverty in DC than other parts of the country. not surprized it costs more to educate them.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:25 PM

They are not the only kids who need help."

There are porportionally more kids living in poverty in DC than other parts of the country. not surprized it costs more to educate them.

Your illogic is breathtaking, they are poor and yet more is spent on them and the results are terrible. Must be racism.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:32 PM

"There are porportionally more kids living in poverty in DC than other parts of the country. not surprized it costs more to educate them"

Please learn how to spell before you dispense pearls of wisdom concerning education...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:38 PM

"I think the focus of this blob is supposed to be education for adults"

Blob? maybe.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:40 PM

DC public schools perform well below all national averages

http://www.schoolmatters.com/app/location/q/stid=9/llid=111/stllid=378/locid=9/stype=/catid=-1/secid=-1/compid=-1/site=pes

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:45 PM

RUN! the blob is after us...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:47 PM

RUN! the blob is after us...

Starring Steve McQueen!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:53 PM

"they are poor and yet more is spent on them"

this is news to you? You think communities should spend more for educating rich kids than on poor kids?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 2:54 PM

It came from outer space-THE BLOB!

STARRING Don Knotts as as "Skippy"

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:00 PM


"they are poor and yet more is spent on them"

this is news to you? You think communities should spend more for educating rich kids than on poor kids?

____________________

Well, the theory that rich communities DO spend more educating their kids than do poor communities is what led to Texas' "Robin Hood" law. It takes tax money away from rich school systems and gives it to poorer school systems with the goal of having every jurisdiction in the state spend the same amount per student.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 23, 2007 3:13 PM

Army Brat

"It takes tax money away from rich school systems and gives it to poorer school systems with the goal of having every jurisdiction in the state spend the same amount per student."

How's that working out in Texas?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:16 PM

Well, the theory that rich communities DO spend more educating their kids than do poor communities is what led to Texas' "Robin Hood" law. It takes tax money away from rich school systems and gives it to poorer school systems with the goal of having every jurisdiction in the state spend the same amount per student.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 23, 2007 03:13 PM

and so it has always been.

The problem in DC is that, no matter how large the budget, the NEA grabs the increase for higher teacher salaries before any other line item like facilities, security, library resources, chemistry labs, field trips, or any other expenditure. The same lousy teachers do the same lousy job but for more money. Then, a new Superintendent comes in every few years or so and changes a whole bunch of unimportant but high-profile things so he or she can look dynamic. Good teachers, when they do accidentally become ensnared in this system, run from the bureacratic nonsense either out of the business or in the direction of surrounding counties and cities. The kids suffer.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:19 PM

"There are porportionally more kids living in poverty in DC than other parts of the country. not surprized it costs more to educate them."

Really and why is that? Why are there so many poor kids in DC? Just because they are in one area doesn't mean the poor kids in Alabama, Michigan, California, and other states just magically disappear.

The Robin Hood law sounds like socialism. I guess working hard in this country doesn't mean anything to politicians. Just take from those who work hard and give it to those who don't. Nice message to send to kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:20 PM

'Robin Hood' Destroyed $81 Billion of Property Wealth in Texas


Written By: George A. Clowes
Published In: School Reform News
Publication Date: December 1, 2004
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A 10-year attempt by education finance lawyers to reduce per-pupil spending disparities in Texas schools by means of a so-called "Robin Hood" scheme has produced a smaller spending gap but also resulted in the destruction of an estimated $81 billion worth of property wealth, according to a recent study led by Harvard University economist Caroline M. Hoxby.

The redistribution scheme is on the brink of collapse and is likely to be abandoned soon.

The Texas Robin Hood program involved the forced redistribution of about $30 billion annually in school property taxes, taking from so-called "property-rich" districts and giving to "property-poor" districts. Hoxby's analysis shows the plan did not succeed in equalizing per-pupil spending throughout Texas, although it did reduce the gap between the highest-spending quartile and the lowest-spending quartile from about $2,000 to $1,500 per pupil.

That $500 reduction was achieved at a cost of $27,000 per pupil in property value destruction across the state.

"Good intentions about redistribution are not enough in school finance: Understanding the economics is important too," write Hoxby and Ilyana Kuziemko in their July 2004 report, "Robin Hood and His Not-So-Merry Plan: Capitalization and the Self-Destruction of Texas' School Finance Equalization Plan."

To give readers an idea of the magnitude of the wealth destroyed by the Robin Hood scheme, the researchers consider what the money could have been used for had it simply been confiscated from the wealthy instead of being destroyed. If the money had been used to create a permanent endowment fund, it would have generated sufficient annual revenues--about $1,350 per pupil--to bring per-pupil spending in every district in Texas up to the level of the top 5 percent of districts.

The destructive consequences of the Robin Hood scheme may have been predictable to economists, but they were not foreseen by the plan's designers, who were lawyers, not economists. The intent of the lawyers, as described by Hoxby and Kuziemko, was to devise a funding mechanism that would skirt the Texas Constitution's ban on a statewide property tax.

The Robin Hood formula was devised by the Texas legislature in 1993-94 as a third response to a 1984 lawsuit charging that the then-current system of school finance was unconstitutional, a charge the Supreme Court of Texas upheld in 1989. The court ruled the Robin Hood system constitutional in 1994, but stated the system would become unconstitutional if all school districts reached a 15 mil tax cap.

That point is close at hand. Both property-poor and property-rich districts have responded to the incentives in Robin Hood and raised tax rates to the point where more than 80 percent of Texas pupils are in districts within half a mil of the cap.

"A better understanding of how school finance works might lead to the adoption of schemes that are more efficient, more stable, more equalizing, less burdensome to taxpayers, and--in the long run--more likely to achieve the goals of school finance," the authors conclude.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George A. Clowes (clowes@heartland.org) is managing editor of School Reform News.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For more information ...


Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:21 PM

"It takes tax money away from rich school systems and gives it to poorer school systems with the goal of having every jurisdiction in the state spend the same amount per student."

What about property taxes? Do they other parents have to chip in and pay for "rich" houses?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:23 PM

The problem in DC is that, no matter how large the budget, the NEA grabs the increase for higher teacher salaries before any other line item like facilities, security, library resources, chemistry labs, field trips, or any other expenditure.

EXACTLY as a special interest group, they love more money. The NEA is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to better education.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:23 PM

"Well, the theory that rich communities DO spend more educating their kids than do poor communities is what led to Texas' "Robin Hood" law. It takes tax money away from rich school systems and gives it to poorer school systems with the goal of having every jurisdiction in the state spend the same amount per student."

Posted by: Army Brat | July 23, 2007 03:13 PM

The same amount per student? Is that fair? Suppose one county has 99% of its students who can thrive in the standard classroom, where one teacher teaches 20 or so students at a time, and only 1% of its students who can learn only in a one-on-one tutoring situation. And another county has 60% students who can learn in a classroom, versus 40% who require full-time, one-on-one tutoring (and who, put in a classroom, would either space out or act up and disrupt other students' education).

Is it fair when both these counties spend the same amount per student? Won't the kids who need one-on-one tutoring be short-changed?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 23, 2007 3:25 PM

What about property taxes? Do they other parents have to chip in and pay for "rich" houses

these are property taxes. For example (simplified of course) district a produces 1mm toward education. District B produces 500k. A sends B a check for 250k now both spend 750k on education. the problem is that may be not enough for district a and a whole lot for district b.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:27 PM

"The NEA is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to better education."

Say it loud . . .

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:29 PM

Are the kids in Texas getting better test scores under the new tax system?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:29 PM

wow-- even when the topic is something as adult oriented as retirement, the readership here can't help but focus on children. "won't someone please think of the children?" Indeed, it seems that is all we ever do!

Posted by: Jen s. | July 23, 2007 3:31 PM

Re: Veterans as Teachers

In my experience Vets make great teachers for two reasons.

1) Students genuinely respect the characteristics of that the armed services instructs. This is particularly true for Vets who were injured in the line of duty. The kids who I have asked to quantify this say something to the effect of that "Mr./Mrs. So-and-So is so real and genuine."

2) Discipline. Many vets have a serious nack for effective discipline, and not in the Srill Sergant way. Most teachers have to learn this on the job, it is very helpful to be able to pick up behavior management quickly.

Re: Teaching as a Second Career.

I'm all for it, but please take a course or two on behavior management and instructional design. Second starters have been some of the best teachers I've known, but they have also been some of the worst.

Posted by: David S | July 23, 2007 3:33 PM

wow-- even when the topic is something as adult oriented as retirement, the readership here can't help but focus on children. "won't someone please think of the children?" Indeed, it seems that is all we ever do!

The topic got boring apparently...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:34 PM

David S

"Second starters have been some of the best teachers I've known, but they have also been some of the worst."

Then it's a wash - why bother to post at all?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:46 PM

In my experience Vets make great teachers for two reasons.

1) Students genuinely respect the characteristics of that the armed services instructs. This is particularly true for Vets who were injured in the line of duty. The kids who I have asked to quantify this say something to the effect of that "Mr./Mrs. So-and-So is so real and genuine."

2) Discipline. Many vets have a serious nack for effective discipline, and not in the Srill Sergant way. Most teachers have to learn this on the job, it is very helpful to be able to pick up behavior management quickly.


Just to play devil's advocate, a certain percentage of veterans also can be quite rigid in their approaches to problem-solving. Some are prone to thinking that there is only one solution to a problem, only one way to learn the material, only one approach to a project. Because of their military background, many veterans are hierarchical and tend to bring to the job the assumption that students automatically owe them respect and deference because they hold the chalk. Learning that some students expect them to earn respect can be a rude awakening to some.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:49 PM

I'm all for it, but please take a course or two on behavior management and instructional design. Second starters have been some of the best teachers I've known, but they have also been some of the worst.

They should have to take all the classes that college students do.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:49 PM

Just to play devil's advocate, a certain percentage of veterans also can be quite rigid in their approaches to problem-solving. Some are prone to thinking that there is only one solution to a problem, only one way to learn the material, only one approach to a project. Because of their military background, many veterans are hierarchical and tend to bring to the job the assumption that students automatically owe them respect and deference because they hold the chalk. Learning that some students expect them to earn respect can be a rude awakening to some.

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 03:49 PM

And this is bad because...?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:52 PM

"Learning that some students expect them to earn respect can be a rude awakening to some."

A wake-up call is not a problem.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 3:58 PM

Because of their military background, many veterans are hierarchical and tend to bring to the job the assumption that students automatically owe them respect and deference because they hold the chalk.

As they should! Students need to wake up

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:01 PM

As they should! Students need to wake up

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 04:01 PM

uhhhh, they are awake and they are waiting to be taught. While Mr. Rigi and Insecure is waiting to be lauded, that 180 day year is waning.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:04 PM

"Because of their military background, many veterans are hierarchical and tend to bring to the job the assumption that students automatically owe them respect and deference because they hold the chalk."

Huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:04 PM

Wouldn't you just LOVE to see some helicopter parents get smacked down trying to challenge a military veteran-turned teacher on classroom discipline issues?

Posted by: Churl | July 23, 2007 4:07 PM

Huh?

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 04:04 PM

Did you have a question?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:09 PM

uhhhh, they are awake and they are waiting to be taught. While Mr. Rigi and Insecure is waiting to be lauded, that 180 day year is waning.

No they are waiting for him to give them an A for showing up and will call mom if they don't.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:09 PM

"Because of their military background, many veterans are hierarchical and tend to bring to the job the assumption that students automatically owe them respect and deference because they hold the chalk."

And, in fact, the students DO owe their teachers respect and deference because the teachers hold the chalk (or white-board markers).

A classroom is NOT a democracy - if you believe otherwise, I can put you in touch with my mother, with her 38 years as a high school English and Latin teacher; or my sister, with 27 years (and counting) as a first grade teacher. Both have advanced degrees in Education; and are in their school system's "Hall of Fame" among numerous other awards.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 23, 2007 4:10 PM

I don't understand why people in DC haven't fought this whole taxation without representation thing more strongly. Take it to the supreme court.
-----

The supreme court cannot change the constitution. Congress alone handles this one.

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 4:11 PM

Damn straight Army Brat. The one who needs to earn respect is the 19 year old slacker who hasn't accomplished a damn thing yet in his life.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:12 PM

Churl maybe you forget that teachers work for the parents and not the other way around. Kids need to be respectful, but that doesn't mean that they should do everything the teacher says.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:13 PM

It makes no sense that they are given that just because they live in DC.
----
Why? DC is not like any state. Tell your representativ to let us do a commuter tax and then we're done, we don't have to worry anymore about the tuition thing.

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 4:14 PM

"The supreme court cannot change the constitution. Congress alone handles this one."


Wrong, wrong wrong!
Not Congress alone!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:16 PM

And, in fact, the students DO owe their teachers respect and deference because the teachers hold the chalk (or white-board markers).

A classroom is NOT a democracy - if you believe otherwise, I can put you in touch with my mother, with her 38 years as a high school English and Latin teacher; or my sister, with 27 years (and counting) as a first grade teacher. Both have advanced degrees in Education; and are in their school system's "Hall of Fame" among numerous other awards.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 23, 2007 04:10 PM


No, they don't. I didn't say a classroom is a democracy. I said that respect is earned and not merely because an instructor walks in the door. If he can teach, and he's a secure, confident person, he'll be respected. If he can't, he can rant and give as many demerits and as much busy-work as thrills his little heart, and he'll remain a lousy teacher.


yada, yada, yada about your relatives. They are not veterans seeking second careers and, as such, aren't at all relative to this topic. duh.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:16 PM

Look at all the construction going on in DC-- yet too many DC residents don't have the necessary skills to do those jobs, so the work goes to people out of the district.
-----

Umm, where I live we're all doctors, lawyers, lobbyists and bureaucrats. I don't know anyone on my block of any race that does manual labor. It's kind of a pain, actually, because I'm told 20 years ago there were handymen and fixit guys living in Grandma's basement, but at $800k for a townhouse, those places sold quickly.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:16 PM

Say it loud . . .


Posted by: | July 23, 2007 03:29 PM

I'm black and I'm proud!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:18 PM

Why? DC is not like any state. Tell your representativ to let us do a commuter tax and then we're done, we don't have to worry anymore about the tuition thing.

yes congress and the lobbyists and all who commute to dc will really back that one...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:20 PM

Wrong, wrong wrong!
Not Congress alone!
-----

ok, who then bright eyes? The Supreme Court?

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 4:21 PM

I don't understand why people in DC haven't fought this whole taxation without representation thing more strongly. Take it to the supreme court.
-----

Under what rock to you reside? DC residents have been fighting "this whole taxation without representation thing" for years now - loudly, strongly, vociferously, whatever adverb you prefer.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:21 PM

"yada, yada, yada about your relatives. "

Agree. I am sick to death of hearing the same mediocre stories about this guy's life!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:23 PM

Churl maybe you forget that teachers work for the parents and not the other way around. Kids need to be respectful, but that doesn't mean that they should do everything the teacher says.

_____________

Okay, I've been talking to my sister too much (she recently visited on vacation), but...

"Kids need to be respectful..." - that's about the only thing in this message with which I'll agree.

"...but that doesn't mean that they should do everything the teacher says." I'm sorry, but, unless what the teacher says to do is illegal/in violation of policy, yes, the student should do everything the teacher says.

If the teacher says to do homework, the student should do it or suffer the consequences. If the teacher says to pay attention and stop disrupting the class, the student should do it. If the teacher says to go to the board and show how to solve problem number 6, the student should do it.

Unfortunately, yes there are some teachers who engage in illegal or unethical acts, and instructions related to that should be ignored and reported to appropriate authorities. But that's a tiny, tiny subset and most students will likely not encounter anything like that. Evidence otherwise would be welcomed.

Saving the best for last: "teachers work for the parents" - yes, teachers work for the school system which in the case of public schools is the set of parents in the community writ large. Teachers do not work for individual parents and too darned many parents have forgotten that or have never learned it. It's not appropriate for a parent to come in and say "don't you dare give my child that much homework; he has soccer practice and this schoolwork is interfering with it." Such a parent should expect to be soundly ignored.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 23, 2007 4:24 PM

I think that the teacher is in charge and the parent should support the teacher but always be the advocate for the child. This means supporting the teacher within reason. I am always shocked when I read some teacher duct taped a kid or something. That is what you have to be on guard about.

Posted by: like teacher, love kids | July 23, 2007 4:27 PM

DCer

Wrong, wrong wrong!
Not Congress alone!
-----

ok, who then bright eyes? The Supreme Court?

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 04:21 PM

Look it up, Goober!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:27 PM

In MoCo we had a teacher who was a veteran who was a real hard-ass. He did focus on regimentality, structure and discipline, but he taught Rocks for Jocks and other unintellectual pursuits and one famous time gave me a D on a paper I turned in because the two asteroids I talked about affecting dinosaur life didn't match the single asteroid discussed in our book. I was working from an episode of Nova and newspaper articles. He never read beyond the one textbook. He wasn't a bad teacher, he knew how to keep the class in order, but he wasn't, at all, an INTELLECTUAL and as such he only taught from the one book and didn't watch Nova. I used non-textbook materials and he didn't understand what I wrote. True Story.

yes, I'm aware that recently the theory has gone back to just one asteroid causing most of the damage.

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 4:28 PM


Wrong, wrong wrong!
Not Congress alone!
-----

ok, who then bright eyes? The Supreme Court?

------------------

That would be Congress, plus 38 (three-quarters) of the states.

NOT Congress alone.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:28 PM

Say it loud . . .


Posted by: | July 23, 2007 03:29 PM

I'm black and I'm proud!

You obviously don't live in DC....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:29 PM

Teachers do not work for individual parents and too darned many parents have forgotten that or have never learned it. It's not appropriate for a parent to come in and say "don't you dare give my child that much homework; he has soccer practice and this schoolwork is interfering with it." Such a parent should expect to be soundly ignored.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 23, 2007 04:24 PM

That's a nicely skewed example. How's this, for an alternative view: "Don't you dare give my child homework with no instructions, punish him without explaining to him what he's doing wrong and what you'd like him to do differently, and have one set of rules for girls in your class and another for boys. Don't you dare leave no instructions for substitute teachers. Don't you dare return to the classroom and punish children in your class for behavior you didn't witness and about which you have no first-hand knowledge and ask no questions. Don't you dare assume that children only learn one way and that everyone's parents have nothing better to do on a Wednesday than assist with a diorama due Friday but for which the misspelled instructions are ambiguous."

When a parent makes an appointment with the principal to discuss what's going on in a classroom and the first thing out of the principal's mouth after he hears a few anecdotes is, "do you want to transfer to any other fifth grade class - just tell me which one," it's a pretty clear sign that he knows his teacher is a L - o- s - e - r with a capital L, and doesn't want any kid in the class to lose a year's worth of instruction because someone should have chosen another career path. Too darned many teachers should have chosen another career path. Such teachers should expect to be roundly criticized and drummed out of the most important profession we have.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:32 PM

DCer

Wrong, wrong wrong!
Not Congress alone!
-----

ok, who then bright eyes? The Supreme Court?

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 04:21 PM

Look it up, Goober!
-----

No, you look it up Twizzler. It's entirely initiated by the legislative branch.

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 4:33 PM

"yada, yada, yada about your relatives. They are not veterans seeking second careers and, as such, aren't at all relative to this topic. duh.'

Actually, one of my brothers-in-law is a newly retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer who's currently investigating the Troops-to-Teachers program. Trying to find a new career at the age of 41 after 23 years of service.

"Agree. I am sick to death of hearing the same mediocre stories about this guy's life!"

Tough. If it's relevant to the discussion, I'll mention 'em.

And with that, I'm outa here for the day.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 23, 2007 4:33 PM

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 04:32 PM

Somebody got licks in school and is still bitter.....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:35 PM

That would be Congress, plus 38 (three-quarters) of the states.

NOT Congress alone.
-----

well no sh*t sherlock, that's given, the president must sign it too and there have to be actual people living in the District to give a vote to and pens must exist to sign the bill, but it is initiated via the legislative branch.

If THAT was the point... sheesh!

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 4:36 PM


DCer

Wrong, wrong wrong!
Not Congress alone!
-----

ok, who then bright eyes? The Supreme Court?

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 04:21 PM

Look it up, Goober!
-----

No, you look it up Twizzler. It's entirely initiated by the legislative branch.

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 04:33 PM

Talk about hubris. Entirely initiated? Sorry that you're unable to admit when you're wrong, but initiating an amendment to the Constitution isn't even 10% of the job.

You're probably still waiting to hear what went wrong with the ERA since Congress completed all that heavy lifting in the form of initiating an amendment. No wait, *smacks forehead* ,if you remembered anything about the ERA, you'd actually understand how Constitutional amendments work.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | July 23, 2007 4:37 PM

are you kidding me? where do you live? anacostia? shaw? congressional heights? didn't think so.

Posted by: to 4:16 | July 23, 2007 4:38 PM

The Supreme Court has the ability to declare something UNCONSTITUTIONAL, which means that a case concerning taxation without representation can go to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional, which would require representation for DC.

Congress has absolutely no say in this whatsoever.

Congress can AMEND the constitution, but it can do nothing to stop the Supreme Ct from interpreting an amendment that is already there.

For example, Congress can (with a super super majority) add an amendement stating that DC shall remain a "district", or they can add an amendment stating that DC is guaranteed the right to representation, along with 2 votes in the Senate, 1 House member, etc

Posted by: Political Science 101 | July 23, 2007 4:39 PM

For example, Congress can (with a super super majority) add an amendement stating that DC shall remain a "district", or they can add an amendment stating that DC is guaranteed the right to representation, along with 2 votes in the Senate, 1 House member, etc

... or Congress can say that DC residents are exempt from Federal taxes, thus solving the "taxation without representation" problem they other way.

That's all hypothetical, IF the Supreme Court were to declare the District's current 'taxation without representation' status to be unconstitutional.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 4:43 PM

In MoCo we had a teacher who was a veteran who was a real hard-ass. He did focus on regimentality, structure and discipline, but he taught Rocks for Jocks and other unintellectual pursuits and one famous time gave me a D on a paper I turned in because the two asteroids I talked about affecting dinosaur life didn't match the single asteroid discussed in our book. I was working from an episode of Nova and newspaper articles. He never read beyond the one textbook. He wasn't a bad teacher, he knew how to keep the class in order, but he wasn't, at all, an INTELLECTUAL and as such he only taught from the one book and didn't watch Nova. I used non-textbook materials and he didn't understand what I wrote. True Story.

yes, I'm aware that recently the theory has gone back to just one asteroid causing most of the damage.

Bet your coworkers don't vote you Ms. Congeniality, either. Learn to get along, DCer.

Posted by: To DCer | July 23, 2007 4:51 PM

I know! you live in Southwest! no.no.no-- that can't be right. Trinidad? Brookland? columbia heights?

Well anyway, I'm sure your point was that the VAST majority of DC residents are professionals living in their $800,000 townhouses, right? So there couldn't possibly be a need for them (or their children) to get training for skilled labor, right?

Posted by: to 4:16 | July 23, 2007 4:58 PM


Well anyway, I'm sure your point was that the VAST majority of DC residents are professionals living in their $800,000 townhouses, right? So there couldn't possibly be a need for them (or their children) to get training for skilled labor, right?


The vast majority of DC residents would like to STEAL what is in those 800k townhomes

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 5:01 PM

Leslie: When I have an empty nest I plan to teach at our local community college. My plan is to continue working in the corporate world until then. Of course, one thing I've already learned - and being a parent has accelerated this learning - is that the best laid plans can go awry. But that's my plan.

Posted by: m | July 23, 2007 5:01 PM

The vast majority of DC residents would like to STEAL what is in those 800k townhomes

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 05:01 PM

another poster who says, "Racist? Who me?"

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 5:10 PM

Talk about hubris. Entirely initiated? Sorry that you're unable to admit when you're wrong, but initiating an amendment to the Constitution isn't even 10% of the job.
---

Yawn, if what I meant was your interpretation of what I wrote then yes, I apologize, I am wrong. But because I didn't write that, I felt no need to apologize for other people's interpretations of a jotted down sentence.

When someone creates a straw man, I am not forced to reshape my views to fit their strawman and that's not hubris.

but if people thought, somehow, in some strange way, that I was saying no one else AT ALL was involved in the process of making DC a state then I apologize to you because we both know that's incorrect.

Are we done yet?

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 5:14 PM

Bet your coworkers don't vote you Ms. Congeniality, either. Learn to get along, DCer.
----

If I don't get a long with the cranks on this board, I don't consider it my failing. It's a shame if anyone does.

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 5:17 PM

but if people thought, somehow, in some strange way, that I was saying no one else AT ALL was involved in the process of making DC a state then I apologize to you because we both know that's incorrect.

Are we done yet?

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 05:14 PM

We are done communicating with someone for whom, "I'm wrong," is an insurmountable barrier. Grow up.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 5:18 PM

If I don't get a long with the cranks on this board, I don't consider it my failing. It's a shame if anyone does.


DC'er calling others cranks is rich!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 5:20 PM

The vast majority of DC residents would like to STEAL what is in those 800k townhomes

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 05:01 PM

another poster who says, "Racist? Who me?"

if the shoe fits for the residents and the poster......

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 5:21 PM

The Supreme Court has the ability to declare something UNCONSTITUTIONAL, which means that a case concerning taxation without representation can go to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional, which would require representation for DC.

Congress has absolutely no say in this whatsoever.

----

Yeah, I just called up an old Poli Sci major friend who cast doubt on this theory. They said that the supreme court cannot make DC a state. He said, and I agree that giving DC the vote without making it a state following last year's "trade of with Utah" bill is virtually unconstitutional, particularly because the recent DC residents would have 1/3 the amount of votes as regular states, which is not legal and would never pass muster.

you all can lawyerball this one back and forth all you want. I promise you that if we were all reverse vampires and reverse vampires were given only 1/3 the number of votes as a non-vampire then this would be a fine scenario. Just so someone doesn't bring up THAT scenario.

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 5:25 PM

We are done communicating with someone for whom, "I'm wrong," is an insurmountable barrier. Grow up.

------

Riiight. Go back though these chats and see how many times I (and others) are forced to say, "But I never wrote that!" Anonymous trolls can and will write whatever they want, but I know what I wrote was correct the way I meant it. I apologized already if that was written unclearly. But I can't accept responsibility for some thoughts I don't have. you'll have to live with that.

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 5:32 PM

DC will never be a state for a couple of reasons. It will vote solidly democratic forever. No Republican is going to support that and the democrats know that, so statehood will always die.

Posted by: sorry dc, not gonna happen | July 23, 2007 5:33 PM

DC'er is an insufferable bore.Always has been always will be. get over it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 5:35 PM

"Yeah, I just called up an old Poli Sci major friend who cast doubt on this theory. . . . you all can lawyerball this one back and forth all you want."

Tear up that Constitution and 200 years of published decisions, boys and girls, DCer called up one of his few friends who, based on his 4 year undergraduate major (would that be 32 or 40 hours of credits in Poly Sci?), has held forth. That pesky Juris Doctorate degree and years of practice can't hold a candle to DCers random friend.

Matt in Aberdeen can't hold a candle to DCer for pomposity or illogical thinking.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 5:36 PM

Posted by: | July 23, 2007 05:36 PM

Skewered DC'er anyone? Served cold.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 5:39 PM

Riiight. . . . I know what I wrote was correct the way I meant it. I apologized already if that was written unclearly. But I can't accept responsibility for some thoughts I don't have.

Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 05:32 PM

It wasn't written unclearly, DCer. To refresh your memory, so that you can start accepting responsibility for some thoughts you DO have based on the following. You started being incorrect at 4:11:


"The supreme court cannot change the constitution. Congress alone handles this one.
Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 04:11 PM

then, at 4:21, you continued added insulting to incorrect:

"Wrong, wrong wrong!
Not Congress alone!
-----
ok, who then bright eyes? The Supreme Court?"
Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 04:21 PM

and concluded at 4:33 with the following incorrect comment:

"No, you look it up Twizzler. It's entirely initiated by the legislative branch.
Posted by: DCer | July 23, 2007 04:33 PM


Posted by: Anonymous Troll | July 23, 2007 5:59 PM

Army Brat that is crazy that you don't think that teachers work for parents.

Where do my taxes go to? Whose kids are they teaching.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 7:11 PM

Teachers do NOT work for parents. They work for the entire society. One of the biggest things wrong with schools nowadays is parents undermining teacher authority.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 8:37 PM

Today, this blog totally jumped
the shark and landed three counties
over. A pity. And a waste.

Posted by: SF Mom | July 23, 2007 11:22 PM

Today, this blog totally jumped
the shark and landed three counties
over. A pity. And a waste.

Posted by: SF Mom | July 23, 2007 11:22 PM

Today, this blog totally jumped
the shark and landed three counties
over. A pity. And a waste.

Posted by: SF Mom | July 23, 2007 11:22 PM

SF Mom, did you have something to say about second careers or do you live only to comment on the quality of others' postings?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 11:47 PM

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