Last time I looked, Gates was producing products that bring joy to the life of kids who live everywhere. And he is giving away almost all his wealth to help the poorest people in the world. And Rowling? All she does is write books that youngsters like to read and help make movies people of all ages flock to see. What I know about the riots in Baltimore is mainly what I have seen on my TV screen. But I don’t recall any signs that read “Down with Gates” or “We Hate Rowling.”
That doesn’t stop New York Times writer Paul Krugman, who is up to the task of turning almost any tragedy into an opportunity to peddle snake oil. When he is not covering up his abysmal record economic prediction, Krugman’s columns tend to have three themes: (1) people are poor because they can’t find jobs, (2) nonetheless we should do everything we can to close off job opportunities, by encouraging labor union monopolies, raising the minimum wage and voting against any political candidate who has the courage to oppose the teacher unions and try to improve the schools and (3) then blame the tragedy that unfolds on the “top tenth of the top 1 percent.”
Let’s get rid of one left wing myth right away. Krugman and other liberal commentators are asserting that Baltimore’s poor minority community is suffering from “neglect.” True? Hardly.
Among the top 100 school districts in the country, Baltimore spending per student ranks number two – trailing only New York. According to George Mason University economist Alex Tabarrok, Baltimore spends $17,196 per student – an amount that would pay the tuition at some of the nation’s most exclusive private schools. Further, according to Terence Jeffrey, the Baltimore school system has about 10,165 teachers and other staff on the payroll in the 2012-2013 school year — or about 1 for every 8.3 students.