Here is a quiz question for Cats. Name this product.
One is required by law to consume it.
- There is a publicly provided version version of this product and a privately provided one.
- The private version costs the consumer more than the public version, this despite the myth perpetrated that the public version is “free”.
- Those who purchase the privately provided product do so voluntarily well aware of the additional costs and obligations.
- Those who don’t purchase the private provided product believe that those who do are any and all combinations of stupid, ill informed, racist, elitist, sexist and profligate.
Perhaps the last question gave it away.
Yes. The product in question is primary and secondary education. We all pay for it, through our taxes. But there are some who pay a voluntary “supplement”, by way of private school fees, to consume the privately provided version. That supplement, can be small, but it can also be large; upto $35,000 per annum of after income tax money.
Yet despite the fact that there are people who voluntarily spend this money, sometimes at great financial pain, those who don’t spend such money seem to think that they know better. And not just that they know better, but that they are morally superior for not spending their own money.
I can’t think of any other product where those who don’t consume it seem to know more about it than those who pay to consume it.
Here is a possible reason why people voluntarily pay this private school premium.
According to its annual report, at end financial year 2016, the NSW Department of Education employed close to 90,000 full time equivalent staff. With seeming pride, the annual report acknowledged that more than 73% were teachers. Such a “boast” fails to see the problem with having some 24,000 full time equivalent staff not being teachers. That is 1 in 4 employees.
The 24,000 non teaching staff of the NSW Department of Education is about half the total number of staff of the Commonwealth Bank, one of Australia’s largest private employers having also a foreign footprint. Extrapolate also the number of non teaching staff across Australia’s other states and territories and then add in the number of non teaching staff within the Commonwealth Department of Education (ie 100% of them) and think about how many people working to educate children don’t actually educate children.
Now the NSW Department of Education is one of the largest individual employers in the Southern hemisphere. And the thing about large organisations, government ones in particular, is that their core modus operandi is to centralise, bureaucratise and standardise. Hence the need to have 1 in 4 employees not involved in the actual production of the product. A 25% corporate overhead would be rightly lambasted in a private business environment, and 25% does not factor in the cost of the Commonwealth.
The irony of government promoting diversity has always amazed Spartacus. How can you have diversity in organisations where standardisation and centralisation is essential to manage and control unnaturally large organisations?
And that’s the thing. You can’t have diversity in such environments which is why such organisations, despite their purported cultural diversity have no intellectual or philosophical diversity. It’s very Henry Ford. You can have any skin colour or race you like, as long as you think like we do. Hence the group think within the ABC which shows through their news content. Hence the group think within government agencies which shows through their belief that any and every problem can be solved through more and bigger government.
Yes. I know Spartacus has gone off on a tangent, but the theme is the same. The experts and the public servants who are not part of the transaction always seem to believe that they know more than those people who are part of the transaction. As Sir Humprey presciently said:
How on earth would parents know which schools are best? …..
You can’t expect ordinary people to know where to send their children. …..
Parents have no qualifications to make these choices. Teachers are the professionals. …..
Parents are the worst people to bring up children. They have no qualifications. No training.
Another day in the People’s Democratic Republic of Australia.
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