Good letter.I too noticed the multiple ALEC articles.Does ALEC
have ties to DN ownership?
ALEC is dangerous. Intelligent voters need to learn all they can about this
organization and its goals. They cloak their insidious agendas in patriotic
jingoism and try to sell it to gullible state legislators.Many of
our Utah legislators are members of this organization and we've seen
several of its agendas pop up in legislation here in Utah.Voters
need to learn what ALEC is and especially learn which of our legislators are
members. After doing your homework, then you can vote wisely to keep this
organization from achieving its destructive goals.
ALEC is a political group that leans right where as the writer is part of a
group that leans left. Both have the right to express their views and issue
findings on what states are doing well but Utah is far and above doing better
than most states. Per pupil spending will always be lower here
because of the demographic. We have large families its a simple math equation
that tells you we will always be lower than vermont where people don't have
kids.As far as access to benefits that ratio is a joke as it
doesn't tell you if people are actually getting access to charity or not
all that measure tells us is if the state is allocating budget resources to
medicaid.The writer hasn't talked about the results in
California, Illinios or New York where their states are in huge budget trouble
or that poverty is much higher there then here. and cost of living makes all
wages below the uber rich worth less.Results matter and that is what
Hammer, you need to update your information on California. Under the current
Democrat governor, they are turning around the budget mess that was left for
them by their recent Republican governors.
California didn't have a budget mess until Dems controlled everything from
the house to the gov mansion at the end of the 90s. And you can't blame the
Terminator for a problem that existed before he was there, and how do I know
that? because I lived there when that state recalled the Dem governor. And if
you have been watching you will see that California doesn't have control of
their finances. They can't manage their services they have a huge unfunded
liability and they use budget gimmicks to make up the shortfall. Its not a
secret among the financial community that California has been hanging by a
thread for a long time and it hasn't gotten better. California is a mess.
@The Hammer"Per pupil spending will always be lower here because
of the demographic."We know you have too many kids. But your
"explanation" does not address the issue that Utah does not educate them
properly. Look at the abysmal rankings of Utah's high schools. Why is
BYU's engineering program rated 107th in the nation (is that related to
demographics)?Utah depends heavily on federal spending and the LDS
Church. Take those both away and Utah would be Mississippi.Your
comments about California are dated and wrong. I am in the "financial
community" and California is coming back strong (on its own). I have lived
in both places and can say that prices are higher here because people want to
live here. Prices are lower there because... well. California leads the nation
in technology, farm production, education and most other statistics not invented
by ALEC. Utah leads the nation as the place where businesses can best exploit
customer service employees.
California has "solved" their budget mess by simply raising taxes. By
not addressing the underlying problems, that's not much of a solution.
It's like fixing a leaky bucket by turning up the hose that fills it.
California remains a poster child for governmental inefficiency, special
interests, dysfunctional legislature and willful ignorance. Yes, ALEC is pro
business growth. Businesses employ people, pay taxes and provide needed goods
and services. Mr. Obama's mantra is You didn't do that, the government
did. ALEC's mantra is We can't wait or depend on the government to
@wastedtimeUtah graduation rate greater than 90%California
grad rate is ranked 48th in nation.BYU has the top business and accounting
school, University of utah is top 50 for business and top 100 for engineering
and 107th isn't bad when you take into account that their are thousands of
universities and engineering programs. What do you do in finance sell
literature or life ins?And California didn't solve its problem
they just passed the buck onto the cities who now have to come up with the
shortfall (most of which are going bancrupt or on the verge) and even then the
state is facing a huge risk as they are on the hook for the unfunded liabilities
of the city if they city goes belly up. Raising taxes may have covered the
accounting of the budget but wait a year when you see the actual numbers. Dude
look at the numbers and the budget and what they did. Its all accounting tricks.
Re:TheHammerSources?According to the most recent data by
the U.S. Dept of Education, UT and CA high school graduation rates were 76%.CA exceeded UT in graduation rates for economically disadvantaged
students and English second language students.According to U.S.
Census data, % of people 25 yrs and older with Bachelors degrees, CA ranks #14
in the U.S., UT ranks #16.With such a homogenous population, one
would think UT rankings would be higher.
Re:TheHammerUntil recently, CA state budget required 2/3 majority
passage by state legislators.Gray Davis was the Gov. Of CA during
the late 90's and early 2000's.California was producing
record budget surpluses under Davis even after his tax cuts (he cut sales taxes
and vehicle licensing fees) and new spending (primarily on education).
According to the California Department of Finance, California had a 10% surplus
at the end of 1999 and California was projected to have a 4% surplus at the end
fiscal year 2000.Then, the dot-com boom that had been fueling
California's record tax revenues burst unexpectedly because of the large
number of high tech firms in California and California's dependence on
state income taxes. When the dot-com boom turned to bust, state revenues fell
while ongoing spending commitments created deficits. Restoring the licensing
fees to pre tax cut levels to close the budget gap and stabilize the
state's credit rating became unpopular. Additionally, the
Enron scandal, electric market manipulation by energy trading firms primarily
located in TX, cost CA billions.CA is doing better due to some cost
cutting and tax increases. There still remain challenges.
?The problem with ALEC is that this state has one party rule. As such there is
little challenge to the legislation that they promote and even write. The
Republic establishment in Utah is just a ditto head rubber stamp for whatever
ALEC thing is good. That is just not healthy.
@WastintimeWhat does BYU's engineering school have to do with ALEC?
But, if you bring up BYU, why not mention their highly ranked accounting, law
and MBA programs, the very high percentage of graduates accepted to graduate
school (as in the Ivy League), BYU's ranking in the top 100 US
universities, their high average ACT scores and the fact that the top third of
the 6000 entering freshmen have the qualifications to attend any elite school in
California or elsewhere? Considering the epidemic problem of drugs and binge
drinking on college campuses, being the #1 stone cold university may be
something you want to mention next time.
@CougaristaI mention the fact that the finest university in the
state of Utah has not a first tier, not a second tier, but a .... wait for it...
third tier engineering program to illustrate how Utah is falling behind the
world in education. While BYU is ranked in he middle of the pack in some areas,
MBA's, lawyers and accountants do not create anything and will not help
Utah be competitive in the future. Only 3 Utah high schools are ranked in the
top 1,000 in the country (and this country's high schools are not great).
The DN likes to write about ALEC and Utahns like to congratulate
yourselves and put down California, but California is making the investment
today to be competitive tomorrow. More than 200 of America's top 1,000
high schools are located in California, and universities like Stanford,
Berkeley, Cal Tech, UCLA, Harvey Mudd (the many more) are turning out the
crucial world-class engineers and scientists so sorely needed in our country.Utah has not pulled its weight in the past and is not positioning to
pull its weight in the future and people's heads seem to buried in the
Maryann,Would you rather the DN censor news on ALEC?
Wastintime,"While BYU is ranked in he middle of the pack in some
areas, MBA's, lawyers and accountants do not create anything and will not
help Utah be competitive in the future." Actually ranked higher than middle
of the pack and these accountants, attorneys and MBAs will be amused that they
are not contributing to society. It was decided in the 1950's that BYU
would concentrate on quality undergraduate education, a goal they have achieved
remarkably well, and at the same time support respectable graduate programs.
Different schools have different strengths and Utah's graduate schools are
very competitive as are Utah State's engineering and other technical
programs. Comparing California and Utah is a foolish exercise, apples and
oranges. Having escaped from California I don't need a lecture on their
@CougaristaYou altered what I said. I did not say accountants,
MBA's and attorneys (by the way, I am two of those) do not contribute
anything. I said they do not CREATE anything. I stand by that.Your
observation that BYU is working on 1950s goals sounds accurate to me. But
unfortunately this is the year 2013 and STEM (science, technology, engineering
and mathematics) education has been recognized as being very important in the
world (outside of Utah). California schools have particularly recognized the
importance of STEM education, and their world-class universities are producing
the graduates needed for future technological advances.I agree that
comparing Utah and California is ridiculous. And I never see it happen on the
pages of California newspapers. But Utah newspapers seem to like to compare Utah
to other states like California, so once in a while I feel the need (having once
escaped Utah) to provide a dose of reality.
Voter Turnout?Our only problem is that the voter turnout has not kept up
with the population increase. The voter turnout keeps going up but not as fast
as the population. Some of that is the younger voters, where Utah has a larger
percentage of them and they aren't, as a group, as involved. Some of that
are those moving in and not understanding our system. People like
Doug Wright (and this article) should be helping, but he, in my opinion, is
making it worse.