Fighting a School Levy: Real value vs. percieved value

For whatever reason in the middle of January 11, 2012 my broadcast with Doc Thompson on 700 WLW garnered a lot of email requests from tax fighting groups all over Ohio wanting help in fighting their school levy situations which mirror the troubles I’ve had at Lakota for most of the last decade. I am happy to help any and all people who wish to mount similar campaigns against their school districts for the simple reason that I think public education has been performing an ominous task, holding the children we send to public school hostage to fulfill the aims of organized labor which has political motivations. This has not only led to extraordinary per pupil costs, but has worked hand in hand to drive up the cost of college education as well. So I encourage all of you reading this to listen to that interview I had with Doc Thompson again, but at the conclusion listen to the next guest who speaks with Doc about the troubles of college education which ties directly to the perceptions established in public education.

The absolutely infuriating aspect of the Ben Dibble move into the presidency of the Lakota School Board and advancing Julie Schafer to the VP spot, who is a person who has been my adversary in these tax fights, I take it as an assault to my cause, instead of the district listening to the points we’ve tried to make in helping them balance their budget, they’ve sought to dig in for a more vicious fight in 2012. It’s nothing against Ben or Julie, but the strategy that Lakota has employed coming out of the holiday break reveals their intentions.

I see the same arrogance in our current president. I see the same lack of will in our congress and senate dealing with the United States $15 trillion-dollar deficit. The behavior at the federal level is no different from that of my local school board. It’s a lack of desire to face reality. It’s a desire on their part to follow a failed economic model created in Europe and they are in denial as to the effectiveness. The public schools in Ohio and all across the nation are arrogant in their belief of the product they produce, which is not the best in the world, is so valuable that it is beyond question or financial restriction. They are arrogant in what they believe their role is in our children’s lives as opposed to what our role as parents are. And they believe we should spend infinite amounts of money to maintain their empires. They believe this because all these types of employees from the President to the school board member to the teacher in the classroom are government employees. Is it any surprise that the president props up teachers? Because he was one, and he wishes the public to believe he has an inflated value, so by propping up the teaching profession, he assigns value to his own life that may not be real.

Shortly after my discussion with Doc Thompson I looked at the payroll I’m responsible for in my professional life. I tried for a moment to see the world the way Ben Dibble, Julie Schafer and Barack Obama see the world and apply that thinking to the management of those wages. Looking at over 150 employees, I may think every one of them is worth $30 an hour. But in reality the market value for their tasks may range from $10 per hour to $21 per hour. So if I paid them all $30 dollars an hour because I like them and think they are doing a good job that is a decision that I made that is not based on market value, but personal value. To pay all 150 employees at $30 per hour will cost me $4,500 per hour in employment costs. It will cost me $180,000 per week in payroll that must be supported by sales.

However, sales are driven by market forces and I can only generate $130,000 a week in sales, because in my business, that is the reality created by competitive forces, (hypothetical situation for the purpose of explanation) So as a member of management it is my task to make sure my payroll does not exceed my sales, so I must make sure that if I have some employees who make close to the $30 per hour mark, I need a relative number who make at the $10 an hour mark depending on what they do as determined by their skill level.

If I pay my employees the way I want to, and I go over my sales revenue, then I am a bad manager. If I went to my customers and said to them “I am raising the prices of my product to cover my costs, so you will have to pay more.” Of course their reaction will be to take a hike, they’ll find another supplier, because I have priced my goods out of market value and it wouldn’t be worth it to them to pay the increase. That leaves me with the dilemma of having to either lay off workers, which would hinder my ability to perform the task of making my product, or asking my workers to take a cut in pay to meet the sales revenue.

This is what government is doing at the federal level when they say they must tax the rich, because behind the scenes they know that it is only in the rich that there is more money to be obtained, and they must obtain more revenue to cover the promises they’ve made but didn’t reason how to pay for them. And this is why your local school has no other plan but to seek additional revenue in the form of taxes. At Lakota, the new Superintendent who we pay over $250K per year for in overall compensation has one primary job—to obtain passed tax levies. Lakota spends many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on public relations for one reason—to pass school levies. In fact, The Pulse Journal just released the latest story on the Laura Kursman incident where Lakota paid the former Public Relations director $90K a year to go away. You can read that article here:

Of course there’s more to the story. It appears that Laura found herself in a squabble with the school board over one of the sex cases the district had to clean up, specifically a child molestation case, and it bothered her to have to defend the behavior. By the time the levy attempt came around, Laura was questioning things. So the public image focused on her neck injury. The deeper issue that cost $90K in tax payer money involved the realization that Laura would not as PR director do anything to maintain the image of Lakota, so the board paid her off to conclude a separation of the contract, so the district could hire a PR director who would do anything to protect the image of the school to pass a new levy.

The exclusive desire of the distinct of Lakota is in maintaining their image so the public will grant them higher taxes. The problem is the district doesn’t have the money even if they wanted to. Butler County is suffering from lack of real money in value. It is the worst county in all of Ohio in home foreclosures. The county had 3,330 foreclosure filings against properties in 2011, only three filings less than were made in 2010. That’s a flat change with no major improvement from 2010, but down from more than 4,000 filings in 2009, according to Irvine-Calif.-based website RealtyTrac, which monitors default notices, bank repossessions and scheduled auctions across the nation.
You can read rest of that article from the Pulse Journal here:–1311524.html

The foreclosures are caused by two things, one the housing bubble burst, which was in part propped up by federal loans qualifying people who didn’t actually have the personal value to obtain the homes, and two the tax rates have proven too high and are soaking up residents expendable incomes. The homeowners foreclosed upon treaded water for a while, just like the federal government does and continue to shop and participate in the economy by racking up credit card debt. But eventually, they are overtaken with the weight of the debt and they lose their homes.

The fight against tax increases, particularly at Lakota, is not to hurt kids who go to the school. And it’s not to get revenge on the school and its employees. The fight is to help those who live in our district who are suffering because of the housing bubble collapse and don’t have the incomes to cover the cost of their personal debt. Lakota, as well as virtually every public school dominated by a labor union, have run their labor costs above what the market can support, and it is their task to cover the gap between perceived value and real value. At Lakota it’s easy; all they have to do is reduce their labor costs by 5%. That’s not very much if distributed among the 2000 employees. Other districts might be a bit more, or a bit less. But it is not the task of the public to pay more for a service they are already barely able to afford. And it’s not a good use of public money for a school like Lakota to manipulate the tax payers with PR directors and school board games of pretending to cut costs or implement programs of cost reduction when it is clear the intention is to go for another tax increase in 2012. After all, Ben and Julie have made that proclamation abundantly clear. They believe if the public perceives the board is good, and united, then the public will grant Lakota a tax increase.

It was the teacher’s union in 2008 that drove up the labor costs with their strike attempt and it was the school board who caved under the pressure and signed the contract. That is mismanagement of the community resources and not the problem of the home owners and business owners who have managed to balance their budgets to stay in business and maintain their homes in a tight economy. They are successful, which is why they live in Liberty Twp and West Chester. But if the school district loots more money away from the community to cover their own fallacy, then it is not acceptable. They failed to balance their budget which was given to them by the public at the ballot box.

For every school system who proposes a tax increase, you will be fought diligently. You will be fought because you are a proven parasite that doesn’t understand what a burden you are on the community and it is not the task of producers to compensate for your failures. We live in the age of litigation culture, which is failing our society, and has established a false value toward assets with the legal aim of direct theft. Value obtained in this litigation culture is based on theft, not produced value, and this is how modern education has taught our children and why they expect looted money from the value of property to fuel their tyranny. The modern public education establishment has the task of learning its true value and not attempting to prop it up with image specialists, so that they can loot the wealth of a community. Even if the community is itself wealthy, as West Chester and Liberty Twp is, that does not entitle the school system’s labor unions to loot that wealth because they work in the district. The fight at hand is to place among the responsible parties the burden of adjusting themselves to their real social value. It may be painful, but at least those employees will still have a job, and a good one that is valuable. But not at the expense of putting one resident out of their house that has real value because they can’t afford the taxes, or driving away the potential business who locates their establishment in another community because the taxes are cheaper. The business has value because it produces materials that bring happiness, or assets directly exchanged with currency. The fight against tax levies is a fight for a quality of life that is purely American. The fight to pass a tax levy is a defense of socialism. And that is a battle for the soul of America and it is happening in your own back yards, and you must win there before you can win against the federal government.

First win the fight in your back yard. Then win the fight in Washington D.C.


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