On Wed, 18 Apr 2001, Martin Wilke wrote:
> These schools would be completely tax-funded. But that does not mean the
> government has any influence on their content. For example, in Germany
> the political parties receive government-money, 1 DM ($0,45) per year
> for every vote they got in the past election. Nevertheless the state has
> no influence on the political program of the parties.
Just wondering... How is it possible to fund something without,
ultimately, having at least some influence over it?
I can imagine what would happen if a government decided to give $5000
per year per student enrolled in any private school NO STRINGS ATTACHED:
Some sleazy people could design a workhouse wherein the kids were
"learning by engaging in a trade in cooperation with local businesses,"
and then invite each parent who agrees to enroll their kid in the school a
$2000 honorarium for a once-per-year talk given by the parent... The
parents who send their kids to these factories would be paid $2000 per
year for doing so, and the factory would get free labor _and_ an extra
There is _no_way_ in which the State would allow that situation to
continue. It would have to turn around and _define_ a school. Probably
part of the State's definition would be that students not be allowed to
produce anything sellable; that could ruin a number of feasible
educational opportunities (including the student-run business initiatives
that are very much a part of life at SVS). Probably another part of a
state's definition would be a rule defining what a "teacher" is, so that
parents couldn't profit from such a school; this would GREATLY impact
schools like SVS, where only a couple of the staff were ever licensed as
"teachers" by any state or in any context.
I am not so sure that your Government doesn't exert _some_ sorts of
control over its political parties. Your government at least codifies
what a party is, and such a definition is by its very nature a control.
The definition of a party eligable for funds that you mention (1 DM per
person who voted for the party in the past election) obviously is a
hardship for _very_ small parties in their first year, that are more
interested in advertising issues than in running strong candidates --
since their competitors all get government monies (which come from the
taxes of those party members) well in excess of their monies.
I wonder if the political landscape _isn't_ different in Germany than it
would be without the government funds? If the landscape isn't at all
different, then why waste the taxpayer money? If the landscape _is_
different, then it is clear that the government _is_ using money to
influence the elections and thus the political landscape. This doesn't
neccesarily mean that it is _bad_ for a government to influence the
political landscape in certain ways, though I don't think that it is fair
to prentend that such monies _don't_ influence the political landscape.
> Martin Wilke
--Scott David Gray
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