Regarding the Sept. 7 column titled “Government worsens problems,” author Chris Talgo may have left his brain in the other room before writing it.
[This was a Point/Counter column published alongside one titled “Cities show government works,” written by Dan Vogel.]
That, or Mr. Talgo regards the average reader’s IQ as sub-cretinous.
Worth noting at the start is that Mr. Talgo is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a conservative/libertarian think tank that has enjoyed funding by the Koch brothers and Exxon Mobil, to name just two of its many big-industry patrons.
Unsurprisingly, the Heartland Institute is one of the loudest voices in the dissonant chorus of climate change deniers.
Mr. Talgo begins with familiar illogic:
Average ACT scores “prove” that private schools do a far better job than public schools in educating our youths.
Apples and oranges, ladies and gentlemen!
Private schools can decline to admit (or retain) students who fail to meet their standards.
Public schools are open to — and welcome — one and all.
Private school students typically come from homes in which education is revered — homes in which the means and motivation to pay the considerable costs of tuition, room and board and incidentals are present.
And anyway, the disparate size of the two cohorts renders Mr. Talgo’s conclusion specious.
Citing this as a prime example of unproductive, out-of-control government, he adds to his “thesis” that tired old “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help” quotation uttered while then-candidate Ronald Reagan was throwing red meat to supporters at a campaign rally.
Hyperbole is alive and well on the stump, folks.
Isn’t it odd that smaller-government advocates factions preach “Let’s get government out of our lives” but then, dismayed by some unpleasant development, they bray, “Where was our government when this happened?”
Or, “There ought to be a bureau of …”
Hope that not too many Watertown Daily Times readers fell for Mr. Talgo’s op-ed nonsense.
The writer is past president of the Norwood-Norfolk Central School Board of Education.