Luxembourg 
Member since Nov 26, 2014


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Re: “The complicated path to teacher diversity

Kathryn, I,think you used the salary for Rochester, Mn, not NY. Refer to the link below. The starting salary is $45k, with a maximum of $133k. This for working 10 months a year, not 12. Teachers will not make,it to the top 5%, much less 1%, but then they do not have an education in the most challenging field either.

http://www.nctq.org/districtPolicy/contrac…

6 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 09/13/2017 at 8:49 PM

Re: “Activists push district to hire more teachers of color

Very informative article. I was able to learn that it is possible, with a straight face, to talk about being interested in raising city school kids' test scores without even once mentioning that one way to make a significant improvement is to encourage a rapid expansion of charter schools in the area. The D&C article showed the results for the local charter schools. Using a simple average (I did not have access to the number of students by school in order to calculate weighted averages), I was able to determine that the charter schools on average had 25% of their students considered to be proficient, versus 8% in the RCSD schools. Three times as likely to be proficient!! And with similar demographics. Those results were not just in Rochester. The NYT had a good article that found that the charter schools in NYC not only outperformed NYC public schools, but that they had improved at a faster rate. Neither Macaluso nor the committee thinks this is worth considering.

The second thing I learned is that not every ill in the world is to be blamed on white males. Just most of them. Minister Clifford Florence " drew a straight line between the district's largely white, female teaching force and the low test scores of the district's mostly minority students." Really?

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 09/02/2017 at 1:20 PM

Re: “How to reduce poverty: Boost workers' wages

Mark,

How can you recommend the CPI report as either independent or objective, and therefore credible? Credibility requires that one does not have any conflicts of interest, which would include selectively including information that supports one's prior positions.

CPI is a non-profit that states that part of their mission is the promotion of "economic justice", Thus publishing a study to support their position simply contains a conflict of interest. Would they have published a study that contradicted their position? doubtful. Next, consider the author, Brownell. He is also an economic justice warrior, and he is lacking any degree in either economics or any field remotely related to economics. He has both a conflict of interest and lack of professional credibility. Finally, consider Robert Reich, who is referenced repeatedly. He does have the economic credentials, but he also has a conflict of interest. His stated public positions are pro union and pro increased minimum wage. Did he have the potential to cherry pick facts to support his biases.

One might as well say that studies financed by the Koch family are objective and credible.

A more objective look at the impact of a minimum wage increase was one done by the CBO in 2014 (link below). As one might expect, such an objective study finds both positive and negative impacts from a minimum wage increase. They looked at an increase to either $9 or $10. At the $10 level, they find that it would increase the wages of those impacted by it, but that it would also cost 500k jobs. One could expect that a $15 minimum wage would have much bigger impacts on both low income wage earners and the number that would be expected to lose their positions.It would certainly accelerate the retail industry's efforts to replace low income workers with automation.

https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/11…

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 08/15/2017 at 1:52 PM

Re: “People pack City Council for Parcel 5 forum

In reading and re-reading this article and the accompanying one in City, I realized that there were two significant items that bothered me.

1- The apparent low level of interest of Rochester residents. Once you take away the vested interests (RBTL and Geva factions) and subtract a few for suburbanites that were interested, how many "regular folks" does that leave, 30-50? that s less than most suburban school board meetings have attend. Given the financial risks to Rochester, and its poor track record of having projects work out financially, it is very surprising.

2- The second thing is how the press (both City and the D&C) have thus far failed its readers by providing no real analysis of the projections. For instance, there are three main revenue streams; Broadway plays, other events, and parking. Does the growth in attendance fit with history, or are they hockey stick type graphs? Is there sufficient demand in Rochester for 50 additional events without significantly impacting Eastman, Geva, or Blue Cross? And it would seem that the RBTL's parking gain might be coming at the expense of the companies that provide parking at today's theatre. The answers to all of these questions, and more, may be positive. However, when you do not have anyone looking at the numbers with an independent eye, and instead focusing only on the politics, you are not likely to get realistic answers.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 08/13/2017 at 5:18 PM

Re: “How to reduce poverty: Boost workers' wages

You say that the only way to reduce poverty is to increase wages. It would certainly take some out of poverty, but for others, those that either lose their jobs or have their hours shortened due to the increased cost, it would worsen their situation.

Instead of mandating wages above their market levels, how about the government takes actions to lower the costs of living for people. They could lower property taxes, which are outrageously high in upstate (3%+ of market value), or reduce the sales tax levels (8.25%). If someone rents a $50k house, then their rent includes $1500-1700 of property taxes. In most states, it would be ~$500. What would a 4% sales tax do for the poor? Or reducing gasoline excise taxes to the median of the US states instead of being one of the highest.

Be creative instead of just another Democratic sheep.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 08/10/2017 at 3:09 PM

Re: “Affording the arts

What the arts organizations need is for more people to visit them. MAG! Which is Rochester's premier arts facility, had 225k visitors last year. The Red Wings had over 400k visitors during their 72 home games.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 07/20/2017 at 4:38 PM

Re: “Health care is a right. Why is that debatable?

One thing is for certain. Ms Towler had demonstrated that she does not understand the concept of insurance at all. Insurance is intended to have the members of a similar risk class cover the unexpected and potentially very expensive costs of a negative event happening. Note that the costs are borne by the members of a similar risk class.

Which Obamacare, the young, a low medical risk class, are expected to carry the costs and subsidize the costs for high risk person, who are older (such as me). Since younger people in general have lower both lower income and lower medical expenses, how can this be considered fair? Ask yourself, do older, low risk drivers pay the same auto insurance premiums as teens and people in their 20s, who are a higher risk group. Not at all. Insurance rates for the young are much higher. Or how about life insurance? Term policies are sold to every age group, but are the rates for say a 10 year policy the same for someone that is 25 as one that is 60, or do men, who die at younger ages than women, pay the same as women? Again, not at all.

In the future, please make sure you have a basic understanding of topics you plan to write about.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Luxembourg on 07/13/2017 at 7:55 AM

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