Saturday, March 25, 2023

My taxes

I am happy to pay my taxes, to federal, state and local governments. I like to see my taxes wisely spent and I can't say that always happens but in the big picture, our taxes are spent on the betterment of and for society. 

If a society has an insufficient tax base, the well being and living standards of the citizens falls apart. 

I don't even mind my taxes being spent on what I may see as wankery art or opera. My taxes spent on picking up a drunk and drugged waster from the gutter and feeding them, clothing them, housing them and ensuring they receive appropriate medical care is fine with me.

What I really object to my taxes being spent on is huge funding of religious private schools. Sadly as I recall, this begun under God Gough's Labor government's reign over Australia when he began taxpayer funding of Catholic schools in the 1970s.

And hasn't it snowballed from there. Every little tin pot religious school receives taxpayer money now, as well as the extremely wealthy mainstream Catholic and Protestant religious schools. It is a disgrace. Our public schools are perfectly fine with dedicated teachers but underfunded. Why overfund private religious schools when public schools need funding? 

Parents and defenders of subsided private education point out how overwhelmed our public education system would be without private schools. Well, the change would not happen overnight and the subsidies for private schools will go into the public purse to expand the public system. 

When Dictator Andrew Highriser rules, he will defund private education over the course of five years and redirect the money to public schools. We will return to a good education for all, and if you want an alternative, you pay for it and not me. Only the absolute elite will ask which school you attended.

We do have some public schools that select students on merit. I'll put them in the too hard basket and let them be for now. They do suspiciously have very nice facilities though.

This is a hard one as so many family members go to private schools. Irreligious Sister's career has been teaching in a prestigious Catholic boys school. Jo goes to an excellent non religious private school. Little M and Little Em go to private Catholic school, mainly because they open the gate on their back fence and be at school. The Cafe Latte twins have just started at a government primary school.

I wish I had saved the article to quote the correct figures, but as per the last census, only about 42% of Australians are now religious believers and the figure is dropping rapidly. Wait, I found it easily.

Religious affiliation in 2021

In 2021, more people opted to answer the Census religion question than in 2016. In 2021, the number of people who answered the religion question was 93.1% of the population, an increase from 90.9% in 2016.

In 2021 the most common religions were:

  • Christianity (43.9%)
  • No religion (38.9%)
  • Islam (3.2%)
  • Hinduism (2.7%)
  • Buddhism (2.4%)

Here is a snip of what happens in private religious schools, in this case the school where the soon to be ex Premier of the State of New South Wales attended. It is known as the Opus Dei branch of the Catholic religion. The vaccination referred to is for HPV, Human Papilloma Virus and is free and readily available for teens upon request without need for parental approval. 

My taxes pay for this crap education!!! I don't like private education institutions and I detest what happens in religious schools.

I'll leave you with a media quote.  

What kind of school tells its students not to get a life-saving vaccine because it encourages promiscuity? What kind of school tells its students pornography causes holes in the brain? What kind of school tells its students same-sex relationships are evil while at the same time barely disciplining a staff member in a same-sex relationship with a disciple and former student?  

34 comments:

  1. "If a society has an insufficient tax base, the well being and living standards of the citizens falls apart".
    I would change just one word:
    "If a society has an insufficient tax base, the well being and living standards of poorer citizens falls apart"

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    1. Hels, the poor are at the front line but history tells us the rich will eventually be affected, sometimes very badly.

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  2. The eliters and the fanatics seem to get their way a lot, with everything. I'd vote for Andrew the Benevolent Dictator.

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    1. Thanks for your vote Strayer. Of course top of my list would be to stop any cruelty to animals.

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  3. You will be totally unsurprised to learn that I agree with you. And Hels.

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  4. Too right. All hail Emperor Andrew! I'd vote for you anyway.

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    1. JayCee, you have me swelling with confidence now.

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  5. In the USA, taxes are not given to private schools. We have our own list of what can or cannot or should be done. Our voices need to be respected.

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    1. Susan, that is rather interesting. I did not know one way or the other.

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  6. I went to a government girls high school and had the education I knew my kids would not get by the time they went to school My kids went to private school and their kids go to private school …expensive ones . I worked in a government school to pay for my kids tuition. Education is the cornerstone to a good future and private schools can provide this because parents have an obligation to abide by their rules…behaviour punctuality rigor, after school sports and cultural activities . If you ever worked in a government school you would know that there is constant battle with many parents about school expectations, even getting to school on time is often challenged. If you are fortunate to get into a selective government school you will basically get a private education. As you sad Whitlam was a major player . All taxpayers contribute to schooling and some even pay exorbitant fees … it’s called choice.
    The PM went to a religious private school as did his son. There are a number of Jewish and Islamic schools and they meet the needs of their children as well as providing students with a great education .
    To answer your last question ..the school you use as an example would not be the only religious school who would be teaching that nonsense


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    1. Anon, that is way it has become because of subsidising private education with state schools starved of funding. Discipline was strong at state schools in my younger years. I was astonished when we took my then six year old niece to her primary school by it was not a drop off but parents or carers gathered inside the school, chatted with teachers, stayed for assembly. That does not make for strong boundaries. Your children are not your friends and nor are school teachers. Admittedly it was a very good state primary school with few social or other societal problems. Nevertheless I thought it was very strange. I live very close to a state girls' high and it seems to have become a school for talented 2nd generation immigrants. That's just an observation but I wonder which state school clever Anglo girls go to? Thanks for your views.

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  7. I feel your annoyance over here and if I were an Australian I would feel exactly the same way.

    P.S. Do you really have wankery art in Australia? Personally, I think people should do that in private and there's no need to see paintings of the activity.

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  8. There a bill here in my state of Idaho. Doing with education that giving I believe is 5,000 to each childes family. To go to a private, religious, or home schooling. What mainly get to me is. That these school or people don't have any accountability. But the public school needs to be held accountable.
    Coffee is on and stay safe.

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    1. Dora, so the $5000 is effectively subsidising private education if parents choose to send their children to private schools. Our private schools are still accountable to authorities but they are given very long leashes.

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  9. For once I have nothing to add. Actually, I do!
    I have major issues with government schools providing religious education which is about one religion only. If you want your child to learn about your religion send them to sunday school (or your religion's equivalent) or send them to a religious school. Government funded schools should be teaching about all religions from a tolerance perspective - which is why I resent govt money going to private schools who promote their own brand of brainwashing.

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    1. Caro, that too. Howard's semi compulsory religious education in state schools was bad. I remember two children at my primary school who sat elsewhere and read when we received RI, Religious Instruction. Their parents did not want them to learn RI from the Anglican church. Religion should be taught to children in history classes, all religions.

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  10. With you 1000%, Andrew. What I like about your rants is that you always have ideas about fixing things, not just complaints :)

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    1. Thanks Jenny. I guess I am all talk though.

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  11. I agree with Hels revision of your statement. I also agree that Religious and private schools shouldn't be getting so much more than public schools. Surely they get enough via the exorbitant school fees? Public schools are where more money needs to go, but "they" need to make sure it is benefitting the students, not just getting whittled away into administration costs.

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    1. River, read my reply to Hels. I suspect there is quite some wastage in public schools, but worse I suspect education administration is extremely top heavy.

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  12. I popped over because of your very pertinent comment "Perhaps ye reaps what ye sows." on one of Rachel's recent comments. I've read this post and the comments and suddenly wish that I could spend more time in Blogland instead of the less time that I now spend compared with days gone by.

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    1. I suppose thanks Graham and of course welcome. I am not brilliant but my commenters are.

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  13. I also object to government funding of religious schools because most of those schools are Christian schools, and the ones here tend to push the view that Christianity should be a keystone of our government. No. No. No. Our government and our religion should be separate. It is one of the basic tennets of our constitution. As right wing Christians attempt to hijack our nation, I find myself fearful for our future.

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    1. Debby, such funding seems not be a huge thing in your country. I am rather pleased that religion is falling out of favour here, although our Federal Parliament still begins sitting with The Lord's Prayer.

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  14. I completely agree. Tax money should pay for public schools, period.

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    1. Steve, of course I agree, but it has become so political with so many students now attending private schools.

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  15. I appreciate this intelligent debate despite my ambivalence toward the topic. Thank you, Andrew.

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    1. I appreciate that it is a complicated matter Darla, and it is fine to disagree with my personal view.

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  16. Private schools have changed in their teachings a lot, I was never taught those things that you have written down there. I have grandchildren that go to private catholic schools and they are told or taught a few different things about life in general which I don't agree with.
    I suppose if the Government didn't give money to the private schools the fees would go up and parents wouldn't be able to afford private education from these school then the children would go to public schools making them more crowded - wonder was that the original idea?
    Nothing wrong with public schools but I never went to one and from memory private schools have take in x amount of non religious students to be eligible for the government payment. Well that's how it used to be.

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    1. That's all good extra information Margaret. Thank you.

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