CNU Takes Virginia’s Public Pulse

Education, health care, illegal immigration and crime are the areas that Virginians would most like to see the General Assembly address in the 2008 session, according to a new omnibus poll conducted by Christopher Newport University. Picking from a list of pre-defined topics, respondants ranked the issues as follows (by the percentage who identified it as the No. 1 or No. 2 priority):

Public Education (40)
Health Care (29)
Illegal Immigrants (25 )
Crime (25)
Jobs (18)
Property Taxes (14)
Higher Education (16)
Veterans (12)
Abortion (7)
Virginia Tech Mental Health Recommendations (6)

The poll also identified a high level of discontent in Hampton Roads over taxes — 62 percent believe that “Virginia’s overall level of state taxes” is too high, and 72 percent believe that property taxes are too high. Northern Virginians were the most complacent about their tax level. If these poll results are any indication, Republican candidates running on tax-cutting platforms should enjoy a significant advantage in Hampton Roads but find their appeals falling flat in Northern Virginia.

In dealing with the current budget shortall, 58 percent of Virginians supported holding the line on taxes, differing mainly on where to cut spending. Remarkably, 37 percent of the population appears to be believe, even after two rounds of tax increases since 2004, that Virginians aren’t taxed enough.

P.S. Notice what’s not on the list? Transportation. Refreshing, huh?

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33 responses to “CNU Takes Virginia’s Public Pulse”

  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    If transportation was purposely excluded. .then the poll is somewhat bogus – because the classic tension in the VA GA IS.. in fact, transportation funding verses the other “urgent” needs such as Education and Health Care.

    Having a POLL without including how the respondents feel about transportation.. and funding for it .. in my view…skews the results… and fails at what it claims it is doing – gathering information in the interests of Public Policy.

    Those guys in HR/TW.. they kill me.

    They don’t want taxes, transportation authorities or tolls but they want more roads and tunnels… provided by the “State”.

    Some folks might say something not so nice about the level of sophistication .. in understanding some basic realities.. but I won’t, except to say.. politicians running for office down there have two choices… either tell the people the truth.. or lie to them so they can get elected.

  2. Henry Ryto Avatar
    Henry Ryto

    I noticed that Transportation wasn’t there when I read The Virginian-Pravda story on it earlier this morning. That throws all the other issue numbers off.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    This is so easy, I don’t understand why it hasn’t caught on.

    Put the list on the back of your tax return and allocate your tax dollars according to your priorities. Do a weighted average over all tax returns.

    Mandate that the politicians not devate from the average value by more than +- 10 or 15%. Let them fiddle at the margin, but not change the overall sense of priorities.

    Even if it wasn’t binding, the pols would have a hard time justifying a very big variation.

    Everybody’s happy, right?

  4. Groveton Avatar

    “… Republican candidates running on tax-cutting platforms should enjoy a significant advantage in Hampton Roads but find their appeals falling short in Northern Virginia.”.

    Are there any Republican candidates from NoVA stressing tax cuts?

    Dave Hunt is the Republican candidate from the 34th Delegate District in NoVA. He is Vince Callahan’s hand picked successor. I assume he is a protypical Rebublican candidate. He certainly has the public support from almost every incumbent Republican candidate.

    So, where is Mr. Hunt on taxes?

    As far as I can see – nowhere. I’ve read his campaign web site and I can’t find the word “tax” in any form. He wants to eliminate the Abuser Fees – which are really taxes but he doesn’t quite ever call them taxes (that I can find).

    Here are his positions on education issues:

    Significant additional state funding for math and science education at the middle and high school levels.
    Funding that will increase the amount of state support to reward teachers who become National Board certified
    Legislation that creates a Teaching Fellows Program that provides college scholarships to talented, high-achieving Virginia students who commit to teaching for a minimum number of years in Virginia’s public schools upon college graduation.
    Legislation that creates a non-partisan Virginia Public School Forum, modeled on the successes of other states, to bring together educators, legislators, and business leaders committed to school improvement. The forum would turn ideas into policy that strengthens our schools and would build partnerships between industry, the VEA, and state government.
    More state funding for Northern Virginia schools so that school construction funds will not be redirected to operate schools.
    Legislation that creates additional resources for teacher training in phonics and allows school divisions to use at-risk funding for reading textbooks that support phonics and promotes early reading comprehension. Phonics should not replace other learning methods, but schools should be given additional resources to teach phonics should they determine there is a need for such training.


    Is this a Republican?

    Is there a projected tax receipt shortfall of $641M over the next two years?

    Where will Virginia get the money to pay for all this?

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    That race is extremely close

    and like the poll said most NOVAites actually want more taxes for more government services

    I see your larger point though what makes someone a Republican then.

    Its a larger symptom of the identity crisis in NoVa that is gradually sweeping out to the west and south

    The social platform hasn’t played well for a while. Now the fiscal platform is not even in the majority.

    You can still run as a Republican though. I would have one point on my campaign site. VOTE AGAINST ALL STATE FUNDING INCREASES UNTIL ALLOCATION FORMULAS ARE CHANGED


  6. Groveton Avatar


    I guess you’re right. However, the poll brings up something of a “chicken and egg” question to me. Do the candidates in NoVA avoid talking about taxes because the voters don’t care or do the voters not care because the candidates avoid talking about taxes?

    I think the voters don’t get it because the politicians won’t discuss it. And I think the candidates don’t discuss it because they don’t want to run astray of their state-wide party.

    Your point on the allocation process is exactly right.

    However, this is another one of those things that the candidates don’t discuss and teh voters don’t understand.

    Another question in my mind is where the NoVA media sits on this issue. I have never seen an article in any MSM outlet describing the allocation formulas. Do you know of any?

    Also – thanks for the response on the NoVA papers.

  7. Groveton Avatar

    I am wrong.

    I have found a real Republican running for office from NoVA.

    Aurthur Purves

    His web site:

    His testimony to the Fairfax BoS:


  8. Groveton Avatar

    However, Mr. Purves is a bit underfunded vs. his opponent:

    2007 General Election Candidate Raised On Hand
    Purves, Arthur (R) $5,543 $4,059
    Shannon, Stephen (D) $249,739 $188,748


  9. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Let’s see

    NoVa and Fairfax are trending purple/bluish…

    NoVa folks … apparently have never met an education expenditure that they don’t like.

    Would it be ugly to ask if the only kind of Republican who has chance in NoVa is a …ohmygod – a Chichester-clone?


  10. Anonymous Avatar

    I know Bacon hates talking politics on this site but I can’t resist :-p

    As much as the “official” party structure hates to admit it Jeanne Marie Devolites Davis is going to be the only type of republican that can run in Fairfax pretty soon. The irony is that if she loses the “official” republicans will blame it on her not being conservative enough. When in reality if she was more conservative she would be blown out.

    If Cucineeli and Obrien can hang on (they are also both in danger) they will almost certainly be gone in the next election cycle. This is even with Republicans being able to draw the lines. The fact is the demographic changes can’t be stopped.

    Good point on the moderate thing Larry. The truly hilarious/sad bit (depending on your point of view) to all of this is that the more conservative republicans are excited that the republican party is becoming more pure

    Being in the minority and losing the NoVa area with its continuing population growth doesn’t seem to bother them.

    I wonder if they will start changing their tune when Kaine gets his way on everything.


  11. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    yes…. agree ..and cracks me up also …

    if you wanted a “strategy” for losing…. this would be it.

    The hard-core conservative types seem… hell-bent on losing…

    they treat their own in-party moderatess worse than the Democrats treat Republicans… geeze

    Pretty bad when your’re a Republican and “watch your back” means your own party.


  12. Toomanytaxes Avatar

    The fools in NoVA. A person I know from business dealings recently wrote an op-ed in the Fairfax Times newspaper. It seems to fit the discussion.

    We are Virginia’s Least Sophisticated Voters

    By Robert H Jackson

    Fairfax County residents constantly complain about “raw deals” received by the County from state government. Yet, we continually support legislation that treats ourselves unfairly. We are truly Virginia’s least sophisticated voters.

    We are, by and large, bright, well educated and successful. When honest, we’d admit that we often find ourselves looking down on the rest of Virginia as bumpkins or rubes. Yet, those “bumpkins and rubes” regularly play us for fools, as their senators and delegates from both political parties take tax dollars from us and send us pennies in return. Moreover, we generally applaud the effort.

    Take the 2004 tax increases for example. Democrat Mark Warner and Republican John Chichester pushed through the largest tax increase in Virginia history, championing it as essential for higher education, Medicaid and public safety. But it was local schools that sold the tax increases. Few among us want second-class public schools.

    If we were to poll Fairfax County residents, I suspect that a majority would opine that this tax increase was good for us. But the facts show just the opposite. We paid much and got little back, most especially for public education.

    The Virginia Senate Finance Committee staff estimated the net cost to Fairfax County residents as $107 million and $117 million for 2005 and 2006, the first two years of higher taxes. What did Fairfax County Public School receive in new money as a result of sending these large sums to Richmond? According to FCPS’ budget office, we received $7.4 and $11.2 million in new money for the first two fiscal years after the tax increases. Dollars out; pennies in! Meanwhile, FCPS superintendent Jack Dale has identified $1.3 billion in unfunded capital needs for the next ten years, mainly to rehabilitate old schools. Who are the bumpkins?

    Fairfax County residents are obligated to help fund state government and to aid low-income areas of the Commonwealth operate their schools. Virginia has a complicated set of measurements (fiscal stress factors) and formulas (local composite index) that supposedly do this on an economically sound basis. Yet, if one discards the window dressing and looks at average income by jurisdiction and the state aid formula, the correlation is less than 0.5, based on an analysis I’ve seen. Thus, Fairfax County residents subsidize good schools and lower property taxes around the state and not just in poor counties. Meanwhile our own schools continue to deteriorate physically and our real estate taxes skyrocket.

    Recently, Governor Kaine has resurfaced his proposal to fund preschool with state tax dollars, and some members of the General Assembly have proposed that the Commonwealth pick up part of the tab for school construction. A poll would probably show Fairfax County residents supporting both proposals. But both plans mean once again sending dollars to Richmond and getting pennies back. They also mean we’d be waiting longer to expand all-day kindergarten countywide and to rehabilitate dilapidated schools. We soon would be paying even higher real estate taxes. Why should we fund preschools around the Commonwealth, when we are not yet providing all-day kindergarten to our own children? Why should we build new schools around Virginia when we educate many students in trailers?

    We need to tell our representatives in Richmond, both Democrats and Republicans, to stop the raids on our wallets. They need to vote “no” on new schemes that meet other areas’ needs at the expense of our own. There is virtually no likelihood that Fairfax County will start receiving a higher share of funding from Richmond. Other areas of the state will not support cutting their cash flow to benefit us. Accordingly, our legislators must not support new programs that bring pennies to Fairfax County in exchange for dollars. We need creative solutions that permit Fairfax County to fund local needs with local dollars in a manner that protects residential taxpayers from excessive burdens.

    Most important, we need to check our egos, learn the facts, and become sophisticated voters. We simply cannot afford to remain the patsies of the Commonwealth, who enable the very raw deals that we purport to hate.

  13. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Let me offer a couple of thoughts.

    First.. I’m willing to bet that most NoVa’s know the value of education with respect to getting a good job…

    Second.. most folks who believe there is a direct connection between a good education and a good job… probably buy into the concept that any child regardless of the circumstance of where they are born or who they are born to – should have a crack at that gold-ring on the merry-go-round and so they may not find the diversio of some of their taxes, obstensible for that purpose, to be unacceptable.

    Don’t get this wrong. I’m not advocating this or even justifying it; instead I’m trying to understand why fairly sophisticated people (when it comes to jobs) seem passive on this issue.

    However, given this.. and given the Republicans frantic worries about NoVo tending “blue” – it would seem that pointing this out -in the context of NoVa’s other priorities .. congestion and affordable housing.. might at least get the voters thinking about it.

    I’m astounded that apparently not a single NoVa candidate talks about this… You’d think that ANY challenger would have an instant issue…to challenge the incumbants…


  14. Groveton Avatar

    Toomanytaxes and Larry Gross:

    Your two most recent posts were exceptionally well written. The Op Ed piece by Robert H. Jackson was also outstanding.

    When I started following BaconsRebellion two years ago I was convinced that the problem with NoVA voters was that the voters just didn’t have the information required to make good choices at the polls. I felt that the transfers and subsidies from NoVA to RoVA were cleverly hidden by the RoVA politicians. I also felt that the NoVA politicians were being coerced by their state-wide parties to “keep mum” about this economic hijacking in order to maintain support from the state-wide parties.

    I should have remembered something that my father used to tell me. He said if you are ever confronted with the choice of explaining a problem through conspiracy or incompetence – incompetence is almost always the right answer.

    The voters in Northern Virginia are not the victims of a well oiled conspiracy, they are the victims of their own incompetence.

    We allow candidates to run for office on the most flimsy of platforms. They routinely avoid even an acknowledgement of the real issues facing Northern Virginia and the Commonwealth.

    Their positions center on things like abuser fees and whether the Tyson’s metro should go through a tunnel or over ground. They conduct 11 month campaings without ever mentioning the word “tax” or addressing the expected $641M shortfall in tax receipts at the state level.

    Sometimes, the NoVA candidates will opine on abortion (which hasn’t been a state issue for over 30 years) and immigration (which hasn’t been a state issue in …. well, it’s never really been a state issue).

    The level of debate among candidates is abysmal. A scheduled debate between Jeannemarie Devolites Davis and Chap Petersen was just canceled. The two candidates are running for the 34th District state senate seat (Fairfax City, Vienna and surrounding areas of Fairfax County). It seems Ms. Devolites Davis agreed to the debate and then pulled out when she learned that video camers would be allowed. She wanted only main stream media outlets to film the debate. Mr. Petersen wanted to allow the main stream media outlets and private citizens the opportunity to film the debate.

    At least thst’s what Ms. Devolites Davis claimed. In two prior debates her comments were posted on YouTube. You can see all of the YouTube videos of Sen. Devolites Davis here:

    I recommened the video of her 1997 campaign ad. In the video she has her then 9 year old daughter talk about how much her Mom loves her family. You see Jeannemarie Devolites and her family (including her husband of the time) in the kitchen. Then there is an endorsement from Tom Davis. Hmmmmmm….. Not long after she went from Mrs. Devolites to Mrs. Devolites – Davis. No wonder she doesn’t like videos and YouTube. They leave that messy record of what a politician really said. Pay attention to the end of Mrs. Devolites – Davis’ “I love my family” video – she makes a number fo promises. How many of those promises came true?

    Here is the list of videos you get when you search YouTube on Chap Petersen:

    I recommend Jeannemarie and Chap on the VA Tech Tragedy (Entire). Both candidates speak about the issues of mental health. Seeing this video gives you a much better idea as to why Mrs. Devolites – Davis hates videos and Mr. Petersen likes them.

    This debate would have been the only joint appearance of the two candidates in Fairfax City.

    It’s been said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Mrs. Devolites – Davis seems to be a bit “blinded by the light”.

  15. Groveton Avatar

    Lest you think that I unfairly favor Democrats.

    Here is Margi Vandergye’s video from YouTube. In the first 6 seconds she claims that people in her district “…don’t want government by ideology…”. She then spends the remaining 1:53 of the video pushing her Democratic ideology and failing to address almost any issues.

  16. Groveton Avatar

    In the interest of fairness I looked for videos on YouTube fr4om Ms. Vanderhye’s opponent – Dave Hunt.

    There are a lot of people named Dave Hunt and a lot of videos on YouTube of and about people named Dave Hunt. However, none seem to be the Dave Hunt running against Ms. Vanderhye.

    So, even with Ms. Vanderhye’s rather vacuous video, I still must giver her credit for at least trying to put her thoughts out for consideration by the voters.

    That is something that her opponent has (apparently) failed to do.

  17. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Best quote of the day: “If you are ever confronted with the choice of explaining a problem through conspiracy or incompetence – incompetence is almost always the right answer.”

  18. Toomanytaxes Avatar

    I think that most NoVA politicians are afraid of the Washington Post. I mean this seriously.

    Hypothetical situation. Suppose that either a Democratic challenger to Mark Warner or a Republican candidate for US Senate went after Warner, especially in Fairfax County, for the impact of his tax increases on County residents and the effect on public schools. Assume that the political campaigns were factual, but hard-hitting. Suppose people started listening.

    Does anyone believe that the Post would not go into a full-blown attack on the candidate? The Post would make its prior attacks on George Allen seem like a kindergarten spat. The Post is for higher taxes in Virginia at any and all cost.

    The best thing that could happen to NoVA residents, be they liberal or conservative, Republicans or Democrats, would be for the Washington Post to go out of business.

  19. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    I still think you NoVa types are in a world of hurt because it appears that your elected and your candidates of both parties can’t seem to decide if their job is to represent RoVa or NoVa.

    Is this truly incompetence on a regional scale?

    I would expect a debate between RoVa, NoVa and the other urban areas of the state – on any claims by NoVa that they are being snookered by the allocation scheme – and possibly even to lose on the votes – but to not even bring it up .. as part of a platform to say that it is unfair to divert money that NoVa needs to deal with it’s own needs…

    to not even bring it up..

    Isn’t there more to this?

    Perhaps one could expect some of the MM to not deal with it but what about the other papers in NoVa? Has the cat got ALL of their collective tongues?

  20. Anonymous Avatar

    Even if they try to represent NOVA, aren’t they outnumbered by ROVA senators?

  21. Toomanytaxes Avatar

    Needless to say, NoVA does not have a majority of the Senate or the House of Delegates. However, given the level of opposition to Warner/Chichester’s tax increases, they would not have passed, but for votes from NoVA. Some of the votes were from lefties that would have voted for any tax increase, under any circumstances, at any time. But there are both Democrats and Republicans from NoVA who are smart enough to care about their constituents. But the Freddie Hiatt Gang at the Post beat the drum virtually daily in both slanted news stories and in editorials. Many simply gave up under the relentless assaults from the Post.

    There was a proposal to require all new state aid for schools on a per-student basis. That is not dollar for dollar, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the crap we usually get. Why didn’t both Democrats and Republicans from NoVA, especially Fairfax County, refuse to vote the tax increases unless the new school money was better apportioned? Fear of the Post? They can’t all be that stupid. It’s fear of the Post and, as Jackson suggests, the least sophisticated voters in Virginia.

  22. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Even if NoVa gets outvoted by RoVA on this issue – the elected representatives of the people in NoVA should be “on the record” with respect to their efforts to obtain fair and equitable treatment for their constituents.

    If the issue gets broad enough – even some folks who live in RoVa will see the unfairness and demand more equitable treatment.

    I would point out that many states do, in concept, what Virginia is attempting to do in a bad way and that is to assure that every kid in the state – no matter where they live – has a chance at a decent education even if their parents or their locality lacks sufficient resources.

    It’s not only the moral thing to do but think about what would happen to some of the rural poor places.. people of means would abandon them.. and flock to places like NoVa where they could get a good education for their kids.

    It IS.. I would sumbit – definitely in the best economic interests of everyone in Va – to insure that there is some level of “investment” in RoVa including education.

    But the way that Va accomplishes this is unfair and wrong.

    Taking great gobs of money from NoVA not only deprives NoVa of money it needs for it’s own infrastructure but giving it to counties and cities that are _not_ poor.. and not even close and, in fact, are fairly well off…comparatively

    … again.. it boggles my mind.

    If someone in a blog can make this case then why cannot those who actually represent NoVa do it?

  23. Anonymous Avatar

    The politicians from NoVa are caught in the bigger party machine

    Democrats like higher taxes and more government

    Republicans in general like lower taxes and smaller government but not always :-p. Also most people in Northern Virginia believe in the Democrat philosophy of higher taxes and more government

    In theory the regional transportation authority should have been a homerun in NoVa (heck its what the Republicans were banking on to keep control of the senate)

    Instead the issue backfired on two main points.

    1. The whole abuser fee issue.

    2. It proves the old adage that moderates never win. Let me explain further

    One block of voters wants more taxes and fees

    Another block of voters doesn’t want any taxes or fees at all

    These blocks of voters are the party activists who donate money and time and therefore

    In summary it comes back to the mainstream voters and “us” becoming more educated and demanding accountability from elected officials. With everything else going on its extremely hard to get more people involved in the process

    However, as I stated above I am pretty sure in NoVa (especially in Fairfax) a majority of voters want higher taxes and fees for transportation, education, etc which is basically the democratic platform which is why I expect at least 1 and possibly 2 of the senate seats up here flip and why there is a decent chance the senate will flip to the Ds


  24. Anonymous Avatar

    A project for us

    Take Kaines pre-k proposal and break it out by locality to see what areas are net-receivers or net-donors


  25. Anonymous Avatar

    Larry, I agree with Jackson’s statement that there is an obligation for wealthier areas to assist the those that are truly poor educate their kids. I would also agree that county/city income is the best measure of determining ability to pay. The price of housing has nothing to do with income.

    Find a formula that, over a rolling three-year period (to make up a number) has a correlation of 1.0 between average income and state aid to education & I think it would be quite supportable. There may also need to be some recognition for costs. It costs more to operate public schools in metro areas than in rural ones. Make this adjustment on a statistically valid manner & w’d have a fair plan.

    But let’s also get real. In some areas of Virginia (and not just poor ones), there would be significant increases in the local real estate taxes paid.

    Now, I don’t expect Senators and Delegates from those areas to vote for plans to raise their local taxes, but why can’t the Fairfax County delegation assemble an ounce of courage and vote against more plans that hurt their constituents?

    The first thing that should be done is for the Fairfax County delegation, both Rs and Ds, to start a big fight with the Post to shut it up. Old Fred Hiatt wouldn’t know what to do if he were hammered by a few good Democrats.

    By TMT – Google won’t let me log on today. Too busy helping, I guess

  26. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    ….”why can’t the Fairfax County delegation assemble an ounce of courage and vote against more plans that hurt their constituents?”


    I wonder what the candidates would actually do if they were asked how the state _would_ allocate preK money?

    I think the debate can and should occur even if RoVA blows NoVa delgates out of the water on the vote.

    But to NOT have the debate and NOT talk about the formula .. especially the NoVa elected/candidates ..

    well.. if you can’t trust your elected to do with THIS issue, then why would you trust them to deal with similiar issues?

    Who the heck are they representing anyhow – the Democratic or Republican Party?

  27. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    Remember the fiscal stress tables I linked to? The ones that showed each city/county ability to pay?

    Well let’s quantify that.

    Take Petersburg, which scored the highest on stress. When you take the total taxable income and divide it by the population, you get a per capita average taxable net income of around 9k. Do that to Alexandria and the average is about 31k.

    Now take the costs. Local revenue generated by various taxes, combined with the state’s income tax obligation, then divide that by the population and you get a absolute small number for Petersburg, and a large number for Alexandria. However when you divide the total tax bill by the above per capita income average you will find something remarkable.

    The total percentage outlay for Petersburg is over 21 percent of income, while Alexandria is around 14 percent.

    Now who has more ability to pay taxes?

    I have more, but no time to post it now.

  28. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    I’d like to see the link to the stress report again if that can be done.

    Some states primarily fund education at the State Level leaving the local property tax for other things…

    NoVa and Fairfax also choose to have high property taxes for schools that other localities choose not to do.

    When you get down to it the state says (via the SOQs) that for instance, Petersburg will employ “X” number of staff for “Y” numbers of kids and that the state will give “Z” number of dollars to pay for them.

    I’m not sure who decides how much Petersburg should be paying locally for their share….

    ditto for Fairfax…

  29. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    When it comes to education, I wonder if we are spending money absent of a goal worthy of the expense. SOLs are nice for establishing a standard for a high school diploma, but what good is such a diploma in the real world?

    I’m searching for a way to put this without making it complex.

    If the national goal is to develop a knowledge based economy, then why do we set educational goals well below what we wish to attain?
    Aren’t we in effect paying money for maintenance instead of improvement?

    Shouldn’t economic development be tied to educational development?

    The way it is now we pay incentives for a job, any job. A chicken processor, stealing a company from the next town over, or any number of minimum wage go nowhere employers. And when the incentives are gone, so are they, leaving us with unqualified ex-employees for companies that we really want.

    We should use incentives to lure companies that will educate their workforce, and use existing corporate taxes to extend educational opportunities beyond a mere high school diploma. Just as one example.

    I could write a book and never fully explain my views. But to keep it short, the methods we use for education are outmoded for our future role in this new world of globalization. Is this clear as mud?

  30. Anonymous Avatar

    I think I see where you are coming from

    A college education is the new standard

    The current public education system is based on a 50+ year model when a high-school diploma actually meant a secure future

    Businesses have a vested interest because they need high-quality workers for their businesses to thrive (Of course businesses aren’t stupid and usually will pick the cheapest source of labor be it white or blue collar)


  31. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Darrell, You are totally clear. The only place where I would beg to differ is the idea that economic developers will hand out incentives to lure any old kind of job. With metropolitan unemployment as low as it is, economic developers are getting more and more selective. If a company wants an incentive package, in most cases it will have to pay better than the metropolitan average.

  32. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    Metropolitan average is a bit selective isn’t it? I mean what is above average is different depending on locality. Down here we read all the press releases about how such and such company has jobs above average. Trouble is, they were located in Norfolk before they moved to Va. Beach.

    What I have in mind is more on the state level. Not only will it improve our overall workforce educational level, but it would also develop jobs where few are today. In other words, Nova’s taxes help pay to keep Joe at home, instead of clogging up Nova streets.

  33. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: …”We should use incentives to lure companies that will educate their workforce, and use existing corporate taxes to extend educational opportunities beyond a mere high school diploma.”

    I totally agree with the last thought… i.e. Technical Education which is where folks like Gates and Gingrich actually agree where we are failing especially compared to other industrialized countries.

    Those countries “get it” that manufacturing is no longer the province of the “industrialized” countries but knowledge – and NOT college knowledge… but technical/technology knowledge.

    but as far as incentives are concerned – all things being equal.. a place that offers “pre-educated” workforces will win every time over a locality that tell companies to train their own.

    maybe chicken/egg like you suggest.. but I’m only pointing out that when it comes to jobs – it’s a competition.

    If someone ups the ante – and you fold your cards – usually you lose…when you opt out of the game.

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