Although the United States is generally recognized as having a free-market, capitalist economy, many services are provided by various levels of government, rather than by the private sector, which means that those services are delivered according to the socialist economic model. The American public school system provides a classic example of how that plays out. The so-called “central planners” determine what is to be taught and how it is to be taught, with virtually no input from consumers (parents and students). In fact, in the rare instances when said consumers attempt to make their preferences known, such as objecting to the use of a certain book in the curriculum, it is not at all uncommon for the teachers, administrators, and school board to “circle the wagons” and repel them.
On May 21 the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a proposed state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The House vote followed similar approval of the measure in the Senate on May 11, which means that the proposed amendment will be placed on the state ballot for Minnesota voters to decide in November 2012. If passed it will make Minnesota one of more than 30 states that have actively protected traditional marriage via their state constitutions.
Marriages in America are lasting longer and divorce is declining slightly, according to a recent Census Bureau report. The research, taken from a sampling of 55,497 individuals surveyed in 2009, found that more than half of couples currently married have been married for at least 15 years, 35 percent have been married for more than 25 years, and six percent have been married for more than 50 years. The latest numbers are all one to two percentage points higher than Census statistics in 1996.
The Department of Education released a proposal last month that dramatically alters the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which guarantees the privacy of student records. Critics of the proposal contend that it infringes upon student privacy and allows the government access to what should be private information.
The battle for marriage is heating up once more in New York, and with Governor Andrew Cuomo leading the drive to legalize same-sex marriage the issue has taken center stage in the state legislature. With the likely approval of a homosexual marriage bill by the state assembly, Cuomo has focused his attention on turning some key votes in the state Senate, which the Republican Party controls by a razor-thin 32-30 margin. He is getting some help in his campaign from former Republican and now liberal Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been pressuring some vulnerable GOP state Senators to support the measure.