(Mar. 28, 2006)

Did you know that American Public School 4th Graders rank third in the world (behind  South Korea  and Japan), in achievement tests and by the time they graduate from high school, they rank almost dead last?

Blame that on class size?

Recently, my wife and I dug out our grade school class pictures from the Fifties, and recalled that there were from 28—31 students in our classes. From my 4th Grade Class, I know of three who obtained Phd’s, and Two MD’s. (Another, our high school Valedictorian was Charleton Heston’s niece)

No teacher’s aides; no guidance counselors; just one teacher. Oh, there was the Principal down the hall, but you never saw him unless you were a troublemaker.

The principal and I were on a first-name basis.

Principal:   Johnny, why aren’t you in class?

Me:     Oh, hi  Ray, just going to the bathroom - How are Marie and the kids?

I digress. It’s also true that many children check into kindergarten never having picked up a pencil or crayon.

What WAS in the classroom back then was discipline, God (I had to play Onward Christian Soldiers , hm hm hm  on the piano every time we went to the music room in 1st grade—I survived), and the 3 R’s.

Today we have the Department of Education, courtesy of the second-worst American President ever, a paean to the teachers unions in exchange for their support of Jimmy Carter during the 1976 campaign. This mammoth bureaucracy, laden with politically correct resolutions, rules, and laws, has contributed hugely to the shocking decline in American (public) Education - most especially in inner city schools.

In most large urban systems, the dropout rate runs to 60%. 6 out of 10. 


First, poverty:  Encouraged by a public welfare system that rewards failure and discourages the family unit (Mom, Dad, Kids, Dog and Cat). An unwed mother can escape her own miserable homelife, and become  eligible for  assistance from the taxpayers as long as the sperm donor remains out of her life. Handouts discourage incentives; the desire to work hard, to be free, and to get ahead that so defined those generations of Americans who came before us.

Second,  Teachers Unions. Union rules imposed upon their members,school boards, and ultimately their students, guarantee that today's inner-city child will fail. We have a shortage of qualified people to teach Science and Math. Why? Because those with degrees in Science and Math can get better-paying jobs in the private sector. So, your child "learns" Math or Science from a teacher whose major may have been English or Physical Education. Also, once a teacher obtains tenure, it's almost impossible to fire them, regardless of their incompetence.

In Washington DC, it costs about $15,000 per year to educate a student. That's around $300,000 per classroom - and the building and furniture is ALREADY PAID FOR ! !. And they have a dropout rate of 50% ! !In private schools it costs less than one half of that and even though they take a lot of inner-city kids, they have a dropout rate around 2%.


Because teachers in private schools don't see failure as an option. Parents are required to attend parent-teacher conference and other school-related activities. Inner city public schools employ teachers who draw heavily from the bottom ranks of college graduation classes. Unable to get better assignments, many of these teachers become disenchanted and their students easily sense their lack of enthusiasm. Private school teachers are given year end reviews usually with input from their students. About 10% are not rehired.

Who pays for this idiocy? The taxpayer, surely. But it's the inner-city school child who pays for this for a lifetime. Why don't our political leaders do something about it? Democrats and Republicans alike passed the "No Child Left Behind  Act," that provided vouchers for tuition for inner city students to attend private schools. When Barack Obama became President, his first act was to cut off funding for vouchers (since rescinded).

What gives here? I thought all Liberals were for lifting people out of poverty, and what better way than by improving education. It's simple: Liberals are beholden to the Teachers' Unions, and inner-city kids get thrown under the school bus.

In their never ending quest for jobs that aren’t too hard,  where one is not required to get one’s hands dirty, and one gets paid a generous salary, progressives who tend to look down upon those who do, progressives have erased the blue collar curricula from our secondary educational system in favor of college prep courses. “We have become a service-based country.” 

Right. The next time your toilet backs up in Malibu or Manhattan on Saturday, call one of the millions of unemployed IT guys to unstuff it.

President Sawyer will dump the Department of Education, and place the education of our children back into State and Local hands. President Sawyer will pressure (through legislation) school boards and unions to allow for higher pay for Math and Science teachers. President Sawyer would mandate (through legislation) that teachers be required to take literacy and competency tests annually; you fail, you're out. Finally, I would encourage trade curricula in secondary and trade schools. Not everyone is cut out for college, and not everyone has the desire to go to college (myself included)

(Feb 11, 2011) Update, Update. It's official !! Jimmy Carter NO LONGER is the second worst President of the United States. Congratulations, Jimmy.

(Feb 22, 2011) Update: Maybe finally, someone is reading my website. Now Wisconsin and Indiana are fighting back against the destruction of our educational system caused by the intransigence of the Teachers' Unions (and AFSCME). A quick listen to the stu' - dent' who skipped school ta tell da nation (fer sure) the teachers are lookin' out fer their stu - dents and if the unions are broken, teaching will no longer be able to hire the best and brightest. FYI, numbnuts: A large percentage of todays teachers come from the lowest 10% of college graduating classes - 'best and brightes't my ass.


Large marches and rallies; immigration lawyers; hired consultants; politicians bought and paid for; sympathetic media; liberal university forums; hey, nice try. I would do the same if I were in your shoes. 

You broke our laws and come here illegally. Now you have to go back. The key word is “NOW.” No country’s laws, most especially Mexico’s laws, permit people to just walk in. With the war on terror, and the proliferation of hard drugs, most from Mexico, the U.S. can not afford to be any different.

“But wait, you say. Who will do the jobs that Americans won’t do?” Hmmmm, you have a point. After Hurricane Charley, many, many, of my customers told me that if not for the “illegals” fixing their roof, they would be drowning.

Not to worry. At 4.5% unemployment, and a huge segment of our aging “baby boomers” now retiring, outside labor is the only answer. Even with 10% unemployment, it is no time for growers to raise wages, while still staying in busines. In a few weeks, I shall unveil (oooh, feel the excitement) my economic plan. This plan will bring the well-paying manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.A. I GUARANTEE IT.

So, here’s the deal: You have 90 days to leave the country. As you go, you can sign up with your employer, a private, approved contractor, or an authorized government agency (agents). When you return to your country, you or your agent can fill out the paperwork, get a background check, acquire an employment contract from your employer, get the proper Identification from OUR government, and return here and go to work. All legally.

This is what we call a Win, Win, Situation. America benefits from your work and services; remains safe from terrorists entering; and cuts down on drug smuggling. We can keep track of guest workers. Guest workers no longer have to live in fear of that knock on the door; can plan their future; can make a better deal with their employer (like benefits?). They can file a grievance against an employer, or just change jobs. Instead of abandoning your families, you can return home for a visit often, and call every night if you wish. 

Finally, when my economic plan goes into effect, we will need you more than ever. As American workers regain good manufacturing jobs, and those traditionally under represented in this booming economy move up in position, we soon  will need semi-skilled or skilled employees, not just as laborers to pick our crops and clean our homes, but as teachers, teachers’ aides, help for teachers who have aids, mechanics, security guards, health care workers, managers, etc. 

If you do not leave within the prescribed time, and you are apprehended, you will be fingerprinted and NEVER allowed to return. President Sawyer asks all sides to work together to reform our immigration policy and make this work for EVERYONE.

March 21, 2012: Watch for panic legislation from the progressive congress in light of their passage of the Obama Healthcare Bill, to get illegals (who dream of a country to pay their way) amnesty, and on the voting rolls. Without them, Obama won't get re-elected.

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One might think that a Consevative such as I, would be against a government-mandated Minimum Wage. 

Many Conservatives (Limbaugh, Hannity, Kristol, Kristol, Crystal) warn that any increase in the minimum wage would, invariably, result in small business failures, and lead to a loss of jobs.

En Garde'. Saying so does not make it so.

Historically when minimum wage increases have been mandated, there has not been a commensurate increase in small business failures nor a loss of jobs.

Not long ago, when the economy was booming, you rarely visited, for example, a fast-food restaurant like McDonalds that did not have a "Help Wanted" sign in its window. Then you waited in line unhappily for 15 minutes, for your  understaffed "fast food" eatery to deliver your Happy Meal - about the time it takes Smith & Wollensky to deliver your $79.00 lunch steak in Manhattan.

So why you might ask couldn't McDonalds get help? Perhaps because some people, or many people, didn't want to work that hard for minimum wages (chump change). And you wait in line. Kinda defeats the purpose of the fast food reataurant concept, no?

Ummm Hmmm. And why can't McDonalds pay higher wages and get more help, you ask? Because McDonalds might have to raise the price of a Happy Meal from, say $3.99 to $4.25 (Full disclosure - I'm no expert here as I don't frequent fast food places) the homely girl with the red pigtails over at Wendy's continues to serve her Whatever Meal at $3.99. So, you all go to Wendy's and McDonalds goes to Chapter 7.

But hold on now. If the Government mandates an increase in the Minimum Wage, both McDonalds AND Wendy's will have to raise their prices. Maybe people will buy fewer "Happy Meals." Oh ahahahah ha ha - I amuse myself.

Here's the Conservative rationale: (A) I think subsistance wages are a detriment to a free society, more appropriate to third-world countries. (B) People that work these menial jobs work harder than you and I - don't try to tell me different Mr. three-martini-lunch, I've been both places. (C) When my tummy is growling, and your "fast food" line is twenty minutes deep, call security. (D) A substantial increase in a workers wages leads to an increase in that worker's discretionary spending capability. (E) That increase in discretionary spending is good for the economy - good for business - good for you and me and (F) Even though it's a tax on all of us through higher prices, It's all done without government management, and without a Trillion Dollar "stimulus package." (more below). 

Actually I like fastfoods, and I believe my Cardiologist, Dr. Macaluso does too. But he says I can't have any.

The Conservative Sawyer solution: raise the minimum wage to  $12.00 per hour. I'll pay another quarter for my Big Mac - and maybe I won't have to wait 20 minutes. No government programs. Then minimum wage people might actually have some disposable income to spend - voila ! The whole economy benefits without an increase in taxes.

As a former retail entrepreneur, who would have been embarassed to pay anyone minimum wage, I agree with the Hillary Clinton quote - even if I do not agree with the mean-spiritedness with which it was delivered - "I don't know if we are in the business of propping up underfunded businesses."

At any rate, people shouldn't own businesses who earn a profit solely by squeezing the help. Better fewer retail stores, paying a decent wage, earning a decent profit.
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How many times have you heard Neil Cavuto and Sean Hannity and other "Conservatives" tell you that the upper 5% of the Americans pay 50% of the taxes? Cavuto 4, Hannity 3, that I have witnessed. 

This is just patently false !!

Glen Beck repeats the mantra, but he gets it right. 5% of the taxpayers pay 50% of the FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. Everyone pays the same rate on sales tax, state and local income taxes, property taxes, and Medicare. In fact, the "upper 5%" get a huge break on Social Security taxes by the cap set at $104,000. Thus someone who earns $10 million per year pays a rate of 1/10th that of which my son, who makes about $20 thousan per year. Is THAT fair?

So, why try to fool us?

Can someone among the political class, please, explain to me why we haven't built one Nuclear Power Plant in the United States over the last 35 years.

I don't want to hear anecdotal evidence about how dangerous Nuclear Plants are. I want the official party line on the record as to why the Democrats have prevented Nuclear Power Plants, and I want it now.

This is a letter I sent via-e-mail to every State and Federal Senator and Representative, and Governor in Michigan;  and to every all leaders of the U.S. Congress. Two responded. Subsequently we taxpayers paid $49 Billion in bailouts to General Motors and Chrysler - NEEDLESSLY. 



December 1, 2008

Dear Senator:

As a former Michigan Resident (born and raised in Lansing) and Retail Store/ Property Owner in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Portage, Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Traverse City, I can sympathize with the dilemma you face concerning the Big Three Automakers. Additionally, having been raised in a General Motors family, I can solve your problem.

There is one key component essential to the profitability, solvency, reorganization, and future Success of any business - and only one, and the Big Three all have that component. GM, Ford, and Chrysler all make a good product that American People want to buy. 

While it is lamentable that Management and their respective bureaucracies have driven these bloated companies to begging for a bailout, and strange that they have arrived to this desperate situation with nary a public statement, it is equally true that if these companies go out of business, a lot of other companies and their employees will go out with them. It’s stating the obvious that Michigan will suffer consequences from which it likely may never recover. 

Oh well, enough. I have enclosed my vitae, most of which is true. I have a specific plan that, I guarantee, will solve all of the problems and set the Big Three back on the road to profitability. None of the players, GM, Ford, Chrysler, the American Taxpayer, labor unions, suppliers, you, me, etc. will be completely happy with the plan, but in the long term, all will benefit.

To succeed I need the cooperation, acquiescence, and support of all concerned parties - The Big Three, Michigan and National politicians. Individually, none has a chance of succeeding - NONE. If you have the ambition, guts, and energy to help me help you fix this problem, please contact me (preferably via e-mail) at your earliest convenience.

Thank you.


John W. Sawyer III


This political football should have been fixed a long time ago. Both political parties have been to blame for not fixing Social Security.

Granny:     Hi Amber this is your Grandma. Listen, Grandpa and I are flying to our summer villa in Italy for a few weeks, and we      would like you to watch our cat and let the pool company in. 

Amber: Gee, Grandmamama, I just took on a third job to make ends meet . . . 

Granny:     Now Amber, quit whining. Remember, you’re in the Will. And, oh yes, would you please forward our Social Security   check, like a good girl?

Amber:       Sure Grandmamama, have I ever denied you anything?

SOCIAL SECURITY is going broke. We all must make sacrifices. Work longer, and take a reduction in benefits? Not a chance. Here’s the Sawyer Solution:

1. For anyone with an income over $100,000 per year, you get no check. The over-65 crowd is the wealthiest segment of our society—by far. Take your complaints up with Amber.
2. Is it fair that my Son, who makes $20,000 per year pays 10 times the rate of Social Security Tax (FICA) as someone making a million dollars a year? I would raise the cap (now $96,000) on earnings subject to FICA to $200,000 per year. Then the millionaire would be paying 1/5 the rate my son pays.

3. I would allow wage earners to invest a portion of their Social security tax into a government approved private investment account (like Government workers did for years). If today’s retiree had invested his funds privately instead of with the government all those years, his monthly check would be FOUR TIMES higher. 




PARTY FIRST, CANDIDATE SECOND, YOU AND ME ? Ahahahahahaha hahahahahahah. Yeah right.

March 25, 2010: Update: The New York Times reports today (page 1 above the fold) "Social Security To See Payout Exceed Pay-in."

The article explains that Congress projected that SS would be solvent until at least 2016, so what's the rush to fix it - especially when the Democrats can continue to use it to bash the Republicans (Party first), But, gee, the downturn in the economy moved that date back to . . . .well, today, I guess. 

Now, of course, this bumbling Congress has voted to regulate the entire Healthcare System.

If you have your 2009 tax instructions handy, look near the last page and it gives you a graft - I mean graph, of the payouts vs. the income from Social Security for the 2008 Fiscal Year. Payouts exceed income by 7%. 

So why, in 2010,  is Congress surprised?

Politics Blogs

In theory, Socialism is the ideal economic mechanism. We all work for the group, etc. etc. In practice, Socialism has, at times, worked to perfection. For example, Socialism made Miami, especially Miami South Beach a world class city and a top-ten tourist attraction, especially among the wealthy. How did ‘Socialism’ accomplish this feat?

Prior to World War II, Miami had been a laconic sun-drenched, mosquito infested, swamp, where several land-development schemes had failed, and a place that most people avoided. During World War II, several training bases were established on or near Miami Beach, and after the war, tourists hotels sprang up. During the late forties and the 50’s, aided by the advent of air-conditioning, Miami Beach was a busy tourist destination, attracting such entertainers as Frank Sinatra, Henny Youngman, Steve Lawrence/Edie Gorme, Nat King Cole, Jackie Gleason, and Arthur Godfrey. During the summers, Miami tourism disappeared. 

After the late sixties, Miami no longer was a favorite sun destination. Cheap airfares and competition provided alternative vacation spots, such as Acapulco, Palm Springs, Disney World, the Caribbean, and South America. People went elsewhere, and the Beach was inundated with retirees on fixed incomes from the Northeast, and later (1980) it was flooded by Marielitos escaping from Castro’s jails, and Communist Cuba. Crime became rampant; drugs took over Miami and Dade County. Miami Beach became a neglected slum; once-popular hotels became transient housing; the stars and tourists stopped coming. Hotel owners started tearing down the old art-deco style hotels that were so popular just a few years before.

Then things changed. In August 1992, a disaster struck Dade County. Hurricane Andrew literally flattened 200 square miles of Central and Southern Dade County. Hundreds of thousands of people were homeless. Some rented or purchased rundown condominiums on Miami Beach. Many left the area, and resettled in Broward County - largely because restrictions in many condominium documents on Miami Beach prohibited rentals or rentals less than one year, and selfish condominium boards were not willing to amend their documents to provide temporary shelter for their unfortunate Southern Dade neighbors, even though rent money never was an issue.

Insurance money poured into the stricken area - tons of money. Flush with cash accumulated during 25 storm-free years, many companies (especially State Farm) at first were righting checks left and right. Federal relief dollars and aid were coming in (although not nearly at the rate as those federal dollars later sent in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to freeloaders who depend on the federal government for everything - including disaster insurance).

Everyone pitched in to help with a collegiality often shown by Americans after a natural disaster. With street lights and stop signs blown away, the only issue that the ordinary road rage drivers of South Florida had at unmarked intersections was “you go ahead. No, please, you go.” It was a sight to see - people in South Florida getting along; helping their neighbors out. Stores such as Publix, went door-to-door giving out free food and much-appreciated ice. Florida Power and Light and their counterparts in Georgia, Alabama, and the Carolinas, worked 24/7 to restore power. People with cars that still operated ran errands and picked up food for those left stranded.

With all the re-construction money, rundown neighborhoods, such as Cutler Ridge, and some of Kendall, were suddenly turned into sparkling new cities. Some, like Pinecrest became separate cities, and multi-million dollar homes sprang up all over Dade County. Civic preservation advocates jumped to the fore and saved the art-deco hotels on Miami Beach from the demolition ball, and the ensuing restoration of (formerly money losing) South Beach put Miami/Dade County back on the map. 

In practice, Karl Marx’s working for the good of the group worked. Socialism worked. 

In the long term, Socialism is a failure. In theory it can work; in reality there is one problem. Contrary to Marxist theory, man operates in his own self interest. That’s the way it is. Socialism takes away from individual self interest, stifles individual creativity,  limits individual freedoms, and lowers everyone’s standard of living. Socialism has proven a failure EVERYWHERE it has been tried; Soviet Union, Europe, South America, and Ivy League school. 

Liberals - Get over it.