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The Obama Admin's War on Piano Teachers

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  • The Obama Admin's War on Piano Teachers

    Music teachers, beware. The feds are onto you. Better not try to raise the price of your lessons.

    Piano Sonata in FTC Minor

    Teddy Roosevelt busted Standard Oil. The Obama administration? It's making the world safe from rapacious piano teachers.

    Every month, it seems, brings a new story of this presidency leveling the intimidating powers of the federal government against some law-abiding citizen. Now comes a terrifying tale of how the Federal Trade Commission, a governmental Goliath, crushes an average David—because it can.

    In March of this year, a small nonprofit in Cincinnati—the Music Teachers National Association—received a letter from the FTC. The agency was investigating whether the association was engaged in, uh, anticompetitive practices.

    This was bizarre, given that the MTNA has existed since 1876 solely to advance the cause of music study and support music teachers. The 501(c)(3) has about 22,000 members, nearly 90% of them piano teachers, including many women who earn a modest living giving lessons in their homes. The group promotes music study and competitions and helps train teachers. Not exactly U.S. Steel.

    The association's sin, according to the feds, rested in its code of ethics. The code lays out ideals for members to follow—a commitment to students, colleagues, society. Tucked into this worthy document was a provision calling on teachers to respect their colleagues' studios, and not actively recruit students from other teachers.

    That's a common enough provision among professional organizations (doctors, lawyers), yet the FTC avers that the suggestion that Miss Sally not poach students from Miss Lucy was an attempt to raise prices for piano lessons. Given that the average lesson runs around $30 an hour, and that some devoted teachers still give lessons for $5 a pop, this is patently absurd.

    MTNA Executive Director Gary Ingle, who has been at the organization 17 years—and who agreed to talk when I reached out about this case—said that he and the group's attorneys immediately flew to Washington to talk to federal investigators. They explained that this provision had been in the group's code for years, and that it was purely aspirational. The association has never enforced its code, and no member has been removed as a result of it.

    The FTC didn't care. Nor did it blink when the MTNA pointed out that the agency has no real authority over nonprofits (it is largely limited to going after sham organizations) and that Congress has never acted on the FTA's requests for more control over 501(c)3 groups. Nor was the agency moved by the group's offer to immediately excise the provision. The investigation would continue.

    More at Link
    May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
    Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
    And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
    may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.

  • #2
    This is flat out insane. When are people going to understand that this administration, these government bullies, and the cultural latitude bolstered by leftest ideological interests is corrupting our way of life?

    Who gives these agencies such free-rein to oppress normal citizens but turns a blind-eye to non-citizens? Who shrugs off over-sight of these agencies? Who makes a story like this a "non-issue" for the media?

    Answer: Everybody who mindlessly votes for politicians who want more Federal control, everybody who mindlessly consumes mainstream media, everybody who thinks this kind of thing is trivial until it touches them.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."


    • #3
      Note to the FTC and the entire Federal government:

      Leave those ladies alone, assholes. This isn't yet the totalitarian regime Obama and his bootlickers want.
      “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
      I aim with my eye.

      "I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
      I shoot with my mind.

      "I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
      I kill with my heart.”

      The Gunslinger Creed, Stephen King, The Dark Tower