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Showing posts from December, 2007

American Priorities

Despite the fact that most talking heads on TV will ignore it, inflation is becoming a problem for the American consumer. Although the prices of "core goods" might only be up nominally, the prices of other important goods, like food and energy, are increasing at double digit pace. The Economist recently pointed this out on its cover.

According to CNNMoney, milk prices alone are up 23% this year. So what would you expect a reasonable consumer to cut back on? Discretionary goods? Gasoline? They would never cut back on staples, like milk, right? The CNNMoney article goes on to give a slightly disturbing anecdote:

John Norris' family is drinking a lot less milk these days. He said he considers the higher prices and has cut back on his kids' milk consumption. But between work and family obligations, he still drives almost as much as he used to. "That's the reason I cut down on milk consumption - so I can drive my car," said Norris. And Norris should know. He&…

Get Out of My School!

I recently came across two articles on the topic of higher education that I felt the need to share with everyone. The first is a column by Thomas Sowell in the Detroit News. Sowell currently works for the Hoover Institute at Stanford, but has held many jobs in higher education over the years. His argument is simple: there are too many kids going to college, many of whom probably don't belong there, and it is ruining the quality of education for those who really want to learn. In his own words:

Wanting to be in college is not the same as wanting an education. Among the other reasons for wanting to be in college is that it is a social scene with large concentrations of people of the same age and the opposite sex. In college, immaturity is the norm, accepted not only by peers but even to a large extent by those in charge. An academic campus can be a refuge from the realities of the world, not only for students but even for members of the faculty.

Even if you disagree with Sowell and th…