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Current Affairs

August 27, 2014

"Who Lost the Cities?"

Good question.

A question for the Reverend Jackson: Who has been running the show in Newark, in Chicago, in Detroit, and in Los Angeles for a great long while now? The answer is: People who see the world in much the same way as does the Reverend Jackson, who take the same view of government, who support the same policies, and who suffer from the same biases.

August 26, 2014

"A Fiscal Reckoning for Oregon's 'Pay It Forward'"

My advice: never ignore "fundamental laws of finance".

Surely, many are wondering: How could Pay It Forward be so expensive if students would be paying for their own educations, perhaps even more than they do now? The answer is that it costs money to move money through time. Pay It Forward enthusiasts often ignored this fundamental law of finance.

"Buffett hoards cash, individuals’ holdings hit 14-year low"

I tend to agree: when it comes to investing, I'd probably rather bet on Warren Buffett than the general public. His track record is loads better.

Individual investors have been cutting back on cash in portfolios, the exact reverse of what Warren Buffett has been doing at Berkshire Hathaway.

Who do you think has got it right?

Two from Professor Gordon

Fine posts.

"History lesson".

But this California history shows once again that in times of boom, people were too busy to fall into the hole of zero-sum hatreds. Its the old story. Prosperous people or people who take seriously the prospect of prosperity are nicer and more tolerant.

"Three or four-hundred years?"

The story ends with the predictable "give us more money." More money has been going to employee pension funding -- and even then there is a reported unfunded pension fund gap. We get the gap, high prices, floods, and questionable service. There is never enough money when there is a politically influential and unionized workforce.

"Sherman in Gaza"

Victor Davis Hanson seems to like William Tecumseh Sherman's strategy a lot, so he also likes what Israel has just done in Gaza.

(It's apparently popular in Kolkata, too.)

"The Incompetent Pollster Mystery Solved!"

I'd say it doesn't really answer the question, it just pushes the question one level deeper.

But it's an interesting question: why do pollsters with poor track records keep getting hired?

August 25, 2014

"IRS E-mails: The Perfect Storm"

I doubt it will play out as Mr. Walker predicts, but one can hope . . . 

What all this means is that when these records appear – and with a federal judge threatening IRS employees with jail time, these records will appear – then the whole sordid mess will implode like a deck of cards.  The depth of corruption, like the depth of corruption in the VA scandal, will be impossible to fob off as rogue employees acting badly.  Heads will have to roll, and this grim knowledge will move those who know the truth – very likely people we have not heard of yet – to come out of the shadows and to spill their guts to save themselves.  It is the perfect storm, and it is coming up fast.

UPDATE: he's already at least partly correct. "Lois Lerner's emails aren't missing after all, lawyers say". And ya gotta love this:

According to Fitton, the attorneys told him the backup system would be “too onerous to search,” but acknowledged that Treasury Department inspectors were investigating it.

A backup system that is too "onerous" to use. That's our federal government, folks.

"Getting to 2017"

John Podhoretz keeps the faith. I think it would be smart to follow him.

Has the nation that produced the Greatest Generation now become the nation that produces the Lives of Julia instead?

I don’t think so. Pessimists in the late 1970s learned a lesson they might be in danger of forgetting now: It never makes sense to bet against the American ability to bounce back, to reconstitute the nation’s strength and ingenuity after a period of retrenchment and a grave failure of national confidence. We’re not Julia yet. Even eight full years of Obama won’t be enough to rewrite the American character.

"Is China disguising itself as Belgium to buy US government bonds?"

At the margin, the who-owns-U.S.-debt figures seem to be suspect.

"Randi Goes Rogue: Three Secrets About Teacher Tenure And Seniority"

Amazing. But then I should expect it from the leader of the AFT.

On August 6, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, was a guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” offering up the darndest faux factoid: “Most teachers right now in America have less than two years of experience.” You can watch it yourself: . . . 

In a 2011 report by the National Center for Education information titled, “Profile of Teachers in the U.S.” on page 19 they report that 74 percent of teachers have over five years experience. Meanwhile, data from the National Center for Education Statistics says that in the 2011-12 school year, only 9 percent had less than three years experience (the top data line). Or you could just think about the schools your children attend.

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