This Nano Degree sounds like a great alternative to community college and traditional vocational schools. Only the ultra libs will need to brand it as an alternative to a 4 year degree. Not everyone is meant to, or capable of completing college, nor does everyone need to.
What gets lost in conversations like these is that if everyone went to college there would still be income disparity. Stats show that college equals more money, but they miss the fact that no one needs cleaners, drivers, waiters, fast food workers, and tons of other job holders with bachelors degrees.
This country needs people to fill those jobs and those jobs need to provide a liveable wage, but that doesn’t mean we have to push everyone toward a 4 year degree. A one year degree will do quite well for many disciplines and it will be an excellent path upward for many capable folks. Many of the jobs listed above would benefit greatly from one year degrees, not to help people out of them into a corporate career track, but to make them better at what they do, capable of earning more in the same positions.
NYTimes: A Smart Way to Skip College in Pursuit of a Job
A nice little parable for what ails our healthcare system.
We do not usually buy products or use services for the lowest quality for double the price.
Imagine you and someone from the town nearby are each going out for dinner. You have to go to restaurant A. There, you can only be seated if you have paid a membership fee. You receive a menu with no prices or descriptions of the meal and are served food you didn’t expect and that is barely warm. But the decor is nice and the restaurant has fun commercials on television.
Your neighbor has to go to restaurant B. There, the menu items are described clearly. He can see the prices, and the food that arrives at the table looks like what he ordered. The decor isn’t much to write home about, and there aren’t any commercials.
When restaurant A is all you know, then, well, it is what’s for dinner. But when you learn about restaurant B — and how your neighbor pays less for more — suddenly that cold meatloaf from restaurant A doesn’t cut it.
No one would tolerate such a terrible dining experience at restaurant A, especially not when a perfectly good meal is to be had across town at restaurant B.
In the United States, our experience as health care consumers is a lot like dining at restaurant A — a business that under normal market conditions would likely be closed within a week.
A nice summation of the problem with healthcare in the US.
we suffer from an excess of money-driven medicine. Vast amounts of costly paperwork are generated by for-profit insurers always looking for ways to deny payment; high spending on procedures of dubious medical efficacy is driven by the efforts of for-profit hospitals and providers to generate more revenue; high drug costs are driven by pharmaceutical companies who spend more on advertising and marketing than they do on research.
And don’t forget that Non-profit hospitals and healthcare organizations are actually for profits in disguise.
The last sentence of this article is the key. We spend a lot for healthcare without incentivizing good health and positive outcomes. We spend lots of money on our health, but its not getting us the results we should and could have.
the key, though under-recognized, problem in American health care today: not that Americans spend a lot on health care, but that they spend a lot without always getting good value for the money.
NYTimes: How to Pay for Only the Health Care You Want
Anti-intellectualism and anti-government hysteria are the main reasons we don’t adopt environmentally friendly energy policies.
Its not the costs, which would be “modest”
I’ve noted in earlier columns that every even halfway serious study of the economic impact of carbon reductions — including the recent study paid for by the anti-environmental U.S. Chamber of Commerce — finds at most modest costs. Practical experience points in the same direction. Back in the 1980s conservatives claimed that any attempt to limit acid rain would have devastating economic effects; in reality, the cap-and-trade system for sulfur dioxide was highly successful at minimal cost. The Northeastern states have had a cap-and-trade arrangement for carbon since 2009, and so far have seen emissions drop sharply while their economies grew faster than the rest of the country. Environmentalism is not the enemy of economic growth.
Its not the lost jobs; there won’t be many.
At this point, coal mining accounts for only one-sixteenth of 1 percent of overall U.S. employment; shutting down the whole industry would eliminate fewer jobs than America lost in an average week during the Great Recession of 2007-9.
Or put it this way: The real war on coal, or at least on coal workers, took place a generation ago, waged not by liberal environmentalists but by the coal industry itself. And coal workers lost.
Its the blind belief that the free market solves all problems and the government only makes problems. Combine that with a fervent belief that there is no problem and nothing is even happening.
NYTimes: Interests, Ideology And Climate
The most important part of this article is that it recognizes the education / dropout problem as an issue that affect specific groups more than others. The studies it mentions claim to be able to identify those at risk early enough to catch them and turn things around.
Our education policy needs to be brave enough to implement programs to test this on a wide scale. We need to stop looking at education as one size fits all.
NYTimes: Stop Holding Us Back
This is an unnecessary escalation of the police state. Richland County South Carolina doesn’t need a tank with a .50 caliber machine gun. There are no heavily armed gangs warring and threatening public safety. Western Maine doesn’t need to prepare for terrorists.
This is just ludicrous. I challenge anyone to present a scenario in which police need silencers. Snipers! What world are these cops living in. I’d love to see just how many times a police sniper was necessary to resolve a conflict.
NYTimes: War Gear Flows to Police Departments