The Higher-Education Bubble

More thoughts on the overvaluation of a college degree:

Wolf’s position is firm. An increase in the quantity of graduates will neither create a dynamic, wealth-producing economy nor will it create the conditions for the emergence of lots of dynamic, wealth-producing individuals. Universities are not what they are currently being cracked up to be. But that leads to another problem. So deeply entrenched is the belief that, to use the words of the 1998 Dearing report, ‘Higher education has become central to the economic wellbeing of nations and individuals’, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to recall what the purpose of institutions of higher education might be. Their autonomy as academic bodies, in which one ought to be free to pursue an interest in a subject area to a higher level, has been effaced by their thoroughgoing instrumentalisation as drivers of economic growth and social mobility.

One of the biggest myths is that the subject matter doesn’t matter — that a degree in medieval French literature is just as good, and worth just as much money as one in chemical engineering. It’s not.

Fish, Barrel

There’s been a lot of Internet commentary on Time magazine editor Richard Stengel’s profoundly ignorant essay on the Constitution.

Here’s one dissection of it, and here’s another at Patterico.

Given idiocy like this, it’s not surprising that Queen Nancy’s only response to the question about ObamaCare constitutionality was “Are you kidding?! Are you kidding?!” These totalitarians don’t give a damn about the Constitution.

Why The “Unexpected” Keeps Happening

It’s because the idiots in the press actually believe in these “progressive” economic nostrums.

[Update a while later]

Obamanomics is shovel ready:

Obamanomics favors top-down compulsory cooperation over voluntary. It is the anti-Reaganomics. Mr. Obama has done the following: (1) raised taxes, (2) unleashed a wild orgy of spending, including his disastrous so-called “stimulus,” (3) dramatically increased regulations and even nationalized industries and businesses, and (4) printed money out of “quantitative easing” thin air.

The results were predictable. Since the Obama stimulus – a collection of “shovel-ready” projects promised to save the economy – was signed into law, America has lost 1.9 million jobs and unemployment has surpassed 9 percent. GDP growth remains anemic. Consumer confidence has tumbled. Gas prices were at $1.81 per gallon before Mr. Obama put his “boot on the neck” of suppliers, and now it’s more than doubled, to $3.81. We burn our food supply in our gas tanks, and grocery prices have skyrocketed – some staples by as much as 40 percent. Since the president signed his mortgage rescue plan, Americans have seen 3.82 million foreclosures. Most disturbingly, the majority of Americans are receiving some type of welfare.

And yet they persist.

The Natural Gas Fiasco

…at the New York Times:

Natural gas just might be the energy solution environmentalists say they want, but actually can’t stand because nothing would put them out of business faster. Forbes blogger Chris Helman words it perfectly:

We would have thought that the Times would be in favor of plentiful, low-cost natural gas. It burns a lot cleaner than coal, and with nuclear off the table for now, gas is poised to fuel U.S. economic growth for more than a generation to come. I can only guess that the problem, as the Times sees it, is that as long as we have all that cheap gas, there’s precious little need for solar panels, windmills and other cornerstones of their much-heralded but slow evolving green jobs revolution.

Forbes, on the other hand, thinks it’s pretty awesome that thanks to drilling ingenuity the U.S. has proven to have one of the world’s biggest and cheapest hoards of clean-burning gas. Now that’s a story.

This may be a solution to some of the idiocy in California as well, given out high electric rates due partly to NIMBY reluctance to build generating capacity and the insane carbon law they passed. We’re currently paying fifteen cents a kilowatt-hour in SoCal (more for amounts exceeding baseline). I can buy a generator like this one (or smaller), and produce the same power for about a quarter of that at current gas prices (and they’re likely to continue to go down). But I imagine if I were to do that, the carbon nazis would come after me. Also, I’m not sure if they’re designed for steady use, but I think that if you could come up with one that was fairly quiet and could run 24/7, it will become pretty attractive to a lot of people around here.

A Media Demogogue

It’s long been a characteristic of media hacks that they refuse to link to stories that they criticize, so they can just make up anything they want about it.

[Late morning update]

Another hack attack: “Isthmus columnist Emily Mills slimes me over the Wisconsin Supreme Court “chokegate” story…without taking the trouble to link to or quote anything I said. Or should I say without daring to link to or quote anything I said?”

In a sane world, these people would be fired for their lies.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!