Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cruising the Web

If you haven't seen it yet, here is this year's Beloit College Mindset List of what this generation of freshmen in college do and don't know. It's supposed to amaze us on how time has passed and how the younger generation has been raised in such a different world than we were. Actually, I didn't find much of this to be that surprising this year.

The Obama team has already started getting ready for its oppo advertising against Rick Perry by searching in Texas for Obama supporters who don't like Rick Perry. They want comments that they can use in attacking Rick Perry.

Jay Cost reminds us of how Obama has been catering to special interests since the beginning of his administration. So don't believe all his nice rhetoric about how he's the only one who in Washington who rises above ugly partisanship as the great worker for the public interest. Yeah, sure. Cost finds the quote that characterizes the Obama administration: "The store is open."

Mortimer Zuckerman yearns
for a more competent president.

Harvard economist Robert Barro explains why Keynesian economics is the "macroeconomic equivalent of bloodletting."

Michael Barone has a great column
about how new inter-city buses are showing the federal government how to innovate to serve needs that customers really have. For a low price, people can travel in comfort with free Wi-Fi between cities. No infrastructure needs to be built and the taxpayers are off the hook.
Needless to say, the cost to the taxpaying public is minimal. City streets and interstate highways already exist, and maintenance gets financing from gas taxes. And the system has enormous flexibility. If fewer passengers want to line up in Chinatown and more on the Upper West Side, the bus can change stops.

Private bus operators have effectively taken a 100-year-old technology, the bus, and adapted it seamlessly to the 21st century.

Compare high-speed rail. It is tethered to enormous stations that must be built or refurbished and limited to particular routes that, once the rails are laid down, cannot be changed except at prohibitive expense.

And it is enormously costly. In just two years the estimated cost of the Obama administration's pet project, California high-speed rail, in the "flatter than Kansas" Central Valley, has risen from $7.1 billion to $13.9 billion. Oxford economist Bent Flyvbjerg has found that high-speed rail projects always end up costing more, usually far more, than estimates.

In addition, operating costs almost always end up higher than fares. And fares always turn out to be expensive, comparable to airfare if you book a popular flight the day before your trip.
Yet Obama won't give up his pipe dream of high-speed rail as the answer to unemployment and environmental needs despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Explore "The Five Most Catastrophic Hidden Costs of the Obama Presidency."

Here's a solution that only government
could come up with. The city of Camden will pay some high school students with truancy problems $100 to attend school and conflict-resolution and anger-management classes. Since the school has to spend the money from the grant before September 30, the kids will get the money now based on their promise to attend school for the rest of the year. Of course, those students who have had excellent attendance don't receive any money.

One more reason to enjoy reading this page and others even while you're at work. A new study shows that taking breaks to browse the Internet can improve productivity.

Kirsten Powers takes a hammer
to Joe Biden's appalling words in China about how he fully understands and is not second-guessing their one-child policy. She explains how his spokesman's defense that he was actually saying the opposite of what his words said and was explaining to them that their policy won't give them enough younger workers to support older workers ignores the human rights abuses emanating from this policy.
The evil ripple effects for girls of China’s gendercide are astonishing. Because of the dearth of wives, Ling says that trafficking of child brides is epidemic. She told Congress in June that “this is the kidnapping and selling of toddler girls to be raised as slaves. Today in China, 200,000 children a year, usually from poor families, are seized or sold as child brides.” Similarly, sex trafficking is exploding to “service” the overwhelming male population. Ling says girls from surrounding countries are kidnapped or lured under false pretenses and forced to work in brothels.

The “one-child” policy is a barbaric practice aimed squarely at women and has had the effect of wiping out generations of girls. If this isn’t a top women’s-rights issue in the world, I don’t know what is.
Good riddance to the Fairness Doctrine. It's about time to finally bury this pernicious rule.