Greedy Blog

Monday, March 01, 2004

Daily Texan
I haven't said much about the DT lately since it's been boring, but there are some good items today.

First up is this article about the placement of a new fast food restaurant. The first paragraph paints a grim picture:
In 15 months, nine full-time UT employees will lose their jobs when the Jester Center Campus Store is torn down to make way for a fast food restaurant.

More joblessness caused by greedy capitalists at Aramark. The article later says that those 15 people will be given 15 months notice to find another job. How many of those 15 people would even be working there in 15 months to begin with? If they like convenience store work, apparently there is a brand new quickie-mart right next door. With the increased business that would result from less competition, surely they'll have slots to fill. If they don't like such work, how about working at the restaurant? I really wish the artile would have estimated how many people it would hire. From looking at staffing levels of such establishments, I'm guessing much more than 15. There is probably net job growth, but you'd never get that impression from this article.

Second up is this editorial about Los Alamos.
Other than the usual drivel about how nukes are bad (they kill people!), there is this nugget of mistruth:
Since 1940, the U.S. government has spent almost $6 trillion on nuclear weapons and a little more than a fourth of that on education, job training and other social services, according to the Brookings Institute.

This only looks at federal spending, which is a small portion of total spending on such programs. The first thing I would look at is the constitution: The federal government isn't supposed to spend any money on educaiton, job training, or other social services. The fact that it spent $1.5T pisses me off. The next thing is to get the real numbers (I'll just do education).
A chart here shows that in 2001 alone states spent almost $400B on education. Over 60 years, that would be $24T (4x spending on nukes over that period). Sure, there has been inflation and recent increases, but the editorial's author doesn't say how we should account for those.
Finally, learning doesn't mean much if the Soviets had won the cold war. Does the author really believe that USSR wouldn't have steamrolled everyone without nukes if we weren't stopping them? Or that the Japanese were preparing to drop a nuke on LA and SF if the war had continued (possibly within a week)? How would the deaths of tens of millions compared to the deaths of hundreds of thousands? Who started that war, by the way? Ugh.

Sadly, the Firing Line is just a bunch of discussion about Brian Ferguson and student government, two things about which I have 0 interest.

UPDATE: Whenever I let stuff stew in my head, my thoughts become clearer. In this case, there are a few more points that need to be made.
First, the author of the Los Alamos piece equates caring with spending. Well, the US spends more on education than any other country. Does that mean we care about it the most?
Second, spending on education doesn't equal good education. As I just said, the US spends more than any other country, yet we are nowhere near #1. Even a CRC report shows that there is absolutely no correlation between spending and educational quality.

Posted by Gel 12:53 PM Post a Comment

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