‘Entitled’ Students Protest in the U.K.

November 11, 2010

More outcries from the ‘entitled’ in Europe:

This time it is students lamenting the fact that they may have to actually pay for more of their own college tuition instead of relying on the government for support. The horror!


Another Link Between Economic Knowledge and Political Beliefs

June 15, 2010

At this point, readers may be familiar with a recently reported study finding that liberals and progressives were less economically “enlightened” than their conservative and libertarian counterparts. Now, another study conducted by the New York Federal Reserve found more interesting results connecting economic knowledge to political beliefs.

It seems, according to the study, that taking classes in economics also correlates with party affiliation. It found, among other things, the following:

… those who took more economics classes or who majored in economics or business were more likely to be members of the Republican party and less likely to join the Democratic party. Those findings hold even after controlling for the higher salary, higher equity in real estate holdings, and earning a graduate degree.

One question to ask would be if the political beliefs were pre-existant to the choice of classes. That might indicate that political beliefs influence choice in majors.

It would also be interesting to see a study looking at the party affiliation of political science majors. I’d imagine the results would be rather different.

* The preceding was originally posted on the Young Americans for Liberty blog.


Assaulted by a Congressman

June 14, 2010

Given the prevalent media coverage and the curious nature of the encounter, I felt obliged to post this video clip of Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) essentially physically assaulting a self-described student simply for asking him a question:

This seems in stark contrast to earlier remarks he had made encouraging young people to get involved. It should be noted that he has made an apology, but the uncomfortable nature of the clip is still rather troubling.


Liberal/Progressive Ignorance of Economics

June 12, 2010

Given the economic policies supported by liberals/progressives, it would be no surprise if they were ignorant of basic economic facts. A study of 2008 Zogby survey data just recently published finds just that.

According to the study, what the researchers call “economic enlightenment” (essentially knowledge of economic facts) varied among political ideologies. The authors note the following:

Adults self-identifying “very conservative” and “libertarian” perform the best, followed closely by “conservative.” Trailing far behind are “moderate,” then with another step down to “liberal,” and a final step to “progressive,” who, on average, get wrong 5.26 questions out of eight.

Here are few examples of the statements survey respondents were asked to agree or disagree with:

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Gore’s ‘Motivational’ Speech to Graduates

May 27, 2010

Here’s a clip from Americans for Prosperity highlighting the rather unmotivational parts of a recent graduation commencement speech delivered by the always cheerful (sarcasm) Al Gore:


Regulate Internships, Get Fewer of Them

April 6, 2010

As if finding the right internship wasn’t hard enough, college students may soon find another obstacle to getting their foot in the door in their prospective occupations: government regulators. A recent report in The New York Times notes the frustration which some regulators are having with companies they believe are using unpaid internships to save money.

The article notes the following:

Convinced that many unpaid internships violate minimum wage laws, officials in Oregon, California and other states have begun investigations and fined employers. Last year, M. Patricia Smith, then New York’s labor commissioner, ordered investigations into several firms’ internships. Now, as the federal Labor Department’s top law enforcement official, she and the wage and hour division are stepping up enforcement nationwide.

Regulators argue that they are only protecting the interns from unfair exploitation (read: expanding the nanny state), claiming that some companies use the title “internship” as an excuse to not pay employees. But wouldn’t these misled “interns” and sponsoring schools soon catch on to such a ploy from companies and reject further dealings with those deceptive firms? Or, do the regulators, as is often the case, view these students and schools as incapable of making these types of judgements on their own without the guiding hand of government (read: paternalism)?

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College Grade Inflation

March 24, 2010

When I ponder the value of post-secondary education, charts like this showing the progression of grade inflation in colleges make me wonder if we’re being misled:

I seriously doubt college students are actually getting smarter. The more likely cause is more lenient grading standards.

So, are today’s A’s really B’s? Does that mean a bachelor’s degree today really only equates to an associates — making a master’s degree only a bachelor’s? Does that, along with the sluggish economy, help partly explain the increased difficulty recent college graduates have faced in finding jobs? That may be reading too much into the stats, but it’s something to ponder, nonetheless.