On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 39

On a Longer School Year
President Obama and others want to lengthen the school year by 40 days. Although I favor such a move as part of educational reform, let me pose these questions.

  • Should the Feds mandate something that is primarily controlled by state and local entities?
  • How much the public and the travel industry will fight to retain the status quo?
  • Why more time with the same outdated curriculum and industrial age standards?

On the Noble Peace Prize
I will admit that last week’s announcement struck me as surprising and confusing. Then again, after listening to the initial (especially the immediate) and continual criticism from the partisan opposition, I am more convinced than ever that they will mock anything and everything about President Obama – thus further alienating me and my moderate, independent vote. Meanwhile, and again I say – Congratulations Mr. President; plus, the Noble committee can do whatever – after all, it’s their award. This Thomas Friedman column is interesting on the matter.

On the Health Care Debate
Since the Congressional Budget Office seemingly declared the Bauchus proposal as deficit neutral, it’s been interesting to watch both parties and special interests apply their spin. I continue to be wary of the current Congress and their attraction to special interest needs and pork – therefore worries about the effectiveness and the efficiency of any bill – let alone one of this magnitude. In other words, will the final health care bill really and truly attack the problem? History says no. Here are three interesting columns: David Brooks and Nicholas Kristof’s first and second.

On Car Buys
I’m a long-time Cincinnati Reds fans, but the fact that Cincinnatians lead the nation in red car sales caught me by surprise. Although I don’t believe in a correlation between car color purchases and favorite sports teams, human behavior is a statistical goldmine. Here’s an article with lists.

On a Personal Note
I’ve taken on a major project in my work life that will decrease my writing and reading time. I’ll try to do what I can, but I know my blogging will suffer. Meanwhile, I’ll probably post in the evenings and try to keep going. Hope everyone has a good and safe weekend.

Before going, here’s a very short video demonstrating speed and agility.


6 thoughts on “On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 39

  1. Here’s the thing about the school year increase:

    More days = smarter kids
    Ok, I’ll buy it…but then you have:
    More days for kids = more days for teachers.

    Right now, about the only benefit to attract people to the field of education is “sure you get paid less than almost everyone else but hey, you get your summers off.”

    Increase the school year by 40 days and you lose that benefit. Without a substantial increase in pay (and really, where does the cash come from, higher taxes for everyone else?), the whole thing will probably end up with even less qualified teachers “teaching” which will, of course, keep our kids performing at poor academic levels much as they are now.


    • FanOfReds,
      I was hoping you would see this post … and as expected, great addition as pay is another part of the equation … and as you know most people don’t know how teacher pay is determined.
      Thanks for commenting – have a good weekend.


  2. Hi ‘Frank,

    Yet another interesting array of subjects shared. How perceptive of you to note that the travel industry may be hard-pressed to see their profits dry up due to an extended school year. Good posting–no surprise there though. Have a safe and wonderful weekend.


    • Al,
      As we both know, the domino effect exists for any action. As I noted in a past post about education reform, the public (many times) is the one preventing it – so why would the school calendar be any different? The travel industry relies greater on teen help, so heck .. they will squawk … and probably loudly.

      Thanks for commenting and have a good weekend.


  3. The David Brooks article was interesting but I don’t think that the Weyden solution is workable. It would only exacerbate the underlying problems of the current system. The only reason that the current system works as well as it does is that insurance companies pool risk in groups so that the healthy are actually paying for the healthcare of the sick and injured. If you break this up by forcing employers to give employees the option of taking the money and going somewhere else then the employer will be left with a more risky pool and their costs per employee will necessarily go up. I find it amusing that a Democrat is essentially proposing a voucher system for insurance.

    In my opinion, the Kristof articles are histrionic tripe – few facts and all drama. His appeal is to loot everyone to provide for a few. There are better ways to solve the problem. It is sad that people die from problems that people of more means do not die from. But does that mean that they should be entitled to the same healthcare that ANYONE else COULD get? The notion is nonsensical, we can’t as a society give everyone an equal outcome.

    The CBO estimate is still bogus. Revenues are overestimated and costs are underestimated. Wapo today had an article about a quarter of a trillion in costs that are being kept out of the bill: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/18/AR2009101801995.html

    But the truly deceitful part of the “deficit neutral” meme is that their ten-year estimate includes three years of revenue when there will be no costs. It makes it look good for the first ten years but the second ten years costs will be higher than revenue by 42%. It’s simple math for those who care to look for themselves and not accept what they read.


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