Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Economic Creativity

The White House blithely claims to have "created or saved" 650,000 jobs. The conservative right holds the claim in derision, and the liberal left chooses, amidst its embarrassment, to pretend this audacious bit of mendacity had not been uttered by their President. As even the sympathetic media have pointed out, the only jobs that have been created by the administration are in government, and there's absolutely no way to determine how many jobs, if any, have been saved. The assertion that jobs have been saved is utterly meaningless, but the White House stands by it notwithstanding their inability to explain how they arrive at such an extraordinary datum, especially given the current jobless numbers.

To make it even more embarrassing for the President's supporters the congressional districts that the White House claims these jobs have been created in don't even exist. If the districts are being fabricated why should anyone think the job numbers aren't? Reading about these claims one feels as if the "facts" are just being manufactured as we go along. Is there anything they tell us that we can believe?


Chinese Exports

This could be welcome news for colleges and universities desperate for students:

American universities are enrolling a new wave of Chinese undergraduates, according to the annual Open Doors report.

While India was, for the eighth consecutive year, the leading country of origin for international students - sending 103,260 students, a 9 percent increase over the previous year - China is rapidly catching up, sending 98,510 last year, a 21 percent increase.

"I think we're going to be seeing 100,000 students from each for years to come, with an increasing share of them being undergraduates," said Peggy Blumenthal, executive vice president of the Institute of International Education, which publishes the report with support from the State Department.

Why the increase?

"There's growing disposable income in China, and not enough good universities to meet the demand," he said. "And in China, especially, studying in the United States is a great differentiator, because when students get home, they speak English."

It's also a great way to tear down walls between societies. As China grows and continues to accumulate an excess male population it will be tempted to flex its muscle in the Pacific. The more educated Chinese who have made friends in the U.S. the more hopeful we can be that tensions between us will be kept at a minimum.

The type of student that China is sending is changing as well:

"It used to be that they were all in the graduate science departments, but now, with the one-child policy, more and more Chinese parents are taking their considerable wealth and investing it in that one child getting an American college education," she said. "There's a book getting huge play in China right now explaining liberal arts education."

The book, "A True Liberal Arts Education," by three Chinese undergraduates from Bowdoin College, Franklin & Marshall College and Bucknell University, describes the education available at small liberal arts colleges, and the concept of liberal arts, both relatively unknown in China.

Foreign students have given a welcome push to local economies:

"International education is domestic economic development," Mr. Goodman said. "International students shop at the local Wal-Mart, rent rooms and buy food. Foreign students bring $17.8 billion to this country. A lot of campuses this year are increasing their international recruitment, trying to keep their programs whole by recruiting international students to fill their spaces."

Another advantage is that some Chinese may wish to remain in the U.S. to work and raise a family. If so, it would of mutual benefit as they contribute their native industriousness, intelligence, and virtue to our local communities.

If China and India wish to send us their best and brightest, I for one say send us all you want.


Don't Listen to Rush

Lloyd Marcus is a black American. I mention this only because it gives context to a little piece he writes for American Thinker. It's ostensibly about Rush Limbaugh, but one could substitute "read Conservative thought" for "listen to Rush Limbaugh" and the message would be the same. Here's what Marcus says:

I am a black man who, since 1993, has been a regular listener of the Rush Limbaugh radio program. I must caution black America. Be afraid, be very afraid of this powerful white man. Regular listening to him could be devastating to the psyche of the 96% of black Americans who voted for Obama. I have compiled the following Top Ten list of reasons why.

10. If you want to believe blacks are eternal victims in America, do not listen to Rush Limbaugh.

9. If you do not want to take responsibility for your life, do not listen to Rush Limbaugh.

8. If you are a dead beat loser who voted for Obama in hope of him redistributing what others worked for to you, do not listen to Rush Limbaugh.

7. If you believe blacks can not achieve without lowered standards and intervention by government and liberals, do not listen to Rush Limbaugh.

6. If you believe blacks who speak English correctly and are self sufficient are traitors, do not listen to Rush Limbaugh.

5. If you believe black liberal Democrats (Sharpton, Jackson, Waters & Co.) are your friends rather than your slave masters, do not listen to Rush Limbaugh.

4. If you do not believe self respect, pride and true self esteem comes from personal achievement, do not listen to Rush Limbaugh.

3. If you want to hate your country and believe it is the greatest source of evil in the world, do not listen to Rush Limbaugh.

2. If you want to believe rich white racist Republicans are burning the midnight oil thinking of ways to keep black America down, do not listen to Rush Limbaugh.

And the number one reason black America should fear regularly listening to Rush Limbaugh; they will become ditto heads.

Actually, I think the black Americans most likely to become disenchanted with the Democrat party that Rush is so critical of are those in the black middle and upper classes. These are people who have worked hard to get where they are. They have a stake in their communities. They pay taxes and care about the quality of their schools and neighborhoods, and eventually they're going to realize that the Democrats are doing nothing to make these things better.

The Democrats have a lock, however, on many among the chronically poor, whether white, black, or brown. These people pay very little in taxes, they live off the largesse and productivity of the greater society, their poverty is often a consequence of their own bad habits and choices in life, and they tend to vote for anyone who promises them that they'll get more goodies from the government if they do.

They're entitled to vote, of course, and everyone else is entitled to take comfort and hope in the fact that they usually don't.


Re: The Day the Music Died

We recently posted a piece on the problems faced by the music industry, and a student has replied with a fairly scathing critique of our entertainment industry in general. Her response is on our Feedback Page and is worth checking out.