8.20.2014

For-Profit Schools

For-Profit College Grads Have The Same Shot At A Job Interview As People Who Never Went To College:
"The new findings add to an already-large pile of evidence that for-profit education is a terrible investment relative to the alternatives. A 2011 study found that for-profit students make between $1,800 and $2,000 less per year than they would have attending a different kind of school. The median debt burden for for-profit graduates is almost $13,000 higher than for public school graduates. Roughly six in 10 for-profit students take out loans, compared to just 13 percent of community college students. 
The schools also spend about a billion dollars more per year on recruiting than on educating those they recruit. The parent company of the University of Phoenix paid a $78 million settlement in 2009 after a whistleblower showed that the school linked recruiter pay to the number of students each employee enrolled.  
For-profit schools may fail to deliver on their promises to students, but they keep faith with their executives. For-profit CEOs get paid 26 times more than top officers at traditional colleges and their compensation is determined by corporate profits rather than student achievement or graduate success rates. The money those executives extract from the system is ultimately coming from taxpayers, as the industry gets 90 percent of its revenues from government student lending."

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Dangerous Drugs

Not pot, heroin, cocaine or meth. Alcohol is still the deadliest drug in the United States, and it’s not even close - The Washington Post:

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8.17.2014

The Mystery of Lofty Stock Market Elevations

The Mystery of Lofty Stock Market Elevations - NYTimes.com:

It’s possible that bond prices account for today’s stock market valuations. But that raises another question: Why are bond prices so high? There are short-term explanations: the role of central banks, for example. But is there a compelling reason for prices of stocks and bonds (and maybe houses, too) to remain high indefinitely?

I’ve looked for untraditional answers. Perhaps today’s prices have something to do with anxiety about the future. I suspect that after the financial crisis, working people are much more worried about their future pay. Many are concerned that they might lose their jobs to cost-cutting, or that they might eventually be replaced by a computer or robot or website. Such anxiety might push them to try to make up for these potential shortfalls by investing in stocks and bonds — even if they worry that these assets are overvalued.

Extrapolating from a theory of Robert E. Lucas Jr. of the University of Chicago, one might well expect lofty stock prices amid such worries: When there aren’t enough good investing opportunities, people wishing to save more for the future may succeed only in bidding up existing assets even if they think they’re overpriced. Call it the “life preserver on the Titanic” theory.

I'd believe the increased inequality of the last 30 years adds to the Stock market over-valuation and also feeds other investment asset bubbles like antique cars, old guitars, art, farmland, etc.

The is a lot of money ricocheting around the economy. The FED has been priming the pump for several years now. If that money lands in the hands of the lower percentile consumers, the people who need stuff, they buy things with it, cars, TVs, computers, clothes, food, appliances, vacations, etc. driving the overall economy up. However, in our current state of inequality, that money lands in the hands of the top 20%-ers, (10% or 1%ers maybe), and well,... they already have all of the stuff they need so they use it to chase and bid-up the price of investment assets like land, art, antique cars, and stock markets etc.

In short, inequality routes the cash to the people who inflate the investment markets not to those who inflate the overall economy.


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8.16.2014

Facts about food

Found at Marginal Revolution: Facts about food:
Jurafsky writes that “every increase of one letter in the average length of words describing a dish is associated with an increase of 69 cents in the price of that dish

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8.12.2014

Israel vs Gaza

The Hateful Likud Charter Calls for Destruction of Any Palestinian State | Informed Comment:
"Too much political discussion in the United States about Israel/Palestine proceeds from the premise that Palestinians have no other interest than to destroy Israel and drive the Jews into the sea. Therefore, it is said, well-intentioned Israel has no viable negotiating partner for peace. The political reality on the ground does not conform to such a simple-minded tale of good vs. evil. Israeli hardliners in power have repeatedly rejected any basis for a viable Palestinian state. Indeed, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s qualified statement in support of a two-state solution in 2009 – which his American apologists repeatedly invoke to demonstrate his “moderate” bona fides – was characterized by a member of his own cabinet as “the spin of our lives.” In fact. Likud leaders have said unequivocally that no two-state deal is possible."

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8.11.2014

Hillary Clinton on Israel and Gaza

I will never vote for her. If she's the nominee, I'm going third party, left of the Democrats, even if it helps hand power to the crazies on the right. A poster child of the corrupt American system.

Tough Hillary Clinton says all the pictures of dead women and children make it harder to sort out the truth (Hamas is evil):

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8.10.2014

AIPAC

Why the Israel lobby's grip on US politics may be waning | Al Jazeera America:
"In 2013, Pew polling found that 40 percent of Jewish Americans thought God gave the land of Israel to Jews; a full 82 percent of white Christian evangelicals felt the same way."
Thank God I'm an Atheist.

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