American Elephants


Jordan Peterson and the Question of Gender Pronouns by The Elephant's Child

Jordan Peterson ia a professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, and a clinical psychologist. He is very principled, very honest, and very determined. The question here is one of gender pronouns, but really of the larger question of more genders than the two assigned to us by science, custom, and chromosomes.  This one really gets into it.



Big Cracks in the Foundation, No Warning Signals. by The Elephant's Child

I am deeply interested in the education situation in our country. The uproar and hooplah on our college campuses proves not only that our college students don’t know much of anything, but that the administrators and professors do not know how to maintain order, nor do they understand why they should bother. Then every once in a while someone adds to an article the cost of a semester at that university, and you can see that they whole mess is collapsing.

If you have student loans for the whole amount, you’d better be a leading STEM scholar. Even those who have high paying Silicon Valley jobs can’t afford to live in San Francisco and environs. They’re crowded in, sharing a room with four or more others. Real estate prices are incredibly high, rental costs are through the roof. Here in Seattle, there is a big motor home parked across from my veterinarian; clinic, obviously someone’s home, and there are several campers apparently permanently parked on adjacent streets. What happens to the Socialism major or the English major, let alone the majors in gender studies or women’s studies? Do they need to buy a camper to have a place to live? Can they find employment?

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline  just noted a story from the New York Times reporting that the New York Board of Regents eliminated the requirement that aspiring teachers in the state pass a literacy test to become certified. The Board eliminated the requirement because Black and Hispanic candidates for teaching jobs passed the literacy test at significantly lower rates than white candidates.

An analysis done in 2014, the year the test was first administered, found that 64 percent of white candidates passed the test on the first try, while only 46 percent of Hispanic candidates and 41 percent of black candidates did. That’s disparate impact, but it isn’t discrimination as long as the test measures skills teachers need to be effective in their job.

I just wrote about Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaking here, with large numbers of protesters turning out to protest her interest in promoting charter schools, although charter schools are publicly funded public schools.  The assumption is that the protesters were teacher’s union members or Democrats who are conscious of Union donations to Democrat coffers.

Instapundit regularly posts a notice about teachers who were caught having sex with their students, and going to jail. It seems like it’s once a week, but it may not be that frequent.

People are making fun of the campus protests and outrages, but I’m not sure its funny, It seems to me the alarm sirens should be going off. Attendance at the schools in question is way down. Donations are off. At Mizzou they have had to close some dorms. The schools that had national attention for their protests have all had declining enrollment. Is this enough to act as a major warning signal that all is not well? Dunno.



The Wonders of Free Market Capitalism by The Elephant's Child

The Manhattan Contrarian (Francis Menton)  wrote a while back:

In the progressive project to remake humanity and civilization, nothing counts but good intentions, and the details will all be worked out by experts, using the infinite credit card. And thus we get $1 trillion or so of annual “anti-poverty” spending that never makes a dent in poverty. As hard as that one is to top, nothing can top the delusional thinking on the subject of renewable energy, particularly the idea that it will be easy and costless to transition over a few years to a world where fossil fuels have been banished, and yet we want and need.

Today, from FEE (the Foundation for Economic Education) we have the encouraging headline “The World’s Poorest People are getting Richer Faster Than Anyone Else.” “The speed of poverty alleviation in the last 25 years has been historically unprecedented. Not only is the proportion of people in poverty at a record low, but in spite of adding 2 billion to the planet’s population, the overall number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen too.

As Johan Norberg writes in his book Progress, “If you had to choose a society to live in but did not know what your social or economic position would be, you would probably choose the society with the lowest proportion (not the lowest numbers) of poor, because this is the best judgement of the life of an average citizen.” Well, in 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day adjusted for purchasing power). In 1990 this figure was 34.8 percent, and in 2015, just 9.6 percent.

In the last quarter century, more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty – that equates to over 138,000 people (i.e., 38,000 more than the Parisian crowd that greeted Father Wresinski in 1987) being lifted out of poverty every day. If it takes you five minutes to read this article, another 480 people will have escaped the shackles of extreme of poverty by the time you finish. Progress is awesome. In 1820, only 60 million people didn’t live in extreme poverty. In 2015, 6.6 billion did not.

Do read the whole thing, I thought a little very good news might be welcome in the face of the outrage and anguish that are the daily fare of the media. No, it is not the result of the progressive project to remake humanity. It’s the result of plain old free market capitalism. Works every time.

 




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