Friday Ephemera
The Roar of Mighty Weapons

Elsewhere (66)

Thomas Sowell takes a look at political rhetoric. Part 1 includes the words “greed” and “compassion”:  

In the political language of today, people who want to keep what they have earned are said to be “greedy,” while those who wish to take their earnings from them and give it to others (who will vote for them in return) show “compassion.”

And so we see people who don’t regard themselves as greedy or selfish demanding a “fair share” – i.e., more - of someone else’s earnings. But who’s the more greedy and selfish - Michael Caine or these people? And what about this guy? Which of them is the exploiter and which the exploited? 

Part 2, on “access”: 

Making a distinction between external and internal reasons for failing to reach one’s goal would clarify the meaning of the word “access.” But clarification would destroy the political usefulness of the word, along with the government programmes that this word is used to justify.

Parts 3 and 4 tackle “welfare,” “choice” and of course “social justice.”

Bill Whittle on the higher education bubble:  

Total student loan debt in America has passed the trillion dollar mark – more than total credit card debt and more than total auto loan debt. But as prices have been going up, learning seems to have been going down. A recent book, Academically Adrift by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, found that 45% of students did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning during the first two years of college, and 36% of students did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning over four years of college. The primary reason, according to the study, is that courses aren’t very rigorous… Simply put, the cost of higher education has far outpaced its actual value. The bubble is going to burst.

And yes, we have a similar problem here. In the UK there are currently around 20,000 students of fine art, 10,000 philosophy students and 27,000 enthusiasts of media studies. But is there a corresponding economic need? If the investment of time, effort and (other people’s) money doesn’t pay off with a lucrative and fascinating career in the private sector and a return via taxation, then how is the process justified in its present form? Is it sustainable?

Finally, via Kate, some lovely racial brotherhood from our leftist betters.

As always, feel free to add your own.