11-26-11 Hodgepodge

Saturday, November 26, 2011

State Planning vs. Education

The Chinese Ministry of Education has announced that it is going to phase out majors that produce unemployable graduates:

[T]he government's decision to curb majors is facing resistance. Many university professors in China are unhappy with the Ministry of Education's move, as it will likely shrink the talent pool needed for various subjects, such as biology, that are critical to the country's aim of becoming a leader in science and technology but do not currently have a strong market demand, a report in the state-run China Daily report said. [minor format edits]
This is at once highly ironic and utterly predictable. If state planners were omniscient, as so many collectivists like to assume, why have they run into a problem matching the numbers of graduates in their educational system with the demands of the other parts of economy they also run? The answer lies in the fact that state planners actually know much less about what is needed by the millions of individual actors they presume to call "the economy". Their solution will not be to question their assumptions, however. Their response, as it has always been, is to assume even more control over the lives of the millions.

Weekend Reading

"From Amtrak to interstate highways, the U.S. government's balance sheet is bloated with assets lacking the funding to support them." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "Time to Sell Government Assets?" at SmartMoney

"President Obama seems frustrated these days -- lashing out emotionally, intensifying his rhetoric against money-makers, doubling down on his demagoguery, and claiming that heartless GOP rivals want dirty air, unsafe water, poisoned food, and no health care." -- Richard Salsman, in "Obama's Hopeless 'Malaise' Moment" at Forbes

My Two Cents

Although I have seen calls to sell off government-owned assets before, Hoenig's is the first I have seen that brings up the fact that, not only would the sales bring in money, they would end losses.

Mmmm. Smoked Turkey!

Kudos to my brother and his wife for hosting an outstanding late Thanksgiving dinner, yesterday. And, yes, I do find myself jealous of that smoker he got as an anniversary gift! This dark meat guy never knew turkey breast could be that flavorful and succulent.

One day, when we have a yard again...

-- CAV

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