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>28 October 2003
It's like Jack Handey, but me instead
I always get these weird philosophical thoughts when im sitting in education policy class. (On a purely side note - I really like how interested I am in classes these days. I'm always trying to keep on my toes about what's being taught and why. I wish that I liked learning this much when I was an undergrad..)
You never appreciate something that given to you nearly as much as something that you earned.
Back to the Roots
This weekend i'll be headed back to SoFla and down to Key West for a few days for John's bachelor party. It should be fun!
Stuff I have to do when I get back:
* Ed policy paper #2 (reading books, studies, etc.)
* Cato Forum on the 7th
* Ed Glaeser Speech (Hopefully!!) on the 12th
* Virginia Postrel Event on the 13th
* Xavier Briggs De Souza on the 20th
* A few more UPSA things that I can't curently remember
>23 October 2003
The fish pulled it out in the 12th inning - of course this happens when i'm out at a bar and not home, but hey. And there was another Marlins fan in the crowd!
I must finish that 5 pager for education policy class. It's getting a little too close to that deadline. Tomorrow I had better be able to post that i'm done or nearly done.
>21 October 2003
Profundity in class.
Random things that I had to jot down while I was in class yesterday:
Be confident enough to have an opinion but not too confident that your opinion is correct.
There isn't one "right" but there certainly is at least one "right for you."
>19 October 2003
And a la de da..
I'm sick today. I felt it coming on now for like 2 days. Hopefully it ends soon. The good things is that hopefully I can watch the Marlins pull off Game 2 tonight.
>16 October 2003
"Birth of a snob"
A really interesting essay about snobbery. I think that he nailed it on the head what I don't quite like about San Fran - the 'reverse snobbishness' of the place.
>15 October 2003
>14 October 2003
Free Spending liberals of the world unite!
Boy, I swear that that city is a whole other realm than what i'm used to. Last night in housing class, a kid (who seems to be pretty cool in his own right) suggested that the answer to alleviate poverty was to extend a 'housing wage' to everyone. That's right - lets set a wage floor of $32,000 dollars (the NYC figure at least).
What happens next?
Suppose that all of the companies such as McDonalds, KMart and etc pay all of their clerks $32,000 a year AND they keep them all and not fire them. Well, what does that do to company costs? They go up. What goes up right hand in hand with them? Costs.
Are you ready for a $9 value meal at McDonalds? $28 dollar boxers at the Gap? Because that is what the end result would be.
And the absolute funniest thing about it is that in his mind, he's trying to help the little guy. In reality, most folks who are well off might be able to afford that kind of steep increase in costs but hurt the most will be the poor.
Or more likely to happen than the above example is that companies will fire a lot of low wage earners and have to increase costs as well, meaning more people with no jobs and higher prices for all around.
This is the same thing that the auto unions went through - I'm guaranteed of a really high wage, but unfortunately there are no jobs for me to get that high wage at.
How many times do we have to relearn the same lesson? Plenty of times I suppose...
I got a new style - Watch out now..
Got a hold of some new music over the weekend off of the iTunes store. Phantom Planet rocks - I dig it. There's a lot of space (maybe a little too much) but they don't have all of the instruments getting in the way of each other when they don't need to - that's key!
I also bought paloalto on a whim. I'm not as hot about it right now but it's got a lot of things sonically that I dig, so we'll see where that goes.
>10 October 2003
It's okay to hate.. mosquitoes
I swear. I must have some kind of blood that is like sweet nectar of bug-gods for mosquitoes. Every time it gets to be about this temperature out, I get like 10 bites every night. And these mosquitoes.. well..
I mean, I think that they make em different up in Brooklyn. They have more street cred or something. They bite you and they really mean it.
I can't wait for winter if just to get a relief from this ugly yucky mosquito bitey existence.
>09 October 2003
75,606 and counting
Oh yeah, the Federal Register, which contains the set of rules and regulations drafted by the federal government now stands at 75,606 pages and counting.
Also, according to a web search tool of the federal tax codes, "The complete Internal Revenue Code is more than 21 megabytes in length, and contains more than 2.8 million words; printed 60 lines to the page, it would fill almost 6000 letter-size pages."
And somehow i'm supposed to even halfway believe that all of these regulations and tax codes are thought through as for their efficacy and removed when they are irrelevant. I'm almost sure that there might be no way to do certain things without running afoul of one rule or another.
Of course if enough rules are in place, we're certainly going to break one of them sooner or later.
>08 October 2003
Of the people, by the people and for the people
I find myself completely amazed at the way that equally bright and thoughtful people can have such completely different opinions on life, politics and the way that things work.
I would take a venture to say that most people equate 'the people' with government, whereas I equate 'the people' with the people.
I believe that many are so fervent in their 'liberal' beliefs because they think that the government is the voice of the public and the way to solve social ills. If there is a problem, clearly the voice of the people is channeled through the government and it should be trusted or even mandated to solve problems.
Well it's just not true. The true path to solving social ills is the power of raising your own standard of living. Being affluent allows you to take stands on things such as pollution, crime, trash or whatever and have the resources to do something about it. Is the farmer in Uganda going to improve his quality of life through government actions or the ability to make enough money to start buying basic human necessities such as food, water and housing?
If government had the power to solve social ills, then any country could just declare that it was going to end (fill in the blank) and provide (fill in the blank). But it doesn't. Poor countries stay poor until they are able to use their advantages of labor and/or resources to sell goods and/or services to the rest of the world and thus increase their ability to solve their own problems.
The market isn't some obscure amalgamation of people beyond me and you, it is me and you. Being anti-market really means that you are against people. The free market isn't perfect, but it does reflect what we as a people want. Sometimes what we want isn't the most 'moral' thing, but who gets to decide the morals that should be used to judge others?
If you give someone the right to rule on morals, then you have to accept that fact that their successor has just as much right to rule on whatever morals they might have. Better to not enter into the arrangement in the first place.
To some this will seem immature and unguided but to me it is the smartest thing that any man can ever think of - that left alone, we will be able to solve most of our own problems. I already have a set of parents by birthright, I don't need another set by force.
>06 October 2003
Alone, Listless, Breakfast table in an otherwise empty room
You know.. It's amazing to me how easy it is to feel lonely in a place like New York City, where there are probably more people that live in my neighborhood than in the whole city where I grew up.
And i'm usually pretty good with not feeling that way - but there are so many temporary friends and fleeting times and pretty people out and all the hustle and bustle of life here.
I'm gonna find time to see Lost in Translation - I have the feeling that it would really connect with me right now.
I'd give a lot just to be able to transform some of the 1/2 or 3/4 friends that I have now into just a few real 'always there for you and always there to hang out' kinda friends. Or even just one.
To the girl at the poetry slam..
You are not your father, grandfather or great-grandfather.
The only thing you share in common with those before you are but nothing
and everything in due time.
The actions of those who share your race
are not the actions brought by you -
don't need to be explained by you.
don't need to be forgiven by you.
With your pride in yourself cast away you cast off everything else.
Your spirit, your energy, your soul.
And what's left behind but a smoldering mass
thats too white for you to like but too black for you to accept..
>05 October 2003
Summer, where have you gone?
Summer is officially over. Today we took down the AC units. Alas, some things must come to an end.
>02 October 2003
You learn something new every day..
(Thanks to Tyler Cowen) This is a link to the story Harrison Bergeron, written by Vonnegut. It represents a scathing represenation of what happens when we are all finally made equal. I think it's a good point to remember that by 'We are all created equal' means that we all have an equal opportunity to make something of ourselves, and not that we are all supposed to be the same.