Thursday, October 20, 2005

Jeff's Computer (2002-2005)

My home computer died about a week ago, so I don't have the power to blog at home anymore. I'm writing this from work, so it won't be particularly in-depth. It will be a series of mini-rants. Here goes:

George Will writes an interesting article about how GM is dealing with mounting health care costs to its retirees, and how those health care costs affect their ability to come out with new products. What Will fails to realize, I guess, is that he just made an excellent argument for single-payer health care systems. If corporate benefits packages are weighing down companies, it would ironically enough be pro-business to expand government in this area. If Washington (or Lansing, or Raleigh) is paying for it, the board room won't have to - and that will free up funds for the innovation that drives a successful market system. Furthermore, the cost of providing health benefits will no longer have to be borne by small business owners, which allows them to put more money back into their business (and maybe pay their employees better).

The hitch is in the ridiculous costs of health care. A single-payer system would occupy a good tenth of our budget all by itself - but since I don't trust the market as far as I can throw it when it comes to providing health care, we're left with either companies or governments paying the bills. If we accept Will's argument, government is our only solution, however costly it may be.

Another Post article chronicles the short life span of an eighth-grade reading assignment where students were asked to choose one book from a list of a hundred banned/challenged books, read it, and analyze why it was controversial. Predictably, some idiot parents decided that because they didn't want their kids reading some of the books on the list (reasonable, given that Madonna's "Sex" was on the list, among others), they didn't want anyone else's kids reading any of the books on the list. The school, being spineless, withdrew the assignment. Raising your own kid seems hard enough; someone please tell me why there are parents out there who want to be everyone else's mommy and daddy too.

Also on the education front, students have shown no appreciable gains from the No Child Left Behind act yet. I don't know that we can gauge the success of an education program a mere four years into its existence, but NCLB certainly isn't the magic bullet that the Bush administration was wanting it to be. Looks like Curious George will actually have to put a little more effort into solving our education problems.

And finally, well met, Astros. Why you didn't walk Albert Pujols in the ninth inning of Game 5, I'll never know. But I guess it didn't matter.

1 comment:

Ben said...

When is your computer getting fixed?