Texas Realtors are paying for some bad economic research. That's the only conclusion I can come to after looking at the current situation where highly educated economists are giving short shrift to the underlying causes of Texas home price inflation and market distortions. While the Fed has abdicated its responsibility to the American public, TAMU economists seem to be cooperating with the Fed in offering "alternative facts" surrounding the declining affordability of housing and real estate market imbalances. In a previous post I posited a guess as to why this is happening. After looking at [...]
Dallas Fed Chief Calls For Investment In Education While Fed Pays Billions To Banks On Excess Reserves
File this one in the Orwellian chronicles of America. This is the kind of news that writes itself because it is so absurd, such an insult to our collective intelligence that you couldn't imagine a rational human being with a soul offering up such a steeping pile of horseshit. Enter Robert S. Kaplan, the new chair of the Dallas Federal Reserve and by default the chief monetary policymaker in the American southwest. Why is Mr. Kaplan concerned about investments in education in Texas? Perhaps we should educate ourselves to find out. Speaking to an audience [...]
Charter schools are often loved by hedge funds. There's a reason for that. To get a better understanding of what charter schools are really about, all you need to do is follow the money. Once you look beyond the façade and official press releases, what you find are a lot of well-connected investors, tax breaks and special interests who are eager to carve out their own education islands at the expense of the public education system. Hedge funds seem to love charter schools, and that's because they've received some generous tax treatment making them attractive [...]
‘We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat’: Demise Of First-Time Buyers To Continue With Flawed Education Policy, More Debt Serfs On The Way
This past weekend Salon had a great piece covering the higher education scam which continues the oft-repeated promise of a better tomorrow in the face of spiraling tuition costs and mounting debt for millions of Americans. Author Thomas Frank notes that tuition is up a whopping 1200 percent in the last 30 years, even outpacing out-of-control healthcare costs. During the last few decades, several ideas have been offered and plenty of blame has been spread, but little of anything in the way of constructive action has taken place to reform a top-heavy cost structure and [...]
Zerohedge has an interesting post outlining the huge increases in college tuition costs throughout the country. Fortunately for Texans our 17.6% increase pales in comparison to the 80.6% rise college tuition costs seen in the state of Arizona during the last five years. The national average for the percent change in average tuition at public, four-year universities from 2008-2014 was 28.2%, according to data compiled form the "Trends in College Pricing" from the College Board. Sadly, more than half a dozen states have seen tuition costs rise by more than 50%. For those who are [...]
If you want to know how morally bankrupt the economic discussion in America has become, this screenshot of the website from the Silver State Schools Credit Union in Nevada is truly worth a thousand words. It's an invitation for k-12 teachers to go into debt to do their job. As a former educator, this is beyond appalling. It also speaks to the flawed priorities pursued in the name economic "recovery" in recent years.
This is an interesting discussion with Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs. Rowe has spent some time in some rather awkward situations, and in this interview he offers some insights into a flaw in the current college model. As Rowe points out, a lot of young Americans would probably be better served by training for a good-paying skill or trade in lieu of accumulating a pile of student loans from a university that can't guarantee a job upon graduation. Rowe: "If we are lending money that ostensibly we don't have to kids who have no hope of making it back in order to train them for [...]
In light of the spiraling student loan debt bubble, this is an interesting report from the Institute for College Access & Success covering average student debt at Texas colleges. Texas students racked up average debts of $24,030 and the proportion of college graduates with debt is 53 percent. Here are a few highlights from the data on Texas colleges and student loan debt: University of Houston - Average debt: $16,582 Graduates with debt: 47 percent - In-state tuition: $7,513 Rice University - Average debt: $18,133 - Graduates with debt: 25 percent - In-state tuition: $35,551 Texas A&M University - Average debt: [...]
This is an interesting conversation on a number of levels. This Austin TX welfare recipient called the KLBJ radio to explain the merits of the welfare system and why working was not in her interest. Lucy is apparently 32, married with three kids. She's apparently a 3rd-generation welfare recipient. She gets housing for $50 per month, food stamps and a welfare check. Let's just say that the current system is a little bit at odds with a productive economy. After listening to Lucy, it's not hard to understand why the workforce participation rate is plunging to new [...]
This is a message worth spreading. Psychologist and former teacher Angela Lee Duckworth analyzes the #1 predictor of a person's long-term success....grit. Duckworth suggests that a commitment to a long-term goal and follow-through is more important to success than basic IQ. As Duckworth explains, we still have a poor understanding about how to develop fortitude in students and incorporate it into the educational system. We're good at measuring IQ and test scores, but we need to do a better job of building grit and the long-term growth mindset.