Monthly Archive for September, 2007

Who Says That Racism Doesn’t Exist?

Certainly not anybody that I know:

I hear plenty of people saying that racism doesn’t exist, that some pretend racism doesn’t exist. But the people who say that the most often are the people who say there are others saying that racism doesn’t exist. Is there anyone serious who actually says that racism doesn’t exist?

The issue isn’t whether or not racism doesn’t exist–rather, is it still an actual barrier to progress? If you’re a student living in a lousy neighborhood attending a lousy school, then the issue of racism is just a rumor as you try to make it through this world…

More of Casey Lartigue here.

Quote Of The Day

“Members of the UAW want job guarantees because outside a GM plant their skills will never, ever return anything close to what they make inside one. According to the Freep, wages and benefits for the average UAW worker run about $73. At a standard 40-hour workweek, that’s the equivalent of a roughly $100,000 a year salary for someone with a high school education who takes no entrepreneurial risk. Where else is that kind of deal available? Is it any wonder that the membership wants to fight to keep that? Slash the health benefits and pensions in half and it would still be an extraordinarily good deal for workers whose earning power on the open market is probably more in the $20 an hour range”. —Megan McArdle on why GM workers want job guarantees

Why GM Will Ultimately Fail

Because of stuff like this:

However, 4,000-5,000 temporary workers at GM would be hired in as full-time workers and paid at the full, tier-one wage-and-compensation rate that is estimated at $70-$75 an hour once wages, benefits and pensions are included. To make room for new hires, GM would again offer substantial early-retirement buyouts for workers.

Getting these temporary workers hired as full-time GM employees at the compensation rate was a top priority for the UAW, which has added few members at the Big Three and was seen as a graying union.

And this, and this, and lets not forget this.

ABC’s 20/20 Special On Health Care

For those of you that missed it, ABC’s 20/20 did a special on health care and addressed many of the biased claims in Michael Moore’s Sicko movie. If you missed the show not to worry, youtube has it all recorded in a six part series. Be sure not to miss this. Click below.
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Minorities Spending Habits

Kerwin Kofi Charles, Erik Hurst, and Nikolai Roussanov have a new research paper on minority spending. The abstract states:

Using nationally representative data on consumption, we show that Blacks and Hispanics devote larger shares of their expenditure bundles to visible goods (clothing, jewelry, and cars) than do comparable Whites. We demonstrate that these differences exist among virtually all sub-populations, that they are relatively constant over time, and that they are economically large. While racial differences in utility preference parameters might account for a portion of these consumption differences, we emphasize instead a model of status seeking in which conspicuous consumption is used to reflect a household’s economic position relative to a reference group. Using merged data on race and state level income, we demonstrate that a key prediction of our model — that visible consumption should be declining in mean reference group income — is strongly borne out in the data separately for each racial group. Moreover, we show that accounting for differences in reference group income characteristics explains most of the racial difference in visible consumption. We conclude with an assessment of the role of conspicuous consumption in explaining lower spending by racial minorities on items likes health and education, as well as their lower rates of wealth accumulation.

It seems that Bill Cosby was right. Of course long time readers of my blog already knew this and those of us who grew up in the ghetto consider this about as enlightening as a study that reports gangs are bad for life expectancy. More on the study can be found here.

The Real Cuba

An excerpt from ABC’s 20/20 interview with Michael Moore:

Go here for the video.

The Other Side To Michael Moore’s Sicko

For those of you interested in the health care debate and those of you who watched Michael Moore’s sicko I strongly encourage you to watch ABC’s 20/20 special later today. It directly addresses the health care issue and gives the other side to many of Michael Moore’s claims.

See here for more details.

Charter Schools Are Making Progress In LA

Joanne Jacobs reports that Locke High school in Los Angeles, one of the worst high schools in the country, will be broken into 10 small Green Dot charter schools. More on the great news here.

Important points of note:

Board chair Monica Garcia later pointed out that LA Unified spends $7.7 billion a year and graduates only 40 to 50 percent of students.

In some ways, Jefferson and Santee are more pressing cases that Locke. Certainly, Locke is a perennial low scorer in the district (of the 1318 ninth-graders that enrolled at Locke in the fall of 2001, only a terrifyingly low 332 managed to actually graduate in spring, 2005. And only 143 of those getting diplomas had the right credits to apply for admission to the University of California and/or California State University systems). Sadly, however, Santee and Jefferson’s scores — and graduation rates — are worse.

Green Dot, on the other hand, graduates on average of 80 percent of its 9th graders and nearly all have the necessary A-G credits to apply to a state-run college or university. Moreover, the Green Dot schools run on a comparative shoestring and, both Jefferson and Locke have been recipients of some of the district’s biggest influxes of money.

The Gates Foundation will give Green Dot $7.9 million to create new charter schools in Los Angeles, which should help with the Locke conversion.

The LA Times has more.

Immigrants Attraction To The United States

Historian Victor Davis Hanson makes an interesting comment:

One final thought here. Why would deported illegal alien and activist Elvira Arellano, who according to the LA Times, “symbolized inhumane treatment of migrants to some,” wish to return to the US?

News reports suggested she does in petitioning the Mexican government for a diplomatic visa. Surely she might prefer either to bring her children to Mexico, or file citizenship papers to become an American. My sense is that she desperately wants to stay in the US and not Mexico and the reasons are more than just economics.

In my own observations, why do Mexicans come to El Norte? Not as said just for the money. Much of it is dignity. Despite the slurs, the US, especially its popular culture, treats aliens far better than does the Mexican government its own.

How? At our own government offices, clerks are respectful regardless of status. The average American doesn’t much care about class or diction. There is a meritocracy here absent in Mexico. But most importantly things work. In Mexico, the conditions of daily power, water, sewer, etc make life hard, and the future bleak. Police here often can’t ask the immigration status of those detained, in Mexico the arrested must pay bribes or face worse. So there is a sort of Orwellian doublespeak here, reminiscent of the Middle East: a desire to be a part of America, and when that proves impossible or difficult, then abstract furor or tantrums at the idea and policy of the United States—suggesting the root cause is desire for an alien culture, heightened by feelings of want, envy, jealousy, rejections, and feelings of inadequacy, all masked by chauvinism and ethnic triumphalism.

The full post can be found here.

Quote Of The Day

A recent study showed the median income of major corporate CEOs to be about $8 million a year. That’s less than a third of what Alex Rodriguez earns and less than one-thirtieth of what Oprah Winfrey makes. But no one is denouncing them for “greed.” —Thomas Sowell