Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A dry period for blogging

I have not added to my blog for five days, which is quite unlike me.  Frankly, two things have happened.  First, many of the things which have caught my attention have either been well covered elsewhere or are things that I am still trying to think about.    But here are five areas which you might wonder why I have been silent.

The controversy about the shootings in Tuscon, which I wrote about a couple of time, seem to have played out.  My first impression of the President's speech at the memorial service has improved quite a bit since I first read it.  I think he did a great job of being Presidential at that event.

I've also not written about the House action to repeal the Healthcare abomination.  I believe the healthcare bill that the democrats forced through last year is horrible - it will bankrupt the country if it first does not drive down the quality of care in the country.  Which comes first is not clear but both will happen.  But (and this is an area where I am simply an observer) I think that answer is not repeal but reform (mend it don't end it) by doing things like adopting interstate competition, tort reform and a couple of other things.  I think that is the end product of the GOP effort but I believe they first had to go through this process.

I have also not written about Governor Brown's proposed budget.  I understand the wailing that is going on on both sides of the aisle.  But from my perspective of watching the last 40 budget proposals with some attention that it is a realistic approach.   The last administration produced a series of fraudulent proposals that relied on rosy scenarios and BS.  While there are parts of this budget that I do not agree with, I think the proposal is at least realistic.   I hope the Legislature gives it careful consideration.  I may have some comments on that in the next couple of days.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the evolution of higher education in the state and the nation.  There are some changes afoot.  I am skeptical of Dr. Richard Vedder's claims that we are educating too many people in the US.  His numbers a silly and wrong.  But higher education will need to think carefully about what it needs to do to adjust to new realities.   I've also been trying to think about the proprietary sector of higher education.   We, in the traditional sectors of higher education, have something to learn from the prop schools but we also should not let them get away with silly comments.  They have a role in educating Americans but there are some questions that they need to begin to address.   So I will probably write about this area too.

Finally, I have not written about the long term effects of QE2 (not the ship but the monetary strategy).  I am skeptical but I think there has already been a lot written and most of what the critics have said are things that I agree with.

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