Carpe Diem

Monday afternoon links

1. Wasteful and inept administrators are ruining America’s colleges. Should we apply Sarbanes-Oxley to colleges?

2. First regional report on December housing sales – Chicago area home sales increased 17.1% in December compared to last year.

3. United Van Lines Annual Migration Report for 2012 shows that Americans continue to flee from high-tax, forced-unionism states.

4. Photo showing how we’ll know when Hollywood is serious about gun violence.

5. New Record: 55.7 million digital songs were sold last week, beating the previous record of 47.7 million for the week ending Dec. 28, 2008.

6. In this IHS video, Duke professor Michael Munger explains how market prices are like magic, as they convert countless bits of dispersed, complex information into a single summary statistic.

7. FBI: More people are killed with hammers and clubs each year than rifles.

10 thoughts on “Monday afternoon links

  1. The first link just demonstrates a truism about any enterprise I’ve ever seen: The times when you get really creative with your money are when you don’t have any. When an organization — government or universities or Microsoft — is awash in money, it’s difficult to get anyone to make smart decisions about the productivity of their spending. It’s always “amazing” how quickly those decisions get made when you’re running out of money. Which is why I’m not at all worried about the “sequester”.

    • sam-

      personally, i am worried about the sequester but mostly because i think they are going to just abolish it and keep spending like drunken sailors while barracking for higher taxes on the wealthy.

      the fact that obama and pelosi can, with a straight face, claim it is time to “scour” the tax code and eliminate deductions and loopholes after the bill that they just past was bulging with them shows you just how broken the DC patronage system is.

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/tim-carney-baucus-rewards-ex-staffers-with-tax-breaks-for-their-clients/article/2517635?custom_click=rss#.UOrnmG80V8F

      wouldn’t step one be “stop creating new ones”?

      they seem to have an easy time throwing swill in the trough but never seem to be able to cut any.

      when was the last time DC even passed a federal budget?

      you think they are going to let a little thing like the sequester actually cut spending?

      i have some real doubts.

      • I doubt that they will, too, but if they did, it is not likely to be a bad thing. I’m pretty confident that even the DOD could find ways to save money if they really had to (though that won’t keep them from asserting that there is nothing to cut except veteran’s benefits).

      • Morganovich,

        “you think they are going to let a little thing like the sequester actually cut spending?”

        Obama doesn’t believe there is a spending problem in the first place:

        “The president’s insistence that Washington doesn’t have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called “a health-care problem.” Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—”They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system”—he replied: “Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem.” He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: “I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.”

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323482504578225620234902106.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop#articleTabs%3Darticle

        • here is my proposal:

          i think the house should pass a bill agreeing to increase the debt ceiling that is contingent on a bill first being passed through both houses and signed into law that actually passes a budget. in direct violation of the law, there has not been a federal budget since 2009. reid simply will not allow one to hit the senate floor.

          this makes real spending deals all but impossible to cut.

          even better would be a bill that is contingent not just on a budget being passed but one that contained a credible plan to get to a balanced budget within 5-10 years.

          • Morganovich,

            “i think the house should pass a bill agreeing to increase the debt ceiling that is contingent on a bill first being passed through both houses and signed into law that actually passes a budget. ”

            Only problem is it will just go to Reid’s Senate to die like multitudes of other good bills sent by the House.

  2. “FBI: More people are killed with hammers and clubs each year than rifles.”

    I don’t think that the U.S. Army will now issue clubs and hammers instead of rifles.

    There is a reason that the M-16 is used in combat. The civilian version, the AR-15, is very similiar and highly efficient at firing quite fast for quick kills.

    The XM-25 is the next gen infantry weapon with a range of eight football fields. Again, it is doubtful that this highly efficient killing machine will be replaced with clubs and hammers.

    • Quote form Citizen B.: “The XM-25 is the next gen infantry weapon with a range of eight football fields.”

      Now all you have to do is find a soldier that can see and hit a target that far away. The average soldier can’t hit anything beyond 300 meters (and is lucky to hit a man sized target at 200), let alone see it.

      • Yeah, the XM-25 is probably overkill as the basic weapon of the infantryman. One of these weapons in a platoon is probably closer to optimal.

  3. On the issue of “university administrators” – the keys are inertia and the question of what is politically possible. Faculty Senates at most universities are toothless – Administrators answer to the President – who in turn answers to a Board of Trustees – which is made up of cronies and friends – so, there is no real check on what administrators do.

    There is indeed a “Berlin Wall” at Universities – erected by Administrators – who wall themselves off the real world and live to feed off the rest of the campus by pretending to do something important. With each passing year, the wall is being reinforced by adding additional layers, protections – even as student experiences get worse, the value of the degree falls – administrators remain entrenched – unstoppable and impervious to fiscal and educational realities.

    “Mr. Gorbachev – Tear down this wall” – If only someone with the power to do so would do the same at universities. I am not holding my breath.

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