How to Get a Real Education at College - WSJ.com

I think Scott Adams is a fantastic writer. I frequently enjoy reading his blog. If you have not yet had the chance you should read the piece he penned for the Wall Street Journal on education. Adams is certainly creative in this piece but his perspective seems to be limited to economics. Even my technology oriented college required courses in the humanities. Although some students dismissed these as joke classes, others embraced them and were able to explore parts of their interests they otherwise would not pursue. Adams also failed to consider the impact on society if we only specialize in the things we are interested in. Citizens will never be fully informed on all the issues, but should at least be literate in them and able to identify and articulate why their preferred candidates comport with those values. Otherwise if a large group of voters are “getting it wrong” then society might lose out on a good leader that actually shares the values of its citizens.

I understand why the top students in America study physics, chemistry, calculus and classic literature. The kids in this brainy group are the future professors, scientists, thinkers and engineers who will propel civilization forward. But why do we make B students sit through these same classes? That's like trying to train your cat to do your taxes—a waste of time and money. Wouldn't it make more sense to teach B students something useful, like entrepreneurship?

via How to Get a Real Education at College - WSJ.com.

 

The Torrington Register-Citizen Wins

via Digital First

I Promised – You Delivered – The Checks Are Cut By jxpaton Folks, Take a bow – you did it! Our goal was to hit $40M in profit in 2010. Well you did better than that – you hit more than $41M. Not bad for a bankrupt, beat up old newspaper company people had written off as dead in 2009.

I don’t know what blows my minds more:

  1. That this “dead” newspaper company innovated like crazy to revive itself in such a short period.
  2. That a CEO decided to share the success with his employees. (Serious leadership there)
  3. That the paper turned $41 million in profit!
  4. That this happened in Connecticut.

Spammers

While people seem to read this blog they do not often post replies directly here (I tend to receive feedback via the MyLeftNutmeg site, facebok, and twitter). Spammers however seem to enjoy registering and posting. I’ve added the step of requiring registration if you actually wish to make a comment to reduce the amount of spam that has to get filtered through on this. I apologize if it causes any inconvenience.

UConn Tuition Town Hall This Friday

I received the following e-mail today:

TO: University Community FROM: Richard Gray, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Barry Feldman, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Nicholls, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs SUBJ: Town Hall Meeting – March 18, 2011 The University community is invited to attend a Town Hall Meeting on Friday, March 18th at 3:00 p.m. in Konover Auditorium in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. The purpose of the Town Hall meeting is to provide an update on tuition and fees. There will also be an opportunity for question and answer dialogue. Regional campuses, please note: The meeting will be delivered using one-way video and audio from the following locations: Avery Point – Academic Bldg, Rm 309 Law School – Starr 204 Stamford – Room 312 Torrington – Lecture Hall Waterbury – Room 324 West Harford – HITC Bldg, Rm 104 UCHC – Keller Auditorium We hope that you are able to join us on March 18th. ************************************* Richard D. Gray Vice President and Chief Financial Officer University of Connecticut 352 Mansfield Road, Unit 2122 Storrs, CT 06269-2122 (860) 486-3455

Connecticut State Budget

A few days ago Governor Malloy unveiled his budget. Reaction has been mixed. At the heart of his plan are two separate proposals: $1.8 billion in new revenue and $2 billion in concessions from state employees. The budget also includes $758 million in spending reductions.

One good thing Gov. Malloy is doing is plugging the exemptions for various special interests in the state sales tax. These “tax expenditures” unfairly subsidize specific products and industries that were lucky enough to have lobbyists fight for them.

Criticisms largely stem from individuals that believe there should be greater revenue increases or greater spending cuts. Gov. Malloy has struck a careful balance by increasing tax rates to be comparable but competitive with neighboring states. Following the suggestion of Jon Olson and others advocating for tax increases may cause the rich to flee the state. This contention is supported by a report from Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. A report from Princeton suggests that the impact of new taxation on migration is negligible. Taxes and money are not the only factor that individuals consider when choosing a place to live but it is reasonable to presume we are competing for individuals in the tri-state area that work in New York City. Rational rich people will choose the locale with the lower taxes and absent conclusive data it is better to be safe than sorry.

Rep. Cafero and other Republicans have criticized the budget for not cutting spending enough. The CT Mirror explains that this is due the structure of Gov. Malloy’s budget cuts:

The biggest cut in the Malloy budget technically involves a "lapse" or relatively undefined savings still to be achieved. The governor announced this week that it would come from state employee wage and benefit concessions as well as other savings tied to rank-and-file labor and management.

The Mirror article does a great job articulating the hurdles faced by the administration in obtaining these concessions and suggests that they may not get it all.

Overall the Malloy budget is a good one but it is not the final budget. We will likely see tweaks especially to deal with an inability to obtain the entire $2 billion in concessions from the unions. Connecticut already runs a fairly lean governmental operation and there is little room to make major structural changes without impacting a safety net or causing local property taxes to rise.

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