EppsNet Archive: Money

Arizona is the Next California?

Unfortunately, my experience in Arizona … has been that people have zero ability to correlate specific elements of public policy with particular outcomes.  In particular, people who flee California because it is too expensive and dysfunctional come to Arizona and immediately begin voting for exactly the same policies that made California expensive and dysfunctional. Coyote Blog Read more →

Is Toxic Femininity Also a Thing?

Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, quoted in the New York Post: The past year I’ve gotten three insanely high settlements for consensual sex as sexual harassment. I think I may be some kind of savant. I get a case. And then I ask a set of lawyers who only do this kind of work what is the best settlement I could hope for. And then I triple it. I made $2.9 million for a 24 year old girl who had a consensual sexual relationship with her boss. Read more →

Buy a $1.7 Million Mansion for $25

Homeowner selling $1.7M mansion for $25 and ‘compelling’ essay NY Daily News Here in Southern California, $1.7 million doesn’t buy what I’d call a “mansion,” but this is definitely a mansion, almost 4,000 sq.ft. of living space on a one-acre property. Those interested in the house, located in Alberta, Canada and boasting scenic mountain views, must pay a $25 entry fee and submit a one page essay about themselves and why they should win the contest. It can be no longer than 350 words. Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Priorities

When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren. — Albert Shanker, President of the United Federation of Teachers (1964-1984) and President of the American Federation of Teachers (1974-1997) It’s a problem in my profession that the number of schools that want to teach computer science far exceeds the number of computer science majors who want to teach computer science. The opportunity cost is too high. Computer science majors can earn a lot more working as software engineers than working as teachers. I volunteer a couple mornings a week to help with computer science instruction at a local high school. This school has a teacher, originally hired as a math teacher, who must be well into her fourth decade of teaching.  She now teaches computer science classes — poorly, but she teaches them. Because of her professional longevity, she makes a six-figure income with… Read more →

The Interests of Schoolchildren

More than 30,000 teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) went on strike this week. LAUSD serves 640,000 students and is the second biggest school district in the country. The mean annual wage for LAUSD teachers is $75,000. In the local reporting I’m seeing on the strike, teachers and union reps are unanimous in saying that they’re striking for the benefit of the schoolchildren. I’m reminded of something Albert Shanker — former president of the United Federation of Teachers (1964-1984) and the American Federation of Teachers (1974-1997) — used to say: When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren. I can’t say for certain that the LA union reps are being disingenuous but it does make sense that they’d be representing the interests of the people who are paying them. Read more →

How the Bezos Divorce Rewrites the World’s Richest People List

Current Jeff Bezos, $140 billion Bill Gates, $90 billion Warren Buffett, $84 billion Bernard Arnault, $72 billion Mark Zuckerberg, $71 billion Future Bill Gates, $90 billion Warren Buffett, $84 billion Bernard Arnault, $72 billion Mark Zuckerberg, $71 billion Jeff Bezos, $70 billion MacKenzie Bezos, $70 billion Read more →

Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?

— Thomas Sowell

Student Loan Debt Sets Record

U.S. Student Loan Debt Sets Record, Doubling Since Recession — Bloomberg What happened to parents saving up to pay for college? Is that not a thing anymore? I don’t find it morally defensible to encourage a kid to incorporate academics into his or her life from an early age, to emphasize the importance of education, then when the kid is admitted to college to say “Congratulations, here’s your student loan application. Have fun paying that off till you’re 60.” Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Inequality = Bad?

I’m volunteering a couple mornings a week in a high school computer science class . . . “Why don’t schools and classes have sponsors?” I ask one of the teachers. “When my kid was in school, they were always complaining about not having enough money. So why couldn’t you, for example, come in and say, ‘Hey kids, before you come to 1st period, make sure you have a good breakfast at McDonald’s. I’m lovin’ it!’? “And McDonald’s pays you 100 grand or whatever to say that.” “My concern,” he says, “is that would lead to more inequality in education.” I’m not sure he really thought that through. It seems more like a mechanical response to an abstract notion, i.e., “Inequality is bad.” As a parent, I always supported inequality in education. I wanted my kid to get the best possible education, better than most other kids. As a classroom volunteer,… Read more →

$15 Trillion for “Free” Healthcare

$300K = free healthcare for 60 people?! $50K per person?! Multiply by 300 million Americans . . . check me on the math but isn’t that $15 trillion? For “free” healthcare?!?!?! Here’s what it looks like if you write it out: $15,000,000,000,000. Is this guy insane?!?!?! Read more →

Amazon Has Good News and Bad News for You on the Minimum Wage

Good News: We are raising the minimum wage for all U.S. employees to $15 an hour. Bad News: We’re replacing all of you with robots. Read more →

See You in Hell

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] The pope said yesterday that Satan — that’s me — “has been let loose and he’s got it in for the bishops.” My reaction is that I am proud to be thrown under the bus alongside rape victims, abused unwed mothers and financial whistleblowers for the greater “good” of the church. By the way, have you noticed that “prophet” and “profit” are homonyms? See you in Hell! Read more →

A Close Encounter with Burt Reynolds’ Legacy

I’m having dinner at a Japanese restaurant . . . in the booth behind me are a couple straight out of Sons of Anarchy. The man is about 45, large, with a shaved head, tattoos and a motorcycle jacket. Same description for the woman, except for the shaved head. Her jacket is emblazoned with PROPERTY OF TROG (or FROG or ????, couldn’t make it out clearly), which I assume is the name of either a motorcycle gang or the gentleman sitting across from her. Midway through the meal, Trog wonders aloud if Smokey and the Bandit is available on Netflix. To his chagrin, the movie doesn’t seem to register with his girlfriend, so to jog her memory, he pulls up the “Eastbound and Down” song on his phone and plays it loudly enough to be heard by everyone in the vicinity. He then launches into an analysis of the film… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson on John McCain

My fellow Americans – Like President Trump, I was not invited to any of the John McCain memorial services, so I offer my final thoughts here. McCain’s service to his country while being held as a POW in Vietnam was admirable beyond measure. Because his father was commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater, the Vietnamese offered to release McCain, not as a gesture of mercy, but as a propaganda coup, and to show other POWs that members of the elite were willing to be treated preferentially. McCain stated that he would only accept the offer if every man captured before him was released as well. This enraged the Vietnamese, and McCain’s subsequent five years as a POW went very badly, as he knew they would. Liberals have been very kind to McCain this week because 1) he’s dead, and 2) he was an enemy of President Trump.… Read more →

Life Gets Better After 50?

About 15 years ago, economists made an unexpected finding: the U-shaped happiness curve. Other things being equal – that is, once conditions such as income, employment, health and marriage are factored out of the equation – life satisfaction declines from our early 20s until we hit our 50s. Then it turns around and rises, right through late adulthood. — The Guardian So once you factor out all the things that make life miserable, it turns out older people can be just as happy as anyone else! Read more →

Only So Big a House You Can Have?

Obama: “Right now I'm actually surprised by how much money I got. And let me tell you something, I don't have half as much as most of these folks… There's only so much you can eat. There's only so big a house you can have. There's only so many nice trips you can take." pic.twitter.com/LALI5TCA0i — CBS News (@CBSNews) July 17, 2018 In other news, the former president and his wife bought an 8,200-square-foot house with 9 bedrooms and 8-1/2 bathrooms in Washington, D.C. for $8.1 million. In fairness, he did say there’s only so big a house YOU can have. He didn’t say there’s only so big a house HE can have. Read more →

Girls With Working Moms Fare Better?

Via LinkedIn: Girls who grow up with working moms are more likely to have careers themselves and to have higher paying jobs in the future, according to a report in Fortune, citing study data. The research found that, “daughters of working mothers in the U.S. make about 23% more than daughters of stay-at-home mothers.” This article is headlined — inaccurately, in my view — Girls with working moms fare better. Shouldn’t the headline stay with the facts and say “Girls with working moms make more money” instead of “Girls with working moms fare better”? “Fare better” seems to reflect an inappropriately narrow obsession with money as the only metric for measuring life outcomes. misrepresents facts to promote an opinion, i.e., “working moms are good for society.” Read more →

Foot of Pride

Yeah, from the stage they’ll be tryin’ to get water outta rocks A whore will pass the hat, collect a hundred grand and say thanks They like to take all this money from sin, build big universities to study in Sing “Amazing Grace” all the way to the Swiss banks Well, there ain’t no goin’ back when your foot of pride come down Ain’t no goin’ back — Bob Dylan, “Foot of Pride” Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: How to Get Top-Notch Teachers in the Classroom

I read something every day where educators and/or elected officials are talking about the importance for our kids, our country, our future, etc., of teaching computer science, the sticking point being an extreme shortage of qualified teachers. A person entering the workforce with a computer science degree is unlikely to go into teaching because of the opportunity cost: they can earn a lot more money as a software engineer. The likelihood of getting a mid-career tech industry professional to switch into teaching is even lower. Teacher salaries are based in large part on years of service. A mid-career person switching into teaching is not going to get a mid-career teacher’s salary, they are going to get a first-year teacher’s salary. So here’s the idea: Give CS professionals the opportunity to apply their years in industry to years of service as a teacher. It’s still a pay cut going from software… Read more →

“I Need to Pay Higher Taxes,” Says Bill Gates

If Bill Gates really believed that, he could decide how much he “should” pay, subtract it from what he’s required to pay, and send Uncle Sam a check for the difference. Which he doesn’t do. Gates was talking about taxes in the context of the recent tax bill not being progressive enough for his liking. “People who are wealthier tended to get dramatically more benefits than the middle class or those who are poor,” he said. Bill Gates is as smart as anyone I can think of, so I think his remarks are disingenuous rather than uninformed. People who are “wealthier” (“people with higher incomes” would be more accurate) benefit more from income tax cuts because they pay dramatically more in taxes to begin with (see chart). For example, the top 1 percent of earners pay almost as much into the federal income tax pool (38 percent) as the bottom… Read more →

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