EppsNet Archive: United Kingdom

If Balboa Could Find the Pacific Ocean, Why Can’t You?

 

I mentioned in class today that 30 percent of Americans age 18 to 24 cannot find the Pacific Ocean on a map . . . (This was in the context of income diversity — or “income inequality,” take your pick — i.e., I can’t find the Pacific Ocean on a map but I’d like to be paid the same as a Harvard MBA.) Students absolutely could not believe this so I Googled the link to this National Geographic article. Not only was I proved correct on my Pacific Ocean assertion, 58 percent of respondents could not find Japan on a map, 65 percent couldn’t find France, 69 percent couldn’t find the United Kingdom, and 11 percent could not find the United States. The survey is a bit old now — it was taken in 2002 — but if anything, I’m sure the current situation is worse. If my kid could… Read more →

Greece is Going Out of Business

 

I remember the good old days when we only had to worry about small banks going out of business. Then big banks started to go out of business, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries. The problem with having a lot of debt is that, with some exceptions (“too big to fail”), bad things happen when your investors get nervous. My memory is not photographic as some of the legends about me say, but I am sure I would remember if the works of Adam Smith included the phrase “too big to fail.” — Garry Kasparov What are the odds that people running companies or countries will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions — if they can do just as well or better making dumb decisions and being rescued from the consequences? According to the government debt chart below, the next countries… Read more →

British Healthcare Fact of the Day

 

In Britain, even though they’re already paying for the National Health Service, six million Brits — two-thirds of citizens earning more than $78,700 — now buy private health insurance. Meanwhile, more than 50,000 travel out of the U.K. annually, spending more than $250 million, to receive treatment more readily than they can at home. — WSJ.com Read more →

We’re Still Smarter Than You Are

 

Teens from Asian nations dominated a global exam given to 15-year-olds, while U.S. students showed little improvement and failed to reach the top 20 in math, science or reading, according to test results released Tuesday. — Why Asian teens do better on tests than US teens – CSMonitor.com Why am I not shocked by that? Because Americans on the whole are dumb and lazy. We have lots of dumb, lazy parents raising dumb, lazy kids. The average American kid doesn’t compare well academically to the average kid in an Asian country where academics and hard work are valued, or to the average kid from a small, homogenous European country where it’s easier to get everyone pulling in the same educational direction. The U.S. is a big, diverse country and the average academic results are pulled down by a lot of dummkopfs. But still, the smartest people in the world are… Read more →