Quote of the day

From Lee Siegel's column in the Daily Best about Elizabeth Edwards:

Anyone who thinks this qualifies Elizabeth as a monster, rather than
simply an unhappy wife, has never been in a relationship, read a
serious novel, or watched HBO.

I didn't even read the whole article, but damn I love that quote.  It's not TV, it's HBO.

Too many law schools

Given that I just finished writing my 3rd law school recommendation of the week, it seems like a perfect time to link to Matt Yglesias' post about too many law schools and lawyers:

 As Daniel Luzer writes for The Washington Monthly we just seem to be producing more law school graduates than there’s any really robust demand for:

The basic problem is that people rack up an average
$92,000 in debt (for private law schools) because of the implied
promise of a high-paying job at the end. Except that industry
predications indicate that there are likely to be less than 30,000
legal jobs available per year. Some 45,000 people graduate from law
school every year

Felix Salmon posted a chart the other day which made the point that tales of high-paid lawyers can be a bit misleading. The actual distribution of law school graduates’ salaries is strongly bimodal:

salaries 1

I wonder how many of those law students I have recommended will be surprised to find themselves in the lower mode of the distribution. Quite a few, I suspect. What's a shame I think is that a lot of these people (and our nation) would be better served by them going into more productive careers rather than competing against the over-supply of average attorneys.  I've long believed (and had confirmed in many a discussion) that a law degree is way over-valued.  For the vast majority of lawyers it is simply a skill that comes with amassing knowledge of a very precise body of knowledge.  My favorite law-degreed friend compares it to being a plumber, though I think an accountant may be more apt.  Anyway, although I think that certainly many lawyers serve very useful social purposes, there's doubtless an over-supply and we'd be much better off as a nation without that overs-supply (and I'd be happier writing fewer law school recommendations).

The beginning of the end of the Filibuster?

If you follow left-leaning blogs at all, you don't need me to tell you how counter-productive to good government and ahistorical the current use of the filibuster is (e.g., this Krugman column).  If you have doubts, check out yesterday's excellent column making the case that the Filibuster as practiced is, in fact, unconstitutional

Let me be clear, the filibuster is not going away anytime soon (though it should).  I do think, however, that it will be ended within the next decade and it's will be traced back to the current uprising against it in the lefty blogosphere.  It's going to take a while– most Senators are far too attached to it for their own selfish interests–  but I do think eventually sufficient pressure will be brought to bear to bring an end to this anti-democratic procedure that harms democratic accountability.  Sure, think-tanks and political science professors and such may have been talking about this, but I think it is ultimately the fact of this huge on-line presence marking smart and unceasing arguments to end the filibuster that will eventually filter out to the inside the beltway establishment and bring some change.  I'll report back in ten years and see if I was right.


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