Charts of the day

Public higher education?  We don’t need no stinkin’ public higher education.  Or so the budget writers in states across the country seem to be thinking.  Check out these depressing charts (via the Atlantic):



Not to be selfish, but even more depressing than this is for a college professor, it’s profoundly depressing for a dad who intends to put three kids through college.

On marriage

I meant to write a really good post about this study contemporary marriage in the US.  Alas, I’ve been a bad blogger lately and Ezra did a great post on it, so just read his.  Meanwhile, David Frum says (rightly) that we need to stop worrying about gay marriage and concentrate on straight marriage.  He’s right.  As the new report documents, having children before marriage– especially for women– is generally not a very good idea.  I was especially intrigued by this ninth fact that Ezra shares:

9) Culturally, marriage has moved from “cornerstone” to “capstone”

“Culturally, young adults have increasingly come to see marriage as a ‘capstone’ rather than a ‘cornerstone’—that is, something they do after they have all their other ducks in a row, rather than a foundation for launching into adulthood and parenthood…Ninety-one percent of young adults believe that they must be completely financially independent to be ready for marriage, and over 90 percent of them believe they should finish their education before taking the big step. Fifty-one percent also believe that their career should be underway first. In fact, almost half say that it is ‘very important’ to work full-time for a year or two prior to getting married.”

Very true.  Of course, I know a lot of people who think this way and I think they’re wrong.  I’m not sure the data back me up– the evidence is clear that you make more money delaying marriage, but I think that is mostly a selection effect.  Those who are ambitious and take this “capstone” approach are the same ones who will make more money regardless of when they get married.  Lots of people thought Kim and I were nuts to get married at 22 as we headed into grad school semi-together (both at OSU, different PhD programs).  They were wrong.  Having a happy marriage was a great “cornerstone” for my grad school life and my young adulthood (and now, of course, middle adulthood). Would I have somehow been better off if I had “accomplished” my PhD before getting married?  Sure, some people obviously do get married too young.  But I’d argue that many get married too late.  Marriage should be a foundation upon which you build, not something you decide to do after you’ve met all these other arbitrary check boxes.  I know so many people who say things like “after I finish law school I’ll get married.”  If law school is hard and stressful, shouldn’t you want the support of a spouse?  Anyway, you should check out Ezra’s post and/or the original research.


Just wanted to apologize for my failure in your regularly-scheduled blog reading.  Too much NCAA basketball, dental appointments, and various administrative duties.  Regular blogging to resume soon.

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