Did Friends ruin Sitcoms?

I’ll be honest, I somehow woke up with this song in my head this morning, so I was just looking for an excuse to make a post with it:

Since Vox ran an article today about how Friends ruined TV (short version: there’s just not enough funny and really attractive people out there) that seemed like excuse enough.

How teachers are undervalued– chart form

This is the bottom portion of a chart at Vox highlighting a new Brookings study which shows that the top 9 life-time earning college majors are all engineering.  Followed by Computer Science in #10.  I’m totally okay with that.  What I’m not okay with is those in Elementary Education earning less than those with an Associates degree.  Is that really how little our society values those who educate our children when they are building the fundamentals of literacy and math for a life-time of learning?!  Ugh.  I’m also going to speculate that since elementary education is the most female-heavy that this just might have something to do with it.  And, OMG are health and PE teaching degree earners overpaid in comparison (coaching stipends, I’m guessing).  While math teachers are busy grading homework they’ve got nothing to do (or coach for extra pay).  So not fair.


Photo of the day

Jeff P. sent me a link to this nice gallery of Wildlife Photography competition finalists:

‘Move!’ by Gerry Pearce

The beginning of the end for Republicans?

The generation gap has received plenty of coverage here, there, and everywhere.  Republicans are old and dying off and Democrats have a large advantage among young voters.  For now, this works great for Republicans in midterm elections where older voters are far more reliable.  But, of course, these young voters are going to become middle-aged and much more reliable (that bit about people becoming more conservative as they age is largely a myth).

Pew has undertaken a massive (i.e., 10,000 survey participants) study of generation and political views and the news is not encouraging for conservatives.  Among Republicans (identifiers and leaners) Millennials are significantly less conservative than older Republicans.  And this is a GOP-only phenomenon.  Here’s the key chart:

Wide Ideological Divide by Generation, Particularly Stark Within the GOP

And some further elaboration:

In short, not only are Millennials less likely than older generations to identify as Republicans, but even those who do express significantly less conservative values than do their elders….

The generational divisions among Republicans span different dimensions of political values. Some of the most striking generational differences within Republicans concern social issues like homosexuality and immigration, but younger Republicans are also less conservative when it comes to values related to the environment, role of government, the social safety net and the marketplace. [emphasis mine]

Well, that’s most of the big stuff.  I saw a rather eminent Political Scientist comment on FB that 2014 is the high water mark for the Republican party.  And there’s a pretty good case for that.  But I think Yglesias’ take makes a lot of sense as well:

On the other hand, this also points to the fact that predictions of a demographically driven enduring Democratic Party majority are mistaken. As older Republicans die off and younger Republicans step to the forefront, the GOP will advance views that are different from those of today’s GOP, views that will be more palatable to the more left-leaning electorate that is emerging.

The degree to which this is bad for the future of Republicans actually remains to be seen.  The degree to which this is bad for people who hold political viewpoints currently deemed “conservative” is quite clear.  Who knows, when my kids are grown ups maybe political campaigns will be marked by Democrats proudly proclaiming their liberalism while Republicans hide from being labeled conservative.  A guy can dream.

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