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.

Campaign finance and unicorns

This  recent Pearls Before Swine strip is so, so awesome:



Mega quick hits (part II)

1)  Before this Vox post I knew pretty much nothing about New Zealand’s government.  Sounds great.

2) How the Affordable Care Act is saving money.

3) To their credit, NC came up with a set of reasonable criteria to rank road projects on how worthy of funding they are.  Smart.  Alas, now a bunch low-ranked projects have been proposed to receive funding.  Not smart.

4) Is credit cart fraud almost a thing of the past?

5) Pope Francis‘ latest appointment of an American bishop is yet another great credit to his papcy.

6) I heard part of this great story on TAL today (will catch the whole thing on podcast soon), but I love how Michael Lewis calls it the Ray Rice video of Wall Street.

7) More from Oceania– fascinating tale of how environmentalism in Australia has been completely politically crushed.

8) When can you not trust a poll result?  When a Republican firm releases a poll looking bad for Republicans and a few hours later an “updated” poll is released showing it much less bad.

9) The magnetic field of the earth could flip soon.  Whoa.

10) Celiac disease is real.  But “gluten sensitivity”?  Not so much.  If you are not familiar with the nocebo effect, this is a great example.

11) The less our governor says, the better.  He’s got a serious penchant for going off on subjects where he really has no idea what he’s talking about.

12) The fact that all the water on earth is from outer space is so cool.  The fact that much of it is actually older than our solar system is even cooler.

13) Not surprisingly, the gender wage gap starts with how we teach our sons and daughters about money.


My favorite part of this Jon Stewart takedown of Fox News is how amazingly disrespectful the Fox blowhards (especially Karl Rove) are while complaining about Obama being disrespectful.

[hulu start_time=205]

Chart of the day

I was using this great Vox post for my campaign finance lecture, when I came across this disturbing chart:

I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize it was this bad.  This is horrible.  This is just no way to run any kind of government.  I did know about the pathetic pay for NC legislators, but I didn’t realize the national average was so iinappropriatelylow.  The idea behind this is that we want ordinary citizen legislators.  Here’s the thing though– ordinary citizens cannot do what is basically a full-time, if not more, job for 10 or 20K a year.  You know who can?  Rich people.  And old retired people.  This horribly skews the representation in our state legislators.  Not to mention, being a state legislator is deadly serious business.  We expect these people to create a budget, education guidelines, prison decisions, health care policy, how the environment will be regulated, etc., and we only want to pay them $28,ooo a year on average?!  Utterly absurd.  CA, NY, MI, and PA have it right.  Most of the country– especially the South, of course– really needs to catch up.

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