first morning complaint:
Listening to the sound bites from what I guess was a Republican presidential debate last night (I didn't watch the debate, obviously) I'm struck again with how completely stupid these people sound. And I'm not, believe it or not, referring to the substance of their comments. I'm talking about the persona, the image, the caricature of a candidate that they are all trying so hard to sculpt and project. Because what are they projecting? Stupidity.
A couple of examples. Romney is responding to a Perry critique of the MA health care plan. Forget the substantive particulars for a moment and consider Romney's response. He says that in MA only one percent of children are uninsured. Sounds great. But then he tells us 1,000,000 children in TX are uninsured. He pauses for effect. The effect of a comparison between a little number like one and a big number like one million. But of course the comparison is absurd. It may be that TX has an unimaginably high rate of uninsured children, but I certainly don't know off the top of my head what the total population of children in either MA or TX is, so I'm completely unable to make a reasoned comparison.
Then Bachman... Apparently having nothing substantial to say at all, she criticizes Cane's 999 plan by saying something like, "If you just turn those numbers over...well, the devil's in the details..." Really? That's all you've got?
Seriously, it's like you get dumber just listening to these people.
But this is the thing, they're only giving us what we want...and by "we" I mean what polls well, or what they know will be rewarded or at least not punished. In other words, there's a clear incentive to act like a moron. If there weren't, we'd get intelligence.
second morning complaint:
Why doesn't Shippensburg University (the university where I work) hire students to fill it's unskilled labor positions? I'm talking about things like janitorial work, food service, and grounds keeping. I've nothing against the people who are currently in those jobs, but we've so many students either looking for work or having to travel long distances (which consumes so much time and such a large portion of their paycheck) to work, and usually working jobs no better than those on campus, if those jobs on campus were available to students.
So make all the jobs on campus part-time and accommodating towards students' schedules. The students won't have to travel to work, and whatever value is lost in having to spend more time managing odd schedules and in the training costs associated with a high turnover workforce will be more than balanced by the cost savings of having, well, a high turnover, part-time workforce.