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Counterpoint

The tyrannies of unexamined opinions

Historian Francis Tench Tilgham, commenting on the democratization of higher education around the turn of the twentieth century, observed that colleges used to be a place where “boys entered […] to learn how ‘to be’ rather than how ‘to do’.” ...

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Saving the savings of the asset poor

People from all levels of the socio-economic strata participate in lotteries. We also know that low-income families are least likely to enroll in traditional savings institutions or credit unions. Further, low-income families rarely use savings vehicles such as IRAs, 401(k)s, ...

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Enter the Young

Article XXIX [of the Constitution]: Every adult who needs it shall be given meaningful work to do, at a living wage. -Kurt Vonnegut If you’re young and voted for Obama, then you deserve to be unemployed. That’s more or less ...

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Why ‘______ of the Year’ is silly (access required)

Merriam-Webster makes their word of the year decision based on the number of searches. This means that searches for the word “austerity” were higher than any other words. If that’s the case, I suggest that we focus on vocabulary building ...

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Austerity, our ‘Word of the Year’

I guess one word had to be, so why not austerity? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, fitted the crown to austerity based upon the 250,000 searches on its free online tool. It seems coverage of the so-called “debt crisis” led readers to find ...

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‘Tis the season for giving

A simple Google search on giving and happiness yields several results indicating that Adam Smith might have been right: giving makes us happier over time. Here is the beginning of his seminal work, A Theory of Moral Sentiments. “How selfish ...

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Inside Job needs outside help

Inside Job, the new documentary that attempts to explain the financial crisis in two hours or less by simplifying complex problems into categories of good and bad, earned praise by most reviewers. How can you not enjoy a film that ...

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…even for the wealthy

It has become a new and bonafide pejorative. Wealthy that is, along with rich. As in tax cuts even for the wealthy. It is not a new dislike, but it is a harmful and misguided one, to not appreciate those ...

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A brave new body politic

It’s a whole new body politic. The rise of instant technology has altered our approach to politics, not just on the campaign trail. We expect legislative, economical, and political change as quickly our communications devices deliver the latest tweet, and ...

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