As our friend Seton Motley often observes “College IS for Dummies.”
As our friend Seton Motley often observes “College IS for Dummies.”
GREENWOOD, Mississippi—Thomas McMillin Howard, known as “T. Mac,” describes Greenwood, Mississippi as a “backwards place.” And sadly, most people who’ve visited would agree. Separated by a bridge where the black population tends to live on one side, and the white population mostly lives on the other, Greenwood has struggled to reconnect with its racially segregated past.
Poverty is rampant and public schools are outright failures. Greenwood High School, for example, routinely receives an “F” grade from the state, as it fails to even keep students enrolled. Parents who can afford it send their children to private schools, which as a result are dominated by white students.
T. Mac, who graduated from Mississippi State University, entered this town with a different approach to turning things around—he wanted to use the Bible to educate and equip young boys to stay in school and prepare for a successful future. In 2012, T. Mac opened Delta Streets Academy, housed inside a historically white Baptist church. Most of his 55 students are black, and many of them come from difficult backgrounds.
The Daily Signal visited Delta Streets Academy to find out how this school relies on God to bridge the gap between black and white, despite a culture that seems to be working against them. Watch the video above, and visit WORLD Magazine to learn more about this story.
Karlie Kloss, the supermodel, Instagram star, business woman, YouTube sensation, and coder, has decided to tackle the gender wage gap.
I know what you’re thinking. “The gender wage gap is a myth.” “Women and men largely get paid the same wages for the same work and level of experience.” That’s true, as Steven Horowitz points out in his recent article about the myths of the gender wage gap.
However, he also points out that the difference in average earnings exists largely because men and women choose different lines of work. There are many reasons this is true, but culture is a big one. This is what Kloss seeks to change.
Kloss’s new-found love of coding inspired first donations, then scholarships for young women, and now her nation-wide coding camps.
She got her start on the cover of SCENE magazine at just 14 years old. At the age of 16, she walked 31 runways during New York Fashion Week, including for Marc Jacobs and Carolina Herrera. Her success in the fashion world is unparalleled. But along with fashion, she wanted to pursue another passion that had always fascinated her: coding.
Kloss understood that her education was entirely in her own hands, so she enrolled in coding classes at the Flatiron School and Code.org. She discovered that she loved coding and set out to excite others as well. Her efforts started small with promotions for Code.org but escalated into full-blown scholarships for young women.
Kloss wanted to do more than just throw money at the problem. She launched “Kode with Klossy,” a summer camp teaching 13 to 18 year-old girls to code. Last year, Kloss started out with just three camps: one in New York, one in Los Angeles, and one in her hometown of St. Louis. This year she teamed up with the Ford, and together they’ve expanded to 13 camps in 10 cities across the US. Over 300 young women will be able to come and explore a subject they love.
To put it simply, Karlie Kloss is a badass. When most celebrities see a problem with a society, they will run to the government and beg Uncle Sam to throw money at the problem. Kloss is doing something government funds could never do: she’s making coding cool. Walking runways and hanging out with people like Taylor Swift (one of her best friends) doesn’t mean you can’t dive into something you love. She is helping young women discover what they’re passionate about, and that’s something we can all applaud.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.
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It thrills me when McDonald’s burgers get the attention they deserve. This happened last year when Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics, made the provocative statement that the McDouble is the cheapest and most nutritious food in human history.
That we dare to recoil at such a claim indicates how spoiled we truly are. In a state of nature, getting food is the single greatest challenge. You can find shelter and it endures for a time. Clothing made of animal skins can be scarce, but once acquired, it lasts too.
The thing about food is that you have to get it every day. And without tools, you can only eat things that are stationary or very slow-moving. Once you learn to kill, preserving the meat is not easy, which is why salt has been one of the most valuable commodities in the history of humanity.
That most everyone has access to food now is one of the great triumphs of history. As Dubner points out, the McDouble provides 390 calories and 23 grams of protein divided between meat and cheese. All told, one hamburger provides a half day of all the stuff we need to sustain human life, and all for a bit more than a buck.
That McDonald’s can do this as at a profit is wonderful. Its profit margins are variously reported to be around 6% percent—this is an extremely hard business, as any franchise owner can tell you—but many of its most popular products earn no money whatsoever.
The masses of McDouble buyers are being subsidized by customers who buy higher-end products like the Bacon Clubhouse and the super-sized value meals. The best deals are designed to get you in the door in the hope that you will, every so often, splurge just a bit.
Dubner’s thesis got renewed attention in the week following my own renewed love affair with McDonald’s while in Las Vegas this summer. This is a place that picks your pocket at every turn. Okay, granted, every dime spent in Vegas—apart from high taxes and ridiculous union wages—is coughed up by willing buyers. Still, there is an air of voraciousness about the place that seems inescapable.
After days of feeling fleeced for food and drink, I finally found a McDonald’s. The prices were not Vegas prices. The dollar meal was still there. The coffee was delicious and cheap, which is an incredible relief in a city where every cup otherwise runs $5. The breakfasts are wonderful and satisfying. If “healthy food” is your thing, go for the salad, which can’t be beat for the price.
In one food court I entered, there were a dozen establishments, but McDonald’s had the longest line, and consistently so. This makes complete sense to me. Reflect on the ingredients of the Big Mac or the Clubhouse and it just blows your mind. The meat alone is a miracle. Meat wasn’t available for the masses of humanity until canned meat was invented in the the middle of the twentieth century; preserving and transporting it was an extreme challenge.
There is a reason that your knees don’t fit under the desk you found at the antique store, and it’s because of the meat-driven growth in human height we’ve all experienced since World War II.
There is a reason that knight armor at the museum looks like it belongs to a member of the Lollypop Guild—again, it’s because we have access to meat, and those tough guys in the Middle Ages had to live off whatever grew around them.
There is a reason that the average Japanese person is 3.5 inches taller now than 50 years ago, and it comes down to a gigantic dietary change due to the availability of meat and cheese.
In addition, there is bread (if you take that for granted, try growing your own wheat), lettuce (again, only refrigeration made this available for most people), cheese (cows are incredibly expensive to raise), bacon (food of the gods, courtesy of the pig), pickles (the time structure of production here is lengthy), and various sauces that originate in seeds from all over the world.
Somehow they manage to get all of this to you in a small package that costs you a dollar.
But let’s focus for just one moment on the least-appreciated ingredient in ketchup and on the burger itself: the tomato. Surely it has always been with us, right? Anyone can grow tomatoes in a pot on the back porch. That wasn’t true until the sixteenth century, when Europeans had their first wide exposure to the tomato. Spanish explorers brought the fruit back from Latin America. Before then, there was no such thing as the tomato in the Italian diet.
It was trade that brought the tomato to the whole world for the first time in the Renaissance period. Without trade, without travel made possible by technology and capital investment, we’d never know how one tasted.
This reality never occurred to me until I read A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World, by William Bernstein (2008). It turns out that staples such as coffee, beef, and the potato, and the existence of practically everything in your refrigerator, is owed to trade, technology, and therefore to the existence of free enterprise.
I was once lecturing to a group of students about the problems that come with the state of nature, of just trying to survive based entirely on the resources around you, while fighting off nature’s penchant for exterminating human beings that don’t fight back. I asked the group what people invented some 150,000 years ago in order to survive in the face of massive privation and the growing scarcity of food.
The answer I was looking for was this: They invented private property to allow them to domesticate animals and enclose spaces for agriculture. But the first answer that was offered from the audience was: Create a government. My mouth fell open in amazement. But after just a few moments, the student starting laughing and then everyone joined in.
Why laugh? Because creating a government—assigning a small group to control a geographic space with a monopoly on weapons and allowing them to pillage and kill as they see fit—does absolutely nothing to solve the core problem that humanity faces. Just stating the answer this way illustrates the absurdity. Our problems as a species are solved when we figure out how to get more of what we need and want. Governments, on the other hand, only redistribute what already exists.
Governments come and go, but the achievements of trade and private enterprise last generations and then even become permanent features of the world. Once a good is transported, once a technology is invented, it becomes part of the capital stock of civilization to be enjoyed by every generation thereafter.
That we were born now and live now to enjoy the massive beneficence of the struggle of thousands of years to bring us things like the tomato, beef, cheese, bread, and to wrap it all up in a tiny package and make that available to us for a dollar in nearly every city in the world, that this comes to us with no work on our part, is a gigantic privilege afforded us by virtue of accident or providence (depending on your religious views). To whatever force you attribute your good fortune, we should recognize it as such.
The McDouble does not appear in nature. That we can laugh at it, put it down, sneer at it, and even denounce the company that brings it to us is a wonderful privilege of the ungrateful. Those who know and understand don’t have to eat at McDonald’s, of course. But everyone should at least recognize its restaurants as symbols of what humankind can achieve when we are given time and freedom to make great things happen–and to overcome the grueling state of nature that has pervaded all but a small fraction of the history of humanity.
I’m only asking that we think about that seriously before we sneer.
Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, economics adviser to FreeSociety.com, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books, most recently Right-Wing Collectivism: The Other Threat to Liberty, with a preface by Deirdre McCloskey (FEE 2017). He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press. He is available for press interviews via his email.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.
Professionally, Peter Gray is known for his prominent book on psychology and for his professorship at Boston College. To the general public, however, Gray is perhaps best known for his book Free to Learn, which argues that the institutional nature of schooling is killing the natural learning ability of our children.
Gray’s views were once viewed as non-conventional, but they appear to be growing increasingly mainstream, largely because traditional education is proving a failure in teaching students to be critical thinkers. It is for this reason that Gray believes America’s education system is headed for a complete revamp very soon – from K-12 all the way through college education. Here are his three predictions as to how this change will occur.
1. K-12 Education Will Become Self-Directed
According to Gray, these childhood years are designed to give insight to a student as to what his interests are. In the institutionalized form of schooling, however, that insight does not materialize, for children are continually constricted as to what they can and cannot do. Gray implies that the rise of education alternatives, such as homeschooling and other more exploratory forms of learning, are breaking down barriers and convincing the public to move away from the traditional education system.
2. Higher Education Will Revisit Apprenticeship
In Gray’s eyes, one of the biggest problems with the current education system is the fact that it fails to introduce students to the many career options they can consider. For this reason, Gray believes that the college years will eventually transition away from the classroom and more to an exploratory process in which students can experience career options firsthand.
3. Credentialing Will Follow Apprenticeship
Gray recognizes that some fields are in need of special training and credentials, but this is not essential for all. By encouraging more career exploration before pursuing credentials, Gray believes students will be happier, more knowledgeable, and thus more successful in the path they have chosen for adulthood.
So what kind of education system can we expect if Gray’s suggestions come to fruition?
“The graded K-12 schools will gradually disappear, replaced by age-mixed learning centers supporting Self-Directed Education. Universities will continue on, with public support as centers of research and scholarship. They will not enroll ‘students,’ as we think of them today, but, like other institutions, will bring in assistants and apprentices, some of whom may move on, through experience and desire, to become full-fledged scientists and scholars. Community colleges, which already provide useful, often hands-on training for a variety of careers at relatively low cost, may expand and become part of a growing system of apprenticeships that involve some classroom training related to potential employment.”
What do you think of Gray’s prediction? Is his vision reasonable, or does it still have some weak points? More importantly, do you think Gray is correct in implying that the education system is broken and needs to be entirely restructured?
This post Childhood Expert: Current Education System Will Soon ‘Disappear’ was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Annie Holmquist.