Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Moving Day

15 Comments:

  • Bob running away is priceless!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:42 PM  

  • Iggy did a great job and was up there for the most part with when Mercer when to Sussex to visit Harper. Though his wife seemed to be more into it and Rae was fantastic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:39 AM  

  • Szuzana (sp?) and Rae clearly outperformed Iggy on that one, but at least he didn't come across as unlikeable.

    By Anonymous Deb, at 10:05 AM  

  • Yup, Iggy came across as a regular guy. Though wish he would taken the time to rib Harper over the fact both individuals have taught at Universities in some form but Iggy has no issue with who he really is well Harper has to hide where he came from to please his base of support who dislike academics.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:36 AM  

  • Harper taught at a university? You mean as a grad assistant or something, right?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 PM  

  • Great skit. The bit with Rae had me busting a gut.

    BTW if I wanted to introduce myself to Ignatieff's writing, what is the best point of entry? Any suggestions?

    By Blogger AndyDoan, at 3:49 PM  

  • "Harper taught at a university? You mean as a grad assistant or something, right?"

    News to me. I know that Harper guest lectured at the U of C, years ago... but I wasn't aware that he actually taught classes.

    By Anonymous rc, at 4:32 PM  

  • Scar Tissue his novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Great book!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:11 PM  

  • Anon: "Yup, Iggy came across as a regular guy. ... Harper has to hide where he came from to please his base of support who dislike academics."

    At least Iggy looked more at home in the sweater - like he may have worn it before a time or two.

    Funny how the base support doesn't like academics yet I bet there is a large percentage of them that would like to see their kids get some sort of post secondary education (tech school, college, university).

    I wonder if being "academic" is an area the Liberals could reframe or redefine to their advantage. Something like making sure everyone has a chance to be an academic - beyond high school - and open the doors for higher paying jobs, supporting your family, financial security for retirement, etc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:11 PM  

  • Anon:

    You might be onto something there. One of the things that most Canadians are universally proud of is our cultural distinction from Americans. The thing that makes us distinct is the quality of our education.

    By Blogger AndyDoan, at 9:40 PM  

  • "The thing that makes us distinct is the quality of our education."

    So the best guy for that is to run a leader educated at a world class American university, who taught at world class British and American universities over Canadian ones?

    I think you manage to be wrong on both points, anyhow.

    The US does not have a worse education system per se, but a less egalitarian one (American workers are more productive than Canadian ones and more Americans have a university education).

    Secondly, while Canadians think they are smarter than Americans,
    I don't think "the egghead" is a national image. Likely to have legs outside of Toronto.

    As to the public policy...

    "everyone has a chance to be an academic - beyond high school - and open the doors for higher paying jobs, supporting your family, financial security for retirement, etc."

    That is the same basic mistake that is leading millions of students to get worthless university degrees. A university degree has two values for a recipient - one is what people learn, but another is the "sorting value" (a degree, and one's grades signify that a person is of at least X intelligence and has Y work ethic).

    The more people go to university the more:
    1. The focus of universities is diverted away from research.
    2. The lower the standards (meaning that people need further schooling to differentiate themselves).
    3. The lower the "sorting value" of a degree for the recipient.

    As an aspiring professor I wouldn't necessarily mind the government largesse, but I think the two of you are dead wrong both politically and practically.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 12:37 AM  

  • The RED sweater!
    Iggy and Stevie should wear the everyday in the House. ake it easier for us all.

    By Blogger Oemissions, at 8:11 AM  

  • hosertohoosier: "the same basic mistake that is leading millions of students to get worthless university degrees"

    Interesting you focused in on university as beyond high school education when the post spoke of tech school, college and university.

    I don't think nurses, electricians, teachers, respiratory techs, plumbers and the like would consider themselves to be eggheads.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:10 PM  

  • The only funny part was Bob Rae's cameo. Plywood has more personality than Iggy... though at least plywood doesn't like torturing prisoners at Gitmo (unless the plywood is the "board" in water"board"ing).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:30 PM  

  • "I don't think nurses, electricians, teachers, respiratory techs, plumbers and the like would consider themselves to be eggheads."

    1. You refer to the word "academics" which is typically applied to professors (those employed by academia). I suspect you are misusing this term.

    2. If your proposal is that the Liberals should be the "party of people with some education past high school", then you might want to consider other arrangements like "the Liberals should be in favour of people". Defining a party around ~70% of the population with at least some post-secondary education is ridiculous. With limited funds (a country has only so much money) it is impossible to effectively satiate the competing demands of a super-majority of the populace, particularly when that super-majority has ~4 other parties they can vote for.

    3. I would extend my anti-post-secondary argument to colleges and trade schools as well. Credential inflation is not merely a cross to bear for the upper middle class - the proliferation of "Devrys" means that even blue collar workers often need degrees to be competitive in the workforce.

    Some greater credential inflation is understandable in a more technologically advanced world, where people need increasingly specific skills. However, the decision of high schools to pass everybody, and rampant grade inflation mean that a high school degree offers almost none of the sorting value it once did. Colleges provide many valuable skills, but also end up picking up the slack that high schools formerly did.

    Consider two individuals that graduated from high school, one a poor student, the other an average student (we will assume that how good a student somebody is effectively predicts how good a worker they will be for simplicity). Both look essentially the same on a resume. Forty years ago, the poor student would fail high school, and a firm would hire the average student. Nowadays, the average student will need to spend 2-3 years in college, perhaps paying $5,000/year as well. This represents about $70,000 in lost wages (not to mention that the worker will still need some on-the-job training for their more specific jobs).

    We don't need MORE education, rather, we need a more efficient allocation of educational resources. Far too much of learning happens later in people's lives, when they face the many distractions of adulthood and a declining ability to learn new things. "Self-esteem" concerns have trumped genuine economic ones, as students pass grades they ought not to, such that a high school degree is ultimately more a certificate proving one is 18 than a reflection of some achievement.

    This is not to mention the dislocation of hyper-education.
    -People are far more likely to delay childbirth till they are older, which has implications for the health of the child.
    -Parents must work even longer to support the expensive tuition of their children, and to provide them with room and board during their job searches.
    -Workers have more general skills but fewer skills relevant to their actual jobs because of the longer wait till job market entry.
    -People eventually face the self-esteem crisis that they are less intelligent than some other people, when they reach limits in how far they can go educationally anyway.
    -A substantial proportion of the electorate pay almost no taxes, and, as they do not support themselves face limited implications of government policy, harming democracy.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 8:33 PM  

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