Which Has More Predictive Power: Nobel Prize Winning Economist or Chicken Bones?

Which predictor possesses more accuracy and explanatory power, a Nobel prize winning economist or chicken bones?

If the Nobel prize winning economist is Paul Krugman, I’ll take my chances with the chicken bones.

A recent Krugman column purports to be about education—it’s about politics—and this short quote, about attending college.

Here’s what the candidate [Mitt Romney] told the student: “Don’t just go to one that has the highest price. Go to one that has a little lower price where you can get a good education. And, hopefully, you’ll find that. And don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.”

Wow. So much for America’s tradition of providing student aid.

Only a mind like Krugman’s could take cheaper and good and don’t expect the government to pay your way and turn it into an anti-student aid theme. Paul, does the phrase non sequitur mean anything to you?

And because we know that spending = knowledge, here’s more of Krugman’s heart-felt concern:

Adjusted for inflation, state support for higher education has fallen 12 percent over the past five years, even as the number of students has continued to rise; in California, support is down by 20 percent. 

Wow. Has state support for higher education really held up better than home values? Interesting… 

Paul, because states can’t print money like the federal government can, this is what happens in the real world: they do this thing called spending less (disclaimer: spending less is more likely to be a reduction in the rate of growth).

And by the way, college is a fee-for-service arrangement. Is that somehow counterintuitive? If so, I’ll try and explain: the student pays a fee and in return, is to receive an education (another disclaimer: your results may vary).

Still Krugman keeps swinging. He must be on a very serious deadline, that is, one that allows for no introspection or thought… or else this is just the way he “thinks.” If so, scary:

Another result is that cash-strapped educational institutions have been cutting back in areas that are expensive to teach — which also happen to be precisely the areas the economy needs. For example, public colleges in a number of states, including Florida and Texas, have eliminated entire departments in engineering and computer science.

Paul, the reason they don’t have those classes is the student demand isn’t there. They’re all taking gender, sex, race, and equality studies. And economics.

Krugman’s column carries the title Ignorance is Strength, an attempt at Orwellian irony. The real irony is it should have been entitled Ignorance is Expensive and as evidence, try getting back the three minutes of your life you’ll have “invested” should you choose to read said column.

How the New York Times remains open with writers like Krugman defies ordinary explanation.


About Professor Mockumental

I enjoy almost all forms of parody, buffoonery, and general high-jinks. Satire has shown itself to be an essential societal need; I therefore humbly offer my services in such a manner. I enjoy mocking the usual suspects at the New York Times (Charles Blows, Moron Dowd, and the earth is flat guy) and Washington Post (Dana Milkbag, E.D. Dijon, and David Ignoramus). There are many others as well, but sadly, there are always too many targets and too little time.

Posted on March 9, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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