A couple of things to file away next time someone talks about how the banks are foreclosing people out of sheer cruelty when they could actually lose less money with refinancing. If that were true, in all likelihood banks would be doing it. The problem is that refinancing simply kicks the can down the curb, as often as not, and arguably ends up worse for the borrower. At the end of the day, the problem is that somebody is sitting on a house that they cannot afford. Maybe because they bought too much house (maybe they were encouraged to by the lender), maybe because they lost their job. But you can’t make that problem just go away.

Save a life, chip a tooth, end up in court.

I wish I’d seen this video when I was in grade school. The delineation of continents drove me crazy even then.

Americans love chain stores.

The franchise novelists. How James Patterson is making a fortune simply attaching his name to novels. Tom Clancy is known for it as well. It’s a good gig, if you can get it! Generally speaking, if you see an apostrophe-s after the name, they didn’t didn’t write it. If it’s Red October, it’ll say Tom Clancy. If it’s Netforce, it’ll say Tom Clancy’s.

Most teachers would exchange job security for salary increases.

Critics of education reform hate standardized tests (though frequently cite them when they can as proof that charter schools don’t do any good). But even if you look at the metrics we’re “supposed to be” looking at, charter schools do well, according to one report.

Sweden has the most progressive tax system and some of the worst wealth inequality. This is one of the reason I am unimpressed when some wealthy dude talks about how we need to raise taxes on the wealthy. They’ve already made their money. That doesn’t mean that progressive taxation isn’t a good idea. Merely that the spokesman’s moral authority can be lost.

Is the college admissions process as we know it about to end? I’m rather skeptical. There are too many intangibles involve and reality has a tendency to sometimes intrude. A college selection program I played in the 90’s suggested a bunch of expensive private schools for me. I would have been miserable. My parents wouldn’t have sent me there to begin with. And, of course, for some the problem is and remains that “not enough people are going to college.” Lastly, colleges are punishing families for being financially responsible.


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14 Responses to Linkluster Sextio-Sex

  1. DaveinHackensack says:

    Patterson isn’t just putting his name on the books. Patterson is supplying detailed outlines for the books, editing them, etc. Think about it: if all he did was slap his name on the books, the jig would be up by now. Maybe a fan would fall for that once, but not repeatedly. They buy Patterson novels because they expect a certain experience, and apparently they’re getting it, consistently.

  2. trumwill says:

    I’m not saying that he is affixing is name to crap. Just that the chief selling point of a lot of these books is his name. His endorsement.

    He gets to do mostly the fun stuff. Pick out the plots, figure out the twists and turns, and then outsource most of the actual work. It’s a good gig.

  3. Peter says:

    Allegedly, Sweden once had a top income tax bracket of 101%.

  4. Scarlet Knight says:

    Most teachers would exchange job security for salary increases.

    No way, Jose. The ones who would are deluded. After all, no one can picture themselves as being below average.

    Besides, who wouldn’t want to coast at 25?

    colleges are punishing families for being financially responsible

    Much like a financial statement, the real story is in the footnotes. You have to be really poor to qualify for a Pell Grant in the first place, and the difference in amount is negligible.

    Remember, qualifying for a loan is nothing to write home about. Grants are the key.

    Of course, the best way to maximize financial aid is to be declared independent of your parents. The easiest way to do this is to get married.

    The franchise novelists

    Sort of like National Lampoon.

  5. Abel says:

    I want Patterson’s gig one day.

  6. trumwill says:

    Besides, who wouldn’t want to coast at 25?

    At 25 they often think their teaching will touch hearts and change lives. It’s the older ones that are (in my experience as a student) more likely to just phone it in.

    Much like a financial statement, the real story is in the footnotes. You have to be really poor to qualify for a Pell Grant in the first place, and the difference in amount is negligible.

    Fair enough.

  7. trumwill says:

    I want Patterson’s gig one day.

    I know, right?

  8. Brandon Berg says:

    This post is much less sexy than implied by the title.

    I want my bandwidth back.

  9. Brandon Berg says:

    Well, except insofar as the picture reminds me of this.

  10. DaveinHackensack says:

    “He gets to do mostly the fun stuff.”

    There was an NY Times Magazine profile of him a while back. Worth reading. He comes across as a hard worker. If you consider yourself a writer, you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss his contribution to the books, which is considerable.

    “I want Patterson’s gig one day.

    I know, right?”

    Step one, write something others will pay to read.

    Step two, get it published.

    Step three, become a best selling author.

    Then you will have a shot at creating a Patterson-style gig for yourself. Now, if steps 1-3 weren’t so hard, co-writers wouldn’t jump at the chance to work with Patterson.

  11. trumwill says:

    There was an NY Times Magazine profile of him a while back. Worth reading. He comes across as a hard worker. If you consider yourself a writer, you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss his contribution to the books, which is considerable.

    I haven’t read the profile, but I’ll take your word for it. In any event, it wasn’t really meant as a criticism. It’s a pretty ingenious model. And one that lets you stick to the stuff you enjoy doing.

  12. ? says:

    Regarding the article on college admissions: I am, at this point, metaphysically skeptical about anything that Ivy League college PR departments and the mainstream media (like the Washington Monthly) say about education. In this case, they manange to write a six page article and not once address racial preferences in a straighforward way. So my suspicion is that all the talk about a broader applicant pool are just so many code words for NAMs.

  13. Abel says:

    @DaveinHackensack — I’ve actually done steps 1 and 2. Working on step 3.

  14. trumwill says:

    Phi, I ran across this and thought I would share:

    Fortunately, we have hard numbers on the phenomenon. In an analysis of the National Study of College Experience, an anonymous survey of several highly selective private colleges, scholars Thomas J. Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford calculated the strength of admissions preferences for various groups, ranging from the children of alumni to recruited athletes to members of various racial and ethnic groups. Among the private schools in the study’s survey,Asian students have to score 140 points higher on the SAT to have the same chance of admission as a white student. If race weren’t a factor in admissions, the proportion of white students at these elite private schools would fall from 60 to 53 percent while that of Asian students would rise from 24 to 39 percent.The Daily

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