Monday, April 29, 2013

No Politics Today

This story about the City of Atlanta is so pathetic, that I'd rather post this awesome sci-fi/comic book geekery instead. (OK, so technically, that's not no politics. What can I say, I'm addicted to the idiocy of our government.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"Hell" ... really?

Listening to the "Tell Me More" segment on NPR last night, I was literally screaming at the radio. Yes, literally.

The segment included the author of an article in the New Republic called "The Hell of American Day Care", a Washington Post reporter and mom, and a local administrator and mom who apparently contributes regularly to the Tell Me More show.

As a summary, the story covers the tragedies that happen in some day care centers, the lack of regulation, and the expense of putting your kids in day care. This being NPR, the solutions are of course subsidies and more (federal) regulations.
France spends more on care per child than the United States—a lot more, in the case of infants and toddlers. But most French families pay far less out of pocket, because the government subsidizes child care with tax dollars and sets fees according to a sliding scale based on income.
If you've read my blog for more than five minutes, you know that I rarely think more federal involvement is the answer to anything - hence, the screaming.

And then we came to Ms. Tucker's responses - the working mom - to the groans of these elite reporters describing the difficulties of finding good, affordable daycare - even though they both admitted to having great care for their own kids.

"I'm sort of the lucky one - I think, ... It was phenomenally good" says the writer of the New Republic piece. The other reporter spoke, too, about how hard it is to find good daycare, but that she was also able to do it.

The real problem, they say, is for those who can't afford it and go to unregulated day care providers. Well, guess what regulation does, folks; it adds costs. It will only make day care more expensive. So which is it? Oh right, the government will pick up the tab, so no big deal over here.

My two favorite quotes from Ms. Tucker (emphasis mine): 
TUCKER: And I don't think there's a crisis. I don't think a crisis at all. I think we have a tendency to blow things out of proportion and I hope that parents are not scared by this.
TUCKER: Because who is going to pay for it? I mean they can barely get the budget together for the government, they really going to get the budget together to regulate daycare? I mean personally, as a parent, I am my own regulator. I popped up on that daycare at times to check on them and see how my child was doing and see what was going on when they least expect it. Be your own regulator, because if you're sitting around waiting for the government to do it, sit around and wait because that's what you're going to be doing. They can't even get their own house in order, how they going to get your house in order? So I'm not looking to do that.

If I could have stood up in my car and given her a standing ovation, I would have. I settled for screaming hoorah's and yay's at my radio, instead. I just love that this woman, who the writers think they are helping by calling for more regulation and money, stands up on national radio and says no thank you.

Monday, April 15, 2013


I absolutely despise the word "synergy". It conjures images of slick salesmen and slimy executives hoping for the big payoff. But sometimes it's the only word that works.

I had a fantastic meeting this morning with a former colleague, and it seems we are working on very similar projects from different angles. I don't know what can come from it, but it was exciting to find the common ground and know that there is some potential there. We just have to figure out how to mesh it all together.

So, what other workd can I use?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

If it weren't so disgusting and pathetic, it might be funny

"Feds Spent Millions of Dollars to Find Data That Was Publicly Available and Free"

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Productivity Gains

This is a really interesting bit on what we gain with (and lose to) increases in labor productivity.

And as much as we hear about the evils of off-shoring/outsourcing, there is this:
Even moving the entire U.S. textile and dry-goods industry for cheap labor offshore did not produce such dramatic price reductions as the automation that has changed U.S. manufacturing, doubling output since 1975 while employing only two-thirds as many workers.