Is Yglesias trolling the conservatives?

This Bloomberg headline and subhead caught my eye:

Don’t Make US Public Schools More Like Harvard

If conservatives were serious about their critique of elite universities, they would rethink their approach to reform for K-12 education.

If it were just a tweet, I’d assume the answer is yes—he’s trolling. But there’s an entire Bloomberg article attached, and Yglesias seems pretty sincere in his opposition to the school choice movement. He is worried that a market-based approach will give customers what they want:

But why are young minds being coddled on campus? Not because the market is failing, but because the market is succeeding — by giving customers what they want.

Grade inflation, groupthink and indulgence of campus activists are all part of a customer-service university. . . .

My 8-year-old would, I am sure, prefer to have his teachers spend less time drilling him on reading and math. But in Washington, teachers’ salaries are determined in part based on their students’ demonstrated learning gains. 

I see two problems with this claim. First, it’s not obvious that the South Korean approach to education (lots of “drilling”) is optimal. Second, it’s not obvious that public schools drill students any better than private schools.

So why do I assume that Yglesias might be trolling? Is there any evidence that he privately approves of Harvard University? Well, he did attend Harvard. And just 14 hours ago, he tweeted some highly complimentary remarks about his Harvard education. So you decide:

Yes, there’s a danger that the school choice movement could make our K-12 system of education as successful as Harvard. But I’m willing to take that risk.

(Yes, I know about selection effects—now I’m trolling)



51 Responses to “Is Yglesias trolling the conservatives?”

  1. Gravatar of LC LC
    7. January 2024 at 15:09

    LOL. I enjoyed the last comment the most.

  2. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    7. January 2024 at 16:55

    I might be naive, but I think that school choice with vouchers would make even many extremist conservative parents more serious about their children’s education. Competition against children of non-extremists would push them to try to stop undermining the useful teaching of fundmental subjects.

    Of course, I could be wrong, and perhaps the education of children would be further siloed within religious, ideological, and even ethnic and racial groups.

    Either way, I don’t see a way for education directly provided by the government to teach contradictory concepts, like creationism versus non-creationism, or white-washed versus honest history. I can’t think of a solution to the present divides among parents other than to help them go their separate ways.

  3. Gravatar of Rajat Rajat
    7. January 2024 at 18:38

    I don’t know Yglesias well enough to know for sure what he is doing. But I don’t think he is trolling. My guess is that he’d say that Harvard *used* to offer a better education than it does now, and that the rot set in after he left (he graduated in 2003). That’s a pretty defensible proposition, I would think. I mean, Larry Summers was the president of Harvard until 2006, an appointment that is almost impossible to imagine being made now. In fact, I think I recall Yglesias saying that the misinformed invasion of Iraq instigated the current fracture in US and global politics, by undermining trust in key institutions. Or maybe that was someone else – you?

  4. Gravatar of David S David S
    8. January 2024 at 01:02

    I mostly agree with Michael’s comments. The ideological sorting he’s referring to is probably entrenched in K-12 public and private schools that are located in the South and Midwest. My sister-in-law went to a public high school in Ohio where her science teacher was mandated to present alternatives to evolution.
    In that K-12 schools and most colleges are mostly an elaborate daycare system, I don’t think any reform movement will change things that much.

    Slightly on/off topic, but I noticed the link at Marginal Revolution to an article about financial stress at U Chicago—will Scott help out his alma mater?

  5. Gravatar of Chris Chris
    8. January 2024 at 05:40

    I think the underlying assumption (K-12 public schools aren’t driven by market forces) is wrong.

    The one thing that they have that Harvard doesn’t is third party evaluation of learning (ACT, SAT, college admissions, etc)

  6. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    8. January 2024 at 06:00

    If you mint phonies, then you have to provide those phonies with jobs.

    This has nothing to do with the free market.

    Let’s go back in time, and point to the factors that created this mess.

    As you know, the government artificially increases demand by giving people loans. This created a massive increase in the number of institutions and the number of students. Such intervention drove up the price, increased the number of departments, faculty members, etc, which are all reliant on the government to provide them with a paycheck.

    This is important, because fifty years ago a bachelors degree meant that you were smart. You had to pass calculus to receive a B.A., so most people had an I.Q. that was at least 115.

    That means when you graduated, everyone would want to hire you, if only because they knew you were smart.

    In the 90’s, the prices became so high from government intervention that professors didn’t want to fail their students. The debt would be too burdensome, particularly with no degree.

    As a result, the standards began to drop. And the do-gooders who refused to fail their students, lowered the average I.Q from 115 to 95. Social statistics replaced calculus to help those who couldn’t pass.

    So here is the point: what do you think happens to all of these phonies with hundreds of thousands in debt? Do they get hired by the best companies?

    Of course, not.

    Do manufacturers need them? Not unless they want to sweep a floor or work a machine. Do entreprenuers need them? Yes, for the highly intelligent jobs, but those usually go to the hard sciences.

    So what are we doing to resolve the issue?

    It’s quite simple: certain departments, like gender studies, that mint these phonies, receive government grants from like-minded politicians. They use that money to wine and dine, to inflitrate themselves into consultancy roles within corporations and government, and after they gain a bit of traction their graduates in ‘dumb dumb studies’ from ‘loser university’ suddenly have a place to work.

    As more students graduates, and as the scholarship and department increases, the bigger the grants and the more it becomes entrenched.

    This is not the free market. It’s the result and consequence of government intervention. It took fifty years, but we are now seeing the inevitable results. The results that the ‘old right’ warned you about so many years ago.

    Your 1960’s buffoons called Hayek and Hazlitt, Garrett and others just a bunch of crazies who ‘didin’t get it’. Well, it turns out they weren’t so crazy.

    I’m not opposed to the government providing scholarships for those who are incredibly talented, but that is very different than subsidizing everyone with a heartbeat.

  7. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    8. January 2024 at 09:33

    Rajat, I agree that he is not trolling.

    David, I doubt that education can be “fixed”, but I believe that it could be made cheaper (if privatized.)

    You asked:

    “will Scott help out his alma mater?”

    What would an effective altruist do?

  8. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    8. January 2024 at 10:23

    I think I would have to agree Harvard has recently losts its way. But I do not believe that’s because of market forces.

    What market force would have the University hirer Gay? A completely under qualified academic versus say someone like Summers? Somehow Harvard did in fact get infected with the woke mind virus. There is literally no more obvious example of this. Black females are the most desirable group on the oppressor-oppressed scale. Larry Summers the opposite being the least desirable. In a meritocracy though Summers crushes it.

    Hopefully Harvard can course correct. But I don’t see how market forces led to this outcome. I would agree that can be true for grade inflation etc.

  9. Gravatar of Mark Barbieri Mark Barbieri
    8. January 2024 at 10:25

    I have long been a supporter of school choice, particularly if it included private schools. Now, I worry that people, on the left and the right, would choose schools that are more ideological. I see what has happened now that we have a huge number of options for news – most news sources seem much more biased. Maybe forcing most people to compromise on what is taught in schools isn’t a bad thing.

  10. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    8. January 2024 at 13:56

    Yglesias is a moron.

    Does anyone read about our history?

    People do realize that you don’t need public schools, right? We didn’t have them two hundred years ago, and people were pretty well-read.

    Public schools should be optional.

    You can tell a lot about a country, based on the state of their intellectual class.

    Look at us. We have the bizarre Mises Institute, which should be rebranded as the Rothbard Institute ever since it was hijacked by DiLorenzo, a man who thinks his liberty will increase if he can secede all the way to his backyard (like that makes any sense). And the editor of that organization, McMaken believes that the oligarchy Cospaai, which kneeled to the grand duchess in 1826 was somehow an anarcho-utopia. That’s quite the head-scratcher.

    Then, we have Sumner the CCP loving sinophile, and Paul Samuelson, the guy who thought the Soviet Union would surpass the United States, despite millions of people starving to death.

    I mean, Jesus. Then, we have paul “big government” krugman, living in inside his keynesian fairy tale. His trade theory is almost certainly false, for which he won Nobel prize.

    Lord have mercy on our souls. Where are the Isabel Pattersons and the Rose Wilder Lanes? I should start learning Russian. Maybe I should change my name to Nikolaev, Ivan, or Fyodorov. The sooner I can eject from this country, the better.

  11. Gravatar of Tacticus Tacticus
    8. January 2024 at 14:14

    Sean: ‘What market force would have the University hirer Gay?’

    Demand for a more diverse leadership, ie students who would prefer to go to a university led by a Gay rather than a Summer or staff who would prefer to teach at such a university.

    Sara: ‘You had to pass calculus to receive a B.A.’

    Utter nonsense lol.

  12. Gravatar of Tacticus Tacticus
    8. January 2024 at 14:57

    Oh, and Ricardo, what grand duchess did the Republic of Cospaia kneel to in 1826?

  13. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    8. January 2024 at 17:29

    Tacitus that is the mine virus. Rational people (atleast one’s not born billionaires) want to go to school to make money and succeed in life. They don’t care the color of skin of their faculty. They want competent faculty.

  14. Gravatar of Tacticus Tacticus
    9. January 2024 at 00:52

    Just because that’s your primary drive doesn’t mean that it is irrational for other people to have other considerations and motives.

  15. Gravatar of Edward Edward
    9. January 2024 at 06:26

    This doesn’t surprise me, because neocons and neolibs are anti-market and anti-liberty. The author of that post wants you to believe that capitalism is the problem, and that capitalism created Harvard’s current condition.

    This is their uniparty plan. They want to centralize industry and government, then blame it on capitalism. They want to convince the youth that capitalism is the cause of all their problems, and so they need to pursue and alternative form of production like Klaus Schwab’s stakeholderism. A new form of feudalism.

  16. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    9. January 2024 at 08:40

    Dr. Sumner,

    Your comment about privatizing schools to save costs got me thinking. My wife is a public kindergarten teacher and there are not any obvious cost-savings solutions that aren’t illegal. Poor pay? Make the staff buy their own materials with their own (taxed!) income? Large, unwieldly class sizes? Check, check, and check. Save money on special ed by leaving the kids with severe behavior issues in the mainstream classes? Also, check. The last one, btw, makes the education that the other kids receive considerably worse as each child with severe behavior issues gobbles up easily an hour per day of direct attention and there are several of these children per class. Dedicated “one-on-one” paraeducators would help dramatically but are a steep added expense.

    The school does not have staff art, music, or even a full-time library teacher. They just got a P.E. teacher this year. Instead, they hire contractors who come in to provide each class with 1 hour of art & music instruction for 5 days out of the year. They have 1 librarian that is shared among several schools and comes in on alternating days. Even the cafeteria has been relegated to one kitchen at one facility with luke-warm food then delivered to each of the schools rather than have on-site kitchens.

    Just saying, it’s quite bare-bones already. Maybe some economies of scale in the administration (IT, HR, etc.) could be achieved by joining efforts with multiple districts? That’s less than 10% of their budget so it’s hard to imagine that would be a game-changer.

    On a side note, student behaviors have become an extreme issue that we’re going to have to solve if students are going to get any kind of decent education. The ideological left loves to mainstream children to give them the best chance at being “normal,” while the right hates to spend money on special ed, so it’s become typical to mainstream students that aren’t overtly dangerous to other children and the staff. I kid you not, she once had one student with a disability who was prone to extreme, long-lasting, and destructive tantrums if he was exposed to loud noises. At the same time, she had a second student whose issue was that he would scream uncontrollably. You can imagine how that worked out…

    A few weeks into that school year, one of my coworkers bragged about how great private schools are because the catholic school his children attended simply disinvited a child with behavior issues from attending. “It was so great for the rest of the class!” You can further imagine which school that student went to next.

  17. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    9. January 2024 at 11:18

    Randomize, My experience has been very different. My daughter’s public high school was full of waste—the building itself was far too expensive. There were far too many people in non-teaching roles. In elementary school, her classes had as many as 4 teachers, and as few as 20 students. It was gold-plated education.

    Catholic schools are far less costly than public schools.

    The public schools need to expel students that don’t behave.

  18. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    9. January 2024 at 14:00

    It sounds like our respective school districts are very different! She’s now at a poor rural school and was previously at a poor, inner-city school that was part of a reasonably well-funded district. The latter was funny in that the teachers were well-paid but the facilities were just as bad since the more affluent parents were able to lobby for “their” schools to get priority capital funds and/or simply buy their own advantage through their PTA fundraisers.

    Would be curious to hear your opinion on what should be done with kids who are expelled and whether kids with disabilities (many of her students with severe behavior issues are on the spectrum) should be subject to the same outcome. With both parents having to work, it’s easy to imagine very bad outcomes. Maybe those outcomes are less bad than keeping them in class and ruining the education of everyone else.

  19. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    9. January 2024 at 23:05

    Randomize, You said:

    “Maybe those outcomes are less bad than keeping them in class and ruining the education of everyone else.”

    If the students are highly disruptive, then there is no “maybe”.

    In America, public K-12 spending in larger cities tends to be extremely high, with extremely bad outcomes. We could get less bad results with much lower spending and much stricter discipline.

  20. Gravatar of Solon of the East Solon of the East
    10. January 2024 at 15:26


    TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan ranked 30th in labor productivity among the 38 Organization for Economic Cooperation Development members in 2022, down two spots from the previous year and to a new lowest-ever position, a Tokyo-based group said.

    International comparisons are always a bit flaky. But according to the OECD, Japan is well below global averages.

    The globalists are wailing that Japan should accept far more immigrants.

    But Japan could free up vast pools of labor through greater productivity.

  21. Gravatar of steve steve
    10. January 2024 at 18:02

    Why have for profit colleges done so poorly? They are privatized. Anyway, on Harvard, you can still get a good education from very good teachers. The people I hire from there are pretty good. I think the issue is more that tin the areas where they do have issues, like free speech, grade inflation, etc its because they are catering to the students and their parents. They have prioritized money over mission.


  22. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    11. January 2024 at 08:55

    Steve, In areas where people donate money, non-profits dominate for profits. (Health, education, the arts, etc.)

  23. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    11. January 2024 at 12:20

    What’s interesting though is that the for-profits also pale in comparison to even government-run community colleges in terms of degree marketability and especially value for money. This very much refutes points by for-profit college advocates, that for-profits at least offer college opportunities for those without other options. Obviously, community colleges are at least as generous with their admissions requirements.

  24. Gravatar of Randomize Randomize
    11. January 2024 at 15:08


    Community Colleges are a pretty incredible value compared to the same classes at most any 4-year university. Does anyone really care if someone with a Harvard Law degree took English 101 at Harvard or at the local community college before they transferred to wherever for their undergrad degree?

  25. Gravatar of Edward Edward
    11. January 2024 at 20:26

    Sumner’s left wing gansters have had themselves a busy week.

    Johns Hopkins published a new marxist list of ‘privileged people’

    White people
    Able-bodied people
    Cisgender people [People who identify as the sex they were born]
    Middle class people
    Middle-aged people
    English-speaking people.

    Somehow, I’m not surprised that Christianity is considered “privileged”. We all knew the marxists would come for our churches. It was only a matter of time.

    And then, like that wasn’t enough, and presumably because they got bored, the left wing thugs bombed another country into submission; this time the incredibly powerful and dangerous Yemen. I always feared Yemen’s incredible power.

    Soon, Sumner will tell us Yemen is trying to “take over the world” so we need the one-world-NATO to crush them before they miracously crush us. Sumner must be half-betazoid, like Deanna Troi, from Star Trek, for he knows what everyone is secretly thinking. Putin, Trump and Yemen. He’s got them all figured out.

    Can we please get these babyboomers away from the Nuclear suitcase. Please take a step back old man, take a deep breath, and STOP BOMBING EVERYONE you insane lunatic.

  26. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    11. January 2024 at 22:42


    I agree. For a while, for-profit college advocates mentioned the advantage that such schools offered in terms of flexible class hours and online options, but such advantages were short-lived, as community colleges adjusted.

    And now, many community colleges offer 4-year degrees, so I see no reason why anyone would attend a for-profit college, given how expensive they usually are, and even more importantly, how poor the outcomes seem to be in terms of employment.

    Yet, they continue to exist. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that this is an example of market failure, although one usually financed by the government. Obviously, these for-profit colleges couldn’t charge the fees they do without students having access to financial aid subsidies.

  27. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    12. January 2024 at 10:19

    @Michael Sandifer:
    Where are you getting your for-profit vs. community college data from?

  28. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    12. January 2024 at 12:24


    You can start here:,%247%2C000%20in%20four%2Dyear%20publics.

    And then there’s this more skeptical take regarding community colleges versus for-profits from Cato, which still doesn’t reflect well on for-profits:

  29. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. January 2024 at 12:41

    “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that this is an example of market failure”

    How can it be “market failure”, when higher education (even for-profit firms) isn’t even close to being a “market”. The sector is horribly distorted by subsidy and regulation.

  30. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    12. January 2024 at 13:18


    Yes, I mentioned government subsidies. The for-profits largely wouldn’t exist without federal financial aid. Also, public colleges, including community colleges are often subsidized more directly through state taxes, even before the resulting reduced costs to students are subsidized by federal aid. Public colleges are roughly 2/3 more expensive than the in-state costs of tuition.

    However, the fact that a fair portion of students are significantly over-paying for the inferior degrees offered by for-profits might reflect a market failure. For-profits often have very aggressive marketing campaigns that include emails, phone calls, direct mail, etc. I guess you could say state institutions could market themselves more aggressively, but some of the for-profit marketing techniques are beneath the dignity of respectable institutions.

    So, I’m saying there is at least some significant market inefficiency here, even considering the effects of distortions caused by subsidies.

  31. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    12. January 2024 at 15:50

    Thanks @Michael Sandifer.
    I’d read the Cato piece. I hadn’t read the others.

    I wonder if we’re looking too narrowly at the market. The change I see in my industry, tech, is coming from the non-university education models: boot camps, certification programs and MOOCs (the MOOCs, admittedly, are often associated with universities, but do not need to be).

  32. Gravatar of Solon of the East Solon of the East
    12. January 2024 at 16:32

    OT…PPI up 1% on year in Dec.

  33. Gravatar of steve steve
    12. January 2024 at 17:55

    “Steve, In areas where people donate money, non-profits dominate for profits. (Health, education, the arts, etc.)”

    Maybe, but the for profits in college education perform spectacularly awful and worse than the small state schools that dont have any endowments or donations.

    “How can it be “market failure”, when higher education (even for-profit firms) isn’t even close to being a “market”. ”

    There is no perfect market and I think there is a fair amount of research that says imperfect markets are still pretty good most of the time. In this particular case they dont seem to work very well at all and I have to think it’s more than just poor markets.


  34. Gravatar of Why Bother? Why Bother?
    12. January 2024 at 18:45

    Michael Sandifer

    The for-profits largely wouldn’t exist without federal financial aid. Also, public colleges, including community colleges are often subsidized more directly through state taxes

    What level of education is a right & above that it all shall be paid by the educated out of their own pocket? That’s the fundamental question to address. Do these financial aids pass the cold, education is not a right above a level of literacy/numeracy, cost benefit calculations?

  35. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. January 2024 at 20:04

    Steve, Small state schools get financial help from the state. If they don’t, then they are effectively private.

  36. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. January 2024 at 20:07

    Micheal, Any market as distorted as education is hard to evaluate. Its problems certainly don’t reflect “market failure” as economists define the term.

    Now it’s possible that even a free market in education would not work well, but we wouldn’t know that unless we tried it.

  37. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    12. January 2024 at 23:35


    If we just focus on the seeming irrationality of a rather large minority of students who pay nearly 5 times as much in tuition to for-profits for inferior education, then I don’t see how the market distortions matter.

    If I’m wrong, it’s likely because I’m missing something. Maybe these students are more rational than I think. Perhaps the generous nature of repayment terms for federak student loans lessens the burden enough to help explain some of the willingness to pay so much more, for example.

    I’m likely wrong, simply because most of my ideas are wrong, but I don’t currently see how I’m wrong.

  38. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    12. January 2024 at 23:37

    Why Bother?,

    If you read all of my comments here you’ll see I already acknowledged that public colleges are highly subsidized by the states.

  39. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. January 2024 at 09:26

    Michael, I’m not going to second guess the decisions of students that I’ve never met. I understand that there are some scams, like Trump University, but I don’t know how widespread that is.

  40. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    13. January 2024 at 11:33


    You may have seen headlines over the years about many of the largest for-profit schools hit with heavy judgements/settlements and/or DOE and FTC fines. Here’s a brief list of the largest offenders:

    1. ITT Technical Institute

    2. University of Phoenix

    3. DeVry University

    4. Corinthian Colleges

    5. Career Education Corporation

    6. Bridgepoint Education

    7. Education Management Corporation

    Many of these were large, publicly traded companies that ran multiple for-profits, such as Career Education Corporation, which ran 4 schools.

    The typical fraud involved lying about job placement rates, in the context of using high pressure sales tactics.

    Here’s an article about 5 of the biggest offenders here:

    I think the best approach to this problem is to stop subsidizing education. I favor subsidizing personal incomes, not industries or sectors.

  41. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    14. January 2024 at 09:37

    Michael, You said:

    “I think the best approach to this problem is to stop subsidizing education.”

    I agree.

  42. Gravatar of Solon of the East Solon of the East
    17. January 2024 at 02:05


    Hong Kong Hang Seng down 3.7% today, off 26.4% in one year.

    Keeps going down. A bottom somewhere?

    Very low p-es.

    But then Xi could make goblins lock the gates of hell upon his approach.

  43. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    19. January 2024 at 07:05

    What is education? I always thought the answer to this question was obvious. It is learning subject matter of various topics. Math, science, history, philosophy, literature, languages, and many subsets of these topics. Some have mentioned subsidizing eduction. What does that mean? Taxes subsidize education. Private subject learning ~(e.g, Kahn Academy) are inexpensive but are they subsidized? I don’t think so.

    Our education system appears largely controlled by unions and monopolists who decide what should be taught. Education has also become ideological and political.

    But we need not obey them. ——-but it is difficult to break out of the system.

    Still, nothing prevents people from learning., however, we can be non-credentialed which does force people into “playing by the rules”.

    My kids went to prep school, private college, and graduate school. While these schools could educate, they also were playgrounds.

    All 4 of them are sending their children to public school. I should have done that.

  44. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    19. January 2024 at 12:07

    Somebody should check on Sumner’s health.

    He hasn’t posted in a while, and so I’m afraid that Trumps massive win in Iowa may have caused him to finally succumb to his severe TDS.

    Known symptoms of TDS hysertia include:
    1. Screaming loudly and incoherently at the orange man.
    2. Watching Rachel Maddow as a form of trauma therapy
    3. Yelling racist rants at every white person, particularly the great white predator male that is oppressing us.
    4. Calling yourself elite, or attending the world economic forum.
    5. Calling your political opponents terrorists, while trying to remove them from the ballot.
    6. Eating a lot of icecream.
    7. Canceling dissenters, especially those awful anti-scientists like the emminent cardiologist, Peter McCullough.
    8. Telling everyone to ‘shutup’ and ‘trust the experts’. Experts that claim cow farts are causing global warming.
    9. Or as the Washington Post recently said: don’t do your own research, because doing your own research contributes to the pandemic of ‘misinformation’

    Apparently, that article was the babyboomer generations brilliant rebuttal to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s: ‘self reliance’

    Oh, how far we’ve fallen.

    Anyhow, Sumner’s Globalist choice: Nikki Haley, will not win the nomination. She might win New Hampshire, because democrats can vote in the New Hampshire republican primary. And the radical left, anti-trump group “The lincoln project” has bought ads encouraging democrats to vote against Trump in New Hampshire. You know who they are: the purple haired, nose ring, demon tattooed morons.

    Of course, when you are a moron, “saving democracy” translates to removing your political opponents from the ballot, so we shouldn’t be surprised by their partisan quackery.

    Unfortunetly, you are losing by about 70 points in Nevada, and 60 through the christian south, and 40 among the blue collar midwest, including the big and beautiful state of Texas. The home of liberty loving heroes.

    Therefore, the elites will have to vote for their last great hope: Joseph Biden. And as all we know Biden is so elegant, so graceful, with such an amazing command of the English language — the only language he knows. I hope that one day, I can be just like my hero, my role model, Joseph ‘the Gangster’ Biden. An American legend. The “Big guy” as his son likes to call him.

    Sumner and Biden. Two ‘elites’, two ‘experts”…hell bent on war and destruction.

    It’s a match made in heaven.

  45. Gravatar of Jon Jon
    20. January 2024 at 21:33


    San Francisco school budget devotes only 25% of 1.2B budget to site based costs: meaning teachers, building maintenance, engineers, janitors, principals, supplies..

    The other 75% of the budget goes somewhere else…

    Of the 75% only a 1/3 is purely administrative. It is claimed that the other two thirds somehow benefits instruction.

  46. Gravatar of Charley Charley
    24. January 2024 at 22:38

    Matt is not on the side of liberty. He never has been.

    And Scott, you are really nice guy. But you just don’t understand the depth of the corruption.

    We now have evidence that Trudeau’s own intelligence agents were responsible for waving Nazi flags at the Canadian trucker protest. This was done purposefully, for public opinion.

    We have evidence that the Southern Poverty Law Senter funds staged ‘hard right’ events. They pay people to dress up as Nazi’s, take videos, then publish those videos on social media. Presumably, to justify their funding.

    We know from undercover journalists that the Biden administration, the UN, and the CCP are all funding the migration from massive camps in Ecuador to the mexican border. It’s not organic migration; it’s entirely artificial. They recruit people to join the caravan on their way through latin America, some of them cartel members, most of military age; once they reach mexico, the cartel is paid large sums of money at cautro cinegas (a small desert town) to ensure the migrants have access to the border.

    We know that Fauci was offshoring gain of function to the Wuhan laboratory, and doing it through a shell company.

    Look, if we are going to take back our country from the corrupt elite, then we must address the elephant in the room. The deep state exists, and the old european order and the new CCP order are working behind the scenes to shape the world in their image. Many of these agencies use NGO’s as their front. Tavistock, WEF, Arabella, etc.

    Those who believe this is just conspiracy are blinded by their faith and trust in government. They fail to understand that government has never, throughout human history, been trustworthy. That’s why the framers wanted a very small federal government.

    We resisted these tyrants in 1776, and it might be time to resist them again. As Jefferson said, the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time.

  47. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. January 2024 at 06:07

    Charley, I’m not a really nice guy. If I were, I wouldn’t respond that your comment sounds like that of a right wing crank who spends too much time reading loony conspiratorial web sites.

    All those claims you made are things that “they” want you to believe. Don’t let yourself become a puppet.

    But I do agree with your first sentence. Yglesias is a utilitarian, not a libertarian.

  48. Gravatar of Larry Larry
    25. January 2024 at 09:30

    I have a different take on the subject of public education.

    I went to public schools in the 50s and 60s and I got a great education. Learned Calculus in high school, got a good background in the sciences and history and even learned a bit of French.

    But what was best about the school system was that it was a community builder. I consider public schools one of the bed rock institutions of this nation and I see them being destroyed. And instead of trying to fix our public schools our politicians are selling them out. So why do private companies want to own schools?

    Their profit.

  49. Gravatar of larry larry
    27. January 2024 at 14:38

    No Response in two days.

    Guess I must be correct.

  50. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. January 2024 at 20:39

    Larry, Most private schools are not for profit. But yes, those that are for profit wish to earn profits.

  51. Gravatar of Solon of the East Solon of the East
    2. February 2024 at 02:39

    Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023,
    reflecting a 3.7-percent increase in hourly compensation and a 3.2-percent increase in productivity. Unit
    labor costs increased 2.3 percent over the last four quarters. —BLS

    Labor is not the problem. Housing is, medical costs, college administration and fees…

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