Tag Archives: Junior Achievement

Roundup

The Atheist’s Dilemma — an encouraging story and a reminder of the importance of being a good ambassador, using apologetics and not using the “blind faith” arguments.

Did You Know? 90% of Babies With Down Syndrome are Aborted — that’s the worldly (final) “solution” to medical problems.  It will happen with more and more people as other issues are discovered in utero.

We were out dancing the other night at an outdoor shopping area with a Latin Rock band.  There were lots of kids around, including several very happy Down Syndrome children dancing to the music.  It is so sad that the loving, tolerant, pro-abortion crowd thinks that society and the children would have been better off if they had been destroyed in the womb.

And even if it was acceptable to kill the unborn who “really” have Down Syndrome (it isn’t!!), people should be terrified at all the false positives that occur.

Good news: I don’t follow my stats that much, but I had another record day fueled by Reddit linking to the Wendy Wright Schools Richard Dawkins post.

Bad news: Lots of the comments were just tired sound bites by people who didn’t read the post (leading to my adding a couple updates to the post).

Good news: It did lead to a lot of people reading the link on the minimal facts and the Atheist’s Dilemma post linked above.  I figured that if thousands of people were coming with a hostile attitude that I’d point them to some important truths, and it worked!

More good news: I realized that when the song that just came on my playlist was over that my exercise bike workout would be complete.

Bad news: The song was Free Bird.  Live.

Killing Sugar Subsidy Would Send a Sweet Message — basic economic principles aren’t that hard to understand, but our leaders are ignorant of them or do the opposite out of self interest.  We need more Junior Achievement classes in this country.

Army Reserve training material: Evangelicals, Catholics are extremist groups — But of course!  People who support killing unwanted babies with taxpayer funding = not extremists.  People who oppose killing unwanted babies = extremists.  Check.

The Danger of “Needing” a Job — good advice on living below your means.

Tattoo regret — Think before you ink.  When my kids were younger I’d ask how they’d feel if they’d received tattoos of Barney the Dinosaur when they were toddlers.  Of course they were aghast at that.  I think the message got through: What seems great now may not later.  Deferred gratification = important life skill.

More creepiness from MSNBC — reporter coaches her 5 yr. old daughter to say how crazy it is to oppose “same-sex marriage.”

Hey, why don’t you ask the 5 yr. old if it would have been fine to kill her in the womb if Mommy hadn’t wanted her at the time? Surely the Mom has coached her daughter on the importance of being able to kill her unwanted offspring.

How sad that she has perverted the mind of this young girl. To say it “seems strange” that a man would only marry a woman is a pure lie, even from a Leftist like her. Just look around the world, people.

The Isle of Deserta exercise, or how a bunch of 7th graders are better at setting up a society than our politicians

For 12 years, I taught Junior Achievement classes to nearly every grade from K-12, but the Junior High classes were my favorites (I was as surprised as you are).  They weren’t too cool to take part and had a lot of energy.  They were quick to pick up business concepts such as supply and demand and even the elasticity of supply and demand (e.g., insulin has inelastic demand because no matter how low the price goes non-diabetics won’t buy it, but iPods have elastic demand because the lower the price the more people will buy).  Even the non-egghead kids understood the concepts and actively participated in the lessons.

One of my favorite exercises was the Isle of Deserta.  The kids pretended that they had won a trip to an exotic vacation paradise and would describe what they would pack.  Once they got there they discovered that the island was deserted and they had to figure out how to survive (the exercise predated the Survivor TV show but had a similar concept).

They always created a consistently logical and workable society, but with the proper controls to ensure that it was sustainable.  They realized that it was better to split up jobs to those most qualified and interested, such as some doing the fishing / gathering and others doing cooking and cleaning, as opposed to having everyone fend for themselves.

When asked what they would do for those who could work but refused to, the immediate reaction was something like “Make them shark bait!”  But what about an injured person who couldn’t help?  “We’ll take care of them and give them food anyway.”  What if the person gets better but doesn’t want to work? “Shark bait!”

They intuitively knew that a society should care for the weak and needy, but that it couldn’t survive if able-bodied people shared in the benefits but not the workload.

Even the Bible notes that, although the false teachers pretend this verse isn’t there or isn’t from God:

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

One of my favorite moments was when a girl went against her peers and insisted that everyone should get the same food and benefits regardless of how hard he or she worked.  She was most adamant about this point, so I let her share her minority view.

But at the end of the lesson when I went to pass out some candy for their overall good behavior (Jolly Ranchers, the official candy of Junior Achievement), she pleaded for extras because she had participated more than the others.  At first I thought she was kidding, but she didn’t catch the irony of her request.  I didn’t want to embarrass her, but it was a teachable moment to point out that she was now proposing a system that was the opposite of her previous submission.  I hope the lesson wasn’t lost on her, and that I cured her of her liberal inconsistencies!

The 7th graders intuitively understood the basics of human nature, especially when the situations were stripped of politics and sound bites.  It is noble and right to help the truly weak, such as widows, orphans and the disabled, but a system without controls and accountability is doomed to fail.  And a system full of entitlements, political payoffs and incentives not to do your best is doomed to fail more quickly.

Anti-capitalists choke on this simple example.  How do they plan to force people to provide goods and services to others — even those who are able to work but won’t?

I say with all seriousness that our country would be much better off if everyone, including every elected official, had to take Junior High level Junior Achievement classes.

Did he really say that?!

As if we needed more evidence that Liberals Liberals fail at basic economics, we have the President of the United States saying this:

There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.  Barack Obama

That is an epic FAIL on so many levels.  It isn’t a structural issue, it is a foundational and wonderful element of our capitalistic economy.  The unemployment rate didn’t nearly double because of ATMs (and despite wasting a trillion dollars trying and failing to keep it below 8%).  It is a pathetic attempt for him to avoid responsibility.

Why is a “progressive” like Obama so opposed to progress?  Does he think that his beloved teleprompters pre-dated agriculture?  No, they exist because people took risks, worked hard and were rewarded for creativity and automation.

He should be embarrassed, and the media should mock him until their throats (TV and radio) and fingertips (print) are raw.  Using his “logic,” we’d have higher employment if it weren’t for advancements like ATM machines.  Ignoring the jobs of those who make, install, maintain, and write software for these machines, does Obama think that other countries won’t continue to automate even if we stopped?  If businesses don’t automate then costs go up compared to other countries and we lose even more jobs.  You could require that all cars be made by hand, but would anyone ever buy a U.S. car over an inexpensive and higher quality foreign model?

I say without exaggeration that I’ve taught Junior Achievement classes to 7th graders who understand basic economic principles better than him.  There was an exercise asking if you should automate your bike factory to save money and improve quality, even though it would reduce jobs.  Many kids initially opposed this because they forgot about the other bike makers.  When I pointed out that without automation everyone would eventually lose their jobs, they realized the benefits of progress.

As Stacy McCain adds in Pointing Out the Obvious: They Don’t Teach Economics at Harvard Law School : The Other McCain:

The president is attempting here to offer a simplistic explanation of the difference between cyclical unemployment and structuralunemployment. As important as that distinction is, however, it fails to explain many obvious things about this recession.

Unemployment isn’t at 9% because of out-of-work bank clerks and airline ticket agents. Unemployment is most severe in construction trades and other housing-related sectors. Whatever else Obama’s policies have done, they have not led to a meaningful recovery of the housing market and, one might easily argue, have made things much worse. Why? Because for two years, the administration and Democrats in Congress did everything possible to impede the foreclosure process, to keep deadbeats in homes they can’t afford. This has slowed re-sales, prevented mortgage lenders from cutting their losses on bad loans and, in general, hindered the kind of price “re-set” necessary to making the housing market efficient again.

Something else: The recession is not equally bad everywhere. Why is unemployment nearly 12% in California but less than 6% in Oklahoma? Don’t people in Oklahoma use ATMs and automated airline ticket kiosks?

I could go on and on, but it is such a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel topic.  If only the Left could see how intellectually bankrupt and counterproductive Obama’s economics are.  The youth who voted for him are starting to see it (their vision seems to be better when standing in the unemployment line rather than at his “hope and change” speeches).

—–

If you want to see something delusional, watch the head of the Democrat National Committee claim that Obama has turned the economy around.  Uh, yeah, sure, 9.1% unemployment, skyrocketing deficits and debt, gas over $4 a gallon (which was Bush’s fault when he was in office but apparently a good thing when Obama is in power, because it reduces global warming blah blah blah), etc.

Also see Obama Puts Unions Ahead of a Healthy Economy, Free Trade for an example of why it is hard to believe he even wants to reduce the unemployment rate.

Dear Illinois, Do you think you can keep raising taxes with no ill effects? Think again.

See Governor Christie is actively courting Illinois businesses to move to New Jersey (and he is not the only Governor to take advantage of Pat Quinn’s chronic stupidity) – Ah, the free market at work!  That pesky law of unintended consequences will get you every time.  Make your state difficult to do business with and people and companies will leave.

This works on the national level as well.  If you raise taxes and raise barriers to effective commerce, capital funds will go elsewhere and take their jobs with them.  And that lowers tax bases that further erode employment, and the spiral continues.

These are basic economic principles that a 7th grade Junior Achievement student can grasp yet these highly paid politicians cannot.  Like horrible chess players, they can’t think one simple move ahead.  And more and more people will suffer for their ignorance.

False teachers profit from poverty

First, let me be clear that I care a lot about the poor.  I’m pretty sure I donate more to help them than false teachers like Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie (unless his giving is 20x the typical Liberal politician).  I taught Junior Achievement classes for 13 years.  I support CareNet, which provides life skills training in addition to saving the weak (the ones Chuck thinks it is OK to kill).  And so on.

But as usual, the types that cause the poverty make their living off “curing” it.

Half of Americans state that someone in their close family is poor, and over 50 million Americans are living in a household struggling against hunger. We need your help now more than ever to build a grassroots movement to cut poverty in half in 10 years.

via : “Tell Congress Not to Scrooge the Jobless This Holiday Season!”.

These “grassroots movement” types don’t understand what reduces poverty: Jobs!!  They fight for job-killing legislation like the Cap and Trade nonsense and ridiculous ventures like ethanol that only help people like Al Gore.

They will never be able to help the poor in the long run because they are Democratic shills and glorified poverty pimps.

It has been proven that Liberals fail at economics.  They don’t know how jobs are created.

Jobs!!! Part 3

The final piece of this short series . . .

If you had to blame the recession on one person, who would it be? — The Wintery Knight rightly picks Barney Frank, who along with his fellow Democrats insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were fine and the concerns over a housing bubble were unfounded.  Oh, and they resisted the Republican calls for regulation.  Watch the videos.  Facts are pesky things.  If only they got reported by the mainstream media we’d all be in better shape.

And guess what party the top 5 recipients of Fannie/Freddie contributions belonged to?  Hint: It starts with a “D.”

We need more Junior Achievement classes in all grades.  They are proven to reduce drop out rates and they provide excellent training in basic economic and money management principles.

Intel CEO Otellini: The Democrats Are Destroying our Economy — this is basic stuff to people who know anything about business.  You shop at businesses that treat you better and have lower prices, right?  What makes you think investors won’t do the same?  If you charge higher prices (i.e., taxes), offer lousy service and demonize your customers then don’t be surprised when they leave you.

The most disturbing part of Otellini’s comments is that he says nothing groundbreaking, nothing unexpected, and nothing that we have not heard many times before. Otellini talks about regulation, taxation, litigation and transparency – all issues that have been cited by business leaders for years. But our ‘leaders’ in Washington ignore these concerns, and instead pile on more taxes, more regulation, more litigation costs, greater uncertainty about the climate going forward. And they do all this while claiming to be ‘pro-jobs.’

Will Congress and the White House ever realize that business leaders are telling the truth? As our government continues to make it more difficult to do business in the US, companies must increasingly look to more favorable climates abroad. If Washington really wants to spur job creation here in the US, they should repeal the health care overhaul, reduce spending, cut the corporate tax rate, give up on cap and trade, and reform litigation. Instead we have been treated to an extended experiment in government control – one that is obviously not producing new wealth, new jobs, or any real hope for the emergence of the industries of the future.

As noted in the first part, it is proven that Liberals have a very poor understanding of basic economic principles.  They should not be in charge of the economy.  Get out and vote this November, people!  Republicans have their flaws, but their policies result in having employed people complain about them rather than unemployed.

Jobs!!! Part 2

Continuing a three-part series on jobs . . .

Roxanne explores the vast misunderstandings about job creation in Failing Capitalism (and common sense) 101.  Read it all.

Whether or not you ascribe to that  particular ideology, you should understand the theoretical basis of the reigning ideology of your country.  So, if you live in the Western world, you should have some idea of what capitalism is all about.  That is, you should not write things like:

“Creating jobs is not about intelligence or education. It’s about having enough money to pay someone to do something. And :drumroll:…. having money is not exclusively a function of being educated, intelligent, good-smelling, or anything else, really. Of course, if we argue that wealth is solely a function of merit (as measured by education, which we assume is a function of intelligence), then yeah, it’s pretty much axiomatic that a more educated populace will create more jobs.”

Then Marshall asks, “Who would hire?  Who could?”

This article from Investor’s Business Daily lists ten reasons for the poor job situation in this country: (Hat tip–Wintery Knight)
-Executive orders and regulations promoting compulsory unionism.
-Obama’s forced restructuring of GM.
-Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 (ObamaCare).
-Extension of unemployment benefits to 99 weeks — almost two years!
-American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009.
-Minimum wage laws.
-Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.
-Moratorium on offshore oil drilling.
-Expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
-Obama’s runaway spending.

Not surprisingly, people with no business experience don’t know how to create jobs. Obama’s cabinet has the least private sector experience ever, by far.

Is the media helping educate people on the problem? Of course not. As Rich Karlgaard of Forbes notes, editorial after editorial blames business for the problem but never talks to the business people. I guess they must be omniscient and don’t need to actually interview the people in question.

Also see Obama’s Washington: No experience necessary

Wonder how Recovery Summer turned into Wreckovery Bummer?  How an administration ginned up its entire economic strategy into one stimulus bill and has done nothing since, even as the economy disintegrated?  Marty Robins advises his readers to check the CVs of the people in charge in Washington to understand just how incompetence has triumphed — and not just Barack Obama’s . . .

Jobs!!! Part 1

I really feel for the countless people out of work now.  That is an extremely stressful place to be.  Then there is the multiplier effect: People without jobs spend less and consume more resources from the public (i.e., those who are fortunate to still have jobs), so there is less demand, which results in fewer jobs, and so on.

Here’s a huge part of the problem: Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?  Self-identified liberals and Democrats do badly on questions of basic economics.

Who is better informed about the policy choices facing the country—liberals, conservatives or libertarians? According to a Zogby International survey that I write about in the May issue of Econ Journal Watch, the answer is unequivocal: The left flunks Econ 101.

These are the scores by political affiliation on a basic economics survey.  Anyone who can’t get at least six right should not be considered for public office.  (Yes, I got all eight right, but I wouldn’t expect everyone to do that.  I’m a CPA with 25 years of business experience and taught Junior Achievement for 12 years.)

If these people can’t get basic economic questions right — and those scores are squarely in the FAIL category — why would you hire them to run your economy?

Not surprisingly, you really, really don’t want to listen to what “progressive” (read: theologically Liberal or just “fake”) churches have to say about economics.  They don’t even understand the Bible, let alone a basic understanding of economics.  So why should people like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis be advising the President — especially after he was caught lying about taking donations from George Soros?

What you do want is more Junior Achievement classes in all grades.  They are proven to reduce drop out rates and they provide excellent training in basic economic and money management principles.

Roundup

Hat tip to Matthew for this important literary analysis.  It is a real time saver, as now you don’t have to read the book.

The Shaft: How Some Companies Prey on the Poor — read about these common but legal scams.  The solution is solid education on financial basics.  Junior Achievement does an amazing job of building financial literacy.

Christian preacher arrested in UK for saying that homosexuality is a sin — coming soon to a country near you.  This is the logical conclusion of granting civil rights status to sexual preferences.  The preacher was right, of course.

Why didn’t the media cover the new CDC study on HIV transmission? — Seriously, when a preventable disease rate is 44 times higher for one particular group (gay and bisexual men) shouldn’t that be more newsworthy?

Glenn had a thorough and thoughtful post on women and hair coverings.

Edgar shared some good tips on what to say and what not to say when others are grieving.  The gift certificate idea is very practical.

What TO say:
• “I love you.”
• “I am so sorry.” You don’t have to explain. Anything.
What TO do:
• A wordless hug.
• A card that says simply, “I grieve with you.”
• Instead of bringing cakes, drop off or (better) send gift certificates for restaurants or pizza places.

Super creepy: Planned Parenthood is now encouraging people to not disclose their HIV-positive status to sex partners until they feel ready to do so. (Hat tip: Roxanne)

Stan addresses a common objection to Calvinism — predestination and Hell.

Dan did a great piece called “Poisoning my children’s well.”  Don’t worry, it isn’t like it sounds.  It is excellent advice for Christian parents.

Abortionist’s Hypocrisy: Infant Survives Abortion, Found Alive 2 Days Later — moral schizophrenia on display.

Once the baby was found still hanging onto life after “doctors” tried to kill it, thehospital made a sudden, vain attempt to bring it to health. To complete the circus atmosphere, after the child passed, police in Italy began a homicide investigation of the incident. Why? Because in Italy infanticide is illegal.

Confused? You should be.

This incident really shows the utter, scornful hypocrisy in the pro-abortion position. How is it that one second a child is something to be so contemptuous of that it might be killed in an abortion, yet the next a victim of homicide?

Planned Parenthood targets minority communities.  Listen to this former Board Member:

The free-loader effect

The Pugnacious Irishman has a good piece on the problems of socialism and the free-loader effect.  Here’s an excerpt from a piece he analyzes:

. . . people are flawed and, outside of a family, a religious order, or a small group of friends, they will not continually work hard for the ‘greater good’ if they do not receive the fruits of that work themselves. As an economics major in college, I learned that this theory had a name: ‘the free-loader effect’. It is the natural tendency of people to do less and less work when they realize that they won’t see a proportionate increase in what they can get for it.

That concept is foundational to human nature but Liberals deny it again and again.  Unfortunately, it is a spectacularly expensive lesson that they keep re-learning.

Once when teaching a Junior Achievement class where the exercise was to create a society on a fictional deserted island, a 7th grade girl was adamant that people who did extra work should not get extra food or supplies.  I gave her several attempts to reconsider her position but she held fast.

At the end of the class I was passing out candy to everyone.  I gave the same amount to everyone since the class as a whole was well behaved enough that day (I’m such a Liberal!).  But guess who insisted — with all sincerity — that she should get extra candy because she participated more than others?  Yep, our resident Communist.  I kindly pointed out the inconsistency to her.  Hopefully the lesson sunk in.

Socialism and Communism just don’t work, people.  You can prove it in a Junior Achievement class or you can study history, but you don’t have to look far for the evidence.

Best thank-you ever

I taught an economics lesson for a 4th grade class at the school where my wife is a librarian.  I combined some old Junior Achievement lessons and did a chocolate chip cookie taste test.  I explained a lot of financial and decision making principles along the way, and we discussed how advertising works and what we can do to avoid being tricked. 

The kids were great.  They enjoyed the cookies and asked lots of good questions.  I’ve taken a couple years off after teaching JA classes for various grades for about 12 years.  It was a lot of fun, and I’m thinking about starting it up again.  JA classes are proven to reduce drop-outs.

The teacher had the students write thank-yous, and they were all sweet.  But this one was the best (emphasis added):

Dear Mr. Simpson,

Thank you so much!  You are the best!  You saved me probably more than $100!

Now I know that Mrs. Simpson is very lucky to live with you.

With care,

John

That’s what I’ve been saying all along!  Finally, someone agrees with me.  Be sure to tell Mrs. Simpson (actually, she read the note before I did and was equally amused).