Against Full-Day Kindergarten

The Common Core State Standards website asks, Q: Why do we need educational standards? A: We need standards to ensure that all students, no matter where they live, are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Let’s assume for a moment that that is the goal of primary and secondary education. (Let’s also […]

On the Arlington Central School District Budget (2012-2013)

Arlington Central School District budget planning for FY 2012-2013 has resulted in a fairly good budget. I particularly like the appendices that are included for the first time in this year’s budget book. Budget creation is a bit of a balancing act. This year our district has done well in limiting the increase in costs […]

Ink

I just spent $80 on ink cartridges for my printer. The lad at CVS had to get a key from a locked drawer behind the counter in order to release them for me. I’ve had an easier time purchasing cigarettes. Theft is a risk because there is excess demand unmet at the price asked.* Counterfeit […]

Comments on the Arlington Central School District Budget (2010-2011)

The Board of Education of the Arlington Central School District has made the difficult decision to close an elementary school in order to reduce the district’s budget.There are obviously consequences to this decision other than the money involved. Some are logistical, such as the effect on bus routes and the dispersion of the population to […]

Competitive Pricing of Substitutes in Transportation

Nate Silver has an interesting, if partial, analysis of statistics comparing modes of transportation based on the National Household Travel Survey. He wonders why Americans prefer to drive long distances than fly, and calculates the costs to be generally cheaper if one flies. Today the Poughkeepsie Journal did the same thing for the costs of […]

Procrastination has its Virtues

I’m presently working on remodeling the upstairs bathroom, and have been for some time. In order to do this on the cheap, I planned to replace the doors and trim on the existing cabinets. However, the cabinets were not symmetrical. In order to fix that glaring flaw, I removed the cabinets, disassembled them, cut them […]

Benefits

Health care as an employer-provided benefit arose in response to salary caps and payroll taxes [citation needed]. It was a way to compete for employees by increasing the employee’s effective salary without having to pay all of the cost. Employee benefits, as part of the total compensation package, are still used to compete for quality […]

What Benefit are Wire Services in a Well-Connected World?

As a former employee of The Associated Press, it’s been somewhat embarrassing to watch their plodding attempts to control data which has already escaped from their control. I recall some discussions with graphics and photo editors in 1996 or so about the feasibility of preventing unauthorized copying of images, while still allowing authorized copies. We […]

Statistical Enquiry of the Devil’s Playground

Certain laws and regulations, and policies related to those, have a non-trivial impact on statistics which are not normally thought of in concert with those laws. For example, mandatory sentencing increases incarceration rates, which in turn will decrease the employable population. Child labor laws directly impact the employable population, but so do mandatory attendance requirements […]

A Little Less Help, Please

For those of you not paying attention, fuel costs are up. This change in circumstances changes the calculation of which mode of operation is optimal. In the case of transportation, the cost of long-haul packet shipping over railroads has dropped below that of trucks. Commenting on this drop, Matthew Yglesias remarks, Clearly trucks have a […]