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Independence and specialization: part I

Independence and specialization: part I

Despite the contemporary narrative surrounding the decline of low-skill manufacturing jobs, specialization as the only source of stability and career path is the historical norm. During the Colonial era, the standard professional arrangement was tradesman, and with it apprenticeships.  As part of the apprenticeship process the final stage was achievement of Master status obtained either…

Government bloat: societal divide

Government bloat: societal divide

In his writing regarding the ratio of federal employees to federal contractors (1.5 million : 15 million), economic historian and professor Brian Domitrovic argued that the contractor bubble is rooted in a desire to undermine the private sector. His argument is that federal contractors are in reality federal employees under a different name. The root of Domitrovic’s thesis lies in American…

Things and joy

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Things and joy

“I looked around the rooms I did not see as rooms, but more as landscapes for my emotions, a biography of memory.”…

Low entry threshold, or affirmative action: a case study

Low entry threshold, or affirmative action: a case study

Over the 2010s, a pointless drama played out in the American Supreme Court - twice. A young woman, Abby Fisher, filed a personal injury lawsuit against University of Texas at Austin for not admitting her as an undergraduate. In fairness to Fisher, it turned out that the suit was the concoction of adults in her life who wanted it to become the landmark case that would bring down institutional…

Caveat emptor: Or credulity's reward

Caveat emptor: Or credulity's reward

At the end of April 2019, a 28-year old confidence woman, Anna Sorokin, received a lengthy prison sentence for fraud. The sequence of events was cinematic in terms of the audacity of her swindle, which the courts concluded to be well in excess of $250,000. Using the alias Anna Delvey and claiming to be a German trust-fund baby, over the course of four years she materialized for periods in New…

Cogitations: The Essence of the Self and the Longing for the Other

Cogitations:  The Essence of the Self and the Longing for the Other

The world today is busy. Everyone has a place they must be. Everyone has a pressing engagement they cannot miss. Grownups are overwhelmed at work. Children are overwhelmed at school. There is never enough time and always too much to do. What we forget in the midst of our distractedness, however, is to communicate and forge meaningful relationships. In the century of Twitter and Facebook, words…

"Access" to upward mobility: A case study

"Access" to upward mobility: A case study

In June 2016, the New York Times published an exposé on Valparaiso University School of Law and their process for recruiting new students. The piece provoked a polemic on the subject of the place of markets and government intervention in education because it revealed that the problematic practices employed by the school were simply standard for a certain level of institution. It was a very…

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