This weekend, I saw two very interesting articles, and both of them had one thing in common; they were trying to look at #4 on the Pareto chart, more or less. For the uninitiated, the Pareto Principle states that 80% of a given problem can be linked to the top one or two causes. It derives from the fact that across most cultures, 20% of the population controls 80% of the resources.
The two cases? First, a study (done here in MN) claimed that a "Head Start Plus" program costing $5000/child-year was a success. Now, I checked the stats, and there is a real difference. However, when you're bragging about 71% high school graduation rates and 17% felony arrest rates (vs. 62%/21%) and such, it suggests that there are some bigger fish to fry.
Maybe, just maybe, we need to stop paying people to have children out of wedlock and telling them not to work? Maybe we need to remind kids that there are nasty consequences to unrestrained sexuality?
Just a thought or two...
Case #2 is a study of life expectancy, where the United States has apparently fallen to 42nd worldwide. The authors predictably discuss access to health insurance, but miss a far bigger issue; the big hitters in life expectancy are smoking, obesity, diet, exercise, and to a lesser extent, abuse of sexuality. It might do far more for life expectancy to stop subsidizing corn, sugar, tobacco, and so on than to get more on medical care.
“Let ‘em Cheer. They Own The Place” - Not sure what MNGOP representative said that, but it may be the iconic statement about this past session. It was a five month union pork orgy. Here’s the m...
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