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Is there a ‘female’ brain?

Friday, March 15th, 2019

the idea of “male” and “female” brains is entirely too simplistic. Brains aren’t binary, and the similarities dwarf the differences. But the differences – well, they matter… On average, males are far more likely to be autistic, die by suicide, wind up in jail, specialize in competing and be interested in systems. They are more risk-taking, single-minded and status-seeking. Females are far more likely to specialize in caring and be interested in people – and to suffer from depression.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

The awful truth about social programs

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Oct. 13 2012
Hardly any of the countless programs that spend billions of dollars to help the poor and vulnerable are measured for results. According to the Cato Institute… “We are spending more than enough money to fight poverty but not spending it in ways that actually reduce poverty”… we’ve got to start spending public money more wisely. To do that, we need rigorous evidence about what works.

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Posted in Social Security Debates | 1 Comment »

The long climb from inequality

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Jul. 14 2012
The real issue is equality of opportunity – the ability of people in the lower class to move up the ladder. Equality of opportunity is what we care about the most. We want to believe that we live in a meritocratic society where everyone has an equal chance to succeed. But that is less and less the case. And the remedies are not at all obvious… It’s not that lower-class parents are paying less attention to their kids than they used to. The gap arises because educated parents are investing far more time, effort and money in their kids than ever before… Racial disparities are narrowing, but class disparities are widening dramatically.

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Posted in Equality Debates | No Comments »

Corporations behave badly – and we pay

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Jul. 05 2012
Once upon a time, banks and drug companies enjoyed good reputations and a relatively high degree of trust. Most people regarded them as useful industries that created products and services that benefited society… Today these industries are movie villains – multibillion-dollar enterprises portrayed as so rapacious they’ll do anything to turn a buck. Judging by current events, this characterization is all too true. Some of the most powerful people in these lines of work will lie, cheat and steal until they get caught, all the while assuring us that they are adding incomparable value to society.

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Doctor-bashing’s not the cure for health-care costs

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

May. 17, 2012
… everyone behaves as if the competition for resources is a zero-sum game and no one is rewarded for acting in the collective interest. The system virtually guarantees turf wars. As a result, the medical professions resemble medieval guilds – fiercely protectionist, rigidly conservative and jealous of their status and perks… There are lots of cheaper, more effective ways to do health care. But the system is rigged to squash innovation… We spend around 12 per cent of our GDP on health care. Singapore spends around 2.4 per cent. By almost any measure, Singapore has better health-care outcomes than we have.

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The professional-class bubble is bursting

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Apr. 28, 2012
The Great Reset has hit the professional classes too. Young professionals are facing a painful double squeeze. The cost of a degree has gone way up, and the economic benefit it confers has gone way down. Think twice before you encourage your daughter to go to law or med school, especially if she’ll have to borrow heavily to do it. On top of that, these young professionals are starting their working lives later than ever before. By the time they are credentialed and hit the work force, they’re in their early 30s… The professional classes can’t escape the gales of change that are ripping through society. They’ll adapt. But they’ll never be so comfortable again.

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What liberals can learn from conservatives

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Apr. 21, 2012
The Righteous Mind, is a must-read for anyone who’s dumbfounded that Stephen Harper got to be prime minister, or that so many of his obviously stupid policies are so popular, or that Albertans appear to be on the verge of electing a party full of bigots and climate-change deniers… conservatives and liberals operate with two quite different moral systems. Liberals are almost exclusively concerned with harm and fairness… Conservatives have a wider moral palate. They are also concerned with loyalty, authority and sanctity

Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »

Is all-day kindergarten really a leg up?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Feb. 14, 2012
According to its advocates, all-day kindergarten… offers a crucial leg up for disadvantaged children. For this reason alone, it’s essential to our economic prosperity… In 2002, the U.S. government launched the massive Head Start Impact Study to determine how well the program worked. The final report… found that the modest gains achieved by Head Start students wore off by the end of Grade 1 – they wound up no further ahead than those who weren’t in the program… the benefits of early childhood education have been vastly overstated. It’s not a magic bullet.

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Posted in Education Policy Context | No Comments »

We’re ripe for a great disruption in higher education

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Feb. 04, 2012
Until now, online education has been regarded as the poor stepchild of the higher-education world – widely suspected of being a second-rate substitute for the real thing. But that’s about to change. The digital revolution is going to disrupt higher education in the same way it’s disrupted so many other industries… The digital revolution will make higher education better, cheaper, more accessible, more engaging and far more customized than anything that exists today. It’ll also turn our current institutions upside down.

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Posted in Education Delivery System | No Comments »

Charities working hard for your money

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Dec. 20, 2011
Social services come in all shapes and sizes. Some are remarkably effective, and some are not. Some are nimble and creative, and some are not. The best ones change people’s lives. But too many of them mistake activity for results… Good social-service agencies are incredibly important, because the government can’t possibly do what they do. Governments aren’t flexible, efficient or smart enough. But social-service agencies, like everybody else, will have to get much better at what they do. They’ve got to compete harder than ever for donor money.

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Posted in Inclusion Delivery System | No Comments »

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