I have a very busy day today so I have just one item.
The Wall Street Journal has a cautionary tale for lovers of liberty, in the form of Chilean Red Diaper Baby, Camila Vallejo. The 23 year old Ms. Vallejo has become the face of communism for the only country in Latin America that has made a serious effort over the last few decades to set such unproductive but none the less addictive ideas aside.
Like many Chilean women (certainly all of them that I know personally - I'm not really sure how that works) Ms. Vallejo is so attractive, that many men might not mind a little tyranny so long as she were to bring it to them personally. She's like Obama in that respect.
No, I don't mean Obama is attractive in that way, but he is attractive to the people that voted for him in ways that have absolutely nothing to do with the policies he supports. The people that voted for Obama did so because he was "so well spoken" or "so clean cut looking" or "because he's black". The idea of nationalizing 1/6 of the economy never came up.
The lesson I think we should be taking from the rise of Camila is that if we are going to cut spending (and we are) then it's important to cut those things that have positive downside effects. We don't want to give the entitled generation all the free stuff they demand. Because if we do, all it does is cement the sense of entitlement, and give us an entire generation like Ms. Vallejo - who are unable to see the consequences of their own proposals. As in most things, the liberal left in the form of the Occupy movement, has things 100% wrong. The things they want most are the exactly things we should be least willing to give them.
We would never consider a federal grant program that would send every American child to a communist indoctrination center for four years, and yet in many cases that's exactly what a university degree has become. So maybe rather than charging more for a degree in Math or engineering as many colleges are now proposing, maybe that's the only thing we should be willing to provide funding for. Let the "critical theory" and "women's studies" students pay their own way.
Or to put it another way, if you're majoring in something that might be useful to society like engineering, then there should be some public money for you. But if you're learning about "art history" or "puppetry" (or for that matter "education") that fine - no one will stop you. But you're going to have to pay for it on your own.
In Tom Friedman's glorious China, they restrict the availability of degree programs for any career where there is an ongoing unemployment rate above the average. Under their program, there are no puppetry degrees, and far fewer in journalism. I'll bet Tom is against that part of the Chinese plan (although he'll say so with far more pomposity) but think of all the grief it would save us.
I don't know where Camila Vallejo learned her stupid ideas, but I know that she's never been presented with a bill for them. If she had, she might feel differently. It will be interesting to see if she recants her stupidity as she gets older.