Thursday, October 8, 2015

More of Those Overwhelming Tabs

As if yesterday's pile o' tabs wasn't enough, here are more. Those were just the ones from a single browser window. These are from some of my other windows.

Welfare makes America more entrepreneurial, from the Atlantic. Research shows that when governments provide citizens with economic security, they embolden them to take more risks.

Black patients fare better than whites when both get same healthcare, study finds. From the LA Times. The system studied was the VA, where black and white veterans have equal access to care, regardless of income, and (I'd say) black veterans may have easier access because they are more likely to live in or near large cities, where VA services are mostly located.

If you heard any of the brouhaha questioning whether Black Lives Matter advocate Shaun King is actually black (a rumor started by right-wing jerks), here's the piece King wrote explaining his life.

This one connects with some of the links about gun violence from yesterday: Mass shootings are not the real problem. "Everyday gun violence in black communities kills many more Americans. Why do we keep ignoring it?' By Jamelle Bouie. Not to mention this Mother Jones long read on guns: What does gun violence really cost?

The joyful, illiterate kindergartners of Finland. Playing is their "work," if anything is. Reading comes when the kid is ready for it.

No, Native Americans aren't genetically more susceptible to alcoholism. This is one of those cultural stories that I absorbed and believed.

Have we really ever tried sustained, targeted school funding for America’s neediest children? From School Finance 101. Which pairs well with this article from education professor Paul Thomas, What's Responsible for America's Persistent Achievement Gap? The truth is as simple as it is devastating. And this: Six reasons black boys without disability wind up in special education.

We've called autism a disease for decades. We were wrong. From Vox.

The case for open borders. Also from Vox.

The church of self-help: There’s a reason the poor don’t rise up over inequality. Because our culture shames them. By one of my favorite business writers, Helaine Olen, author of Pound Foolish.

Mychal Denzel Smith writes for the Nation: Abolish the Police. Instead, Let’s Have Full Social, Economic, and Political Equality. He says, "When people ask me, 'Who will protect us,' I want to say: Who protects you now?"

Most of your asparagus comes from abroad these days. Here's why.

And then some history lessons. No Blacks Allowed: Oregon’s dark past as a racist utopia explains why so few blacks are there today. And New York destroyed a village full of African-American landowners to create Central Park. And this about one of the lesser known heroes of the Civil Rights movement: Bayard Rustin and the Rise and Decline of the Black Protest Movement.

I've written about this research before, but here's a new article about it: The remarkable thing that happens to poor kids when you give their parents a little money. From the Washington Post's WonkBlog.

Then there's another really old tab with a Dave Roberts article from his Grist days: We can solve climate change, but it won’t be cheap or easy.

Hmmm. From Fortune: The resume gap: Are different gender styles contributing to tech's dismal diversity?

Welfare reform under Bill Clinton has been terrible for the poor, I'd say. This article from Harpur's on the real face of welfare reform provides details:

In 1995, about 14 million Americans were on welfare; today, that number is down to 4.2 million. Meanwhile, the benefits received by families with no other cash income now bring them to less than half the federal poverty line, according to research by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In 2014, the median family of three on welfare received a monthly check of just $428, and other government assistance programs have seen their budgets slashed even further. For every hundred families with children that are living in poverty, sixty-eight were able to access cash assistance before Bill Clinton’s welfare reform. By 2013, that number had fallen to twenty-six.
Finally, there's this transcript of an interview with Bryan Caplan, an economist who summarizes research on the effect of parenting on how kids turn out. As with the writings of Judith Rich Harris (which I've mentioned several times before), it turns out there's not a lot that comes from parenting. Kids who are adopted into a high-IQ family get an initial bump in IQ, but it goes away by age 18; kids adopted into a church-going family are no more likely to be church-going by the time they reach their 30s than kids who didn't go to church:
...what it looks like in the data is that there are some people who proverbially have the God-sized hole in their hearts, and other people who doubt. And out of people who are raised religiously who just don't feel it, they keep doing it for a while and then...there's a sharp decline in their 20s, and by the 30s we really just don't see anything. On the other hand there are plenty of people who are not raised religiously who do feel this God‐sized hole in their hearts and just start looking around for something to believe in once they become adults.

...there indeed seem to be genes for religiosity, and so in religious families they are, at a genetic level, probably on average a lot more religious. And they pass those genes on to their kids and then normally those kids keep doing it. But in the cases where you happen to get different genes, then those kids really have a very strong tendency to just give up on it.
Beyond religiosity and intelligence, Caplan covers health/longevity, happiness, success, educational attainment, and likelihood of divorce. The upshot for parents is that they should
do the stuff that you actually enjoy doing, the activities that you would do with your kids even if you didn't think there is any long run benefits.... On the other hand, the stuff that's painful, the part of parenting that makes you wish that you didn't have kids, this is the part where I say this stuff looks like you really could stop doing it without doing any long run damage. Especially as is often the case, where kids don't want to do the stuff that you're forcing them to do either. It really is an across the board win, where the parents are happier, kids are happier and the long run looks like it's going to be the same either way.
That doesn't include consequence-free choices for kids, though, from Caplan's perspective.
If you have a roommate and they're not acting well, and you can figure out some way to treat them so they will behave, that's a good reason to do it. If someone says yeah, but when they're 50, they'll be back to their usual tricks -- who cares? Then you won't be living with them anyway.
So enforcing some discipline (like not kicking or hitting, or cleaning up after yourself) is worth doing if only because it makes the parent's life with their child-roommate better, not because it will change the kid forever.

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