Links July 18, 2022

We spent the weekend in the Catskills. Lots of pictures on Instagram. I’ll clean them up and post them here soon. And I’ll update my Travel Tips for that area. But mostly I want to talk about the economy this week — crazy rent prices, the extended family house, the airbnb economy, and something that I”m calling The Family Corporation.

Ezra Klein is talking about why a middle-class lifestyle is elusive to many. He references his wife’s related piece from 2020 the Atlantic. Annie Lowery wrote, “In one of the best decades the American economy has ever recorded, families were bled dry by landlords, hospital administrators, university bursars and child-care centers.”

This morning, we toured a transition program for Ian. About 40 minutes away, it seems to have the right combination of college support, job training, and social skills. I think we have plan in place. Whew. This was a year-long process. I can’t believe that we spent so much time and money on all of this. I might talk about about this resolution in Wednesday’s Great Leap newsletter.

The Biden Administrator is organizing a counter-force of their own parents groups to neutralize the parents groups that arose spontaneous to combat shutdowns and woke policies. the parents revolt. Good luck with that.

When we were up in the Catskills this weekend, we went to some breweries and one distillery. Yes, we love alcoholic tourism. Over beers and cocktails, Steve gave me a mini-history of micro-brewery industry with Jimmy Carter as the hero of this tale. Would you be interested in an article on this topic?

Watching: What We Do In the Shadows. The Bear

Shopping: When it’s hot and you’re traveling through a European city, the best outfit is a sundress (my favorite of the moment) and Superga sneakers. I get a ton of compliments on this pair of cheap-o sunglasses.

11 thoughts on “Links July 18, 2022

  1. College tuition has flattened out quite a bit, though, and even dropped a little.

    “In 1980, the price to attend a four-year college full-time was $10,231 annually—including tuition, fees, room and board, and adjusted for inflation—according to the National Center for Education Statistics. By 2019-20, the total price increased to $28,775. That’s a 180% increase.

    “College prices have soared across all institution types, but private nonprofit institutions continue to cost more than public colleges. A full-time student paid $48,965 at a private nonprofit college on average in 2019-20 compared to $21,035 at a public university.

    “Since 2019, however, the trend has slowed. In fact, from the academic year 2019-20 to 2021-22, average tuition, fees, and room and board dropped 0.2% at private nonprofit four-year schools, according to the College Board. From 2020-21 to 2021-22, prices dropped a further 1.7%. Costs at public four-year schools followed a similar pattern in the same timeframe.”


    “Enrollment peaked in 2010 at 21.0 million.”
    “Since 2010, enrollment has declined 9.6%.”

    The pandemic years confuse these enrollment stats, but again, enrollment did peak in 2010 and decline after that.


      1. “There was a collapse in the US birth rate starting with the 2008 recession, which means that colleges face a time bomb starting around 2026 in terms of their freshman classes.”

        We call it the demographic cliff.


      2. “Oh, man, it’s got a name!” Yeah, we’ve had consultants and administrators talking about it nonstop for the last 8-10 years.

        Glad you got away for the weekend! That place looks cool. I am in the northeast for a while and considered stopping in New Paltz because of your recommendations, but it was out of the way so wound up in Fishkill instead (pretty cute).


      3. Nice!

        Yes, the demographic cliff is a big problem at community colleges. In K-12, towns would be happy to fire teachers and have smaller programs.


      4. We’d been talking about the demographic cliff, too, in a private K-8, but it hasn’t materialized (even before the pandemic). I don’t see evidence in the public schools either (though the urban schools in the state have experienced a decline, probably related to the pandemic choices made by wealthier parents).

        I think we’re going to see the fluctuating populations play out differently in different colleges and do think that there is going to be a demographic cliff effect at schools that serve economically disadvantaged students, like the ones in the Hechinger report, including those that are also not graduating their students. I am enough of a free marketer to believe that some of those colleges have to close, that the historical reasons for their existence is not a valid reason to keep them open. But, I do worry about the students they serve.


  2. Just got back from a week in London. Thought I’d not escaped without a nice Covid infection, but I’ve tested twice now and both tests were negative. I wore a mask constantly except while outdoors or while eating in a restaurant.

    Can I just say that London has a very usable contactless pay system everywhere, including the Tube. My wallet was stolen on Day 2 of London (they only got my credit card, my debit card, and under $20 in pounds and USD. Bwahaha! They tried to use both cards to buy stuff at Apple London, but my my banks shut that down right quick), and I was able to get my husband’s credit card info (from him) for the same account and set it up on my iPhone for Apple Pay, and I used that and my Apple Watch to pay for everything. London was spectacular as a city (been there twice already, don’t remember loving it as much as I did this time).

    We day tripped in Paris, which was a nightmare. I hate that city, but my sisters wanted to see it. I had brought with me about 50 Euros that were not in my stolen wallet. So I was able to use those as needed. and my sister picked up lunch, and I had already pre-paid for Eurostar and the tour bus.

    Oh, and few people wore masks, in London, in Paris, even in Stockholm (we stopped there for a few hours because of a layover); they also didn’t wear them on the planes or public transit. Insane people. When we flew to and from Vienna on various German-based airlines, they required masks.

    We mostly escaped the London heat wave. We left Monday and landed in Stockholm, a beautiful sunny 72 degrees

    My NYC-area sisters were amazed at how clean everything was in Europe.


  3. “The Biden Administrator is organizing a counter-force of their own parents groups to neutralize the parents groups that arose spontaneous to combat shutdowns and woke policies. the parents revolt. Good luck with that.” Widely reported polling has respondents trusting the Reeps more than the Dems on education issues – not by much, but it used to be Dems over Reeps by fifteen per cent or more. This is desperate times for the teachers/Dems alliance.


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