Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: USA

A Radical Proposal for Kindergarten and Pre-K

In our schools, we are often trying to accomplish two conflicting goals at once:

  1. We want our quickest students to maximize their potential–this means we want them to be in classes that move at their pace.
  2. We don’t want our slower students to be dismissed and devalued, so we are reluctant to separate them from the quicker students and put them in remedial classes where they may be given a low priority.

If we put fast students and slow students in the same age group together, the class will either move at a pace that’s too slow for the quick kids or too fast for the slow kids. If we separate them, educational resources tend to flow disproportionately to the kids who are already at an advantage, as they tend to have the most involved parents.

I have a suggestion to get around this problem while at the same time resolving public policy disputes about state support for expanding Pre-K education.

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What’s Next for the Healthcare Debate After Trumpcare

Trumpcare has been defeated, and it went down meekly, failing even to receive a vote in the house. But this is not over–ever since Obamacare was passed, the Republicans have taken a variety of low-profile steps to weaken the law and make it less effective. Their hope now is that if they wait, the damage they’ve inflicted and continue to inflict on the system will cause it to unravel, giving them an opportunity to try again.

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Trumpcare Would Cripple Medicaid

A couple weeks ago, we talked about how the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) would undermine the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) by weakening the individual mandate and distributing flat subsidies indexed to age rather than income. The CBO confirmed the level of damage this would do, estimating that 24 million additional Americans would lose coverage by 2026, increasing the uninsured population from 28 million to 52 million. But these projected losses are not wholly attributed to the changes to the mandate and the subsidies–they are also attributed to a provision of Trumpcare which block grants Medicaid. So today I want to talk about how Trumpcare changes the way Medicaid works.

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No Easy Answers: Why Vox is an Anti-Intellectual Publication and How it Can Do Better

The other day, I ran across a piece on Vox by Zach Beauchamp entitled “No easy answers: why left-wing economics is not the answer to right wing populism.” This piece captures everything that has always bothered me about Vox. Today I’d like to dissect this piece and show you what I mean.

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How Bad Does Trump Have to Be to Match George W. Bush?

Former President George W. Bush has been out and about, charming people with his paintings and his inability to put on a poncho, all in a bid to get people to buy his book of paintings to raise money for veterans. It sounds nice, but of course Bush is the reason so many of these vets need money in the first place–they were wounded, disabled, and sometimes killed in the tremendously expensive wars he started. Yet because Donald Trump has moved the Republican Party so far to the right, Bush now strikes many people as a moderate, and it’s become increasingly common for Trump critics to pine for the 00’s and praise the Bush administration. This nostalgic narrative will likely become more dominant as the memory of the 00’s continues to fade. But today I want to tilt against this windmill and show how much work Trump will have to do to fail as hard as Bush failed.

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