Monday Musings 47

I am aware that I write some things more than once. I have written almost 800 posts in 28 months and cannot remember everything I’ve ever written. However, most of the time that I repeat myself is for effect.

I have written many times that if you’re reading the blog then you should read the comments. I have no way of knowing how many of you are doing so. Below is an exchange of comments between me and photobyjohnbo. By the way, if you like great photography you should check out his blog.

 

photobyjohnbo:

Looks like you hit a chord with people and your comments on technical vs college education. As a lifetime member of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and a former technical trades editor, you are certainly preaching to this member of the choir.

My favorite question to young people mentioning college is, “Do you know what the NDSU (North Dakota State University) grad says to the NDSCS (North Dakota State College of Science) Grad?”
No.?.?
“Will that be fries with your order, sir?”
NDSCS is one of the state’s major technical colleges. Most people are familiar with the NDSU Bison.

 

My reply:

LOL!

Obviously I have nothing against a college education. I have two degrees and the second one, my graduate degree in Economics, opened a lot of doors for me until it didn’t. However, I fervently maintain that too many people attend college and not enough people learn a skilled trade. I also steadfastly maintain that the misguided government policies that excessively subsidize consumption of “higher education” are the single biggest reason college costs have exploded. As the economist in me knows, an exogenous upward shift in the demand curve of a good or service–in this case due to subsidization–combined with a relatively fixed supply (in large part due to universities seeing themselves as a luxury good) means the only variable that can adjust is price and it can only go straight up.

What’s the solution? I have my own ideas, but in this country of excessive political polarization it is doubtful anything will get done. In fact, it is likely that the only change will result in the situation getting worse as people almost always choose what they think is the path of least resistance and voting themselves a “free” college education fits that definition. Of course, NOTHING is free even if it seems to be free to you.

 

In this country, politicians are far less concerned about quality governance than about getting elected/re-elected. Promising “free” stuff is a great way to make the latter happen, not such a good way for the former. Does anyone else have anything to offer?

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My OCD is really locking in on this car, a Maserati GranTurismo (this one is a 2008 model). I think the Buick-like portholes are playing a large role in that new obsession, perhaps more in my subconscious than conscious mind. The first family car I remember and the first car I ever drove was a 1956 Buick Century.

As our latest setback has pushed the relocation timetable into limbo, the search for a Corvette companion/grocery car has abated. I also realize that we can achieve our goal of a grocery car with style and performance less expensively than buying one of these. All I can say is, Carpe Diem!

 

#MondayMusings

#SayNoToCareerPoliticians

#2008MaseratiGranTurismo

#CarpeDiem!

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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What To Say Saturday

The flash drive with my copy of the Action! PC Football 2020 NFL game arrived in the mail yesterday. Like every other piece of mail since the coronavirus situation exploded, the envelope was disinfected and will stay “quarantined” for at least two days before I open it. Yes, there are no documented cases of transmission via mail. Uh, tell that to my OCD brain.

Unfortunately for me, behaviors adopted ostensibly for the crisis will almost certainly continue for the rest of my life. I think millions of people, tens of millions, will develop a type of PTSD that could affect them for a long time, if not the rest of their lives.

I do not pretend to know what is the right path for governments and their citizens to adopt in terms of “normalization.” Some countries, like Sweden, didn’t really lockdown. The government issued voluntary guidelines for behavior while emphasizing keeping a distance from vulnerable segments of the population, like the elderly. The Swedish government’s goal was to reach herd immunity.

In South Korea, the country was also not ever placed under a mandatory stay-at-home order. However, the South Korean government instituted widespread testing and contact tracing. If someone in your neighborhood tested positive, the entire neighborhood received texts naming the person(s) and their address(es). I don’t think most US citizens would tolerate that type of government “intrusion” even if it saves lives. My understanding (blogger engages in frantic Internet search to find articles with data, but comes up empty) is that South Korea has had very low rates of infection and death without the total disruption to the economy that other countries, like the US, have experienced.

Even people with MDs and Ph.Ds in epidemiology don’t KNOW what the “optimal” path for policy is. Their guesses are better informed than most of the rest of us, but they don’t KNOW. However, doing nothing and pretending the situation doesn’t exist is almost certainly not the best course of action.

As I may have written before, my routine has been affected far less than most people. I don’t “work” and I don’t have a large group of people with whom I socialize on a regular basis. Basically, my wonderful wife and I can’t dine out, can’t attend car shows or visit antique stores. Still, perception is reality even if it isn’t. I perceive that my life has been radically altered and some of my behavior reinforces that perception.

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Executing a hard turn…how about this as a Corvette companion/grocery car?

 

Used 2008 Maserati GranTurismo Coupe Kenner, LA 70065 - 550668987 - 4

 

From this AutoTrader ad a picture of a 2008 Maserati GranTurismo. This BEAUTIFUL car is in Grigio Touring Metallic over Grigio Medio. That’s basically Gray over Gray.

This example has 16,600 miles and the seller, a dealer in Louisiana, is asking $25,880. According to the ad, the Kelley Blue Book® value range is $26,431 to $30,558. It is rare to see a dealer ask less than the low end of this range.

The Maserati GranTurismo qualifies as a grocery car because it has four seats and a trunk. The fact that it has 405 HP/339 LB-FT of torque and is a beautiful car are just bonuses, really. It’s a good thing I’m not Pinocchio because my nose would be growing…

My wonderful wife would prefer a convertible and I would prefer an S spec car, but those cost more money. For a little more than 40 percent of what we paid for each of our Corvettes, we could have a stylish, high-performance Italian car with a Ferrari engine. Neither of us has ever owned an Italian car.

Any thoughts on this car? This is not the Maserati 3200GT that was voted out, 3-2, but is obviously similar. I just want this coronavirus situation to go away so we can proceed with our lives and move to the desert.

 

#OCD

#PTSD

#2008MaseratiGranTurismo

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.