Sunday, August 02, 2009

"Markets" In Everything: Free, Virtual Education

WASHINGTON (AFP)They don't offer degrees but then they don't charge tuition either. Colleges and universities across the United States are offering free courses online on virtually every subject imaginable, including videotaped lectures by some of their most distinguished professors.

HT: Philip Miller


At 8/02/2009 12:30 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Heck! I'm getting and education on this site and a few other similer sites like Cafe Hayek...:-)

At 8/02/2009 2:03 PM, Anonymous Benny The Libertarian said...

Hey, if the AMA maintains a noose on doctors supply, and raises prices, do the various academic accreditation entities do the same thing in education?
Should we privatize state universities? Sell them outright?
Seems to me, we could have web colleges for free, and just go to serious, monitored testing of students.
Students get tested, after showing serious ID and forms of proof of identity. I always loved standardized testing--felt I was on a even playing field with everybody else.
Makes me wonder if the University of Michigan should really be supported by tax dollars anymore. I say drop it.

At 8/02/2009 3:44 PM, Blogger Matz said...

Any idea on the web links, where the free online courses are available ?

At 8/02/2009 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You get what you pay for, there and here.

At 8/02/2009 5:35 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Most would not work hard enough to understand the material. It's the difference between a steep hike everyday, while pushing yourself beyond your capacity, and taking a walk whenever you feel like it.

Also, there may be a free lunch. Productivity can produce 11 lunches instead of 10.

Unfortunately, the U.S. government wants to take away lunches:

The cash for clunkers program uses your money to destroy your assets (taxpayers will pay later).

Cash for clunkers:

Owners of gas-guzzlers can receive rebates of $3,500 or $4,500 toward the purchase of a new fuel-efficient car.

What Happens to Old Cars Under the Cash for Clunkers Program?

Dealers would send the Cash for Clunkers trade-ins to a salvage operator. The legislation requires the engine, transmission and other drivetrain components to be destroyed so they can’t be reused and continue to pollute the air and burn excessive amounts of fuel.

President Obama Calls Cash for Clunkers Overwhelming Success
By Michael Coleman
Friday, 31 July 2009

Conservatives are ridiculing the controversial "cash-for-clunkers" car program that ran through a billion dollars in less than a week, but President Obama says it's an "overwhelming success."

The White House just sent out a statement praising a U.S. House vote to inject $2 billion more into the program this afternoon.

At 8/02/2009 5:47 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Also, raising taxes on the rich, while limiting the rich from earning taxable income (e.g. salary caps and small bonuses) doesn't make much sense either.

At 8/02/2009 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Peak, except the production of a new vehicle emits far more CO2 than will ever be saved by operating the new vehicle relative to the old gas guzzler during the new vehicle's useful life.

The CO2 emitted in the production of the existing gas guzzler is a sunk cost - unrecoverable CO2. Destroying the vehicle doesn't bring it back. In fact, recycling the old vehicle emits more CO2.

So Cash for Clunkers emits MORE CO2 into the air, not less, and it does it in one fell swoop from factories instead of over many years from the tailpipe.

The most environmentally friendly decision is to continue to drive your gas guzzler until it no longer functions, and only then buy the most efficient vehicle for your needs.

But that wouldn't give you that pompous air of superiority, would it?

Given how quickly the program ran out of money, I have a hunch that car dealers are pulling a fast one over the government. I doubt all those new cars were sold. I also doubt all those trade-ins will be destroyed.

For that matter, those vehicles contain valuable, pre-fabricated parts. By destroying them, you eliminate the supply of spare parts to repair other vehicles of that type. This will increase parts prices and decrease the service life of existing cars - an implicit tax on current car owners.

By forcing people to purchase new cars before they otherwise would, we are losing a lot of useful value from the CO2 already expended and accelerating the emission of more CO2 to produce new cars.

So screw the environment! We want to save GM, save UAW, and look good in our tiny cars (oh, and dying in higher numbers in accidents).

At 8/02/2009 11:06 PM, Blogger Angela said...

So Professor Perry, are you going to videotape some classes for us?

I hear it's what all the cool instructors are doing. :)

At 8/02/2009 11:16 PM, Anonymous Benny The Libertarian said...

Videotaped classes? Great idea. We could videotape Dr. Perry one time, and then privatize the University of Michigan.
Why pay a salary, health care, pension etc of a prof, when you could just use videotapes?
This is getting better all the time...

At 8/03/2009 6:47 AM, Blogger 1 said...

Regarding Cash for Clunkers, got to give props to Peak Trader for his: "The cash for clunkers program uses your money to destroy your assets (taxpayers will pay later)" comment...

There's something else about the Clash for Clunkers program that Glenn Beck points out: Take A Real Good Lok At What You Are Agreeing To!!

Professor Mark awhile back posted a link to Academic Earth, an online lecture site covering quite a few topics with notable people in their respective fields participating...

Regarding the recycling of old cars for new, well Penn & Teller can give you the real lowdown on recycling...

At 8/03/2009 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Angela....where is your youtube video MP? How about an International Finance video, a Cash for clunkers video, healthcare, medicare, or you pick....

At 8/05/2009 11:17 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Yeah, Peak, except the production of a new vehicle emits far more CO2 than will ever be saved by operating the new vehicle relative to the old gas guzzler during the new vehicle's useful life.

Penny-wise, pound foolish.

The same is true of the Prius. Even if it gets 60mpg, the equivalent standard Honda Civic was getting 35-40mpg. The Prius, however, lists (to say nothing of any demand premium paid at the dealership) for $4k to $6k more (add 10% to that for the additional finance costs).

Given that the average person drives not more than 12k miles per year, there is a simple exercise to perform -- how long before the additional gas expense, at, say, $5 a gallon is greater than the added cost of the vehicle?

After you calculate that, realize that the average length of ownership of a vehicle in the USA is only 5 years.

DOH !!!


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