Monday, September 14, 2009

Tariffs and trade wars

One of the first papers, I wrote in college was on the onerous steel tariffs we used to have back in 2001. Oh the folly of tariffs, subsidies, and trade restrictions. I know it's naive to think that we could ever have truly free trade, but it makes so much sense. Otherwise you get into nasty trade wars like the one we're falling into with China right now. And how arbitrary is this?! Because we decided to levy tariffs on Chinese tires, the chicken farmers of America and our already weak auto industry will suffer China's retribution. All I can do is shake my head.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary to my Rationally Exuberant self!

So in honor of the anniversary of my blog and because it has started to get cold again, I've resolved to start blogging again, plus it's getting colder so I'll be indoors more. Another theory I have about my blogging hiatus is that my blogging was directly correlated to how much time and coffee I consumed at Murky Coffee. Since it closed, my life just hasn't been the same...sigh.

I initially started this blog thinking it would prepare me for an ambitious role in public policy analysis - or that it would at least hone my chops a bit. But let's be real. I'm a people person. I'm probs going to continue in fundraising and or perhaps consulting. I do like solving problems, giving presentations, and basically just helping people. But that upcoming Masters in Public Policy is not all for naught. I do think it has given me a more realistic perspective on government, tamed my knee-jerk "government bad" grunting, and exposed me to some awesome people. So resolved, you'll see more posts, more candor, and more slice-of-Whitney-life variety on this site from now on.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I would have done well in finishing school

If I had my way, I'd be a modern day version of those women in Jane Austen novels. I'd be well educated, well read, articulate, demure but assertive when need be...and I'd know how to draw, paint, sew, play piano, and speak at least three different languages. There just never seems to be enough time!

I was reminded of this ill-fated aspiration of mine when I read this op-ed in Forbes this morning - "What about Motherhood?" - in which the author suggested to his 18 year old daughter that perhaps he should send her to a two year finishing school in Switzerland rather than college. After all, what does the American college do to prepare a young woman to be a wife and mother? Practically nothing! You may become well-educated but with college standards and requirements evaporating most women can't really be considered "well read" anymore and few colleges require the languages. Maybe if colleges required some finance, home economics, and cooking? But such suggestions are blasphemy to the liberal academia.

I would have done welll in finishing school.