Financial Times

How I remember the New York Times doesn’t have me in mind:

“You had a lot of people who graduated to a level of consumption they could not really afford,” said Adrianne Shapira, a retail analyst at Goldman Sachs. “Two-hundred-dollar pairs of denim were plausible when home values soared, but now $100 jeans are looking more reasonable.”

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And on paying kids for good grades, from an MSN article:

“Plenty of parents do give money in exchange for A’s and B’s — often $5 to $20 for top marks or $100 for a straight-A report card.”

When one expert expressed a concern that doing so would prevent kids from developing a good work ethic,  “she got plenty of flak from parents who pay for grades. Many made the argument that going to school is a child’s job, making it appropriate to link pay with performance.”  The expert responds that “going to school is the child’s role in the family, just as her role as a mother is to plan meals for her kids.  ‘It’s not something I expect to get paid for . . . It’s what I do as part of the family.”

You know, it seems a bit cruel to encourage parents to pay for their kids to perform in school . . . and then put pressure on parents to pay for the college that the child gets into as a result of those well-paid grades.  Just a thought.  Besides, my brother could earn As in school while half asleep, while others might work their tails off for a B.  Are we rewarding effort or marks, here?  And then the child might get wise and start taking easy classes–three hours of P.E., anyone?

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In other news, today is the first day of Cornell’s spring semester.  To attend class, students must be registered.  To be registered, the student cannot have an outstanding balance on his bursar account from last semester.  Oh yes, and today is also a bank holiday.  Think about all of the fun that comes from such a confluence.


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