Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Census and the Magic Question

Up until the 1950s....it was a regular part of the Census....asking people if they were American citizens.  This week....Trump came up and said that the question would be added back into the system, and upset a bunch of folks.

What likely will happen?

'Bob' will show up at the door and ask the question as part of the Census, and one of two things will happen with foreigners.  Either they will answer correctly and note they are not a citizen, which will get them off 'bean-count' list.....or they will answer that they are a citizen (basically lying). 

There are a couple of problems that then play out.  Lets say that this record is publicly noted somewhere in the digital world, and the Cruz-family at such-and-such address said they were American citizens but they lied.  Well....when they reach some stage of getting offered citizenship....some idiot might go and pull up this Census record, and hinder the guy's plan of getting US citizenship.

Long term, you could see several million folks putting themselves at jeopardy. 

There's also the problem of just refusing to answer the door, and the Census guy just says fine.....we won't count these folks.

The idea that some states will lose population counts?  That's the odd thing about this discussion.  It's possible that 10-percent of the California population is non-citizen.  If you don't count them....that diminishes the state population and they might lose two or three House seats.  The same is true for Florida, and possibly Texas.

The Supreme Court getting into the middle of this?  If they decide to make it their affair....they forever have this door open on future questions.  I'm not sure that they really want such a door existing. 

By making this such a big deal.....you might find some cynical folks who decide to admit falsely to the Census guy that they are Mexican citizens, when they are actually Americans.....just to stir the pot and create an even bigger mess.  Imagine half-a-million Americans claiming that they are North Korean citizens, just as a joke.

The Value of a Degree

I was reading a piece yesterday that went into detail what some companies are facing as they go out and hired new graduated college students.  They found that the 'kids' were lacking in various skills that they should have acquired in college.  Mind you....we are talking about four-year university graduates.  The piece discussed the problems of analytical concepts, project design, time-line construction, teamwork, etc. All of these....used to be taught at least in some marginal way, and you'd finish college with a basic understanding how your skills would fit into a commercial company.

The humor part of this....which is left out of the news piece....is that this 21 or 22 year old 'kid' is standing there and all happy that HR hired him for some $40,000 a year job, and then he likely discovers the the next week as he shows up.....he's automatically signed up for five seminar episodes taught by some fifty-year old individual from some private firm, and discussing this mystery thing called 'project management'. 

A whole week will pass with 'Professor Bob' talking about this big science agenda called project management.  The kid will be amazed at all the facets and benefits of project management.  Then at the final hour of the class....the 'kid' will ask why they don't teach something like this in college?  'Professor Bob' will just grin and tell the kid that in the 1970s and 1980s....it was a regular part of any business degree, and that they've weakened the whole program to such an extent....that your degree is mostly worthless.

A week or two will pass, and another three-to-five day seminar will occur.  Over that year, the company will waste at least thirty days of work production in getting the 'kid' to a level that they are beneficial to the company. 

So the question is....is a bachelor's degree really worth the $50,000 to $90,000 that it cost today?  If you get hired and they automatically revalue the degree to a three-quarter situation....did you get cheated out of the full value of the education?  Does the college even care?