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PolicySphere Morning Briefing – April 30, 2024

Bonjour! Here’s your PolicySphere morning briefing! If you were forwarded this, here’s more about who we are and what we’re doing and, of course, don’t forget to sign up.

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NB: There will be no PolicySphere Briefing on tomorrow, May Day (also known as St Joseph’s Day).

ERRATUM: Yesterday’s briefing was incorrectly labeled “April 26.” The correct date, of course, was “April 29.” We apologize for the error.

#Universities #EliteTheory – Ross Douthat’s most recent column was about the updated version of the core curriculum at Columbia University. This takes multiculturalism to new extremes since, if you read the curriculum, nothing happened in the 20th century except for racism, decolonization, feminism, and student protests in the 1960s. This is not an exaggeration. No world wars, no Cold War, no Nazism, no Communism…no Holocaust. And, lo and behold, the Free Beacon reports that the professor in charge of this new curriculum, a classics professor, is an outspoken supporter of the notorious “encampment” at Columbia University which has (as these things seem to always do) blurred the line between support for Palestine with support for Hamas and anti-Semitism. The Curriculum Wars may be overdrawn, you might think, or there is no policy answer. Perhaps. But this is the intellectual and ideological environment that future American elites are marinading in.

#HigherEd – Speaking of: “A brutal fact for the college class of 2024: There aren’t enough college-level jobs out there for all … 52% of college grads are underemployed a year after graduation.” (NYT) See also our chart of the day below on college debt cancellation.

#Gender #TitleIX – IWF, several state attorneys general, and other organizations are suing the Biden Administration over its new Title IX rules, which essentially erase biological sex as a meaningful category. Important to watch. Here’s the press release.

#BigTech #Smartphones #Kids – A French panel of experts convened by President Macron on the impact of screens on kids came out with its report today. The report is scathing; in particular, it makes the following recommendations: banning all screen use for children under 3; all cell phones to children under 11. Last year, the French Parliament passed a bill raising the minimum age to sign up for a social media service from 13 to 15.

#Immigration – Experts are demanding Congress prevent President Joe Biden’s administration from allowing migrants at the southern border to bypass TSA rules while flying throughout the United States. This is led by the Immigration Accountability Project. Breitbart has more.

#VeteransIssues – Important new report from RAND: “Lessons from 9/11 for Supporting Veterans Exposed to Military Environmental Hazards

#IndustrialPolicy #AmericanManufacturing – Chris Griswold of American Compass addresses the “growing pains” of TSMC’s semiconductor investment into the US. “The growing pains are worth the growth they signify. The pain should serve helpfully to remind us of our national folly in eviscerating our industrial commons, and hopefully to ensure that it never happens again.”

#Entitlements – R Street looks at two potential tools for balancing the books of Social Security: cost of living adjustments, and payroll tax increases. Not pretty. But, perhaps, necessary.

#FinReg – The CFPB’s credit card late fees rule comes into effect now. The rule caps these fees at $8, down from an average of $32. Free market groups hate it, but we predict it will be popular…

Chart of the Day

Mark Goldwein, via CRFB: “We’re on course to spend $0.9 to $1.4 trillion on debt cancellation. That’s more than we spent ALL higher education spending before 2020, and as much as we are on course to appropriate for TOTAL education over the next decade.” Oren Cass of American Compass comments: “By the way, that blank space between the two sets of bars is the $0 we spend on the huge share of young people who don’t attend college.”

Meme of the Day

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