Saudi oil, delayed economic optimism, the EV revolution, U.S. education performance, Indian industrialization, and Chinese urbanism
Once you get kids reading, all you have to do is to get them to read for pleasure - no / restricted TV / video / screen time. e-screens like the Kindle count as paper. It took a bit to get my son reading, but captain underpants and sponge bob squarepants did it. After that, it was off to the library for him. His mother didn't know that the kindle he had in his bedroom glowed and could be read under the covers.
The deemphasis on math is deliberate. It is also associated with a deliberate deprecation of gifted - talented programs. I believe all in the pursuit of 'equality', in this case by attempting to slow down the learning of more capable and prepared kids. I saw / experienced this 50+ years ago as a student, and I see it repeating for my grandkids. I oversaw my kids education - and when it was insufficient, I supplemented it. They were NOT happy. "Yes, you have to learn how to do it the teacher's way, but you also have to learn to do it dad's way". Mean dad. But a few years later, 'Dad, I don't understand division by polynomials'. "You remember how I taught you long division, we can work it that way." They appreciated my teaching then. I supplemented my daughter's math with correspondence classes in Geometry and Pre-Calculus over the summer before and after 9th grade (she skipped 8th grade).
If you push the math, students can make full use of Running Start / College in High School programs, but at the minimum, they have to be ready for college level calculus in 11th grade. That way they can take the transfer level math classes for STEM majors and transfer to the state university, cutting their college costs roughly in half.
My daughter dropped out of high school after 10th grade and did early admission to the University, where she did her engineering degree. My son did the Running Start path and was able to finish his BS in 7 quarters. He saved himself a lot of money there. They both had their Masters before they turned 22.
"And then Indian engineers will be off to the next poor country — Bangladesh? Ethiopia? Nigeria? — to start the whole process over again."
It will be a great day when manufacturers invade sub-saharan Africa in search of cheap labor. It means their grandchildren will live like South Koreans or Taiwanese.
Even now, I am playing 'My Heart Bleeds for [the House of Saud]' on the world's smallest violin.
I'd say I read a decent amount of things. Times, Nature, Science, WAPO, Atlantic, a conservative area (Not NR), a number of others.
I get the greatest and clearest insights in quantity and quality...here! Thanks Noah!
Saudi Arabia was spoiled in the oil markets. First the Arab Oil Embargo in the 70s, then they picked a second fight by turning down the taps. When told if they drove the WTI price too high they would be tempting fate, they didn’t believe it. Technology, like a virus, doesn’t care about your politics. As soon as the WTI price breached US$50, out came the U.S. fracking technology and horizontal drilling techniques that had lain in wait since the 1980s. The Saudis drove the WTI price to $147.00. Sure, it would eventually drop, but it was too late. The infrastructure and number of drilled wells dramatically increased during the Shale Gale Bubble. Yes, a lot of wildcat companies went bust; but just as with the overbuilt Internet, the new pipes were in the ground. The Saudis picked a fight with the U.S. and lost their swing-producer position. Putin showed the same stupidity when he started turning down the natural gas taps to Ukraine and the EU. Thousands of capped wells in the Permian Basin went into production because the price of natural gas significantly rose for the first time in decades. As predicted, the U.S., with help from the Australians, made up for 99% of the need in Ukraine and the EU. Now Putin is forced to sell a lot of nat gas to China on the cheap. In turn, this inflated the Alt-Green Energy Bubble that is still inflating at a faster pace than pre-Putin invasion. Years ago, Putin betrayed his fear of U.S. energy producers. When Daniel Yergin asked Putin about “fracking,” he lost it and started yelling at Yergin. Apparently, Putin was too stupid or stubborn to learn the lessons of the Saudis. Putin is an overrated “strategist.”
That article on India is one of my favorites ever
Viet Nam continues to do extremely well on PISA. Better than Israel, US Hispanics, Turkey, and Iceland.
Actually....why is Iceland so bad?
Norway is also surprisingly bad, especially given their nearly infinite supply of oil money mixed with Nordic values.
Super post today.... the story of Foxconn India gave me PTSD flashbacks as we were outsourcing to China back in the 80s/90s. On education, the US education system mimics the US medical system. You can find the world's best, but its efficiency is very poor.
If I squint at the EV data it looks like it's showing not a slowdown in sales, but perhaps a slowdown in the rate of *increase* of sales. I had been hoping we were still in the early days of exponential acceleration, before reaching the leveling out of the S curve. If there's really a slowdown in the rate of increase, then maybe there's not *quite* as much near-term growth as expected.
Still not a slowdown.
Excellent article addressing forefront issues with positive equanimity (?) Thank you and Happier Holidays
RW runs over LS
Once again, Larry Summers is empirically proven wrong on policy. Current economic policy, declared “the worst in 40 years” by Summers, seems to be working. How many times can Summers be wrong about policy before the mainstream press quits quoting him? Maybe the mainstream press likes the Summers “vibe.” Summers are followed by falls, and the real world keeps turning.
It does not seem that you have visited those wonderful Chinese cities, such as Shanghai, Xiamen, Shenzhen, etc. So it is no wonder that your comments on Chinese urbanism are way off. You may want to stay in your comfort zone such as macroeconomy so you sound intelligent on subjects. Otherwise your opinion may seem to be misinformation.
Regarding oil: the situation in Guyana seems unnerving.
(If you haven't heard yet, Venezuela may be about to invade Guyana and grab its newly discovered oil reserves, which turn out to be enormous. This seems not to have been on anyone's radar until last week.)
I think Maduro may be calculating that it's impossible for the US to antagonize Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela at the same time. Biden has (correctly) followed Noah's advice by relaxing the human rights-related sanctions on Venezuela, but if Maduro's reaction is "Putin gets to invade his neighbors, so I can do it too" then there's a problem.
We bought custom window blinds for our home in early 2018. I was just told by the sales lady that the price has more than doubled since then. That's just one tiny example. We have a currency devaluation that is causing a lot of people to blame "economy". $16 big Mac meals don't change my life, but it does for a lot of folks. I get that you are a DNC cheerleader. That's your thing. But try to understand it's not just that people are not emotionally accepting a great economy.
Viola Zhou and Nilesh Christopher have a wonderful article about what Indian industrialization looks like on the ground.
Agree great article!
Re China urbanism: having been trying to get a baby stroller around the streets (mostly unsuccessfully) these last couple of months I know what you mean about car centric. I would add that it is car and ebike centric. Both tend to limit space for pedestrians. On super blocks, the better ones at least, have a lot of life to them with ground floor retail and often connections to malls or similar. As Noah mentioned, parts Shanghai are an exception, and an exceptionally nice place to live IMO.