The FREAKest Links: Skyscraper Homes and Pay-Per-Class Edition

From reader Paul O’Keef: Architectural Record reports that India’s richest man is building a sixty-story house for his family, including six floors for parking, a health club and a rooftop helipad.

The University of Georgia is offering a new incentive to make student-athletes show up for class: fining them $10 per unexcused absence. In the policy’s first month, the number of skipped classes dropped 90%, with more than 50% of student-athletes earning a semester GPA of 3.0 or better for the first time ever. (Hat tip: Jon Speilburg.)

This week, BusinessWeek takes a closer look at the economics of offshoring, concluding that the growing shift of jobs and production overseas may be less beneficial to the U.S. economy than previously thought. The problem, argues author Michael Mandel, lies in the so-called “phantom GDP” that’s created as a result of reporting gains that don’t correspond to domestic production.


egretman

that the growing shift of jobs and production overseas may be less beneficial to the U.S. economy than previously thought.

Hey, now they tell us!

AdamJCollege

The story about UGA is good, don't get me wrong, but there's a major problem with the credibility of one of the stats:

In a three-week period in January, student-athletes missed 46 classes or academic appointments, a 90 percent drop from 421 over a three-week period in September.

The problem, of course, is that the collegiate football season runs during the fall. Missing courses to participate in mandatory and "optional" team practices, as well as travel for games, is one reason the truancy rate is astronomical for athletes in the fall. (Yes, there are practices in the spring and summer as well, but to a lesser extent.)

clsand99

Hey Melissa, that Indian house is real interesting. But the article you linked it to is a blog of real poor quality. The first sentence is one giant run-on & I think it's missing a verb. At the end, the blogger makes an uneccessary comment on immigration. You might want to change your link to a legitimate news source. This url appears to be the source for most of the bloggers information anyway: http://www.wtkr.com/Global/story.asp?S=6611355&nav=ZolHbyvj

gpburdell

THWG!

That said, I would also like to see the class attendance figures over a year. Seasonality could be significant, and football teams are very large.

NJ Freak-ster

I guess $10 is a lot more of an incentive for poor college kids to go to class than $3 is for parents late to pick up their kids from daycare.

majikthise

That second story about the football players being fined $10 for missing a class is fascinating. I've often wondered how it would affect class attendance if students had to pay their tuition before stepping in to every class, and (here's the rub) if they had to pay it at that time of day even if they skip.

Assume $20,000 per year tuition, or $10,000 per semester. Assume four classes, each of which meets three times a week, for 15 weeks. That would be $56 per class!

Of course, that's a $56 sunk cost, and we all know we shouldn't base our decisions on sunk costs (if we're thinking like good, super-rational economists). But still, I wonder how many students would continue to skip class if every time they wanted to skip they had to turn over in bed, debit their card for $56, then go back to sleep.

slow_day

Anyone who has had to pay for their own education understands the value of education & the time spent in class much better than somone with a free ride (even if it is earned through another avenue). On the flip side though, there are classes and professors that test even the most diligent of students. Paying my own way did not stop me from determining (a couple of times)that my time was better spent in other ways when a professor merely regurgitated information that well prepared students understood to have been read before class and prepared to discuss. With a prof like that some would gladly hand over the ten spot & spend time studying for a class that demanded more of their attention (or head back to to the dorm and get some rest). If half the class is paying instead of attending and they still all get passing grades that should prompt administration to look into the professor's teaching, &/or the course & it's structure. When you have to pay to play it raises the game to a different level all-around.

Read more...

prosa

It;s not entirely clear from the linked article whether Georgia's policy applies to all student-athletes or just to those in the revenue sports. The reference to 954 credit hours earned in the spring semester leads me to believe it's the latter, given the number of credit hours in a typical courseload.

egretman

Who will be the first to build a 61 story house? Where will it end? Where WILL it end?

egretman

How many bathrooms does a 60 story house have?

lermit

It ends up in the frying pan: M1 - GDP

.lermit

711buddha

The notion of a "US Economy" is the essential flaw in this arguement.

There is one world economy and this practices strengthens it, which is ultimately good for everyone.

rejewvenator

The greater issue with fining student athletes $10 is the sheer chutzpah of it. Not only does the NCAA and its partner universities continue to exploit student athletes by failing to pay them a decent wage in return for the astronomical rewards the universities receive from their televised athletic competitions, but now, the university is charging them for missing class - which they often miss because of the demands of the sports that they participate in, to the great benefit of the university!

frankenduf

the article doesn't mention it, but the trade deficit is also miscalculated (overestimated)because of global intracorporation trading (e.g. Ford exporting parts to Mexico for assemblage)

egretman

There is one world economy

Didn't the angry white males of 1994 win the battle against one world economy? Or did they defeat one world guvment?

egretman

that the growing shift of jobs and production overseas may be less beneficial to the U.S. economy than previously thought.

Hey, now they tell us!

AdamJCollege

The story about UGA is good, don't get me wrong, but there's a major problem with the credibility of one of the stats:

In a three-week period in January, student-athletes missed 46 classes or academic appointments, a 90 percent drop from 421 over a three-week period in September.

The problem, of course, is that the collegiate football season runs during the fall. Missing courses to participate in mandatory and "optional" team practices, as well as travel for games, is one reason the truancy rate is astronomical for athletes in the fall. (Yes, there are practices in the spring and summer as well, but to a lesser extent.)

clsand99

Hey Melissa, that Indian house is real interesting. But the article you linked it to is a blog of real poor quality. The first sentence is one giant run-on & I think it's missing a verb. At the end, the blogger makes an uneccessary comment on immigration. You might want to change your link to a legitimate news source. This url appears to be the source for most of the bloggers information anyway: http://www.wtkr.com/Global/story.asp?S=6611355&nav=ZolHbyvj

gpburdell

THWG!

That said, I would also like to see the class attendance figures over a year. Seasonality could be significant, and football teams are very large.

NJ Freak-ster

I guess $10 is a lot more of an incentive for poor college kids to go to class than $3 is for parents late to pick up their kids from daycare.