May 3, 2013

In-state tuition for out-of-state students who (might) vote?

Filed under: Education,Ohio Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:59 pm

Temporary student “residents” should not have a say in a community’s long-term direction.


This item went up at with minor editing earlier this afternoon.


Ohio’s General Assembly is considering a measure which would grant in-state tuition to out-of-state college students if they so much as pretend to be interested in voting.

Specifically, the Columbus Dispatch reported on April 23 that under a Republican budget amendment approved the previous week, “an institution must charge in-state tuition if it provides an out-of-state student with a letter or utility bill that the student can use to show residency and vote in Ohio.”

You read that right. As described, this proposal would force a school to charge its in-state tuition rate to any out-of-state student who asks for documentation certifying his or her presence there. From all appearances, those student recipients don’t even need to bother registering to vote to get this break, let alone cast a ballot. Out-of-state students at Ohio State wouldn’t even have to get out of bed, as they “can input information online and have a utility bill emailed to them, which they can print and take to the polling site.”

Although the idea originated with Republicans, it really shouldn’t be characterized as coming from the left or the right. Outer space would be more like it.

At least one Democrat’s reaction is from space’s nether regions. Kathleen Clyde of Kent, a university town, acts as if the measure is an attempt to suppress out-of-state student votes and not a self-evident attempt to increase their number. She actually took to the floor of the House to incoherently accuse Republicans of “forcing universities to do your voter-suppression dirty work for you.”

Please. Bruce E. Johnson, president of the state’s Inter-University Council, as paraphrased by the Dispatch, described what would really happen:

… every out-of-state student will demand one (a letter or utility bill), and those who don’t get it will sue to force the university to provide it.

The move would all but end the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at Ohio’s public institutions of higher learning.

I have been unable to identify a good reason why this proposal shouldn’t be laughed out of Columbus. As for reasons to oppose it, everyone in Ohio should find something objectionable.

Most obviously, there’s the lost tuition. To cite just one example, out-of-state tuition at Miami University in Oxford, at $29,158 according to the latest annual survey done by U.S. News, is over $15,500 higher than its in-state charge of $13,595. Miami alone estimates that it could see its tuition income reduced by $60 million annually. The grand total reduction statewide is an estimated $370 million.

So who is going to absorb this difference? Students and their families are already stretched thin, something at least two of the state’s universities, Ohio State and the University of Toledo, have recognized by freezing tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year. Earlier this month, students at Ohio University in Athens protested trustees’ plans to raise tuition by 1.6 percent and room rates by 3.5 percent.

Buckeye State taxpayers certainly shouldn’t be asked to cough up any more money, especially for an idea as misguided as this one. The reason out-of-state tuition differentials exist is that the parents of students from other states aren’t Ohio taxpayers. Letting out-of-state students pay the same rate unfairly forces Ohio’s taxpayers to pay a large share of the cost of their college education.

The elephant in the room, pun intended, is voter fraud. It is already far too easy to vote in multiple states without getting caught. Now every out-of-state university student in Ohio would face that temptation.

Most fundamentally, the fact that an idea like this would even appear on the radar, let alone get proposed as legislation, demonstrates how so many people who should know better have completely lost touch with the basic concepts of responsible citizenship.

Let’s face the obvious. The vast majority of college students at residential universities have little if any personal stake in the long-term well-being of the cities and towns in which their schools happen to be located. They are mostly, like it or not, more like transients than residents. After they graduate, or in all too many cases drop out, most will only occasionally visit these towns. Regardless of whether they get a break for doing so, thirty-day residency laws which make voting easier for adults who have moved or relocated should not be unethically abused by students who should be paying attention to developments back home and voting there as absentees.

In the real world, the chances that out-of-state student voters will adequately educate themselves on state, county, and local issues are extremely low — and even if they do, they should not have the ability to influence issues which won’t affect them personally or financially. For example, there is no reason why student votes for a public school property tax levy, especially if they live on campus, should cancel out the votes of resident adult property owners who oppose it.

Hopefully, this idea will be quickly rejected once its negative impacts become more widely known.

ISM Non Manufacturing Drops from 54.4% to 53.1%

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 10:10 am

From the Institute for Supply Management:

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in April for the 40th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

“The NMI™ registered 53.1 percent in April, 1.3 percentage points lower than the 54.4 percent registered in March. This indicates continued growth at a slightly slower rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 55 percent, which is 1.5 percentage points lower than the 56.5 percent reported in March, reflecting growth for the 45th consecutive month. The New Orders Index decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 54.5 percent, and the Employment Index decreased 1.3 percentage points to 52 percent, indicating growth in employment for the ninth consecutive month. The Prices Index decreased 4.7 percentage points to 51.2 percent, indicating prices increased at a slower rate in April when compared to March. According to the NMI™, 14 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in April. Respondents’ comments remain mostly positive about business conditions. Cost management and revenue pressures are areas of concern for many of the respective companies.”>

Orders-related components dropped, but remained in expansion. 14 of 18 industries reported growth.

Overall it was a drop, but it could have been much worse.

April Employment Situation Summary (050313); Unemployment at 7.5%; 165K Jobs Added; Prior Months Revised Up by 114K

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:28 am

Econ catchup:

  • ADP Employment Report — 119,000 private-sector jobs added in April vs. expectations of 150K; March reduced to 131K from 158K.
  • Initial unemployment claims — seasonally adjusted 324,000, lowest figure since 2008. Raw claims below 300,000.
  • Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index — 50.7%, barely expanding (50% is the threshold), down 0.6% from March.
  • April car sales — Up 8.5% over April 2012, up 6.9% year-to-date. Detroit’s Big 3 each beat the overall average (GM, +11.4%; Ford, +18.0%; Chrysler, +11.0%). The Japan-based Big 3 were mixed (Toyota, -1.1%; Honda, +7.4%; Nissan, +23.2%).


Associated Press, in yesterday’s report on unemployment claims, hedged —

Economists forecast that the economy added 160,000 jobs last month. That’s much better than the 88,000 added in March, but below last year’s pace of nearly 185,000 per month. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 7.6 percent.

But many have lowered their estimates this week, some as low as 120,000, after several reports suggested that slower growth is dragging down hiring.

AP, in an early morning report, Christopher Rugaber wrote that “Most analysts think employers in April added more than 100,000 jobs but far fewer than the 196,000 that were added on average from September through February.”

Bloomberg, in one report, with its usual indirect pretense of certainty — “A Labor Department report today will show that hiring rebounded in April, while the unemployment rate remained at 7.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Bloomberg, in a separate report — “A Labor Department report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show payrolls increased by 140,000 in April, after a gain of 88,000 a month earlier, according to the median forecast of 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The jobless rate stayed at 7.6 percent, the survey showed.”

Reuters, with sharp words —

U.S. employment growth likely picked up in April, but probably not by enough to counter other signs that suggest the economy has lost a step in recent weeks.

Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have increased by 145,000 jobs, according to a Reuters survey of economists, after braking to a nine-month low of 88,000 in March.

… The forecast job gains should be just enough to hold the unemployment rate at a four-year low of 7.6 percent, though the rate could even fall as older Americans retire and younger people give up the hunt for work in frustration.

Looking at the Actual (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) figures:

Longtime readers know that I place primary value on the actual number of jobs added and lost (i.e., before seasonal smoothing) in the context of previous years to get a handle on the health of the job market. As seen below, it was not healthy last month:


Today’s threshold for acceptability for actual jobs added has to be 1.2 million overall and 1.15 million in the private sector, regardless of what the reported results are after seasonal adjustment.

An expanded version of the table going back to 2000 is here.

Today’s April seasonal conversions should sharply penalize any actual result lower than 1 million in each category, but seem likely to cut Team Obama a break unless they trail last year’s actuals of 895,000 overall and 894,000 in the private sector. (The seasonal calculations factor in five years, but factor in the most recent years more heavily than more distant years.)

If actual job additions trail April 2012 by as much as March 2013 trailed March 2012 (142,000 overall and 140,000 in the private sector), a negative number after seasonal adjustments is not at all out of the question.

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (full HTML link):

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 165,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate, at 7.5 percent, changed little in April but has declined by 0.4 percentage point since January. The number of unemployed persons, at 11.7 million, was also little changed over the month; however, unemployment has decreased by 673,000 since January.

… Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 165,000 in April, with job gains in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care. Over the prior 12 months, employment growth averaged 169,000 per month.

Professional and business services added 73,000 jobs in April and has added 587,000 jobs over the past year. In April, employment rose in temporary help services (+31,000), professional and technical services (+23,000), and management of companies (+7,000).

… The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.2 hour in April to 34.4 hours. Within manufacturing, the workweek decreased by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and overtime declined by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from +268,000 to +332,000, and the change for March was revised from +88,000 to +138,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 114,000 higher than previously reported.

Jobs added on the ground before seasonal adjustment were 932,000 overall an 937,000 in the private sector — far short of what was needed to indicate health.

The revisions to prior months were nice. Other results are less comforting.

The household survey shows only 274,000 jobs added (seasonally adjusted; Update: and only 185,000 full-timers) since December, and only 1.645 million in the past 12 months, vs. 783,000 and 2.074 million per the Establishment Survey.

Birth-Death accounted for what seems to be a too-high 192,000 of the actual jobs added.

The drop in the work week is not comforting.

The economy has added 56,000 temps (seasonally adjusted) in the past two months and 184,000 in the past year.

The government’s databases have stopped responding, and I have other assignments, so I’ll be looking at the news more closely later.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (050313)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Survival of hot air balloon crash attributed to God’s help

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Lima, Peru:

May 1, 2013 / 04:10 pm

Family members and rescue workers are crediting God for what they described as the miraculous rescue of five women who survived a recent hot air balloon crash in Peru.

“Training and God’s help made us victorious,” said Julissa Laguna, the pilot of the military helicopter that found five women who lived through an April 28 hot air balloon crash in the ocean south of Lima.

Rescuers were able to rescue five survivors on April 29. The body of the pilot was found washed up on a beach, while a seventh passenger remains missing.

Laguna said it was a “miracle” that the rescue team found the women, who survived nine hours at sea despite hypothermia and exhaustion.

She explained that they spotted the survivors with their own eyes and without the aid of any kind of radar or electronic equipment.

“The sky was overcast and we feared they were already dead,” Laguna recounted. “Suddenly, the co-pilot saw movement in the sea and after a scary maneuver we found the women. It was the most exciting moment of my life.”

Norka Quezada, whose 17-year-old daughter Francesca Maldonado was among the rescued survivors, told reporters that she has “never experienced such anguish” as she felt during the hours that the teenager was missing.

“My daughter is alive and that’s what matters,” she said.

Aurora Toledo, the mother of two other survivors, explained that during their moments of anguish, “we never lost faith and hope in God.”

Turning to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the rosary, she said, “we never stopped praying to God for my daughters.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.