Monthly Archives: March 2018

  • America’s childhood-killing, learning-blocking homework insanity
    school (homework)

    Decades ago, when Japan was starting to dominate the economy while the United States was retreating, pundits and politicians tried to figure out how we could close our “education gap.”  The solution, pundits and politicians agreed, was to toughen up. In the end, the United States launched a weak, rather flawed version of every other nation’s standardized testing, and a macho combination of longer school hours, extra homework, rigorous curricula, and tougher grading. Thus, in many towns, we send our students to long hours of school, followed by longer hours of homework, teaching them reams of trivia that they will (and probably should) forget in a year or two. Yet, we still come in well behind countries like Estonia and Belgium in…

  • Amazon didn’t kill these groceries

    The Washington Post recently ran a story with an interesting headline, “The new era of grocery just claimed its first victims.” The article implies that Amazon/Whole Foods and other “next generation” supermarkets have essentially bankrupted two companies, one of which operates the famed Winn-Dixie (Southeastern Grocers); the other, Tops, is a relatively small chain in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. As a veteran of Supermarkets General Corporation, which ran Pathmark, Steinbach, Rickel’s, and some other brands you may not recognize, I call baloney. Southeastern and Tops were killed largely by investment banking, based on their history — just as Supermarkets General was. Back in the 1980s, Pathmark was the most profitable supermarket chain in America, with its mere 132 stores. The…

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