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Is Voting for Donald Trump a Morally Good Choice?

Is Voting for Donald Trump a Morally Good Choice?

Last week Dr. Wayne Grudem published an article arguing that voting for Donald Trump is a morally good choice. I wrote a response. An excerpt:

I agree with Dr. Grudem that character is not the only factor to consider. But there is a character threshold that we should expect any candidate to meet. A man who owns his vices as if they were virtues, who talks proudly about “going after the families” of suspected terrorists, who has profited from strip clubs, who is by all accounts a pathological liar, who disparaged a disabled journalist, who insulted POWs, who criticized the looks of a rival’s wife, is unworthy of the office of president.

In addition, I suspect Trump’s personal flaws are so pervasive that they would seriously interfere with his ability to enact the helpful policies that Dr. Grudem believes Trump will implement. Notice Trump’s profound inability to stay on message, in recent days needlessly resurrecting past rivalries while opening a feud with Khizr and Ghazala Khan (parents of an Army Captain who gave his life to save others on the battlefield). When we consider Trump’s brash temperament, impulsiveness, and unwillingness to learn, along with his pettiness and tendency to make everything about him, I lack confidence that he can successfully work with Congress to implement the helpful parts of his platform.

Read the whole thing.

Fascinating Website for Evaluating Non-Profits

GuidestarThis is a time in the year that many of us give to nonprofit organizations. Have you ever thought, “I’d love to give to this organization, but I wish I knew how they use their money?”

Well now you can know. Guidestar lets you pull financial data on all sorts of non-profits (charities, schools, ministries, you name it). For free (mostly–some reports require a modest fee to access). You can quickly see each organization’s revenue vs. expenses for a recent year. The 990 Forms are particularly instructive–you’re basically looking at their tax forms (where they get their revenue, how they spend it, and more). Buried in the 990 forms is data that can be useful if you work for a nonprofit, or are seeking to do so, and want to have a sense of what the salary expectations might be at a particular level (director, vice president, etc.).  Top salaries vary widely depending on the organization’s size and scope, but these data can be found in Part VII of the 990 Forms.

I hope Guidestar helps you give generously and with discernment to causes that you care about.

Blog Hibernation Over?

Dear Whatever Readers Are Left,

I’m sorry for letting this blog go dark for almost three months. I love blogging, but my plate has been exceedingly full this fall. In August I returned to full-time teaching and administrative responsibilities after a year-long writing sabbatical in which, by God’s grace, I published a book and completed a 60,000 word manuscript for another. These recent months I’ve also been fulfilling a few speaking engagements, doing a few online interviews related to my previous books, and working with my editor on the latest manuscript. This new book releases, Lord willing, December 2015. I’ve also been enjoying more time with my family, among other things helping my kids learn to ride their bicycles–the older two no longer require training wheels! Good times.

I hope to bring the blog back, focusing on issues related to education, faith, and the challenges young adults face transitioning out of the home and into the world.

Thanks for any interest,
Alex

Underemployment & College Major. Correlation?

Read more.

Under 40? Got Student Debt? Good Chance You’re Poor

About 4 in 10 U.S. households headed by someone under the age of 40 have student debt, the highest level ever, according to a study. The median debt level is about $13,000.Walter Hamilton writing for the LA Times:

College graduate heads-of-household under 40 with student debt have a median net worth of only $8,700, according to the analysis by the Pew Research Center. That’s a fraction of the $64,700 the same group without college loans is worth.

They’re not  all drowning in student debt–the median student debt for this group is about $13,000–it’s that “because of the other loans they’ve taken out, the median total indebtedness of college graduates under 40 with student loans is $137,010…compared to $73,250 for their counterparts with no college debt.”

Continue Reading…

The Myth of Working Your Way Through College

Svati Kirsten Narula, writing for The Atlantic:  “the average student in 1979 could work 182 hours (a part-time summer job) to pay for a year’s tuition. In 2013, it took 991 hours (a full-time job for half the year) to accomplish the same.”


Read the whole thing.

FYI – My new  book has tips on saving for college, lowering the costs of college, and earning money during college.

Should We Become a Cashless Society?

800px-Credit-cards.jpgConfession: I hate carrying and spending cash. Always have. I like the convenience of putting everything on one credit card, being able to have an instant record of my spending, and (of course) earning 1 percent cash back. I’m not prone to impulse purchases, and I’ve always paid my bill in full and on time. But Derek Thomas has a provocative article in The Atlantic on the downsides of our becoming a cashless society.

Thomas writes: “In the 1970s, fewer than 20 percent of the adult population owned a credit card. Today, between 70 and 80 percent of the adult population does.” So what? Thomas goes on to argue:

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Is Your Child Prepared to Major in a STEM Field?

Fascinating post by Lynn O’Shaughnessy on the popularity of STEM majors and the importance of preparation for success in them.  The 2013 report she cites notes the need for students to “understand what takes place in a specific major or occupation.” When they do, the report shows, their ACT scores rise, which implies better preparation for the rigors of college and a greater likelihood of success in a family of majors with a higher than average attrition rate.

Like I explained in Chapter 9 of Preparing Your Teens for Collegewe need to help more HS students understand what’s required for success in the fields they’re considering as possible college majors (not just in STEM). That will decrease the likelihood of their changing majors, increase the four-year graduation rate (currently below 50 percent), and lower their total college tuition.

Continue Reading…

It Has Arrived

Excited and grateful.  Learn more about it.

 

Paul Miller – A Loving Life – 50% Off (Or More)

A Loving Life: In a World of Broken RelationshipsPaul Miller, author of the fantastic book A Praying Life, has a new title out called A Loving Life. The publisher’s description:

How do you love with no love in return?
How do you love when no one notices or cares?

Best-selling author Paul Miller tackles these tough questions at the heart of our struggle to love head on. Drawing on the book of Ruth, A Loving Life offers the help we need to embrace relationship, endure rejection, cultivate community, and reach out to even the most unlovable around us as we discover the power to live a loving life.

For 72 hours only, this book is available for 50% off (only $6.50 a copy) or you can buy 3 copies for only $5.00 each.

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