Points and Punts

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The Black Justice League has denounced Woodrow Wilson’s unquestionable racism and claims that that by “fail[ing] to stand up against or acknowledge the wrongdoings of a man who proudly branded himself a racist,” Princeton continues “to subjugate, oppress and ignore the existence of [its] students of color.” This accusation is entirely unwarranted. Racial oppression in the United States has taken the form of slavery, segregation, and police brutality. Celebrating Woodrow Wilson may be deeply offensive to many, but equating it to some of our nation’s worst atrocities is a malicious attack on a university that gives extraordinarily generous financial aid and goes out of its way to advantage so-called “underrepresented” groups in admissions and hiring policies. Society would do well to remember that being offended is not the same as being oppressed. The suffering of those with hurt feelings is in no way comparable to the pain inflicted on victims of actual oppression.

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli recently raised the price of Daraprim, a toxoplasmosis-treating drug used by cancer and AIDS patients, from $13.50 to $750 per pill, prompting Hillary Clinton to call upon regulators to combat anti-competitive practices and request an FDA investigation of Daraprim. On October 23, however, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals released an alternative treatment for $1 per pill. Consumers will certainly benefit from Imprimis’ decision, and the free market has yet again solved an economic problem without the help of meddling bureaucrats. High-five to the invisible hand!

In March 2009, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with a “reset button” to visualize President Obama’s calls for a restart in relations between the former Cold War foes. Putting aside the initial embarrassment that the button included the wrong translation of “reset” (a fact Lavrov enjoyed promptly pointing out), we have to wonder how successful President Obama and Secretary Clinton consider their reset in relations in light of recent events. From Putin’s ongoing revanchist ambition in Ukraine to his recent aggression in Syria aimed at propping up Bashar Al Assad’s dictatorship and undermining American interests, the Obama-Clinton reset policy has been shown to be either disastrously naïve or incompetently implemented, or both.

The Tory would like to congratulate Professor Angus Deaton for winning the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for “linking detailed individual choices and aggregate outcomes [in] his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.” In his 2013 book, The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality, Professor Deaton argued that progress in developing countries is being impeded by foreign aid that props up badly functioning governments and prevents institutional growth. The United States plans to spend $33.7 billion on foreign aid in fiscal year 2016. Perhaps such spending should be reevaluated.

“A university is not a ‘safe space.’ If you need a safe space, leave, go home, hug your teddy & suck your thumb until ready for university.” -October 24 tweet from Richard Dawkins, famed British evolutionary biologist, atheist, and humanist.

Despite a near consensus among economists that stadiums provide little to no long-term economic benefit, the City of Atlanta is planning to spend about $600 million of public funds to build a new stadium (right next to the perfectly functional existing one) for football’s Atlanta Falcons. Neighboring Cobb County will spend $392 million on a new stadium for baseball’s Atlanta Braves. The Falcons are owned by multibillionaire Arthur Blank, the co-founder of Home Depot, and the Braves are owned by Liberty Media, 2013’s most profitable entertainment company. Given the nightmarish traffic and education situations in the Atlanta region, this crony capitalism is both unnecessary governmental waste and an insult to Georgian taxpayers.

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