Saturday, March 28, 2009

Voting with feet

Yesterday's WSJ included A Radical Takes the Stand, about the pathetic Ward Churchill. Much more pathetic is the fact that people like this have standing (and tenure) in otherwise respectable universities.

This week's Economist includes a graphic that summarizes where the world's asylum seekers want to go. The U.S. is tops, followed by Canada, France, Italy, Britain, Sweden, Germany, etc. Poland and the Czech Republic are on the list, having graduated from places that people want to leave to places that people want to enter.

Comparing countries and cultures is difficult but we keep trying, with GDP/capita and Human Development Index and happiness and other rankings. But the one to pay the most attention to is the one that involves looking at how people vote with their feet.

This is all simple stuff, but we have all encountered people as confused as Prof. Churchill -- as well as the students that have passed through their classrooms.