Diminishing Returns. It's the Law.

[Yes, you too can own this Getty image misspelling "government" for $175 or more!]

Infrequent National Review contributor Herbert W. Stupp makes a contrarian claim: The Problem Isn’t Joe Biden’s Age

President Biden has declared himself a candidate for reelection in 2024 and, by his modest standards, has begun campaigning. Surveys and person-on-the-street interviews suggest that Americans do not want him to run again. Indeed, 68 percent of registered voters believe he is “too old” to run for president, according to an ABC News/Washington Post survey.

Most observers, and my own eyes and ears, tell us there is something wrong with our president, as he blathers that we can “lick the world,” to cite one recent gaffe in Ireland. But is that a by-product of turning 80, as Mr. Biden did in November?

Not necessarily.

Stupp was commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging, 1994–2002. He has numerous examples of people thriving well into their eighties and nineties. As an old person myself, I am encouraged.

President Biden should be judged, instead, on his lavishly wasteful federal spending (fanning calamitous inflation), incompetent appointees, a daily catastrophic invasion of unvetted migrants, waffling on the world stage, high taxes, avalanches of fentanyl, busybody regulation, burgeoning scandals, and his working to make elections less secure and reliable, among many other failures.

Sure. But also, he's way old.

Also of note:

  • Faith Bottum, writing at the WSJ describes California’s Weapons of Math Destruction

    The California State Board of Education issued on July 12 a new framework for teaching math based on what it calls “updated principles of focus, coherence, and rigor.” The word “updated” is certainly accurate. Not so much “principles,” “focus,” “coherence” or “rigor.” California’s new approach to math is as unfair as it is unserious.

    The framework is voluntary, but it will heavily influence school districts and teachers around the Golden State. Developed over the past four years, it runs nearly 1,000 pages. Among the titles of its 14 chapters are “Teaching for Equity and Engagement,” “Structuring School Experiences for Equity and Engagement” and “Supporting Educators in Offering Equitable and Engaging Mathematics Instruction.” The guidelines demand that math teachers be “committed to social justice work” to “equip students with a toolkit and mindset to identify and combat inequities with mathematics”—not with the ability to do math. Far more important is teaching students that “mathematics plays a role in the power structures and privileges that exist within our society.”

    Parents who can afford to will send their kiddos to non-government schools, private academies, or home-school with samizdat calculus textbooks.

    And the kids whose parent's can't afford that will be stuck with their dumbed-down curriculum. (But they will probably know how to spell "equity".)

    I am reminded of the 40-year-old report "A Nation at Risk", which included the memorable observation: "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war."

    Yes: 40 years ago.

    But it's not an "unfriendly foreign power. It's us.

    Ms. Bottum refers to this site from Stanford math prof Brian Conrad, a detailed evisceration of the "Framework".