New York vs. Houston

Mod Note (Andy): Best of Eddie, this was originally was posted on 12/15/10.

Monty09 may have gotten the best plug yet for his Energy Rodeo in Houston next month, and it came from none other than the New York Daily News. The Daily News piece on the ridiculous cost of living in New York pointed out that it takes six figures just to make it into the middle class in the city, and a New Yorker has to earn $123,322 a year just to match the lifestyle $50,000 a year buys in you Houston. On top of that, $60,000 a year in Manhattan is the equivalent of just $26,000 a year in Atlanta - just over the poverty line.

What the article doesn't mention, however, is perhaps the most compelling reason to choose Houston or another southern city over the Big Apple: GRITS.

No, I'm not talking about the delicious breakfast staple. I'm talking about Girls Raised In The South.

Professional Athlete or Investment Banker?

Mod Note (Andy): Best of Eddie, this was originally posted in August 2010.

Given that today is Friday, the NFL pre-season is underway, and I had a little bit to drink last night, I thought I'd pose an existential question today. If you had a choice, would you rather be a professional athlete or an investment banker? I know it sounds a little off-the-wall, but indulge me. I was inspired by the latest article by Matt Taibbi (yes, that Matt Taibbi. Settle down; he leaves Goldman alone in this one.)

Plenty of bankers, and even more traders, come from the ranks of college athletes. And it takes a hell of a lot to compete at the collegiate level. So I know there's a wide cross-section of Wall Street who has at least thought about what it would be like to be a professional athlete. If we're being honest, we've all thought about it a few times. And you don't have to be a train wreck like Lenny Dykstra.

Military Vets with MBAs Recruited Heavily

Mod Note (Andy): Best of Eddie, this was originally posted in July 2011.

Here's some good news for guys thinking about leaving the military to get an MBA: you can expect a robust recruiting environment. According to CNN, companies love former military personnel because their age:experience ratio skews much higher than private sector candidates, and they have a proven ability to handle pressure.

"We have plenty of veterans who are 27 who have had 100 direct reports in a combat situation," says Perrine, a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Nobody coming from the private sector has had that kind of experience, and especially in those high pressure situations."

Who Taught You Math???

Mod Note (Andy): Best of Eddie, this originally was posted on 11/29/12.

We. Are. So. Screwed.

It's no secret that the educational quality in the United States has been on the decline for well over a decade. But I had no idea exactly how far we've fallen in real terms. That is, until I read this Psychology Today piece about a recent survey of the math skills of college students in the US. And then I threw up in my mouth a little.

How bad is it?

In an interview one student was asked if he could think of a way to check whether 462+253 = 715. He smartly subtracted 253 from 715 and came out with 462. So far so good. But when he was asked whether he could have subtracted 462 from 715 instead, he said he did not think so. He had been told in school to subtract the second number from the bigger number, not the first. It appears he was just following a memorized script.

Most Prefteejus High School?

Mod Note (Andy): Best of Eddie, this was originally posted on 9/27/12.

I was talking to a female friend of mine who happens to be an atheist last week, and she was telling me about how she attended a church in NYC just to get into the good books of the head of admissions at the preschool she wanted her son to attend, who also happened to be a member of that church. Ultimately, her kid didn't make the cut. We laughed about it, of course, but it shows the lengths to which some parents will go to give their kid a leg up in life.

So I guess it stands to reason that some parents think it makes sense to spend $43,000 a year for high school. Yup, you read that right. 43 GRAND. A year. As in $200,000 for a high school diploma.

Predictably, 47 of the 50 most expensive high schools in America are located in the Northeast, with the three outliers located in California. And I think it's important to note that the quoted tuition figures do not include room and board; it's just straight tuition. So what exactly are you walking away with (aside from a high school diploma and a bunch of Marc Ecko gear) after your folks cough up two hundred grand?

This 15-Yr Old Is Cooler Than You'll Ever Be

Mod note (Andy): Best of Eddie, this was originally posted on 1/6/12.

You know that resume you dream about submitting? The one that sets you so far apart from your competition that the firm brings you in for an interview just to shake your hand? Well, while you were wondering whether or not to include your interest in Skrillex (seriously?), this kid was out conquering the world.

Is Meritocracy Dead in America?

Mod note: Best of Eddie, this was originally posted on 8/22/12.

Here's an interesting spin on the class warfare that seems to have grown much worse over the past decade. MSNBC's Chris Hayes opines in his new book that America is no longer a meritocracy, but an aristocracy with a couple hundred million serfs. In a lot of ways, it's hard to argue against that. He makes the point that the ruling elite weren't satisfied just climbing the ladder, they had to pull it up behind them. What do you guys think? Is America still a meritocracy, or are we forever doomed to this inequity?

Altucher: Don't Go to College

Mod Note (Andy): Best of Eddie, this was posted on 2/9/11. Old video got taken down, but this one is pretty relevant.

I can almost hear the collective gasps from the peanut gallery as you guys watch this, but Formula Capital's James Altucher thinks college is a sucker's bet. Well, not really. But he thinks it can be a really bad move to go straight from high school into college, and he makes some great points. Why shouldn't everyone try to start their own business, if for nothing else but the experience? I really want to hear your feedback on this one, and try to think outside the box a little.

Homeless Joe Is Back

For those who have been wondering what Homeless Joe is up to these days, I present you this update. He's such a sanctimonious prick now that he's sober I almost couldn't make it through to the end, but boy am I glad I did. There's a payoff.


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