Am I referring to affirmative action? Pell Grants? Forgiveness of student loans?
No, I’m talking about the primary area where college students are actually plagued by injustice. I am talking about the market for textbooks.
Though the world of academia tilts heavily to the left, the professor/textbook writers of the world participate as rapaciously in cutthroat capitalism as anyone on the planet.
Students get sticker shock when they go to buy a particular text. So, they resort to the used market, which is better than ever thanks to ebay, half.com, and a variety of other outlets.
But the textbook writers regularly act to destroy the value of the old editions by continually issuing new ones whether necessary or not. The Nobel winning liberal economist Paul Samuelson earned a fortune on his many-times updated standard text.
The situation is on the verge of changing, though. Whether you want to own cherished novels or books of history as an e-book is one question. Owning college texts as e-books is a slam-dunk yes. And because the texts are electronic and can be easily altered, students have a strong case to expect updates as a matter of course to be either free or offered for a nominal additional cost. Certainly, they don’t have to be forced to pay for the hard covers, the glossy paper, and the full color ink.
The day of the $20 college text may finally be here. And the incentive to continually offer updated versions with an extra paragraph here or there may be coming to an end.
The company to do it is Amazon. Much has been made of the iPhone as a device for reading books, but I can’t imagine using that small screen for textbooks where you need to take notes, mark passages, etc. The Kindle is exactly that kind of device. And a student version may eventually be forthcoming.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?