Monday, April 06, 2009

NY Times vs. 3-year olds: who is smarter?

A new study claims that 3-year olds are unable to plan for the future, as LiveScience reports:

The pupil measurements showed that 3-year-olds neither plan for the future nor live completely in the present. Instead, they call up the past as they need it.

"For example, let's say it's cold outside and you tell your 3-year-old to go get his jacket out of his bedroom and get ready to go outside," Chatham explained. "You might expect the child to plan for the future, think 'OK it's cold outside so the jacket will keep me warm.' But what we suggest is that this isn't what goes on in a 3-year-old's brain. Rather, they run outside, discover that it is cold, and then retrieve the memory of where their jacket is, and then they go get it."

The findings are detailed this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Now consider the New York Times:
  • "The argument against unions--that
    they unduly burden employers with unreasonable demands--is one that
    corporate America makes in good times and bad. . . . There is a strong
    argument that the slack labor market of a recession actually makes
    unions all the more important. Without a united front, workers will
    have even less bargaining power in the recession than they had during
    the growth years of this decade, when they largely failed to get raises
    even as productivity and profits soared. If pay continues to lag, it
    will only prolong the downturn by inhibiting spending."--editorial, New York Times, Dec. 28, 2008
  • "In
    a striking example of corporate hardball, the New York Times Co. has
    threatened to shut down one of its journalistic jewels, the Boston
    Globe, unless the New England paper's unions agree to sweeping
    concessions."--Washington Post, April 4, 2009
(Hat tip: James Taranto and John Miller).

The first quote, the NY Times editors repeat, despite a century's worth of evidence about the complexity of the issue, the pleasant and heart-warming platitudes about unions being good.  The NY Times, like the Democrats consistently side with unions.  When confronted by real-life, however, the New York Times belatedly discovers that it will have to close the Boston Globe unless the unions relent.  Why is it that the New York Times was unable to consider the full complications of union power until they are confronted by it directly?  Is it the same reason that toddlers are unable to plan for the future?

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