PROMISE YOURSELF Optimist Club of Coronado Post Office Box 180251 Coronado, CA 92178-0251

April 24, 2008 If God had a refrigerator your picture would be on it. Via Jack Couture Meetings at 7AM on Thurs at Coronado Yacht Club

Jim Alley, President Pres.08-09 Leslie Crawford VPs-Irish Flynn & John Bowen Stu Powell, Secretary John Freeman, Treas. USNA ’45 Publishers A group that’s too noble for fear

First things first. Our harmonica player has sent his new address. Joe Petrucci lives at 24425 Village Walk Place Apt. C217, Murrieta Ca. 92562 His phone number is Land Phone: 951-239-0291. Cell: 619-200-8777. Joe wants to play for you and yours when you visit Murrieta, so he invites you to drop in. And before anyone else tries to take advantage of this column to notify friends and family of changes of address, note that you have to have a skill like Joe has, not just be able to look pretty and tell lies like most Navy pilots. Notes from the World’s Biggest Tent Over a Flower Show. Clean off your succulents before you enter them for judging. A senior member of the Flower Show Committee—in fact, the Chairperson of the Committee, and an Optimist who you all know—received a reproach from a judge. “Submitting a plant for judging that has dead leaves and live spiders in the container shows disrespect for the judges.” Those in the know can read such comments on the back of cards that the judges leave with the plants. Normally the comments sound like the advice given in wine columns. “Has a pleasant scent of the fig and the color of the Persian walnut.” For the flower show judge this might convert to “A nice vertical line with spectacular usage of color with a bit too intricate a development at the apex.” Notes on how to win. Many members of our Optimist family took home Yellows, Reds, and Blues from the Show. Ed Chapman won a blue ribbon for his entry in the Miniatures. Wasn’t it gallant of Ed to put Betty’s name on the entry? All of you wives should have such loving husbands. And from two of our members who clerked for the judges I heard the secret on how they won a ribbon in the shadow box. “I think it was the second bottle of wine we drank in my garage at 2AM Saturday morning that gave the inspiration for this.” Marge Stearns was pleased with her showing in the miniatures and will want to pay several dollars to the Dingmaster in exchange for time to explain to the guys how you get the flowers twisted into those little spaces without breaking the stems. And Joe Huber would want to tell us all about the proper and legal employment of night soil to fertilize roses in Coronado, but he is gone East with all his night soil. Officially the Optimist Winners were (drum roll) Marge Stearns - 3rd in "The Girl I left Behind"-Betty Chapman - 1st in "Succulent Sophia"-Diana Drummey - Novice 1st in "Dry Martina". Bill Jepson’s entry in the Men’s Division was judged to be offensive to mature minds. Meanwhile the Optimist Patrol was on guard at all the gates. Art Jones suffered frost bite at the North Pole gate on Saturday. Most of us were not ready for the global warming temperature drop. On Sunday your editor was moved to a new station under a Coney Island Pine. I was allowed to operate a stamp pad which I did while eating a sandwich. That red ink gives tuna the taste of Persian walnut. This week BJ Adelson brought our favorite conductor, David Amos. Maestro Amos has been bringing his Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra to our fair city for better than a quarter of a century. We used to pay the orchestra with home made cookies. Ah, the good old days. Now we give them sheet music. David always has an interesting story to go with the orchestra’s music, and with his own travels conducting orchestras around the world. Are you ready to sell ads? To put you in the mood remember the old adage that “A job well done becomes a pleasure.” In days of yore little kids were taught their Parker penmanship by writing such things over and over into little notebooks. They learned both to write in nice flowing lines and the homey advice in the text. How do they learn these things now? We know they can’t handle cursive. Next week on May 1, we will have as our speaker Naomi Bar-Lev, who is running in the Republican primary to earn a chance to go up against Representative Susan Davis to represent us all in the 53rd Congressional District.

PAGE TWO Costs of College by Thomas Sowell In the Jewish World Review

A front-page headline in the New York Times captures much of the economic confusion of our time: "Fewer Options Open to Pay for Costs of College." The whole article is about the increased costs of college, the difficulties parents have in paying those costs, and the difficulties that both students and parents have in trying to borrow the money needed when their current incomes will not cover college costs. All that is fine for a purely "human interest" story. But making economic policies on the basis of human interest stories — which is what politicians increasingly do, especially in election years — has a big down side for those people who do not happen to be in the categories chosen to write human interest stories about. The general thrust of human interest stories about people with economic problems, whether they are college students or people faced with mortgage foreclosures, is that the government ought to come to their rescue, presumably because the government has so much money and these individuals have so little. Like most "deep pockets," however, the government's deep pockets come from vast numbers of people with much shallower pockets. In many cases, the average taxpayer has lower income than the people on whom the government lavishes its financial favors. Costs are not just things for government to help people to pay. Costs are telling us something that is dangerous to ignore. The inadequacy of resources to produce everything that everyone wants is the fundamental fact of life in every economy — capitalist, socialist or feudal. This means that the real cost of anything consists of all the other things that could have been produced with those same resources. Building a bridge means using up resources that could have been used building homes or a hospital. Going to college means using up vast amounts of resources that could be used for all sorts of other things. Prices force people to economize. Subsidizing prices enables people to take more resources away from other uses without having to weigh the real cost. Without market prices that convey the real costs of resources denied to alternative users, people waste. That was the basic reason why Soviet industries used more electricity than American industries to produce a smaller output than American industries produced. That is why they used more steel and cement to produce less than Japan or Germany produced when making things that required steel and cement. When you pay the full cost — that is, the full value of the resources in alternative uses — you tend to economize. When you pay less than that, you tend to waste. Whether someone goes to college at all, what kind of college, and whether they remain on campus to do postgraduate work, are all questions about how much of the resources that other people want are to be taken away and used by those on whom we have arbitrarily focused in human interest stories. This is not just a question about robbing Peter to pay Paul. The whole society's standard of living is lower when resources are shifted from higher valued uses to lower valued uses and wasted by those who are subsidized or otherwise allowed to pay less. The fact that the Soviet economic system allowed industries to use resources wastefully meant that the price was paid not in money but in a far lower standard of living for the Soviet people than the available technology and resources were capable of producing. The Soviet Union was one of the world's most richly endowed nations in natural resources — if not the most richly endowed. Yet many of its people lived almost as if they were in the Third World. How many people would go to college if they had to pay the real cost of all the resources taken from other parts of the economy? Probably a lot fewer people. Moreover, when paying their own money, there would probably not be nearly as many people parting with hard cash to study feel-good subjects with rap sessions instead of serious study. There would probably be fewer people lingering on campus for the social scene or as a refuge from adult responsibilities in the real world.