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To the Editor | Removal of political extremism is critical for country

       While political differences are a constant and even valuable part of civic life, political extremism is an increasing and dangerous trend.  Such extremism exists on both the left (e.g., Antifa-related violence at protests, attempts to prevent speakers such as Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos from talking on college campuses) and the right (e.g., the killing of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, voter suppression).  This increased polarization is harmful as it divides our communities and makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate and solve our nation’s challenges.     Our concern is a result of the extreme words...

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To the Editor | With more students come more costs

Official Miami seems ecstatic about our record enrollment this fall.   Judging by the major effort to build new residence halls, this may not be a temporary blip but, instead, may reflect a furtive plan to substantially and permanently increase the size of the student body:  Three new dorms on Western Campus, one new dorm on Maple Street, a new dorm on the Withrow Court site, one new dorm on North Quad, and conversion of the Miami Inn into a dorm.  Somebody, somewhere has decided that a major expansion of dorm capacity is needed to house a permanently major increase in the number of students. The benefits of increased enrollment are obvious:  More dollars from more tuition, more fees, and more room and board charges collected from more students. But economics teaches that the costs of a decision have to be weighed against the benefits. In this case the costs are substantial, involving not only dollars and cents but, more fundamentally, the potentially corrosive effect on the character and quality of Miami as a unique undergraduate institution. The dollar-and-cents costs are considerable:  They include not only the millions of dollars in interest expense paid to borrow funds to build new residence halls, but the permanently increased operating costs incurred in cleaning, maintaining, repairing, and staffing them.  The interest payments end, but increased operating costs permanently inflate Miami’s expenses. In...

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Single-payer healthcare has never worked, and here’s why it never will

Luke Schroeder, columnist After multiple botched attempts, congressional Republicans have yet to follow through on their campaign promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare. As stated by Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), the ACA promised, “If you liked your plan, you could keep your plan; if you liked your doctor, you could keep your doctor; premiums would go down by $2,500; the Obamacare exchanges would work; the website would be secure; and emergency room visits would go down”. He continued, “Those are all false statements and signs of failure. Look no further than the fact that 19 of the 23 Obamacare co-ops have already gone bankrupt.” While many Democrats won’t (publicly) admit it, everyone knows the ACA is falling apart. Insurers are fleeing the exchanges at breakneck speed – next year, nearly half of all U.S. counties will offer only one insurer on the exchanges. Care is too expensive, and the immense weight of the federal bureaucracy is crushing free market competition, at the detriment of the consumer. The events of the past few months have proved one thing: There will never be a perfect healthcare bill, and there will never be a perfect healthcare system. However, it is congress’s duty to do what they can to create a better system, even though that will guarantee strong opposition. A replacement must come soon, and it...

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Gun control could be the answer to lowering mass shootings

Darcy Keenan, columnist There is no one definition of a mass shooting that is accepted by all Americans, however, according to CNN, the one most widely accepted states that mass shooting is an event in where four or more people, not including the perpetrator, are shot and killed. It is almost identical to the FBI’s official definition of mass murder. According to an article published by the Guardian in June of 2016, every six days there are five mass shootings. That means, on average in the United States of America, there are only sixty days a year that do not include mass shootings. Furthermore, CNN has stated that America holds five percent of the world’s population, but is responsible for thirty one percent of the world’s mass shootings. These numbers are scary. Is there anything we can do, as college students, as citizens of this country, to reduce the numbers? Currently, America’s federal gun control laws are fairly lenient. Most of the federal laws regarding guns pertain more to the seller than the buyer or owner of the gun. However, in 1990 the Gun-Free School Zones act was passed, which prohibits unauthorized personnel from carrying guns in school zones. In 1993 the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passing which requires background checks and a five day waiting period for most firearm purchases.  There exceptions, though, one of which...

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What would you bring? Empathizing with hurricane victims

Emma Kinghorn, guest columnist The first day of class. It doesn’t change much, whether you’re pulling out a Crayola 64-pack or an Intro to Business Law novel out of your backpack, you’re about to hear the same basic spiel. “Good morning, I’m teacher ______. Welcome to  ______ class. Let’s get to know you all of you now!” There it is. The Icebreaker. The universally dreaded, monotonous, there’s-nothing-fun-about-me, activity. The worst part? No one really learns from these exercises, or remembers all the names, except for that one girl in the back corner that tells everyone about her jet-setting, my dad is a CEO and my mom a Brazilian bikini model who doubles as a Russian spy, childhood. And her name is probably something exotic. If you’re lucky, you can skip the fun fact, or the adjective that starts with the same letter as your name round, and jump to an easy question. It goes something like this: Your house is on fire, and you can grab three things. What are they? Photos. Blankie. Passport. Car keys. Dogs. Cats. Chinchillas. It’s almost too easy, when you think about what you want. But, what about what you need? Your house is on fire, and you can grab what you can carry. What do you need? In the past two weeks, over 100,000 Americans answered this question for themselves. And weeks after,...

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