Thursday, March 27, 2014

SAR #14086

Ye Olde Slippery Slope: The general impression from those in the room was that the Supremes are inclined to rule that Hobby Lobby does have the right to impose their religious beliefs on their employees. However, there is a difference between private beliefs and public behavior – witness our current lack of 'Whites Only' signs.

Clear And Present Danger: Local public schools teaching an essential, federally mandated minimum curriculum should be funded by taxes paid by all citizens. Certainly parents should be allowed to send their children to any private school they can afford, but that should not relieve them of their civic duty to pay taxes to support public schools. None of that tax money should find its way to any private entity. The $1 billion a year being funneled into private schools should be stopped and returned to the public schools.

Farm Teams: A NLRB examiner has agreed with the Northwestern University football players who claimed the right to form a union because they were “employees” under contract to the university who received wages in return for services rendered. 
Asked & Answered: Will a degree from a for-profit diploma mill get you a job? Will you actually turn a profit on the investment - on your student loan? No, and the fact that you had to ask suggests you failed Research 101, Marketing 101 and Capitalism 101. For extra credit, estimate how many years it will take you to pay off the loans you took out to earn that worthless degree: _____ . And how much could you have socked away toward yur retirement if you hadn't been suckered into the whole charade? ____ .

A Little Help From My Friends: "The presence of a more liberal government is related to a higher rate of reported health, a lower rate of reported smoking, lower BMI, and fewer numbers of days with poor health." Damned socialists.

Hot Topic: French economist Thomas Piketty's "Capital In The Twenty-First Century" has become the thing for economists and economic bloggers to cuss, discuss and misconstrue, mainly because ait gives them a chance to talk about inequality. Well, I can play that game, too. Most agree that inherited wealth has once more become (or has always been, opinions vary) the preeminent source of political economic power in the US. That their income is essentially tax free is by design, their design. Promoting inherited wealth over work, George W. Bush's biggest tax breaks went coupon-clippers and heirs - he and his family specifically included. The right wingers have long valued capital over labor and worked to preserve that privilege. Today the level of inequality in the treatment of earned vs. unearned income in the United States is “probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world,” Certainly “the concentration of wealth has soared to levels that have not been seen in over a century…" Some claim that capitalism can be regulated so as to force capitalists to keep the division of the spoils sufficiently broad to prevent collapse and rebellion. Maybe so, but why should we help them keep us subservient? The challenge is knowing what to do. 
Memorize This: We will not be able to reduce our budget deficit, or put the long term unemployed back to work, or raise GDP levels closer to potential as long as we have large trade deficits.
Not Here: In Croatia, a child's right to health trumps the parent's right to be idiots.

Different Strokes: The Tea Party placating Republican Right wants to kill Common Core because, despite decades of evidence to the contrary, “students are best served when decisions about education are made at the state and local level.” Because reading, writing and arithmetic vary from place to place, y'know.

Porn O'Graph: Up, up and away!

The Parting Shot:

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