If the college experience were in fact the tsunami of violence that the feminists proclaim, leading to widespread emotional dysfunction—a dysfunction nowhere in evidence among increasingly dominant female college graduates—there would have been a stampede to create single-sex schools where girls could study in safety. Instead, college applications from girls rise each year, and the chance of admission at selective campuses drops further under the press of eager petitioners. At Yale alone, the target of an Obama administration Title IX probe into alleged indifference to rampant sexual assault, applications rose from 13,000 in 1996 to 27,000 in 2011. Somehow, word about Yale's "unsafe" environment for girls is not getting out.
Do women need the protection of men? Or are they equal and able to stand on their own two feet, make decisions with regard to their own welfare, and suffer the consequences of their own risk taking? You know, like adults? The irony is the "feminists" said "we don't need men's protection, we are good on our own" and now they are saying "we need protection, we can't fend for ourselves, it's a mean cruel world." It's the same soft bigotry we see with the races, and it is fed by the present obsession with the power of being a victim.
But no one is looking. Budget debates and the media focus on deficits and debt ceilings. This makes people seem engaged when they are actually evading explicit choices of what programs to cut and taxes to raise.
Both liberals and conservatives are complicit in this charade, but liberals are more so because their unwillingness to discuss Social Security and Medicare benefits candidly is the crux of the budget stalemate.
This refusal is rich in irony: The pro-government party in rhetoric has become an anti-government party in practice.
On a discussion of combat veteran suicides:
It is a grievous thing to consider that so many cannot reconcile their pain in another way. I don't know that I have any perspective except that I have no doubt that the govt can do little to impact this. It is unfortunate that care of veterans is left to giant and mostly unaccountable agencies, bound by clunky regulations and people who can do little to make an impact. Here's an easy prediction - politicians will campaign on reform in vet care - not much will change. Politicians will campaign on medicare and SS reform. Not much will change. Politicians will campaign on health care reform - we may see change but we won't see folks getting healthy. If a solution comes, it won't be from the brute force of govt, it will come from someone with passion and purpose and inspiring charisma like Dr. King who will so reshape our perspective that we will fix it instead of pawning it off on the preening idiots we elect to "serve" in public office. 23 years and five deployments (Desert Fox, OEF, OIF), and I am grateful each day to have returned. I feel worse and worse about how shabby our politicians behave. The ridiculous proclamations they make about how much they do "for us" - they give themselves bro reps.
There's a lot of discussion of retiree benefits. The cruel irony of the way the DoD is set up is that money that is paid to those of us who used serve is money that won't be spent to equip and train those who serve now. The promises made via entitlement programs appear by the projections I've seen over the last 7 or more years to be eating the entire federal budget. There's a reasonably complete description of the topic called "the end of government" by Samuelson. The point is the last 40+ years of politics has produced a result which is unsustainable. Interesting where this rubber meets the road. The law said they have to pay veterans a raise equal to inflation on their promised retirement benefits. They made a new law that will change that annual increase to "inflation -1%", until we reach age 60 or so, after which pay will restored to what it would have been. It's not like they promised benefits and made them part of the contract they made with veterans and then violated that contract. They made a law that was above and beyond contractual obligation and then changed that law. Is it right or wrong? That's what your conscience is for. As a veteran that hopes idiot politicians never send the troops out to fight wars that politicians will then quit when it becomes expedient, I want the troops to have the best equipment and training but never need it. I'd also like to have the retirement benefits I had until a couple months ago. I can't have both. And that problem will get worse each year. An easy prediction - the politicians will campaign on solving the budget sustainability problem but won't until we are on the brink of the death spiral. Thus, the price paid will be worse for all, and it will be paid by those who never received a penny of the extravagant promises made via entitlements
http://www.nationaljournal.com/washington-inside-out/how-giving-1-000-to-every-baby-in-america-could-reduce-income-inequality-20140212 Like it or not, the sharp inequality in the country is a fundamental issue. The gap between the richest and the rest of us is greater than it has been since 1929—a notable year. The gap between the pay of CEOs and top executives and the average pay of their companies' workers has grown into a yawning chasm compared with the ratio just a couple of decades ago. One can believe, along with deluded oligarchs such as Tom Perkins, that any criticism of the rich is like Kristallnacht—or, more reasonably, that without the drivers of wealth, the entire society would falter and fail to grow. Or one can believe, as some studies show, that social mobility has not fundamentally changed in several decades—that Americans can still move up the ladder. Or one can believe that the failure to deal with the stagnant incomes of the lower half of the population will lead to a sag in demand that will itself imperil growth. And one can believe that as our population ages and people live longer—making the ratio of Social Security contributors to Social Security beneficiaries much less favorable—stagnant or lower incomes will undermine the viability of the entire system, much less the ability of those relying solely or mostly on Social Security to get by. Inequality is a "fundamental issue." Thank you sir, for not taking more words to say nothing. Someone, anyone, show one negative impact to anyone from inequality? It hurts no one. Live and let live. This proposal, though, might be the gateway to jettisoning the nastiness of social security.
Whatever combination of those things you believe, one thing should be accepted universally: If Americans lose the sense of the American Dream—that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can rise to the absolute limits of your own abilities—and if Americans gain a sense that the rich get richer while the rest of us get screwed, our national unity will be imperiled, and the opportunities for real demagogues to emerge will grow. Is there any way to deal with this problem that doesn't get caught in our partisan, ideological, and tribal crosshairs? There is, and I am surprised it has not entered our policy discourse at all as the debate over inequality and adequate living standards has raged. It is called KidSave, and it was devised in the 1990s by then-Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, with then-Sen. Joe Lieberman as cosponsor. The first iteration of KidSave, in simple terms, was this: Each year, for every one of the 4 million newborns in America, the federal government would put $1,000 in a designated savings account. The payment would be financed by using 1 percent of annual payroll-tax revenues. Then, for the first five years of a child's life, the $500 child tax credit would be added to that account, with a subsidy for poor people who pay no income. The accounts would be administered the same way as the federal employees' Thrift Savings Plan, with three options—low-, medium-, and high-risk—using broad-based stock and bond funds. Under the initial KidSave proposal, the funds could not be withdrawn until age 65, when, through the miracle of compound interest, they would represent a hefty nest egg. At 5 percent annual growth, an individual would have almost $700,000. The initial idea of KidSave was to provide a retirement supplement to Social Security, making it easier in some ways to reform Social Security to achieve fiscal solvency. But the concept can serve multiple purposes at a very small cost. Imagine if we adjusted the KidSave rules so that at certain pivot points in life, individuals could withdraw a portion of their nest egg to pay for college expenses or a down payment on a house or a medical or other emergency, or even the creation of a small business, while still making sure that a substantial share of the funds would stay in a retirement account. We could ameliorate many of the problems facing hard-pressed middle-class and working-class families and encourage entrepreneurship, while protecting a major nest egg for retirement years. No doubt, some would squander or misuse the money, but for most, it would provide an opportunity and a lifeline. More than 65 percent of Americans have a net worth of less than $100,000. The average net worth in the U.S. is about $37,000. But averages disguise another reality: the dramatic differences in net worth between the bottom and the top. The wealth owned by the top 1 percent of the population is more than 37 percent of the total; the top 20 percent own 87.7 percent of the wealth. KidSave would significantly change all those numbers and ratios, and provide a cushion of wealth for those at the bottom of the ladder. KidSave drew support from liberals and conservatives, from unions and business interests, from the Heritage Foundation and AARP. For conservatives, it meant a universal investor class. For liberals, it meant giving wealth and security to tens of millions of people who have little or nothing. But for reasons I can't explain, it went nowhere. The same was true of a second iteration of the program, where each child would get an initial $2,000 loan at birth from Social Security, with the money also placed in a retirement account invested through the Thrift Savings Plan; the initial $2,000, as adjusted for inflation, would be paid back in five annual installments starting at age 30, but with the accrued investment growth continuing to build in the individual's account. That plan was cosponsored by Kerrey and fellow Sens. Rick Santorum, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Charles Grassley, and John Breaux, but it still died on the vine. In his State of the Union message, President Obama proposed a commendable plan for starter retirement accounts, MyRA, providing an incentive for workers to have small amounts automatically withdrawn from their salaries to invest in principal-protected Treasury bonds. Nice, but tiny. KidSave is much more ambitious, with much greater potential. Why not give every American a piece of the pie? If the cost, in the end, were even $20 billion a year, that is chump change in a $17 trillion economy—and, of course, money that would all be invested in America. KidSave is an idea whose time has come. Any takers?
From 2003 to 2009, the federal hourly minimum wage rose in steps from $5.15 to $5.85, and then from $6.55 to $7.25. Between 2003 and 2007, 28 states increased their minimum wages to a level higher than the federal minimum. San Diego State University economics professor Joseph J. Sabia and Cornell University economics professor Richard V. Burkhauser examined the effects of these increases and reported their results in the prestigious Southern Economic Journal.1 They "find no evidence that minimum wage increases between 2003 and 2007 lowered state poverty rates."
All the evidence, then, points to substantial positive
short-run effects from the Obama stimulus. And there were
surely long-term benefits, too: big investments in everything from
green energy to electronic medical records.
So why does everyone — or, to be more accurate, everyone
except those who have seriously studied the issue — believe that the stimulus
was a failure? Because the U.S. economy continued to perform poorly — not
disastrously, but poorly — after the stimulus went into effect.