* Are the rich making war on the poor?

In the current government shutdown, and the campaign to defund Obamacare, it certainly sounds that way to me.

Advertisements

* “Alice in Wonderland” had a Tea Party, too.

I’m angry. I don’t usually talk this way. But for better or worse, for the moment, I will.

I don’t know the numbers, and I’d welcome if someone would tell me. I also don’t understand how the numbers work here, and I’d also welcome if someone would tell me.

How is it that the Tea Party has not just hamstrung the Republican Party, but also the House as a whole?

Let’s say the President proposed that “tomorrow” be defined as “the day after today.”  Let’s also suppose there are 100 Tea Partiers in the House; of 235 Republicans; and that the remaining 200 House members are, you know, Them.

Obviously, the 100 Tea Partiers will oppose the President here, just as they do as to anything else.  But how can the remaining 135 Republicans, along with the 200 Them, fail to pass such a thing?

Call it kairotic, call it synchronicity, call it whatever.  I am working on the “substantial response” mentioned here, specifically just now on a passage about how the emotionally needy, the infantile, those who stomp their feet and throw tantrums like two-year olds, lack the wherewithal to learn problem-solving skills, being intransigent and unwilling and unable to compromise or negotiate.  I’m speaking there of what may be called the “underclass,” but the equal pertinence to the Tea Party leaves me speechless.

* Grow the pie, or re-slice it?

Here comes the spoils society

Don’t let that odd title put you off.  I think this op-ed by Robert J. Samuelson is pretty important.

The question is whether we direct the economy so as to increase wealth for everyone, or instead merely give poorer or richer people larger pieces of the “pie.”

In my conversations with other homeless folk and poor people generally, I hope to emphasize the desirability of creating wealth as opposed to merely taking it away from others.

On that point, I’m certainly prone to agree with Andy Kessler, though I have uneasiness as to whether or not he would support corresponding policies.

Other recent articles on similar questions:

An Obituary for the American Middle Class
Race, income, education increasingly polarize U.S. families since recession
Higher education’s biggest challenge is income inequality

As to Catharine Hill’s piece, I really have to question what “special services” rich families are “demanding” that are bidding up tuition costs.

 

My record cannot be expunged

Yesterday I researched expungement in Maryland.  My conviction was in mid-October 2010, and I’d understood one could get a misdemeanor expunged after three years, so I was hoping to take care of that now.  Turns out there is no expungement of any guilty verdict, except in the case of any of a long list of truly trivial nuisance crimes, e.g. urinating in public or not paying one’s fare on the subway.  To clear my record, I must apply for a pardon, for which I become eligible only after five years of being arrest-free after the end of probation (Oct. 2011).  The paperwork is extensive.  One’s application must include copies of one’s high school and college diplomas, any discharge from bankruptcy, and certified copies of one’s driving record from any state in which one has ever had a license (as in my case, Ohio until 1978).

So for the time being, until October 2016, my one (1) misdemeanor conviction will continue to bar me from employment with many of Maryland’s largest employers.

Previous post:  Hiring discrimination and “backgrounds”
 

* Andy Kessler, Round 3: Guilty as charged

I participate on a certain online discussion board.  My premiere antagonist is a man who got trounced by a playground bully in fifth grade.  He never fails to seek to re-enact that battle with me (or any of certain others), hoping for a different outcome this time.  He casts his opponent by turns as the bully he wants to be or the chump he fears he was; and interacts with those projections.  It has nothing to do with me.  He might as well be playing with his G.I. Joe dolls.

Andy Kessler’s 07/08/13 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Summer Jobs for the Guilty Generation,” is little different.  In his quotations of others’ expressions, I hear compassion; he hears guilt.  I hear gratitude; he hears guilt.  I hear hope; he hears guilt.  What’s up with this?

Kessler projects his own guilt feelings onto his son’s generation.  That’s easier than owning them, but solves nothing.
Continue reading

Andy Kessler, Round 2: Intelligence received

One may need to take the term “intelligence” here with a large grain of salt.

At any rate, the reader has provided me with the actual text of the op-ed piece.

There is more to this than other commentators have indicated. I will have my own response here within a few days.

Andy Kessler, Round 1: How to do things backwards

A reader just brought to my attention a recent “controversial article” by Andy Kessler that appeared in the July 8, 2013 Wall Street Journal, suggesting that I might respond to it here.

We’ll see.  Thus there may be a “Round 2.”

One response to Kessler’s editorial: “Andy Kessler, Former Hedge Fund Manager, Says Shelter Volunteers Cause Homelessness”

The big obstacle is that the original is available online only to WSJ subscribers.

Quoting from my e-mail reply to the reader:

Thanks for the lead.  I’ll see what I can do with this. 
 
The most direct help would be if you could use your subscription to get us electronic copies of the text.
 
I could submit comments to [reporting on the article, e.g. at HuffPost] — I did that at NYTimes and got some blog views behind it.  I am wary, however, of responding on my blog to anything other than the original, since responses to the original may misrepresent it.
 
WSJ sort of cooks its own goose as to credibility, handling its site that way:  it comes off as, “Us rich folk can just discuss these things amongst ourselves, thank you very much; we don’t need any dissenting opinions.”
 
I do have a October 17, 2012 post noting a different very rich man who’s taken a far better approach.

 

If you’re not familiar with the October 17, 2012 post, I commend it to your attention now.