Monday, January 16, 2012

Sentential Links


:: There's a sense that a lot of us have that our public policy ought to be aiming to produce large gains for everyone. You often hear that for one reason or another the United States "can't afford" this or that. We "can't afford" to pay people Social Security benefits. We "can't afford" to build high-speed trains. We "can't afford" to give everyone early childhood education. But why can't we afford this stuff? Are we a poor country? No, we're not. We're one of the richest countries that's ever existed. Are we a poorer country than we used to be? No, we're not. But a very large share of the gains we've made over the past three decades have gone to a relatively small number of people. If the gains had been broadly shared, then the burden of paying for that basic infrastructure and public services would have to be very broadly shared. But the gains have been very concentrated, and so if we're going to afford that stuff, a large share of the revenue has to come from the people who've gotten the money.

That's not envy, that's math.

:: I could use a little Essence of Yo in my life! (I have never been able to make a yo-yo work. That is all.)

:: I will no longer be talking to Ron Paul supporters about Ron Paul. Paulites are like ultra-conservatives who believe in magic. Or they're just dumbass college kids who want marijuana legalized enough to not pay attention to the monstrous amount of racism and sexism this man spouts. I'm done with them. "Educate yourself" they always tell me. I have no choice but to assume this is meant as irony. (The most loud-mouthed Paul supporter I know is a college student who is also a 9-11 conspiracy theorist. I don't bother with Paulites anymore, except to occasionally wander into a pro-Paul discussion, ask something like "So what's the excuse-of-the-day for Paul's racist newsletters?" and then wander off without waiting to see what the answer is. Great fun!)

:: Too terrified to hurl themselves from a bridge or put a shotgun in their mouths or even take up smoking, they at least hope that each day is the day that a bag of sodium-laden chips triggers a massive stroke, after which would come blessed emptiness. But even rides on the carousel of death are now denied to them by their cruel creator. (Making fun of Funky Winkerbean is one of life's finer pleasures.)

:: To those who pontificate anxiously that the Internet keeps us separate and isolated from one another: You literally do not know what you are talking about. This PSA has been brought to you by Sheil-babe. (Preach it!)

More next week!

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