Friday, February 03, 2012

President Barack Obama will ramp up his efforts to help unemployed veterans find jobs by calling for $6 billion in spending aimed at service members returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Administration officials said Obama will propose an initiative that could put 20,000 veterans in jobs that preserve national parks and other public land.

Because it is for veterans, maybe the Republicans will support this jobs initiative, instead of their usual practice of opposing whatever the President proposes to improve the economy and the outlook for jobs.

We really need a much larger CCC-type program, but there is no chance that Republicans would allow that to pass.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Rich and the Poor.

In a cloumn earlier this week, David Brooks praised Charles Murry's book, "Coming Apart" , which deals in part about the increased separation of those Americans in the top 20% from those in the bottom 30%. Five decades ago, many more of these groups worked together and lived nearby. Now, tony parts of cities and wealthy residential enclaves elsewhere. And a widened gap in educational levels has led to more separation in working life.

Brooks concludes with a call for a National Service Program that would force members of the upper group and the lower group to live together, if only for a few years. This would lead better understanding, shared values, and a reduced sense of class. To some extent, World War II provided that benefit for an earlier generation.

Though politically difficult, we should institute a service program, with many options for institutional missions. In the meantime, existing programs such as Americorps and the Peace Corps should be expanded. These would help provide the benefit of diverse contact, as well as help with the unemployment problem faced by the youth of our country.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


The host of this popular public radio program reminded the cast of President Obama's lame joke during the State of the Union address and asked each to think of what dumb joke the next president might try. One suggested that the next president might appear at the event wearing a T-shirt saying " I spent 500 million to get elected and all I got was this stupid Congress"

Labels: ,