We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
President Obama tonight seemed simultaneously angry and nervous as he rushed through a speech that was transparently not worthy of a joint session of Congress. His great idea: Cobble together a mish-mash of old ideas (infrastructure spending, a payroll tax cut) and pay for it later, by asking the debt commission to come up with additional deficit reductions later, preferably by hiking taxes on the rich. The second half of the speech was a heated campaign rally aimed at a cartoon version of his future opponent.
re. Israel's dilemma.
This is an on the target article, but too short and polemical.
Thanks mostly to Fisher (born in former zimbabwe, schooled in LOndon, then US Fed Reserve Board before he took on the Israel job) the Israel economy was turned around, but he began this effort in the 1980's while still in the US and israel was facing triple digit inflation. i.e. this was decades of planning and work.
He is also a fine person and takes pride in lifting the boats of all including the working class via his efforts.
But, Israel, a small state, is owned by about 20 wealthy families, as Fisher has stated. This results in profound resentment, particularly from those who fight in the army, then return to pay exorbitant taxes (tax on a new car: 125.%. Yes, I put the decimal in the correct place). On the other hand, everyone wants to live in Tel aviv (population 350,000) or Jerusalem (population 750,000), which are very costly.
Some people's bodies have given out long before age 75. What do we do about them? Put them on disability? SS disability fund is broke now. If we grant them a waiver and let them retire, is that fair to the elderly that have to keep working and "contributing" to SS?
As an employer do you want seniors working for you? They are going to have more health problems and absenteeism than younger workers. Their hearing and eyesight is failing, which could contribute to poor communication and misunderstandings in the work place. They may contract Alzheimer's or dementia and as a manager you may not be allowed to take corrective action until it is too late. I think they may be more likely to get hurt on the job due to their feeble bodies. Just what a company needs, an OSHA investigation because a 70 something on the payroll got hurt doing something a younger worker would have no problem with.
Or we could go the other way, instead of raising the retirement age we could just give everyone half as much SS income.
Obviously there are no easy solutions or the pols would not have kicked the can down the road for the last 40 years. It will be interesting to see what they end up doing.
I think continuing to print money will be their solution.
There's a lovely piece in the Wall Street Journal's Book Review section this morning which brought tears to my eyes,entitled Dog Therapy at Ground Zero by Frank Shane, a dog handler. He began taking his Golden Retriever to Ground Zero fairly soon after the terrorist attack, and continued to do so when he realized what spiritual comfort the volunteer workers were receiving from that dear dog. All you dog lovers know that a Golden is no guard dog. They are so sweet in general that they would welcome in the burglars. But they are matchless at conveying inter-species comfort. And that's what this dog did, day after grim day at Ground Zero.