At times NobodyisFlyingthePlane will be a diatribe about the current state of affairs in the US and the world at large, at other times it will be an evidentiary discussion of the problem, and most of the time it will just be a collection of links I wanted to share.
This article is a good discussion of the work that went into pacifying amd unifying Europe and North America over the last century. It’s important to remember that it wasn’t all that long ago that we were not aligned in our goals and motivations. It’s taken decades to get where we are.
This same sort of pacification and unification of goals still needs time for the West to align with the Middle East, Africa, South America, and maybe even Asia. The greatest tools have been shared markets and peace treaties.
If we want to ultimately resolve the issue with terrorism or security in general we’re going to have to give the markets time to work their magic on developing economies. Prosperity is the greatest tool for widespread security.
The Decline of the West, and How to Stop It http://nyti.ms/2egn38N
We know it’s already over for the Presidential race, but its going to take years to work through all the broken things this election has exposed. Years!…a very tremendous amount of years it’s going to take.
This column is a great, albeit painfully amusing, summary to date of the most obvious wrongs to start with. There’s still a few weeks left to add some additional transgressions.
Is there a double standard for women in politics?
Imagine if it were Hillary Clinton who had had five children by three husbands…
If Hillary Clinton Groped Men http://nyti.ms/2e7gqUa
Famous for low wages, terrible working conditions, and bringing crappy Chinese junk to every living room in America, Walmart has had a flash of genius. If they want to improve sales they should pay their employees more.
It’s amazing they didn’t see the business correlation between employee satisfaction, employee quality and profit sooner. It still doesn’t address the fact that a business that doesn’t pay a liveable wage shouldn’t be considered successful.
“The management philosophy that became popular in the 1980s that led companies to cut pay for low-wage workers, fight unions and contract out work may have been profitable for the companies that practiced it in the short run,” said Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist and leading scholar of labor markets. “But in the long run it has raised inequality, reduced aggregate consumption and hurt overall business profitability.”
To fix it, executives came up with what, for Walmart, counted as a revolutionary idea. This is, after all, a company famous for squeezing pennies so successfully that labor groups accuse it of depressing wages across the American economy. As an efficient, multinational selling machine, the company had a reputation for treating employee pay as a cost to be minimized.
But in early 2015, Walmart announced it would actually pay its workers more.
That set in motion the biggest test imaginable of a basic argument that has consumed ivory-tower economists, union-hall organizers and corporate executives for years on end: What if paying workers more, training them better and offering better opportunities for advancement can actually make a company more profitable, rather than less?
How Did Walmart Get Cleaner Stores and Higher Sales? It Paid Its People More http://nyti.ms/2e5IgCj
Here’s an interesting idea to incentivize positive behaviors: offer a lottery prizes.
Who knew that people could be cajoled into improving their behavior in a ton of different areas just by offering prizes.
Safer sex, slower driving, voter turn out, paying taxes all benefitted from showering folks with prizes and moola.
For Better Citizenship, Scratch and Win http://nyti.ms/2dRanDb
Why not to go into Syria.
Awful things are happening, nobody denies that, but we have to stop believing that American exceptionalism as a solution to world problems. Sometimes there isn’t a solution and especially not one the US can provide.
Boots on the ground is a serious mistake.
But the biggest problem with the arguments for intervention — even the calibrated airstrikes that the dissent channel memo calls for — is that it would lead to boots on the ground. Assuming Mr. Assad were to escalate attacks in response to the airstrikes — a virtual certainty — the option of a limited response would no longer be available.
Direct military action against the Syrian government would ignore the primary lesson of Libya: that regime change, absent the willingness and capacity to engage in subsequent stabilization operations, opens the door to extremist groups. An American commitment to such operations in Syria would also ignore the primary lesson of Iraq: that true stabilization requires both counterinsurgency and state-building, for which the United States, like most mature democracies, lacks the stomach for brutality and political stamina.
American resources are better spent on sustaining a stricken population and regional governments’ needs while nurturing a political process on Syria, however tortuous, than on conducting futile military assaults against the regime.
Why the U.S. Military Can’t Fix Syria http://nyti.ms/29Ptrkj
When it comes to the environment, population growth, and many of our social problems, the quotes below apply more aptly to our entire planet, not just Israel. These are things we don’t talk about but should.
we’re addressing only symptoms, not causes.
environmental problems are largely a function of a rapid increase in population. The country will never be able to control greenhouse gases, maintain even minimal levels in our rivers and streams or protect our fragile habitats if this demographic growth continues at such an astonishing rate.
Housing shortages and soaring prices are a national affliction, all fueled by ever-growing demand.
Rapid increases in population are driving our environmental problems.
The part of the article about poverty applies more so to our whole world than to Israel alone.
We need to see population as the driving force behind many of our worst problems.
Poverty, too, will never be reduced until the country checks the relentless expansion of its population. More than a quarter of Israeli children live below the poverty line; a majority of those live in families with five or more children. Israeli children growing up in families with two siblings or fewer, regardless of ethnic identity or religious affiliation, generally enjoy better opportunities.
Israel’s Looming Demographic Crisis http://nyti.ms/2anLb7E
This article is a lengthy examination of the value to society of charitable giving (private aid) versus government social safety nets (public aid).
It makes it abundantly clear that the conservative idea that charity should supplant the government driven social safety net is self serving to the rich and never has and never will be able to meet the needs of the poor.
Both the Great Depression and Recession showed that it is only widespread public relief which works. The author goes over all details exhaustively, but it boils down to the fact that when it is most needed private charitable aid dries up. Furthermore it is selective in who it supports so there are many needy who aren’t served well by private aid. Most importantly though the writer shows that the issue is not really private vs. public, but one in which private aid flourishes when pervasive public aid meets basic needs.
Most important is the idea that the governmental safety nets are not mere handouts. They are the framework which allows people at all levels of the economy to thrive and take the risks which grow our economy.
A public social insurance state gives every individual the security necessary to take risks, which enriches both our economy and our society. And it also establishes a baseline of equality and solidarity among all citizens, so that charity enhances the lives of the less fortunate instead of forcing them to rely on those with money and luck.
But social insurance isn’t just a collection of programs. It’s a reflection of who we are and how we intend to navigate the risks of a modern age. Contrary to the idealized imaginings of conservatives, the Four Horsemen of accident, illness, old age, and joblessness won’t be—and have never been—fended off with purely private means. Only a vigorous public response, rooted in Truman’s vision of charity, can ensure our safe passage into a prosperous future.