Excellent examples of why we should accept that our language is changing around us, and how “proper” English is not as unchanging as we think. Also a perfect example of Same Same But Different thinking. Our own myopic view of the world around us often leads us to believe things are the same as they ever was. NYTimes: A Matter of Fashion http://nyti.ms/Os8LKD
This aggrieved and loss shattered resident of the Rockaways in NYC has got it all wrong. Rebuilding and infrastructure in flood prone areas needs to be carefully planned. Best practices for sustainable smart growth should be followed and long range planning for the communities as a whole taking precedence over quick fixes to get people back into their beach side property.
“We actually need sea walls here,” said Wilmarth. “They’re worried about repairing the boardwalk. I don’t care about the boardwalk. Get us a sea wall. Get us a flood barrier or something.”
Sea Walls just lead to beach erosion, and as the next article points out, they didn’t help the New Jersey communities which had them. Its time for big thinking and putting the community above the individual. Perhaps the best solution isn’t letting homeowners rebuild in areas that will just get swamped again.
NYTimes: We Need to Retreat From the Beach http://nyti.ms/ZMv2dv
This is not the time for a solution based purely on engineering. The Army Corps undoubtedly will be heavily involved. But as New Jersey and New York move forward, officials should seek advice from oceanographers, coastal geologists, coastal and construction engineers and others who understand the future of rising seas and their impact on barrier islands. We need more resilient development, to be sure. But we also need to begin to retreat from the ocean’s edge.
The disappearance of unions isn’t a good thing for America. I’d be happy to suggest a multitude of reforms they desperately need in order to stay viable and relevant, but little good will come of limiting the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain. Right to work laws make sense on the surface, but their real effect is to eliminate unions.
Its very easy to forget what unions did for all workers – not just union members. Here is a brief list of benefits we all enjoy as a result of changes that labor unions championed and for which they are generally credited.
Why is it that employees don’t share in the rewards of their increased productivity? This is obviously a pro union source, but a comment at the end is worth sharing.
Without Unions, Wages Haven’t Come Close to Keeping up with Productivity or Inflation
Prior to the 1980s, productivity gains and workers’ wages moved in tandem. But from 1980 to 2008, nationwide worker productivity grew by 75 percent, while workers’ inflation-adjusted average wages increased by only 22.6 percent.
This means that over the course of the last 30 years or so, workers were compensated for only 30.2 percent of their productivity gains.
If American workers were rewarded for 100 percent of their increases in labor productivity between 1980 and 2008, as they were during the middle part of the 20th century, average wages would be $28.53 per hour–42.7 percent higher than the average real wage was in 2008.
It helps to look at the motivating factors behind recent pushes for Right to Work laws. Besides the eternal Red-Blue divide it’s corporate greed that under pins the movement.
“I think an important question to think about is: Why are big private companies spending a lot of money and energy fighting public sector unions?
“They want more free trade, lower minimum wage, the right not to pay sick leave, and all those things which are not per se about union contracts. But the biggest single opponent they have is the labor movement, even in its shrunken and weaker state.”
Lafer blames businesses and key business figures for lobbying to push such laws “not because of what unions are doing now for their own members but to get them out of the way on issues that will affect everybody else.”
These campaigns stigmatize unions and encourage people who are unemployed to resent unions rather than big business leaders, he argued.
For an overview of issues surrounding right to work laws follow this link: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/11/us/right-to-work-q-and-a/index.html
One thing worth noting is that the states with Right to Work laws are not the ones typically or historically associated with the financial growth of our country. Absent from the list are Mid-Atlantic states, New England, the Rust Belt, California. Right to Work States are more likely the ones associated with agriculture and sprawling chicken processing plants (paragons of safe, healthy, well paid work environments).
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.
The pay wall idea makes good sense. Give away a certain number of articles per month so casual readers can read one now and then and charge for access beyond that.
There is a cost to news gathering. We should welcome the ability to pay for excellent journalism. As the article’s writer says,
In the end, we get the journalism we deserve
That’s true in so many respects. When we make journalism into entertainment we get Fox News.
There is probably room in the market place for a service which sells access to multiple newspapers’ sites at a discount for the occasional reader who needs a bit more than the free monthly allotment, but not enough to pay for monthly subscriptions to several newspapers.
Tax breaks to encourage economic development in a specific location may benefit the taxpayers, and they may not. This article shows that its very difficult to determine the real benefit to tax subsidies.
One thing often left out of our national conversation is that corporate tax subsidies are CORPORATE WELFARE that directly benefits corporate shareholders. Anyone who owns stock in a company which receives federal, state, or local tax subsidies is themselves the recipient of government entitlements.
People are very quick to judge the entitlements of the poor. Few recognize the entitlements they receive themselves. Even fewer people are willing to question the benefits of the corporate welfare we lavish on fickle companies.
Granting corporate incentives has become standard operating procedure for state and local governments across the country. The Times investigation found that the governments collectively give incentives worth at least $80 billion a year.
Texas cut public education spending by $5.4 billion — a significant decrease considering that it already ranked 11th from the bottom among all states in per-pupil financing, according to recent data from the Census Bureau. Yet highly profitable companies like Dow Chemical and Texas Instruments continue to enjoy hefty discounts on their school tax bills through one of the state’s economic development programs.
But relying on companies does not always turn out well. When Amazon set up a distribution center outside Dallas, it received incentives from the state. Six years later, when the company got into a tax dispute with the state, it shut the warehouse, which employed as many as 2,000 people during its peak season.
NYTimes: Lines Blur as Texas Gives Industries a Bonanza