Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Obama warns on income disparity, GOP keeps punting to "family values"

President Obama today, in a brief speech, called great income inequality a drag on the economy and possibly a national security threat, at least at home, making the world dangerous and unstable for more Americans.  That view, painting crime as a kind of class warfare, has sometimes been expressed on the Left, as for instance by Noam Chomsky. USA Today has a story here
On the other hand, the Examiner (which now prints only weekly) offers an article by Michael Barone, “Will GOP propose tax cuts to strengthen two-parent families?”, link here
The article didn’t exclude same-sex couples.  But the hint is that people are less interested in having families and marriages at all because of hyperindividualism.  But the case can be made that there are fewer families because wages are not increasing.  Actually, it would seem that lower wages would particularly decimate the one-earner two-parent family of the past.
Media reports indicate that Congress may well let extended unemployment benefits stop on Dec. 31.
In the background, don’t forget about the idea of “National Service”.  An old CNN story (“Where will you give your year of service?”) from June 2013 about the “Plan of Action” popped up on my iPad today and rather startled me.   

I In fact, Dana Milbank, Sundary, wrote an op-ed calling to a return to military conscription here, and a reader wrote to the Post Thursday that "compulsory" service should offer alternatives in the usual modes of national service where there are developmental needs, like the Peace Corps.

I And in The Washington Times, Thursday, Andrew Napolitano ({Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks" writes (article link)   "Traditional Catholic social teaching imposes on us a moral obligation to become our brothers' keepers ... If you give until it hurts, freely out of love and seek nothing temporal in return, you have built up treasure in Heaven."  Giving "until it hurts" means giving "when it costs you something" in terms of your own life purposes, according to a local minister here.   He gives an example that it is better to teach a man to fish than just to feed him with "Free Fish".  (Yup, "Reid Rainbow" even has a point there in his satirical video on the idea.)  Here it gets personal.  It is easier to help (and sometimes teach) others with whom you already communicate or have some psychological stake, however distant and non-material or even unperceived by the recipients in normal terms.  I don't find that challenging. What gets tough is dealing with people who just live in a different world altogether, with whom I have no personal contact and share no thought processes.  That is so much of our underclass today, even in this country.  I do live in that world where "Nobody notices."  

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