Lacey Smith

Archive for October, 2013|Monthly archive page

Federal Extortion

In Current Events, Politics on October 16, 2013 at 5:42 pm

It appears that Congress may have reached a deal today and that the partial federal shutdown might be coming to an end. In other words, the Republicans have realized that either way the American people lose and hopefully this way they will lose less and so they (the Republicans) are caving to the demands of the president and Senate democrats.

It’s a really shameful way to run the country, but this federal thuggary is what you get when your government gets far too big and the people get far too reliant on it’s services.

Meanwhile, all over America people are struggling. Some of them are having difficulty because of the uncertainty that comes with a partial government shutdown. But many more are struggling because they rely, in one way or another, on the federal government.

For example, the southern counties of Utah rely heavily on tourism dollars. Their economies are almost completely dependent on whether or not the federal government keeps the national parks open. In fact, a week ago, just a few days into the shutdown, nine Utah counties declared a state of emergency. When Utah brought a plan to the Feds to open the parks they said “Nope.” But then they so graciously allowed us to do it their way.

When I heard the news report, I immediately thought This feels an awful lot like extortion to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Misleading Facts and Critical Thinking

In Current Events, Education on October 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

My sister recently shared a video from Upworthy about wealth distribution in America. It leaves the distinct impression that things are unfair in America’s economic system. It uses facts and sources to back up it’s point. And it is very convincing.

However, it also left me with some questions. Lots of questions.

Questions like: Did the overall standard of living go up as well? How does the poverty level today compare with the poverty level in the decades they were comparing? In other words, in real dollars, has the poverty line moved or stayed the same? Has opportunity to join the ranks of the wealthy gone up or down? What caused this? How does America’s poor compare with the wealth and poverty of other nations?

Without debating the actual facts of the video, the message it sends or the mistaken concept of wealth as a finite resource instead of a renewable or expanding resource, I want to address these sorts of videos as a general whole. Read the rest of this entry »

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