Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Does locking people into dependence expand choice?

original article: How Government Paid Leave Restricts Parents’ Choices
January 21, 2020 by Georgi Boorman

“People say, ‘I just need to organize my life like this and make the right choices,’” Claire Cain Miller quoted from feminist author Kirsten Swinth in The New York Times recently. “Nobody’s saying, ‘I’m making choices in an impoverished world.’” The article for the New York Times’ “The Upshot” purports to examine the challenges parents face in balancing work and child-rearing.

Cain Miller operates from the premise that the United States — one of the wealthiest countries in the history of the world — is “impoverished” in parental choices. From the author’s view, parents’ limited options are due to institutional policy deficiencies, such as a lack of government-provided parental leave, meager paid leave from employers, and “gendered expectations.” If it weren’t for these “structural limitations,” the implied argument goes, American parents would face a rich selection of choices for work-life balance.

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Filed under: culture, economics, family, feminism, freedom, government, nanny state, public policy, reform, unintended consequences, victimization, welfare

A closer look at how education funding REALLY works

original article: I’m an Educator Who Disagrees with Teacher Walkouts
January 18, 2020 by Ajalon J. Stapley

This is a post from my blog that I wrote back in 2018 when the “Red for Ed” frenzy, to increase Arizona’s education funding, was happening.

I’m an educator with a different perspective from what you probably see in the media regarding Red for Ed protests. I worked in public schools for 12 years, as an afterschool provider, teacher, administrator and more. I’ve taught in three states and don’t claim to be an expert in everything education, but I have my experiences, and don’t agree with what’s happening. Let me explain.

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Filed under: children, crisis, culture, education, family, funding, public policy, tragedy, unintended consequences

What the NYT used to say about the minimum wage

original article: The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00
January 14, 1987

The Federal minimum wage has been frozen at $3.35 an hour for six years. In some states, it now compares unfavorably even with welfare benefits available without working. It’s no wonder then that Edward Kennedy, the new chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, is being pressed by organized labor to battle for an increase.

No wonder, but still a mistake. Anyone working in America surely deserves a better living standard than can be managed on $3.35 an hour. But there’s a virtual consensus among economists that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market. A far better way to help them would be to subsidize their wages or – better yet – help them acquire the skills needed to earn more on their own.

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Filed under: capitalism, economics, government, poverty, public policy, reform, unintended consequences

The dehumanizing effects of the fear of failure

original article: The Deadly Dance of Perfectionism: How the Rhetoric of Family Planning Hurts Children
November 21, 2019 by Susan Martin

As a child, I never knew exactly what my dad did, but I knew that his office was the first place where I had ever seen anatomical pink and magenta models of the uterus and the embryo. I remember sitting with my mother in our family station wagon and looking up into the exotic jungle of scarlet bougainvillea that pressed against the glass of his beautiful corner office, displaying its deeply ridged flowers, just like the pink plastic model.

My father and I used to race each other up the stairs of the Population Center, and I remember the feeling of my heart pounding in my chest as I reached the last step before he did. I would triumphantly turn around and wait for his brown shoes and white cotton socks to appear on the top step before jumping out so that he could pretend to be surprised. Beating my father up the stairs confirmed my feeling that someone wanted me. I was strong and fast, and thus worthy of my father’s love. (Later, this would develop into a mania for long-distance running and endurance training.)

“Wantedness” was originally a term coined to describe a mother’s attitude toward the birth of a child. Sociologists decided that the degree to which a birth was wanted could be measured by accounting for less than perfect timing, less than perfect finances, or simply emotional hesitancy on the part of the mother. Yet its wider applications had more to do with phenomenology than with science. It could describe a person’s value in the social economy and the environmental factors limiting that value.

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Filed under: abortion, biology, children, culture, eugenics, family, feminism, health, ideology, philosophy, sex, unintended consequences

Black people lost ground under Obama

Host Tavis Smiley argues black people have lost ground in every major economic category over the last ten years.
April 6, 2016

https://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=4834072253001&w=466&h=263

Democrats, economy, government, politics, president, public policy, reform, tragedy, unintended consequences

Filed under: Democrats, economy, government, politics, president, public policy, reform, tragedy, unintended consequences

Displacing girls, the (hopefully) unintended consequences of the transgender moment

original article: 8th Place: A High School Girl’s Life After Transgender Students Join Her Sport
May 6, 2019 by Kelsey Bolar

When two high school athletes who were born male but identify as female tookfirst and second place at Connecticut’s girls indoor track championship this year, it wasn’t just a local news story.

To some, it was a story of triumph and courage. The winner, a junior from Bloomfield High School, set a girls state indoor record of 6.95 seconds in the 55-meter dash, and went on to win the New England titles in both the 55-meter dash and the 300-meter dash.

To others, it was a story of shock and disappointment: Is this the end of women’s sports?

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Filed under: children, culture, diversity, extremism, ideology, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, public policy, relativism, unintended consequences

The religion of sex: is rape in the eye of the beholder?

In the 1990s Whoopi Goldberg played wise, ancient sage in a popular TV show. In one episode her character and another were discussing matters of truth, and Goldberg’s character voiced this popular tenet of progressivism: “Truth is in the eye of the beholder”.

This was nothing innovative even back in the 90s. It was merely another example of how the political left revels in customizable reality. But the quote is a good reminder of the underlying problem: some people don’t know the difference between fact and opinion.

People who wish to genuinely understand the world freely recognize the difference between fact and opinion. We recognize there is no such thing as “your truth” or “my truth” or “true to you but not to me”. If something is “true to you”, it’s your opinion, not truth. Your opinion is yours, reality is not yours.

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Filed under: crisis, culture, diversity, ethics, hypocrisy, ideology, law, liberalism, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, relativism, scandal, sex, unintended consequences

HOW THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION BECAME A DOGMA

original article: THE ZEALOUS FAITH OF SECULARISM
January 2018 by Mary Eberstadt

Begin with a sobering fact. During the past ten years, some of the sharpest observers of our time have come to believe that the tectonic plates underlying Western civilization have shifted momentously. One result is a deep, creative struggle among the thoughtful for new imagery and fresh analogies to illuminate what’s perceived as a darkening time.

Thus, nine years ago, the late Richard John Neuhaus called this new place “American Babylon.” Today, in another eponymous book, Rod Dreher speaks of a “Benedict Option.” George Weigel called in his 2017 Simon Lecture for a new Great Awakening, and elsewhere for what he dubs “the Panula option” after the recently deceased Fr. Arne Panula, a tireless evangelizer. Using T. S. Eliot as a touchstone, First Things editor R. R. Reno argues for Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society. In Strangers in a Strange Land, Archbishop Charles Chaput develops an analogy between our time and that of the Book of Exodus. And in yet another book just published, Anthony Esolen evokes the image of the phoenix with Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture.

As this profusion of literary and historical analyses goes to show, to be Christian today is to be a sailor in search of an astrolabe. And no wonder: We are in open, roiling, uncharted waters, so looking up to fixed points would help. One other way to orient ourselves is to peer down beneath the currents and focus on what’s done most to shape the “post-Christian” or “ex-Christian” world: the sexual revolution.

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Filed under: abortion, american, anti-religion, atheism, crisis, culture, ideology, liberalism, philosophy, progressive, religion, sex, study, theology, unintended consequences

Slaves sold in open market in 2017. Really?

original article: Africans are being sold at Libyan slave markets. Thanks, Hillary Clinton.
November 27, 2017 by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

Black Africans are being sold in open-air slave markets right now, and it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault. But you won’t hear much about that from the press or the foreign-policy pundits, so let me explain.

Footage from Libya, released last week by CNN, showed young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned off as farm workers in slave markets.

And how did we get to this point? As the BBC reported back in May, “Libya has been beset by chaos since NATO-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Oct. 2011.”

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Filed under: corruption, Democrats, foreign affairs, government, ideology, politics, scandal, tragedy, unintended consequences, war

This, above all else, is why Roy Moore has as much support as he does

original article: ‘Reckoning’ Attempts Display A Left Still Unable To Face Bill Clinton’s Alleged Sex Crimes
November 15, 2017 by Daniel Payne

It is fascinating and welcome to see liberals discovering their consciences on Bill Clinton’s alleged rapist tendencies. True, this moral revelation comes about two decades later than it should have, and at precisely the moment the Left can no longer reasonably ignore it and not a moment sooner.

Just the same, it is nice to finally see some honesty on this issue. It is nice to see liberals, having no more use for the Clintons, finally undertaking what MSNBC host Chris Hayes calls “a real reckoning” with the very real possibility that Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick nearly 40 years ago.

And yet.

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Filed under: abuse, bias, corruption, culture, Democrats, elitism, ethics, hypocrisy, ideology, left wing, liberalism, politics, progressive, relativism, scandal, sex, unintended consequences, victimization

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