If you don’t know what austerity is at this point, I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the 2010 Merriam-Webster word of the year. I just linked you to a good definition of the word, but it’s also easy enough to provide one here. Austerity, in the context of economics, is a policy regimen involving cuts to government spending and tax increases designed to reduce government budget deficits and address long-term debt. This concept has been the dominant idea in western economic policy over the last 3-4 years. The problem? It absolutely does not work, especially in this, a demand-side crisis.
Again, I’d like to pull out my favorite Keynes quote. “The boom, not the bust, is the time for austerity.”
I don’t know who out there thinks the lockdown of the Boston metro area the other day was uncalled for, but I know they exist. I really want to put this out there real quick – they’re wrong.
I might be 3,000 miles away, but I saw the images coming out of Boston just like everybody else and I don’t think the massive military presence was unjustified. In fact, I think it was exactly the right reaction. As Deval Patrick said today, I think it was fully understood by the community that the lockdown was in place for no other reason than to apprehend the suspects and keep Boston safe.
It may have looked like Kabul, Afghanistan but it was Boston, MA and there was a damn good reason to lock down the city. On top of that, it was a success. Anyone who thinks that Boston becoming a police state for one day is hilariously off-base. Those people should be thankful that they live in a place where when bombs go off it’s national news. For anyone who doesn’t know, while three people died and scores were injured in Boston, this happened in Afghanistan. Just a bit of perspective.
I try to remain relatively sanguine about our government. Perhaps naively, I have genuinely believed that our politicians do their best to represent their constituents. Our country is so divided, that must be why it seems so hard to get anything done in Washington these days. But, It’s days like today that remind me how wrong those beliefs are. Congress is party to an oligarchy, not a democratic republic. Groups like the National Rifle Association have far too much power; a black mark from them is a political death sentence in many parts of our country. The results of this imbalance are situations like Wednesday, when a bipartisan “gun control” bill could not muster the 60 votes necessary to break a threatened filibuster.
I didn’t know much about Roger Ebert as a man, but now I wish I had. On a list of famous people I would have liked to meet he would have been an underrated choice. Just getting a better understanding of somebody that thoughtful, that curious and that worldly would have been unforgettable. Mostly, I would have loved to say thank you.
As an amateur writer by any definition of the word, I love writing, but I also love reading the work of those I admire. And when I really think about it, there aren’t many writers I read more frequently than Roger Ebert. I’ve read his review of pretty much every movie I’ve seen in the past several years. I’ve read his review of movies I never saw but wanted to know more about. I don’t put a lot of stock in individual movie reviews–everybody has their own distinct opinion and generally I see movies I want to see regardless of what the popular opinion indicates. But I found Ebert’s take, whether I agreed or not, was always fascinating. Simply put, reading Roger Ebert’s work has made me want to be a better writer. I’m not sure there’s a better compliment I can give him. Continue reading →
After President Obama’s solid but somewhat by the numbers State of the Union address, it was time for Senator Marco Rubio to take the stage. The Republican rising star and not-so-secret 2016 presidential hopeful came across as genial and trustworthy in his speech. Unfortunately, the words he spoke did not always match up with his tone.
The first time I saw Zero Dark Thirty was the day after its release at 9:30am. Why 9:30am? Because every other showing was sold out a day in advance–in an admittedly small theater, but still. Maybe it didn’t have the broad appeal of, say, the Avengers, but to a certain demographic, I think few films were more highly anticipated.
There aren’t too many things Americans agree on these days. It seems the list gets shorter and shorter by the week. Amidst raucous debates regarding abortion (an old time favorite), marriage equality (a hot new topic), and now gun control, one thing has never been in question: violence against women — really against any innocents — is abhorred by the vast majority of Americans.
Passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has been renewed in 2000 and 2005 with bipartisan support. After expiring once again, the bill came back up for reauthorization in April 2012. This time it was met by a great deal of conservative and Republican pushback. Two versions of the bill have been passed — Democrats pushed theirs through the Senate and the Republicans did the same in the House —and the reconciliation between the two is currently far from assured. Naturally, this has been subject to outrage and has led to continued cries that the GOP is waging a “war against women.” I’m not sure what will come of this bill — the Democrats may bully the Republicans into accepting the Senate version or the two sides will have to come to some sort of compromise — but I do know one thing: this is one of the single most brilliant pieces of political maneuvering the Democrats have pulled off in years.