Saturday, 7/16/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

8 responses to “Saturday, 7/16/11, Public Square

  1. Getting to Crazy
    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    There aren’t many positive aspects to the looming possibility of a U.S. debt default. But there has been, I have to admit, an element of comic relief — of the black-humor variety — in the spectacle of so many people who have been in denial suddenly waking up and smelling the crazy.

    A number of commentators seem shocked at how unreasonable Republicans are being. “Has the G.O.P. gone insane?” they ask.

    Why, yes, it has. But this isn’t something that just happened, it’s the culmination of a process that has been going on for decades. Anyone surprised by the extremism and irresponsibility now on display either hasn’t been paying attention, or has been deliberately turning a blind eye.

    And may I say to those suddenly agonizing over the mental health of one of our two major parties: People like you bear some responsibility for that party’s current state.

    continue reading —
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/15/opinion/15krugman.html?_r=1&ref=paulkrugman

  2. Who are the women who obtain abortions in the United States? Why do they decide to end a pregnancy? What are their social and economic circumstances? This video was created by the Guttmacher Institute, a leading research and policy organization on sexual and reproductive health. http://guttmacher.org

  3. Could someone please check out the information on this website…
    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/distribution/index.cfm
    A lot of technical economy talk that I’m not sure how it translates. It appears that much of the info was compiled prior to 2010 and predicted what we are experiencing currently with the economy. I need someone to check it out for me, please.

    • I hope 6176 has the time to ‘weigh in,’ as he is our resident expert. He probably wouldn’t appreciate me calling him that, but he won’t argue that I have the right to my own opinions. 🙂

    • It’s not close to being technical enough; while many of the generalizations therein contained are accurate, reference to the linked sources (like footnotes) is mandatory to fully grasp the context from which the bullet points are taken. I have not read in detail each and every section, as I don’t have the time. From the sections sampled, it is accurate, albeit too general and overly broad to be all that meaningful.

      Not trying to be hypercritical here, as the object was, I presume, to present conclusions from a number of academic studies in a way the great unwashed, as economists seem to think the rest of us are, can get a grasp of what these conclusions are while providing citations to such studies so the interested reader may read them. In this, it succeeds.

      BTW, welcome to the “dark side” of tax policy. There was nothing I read that came as even a minor surprise to me. I’ve a feeling others might disagree.

  4. Remember how often we’ve all talked about the need of an ‘end-of-life’ discussion. We bemoaned the time when ‘death panels’ was being tossed about and realized it had set back that needed discussion. What is the cost, what is the benefit, how do we ever define quality of life, onandon. Here is an op-ed piece addressing some of the things we’ve spoken of and it cites another article, “The Good Short Life,” worth reading (along with other writings on this subject). I don’t follow this authors conclusion or his attempt to tie prolonging life to our budget mess, but he does speak of a subject we’ve all agreed needs a good thorough airing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/15/opinion/15brooks.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

    • It is a subject that we, as humans, have great difficulty facing/don’t want to discuss. The author’s conclusion is valid to the extent the cost of providing end of life care adds much to the deficit, the quicker exhaustion of Medicare funding, which I would argue is irrefutable.

      Some of you know my thoughts on “curing cancer”, expressed in another forum. I hold many of the same type of thoughts regarding “curing” Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, ALS, MD, MS, Parkinson’s disease among others.

      What I see, in general, is the way our national culture has infused our medical professionals with the belief that a patient’s death is evidence of failure on their part. As death is a part of life, this belief needs to be modified, at a minimum. Bioethics are a bit outside my alleged areas of expertise. We do, however, need to take “quality of life” into more account than we do presently.

      As to the “curing” of diseases of the type included within the above list, the same will not occur unless or until we can effectively and ethically deal with “genetic engineering”. Even tnen, I question if the quality of the remaining life, as extended, will be worth the effort.

      • indypendent

        Our current health care system is not set up for quality of life – it is set up for how many dollars can be made before life is gone.

        And that, in my opinion, is a big reason why we are in the boat we are in today. And that boat is sinking – IMHO.

        But I view life and death differently than alot of people. I’ve worked the nursing home business for a long time and I’ve seen things worse than death. That’s why I am absolutely resolved about my DNR designation and I have told all my family members – betray me at the end of my life and I’ll come back to haunt you.

        I think they know I mean it. LOL