The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don’t even look for them any more. They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crushed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing.
At the same time, states and cities are giving the league hundreds of millions of dollars in the form of stadium subsidies. In his recent must-read article on the scam, the Atlantic’s Gregg Easterbrook cites Harvard University data showing that “70 percent of the capital cost of NFL stadiums has been provided by taxpayers, not NFL owners.” The report also shows that “many cities, counties, and states also pay the stadiums’ ongoing costs, by providing power, sewer services, other infrastructure, and stadium improvements.”
Incredibly, these expenditures continue even as states face crushing budget shortfalls. As just one example, Easterbrook points out that “the Minnesota legislature, facing a $1.1 billion budget deficit, extracted $506 million from taxpayers as a gift” to the Vikings for their new stadium.
End sports charity.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz—whose father is Rafael Cruz, a rabid right-wing Christian preacher and the director of the Purifying Fire International ministry—and legions of the senator’s wealthy supporters, some of whom orchestrated the shutdown, are rooted in a radical Christian ideology known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism. This ideology calls on anointed “Christian” leaders to take over the state and make the goals and laws of the nation “biblical.” It seeks to reduce government to organizing little more than defense, internal security and the protection of property rights. It fuses with the Christian religion the iconography and language of American imperialism and nationalism, along with the cruelest aspects of corporate capitalism. The intellectual and moral hollowness of the ideology, its flagrant distortion and misuse of the Bible, the contradictions that abound within it—its leaders champion small government and a large military, as if the military is not part of government—and its laughable pseudoscience are impervious to reason and fact. And that is why the movement is dangerous.
I think printed newspapers on actual paper may be a luxury item. It’s sort of like, you know, people still have horses, but it’s not their primary way of commuting to the office.
It’s like, you know, those guys that live near that hip co-op, like, that I drive into town to visit and like, you know, they aren’t time travelers from the 1920’s, but like, they totally have, like you know, those curly moustaches and suspenders made out of actual canvas.
When I read things like this, it’s incredibly difficult for me to resist the urge to roll my eyes and think, “It must be nice to be able to walk away from a 6-figure salary and go ‘off payroll’ for however long to work on a ‘deeply personal’ start-up.” I mean, it’s nice that you worked hard, saved, and now you get to go do this. This isn’t inspirational, though. I always wonder when I read these “find myself” narratives from people who have a degree of financial stability that only like 3% of the country can identify with if the authors are aware of how foreign their lives are to the vast majority of their readers.
And I generally think of myself as a well off, well-educated white lady without a whole lot to complain about money-wise. Still, I can’t just walk away from my job or go risk everything on a start-up. A six-figure salary all by myself? I can’t even wrap my mind around that.
I feel this way about a lot of the “inspirational” stuff I see in entrepreneurial/venture capitalism circles, a lot of young people coming out of these huge tech companies with tons of money, with their little start-ups that they hope get picked up and bought out by a big company like the companies they’ve left so they can then start a new one. Because I work in the web, I encounter a lot of this stuff, and it’s always sort of irritating to me, because it all just seems so very Peter Pan in Neverland to me. It has no connection at all to my life or my options or my reality.
In a perfect libertarian world, it is therefore possible for rich people to buy all the beaches and charge admission fees to whomever they want (or simply ban anyone they choose). In a libertarian world, a self-organized cartel of white people can, under certain conditions, get together and effectively prohibit black people from being able to go out to dinner in their own city. In a libertarian world, a corporate boss can use the threat of unemployment to force you into accepting unsafe working conditions. In other words, the local bullies are free to revoke the freedoms of individuals, using methods more subtle than overt violent coercion.
This, more than anything I’ve recently read, sums up my feelings on libertarianism. There are a good number of people that care more about the freedom of a company to be as unsafe and discriminatory as it wants, while ignoring the freedom and safty of individuals.
So that you have it folks: budget reporting at the Post in the Bezos era, more biased and confused than ever. Makes you wonder if Amazon ever would have survived without the massive subsidy provided by being exempted from the requirement to collect sales tax.
Right, it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re - indirectly or directly - getting free money. I think this newspaper hobby is going to be an eye opening experience.