This video from American Public Media's Marketplace isn't the
funniest Dr. Seuss ripoff ever, but it does accomplish the unlikely feat of
making the health-care arms race entertaining. If your hometown's plan for
prosperity involves becoming the next Pittsburgh--where the iconic U.S. Steel
Tower now wears the initials of the University of Pittsburgh Medical
The new poverty numbers came out today, and they aren't pretty.
The Census Bureau reports that more than 15 percent of Americans
are living in poverty--a number that's gone up for three consecutive years and
is the highest it's been since 1959.
This week marks the 15th
anniversary of welfare reform, in which a Republican Congress and a
re-election-focused Democratic president got together to fulfill the latter's
promise to "end welfare as we know it."
It's official: Congress passed a debt-ceiling deal, and the president signed it. While this is certainly preferable to the
country defaulting on its obligations, it's not an
inspiring piece of legislation.
"In these tough times, Americans are tightening their belts—and their
government needs to do the same." This bipartisan applause line is pithy, full of populist empathy and easy to
understand. It's also exactly wrong.
I have been writing recently about the connection between our Christian faith and the workaday lives most of us lead, and I have sought to strengthen that connection. But now I want to weaken it some, because often in our zeal to make a point we wind up making an idol.
Back when I made my living as a high school English teacher, I used to tell my ninth graders that the class unit with the most practical application to their lives was Greek tragedy. “Grammar’s important, too,” I would hasten to add. “Don’t get me wrong. But not all of you will require a working knowledge of English grammar to get by in life.