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According to the CPI, we’ve experienced low and stable inflation over the last few decades. But, one only needs to look up the prices of cars, jeans, college tuition, health care, rent, and many other day to day items to realize that the average American’s expenditures have grown at a much higher rate than the reported inflation number (see shadowstats.com for an eye-opening education on “changes” (perhaps, manipulation) of this calculation). At the same time, the average American’s pre-tax income has remained stagnant for the last decade. Rising prices versus stagnant incomes is, by our definition, inflation because the purchasing power of the average American has decreased over the last decade. While our definition may be relative, the result has the same deleterious impact on those it affects as does the tunnel vision definition of inflation. –“Waiting for Inflation? It’s Already Here,” Robert Barone, Minyanville
The doll hospital is just like a real hospital. There are doctors. Nurses. Orderlies. You bring the doll in and they wheel the doll away in a little doll wheelchair. Or, if the injury is bad enough, on a doll gurney. There’s even a helipad on the roof, for when a doll needs to be MedEvac’d after flipping her pink Corvette on the Pacific Coast Highway. My wife tells me that most of the operations at the American Girl hospital are done free-of-charge. I don’t buy it. That doesn’t sound like American Girl to me. That sounds like Canadian Girl. Or French Girl. An American Girl hospital would charge you $8,000 for a needle and thread. Oh, you want them to thread the needle? That’ll be another $14,000. Up front. In cash. –“Dad’s an Ass: An American Girl Story,” Warren Benedetto, DadWagon
The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence….Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. –“Morals and the Servile Mind,” Kenneth Minogue, The New Criterion
More from TedRoss:
Average number of sitcom laughs an American hears during a prime-time season:
Nielsen Media Research (N.Y.C.)/Jim Drake, Night Court (Tarzana, Calif.)/Harper's research
Czech and German deer still do not cross the Iron Curtain.
British economists correlated the happiness of a country’s population with its genetic resemblance to Danes.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”