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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:
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Chances that a Republican man believes that “poor people have hard lives”:
A school in South Korea was planning to deploy a robot to protect students from unwanted seductions.
Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”