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Monday, October 27, 2008
I Wish I Had Heard This A Year Ago
Economist Art Laffer was on this week's episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. Watch the tape and continue. (Update: The original video was removed so it's now in 3 parts).
Start at 7:12 and proceed.
I thought he was a bit squirrely. Something about him was off. Perhaps he was nervous. Anyway I had no idea who he was so I went digging around You Tube for the tape of the conversation referenced. Watch below.
I noticed things veered off into a discourse of feminism, but the point that was being made is that a lot of mothers HAVE to work because the cost of living expenses are so high. Yes, many women work by choice for pleasure. I am equally certain that if this country had an infrastructure that really supported families by providing national child care, health care and paid time off more people would participate as well.
Can we get off this argument over reproductive rights in the form of abortion interference/birth control obstruction and actually help people with the kids they already have! Or future children they may wish to plan for. Would people be driving to Nebraska to abandon children well over the age of 5 if they had enough resources to care for them?! Who seriously wants to have an abortion? Sometimes people need help and all they get are others projecting their narrow views in the guise of religion and judgement!
In France mothers get 3 years maternity leave with a guarantee of their previous job upon return. In Sweden the gov't pays your college tuition in full at any school of your choice. Guess what - their rate of abortion and children in foster care is much lower than ours here in the land of "everybody should be rich because we're Americans".
The meme in the US is to demonize "socialism" as something bad, but there are aspects of how other govt's work that really put their countries first. People actually pay higher taxes - without all the loopholes the wealthiest get in this country - and there's less disparity amongst classes. Generally speaking, the poor people in the US are much poorer than those in other Western countries. We have to pay for everything! Yeah capitalism. Though it always seems to benefit somebody else.
This doesn't compare to those in the developing (recovering) countries but I see that as a result of political policies as well as a situation citizens of the world could resolve quickly by demanding the cancellation of debts, providing necessary medicine for less than cost and stop meddling in their affairs!
As for us here in the US, this is a time of reassessment. New priorities must be set. If enough people decide they will stop spending money they don't have our economy will correct itself. If not, we will have to pay the piper.