The Problem is Ignorance

 

If I Were A Poor Black Kid – Forbes:

“President Obama was right in his speech last week.  The division between rich and poor is a national problem.  But the biggest challenge we face isn’t inequality.   It’s ignorance.  So many kids from West Philadelphia don’t even know these opportunities exist for them.  Many come from single-parent families whose mom or dad (or in many cases their grand mom) is working two jobs to survive and are just (understandably) too plain tired to do anything else in the few short hours they’re home.  Many have teachers who are overburdened and too stressed to find the time to help every kid that needs it.  Many of these kids don’t have the brains to figure this out themselves – like my kids.  Except that my kids are just lucky enough to have parents and a well-funded school system around to push them in the right direction.

Technology can help these kids.  But only if the kids want to be helped.  Yes, there is much inequality.  But the opportunity is still there in this country for those that are smart enough to go for it.”

(Via Forbes.)

Mr. Marks is exactly right the problem is ignorance.  His.  Its willfulness especially.  I don’t doubt his heart is somewhere near the right place, but seriously.  His entire argument boils down to this:  Poor black kids “don’t have the brains to figure this out for themselves” just like his presumably white middle class kids.  Further, they don’t have adults with the resources to help them.  So even when the odds are stacked against them, and like all children, are ill equipped to face these challenges alone, it’s still their fault they struggle.  You gotta love conservative ideology for it’s ability to engender doublethink.  Orwell would be impressed.

 

Obama’s Turn at the Populism Trough

Obama channeling Teddy Roosevelt:

UPDATE 3-Obama hits Republicans, Wall St in populist speech | Reuters: “Their philosophy is simple: we are better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules. Well, I’m here to say they are wrong,” he said.

But Republicans said it was another attempt to distract from what they see as Obama’s failed economic record. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell accused the president and his fellow Democrats of resorting to “cheap political theater.”

(Via Reuters.)

Of course being the Party of No, well, that’s expensive political theater.  If he resonates with the Occupy movement, the GOP goose is cooked.  You heard it here first.  Break a leg, Mr. President!

Wall Street Is Already Reacting Negatively To Debt Ceiling Fight

Wall Street Is Already Reacting Negatively To Debt Ceiling Fight:

[UPDATE: Forgot to add the previous paragraph that follows.] In other words, and completely contrary to what GOP leaders are saying, two major financial market participants are warning that there will be a Wall Street-related price to pay if the debt ceiling is not raised as needed.

The best indication of all that the market has already started reacting negatively is the current trading of credit default swaps on U.S. debt. As of late May, the number of CDS contracts — essentially insurance policies on the possibility of a default — had risen by 82 percent. Equally as important, the cost of a CDS — the best indication of how much riskier U.S. debt has become — rose by more than 35 percent from April to May. Last week I spoke to a number of people who calculate such things for a living, and they said this change means that the interest rate the U.S. government has to pay has already increased by as much as 40 basis points compared with what it otherwise would be. This means higher federal borrowing costs and deficits, and overall higher interest rates on everything from car loans to mortgages to credit cards.

(Via Capital Gains and Games | Washington, Wall Street and Everything ….)

Grade school social studies class: Congress has the Power of the Purse.

I Feel Like A Black Republican, Too

TNC, quotes a commenter named David White who must have been channeling me.

I Feel Like A Black Republican:

You know, normally something this stupid wouldn’t bother me, but this story really gets under my skin. If they can try to paint Common as a ‘dangerous black man,’ what black man is immune? If they think Common is vile, then I know they have no use for my black ass. Common is beyond the pale, Michelle Obama hates whitey, Eric Holder is protecting the New Black Panther Party, Shirley Sherrod is discriminating against white farmers, Barack Obama is giving reparations to black people? Conservatives, do you realize how stupid this sounds to black people?

…But shit like this is what prevents me from even getting to the point where I’d give their policies a fair hearing. And I know there are some Republicans and conservatives here, and I say that you have no chance of getting any kind of support from black voters as long as the leaders of your party are pulling these kinds of stunts.

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates :: The Atlantic.)

Faux News is Complete Bull!@#$

Jon Stewart ethers Faux News:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Tone Def Poetry Jam – Lyrics Controversy
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Tone Def Poetry Jam – Lyrics Controversy
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Healthcare is not a Normal Good

Freakonomics » New Freakonomics Podcast: Does College Still Matter? And Other FREAK-y Questions Answered.

[Healthcare] is virtually the only part of the economy where I can go out and get any service I want—cancer treatment, open heart surgery, have a wart removed, whatever it is—and I pay $3 for it or $5 for it or nothing, even if it costs $50,000 or $100,000.  I mean, imagine if you had the same situation with automobiles.  Where I could show up at the car dealership and I could say, ‘I want the Mercedes for free.’  Well, people say, ‘You can’t have the Mercedes for free.  You have to pay $50,000 for it.’  You say, ‘Why not, I have an inalienable right to free healthcare.  Right?  Why don’t I have an inalienable right to a free Mercedes?’

I love Levitt and Dubner, but here they lose their way.  They miss an important moral dimension to the argument over healthcare.  The best response was in the comments from “Miichael[sic?]”

To extend your Mercedes analogy, what usually happens is that you are told by your personal Car Expert that you need a Mercedes or you will die. You can’t afford one, and your Car Insurer says they won’t pay for one. So you walk. And you die.

The Racism of Frame

Wow.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Racism of Frame:

On Friday I joked on twitter, the other day, that biggest problem with attempting to write smart is that you end up attracting people who really are smart. And sometimes they write in to tell you you’re wrong. And sometimes, In such cases, your forced to acknowledge their point.

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