Businesses Are Finding Labor Shortages, So Biden Administration Proposes More Unemployment Benefits

In the midst of a pandemic, as the country recovers from the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, in many towns across the country you cannot help but notice the “We’re Hiring” signs. Despite the fact that the economy has not fully opened up retail stores, grocery stores and restaurants are seemingly desperate for help and in some places there have been reports of businesses closing because of the inability to hire enough people. How can that be? 

Although the unemployment rate is much better than might be expected, it is higher for young people, low income and those with a high school education or less-the exact labor pool where businesses are struggling to find help.

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The Danger Of Cartoons And Fairy Tales

This year we have been able to address some of the critical issues facing the country. Disney has put a warning label on the Muppets because of ‘offensive content’ and restricted the Muppets to adult accounts on its streaming service, for example. And we were able to get Pepe Le Pew banned for sexual harassment.

Yet, there is much work left to be done and fortunately, we have the cartoon and fairy tale police on the job.  Disney Land in California has been especially hard hit because of lockdowns there over the last year. As they began to reopen, a ride featuring Snow White has come under fire because part of the ride shows a clip from the movie where Prince Charming kisses Snow White while she is asleep, and so therefore unable to give consent to being kissed.  (Of course, she would never come out of the coma unless Prince Charming did kiss her…oh, the tough choices we have)!

Yet, the woke/politically correct fairy tale police are slacking a bit. They have not yet even addressed the problem about her name: Sleeping Beauty. Who is to say she is a “beauty” and, after all, isn’t that body shaming? And it could ruin the self-esteem of all the other fairy tale characters.

With a world-wide pandemic, a struggling economy, Iran promising to build nuclear weapons and China threatening anyone within earshot, it’s good to know that at least we are making progress in eliminating the bad influences of cartoons, puppets and fairy tales.

And with all those bad children’s characters and influences gone, we can be proud that our rates of violent crime and sexual assaults have fallen since those terrible things were on TV and read as bedtime stories,   ….oh, um, wait….

(Hypocritical) Quick Takes

In this weekend’s edition of quick takes, we take a look at stories in the news that show how consistency and intellectual integrity seem to be in short supply (which is a nicer way of saying that hypocrisy is plentiful).

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Gerrymandering And Extremism

Since the start of this century, roughly twenty years ago, we have seen the US political scene become much more partisan and divided. Compromise has become almost a four-letter word and both on the left and the right there is less and less tolerance of any deviation.

Studies have shown that members of Congress have moved to the extreme in recent years, with Democrats being far more liberal and Republicans being far more conservative. Although that reflects the partisans of each party, the majority of voters do not hold to those extremes. So how has that happened?

In the guest column (link below), Richard Pildes explains how gerrymandering has made political life more partisan and finding common ground with others less desirable. The decline of truly contested congressional elections, means that candidates pander to the extremes because all they have to do, as a practical matter, is win the party primary. Read his comments, and let us find a way to bring back a desire to work together.

Deja Vu All Over Again: Is This 2021 Or 2017?

As famed baseball player and manager Yogi Berra would say “It’s like déjà vu all over again!”  Listening to the news, one cannot help but hear the echoes of 2017, the year after the last presidential election.

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Save Embarrassment And Avoid Making Predictions

President Biden said this past week that we are nearing a tipping point on climate change / global warming from which there could be no recovery and he has said it is an “existential threat”, imperiling our very existence.

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Police Accountability and Reasoned Discourse

Late yesterday, a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd.

By now, we probably have all seen the video footage of Chauvin pinning Floyd to the ground by putting his knee on his neck. For anyone who has, it was hard not to conclude that then police officer Chauvin used excessive force and murdered George Floyd.

Yesterday, the system worked and held that police officer accountable for his actions. Though it should have been pretty clear to any objective observer what happened, every person has a right to a trial and to make their case. Chauvin did that and the justice system held him to account.

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Trump On 2022…Or On 2020

Last weekend, the Republican Party held a series of meetings for Party activists and major donors. Former President Trump was scheduled to be a highlighted speaker on the last day of the retreat. Rather than go to where the meeting was being held, Trump said that if he was going to participate that the session had to be held at his Mar al-Lago resort and that the charge would be $100,000.

The retreat was designed to rally donors and activists for the 2022 election cycle. Republicans need to pick up only five House seats and one seat Senate seat to take control of those bodies. Given that midterm elections generally go against the party that holds the presidency, Republicans believe there is a real opportunity.

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Lawmakers Against Democracy

When you try to prevent the will of the people and the rules of the electoral system because it does not match your will, then you simply don’t believe in a government that is representative of the people. Have we elected people who are against democracy?

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