Public Wealth

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Even with the lowest unemployment since John Engler, Michigan is grumpy, notes John Gallagher. University of Michigan economist, Donald Grimes has a suggestion, maybe it’s a function of shift in consumer prices. The TV is cheaper so we buy a bigger one. Or gas is cheaper, meantime other prices rise, and so our stress.
“If there continues to be this wide divergence in price inflation for different goods and services, I don’t think people are ever going to feel that their real incomes are going up very much,” (Grimes) said. “They are going to continue to feel financially stressed to pay for the things that are going up in price relatively quickly, because they aren’t going to have money freed up by spending less on the things that are going down in price.”
Another answer may be the decline of public goods. If the public goods don’t keep up, then all we are left with is ourselves, our condition — so the economist may be right. Over this time frame what has happened in the public sector? It has been deliberately under-funded through a thicket of tax shifts. Citizens of Michigan pay more and get less, and their legislators piosly proclaim they can do nothing about it.
 
So perhaps the solution is to increase taxes a bit more and in turn make sure we have good roads, better schools, parks that are well kept and the like. We may have to forego the TV, but when we step outside, when we travel through our great state, we can feel a little better (or at least not be so continually jostled).

Who’s minding whom?

Perhaps it is the nature of education itself, that we should always be looking for positive. Or maybe its a sort of privilege, that we constantly imagine something the same as we experience it. Take schools.

We assume that those actually granting charters to the charter schools — the authorizers — are doing so in good faith. Or at least with an eye to an overall educational good. Of course they’re doing the right thing. The recent report from The Education Trust – Midwest suggests that the performance is more varied.

Not all charter schools are created equal, particularly when it comes to educational success. Is it only the responsibility of the schools and their teachers? Or does the backer also have a responsibility? How and where do we ask for accountability in the system?

“I question how much the university boards are holding those charter offices accountable,” (Executive Director Amber) Arellano said. “They have no idea what is going on in the school.”

At the very least, that’s a place to start.

The danger of oops.

News comes that Ted Nugent’s wife was busted for carrying a concealed weapon in the airport. And why was the gun there?

Forgetfulness.

But when it comes to guns, the question is more than a little oops.

The entire premise of concealed weapons is something of a  promise made to general society. That promise is one of responsibility. The advocates of CCW assert that they will be mindful — and most are — but then when one violates that mindfulness? That’s a problem. Society can tolerate mindful gun owners, but careless ones? They’re a danger.

It’s the oops that kills, as accidental gun deaths so sadly show.

HT: Eclectablog