On Huckabee, student debt, economics
Is Mike Huckabee sexist ?
Katherine Timpf in National Review: The upcoming 2016 election is very important. There are issues like spending, prison reform, immigration, and, perhaps most important of all — women in New York City swearing at work!
At least that’s what Governor Mike Huckabee seems to think. On Friday morning, the former governor of Arkansas said during an Iowa radio appearance that, “In the South, or in the Midwest, there in Iowa, you would not have people who would just throw the F-bomb and use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting.
“In New York, not only do the men do it, but the women do it,” Huckabee said.
“My gosh, this is worse than locker-room talk,” he continued. “As we would say in the South, that’s just trashy.”
Now Mike Huckabee has not been the voice of the GOP for a while, but this kind of commentary is a huge embarrassment to his party, especially considering how often Republicans are criticized for being prudish and anti-women.
But rather than criticize Huckabee, conservative columnists are defending him. They’re saying, “He didn’t say it was trashy for women, he just said it was trashy for everyone!” Actually, it should be clear to anyone who speaks English that Huckabee’s comment was much more inflammatory than that.
If Huckabee wanted to say it was trashy for everyone, and not different for different genders, he would not have brought up the different genders! But he did. Our country has gone so down the drain that not only are men swearing at work, but women are, too! He made it very clear that he believes there is a distinction by making one.
Student debts harms economy
Mitch Daniels in the Wall Street Journal: To the growing catalog of damage caused by the decades-long run-up in the cost of higher education, we may have to add another casualty. On top of the harm high tuition and other charges are inflicting on young people, and the way their struggles are holding back today’s economy, we must add the worry that tomorrow’s economy will suffer, too.
Ever-escalating tuitions, especially in the past dozen years, have produced an explosion of associated debt, as students and their families resorted to borrowing to cover college prices that are the only major expense item in the economy that is growing faster than health care. According to the Federal Reserve, educational debt has shot past every other category — credit cards, auto loans, refinancings — except home mortgages, reaching some $1.3 trillion this year. Analyses in the Wall Street Journal and by Experian in 2014 show that 40 million people, roughly 70% of recent graduates, are now borrowers. In the class of 2014, the average borrower left with an average load of $33,000.
Even though the debt balloon is a fairly young phenomenon, several damaging results are already evident. Research from the Pew Research Center and Rutgers shows that today’s 20- and 30-year-olds are delaying marriage and delaying childbearing, both unhelpful trends from an economic and social standpoint. Between 25 percent and 40 percent of borrowers report postponing homes, cars and other major purchases. Half say that their student loans are increasing their risk of defaulting on other bills.
Fight economic ignorance
Walter Williams in the Washington Examiner: When gasoline sold at record prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said, “I think it’s time to say to these people, ‘Stop ripping off the American people.’” When the average price of regular gas was close to $4 a gallon, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for Congress to look into breaking up giant oil companies. The claim was that “Wall Street greed [was] fueling high gas prices.”
Today in some places, gasoline is selling for less than $2 a gallon, less than half of its peak price in 2008. The idiotic explanation that attributed high oil prices to greed might now be adjusted to argue that big oil executives have been morally rejuvenated. They are no longer greedy and no longer want to rip off the American people. My guess is that everyone in the oil business would like to charge higher prices. Plus, there’s no legal prohibition against big and powerful Exxon Mobil’s selling its regular gas today for $4 a gallon. Exxon stations don’t do so because the market wouldn’t bear that price.
The attempt to explain human behavior by greed is foolhardy. If we define greed as people wanting much more than what they have, then everyone is greedy. Show me someone who doesn’t want more of something, be it cars, houses, clothing, food, peace, admiration, love or war. The fact that people want more is responsible for most of the good things that get done.