Americans don't care much about rising economic inequality, recent surveys suggest. But that's not quite right.
The public may know that the top 10 percent pulled in about half of pretax income in 2012 -- and that income inequality is the widest it's been since right before the Great Depression. Its brain understands that these trends are not good for the society.
We know that about 20,000 pseudo-, semi- and real journalists "cover" Washington. We know that mid-December is slow-time in the nation's capital as the public turns its attention to the holidays. But big news or no, the scriveners tending political websites must still, as they say, "feed the beast" and take it out for a walk three times a day.
Drawing moral lines in our rough-and-tumble capitalist system can be hard. But it should not tax too many ethical muscles to set aside some protections for trusting, unsophisticated borrowers of modest means. That is, unless you're a politician working on behalf of predatory lenders.
And it's amazing how many politicians do, making the recent successes of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau seem all the more miraculous. The CFPB was created in 2010 to set rules of the road for consumer financial products -- mortgages, student loans, payday loans and such.
Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.
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Wow, this T-shirt costs only $8. Great color. Problem is, your finger could punch a hole through it. In most Americans' shopping experience, colors change and styles come and go, but there's one constant: low quality and a sweatshop-country label.
An elderly friend I'll call Jeff perfectly summed up the stress of digital living. He'd read an article on the race by cyber-merchants to get online purchases into consumers' hands within an hour of their pushing the "place your order" button. One such service, eBay Now, has its own app enabling shoppers to follow the delivery people as they bike or drive to their address.
During the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, it's been hard to defend the law, much less to call it "great." But great it is -- for the American economy and for the American people, rich ones included.
Much we believe about turkeys is not true.
Myth No. 1: They were served at the "first Thanksgiving" feast in Plymouth, Mass. There's no evidence for that.
The Plymouth Colony governor, an observer wrote, "sent foure men on fowling" for the dinner. Fowling is an Old English reference to waterfowl. So ducks and geese were probably on the menu, not turkey.
Myth No. 2: Benjamin Franklin proposed that the wild turkey become the national symbol. He did call the bald eagle a bird "of bad moral Character" and praised the turkey as a "Bird of Courage." But he didn't endorse one bird over the other.
The bungled launch of the federal health insurance website has unleashed significant disorder -- but not everywhere. Life remains calm in many states that set up their own health care exchanges.
Some are so confident of the rightness of the health care reforms that they're rejecting President Obama's proposal to let people keep their inadequate health insurance policies.
Many conservatives want farm bills to stop coupling food stamps to agricultural subsidies. They see the linkage as an unsavory deal between urban Democrats and rural Republicans to waste the people's money.
But not all conservatives are principled conservatives. Principled conservatives oppose the farm subsidies as a monstrous example of corporate welfare. The other kind thinks it can strip spending from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program while preserving the farm rip-offs.
The problem of America's congested roads has long been simple: too many tires vying for a fixed amount of pavement. But with a growing bicycle culture joining the car culture, the difficulties have expanded greatly. The conveyances now travel at very different speeds, follow different rules of the road and expose their operators to vastly different levels of physical vulnerability.