How soon we forget: USA Today finds Americans more inclined to "flex muscle" in world affairs. A recent Pew poll found that 31% of Americans think we're doing "too little" about various world conflagrations, up from 17% just nine months ago, but that finding doesn't endorse the minority getting all the say about everything. And statements like "(i)f we pull back, someone worse takes over" aren't a vigorous endorsement of bombing whomever for the greater glory of President Walker's corporate cronies -- which is surely where our "liberal" media elites hope to guide us, just as they did during Tha Bush Mobb's years.
Paul Krugman discusses some not-well-reported health care spending findings, including that health care spending growth has slowed noticeably and that Medicare will be spending $1,000 less per recipient in 2014 than the CBO predicted it would back in 2010. But Drew Altman at the Kaiser Foundation points out that folks may be thinking health care costs are going up because they're paying more out of pocket, via larger deductibles -- which, well, seems like another problem a Medicare-for-all program might have forestalled.
Joelle Gamble at the Roosevelt Institute argues that making the tax code more progressive won't solve all the problems people of color face when they try to advance in the economy. She reminds us that during the 1950s, tax rates were high and the social safety net more effective and people of color didn't benefit very much from it, but governments openly promoted or tolerated "socially racist institutions" like segregation and Jim Crow laws back then -- in the same manner they now covertly tolerate socially racist institutions like redlining -- so I suspect progressive tax policy would do more for people of color now than they did then. Of course redlining will require additional work, though I'd prefer to cap the mortgage interest deduction than eliminate it, and I'd also like states and localities to assess property taxes more by square footage than by location.
Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead notes the introduction of the Modern Slavery Bill in the British Parliament to note how much slavery occurs in supply chains all around the world. 11% of British business leaders think there's some slavery in their supply chains, while, perhaps coincidentally, 11% of those same leaders say they've actually looked at their supply chain very closely. More trenchant is this quotation from a Telegraph article: "lengthy business supply chains are corruptible and can hide a multitude of crimes." Well, gosh, it's almost like that's the idea! Anyway, the more of our own stuff we make, the shorter (and less evil) the supply chain will be.
Over 160 protestors (including a dozen sit-in protestors) decried Apple's use of a private, non-unionized firm for its security workers last week at the Apple store in San Francisco. Just about the only non-unionized security firm around, too, lest you're thinking of cutting Apple some slack. As one report said, “(i)f tech companies are serious about building a pipeline from K-12 schools for a more diverse tech workforce, it starts with paying their parents a livable wage” -- particularly in San Francisco, which is becoming as expensive as New York or London these days.
Finally, Josh Israel at Think Progress reminds us that Joan Rivers, who died on Thursday after complications from surgery, was not just a gay icon but a long-time supporter of gay rights. I have to admit I'd forgotten that, just as I'd never known she'd played one half of a gay couple (opposite Barbra Streisand, no less) in Greenwich Village in the '60s or that she was an ordained minister officiating at least two gay weddings in the state of New York (which must have been a hoot) -- or that she used that awful reality show to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a New York charity that delivers meals to very ill home-bound folks (including AIDS patients). Good work, Ms. Rivers.