Matt Stoller explains why airlines run so badly these days, and proposes a number of solutions to make them run better. Long story short: re-regulate them, and not just for our good, but for theirs, since regulating them as a public utility also guarantees them a certain amount of income, and the airline industry actually does suffer a lot more from external events (cough COVID cough) than other industries do. I bet the airline CEOs won’t go for it, since all they really care about is how much unearned money they’re making, but at some point we gotta talk to them like the whiny little brats they are.
David Moore at FAIR explains why polling “telling” us that most Americans think what’s happening at our Southern border is a “crisis” or an “invasion” is bunkum. If you ask “do you think what’s happening at our Southern border is a crisis” without giving respondents any other response option like, say, “a serious problem,” respondents will feel more pressure to say “crisis.” The “invasion” question was a true-false question (which pollsters rarely do, people hesitating to say “false” as they do) which gave you four options: “completely true,” “somewhat true,” “completely false,” or “don’t know,” and if you counted two “true” options and one “false” option, you know why that question’s bunkum, too – and you know more than at least two major media outlets, apparently. Hate to pile on, but “invasion” is one of those words right-wingers torture until it tells them what they want to hear. You know, like “caravan.” Or “conservative.”
Wondering if maybe a college degree is prohibitively expensive on purpose? Then you’ll want to note that an Eisenhower/Nixon/Reagan advisor said in 1970 that we were in “danger” of having an “educated proletariat,” and that right-wingers like then-Governor Reagan were already laying the groundwork for what the National Review called a “system of full tuition charges supplemented by loans which students must pay out of their future income.” James Madison, as it happens, had a much more sanguine view of publicly-funded education than those who would claim to be his ideological descendants – though Edmund Burke, you may know from his Reflections on the French Revolution, thought the working classes were incapable of deep thought. I don’t blame Mr. Burke very much for that – by the measure of his time, he was a liberal, and if you don’t believe me on that, believe Russell Kirk, who said he was a liberal up until his Reflections. I do blame contemporary right-wingers, however for not absorbing over two centuries of intellectual progress. The good news? They’re worse at covering up their evil than Ronald Reagan was.
In a peripherally-related note, here’s another reason the Biden student debt relief plan won’t increase inflation: because “debt payments are spread out over years, if not decades. The inflation impact depends on the extent to which savings in monthly payments are channeled into consumer spending.” (Italics in original, believe it or not.) Also too, canceling all student loan debt would free up an amount consumer spending equaling less than one-quarter of one percent of the total amount of consumer spending, so yeah, don’t listen to anyone crying BUT TEH INFLASHUNZ!!!!! Besides, if the payment moratorium ends in January, as the Biden Administration has proposed, then inflation ought to come down a tiny bit, shouldn’t it?
I think suggestions of Mehmet Oz’s impending downfall in Pennsylvania’s Senate race this year are a bit premature. Does attacking John Fetterman for his recent stroke mean Mr. Oz has “just had it,” or does it mean he’s actually counterpunching effectively for once? If he’d ever eaten a vegetable he wouldn’t have stroked out does have a crude humor about it, after all, and though many folks would think going after a guy’s near-death experience a low blow, others would be annoyed to hear that guy was sick and maybe hasn’t been fully truthful about it. And the article doesn’t mention Mr. Oz’s other recent counterpunch – that John Fetterman lived off his parents until he was 50. Neither of these counterpunches is true, but they still might resonate with low-attention voters. Some of them might even feel sorry for Mr. Oz, even though all his wounds are self-inflicted. I mean, seriously, did you see that bag of carrots? He wonders why it’s $4? It’s bigger than my left thigh!
Finally, a school district just northwest of Dallas, TX, votes to forbid any discussion (or recognition) of transgender issues in their schools. It’s like they said waaaaaaaah don’t make me expand my mind or heart! The good news? Most of the 200 comments from actual community members about their proposal opposed it, which means, once again, that the people are far wiser than their leaders. It’s almost like that’s been a theme here in America for decades now. It’s a shame we have such problems getting rid of bad leaders; part of that problem, of course, is we don’t get very many good leaders stepping forward anymore – maybe more than we used to, but still not enough.