Archive for the 'Money' Category

01
Mar
15

education and equality

An interesting article about a school system (Finland’s) that seems to be much more effective than the American one.

Knock three times if this description sounds familiar:

“Instead, the public school system’s teachers are trained to assess children in classrooms using independent tests they create themselves. All children receive a report card at the end of each semester, but these reports are based on individualized grading by each teacher. Periodically, the Ministry of Education tracks national progress by testing a few sample groups across a range of different schools.”

And we decided this wasn’t working because. . .  ??? (Seemed to work pretty well for me. And I’m not THAT old.)

Probably can’t make that fly here, though, because, despite everyone’s recognition that money gives other people’s children advantages we can’t necessarily give our own, we must preserve that right, just in case someday we’re one of the people with money.

(Apologies for the circular argument.)

Alas.

 

05
Oct
14

We Should Be Protesting, Too | BillMoyers.com

Can this “In 2012, 132 Americans gave 60 percent of the super PAC money spent”. . .

be true?

Sheesh.

We Should Be Protesting, Too | BillMoyers.com.

 

31
Aug
14

What the 1% don’t want the rest of us to know

And it’s not just that they make a wholehelluvalot more money than we do.

It’s not too early to start our own Progressive movement.

Firstly, we all need to stop protecting the rights of the 1% just in case that clever gadget we thought of and are going to get around to getting a patent for as soon as we have time ends up becoming the Thneed That Everyone Needs and earns us a bajillion dollars that we want to make sure we can hand down to Junior, even though by then he’ll be spoiled and entitled and lazy.

Secondly, we need to realize that there are worse things than a social safety net. Actually, we need to realize that the benefits of the social safety net make society better for everyone — whether we “need” it or not (we do), it helps us.

I wish people would talk more specifically about the literal costs to us caused by our relatively low tax rates — pay to “play” (sports, drama, music, chemistry class),  constantly deteriorating roads and the resulting depreciation of our vehicles; medical costs despite having what would be considered by many to be enviable health care ($1,100+ for each of Only Daughter’s 2 CAT scans this summer; $385 for Second Son’s cavities filled — and this is WITH dental insurance), college tuition — $7,605 per year, average public university in US in 2010; $4,524 in Canada; in France you can expect to pay an average of €452 per year — yeah, that’s right, €452 (that’s around $585) for MEDICAL SCHOOL.

(I actually love it when people compare us to France, making France sound like such an awful alternative. Yeah, there are all those vacation days and maternity leaves and universal health care; I TOTALLY see what the problem is. And that’s not even taking into account the wine and cheese.)

Anyway, these two will say it way better than I do.

 

05
Oct
13

humility is strength; arrogance is just arrogance

Frank Bruni, writing in the New York Times about the relief and hope that Pope Francis’ humble words and attitudes inspire in him.

Since I’m chronically busy, and am reading this section of NYTimes two weeks after it was written, this stood out:

FOR a textbook case of humility gone missing, consider right-wing Republicans’ efforts to derail Obamacare by whatever crude and disruptive means necessary. The health care law has its flaws, some of them profound, but it was legitimately passed, in accordance with the rules, and to stray outside them in order to make it go away is to believe that they don’t apply to you, that your viewpoint trumps the process itself. It’s the summit of arrogance.

This is part of what I can’t figure out.

This law has passed. The budget has been approved. The bills need to be paid.

How is it possible that democracy is constructed in such a way that a Congress can refuse to meet the financial obligations THEY HAVE ALREADY AGREED TO MEET by holding hostage a law that they ALREADY PASSED?

Maybe I really do need a polisci lesson.

05
Mar
13

Customer Service, local banking style

Received a letter from my bank recently, outlining my complimentary enrollment in the bank’s “Overdraft Privilege” program. The key points of this privileged status are outlined as such:

  • Should an overdraft occur, your account will be assessed the standard NSF fee of $32 for handling each item even if paid by the discretionary Overdraft Privilege services.
  • If multiple items are presented against your account on the same day, each item will be assessed the appropriate NSF fee or returned item fee of $32, up to a limit of five (5) fees per day.
  • ___________Bank has the discretion, but is not agreeing and does not have an obligation to pay your overdrafts and we may withdraw or reduce the amount of this privilege at any time.

Umm, thanks?

Guess the “Privilege” part is the part where you agree not to accidentally, manipulate the circumstances so as to charge me more than $160 a day?

They wasted paper and a stamp to tell me this? Seems like they could have just given me the finger and spat on my shoes or something.

Right up there with the bank that charges me an overdraft for not having the money in my checking account to make a house payment that’s already been paid.

I’m beginning to think I’m really in the wrong business.

11
Oct
12

I’ll get right on that

19
Jul
12

disingenuous 101

a.k.a. Here’s hoping you’re not paying that much attention.

20120719-115708.jpg

20120719-115718.jpg

Bad enough that they’ve decided we even want to tip 20% for bad service (20 minutes to get a drink; 30 for a glass of water) and mediocre food. I wonder who gets the “extra” if we don’t notice and tip twice. I doubt it’s the waitstaff.

Anyway. . .




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