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by Peter Moskos

December 26, 2010

In the Nation's Service?

Happy Boxing Day (if you're Canadian). Or Second Day of Christmas (if you're Dutch).

Why don't we have two-day holidays (especially the Friday after Thanksgiving)?

In the news:

People in jail recording themselves reading books for their kids to listen to.

The DEA is big and scary and still unable to stop world leaders from dealing drugs.

And the New York Times has an article about the pay of elties. A person born poor (bottom fifth of the income distribution) in "the Land Of Opportunity," is much more likely to die poor that a person born poor in, say, socialist Sweden or England (the chances are 42%, 25%, and 30%, respectively). Not to mention our poor are poorer.

And this is interesting: In my dad's Princeton class of 1956, 450 of 750 graduates served in the military. By comparison, a third of recent Princeton graduates who got jobs after graduation went into finance (one of the reasons I didn't like Princeton). Just eight went into the military.

Speaking of the military: The U.S. military now has more people in its marching bands than the State Department has in its foreign service.

Other signs the times are a-changing, for the worse:
In 1977, an elite chief executive working at one of America’s top 100 companies earned about 50 times the wage of its average worker. Three decades later, the nation’s best-paid C.E.O.’s made about 1,100 times the pay of a worker on the production line.
No doubt because the American economy is so much stronger today. But seriously... Why do we let this happen? Why do people insist on believing that regulation is the problem, that unrestrained for-profit corporations have our best interests in mind, and the only thing federal government is good for is the military?

It just don't make sense.


Cleanville Tziabatz said...

Failure of enforcement of antitrust law.

Ideally progressive taxes would be based on company size.

Sorry for being a wonk here, but you are raising wonky issues in this post.

Why no post on the Shane Rhooms bewhaha?

Anonymous said...


PCM said...

I like wonky issues. Just because I was a cop doesn't mean I'm not a nerd.

I've never heard of Shane Rhooms. I suppose I'll google it when my book is done.