SUNDAY 6-Pack: April 29, 2018

A weekly listing of articles, audio clips, and other tidbits I’ve encountered that seemed interesting, insightful, or otherwise useful

 

Okay, I’m a day late.  Things got busy at work yesterday and then we went out to see friends.  But I did start a list this week.  So here we go …

First up, a two-fer from Marketplace on what is/isn’t happening in the economy due to tax cuts and globalization.  Note where most of the corporate savings from tax cuts are going (hint: only a third of companies are raising wages — and that’s mostly because it’s harder to attract employees, not tax cuts).  The second piece tackles popular narratives about globalism; in this one, note what is causing (and will continue to)  cause more job loss than globalization.

https://www.marketplace.org/2018/04/23/business/forecast-sunny-business

https://www.marketplace.org/2018/04/24/world/is-globalism-failed-policy

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Not only are some popular narratives about taxes and globalism inaccurate, these narratives also miss the mark in accounting for the Current Occupant being in the Oval Office.  University of Pennsylvania political science professor Diana Mutz explains it wasn’t a sense of being left out/behind or a hope for better that moved the Current Occupant’s base; it’s fear.  The transcript is just a small part; the whole interview is on audio:

https://www.marketplace.org/2018/04/27/life/trump-voters-economic-anxiety

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This one is actually from a few weeks ago … April 18th, in the middle of what turned out to be a very busy news week. The radio program 1A does a news roundup each Friday; however, seeing what had already happened and what was likely in the next few days, there was a mid-week roundup that day.  There are some interesting insights on several stories early that week that have remained in the news since.  However, it was the comment about Fox News as “state media” that caught my ear.  This comes around the 12 to 13 minute mark and is in the context of Sean Hannity, perhaps the biggest host Fox News has right now, and his connections to the current White House.  But it’s something to give more thought to in light of this past Thursday’s high profile caller to the morning Fox & Friends program…

https://the1a.org/shows/2018-04-18/the-wednesday-news-roundup

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I almost included Jonah Goldberg’s NPR Morning Edition interview on his new book, Suicide of the West, because his insights into tribalism seem enlightening.  There are glimmers in the interview, but there’s also a lot that’s off-putting (and didn’t need to be) that makes it hard to see those glimmers.  So instead of Goldberg, I opted for a report on how those who should be feeling that they’re “starting to win again” don’t feel that way … that they feel marginalized and defeated.  As a counterpoint, there’s a piece of Leonard Pitts, responding to an accusation from his senator, Marco Rubio, that he’s rejecting a significant segment of America.  Pitts’ ultimate question is the most profound in all of this: I am not unmindful of the troubling implications of writing off Trump supporters. When we can no longer talk to each other, what’s left? How can we be a country?

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On the subject of divisions and what separates us, generational divides haven’t been on the forefront much in recent times.  First, Generation X, my generation, was labeled as slackers. (Perhaps we only seemed less industrious or productive simply because we were fewer in number than the Boomers before us.)  Now the slacker label is being applied to the Millennials.  But could it be that the Boomers are just looking for someone else to take the blame?  This interview with Bruce Gibney, author of A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America, offers a different perspective on the generations — and a serious call for people from the younger generations to get into public office.
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Fake news … false narratives … who to trust/not to trust … who’s to blame for all the problems… what will help?  Some simple steps that might help from one of the founders of that groundbreaking crowd-sourced project known as Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales: