The Personal and Political Ramblings of one guy in Texas.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Diversity in the 'Burbs? 

It's a common trope that suburbs tend to be lily-white bastions of cultural anomie. I've tended to suspect that these sorts of tropes came from people who had never lived in suburbs but had heard about them, or were misfits there. But one can be a misfit anywhere. Anyway.

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to help out at a track and field day at my son's elementary school. There I saw a Lot of kids. Yes, most of them were white. But the number of central Asian, east Asian, Hispanic, and African-American was notable. They were not a tiny minority conspicuous by their rarity. No indeed. They were notable in their numbers. And then I thought about my own little block. Mostly white folks, it is true, but I also know of a certainty we have a Hispanic family, a Persian family, two from India/Pakistan, and a Japanese family. Right next door is a mixed-race couple (white man/Malaysian woman).

Okay, I grant you, you can't say my area is typical. We can't say that my suburb reflects most suburbs.

But. Still. There it is.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Paul Krugman is a *#$% Partisan Hack 

The great Krugman has long been lauded by left-leaning people as "a prize winning economist." One wonders if they would use that credential if the following were not also true:

He is also just about the most reliably anti-Republican partisan person writing a regular column today, occasionally approaching Ann Coulter levels of one-sidedness (though admittedly not hysteria).

The other day Bush finally said out loud what is one of the most sensible "reforms" one could possibly make to Social Security. It boils down to means testing. You know, the idea that Bill Gates or Warren Buffet should not get a SS check, which under the current system they are entitled to. St. Paul is predictably outraged:

Sure enough, a close look at President Bush's proposal for "progressive price indexing" of Social Security puts the lie to claims that it's a plan to increase benefits for the poor and cut them for the wealthy. In fact, it's a plan to slash middle-class benefits; the wealthy would barely feel a thing.

The Minuteman points out Krugman's basic dishonesty:

Well, yes - since the Social Security benefit is both capped and calculated to be progressive, it is hard to come up with a cut (or an increase) for a high-earner that will be significant on a percentage basis.

In other words, Paul has cooked the books. Now there are some in the comments of other blogs who have suggested that hidden in his rant is an actual point, but he's managed to obscure it with his other dishonesty. SS should be means-tested, and anyone with a claim to the "progressive" mantle ought to be pushing for it, instead of getting the vapors. This idea may be flawed, but it ought to be run with, not shunned.

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