Hard Truth Weekly Reader- Misguided Protest Edition

March 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Money and Behavior

Some weird stuff in the news this week, including more political corruption in New York, and misguided protests about spending cuts in California. It seems that for state economies, the larger they are the harder they fall.

According to this student genius, public education is now a human right worth a fight to the death.

At UC Berkeley, political science student Luis Reyes, 21, kicked off a noon rally on Sproul Plaza by telling a crowd of several hundred people that “March 4th is just the beginning.””Today we march!” he shouted. “Today we strike! Today we show solidarity with workers! Today the crisis has brought us all together. Public education is a human right we’ll fight to the death!”

via Day of education protests heat up.

He lost me at “solidarity.”

Please add “political science” (how can they even call what they pretend to do “science” ) to the list of college majors that are counter-productive to a robust economy. Need more evidence? Count the number of political science majors who end up in law school. Double econo-buzzkill.

Lots of discussion this week about ol’ ballpayer turned Senator Jim Bunning refusing to give “unanimous consent” to yet another $10 billion extension of unemployment benefits. His reason? He wants Congress to pay for it with cuts elsewhere. Congress doesn’t want to do that – it’s too hard to think about cutting. Spending by unanimous consent – that’s easy.

I’ve always wondered why the cost of  unemployment insurance is 100% paid for by employers and taxpayers. Why don’t the employees contribute to the cost? This week, Jim at Bargaineering raised the question of whether unemployment benefits reward laziness. In general, I think they do not. But when there are seemingly endless extensions of benefits, you start to wonder if we are creating a group of people for whom not working is an elective lifestyle.

Interesting personal story of delayed gratification at Get Rich Slowly. The theme is one espoused by Dave Ramsey: “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Too many folks hear this and think “why should I deprive myself now, I could die tomorrow.” Well, the first answer is that if you die tomorrow, you won’t know or care that you deprived yourself today. Second, the concept is more about consumption smoothing than deprivation. If you live a life you can afford today, your economic life is unlikely to be any worse tomorrow and may be better. Mess up the order of spending and saving and the future may well be different, in a way you won’t like.

Over at my Go To Retirement blog, I highlighted an article about how to discourage your parents from squandering your inheritance. One reader took me to task about writing from a lofty perch. Another came to my defense. My position is that I have to write about what I know (or think I know) and what I experience. Anything else is just pretend. Sure, I can be arrogant but you can read a lot of pretend stuff elsewhere.

Finally, check out this week’s Carnival of Money Stories and Carnival of Personal Finance where my writing appeared.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never asked this question before: What blogs do you think Mr. ToughMoneyLove should be reading on a regular basis? I read many but I’m probably missing some good ones.

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3 Responses to “Hard Truth Weekly Reader- Misguided Protest Edition”
  1. Dee says:

    If you don’t already read Bad Money Advice http://www.badmoneyadvice.com I think you will like it based on your apparent (?) dislike of the personal finance blog world groupthink.

  2. MasterPo says:

    All good stuff.

    Add to the list that a job, food, a house are also “human rights”.

    Better keep your job – you “rich” people are going to be paying through the nose! 😉

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