Governments must lead by example when managing their own debt and spending. Low debt is the result of low spending. Federal government spending as a share of the overall economy is 15 per cent in Canada (2) and 24 per cent in the U.S. (3). The numbers are not merely the result of prodigious U.S. military spending, though that is certainly a factor. Non-military federal government spending is 14 per cent of Canada’s economy (4), and 18 per cent of America’s (5).
Just as cause equals effect, spending equals debt. Net government debt as a share of the Canadian economy is 36 per cent. In the U.S., it is 83 per cent. America’s gross government debt is now bigger than the entire U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Treasury Department website, Mainland China holds $1.1 trillion of it. To quote Mark Steyn: “If the People’s Republic carries on buying American debt at the rate it has in recent times, then within a few years U.S. interest payments on that debt will be covering the entire cost of the Chinese armed forces.”
The Michigan Legislature on Tuesday gave final approval to contentious “right-to-work” legislation, in the face of raucous protests in the capital and stern warnings from Democratic lawmakers.
“There will be blood, there will be repercussions,” State Democratic Rep. Douglas Geiss, speaking on the House floor on Tuesday, warned ahead of the votes.
The final votes on the House side Tuesday deliver a blow to the labor movement in the heart of the U.S. auto industry. The measures ban unions from demanding dues from workers.
One bill dealt with public sector workers, the other with government employees. Both measures cleared the Senate last week, and were signed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday afternoon.
Coinciding with the votes were massive and noisy protests both inside and outside the Capitol from pro-union demonstrators. Thousands descended upon downtown Lansing to rally against the legislation that prohibits requiring nonunion employees to financially support unions at their workplace.
Earlier in the day, two state school districts closed after hundreds of teachers called out, presumably to join the protests.
The union perpetrated violence escalated and resulted in an assault on Fox News contributor Steven Crowder and a threat to kill him with a gun. Watch the union thugs attack:
Writer and Fox News contributor Steven Crowder aired video of his violent physical confrontation with opponents of Michigan’s right-to-work legislation, who gathered in Lansing to protest the bills’ passage through the House.
Crowder argued with protesters who began to tear down a tent pitched on the Capitol lawn by the pro-right-to-work group Americans For Prosperity. According to MLive, Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said they were contacted because several people, including two in wheelchairs, were trapped under the tent.
He was then punched repeatedly in the face by a protester, while another man speaking off-camera threatened to kill Crowder with a gun. Crowder said there was no police presence in the area during the altercation.
There is a slight problem though for the coward who sucker punched Crowder…Crowder has said that he will lay charges UNLESS the attacker meets him in a sanctioned MMA fight. Crowder holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which means he has at least 3-4 years experience and pretty good technical proficiency in submission grappling. He’s won a bunch of grappling competitions and is a decently strong guy…simply put, he can put a hurting on 99% of men.
He is being held at a Broward County jail on a $300 bond, which means that at some point in the last few days, a somber county judge read his name aloud in court (here’s hoping it was Judge John Hurley, just to bring his week full circle).
Jim Sleeper gives Fareed Zakaria a good hard sledge over his plagiarism:
Zakaria is a busy man, of course. Although he’s been judged by The New Republic to be one of America’s“most-overrated thinkers,” he was interviewed about the state of the world last year by Yale President Richard Levin before a large audience at the kick-off off Yale’s $50 million Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the new home of “Professor” Stanley McChrystal and of what Lewis Lapham has called “the arts and sciences of career management,” including mastery of “the exchange rate between an awkward truth and a user-friendly lie.”
There isn’t a week that goes by when some PR company or other tries to get me to blog some story for their clients. PR Companies are shameless about getting paid by their clients, some like Matthew Hooton even charge clients for getting stories seeded in blogs. They also never pay the bloggers for the services that they bill their clients for.
For them they justify their poor ethics by sniffing that bloggers shouldn’t get paid, all the time billing the client handsomely.
Courtney Lambert has blogged about the propensity of professional media, who think nothing of getting paid themselves also sniffily dismissing the idea that bloggers should be paid:
So why would anyone want to pay a blogger?
Because there is a global market for quality content and people should be financially remunerated for producing good work.
The Huffington Post also has people that contribute content that aren’t paid by Huffington Post but are paid by their respective organisations to share ideas and get a viewpoint across. HuffPost provides a microphone for interest groups and politicians to speak to an audience. So John Kerry obviously isn’t paid to write a blog post but his motivations for contributing should be very clear. Consultants and figureheads often ‘vanity blog’ to get their brands in front of people and demonstrate thought leadership. Nothing new there.
Sometimes I will write a post on this blog and have an editor contact me to produce a paid article for their website or magazine on the same topic. Does that make me a paid blogger? Or does that then make me a freelancer? What’s the difference and does it really matter? If I write an article for a magazine do I have to declare that I was paid x cents per word?
The overarching business model of media is quite straightforward and a blanket assumption that blogger’s contributions should never be paid for or that paying for blog content is in some way unethical is a bit simplistic.
A more useful question is why would anybody not want to pay a blogger?
The media poach stories off bloggers all the time, more often than not without attribution. The journalists that poach the stories all get paid, why shouldn’t we? Fairfax even stole a whole story and image from me, then had the temerity to copyright their story.
Perhaps it is just that we as bloggers need to find a remuneration model that works…for us. Certainly advertising rates need to improve as our audience improves.