The Economy: A Definitive Answer?

After being a country for nearly 250 years, and seeing examples throughout history, is there not yet a definitive answer as to what makes the economy work?

I ask this on the heels of viewing ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour this Sunday morning. On the episode, we had the same old tired rhetoric with the stodgy Republican saying “cut taxes” and the uncomfortable Democrat saying “create government programs”. I often just turn these programs off now because it is the same “solution” each week with similar words coming out of the partisan mouth of the week.

But I wondered today: After all of this time of being a country, and examples throughout history, isn’t there yet a definitive answer for what makes an economy work? Can we not look at times when the economy was growing and thriving and say, “That’s it. That worked! Let’s do it again.”Read More

Richard CummingsThe Economy: A Definitive Answer?
Countries With The Highest Quality of Life

Income Equality and Standard of Living | Does Income Equality Lead To A Higher Standard of Living?

In this article, we will take a look at countries with high income equality and ask the question:  Does high income equality lead to a better standard of living?

I recently wrote an article about socialism in Sweden.  With Barack Obama trying to implement higher taxes on the rich, the arch-conservative Fox News threatened that we would become the next “socialist Sweden” if this were to happen.

I found this to be a bit of an empty threat given that Sweden always tops the list of countries with the highest standard of living.  In actuality, Sweden is not a socialist state and in many respects exemplifies a more capitalist bent than we have.  What a shocker-Fox News lied!

In writing this article about Sweden, I came across two graphs that are quite telling.Read More

Richard CummingsIncome Equality and Standard of Living | Does Income Equality Lead To A Higher Standard of Living?

The N-Word, Huck Finn, and Racism in Society

In the past couple of days, I have been incidentally exposed to three instances in which the topic of racism surfaced. The first illustrates how alive racism is in some circles, the second is just funny, and the third is about removing the “N” Word from Mark Twain’s classic “Huckleberry Finn”. I will share those with you here. If I actually use the word (which, as we will see, I am really not suppose to because I am white), I do not intend to be offensive but it seems silly to say the “N” word all the time.

I use the word “incidentally” above because I was not searching for issues on racism in any of these situations. They found me and just got me thinking on the topic.

The first incident occurred on Saturday as I was searching for animal attack videos after watching a show called “When Animals Attack”. I know…it’s a bit morbid but we’ll leave that for another day. So, I visited YouTube.com and searched for the term When Animals Attack. The fourth search result returned the video that I have posted below:

Black Females Attack a White Pregnant Women

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Richard CummingsThe N-Word, Huck Finn, and Racism in Society

State of the Union Speech Video & Reaction | January 2011

On this page, you can view Barack Obama’s State of the Union Speech and see the overall reaction to the speech.

State of the Union Speech Video

In case you missed the State of the Union Speech last night, here is the State of the Union Speech video in its entirety from last night, January 25th, 2011.

Reaction to the State of the Union Speech

By all accounts, this State of the Union Speech was well received. Let’s take a look at the reaction to the State of the Union Speech via two polls from the Washington Post.

Poll #1 asked the question, “How would you grade President Obama’s State of the Union address?” As you see in the graphic below, more than 83% of the people gave this speech an A or a B.

State of the Union Speech Reaction

Poll #2 asked the same question in a slightly different way. As you can see below, over 82% of the people graded the speech an A or a B.

State of the Union Speech Reaction Washington Post

My Reaction to the State of the Union Speech

Over time, I have come to believe that the most important job of any president is to be presidential, inspiring confidence in the citizens that things are good or that things will be good.

It’s based on a simple concept: sometimes a smile precedes happiness.

After Barack Obama was soundly defeated in the November elections, he gave a speech announcing the end of a bad war and this interview to 60 minutes in which he looked like a defeated man…unpresidential and uninspiring. In fact, in the 60 minutes interview, he basically admitted as much–that he had handled some matters in an unpresidential way and vowed to change this.

I think we saw this change last night in the State of the Union Speech.

Richard CummingsState of the Union Speech Video & Reaction | January 2011

The End of A Bad War

W. the movieThe war in Iraq officially ended last week in a dreary speech by President Obama, a speech that hailed the war heroes, tepidly reviewed the results of the war campaign, and ended with a somber reflection on our economy.

If the speech left a taste in your mouth, it was not one to leave you salivating for more.

How do you triumphantly speak about a war with which you disagreed?

As I wrote in this letter to George Bush before the war, there were numerous reasons that I was against the war in Iraq from the outset.  In fact, it was one of the reasons why I voted for Barack Obama in the first place.

As we look back now on Obama’s Speech before the war, he foretells the exact debacle that would occur:

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

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Richard CummingsThe End of A Bad War

“Look”: Joe Biden on Meet the Press

Like much of America, I tune into Meet the Press on Sunday mornings.

This morning Joe Biden was the guest on Meet the Press with relatively new host David Gregory.

They talked about a myriad of topics but I had trouble listening…because Joe Biden kept commanding me to “Look!”.

I wrote about this previously in a post entitled A Battle of “Looks”: McCain Vs. Obama.

Joe Biden must have said “look” at least 100 times in the show this morning.  Joe Biden has been in government for decades now and has risen to the role of Vice-President.

Doesn’t someone at this level have advisers?  Certainly, the Vice-President has a multitude of advisers who were watching him on Meet the Press this morning.Read More

Richard Cummings“Look”: Joe Biden on Meet the Press