An issue of framing

Maybe, if instead of bitching about unions and government workers and how it’s so unfair that they bargain for their pensions, it would be more productive to question why *you* don’t have one. Your company is profitable, why should all of that be going to shareholders? I say this as a man who has most of his money in the stock market, so I’m not proposing communism here, I like my healthy returns just as much as the next guy.

A lot of problems in America would go away if our society demanded that our successes be shared. Not redistributed – I’m not saying we should have a wealth tax, so don’t come at me with that attack either. I’m saying that if management at companies decided to reinvest their profits in the livelihoods of their employees, there would be many, many benefits – better quality of life for the workers, lower crime rates (you don’t steal a television when you can afford a nice one yourself), and higher growth thanks to increased consumption.

This isn’t a new idea – Ford did it decades ago. A shame we tend to forget the lessons of the past.

A different view of the American Revolutionary War

From an excellent Reddit thread:

Major factors that tend to get swept under the rug include the fact that the British had concrete binding legal agreements with a lot of the native peoples on land claims. The American settlers, however, were increasingly growing in numbers and wanted to expand the east coast colonies westward, and this was infringing on the agreed boundaries. After a while, the British couldn’t prevent the colonist from illegally expanding, because there were so many doing it.

This led to a lot of hostilities: both between natives and the expanding colonists as well as competing colonists making claims on contested land. This eventually led to violence, to which the colonist claimed the British were not effectively enforcing the new territory (which the Brits had said they shouldn’t be taking in the first place, mind you). After enough pressure, the British decided they needed to put more garrisons in the colonies to prevent the violence, but insisted the colonies pay for it seeing, you know, they bought it upon themselves. This is now popularized as “British ruling with an iron fist” and “unfairly taxing the colonies”. After a while, the colonies were refusing to pay the increasing taxes for the garrison, but knowing it wouldn’t fly if they just said “we aren’t paying up anymore” they used the classic “no taxation without representation” argument, which is essentially a straw man argument. However, the British initially responded with an offer to have constituents in British parliament representing the colonies, basically accepting the offer the colonies had made. Well, the colonial leaderships didn’t expect this outcome and didn’t know what to do (they just wanted the taxes lifted), so they declined the offer and pushed the whole tyranny line instead, which eventually led to the outbreak of the revolution.

TL;DR – History is decided by the winners and everything is a matter of perspective.

26 reported killed in Newtown, Conn., school shooting

USA Today:

Groups of students — some crying, some holding hands — were escorted from the school by teachers. Some witnesses reported of up to 100 shots. There were unconfirmed reports that the assailant, dressed in military style assault gear, shot most of the victims in a kindergarten classroom.

[…]

Alexis Wasik, a third-grader at the school, said police were checking everybody inside the school before they were escorted to the firehouse. She said she heard shots and saw her former nursery school teacher being taken out of the building on a stretcher, but didn’t know if the woman had been shot.

Tragic. My thoughts are with the families of the victims.