Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Obama And The Baby Boomers

Alec MacGillis blogs at, "Not only is McCain getting walloped in the polls among under-30 voters, he is also trailing or barely breaking even among voters in their 40s, 50s and early 60s -- those who one might expect to be less open than the youngsters to Obama's charms."

That's right and the reasons are easy to figure out.

For one thing, McCain's old enough to be the father of a lot of those voters. If you're a boomer, sit back, close your eyes and think of your dad running the country.

McCain also sneers at Obama's lack of military experience. Most Baby Boomers never served in the armed forces. Voters don't like to be sneered at.

Then there's Iraq. McCain remains gung ho about that stupid and unnecessary war. Boomers in their late '50s and early '60s remember the Vietnam War as stupid and unnecessary as well as all the pain it brought personally and to the nation.

Baby Boomers also are accustomed to change -- cultural, political and social -- because they grew up in a swirling, turbulent era. Many embrace it -- after all they invented the Internet and the Web.

Most important is the fact Boomers have been through enough in their lives to realize that a President Obama isn't going to wreck the country and are willing to give him a chance to shake things up a bit.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Street Economics Q3

As the depression worsened, Congress increased taxes across the board. The unintended result was decreased spending among consumers and businesses alike, and the country sank deeper still into the Great Depression.

-- Wikipedia

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed during private negotiations over the weekend to close the state's $15.2-billion budget gap with a temporary but immediate one-cent hike in the state sales tax.

-- Los Angeles Times, Aug. 5, 2008

"Hair" Then and Now

A New York Times story on a revival of the '60s musical “Hair” and its social context includes an interview with Gail Furman, who admittedly was contemptuous of those who fought in Vietnam. “I was very angry if people didn’t burn their draft cards,” she said.

Today, psychologist Furman counsels veterans retuning of the Middle East wars for whom “she feels sympathy and support.”

Like Furman and millions of others who grew up during the “Hair” era, my opinion of people who serve in the military has evolved. Sadly, it took us two unjust wars and 40 years to reach a conclusion we should have understood intuitively.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

SF Chronicle Thinks Outside The Box - Sort Of

The city and county of San Francisco plans to double the fee charged newspapers for selling their dubious wares in street-side boxes. The idea is to help pay for the installation of kiosks to replace often battered and always unsightly individual vending machines.

The San Francisco Chronicle is aghast at this attack on free speech.

As Chronicle reporter Victoria Colliver wrote yesterday:

"In an era when newspapers are under extraordinary economic pressure, this measure will result in the abandonment of news racks by many publications in many areas, adversely affecting the flow of information to the public and those involved in the distribution network," Jonathan Donnellan, counsel for Hearst Corp., which owns The Chronicle, wrote in a letter to the mayor.

The newspaper's zeal for upholding the public's right to know was somewhat less in evidence on Sept. 24, 2007 when it announced without explanation:

"The price of a seven-day home delivery subscription will increase by 30 cents to $4.75 per week effective Monday, Oct. 1, 2007. Prices will be higher in certain outlying areas." (That's 14 percent.)

The Chronicle's position is clear: Freedom of speech and an informed public are safe as long as the money involved goes into its pocket instead of someone else's.