March 16, 2014 |
How's the U.S. economy doing? If you're rich, the answer is "fabulously. " Here are some data points from Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial in Chicago. " Spending at luxury retailers has come back," she told the Senate Finance Committee last week. High-end merchants routinely "sell out of purses with price tags in the thousands of dollars, before they even hit the shelves in New York. Spending at high-end restaurants is picking up.... Demand is on the rise for boutique hotels catering to the demands of the wealthiest clientele.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 2014 |
Jenny Gonzalez checked for signs of epipodium, tentacles resembling swaying wet noodles, on the green abalones in her South Gate classroom the other day. "That's what I was looking for," Jenny, 13, said of a small, light-colored abalone. "When you see the epipodium, that means they're happy. " That's one thing students at South Gate Middle School are learning about green abalones. The students have cared for three of the snail-like marine creatures since January. Although the activity has been in place at the school for three years, this is the first time teacher Violeta Llamas' "Explorations in Science" students participated.
February 13, 2014
Re "Deep in student debt," Opinion, Feb. 10 Sarah Amandolare is troubled by "gapping" - colleges' practice of admitting students without awarding enough financial aid to make a school affordable. The vast majority of the nation's colleges have no other option. Out of thousands of U.S. colleges and universities, fewer than 70 claim they will meet a student's full financial need. Many of these schools have hefty endowment funds. Others use less-generous estimates of what the student can pay, which often means a gap between what the college and the family think is affordable.
February 10, 2014 |
Last October, in between arguments over the debt ceiling, the federal government somehow found time to send me an email. My student loan payment was 70 days past due, the message read, so the government had negatively reported me to each major credit bureau and would continue to report me until my account was brought current. I'm betting the government sent out a lot of those letters to people like me: college graduates from middle-class families who didn't qualify for much in the way of scholarship aid and had parents who couldn't afford to pay for their schooling.
February 4, 2014 |
Welcome to the "year of action. " In last week's State of the Union address, the president vowed to do whatever he has to to help the economy, even if that means working around Congress: "What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require congressional action, and I'm eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do. " The White House has touted the fact the president has a "phone and a pen" and he's not afraid to use them.
January 28, 2014 |
President Obama will stand before members of Congress and a national television audience tonight to deliver his sixth annual State of the Union address. It's pretty safe to assume it will include the following: Paeans to the American dream, from the particular vantage of the middle class. Support for energy independence, education and changes in immigration laws. A short nod to international affairs, the winding down of wars abroad and the continued pursuit of terrorists. A laundry list of desires that the president knows will probably never see the light of day, even if all sides genuflect to the everyday Americans arrayed in the House chamber as witnesses, a theatrical touch of guilt-mongering employed since the era of President Reagan.