April 10, 2013
Re "Britain's 'Iron Lady,'" Obituary, April 9 This story seemed a straightforward obituary until I read the paragraph that stated that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was often "brutal and belittling toward her own political allies. " The example was minister Michael Heseltine's outburst, "I hate you! I hate you!" It struck me as odd that a man getting his feelings hurt proved anything. I laughed when I considered whether a woman politician shouting the same would have merited mention in any male leader's obituary.
April 10, 2013
Re "To create jobs, U.S. must spend," Opinion, April 5 Dimitri B. Papadimitriou assumes that government spending creates growth. It may create growth in the drone-building industry or in public pensions, but we have to question whether that's good for the economy. Papadimitriou compares adding to our deficit to the hopeful action of a private borrower getting a home mortgage. There are important differences. A home buyer can refinance only a few times, while the government can add debt endlessly.
April 6, 2013 |
Poor job growth and a large exodus of unemployed workers last month stifled weeks of upbeat economic data and marked a sobering reality check, signaling that hiring was likely to remain weak in the coming months. Employers added a paltry 88,000 net new jobs in March, the smallest number since June and just one-third of the gain in February. Retailers, manufacturers and finance companies shed jobs over the month, an indication that consumer spending may be softening as workers grapple with higher payroll taxes and sluggish wage growth.
April 6, 2013
Re "Radar shows U.S. border security gaps," April 4 The Times' article describes how an airborne radar system showed that in a small, 150-square-mile area of the U.S.-Mexico border, there were nearly 2,000 successful illegal crossings over a three-month period last year. This comes as a surprise, since we've been told that our border is finally secure. Rep Michael McCaul's (R-Texas) comment, that "you can't measure what you can't see," is a dead-on description of our border security.
April 6, 2013 |
NEW YORK - The government's disappointing jobs report disheartened investors about the pace of the global economic recovery, and short-circuited a rally that pushed stocks up more than 10% during the first three months of the year. Investors fled stocks Friday after the Labor Department reported that the U.S. added a mere 88,000 jobs in March. That number was well below the 190,000 jobs that analysts were expecting, and renewed fears that the labor market might be stalling. Wall Street had been growing more upbeat in recent weeks that the economy was steadily improving and sent major stock market indexes to record highs.
April 4, 2013
Re "Garcetti, Greuel gingerly hug city worker unions," March 28 Bob Schoonover, president of SEIU Local 721, is quoted in the article as describing the public and private retirement programs as two lifeboats, one with a leak. Private 401(k) plans go up and down with the investment tides. But those smaller plans let their owners know exactly where they stand so they can make informed decisions. It is the public employee plans that are underfunded. Theirs is that "leak" that requires taxpayers to endure ever-increasing fees while receiving fewer benefits.
April 2, 2013
"The Walking Dead," which has already shattered viewer records for AMC, scored another milestone with its season finale. The end of the third season of the zombie apocalypse drama scored its biggest audience ever with 12.4 million viewers Sunday night, making the finale the top-rated program for the night. The episode pulled in 8.1 million viewers ages 18 to 49, the prize demographic for most advertisers. AMC also declared that the show was No. 1 in the 18-49 demographic for the season, outdistancing "The Big Bang Theory," "The Voice," "Modern Family" and other series on the broadcast networks.
April 2, 2013
Re "Kim is making the U.S. nervous," March 30 At the end of World War I, the Allies so crippled Germany that widespread unemployment and economic dislocation led to the rise of the Nazi regime. We have spent years employing similar tactics in North Korea. We supply food that doesn't get to the hungry yet so isolate North Korea that one of its biggest sources of currency is its sale of weapons and military technology, the very things we are trying to contain. This isn't a call for appeasement, and North Korea has a history of not living up to its commitments.
April 1, 2013 |
CARACAS, Venezuela - Interim President Nicolas Maduro on Monday raised the curtain on Venezuela's abbreviated campaign to elect a successor to Hugo Chavez, lavishly praising the late leader during a televised address but promising to tackle escalating crime, perhaps Chavez's darkest legacy. The 50-year-old Maduro, a former bus driver and socialist union leader, is heavily favored to beat his challenger, Gov. Henrique Capriles of Miranda state, in the April 14 election to fill out Chavez's six-year term.