My husband and I were just leaving the Union game in Chester last night when I got a text from our son: “We got Tebow boys.”
“Jake just sent me a text he meant to send to his Fantasy Football team,” I told Doug, laughing as I showed him my phone.
A few minutes later, Doug got a text — from his cousin Shelly, who lives in Denver and has Broncos season tickets. “Whaddya think of your new quarterback?” she wanted to know.
Doug didn’t laugh as he showed me his phone.
“What the hell … ” Read more »
A new study out this week from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education revealed just how much the working poor rely on state and federal assistance programs to make ends meet. It showed that 52 percent of American fast food workers, 48 percent of home health workers and 46 percent of child-care workers — the backbone of our “service economy” — receive assistance from Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Temporary Aid to Needy Families, the Earned Income Tax Credit and/or food stamps. Because these workers get few or no benefits and are paid so poorly — the federally mandated minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour — U.S. taxpayers ante up $152.8 billion annually to aid them and their families. As Patricia Cohen explained in the New York Times, taxpayers “are providing not only support to the poor but also, in effect, a huge subsidy for employers of low-wage workers, from giants like McDonald’s and Walmart to mom-and-pop businesses.” All by itself, McDonald’s costs taxpayers $1.2 billion a year. Read more »
When I wrote a few years back about the precipitous drop-off in the number of young men getting driver’s licenses, Uber was just beginning to get off the ground. I didn’t know enough about it to even consider that it might be a factor in the decline of the American male love affair with cars. Time flies; this week the New York Times reported that nowadays, instead of nagging their parents to take them for their driver’s tests and buy them Mustangs when they reach majority, kids are asking for their own Uber accounts.
As a parent, I’m of two minds about this. Considering how dangerous teen driving was even before the invention of cell phones and selfies, having anyone else but my kid behind the wheel when he heads out to a party or concert seems like a great idea. On the other hand, what’s next? Start-ups that come to your house and get you dressed? Hold your fork to your mouth? Read more »
Last night, the report by the team assigned by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism to dissect what went wrong in Rolling Stone‘s story of a rape at the University of Virginia was made public. The 12,000-word result is a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of magazine journalism, and a cautionary tale that anyone reporting on controversial subjects — or reading about them — would do well to check out.
The author of the Rolling Stone story, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, once wrote for Philadelphia magazine; I worked with and liked and admired her then, and I feel the same way now. But parts of the Columbia report are difficult to read. Read more »