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Apr 03,2009
Natalia Kolesnikova, an economist for Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, last week published a study showing that for students interested in a "a route of upward economic mobility" community colleges are an incredible bargain. That's not news to most graduates of the two-year programs at community colleges in St. Louis or to employers who have hired them. Once regarded as the poor relatives of four-year colleges and universities, community colleges have improved steadily over ... [full story]
640 times read - No comment posted

Apr 03,2009
Four months and $17.4 billion in taxpayer support have evaporated since the Bush administration bought the argument that a bankruptcy filing by one or more of Detroit's Big 3 would mean the end of the U.S. auto industry. Thankfully, President Barack Obama on Monday signaled that he's ready to take that chance given the severe problems that continue to plague General Motors and Chrysler. Now, Obama must follow through on his ultimatums, which allowed Chrysler ... [full story]
647 times read - No comment posted

Apr 03,2009
General Motors Corp. couldn't possibly have imagined this outcome when it made the calculated decision last fall to ask for survival loans from the federal government instead of taking its chances on a bankruptcy filing. Now, GM may get the bankruptcy anyway, and its future will apparently be dictated by a White House whose vision for the company is driven more by ideology than the marketplace. Chrysler LLC has been told it must merge or ... [full story]
719 times read - No comment posted

Apr 03,2009
Ideology, not science, influenced a 2006 ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that limited access to the so-called morning after pill, a federal judge ruled last week. In that finding, Judge Edward R. Korman arrived a bit late to the party. Most observers had reached the same conclusion several years ago, albeit without the benefit of extensive evidence upon which the ruling was based. As a result of Judge Korman's decision, women as ... [full story]
638 times read - No comment posted

Apr 03,2009
President Barack Obama's promise of aid to the auto industry is welcome, but it would also be helpful to the Detroit automakers if he stopped badmouthing them. The president late last week said he expected to provide additional assistance to the struggling manufacturers, but he added that they couldn't expect to rely on building more sport utility vehicles and depend on continued low gasoline prices. He also said the auto companies, including shareholders, creditors and ... [full story]
814 times read - No comment posted

Apr 03,2009
Arlen Specter, the moderate Republican senator from Pennsylvania, this past week may have quashed organized labor's hopes for congressional passage this year of so-called "card check" legislation. The bill, officially known as the Employee Free Choice Act, has been at the center of an all-out lobbying war between organized labor and business groups since Democrats reassumed control of Congress in 2007. The bill would make it easier for unions to organize workplaces; if a majority ... [full story]
721 times read - No comment posted

Apr 03,2009
And now for something completely different: a few kind words about Wal-Mart. Say what you will about it — in the past, we and other critics have said plenty. But the world's largest corporation is on the side of the angels for at least one crucial issue: health care reform. It has stepped up its Washington lobbying and pledged to use its considerable resources to push for changes that would improve the quality of care ... [full story]
1045 times read - No comment posted

Apr 03,2009
In 2001, the year George W. Bush became president, the national debt stood at $5.73 trillion. Last week, the debt soared past the $11 trillion mark. And it's projected to climb much higher in the next few years — topping at least $16 trillion in 2012. This staggering accumulation of debt, built year after year by presidents and congressional leaders from both parties, is almost certain to weaken the U.S. economy in the long term. ... [full story]
621 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
The war against drug cartels rages on in Mexico, and it has the full attention of the Obama administration. The conflict also has the potential to redefine for the better what has traditionally been a complicated and rocky marriage between the United States and its southern neighbor. It's not often that we see the president of the United States and three Cabinet secretaries travel to Mexico over the course of a few weeks to show ... [full story]
677 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
Conventional wisdom suggests that President Obama has too much on his agenda right now to even think about comprehensive immigration reform, let alone propose a plan to make it happen. In fact, there are many smart political analysts who say they wouldn't be surprised if Obama puts off immigration reform until his second term, if there is one. Well, don't look now but it seems Obama is thinking about immigration reform — and talking about ... [full story]
858 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
Public outrage at AIG's eye-popping bonuses at taxpayer expense is no surprise. We don't like it, either. We did, however, expect the response from Congress and the White House to be at least lawful. Instead, House members who should not have been surprised rushed to pass a new law of suspect constitutionality, all to undo a dozen lines in the month-old, 11,000-page stimulus bill that help us more in the bill than out. Maybe the ... [full story]
599 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
America's system for guaranteeing the safety of its food supply clearly is in need of strengthening. In the past year, we have seen a 17-state outbreak of salmonella that sickened 1,300 people, and contaminated peanut butter products that sickened more than 700 people. Public health experts estimate that each year about 76 million Americans are sickened by contaminated food, and about 5,000 die. The question now is, what should be done about it? Last week, ... [full story]
856 times read - 1 comments posted

Mar 27,2009
Banks levy about $17.5 billion each year in fees for overdrawn accounts, whether by bounced check, debit card purchase, cash withdrawal from an ATM or electronic payments of bills. That’s chump change compared to the hundreds of billions of dollars banks have received from various federal bailout programs. But both are a product of greed run amok. Bank customers are abused by fee structures that are as dishonorable as the AIG bonuses. But that may be about ... [full story]
624 times read - No comment posted



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