Hello!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? New year, new attempt at doing this more regularly. A trio of links tonight.

  •  First, a post by Nate Silver on what is driving growth in government spending. He reaches a similar conclusion to Krugman on the Federal government (Mostly insurance programs with an army), while also analyzing state and local governments. It also takes it one step further and makes a point I hadn’t considered before.

Nevertheless, the declining level of trust in government since the 1970s is a fairly close mirror for the growth in spending on social insurance as a share of the gross domestic product and of overall government expenditures. We may have gone from conceiving of government as an entity that builds roads, dams and airports, provides shared services like schooling, policing and national parks, and wages wars, into the world’s largest insurance broker.

Most of us don’t much care for our insurance broker.

So before the big event, the boys were told to get into a single line as we gathered outside the camp’s central building. Then, a twist: we were told we had to go in one at a time. The girls would be waiting on us.

I was first in line. The room was dark. All was silent.

I nervously walked inside and briskly walked down the narrow path to the other side of the room. The girls were lined up on each side of the path, and bombarded me with the sorts of lewd catcalls that I had laughed off for much of my life.

No, I wasn’t scared or intimidated. In fact, I was flattered at the attention because I didn’t know any better. I was later told the girls had turned their backs and gone silent to the boys who made a game of it.

Later, and even more affecting, were the stories of harassment from our female campers. Virtually everyone had a story to tell.

 

 

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