This past week, we came to know the meaning of "Polar Vortex." The cold converged on Midwest and the Eastern regions of the country without mercy. Health issues became a matter of life and death for humans and other animals. Frostbite was threatening exposed skin. Schools were closed, and people were told to stay indoors. More than 1,000 flights were canceled. It was too dangerous for the news reporters to continue reporting on how dangerous it was. If some of us had forgotten words like "Fahrenheit" and "hypothermia," we remembered them in a hurry.
There's little debate among academic economists about the effect of minimum wages. University of California, Irvine economist David Neumark has examined more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage. He reports that 85 percent of the studies "find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers." A 1976 American Economic Association survey found that 90 percent of its members agreed that increasing the minimum wage raises unemployment among young and unskilled workers.
A friend recently wrote me, "What the 'Duck Dynasty' affair means to me is that, finally, some have had the courage to say 'ENOUGH' within the context of the media."
Just three days after Christmas, I ventured into a store and was greeted by a massive display of pulmonary confectionery: Valentine's Day candy in heart-shaped boxes, as it's known on the streets. I marvel at the power of capitalism and its never-ending push for the next source of revenue, but seeing Valentine's candy while the Christmas tree is still glowing is just too much!
Before President Barack Obama's health-care law was passed, Americans were frustrated that insurance companies had too much control over the medical care they received. Now, Americans are frustrated that the government has too much control.
The discord between Democrats and Republicans regarding the three-month extension of unemployment benefits will be used by the Democrats for political fodder against the Republicans, if Republicans let them.
Here's the Samuel Hay Chronology, as best I can remember:
Looking back on 2013, I have to say there is one objective I did not meet: I did not win a lottery. That would really have fulfilled a Christmas wish.
The following is my syndicated column from January 20, 2004. I believe prescience of the article speaks for itself.
Journalist Michael Kinsley once defined a political gaffe as when someone "accidentally reveals something truthful about what is going on in his or her head." In other words, a gaffe is when a political player accidentally tells the truth. This appears to be what happened in a recent Washington Post story.
Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation, levied charges against free-market capitalism, denying that "economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world" and concluding that "this opinion ... has never" been confirmed by the facts." He went on to label unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny."
In just five days, we'll be sitting down – again – to a holiday table laden with the kinds of foods that make lifelong memories. It won't be Christmas without turkey and ham, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, green beans, mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing and gravy as only a grandmother can make, cranberry salad, squash casserole with cheese, caramelized Brussels sprouts, baked oysters, and warm yeast rolls.
"Miracle on 34th Street," "White Christmas," and "It's a Wonderful Life" are among my favorite Christmas movies. All three stories revolve around people, connections and miracles.
This column first ran in 2010. The status of Cameron Charles Yarbrough has been updated, but the message remains timeless.
Music has always been important to me.
I have been told some strange things in my life.
Let's examine a few statements reflecting a vision thought to be beyond question. "The world that we live in is beautiful but fragile." "The 3rd rock from the sun is a fragile oasis."
Entering the world of "official Washington" is a bit like the mythical trip Alice took through the looking glass. Everything is upside-down and nonsensical.
The outpouring of raw hatred and unbridled ignorance that I received in Twitter messages and emails after my recent appearance on the "Dr. Phil Show" had me asking, "What would America be like if these types governed?"
Our book club settled into a cozy conversational circle Monday night at one member's beautiful home, lovingly decorated for Christmas. Cheese and crackers were passed, and everyone had a glass of wine at hand.
A bi-partisan budget agreement was unveiled in a press conference this past Tuesday night by House Budget Chairman Congressman Paul Ryan (R – Wisc.) and Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash).
I was preparing to write this column when I learned that South African leader Nelson Mandela had died.