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.
A thinking person could easily believe we're going crazy in this country. For example, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seriously considering lifting the ban on cellphone usage in planes flying above 10,000 feet.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
There's more to the deceit and dishonesty about Social Security and Medicare discussed in my recent columns. Congress tells us that one-half (6.2 percent) of the Social Security tax is paid by employees and that the other half is paid by employers, for a total of 12.4 percent.
The health care rollout is an enormous political gift that may lead the Republican Party to win control of the Senate in 2014. But, as President Barack Obama's health-care law collapses, the GOP should avoid the temptation to promote its own top-down solution as an alternative.
Have you put into context what the Republican Party is doing to Tea Party people and every other group that dares to represent the interests of the people?
You know they're coming. There's no place to run, there's no place to hide, and they'll come whether you're ready or not.
Whether we like it or not, November is the start of all those family get-togethers. It's off to grandmother's house or to visit the new in-laws.
Last week, family and friends gathered in the small town of Chattahoochee Hills, south of Atlanta, to celebrate a life well-lived. Our late grandson, Zack Wansley, was honored at the dedication of "Zack's Glade," a pristine and picturesque piece of Cochran Mill Park near where he died while training for the Atlanta Marathon in 2008.
According to some estimates, there are more than 100 million traffic signals in the U.S., but whatever the number, how many of us would like Washington D.C., in the name of public health and safety, to be in sole charge of their operation?
Americans are pragmatic, not ideological.
Editor's note: Columnist David McCoy is taking a break. This column was originally published in July, 2011.
Is it possible that people are so addicted to skin color that they refuse to acknowledge the most obvious indications that something is wrong? The answer, of course, is "yes, many are."
Autumn has always been a transitional season for me. As a child, I saw it as the time when the carefree days of summer changed to conform with the structure and requirements of school. The same held true through college and graduate school.
It's been almost five years since I started Pecan Pie for the Mind, and I've finally succumbed to the classic "writing about writing" device that so many use to rattle off a quick column.