Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob


The Greek Misprize

Sometimes a great misunderestimation. George W. Bush’s “misunderestimate” still has a jolly ring to it, in my ear, just as does the common barbarism “irregardless.” Yet I realize that, in both cases, the prefix adds no new meaning to the word it would seem to modify. Regardless, underestimation is today’s

A Loan of Common Sense

If you give something that belongs to you, without expecting to get it back, that’s giving. You just hand over a gift and forget about it. Perhaps you would appreciate a “thank you.” If you lend to someone, you expect to be repaid. Those who don’t repay are called deadbeats.

Beggar-All Promises

The essence of politics-as-usual is to promise the moon and bury any mention of costs. This beggar-all promising has calcified into government policy. And we all get trapped in the web of promises that become law and then bureaucracy with “benefits” . . . as folks come to rely on

The Liability Behind the Curtain

Do not look at the liability behind that curtain! Or: Do not mention that we don’t know what the liabilities are. Some things are too painful to report. Apparently. The folks who audit the Social Security Administration are late on a set of reports. The reports in question account for

Save the Unions’ Ponzi Schemes?

Senator Bob Casey from Pennsylvania is legislating something big, the “Create Jobs and Save Benefits Act.” Innocuous? Everyone wants more jobs. Government may have a lousy track record creating jobs that actually produce things demanded by people, but still — the bill is hardly unexpected in times like these. It’s

Fearing Free Fall

The European Union is bailing out Greece. Fearing financial contagion, EU’s policy wizards decided to throw 100 billion euros at Greece, in tandem with demands for austerity. New spending restrictions are tough enough to elicit the verdict of “savage” from Greece’s public employee unions. But are they “savage” enough? The

The Inglorious Mess That Is Greece

Ah, the glory that was Greece! Too bad the modern country is anything but. The nation-state of Greece is going broke, and going broke spectacularly. And, dare I say it, instructively? Everybody’s blaming everybody else, there. But the simple truth of the matter is that the politicians of Greece —

Sometimes a Great Prediction

Five years ago, I compared Social Security to the Titanic. Insolvency played the part of fatal iceberg. On Monday I noted that the first stage of insolvency —  projected back then to take place in 2017 — has been refigured to arrive early. This year. So much for our leaders’

Pension Tsunami

A humungous national debt. Growing state federal government budget deficits. Social Security and Medicare, running out of funds. All very frightening. But look out: The costs of public employee pensions are walloping city and state budgets — pushing a number of California cities into bankruptcy. Though the stock market tumble

My Favorite Fix

California is going bankrupt. Behind its economic trouble lies serious political dysfunction. What to do? To hear some Golden State legislators and experts talk, the problem can be blamed squarely on the people and their lawmaking power through the state’s initiative process. While initiatives like Prop 13 and term limits

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