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Front Page » Authors » Bio for Paul Faber » Archives for Paul Faber

By Paul Faber on April 10, 2011

My local daily newspaper recently took, to paraphrase Neil Armstrong, one small step for a newspaper, but one giant leap for newspaperkind. Or did it?

What did our newspaper do? They noted that a particular story (or, really, an on-going series) is "sponsored by ...."

Read more of this post here ...

By Paul Faber on April 8, 2010

I know. Criticizing a campaign mailer -- or maybe that should be spelled "campain maler"--is like picking the fruit hanging so low it's almost on the ground. But maybe you will allow a little venting.

I won't criticize the use of suggestive phrases instead of actual assertions ("Kansas values. Kansas commonsense.") Nor will I criticize the assertions that are only questionably relevant: "Five generations of Mann's [sic] have lived in the house his great-grandfather built." OK. But he lives more than 100 miles to the east.

But then we get these words: "Free market solutions for healthcare reform" and "protect Social Security and Medicare." Under the assumption that he is listing these things because he supports them, isn't there a problem here? Neither Social Security nor Medicare are "free market solutions," and that is their glory. We have learned from hundreds of years of experience now that free markets are greatly inventive, but without assistance they promote inequality. In fact, they promote so much inequality that those who can no longer sell their labor or intelligence on the free market would be left without the necessities of life.

So which do you want, Mr. Candidate, free market solutions or help for the elderly?

By Paul Faber on January 23, 2010

The Supreme Court's recent decision--the January 21 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to allow corporate "persons" to spend as much as they want in the name of free speech--has the potential to undermine democracy. After all, democracy truly works only when people examine the relevant information and make rational decisions based on that information. Advertising, twisting the news, and creating certain appearances can distort the information and short-circuit our ability to make rational decisions. These take money--lots of it--so the corporation that can promise lots of money to a candidate can really influence any election.

The decision may undermine democracy, but it doesn't have to. We ought to start working right now along a couple of different paths.

Read more of this post here ...

By Paul Faber on July 10, 2009

Today is John Calvin's five-hundredth birthday.

Although "Calvinist" is not exactly a compliment in popular culture unless you think it means you are a big fan of Bill Watterson's "Calvin and Hobbes," Calvin's birthday is worth remembering.

Read more of this post here ...

By Paul Faber on May 17, 2009

My two alma maters — my “dear mothers” — have broken the hearts of their sons and daughters in the last couple of years.

The University of Notre Dame, my “dear mother” for my graduate education, is honoring President Barack Obama at its commencement ceremony today, May 17. But because of President Obama’s tolerance for our current abortion laws and court decisions, many people have called for fire and brimstone to rain down upon Notre Dame and its President, Father John Jenkins.

Read more of this post here ...

By Paul Faber on May 1, 2009

OK. What would you say about this doctor?

The patient has had a long history of overeating , smoking, and not getting any exercise. So he had a heart attack. And he had heart surgery. He’s still laid up and feeling down.

Here’s the doctor’s prescription: just go back to eating and smoking. Stop that exercise.

Read more of this post here ...

By Paul Faber on February 6, 2008

Last week, President Bush and the House of Representatives put together a package designed to stimulate the economy, and the Senate is considering the package as we speak (if you read this aloud).

The package would cost the government approximately $150 billion, or about $500 for every human in the United States.

Then Monday, President Bush made his full budget proposal, and this full budget would come to about $3 trillion. The budget deficit would get even bigger than it is now. It would expand from the current $167 billion to more than $400 billion.

That is to say, President Bush is proposing that about 13 percent of the money needed would have to come from borrowing. The $150 billion stimulus package can be seen, then, as a part of that amount that we would be borrowing.

And we all know that, in a sense, the government seldom actually repays what it borrows. It does, of course, repay a specific debt -- we never have any trouble cashing in our savings bonds -- but, in a typical year, the government borrows from Peter to pay Paul, and it seldom actually pays down its debt. That means the interest just keeps mounting.

Read more of this post here ...

By Paul Faber on January 24, 2008

Our current political leaders have talked about building a democracy in Iraq if the Iraqi people are ready for democracy. But the more immediate question would be closer to home.

Are we ready for democracy in the United States?

For a democracy to function well, the democracy should be meeting four conditions. First, those voting should be able to do so freely, without being punished for their votes.

We in the U.S. seem to be doing OK on that one. The secret ballot is the key here, of course.

Read more of this post here ...

By Paul Faber on January 10, 2008

The Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary are big news because of their results. And that is as it should be. But there are two aspects of the campaigns that really deserve some comment, even though they easily might escape our notice.

The first is our unblinking acceptance of "The Mod Squad." When a TV show of that name ran in the late '60s and early '70s, it showed off just how hip it was by advertising the three police heroes of the series were "One white, one black and one blond."

We have had white, black and blond candidates for president before, of course, but this time we have candidates of those persuasions as the top three candidates for the Democratic nomination who are serious candidates with a real chance to win. A white candidate will win the Republican nomination, and in all likelihood we will have a black candidate (well, sort of) or a blond candidate (well, sort of) win the Democratic nomination.

Read more of this post here ...

By Paul Faber on December 12, 2007

Last week, at least two things happened that had nothing to do with the season, surprising as that may be. But both of them concern education. Since education concerns me, I will pass on this information and a bit of comment.

First, the PISA study results were released. PISA is the Programme for International Student Assessement, and it was created by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The United States participates in both the umbrella organization and in this study.

PISA arranges with countries to test a random sampling of 15-year-olds in math, science and reading. It began in the year 2000, and then it has been done again in 2003 and 2006. The 2006 results are the ones that were just released.

Read more of this post here ...

More blog posts by Paul Faber:

Want to see more blog posts by Paul Faber? We have more! By default, this page only lists a few of the most recent entries. Most of the entries that our authors post are very timeless and relevant, regardless of when their articles are originally published.

We encourage and welcome you to look back through the blog archives for Paul Faber. All of this author's archives are listed here, on the right side of this page.

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However, we do have links, below, to all of the entries ever published by this author.

To browse archived entries by Paul Faber, just scroll down this same sidebar column. You'll see the links for all of this author's blog entries, grouped by month and year.

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