Wrong Analogy

budget

budget (Photo credit: 401K)

Often people compare a government‘s budget to a family budget. It’s sort of an easy, automatic thought. “If  I have to live within my means, the government should.”

Yet if you think it through that is just poor thinking. Your family has no or little defense spending. Maybe you’ve got an alarm service, but you don’t need to wage war. If you want to, you can donate to a charity, here or abroad, but if you don’t what are the repercussions? Zip. Don’t compare your kids’ piano lessons or science fair project expenses to the NEA or scientific research.  How many employees does the average family have? The government has a lot more budget items. Period. End of story.

Your number and type of dependents differs immensely. The average family has something like 2.2 children. Not millions and you choose that number pretty much. The government can’t choose how many poor people there will be in the same way.

Our government does pay its bills, just like most families pay their’s. Actually, it’s probably a lot better at doing so.

Also, so many people conveniently forget that credit card debt isn’t the only debt a family has. Factor in the mortgage and car payments and most families, respectable, hard-working, All-Americans have a lot of debt. And they get a break on their taxes for some of that debt. Who subsidizes the government for getting in debt as a form of behavior reinforcement?

So can we just stop using this poor analogy? Probably not. It’s quite ingrained and handy for those who don’t like to think anew.

Here are some articles that address this very issue:

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Short-Lived Achievement

Yesterday’s drain smells are back. Ugh.

I don’t notice it in the bedroom or living room. How do people stand this?

I think it’s a larger issue requiring a plumber someone to come with a big machine to clean out everyone’s pipes.

Achievement

Today, my great achievement was conquering the smells emanating from my apartment’s drains. In China they don’t use traps in the pipes to keep foul smells out of your home. I can close one sink’s drain, but the others are open permanently.

I looked online and found a few ideas involving baking soda and bleach or Drano. Another suggested vinegar, but then the apartment would smell like vinegar, which is not my favorite aroma. In the end I got Mr. Muscle, a brand that has a wide array of cleaning products. It actually worked. Much like Drano, you pour it down the pipes and after awhile, you’re supposed to pour some boiling water down the pipes.

I used the whole bottle down the three drains. I also got some air freshener and incense. I’ve covered every base and the stink is gone.

I do wonder why drains are better here. It doesn’t seem complicated. Would it really be that expensive?

smkelly8:

We have a new high-end mall in Jinan.

Originally posted on Jinan Daily Photo:

At the New Mall

Most Chinese cities have all the high end designer boutiques, if not several. Here’s a few at our newest mall. Lots of window shoppers.

Oui, nous avons Hermes.

Jade, the real McCoy I dare say

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Karen Says the Darndest Things

Not your typical flower girl, is she? Karen of Outnumbered.

Regarding the “Ulika” reference, this was on YouTube as a comment:

Ulrika Jonsson has had quite a lot of relationships and is seen as a bit of a slag…so by seemingly comparing Julie to Ulrika, Pete & Sue were calling her a slag.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

Icon #1

Icon #2 (maybe just for Chicagoans and those familiar with chocolate)

Icon #3, Marilyn Monroe

New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

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Wandering around the Tea Market

Tea Market Sign Upstaged

Welcome to Tea World

Despite the chill in the air three of us, wandered around the vast tea market of Jinan. I still can’t get over how expansive it is.

Teacups

Wheels of Tea for Sale

I’m not sure if they’re actually called wheels of tea, but you get the idea. These tea cakes or wheels used to be used as currency in old times.

Tea in Bulk

A Bit of Luck

English: Gentaur schedule

Image via Wikipedia

Any teacher will tell you the first week of school is draining. No matter how prepared and experienced you are getting used to a new schedule, learning new names and really figuring out what you want to do with a new crop of students takes a lot out of you. Things are going well, but I listen to my students and think, “Oh, dear, they’ve been learning English since they were 10 and this is how far they’ve gotten.” Or “I wonder what he’s trying to say? Is the talking about school or soup?”

I’ve got a decent schedule for teaching 24 hours a week. I’ll teach 6 hours on Monday and Wednesday and may need to be carried home those days. Tuesday I have a long morning break from 9:50 to 2pm. This week I was able to get into town and back to run some errands. Thursday I’m blessed with a free afternoon and Friday I don’t have to start till 10. Not bad.

Today I got a kind of bonus. After 2nd period ended, I ran over to the administrative office to order some copies. When I returned, I expected to see my 3rd period students. No one was there. Though class wouldn’t start for another 10 minutes in China that’s odd. I waited and waited. The bell rang and still no one was there. I called the Foreign Affairs Liaison and she said she’d look into this. Eventually, I got a call from a student with poor English. I really didn’t know what he said, but I figured there was a scheduling error. Maybe they were double booked.

In time a girl came in with a paper in Chinese that she showed me as a way to explain the problem. I really don’t get how she thought I’d be able to read it. From day one, I make it clear that I don’t speak Chinese. I guess that hasn’t sunk in. In time another student with poor English joined the girl. It seems the students’ schedule showed them as free during this period. Since some were off campus it was impossible to round everyone up.

I was glad that they weren’t somehow double booked and say in Chinese at that time, which might mean I’d have to teach Thursday afternoon. That free afternoon is rather precious. All seems well (fingers crossed) and next week we’ll hold class as my schedule shows. The pair wondered if we should make up class on Friday evening. I said that shouldn’t be necessary and if need be we’ll figure out a make up time. As I see it, it wasn’t my mistake and I was ready to go. Over the course of the semester we’re sure to cover all we need to. Down the road we can see about a make up but I think we can just let this go.

Word of the Week: Revanche

Look out I’ve signed up for the Oxford English Dictionary’s daily emails.

Here’s a sample:

Revanche, n.
Pronunciation: Brit. /rəˈvɒ̃ʃ/, /rᵻˈvan(t)ʃ/, U.S. /rəˈvɑn(t)ʃ/
Etymology: < French revanche revenge n. (c1525 in Middle French in sense ‘action of making requital or retaliation for an injury’, 1588 in sense ‘action of making requital or recompense for a benefit received’).
In in revanche after French en revanche (see en revanche adv. at en prep. Phrases).

Quot. 1757 at sense 1 represents the speech of a French speaker.

Not fully naturalized in English. O.E.D. Suppl. (1982) only records the non-naturalized pronunciation (rəvaṅʃ) /rəvɑ̃ʃ/.
1. The action or an act of returning a favour or (now chiefly) avenging an injury; requital, recompense; revenge, retaliation.
in revanche: in return; in revenge; cf. en revanche adv. at en prep. Phrases.
1615 in Lett. & St. Papers James VI 271 Having the raisons I had against hym and thos advantages off revanche , mony vood a extenditt them mor vigourously nor I did.
?1656 R. Flecknoe Relation Ten Years Trav. xxxi. 100 In revanche of which I can assure her Highnesse, that none ever having gain'd in prize some precious Jewell, was more carefull to conserve it, than I shall be the honour of her good Graces.
1757 T. Smollett Reprisal ii. xv, Madame, I implore your pitie and clemence; Monsieur Artlie, I am one pauvre miserable not worth your revanche.
1794 I. D'Israeli Domest. Anecd. French Nation 300 We may, if it is worth the while, take our revanche, on our once gay rivals.
1828 New Monthly Mag. 23 148 The defeated party had their revanche; the Prima Donna was tried for corruption, on their appeal.
1858 Queen Victoria Let. 22 June in Dearest Child (1964) 117 She never allows a word to be said against Leopold who in revanche is much kinder to her than he was.
1870 G. Meredith Let. 9 Oct. (1970) I. 427 You great-mindedly took my criticism, and I long for the revanche of giving praise.
1968 V. Nabokov King, Queen, Knave xiii. 262 I'll have my revanche when madame and you visit me in Miami next spring.
2007 P. Leonard & A. Grenier in T. Owen Reconstructing Postmodernism vi. 94 Gender Stalinists killed masculinity in revanche for the death of femininity under the rule of traditionalists.
2. Polit. Also with capital initial. The return of a nation's lost territory; a policy, movement, or act of aggression aimed at achieving this. Now chiefly hist.
Freq. with reference to the desire of France to regain the province of Alsace-Lorraine after its annexation in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.
1874 N. Amer. Rev. Oct. 419 A little talk‥about the prospects of France, the duties of Frenchmen, and the question of the ‘revanche’.
1889 M. S. van de Velde Cosmopolitan Recoll. I. v. 162 He [sc. Prince Gortchakoff] has on his record the fate of Sleswig and of Denmark; Sadowa, the revanche of Sebastopol.
1914 G. B. Shaw in New Statesman 14 Nov. (Suppl.) 20/1 France had given up hope of her Alsace–Lorraine revanche.
1939 A. Toynbee Study of Hist. IV. 118 The Justinianean revanche, in the sixth century, against the Vandals and the Ostrogoths.
1993 D. A. Welch Justice & Genesis of War (1995) iv. 104 Although revanche was extremely popular, few in France relished the prospect of the cost in blood and tears.

Walking around Michigan Avenue

Tacky if you ask me

I still think this sculpture is 1) too big and 2) in the wrong location.

Union Carbide Building

Art Deco

All from a walk downtown before I left for China.

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