Podcast: Updated weekly in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning. Subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or iHeartRadio
AT&T made a big mistake the other day, replying to a customer complaint with a veiled threat. It's just not smart to behave that way when anything you write -- especially in an e-mail -- can be posted verbatim for all the world to see in an instant.
That's a lesson, too, that a Twitter user from the UK should have considered before declaring his intention to blow up an airport, even though he only meant it tongue-in-cheek.
Speaking of blowing up, the Medicare budget now costs about half a trillion dollars a year, which directly contributes to the explosion in the Federal debt. That doesn't mean we have to shut down the program -- that would be vastly impractical, given how deeply it's intertwined with our social-services system -- but we can't pretend as though it isn't costing us -- and our children -- a fortune. It's truly a matter of life and death.
Speaking of the budget, it can't be helping our fiscal situation that one of the top-paid starting jobs today is working for the Federal government.
Is LG channeling the future of advertising by sponsoring short films online? Quite possibly. As much as anything else, they're at least acknowledging that advertising involves an exchange of value between the advertiser and the consumer. It's not just a matter of out-shouting the competition.
As we head toward the primary elections on Tuesday, a comment: Anyone who isn't serious about balancing the budget isn't worthy of your vote. Anyone, incumbent or challenger, running for any office in Washington, DC, absolutely must be deadly serious about fixing the budget. Too many people right now seem to be motivated by anger: Populist anger against companies like BP, populist anger against the government, or just generalized hostility towards "the establishment" in general. Not enough people seem motivated by a geniune interest in taking serious action to control spending as well as taxation.
It's not enough to say you're "taxed enough already", because the truth is that we're not taxed nearly enough to pay for what we seem to want.
It's not enough to say that "people should come before profits", because profits are what feed people and house people and clothe people. Without profits, we don't get fed.
Nor is it enough to behave as President Obama has, motivating a relentless political pressure machine (Organizing for America) that spends a lot of time telling us how much they're doing for America, but next to none talking about how much they're spending in our name.
The serious answers to our problems are going to dissatisfy a lot of people, but only a handful of groups, like the Concord Coalition, seem to recognize just how much work needs to be done not only to keep taxes affordable, but also to take serious steps to meet the long-term challenges we face. Anger doesn't fix problems. It can only temporarily motivate -- but we need to sustain our dedication to a solution over the long term.
Keywords in this show: anger • AT&T • BP • Concord Coalition • customer service • elections • Federal budget • Medicare • Obama, Barack • Organizing for America • populism • Tea Party • Twitter