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02/26/21 06:21 PM #14647    


Jack Mallory

02/27/21 12:52 PM #14648    


Jay Shackford

Opinion: Why pro-work Republicans should support the Biden economic agenda

Opinion by 

Catherine Rampell

Columnist/The Washington Post

Feb. 25, 2021 at 4:46 p.m. EST

Conservatives who want to make the safety net more “pro-work” might find the answer to their prayers in an unexpected place: President Biden’s economic agenda.

Republicans are — once again — whipping themselves into a moral panic over whether the social safety net is denigrating the “dignity of work” and promoting collective laziness. This echoes a similar (though more bipartisan, overtly racialized) mass hysteria in the 1980s and 1990s, over the traditional welfare system and the “queens” it supposedly coronated. This recurred about a decade ago, when some conservatives suggested that overly generous unemployment benefits had turned the Great Recession into a “Great Vacation.” Then-congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) warned that the safety net was becoming a “hammock.”

Today’s frenzy was sparked by proposals to issue monthly payments to families with children, even if the parents have very low or no earnings. These “child allowances” have the potential to lift millions of kids, disproportionately children of color, out of poverty. Democrats, urged by Biden, put a temporary version of this proposal in their covid-19 relief bill. Once Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) released a version of the proposal, child allowances appeared to have a bipartisan path forward.

But other Republicans were swift to denounce the effort. Giving money to poor parents with no strings attached would breed idleness, they warned. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) protested that sending per-child payments to “everyone, with no work requirement, is welfare,” and that “being pro-family means being pro-work.”

My feeling is: It’s not so terrible if $250 a month gives a single mom the freedom to forgo the occasional night shift and instead be home for bedtime. But Republicans appear to believe the primary goal of economic policy is to promote work, and specifically additional work hours for the poor, whenever possible.

Given this priority, one wonders: Why haven’t Republicans been pushing harder to expand the parts of the safety net that support work?

For instance: access to reliable, affordable child care, which has traditionally been a Democratic priority.

For many parents, lack of child care is a major obstacle to maintaining a job. The limited child-care system that exists has been battered by the pandemic. Biden’s American Rescue Plan would devote greater resources to rebuilding and expanding this critical pro-work infrastructure.

Similarly, paid family leave, which every other rich nation already guarantees, could help keep parents (particularly mothers) attached to the workforce. For all our cultural fetishization of work, the United States lags behind other developed nations in prime-age women’s participation in the labor force; one apparent reason, according to a study from Cornell economists, is that other countries have done more to mandate expansions of family-friendly policies, including paid parental leave and part-time work arrangements.

These countries seem to have more “hammock”-like safety nets, by Republicans’ reckoning, yet do a better job of trampolining working-age women into jobs.

Access to medical care also helps workers remain healthy enough to maintain employment. In recent years, however, Republicans have pushed policies that reduce Medicaid access for low-income people, arguing that public insurance should be reserved for those who prove their worth by having already logged sufficient hours. This gets the relationship between health coverage and employment backward: Access to health care supports work, particularly for those with chronic conditions.

Better public transportation — a goal of “Amtrak Joe’s” infrastructure plan — would likewise increase people’s ability to reliably get to and from work, particularly among lower-income people who are less likely to own cars.

Raising the returns to work — through some combination of higher minimum wages and government subsidies (such as an expanded earned-income tax credit) — would also make work more attractive. Particularly for those facing, say, a two-hour commute on multiple buses and expensive half-day child care to make a measly $7.25 an hour.

In other words: Instead of making poverty more painful, Republicans could promote ways to make jobs more accessible, available and rewarding. As the Biden agenda does.

What about those Biden-endorsed child allowances? Yes, probably some parents will cut back their work hours, though not enough to substantially offset the policy’s impact on poverty reduction, according to estimates from the National Academies of Sciences. In any case, that doesn’t mean the policy is, on the whole, “anti-work” — particularly given the effect on children in those households.

Research on a 20th-century “Mothers’ Pension” program found that poor kids whose families received similar, unconditional cash payments went on to have higher income as adults. There is a whole literature, summarized by economists Hilary Hoynes and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, documenting the ways that investing in kids helps them have better economic outcomes as adults, including higher employment rates and earnings. Yet rarely do “pro-work” Republicans advocate higher food stampseducational spending or other safety-net investments that enable kids to grow up to be more productive workers.

It’s almost as if this whole “pro-work” moral panic isn’t about work at all.

Sign up to receive Catherine Rampell's columns by email as soon as they're published


02/27/21 08:52 PM #14649    


Stephen Hatchett


Jack,  Wheat jeans -- I think you are right,  that those were OK.  (Of course I did not even try those).  It was the green or black which were seen as evading the rules.  If I remember, the jock class tried those.  But --- "If you remember the 60's, you really weren't there, man"   Even so, I would hope to remember 1963 or before (before my old buddy at Cal . . . )   

Glen,  you are spot on that my cultural ignorance is showing big time.   I was looking at the forced hair dye thing from a very different point of view, thinking it was something universal about trying to control teenagers pushing the envelope.  

But on that subject:  My old buddy at Cal (friend for 70 years) has just sent me a book:  "The Wierdest People in the World", "How the west became psychologically peculiar and particularly prosperous".   Looks to take up where Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel" left off with much more new data.   Maybe I'll learn something.

Hope the vaccine thing is working out better and better for all. Deep gratitude to all who have volunteered to help.  Has anyone on this forum gotten the damn plague? 


02/28/21 06:58 AM #14650    


Joanie Bender (Grosfeld)

Mitch, the Grim Reaper, went all out in his speech condemning Trump, in no uncertain terms, for deriliction of duty and inciting insurrection and pointed out though he voted to acquit, he, Trump would be subject to criminal prosecution now that he is out of the White House...Mitch just got asked if he would support and vote for Trump if he got the nomination. His answer was "yes, of course." Love, Joanie

02/28/21 07:38 AM #14651    


Jack Mallory

"Wierdest . . ." is a great book, Stephen, and very similar to "Guns, Germs . . ." which I think is masterful. "Collapse," a Diamond book about societal failure, is almost as good.


For a look at a commonly ignored social phenomenon, this review from today's NYT:




Nobody recognizes my cousin's room mate? Pic from early 60s--think of her later in an Afro.


Sunrises out the bedroom window continue to be spectacular, compensating some for the layer of ice that brought me down on ass and elbow yesterday.





02/28/21 11:21 AM #14652    


Stephen Hatchett

Jack, Phyllis got it:  Angela Davis

02/28/21 11:44 AM #14653    


Jack Mallory

Books. Now you've got me started. I'll try and restrain myself. 


Just finished a re-read of The Emerald Milethe Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon, by Kevin Fedarko.


I read this first a couple of years ago, after our rafting trip down the Canyon. We're scheduled to go again next year, but I wanted a foretaste of the experience to come. Not that our trip in what the old-time wooden boat rowers call a "baloney-boat" is much comparable to what's described in this book.

I read alot. Constantly could be a better way to put it. I am reminded that The Emerald Mile is one of the best books I've read in years. Maybe it's a pandemic-driven lust to be traveling again, a yearning for something different after a year of so much the same, an escape from the quotidian. But the book, nearly as much as the reality of the canyon, provides that diversion.

It's the story of the1983 record setting run, in a wooden dory, from the put-in at Lee's Ferry down the entire length of the canyon to Lake Mead, accompished during a massive release of water from the Glen Canyon Dam--in order to prevent its possible collapse after an a huge El Nino driven snowfall and melt in the Rockies. 

It is superb outdoor adventure fare, but also: a consideration of humans and nature, conservation vs. development, individual vs. public well-being, history, geology, hydrology, dam-building, dory-building . . . hard to describe. So well written, so wide-ranging, it's one of those books that I would find other things to read between chapters to avoid coming to the end. 

Stephen, many of you others, I think you might really like this. And none of you are too old to do it yourselves, but you've got to sign up a year or so ahead! We're due to depart August 31, 2022. Traveling with Western Rivers, if anyone wants to join us!


Pandemic-related as well, perhaps: still checking my window at sunrise, still getting some pretty good pix before breakfast!


02/28/21 11:47 AM #14654    


Jack Mallory

Bingo, Phyllis! Good eyes, great memory. My cousin Diana, maybe two years older than I and for whom I lusted in a very un-cousinly way, was made even more glamorous than her tanned, California, UC Berkeley self by rooming with Angela Davis that summer. 

02/28/21 08:45 PM #14655    


Glen Hirose


  That actually was the norm for all the European Royals. Any nobles in the Mallory clan on your side?



02/28/21 10:35 PM #14656    


Stephen Hatchett

Glen, re European Royalty:  I don't know about the "lust" part, but royals were supposed to marry royals with the result of a very limited gene pool.  Every genetics class shows how hemophilia (a genetic disease) spread through that crowd from Victoria on. Yay, Harry and Meghan.


03/01/21 11:27 AM #14657    


Glen Hirose

  Henny Penny Regular

   Sense of royal obligation and not much lust,


                                                                               but that was then, and this is now.

03/01/21 02:59 PM #14658    


Jack Mallory




Ok, there's a plan afoot. The other day I mentioned my Grand Canyon rafting plans for 2022 and tossed out casual encouragement for others to join. 'Lo and behold, the phone rang yesterday and it was Stephen, expressing great interest. After a brief conversation, he was in, and has gone to the Western Rivers web site and laid his deposit down.

I've talked briefly with Helen and Jennifer Harting about this, and they are at least considering it. 

So, a BCC mini-reunion on a 6 day, 5 night glafting ("glamour rafting") trip down the Colorado? Glamour overstates it, but it's VERY comfy. Requires one be in decent shape, able to scramble on and off a big (humongously big) rubber raft, do day hikes of a couple of slow miles up the side canyons to pools and waterfalls, sleep out on cots or in two-person tents. It ain't Everest. I was the oldest guy a couple of years ago at 71 or 72, likely to be again at 76, and I'm not George Mallory. The trips are really designed to accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities.

If interested, go to the Western Rivers web site, check out the 6 day Grand Canyon trips. Watch the videos, look at the variety of people participating. We're signed up for the 6 day trip staring on August 31, 2022.

Something to look forward to, get/stay in shape for, a fantastic late in life experience!



03/01/21 07:00 PM #14659    


Stephen Hatchett

Want to keep eating??  Keep your farmworkers healthy!   Most (all?) of us can isolate, they cannot.    

03/01/21 07:21 PM #14660    


Jay Shackford

Riding the Rapids

Jack is dead right about rafting down the Grand Canyon. It’s a great adventure riding the rapids, hiking up the canyon on a few side trips after lunch,  tubing down the Little Colorado and experiencing some of the most beautiful sites in the world.  The canyon and river is very diverse – expansive in some areas where it stretches for miles in both directions and narrow and steep with the cliffs rising almost straight up from the riverbank in other areas. The narrow part of the canyon usually had the best rapids.  

We (my wife, Nina, and youngest son, Nick,  who had just turned 21 in 2006 and was probably more excited about playing blackjack with me in Las Vegas) went on the 187-mile trip starting from Marble Canyon (think they called it Lee’s Ferry back then) to the Bar 10 Ranch. It was a six-day, five-night rafting trip.    

We had two motorized rafts with our outfitter, Arizona River Runners, on the trip -- 12 to a raft, and two guides for each raft.  Food was great. Waking up to the smell of coffee brewed in a huge pot was something to remember.  Our trip was in the middle of May before the heat really hit the canyon.  I slept on a mat on the beach 20 yards from the bank of the river in my shorts and tee shirt.  Nina used a tent for couple of the nights. The stars were amazing.  The water – except for the Little Colorado that flowed into the Colorado River from the Arizona deserts – was very cold.  Remember, no showers on this trip until you reached the Bar 10 Ranch on the way back to Vegas.  We took a helicopter ride from the bank of the river to Bar 10 Ranch before flying back to Vegas. 

On our trip, we had four construction workers from the Big Apple (great guys with some funny New York stories) a brother and sister from Israel, a guy from Australia, a French couple and couples and singles from around the country.  It was a very  interesting mix of people.  Nick was the youngest on our trip – most of the rafters were over 50.  

Mark, our lead guide out of Flagstaff, was amazing – he could read and navigate the river like the back of his hand and was a great storyteller for those many peaceful moments on the river when you weren’t riding the rapids. Originally from Colorado and about 34 at the time of our trip, Mark started rafting the canyon during his college years in Arizona and he never left.  During the winters, he worked as a ski instructor and in a ski shop owned by one of his college buddies.  Now that’s the life….

Go to the Arizona River Runners web site or any of the other outfitter sites to view a couple of the videos.  It will give you a good feel for the trip.  

Your outfitter will tell you exactly what you can bring. Suggest you follow those instructions carefully.  For the three of us, we spent about $1,000 at REI for the gear recommended, and we were glad we did.    

In mid-May, temperatures ran from a low of about 80 at mid-day to a high of 95.  At night, I don’t think it got cooler than 75.  Sunny and beautiful blue skies the entire trip – not a drop of rain.  

Don’t worry about staying safe.  By 2022, the virus will be long gone and the trip is not that tough on the old body.  The guides are experienced and take good care of you.  Plus, the canyon is patrolled and closely monitored by the National Park Service.  

Sign up and have a great time.  


03/01/21 09:08 PM #14661    


Jack Mallory

Thanks, Jay, for your endorsement of Grand Canyon rafting--and especially your reassurances about comfort and safety! The guides really are incredibly competent, knowledgeable, and interesting.

As Jay suggests, go to the web sites for the rafting companies, Western Rivers is who I've used. But a warning: watching their videos is like getting a little bit of heroin from a dealer. First little bit is free, next thing you know you're hooked!

That's what happened to us the first time. Deb had said that some kind of rafting trip was on her bucket list.  I just googled river rafting . . . saw something about the Grand Canyon . . . glanced at a Western Rivers six-day promo . . . and down the rabbit hole I went. But worth every penny.  We knew when we were done that trip we'd have to do it again someday. 




03/02/21 09:41 AM #14662    


Joanie Bender (Grosfeld)

Wow, Jack, those photos are beautiful....I can see why you and Deb would want to do a repeat trip. Love, Joanie

03/02/21 04:51 PM #14663    


Joan Ruggles (Young)

A rafting reunion is a tempting idea.........but I don't do tents and cots. Have never been a camper, especially with no showers. But the rest of it - the rafting, the hiking sounds fabulous!

03/02/21 06:38 PM #14664    


Jack Mallory

It's a trade off, Joan . . . 


And not completely without showers!

03/02/21 06:43 PM #14665    


Jack Mallory

One of our classmates was concerned about facilities:



03/02/21 08:10 PM #14666    


Stephen Hatchett

Rafting trip "facility" nitty gritty.   I am assumig that other rafting companies do the same as OARS.  Phyllis and I loved a 2014 raft trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho ("The River of No Return").  The campsites are relatively few and are re-used often.

SO... All the poop gets carried out -- on a support raft.  One uses the "groover", see Jack's photo.  Usually a "room with a view" off of oe end of the campig area.  A roll of TP is stationed at a site near the groover but out of sight of it, and this serves as the "key".  If the roll is there, pick it up and go on to the toilet. If it is not there, wait until the earlier user comes out.   The guides make sure the thing is comfortable for good or older knees.  The name "groover"  goes back to earlier days of rafting when surplus WWII ammo cans were used for poopinng in and carryig out.  You can imagine the result of sitting on an ammo can.

Pee, on the other hand,  is sterile, but would be smelly left on the ground.  So all pee goes in the river.  Into a small bucket then into the river or more directly.   For us older guys with BPH who don't want to be clambering down to the river in the night, OARS provided small blue buckets to be used in the tent and set outside or used outside and then emptied into the river in the morning.   

Bottom line -- decades of experiene have meant that all this kind of stuff is well taken care of and causes no unpleasantness. 

There are enough guides that hikes often have two groups -- easy and moderate, and nothing if one wants to simply veg out with a book or bask in the sun.

Jay's description brought back one of my favorite memories of the Salmon river trip -- waking up to one iof the guides calling "COOOOFFFFEEEE"--- and then plopping iinto a sling chair to enjjoy it.  


03/03/21 11:35 AM #14667    


Glen Hirose

Going to side with Joan,

Nope, rafting, wilderness, snakes, scorpions (not a bug by definition), and the thrill of raging water all sounds very romantic. But I got the outdoor adventurer out of my system years ago. I would like to live vicariously through the iPhone videos of others so long as at 5:00 there's is Scotch, and  petite hors d'oeuvres

In my defense however I did raft the Youghiogheny River at stage 4-5. The 1st raft left a bit early and flipped; the rescue kayakers were great, and recovered 7 out of 8. Nixed the tent for the back of my 75' Blazer; I did enjoy the PBJs on raisin bread, but certainly would have liked a glass of red. Lastly to this day I can't identify poison oak in the field.


03/03/21 01:00 PM #14668    


Jack Mallory

Everthing Stephen said; except I didn't learn the "groover" term. And for us on our daily breaks going down river the rule was ladies upstream, gents down.  All the necessities smoothly dealt with. Plenty of opportunities for river bathing--take some personal cleaning wipes if you want more than the sometimes gritty Colorado to bathe with. Stayed much cleaner than in Vietnam; had much more fun; nobody shot at me. And ate MUCH better.


I don't remember the alcohol logistics, but some folks had beaucoup beer. 


2.5 miles of wheelchair pushing this morning. Keeping in shape. 


03/03/21 05:40 PM #14669    


Joan Ruggles (Young)

Pee is sterile? Well I learned something new today!

03/03/21 06:21 PM #14670    


Jack Mallory

But like so many things we "learn" on-line . . . 



03/03/21 07:32 PM #14671    


Stephen Hatchett

Well drat, Jack, I'm glad you checked.  Of course we knew it wasn't sterile if one had a UTI.  I better not use "sterile" again, just something like "reasonably germ free".   

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