A Couple of Things Considered
All Things Considered
on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 actually had a couple of worthwhile segments.
In a Study Plumbs Brain Responses to Anger
Robert Siegel talks with David Sander, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Geneva and one of the lead authors of an article in Nature Neuroscience about the brain's anger response mechanism.
Professor Sander was looking at the possible benefits this study may hold for understanding autistic and schizophrenic patients, a worthy goal.
What occurred to me is that the study also explains the success of Rightwing Radio. The human brain pays attention to angry words, whether or not the individual wants to listen. This is probably a survival trait: "anger = threat" so it gets attention.
Seniors Weigh In on Social Security Reform
by John Ydstie
Kent Smetters, an Associate Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who worked on President Bush's Social Security commission, says "private accounts won't deliver higher total earnings for participants, but they will raise benefits for the lowest-income workers."
What I found interesting was Professor Smetters' thinking concerning the reason there is a problem: the President and Congress have spent the Social Security trust fund on tax cuts and spending, and will have to raise taxes and cut spending to pay it back when the bill comes due. He thinks that Private/Personal Accounts are necessary to keep the money away from Congress and the President.
So, according to a Republican economist the problem with Social Security is President Bush and the Republicans in control of Congress.
I seem to remember someone talking about a Social Security "lockbox" during the 2000 election. Too bad not enough voters paid attention.