Author Archives: nwimber

Opinions on Education: 70+ Billion Dollars Should Give Us Something Better

by Niles Wimber

In the first season of the TV series “House of Cards”, a major plot point is a large education reform bill, much like the Affordable Care Act (popularly, Obamacare) if it was the Affordable Education Act. It was the usual: messing around with charter schools, performance evaluations, federal funding requirements, etc., etc. Now, while the show obviously exaggerates how reform works (scandal and blackmail exclusively moving the process along, for instance), we’ve seen a lot of education reform in the last decade that seemingly hasn’t really done anything, like No Child Left Behind or the currently disputed Common Core standards. I’ve been thinking and I’d say that there is something better.

If this rings true about education reform, there is a problem. Source: Netflix

If this rings true about education reform, there is a problem. Source: Netflix

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Raising the Minimum Wage: Why We Shouldn’t Let Faulty Logic Rule Our Paycheck

By Niles Wimber

I think it’s safe to say that the subject of the minimum wage can be a pretty emotionally and politically charged subject. No one wants to be seen as putting the poor to the grindstone of low wages. However, I will say that because of all these emotions and opinions, some plain and simple principles are getting left out of the conversation. Let’s bring those back to the table and look at how the minimum wage is the most harmful to the very people it would ostensibly help.

Because we can still expect cheap Big Macs if McDonald’s raises wages more than all minimum wage hikes since 1938 combined, right? Image Source: foxnews.com

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The Broken Window: How Vandalism Simply Illustrates the World of Economics

This is part one in a new series called “Layman’s Terms”, where we take complex issues and break them down into a simple explanation that everyone can understand and learn from. Today we’ll start with my interpretation of the classic “Parable of the Broken Window” by Frederic Bastiat.

In a mall some kids, having been kicked out of a bakery for bothering customers, take their revenge by throwing a rock through the front window of the store. The baker tries to chase them but they escape from him and security.  A few of the other workers in the mall come over to look at the broken window and talk to the baker. He is quite upset that the kids got away from him.

Those kids used a gigantic rock made out of plot material. Source: schuminweb.com

Those kids used a gigantic rock made out of plot material. Source: schuminweb.com

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Why We Don’t Care: America’s Apathy to World Events Explained

You’ve all heard the “horror stories” about Americans being totally oblivious to events in other countries. A classic that comes to mind is Miss Teen South Carolina’s 2007 reference to “the Iraq” and the fact that “some people don’t have maps” as to why that is. Another would be the country questions from “Jaywalking on the Tonight Show” where Jay Leno asks a bunch of random people on the street questions about pop culture and foreign affairs and has whole segments of solely wrong answers. One Google search brings almost a billion results  (such as the image below) about how Americans only know stereotypes of other countries. We pay the Department of Education more than the 21 poorest African countries’ GDPs combined. How does this joke still exist?!

$70 billion education budget and this is still a thing. Source: alphadesigner.com

$70 billion education budget and this is still a thing. Source: alphadesigner.com

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Aside

“An Hard Saying…” is a political commentary blog created by regular people, for regular people. Our mission is to make the world of politics accessible to the average person by making complex issues easy to understand and talking about those … Continue reading

The Hobby Lobby Case: Why Knee-jerk Moral Crusades Must Be Stopped

By Niles Wimber

Between writing on the Internet and working at a large retail store, I’d like to say that I have a lot of experience with knee-jerk crusaders. These are people who have the energy and moral fortitude to champion human rights everywhere and the attention span to know nothing about it. With the 24-hour news cycle and the current culture war in America, it’s easy to join up: just read the latest headline and then form an on-the-spot opinion based on what sounds the most right to you and then defend that to the death: the death of rational, common sense thinking. Using the Hobby Lobby/Affordable Healthcare Act lawsuit as an example, let’s look at this phenomenon in action.

The company in question. Source: Wikipedia

Who knew scrapbooking was so edgy? Source: Wikipedia

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A New Cold War: the US/Russia Battle over the Ukrainian Crisis

By Niles Wimber

Update:

Russia has begun deploying troops to the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine “for the safety of ethnic Russians in the region”. Considering they have a major naval base there and the region borders with Russia, that only further confirms my commentary below about Russia’s motivations there. Read on.

Since my original review of the Ukrainian Maidan Revolution on February 20th, things have changed quite a bit, namely, the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych and the installation of a new opposition led government. The new government has immediately turned towards the US and the European Union for help with Ukraine’s crippled economy, much to the dismay of Russia who had previously offered to buy out Ukraine’s debt to the tune of $15 billion dollars. For their part, the Russians have started running massive war drills for troops bordering Ukraine, just for the heck of it according to them. Ukraine isn’t really an influential country compared to, say, Germany or China; what’s provoking this sudden Cold War flashback?

Russian tanks on parade. Source: Niles Wimber

Russian tanks on parade. Source: Niles Wimber

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