More Stimulating Than the Stimulus

By Will, George F. | Newsweek, January 17, 2011 | Go to article overview

More Stimulating Than the Stimulus


Will, George F., Newsweek


Byline: George F. Will

In 2010 we learned that many of us are Neanderthals.

Except for the ongoing saga of Brett Favre, the recidivist retirer who became the world's first intergalactic bore, 2010 was more stimulating than the Obama administration's stimulus has been. Although fueled by a $535 million stimulus loan, and blessed by a presidential visit in May, California's Solyndra, Inc., which manufactures solar panels, announced in November that it was closing a factory and laying off workers. In another harbinger of our "green jobs" future, GE announced that it would shed 200 jobs by closing the last U.S. lightbulb factory: It makes old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, which become illegal in 2014, when Americans will buy the corkscrew fluorescent replacements from abroad. In another adventure in state capitalism, Washington, although chin-deep in red ink, has $7,500 for anyone willing to be bribed into buying a $41,000 Chevy Volt. The president branded Republicans "the party of 'no,'?" for which the party thanked him because voters thanked it for echoing their pithy response to his agenda: "No!" The election of officers for the American Postal Workers Union was delayed because many members' ballots were lost in the mail.

"I still can't believe they took our yogurt," said a staffer at Rawesome Foods in Venice, Calif., when crime-busting L.A. County officers with drawn guns descended on the health-food store in search of -- unpasteurized dairy products. Elsewhere, TSA airport personnel exemplified government's hands-on concern for our safety. In Quincy, Ill., police twice arrested a man who, by offering free rides to intoxicated persons, committed the crime of operating a taxi service without the government's permission.

Liberals who call conservatives Neanderthals have a point, as do conservatives who respond that it takes one to know one: Scientists said that up to 4 percent of the human genome of modern non-Africans comes from that extinct species, with whom early humans, the rascals, mated. The Census Bureau found that, for the first time, there are more people in the primary marrying age (25 to 34) who have never been married than are married. The portion of adults who are married--52 percent, compared with 72.2 percent in 1960--is the lowest in history. …

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