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$1 NEWS // WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7
Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., grilled Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., on his past comments about impeachment during a committee hearing Monday on the GOP’s impeachment resolution against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. (The Daily Beast)
Flip-flopping has become commonplace among both parties.
President Biden on the day he was inaugurated in 2021: “The United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats. But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”
Biden’s Homeland Security Department in October of last year: “There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States in the project areas.”
Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in 2016: "I love golf, but if I were in the White House? I don't think I'd ever see Turnberry again, I don't think I'd ever see [Trump National Doral Golf Club] again. … Because I'm going to be working for you, I'm not going to have time to play golf.”
Trump in December 2020: According to a government accountability website, the former president played golf at least 298 times while in office.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in 2009: “Illegal immigration is wrong, and a primary goal of comprehensive immigration reform must be to dramatically curtail future illegal immigration."
Schumer in Nov. 2022: “The only way we are going to have a great future in America is if we welcome and embrace immigrants, dreamers, and all of them, because our ultimate goal is to help the dreamers, but get a path to citizenship for all 11 million or however many undocumented there are here.”
University of Chicago Law School professor Eric Posner writing about political flip-flops in 2015: “Democrats themselves used the filibuster to block many of President George W. Bush’s nominees, only to reverse themselves when it was President Obama’s turn. Democrats also seem to have forgotten their Bush-era complaints about the ‘imperial presidency.’ None of them peeped when President Obama’s military intervention in Libya violated the War Powers Act. Meanwhile, Republicans have rediscovered the dangers posed by the imperial presidency under the Obama administration after eight years of silence under Bush.”
Connecting the dots: Dissatisfaction with the two major American political parties has steadily increased over the years and recently hit an all-time high.
Contrary to widespread beliefs about the economic challenges faced by younger Americans, a new study suggests they’re doing better financially than previous generations were at the same stage in their lives. (American Enterprise Institute)
A working paper from the American Enterprise Institute:
Each generation of Americans since 1963 has been financially better off than the previous one, when considering income after taxes and government benefits.
For instance, millennials aged 36–40 had an inflation-adjusted median household income 18% higher than the prior generation at the same age.
Gen Xers and millennials have experienced slower income growth relative to their older peers, but researchers attribute this to them working less hours.
The study goes against the general vibe about younger generations’ economic outlook: In 2022, only 42% of Americans believed today's youth would have a better life than their parents, a significant drop from 71% in 1999. Lots of ink has been spilled on how millennials are struggling to become homeowners, starting families later in life and facing tough economic headwinds.
Subscription companies are under the microscope in the wake of surveys revealing that American consumers are spending billions of dollars on services they no longer remember signing up for. (USA Today)
What do the numbers say?
Americans greatly underestimate their monthly subscription expenses, with the average consumer guessing $62, when the actual average is $273, per a survey conducted by West Monroe.
A National Bureau of Economic Research study found a significant drop in subscription retention when credit cards expire, indicating many subscriptions are maintained out of inertia.
One 2022 survey found 42% of consumers say they’re paying for subscriptions they no longer use.
Consumer inattention can boost a business’ revenue by 200%, according to a study by Stanford and Texas A & M researchers.
Big picture: There’s been a growing movement to help consumers avoid hidden fees and paying for stuff they didn’t intend to. The White House in October announced efforts to crackdown on junk fees. Massachusetts’ attorney general has proposed regulations that would force companies to be more transparent about subscription auto-renewals. The Federal Trade Commission in March proposed a rule aimed at making it easier for customers to cancel subscriptions.
Delivery app drivers in Seattle, Washington are speaking out against a city ordinance designed to boost their pay, part of a broader trend of well-intentioned wage laws backfiring. (King 5 News)
Seattle’s PayUp Legislation, which went into effect last month, requires delivery app companies to pay workers minimums for mileage and time spent working. The ordinance has introduced a new $5 fee on orders from apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats, leading to customer dissatisfaction and fewer orders. Delivery hotspots have become less busy, with drivers noticing a significant drop in orders.
Delivery driver Mia Shagen on DoorDash’s claims that Seattle Dashers will earn at least $26 an hour before tips thanks to the legislation: “Assuming that you are working constantly, then yes, you're going to be making that much money. But that's not what's happening right now. Because people are not ordering as much anymore. The tips are going down because they think we're making all this money."
A number of companies made moves last year in response to state minimum wage hikes. Pizza Hut planned to lay off 1,200 delivery drivers in California, which raised its minimum wage from $16 to $20 in 2024. DoorDash removed tipping prompts and increased service fees in New York City in response to the Big Apple’s new minimum wage for app-based food delivery workers. Uber Eats limited work-time options for couriers in New York City due to new regulations.
While executions in the U.S. have declined majorly since the 1940s, recent developments in South Carolina and Alabama have thrust the topic of capital punishment into the headlines. (AP)
South Carolina's Supreme Court is currently reviewing the legality of the electric chair and firing squad for executions. A new law aims to resume lethal injections, which were paused 13 years ago after the state’s drugs expired and companies refused to sell them unless their identities could be kept secret. 33 inmates on death row could be affected.
Alabama last month sparked controversy after it became the first state to execute a convicted murderer via nitrogen gas. Critics said the procedure was inhumane and experimental.
How does the public feel about it? The share of Americans who believe the death penalty is applied fairly fell to a record low last year, per Gallup. 53% of Americans say they support capital punishment.
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