Daily Clips: December 17th, 2015

An appalling silence on gun control: The New York Times Editorial Board published what we were all thinking, complaining that the Republican debate completely ignored the gun violence epidemic that offers “a lethal, daily threat” to Americans.

It’s easier for these candidates to engage in eerie discussions of whether the next president should be free to bomb civilians in Syria or shoot down Russian bombers in a no-fly zone. They are experts at stoking fears about terrorism and great at wringing their hands about the unfounded bomb scare that shut down the Los Angeles school district on Tuesday, but actually facing up to gun violence — which kills more than 33,000Americans a year — is beyond their capacity or courage. Far from offering any ideas, their statements on the campaign trail are a national embarrassment.

Why portable benefits should be a priority in this new economy: Our economy has changed. And the lack of portable benefits is one of the biggest impediments blocking US workers from thriving in this new economy. As the author says,

…The system for supporting the independent workers who provide these services is the opposite of flexible. Our health insurance, unemployment insurance, and workers compensation are rigidly attached to the employer. When you leave the company, you lose your employee benefits. This system makes no sense in today’s economy, where people move from job to job to build a career.

The Fed is hiking rates for the first time since 2006. That’s a big deal: 

After seven years of keeping a key interest rate near zero percent, the Federal Reserve has voted for a rate increase. The decision signals the central bank’s growing confidence in the economy. The Fed is raising its target for the federal funds rate — the rate banks charge when they lend money to one another — from 0 percent to 0.25 percent. By itself, that modest increase isn’t going to have a big impact on the American economy. But the move is significant because it’s widely seen as the first step in a longer sequence of rate increases over the next couple of years.

Nick Cassella

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