Low-income women with children face a steep, lifetime “marriage tax” that discourages them from marrying, according to new research by the economists Elias Ilin of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University and Melinda Pitts of the Atlanta Fed. The three researchers looked beyond federal income taxes and analyzed the effects of all major federal and state programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Section 8 housing vouchers. Benefits are based on the income of the family, so forming a family through marriage tends to reduce per-person benefits. The economists estimate that if there were no financial penalty for getting married, women with children in the bottom fifth of incomes would have a 14% higher marrying rate.
“Given the importance to children of living with both parents and the economic benefits to both children and adults of forming and maintaining a nuclear family, researching ways to make the fiscal system marriage neutral seems highly worthwhile,” the paper concludes.
Army Relaxes Tattoo Policy:
Soldiers can now sport ink on their hands, behind their ears and on the back of their necks, according to an updated Army tattoo policy aimed largely at helping recruiters avoid the lengthy waiver process to bring recruits with body art into the service. Army officials said the new policy would better align the service with social norms on tattoos and make the enlistment process simpler for recruits with tattoos in some areas of their bodies that were previously banned. The updated policy was issued by Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and went into immediate effect for soldiers and incoming recruits. “We always review policy to keep the Army as an open option to as many people as possible who want to serve,” said Maj. Gen. Doug Stitt, the Army’s director of military personnel management. “This directive makes sense for currently serving soldiers and allows a greater number of talented individuals the opportunity to serve now.”
Portland’s Open-Air Drug Market:
Portland’s open-air drug market is laid bare as people smoke heroin on the streets and needles litter the sidewalks as city officials start homeless sweeps while a nearby city’s mayoral candidate wants to round them up and use “Japanese-style pods” to house them. New photos show the current situation in Portland, a city that has been plagued with homelessness and addicts openly using drugs in broad daylight. Users were seen injecting themselves, slumping over in a semi-comatose state as the public walks past. Discarded needles, human waste and the smell of urine add another layer of tarnish to the city’s progressive policies – one of them being the Ballot Measure 110 decision, which has decriminalized hard drugs in the Democrat-run state.
Examiner – Lens:
A male victim was killed in a building’s ground-floor hallway in NYC. Three other victims escaped up the stairs and survived.
Living Near a Busy Road Can Raise Risk of Premature Death by 20%:
Living near a busy road can increase the risk of premature death by a fifth, according to new research. Scientists from New York University say people exposed to above average levels of air pollution were 20% more likely to die over the next 14 years, mainly from cardiovascular disease. The study also shows that rates of heart attacks and stroke rose by 17% among the affected. The findings open the door to screening programs and preventive measures that improve chances of survival. They were based on 50,000 people over 40 living in the Golestan region of Iran. Participants were mostly poor and agreed to have their health monitored during annual visits dating back to 2004.
Examiner – 20 Years – A Look At 2002
The LBN Examiner was founded on June 1, 2002, an incredible 20 years ago. Let’s take a look back at what was going on in 2002:
** On July 6, at Wimbledon Women’s Tennis, Serena Williams beat older sister Venus 7-6, 6-3 for her first Wimbledon singles title.
** On July 9, The African Union was established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa, the first chairman.
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Examiner – Lens:
At 82, Mavis Staples, rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress, and civil rights activist, asked God why she was still alive. “The only reason I could see is to sing my songs,” she said.
Examiner – Commentary by Nellie Bowles:
** Inflation is the only story: Until Biden can get this under control, there’s nothing to talk about but inflation, which is wreaking havoc on every American. This week inflation hit 8.6%, the fastest annual pace in 40 years. Consumer sentiment fell to an all-time low. Grocery prices rose nearly 12% in a year. Rents are soaring – up 15% and the average cost of a rental across the U.S. hit $2,000 a month. The stock market is down 21% from its highs, and we’ve officially entered a bear market. Biden meanwhile still blames everyone but himself and his party: Inflation is “the Putin Price Hike” and “ultra MAGA” politicians (i.e.: how they refer to most Republicans) are mucking things up. Elizabeth Warren is still blaming rapid onset greed. Biden’s approval has fallen below 40%. The Federal Reserve just raised interest rates by .75%, the sharpest hike since 1994. Meanwhile, the mainstream press would like you to know: Things are great! Any complaints about 40-year-high inflation are a bunch of right-wing naysayers.
** Crypto, oh crypto: The thing about the wild west is there are no rules – and there’s no one to complain to when you get robbed. Crypto investors are finding that out the hard way. This week, another crypto service – Celsius – appears to be melting down. At one point it oversaw over $12 billion in funds for nearly two million users, advertising that users could withdraw and trade whenever they wanted. Now? They are stopping users from making any withdrawals or transfers. Celsius calls itself a lending platform. Round these parts we usually call em’ banks. But as we’re now reminded: Celsius doesn’t have the investor oversight and legal protections that banks do. As the WSJ put it: “Individual investors might not have realized when they put money in Celsius that they were giving the company an unsecured loan with little legal protection.”
** New York City has spent $200,000 on drag shows in city schools. Private citizens going to drag shows is one thing, but the city paying for this? New York City’s mayor said: “Drag storytellers, and the libraries and schools that support them, are advancing a love of diversity, personal expression, and literacy that is core to what our city embraces.”
** Oh god, now they want to nationalize Tinder: According to the socialist magazine Jacobin, dating apps “shouldn’t be under the control of unaccountable, for-profit companies.” Because people are biased, you see, and sexual desire is always deeply unfair, and all the ghosted girls deserve their day in court. “Individual preferences make designing socially just dating algorithms tricky.” The solution is clear as day: The state will assign you a life partner. Mazel tov!…
“Intel for Influencers” – Who Reads the LBN Examiner?
Prominent entertainment attorney Jordon Yospe, along with 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners.
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Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:
** Before the federal government forgives student loan debt, it would be good to understand what makes the debt so onerous. The problem isn’t overwhelming debt – it’s underpowered education. Postgraduate borrowers aren’t earning enough money to repay their loans because whatever they studied didn’t give them the skills to get a sufficiently well-paying job. Think about it: Even a big debt is manageable if you incur it to get, say, a medical degree. Conversely, even a small debt is unaffordable if you major in a field with limited career prospects or low pay or, worse, you drop out with nothing to show for your efforts. The high price of tuition simply compounds the problem. This obvious point has been obscured in the current debate over loan forgiveness, which focuses on the symptom of unaffordable debt rather than the cause, namely unproductive education. —- Peter Coy, N.Y. Times
** Why would Vladimir Putin use tactical nuclear weapons? Why would he make such a madman move? To change the story. To shock and destabilize his adversaries. To scare the people of North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries so they’ll force their leaders to back away. To remind the world – and Russians – that he does have military power. To avoid a massive and public military defeat. To win. —- Peggy Noonan
** The young lawyers who were entering the most elite legal institutions in the country – law firms and law schools and courts – didn’t necessarily share the ethos of those institutions. In fact, many of them explicitly seek to revolutionize them. —- Bari Weiss
** The future of the United States is not likely to be altered in a significant way by who eventually controls Mariupol or the Sea of Azov. But more than 2 million migrants every year walking into the United States at will cannot but have an impact on the future character and composition of the nation that has lost control of its border. Is whether Moscow controls Luhansk and Donetsk, which it did for the duration of the Cold War and for decades before, more important to us than whether the America we grew up in becomes more of a Third World than a Western nation? —- Patrick J. Buchanan
Examiner – Lens:
Mr. Happy Face, winner at the World’s Ugliest Dog competition in Petaluma, Calif., recently.
Examiner – Think Again:
Examiner – Investigates:
** Charting social media use by age. READ
** Ultra-high resolution microscope allows scientists to pinpoint the coronavirus replication process inside a single cell. READ
** New U.S. COVID-19 cases fall below 40,000 per day; nationwide test positivity at 3.3%, down from nearly 30% in mid-January. READ
** The world’s longest car. READ
** The Kit Kat Bar – The original “Kit Kat” comestible was a far cry from the candy bar we know and love today. In the 18th century, mutton pies called kit-cats were served at meetings of London’s political Kit-Cat Club. The popular chocolate bar, with its distinct four-fingered shape, was introduced in 1935, after a worker at British confectionary Rowntree suggested the company create a snack that a man could easily take to work.
** Chowhound, a digital gathering place for obsessive food lovers, will close after 25 years. READ
** The price of a tall latte at Starbucks around the world. READ
** Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s rise from TV star to president of Ukraine. WATCH
** How do at-home COVID-19 tests work? WATCH
** What six Batmobile stunts looked like behind the scenes. WATCH
** ICE arrested 74,082 immigrants in the fiscal year 2021, a 28% drop from 2020. The agency carried out 59,011 deportations in the fiscal year 2021, an all-time low.
** Inflation, explained by eggs – There’s a lot of chatter around exactly why inflation is relatively high, not only in the United States but globally. Some people blame the pandemic, others the supply chain, others government spending, others corporate greed. The truth of the matter is that there is a mix of factors in play, and there’s no one simple answer to how we got here – or solution to how to get out of this. To the average person, the whole thing can feel confusing. So we figured we’d take a crack at it by deciphering the case of the egg. READ
Examiner – Readers Speak:
Should airlines face federal penalties for non-weather-related flight cancellations?
Examiner readers from all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries have spoken.
Examiner – Cartoon:
Our species is dying at an alarming rate, yet here we are, watching ‘The Kardashians.’
EXAMINER READERS ALL OVER THE WORLD:
A LBN Examiner reader skates during sunrise at the sidewalk of Barceloneta beach in Barcelona, Spain, February 1. In addition to readers in all 50 of the United States, the LBN Examiner has readers in 26 foreign countries including India, Brazil, Vietnam, Israel, England, Germany, France, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa among others.
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