Archive - June, 2012

Funny Cartoon on Health Care Law

By Chip Bok

Is the “Individual Mandate” a Tax?

The Supreme Court narrowly upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.  John H. Cushman Jr., reporting for the New York Times, writes:

Many conservatives considered the mandate unconstitutional under the commerce clause, arguing that if the federal government could compel people to buy health insurance, it could compel them to buy almost anything — even broccoli, the archetypal example debated during the oral arguments three months ago.

In a complex decision, the court found that Congress’ powers to regulate commerce did not justify the mandate. But it reasoned that the penalty, to be collected by the Internal Revenue Service starting in 2015, is a tax and is not unconstitutional.

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Teaching Children about Money and Work

Randy Alcorn:

As parents, we should help our children learn to associate money with labor. Money and possessions do not fall out of the sky. They are earned through work–good, hard, and well-done work. We can encourage our children to work at tasks, make things, and sell them. We can teach them that work can be meaningful and fun as well as financially profitable.

A common mistake that parents make is to dole out money to children arbitrarily as life goes by. This teaches them to believe money has no cost, that it comes easily or automatically. As a result, they disassociate money from work. They begin imagining it’s their right to have money even when they haven’t worked for it. It’s this faulty thinking that later puts able-bodied people on welfare. Although the government fosters this kind of handout mentality, the attitude itself is–tragically–usually learned at home.

from Money, Possessions, and Eternity, Tyndale House Publishers, 2003.

By This We Know Love

Jean Twenge on White Horse Inn

Michael Horton talks to Dr. Jean Twenge about her fascinating book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement and her previous book Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled–and More Miserable Than Ever Before.

Dr. Twenge quotes a study that found one third of all college students think they deserve a B if they show up to class. And two thirds of students thinks that if they try hard, a professor should increase their grade.

Both of Dr. Twenge’s books were very helpful to me as I wrote Thriving at College.


The College “Ranking” Systems

Zac Bissonnette, in his excellent book Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents, debunks the overly hyped U.S. News & World Report college ranking, metric by metric. Then he notes:

But the larger problem with ranking colleges is that it is based on the premise that attending college is like an amusement park ride: a passive experience where the student picks the most thrilling ride he can handle, straps in, and holds on to his digital camera. College is nothing like that….What they get out of their education is a function of the effort they put in.

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The Bible’s Message in 221 Words

Dr. D.A. Carson:

God is the sovereign, transcendent and personal God who has made the universe, including us, his image-bearers. Our misery lies in our rebellion, our alienation from God, which, despite his forbearance, attracts his implacable wrath.

But God, precisely because love is of the very essence of his character, takes the initiative and prepared for the coming of his own Son by raising up a people who, by covenantal stipulations, temple worship, systems of sacrifice and of priesthood, by kings and by prophets, are taught something of what God is planning and what he expects.

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BACON – the new TULIP?

College Students and Credit Card Debt

Know someone headed off to college this fall? Encourage them to learn how to make a budget, limit their spending, and watch out for temptations posed by credit cards. About 70% of college students have at least one credit card. Of these, more than 90% are carrying debt of over $4,100 on average. In 2004, seven out of ten freshmen had a zero credit card balance. Today, that figure is only one in seven.

(Data from Marty Lundlum, Kris Tilker, David Ritter, Tammy Cowart, Wichu Xu, Brittany C. Smith, “Financial Literacy and Credit Cards: A Multi Campus Survey,” International Journal of Business and Social Science, Vol. 3, No. 7, April 2012, pp. 25-33.)

Steve Saint Video Update from Hospital

Steve Saint recorded this video update several days ago, after he experienced a partially paralyzing accident:

Christianity Today has the details. (HT: JT) You may recall that Steve is the son of missionary martyr Nate Saint, one of the Ecuador Five, who was later raised (in part) by the man who killed his father:

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