Half of US social program recipients believe they “have not used a government social program”

Suzanne Mettler wrote an article (PDF) examining public perceptions about governmental programs.

This chart pretty much speaks for itself. This is the major problem of our time for our government. The problem isn’t that the government provides services that cost too much — the problem is the government provides services that work well and stay out of the way so much people don’t realize they are even using a government service. Even if they understood that, a deeper problem remains:

Reconstituting the submerged state has been doubly difficult because while the stakes have been highly apparent to
the groups that have benefitted from them, they were not
very visible to most Americans. Most people perceived only
the market at work: they have little awareness that many
social benefits they receive emanate from a submerged state
that is structured by public policy and subsidized by government. Neither do they realize that many such policies
disproportionately benefit wealthy citizens.They are unlikely
to know the extent to which government policy promotes
the profitability of some industries by offsetting their costs
in serving citizens, whether as consumers or borrowers.The
functioning and effects ofthe submerged state remain murky,
if not largely hidden, to most citizens.


via Boing Boing

It is Spring!

According to the calendar, it is now Spring!. Sadly…

…my front yard disagrees. 🙁

Once again we have the last snow in the neighborhood.  Figures.


This is what Democracy Looks Like

I went up to the protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol yesterday (Saturday, February 19).  I have some thoughts about this (that I’ll go into later).

That said, I’ll note that I didn’t see too many Walker supporters.  They occupied one corner of the capitol, while the rest of us were circling the capitol (and inside).  I didn’t go looking for them, they didn’t look for me.

Nevertheless, here’s some pictures:


Miss Forward
Protesters on Miss Forward


Scott, if you could graduate you could negotiate
Scott Walker is not a college graduate. Also, cannot be a substitute teacher in Wisconsin.


Walker's just like a bad toy. He NEEDS to be RECALLED!
Even the firefighters aren't with Scott.


Farve for Governor / 4-Get Walker
Unexpectedly Wisconsinites get to reuse their Farve jerseys.


I Blame Farve!!
I think we can all agree on this one.


Fighting Bob LaFollette
Fighting Bob. His bust has become a shrine.


Beware of Gov
This was posted quite widely in the capitol.


TAA: We're keeping it clean (and peaceful)
The TAA is taking turns cleaning the capitol.


Walker: Total Recall, Coming January 2012
Lots of things are supposed to happen in 2012. Apparently Total Recall as well, minus Arnold.


The Rotunda
The Rotunda, Wisconsin State Capitol


A Vuvuzela plays along
Michelle Malkin said Up Next: Didjiridoo & vuvuzela ensemble. Vuvuzela, check.


Didgeridoo ensemble
Michelle Malkin said Up Next: Didjiridoo & vuvuzela ensemble. Didgeridoo, check.


They can have their Tea Party!! I'm a Wisconsinite and I want a Kegger!!!
Another thing Wisconsinites can agree on.


WTF, indeed.


Even I look Less Ridiculous than Scott Walker
I don't think I can disagree with this.


Tea Parties are for Little Girls
...and for people in Britain.