Time: ‘new Cowboys’ In The United States Of Texas

United States debt: the ugly reality

Cowen writes: The U.S. is experiencing ever greater economic inequality and the thinning of its middle class; Texas is already one of our most unequal states. Americas safety net is fraying under the weight of ballooning Social Security and Medicare costs; Texas safety net was built frayed. Americans are seeking a cheaper cost of living and a less regulated climate in which to do business; Texas has those in spades. And did we mention theres no state income tax? Cheap living is luring people to Texas along with jobs, he writes, saying Texas added 12 percent of all jobs nationwide with 274,700. The Americans heading to Texas and other cheap-living states are a bit like the mythical cowboys of our pastself-reliant, for better or worse, he writes. He acknowledges major downsides: Many Americans will have to downsize their living quarters involuntarily. People in the shrinking middle class who want to have more than one child may find the costs too high. There is no longer the expectation, much less the guarantee, that living standards double or even increase much with each generation. But its not all bad newsespecially if we take the right steps to prepare. The flood of Americans moving to Texas shows us where we need to focus our attention; what these migrants have found in Texas shows us ways many of our cities and states can improve. He says the public education system must be more rigorous, and other states also can incorporate some of the lessons Texas has to teach. He says states could deregulate building in order to lower costs (San Francisco needs to become more like Houston when it comes to zoning) and cut down on occupational licensing.

Egypt: Relations with United States in ‘turmoil’

I can see MPs like Honourable Amos Chibaya or Nyasha Chikwinya or Joseph Chinotimba being off-loaded a like bags of potatoes on the back of a huge green truck a to a howling Chikurubi. I suspect Comrade Chinotimba and his unique beard would make quite a sight dangling from one of the prison cages that has been half the home of Last Maingehama and Morgan Komichi for the last several months. I can see pork-faced MPs and their ill-dressed spouses lined up in Court A at the Harare High Court answering treason charges for defying the authority of the land. In earlier days, they would have just disappeared and their remains found at a farm in Goromonzi, arms cut to small sleeve and a wire running through them, inserted via the knowledge acquired from the Intarahamwe torture school. But back to the puzzling issue of the American budget crises. What is at play here is that in all most all countries, including Zimbabwe, Parliament has the sole say over the Consolidated Revenue Fund or the fiscus. Put in simple terms, the people a through their elected representatives, the Members of Parliament a decide what to do with their own money, the taxes that they pay to the State. So far so good. However, most countries of Westminster influence play lip service to the supremacy of Parliament in controlling the national pursue. In the case of Zimbabwe, the new Constitution in article 305 gives control of the Consolidated Fund to Parliament. But that control is not absolute. In Article 305 (5) it allows the Minister of Finance to present a supplementary Budget before parliament for approval.

(Photo-illustration/ Sarah Illenberger for TIME)

The suspension, announced last week, came in response to the unrest in the wake of the July 3 military coup that ousted Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, and that led to the deaths of hundreds in police crackdowns. In an interview with state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said that there is “unrest in relations” between the two countries, warning that the strain could affect the whole Middle East region. The interview was published Wednesday. However, Fahmy said he was “not worried about this turmoil in relations,” because it’s also a chance for the two to “better evaluate their relationship in the future.” The Obama administration’s decision to cut off military aid was meant as a warning that it no longer can be “business as usual” with Cairo, as President Barack Obama put it last week. In announcing the decision, the State Department did not say how much of the $1.5 billion in annual military and economic aid to Egypt was affected. It held up the delivery of Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 Abrams tank kits, which are put together in Egyptian factories, and Harpoon anti-ship missiles. But the U.S. decision is more of a symbolic slap than a punishing wound to Egypt’s new military-backed government for its slog toward a return to democratic rule. The military-backed government enjoys the support of wealthy Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These oil-rich states have poured billions of dollars into Egypt’s anemic coffers and to continue the common fight against Islamists. The U.S. also is withholding $260 million in cash assistance to the government in Cairo until “credible progress” is made toward an inclusive government set up through free and fair elections. The U.S.