Am I the only one who thinks it's crazy that the U.S. is about to sabotage its own economy?

Don't believe the hype:The U.S. budget deficit isn't as bad as you might think.

To hear business journalist Joe Weisenthal tell it, deficits are about growth, not spending and taxes. It's best to compare deficits as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) to get a more accurate picture of how deeply indebted the country is. If you owe someone $100 but make $50,000 a year, your personal economy isn't going broke. But if you owe someone $10,000 and you only make $50,000 a year, then you've got problems.

Even the unemployment rate reflects this. When it's high, deficits run higher as a percentage of GDP, probably from the employer of last resort, the U.S. government, doing everything it can to help the struggling private sector by spending where it cannot in order to stimulate the economy. This chart by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows that when times are tough, the government spending gets going.



Look at that blue line! Spending is seriously on the decline, despite what some political figures and pundits would like you to believe.



If this graph projection by the financial blog Calculated Risk is any indicator, then America's fiscal future looks pretty bright. That is, if it doesn't sequester and shuts itself down back into recession.
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In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

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Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

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Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

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Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

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