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Understanding the economy may be harder than rocket science

Editor’s note: Judy Carlock reviews the week with a dash of attitude.

One of these days I’ll understand economics. And particle physics. I always figured particle physics would be the heavier lift.

Now I wonder. With U.S. automakers begging for a bailout and the banking industry benefiting from an astronomical infusion of cash, just who is minding the store?

Bankers are supposed to be cautious. And the Big 3 are supposed to help drive the economy, not slam on the brakes.

Heads of such companies rake in millions, presumably for making sound decisions.

Right. All those CEOs might as well have consulted a Ouija board. Or me.

Auto bailout may hit speed bump

THE NEW NEW DEAL: A USA TODAY story this week stated that the federal share of the economy is the largest it’s been since World War II. Mind-boggling. President-elect Barack Obama’s planned spending could boost that even more.

Yet the federal government’s money comes from taxpayers. Where is the wealth supposed to come from?

I don’t know if understanding the mechanics of this shell game would make me feel better or worse. Maybe I should stick to muons and quarks.

Federal share of economy soaring

TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: Someone in Tucson this week fell off a barstool, hit his head and started bleeding profusely.

That spurred a call to 911. Such head trauma can be fatal.

Two reactions: I roll my eyes at the stupidity of this maneuver, and I salute the system we have for rescuing people in danger – self-inflicted or not.

We don’t just leave people to bleed. But that can make public budgets hemorrhage.

City faces no frills – but no layoffs, either

BEATING RAÚL? The Washington Post reported this week that U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., has faced some “hiccups” in the selection process for Interior secretary. Who knows what they are? Obama’s drill for making key hires is anything but transparent. Things just sort of . . . happen.

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano’s name was bandied about as the Homeland Security nominee. Rumor soon coagulated into reality. Grijalva’s future is fuzzier. I’m not picking up the done-deal vibes emitted at the mere mention of Napolitano’s name.

Grijalva endorsed Obama early and espouses a lefty mind-set on just about everything. Good? Bad? Public lands should be managed by science, not sentiment.

At least no one will accuse him of being just another pretty face.

Obama fills energy, EPA post, officials say

New name surfaces as possible Interior pick

SE HABLA INGLES: I hear a lot about the alleged refusal of Spanish-speaking immigrants to learn English. Never mind the popularity of English classes and language-learning software.

A news item this week indicated new immigrants are, guess what, learning English.

When I wander clueless in a foreign country, I don’t expect the locals to take care of me. They do anyway.

Learning a new language as an adult is hard. Don’t believe me? Just try it.

Study finds more Spanish-speaking immigrants fluent in English

IT’S A DISASTER: Good thing Tucson doesn’t see a lot of hurricanes, earthquakes or tsunamis. Because a report this week concluded that our state is appallingly unprepared for a disaster.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s rating derived largely from an insufficient stockpile of flu vaccine and a purportedly subpar courier system.

I’ve been hearing about horrors from an expected flu pandemic for years. Hasn’t happened. That doesn’t mean it won’t. After all, flu kills thousands of people a year.

That could get expensive. So err on the side of caution all around. Wash your hands frequently. Wear your seat belt.

And if you plan to get drunk, might as well start out on the floor.

Study: Arizona ties for last in disaster preparation

Contact Judy Carlock at jcarlock@tucsoncitizen.com or 573-4608.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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