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  1. MEGAN McARDLE: We're spending too much on raising our kids

    Tuesday, Aug 19 2014 11:30 PM

    The Department of Agriculture has released its annual report on the cost of raising children, and the upshot is what you probably already know: It's expensive.

    This does not -- as every article on the report has emphasized -- include the cost of college, just the cost of raising them from birth through age 17. What struck me, however, was not the cost, but what parents are spending their money on:

    The last 50 years have seen a massive shift away from the basic expenses of keeping your kid alive and toward competitive expenses. Now, those education expenses are a bit misleading -- as the report points out, many families basically have no expenditures in that category. Still, it's remarkable how the averages have shifted. And that...

  2. TAL ABBADY: Facebook — where friendships end?

    Shortly after Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in 2009, a close Muslim friend I'd known since elementary school suddenly disappeared from my Facebook feed. She'd been excoriating Israel in her posts, and I'd said nothing. Then I posted a...

  3. ALEXANDRA PETRI: The pope is wrong about kids

    Pope Francis has laid down another pronouncement, this time about the Internet. According to Reuters, he told some altar servers that "maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things." What are those futile things? According...

  4. JOSHUA KEATING: The likely new American intervention in Iraq

    While the world's attention has been mainly focused on the war in Gaza, the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Islamic State's campaign of terror in both Syria and Iraq has continued. In...

  5. DOUGLAS MAIN: Tumbling tagalongs

    Kevin de Leon, the new leader of the California State Senate, recently caused a stir when he said that it would be a bad idea to begin building a proposed high-speed train in the San Joaquin Valley, in part because "nobody lives out there...

  6. ROBERT RECTOR: Welfare state grows as self-sufficiency declines

    For the past 50 years, the government's annual poverty rate has hardly changed at all. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 15 percent of Americans still live in poverty, roughly the same rate as the mid-1960s when the War on Poverty was...

  7. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM: Containing Ebola

    Ebola outbreaks have occurred in Africa on more than two dozen occasions over the past 40 years, and it was brought under control every time. This was possible thanks to reliable techniques, such as preventing direct contact with infected...

  8. REINCE PREIBUS: Why I decided to speak to this year's Urban League convention

    Today, America is facing a crisis of joblessness and lack of access to quality education, especially in minority communities. The National Urban League has rightly called it the crisis of "One nation underemployed." When I addressed the...

  9. KARA MULDER: Today is a gift -- please don't take it for granted

    It was my first flight of my flight attendant career. I had just landed in Las Vegas, opened the door, and the gate agent told me that Michael Jackson had died. Every year, I remember that first flight, that news, that moment. When...

  10. FRED KAPLAN: America's Flight 17

    Fury and frustration still mount over the downing of Malaysia Air Flight 17, and justly so. But before accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of war crimes or dismissing the entire episode as a tragic fluke, it's worth looking back at...

  11. HAROLD MEYERSON: A flawed solution to gridlock

    Would the dysfunction of U.S. politics be dispelled if we got rid of partisan primaries? That's the contention of Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. In an op-ed for The New York Times, Schumer argued that the primary system in most states, in...

  12. MARK MERRITT: Bill undermines home delivery and harms patients, employers

    One of the challenges facing small businesses, unions and health care consumers is the constant struggle to control costs and provide high-quality health benefits. A recent op-ed published in The Californian ("Assembly bill promotes...

  13. SARAH SHARPE: Valley air needs cleaning up, and oil companies must help

    During the school year, I drive my two sons, ages 6 and 3, to school in downtown Fresno. As a Central Valley mom, I have to include one more step in my morning routine -- checking the air quality flag. For those who don't know, right under...

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