It's interesting how money can change philosophies. Just as the conservative Club for Growth was to launch a pricey ad campaign against U.S. Reps. Chris Stewart and Rob Bishop, the congressmen had an epiphany: Now the Utah delegation is suddenly opposed to the "corporate welfare" provided by the Export-Import Bank, which is due for reauthorization by June 30. The bank provides loans to companies doing business abroad. Bishop argues, "The government is not better than the free market in guiding the economy towards prosperity." It's estimated that corporate welfare costs taxpayers $100 billion a year, but the Ex-Im Bank is a drop in the bucket. Maybe the bank's an easy target, but it's a tough sell for small companies that need a hand up in foreign markets. And Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams notes that medium- and small-sized firms account for 90 percent of the bank's transactions.
While there's a speck of good news on the status of women in Utah, most of it's less than stellar. It's not surprising that Utah gets a B grade for health and well-being from the Institute for Women's Policy Research. This is because state mortality rates from heart disease, lung cancer and breast cancer are low—unfortunately, rates for of diabetes and mental-health issues are not so good. Since the state has the lowest share of breadwinner moms, equal pay may not be a big factor here. Utah's wage gap—the largest among all the states—likely won't be closed until the next century. So Utah gets an F for work and family and, needless to say—at 43rd in the nation for voter registration—an F for political participation. Let the men decide.
There has to be some comic relief in a week that includes suing for federal lands and ignoring voters on the prison move. The Deseret News came through in its May 18 editorial about a "crisis of masculinity." Video games and pornography—that's the problem. Porn, well, it keeps young men from real, live relationships and keeps them from developing mentally, socially and emotionally. The D-News cites Man (Dis)Connected, a book by psychologist Phillip Zimbardo, which has received criticism for its use of vague surveys. According to Slate magazine, Zimbardo's book is expanded from a 2011 TED talk, in which he stated, "Young men have been 'digitally rewired' to fail at life and love." Oh and there are too many female teachers, too few father figures and too much soda in society.