News From All Corners

How Student Debt Harms the Economy
By Mitchell E. Daniels, The Wall Street Journal
To the growing catalog of damage caused by the decades-long run-up in the cost of higher education, we may have to add another casualty. On top of the harm high tuition and other charges are inflicting on young people, and the way their struggles are holding back today’s economy, we must add the worry that tomorrow’s economy will suffer, too. Ever-escalating tuitions, especially in the past dozen years, have produced an explosion of associated debt, as students and their families resorted to borrowing to cover college prices that are the only major expense item in the economy that is growing faster than health care. According to the Federal Reserve, educational debt has shot past every other category—credit cards, auto loans, refinancings—except home mortgages, reaching some $1.3 trillion this year. Analyses in The Wall Street Journal and by Experian in 2014 show that 40 million people, roughly 70% of recent graduates, are now borrowers. In the class of 2014, the average borrower left with an average load of $33,000.
Company will craft you a unique baby name ... for $32K
By Neal Colgrass, FOXNews
What's in a name? About $32,000 apparently, if you want one that's unique. A new Swiss company called Erfolgswelle offers to create a list of globally unique baby names and pare them down with clients until they pick one, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "We follow a creation process that takes around 100 hours," company CEO Marc Hauser tells BuzzFeed. For $32,000, copywriters cook up names, historians ensure their uniqueness, translators check they won't offend in any language, and lawyers make sure they aren't trademarked.
Google is becoming a wireless carrier
By David Goldman, CNN Money
Imagine one day buying an Android smartphone not through Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile -- but with Google Wireless. That day could be coming soon. Google (GOOGL, Tech30) will start selling cell phone service along with its Android phones, according to multiple news reports. This has been a long time coming.

Blogosphere

Career Transition and Job Search God’s Way!
By Gary L. Selman
Job search and career transition are often a time of intense trial, emotional upheaval, and financial strain, and can be especially challenging during the holidays. Being unemployed will test your self- confidence, faith in God, and the very fabric of your marriage and family relationships. For Christians, it can be compared to the time the Israelites spent in the wilderness. It is a time of radical change and discomfort as you face an uncertain future and deal with the unknown. Like the Israelites, you may long for the certainty of Egypt (your old job) even though you were very unhappy there. In the wilderness of job search and unemployment, you face new challenges, obstacles, and tests every day.
How to Find Happiness Through Money
By Wallace Henley
It’s not what money can buy, but how people use their wealth that brings happiness say two academics cited in a Wall Street Journal report.[1] Professors Ryan Howell (San Francisco State University) and Thomas Gilovich (Cornell) arrived at the same conclusion independently. There is a “huge misforecast,” says Prof. Howells. “People think that experiences are only going to provide temporary happiness,” so they continue purchasing tangible items believing them to be more useful over a longer period of time.
The Power of Words
By Gary Selman
Words are the building blocks that pave the road to our destiny. Words shape and determine our thinking; our thinking shapes and determines our emotions; our emotions shape and determine our decisions; our decisions shape and determine our actions; our actions shape and determine our habits; our habits shape and determine our character and our character shapes and determines our destiny. “From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Pro 18:20-21).

The Legal Corner

Law and Liberty in the Sharing Economy
By Kyle Bryant
“Responding to an evolving hospitality industry, the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association recently started crafting legislation that would give property owners reason to pause before opening their homes and apartments to temporary guests.” The Houston Chronicle reported this story on December 10, 2014, which details the THLA’s attempts to introduce legislation that would regulate innovative short-term lodging businesses such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO. In my last article on government regulation, I dealt with the Houston City Council’s similar attempts to regulate ride-sharing services Über and Lyft. This story is the same old story.
Subpoenas, Politics, and the Christian Worldview
T. Kyle Bryant
Recently in Houston, news broke that Mayor Parker's pro bono outside counsel subpoenaed five area pastors' sermon notes (among other things) on topics related to HERO (the “Houston equal Rights Ordinance”), gender identity, homosexuality, and Mayor Parker. A swift outcry soon erupted from the Christian sphere, decrying the subpoenas as an abuse of governmental authority and serious threat to religious liberty. I covered that topic here. The reaction from prominent Christians, such as Senator Ted Cruz, was swift and stern.

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