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Lane: It’s Time to Jumpstart Eastern Europe’s Future

(09/15/22 8:05am)

Many of us have seen the photos and videos coming out of the Kharkiv region of Ukraine over the past few days: abandoned tanks on roads, left-behind munitions, burnt-out wrecks of equipment littering fields and streets. Ukrainian forces have pulled off an incredible feat that hopefully will bring a swift end to Putin’s senseless and pointless war. But the fact of the matter is that wars do not truly end when peace returns. Wars end when societies have been healed, and that will take years. Now is the time to start planning to help heal Eastern Europe.



Lane: America, the Titanic

(08/19/22 8:00am)

In spring 2021, I wrote my first column for this paper. I argued that if President Biden didn’t do more to pass his agenda, young voters would have little reason to vote for his party in the 2022 midterm election. Those midterms are now fast approaching, and I saw it fit to reexamine developments since then. My point in that column was limited to commenting on whether Democrats would see success with young voters in the midterms. I’d now like to expand on it. If President Biden and the Democratic Party cannot demonstrate to voters that they both can and will solve ordinary voters’ economic problems, America’s democracy will further, and perhaps irreparably, erode.


Lane: Busting America's Corporate Drug Cartel

(07/15/22 8:00am)

The fact that insulin prices in the United States are ridiculous should surprise no one given how often the hormone makes headlines. High insulin prices are also a uniquely American problem — prices here are dramatically higher than in any other developed nation. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, insulin costs around 10 times more in the U.S. than the average across 32 other OECD countries. During his presidential run before the 2020 election, Bernie Sanders even went so far as to lead a bus full of Type 1 diabetics up to Canada to purchase insulin for a tiny fraction of what it costs in the U.S. He has a point — the price discrepancy is nonsensical.


Lane: Medicare is in Danger, and Few are Watching

(07/01/22 8:00am)

Many are worried about the projected impending bankruptcy of the Medicare Trust Fund, which is currently spending more money than it brings in. Theoretically, if nothing changes, the fund will become insolvent in 2028 according to Medicare’s actuaries, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates by 2030. The worry is likely overblown. If Congress lets Medicare go insolvent, seniors backed by AARP — one of the strongest lobbying powers in America — would turn out in droves and all of Congress would be applying for unemployment. For its own sake, Congress can’t let Medicare go broke. Perhaps they will raise new taxes, lower benefits, or simply print more money, but they will do something. Seniors vote in higher proportions than any other age group, and Congress is rightly afraid of making them mad.





Lane: 21st Century Uncle Sam: ‘I want you’ (for primary care)

(04/21/22 8:00am)

We’ve all seen the old recruiting posters in high school history class: Uncle Sam stares outwards, his eyes blazing with determination and his finger pointed straight at you. In all capital letters, “I WANT YOU FOR U.S. ARMY” is printed. Back then, the military was looking for young men to turn into soldiers. Now, we are — or more accurately, we should be — looking for more college students we can turn into primary care physicians. Across the US, we simply don’t have enough, and it’s hurting us.


Lane: Okay, That’s It. Enough is Enough.

(04/07/22 8:00am)

Justice Clarence Thomas has always been a contentious member of the Supreme Court. Completely ignoring the debates over his judicial philosophy and opinions, he donned the robe after a narrow confirmation beset by accusations of sexual harassment in 1991. In 2016, he was accused of yet another instance of sexual harassment at a dinner party in 1999. What is stirring the pot today, however, is his wife — Ginni Thomas — and her partisan political activities. The Washington Post and CBS News have recently obtained copies of text messages between her and former president Donald Trump’s top aide, Mark Meadows, in which she urges him on multiple occasions to find a way to overturn the 2020 election and sends him links to QAnon-associated conspiracy theories about ballot fraud. Enough is enough. Members of the Supreme Court are duty-bound to keep the political sphere at a significant distance, and it’s now beyond apparent that Justice Thomas can’t do that.


Lane: Amazon Needs a Taste of Its Own Medicine

(02/22/22 8:00am)

On Dec. 10 of last year, a tornado hit an Amazon warehouse in Illinois and collapsed its roof, killing six workers inside who were not able to find proper shelter despite advance warning of the tornado’s approach. The deaths renewed discussion about Amazon’s long-standing and, frankly, disgusting habit of mistreating its workers. I say “renewed” because anyone who follows the news has also heard about Amazon’s other workplace scandals, such as revelations that its executives know their delivery drivers are forced by Amazon’s productivity expectations to pee in bottles while on the job and that warehouse workers have been sent immediately back to work after a colleague, who wasn’t given help for a full twenty minutes, died on the job of a heart attack. The employee had even reported having heart attack symptoms at an on-site clinic beforehand, and yet Amazon still did nothing. Tragic stories like these illustrate how large and wildly profitable conglomerates like Amazon cannot be trusted to respect their employees without substantial corrective action to hold them accountable.


Lane: Pulling the Purse Strings

(01/20/22 9:05am)

In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, making access to federal funding for transportation projects conditional upon whether or not a state had a drinking age of 21. If a state allowed the sale of alcohol to anyone under 21, they didn’t get their money. Regardless of what you think of the minimum drinking age, the law worked. By 1988, just four years later, all states had altered their drinking laws so they wouldn’t lose funding. To this day, no state allows the sale of alcohol to anyone under 21. There were complaints and controversies, but in the end, no state was willing to forgo their free cash for highways from D.C. over the drinking age. There’s an important lesson to be learned here is that the way to get states to act on matters generally considered out of federal purview is to tie their money to it.


Lane: Too Often Forgotten

(07/16/21 8:00am)

State legislatures get the short end of the stick when it comes to news coverage. Most national newspapers and TV channels naturally have their eyes glued on Washington, D.C. rather than attempting to monitor all 50 state capitals scattered across the U.S. Regardless of how closely people are watching them, state capitals are endowed with great powers.


Lane: Biden and the Youngsters

(05/11/21 6:00am)

In order to win the 2020 presidential election, President Biden made a lot of promises. Not only did he pledge to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic via more responsible management, but he also proclaimed that he would dramatically expand health care coverage, meaningfully respond to climate change, combat police brutality, shrink racial economic gaps and use government power to promote economic growth to create vast numbers of new jobs, among a whole host of other promises. While these are all very important topics worthy of addressing, the frank reality is that apart from emergency pandemic response, Biden has failed to get many meaningful initiatives passed by Congress. If this trend continues, he puts his party at risk in the 2022 midterms, which typically act as a referendum on the sitting president’s performance. To keep control of Congress, Biden must act, and he must act now. 




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