Friday Funny

Friday Funny: Happiness Among Employees No Less than Mutiny

Long a fan of The Onion, I pass on the wise words of T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus, for your Friday Funny.

Quite disturbed by reports of "the murmur of pleasant conversation and, in many cases, outright laughter among staffers," Herman sets out at once to stifle this "foul cancer known to some pansy-sniffing modern types as High Morale." In the name of cost-cutting, Herman arranages to have the staff and operations of the newspaper relocated to the Yukon. Not that there are real money troubles, of course. As Herman notes: "[O]ur coffers are swollen as ticks, making them too expensive to move; no, they shall stay here with me."

Third and State This Week: Public Health Experts on Alcohol Privatization and a Paid Sick Days Follow Up

It was a short week at Third and State, but Steve Herzenberg managed to pen blog posts on a group of public health experts' recommendation against further privatization of alcohol sales and how a paid sick days bill could make Philadelphia a high road city of opportunity. Plus, the Friday Funny is back.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On workplace issues, Steve Herzenberg asks whether Philadelphia wants to attract employers that have advanced and effectively enforced labor standards, including paid sick leave, or employers with low standards.
  • On privatization, Steve writes that national public health experts are recommending against further privatization of retail alcohol sales based on evidence that it would increase excessive alcohol consumption and related problems.
  • Finally, today's Friday Funny brings a little of The Simpsons' sense of humor to the question of how we prioritize spending on schools and prisons.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Friday Funny: Our Schools, Our Prisons

I've been thinking a lot about this classic episode of The Simpsons, in which school administrators, faced with a funding crisis, decide to rent out the cloakrooms at Springfield Elementary to the overcrowded prison system.

What, you ask, has me thinking about a 1995 episode of The Simpsons?

Could it be that the budget approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives cuts close to a billion dollars for schools, while increasing the state's corrections budget by $171 million?

Friday Funny: Altoona to Become 'Pom Wonderful'

Sometimes, the Friday Funny just writes itself.

This just in from The New York Times' Media Decoder Blog:

The documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has found another catchy way to promote his next release, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” which takes a wry look at product placement and the integration of brands in the plots of movies and TV shows.

The city of Altoona, Pa., agreed on Wednesday night to sell naming rights to Mr. Spurlock for 60 days, beginning on April 27. For a fee of $25,000, Altoona will be called after the full title of the film, which is “Pom Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”

In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog for Week of March 28

Senator Jeff Piccola expanding school vouchers concept to include Pennsylvanians trapped in low-performing families? A state worker stunned to learn her mid-level administrative job is no pathways to riches? A Corbett speechwriter struck with a rare illness afflicting writers of overwrought clichés?

Either it's a particularly zany news day — or it's the first of April!

In Third and State's Friday Funny, we pass on an April Fool's take on the latest un-news coming out of Harrisburg. (Our thanks to a loyal blog reader for passing this one along.)

In other news this week, we blogged about the taxes gas drillers do (or don't) pay, why the minimum wage matters, imaginative tax avoidance strategies, and much more! 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • For much of the week, it was the Mark Price Show at Third and State. On wages, Mark explained just how much the minimum wage matters and why the failure of policymakers to peg it to growth in productivity (or even inflation) has had a wide-ranging impact on American society.
  • On jobs and unemployment, Mark blogged about imaginative tax avoidance strategies at work at General Electric.
  • And on fiscal and monetary policy, Mark wrote about the Federal Reserve's policymaking role and why it is so important to the economic recovery.
  • Finally, Michael Wood has a post on the taxes that natural gas drillers in the Marcellus Shale are (or are not) paying.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

On This April Fool's Day, All the News that Is Not Fit to Print!

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Our Friday Funny is brought to you this week by a band of joksters who have published a satirical take on the latest political and policy news out of Harrisburg. (Our thanks to a loyal blog reader who passed it on to us.)

Friday Funny: The Mean Stepdad Governors

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The Daily Show's Jon Stewart takes on a number of new governors (including our own Governor Corbett) in an amusing segment that, in true Stewart fashion, is peppered with profanity. In it, he describes each of the guv's relationship with their state as going from "cool new boyfriend to psychotic stepdad" in the weeks after they took office.

March Madness After the Recession

The Onion informs us this week that March Madness just isn’t the same at downsized workplaces across the country. Or at least, it isn’t taking as much printer time.

The incomparable “fake news” site offers up this rather dark (and worrisomely real) take on basketball office pools post-recession:

Friday Funny: 'Mad Men' Who Like Fast Trains

Anyone who has read my blogger's bio knows I'm a huge fan of the AMC series Mad Men. On more than one occasion, I've even requested that the Keystone Research Center hire me a secretary named Miss Blankenship, but I digress.

In the following video, two "Mad Men" stars show what big fans they are of high-speed rail. Hat tip to Megan DeSmedt of PennPIRG for passing it along.

For Richer and Poorer - Teachers and Wall Street

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I highly recommend this funny but informative video of the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart discussing pay on Wall Street and for teachers.  

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