“Buy American”: Savvy or Sentimental?

A package of bills approved by the New Jersey state Senate, and moving now to the Assembly, would, if approved, “require construction firms, suppliers and other vendors under public contracts to use or supply materials produced in the United States.” Reps want the state to buy American

“Requiring the purchase of U.S.A.-made goods for public contracts is just a matter of plain economic sense,” Sweeney said in a statement this afternoon. Sweeney, an iron worker and union official, said he began looking into the issue after The Star-Ledger reported in September that imported steel was being used to raise the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge, a $1.3 billion Port Authority project financed largely by toll revenues. The bridge project is one of dozens of Port Authority construction jobs included in a 10-year capital plan worth a total of $27.6 billion.

Popular? Sure. Logical and straightforward, even obvious? Not according to Fox News:

“Buy American” is a dumb idea.

My Colombian Bread Secret

Live in Elizabeth, Union City, N.J. or in Queens, N.Y. Or take a road trip, because these are the best places (that I can vouch for) to get Colombian bread within the U.S.

Aging Out of the Foster Care System and Figuring Out How to Build a Life

Kyo, not his real name, is a young black man in his mid 20s currently living in transitional housing for the homeless in Northern New Jersey. I have known him since he was 18. I had met Kyo during my former job as a reporter with The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper.

Gambling Doesn’t Fix the Budget

Does gambling revenue do much to help states balance their budget? According to the City Journal, the answer is no for a variety of reasons—including the idea that people who spend $5 on lottery tickets are just spending $5 less on other things, like groceries.

18-Year-Old Sues Parents for College Money

Here’s a mind-boggling case from the Morris County Courthouse in New Jersey, according to Bill Chappell at NPR’s The Two-Way:

An 18-year-old honor roll student named Rachel Canning is suing her parents for financial support and money for college after being kicked out of the house for behavioral issues (“one or two school suspensions, drinking, losing her captaincy on the cheerleading squad and being kicked out of the campus ministry”). Canning says her parents abandoned her and is currently living with her best friend, Jaime Inglesino, whose father is an attorney and is helping Canning sue her parents. Canning’s requests were denied by a judge in the first round of hearings in the case.