Today is Veterans Day. In other parts of the world it’s known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. But hey, let’s not fight about it. The armistice to end the First World War took effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. I guess they needed a handy mnemonic device to remember to stop killing each other. The First World War was called “the war to end all wars.” How did that work out? Here’s a clue—it’s now called the First World War.
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In a nice touch, a lot of businesses offer freebies to vets and active duty military personnel today. Today all veterans and active duty military can eat for free at Applebee’s. However, tip is not included. They appreciate your service, but ask that you appreciate your server. Outback Steak House is offering vets and current members of the military a free bloomin’ onion today. Note to active duty members—I’m pretty sure the time spent eating a bloomin’ onion qualifies for hazard pay. And yes, veterans and active duty can get a free meal today at Hooters. If you like what you see, feel free to stand up and salute.
The two chairmen of President Obama’s special debt commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, have thrown their two cents in on ideas for reducing the deficit. If we go forward with these ideas, you’ll be lucky to be left with two cents. This is the worst set of ideas I’ve ever seen that weren’t misspelled on a Tea Party sign. Among other things, they want to gradually increase the retirement age to 69 years old. I suppose that doesn’t sound so crazy to Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, whose job is just coming up with dumb ideas. That’s easy enough at 69 years old. But people with physically demanding jobs will have a rough time working until age 69. As Bernie Sanders points out “there will not be too much demand within the construction industry for 69-year-old bricklayers.” But if there are any, I think they should work on Alan Simpson’s house.
Have a good Veterans’ Day. Incidentally, there is exactly one living US veteran of the First World War, 109 year-old Frank Buckles, who was an ambulance driver near the Western Front. If Alan Simpson had his way, Frank would still be in uniform.
Today’s Homework Discuss
The chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, hits the white board to explain the importance of US exports and why the president is in Asia…