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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Writer's Life 6/22 - More

Western societies continue to become more liberal sexually, as the controversy over bathrooms attests. In an op-ed piece in today's NY Post, Naomi Scaeffer Riley points out instances where the liberalization has failed. For instance: "A 1996 paper co-authored by Nobel Laureate George Akerlof and current Fed chair Janet Yellen suggests that contraception makes sex cheaper and leads to more sex — and thus to more non-marital childbearing. The two attributed the rise in out-of-wedlock births in the 1970's to laws that permitted unmarried couples access to contraception and abortion. They wrote: 'Although many observers expected liberalized abortion and contraception to lead to fewer out-of-wedlock births, the opposite happened — because of the erosion in the custom of shotgun marriages.” As a result of the widespread availability of abortion and contraception, “sexual activity without commitment was increasingly expected in premarital relationships.'... The widespread availability of contraception in high schools has had largely the same effect. As Jonathan Zimmerman noted in his 2015 work, Too Hot to Handle: A Global History of Sex Education, there’s 'scant evidence' that sex education 'affects teen pregnancy or venereal disease rates.'" Although I commend Riley for taking on liberal orthodoxy, I believe the tide is irreversible. This is the society that has been created, and everyone must adjust, whether it be those on the side of teen celibacy or those advocating teen sex. Come to think of it, that's the way it's always been, although the numbers, pro and con, appear to have completely reversed. To quote John Updike from his novel Couples: "Sex is like money; only too much is enough."

In an interesting though biased article, Natalie Musumeci notes that two billion dollars more was spent on prescription drugs in 2015 than 2014. She cites corporate profiteers as the villains, and laments that many users have either forgone medication or cut back on other necessities. I would cite government's interference in the health system as the main driver of increased costs. And if the drug companies are indeed gouging, why isn't government taking legal action? It takes eight billion dollars to bring a single successful drug to market. And the patents of pharmaceutical companies eventually expire, allowing cheaper generic brands to become available. Those are other reasons why drug costs are high. Store brand Ibuprofen, which I use, is half as expensive as name brands, penalizing the fine folks who first manufactured it. Everyone wants to live long and in good health. Pharmaceuticals have helped make disease manageable and aging less severe. Life expectancy in the USA is 80, yet people always want more. Greed, the sense of entitlement, manifest themselves in various ways.

Sales continue to be sparse at the floating book shop, so it was nice to find a royalty from Amazon on my bank statement for the Kindle sale of Billionths of a Lifetime. Unfortunately, I just read in the KDP newsletter than one woman's sales are in the millions, which prompts the question: What am I doing wrong? Of course, she is probably just writing books most readers prefer. Kudos. Like everyone else, I want more.
My thanks to the lady who purchased a photo album today.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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