A Preview Of November’s Elections

Grind for August 13th, 2018
“Fame doesn’t fulfill you. It warms you a bit, but that warmth is temporary.”

– Marilyn Monroe


The Headline

New postage stamp suggests Chinese government will promote larger families

The Grind

The Chinese government on Monday unveiled a new postage stamp showing a black pig and a white pig standing with three piglets. The new stamp will be released in 2019, the Year of the Pig.

“The stamp is the national name card, and it tells the country’s policies,” says demographer Yi Fuxian. “Two adult pigs, three little pigs – it’s a clear sign that China’s birth policy will herald a new era, with a shift from restriction to encouraging births.”

The Background

China implemented its notorious one-child policy to slow population growth in 1979.

The policy worked, and as of 2017, a full 16% of China’s population was over age 60 (compared to 7.4% in 1950). The move certainly helped slow population growth, but it also created a situation where there are too few working-age adults to sustain an older population with rising health care costs.

In 2016, the Chinese government began to allow urban couples to have two children. The change was foreshadowed with a Year of the Monkey stamp showing two baby monkeys.

The number of children born in 2016 increased by 1.3 million to hit 17.9 million. This was less than 50% of the increase predicted. In 2017, the number of births dropped to 17.23 million – much lower than the official prediction of 20+ million.

To encourage larger families, China’s Communist government (which once forced women to abort children) is now offering mothers extended maternity leave, free baby formula, and other benefits.

“China’s demographic dividend is dwindling, labor costs are rising, and social security pressure is large,” reports The People’s Daily. “Frankly speaking, giving birth is not merely a family’s own matter, but a big issue for the country.”

Others insist the new stamp is just a stamp. During the last Year of the Pig, in 2007, the government released a stamp showing a mother pig with five piglets.

Election Results

The Headline

Republican Troy Balderson defeats Danny O’Connor to replace Pat Tiberi

The Grind

Ohio’s 12th district held a special election August 7th to determine who would serve out the remainder of recently-retired Pat Tiberi’s (R) term.

The race was tight, with Republican candidate Troy Balderson earning 50.1% of the vote to Democratic candidate Danny O’Connor’s 49.3%. In third place was Green Party candidate Joe Manchik with less than 1% of the vote.

Republicans declared victory late Tuesday night, while Democrats and liberal media outlets continued to claim the race was “too close to call” through Thursday.

The Details

Democrats had been hoping O’Connor would win the 12th District as part of a “blue wave” in primary elections that would carry the Democratic Party to victory in November when it attempts to flip 23 seats in the House.

“Democrats, I’m sure, are going to try and turn this into some sort of moral victory,” says Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH). “But last time I checked, moral victories don’t get a vote on the congressional floor.”

Speaking to cheering supporters Tuesday night, Balderson promised he would work “relentlessly” to represent the district.

“America is on the right path, and we’re going to keep it going that way,” he said. “Over the next three months, I’m going to do everything I can to keep America great again.”

Balderson’s campaign received invaluable support from Ohio Governor John Kasich and from House Republicans, who’s Congressional Leadership Fund spent $3.7 million opposing O’Conner and about $2.4 million supporting Balderson. Later in his campaign, Balderson was endorsed by Present Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

GOP ads against O’Connor portrayed him as a puppet of Nancy Pelosi, while Democrats’ ads against Balderson attacked him for a comment he made in July about raising the minimum age for Medicare and Social Security. Days after the comment, Balderson said he would never make cuts to either program.

Balderson’s victory will send him straight to Washington, where he will serve in Congress for the remainder of the current term. A second election will take place November 6th to determine which candidate will represent Ohio’s 12th district starting in January 2019.

Did you know… Stilts were invented by French shepherds who needed a way to get around in wet marshes.