Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in August, 2013

If you enjoy the Sunday political talk shows despite their limited corporate influenced “debate” you have probablyshit hits the fan photo: hitsthefan when_the_shit_hits_the_fan_321595.jpg noticed that defense contractors and oil companies are frequent advertisers.  These ads normally consist of some catchy music overlaid with a diverse collection of “employees” describing all the green energy projects they are working on to make the world better.  Of course, the contradiction of working to destroy their own business model is supposed to escape the viewers attention, thanks to the inspirational presentation.

Well the folks at Upworthy.com have taken this spoof to a whole new level with this short video of what these commercials are really about.  Enjoy, you will never look at Sunday commercials the same again.

Check out this short video of some old folks crossing the street and causing drivers some unexpected delay!

Governor Jay Nixon outlines the reasons for his veto of the Rex Sinquefeld financed corporate tax cut bill known as HB253.

However, House Bill 253 is a risky experiment that threatens to knock Missouri off our proven, fiscally responsible course and set our economy back for years to come. That’s why I vetoed this flawed bill, and why bipartisan support for sustaining my veto is growing among legislators.

HB 253 doesn’t address some great need, like when Republicans and Democrats came together in a special session to pass the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, which saved our auto industry.

It wasn’t the result of a grassroots effort to protect the vulnerable, like the landmark autism legislation of 2010 that is helping thousands of children.

It wasn’t an example of folks rolling up their sleeves to help their neighbors, like when we came together to rebuild Joplin in 2011.

The truth is the main constituency for House Bill 253 is one wealthy individual and a few special interests.

That’s why 80 school boards across the state have opposed HB 253. They join local chambers of commerce, educators, children’s advocates, and city councils, who all understand that this legislation does not help businesses and offers even less to working families.

During the last few months, one thing has become clear: Those still supporting HB 253 aren’t really sure of its effects.

They pointed to Kansas as their model. But when Kansas embarked on its risky tax scheme, it became one of the only states in 2013 that had to cut funding for education, and raise taxes by $777 million. Even that wasn’t enough to keep their bond rating from being downgraded.

HB 253 supporters then touted Texas. But Texas has higher property and sales taxes than Missouri. In fact, Missouri’s corporate taxes are eighth lowest in the nation, while Texas is 38th. Texas schools perform far behind ours, and the state’s services — or lack thereof — for their most vulnerable citizens are inadequate.

Supporters of HB 253 claim that it is historic legislation.

On that, we agree.

HB 253, and its unaffordable costs, would set Missouri back for generations to come.

 

 

The PBS Newshour ran this report on the Pecan Street Project in Austin, Texas.  The Project is designed to monitor energy use in residences and explore ways to integrate smartgrid technology to reduce reliance on the “dumb” grid.  Bonus, fewer power outages in addition to lower energy bills and a safer environment. 

So while the Chamber of Commerce pays for Texas Governor Rick Perry to visit Missouri and steal our  jobs, some folks in Texas are busy changing the world for the better.

As the group Alabama would sing Pass It On Down.

Let’s leave some blue up above us

Let’s leave some green on the ground

It’s only ours to borrow, let’s save some for tomorrow

Leave it and pass it on down.

Charles Jaco gives an alternate version of Rick Perry’s TV ads currently running on Missouri stations in this 30 second video.  Remember this whole episode of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce funding a campaign to ship your job out of state, beleive me it’s not the first campaign they’ve funded that has resulted in fewer Missouri jobs.

Check out these stats from “Texas On The Brink.

How’s Texas doing? Not so great: The state ranks 50th in high school graduation rate, first in amount of carbon emissions, first in hazardous waste produced, last in voter turnout, first in percentage of people without health insurance, and second in percentage of uninsured kids.

“Too many of our children do not have access to health insurance,” said Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), who led the 2013 study group effort and introduced the report with fellow Democrats in a Capitol press conference on Monday morning.

The report made clear that while legislators are—through restrictions on abortion and cuts to family planning—doing well to ensure that babies are actually being born, representatives at the press conference said too little is being done to ensure that Texas children and their mothers are cared for. Texas ranks third in the nation for overall birth rate, but it also ranks fourth highest for teenage birth rate.

The specifics are worse. Texas ranks the lowest in the nation for women with health insurance, and is the second lowest in the nation for percent of pregnant women receiving prenatal care in the first trimester. Texas also ranks the fourth highest in the nation for percentage of women living in poverty.

According to the report, Texas ranks 44th in graduation rates (contrary to what Gov. Perry has said, the number more accurately reflects Texas’ increasing problem with dropout rates—according to the LSG, Texas has previously boasted high graduation rates because studies often to not take dropout numbers into account) and 47th in SAT scores.

This week’s audio netcast features an interview with George Packer, author of The Unwinding, describes the change in culture and morals that has led America to become a nation of “winners and losers”, economically speaking.  He describes the two major changes, both centered in the 1970′s. 

Andrew Levison and David Bonior are also featured with their view of how economy and way of life has changed. 

Grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and enjoy an earful of history and solutions.

50 years ago today the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was held and served as the backdrop for one of the greatest speeches in American history, the I Have A Dream speech by Martin Luther King Fr.  This blog has linked to that speech many times so today we will do something different.

Shortly after the march in Selma, Alabama Martin Luther King Jr. appeared on Meet The Press and faced the kind of questioning that today’s MTP should aspire to.  Mr. King’s calm and reasoned responses are a sight to behold.  The similarities between the issues discussed then and the issues of today are uncanny.  Do you agree?

Automotive News has this story on the use of diesel engines in pickup trucks and their ability to deliver higher gas mileage with more power.  The picture on the right is a sneak preview of the upcoming Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon to be built in Wentzville, MO.

The U.S. market has never seen a midsize pickup with a diesel, if things go right there could be even more jobs created than the 1800 already announced!

Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  One aspect of the march that is forgotten is the role of labor, in particular the UAW, in financing and organizing the event.  In fact, at the march one participant asked who Walter Reuther, who was speaking at the time, was and was told “he’s the white Martin Luther King.”

Walter was also the president of the UAW for 27 years until his tragic death in a plane crash, under suspicious circumstances.  Walter spoke that day in Washington D.C. and it is my honor to present a brief excerpt of his speech.

The Sunday Post-Dispatch lead editorial, Connecting Dots, does just that in this excellent analysis of this summer’s news stories and the economy of the last 40 years.

This analogy of wage stagnation during that time rings true,

What shows up in the news is often part of the same story, and this is what it is:

“According to every major data source, the vast majority of U.S. workers — including white-collar and blue-collar workers and those with and without a college degree — have endured more than a decade of wage stagnation. Wage growth has significantly underperformed productivity growth regardless of occupation, gender, race/ethnicity, or education level.

“During the Great Recession and its aftermath (i.e., between 2007 and 2012), wages fell for the entire bottom 70 percent of the wage distribution, despite productivity growth of 7.7 percent.”

This quotation is from “The State of Working America,” published annually by the Economic Policy Institute. The think-tank leans left, but the numbers don’t.

The wage-stagnation trend actually dates to 1973. The nation was riveted on Watergate, but forces were at work that would create problems even larger than Richard Nixon’s. Wages would grow in a few years in the late 1990s, but that turned out to be an aberration. The long post-World War II growth of middle-class prosperity peaked in 1973.

Why? Uncertainties about oil supplies and hyper-inflation marked the first few years, but beginning with the Reagan administration, America began redistributing income. Jobs used to be the way income was distributed, and it worked well: Between 1946 and 1973, overall per capita income tracked the GDP, increasing 2.4 percent a year.

But a long series of tax and public policy decisions has created an America that valued wealth far more than work. Today America has twice the wage income that it did in 1973, but that income is held in far fewer hands.

Put another way, the average guy making $44,000 in 1973 would be making $97,000 today if wages had grown at 2 percent a year. Instead he’s still making $44,000. Somebody else has his extra $53,000.

So now connect the dots: Walmart, built in part on low wages, is now enduring the blowback. The working poor can’t afford to buy as much, even at low, low prices. Henry Ford paid a decent wage so his workers could afford to buy a Model T. The lesson has been lost.

This situation can be solved.  Workers supporting each other as we try and get our share of that $53,000 back.  This can be accomplished through giving workers a voice through unionization as well as political policies that reward work and productivity while closing the escape hatch created by unsustainable trade policies.  Let’s get started.

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