Robert Kennedy stood in Indianapolis, IN on April 4, 1968 prepared to make a campaign speech when he received the news that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. Robert stood there wearing his brother’s suitcoat and delivered one of the best impromptu speeches in history. Enjoy and ask yourself if any of today’s candidates for President would be able to pull this off.
US Uncut has this story about Seattle restaurants creating more jobs last month than ever. Of course, this is the exact opposite of what conservatives predicted when citizens voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
In 2014, Seattle became the first major metropolitan city in America to begin increasing their minimum wage to $15 an hour, and instantly became the litmus test for the rest of the country. While labor unions and working class Americans applauded the decision, conservative politicians and supporters of trickle down economic theory began a campaign of “doom and gloom” reporting that such a drastic increase would destroy the Seattle economy.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is now reporting that restaurants in Seattle have just posted their largest overall jobs gain in history with more than 2,500 jobs added in the last month, as well as an overall two month gain of more than 3,700 jobs.
This post is the first in a new series of blog posts focusing on items Made in the USA. The concept is that when my family or I come across items that compete head to head but one is made in America we will share in hope that it will help folks know which product creates American jobs.
This segment focuses on that do-it-yourself staple – changing your vehicles oil. In preparation for this task I visited my local auto parts store to get the needed supplies. It was in the oil filter section that this post was born. Microgard vs FRAM was the comparison. The Microgard filter was made in Poland, the FRAM was Made in the USA. The Microgard was about seventy-five cents cheaper while the FRAM is considered the better filter.
The Decision: FRAM – a better filter that ‘s Made in the USA is the winner.
This week’s audio netcast: Distinguished presidential historian Michael Genovese explains what it takes to be a good president, and he says Donald Trump would not be an effective one. Voting analyst Daniel McGraw says there is a death gap between the two parties, with many more Republican voters checking out than Democrats. And sociologist Andrew Cherlin says only people with decent combined incomes are getting married these days.
Tuesday’s edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch carried my latest Letter to the Editor. This one focused on the upcoming veto session of the Missouri legislature and the issue of Right-to-Work onthe future of Fort Leonard Wood.
Hello Right-to-Work, Bye-Bye Fort Leonard Wood
The August 20th edition of the post featured a story by Jim Cowan and Joe Driskell entitled How to keep the Army in Missouri. The focus was on the importance of local school achievement to the Army and the increasing role those schools play in determining if a base continues operations or is closed.
This focus was emphasized in comments by General Ray Odierno, outgoing Army Chief of Staff. General Odierno “warned that the performance of local schools will be a major consideration of the service in the placement of Army units around the country.”
Yet, Missouri could be placing the future Fort Leonard Wood at risk in the upcoming veto session of the Missouri legislature. The Republican leaders of that body are attempting to override Gov. Nixon’s veto of Right-to-Work. According to the AFL-CIO Right-to-Work states spend 31.3 percent less per pupil on elementary and secondary education than other states.
It seems unlikely Missouri could spend less on education while improving the outcomes to a degree that keeps Fort Leonard Wood safe from closure.
What would Missouri look like without Fort Leonard Wood? According to the Stinson Center the Fort is responsible for 59 cents of every dollar earned in Pulaski County. The economic benefits are felt around the state.
Legislators should take General Odierno at his word when considering their vote on Right-to-Work. Is it worth lowering wages, shortchanging schools, and the loss of a major economic presence such as Fort Leonard Wood to allow someone that chose to work at a unionized facility not to pay for the services they receive?
The Today Show recently did a segment based on a report by the Economic Policy Institute about irregular work hours and the damage it may cause kids of parents with these “on-call” arrangements. Even the New York Times ran a piece on the subject, The Perils of Ever-Changing Work Schedules Extend to Children’s Well-Being…
A growing body of research suggests that children’s language and problem-solving skills may suffer as a result of their parents’ problematic schedules, and that they may be more likely than other children to smoke and drink when they are older.
“Young children and adolescents of parents working unpredictable schedules or outside standard daytime working hours are more likely to have inferior cognitive and behavioral outcomes,” the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal advocacy group, said last week in a report.
Last year, two Democratic representatives introduced the Schedules That Work Act, which would require employers to give workers more say about their hours and provide them with incentives to encourage more stable schedules.
“We are all talking about this today,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, who is one of the bill’s lead sponsors. “Five years ago, it was an issue people would have brushed to the corner.” The bill has 69 co-sponsors; two Democrats also introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
Among the needs that policy makers and activists working on the issue identify is finding stable, professional child care on a schedule that shifts from week to week.
“The arrangements families put together are usually ad hoc,” Ms. DeLauro said. “They have to rely on other family members, friends. If something breaks down in that chain, they have a problem.”
Wonder why a member of the party that likes to talk about family values didn’t bother to sponsor this legislation? Maybe their real priorities are elsewhere.
The Institute for New Economic Thinking presents The Death of Neo-Liberalism.
Repairing our economy will require a dramatic reversal of the free market ethos that’s enveloped most of the world over the past few decades. Most importantly, it will require a downsizing of the financial sector, as the financialization of the economy has meant that finance has become central to the daily operations of the economic system. More precisely, the private nonfinancial sectors of the economy have become more dependent on the smooth functioning of the financial sector in order to maintain the liquidity and solvency of their balance sheet, and to improve and maintain their economic welfare. For example, households have increased their use of debt to fund education, healthcare, housing, transportation, and leisure, and they have become more dependent on interest, dividends and capital gains as a means to maintain and grow their standard of living.
But simply reviving the discredited policies of the last 40 years will not lead to a lasting recovery; free markets cannot turn worthless lead into gold. In addition, as the experience of the early 1930s tells us, if left alone to deal with the current problems, market mechanisms will lead to massive deflation, massive bankruptcies, massive destructions of physical assets, and enormous unemployment. This will continue until the debt structure is simplified and the underlying structure of the economy is radically changed. In the process, social unrest will grow to the point that the entire socio-economic system will be threatened.