Franklin County Democrats

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

Browsing Posts published in January, 2016

The Economic Policy Institute has released A Young Person’s Guide To Social Security.  Take a minute and learn about how this program could be a literal lifesaver.  Of course, if the GOP has it’s way maybe not…

When asked, “What is Social Security?” most people answer with some variation of, “It’s money that old people get from the government.” But that is like saying that the Pentagon is the world’s largest office building— it’s not that it’s incorrect, it’s that it tells you nothing informative. Why is the Pentagon so large? Who works there? What do they do? The answer that Social Security is money for old people doesn’t tell us much either. How much money? Why old people? Why does it have its own tax? Why do some children receive it, and the disabled? Will I get it? The answer is simple. Social Security is insurance. Workers pay premiums (the payroll tax) to secure coverage for themselves and their families. And like any insurance, their coverage protects them on the occurrence of a specific event. With Social Security, that event is being no longer able to work. This happens in three instances—old age, disability, and death. As early as age 62, you can claim reduced old-age benefits for yourself, your spouse, and your young children. If you become disabled, you can claim benefits for yourself, your spouse, and young children. And if you die, your spouse and children can claim benefits based on your earnings record. Insurance exists to protect individuals from risk.

What are the risks associated with not being able to work? Poverty. It is the risk that you can end up with nothing, nothing because you made low wages and could never save, nothing because you never had pension or 401(k) benefits through your job, nothing because you were laid off during a recession and had to burn though your savings to make it to the next job, nothing because you became ill and had to stop working, nothing because your child became ill and you had to stop working, or nothing because the company you work for went belly up or the stock market crashed and wiped out half of your 401(k).

If you are 22 years old and starting your first job in the Spring of 2016, you have 45 years before you can claim full Social Security benefits. On the day you begin your first job, someone who began work 45 years earlier, in 1971, will retire. In his or her 45 years, this worker witnessed six recessions—in 1973, 1980, 1981, 1990, 2001, and 2007; lived through inflation, stagflation, oil shocks, oil rationing, the stock market crash of 1987, the savings and loan collapse, the bursting of the dotcom bubble, the bursting of the housing bubble, the stock market crash of 2008, and the bailout of AIG, the financial industry, and the auto industry; saw unemployment climb above 10% twice—in 1982 and 2009; and all this over a time period with slowing wage growth for the bottom 50% and the decline of traditional pensions. This worker faced risks beyond his or her control and so will you. And the answer to risk is not to work harder at accurately predicting the future, but to insure against it. Even the best drivers get in car accidents. The safest homes can be destroyed by fires. The healthiest people get sick. It’s not a matter of intelligence, it’s that certain things are beyond your control. Some of us will need Social Security before reaching retirement age— either due to disability or death. Some of us will not need Social Security until retirement. We cannot know which category we will fall into until we get there. But like all insurance, it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

This week news of the elaborate and exorbitant spending by the Jeb Bush campaign came to light as donors are questioning their Return on Investment. Of course, these donors never expected anything back in return for their millions in donations if the Supremes are to be believed.  Here’s the scoop according to Campaigning in style: How Jeb Bush blew through his war chest… 

There were stays at boutique hotels featuring rooftop pools, private soirees at members-only, jacket-and-tie clubs and fundraisers at the Four Seasons, the St. Regis and the Mandarin Oriental.Image result for Image, champagne

In the world of Jeb Bush, the campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination has at times been a whirl of private planes and high-end affairs, according to the federal filings of Bush’s campaign and his Super PAC, Right to Rise, which can raise unlimited funds for Bush as long as it does not coordinate directly with him.

It is not unusual for U.S. presidential candidates to fly private or even sometimes stay in luxury hotels. But some disgruntled donors say they are unhappy with Bush’s large outlays, which also include big spending on staff and tens of millions of dollars in ad buys.

Eleven of 16 major donors contacted by Reuters questioned whether it was money well spent, especially given how the one-time frontrunner has stumbled badly in the polls and is now facing questions about whether he should withdraw from the race.

Check out this A capella version of the Eagles “Hotel California.”  It even includes a vocal version of the harmonic guitar leads.

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hairHotel CalifornaWarm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
“This could be Heaven or this could be Hell”
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say…

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes Benz
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the Captain,
“Please bring me my wine”
He said, “We haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine”
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say…

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
Bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! “

The Nation examines the city of Emeryville, CA and finds This Is What $15 an Hour Looks Like...

The increase promises to ripple upward as well. Even in low-wage workplaces, there is an understood hierarchy that a $14.44 minimum has mostly demolished. A cook at P.F. Chang’s complained that he was now earning the same as the dishwashers. One Ikea employee reported grumbling among co-workers who were upset that they now made the same wage as new hires. I wouldn’t be surprised if the coming year finds employers raising wages again, using the new minimum as the floor.fIFTEEN

What is certain at this early stage is that many workers in Emeryville are now earning more than they ever did before. Daniel Mercado came to the Bay Area from the Philippines two years ago with his wife and daughter. He cleaned a hotel in Manila, earning the equivalent of $12 a day. “I couldn’t save anything—too many expenses,” he says. “America was the great hope.” They moved in with his sister’s family, and Mercado was hired as a janitor in Emeryville. His daughter found minimum-wage work, too, at a McDonald’s. But his economic situation wasn’t all that different from what it had been in Manila. He soon learned a new English expression: living paycheck to paycheck. “That’s how it was,” he says, smiling wryly. In the land of hope, he was going into debt.

I interviewed Mercado in late October, nearly four months after the wage increase went into effect. (At his request, I have changed his name and not revealed his employer.) He had almost paid off his credit card and, for the first time since arriving in the United States, was starting to save money. So far, he’d put away about $1,500. It’s a modest amount, but enough to get his gears turning.

George Orwell once wrote that poverty “annihilates the future,” making it hard to plan for, or even think about, tomorrow. With a bit of breathing room, Mercado has begun to consider what comes next. Someday he’d like his daughter to go to college. A car would be nice, so he wouldn’t have to take multiple buses to work. And his own house—which he acknowledges is merely a dream for now. Mercado raises his hands to his sternum. “We are not rich,” he says. “Just in the middle. But it’s a lot better than being poor.”

This month’s The Progressive  features Deconstructing the Right-Wing Spin Machine…

It was an astonishing claim: President Obama unilaterally decided that the United States was going to let in 250,000 refugees from Syria and other war-torn regions. This was what Sean Hannity told Fox News viewers on October 19 and 20, saying Obama “has committed to nearly 250,000 coming to America.” Five days later, Donald Trump cited this figure in New Hampshire. progressive magazine

The claim, it turns out, is completely false.

The fact-checking outlet PolitiFact traced it back to what appears to be a hoax article on a rightwing website called RealNewsRightNow. The article attributed the figure to a “Cathy Pieper” at the State Department. “We could find no Cathy Pieper working for the State Department,” PolitiFact reported.

How do all the right-wing sources end up saying the same thing?

The result is an eerie uniformity among rightwing media and candidates, even on matters where they’re objectively wrong. This dangerous duo implants phony memes into the national dialect and ricochets falsehoods around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. But where does it begin?

Nothing makes me feel warm, cuddly, and fuzzy toward a political candidate like that person having aspirations to take over the world.  Especially when it has been that person’s lifelong obsession.  Of course, most people would never know that someone has harbored this dream of domination unless there was a printed or even better a video of someone actually uttering this dream where others could hear it.Ted Cruz

Lucky for us a person with such arrogance would likely jump at the opportunity to let every one know their grand design and GOP Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz fits the profile.  This video of him saying “I want to rule the world” may be inspiring for some but personally by skin is crawling.  Is yours?

Skin Crawl

WalMart wrongly fired workers for striking and must rehire them, Labor Board rules explains what happened and why justice not revenge is a dish served on Sunday…

The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. retaliated against workers for participating in strikes and must rehire 16 former employees, including seven in CaliforniaImage result for Image, justice at WalMart.

The retail giant was also ordered to give these employees back pay. The company must hold meetings at 29 stores throughout the country to inform employees about their right to strike and vow not to retaliate or threaten them for doing so.

Wal-Mart workers have held demonstrations and protests at stores around the U.S. in recent years as part of a nationwide movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Last year, Wal-Mart temporarily closed five stores, including one in Pico Rivera, for what the company said were plumbing issues. But labor activists said the closures were intended to punish workers who have campaigned for higher pay — an accusation that Wal-Mart denies.


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