You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Alliance for Postive Growth’ category.
I can remember very academic arguments with David Anderson way back when as we each sought to determine for the next twenty years, how property rights should be divided up ethically and morally….
One view is that libertarianism should be the rule. Do what you want as long as no one gets hurt.
The other view was that society should rule. We are getting hurt so we now have to dictate what you can do….
Funny thing is, we were both arguing the same thing, except from two different ends…
People should be allowed to do what they wish as long as others are not hurt, When others feel hurt, there needs to be an arbiter or judge who looks at both sides before siding against the property owner. I think that makes sense….
We see in West, Texas what happens when people like Delaware’s own Christian Hudson and Mark Baker get their way. Anything goes. Everyone else be damned…
In the town of West, Texas a fertilizer plant exploded across the street from a school, one block away from a nursing home, and two blocks from an emergency services building.
This is what zoning is in place to prevent. It also prevents too much runoff, to much commercialization, too much traffic, too much sewage, too many stoplights, too much congestion, and too much time out of our lives. And when things go horribly wrong, like a corporate entity like Christian Hudson or Mark Baker, cuts a corner or two like a fertilizer plant did in West, Texas…. BOOM! We’re all dead.
Some of you have lived in Delaware more than ten years… You fondly remember the excitement building up in your car as you raced through the forests that lay between Lewes and Rehoboth. Good zoning could have left them an still created the business that provides the tax base now.
But good zoning was cast aside for misplaced words like “freedom” and “liberty” and “property rights” …. Those have there place, but not in zoning situations. There at least, some type of thought process should ahve played a part, instead of knee-jerking when either Christian or Mark jerked the chain.
You probably don’t need good zoning in the tundra of Alaska or the Yukon. But you do need it in Delaware.
It is time to start shouting down the nincompoops in Sussex County who have only a three word vocabulary when the show up at County meetings: liberty, freedom, and property rights….
The rest of us have rights too, and we are far greater in number than those three people who created the logjam that begins south of Federal Route 9.
Next time someone wants to take away your liberty, your freedom, and your happiness by wanting more and more for themselves… tell them to go to hell…
As a parent this article made me angry….
In a kindergarten class in Red Hook, Brooklyn, three children broke down and sobbed on separate days last week, another teacher told The New York Post. When one girl cried, “I can’t do it,” classmates rubbed her back, telling her, “That’s OK.” “This is causing a lot of anxiety,” the teacher said…..
What they were talking about it this….
“For the most part, it’s way over their heads,” a Brooklyn teacher said. “It’s too much for them. They’re babies!”
We are beginning that in Delaware and it is called…. Common Core.….
It was a policy originally decided by 5 year olds… At the behest of the American government fourteeen five year olds were invited to give their insight on how best to educate their peers… They were shown a video from Singapore and another one from South Korea. The Department of Education spokesperson, then asked them when they thought they should start learning algebra… Of course it took a brief moment to explain to them, what algebra was… Then one of the five year olds asked at what point algebra was started now and was told it was usually started in the seventh grade.
One of the five year olds questioned that. “Why don’t we start it in the sixth grade” she said. There was a lot of buzz around the discussion table, and no reason was given as to why we should NOT start the teaching of algebra now in the sixth grade. The Department of the Education spokesperson was so overjoyed, she rewarded that child a green lollipop….
Suddenly one of the other 5 year olds, spoke up. “I think we should start algebra in the 5th grade.” At first, stunned silence, and then gradually all the same arguments heard before and pretty soon, just as no reason was given against starting algebra in the 6th Grade, the same thing happened for a 5th Grade start. That child, out of extreme joy and happiness from the Department of Education spokesperson, was given a yellow lollipop….
Suddenly one of the fourteen, with nothing in his mouth, blurted out: ” Let’s do it in the 4th Grade.” Yep, he got a lollipop, it was blue and all the “oooh’s” and “ahhh’s” drifted around the group….
“Third Grade” shouted another earning a bright cherry red lollipop. “Second grade!” — a purple one. “First Grade!” shouted the new owner of a pink one.
“Zero Grade!” said one poor 5 year old who each time had politely held his hand up, but each time was overshadowed by those blurting out their answers over top of him….
“Silly kid”, said the Department of Education spokes person. We don’t have a 0 grade. We have kindergarten….”
“Kindergarten!” shouted another… “Very good” said the Department of Education spokesperson… “here is my last one, a caramel colored brown one; it’s my favorite too….”
That miffed 5 year old blurted out “pre-kindergarten!!” and was brushed off with… “We don’t do pre-kindergarten. That is at home. We start formal education at kindergarten…. “
And that is how it came to pass that algebra became part of the curriculum of kindergarten…. The Department of Education decided to interview a panel of experts who live, die, and breathe kindergarten, and could define the future curriculum for all those attending over the next decade…
Unfortunately none of them had ever had small children. None of them know one thing about raising a child…..
But if that Department of Education spokesperson had possessed more lollipops, I bet we could go all the way back into the womb….
Hey Wait! Theoretically one could go back into the womb, insert a catheter microphone, and parlay algebraic equations to the budding fetus. Gee, no wonder America is behind on education. We are not broadcasting to our fetuses….
What is wrong with us?
In two words, ….. Common Core…
In math, kids tackle concepts like “tally chart,” “combination,” and “commutative property,” DOE records show. Their actual big test question on which their entire future rests, is this: “Miguel has two shelves. Miguel has six books . . . How many different ways can Miguel put books on the two shelves? Show and tell how you know.”
An “expert” would draw a diagram with a key, show all five combinations, write number sentences for each equation, and explain his or her conclusions using math terms, the DOE says.
(Would you have done all that on your SAT’s? Really?)
So far in the curriculum, the class had learned counting by 10s and up to 50 — but they have not yet gotten to addition.
Put bluntly, if every child in every school, gives up on learning because of Common Core… our nation is doomed…..
Photo Courtesy of www.oldwilmington.net
It is a question of degree.. Who has the more authority within the current moment. A brand new administrator elected by the choice of the people over his predecessor, or…. a plan put in place and carried out by a previous administration.
Bottom line. There are no rules here. Depending on which side you seem to be on… will affect your outlook. The decision is both right and wrong for either side, depending upon which criteria one will use to decide.
Examine the first.
An Administrator is elected. He comes in and takes over his office. One of the planks he ran on was to reverse a certain act of his predecessor. When the people had a choice of electing a person who was for the proposal in question, and one who was against it, they overwhelmingly went for the one who was against it….
Now the second.
An Administrator inherits a problem from his predecessor. He applies considerable effort to get a deal made and moved forward. It goes through all proper channels. It is legalized by a vote on Council. It is the Council and thereby the County’s official policy. A schedule has been drawn up. Funding approved. It is in effect, in the middle of being completed…. Since it was set in stone before the new administrator comes in, he has no right to interfere…..
Can a chief executive overrule a previous Council’s decision? Well. Romney certainly was going to with Obamacare.
Congress had passed it, the Supreme Court had legitimized it, and Romney was going to make it obsolete with the stroke of a pen, based solely on the argument that it was the wish of a mandate of the voters putting him into office.
If it would work for the president, it must also be effective and allowed, under the new New Castle County Chief Executive.
It therefore, is not only legal, but ethical, contrary to the opinion of one certain Danberg who resigned in protest as county attorney on Wednesday.
A leadership role demands that a leader leads. For a leader to have to swallow every poisoned pill his predecessor were to leave him, puts not only him, but his department and the province he oversees…. at risk. That would be harmful to all society, if something was locked in stone by every outgoing administration…. Were that the true will of the people of New Castle County, to have Barley Mill Plaza go forward, then Paul Clark would now be the executive, not Tom Gordan…
Either way the decision goes, someone gets hurt. If the decision is to go forward, then those residents around that area who are the victims of a fabricated traffic study, are doomed to suffer. If the decision is to be stayed, and reworked pending a new traffic study, then those who have invested into the plan, are the ones doomed to suffer.
So someone has to get hurt! The question is …. who?
Right click for full view.
In isolated argument the idea of school vouchers has appeal. If you can’t get the education you need, you go somewhere else to get it. The idea is that this forces those losing students to change in order to attract them back.
Everyone gets a better education.
There is a huge problem with that argument. I will use Hurricane Sandy to point it out.
Before Hurricane Sandy struck, everyone went shopping the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before. By Sunday night, there was no bread in New Castle County. In every store, the shelves were empty.
At first it was the cheap bread that went. The dollar loaves which are the first pick of most bread eaters. As those were gone, then the basic bread of private bakers went, the brand names. Soon all the white bread was gone, and the wheat began disappearing. After the wheat was gone, the gourmet breads began disappearing, the 5 grains, the 7 grains, the 12 grains, the hearty grains… Then went the ryes, the Jewish ryes, the pumpernickels. Many people who came for white bread, who’d never paid $4 dollars a short loaf before, were snapping it up. When all the bread was sold out, hamburger buns went, hot dog buns went, dinner rolls went, starting from cheap all the way up to Arnold’s and Pepperidge Farms… The last person coming in to pick up a loaf of bread, got gourmet pumpernickel hot dog buns with oatmeal sprinkled on top…
You walked in Sunday night, October 28th, 2012… the shelves were bare…. from one end to the other….
How does this correspond to vouchers?
If everyone has the option of taking a voucher to improve their child’s education, you’ve created a crises and a lack of supply.
The best schools are snapped up first, then the 2nd best, then the 3rd, the 4th, the 5th, and at last the inner city schools being the last to go… So those shopping first get the good deal. Those say out of town, arriving late and picking out a school before the deadline, are stuck… And some, because of a shortage of schools, go without.
There was bread on the shelves the next day. But a school system that mis-allocates a student deals with that problem for a full year, seriously setting back the development of that child and possibly the room he is in….
The problem with school vouchers, is as a system, it doesn’t work. Oh it works for one individual. But it only helps the first in line. After that, it is all downhill.
For if you gave every bread shopper a number based on whether their purchase matched their expectation, those getting the store brand for a dollar would rate a +1, then if one settled for their second choice they’d get -1. Third choice would equal -2. Fourth choice a -3 and so on down the line. The total of the negative numbers would quickly balance the positive ones, making the total value of all zero, and then continue bringing the entire total further into the negative with every new purchase…. In the same way, school vouchers after the good schools were full, would increase the negatives to a point so big, they would soon swallow up any positive advantage the voucher program had every given…..
So as we approach the teaching crises. we must ask ourselves how we wish to be judged. Do we want to mandate that we will always have bread on our shelves, with plenty of choices for all? Or do we want to let anarchy or random chance decided who gets ahead, and who gets left behind?
So, why has no one looked at voucher’s impact on an entire school system before?
With Sandy’s approach, words of warning went out to all campaigns.. Get your big signs down for the storm. Feel free to put them up after the storm blows by. Everyone got an email.
Democrats were in full force, and in New Castle County, not one Democratic sign was left standing… By noon all were stored for safe keeping…
There were no libertarian candidate’s signs. As dedicated citizens, the libertarian team scoured the county and by noon, their signs were all stored for save keeping.
The one Jill Stein sign I’d seen, was gone. Secured by the Green Party….
In fact the only signs up as darkness approached, were those of Alex Pires, which is understandable, it being a one man operation, and those of the Republican line up, which apparently has even fewer supporters.
It looks like Kansas, at intersections now, with only Republicans contesting a one man operation….
If the Green Party and Libertarian party can mobilize faster than the Republican, it is time to stop calling the Republican Party a “major” party.
Even the Wizard of Oz had more going for it than today’s Delaware Republicans, who with their daily bumbles are rapidly creating a new definition of the English word pathetic.
These charts were compiled by the St. Louis Federal Reserve. They have been the most active data collection agency to date, of economic data relative to different income levels…
These charts are most telling because they are all timelined with the Recessions and Depressions….
2. At the same time, corporate profits are at an all-time high, both in absolute dollars and as a share of the economy.
I cannot do better than the Atlantic‘s summation of all these moving parts…
It took the country 15-20 years to pull out of that slump and fix the imbalances. But by the mid-1950s, employment, corporate profits, wages, and inequality had all returned to more normal levels. And the country enjoyed a couple of decades of relatively well-balanced prosperity. But now, everything’s out of whack again.
Importantly, the inequality that has developed in the economy over the past couple of decades is not just a moral issue. It’s a practical one. It is, as sociologists might say, “de-stabilizing.” It leads directly to the sort of social unrest that we’re seeing right now.
SO, WHY IS NO ONE TAKING REPUBLICANS TO TASK FOR THE RESULTS THEY MADE, INSTEAD, THEY GET TREATED LIKE THEIR PHILOSOPHY COULD BE A VIABLE OPTION?
Isn’t “someone” bending over backwards, NOT to report “All The News That’s Fit To Print?”
I wish WordPress’s format would allow the privilege of posting two articles side by side. That way the effect could be as eye opening to you, as it was to me…
But alas, I will have to run it through in the old fashioned way, and trust my powers of argument are descriptive enough for the task…
Here are the two articles… I would recommend reading them in their entirety before going further.
How The US Lost Out on iPhone Work
If you read both of those back to back, I probably do not have to say much. The vision they invoke in you, is probably the same as mine….
They do show us the way out…….
Often in our lives we live in confusion. We muddle through by making small decisions because the big ones ruling our lives are just too impossible and too gigantic to handle. Unexpectedly (it’s a rarity of course), someone, or something puts the pieces in place, and a road map out, one that is simple, plausible and doable, materializes and we can take action, and resolve our gigantic problem causing all our little ones….
Did you see it too?
Allow me the liberty of elaboration. One shows why our jobs moved to China and other countries. They are better than we… The one telling line I believe, is ” Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones. The company’s analysts had forecast it would take as long as nine months to find that many qualified engineers in the United States.” The focus of the article, was that was accomplished in 24 hours in China…..
Its the equivalent to a boss telling a subordinate… I want this done, and done it is…..
The second article shows the flaws. It focuses on the explosion at the Foxcomm plant that made assembled the ipods… Two people died. That human cost of an ipod is factored in. It also covers the deplorable living condition that those living at the Foxcomm plant must endure. And it ends with the line, … that if you want to pay for cheap phones, this is what has to be done to make them cheap enough for you to buy….”
Clearly, the US is trending to matching the working conditions of the Chinese in order to compete for jobs.
I don’t think we want to live like that, just to make a living….
We’ve been through this before. Those who once lived along the Merrimack River flowing past Lowell, Massachusetts, well know the dangers described now taking place in China. Those row houses in Appalachia, built by mining companies years ago, share the same horror stories these Chinese are now experiencing.
When you have cheap labor, you have situations where all the power rests in the hands of the one handing out the paychecks… “You want better conditions, they say? You’re fired. Now you have better conditions.” The others bite their tongue so their fate will not be the same.
We learned during the late 19th Century, that the only way out, was to have EVERY worker stop production until, a contract was reached and they allowed themselves to continue forward.
As the right to strike became eroded here in the United States, so has the quality of life for those in the manufacturing sector. Long hours, dangerous conditions, low pay, no benefits, are the lot of those employed by manufacturers. Their bosses insist, those are the conditions then can barely afford, since if they didn’t,… even those jobs would soon leave overseas.
We are in the downward spiral….
Reading the two articles, it became apparent that we are in competition with Chinese and other workers for the bottom… Who can work the hardest with the least amount of trouble for their corporate sponsors and the least amount of money… Whoever it is, will be declared the winners….
Well, if that is the life of a winner, I want no part of it… There has to be a better way….
The answer should have hit you already if you truly did read both articles. The answer is not to compete for the bottom, but the top…. It means we judge success by a whole new set of rules. It means we alter our buying habits and compensation to make living conditions far more bearable around the world, than they are today. And we exercise our power as people, so the money has to work within our framework, sort of along the same framework of just what the Labor Movement accomplished when they took on the big powers that be during the Thirties.
Here is the rough outline.
A) We elect no Republicans in 2012.
B) They pass labor laws determining a true-value wage. Two thirds of that person’s annual wage needs to be able to provide for living quarters, food, utilities, and medical insurance. After all required expenses have been met, 1/3 of each employees income should be left as discretionary income… This is pretty much what most US families had during the nineties. It is affordable because businesses prospered then too.
C) Ugh. The math… (Skip this if math bores you) .. Which means that if a single person can barely make ends meet on $20,000, the standard should be $30,000 here in the US.. Likewise for families, if $40,000 is required, then $60,000 should be the average.. Of course New York and California would be higher paid than say North Dakota or Alaska.. That is the basic gist of it… This cost then becomes a cost of the manufactured product….
D) We hold all businesses doing business in the United States to this principal, no matter where their products get made… Of course we don’t use the same monetary figures, just the same principal… If in Egypt, one can live on $7,000, it is fair to pay them $10,000. Quite possibly, in parts of Africa, one could pay someone $5,000 a year and keep within the same principals. For companies who try to import products made by desperate people in desperate situations, we impose the old custom’s duty, to make them equally as expensive as those made elsewhere, thereby negating any economic advantage to undercut the system.
E) I know the word tariff sends up a red flag to Free Trade-ists. It means that we no longer worrying ourselves about how much a company can maximize its profit; that concern has become secondary. instead, we are concerned about the welfare of those human beings actually working in that country’s manufacturing industry.
F) And for the Free Trade-ists, we are invoking the Free Trade Principals in just a different way. As always, we have said a corporation should have the right to sell and cross borders to trade at a spot that gives them a lower cost… That is what free trade is. We are now, invoking the same rational, but instead of using “cost” as our measuring stick we are attempting to do that with something called the “quality of life”… We are stating: for free trade to occur, “quality of life” must be equal or monetary penalties will be placed raising the cost of that product so they will be…
G) This will be good for China. China needs to raise their cost on which they compete or they will implode. Historically that always happens; the peasants revolt. The best prevention is to fix the problem beforehand. Reading the article above, the one about Foxcomm, one can see that without changes, probably within ten years, China will go down in a massive internal turmoil, UNLESS those in its manufacturing sector are given better working conditions. They need a union movement of their own. Ha, ha: they could look to their own founding Communist philosophy on this one…. if they wanted to see what the future will bring if you run government at the whims of large corporations…
H) Obviously, things will not be as cheap from China, if this goes through. The increased cost of labor to the manufacturer, will be shared in half by a price increase to the final consumer, and the other half by a loss in corporate profit. But the balance of that cost to our economy is: more people will be working in this country. The loss of corporate profits to the labor movement did not create the Depression! It worked us out of it!… The higher the wages, the more money spent. The more money spent, the more things manufactured. The more things manufactured the more people employed. The more people employed the higher the wages. The higher the wages…. the more money spent… We begin the cycle pulling us out ….
So through the juxtapositioning of these two articles, the light has been shown from the end of the tunnel… The way back to prosperity is to pay American workers more. The way to do that is to negate the advantage of paying the Chinese less. The way to do that, is to pass an import tax that raises foreign manufactured items to a rate that allows foreign workers to live with the same amount of discretionary income left over after their necessary expenses, as we would wish upon ourselves. That is the silver bullet, and it surely won’t happen as long as Republicans can block it. Which is why, we need to remove enough corporate sponsored politicians from office, both Democratic and Republican, so We, The People once again, can have a free hand.
Yes, we can do this.
They cost you too…
The drop in payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% results in a savings of about $1000 a year to every wage earner.
(If truth were widely known, that tax cut is actually a bad idea. It hemorrhages a dying social security fund, requiring the eventual death of the program or an expensive emergency last ditch surgery in the future.)
But it is hard not to give a $1000 present to every voter. Even if it only comes out as $19 dollars and change each week… But, still again, if your electric bill is $198 and you only have $189 in your account, that additional amount is, well, a lifesaver…..
But, Republicans in the House, even after Republicans in the Senate voted passage, overwhelmingly voted….. not to vote on the measure…
They didn’t vote against it… THEY VOTED NOT TO VOTE ON IT……
(speculation is that they lacked the votes to keep it from passing)..
So, how does that relate to you?
House Republicans (read Tea Party) just voted NOT TO VOTE on whether or not you will be losing an extra $20 a month out of your next paycheck.
Imagine what this is doing to payroll clerks around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to family budgets around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses who rely on consumer spending around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses heavily involved in the financial sector, around this country?
So what would normally happen?
Normally a group that can’t find agreement, acknowledges the sad fact, and long before the deadline, announces that they failed to reach agreement and that things would continue as they were on a temporary basis, to unfortunately allow for more time to solve differences.
But NOOOOOOOOOOOO, …. WE ARE STUCK WITH A TEA PARTY THAT FUCKS THINGS UP.
Instead, we have a vote not-to-vote, then get all sorts of very lame excuses from those who are delaying, none of which apply to the real problem that Social Security is doomed unless drastic action gets taken (higher rates, not lower), and we get nothing….
The tax cut will expire…
It is like sequestering a jury in a room, where everyone after much fact-covering argument has agreed to a judgment, except for one person who’s been bought off. And nothing, nothing, logic, emotional appeal, bullying, snuggling up to, befriending, produces any change. And you go years, every working day, to the same court house, the same jury room, they same chair at the same table, hear the same arguments, hoping against all odds, that today, he will see the light and switch. You go the next day.
That is today’s Congress. Held hostage by Tea Party Republicans who live in a dream world untouched by the reality of living under $185,000 a year. Like that bought-out juror, every day, they hold up progress with the unjustified belief that, if they wait long enough, the other 11 jurors will give up and sway over to the sole juror’s way….
Two things can happen… 1) return to the public and announce a hung jury, and do a complete retrial.. or 2) sneak up to that one juror, put a gun to his head, say nothing, pull the trigger, clean up the mess, dispose of the body, then go out to the public and announce what the 11 of you have decided…..
One is the nice way, sanctioned to due process of law. The other is the American Way.
It’s time to initiate the kavipsian policy of expression or what is otherwise known as “Show Us How You Really Feel”… Who knows? It could become the next great movement? The next time someone you know (or don’t), says anything about how millionaires should keep their tax cuts and the poor should pay, nod your head in agreement, smile a little bit, then hit them as hard as you can in their mouth, I mean as hard as you can! Put them flat on the ground holding their jaw… Then loudly say, “Don’t every talk that stupid way to me again!” Who knows, if 99% or all 303,930,000 would respond that way to our fellow congressional delegates, and the other 3.9 million of their like who advocate such madness, we might actually get the very progress we need, not because of intimidation, but because such policy is right….
For those who argue expression of violence is un-American, I’ll remind them that tonight, is John Wayne Night on AMC: view it!… I argue that such action is VERY American and perhaps it has been the lack of such spontaneous expressions of frustration from working American people, that has caused the logjam where nothing gets done because of one holdout, who thinks he can sway the world to his opinion and face no consequences… ….
Practice now, by punching brick walls.
When we had a surplus, the GOP’s answer was to cut taxes. When the surplus became a deficit (in large part because of the Bush tax cuts), the Republicans answer was to cut taxes. During times of peace they argued for cutting taxes. When we were involved in two wars, costing billions of dollars a month, then-House Republican leader Tom DeLay said, “Nothing is more important in the face of war than cutting taxes.”
Tax cuts define the Republican Party…. Yes, they do…
The Republicans are fighting against a tax cut for the middle class. And the President is supporting it?
A tax cut? Republicans against? The President for?
Is the world turned upside down?
Even twenty-seven Senate Republicans thought their own party’s stance was unconscionable, and voted against the Republican version of the middle-class tax cut, which deleted tax on millionaires and replaced it, with a federal pay freeze and draconian spending cuts.
The research firm Macroeconomic Advisers projects that the Obama middle-class tax cut will create 1.3 million new jobs by the end of next year and 800,000 more in 2013. Former Sen. John McCain’s economic adviser Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics says the payroll-tax cut has prevented us from slipping back into a recession. If an extension of the cut does not pass, he told MSNBC, “at the very minimum, we’ll likely go into recession.”
Voters are coming to the conclusion that the GOP cares more about protecting tax breaks for millionaires than the benefits that millions of middle-class retirees depend on.
Rush Limbaugh: “i hope he fails.”
Mitch McConnell: “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” And the single best way to defeat Obama is to sabotage the economy.
Republicans want to kill Obama’s middle-class tax cut, his American Jobs Act, his extension of unemployment benefits and everything else he’s advocating to revive the economy, and they want millionaires to pay no taxes….
Perhaps they are against extending the middle class tax cut, because they know it is a good bill, and it will improve the economy enough so we won’t then vote for them in 2012?