You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Union Busting’ category.

I’m usually done with a piece of legislation when it doesn’t go my way.. I always shared a disdain for those who lose and refuse to accept reality for what it is… But I’ve received so many questions over SB51, that I’ll break protocol, to discuss it for one last time…

The main question I’ve received most often, is why did I take on this unattainable cause. Surely one could see the writing on the wall when the Senate voted? Wasn’t it a waste of time?

Oddly, no. And I’m perplexed a little as to why I feel that way. Because it did suck up a lot of time and it had only two people vote against it in the entire General Assembly, and two abstentions (one principled and one physical.) So I’m going to try and work it out here, in type, as to why it was important to lead a fight against it. One that if one was keeping score, turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.

The reason for SB51″s success, was its stealth. It was out of committee, in the Senate, out of the Senate, in the House committee, and on the House floor, each time with very little notice. In fact, it wasn’t until after it had passed the Senate that I began hearing how bad this bill really was. Perhaps in a regular year, that would not have occurred. Someone would have read the bill earlier as it hit the docket and passed that information along. It should be noted this is an extraordinary year. The recomposition of this General Assembly has made many big changes possible. Gay Marriage, Background Checks, Reporting Stolen Firearms, Repeal of Death Penalty, Kinder-Morgan, Assault Bans, Bans of High Capacity Clips, have kind of sucked the wind out of the room when it comes to a bill that says something sensible like we should be hiring smart teachers instead of dumb ones.

One of our most progressive commentators said something like “I can see no one having a problem with that.”

And indeed. This bill seemed to have everyone on board. DSEA, that educational labor union who represents teachers, RODEL who represents the corporate Investors, the Governor who put this prominently in his state of the state address, both parties whom neither wanted to be seen as being against better education, the Chamber of Commerce and those who fund the entities inside the Community Service Building on 10th Street, progressives, conservatives. There was no one who seemed not to want to rubber stamp it…

It took a lot of work to wake up even three people to contest it…. And that is a start….

With overwhelming support, my goodness, in percentage terms…. 93% of the entire General Assembly was in favor. That ironically was the same percentage of Delawareans that wanted Offshore Wind over the objections of 4 well place members of the Executive Committee back in 2007-8…

How can anyone “credible” be against such a good bill with “overwhelming” support?

I would say there is one common thread among those who first voiced opposition and carried the water for trying to educate the public about this bill. And if you agree or disagree, please feel free to chime in. This is an informal piece.

Anyone who has experienced Common Core, who has actually experienced it, would be against this bill. I experienced it by helping a student with their homework assignment. Teachers and administrators experience it in their professional capacity. School Boards experience it by being in the cross fire between the DOE and parents who are as upset as I was with the crap that is being passed off as “learning.”…

Obviously from the results of the vote, very few people in Delaware have experience Common Core. Once you see what it has done to your kids, you are outraged. Outraged. There is no other accurate description….

So the vote in support of SB51, was primarily based, if I could extrapolate, on ignorance. I too would have been right there with them if I had not had the cathartic experience of meeting Common Core face to face. Once one does, one quickly learns to hate it. For many, many years I have been privy to a lot of grumbling from educators over each new “program of the year”, but never, never have I experienced a deterioration in a student’s drive to do well, as I have seen across the board with Common core…. “A” Students just giving up and settling for “C’s”, because of the capriciousness of the teaching and those learning materials that come in “packets.”

Here is what has to happen. These tests and packets need to get leaked to the public. Once seen and ridiculed, the proper perspective and potential damage from Common Core becomes clearer. Further more, every single member of the educational committees of both the Delaware Senate and House, should take this bill. Then the General Assembly would finally be in alignment with where the parents will be next year.

This year was really the first where Common Core was trialed. Next year it will be much more extensive.

So when one says that our teaching colleges and universities will be rated by how well their student teacher’s students do on Common Core tests over the next five years, quite a bit of that sentence totally depends on how good or bad Common Core is… I can tell you… it’s really.. really… bad.

Common Core is no better than “No Child Left Behind.” That too was a landmark piece of legislation to make teachers accountable to teaching, and not sending unprepared students up the ladder. It was hailed as the crowning achievement of American Society. Those very few who looked at the detail, and questioned how it would work, were laughed at as being among those who wanted to “leave children behind.” But guess what? When that was implemented in full across the nation, it didn’t work. Students did worse instead of better. Gee, the educational structure asked? How can this be? Answer was, it didn’t work in Texas under then Governor George W. Bush, either. They just tweaked the test scores.

Common Core is no better. In fact, it is probably worse. And there are many reasons why, which have been discussed on this blog many times, as well as on Transparent Christina, Kilroy’s of Delaware, Delaware Way, and Seventh Type… It “can” be better, but those pieces are being squashed under “bigger” principles, such as busting the teachers union, paying off Wall Street investors, making fistfuls of dough out of charter schools and vouchers… Big money has got its roots into education and is now trying to choke off all competition from good crops..

This bill’s overwhelming victory is not the end…. In fact, I think it may just hasten the end of Common Core, instead of extending it… I think so because I know how bad this program is.. I know there is no way you, once you experience it’s insanity, its inadequacy, and its ineptitude, will be supportive of common core… You can’t be.. No one like being inside a Kafka novel. We have nine months to educate Delaware what Common Core will do to your children. Nine months… If we are wrong, and the public does not by then demonize this program, then perhaps it is good that this bill passed.

But I’ve seen Common Core face to face… so I sincerely doubt that outcome….

Then, come next January, January 2014 an election year no doubt, we again will see these familiar words with a lot of support behind it.

“Section 1. Amend the title of Chapter 12, Title 14 of the Delaware Code, by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strikethrough as follows:”……

Eli Broad — the CPA-trained-billionaire-businessman-turned-public-education-reformer — informed Diane Ravitch, a distinguished education expert, about what needs to be done to education in America.  . According to Ravitch, “We talked about school reform for an hour or more, and he told me that what was needed to fix the schools was not all that complicated: A tough manager surrounded by smart graduates of business schools and law schools.

According to Slate quoting Vanity Fair, Eli Broad boasted back in 2006 that he  “plans to virtually take over the Delaware school system in 2007, pending approval from that state’s legislature.” He backed the winning slate of candidates for the local board of education in 1999 and helped hire the superintendent.

Eli Broad trains Superintendents.  Christina School District has been the unfortunate beneficiary of his largess.  Joe Wise, followed by Lillian Lowery, followed by  Marcia Lyles, all are from Eli’s School of Superintendencies….Dr. Joe Wise was selected as a Broad Fellow by Eli Broad Institute for School Boards (2005), was appointed to the Eli Broad Urban Superintendents Academy as a Fellow (2003), and serves on the Broad Academy’s adjunct faculty and advisory committee. Although Broad Superintendents come in highly qualified, they often leave disgracefully. Joe Wise, may have been one of the first. Recently, across this nation many Broad Superintendents have been let go. All trained by the Broad Superintendents Academy: Maria Goodloe-Johnson (class of 2003) of the Seattle school district, LaVonne Sheffield (class of 2002) of the Rockford, Illinois school district, and Jean-Claude Brizard (class of 2008) of the Rochester New York school district. Brizard resigned to take the job as CEO of Chicago schools, but his superintendency in Rochester had been mired in controversy. Another Broad-trained Superintendent recently announced his resignation: Tom Brady (class of 2004) of Providence, Rhode Island, as well as these others from before: Arnold “Woody” Carter (class or 2002), formerly of the Capistrano Unified School District; Thandiwee Peebles,( class of 2002), formerly of the Minneapolis Public School District; and John Q. Porter (class of 2006), formerly of the Oklahoma City Public School District.

Ms. Lillian Lowery (class of 2004), Wise's replacement after supposedly cleaning up Joe Wise's disaster, was put in charge of all Delaware's schools, and now, is in charge of Maryland's. Broad's influence has touched every Delaware Student… and is about to touch all those of Maryland.

Our current head of the Department of Education, Mark Murphy, hails from a group NLNS funded by Eli Broad

If this was a good thing, it would be good.

So, what is the Broad influence?

Here is one take. It is one of the three influencers of education. Along with the Gates Foundation and the Walton's, it exerts a powerful influence, good or bad. It calls itself a venture philanthropy, as in venture capitalist. Meaning it invests in philanthropy expecting to yield a return on its investment. As an example, it can fund a study that says computers will help inner city kids learn, then sell those recommended computers to that school district.

Here is how it infiltrates a school district. Christina School District to be exact…

The Broad Foundation plants one of its elements in a school district, it is then highly likely they will plant another one along with it, so their influence is maximized.

For instance, an element might be:
– The presence of a Broad-trained superintendent
– The placement of Broad Residents into important central office positions
– An "invitation" to participate in a program spawned by the Foundation (such as CRSS's Reform Governance in Action program)
– Offering to provide the district with a free "Performance Management Diagnostic and Planning" experience

The Broad Foundation likes to infiltrate its targets on multiple levels so it can manipulate a wider field and cause the greatest amount of disruption. Venture edu-philanthropists like Gates and Broad proudly call this invasive and destabilizing strategy “investing in a disruptive force.” To these billionaires and their henchmen, causing massive disruption in communities across the nation is not a big deal.

The Broad Foundation has spent nearly $400 million on its mission of “transforming urban K-12 public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition.”

That sounds nice. So let us look closer….

The signature effort of the Broad Foundation is its investment in its training programs…The Broad Superintendents Academy runs a training program held during six weekends over ten months, after which graduates are placed in large districts as superintendents. Those accepted into the program (“Broad Fellows”) are not required to have a background in-education; many come instead from careers in the military, business, or government. Tuition and travel expenses for participants are paid for by the Broad Center, which also sometimes covers a share of the graduates’ salaries when they are appointed into district leadership positions. The foundation’s website boasts that 43 percent of all large urban superintendent openings were filled by Broad Academy graduates in 2009.

The Broad Superintendents Academy’s weekend training course provides an “alternative” certification process which has come to supplant or override the typical regulations in many states that require that individuals have years of experience as a teacher and principal before being installed as a school district superintendents….

The Broad Residency in Urban Education is a two-year program, during which individuals with MBAs, JDs, etc. in the early stages of their careers are placed in high-level managerial positions in school districts, charter management organizations, or state and federal departments of education. The Broad Center subsidizes approximately 33 percent of each Resident’s salary.

The Broad Foundation founded the New York City Leadership Academy, which trains individuals to serve as principals in the city public schools, several of whose graduates have been accused of financial misconduct, as well as arbitrary and dictatorial treatment of teachers, students and parents. This was recently featured by Delaware’s WDDE reporting on Reshid Walker who is training in Cape Henelopen under the Delaware Leadership Project. DLP is an alternate certification program that this year is preparing six candidates to work as principals or assistant principals at public schools serving high-risk students in Delaware. Alternate Certification means it sidesteps requirements that a principal has to have stepped foot inside a school before. Through four days a week of on-the-job training, and no certification from an accredited college or university, he will soon be in command of your child’s education.

The Broad Institute for School Boards provides three training programs for elected school board members and non-Broad-trained superintendents conducted in partnership with the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS). The Institute trains new board members at a one-week summer residential setting…The Broad Foundation underwrites 80 percent of all program costs through a grant to CRSS.

The Broad Foundation also supports a broad range of pro-charter school advocacy groups, as well as alternative training programs for non-educators who want to work as teachers and principals (Teach for America, New Leaders for New Schools). In addition, the foundation offers free diagnostic “audits” to school districts, along with recommendations aligned with its policy preferences. It produces a number of guides and toolkits for school districts, including a “School Closure Guide,” based on the experiences of Broad-trained administrators involved in closing schools in Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Miami-Dade County, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Seattle…..

Closing public schools to open opportunities for charters seems to be it’s prime directive. Although not officially enshrined as such, it does seem to be the consistent pattern of each of its graduates.

The foundation provided start-up funding for Parent Revolution (formerly the Los Angeles Parent Union), the group which developed the “Parent Trigger” legislation, designed to encourage the conversion of public schools to charter schools. Broad has also has given large amounts of money to Education Reform Now, a pro-charter school advocacy organization…

Eli Broad has said he “expects to be a major contributor” to Students First, former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s organization that advocates for the expansion of charters, vouchers, and an end to seniority protections for teachers. The pro-Rhee biography, The Bee Eater, was subsidized by the Broad Foundation as is mentioned on the book jacket.

Of course, there are campaign contributions (you will need to type in Broad, Eli) to facilitate the corporatizing of education… A quick look certifies that his coverage is a who’s who across party lines in Congress. Obviously there will be support for Charters streaming down from the top lines of government.

Ok, so how does all of this affect Delaware’s public school’s families?….
One of the tenets of his philosophy taught to his graduates, is to produce system change by “investing in a disruptive force.” Continual reorganizations, firings of staff, and experimentation to create chaos or “churn” is believed to be productive and beneficial, as it weakens the ability of communities to resist change.

A hallmark of the Broad-style leadership is closing existing schools rather than attempting to improve them, increasing class size, opening charter schools, imposing high-stakes test-based accountability systems on teachers and students, and implementing of pay for performance schemes. The brusque and often punitive management style of Broad-trained leaders has frequently alienated parents and teachers and sparked protests. A long laundry list of Broad Supertendants run out of town can be found here, near the bottom. But you can get an idea of what to expect, from just this one: Robert Bobb (class of 2005), the Emergency Financial Manager of the Detroit Public Schools, recently sent layoff notices to every one of the district’s 5,466 salaried employees, including all its teachers, and said that nearly a third of the district’s schools would be closed or turned over to private charter operators. At a recent town hall which Bobb had called so he could go over his plan, angry students, parents, and teachers drove him from the meeting. He was escorted out by his six bodyguards….

Disruption and chaos indeed…..

Delaware is fortunate to have a large parenting network of watch dogs who communicate well with legislators. Whereas the Christina District has had a rough go with Broad graduates, the rest of the state has so far been unscathed…..
Without the oversight being provided by parents and teachers watchdog organizations, the fate of Delaware’s students might be that of Philadelphia, Chicago, or Detroit.

if you are a parent or know one, you probably feel this way as well. Parents Across America considers Broad’s influence to be inherently undemocratic, as it disenfranchises parents and other stakeholders in an effort to privatize our public schools and imposes corporate-style policies without our consent. We strongly oppose allowing our nation’s education policy to be driven by billionaires who have no education expertise, who do not send their own children to public schools, and whose particular biases and policy preferences are damaging our children’s ability to receive a quality education.

In fact, this entire philosophy of forcing change upon children, strikes every parent as coming from those types of people we all run across, … who hate children…. “Someone smack that kid who’s crying.”

Amen And Amen.

“You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. …”

Martin Luther King  Letter from a Birmingham Jail  April 16, 1963….

Astra Zenica is closing out 1200 jobs.  Just think if the Port of Wilmington was going to be losing jobs as well?

Corporate entities are one thing.  but good old fashioned labor unions are what provide stability to an entire city.

State test results for the first time show voucher students performing “similar or worse” than other poor Milwaukee students, according to the Department of Public Instruction.

After operating side by side, this was the first year the same test was administered to both private and public enabling the cross comparison, prompting Wisconsin Republicans to put bills on the table, forbidding such a comparison ever again. The Republicans propose an easier test be given private schools, and a harder test be given to public schools…

The test results show the percentage of students participating in the 20 year old Milwaukee Parental Choice Program who scored proficient or advanced was 34.4 percent for math and 55.2 percent for reading.  Among Milwaukee Public Schools students, it was 47.8 percent in math and 59 percent in reading.

Inner City Public Schools were up 13.4 points higher in math over private schools.

Among all low-income students in the state, (which is all public education),scores were  63.2 percent in math and 71.7 percent in reading….

Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts, D-Middleton, the top Democrat on the Assembly Education Committee, said … “The fact that we’ve spent well over $1 billion on a failed experiment leads me to believe we have no business spending $22 million to expand it with these kinds of results,”

Proponents brag vouchers have saved $50 million over 20 years.

Although the year is barely out, we do have our first nomination for the spot to be announced in December 2013.  With the Kinder Morgan Deal now on hold semi-permanently, even they are pointing to our hero of the year as the man most responsible for allowing the port to remain state owned….

I can say it was Julius Cephas who was behind almost every move to combat the loss of good jobs at our port.  He is being pointed out as the villain by the capitalists at Kinder Morgan.  In Delaware’s eyes, that elevates his hero’s stature even more…

In truth, he is no villain and knowing him, he will probably shun the acclimations being made by us common folk as being our hero.  In his eyes, he was just doing what needed to be done because no one else was there at that very moment to do it, and as that task swelled, it took a lot out of him….

Capitalists always need a villian.  But it was the “truth” which actually is what killed this deal.  Kinder Morgan WAS going to cut back on jobs, and their change of heart and blaming Julius instead of others, points exactly to the core of their problem with our port… …

People in Texas, do not understand unions.  They simply can’t fathom or understand how there can be an actual law that lets people strike and shut you down, whenever you try to pay them less..  In their eyes, you work for what they want to give you and if it is too little, ..humph.  go elsewhere….

The second culprit (after the “truth”),  was our office of economic development.  We gave Kinder Morgan too many “eager” signals that set us up as being seen as an easy pick.  They truly thought they could waltz in, pick up a top notch East Coast Port for a song, and we would eagerly give it up…  Again, that was because everything was done in secret.  Had a meeting been forthcoming in the very beginning,  Kinder Morgan might have moved on earlier when it became readily apparent, that southern Texas practices do not bode well in the Northeast…

Of course, being a corporation, they will blame the whistle blower.  (Ironic since the whistle blower of Enron works for them)..   Of course.  It is not like they find anything immoral in taking a state asset for a song, in firing those skilled dock workers, and replace them with some Spanish speaking Texans who never even heard of a union….

And Julius did blow that whistle. .  Like Rose on the Titanic, he took the whistle off of Jack (pun intended), and blew softly at first, then harder, and harder.   Gradually the sound registered on others ears….

Without Julius, Bob Marshall would not have pushed through Senate Bill 3.  Without Julius, most of the links showing up in everyone’s blog, would have not been found.  Without Julius, the case for protecting workers would not have even made the rounds of the Norman Oliver show….

There were many helpers. Bob Marshall, Nancy Willing, Norman Oliver, Norinda, Helene Keeley, Al Mascitti, Liz Allen, John Kowalko, and (an other blogger too shy to be mentioned here). When one looks back through all of them one sees from everywhere, there in the center of the universe,  stands a normal human being just like us, known to most … as Julius.

There will come a time when a better deal will arrive.  Could even be this year. There will come a time when a suitor who does care about Delaware, who does care about unions, about human beings, about those businesses on the outside, and who will want to upgrade the port for everyone’s interest, not just their own… And that suitor in this day and age, could even come from abroad.  Germany is very committed to union labor, to the environment, to being a good neighbor…. There are a great many possibilities out there that are immeasurable…. We definitely dodged a Texas bullet with this one….

When that suitor arrives… Julius’s stature will be set in cement….  For he did nothing really Herculean, except argue the truth…  He didn’t lie.  He didn’t connive,  He didn’t threaten….

That was done by our office of economic development.  Instead and unlike them, Julius told the truth.  He told the truth to anyone who would listen.  He told the truth enough, so many “did” listen….

And that is why, he  deserves this nomination as Delaware’s Man of the Year.  I know it is early into 2013, but great things just do not wait!!….

You will hear smears that Julius tubed the deal… I saw the letter and it is already out on WDEL and the Delawareonline’s News Journal… But as an impartial blogger, I can tell you exactly what killed this deal.

It was “the truth”.  The truth of what this deal would cost us Delawareans….. is what turned the tide and caused the outcry that rose up against it….

If Kinder Morgan really wanted this deal, they could have easily said… “we are expanding and putting 5 new berths out into the river.  We are buying the port for the bargain price of $5 billion.   We need those businesses outside the fence because the jobs we get, will soon be too big, we can’t do it ourselves.  We will keep the union just as it is;  Wilmington needs good jobs and we are going to do our part….  We are also going to contribute into an emergency fund to be used for any spill or environmental accident that takes place under our tenure….

Kinder Morgan could have done any of those things, … and didn’t…. The blame doesn’t lie with Julius after all…. Especially when you consider the following…

This Economic Council erred on Fisker Automotive.  Then it erred on Bloom Energy.  Then it tried to Kinder Morgan us out of our port…..   Someone rushed in  with a save to make sure that last one didn’t happen.

That person is now hereby nominated for Delaware’s Person of the Year…….

It probably hit mass culture with Star Wars. Where, when in a pickle, one made some adjustments to a computer, pushed a button, and one was suddenly in another part of the universe.

Then came the TV show Quantum Leap in the 80’s, where after a certain feat had been changed, one jumped through space and time into a new body, to begin a new episode the following week.  Remember Ziggy?

I was reading one of my earlier pieces that for some random reason yesterday had  caught a flicker of interest, and back then I had used that concept, that of “jumping”, to explain why America was finally settling on Obama as their candidate of choice….

America had been milling around in stagnation and needed a “jump” to move us forward. Clinton and McCain could not engineer that, I proposed and that is why we needed someone new, to “make the jump” forward.

That was written during the campaign of 2008. This summer will be 5 years hence.

America still needs to make that jump.

But just as we almost get there, Republicans sabotage it by pulling the  computer’s plug…

Now you reading this may be a Republican but please don’t take offense. You are actually a big part of the solution which you will see, if you read through to the end.

Let’s look at a few things.

  • Starting in the 80’s the Middle Class has consistently been losing ground against the top 1%. Now the Middle Class has spent their retirement savings just to pay normal expenses , and we are still heading downward.
  • Immigration reform was supposed to be completed and done in Reagan’s time. Thirty years ago. We are just getting serious now.
  • Our interstate system is 50 years old. We haven’t reinvested adequately. 11,000 bridges are held up by paint, and could drop out from under us at any moment.
  • Our tax system is still after 30 years, in disarray. The wealthy get breaks, the poor get pissed on.
  • Our Social Security and Medicare Programs are going bankrupt. They were also supposedly permanently fixed in Reagan’s term, again 30 years ago.
  • We have been at the mercy of oil speculators for the past 13 years. We still are. What did you pay today?
  • Capital investment in America is at an all time low, yet the wealthy have parked $13 trillion in savings. Why no investment?

So America, why are we still stuck in the 1980’s?

Republicans.  That is why.  Conservatives.

That sounds so simple that one must wonder why we haven’t moved them out of the way?

And that answer, is because for some crazy reason, we keep changing the rules to let them play longer.  Citizen’s versus United is just one case in point.  Allowing one person to fund a candidacy opposing the people’s true choice, obfuscates the entire playing field, and in the fog, makes the minority appear to have far more clout than is endowed to it by the American people.

Voting tallies prove that we have had over the past 24 years, 5 popular vote victories for Democrat presidents, and just 1 for Republicans, and to be fair, that was to a wartime president who barely got re-elected into office. Voting totals are the only non-spin, the only unobfuscated time we ever get to see how America truly feels.

The majority of America want us to jump forward.  They are tired after thirty years of nothing.

Right now, Republicans have killed the America dream.  College grads do not see them using their knowledge in their future jobs.  Retirees see their golden year’s savings swallowed up by profits of gigantic medical corporations.  Everyone is making tremendous amount of money, except 99% of the American people.

The majority want to jump forward.  Yet it is always Republicans holding us back.

Holding us back on Immigration Reform.  Holding us back on higher revenue.  Holding us back on budget cuts.  Holding us back on health care reform.  Holding us back on Chuck Hagel’s nomination….

It is just stupid..   It is done simply to achieve drama, and is only done for dramatic effect; it still is just a stupid waste of time and your money.  It is as if Republican behavior was patterned after that of a six year old child who drags his feet before going to school.  That child  knows he has to go there eventually, but he whines, supines, and acts recalcitrant, just to get attention…. maybe make someone feel “sorry’ for them… Boo hoo.

America is playing the role of the parent to these recalcitrant Republicans and is damn tired of it.

One simply has to look at today’s looming sequestration, which is strictly a problem Republicans created and brought down upon all of us,  and across this great nation, Americans  shake their heads in unison, remembering that if a Republicans had never been elected President  in the year 2000, by 2008 and Obama’s election, our national debt was on track to have hit zero…   Yes,  Democrats would have paid off the entire National Debt by 2008, if we had never had George W. Bush slip into office.

And now, we preparing to slash $86 billion over the next 9 months.  Then do the same over the next 12  years…

Under the Budget Control Act by 2021 discretionary spending will be at 5.5% of GDP which is its lowest level of GDP since 1931.  (We all know what happened in 1932!)   And we propose to cut it lower?

Yet we have $13 trillion in savings owned by the top 1%.  $86 billion of $13 Trillion is…. 0.7th of  one single percent.   If you increased taxes on the wealthy by only one penny per every dollar over $1 million, we would have  yearly budget surplus... just like that.  One penny per dollar over $1 million.  That one penny would even give us an additional 0.3 of one percent extra which could be applied to lowering the deficit…   Unbelievably easy….  If you own trillions, who is going to miss a penny?

But we can’t do it for one single roadblock.  Republicans won’t raise taxes.

America needs to “make a jump”…… and we need to make that jump now.

If this were Hollywood or a television drama, Captain America would pull out his sidearm, kill the insubordinate (spy) officer, and ask his attache to step into his position. We would then,  finally be able to save our ship.

Americans could then dream again about prosperity.  There is only one reason we don’t still  have it today.

They had centralized education.  We had local school boards, unionized teachers, and PTA’s.

So who won?

So why is Congress held in such Low Esteem? How did this Congress, achieve the record low mark of public esteem, getting the approval of only 7 percent? Why is it that for anything to get done, a big battle has to occur and we either go over the edge to get an agreement, or we get it just as we are about to lose our balance?

Republicans.

This stuff never used to happen. Republicans have been around for a long time. It is just today’s Republicans are a spoiled child. They are the little kid in the restaurant who screams so loudly that everyone is forced to make them the subject of conversation…

It started with Gingrich’s Congress shutting itself down. Bill Clinton won that one because America looked up from their work and went…”Really?” You are shutting down work because you didn’t get your way? Wish I could shut down my work whenever I didn’t get my way. I’d never have to work.”

Today the foolishness continues. Just after Obama’s inauguration the republican caucus announced: there one goal was to make Obama a one term president. They jokingly became the party of “no”. When Obama said our country needs to bail out the auto industry, Republicans said “no.”. When Obama said our health-care system needed a vast overhaul, Republicans said “no.” When Obama said workers were getting hired too slowly and that we needed to do more, the Republicans…. said no…

No matter what Obama tried to do, in order to commit to their prime objective, getting him out, the Republicans fought him tooth and nail. Back when Republicans had the voice of the American people, and were a majority of Congress, they needed 51 votes to pass legislation. Today’s Democrats, who today have the voice of the American People, must have 60 votes to do the same thing. That has to change. It is unfair to citizens living today, that just because they randomly live today instead of 10, 20, 30 years ago, they have to have a congress where nothing gets done unless 60 Senators agree. Every other generation survived on 51 Senators getting together. Our nation is still here for us.

Today’s Republicans are the problem. The Democrats have done everything they can to meet halfway. The problem is, that is not good enough for today’s Republicans who subscribe to the philosophy, it is my way or the highway….

Take a look at today’s fiscal cliff. Obama started with $’1.6 Trillion in new revenue. He went down to $1.2 Trillion. The Republicans started with $0 new revenue… In a caucus vote last week, Boehners offer of at least $.8 trillion, was voted down. They would only accept $0

So let’s just say it: Republicans Are The Problem……

Before the ink was dry, Delaware Talk Radio struck up the conversation over making Delaware a Right To Work State. Several callers responded, and here are the pros and cons.

“Right to work” means “right to work” with less money…..

Right to work states have simply come to the conclusion…. ” Hey, if we drop the price of our labor, then businesses will come to our state.”

Texas did, and bragged it grew the most jobs over the past couple of recession years… It did away with benefits, it did away with pension, it did away with high wages, and it allowed cheap cross border labor to work for companies and lower their labor obligations…..

Now, Texas is having to adjust to the new growth. It has to build roads, sewers, parks, schools, and do it on the same income… Because even though Texas has more people working, the net amount of all their earnings, still amounts to what it had earlier, when people made more….

In perspective … paying 10 people at $30 an hours gives up the same amount of tax revenue as paying 100 people $3.00 an hour…. You get 290 people’s worth of extra expenses and no new money to pay for them….

Businesses benefit, but you get none of their profits. You gave those away as no-tax incentives to get the jobs….

Texas is facing hard times.

Simply put… when you go to “Right To Work” as your state policy, all you are simply doing is transferring the fixed cost of social responsibility away from private practices who can afford it, over to government who can’t…

Recently it was brought again to our attention that of the health-care costs upcoming in Obama-care, $2 billion will go to covering Wal*mart employees. One of the largest companies in the world, is going all part time so they will not pay a single penny in employee insurance, and throwing all those workers onto Medicaid, so their costs will be picked up entirely by the Federal government.

They are making money and keeping it, while the Federal government is paying their costs.

Can Delaware afford this?

Michigan is a laboratory experiment. The success or failure will be decided in the next election. There are so many variables in whether this law makes a difference.

Right now, talks are being held to make the port of Wilmington non union. It is part of the deal to bring in a corporate buyer for the port. If we go non-union, then labor costs for the buyer are lower. It helps their decision to come here as opposed to going someplace else where others are paying more…..

But, it lowers the economy of Wilmington. Those lost revenues not being paid to those workers, do not flow into Wilmington and do not circulate from business to business.. Taxes are not collected of each of those transactions. Wilmington loses big.

Now if taxes are increased upon the buyer, to compensate for the lost revenue siphoned off the workers, then for the city and it’s economy, the deal is revenue neutral…. Those taxes balance the lost wages….

Having a bustling port is meaningless if Wilmington is not gaining from it…. It is like selling a billion hamburgers at cost… an awful lot of work for no gain…

I use this example to show why keeping unions around to bargain higher rates, is beneficial to communities. Making an entire state drop its entire state’s personal income level, can only slow down the economy.

If a person makes $35,000 and can just barely make ends meet, wouldn’t it make sense to pay them $70,000, taking that out of corporate costs, thereby giving each person $35,000 a year to spend on goods and services pumping money directly into the economy?

If we doubled every working Delawarean’s income, we’d see a burst of economic activity amounting to $10.8 billion dollars.

The opposite occurs when you cut everyone’s pay in half….

That is what a right to work state does. Just look at Texas….. 😦