Viewing posts from August, 2015

States' Rights for Massachusetts vs Big Money

States have become incubators for new policies which can then spread across the country. In areas as diverse as data security, medical privacy, and marijuana legalization states have been taking the lead. The grand political idea is that we can “try things out” on a more limited basis before we take the changes nationally.  There is a community group in Massachusetts, PassMassAmendment , which is actively engaged in an effort to “gather as many signatures as we can to progress an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution, based on 'Corporations Are Not People, Money Is Not Speech' “

Who's Wal-Mart?

Who's Wal-Mart?
Roxanne Langevine
We shop at Wal-Mart every week

Retail therapy's what we seek

Why, Oh Why, Obama?

It is becoming clear that the TPP, TISA, and similar “trade agreements” are not in the best interests of American workers - to say the least. The texts of the agreements are secret, but Wikileaks has posted large sections of the TPP and TISA, and they are alarming in their implications. On issues as diverse as jobs, climate change, drug prices, and civil freedoms, the TPP/TISA will almost certainly move us in the wrong direction. My question is: Why would an American President, a Democrat, pursue such a thing as the TPP?

Many of us voted President Obama into office. Some of us admit to regret over that action. And some of us are just plain confused. As the august publication the New Yorker puts it: “Nearly every constituency in the Democratic Party opposes it (the TPP); and the more they learn about it, the more they oppose it. And yet their leader, Obama, wants it badly.” President Obama may be accused of forwarding pro-corporate policies to please wealthy political backers, but why should he be taking-on this initiative when he does not need funding for reelection?

Democracy in deep do-do

There is a lie which we continue to live by, repeated by Republicans whenever they get the chance: "We have never been a nation of haves and have-nots. We are a nation of haves and soon-to-haves, of people who have made it and people who will make it. And that's who we need to remain.", Senator Marco Rubio. Unfortunately, this is no longer true (if it ever was). More from the Times article:
Researchers have repeatedly found that in the United States, there is now less economic mobility than in Canada or much of Europe. A child born in the bottom quintile of incomes in the United States has only a 4 percent chance of rising to the top quintile.

So, if you are born within the lower 20% of the population in income, your chance of finding yourself among the upper 20% is about 1 out of 25. Those are not good odds. It appears that there are quite a lot of talented people who do not “make it”.  And the “upper 20%” cannot hold a candle to the upper 1%, in terms of income. In 2006 the upper 20% of households made $92,000 and up, while the top 1% made $350,000 and up. Note that this was 10 years ago, before the Great Recession – now the gap has increased further. It will be informative what the next Census reports.

Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump Agree:

In an interview of former President Jimmy Carter by radio host Thom Hartmann on July 28th 2015, as reported by The Intercept, the following statements were made: