Recently in Middle Class Category

Not A Good Move

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Whether they are willing to admit it or not, the Republican Party of Wisconsin just signed it's own political death warrant.

Madison, Wisconsin (CNN) -- Wisconsin's Republican-led state Senate passed Gov. Scott Walker's proposed restrictions on collective bargaining for public employees Wednesday, getting around a Democratic walkout by stripping financial provisions from the bill.

"Tonight, the Senate will be passing the items in the Budget Repair Bill that we can with the 19 members who actually do show up and do their jobs," Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, the chamber's Republican majority leader, said in a statement announcing the move.

The recalls are just going to be the beginning. The next election cycle is going to leave Wisconsin in the hands of the Democrats for years to come.

What Michael Said

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People, this is just part of the shift......



Seriously, the pendulum of history is now starting its swing towards the progressive side of the spectrum. Granted, it has to go backwards through the conservative side first, but it will get to the other side. Be patient.

Alan Simpson Should Be Fired

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But not for being a sexist.

Alan Simpson's comment is not in the least bit sexist. But it is derogatory, insulting the majority of American's that have worked hard to support a family.

My father, who is probably one of the hardest working persons I have ever had the privilege know, worked a full-time job at an oil refinery (now Flint Hills Resources, but then simply known as Koch Refinery) while also working an 80 acre farm, mostly by himself. If you have ever known anyone that worked an oil refinery, they often are working 12 to 16 hour days during turn-a-rounds, which could last for weeks. He did this for 4 or 5 years back in the 1970s. All the money he earned was taxed, some of which was paid into Social Security. Meanwhile, my mother, who was taking care of me and my three siblings while dad was either in the fields or at the refinery, was also working part-time as a waitress. Some of her earnings likewise was paid into Social Security. At the end of the 70s, and through the 80s, my parents then ran a restaurant, which in and of itself is almost four full-time jobs. They once again paid into Social Security.

Today, they are enjoying the twilight of their years on the measly benefits that they more than earned. Over the last 30 years, working as a waitress nearly broke my mother's back. My father has had several heart attacks because of the physical demands his work put on his body. And what does Alan Simpson do? He implies they are ne'er-do-wells living off the government's teats.

While many on the right seem content to call Social Security recipients lazy, unproductive members of society, I have the belief that most of them are hard working fathers and mothers who struggled to put food on the table for their family and, having reached the twilight of their years, are simply reaping the benefit of having worked hard and paid Social Security taxes.

You see, not only did I witness my parents work hard, I also witnessed the parents of my friends, the neighbors in my town, and my co-workers struggle to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, all the while paying Social Security taxes. So, it is unconscionable for Alan Simpson to claim that over 300 million American's are lazy, unproductive members of society. For that he deserves to be fired.
(Kevin Drum) Should we ban businesses from pulling your credit score as part of their hiring process?

If there is a company that wants to know my credit score as part of their hiring decision, then I do not want to work for them. It is obvious that the company is ethically challenged to start with.

Also, it suggests a rather arrogant view of themselves that they would not want to hire people who have been, you know, unemployed due to the decrepit economy for which we can thank 3 decades of conservative rule.

And, in the end, if they need to look at your credit score, then just how pathetic are they at judging people at face value? Also, asking for a credit score means they do not have the ability to appraise the situation as it occurs.

Of course, it could mean that they only want heartless bastards who lack compassion.
(Star-Tribune) Last month, officials attributed the dropping rate partly to a large number of people who gave up looking for work. The state labor force has seen a net reduction recently.
I do not think that people have given up looking for work. I believe that there is just no work to look for. Anyone pull out the employment ads in the papers lately? If they fill half a page, I will eat my hat. Okay, actually, no. I will not eat my hat.

Still, I like the way this article subtly makes it appear as if it is the fault of the ne'er-do-well peasants for giving up; because -- as we all know -- the hapless, powerless, captains of industry and business are completely innocent of any fault in causing the collapse of our economy.

I suspect a more factual statement would be along the lines of people having exhausted their unemployment benefits because of the difficulty in finding work.
Paul Krugman, economic superguru, claims Big Government saved us from a depression. Since he knows much more about economics than me, on a quantum scale, I will not argue the point about Big Government's play in today's economic situation. Still, I think 'saved' might be a word used a bit too early. Not to mention that a lingering, protracted recession is not exactly a wonderful, Utopian existence for most of us little people. To me, recession simply implies less people today are suffering the fate of what many experienced during the Great Depression. In the end, today these people are still suffering.

Bonuses Restricted!

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Chris Dodd is a very evil man!

The New York Times

The provision, written by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, highlighted the growing wrath among lawmakers and voters over the lavish compensation that top Wall Street firms and big banks awarded to senior executives at the same time that many of the companies, teetering on the brink of insolvency, received taxpayer-paid bailouts.
So much so, he's my hero!

Let The Whole Damn Thing Burn!

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When Yellowstone was allowed to burn, within a year people talked about the beauty that sprang up from the ashes. Quite frankly, it looks like that might be what we have to allow with Wall Street and the Super Banks.

New York Times

Instead, losses mounted and Mr. Lewis is now fighting to prop up his banking empire and keep his job.
Highlights mine.

You know, I'm thinking of highlighting my hair too. Anyone with suggestions......

Oh, wait. That's for a different post. Never mind.

Anyway, I could give a fat rat's ass whether Mr. Lewis keeps his job. Considering he's part of the good old boy's network that helped create this current economic crisis, maybe losing his job would be for the benefit of the country. Maybe the complete collapse of Wall Street would clear out the incompetence and the greed, and then we can move onto growing a better economy.

And save me the cries of "What about all those poor people who will suffer?" After eight years of Bush, there has already been plenty of suffering. Hell, after 40 years of conservative influence and direction, the suffering has been monumental. So I say, Frak it! Let it burn. In fact, I might even take up violin lessons for the occasion. I'd try to garner the title of Caesar, but I doubt I have the time. I'm getting old you know.

In nature, fire allows for plush, bountiful growth by removing the dry, dead foliage that chokes the ground. In farming, crops need to be harvested, and the ground tilled. Both of these metaphors call for the removal of dead growth. From where I sit, the dead growth left by the failed ideology that was Reaganomics is choking the economic ecology of our country.

If I take the metaphor of growing to it's rather clich├ęd end, the middle class is the ground from which corporations and Wall Street spring. Fertilize that ground with hard, green cash, and they will benefit by leaps in bounds.

So, my original point was about the problem with "To Big To Fail;" as in it's become such a monster of a company that the country falls or stands on it's strength. Personally, develop an economic system that feeds off a strong, prosperous middle class. Then, when large corporations fail, they will not take the whole country down.

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