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Requiem for a Grocery Store

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Folks, the grocery store closest to my house — the Pick N Save on Rapids Drive in Racine, Wisconsin — will be closing on June 26, 2015.

This is bad news for anyone in Racine, but most particularly for those living near Horlick High School.

I’ve known the store would close since mid-April of this year. I kept meaning to write a blog to talk about what this store means to me…and time got away.

Granted, I’ve been busy writing and editing. (And gladly so.)

But I didn’t want yet another neighborhood grocery store to go belly up in Racine because of our horrible economy without trying to say something about why I liked the store — and why I want it to stay open.

First, the Rapids Plaza Pick N Save is a neighborhood store. 75% of their clientele is comprised of foot traffic.

(In case you’re wondering, this is the store — this particular store, the Rapids Plaza Pick N Save — I walked to when my car was out for 52 days last year.)

Second, the employees are friendly, knowledgeable, and remember you. They ask about your family as if they truly care. And if you need a coupon, they’ll find one for you…they don’t turn their noses up and refuse to work over there, unlike some stores I’ve been in up in Milwaukee (and elsewhere).

And third…well, I used to work at this store, years back. I cashiered, stocked shelves, was the assistant dairy and frozen foods person for a while…I worked in nearly every aspect of the store, from produce to deli to health and beauty. (Heck, even floral — and trust me, I wasn’t that great, but they were desperate.)

Fourth…well, there aren’t any grocery stores for at least three miles in any direction. So if you don’t have a car and the buses have stopped running for the day but you need milk or bread, you will be out of luck after June 26, 2015.

There is perhaps a hint of good news on the horizon, if you believe in the scuttlebutt I picked up earlier today. Apparently Wal-mart, which has wanted to expand for a while now (Caledonia vetoed a proposed site in late 2013, if memory serves), is looking into buying the entirety of Rapids Plaza.

If Wal-mart comes in, at least there would be a neighborhood store to walk to…and the employees will have a chance (a very strong chance) to be hired on.

As it stands, though, the Pick N Save on Rapids Dr. will be closing on June 26. No one can stop it. There’s no way to change it.

It’s completely nonsensical, and I really had wanted to mount some sort of grassroots campaign to get a Woodman’s into Racine as I felt they’d know exactly what to do with this store.

But if the Wal-mart does come in, and if they do a good job, perhaps all is not lost.

We who live close to Horlick High School can hope for that.

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Just Reviewed “Balance” at SBR

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Though it took me a few hours to do, I managed to write a book review for BALANCE: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America, a book written by economists Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane, over at Shiny Book Review this evening.  (Or SBR for short, as per usual.)

You might be wondering, “So, Barb. Why did you want to review this book, anyway? You’re no economist. Why does this interest you?”

Well, as a writer, I’m interested in all sorts of things. I’ve made a study lately of economics — the good, the bad, what works, what doesn’t, and anything that combines history with economics (such as WHY NATIONS FAIL, by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, also reviewed at SBR) is usually going to pique my interest.

I found BALANCE to be an entertaining overview, but some of the actual history behind their theories wasn’t always in balance. (Pardon the pun.) This is the main reason why BALANCE gets a B-minus, when WHY NATIONS FAIL received an A-plus, as the former has at least three things wrong that I picked up on right away, while the latter didn’t have any — and believe you me, I checked.

Note that both Hubbard and Kane worked on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign as economic advisors, so some of what they have to say about contemporary politics and policies needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But what they had to say about political ossification and the whole concept of “rent-seeking” was completely accurate, and is the main reason why I recommend that every writer — and everyone interested in history and/or economics and/or the history of economics, for that matter — should read this book.

Anyway, go take a gander at my review, will you? Then go take a look at BALANCE — it should be available at many public libraries, or if you’d rather, there is an edition for Kindle and e-books.


Written by Barb Caffrey

February 10, 2014 at 12:21 am

Just Reviewed Michael Casey’s “The Unfair Trade” at SBR

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My long-delayed review of Michael Casey’s excellent THE UNFAIR TRADE: How Our Broken Financial System Destroys the Middle Class is up over at Shiny Book Review (SBR).  This may be the most important book you will ever read, and it’s one everyone should read, whether you’re a writer, an editor, or just a run-of-the-mill middle-classer on the street.

Casey’s view is that the global economy is so interdependent, yet is so poorly regulated, that it’s likely that more global meltdowns of the type we saw in 2007-8 will happen.  And as he points out so well in his book, the middle class was actively harmed by this latest meltdown — harmed badly — while in many cases the people who caused the meltdown in the first place got off unscathed.

Casey is a long-time financial writer who currently works for Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal.  He understands what he’s talking about.  And he discusses things in such a lively way that you almost forget you’re reading a book about global finance — that is, until you realize how many stupid things have been done by “the big banksters” in the name of profit that have actively hurt the middle class in every country.

Seriously, you need to run, not walk, to the bookstore and grab a copy of THE UNFAIR TRADE.  (If you’re broke, as I tend to be, go to the library and get a copy instead.)  Read this book, think about what Casey says, and then insist on the regulations that Casey points out are needed.

So what are you still doing here?  Go read my review, then go get the book.  Then ponder the need for appropriate regulation, as it’s obvious that computerization and mechanization have made most of the laws on the books either irrelevant or inaccurate, take your pick.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 10, 2012 at 12:52 am

Just reviewed Maxton’s “The End of Progress” at SBR

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Folks, if you haven’t read Graeme Maxton’s new book THE END OF PROGRESS: How Modern Economics Has Failed Us, you should.  While it’s one of the most depressing books I’ve ever read — and while I pointed out, a few days ago at this blog, that Maxton has a few beliefs of the odder sort regarding the Internet, blogs, and opinions — this is an important book that needs to be read and debated.

Put simply, one of Maxton’s most important premises is that the world’s finite resources (such as water, oil, and agricultural land) aren’t being husbanded well.  They also aren’t being valued properly on an economic level.  Worse yet, because of this undervaluing, there’s a real problem due to how quickly these resources are being used up.

Another of his important premises — that capitalism, per se, only works when ethics and restraint are involved, as Adam Smith pointed out back in 1776 in THE WEALTH OF NATIONS — needs to be pondered by many.  Because somewhere along the line, way too many of our business leaders and power brokers have completely lost our way.

Anyway, go read my review, then go read Maxton’s book.

Here’s the link:


Written by Barb Caffrey

June 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Patriotic Millionaires Ask for Congress to Raise Their Taxes

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There’s a new group in town, and they want the Congress to raise taxes — on themselves.

Never heard of them?  Well, they call themselves the Patriotic Millionaires, and they even have their very own Web site.

Here’s a lengthy excerpt from their original letter to Congress (from

We are writing to urge you to put our country ahead of politics.

For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you increase taxes on incomes over $1,000,000.

We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned an income of $1,000,000 per year or more.

Our country faces a choice – we can pay our debts and build for the future, or we can shirk our financial responsibilities and cripple our nation’s potential.

Our country has been good to us. It provided a foundation through which we could succeed. Now, we want to do our part to keep that foundation strong so that others can succeed as we have.

Please do the right thing for our country. Raise our taxes.

There are a good many statistics on the side of their Web page, including the following facts:

  • Only 375,000 Americans have incomes of over $1,000,000.
  • Between 1979 and 2007, incomes for the wealthiest 1% of Americans rose by 281%.
  • During the Great Depression, millionaires had a top marginal tax rate of 68%.
  • Today, millionaires have a top marginal tax rate of 35%.
  • Reducing the income tax on top earners is one of the most inefficient ways to grow the economy according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
  • 44% of Congress people are millionaires. The tax cuts were never meant to be permanent. (emphasis added)
  • Letting tax cuts for the top 2% expire as scheduled would pay down the debt by $700 billion over the next 10 years.

The Patriotic Millionaires number two hundred strong, and are growing daily.  They believe that it’s plain, flat wrong for millionaires to be taxed at a lower effective level than people in the middle class.  And they’ve put their money where their mouths are by going to Washington on November 16, 2011, in order to lobby Congress, influential anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist, and others for a higher tax rate for themselves.  (Here’s a link to the story from the Los Angeles Times if you don’t believe me.)

The Patriotic Millionaires only want taxes raised on people who make one million dollars ($1,000,000) a year and above; they want no other taxes raised.  As several members of the group said (from a tape played on tonight’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell program), they want their taxes raised because they feel it is wrong that everyone else is suffering, while they, themselves, have gotten much richer over the course of the recession.

I’m glad the Patriotic Millionaires group exists, and I’m very glad they’re getting some airplay.  They need a whole lot more, because they’re the “job creators” the Congressional Republicans keep touting as “needing” this big tax break.  Yet this is a spurious argument, as the millionaires kept pointing out on tonight’s Last Word (link to that is here), and as quoted in this article from Yahoo News:

Patriotic Millionaire Robert Johnson, former chief economist of the U.S Senate banking committee, said that the current economic system is not broken, but it is “working on behalf of those who designed it in their favor.”

“America is no longer based on markets and capitalism, instead our economy is designed as ‘socialism for the rich’ – it is designed to ensure that the wealthiest people take all of the gains, while regular Americans cover any losses,” he said at a press conference this afternoon in Washington, D.C.

“It’s a Las Vegas economy where regular Americans put their money on the table and the richest 1 percent own the house,” he said. “And if the 1 percent happen to lose money, the 99 percent bails them out – covers their losses and then stands by watching while the house does it all over again.”

Note how well Mr. Johnson put that?  Well, he should know, being an economist — one who worked for the United States Senate Banking Committee, at that.  Yet the Congressional “Supercommittee,” which is made up of twelve members (six Rs and six Ds), is once again stalled out with regards to any tax increases because the Rs, quite predictably, are refusing.

So as you see, it doesn’t seem to matter what these millionaires say; the Congress (44% of its members being millionaires) keeps saying “no.”  And the only reason I can come up with for that is this: Congress doesn’t want to raise taxes on millionaires because such a tax increase will hurt some of its own members.  (I’d say, “Poor babies,” but I don’t even think that highly of them.)

It’s up to Congress to stop playing games and raise taxes on millionaires because it’s the only ethical, honest thing to do.  Period.

And if it hurts them, personally . . . well, that’s just too bad now, isn’t it?

This Labor Day, We Know Fewer are “Laboring”

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After a horrible August, where zero jobs were created whatsoever in the United States, we know that as of this Labor Day, fewer workers are working than ever before — thus, fewer are “laboring,” which is part of what is keeping the American economy down for the count.

I don’t know what the answers are, but I do know a few things could be instituted right now that would help.

For example, in Betty Jin’s recent article at, she suggested the following:

1) Cut the corporate tax rate by 5%; this may stimulate jobs.  (The risk in doing so is that it would probably increase the deficit in the short-term.)

2) Print more money, and start taxing corporate savings.  This would force companies to invest, but could cause inflation.  The hope here is that the American companies would invest in American workers, which would keep inflation down to a manageable level.

3) Increase “infrastructure” spending — in other words, start building roads, bridges, and other things like rail lines, as this definitely would create jobs.  Also, everyone of every party wants safe roads and bridges — this one seems like a win/win, especially if President Obama stops calling it “infrastructure,” something very few people seem to realize means “roads and bridges,” and starts calling this exactly what it is — putting people back to work doing something that’s vital and necessary.

This last one, to my mind, is the strongest of the 10 things Jin says can be done right now to improve the economy (it’s third on her list; to see the other seven, click on her article) because Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican President, was the one who pushed for the Interstate highway system we all take for granted back in the 1950s.  So it would be really hard for the current crop of radical Republicans to say that this is a bad idea, considering it was started by their own party.

Next, there’s the New Republic’s article, written by Jared Bernstein, that’s headline states “Obama’s Got Plenty of Options to Right the Economy — He’s Just Got to Fight for them.”  This article is part of the New Republic’s “Symposium on the Economy” that’s sub-titled, “Is there Anything that can be Done?”  Other articles in this series can be found here.

At any rate, here’s the first few paragraphs from Bernstein’s article:

Here’s the policy reality facing the president: The economy is stuck in the mud and the American people are losing faith that policy makers can do anything about it. As long as GDP growth is persistently below trend—trend being around 2.5 percent—the unemployment rate won’t be going anywhere good anytime soon. Paychecks, meanwhile, are declining in real terms, so we’re stuck in a cycle where the weak job market hurts household budgets, which trims consumption, which discourages investors.

The only games in town are fiscal or monetary stimulus—there, I said the ‘s’ word—but the president is boxed in, it is said, by three forces: First, he’s got no job-creation bullets left; second, even if he did, and American people don’t believe the government can help on the jobs front (a pathetic 26 percent have confidence in Washington’s ability to solve economic problems); and, third, Republicans in Congress will block any idea he proposes anyway. Thankfully, none of these challenges are as insurmountable as they might seem, and pushing relentlessly to overcome them is the president’s best, and only, chance to change the fundamental direction of the debate, find his footing, and create some momentum for the economy and for himself.

Mind you, all of this means one thing: President Obama must lead, and the country must follow wherever the President leads with regards to the economy.  This means a comprehensible strategy must be created, and thus far, I really haven’t seen very much out of the current Administration that leads me to believe there’s much going on there except reactionary spending — that is, Timothy Geithner, current Secretary of the Treasury, and Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, have performed well in their jobs but they haven’t really seemed to set policy so much as react to it instead.  This may be an error on my part; I’m no financial wizard by any stretch of the imagination.  But it seems to me that if these two men have a grand, overarching vision, it surely hasn’t been well-explained to the “men (and women) on the street” like me.  And it also seems that if these two men do have a way out of this mess, the President doesn’t seem to know what it is, either — or, perhaps, he’s just not saying because he knows the Republicans in Congress wouldn’t like it and would say so with great vigor and dispatch.

Note that at a Labor Day rally and speech that President Obama gave today in Detroit, Michigan, the President seemed to not only understand the high stakes of this “game” (if he loses public opinion on this issue, any chance he has of a second term will be gone), but understood the need to boldly counterattack the current crop of Republican Presidential candidates including Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Gov. of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney according to today’s AP article listed at Yahoo News.  Obama said:

“I’m going to propose ways to put America back to work that both parties can agree to, because I still believe both parties can work together to solve our problems,” Obama said at an annual Labor Day rally sponsored by the Detroit-area AFL-CIO. “Given the urgency of this moment, given the hardship that many people are facing, folks have got to get together. But we’re not going to wait for them.”

“We’re going to see if we’ve got some straight shooters in Congress. We’re going to see if congressional Republicans will put country before party,” he said.

Now, this sort of rhetoric is exactly what most Democrats and Independents have been waiting for, but until voters see some action beyond the words, it’s unlikely to help overmuch.  Still, this is the right message — people are hurting, and the President seems to “get” that — and one can only hope that the President’s advisors are reading the same articles I am that offer some real possibilities rather than just allowing the economy — and workers — to continue to be flushed down the drain.

Scott Walker: Bad for Wisconsin

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The state of Wisconsin continues to be in turmoil due to Governor Scott Walker (R) and his blatant attempt at a power-grab.  For the third week in a row, protests are going on all over the state — so what does Walker do about it?

Nothing.  (That’s right.  Zero.  Zip.  Diddly-squat.)

But the Republican Governors’ Association and the Republican National Committee, along with “independent” groups like the Koch Brothers’ funded “Americans for Prosperity” and the misnamed “Wisconsin Club for Growth” have television ads all over the state claiming that Scott Walker is “leading” while the “Wisconsin 14” (or “Fab 14” as some are now calling them) have “refused to do their jobs.”  This is an attempted framing of the narrative that’s a complete and utter distortion of the facts, and is one I’m just not willing to allow.

The facts are these.  On February 11, 2011 (a Friday), in the afternoon, Scott Walker sent what he called a “budget repair bill” to the Wisconsin state house (lower house is the Assembly, equivalent to the national House of Reps., while the upper house is the state Senate) which called for an end to collective bargaining along with deep cuts in Medicaid along with the state-run Badger Care program which takes care of low-income adults and children.  Walker stated at that time that if his “budget repair bill” wasn’t passed, the Wisconsin state workers would end up with layoffs (rather than the mandated “furlough days” under the previous Governor, which continue to be in effect through June 30, 2011; these are days the workers do not get paid, and state government does not function), and he urged the bill’s swift passage.

The reason this didn’t happen — the swift passage — is because the fourteen Senate Democrats (out of thirty-three) fled the state.  You see, by doing this, they denied Scott Walker’s bill a quorum in the state Senate.  At that time, every single Republican would’ve voted “yes” on this bill, including my state Senator, Van Wanggaard (R), even though Wanggaard is a former policeman, a former policeman’s union member, and worst of all, a former policeman’s union representative.  (This seems mighty hypocritical to me and I’ve said so; my e-mail to him was very short and succinct.  I said, “Vote against this bill or prepare to be recalled.”  That’s because I dislike hypocrisy with a passion and Wanggaard, along with Scott Walker himself, did not campaign on such radical and extremist ideas.)

At any rate, the “Fab 14” left the state and have been in Illinois ever since.  But the Assembly eventually passed this bill — though legal efforts are underway to see if chicanery was involved as the Assembly had been in session for over 63 hours and somehow, many Dems in the Assembly weren’t allowed to vote while some of the R’s weren’t even in the room yet were counted (by osmosis?  Wisconsin’s state constitution does not allow for votes via proxy; you must actually be in the Assembly chamber to vote.) — while the Senate remains stalled out due to the “Fab 14” staying out-of-state.

Yesterday, two things happened of consequence.  One, the Capitol building was locked, which is against the Wisconsin state constitution (this had been going on for a few days at night, but yesteday apparently was the first day the building was locked as a whole), and two, State Senator Glenn Grothman (R), called the Wisconsin protestors who’d been occupying the statehouse (as is their legal right under the Wisconsin state constitution) “slobs,” re-iterating his comment from the day before, this time on Lawrence O’Donnell’s “The Last Word” primetime show on MSNBC.

Now, the importance of the Grothman comment was this: O’Donnell brought on four protestors, one a very articulate young, female student, one a skilled tradesman in his forties, one a nurse in her late forties-early fifties, with the other woman’s age being unable to be determined by me (but she was obviously a professional woman); her profession was announced but somehow I lost track.  At any rate, these four were far from “slobs,” yet Grothman refused to relent; instead, he poured on the vitriol, saying that most of the people occupying the capitol building were “students, or unemployed people, having a holiday, banging their drums and screaming” at him, and that this had never happened in all his years in the state Senate.

But this is the age of YouTube, my friends . . . Grothman’s comments are assuredly there by now, and there’s a big problem for him in them.  You don’t call Wisconsin protestors’ by the derogatory word “slobs.”  Especially when some of them come from your district, the 20th (representing West Bend and parts of Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, and Dodge counties), and most especially when you are the Assistant to the Senate Majority Leader (second in line).  This looks really, really bad to call Wisconsin protestors, who are also taxpayers and voters, “slobs.”

The good news from my perspective is that Glenn Grothman is in danger of being recalled.  Here’s a link from the Capitol Times (Madison, WI):

And here’s a story from the Daily Kos:$-and-Volunteer-Drive-Day-2

The fact of the matter is that Grothman, along with seven other Republican Senators, are in danger of recall, while three of the five Senators on the Democratic side who’ve been targeted may have real problems holding their seats (especially considering they’re all out-of-state at this time).  I would tend to think Grothman’s comments regarding the protestors and taxpayers and voters of Wisconsin would drastically hurt him no matter how much money the Republican Party of Wisconsin throws his way (much less people like the Koch Brothers, who are out-of-state but are extremely wealthy; the $43,000 they gave to Scott Walker is pocket change for them).

At any rate, this is what Scott Walker has done so far.  He’s divided the state — right now, according to a recent poll from the Public Policy Institute (a reasonably neutral place), 52% would vote for Tom Barrett (the Democratic candidate in the last election) while only 45% said they’d vote for Walker if the election were held today with the knowledge that Walker wants to break public employee unions.  Here’s a link to that:

And the beat goes on, because of Walker were vulnerable to recall today (he is not, as my state Senator Wanggaard also isn’t; they both have to be in office one full year before they can be legally recalled), he’d be in deep trouble because 48% would vote to recall him, while 48% wouldn’t, and the other 4% are “undecided.”  (Note these poll numbers were taken before Walker’s recent budget bill for fiscal year 2011-12; in that bill, Walker would cut something like $900 million from the public schools/public educational efforts.  These numbers to recall will go up, and the numbers of people dissatisfied with Walker will also go up due to that.)

As the Guardian (a UK newspaper) noted, Scott Walker may be an ex-governor far sooner than anyone would’ve imagined; see this link for further details:

You see, Wisconsin voters don’t like it that the state isn’t able to do its business, but most of them are placing the onus of responsibility on the Governor, Scott Walker, rather than the fourteen Senators who did the only thing they could do to slow down or stop the “budget repair bill” — and they are right.

Scott Walker, in short, is very bad for Wisconsin.  Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites all over the state have gone out to protest, while hundreds of thousands more have expressed their support for the “Fab 14” and have written letters to the editor condemning Walker’s actions.  (One or the other.)  And there are all these recalls going on for the Republican Senators that I discussed — those vulnerable to recall now — while assuredly if this “budget repair bill” ever passes with Van Wanggaard’s support, he’ll be recalled as soon as humanly possible, too.

The only hope the R’s have in Wisconsin right now is that people forget all these protests, forget the money-drain having extra police and fire in Madison has been, forget Scott Walker’s grandstanding and inability to compromise (when politics is supposed to be the “art of the possible,” meaning compromise is a must), and forget that his Lieutenant Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, has stood right behind Walker and has not only affirmed her support for the Republican party line, but has said she’d do the same thing in his place.  (The latter is what will end up getting her recalled, too, as she didn’t campaign on such drastic tactics, either.)

So it’s obvious, folks, what needs to be done.  Walker needs to be recalled as soon as humanly possible, as does Kleefisch, as does every Republican Senator who has expressed unwavering support for this horrible bill — now or later.  And if Van Wanggaard is smart, and wants to hold onto his seat for his four-year term (assuredly he’ll be out once he gets recalled; this is the only shot he has to keep his seat), he’ll vote against Walker’s horrible “budget repair bill.”

But no one said he has to be smart, and I for one am hoping he won’t be because I’m itching to work on recalling this man as I cannot stand hypocrisy in any way, shape or form.


** Note:  My late husband Michael couldn’t stand hypocrisy either, and I really wish that he were here to help me work on the recall effort.  Michael was an honest, able, ethical man who was deeply principled and would be appalled at all of this.  I stand against Scott Walker and all he stands for, with the certain knowledge that my husband would back me and understand exactly why I must do this.

Reading “The Predator State” by James K. Galbraith.

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I’m not quite done with this book yet, folks, but I have to say the ideas in this book bear much closer scrutiny.

In “The Predator State,” James K. Galbraith shows that even most of the hard-line conservatives (almost always Republicans) in the United States of America have given up on the old Reagan-era “supply-side economics” that they, unfortunately, campaigned on during the 2010 election.  These ideas have been proven to be unworkable and perhaps unattainable, including the idea that tax cuts for the extremely wealthy will stimulate economic growth.  (It doesn’t.  Instead, all it tends to do is give the incredibly wealthy person more money to put in a Swiss bank account, or invest — usually overseas — and even investing here in the United States is problematic because of how companies are now run to maximize “shareholder value” rather than actually create good products and get them out before the marketplace and thus do some good for society.)

The American electorate was volatile and angry in 2010; I get that.

But to now have a bunch of Republicans in there saying stuff they don’t even mean — at least, I hope they don’t because if they do, that means they know less about the economy than I do (perilous thought, that) — really bothers me.  And that one of those who should know better is now the new Governor of the state of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, is incredibly upsetting.

In addition, the recent “tax cut” bill that was passed actually raises taxes on those making under $20,000 a year.  What sense does this make?

So, taxes have been lowered for the incredibly wealthy — or in this case, the low taxes for the very wealthy have been extended.  And taxes have been raised for the poorest of the poor, those below the poverty level.

And this is supposed to be the “best country in the world?”

How can this happen in a country that’s supposed to represent fairness (i.e., “liberty and justice for all”) for all, including economic fairness?

How is this right?  How is this just?  How is this understandable, or make any sort of economic sense?

I mean, the old phrase “you can’t get blood from a stone” comes to mind, here; those of us who make under $20,000 a year don’t have anything extra to give the government, and those who make over a million a year obviously do except in rare cases.  So if you up their percentage, say, by 2%, you’re not hurting them very much, where you’re really hurting someone who’s at the poverty level or below.  (Poverty level, right now, is around $21,000 United States dollars for one person if I recall correctly.)

Unless the real strategy to keep illegal aliens out is to persuade the rest of us poor people to leave, too . . . and I think Germany, in the 1940s, proved that the strategy of kicking people out for any reason (in that case, it was due to racism/genocide) is an unproductive, losing strategy indeed.

And since that makes no sense, either, all I can conclude is that this is yet again another exercise in “framing the narrative,” trying to make what’s really going on in this country — many good people being unemployed through no fault of theirs, all of those unemployed people being unable to pay all their bills through no fault of theirs, and very little being done about actual job creation — seem the problem solely of the Democrats, rather than what it really is: a failure of leadership from both political parties.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm