Monday, 9/19/11, Public Square

Although they are not reliable voters, it is important for the Democratic Party to understand the young adults of America, and they certainly have a better handle on that than the Republican Party does.


Filed under The Public Square

23 responses to “Monday, 9/19/11, Public Square

  1. Rick Perry bills state $294,000 for trip security

    Austin, Texas —

    At a time when state spending reductions were used to help offset a multibillion-dollar revenue shortfall, taxpayers were billed for more than $294,000 in security detail expenses for out-of-state trips by Gov. Rick Perry or his wife, according to records released by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

    Destinations included the Bahamas in January for a family vacation and trips to Amsterdam, Madrid and New York by Anita Perry alone – visits that Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said were for economic development.

    Perry traveled to locales including New York, Washington, California and Las Vegas for events such as promotion of his anti-Washington book, “Fed Up,” speeches, duties related to his then-chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association and meetings with business leaders or potential supporters for his presidential bid.

    The state doesn’t pay for many of the governor’s direct travel costs, his campaign does, but the cost of the security detail is covered by the state.

    Read more:

  2. For Idaho and the Internet, Life in the Slow Lane

    POTLATCH, Idaho — Barry Ramsay, who owns a small manufacturing company here between two mountains, remembers the day his Internet connection crashed for several hours. Work crews had to ride up in snowmobiles to discover the problem.

    “They said that bears had been rubbing against the towers,” Mr. Ramsay said. In this mountainous state, where some connections depend on line of sight, even snow and fog can disrupt the signals. “These are the kind of problems you probably don’t have in an urban area,” he said.

    And, according to a new study, they are among the problems that have earned Idaho an unfortunate distinction: it had the slowest Internet speeds in the country earlier this year for residential customers who were downloading things like games — a “dismal” average of 318 kilobytes per second.

    Translation: In Idaho, it would take you 9.42 seconds to download a standard music file compared with 3.36 seconds in Rhode Island, the state with the fastest average speeds, at 894 kilobytes per second.

    The slowest city, by the way, was also in Idaho: In Pocatello, it would take nearly 12 seconds to download that music file, according to the study by Pando Networks, a company that helps consumers accelerate downloads. In the nation’s fastest city, Andover, Mass., a Boston suburb, it would take just over one second.

    The United States as a whole lags in speed, coming in 25th behind South Korea, which has the fastest speeds in the world. Even Romania clocks in ahead.

  3. At the same time Paul Ryan calls taxes on millionaires (these are people who make more than a million dollars every year!) class warfare he advocates for letting the payroll tax on those who make under $106,800 expire in just a few months.

    It’s better to raise taxes on American families now, the Republicans argue, than to raise them in the future, when these cuts would most likely expire.

    Seems there is a tax increase the republicans approve! As long as it only effects the average American, the working families, the poor and what’s left of the middle class. Now when it comes to millionaires republicans will fight for tax cuts whether they’re temporary or not! Republicans are whores and they were bought and paid for!

    Let’s be sure the youth of America know about this!

    The GOP’s impending tax increase will take over $1000 from the typical American family. If republicans were serious about helping the economy, they’d let the American people keep more of their earnings and let THEM decide how to spend it.

  4. indypendent

    Isn’t it very telling how Republicans keep yammering about class warfare when the wealthiest are asked to pay more in taxes but yet it is NOT class warfare when working Americans are asked to pay more in taxes?

    I guess GOP’s version of class warfare only trickles up while their voodoo economics is trickle down?

    In both scenarios – the wealthiest are the ones that get the most benefit.

  5. Advice to the young: Vote

    In Denmark, even people who clean hotel rooms have a secure middle-class life, with decent wages and benefits. That’s because most workers are covered by a union, giving them collective bargaining power and protections. And the government provides free health care, education, child care and job training.

    We could have that here if young people understood the relationship between government, labor policies and their jobs. But voting rates among the young are abysmal. Even in 2008 when the young voter was supposed to be energized by the entry of Obama into the presidential race, less than 50 percent of eligible voters age 21 to 24 bothered to vote. During nonpresidential, congressional election years, the turnout is even worse. In 2006, only 22 percent of those voters came to the polls, compared with 60 percent of voters 65 years old and older. Guess why America’s social safety net is skewed to the elderly.

    One of the most important things young people can do to be treated decently over their working life is vote for politicians who put workers first. Only if that consciousness penetrates will America again start to work for Americans.

    • indypendent

      My kids were born during the Reagan years – so I think they are conditioned to expect the worst from employers – and they are rarely disappointed.

      Sad fact – isn’t it?

      • indypendent

        P.S. – They are also disappointed by the politicians and the corrupted system we call our Congress.

      • It’s perfectly reasonable to be disappointed with republican politicians. They have contempt for the jobs they currently hold and / or those they’re running for.

  6. indypendent

    According to this article, two out of ten Americans expect to be millionaires within the next decade.

    I assume this is the 20% of Republicans that are fighting so desperately to keep millionaires from paying any taxes?

    And they are probably also the ones that expect to gouge the ‘evil government’ for all those special tax cutts and/or subsidies.

    Or maybe two of ten Americans had the luxury of picking the right parents?

    • I’m glad my parents, whom I didn’t choose, had intelligence genes which allowed me to gain critical thinking skills. I think I came out the big winner! 🙂

      • indypendent

        And with intelligence, comes the wisdom to know that an entire society cannot continue to exist when there is no nourishment from the root system.

        As with plants, those that thrive are the ones that get pruned from the top leaves that tend to stagnate the plant’s growth.

        Reagan started this Me-Me-Me Decade of Greed. Reagan also was the one that gave the Religious Right their first taste of political power.

        So, I guess that is why were are seeing these so-called religious folks going along with the wealthiest people being catered to while the working Americans pay for the wealthy and the poor.

        Now, the poor I can understand paying for – that is what the Bible tells us to do – take care of the poor. But I guess I missed the Scripture verses where God tells us to take care of the wealthy.

        Not to worry – these Conservative Religous Rightees are rectifying that situation – they are simply rewriting the Bible to justify their selfish agenda.

    • Zippy

      Of course. Money has become an ideology unto itself. You are better than them, you say, because I follow the true path of money, I will be rewarded for it.

      But discount the power of shame: I’m a middle-class homeowner, I’ve worked hard all my life, I am NOT one of THEM!

      Them, of course, is us, those arrogant leeches who buy plasma screen TVs and then dare to ask government to interfere with international profits when their means of making a living goes away.

      Just ask Jon Kyl.

      Because it is ever so more important that those on the edge sell the same possessions that Bush urged them to buy than someone not so discomforted pay a little more.

      There is a numbers argument–a serious one–that needs to be addressed. But it is addressed by the facts. Those who have unlimited monetary power need to have that power limited.

      Because class warfare is precisely what they have been waging, for a very long time. The complete collapse of the Great Depression was a temporary curative (coupled with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a man of wealthy background nonetheless robbed of a basic motor function , and who had a similar uncle–Theodore Roosevelt—a Republican who passionately advocated progressive taxation.

      The arguments presented here are but a sideshow, a warmup, if you will.

      Let’s rumble.

  7. indypendent

    With all the talk about class warfare – there is something fundamentally different with today’s expectations than there were when I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s.

    My childhood home is a modest 3- bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 car garage house.

    In today’s housing market – nobody is really interested in buying a house with only 1 bathroom (which I must confess, I love having 2 bathrooms). But then there is only 1 car garage.

    My husband and I like to watch the show House Hunters (does anyone else watch this show?).

    We are always astonished at most of the people we have seen walk through absolutely gorgeous houses and they want to gut everything because ‘this will never work’. These are young people just starting out with maybe 1 or 2 small kids.

    It seems the most valued possession is granite counter tops and huge bathrooms. Of course, a 2 car garage will not suffice -it has to be 3 or 4 now. And for bedrooms – 4 is the minimum and then alot of extra rooms.

    Have we been conditioned to think we ‘need’ these huge houses to even survive?

    Alot of kids in my age range grew up in modest 3-bedroom houses. And we were damn thankful to have them.

    Have our expectations exceeded our needs?

    • Zippy

      Have our expectations exceeded our needs?

      No. Just, for too long, we were convinced to buy things we didn’t really need, and that we were losers if we didn’t have these things.

      What we are looking at now is Stuart Varney, with solemn seriousness, declaring that the poor aren’t really because they have refrigerators. Rented frigs, mind you, but they actually have refrigeration!

      Mindless consumerism as the key to happiness never made any sense.

      What these people are doing is flipping the argument — not only should you not be a mindless consumer (unless, of course, you’re one of the worthy class, then it’s okay), but how dare you even think of owning a few toys?

      So, yeah, to a fair degree, the Reaganite “you can have it all” attitude sowed the seeds of our destruction. As has the willful blindness of many as to what’s really happening.

      But just because we — the full complete “we” — can’t have it all, that doesn’t mean that some should have it all, and others have nothing.

      Which is, unfortunately, absent fierce opposition, is the trend worldwide now.

      • prairie pond

        Heheh. “Those food-chillin’ MF’ers!”

        My new favorite phrase. It just says it all.

      • indypendent

        Might I add one more thing – the things we buy today seem to not be as quality-built as during my childhood days.

        For example – microwaves are so cheap nowadays that it is cheaper to buy a new one than to repair the old one.

        I bought a washer once that the repairman told me was purposely made to never be fixed. There was something about the entire guts of the washer was a one-piece thing and the manufacturer never made any of those. This company wanted everyone to go out and buy a new washer.

        I still remember the old repair shops – does anyone else?

        But, of course, with all these disposable products – our landfills got full very quickly.

        And I think the theme of ‘disposable’ also transferred over to our own families and fellow Americans . It seems like our society is a throw-away society. If something needs to be fixed – we tend to just toss it rather than to put the work into fixing it.

        And the last 30 years of outsourcing good-paying American jobs has thrown away alot of fellow Americans.

        And, as it seems, the Republicans really do not seem to care all that much.

  8. Asher Bob White

    So, now, we see more clearly the distinctions between “needs” and “wants.” Nothing wrong with the “wants” until they reach the point of denying anyone of their “needs.” Enter, “justice.”

    • indypendent

      Zippy posted: No. Just, for too long, we were convinced to buy things we didn’t really need, and that we were losers if we didn’t have these things.

      This is very good point and one that I think we, as a society, should recognize. Our country has turned into a big bunch of consumers and at th same time we have become less and less manufacturers.

      And that is to our peril – IMHO.