I guess one of the things that really bothers me about this country is the way everyone lives the myth. If you ask almost anyone in the USA, they will tell you they are “middle class” or “middle income”. The funny thing about this is the disconnect between what people make and the actual figures that represent “middle income”. I guarantee you that most of the elected officials in Washington think they are “middle income”…I guess this is the real “bubble” mentality of the American Political Class!
Jim Hightower’s Common-Sense Commentaries: “Members try to dismiss the pay hikes as a trivial sum, merely enough to keep them ahead of inflation. Over the eight years of steady raises, however, these cost-of-living ‘adjustments,’ as congress likes to call them, have added a total of $32,000 to their paychecks. That’s more than the annual income of most Americans’ and it further isolates our congress critters from the harsh economic reality being faced today by the great majority of people they supposedly represent. ”
CNN.com – Democrats vow to block pay raises until minimum wage increased – June 27, 2006: “WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Democrats ratcheted up their election-year push for an increase in the federal minimum wage Tuesday by promising to block a congressional pay hike unless some of the lowest-paid hourly workers get their first raise in nearly a decade.
‘Congress is going to have earn its raise by putting American workers first: A raise for workers before a raise for Congress,’ said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
Reid refused to spell out exactly how he will block a $3,300 pay raise scheduled for January 1 for members of Congress, who currently earn $165,200 annually. He said with 40 Senate Democrats backing the maneuver, ‘We can stop anything they (Republicans) try to do with a congressional pay raise.'”
So finally someone has a bright idea…Now can we talk about that congressional health insurance? I would just love that kind of benefit…
It looks like if there is a common thread running through recent posts it is the idea of buying local. My concern was originally in the way of food. I feel a bit leery of the commercialization of the organic movement. Call me a “Luddite” but when the big Agri-Business takes over “Organic” food, I tend to not believe they have anything other than money in mind.
David St Lawrence in his blog this morning had this to say:
Why buy locally, when you can get things cheaper from overseas?
It’s really simple. When you buy directly from an artisan or from a farmer, there is a sense of connection that matters. If the artisan and farmer have pride in their work, you take part in a transaction that validates the quality of the goods you have purchased and you have obtained something you are proud to take home.
You are not just buying a cup, a jug, or a head of lettuce. You are buying the careful effort that went into producing what you just bought. Afterward, you will find yourself telling others about your purchase and sharing your joy at finding something that was just right for you.
You have made a connection between yourself and another human being with a meaningful transaction.
I agree with David. By buying locally you are supporting your local economy. If the local economy grows there will be more opportunity. Think of “opportunity” as the real crop you are helping to grow with your support. Now, David (as the new director of the Jacksonville Center) has a vested interest in getting people to support their local craftsperson and artist, but, the only way this country is going to make it in the “Global Economy” is if we change the paradigm on what we buy.
In the Senate, Covering Themselves in Old Glory: “The Citizens Flag Alliance, a group pushing for the Senate this week to pass a flag-burning amendment to the Constitution, just reported an alarming, 33 percent increase in the number of flag-desecration incidents this year.
The number has increased to four, from three.”
The naive among us may have trouble appreciating how four flag-burning episodes would constitute a constitutional crisis. But the men and women of the Senate, ever alert to emerging threats, are on the case.
And the not so naive will see this as just what it is, a biannual posturing of the GOP. Yes folks it really is an election year…