April 27, 2012

Politics remains the art of the possible

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 12:34 pm by realitytax

Those who think political participation is about raising the noise level to “drive this party” farther from the middle  are confusing ideological purity with political reality.

Politics remains the art of the possible, which necessitates negotiation and compromise. Purists may prefer a revolution – they may even get one, if they’re very patient, but the odds are that political evolution is more likely (not to mention pragmatic, and ultimately productive.)

Many state legislatures have lately shown the influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council, ceding local authorship and introduction of bills designed to improve the state in favor of an ideological purity which, it should be noted, favors the very wealthy (who, by their nature, are also particularly influential among those who desire to become more wealthy as an end in itself.)

The only antidote is a unified response by those more interested in the quality of their community (however that’s defined) than in the quantity of their earnings – yet waiting for unification only causes greater harm by exacerbating the egregious and ever-widening income gap.

Act. Participate.  If you’re not part of the solution you are, in fact, part of the problem. The most potent tool is the information battle for the “hearts and minds” of the public, and those who have attained power and wealth have also marshaled the resources to control, or at the very least bend and spin, the information that determines if the masses are more likely to be active or apathetic. Theirs is a very elite club with a great facility at obscuring the reality that it’s also a very, very small club.

It starts with being a voter. Actively learning about the actions legislators take is a great thing key, as is following the money by looking up donors.  You don’t have to change the whole world, but to save the prosperity that’s getting away from more and more U.S. residents you have to act like you care. 

March 2, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:49 am by realitytax

February 28, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:06 am by realitytax

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the “Bill of Rights” specified basic rights such as freedom of religion and speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the right of individuals to possess weapons. Since these are well-established, should we conclude that the institution of the Bill of Rights is no longer at issue, and roll back the very principles we fought so hard to secure?

If not, why roll back the fruits of laborers bargaining collectively, an exercise of our freedom of assembly that contributes to the pursuit of happiness?

There can be only one motivation for claiming the tactic of union bargaining is no longer necessary: as a prelude taking these hard-won, time-tested benefits away from the people working under such agreements.

February 21, 2012

Good business leaders know collaboration fuels their success

Posted in economic recovery, income inequality, role of government, U.S. Economy tagged , , , , , , at 9:21 am by realitytax

If the 1% saw the acquisition of wealth as a collaboration, if the rich, well-to-do, “successful” people recalled they aren’t doing ALL the work, the research suggests they’d be better at sharing.


Business owners guided by both concern for others and insight into the overall factors that lead to success, know this.

If the Democrats really want to get moral psychology working for them, I suggest that they focus less on distributive fairness — which is about whether everyone got what they deserved — and more on procedural fairness—which is about whether honest, open and impartial procedures were used to decide who got what. If there’s a problem with the ultra-rich, it’s not that they have too much wealth, it’s that they bought laws that made it easy for them to gain and keep so much more wealth in recent decades.

Johnathan Haidt
“How to Get the Rich to Share the Marbles”

20 February 2012

The role of government is always a subject of debate, but ensuring that scoundrels who are only motivated by putting money into their own pockets, and businesses that treat workers as disposable rather than seeing them as part of the collaborative effort that leads to success, are not allowed to enrich themselves without any oversight.

Jonathan Haidt is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and a visiting professor at the N.Y.U.-Stern School of Business. He is the author of “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.”

February 15, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:18 pm by realitytax

Knowing that unions built the middle class, which ismost of the consumers in America, why would any reasonable business owner try to get rid of them? It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your mirror.

February 3, 2012

So-called “Right-to-Work” has dangerous side-effects

Posted in health care, role of government, states' rights tagged , , , , at 3:41 pm by realitytax

So-called "Right-to-Work" has dangerous side-effects.

NFL players understand exactly what’s at stake for workers. They oppose these so-called “Right-to-Work” laws fervently. It was one of the first topics raised at the NFLPA’s Groundhog Day news conference leading up to this year’s Superbowl.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Quarterbacks Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears and Rex Grossman of the Washington Redskins are among six NFL players urging Indiana lawmakers to oppose right-to-work legislation.

Cutler, from Santa Claus, Ind., and Grossman, from Bloomington, joined New Orleans’ Courtney Roby, Pittsburgh’s Trai Essex, St. Louis’ Mark Clayton and San Diego’s Kris Dielman in sending letters to Indiana House members Monday. Days earlier, the NFL Players Association came out against the measure that would ban private contracts that require workers to pay union fees for representation.

Cutler called it a “political ploy” against workers.

April 7, 2011

Should Nuclear Energy Producers Invest in Alternatives?

Posted in energy policy tagged , , , , , , , at 11:28 am by realitytax

That’s a daunting potential, in some people’s minds. There’s recent interest in nuclear companies “Hedging Their Bets” by investing in Wind/Solar assets. Could they be planning to stifle competition? I don’t think so.

With lesser known French and British firms competing against key U.S. players such as Exelon (which invested $900 million to acquire John Deere Renewables) or the mega-conglomerate General Electric ($600 million to build a solar factory) they are all assuredly anticipating substantial ROI or risking their shareholders wrath.

If the U.S. is relying increasingly on energy from wind and/or solar sources, demand will likely be to move it beyond the borders of the property where it’s generated along the existing grid. Grid providers have incentives to maintain access, and I’m heartened to think that if any business invests substantially in any asset or resource they have at least some market-based incentive to protect that investment and reaping monetary return than letting it go to waste, just as those who provide and maintain the grid want reliable sources to deliver for their customers.

(Reuters) – General Electric Co made a big push in solar power, saying it will invest $600 million to build a new factory as it pursues what it thinks could be an up to $3 billion business by 2015.

By Scott Malone and Matt Daily
BOSTON/NEW YORK | Thu Apr 7, 2011 12:16pm EDT

Of course, none of that technically precludes simply holding those assets away from the market to drive up demand for nuclear power, which represents a potential return on the investment – a traditional bottom-line goal. So let’s agree that GE, Exelon, Areva, and others investing large sums aim to stay in business.

Nellis AFB Solar Panels
It follows that as nuclear becomes either unacceptable or even less cost-effective (and increasingly there’s actuarial data supporting the latter in the wake of the Fukushima disaster) that corporate growth, vitality, and “business success” will require savvy, competitive utilization of resources and assets, which now include literally hundreds of millions of dollars each of wind and solar investments.

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