Minnesota, Land of Confusion. What is the nature of what has been described as Minnesota’s ‘quirky’ political tendencies? Doubling as a Minnesota News Update, and commentary on the political state of affairs in the state, this podcast delves into the top political stories in the current time frame, and the conservative ‘movement’ in the state. As the House, with a Republicans majority vote to increase the education budget, the Senate with a Democrat majority votes to increase the gas tax by 16 cents. A tax which will come on top of the state’s 28 cent a gallon gas tax, federal taxes and local taxes. What’s the money going to used for? Roads and Bridges … Oh wait! Transportation. This, in addition to some three hundred million dollars a year which comes from the state’s recent Transportation Amendment, and existing bonding and budgeting for, well, roads and bridges. Senator Scott Dibble makes the ridiculous statement that ‘young people are leaving … for better transit options’. Richard Florida’s unproven assertions aside, studies show young people are moving to smaller, and larger cities like Austin, and Dallas, Denver, Des Moines and Omaha for career opportunities and cheaper housing. And what about the ‘lack of investment’ in the last thirty years? Projects on 94, 35W, 62, 100, the 610 interchange, the interchanges on 100 in the west metro this summer, innumerable ’roundabouts’ built all over the state, not to mention trains, trains, trains! And new buses. And a police force for the Met Council, and salaries for the Met Council. It seems as though, in this state Infrastructure, Education and Trains have taken their place next to entitlements as ‘third rail’ issues. Everyone wants more money, but they don’t want to have to pay for it. Solution? Tax the rich, tax corporations. And how many people in rural Minnesota really think they’re going to get their farm road repaved, or a new bridge down on the corner when the mayors of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Duluth and rich Doctors in Rochester have their hands out for ‘infrastructure’ and transit projects of their own? And yet another Minnesotan has been killed by the ‘safe and clean’ Green Line … this one an employee of the Minnesota Senate. Meanwhile, reports are the Met Council actually plans for about 5 deaths like Lynne Thomas’ every year. Target laid off another 100 employees downtown, with more to come. Educators lied through their teeth about how STEM education was needed because STEM jobs were going unfilled in Minnesota. Most jobs in the state are for unskilled labor. Despite all this, it appears the conservative ‘movement’ in the state is failing. The republican leadership is moderate. Polls show the state’s population leans to the left. Why? Minnesota is an island of old-time-democrat-union-monopoly, in a sea of forward thinking, business oriented policy and politics in all the surrounding states. What’s wrong with us? Year after year the same arguments about Sunday liquor sales, stadiums and light rail, and yet the money is taxed, the outraged brooked, and the cycle starts over again. Is this how Minnesotans ARE? What can be done about it. SHOULD anything be done about it? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul. Image from the tenth amendment group.
No Growth Economy. New numbers say the US Economy grew by only .2 percent. Yet still, the Federal Reserve says the economy should grow now in the second quarter. Never mind all the ‘experts’ predicted 2015 would be a ‘blow out’ year, and that they have been revising their predictions down all through the quarter, they were still way above what the numbers actually show. Excuses? They have a few. The weather. The work slow down at the Port in Los Angeles. The weather. The strong dollar. Did I mention the dollar? The US has now had quarter after quarter of slow, no, or only anemic growth, and yet the Obama administration and its apologists, and the bone headed financial media call it a ‘boom’. Meanwhile small and medium sized businesses all over the country know it for what it is. A no growth economy. Why do business writers believe things will change if the policies don’t change? Does the consumer really account for 70 percent of the economy? What if we’re using the wrong tools to stimulate the wrong things? What’s that old saw about the definition of insanity? Banks aren’t lending because they can make more money borrowing at the discount window, reinvesting in the stock markets. Companies aren’t investing because they’re buying back their own stocks. The US corporate tax rate is the highest in the world (by far), and the tax code is so complex it costs us dearly in productivity lost (while we comply with the tax code) and literally billions of dollars spent complying with its byzantine rules. Regulations of all kinds make it almost impossible for small and medium sized businesses to grow. What are the policy ideas we need to hear from candidates (which we’re not hearing) to fix the economy. It’s not about inequality. It’s not about ‘reformicon’ tax policies (which are actually democrat tax policies warmed over), or making the government work more efficiently. In this podcast, some ideas you may agree or disagree with, but it will definitely start you thinking. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars.
Baltimore. Riots in Baltimore overtake the national consciousness. Despite not wanting to talk about a story with facts that may change minute by minute, sometimes the ‘elephant in the room’ is the best conversation. What are the facts about the 25 year old Baltimore citizen who died in police custody? Did outrage cause the riot or was it outside agitators. While many blame Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, was she cautious because she did not want to make the same mistake the mayor and police chief of Ferguson, Missouri made when they deployed ‘militarized’ police? Meanwhile, the President can’t resist ‘weighing in’, suggesting that the whole nation has to do some soul searching. Maybe President Obama is the one who should do some soul searching. With so much government to be upset about in this country, disrespect for government and law is becoming a feature of life today. In some places, under extreme circumstances, it reaches a breaking point. Besides, there is little President Obama can do about Baltimore, even though he is just an hour away. It’s a city, and state problem. As nearly two thousand national guard deploy to the city streets (and not for the first time in history, either) calm appears to have been restored, for now. Will free college, minimum wage laws and more programs solve this problem? How much is race a problem in a city with a majority black population, mayor, police commissioner, and police force? And specifically, how much is race a factor in the death of Freddie Gray, the young man who died? Or, is it a problem of criminals pushing for and maybe winning a double standard for law enforcement. These questions remain to be answered. One thing is clear; As Baltimore burned, the President and the Washington Press corps, sipped champagne and fiddled at the Correspondent’s dinner, where both politico and news reporter feed each other’s ego. Politicians are out of touch, either running for high office to enrich themselves, and the media doesn’t report fact as much as it pursues the lurid, and tragic. The wake of the weak politician and selfish media is despair, frustration and anger. The dark side of America is the only America it sees. Who’s fault is it? Think about it. We’re at a low point in politics and leadership in this country. It seems more and more that we are on the verge of a seminal and unpleasant event, after which nothing is ever the same. And our leaders don’t seem to be interested in doing anything about it. Sponsored by Baklund R&D. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to Jon Baklund’s Webinar and have the date wrong. It is June 2nd, 2015).