Daily Archives: 01/13/2013

Out & About on Bertha Means and the Means-Khabele family

(Community Matters) Michael Barnes’ super profile on our dear friend and mentor, Bertha Means & her family


Self Interest

tuscany(Community Matters) After writing the posting below, I was thinking more about success metrics. Why is it that so many privileged Americans love spending so much time in Europe? We love the public spaces, old world architecture, museums, countryside, slower paced life styles. Hmm . . . . but we condemn their economic policies, their overburdened economies – and seriously, those lifestyles don’t appear sustainable given debt levels and GDPs.

And, then I remembered a story from many years ago which still bothers me. A dear friend, a Republican, once told another friend not to let me connect with their handy men/gardeners. She feared I’d offer to pay a better wage and would ruin their bargain.

Do some of us advocate policies which we know aren’t in the best interest of the broader public because we know they will benefit us? I don’t think this is the expected everyone-acts-in-their-own-best-interests. Adam Smith’s  invisible hand didn’t presume malevolence. Is there intention to maintain an underclass to serve the upperclass and their wealth ambitions?

Benchmarks of Public Success

(Community Matters)  I’m reading about southern states increasing state sales taxes and eliminating income taxes, resulting in higher taxes on the poor . . . . and reading economic development justifications. The metric of public economic success shouldn’t be the size of a public entity’s economy, the absolute wealth of that economy, nor even simple employment figures . . . . we should expand the benchmarks to include greater employment at liveable wages, higher rates of education attainment, lower rates of poverty, sustainability (infrastructure & environmental investment & stewardship) and yes also the robustness and competitiveness of an economy so as to continue supporting and encouraging entrepreneurial investment. Admittedly, it isn’t easy to balance these ambitions, but I fear we too often don’t even try.

Income Tax Could Be Eliminated By Many Republican-Controlled States

Maureen Dowd on Women in Pres. Obama’s Cabinet

DOWD-articleLarge(Community Matters) I’m disappointed too that the top cabinet positions will be filled by beltway insider, white, straight guys. Maureen Dowd today.

We should acknowledge that Susan Rice was tossed off the roost by McCain and Graham. And, given that this administration agrees with affirmative action philosophically, this says they either couldn’t find any as well or better qualified candidates of color, alternate gender or LGBT, or they didn’t prioritize searching. The Obama White House failed to live up to its exceptionalism (in the aggregate) with these nominations.