161 results for author: Phil Anderson


FIXING RETIREMENT: PART 2

 “When tens of millions of people all have the same problem, it’s not a failure of individual initiative.” Ganesh Sitaraman and Anne L. Alstott, law professors and authors In our last issue, we looked at why many people are not going to have enough money to retire. Wisconsin treasurer Sarah Godlewski is establishing a task force to study and make recommendations on retirement. This effort will likely not address all possible solutions in order to make its recommendations more politically palatable to the Republican-controlled legislature. But the people of Wisconsin need a full examination of all possible solutions. ...

FIXING RETIREMENT

"The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it."  George Carlin, comedian Being able to retire with dignity and financial independence was once an anticipated and expected reward for a lifetime of work. But for many people this dream is not going to come true. Many people will not have enough to retire comfortably. Some people will not be able to retire at all. This decline in secure, adequate income for older persons will affect us all. It will have a negative impact on states, like Wisconsin and Minnesota, which have significant retiree populations. In Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers ...

KILLING THE MESSENGER

 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Mathew 5:10 In a recent article I wrote about the legislation in Wisconsin to increase penalties for environmental protesters convicted of trespass or damage to property. These laws are intended to harass and discourage public protests of “critical infrastructure.” Dissidents, reformers, and activists have always been denigrated as criminals, dangerous radicals, terrorists, or Communists. Criticism of the government (or business) is considered unpatriotic. There is a long history of governments beating, jailing, ...

Criminalizing Protest

Republicans in Wisconsin have introduced fascist legislation to increase penalties for protesting. These bills would impose excessively harsh criminal penalties for trespassing and damage to property when protesting “energy providers” and “critical infrastructure.” This is bad legislation and a threat to our civil liberties. When did we become Russia? Or, more accurately, a corporate dictatorship?Assembly Bill 426 and Senate Bill 386 would expand a 2015 law which makes it a felony to trespass on, or damage, property owned, operated, or leased by an electrical or gas company. The new proposals expand coverage to oil, water, electricity, and ...

REAL FREEDOM IS A UNION JOB

“Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.”President Ronald ReaganOn Labor Day we remembered the sacrifice of union activists to improve the lives of all of us. We should remember that unions and the labor movement helped build the middle class in America. They brought us the weekend, healthcare, retirement, work place safety, and many other employment standards. Unions have also contributed, along with many other social justice advocates, to making “freedom” more than just a platitude. They give some reality to our over-hyped rhetoric on individual liberty. “True individual freedom cannot ...

THINNING THE HERD

“Either we limit our population growth, or the natural world will do it for us...”  David Attenborough, British naturalist producer of nature documentaries. “Reproductive rights are an environmental issue.”Center for Biological Diversity There is a cartoon that shows deer in the woods with a sprawling, traffic jammed, polluted city in the background. One of the deer is saying, “Let me get this straight, it is our herd that needs thinning?” The current world population is 7.7 billion and is increasing by 82 million each year. Estimates say it will reach 10.9 billion by the end of the century. Whose herd ...

Homegrown Tomatoes

The best things in life are free. We went to the beach this week. The weather was perfect and the clean, clear water of Lake Superior was not too cold for swimming. I was reminded of how precious the lake is for all of us and how important it is to keep this resource pristine. A perfect summer day by the big lake is priceless.Summer also brings good things from the garden. Rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, fresh peas, fresh greens, and vine ripened tomatoes that you can't buy in the store at any price. These aren't free. There is a lot of work that goes into raising them, but they taste a lot better than the corporate, shipped-f...

Asian Carp: Too Little Too Late

“It is time that a permanent and effective solution be implemented to prevent the spread of this invasive species. The Great Lakes are the crown jewel of the Midwest, and the potential damage both environmentally and economically from Asian carp is too great to risk, which is why we have asked the corps to close the Brandon Road Lock.”   Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong”  Murphy's Law Wisconsin Public Radio recently had a story on the latest public statement on the Asian carp problem. The take away from the article is that the politicians are, as usual, dithering. Asian ...

Questions About Patriotism

Tell a lie a thousand times and it becomes truth. Repetition is essential to influencing people. Repetition of lies and half-truths is used to manipulate and control people. Advertisers, dictators, and politicians understand this strategy. But repetition is also essential for learning. Truth also needs to be repeated if we are to learn and avoid repeating past mistakes. It is in this spirit that I repeat last year's 4th of July article. ********************************************************************************************************** “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because ...

Historical Perspective on Iran

In the last several articles I wrote about our aggressive, militarized foreign policy and how it leads to conflicts and disastrous wars. The current saber rattling with Iran is a classic example. Over the last seven decades our belligerence and interference in the internal affairs of Iran are illustrative of the mistakes we have made all over the world. Knowing this history, it is not hard to understand why we are considered the “great Satan” by Iran.This is all verifiable history – not ideological or political cherry picking. Since World War II the U.S. has overthrown a democratically elected government, bribed officials, interfered in ...