148 results for author: Phil Anderson


Honor the Fallen by Working for Peace

On Memorial Day we remember our military dead and honor their sacrifice. But we do not honor veterans by lying to ourselves about why they died.Many Americans believe we are “free” because of the military and the sacrifice of our troops. “Got freedom? Thank a Vet!” This is a nice sound bite, but it is not true.This slogan only blinds us to the real causes of war. It promotes the next war. It justifies the war industry and maintains recruiting. It is misleading because it assumes that only veterans have protected our freedoms. And it assumes our numerous wars were necessary for defending freedom.Many people worked to expand and ...

Why Women Should Support Women (written by a MAN!)

It's amazing that in 2014 we're still fighting over equality for WOMEN. Equal pay for women is an example. This seems like a simple issue of fairness and family values. Women do make less than men for the same work. Women are the primary breadwinners in many families. Yet Gov. Walker ended the state equal pay law. This week the Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked DEBATE on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have helped women fight unequal pay. But it doesn't stop with pay. Opposition to health care reform impacts women more than men. So do attacks on voting rights. Roadblocks to unionization hurt women more than men. Sick leave, living ...

National Security: Less is More

The Pentagon, and all the other national “security” spending, is a major reason we have  taxes, deficits, and budget problems.The Center for Defense Information, a think tank run by former military officers say:“Pentagon costs, taken together with other known national security expenses for 2015, will exceed $1 trillion.” “There is much more than $495.6 billion in the budget for the Pentagon, and there are piles of national security spending outside the Pentagon...” They list total national security spending outside the Department of Defense such as: the Department of Energy nuclear weapons programs, military retirement ...

Thoughts on Taxes

April 15th is coming up. For many of us, the problem with taxes is not how much we pay, rather it is what we get for our tax dollar. Taxes are the dues we pay to belong to a civilized society. Are we getting what we need? Are we getting our money's worth? Are we building a prosperous, healthy, sustainable, and truly civilized society?There is too much sound bite and too little information on this topic in the media. Perhaps the facts below and some perspective will help ease the pain this tax day.How much do we pay?In 2011 Americans paid, as a percentage of income, between 17% and 29% in total taxes. This includes ALL federal, state, and ...

Retirement for All Legislation Introduced

A secure retirement for Wisconsin workers may be coming in the future. Senate Bill 611, introduced by Senator David Hanson (D-Green Bay), creates a board to study creating a private sector program modeled after the highly successful public employee Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).Being able to retire with dignity and financial independence was once part of the American Dream. But retirement security is declining in America. Many experts say a retirement crisis is developing. Many people will be unable to retire, will have to work longer, or will live in in poverty during their “golden years”. This decline in secure, adequate income for older ...

New Year’s Resolution: Be Involved

Good government requires more than just voting. As any good manager knows, employees have to be supervised and their performance monitored. Our political representatives are no different. They must be held accountable. Citizens have to stay informed on issues. They have to know enough to sort through misleading sound bites and talk show bombast. They have to communicate with their representatives.Yes, politics is dirty. There is too much money and mudslinging. But maybe politics would be more civil if citizens were more involved. Maybe our belief that we can't discuss politics in polite company is part of the problem. Maybe we get the politics, ...

The Nuclear Weapons Vortex

In the weather news a “polar vortex” has brought winter back to much of the country. In other news there have been a number of nuclear weapons related stories suggesting we have a nuclear weapons vortex threatening us.For decades the nuclear weapons industry has purported to keep us free and safe. It is a very expensive, giant whirlpool sucking our tax dollars. Between 1946 and 1996, we spent an estimated $8.66 trillion on them.  But is it necessary? Not according to Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, Jr. (US Army Ret.). He works for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and was quoted on the U.S. Labor Against War web site;“Perhaps the ...

Three Solutions to the Federal Budget Deal

The recent federal budget compromise, although representing some minor breaks in the Washington gridlock, is a bad deal for the country. It is bad because it doesn’t address the real budget problems. It is bad because it does not establish needed budget priorities.As widely reported in the media, the budget plan fails to extend unemployment benefits, protect food stamps, and other programs that benefit middle and lower income people. On the plus side it does limit the irrational, automatic sequester cuts. And it doesn’t immediately cut Social Security or Medicare. But what is really bad about the budget deal is that it does not address the ...