Not having slept particularly well for the past several nights and being particularly peeved by everything in the news for the past two days (or is it two years???), I am in an especially foul humour today. What better time for a few snarky snippets from the mind of a grump, eh?
Score one for Portland, Oregon!
In 2016, the City of Portland, Oregon, passed a city ordinance that would prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure, including storage and distribution terminals for oil and gas. But business groups, including the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, Portland Business Alliance and Western States Petroleum Association appealed the ordinance to Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), saying that it was unconstitutional in that it restricted interstate commerce.
LUBA ruled that Portland had violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution in that it restricted interstate commerce, but this past January, a Court of Appeals overturned the LUBA ruling, finding that Portland’s ordinance is not unconstitutional. The coalition of businesses, seeing dollar signs waving ‘bye-bye’ in their sleep at night, took the issue to the Oregon Supreme Court.
Two days ago, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the lower court, placing air quality and lives over corporate greed! What this means is that existing facilities as well as new ones will be subject to size and capacity restrictions. Some of the corporations affected include energy giants Shell, BP, Kinder Morgan, Chevron, Phillips 66, and NW Natural.
It is a small step in the grand scheme of things, but an important one. The region is plagued by sea level rise linked to global warming, in addition to other growing environmental hazards exacerbated by climate change. Let us hope that other cities follow suit and place a higher value on human life than on corporate greed.
Two thumbs-down to Trump’s trickle-down theory …
According to Donald Trump, we are living in “the greatest economy in the HISTORY of America and the best time EVER to look for a job.” But, as is most always the case when Trump opens his mouth, this is not quite the truth.
First, while it is true that unemployment is low, the nation is experiencing historically low wage growth. Take a look …Now … what happened to that ‘trickle down’ economic theory? You will remember that the wealthy and big corporations received a Christmas gift last December in the form of significant tax cuts, and you may also remember that Trump said we would all benefit from those tax cuts, as corporations shared their wealth with their workers. Guess what, folks? It didn’t happen.
The beneficiaries of that big tax cut decided to keep it for themselves after all. Surprise! Instead, these corporations, for the most part, have spent their additional wealth on their top executives and largest shareholders!
A couple of examples:
- At Walmart, with 2.3 million workers, half made less than $19,177. Late last year, Walmart launched a stock buyback initiative to the tune of $20 billion in order to boost its stock prices, which disproportionately enriches the biggest stockholders in the company.
Median pay at McDonald’s is $7,017, in part because McDonald’s directly employs hourly servers at more of its restaurants. Meanwhile, McDonald’s bought back $1.6 billion in stock in the first quarter of 2018 alone.
Gap’s very low median pay of $5,375 per year coincided with the company buying back $100 million in stock last quarter.
There are plenty more examples, including most of the restaurant industry, but you get the picture … it ain’t trickling down, folks, it’s trickling up to those who least need it. Nothing new here, but it proves the lie, once again, of the theory that giving to the rich will ultimately enrich the poor.
The ‘man’ who sits in the spot a president should sit in if we had such a critter, is so out of touch with reality that I’m not sure what planet he even hails from! I’m sure you have all heard by now that Donald Trump believes a photo ID is required in order to purchase food. So, how in the Sam Heck does he think people who don’t have a photo ID, and there are many such people, buy groceries??? Oh wait … he doesn’t think … he just opens his mouth and spews.
“You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card — you need ID,” said he at rally on Tuesday.
Funny that … I’ve been buying groceries for more than half a century, and have never once been asked to prove that I am who I am at the checkout!
Trump’s disconnect with those “American people” he claims to be ‘fighting for’, seems to be a gap about the size of the Grand Canyon. In addition to believing that buying food requires ID, he thinks that we spend $12 per year on our health insurance! If you aren’t growling yet, you should be. I spend more than $130 per month for Medicare that I paid into all my life! The average American spends close to $10,000 a year on health care.
Trump was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and has never had to enter a grocery store, sit down and figure how to pay a mortgage payment or worry about the electric bill that is more than he can afford. He has never had to fret over money or do without a single thing. Not once in his life has he had to do without medical care so that his kids could have food to eat. He is not fighting for the ‘American people’ … he is fighting to preserve a way of life for himself and his rich friends … a way of life that 99% of this country cannot even imagine.
And so concludes Filosofa’s Snarky Snippets, although there will surely be more to come soon! Have a great evening, friends!