Tom Toles by Tom Toles

Tom Toles

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  1. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, about 3 years ago

    Is this the laser focus on jobs we were promised?
    20% of bridges in the USA need repair, and of those, 20% have one component, that if it fails, will make the bridge unsafe for use.
    The power grid has already been shown to be vulnerable, and that is without terrorists attacking it. There are unfunded plans to address these problems but no will to act on them.
    US CEOs and the Military say our young people still in school do not have the skill sets necessary to perform the high tech jobs needed for business to function and the military to defend us, but we are firing teachers nationwide and increasing the size of classrooms.
    Then there’s my personal favorite idea of a national water pipeline to pipe water from flooded areas or desalination plants along the coast to drought striken areas in order to prevent crop loss, enable more efficient fire fighting in forests, and prevent damage from floods along rivers and lakes.
    How many of you can come up with some other job ideas for the job creators and the government to create?
    Respectfully,
    C.

  2. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, about 3 years ago

    There is no unemployment problem among people at the top. Profits are good. The unemployment rate among college grads is well under 4%. Unions are all but dead. There is no threat of working class revolt. With the minimum wage lower (relative to prices) than it has been in 50 years, high unemployment means an abundance of part-time (benefitless) workers at low wages. The only disadvantage is a dearth of customers with money to spend: but the solution to that is easy: produce high-end luxury goods for the folks who are doing well.

    A rising tide raises all boats they say, but the tide has been rising for a dozen years (with a couple years ebb, 2008-2010) and while the big boats have been lifted, the rest have been swamped.

    Raising the minimum wage is problematic. Some employers make hiring and staffing decisions based on it. When labor costs more, they can afford less of it. Some jobs are intended for teenagers after school, not for struggles family bread-winners. Part-time, low-wage jobs have their place.

    But the bill of goods sold to the American people long ago was this business of the rising tide. Or trickle-down economics. Increases productivity result in improvements for everyone! The more the few benefit, the more everyone benefits. The reality has been quite different. If the minimum wage of 1960 had risen relative to inflation, it would now stand close to $11. If the minimum wage had risen relative to productivity, it would now stand at $21. All the benefits of increased productivity have gone to a (relatively) few people, while everyone else have seen income stagnate or decrease, job security decrease, and healthcare costs skyrocket. There is no doubt that those who do not have college degrees are actually worse off than a few decades ago, and their children now have a much much harder time getting college degrees.

    The simple fact of the matter is that the national wealth have been moving, for thirty years, from the hands of the many to the hands of the few. There has been a huge redistribution of wealth in this country, and it has been accomplished (at least in part) by government policies determined largely by the GOP since the time of Reagan.

    I do not believe this was ever the intention of rank-and-file Republicans, but the unintended consequences of policies that looked “fair” to them, but failed to take into account larger realities. And those who really command the affairs of the country are not, at present, hurting enough to actually want to do anything about it. Inequality is necessary and good in its place. But when it gets out of hand and becomes to extreme, when the rising tide swamps all but a few boats, it is not a tide, but a flood, and a destructive one at that.

    Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, October 18, 1785:
    “But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property … [ One ] means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.”

  3. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, about 3 years ago

    Just a little info on minimum wage workers: 88% are over 20, 36% are over 40, their average age is 35, about 56% are women, and 28% of those women have children at home. Most of them work full-time. On average, the minimum age worker earns half of her family’s income. How many people reading this would like to try to live on less than $15,000 a year?

  4. Enoki

    Enoki said, about 3 years ago

    Thank you Mr. Obama!

  5. ARodney

    ARodney said, about 3 years ago

    This is the first time in U.S. history that the response to a recession was austerity. It doesn’t work, and no one ever thought it would. We need more government spending, and we need the middle class to earn more so that they can buy stuff. The GOP thought austerity would hurt Obama, and hurting America in order to hurt Obama is the only plan they’ve got in their playbook.

  6. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, about 3 years ago

    @Doughfoot

    I enjoyed your comment, Doughfoot… particularly the letter from Jefferson to Madison (are you familiar with the Jefferson Hour? http://www.jeffersonhour.com/ )
    The only point of disagreement I have is your statement that the unemployment rate among college grads is under 4%. The numbers vary… Daily Finance says 18%, Time says 40% are underemployed, other levels of unemployment listed by professional degree, ranged from 6% to 14%. Though I did also see numbers as low as 3.3 to 3.9 on some articles, they were the minority. The articles also warned of the debt graduates were going to be paying for their degrees, money that will not go to spending on homes, cars, and other luxuries for which tax revenue is gathered and other jobs created…. though mostly overseas.
    As the magazines and websites are in argument with one another, I will not dispute your figures further.
    And as already stated, I truly enjoyed reading your eloquently, intelligently, and very thoughtfully written comments.
    Thank you,
    Sincerely,
    C.

  7. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, about 3 years ago

    “Everyone in America is standing in the welfare line waiting for their handout because they don’t have employable skills”
    Some are there because their jobs moved to another state or country and they couldn’t leave a house they couldn’t sell. Some lost their pensions when the banks responsible for them mishandled them. Others lost their jobs because they were close to retirement or had health problems and ‘reasons’ were found to release them from employment before the cost of a pension or higher insurance premiums cut into profits. The examples are endless.
    ^
    “How many of those minimum wage earners are drug addicts?” Fewer than the ones working without healthcare to pay for doctor visits and medicines for them and their families.
    ^
    “How many of them spend most of their income on booze and cigs?” Fewer than those who spend it on food, clothes, & school materials for their children.
    ^
    “How many didn’t make it through high school because they were ‘smarter’ than their teachers?” Not as many as the ones who were too hungry to concentrate; the ones to bullied to care; the ones in overcrowded classrooms with little or no supplies; the ones with uncaring teacher and/or parents who told them how worthless and stupid they were; the ones who saw their parents working two jobs and barely surviving and wondered, why bother trying.
    “How many are happy they have a job?” All of them who were hired by companies offering a living wage with a real opportunity for advancement and a shot at the American dream. All of them who didn’t have to take that job as a desperate grasp to survive after losing everything they had for reasons over which they had no control.
    “How many of them are getting an education so they can get a better job?” More than you might imagine, IF they have time, money to afford classes and books, childcare if they need it, healthcare if they need it, and only ONE job that leaves them time to do homework.
    “How many are African-Americans?” How many are white? How many are latino or asian? How many are over 35?

  8. Enoki

    Enoki said, about 3 years ago

    @Respectful Troll

    Let’s start by ridding ourselves of excessive government regulation. For example we could be deconstructing buildings in decaying, failed cities like Detroit for reuse except the costs due entirely to government regulations makes it prohibitively expensive. Instead this potential source of cheap building material rots and creates a bigger enviromental mess due to enviromental regulation, OSHA regulation, building code regulations, and a plethoria of other excessive government intrusion into the market.
    No, I am not talking about removing all regulation just reducing the load to a sensible and managable level.
    .
    Desalination isn’t cost effective without very cheap power. That requires nuclear at a minimum. Solar and wind won’t cut it.
    On forest fires we need to resume good forest management including a degree of logging and other use rather than prohibiting all use as is prevalent today due to idiot enviromental regulation. That is the major source of the problems within national forests today.
    .
    In education we should set rigiorous standards and maintain them even if it means many children do not graduate from high school. Better to have child with a real 8th grade education than one with a high school diploma and a 6th grade one as often happens today.
    .
    Infrastructure will take care of itself when the economy is in good shape and producing wealth. That will result in funding that allows infrastructure to be maintained and built as industry and the public make a demand for it. Fixing it without having the underlying economic strength is a waste of money. “If we build it they will come” is a fantasy.
    For what was squandered, yes squandered, on the stimulus we could have had a national program to build 50+ large nuclear power plants that would have massively increased our power available for very low per KWH costs. That would have lowered energy costs, placated the Gorebal Warming crowd, and given us the initial means to move to hydrogen as a portable fuel for vehicles and abandon the idiot electric car failed concept.
    Clean cheap energy would give us more options for expanding the economy along with sensible reductions in government regulation.

  9. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, about 3 years ago

    I know a person who graduated valedictorian in her school. There were thirty people in her school. You comment about the top 1% is a false equivalency. The same can be said for your reply on minimum wage workers. If you realize how many working for minimum wage are over 35, talking about the invincibles, those between 19 and 35 not on their parents’ insurance, ignores the context of my content.
    You could learn from Enoki in the way you reply in defense of your ‘side’.
    Tiredly,
    C.

  10. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, about 3 years ago

    @Enoki

    Very good comment, Enoki. I’m going to argue some of it, but I admire the tone and thought in which you offer it.
    In your first paragraph, we agree as is written. Common sense- easily interpreted – regulation, backed up with strict inspection/oversight, and enforced with penalties that make violations too punitive to risk would save the nation trillions over a very short time. I have seen the machines that turn buildings into raw material and there are people who carefully take apart old buildings in order to reuse lumber that is worth using. I read recently the USS Forrestal is being sold for scrap metal and the article said it was sold for only one dollar. All of the metal that makes up an Aircraft Carrier, sold that cheap? It brings to mind the article on how companies are mining public lands and paying a pittance for precious metals being withdrawn.
    ^
    Desalination is the last line of defense for my water pipeline idea. The main source of freshwater should come from areas where flooding is occurring. However, there are technologies being developed using the motion of the ocean and tides to generate energy I can get behind. Also, I like nuclear power, I just want it to be more sustainable in its production and how they resolve the storage/destruction of radioactive waste. I am curious on why nuclear ships can’t be anchored in ports where they could provide energy for cities as well as businesses. Gov’t grants to universities looking for energy solutions would be a good thing, IMO. It was done in the past with good results that benefited the nation, and the schools.
    ^
    Schools need to be rigorous AND inspiring. The JOY of learning needs to be part of the program. Some of the most successful schools in the nation use the Arts in conjunction to math, language, and science to create the kind of minds that succeed in college. There also has to be a new mindset for tradeschools and apprentice programs. The stigma of learning to work with your hands needs to be replaced with respect and value of the worker. Teachers also need to be respected and valued and not forced to spend their own money to provide supplies for their students. I know eleven teachers who spend nearly 400 each school year out of their own pockets and I’m told there are more who are spending more.
    ^
    If we had more people like Carnegie, the original JP Morgan, and other powerful and wealthy Americans I might agree with you more on infrastructure. Those men, despite their negatives, built roads, bridges, museums, and more- partly out of self interest, but partly from real pride of giving back to the nation that had made them wealthy. Too many of our modern wealthy, the alleged job creators, hoard their money to protect their companies from hostile takeovers and to invest in hyper trading and other financial, not structural, adventures. Even Bill Gates and Warren Buffett who have given billions to many causes, have not, to my knowledge, created any jobs in the USA not having to do with the companies that made them wealthy. Are there any Buffett Bridges? Gates Dams? I don’t know of any. Though they may eradicate malaria in our lifetime and that’s not a small thing.
    ^
    I believe there are many sources of cheap and sustainable power, but I also believe there are people who have a vested interest in keeping legislators in power who will do everything they can to prevent such technologies from growing. I believe there are patents sitting in vaults that could change the world, but the people who acquired those patents are just sitting on them. I already said I support safe nuclear energy built with safety in mind. I just want them to know what they are going to do with the waste that is equally safe and long term.
    Enoki, I hope you can see that I agree with you more than I disagree. We just need to work out the details. Thank you for your reply and the courtesy in which you presented it.
    Sincerely,
    C.

  11. jack75287

    jack75287 said, about 3 years ago

    @Doughfoot

    First the only ones who even talk about trickle down anymore is the left, second it worked at the time, third all you points are fine but there are 20 mil carpenter jobs, electricians and plumper positions open. Get on the phone and find one.

  12. wbr

    wbr said, about 3 years ago

    hairy reid and a shovel

  13. PianoGuy24

    PianoGuy24 GoComics PRO Member said, about 3 years ago

    “The goal of the GOP is based on demonizing those who are voiceless”
    .
    The Dems that you seem to agree with KILL the most INNOCENT of the voiceless via abortion.

  14. Enoki

    Enoki said, about 3 years ago

    TTM there’s a lot there to reply to. I’ll try to get an answer out if I can. Thanks for your understanding on that.

  15. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, about 3 years ago

    @Enoki

    Enoki, if you ever wish to continue the discussion outside of the “sandbox” and schedule of the cartoonists, feel free to email me at sanesaint@hotmail.com. I created it in order to carry on good discussions with thoughtful minds.
    ^
    On the topic of continuing education and not affording it, I offer the following tool.
    ^
    https://www.khanacademy.org/
    ^
    It is free and it is helping me improve my abysmal math skills. It also offers instruction in many other things and, IMO, everyone should look at it. If not for themselves, then for their friends and family who could benefit.
    This is my early gift to any who wish to improve themselves in the areas offered.
    ^
    In addition, a gentleman I met today introduced me to this website.
    ^
    https://www.coursera.org/
    ^
    The man has three degrees from his younger days, and is actively using coursera to learn more. I have not used it, but hope to try it out this week.
    Respectfully,
    C.

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