Thursday, February 27, 2014

Governors move to block Farm Bill’s food stamp cuts - Hope more follow


Nearly 350,000 households have received a temporary reprieve from the food stamp
cuts included in the 2014 Farm Bill, which was originally expected to cost as many as
850,000 households an average $90 per month in benefits. This week, the governors of
New York and Connecticut both Democrats announced they would move around federal
funds to prevent food stamp cuts in their respective states.

The governors were able to delay the cuts for one year by increasing the amount of
heating subsidies that affected households receive. The 2014 Farm Bill, which
President Obama signed into law earlier this month, cuts food stamp benefits for
households which receive less than $20 per month in heating subsidies.
To get around the proposed cut, New York and Connecticut will simply raise
federal heating subsidies for all the affected households to just barely meet the threshold.

In New York alone, which was originally expected to absorb up to 30% of the
Farm Bill’s food stamp cuts, that means nearly 300,000 households will get to
keep an average $127 per month in benefits which they would have otherwise lost.
Food Bank For New York City President Margarette Purvis, who also chairs
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Anti-Hunger Task Force, said she was ecstatic over the news.

“It’s a huge deal,” she said. “It’s a huge deal. This Farm Bill cut has been our nightmare.”

Before the passage of the Farm Bill, emergency food services in New York and
around the country had already been grappling with historic levels of hunger,
precipitated in part by a $5 billion across-the-board cut to food stamp benefits
that went into effect on Nov. 1. Adding the Farm Bill cuts to that equation, said Purvis,
“would have taken us from being basically devastated … to being decimated.”

Salon’s Blake Zeff joins the Cyclists to discuss the farm bill, which is being praised
 as bipartisan despite cutting $8 billion from the nation’s food stamp…
facebook twitter embed like save share group discuss

Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy were able to prevent this year’s round
of food stamp cuts because of a recent increase in the amount of money their states
receive from LIHEAP, the federal heating subsidy program. Gov. Deval Patrick of
Massachusetts and Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont may soon follow their lead.

But those are only four governors at most, and the Farm Bill cuts are expected to reduce
food stamp benefits in fifteen states, plus Washington, D.C. Furthermore, while Malloy
and Cuomo have been able to prevent benefits from going down in 2014,
nobody is making any guarantees about the following year.

“If we and one or two other states manage to fix this temporarily, it makes this
marginally less horrible,” said New York City Coalition Against Hunger executive
director Joel Berg. “But it’s still horrible.”

As a result, the battle to mitigate the damage wrought by the Farm Bill continues
on the federal level. Last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Rep. James McGovern,
D-Mass., and 15 other members of Congress co-signed a letter urging USDA Secretary
Tom Vilsack to delay the food stamp cuts long enough for their respective states to
formulate a response. The letter has not yet received a response, according to a
Gillibrand spokesperson.
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/states-avert-harsh-food-stamp-cuts

***This is good that Governors are doing what they can.
Really knowing the lack of sales this will bring! Many poor will respond by
cutting all their bills to make it. No cable, Netflix etc.
Might even voluntary repossess their car to get more money,
no car payment, insurance etc.

In small towns this will be bad, but needed because this mess will bring
up their pay as most stay home on the weekend and have door to door
sales people bouncing off them like ping pong balls. No sale!

Anyway the poor will adapt, just get rid of stuff, cut their cost.
Live in their apartment with no power on the weekdays to keep the bills down,
only have the power on the weekends.
That is something I have done and it worked. My went bill down!

The poor just has to adapt. the wages going up will follow the crash of no sales!
The poor has power in that! Adapt, hang in there! If your pay will not go up then
bring their pay down, cut your bills. Let them know to get their new
Dodge truck next year! Get off their pile of money and pay people better!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Oklahoma Governor Non-Trust



I have done many stories on the Oklahoma Governor Fallin when I was on Current.
To me it's clear she is just one of those "Tea Party" types. Knowing that and seeing
what is going on I have no trust in her and I think many should not also.
It's all in the facts I have a no trust with Oklahoma's Governor with ALEC in her pocket.

~~~~Fallin's speech leaves 5 agency heads stunned and perplexed
he directors of five state agencies say they were stunned and perplexed when
Gov. Mary Fallin recommended in her State of the State speech that their agencies
be consolidated into the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation.

The governor neither consulted with them nor gave them a heads up about her intentions,
they said. The head of tourism wasn't consulted, either, said a spokeswoman for that
agency. “We did not know about the proposed consolidation until we saw the governor's
executive budget,” said spokeswoman Leslie Blair. “This is not a request from the
Tourism Department, but we will do what the governor and the Legislature direct us to do.”

In the governor's State of the State speech, she recommended consolidating the
Oklahoma Arts Council, J.M. Davis Memorial Commission, Oklahoma Historical Society,
Will Rogers Memorial Commission and Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission into
the Tourism Department. She projected a 15 percent cost savings from the move.

Alex Weintz, spokesman for the Fallin, said the governor's lack of consultation with
impacted agencies is not a bad thing.

“The executive budget is the start of a conversation about the way we want government
to look and function and how much we want to spend on it,” Weintz said.
“This is what the governor's vision is and it's the start of a conversation we're going
to have with legislators and also with these agencies and their directors.”
The next five months will be spent working with the Legislature to see what happens
next, he said. Agency officials were skeptical of the proposal's merits.

Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, said the governor's
proposal caught him by surprise and will require him to shift his focus from fundraising
to preparing for possible program cuts. “We're pretty lean,” Blackburn said, adding
that he expects consolidation would result in a $2 million loss to the Historical Society.

“We're going to look at: What are our programs? How many would we have to cut to
get to $2 million out of our $12 million budget?”

Ed Fite, administrator of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission, described
the governor's recommendation as “a complete surprise” and “confusing.
Fite said the Tourism Department had provided administrative services for his agency
for years, but late last year the Tourism Department's deputy director decided to
terminate that relationship. “Since that time, we've been pouring a lot of time and
effort and use of what precious resources we have, partnering with the Office of
Management and Enterprise Services to transfer all these shared administrative
services to them,” Fite said.

“When Governor Fallin announced in her budget on Monday that she was advocating
that we go back under Tourism, it was confusing because we were literally just days away
from completing the transfer of all that work that Tourism has provided to us in the past
over to OMES.” Fite said the Scenic Rivers Commission is more of an environmental
agency than a tourism agency and has spent the lion's share of its time fighting for improved
water quality. He said he believes the commission should be a stand alone agency
and doesn't believe consolidation would save much money.

“If consolidation is a must, I think if one looks at the goals and objectives mandated
in the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Act, probably a better fit would be if we were placed
as a division within the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, the
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation or the Department of Environmental
Quality, rather than Tourism,” he said.
http://newsok.com/fallins-speech-leaves-5-agency-heads-stunned-and-perplexed/article/3932210


~~~~Oklahoma Governor Refuses Expansion Of SoonerCare.
In addition to rejecting a state-run healthcare exchange program, Governor Mary Fallin is also refusing to expand Oklahoma's Medicaid program to cover the uninsured, which is another part of the federal healthcare law.

~~~~Oklahoma SQ 765 & the Governor with ALEC in the pocket!
The measure amends the Oklahoma Constitution. It abolishes the
Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the Oklahoma Commission of
Human Services and the position of Director of the Oklahoma Department
of Human Services.

The SQ 765 bill’s author, Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said the bill’s
purpose is “to create a more transparent environment at DHS that is
accountable to the legislature and the governor.”

"SQ 765, legislation already signed into law will also go into effect creating four
citizen advisory panels. The five-member panels, appointed by the governor and
Republican and Democratic legislative leaders."

"This is dramatic change at Oklahoma's largest agency, which employs roughly 7,000
people and deals with everything from food stamps to child abuse to elder care.
Nonetheless, we believe the potential for agency improvement is greater if SQ 765
is adopted than if the current governance structure is maintained.
http://newsok.com/state-question-765-revamping-dhs-model-would-benefit-oklahomans/article/3718296

~~~~So what is the issue here? Our Governor! She has been a speaker for ALEC, KOCH.
You cant be bipartisan if it is one sided. ALEC wants to cut funding for food stamps,
schools etc. It's the part of cut government spending they talk about. Not for the rich!
This fits in to ALEC!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnbe-2pQrxk

~~~~There also has been protest about it.
"ALEC-Oklahoma Gov Fallin private meeting protested by 50 Occupy
OKC-Norman-Tulsa activists."
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/17/1083981/-ALEC-Oklahoma-Gov-Fallin-private-meeting-protested-by-50-Occupy-OKC-Norman-Tulsa-activists

~~~~Also Fallin went to the RNC & it was stated that Mitt payed for the trip.
Mitt is also backed by ALEC.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IkC4gM6QX4
Mitt hides his money well & so in that I have not been able to find out
how much money Mitt gave Fallin for the trip? Who knows!!!

~~~~Also Oklahoma ALEC Politicians out there!
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Oklahoma_ALEC_Politicians
But yet most of them play Bipartisan & hide their stuff in the background & let
people just stand there being Bipartisan by them selves!
There is no Bipartisan if there was none in the first place!

~~~~When you look at what ALEC is you see what the point of SQ 765 is. It fits in!
http://swampland.time.com/2012/04/09/alec-what-it-does-and-why-three-major-corporations-cut-ties

~~~~More stupid things. How about the need to have to do this for your rights!
‘Every Sperm Is Sacred’ Amendment To Personhood Bill.
http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/02/08/421018/oklahoma-democrat-adds-every-sperm-is-sacred-amendment-to-personhood-bill

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Higher Minimum wage is more sales and taxes payed


There is a need for better sales all over the country. A higher minimum wage brings
better sales. Looking at my own self and the many like me, that go broke in the first
or second week after payday. So I and many hold their breath for the rest of the month.

  ~~~~Walmart Could Actually Benefit From Minimum-Wage Hike
"Walmart caters to workers on a budget and they can expect that if those workers
get an increase, they will spend the money in their stores," Catherine Ruetschlin,
a policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning public policy organization, told
The Huffington Post. "These low-wage workers are the real job creators in the economy;
they’re the people that go out and spend.”

Walmart and other big chain stores that serve lower-income shoppers are hurting.
Their customers don't have much cash right now -- stagnant wages, higher taxes and
rising gas prices have left many living close to the edge.

"The consumer doesn't quite have the discretionary income, or they're hesitant to
spend what they do have," Charles Holly, Walmart's chief financial officer, told
reporters on a call last month, after the company announced an unexpected quarterly
drop in sales in U.S. stores.

Walmart hasn't taken a formal stance on Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage from
$7.25 per hour to $9 per hour. But the company has been a vocal opponent of a growing
worker movement demanding retailers and fast food chains pay a living wage -- generally
around $12 per hour. Walmart recently iced plans for three new stores in Washington, D.C.,
after the city council passed an ordinance targeted at big-box retailers demanding they start
their wages at $12.50 per hour.

Walmart says raising worker pay won't affect the economy's real problem of the lack of
middle class jobs. Bill Simon, the company's CEO, wrote in a recent HuffPost blog post:

This approach is not the way to strengthen our middle class. Not only is it based on a
fundamental misunderstanding of labor markets, it doesn't address the real issue
the lack of good jobs in the middle. And it fails to understand the role of entry-level jobs,
including those in restaurants, hospitality and retail, as a starting point  a chance to
build skills and begin taking on bigger jobs.

Some conservative economists and other employers who have resisted paying their workers
more say the laws of supply and demand dictate that higher wages will lead to less hiring
and more firing, worsening the plight of low-wage workers. Better a low-paying job than
no job at all, this view holds.

But the economics of the minimum wage may be more complicated than a simple
supply-demand curve. David Cooper, an economic analyst with the left-leaning
Economic Policy Institute, agrees with Demos's Ruetschlin that the sluggish economic
recovery means a boost in the minimum wage could push low-income workers to
spend more, and in many cases they’d spend that money at low-priced
outlets like Walmart.

“If suddenly all these low-wage workers have more income, they are likely to spend
that money right away,” Cooper said. “If these retailers want strong, stable sustainable
growth in the U.S. economy, then they should also want strong, stable increases in
wages to their employees.”

And because Walmart is the largest private-sector employer in the country, a move to
raise wages there could lead other employers to follow suit, in turn giving those workers
more money to spend. (While the retailer is unlikely to raise wages on its own,
a government-mandated increase in the minimum wage could have a similar effect.)

“By raising the minimum wage, it puts more businesses on an even playing field,”
Cooper said. “If an employee at McDonald’s or Pizza Hut suddenly has additional income,
they could spend it at Walmart.”

The data linking an increase in wages to a rise in consumer spending -- particularly at a
specific retail outlet -- is a bit thin, but there’s “very strong anecdotal evidence in support
of that claim,” said Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Center on Budget
and Policy Priorities and a former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.

Retail analysts that cover stores like Walmart often argue that whenever customers see an
influx of cash say, on payday -- low-priced retailers see a corresponding uptick in sales,
Bernstein noted.

Even if higher wages for its workers didn't lead to an immediate boost in profits for
Walmart, it likely wouldn't lead to a drop. Evidence shows that companies forced
to raise wages generally come away unscathed, according to Stephanie Luce,
an associate professor of Labor Studies at the City University of New York
who has researched Walmart and the minimum wage.

A review of recent research from the Center for Economic and Policy Research
found that when state and local lawmakers raised the minimum wage in their areas,
the move resulted in limited or no job loss. That’s because raising the minimum wage
reduces employee turnover, increases efficiency and sometimes results in an earnings
drop for high-wage employees all of which are enough to offset the increased
labor costs for companies.

“We have examples of employers that have had to raise their wages they’ve
always cried that they can’t afford it, but we’ve never found that after the
fact they’ve gone out of business," Luce said.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/04/minimum-wage-raise-walmart_n_3831752.html

The wages does need to go up to cover inflation. Other towns are more likely doing better
than many small towns, like mine. So in those other towns the people are living,
buying things that drives up the cost because they have to make more of those things
people are buying. Labor, materials etc to make more of those things.
So the cost of those things go up as your small town keeps the pay low ending,
in many people like me that would not buy those things because of the cost!

Also is the same principle of raising the cost to cover the cost of higher wages.
That also is when many poor will not buy those things.
They will buy cheaper with their better pay still making better sales!

In fact higher wages for the working poor saves money in lower food stamp usage.
Better sales can bring down sales tax because of the money flowing.
More money made is more taxed going to the State then to their budgets, schools,
police etc. Also more over is more into Federal taxes, paying the
the national debt faster! More money going into Social Security!

~~~~The Great American Rip-off: The High Cost of Low Taxes
The High Cost of Low Taxes:
Delinking taxes from the services they pay for has arguably been the modern
conservative movement’s greatest success. No politician has ever been booed off
a stage for promising to cut taxes. But decades of public opinion polling shows that,
with a few exceptions, Americans are actually quite fond of the goods and services
the public sector provides. They may be wary of the idea of “big government”
in the abstract, but they like well-maintained infrastructure, safe food and clean water,
efficient firefighting and policing, Medicare and Social Security and virtually every other
government-provided service you can name.

This paradox is well known to politicians and policymakers, and has caused a good
deal of hand-wringing among those who favor a progressive tax system that raises enough
funds to cover the services Americans expect. But there’s another consequence of
anti-tax demagoguery: low, low taxes come with a steep cost. In fact, a lower tax bill
especially for federal taxes actually works against the economic interests of most Americans.
http://billmoyers.com/2013/10/29/the-great-american-ripoff-the-high-cost-of-low-taxes

Low taxes also comes from less money made! I am sure you have seen or heard
of how many poor family's turn in their car to kill they payment, insurance, gas cost,
to get more money for rent or food, because of a food stamp cut.
There are many of them still in my town. I thought about doing it way back, being
it would of saved me close to $400 a month in cost. I was willing to walk!
The point of that those people that are unsupported enough to do that bring down
the town with them. It scares away the "Rich People" from coming to town to spend
money! But yes they now have $400 in their pocket, but that is to cover rent and food etc,
it goes fast!

Also is the job losses from low pay. Way back when we had ALEC pushing places
to keep the pay low. And many workers did not get a raise in years.
http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

NO SALES, as many just stopped shopping. Added the housing market pushes
toward the poor that could not afford a house. I worked at Walmart at that time,
I have seen a pamphlet in the break room for the workers to get a mortgage.
At the time it was funner than shit being we made $6.80+ after taxes,
but it was a bad thing in the end!
The flat wages stopped any growth, more noted in small towns.

~~~~Research Shows Minimum Wage Increases Do Not Cause Job Loss
Extensive research refutes the claim that increasing the minimum wage causes 
increased unemployment and business closures.

The buying power of the minimum wage reached its peak in 1968 at $10.74, 
adjusting for inflation in 2013 dollars. The unemployment rate went from 3.8% 
in 1967 to 3.6% in 1968 to 3.5% in 1969. The next time the unemployment rate came 
close to those levels was after the minimum wage raises of 1996 and 1997.  
Business Week observed in 2001, “Many economists have backed away from 
the argument that minimum wage [laws] lead to fewer jobs.”

Numerous states raised their minimum wages higher than the federal level during 
the 1997-2007 period the federal minimum wage remained stuck at $5.15. 
Research by the Fiscal Policy Institute and others showed that states that raised their
minimum wages above the federal level experienced better employment and small business 
trends than states that did not.

A series of rigorous studies by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
at the University of California, Berkeley, significantly advances the research on 
minimum wage employment effects. Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders 
compared all neighboring counties in the U.S. located on different sides of a state border
with different minimum wage levels between 1990 and 2006 and found no adverse 
employment effects from higher minimum wages.

The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment’s Spacial Heterogeneity 
and Minimum Wages: Employment Estimates for Teens Using Cross-State
Commuting Zones found “no discernable disemployment effect, even when
minimum wage increases lead to relatively large wage changes.”  
Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment?
analyzed the 1990-2009 period (an earlier version analyzed 1990-2007). 
Carefully controlling for more factors than previous minimum wage studies, the 
researchers found the answer is no.

In a 2013 report, Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on 
Employment?, the Center for Economic and Policy Research spotlights two recent meta
studies analyzing the extensive research conducted since the early 1990s; they conclude
that "the minimum wage has little or no discernible effect on the employment prospects 
of low-wage workers. The most likely reason for this outcome is that the cost shock 
of the minimum wage is small relative to most firms' overall costs and only modest relative
to the wages paid to low-wage workers." The Center report explores varied means of
adjustment by employers such as increased worker productivity and diminished wage gap
between lower and higher paid employees, noting, "But, probably the most important
channel of adjustment is through reductions in labor turnover, which yield significant
cost savings to employers."


http://www.businessforsharedprosperity.org

Really in the end the wages need to go up. And to the fact of the Corporate welfare
many places put on! It's very clear when you follow the money of those businesses.
Knowing the cost of higher wages takes a load off many people, it makes more sales!
There will be some "Fox News, morons" that will cut jobs, but they will come back
as many in your town will stand in line at the Dollar General etc, wanting to spend their
better paycheck there with only one cashier, DUR!

Walmart for one likes to hide that fact. You just have to look at the studies.

"This study uses the most recent data available to update the 2007 report on the
impact to workers and shoppers if Walmart increased its minimum wage. It finds that a
$12 per hour minimum wage would provide substantial benefits to
Walmart workers in low-income families, while the costs would be dispersed
in small amounts among many consumers across the income spectrum."
http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/research/walmart.shtml

As for me a good way of thinking and a good way of life is:

In Praise of Idleness
By Bertrand Russell
http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html