TIME’s Cover Story
Author Steven Brill has a great cover story in TIME magazine this week, called “How My Generation Broke America.”
I thought he had a good point when he mentioned that, 50 years ago, this country was about “seizing the future, not trying to survive the present.”
Alas, things have gone down hill over the past generation, and he has good stats to back that up.
- In 1975, average worker pay was $46,000 and average CEO pay was $1.2 million. In 2016 it was $53,000 and $15 million, respectively.
- Adults today have a 50% chance of earning what their parents did, compared with 90% two generations ago.
- “America’s airports are an embarrassment.”
- Our kids are 30th in math and 19th in science out of the 35 leading countries.
- 20% of kids don’t have enough to eat at home.
- Congress hasn’t passed a budget on time since 1994.
- In 1975, 175 firms had lobbying outfits in Washington. In 2016 it was 7,700 firms.
- “The people we send to D.C. to represent us have been reduced to begging on the phone for campaign cash up to five hours a day.”
- In 1971, 61% of Americans were members of the middle class. In 2015 that’d fallen to 50%.
It’s a good article and it makes a lot of good points. Brill’s book, Tailspin, goes into even more detail on this critical subject of America’s decades-long decline.
A Bad First Week
A woman named Amber Kornak was doing her very first week working for FW&P as a wildlife technician when she was attacked by a bear near Libby.
“She suffered two skull fractures and several lacerations to her head, neck and back,” we’re told, but somehow still managed to hike “two miles back to her car.”
So far nearly $18,000 has been raised by 300 people to help her.
Serious Bullying Problems
NBC Montana had a long and detailed story on bullying in Montana schools.
Here are some things that stood out to me:
- “He had his hands and head slammed in lockers.”
- “He was peed on in the locker room.”
- “A kid would stab him with a sharpened pencil the entire class.”
- “He was depantsed out at recess. Everything came off in front of boys, in front of girls.”
- “A guy on the buss grabbed him and shoved a bar of deodorant in his mouth.”
- “These kids have sent death threats to my son.”
- “This girl would stand in the doorway and prevent her from using the facilities. She was afraid to tell us because this girl had threatened to harm her if she told anyone.”
- “A bully urinated into a fellow student’s shampoo bottle.”
- “A bully burned a fellow student’s hair.”
- “Almost 15 kids a day die as a direct result of bullying in America.”
I don’t have the answers here. Perhaps we should talk about this issue more.
Missoula’s Money Woes
Yesterday the Missoula City Council decided to take $188,000 from the $3.6 million bond that was originally meant to fund a new police facility.
The city needed to pay for the Missoula Art Park, which had “poor management” and couldn’t reach its fundraising goals.
So taxpayers will have to foot the bill.
Meanwhile our roads crumble and can’t keep pace with the growing population.
RD had two good articles about this – one today and one from Sunday.
“If the City Council would just start there – prioritizing needs over wants – I think there would be less citizen anger and less chances of committing municipal malfeasance, like the art park bill.”
City Council elections won’t happen again until November 2019, but I doubt much will change after they do.