Looking at the Missoulian
I did see that they had an article by Bob Brown about his trip to China with UM history professor Harry Fritz.
Besides that, the paper has gone straight to hell.
Why, I ask, are they doing all these articles on African safari businesses and wildlife conditions there?
We live 9,200 miles away from Zambia, a place they profiled yesterday.
Honestly, I hardly find any reason to even use up my 10 free articles a month there anymore.
I did decide to click on the Bob Brown piece.
The two were giving lectures on the American political system at a university near Beijing.
We’re told that the average annual income in China is $14,000.
In America it’s about $56,000.
For the most part, Brown is happy to see Chinese students improving with English and knowledge about America, but he worries about their reticence to talk about key issues in an ever-more repressed political and social environment.
China is expanding militarily, and he worries about this as well.
Besides that, he saw Max Baucus give a speech at the American Independence Day Celebration.
Our former senator “spoke well and effectively,” common code words for those in-the-know when it comes to any Baucus speech.
There were no comments on the Missoulian article, suggesting to me that few cared.
Perhaps more people with the paper version of the paper read it.
I feel it’s important to point out that Barkey gets paid $92,000 a year, or at least did when I profiled the bloated bureaucracy at UM last winter.
So Barkey’s doing just fine. How about the rest of us?
It seems from the report that wages are going up, people are working more hours, and higher-paying jobs are coming to the state.
Many jobs are in construction, which saw 2% gains. That should put it at about 9% of our economy.
What I find interesting is that 28% of Montana construction workers are Hispanic.
Why is that?
We’re also told that Montana government revenues look weak, mainly because of losses in “coal, corporate and oil and gas revenues.”
We also know that 60% of Montana businesses won’t be adding new workers.
Business owners mainly blame the continued economic slowdown as well as too many regulations. Most of the regulations they don’t like pertain to overtime rules and the environment.
There was no mention of the jobs outside of construction, such as those in the service or tourism industries.
I suspect those weren’t that important to the business-minded folks at the talk in Billings.
I bring up those service jobs as they’re a main part of our tourism industry.
Last month alone, nearly 1 million people visited Yellowstone.
The park is “getting stretched to capacity,” but my, the money is flowing into those neighboring communities.
I feel these are the people we should be unionizing and getting more pay and benefits packages to.
Shouldn’t their spending then get that money into the Montana economy, creating even more jobs?
I’d rather have individuals that are working and getting paid well put money into the economy as opposed to rich assholes that demand tax cuts.
And don’t get me started on businesses and corporations asking for cuts – we know that’ll just go to cushion their pay packages or buttress their overseas assets.
We know full-well that here in Montana the GOP-controlled legislature hoodwinked the press and populace into passing a negative capital gains tax rate.
Yes, in Montana if you make shit-ton of money on investments we actually pay you instead of you paying a tax.
I fully expect the GOP will be back asking for more tax cuts for their fat cat friends living in Yellowstone and Gallatin counties.
Meanwhile essential services to regular Montanans will be cut.
There’s nothing to really stop this except the ability to negotiate or Bullock’s veto pen.
Both are just short-term fixes to the longer-term problem, and that’s rich, transplanted assholes coming here and making life hell for the rest of us.
Those articles I did at the beginning of the month on the Yellowstone Club are a fine example – rich fat cats closing off a mountain for their gated pleasure zone, and then not really giving a damn when they pollute surrounding waters not once but three times.
But what can you do?
You can’t stop rich assholes from moving here anymore than you can stop Congolese refugees, or God forbid later down the road, Syrians.
Hey, at least you're not in Sweden.
We already know that 28% of our construction workers are Hispanic.
- Where’d they come from?
- Were they born in America or somewhere else?
- Why the hell can’t Montanans do those jobs?
I personally believe Montanans could do those jobs, but greedy Montana employers like to hire Mexicans because you don’t have to pay them as much.
That’s just my opinion, but until I get more answers, I’ll say it.
I could say a lot more, but I feel that’s about enough for the night.
Besides, Trump is saying it all now. I’m glad to see Zinke sticking to his guns and staying on the Trump bandwagon.
He’ll be rewarded.
Other than that, my…a slow August.
Have a good night.