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Franklin bifocals Monday, January 20, 2014      Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Day  Martin Luther King Day

[1783 - US and Britain end hostilities (for a bit)]

La Marcus Thompson's Coney Island Roller Coaster
[1885 - La Marcus Thompson patents his Coney Island roller coaster]

George Burns    Comedian George Burns
[1896 - George Burns (Nathan Birnbaum), comedian, born in New York City]

Naturalist Joy Adamson    Naturalist Joy Adamson with 3 lion cubs
[1910 - Joy Adamson (Gessner), naturalist, writer, born in Troppau, Austria]

Director Federico Fellini    Actor Federico Fellini    Director Federico Fellini
[1920 - Federico Fellini, actor, director, screenwriter, born in Rimini, Italy]

Actor Deforest Kelley    Actor Deforest Kelley as Bones
[1920 - DeForest Kelley, actor, born in Atlanta, Georgia]

ACLU logo
[1920 - The American Civil Liberties Union is organized]

Actress Patricia Neal    Actress Patricia Neal    Actress Patricia Neal    Actress Patricia Neal
[1926 - Patricia (Patsy Lou) Neal, Academy & Tony Award-winning actress, born in Packard, Kentucky]

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
[1937 - Franklin D. Roosevelt is sworn into office]

JFK with Jackie
[1961 - John Fitzgerald Kennedy is inaugurated]

Joe Montana - Super Bowl XIX MVP    Super Bowl XIX ring
[1985 - Super Bowl XIX: San Francisco 49ers 38, Miami Dolphins 16]

Barack Obama Inaugural swearing in
[2009 - Barack H. Obama is inaugurated]

Rising Tides

During the Reagan era "trickle down economics" was the order of the day. It was justified in part by the assertion that tax cuts for corporations and for the wealthy would result in general prosperity and lead to a better standard of living for all Americans, including the poor and disadvantaged. In those times cooler heads labeled this nonsense "voodoo economics," which it certainly was. Instead of raising the living conditions of the nation's citizens, the Reagan era left the country with record deficits that were only extinguished by somewhat sounder policies of the '90s.

When the Bush administration came in and dusted off the Reagan ideas, the country was in a condition of budget surplus. Predictably, Bush exhumed the failed policies of the 80's, which led to the same results, with catastrophic consequences for the common man. From a period of surplus we returned to record federal deficits for the foreseeable future. In a time of record high corporate profits, real wages for workers did not increase rapidly enough to keep pace with inflation. As a result, real income for the working class American decreased, and millions more citizens and families fell below the poverty line. Meanwhile, corporate executive pay increased exponentially when compared to the income of rank-and-file workers. In most cases executive compensation bore little relationship to performance. In short, with Bush at the helm the rich got richer, the poor got poorer, and the middle-class shrank as it lost health-care coverage.

As if to punctuate eight years of disastrous policy, the Bush Administration precipitated a financial meltdown and resulting recession based on greed, consumerism, and misplaced faith in the self-regulating power of free-market Capitalism. It remains to be seen if the new folks who took the reins of governmental power can rescue our world from runaway materialism and corporate crime. The initial results are not encouraging. Wall Street has gotten well at taxpayer expense and returned to its former excesses while the rest of us continue to lose our homes and suffer.

William's Whimsical Words:

A rising tide lifts all boats, except those that are stuck on the bottom, which get swamped by it.

a boat swamped

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