Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

What happened to the middle class?

Heard last night on PBS News Hour.

The top 1% of income earners control more wealth than the bottom 90% of earners.

No wonder we have problems! We need a strong, vibrant middle class in order to have a strong, vibrant nation. end

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Futile Effort

I just heard on the news that one of the Congressional leaders - Hatch, wants a Constitutional Amendment that would require Congress to balance the budget. While well intentioned, this would be a big waste of time and money.

We in Minnesota, know all about "requirements" to have a balanced budget. Minnesota needs to have a balanced budget in order to move into next biennium or budget cycle. The requirement - again is well intentioned - but what has happened is that the "balancing" act has been done with smoke and mirrors, gimmicks, and tricks. The latest effort - balancing the budget by borrowing - is just another example.

The state leaders have used every trick in the book to balance our budget for the last ten years and thusly our bond rating by Moody's has been lowered because "the state budgets have not used fiscally sound practices." I am sure if there was an effort be the feds, the budget balancing creativity would invade Washington D.C. as well.end

Thursday, July 14, 2011


We are average Joe Citizens of the state of Minnesota. The government shutdown has not meant lost wages or many problems for us. We really, "do not have a dog in this fight" so to speak. So why are we so concerned?

We are concerned because we care deeply for our state, our Minnesota. We are so proud of our state because our ancestors settled here and helped establish it. We honor their wisdom and their decisions made over 150 years ago - this is the place on earth that they wanted to establish their roots and work on their visions for the future. Some of my and my husband's ancestors were community and state leaders. So we, can be proud that what we have today is because of something they worked so hard for. This makes it double hard for us to watch what is happening. It seems that today's leaders are doing their best to tear apart and dismantle what our past leaders worked so hard to establish.

As former Vice President Mondale stated, "Minnesota has always been a special place - we have held ourselves more accountable than other states." We have been a state of clean government where we have cared about the less fortunate and we have always striven for doing a good job and doing it in an efficient manner. That is why we are losing sleep at night because each morning we see headlines declaring Minnesota as the "only state in the nation" that is shut down and for the longest period of time. Our bond rating has been lowered which is like telling businesses that might want to come here - we are not the state that works like we were.

Our former leaders like Orville Freeman, Hap LaVander, Luther Youngdahl, Elmer Anderson, Hubert Humphrey, Harold Stassen, Floyd B. Olson, John A. Johnson (and yes, some of our ancestors( would be apalled at what is going on. We owe it to these people's memories to do the right thing!

Representative Bob Gunther was quoted in the Mankato Free Press as saying, "you will not see me wearing a button that says not one penny more." Gunther and other moderate legislators are on the right track. They understand how to restore our state to a moving forward mode. We appeal to him and others of his ilk to get together and get a budget deal done. If such a coalition can be formed, it will be a strong basis to move forward on reforming Minnesota's tax system so that we will not be constantly facing these same issues every two years. end

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hello Darlin!

Boy, it is really fun to watch the Twins now that Tom Kelly is doing color. I have learned so much about the technical part of the game.

And of course his ad libbing makes it fun. Like today when the final out was achieved when the batter hit into a double play. As soon as the ball entered the second baseman's mitt, Kelly's comment was an exuberant -"Hello Darlin!" Of course the play was completed when the second baseman tossed it to shortstop and he threw to first.

I never knew that a baseball would be called by that romantic name. But it was fun to watch! end

Friday, July 01, 2011

We Elected These People! Pox on us!

Luther Youngdahl Had it Right! Luther Youngdahl was governor of Minnesota in the late 1940's -early 1950's. Today's leaders would do well to learn from our past.

Youngdahl defined politics as "the machinery by which society makes its moral decisions." He also said, "we get just as good government as we will work for and just as bad government as we will allow." He urged people to renounce their contempt for politics and government.

He advocated for more people to be active in politics thus making it less possible for a small clique to have the complete advantage.

Fast forward to today. It certainly appears that we have brought this decisiveness on by electing the people we did. Like Youngdahl we want our elected people to make moral decisions. Evidently there is no common definition of moral decisions. But, we voted for people optimistically feeling that leaders would lead and elected people would govern and look at what is best for the whole state.It certainly appears that a small group of leaders is more interested in personal issues and party policy than what is good for the whole state of Minnesota. These people are not leaders they are puppets of ideology.

I just hope they know how much pain they are inflicting on real people all over this state. end