Pleasant Valley Winery

Pleasant Valley Winery


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Evidence Is In: Capitalism Isn’t Working


Everything is a potential market to the capitalist, but it's time to end the suffering of ordinary Americans, which is very good for the profit margins, and make human life a top concern.

To followers of Ayn Rand and Ronald Reagan, and to all the business people who despise government, ‘community’ is a form of ‘communism.’ Even taking the train is too communal for them. Americans have been led to believe that only individuals matter, that every person should fend for him/herself, that “winner-take-all” is the ultimate goal, and that the winners have no responsibility to others.

To the capitalist, everything is a potential market. Education, health care, even the right to water. But with every market failure it becomes more clear that basic human rights can’t be bought and sold like cars and cell phones. The pursuit of profit, when essential needs are part of the product, means that not everyone will be able to pay the price. Some will be denied those essential needs.

Global Failures
Capitalism hasn’t been able to control runaway global inequality. For every $1.00 owned by the world’s richest 1% in 2011, they now own $1.27. They own almost half the world’s wealth. Just 70 of them own as much as 3.5 billion people.

Capitalism has not been able — or willing — to control the “race to the bottom” caused by “free trade,” as mid-level jobs continue to be transferred to low-wage countries.

Nor has capitalism been able to control global environmental degradation, with trillions in subsidies going to polluters that don’t even pay their taxes, and with corporations ignoring any semblance of social responsibility as they seek ways to profit from global warming.

Job Creation Failures I
With or without globalization, middle-class jobs are disappearing, even higher-end positions in financial analysis, medical diagnosis, legal assistance, and journalism. Artificial intelligence is making this happen. Millions of Americans have had a role in the great American productivity behind this technological takeover, but capitalism allows only an elite few of us to reap the disproportional profits.

Reports of job recovery are based on low-income jobs, many of them part-time. Layoffs are cutting into the military and technology. Gallup discounted Wall Street’s job-creating ability. As noted by former Wall Street Journal Associate Editor Paul Craig Roberts, the US rate of unemployment is 23 percent when long-term discouraged job-seekers are included. That’s close to the unemployment rate of the Great Depression.

Job Creation Failures II
Closely related to employment woes is the collapse of corporate investment in new product R&D, from 40 cents per dollar in the 1970s to 10 cents now. CEOs are choosing instead to spend almost all of their profits on buybacks and dividends to enrich investors.

Health Care Failures
The capitalist profit motive allows the cost of a hepatitis pill that costs $10 in Egypt to sell for $1,000 in the United States, and the cost of a blood test to range from $10 to $10,000 in two California hospitals (a 100,000% markup at the second hospital).
Patent abuse is one of the factors making this possible. Pharmaceutical companies can tweak a drug with a minor change to create a “brand new” drug with a new patent.

Another health-related scam that affects most of us is bottled water. According to Food & Water Watch, about half of it is filtered tap water with fancy names, as evidenced in one case by an actual “tap water” label on a company’s product. Yet with the demise of community water fountains, and the barrage of advertising for “safe and pure” drinking water, unsuspecting Americans pay dearly: for the price we pay for a bottle of water we would be able to fill up that bottle a thousand times with tap water.

Housing Failures
Because of the “invisible hand” of the free market, in just 35 years the investment wealth of the super-rich has gone from 15% of middle-class housing to almost 200% of middle-class housing.

Education Failures
A remarkable story of privatization failure is told in the story of charter schools in Florida, where Jeb Bush still holds dear to his delusions of free-market educational success.

That’s just one example. In general, charters are riddled with fraud and identified with a lack of transparency that leads to even more fraud. Since 2001 nearly 2,500 charter schools have been forced to close their doors, leaving over a quarter-million schoolchildren between one bad business decision and the next. A report from PR Watch summarizes the billions of dollars spent on charters without accountability to the public.

Disposable Americans
Chris Hedges wrote: “Human life is of no concern to corporate capitalists. The suffering of the Greeks, like the suffering of ordinary Americans, is very good for the profit margins of financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs.”
People become meaningless in a successful capitalist system.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bridges, roads crumbling so let's build a wall

A crumbing bridge. (photo: Matt York/AP)
A crumbing bridge. (photo: Matt York/AP)

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker
31 August 15

s America’s bridges, roads, and other infrastructure dangerously deteriorate from decades of neglect, there is a mounting sense of urgency that it is time to build a giant wall.

Across the U.S., whose rail system is a rickety antique plagued by deadly accidents, Americans are increasingly recognizing that building a wall with Mexico, and possibly another one with Canada, should be the country’s top priority.

Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of a Washington-based think tank called the Center for Responsible Immigration, believes that most Americans favor the building of border walls over extravagant pet projects like structurally sound freeway overpasses.

“The estimated cost of a border wall with Mexico is five billion dollars,” he said. “We could easily blow the same amount of money on infrastructure repairs and have nothing to show for it but functioning highways.”

Congress has dragged its feet on infrastructure spending in recent years, but Dorrinson senses growing support in Washington for building a giant border wall. “Even if for some reason we don’t get the Mexicans to pay for it, five billion is a steal,” he said.

While some think that America’s declining infrastructure is a national-security threat, Dorrinson strongly disagrees. “If immigrants somehow get over the wall, the condition of our bridges and roads will keep them from getting very far,” he said.

+48 # Dongi 2015-08-31 13:49
You have to watch out for those Mexicans; they sing funny songs and have been known to sneak up on our border towns where they sell drugs on the cheap. John Wayne, hero of the west, knew how to handle them. Since everyone will be on horseback, we don't have to worry about crumbling infrastructure.
+42 # zepp 2015-08-31 15:17
The Donald promises to make Mexico pay for the wall. I'm sure they won't mind.
The advantage to the Canadian wall is that it can be 800 feet tall and made of ice. They will, however, have to detour south of Wisconsin in order to keep Governor White Walker on the correct side of the wall.
Gotta keep the Harpers and Harpees out!
+48 # thunderable 2015-08-31 20:16
Hungary has over 100 miles of razor wire fencing to keep out immigrants...maybe Trump (and the rest of the lot) can run for office there instead? We need a good trillion (or more) on infrastructure in America, but that just makes too much sense for the idiots running for (and in) office.
+23 # keenon the truth 2015-08-31 22:24
Oh my, the last sentence took me by surprise and I startled the people sitting around me with an involuntary hoot of laughter.

(I know that actually the situation is no laughing matter)
+28 # oakes721 2015-08-31 23:26
It makes perfect sense. This is to keep U.S. citizens from escaping from the Military Industrial prison complex.
+48 # danireland46 2015-08-31 23:37
Andy's title tells it all. We're a country of people who've allowed themselves to be frightened. Our infrastructure is falling apart, I live close enough to the Minneapolis bridge that fell into the Mississippi River that I could see the smoke from the collapse.
We know where our money should be spent but we spend it on unnecessary wars, and walls, and our surveillance state out of fear, The problem is, WE are who we should fear: OUR INACTION: all created by our country's propaganda machine, our MIC, our political state, and corporate owned politicians./
+20 # bingers 2015-08-31 23:48
As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Perhaps the wall they should build is around NOLA in case of another hurricane.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fire west of Roosevelt Lake 50% contained

Peters Fire burning west of Roosevelt Lake

September 1, 2015; 4:30 p.m.

§  Tonto Basin Ranger District of the Tonto National Forest
§  Gila County, Arizona
§  Peters Mountain, approximately 9 miles south of Tonto Basin, AZ, and two miles west of Roosevelt Lake

Start Date:  August 27, 2015, reported at approximately 4 p.m.

Size:  Approximately 800 acres                                 Percent contained: 50%

Cause:  Lightning

Vegetation: Grass and brush                                              Growth Potential:  Moderate

Resources Assigned: 1 engine (5 personnel), 2 hand crews (40 personnel), 1 air attack plane; total personnel 48.

The lightning caused Peters Fire was reported Thursday, August 27.  It’s burning in Sonoran Desert grass and brush two miles west of Roosevelt Lake on the slope of Peters Mountain.

“The Peters Fire received significant rain over a 1.5 hour period last night.  With the intense hard work the fire fighters have performed since last Thursday there was little growth yesterday and no smoke showing today” said District Ranger Kelly Jardine.  There are no homes or structures threatened.  The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Three Bar cabin is located one mile west of the fire and is a priority for protection.

Ground crews and air attack will continue current day operations to contain and secure the fire perimeter.  Fire fighters will monitor the fire overnight as higher nighttime humidity has subdued the fire growth overnight.

Peters Fire and fire activity is visible from Hwy. 188, Roosevelt Lake and Tonto Basin areas. We ask the public to watch out for fire fighters and equipment along Hwy. 188.

Populist Agenda Is An Electable Agenda

Terrance Heath

● 53 percent support the government paying students’ tuition for community college.
● 71 percent support debt-free college at all public universities.
● 78 percent believe the government should limit greenhouse emissions from businesses.

● 61 percent believe that in today’s economy, just a few people at the top have the chance to get ahead.
● 57 percent say the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.
● 65 percent believe income inequality is a problem that needs to be addressed now.

Money in Politics
● 84 percent think money has too much influence in elections today.
● 81 percent would support getting rid of secret money in our political system by requiring full disclosure and transparency of all political money.
● 75 percent would support preventing the wealthy and big corporations from spending unlimited amounts of money on elections.

Social Security and Medicare
● 59 percent support the government offering a health care plan similar to Medicare to compete with the private market.
● 71 percent support giving all Americans the choice of buying health insurance through Medicare or private insurers.
● 62 percent of voters in Senate battleground states support increasing Social Security benefits.

● 62 percent say the rich pay too little in taxes.
● 68 percent are in favor of increasing taxes on those making more than $1 million a year.
● 74 percent support ending tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs overseas.
● 75 percent support fair trade standards that protect workers, the environment, and jobs.
● 55 percent oppose giving the president exclusive authority to negotiate trade deals that would only allow Congress to vote yes or no, but not change.

Wages and Workers
● 59 percent support a minimum guaranteed income.
● 84 percent support making sure working women earn equal pay, and opening up opportunities to women at all levels.
● 66 percent support making jobs pay enough to live on by defending the right of workers to bargain for better wages and benefits, and increasing the national minimum wage.

Wall Street
● 66 percent support breaking up big banks that are “too big to fail.”
● 55 percent support a financial transactions tax.

These are just some of the issues on which a growing number of Americans agree with Bernie Sanders.

Pundits and commentators love to put Sanders and Trump in the same category: Candidates Who Make Their Party Establishment Nervous. The difference is that Trump’s appeal is to the basest of the GOP base. Sanders’ populist message crosses partisan lines, and appeals to Americans who know that the economic and political system has been rigged against them. They want an economy of equal opportunity and shared prosperity, where good jobs with fair wages are available to anyone who wants one. More and more of them are demanding that their elected leaders act on it, and that their candidates support it.

Monday, August 31, 2015

What Bernie Sanders Has Already Won

Dave Johnson

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Study confirms: Pesticides killing bees

Bees have been dying at an alarming rate. (photo: Raymond Roig/AFP/Getty Images)
Bees have been dying at an alarming rate. (photo: Raymond Roig/AFP/Getty Images)

By Coco McPherson, Rolling Stone

30 August 15

Expert Scott Black explains why bees are the canaries in the ecological coal mine
t's no secret that bees are in trouble. What's causing bee populations to plummet – neonicotinoid pesticides, mites, stress – remains hotly contested, despite a growing body of scientific evidence that neonics are part of the problem. But last week, the results of a landmark British study tracking neonic use for over a decade showed a direct correlation between a class of these pesticides and bee colony losses.

"This is important," says ecologist Scott Black, "because it's the large-scale field study showing the same thing that everybody's suspected." 

Rolling Stone recently asked Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, to explain the significance of the study, why bees are so unique and why scientists consider invertebrates to be the canaries in the ecological coal mine.

Bees and their role in food production are constantly in the news. But many people can't really visualize what exactly bees do. To start, can you explain pollination? 

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male part of the plant to the female part of the plant. There's both animal pollination and wind pollination. The largest animal pollinator we know of is the lemur in Madagascar. Hummingbirds and bats pollinate, but the vast majority of pollinators out there are insects. The main pollinators of our crops are bees, and not just honeybees. People often say, "One-third of all our food comes from honeybees." That's not accurate. It comes from bees. 

Wild bees and honeybees.

Honeybees are vitally important, but wild bees, especially for certain crops — apples, lots of our berries – are really, really important. We need that pollen to get from one flower to the next flower, and from the male part to the female part. And bees are really good at this because unlike all other animals that are visiting just to eat the pollen and/or nectar, bees actually collect it because they're feeding it to their young.

They're one of the only animals out there that actually collect the pollen rather than just feeding on pollen, so they visit many more flowers. They've evolved to collect pollen. Once they find a flower that's producing a lot of pollen and/or nectar, they cue in on that type of flower. Bees are very efficient and very good at pollination. Humans just can't do this on any scale. For one thing, it's very expensive. You don't have to pay bees. You have hundreds of millions of workers out there who are doing this for free.  If we want the most nutritious foods, bee pollination of our crops is really the only way forward. 

When a hive is brought to a field or a farm and the bees are released, what's happening?

The goal of the hive is to produce more bees, more young. These bees aren't saying, "Oh, we're here to help the humans." Young bees need pollen and nectar to grow up.

Bees are brought in a hive, they fly out and they start to look for sources of both pollen and nectar – they want both. When they find those sources, they can communicate with the other bees in the hive where those best sources are. It's fascinating. They go out and collect pollen and nectar until they can't collect any more, and they bring it back to the hive. They store it and also feed it to the young, then go back. They do this all day. They're really efficient at figuring out where the food is, and then collecting it and bringing it back.

So the transfer from the male part of the plant to the female part happens by, what, beautiful coincidence as bees are feeding?

Coincidence is maybe the wrong word. Flowers and bees have evolved together.

These flowers are advertising themselves. They're getting these animals to stop to either sip nectar or to actually collect pollen. Either way, they're getting pollen on them. Then the bees fly off, and the next flower is also advertising. The bee stops there, and some pollen always comes off. It's an incredible co-evolution of these flowers and these animals that really draws these animals in to help the flower. Flowers are advertising and providing the reward that keeps the bees coming back. It's not by accident; what's really cool about it is that it's by design. 

Bees have been harnessed – like mules to a cart – to do this work for us. 

The thing I find interesting is that honeybees were not originally managed to do pollination, but for a sugar source. Europe didn't have sugarcane, of course, so honey was used to make mead, to sweeten other food sources. Crop sizes were small, there was habitat everywhere and if you didn't have native bees, you had wild honeybees around. That's the reason they brought honeybees to the New World. In the early 1600s, they brought them on ships, and then moved them across the country in wagon trains. Again, nobody thought about pollination; pollination just happened. It was the 1930s and Forties, with the advent of giant monocultures and the use of synthetic insecticides, that people started to see that they weren't getting the pollination they used to. That's when we started moving honeybees for pollination, that's when the industry came into its own. We can box these animals up and take them on a truck to where they're needed.

You don't think this is sustainable. 

We're using one animal to try to pollinate a disproportionate amount of our food. And although I think they're going to be important for a long, long time, I also think we underutilize the native bees that are often out there. To really have sustainable agriculture and a sustainable system of feeding people, we should not rely on just one animal to pollinate most of our crops. 

The British field study shows a link between neonicotinoid pesticide use and honeybee colony loss.  There's a lot of research out there – why is this being heralded as a "first"? 

They're not saying it's the first time [they've proven a connection]; they're saying it's the first time in a field situation. We've had many studies that show that if exposed, these chemicals are highly toxic and will kill bees. We have lots of studies that show even at small amounts, these chemicals will change the behavior of bees, they'll have fewer babies, and they won't be able to forage as well. And we have tons of evidence that these things are found everywhere – in urban and agricultural situations. You put that together and you can say, "OK, these are highly toxic." We know bees are contacting them, you can connect the dots, but this is the large-scale field study showing the same thing that everybody's suspected. 

Why is that important? 

It's important because chemical companies have said that that we don't have studies that show this in the field. We can have all this data, and yes you can say this is impacting bees, but we haven't shown this in a long-term field study. So this is an important one. 

The U.S. Geological Survey just published a report about neonicotinoids being in streams all over the country.

The USGS study simply says that these chemicals are found in half the streams we've sampled. The USGS is a scientific body and they're very careful, but I think it does add to a huge body of evidence – for instance, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with their meta-analysis of 800 studies showing that these chemicals are really a problem for pollinators and other beneficial insects, and they're a huge problem for aquatic insects. Neonics are easily transported from soil into water, and they're very toxic to aquatic organisms that make up the base of the food chain for fish and for the birds who eat the insects. What's really interesting is that there are almost no studies coming out that are saying these chemicals are safe. 

What's about the chemical companies? 

As each new study says this is continuing to be a problem, it does get harder for the chemical companies to say that this isn't a problem. They'll always point to the uncertainties inherent in science; they did this with lead in paint, tobacco, and climate change. They sow seeds of doubt even though they do not have the evidence to support their conclusions. 

Are invertebrates the canaries in the coal mine in terms of ecosystem health? 

Yes, they certainly are. They're really important for understanding the health of our ecosystems because they can be readily monitored and they're the base of the food chain. If you like to eat salmon, you can thank small flies in the stream where these salmon were born. If you like to eat nutritious fruits and vegetables, you can thank bees. If you like to watch songbirds you can thank the insects that they eat – if birds are in your yard, it's because there are insects they feed their young. These things are super important and really are the harbinger of whether you're doing well or poorly. If you're seeing fewer insects – bees or aquatic insects – you know it's affecting the birds and the fish and onward up to the people.

+15 # Colleen Clark 2015-08-30 09:12
NB Rachel Carson "The Silent Spring". Still relevant.

+1 # tm7devils39 2015-08-30 12:18
Given that: the combined intelligence of modern man (Homo Sapiens Sapiens - an obvious oxymoron) is not high enough to insure it's own survival,
Then: Do you think that our government will ever step up and rein-in the chemical companies(Monsa nto comes to mind) that are "not so" slowly killing our planet?

+2 # Vardoz 2015-08-30 12:24
This was clear years ago and chemical companies do not care. Unless growers put pressure and lobby these chemicals will continue to be used because reps are for sale to the highest bidder regardless of the consequences.

+2 # nice2bgreat 2015-08-30 13:24

For environmentalis ts to win battles, before the decimation of eco-systems, habitats, and species -- all the way to saving lives individually -- there needs to be push-back on recent precedents set, regarding:

legislated retro-active immunity or immunity that infringes upon 1st Amendment rights "prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances";

laws criminalizing truth-seeking, such as banning video footage of law-enforcement , banning video of inhumane farming activities; making it illegal for journalists, etc., to falsify work applications -- even if otherwise qualified for that position, and fulfilling work duties.

Not that it's not happening by some, but, in order for liberal ideology to be effective and popular, groups with differing priorities -- yet, who are similarly represent aspects within the agenda on the left -- are most effective when united.

All environmentalis ts should champion a living wage for anyone working full time.

Blue collar workers should support clean air, water, and renewable energies -- not as thanks (but in a way as thanks) -- for overwhelming support of workers rights, unionization, living wages, pay equity for women -- women should support workers rights, living wages, unionization, etc., (not as thanks, but in a way as thanks) -- and women and workers should support environmental causes, de-militarizati on of police, ending prison privatization, ending racial discrimination, global peace efforts, etc.

0 # Dongi 2015-08-30 14:11
Yes, people of liberal persuasion, should hang together and support progressive causes. Now more than ever we must concentrate so we can deliver maximum force. Life is so complicated and there are so many capitalists around that we can do no less. Otherwise, life will just suck.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Haunted by Student Debt to the Grave


Steven L.
Campaign for America's Future
It will not be news to 41 million Americans that this nation is in the middle of a student debt crisis. That’s the number of people burdened by student loan payments. But many people, including many student debt holders, may be surprised to learn that people can be pursued for student debt even into their elder years.

In fact, the government is withholding Social Security payments for some retirees because their student loans have not been fully repaid. This is a growing problem that Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) have asked the government to study in greater depth.

“Garnishing Social Security benefits defeats the entire point of the program — that’s why we don’t allow banks or credit card companies to do it,” said Sen. McCaskill. “Social Security is the sole means of retirement income for tens of millions of Americans, and allowing those benefits to be garnished to collect student loan debt cuts a dangerous hole in our safety net.”

That is one problem with this practice. But, as we will see, there are others.

Many people will be surprised to learn that any seniors are still paying off their student debt. They are: 706,000 households headed by someone 65 or older are still paying off their student debts, according to a report by the GAO. Collectively these households owed $18.2 billion in 2013. That’s six-and-a-half times as much as they owed in 2005, when these senior households’ total debt obligation was “only” $2.8 billion.

Of those households, 191,000 – more than one in four – are in default. The government can take up to 15 percent of a Social Security check to pay back a student loan, as long as the monthly check amount does not drop below $750 a month.

Social Security payments could not be seized for any reason until – for the first time ever — Congress created an exception for student debt in 1996. Before then, Social Security was protected from garnishments of any kind. That was deliberate. The original Social Security Act of 1935 stated that benefits were not “subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.”

The government doesn’t have to go to court, either. It requires a court order to garnish a working person’s wages, but Social Security benefits are entirely under federal control. Many people have learned they still owed student debt only after a portion of their Social Security check had been taken.

These seniors’ benefits are not being garnished to pay loans they took out for their kids, either. The GAO found that four out of five seniors in this category owed the money for their own education, not their children’s. In many cases these loans were incurred and the defaults arose (with subsequent interest and penalty fees) years before the government assumed the power to reach into seniors’ retirement income to collect them.

While the total number of seniors losing benefits today is relatively small (it was 155,000 in 2013), this problem threatens to grow larger as our overall student debt problem continues to grow. What’s more, the moral dimensions of this problem are quite large.

The fact that this problem even exists suggests that we’ve lost our national perspective on education. Student debt is a historical anomaly in this nation’s history. We were primarily an agrarian nation until the developments of the 20th century gave rise to a new economy in which far more people needed a higher education.

But with that shift came a rise in publicly funded higher education at the state level. The rise of the conservative movement in the latter part of the last century led to state budget cuts and massive tuition increases. The result was skyrocketing student debt for public as well as private college students.

Now there is a growing movement for tuition-free or very low-cost public higher education – a return to the principle, established in the not-too-distant past, that all qualified students should have access to debt-free higher education. If that movement is successful – and we believe it will be – then today’s runaway student debt problem will eventually fade away.

But that will leave two generations of Americans condemned to pay an extremely high price for having been unlucky enough to attend college during the conservative period during which all but the wealthiest students were required to take on debt in order to get an education.

We believe that all Americans should be freed from the burdens of this aberrational period of student debts – and that a “student debt jubilee” would be good for the U.S. economy and for the work and family lives of graduates. But perhaps that jubilee can proceed in stages.

There is already a widespread call – partially successful so far – to forgive the debts of students who were ripped off by for-profit universities, like Corinthian – colleges that encouraged them to take student loans, delivered a terrible education, and are now going belly-up.

And surely America can and should establish the principle that, having been forced to take on debt during this aberrational period, those Americans who reach the age of 65 and are depending on Social Security for most of their income should not have to continue to pay off what remains of student loans from their Social Security checks.

There will be those who say that a debt is a debt and must be repaid. But it is a long-standing legal principle that failure to collect a debt over an extended period of time renders it uncollectible. What’s more, we are actually treating people more harshly for seeking to finance an education than for financing a house or car. Where is the sense in that?

The solution seems obvious: First, we must stop the practice of garnishing Social Security payments to pay student debt. Then we must take a long, hard look at all the student debt that has been accumulated in this country. For millions of Americans, a college education is the ticket to a better life.

Nobody should be deprived of an education because they don’t come from a wealthy family. And nobody should be subjected to onerous debt because they dared to dream and desired to learn.

Em Sherman ·

I paid mine by starving, literally, and working 3 jobs so my health is trashed. God help us all.
Paul Richey ·
Works at Retired

As a retired American I have to wonder if I will be garnished because my daughter still has an unpaid balance. I don't need that during my retirement.
Linda Contract ·

Have to add one more thing. This student debt is called "extortion". We have to follow the money!
Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hrs
JoAnne Tyler
trust laws to pr
inent monopolizatthis posting site if f'd up! It keeps restaging my words. so I drive a school bus with 40K in student debt behind me. ion. So I spent five years as a min wage sportswriter, with little hope of improving my lot, unless I wanted to travel around the country working. At over 50 I chose to stay home instead of uprooting my life to battle younger reporters for jobs. I learned later that counselors are more concerned with filling seats in the classroom, with less importance placed on steering students toward productive careers. Same thing happened when I went to grad school. I was told I'd be going into a great field and would make a great substance abuse counselor. Then I learned from people in the field that the market was flooded with counselors, they were a "dime a dozen" and with my Master's degree I could expect a starting salary of $18-23K per year! And
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs
Linda Contract ·

The interest rates have increased to 9%. So, whether the payments go towards interest or principle
the creditors are collecting monies above and beyone anyone's imagination. We need to find out
more about this debt and who the creditors are and have the Justice Dept go after them. We are paying
for more than student debt even if they are government backed student loans. There has to be a class action lawsuit against Navient, Sallie Mae and all of the other creditors who are gouging and re-gouging Americans and unbelievably will not give us the information regarding individual debt. "Som
...See More
Like · Reply · 3 · 2 hrs
Ken Addington ·

" if you're on the bottom of the food chain, they need you more than you need them. "
Ken Addington
Like · Reply · 1 hr
Dona Bullock
Make our officials pay their own way (no more of our tax dollars) and see how they like that.
Like · Reply · 3 · 2 hrs
Dona Bullock
Once again our elected officials who we monetarily support for maybe 60 days of supposed work (I make this comment with tongue in cheek) still finding ways to shaft the people they are suppose to represent
Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hrs