Thursday, March 01, 2007

Big Steps

As pretty much everyone knows, I enjoy reading the comments from you, the reader. One such individual, who goes by the moniker of "Moderate Man" recently submitted an article he wrote which I would like to share with you. Of course, I'm obligated to include the usual disclaimer that the guest writer's opinions are not necessarily those of this blog. With that said, sit back and enjoy Moderate Man's article, called "Big Steps". I'm sure you'll find it most interesting:

Where is the leadership? Why do you vote for candidates without vision? How about the ones who will promise you anything to get elected and part you from your money? Why aren't the major parties redesigning their methods? If the parties are failing to serve the population, then why don’t the cities and some regions become self sufficient to a greater extent than presently? Let me give an example. The Kentucky State legislature considers Louisville Metro and Jefferson County a donor county towards their budget. We consistently give more tax dollars to Frankfort than we receive. As we are the largest city in the state, it probably is justified to assist the other parts of the state with our taxes. However, the other parts of the state have an obligation also to be frugal with the states money. 120 counties for a state this size are too many. Too many county seats with patronage employees and political potentates. I recommend reducing the number of Kentucky counties by one third. But I am a realist. I know this will never happen as the people we vote for would not vote themselves out of a job and will gladly splurge at the taxpayer feeding trough. So the other parts of the state thumb their nose at their responsibility to be guardians of the budget money. And they resent Louisville Metro for being so successful. Its time for our City leaders to realize that if we want anything done, we will have to start pulling us up by our bootstraps. Frankfort won’t help us unless they think that without their help our town’s revenue machine may dry up and they will receive less funds. Our town needs additional tax monies to expand a stagnant population, develop a robust economy, attract high wage employers and more corporate headquarters. We need a small City sales tax added, increased property tax not capped at 4 %, increased occupational tax and less user fees for city services. We also need a separate taxing district for the parks, another one for the arts, and another one for the library. We already give special districts for sporting facilities. The medical community for the most part is a for-profit business and only a select group of non profit facilities should be subsidized, like additional medical care for indigents and the poor. Our town could use the extra revenue for tax abatement to lure corporate headquarters, develop light rail, rebuild our aging infrastructure, keep the arts groups intact, enhance the parks for generations to come, provide an educational Mecca in our libraries. The funds could be even used to give 60% partial college scholarships to every one who wanted to go and who attended a 4 year local public high school, have good grades and will then attend their hometown college like Kalamazoo, Michigan does. This town had the will. Do we?

Employee Free Choice Act

Here's a piece of good legislation for change. This gives employees the right to decide for themselves whether or not they want a union with out harassment from management or pressure from union officials. The US House votes on this today (March 1, 2007). Let's hope it passes. Of course, if companies want to avoid unions, it's a simple matter of treating employees with respect, providing for a clean and safe work environment, ensuring a decent living wage and benefits. Companies who don't have no one to blame except themselves. For additional information, here's a link to the AFL-CIO site and the article written by James Parks: http://blog.aflcio.org/2007/02/22/employee-free-choice-act-sticks-to-values-we-care-about/
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