We’re all in this together
To all the merciless who populate this space: To the naysayers and pessimists. To the negativists and nihilists. To the glasses-half-empty and fault-finders. To the tightwads and grinches. To the chronic complainers and bellyachers. To the doomsayers and fatalists. To the passive aggressives and active aggressives. May the sun shine on you, the Lord be gracious to you, and your neighbor love you. May you realize your life isn’t so bad after all, and that we are all in this together. May you enjoy a good new year with a heap of positive energy to help move the world forward a notch.
‘The Wealth of Nations’
“The Wealth of Nations,” a book by Adam Smith, outlines capitalism and how it should work in a civilized and democratic society. As we have applied it, and perverted it in the process, we are now busy getting rid of the civilized and democratic society it was intended to serve.
It has always been pretty clear that whoever controls the wealth of a nation, controls its governance. In a democracy, that wealth must be distributed between those who managed and those who do the actual work and must be shared, through taxes, with those who are not part of the economic system of wages, salaries and profits.
If the wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few on top, if wages no longer reflect effort or productivity, if those who do the actual work of maintaining the society are no longer valued in any economic sense, then workers become drones and the rest of the citizens simply become economic units, of value only as an income stream for those on top ... to be discarded once they no longer have economic value.
We live in a Pavlovian propaganda soup that sustains the illusion that we have control over our lives or economic fate. Governance has become political theatre, played out with great gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands, but controlled by the wealthy few who pull the strings and write the scripts.
We are left with empty illusions ... to contend about smaller issues that deflect our attention while the train heads for the cliff.
In effect we are busy rearranging the deck chairs on our Titanic while those with the wealth have abandoned us and have transferred to the luxury yacht we see moving toward the horizon and out of sight.
Tune in to council meeting
This is a reminder for the citizens of Brainerd to tune in to the local TV channel at 7:30 p.m. on Monday evening Jan. 6, to watch a very important city council meeting.
Mr. Bob Olson, former councilman at large, will be presenting crucial financial facts that are related to the bonding issue petition recently halting four projects totaling $980,000. Most of these project costs were only guesstimates by city staff.
Mr. Olson will be reviewing alternatives the city can do to get those projects completed without putting an extra tax burden on the city taxpayers. As a successful businessman for many years, Mr. Olson’s financial expertise should not be ignored. It is time the city staff and elected officials operate the city as a business, showing it to be responsible, accountable and fiscally prudent.
Some council members have been using scare tactics to get their agenda pushed through. The people of Brainerd need to be informed there are ways these projects can be completed without creating increased debt and financial hardships on the taxpayers.
A penny saved ...
An opinion writer openly chastised past Mayor and Alderman of Brainerd Robert Olson for the out of control spending by the council. The same Bob Olson whom managed the civic center profitably that the city lost money on then gave a way for a dollar.
Having gotten to know Mr. Olson over a growing number of years now, typing memos and building spreadsheets for him when he was in office, one thing I can say for certain is Bob knows how to save a buck, or a million for the tax payers. To keep up with this seasoned citizen on finances, you best pack a lunch and leave early. I have seen the amount of work this gentleman puts into the job he was elected to. His mind, always on the citizens, watching their money like a hawk. During his time in office, he has saved hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. He’s a bargain for the taxpayers, and not finished yet.
On Jan. 6, ol’ Bob is going to be trying to save Brainerd’s citizens money again. This is after the successful petition he and Jan Burton filed against more wistful and wasteful spending. As always, Good ol’ Bob has solutions to the budgetary woes of the council. Naturally staff will have hissy fits and throw tantrums, because it means they don’t get some new pretty toys. Brainerd is the city with the highest unemployment in the county with the highest unemployment.
If you don’t care for the 12 percent hike in taxes and want to sound off against spending, show up and show your support, maybe take a turn at the microphone, or catch the broadcast on public access then write a letter. Do something. Get involved. It’s your money they’re playing with.