Progressive Toledo is Back

Progressive Toledo is back. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, after a long hiatus, I have decided to recreate the blog. Despite a takeover from a casino company, I have retained the rights to this blog. As many of you know, I shut down the previous Progressive Toledo because I was not happy with the economic environment of the area. Now, I recognize that I want to be here (whether I end up here or not is another question). The fact is that I love this town, and I want to do as much as I can to see it succeed. In the same respect, this blog will not be political. We will not endorse political candidates. I want this to be a thinktank from Toledo's greatest minds on how we can improve the economic environment of the city and the area. If you wish to contribute to the writing, email me at progressivetoledo@gmail.com. We will be very selective this time around. Additionally, there will be absolutely no censoring of comments.

Additionally, by progressive, I do not mean liberal. I mean progress. Please visit http://progressivetoledo.blogspot.com.

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Good blog. What do you mean taken over by a casino company?

It's an inside joke for the old readers. After I shut it down originally, a casino company assumed the name.

OK

That was strange the casino did that and that says how much of a subscriber I was. How did you get it back? I will add your site to the RSS feeds, just keep it up-to-date.

... since it's too basic a set of economic formulas that:

See comments on Toledo Talk

lew

if we could make the government work 1. within the allowed budget and 2. without borrowing?

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Thanks for your concerns GZ, but you're more focused on an individual's decision making process. I agree with you that living outside your means is bad for the economy, and the more people do it, the greater the effect on the economy. If you read carefully, you will see I'm not big on high taxes and government spending. I'm looking for alternative, practical solutions to improve our conditions.

junta says "Thanks for your concerns GZ, but you're more focused on an individual's decision making process"

Dude, you should try reading this, like totally remarkable document sometime, Dude. It is called the Constitution of the United States of America.

It might explain your confusion over GZ's stand point.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

in a passive aggressive sort of way, eh Kate?

Try to read the posts and put yourself in their shoes, rather than yours.

that anyone would assume I'm anti - TPS. Or that my kids are a failure or that teachers don't bear a responsibility for their own jobs and job performance.

A. I'm working to try to make TPS better. Because I think the kids and the teachers deserve it. I think the administration, with some exceptions, is a money sucking machine that interferes with education.

B. My kids are very successful. Not sure where that presumption keeps coming from...

C. Teachers are not responsible for raising children. They are responsible for what goes on in and comes out of the classroom. We have some fantastic teachers in TPS and we also have some that should not be teaching. Not only do the students suffer from this problem, but the good teachers do as well.

We spend far more than enough to have an adequate city government, county oversight and public school system. We don't have those things. And all the rhetoric in the world is not changing things for us.

I'm frustrated because we don't have forward progress in Toledo.

It seems like the same politicians get elected, the same administrative woes occur, the same collective finger pointing and blame - nothing seems to change here. What can create change?

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

"I want this to be a thinktank from Toledo's greatest minds on how we can improve the economic environment of the city and the area."

Kurt I don't care what restrictions you lay down, I'm still participating ;-)

(BTW, Welcome back!)

Hooda Thunkit

This was coined by Richard Beckhard, when he was studying organizations back in the 60's, I believe.

Change in organizations and communities can be cultivated through this process. 1. Have a commited organization or group of people involved:

2. Follow this process:

D-- Desire for change, or Dissatisfaction with the current state--There is a common element in the group or organization that believes there is a need to do something different.

V-- Vision--A compelling cause for doing work-- "We are going to...for the purpose of...in order to..."

First steps-- A clear plan in place to do work, or to make a change.

All of those--DVF need to be in place in order to overcome R--Resistance to change.

Who drives this process? Dedicated people, because it takes a lot of work.

Sound like some theoritical mumbo jumbo? It sure is, but it works. That is the only way I know of to create change!

but here are a couple of things I am encountering that almost seem insurmountable to me.

When I started attending local political meetings to tape them, I would read the follow up in the Blade. In most cases - the reporting bore little to no resemblance to the meeting that I went to.

I know there are behind the scene political stuff that my poor brain doesn't grasp - but the community here takes their impression from that publication. Or least have done so historically.

I'll give you the clearest cut example I can. At a school board meeting the Board President addressed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) that had promised a future raise to the district teachers of 1.48%, several years prior. That raise was still unpaid and it was growing in cost incrementally and appears to have the potential to grow to a number the district cannot pay. As it stands now, we would probably have to have a tax levy to pay it.

So the Board President puts that out for discussion, somewhere around the budget time last year. She says the thing needs to be paid before it gets completely out of control or get the thing done away with. The TFT leadership wasn't willing to negotiate - so the Board President said she thought it needed to be paid.

I have read twice since then in the Blade that she is NOT in favor of paying it.

What do you do to overcome something like this? There are tons of examples, but this is what it is that I find happening.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

and you bring up a good example

here are a few problems, from that blip that I know everyone here has mentioned from time to time.

"That raise was still unpaid and it was growing in cost ...potential to grow to a number the district cannot pay."--I believe that the funding for school has been deemed unconstitutional at the state level, until they get their heads out from under, local funding hands are tied (unless, like you said there is a local levy)--Fixing the state level problem can be attacked at a local level

" but the community here takes their impression from that publication."-- continue to work towards helping people get a different impression--i.e.--swamp bubbles, toledo talk, free press, Sojourner Truth, bloggers, new media (podcasting & Streaming tv), just to name a few.

"The TFT leadership wasn't willing to negotiate - so the Board President said she thought it needed to be paid"---the board, admin., and TFT are dysfunctional to say the least--I think everyone should give their input on this, what can concerned citizens do to really pressure these three groups to stop putting on a power show and start making progress?

Maybe that's what is giving me a hard time right now :-) I had thought it would be easier. Time to put my money where my mouth is and see if I have what it takes to do this in the long run. Rather than bitch and complain.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

LOL

the long run gets shorter when more people help!!

I am always interesting in helping people who want to make a difference. Make sure you let us (TTers, SBers, and Bloggers) know what you may need or want. I will do what I can!

It has been a real learning experience.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

What confusion do you speak of KateB? I know exactly what he's conveying, and I agree with him.

When I speak of tax-and-spend, I'm obviously taking aim at the taxing authority, which means some layer of the government. Those of us who live under personal austerity programs are punished by layers of government who live under opposite means. The decision-making process of the government around Toledo is heavily indoctrinated with the tax-and-spend paradigm.

Although you claim not to be big on high taxes, you're still relying on the latitude of the term "high". Toledo is in the middle of an advancing economic collapse and practically any tax upon the general populace has a strong negative effect.

Although you claim not to be big on government spending, you sure sounded quite infatuated with economic development programs, which are really the costliest of modern excesses since they tend to simply dump income potential today and into the future (note: in direct contrast to their stated goals), as well as arrange even more corporate welfare (i.e. giving public funds to already-rich people and organizations).

I'm more than willing to give you the chance. I merely fear that your yuppie exuberance and willingness to fund wild hopes are strong distractions from the sound operation of a fiscally-conservative government. The government lives outside its means continually now. IT and WE must pull back from such economic extremism. If it means having our trash picked up only once per month, then so be it. If it means eating out no more than once per month, then again, so it must be. Etc.

Additionally Kate, I can guarantee I've read the constitution more than you have, and the judicial interprestations thereof. I have also read the Ohio Constitution, which many of you anti-tps and anti-public school folks choose to ignore. Indeed, I've written an article on public school funding. But at the end of the day, it's up to the parents to encourage their kids to succeed, so stop blaming the teachers for your failure and the failure of your kids.

Well, I don't mind being labeled anti-TPS. I'm that way since I'm so pro-education (at least where it's mandatory, and where it's paid for). The TPS is so mired in "benefit masturbation" that they not only completely miss seeing the bad educations they commonly arrange, but when pressed they even deny any responsibility for producing those educations. Personally I believe that they largely know their school system pours excrement routinely into young minds, clogging up their mental faculties and causing them to regurgitate the same shit.

The TPS cannot defend the horrible, ugly statistics of their test scores. They try to cover for that by claiming they are better than other terrible Ohio urban schools, but that's farcical and only shows how sick and twisted they are -- literally, as their selfish political games take precedence over the effective education of children. As Ohio's teachers are among the top-compensated in their profession across the nation, the poor performance of the public schools are a slap in the face of the taxpaying public and parents.

... where it starts with teachers.

I mean, has a new course been introduced for prospective teachers to take while in college, called "Avoiding Responsibility 203"?

You're right in noting that teachers are NOT responsible for raising children. But they ARE responsible for educating them. The modern teacher mafia has tried many times to wedge "bad parenting" into their responsibility in order to peel it off ... all the while, collecting fatter paychecks than the median Ohio income warrants, and enjoying all the benefits that unions arrange for them. They're already enjoying their reward ... so what was the accomplishment that merited such largess?

GZ, I doubt you'd encourage eating once a month, regardless of how dire your needs are. The government must provide for those who cannot afford to eat; a lesson we learned under the great depression and the FDR administration. While it is certainly a valid argument that FDR went too far, he lowered the elderly poverty rate from 30% to 4%. Certainly, there is some value to government services. It took from FDR to Reagan before this private business movement started. The concern on both sides are this: (1) FDR basically promoted socialism, and (2) Reagan relied too heavily on private enterprise. While I agree that private competition is extraordinarily important, private enterprise has also gone too far, and Enron is great example of that. My point is that there must a nexus between the promotion of public services and private enterprise. It seems to me that the middle ground is the way to go. Privates get too greedy, and the public gets too giving. There has to be something in between.

But Junta, the Toledo city government routinely provides assistance to those who have never missed a meal and never will (i.e. the wealthy and corporate), so what I'm largely complaining about is that economic development is an unofficial scam that breaks the official idea that it is to the public's benefit. Economic development is a fraud that it being sold to the public as a benefit but which is merely corporate welfare -- as I said, feeding people who never needed such assistance.

At any rate, it can't be Constitutional to treat certain and arbitrary businesses in America as exempt from taxation. Making THEM exempt (yet still receiving the benefit of government) makes the REST OF US either overcharged or shortchanged. One of the basic causes of the revolution leading to the formation of the USA was taxation without representation. Corporate welfare is merely an extension of that ancient wrong.

This is why real Progressivism in Toledo can't involve the imposition of more programs and taxation. The government first must withdraw from the many areas it illegally or unwisely stuck its nose into. This is doubly true since the working population is facing an advancing economic collapse. In times of scarcity of both supply and demand, the key element is to either align yourself with increasing the supply (i.e. producing to meet needs) or be one of those decreasing your demands. Too many people in Toledo are doing exactly the opposite -- by consuming even more and by seeking less productive labors.

At any rate, the middle ground you speak of actually doesn't exist. The Centrists are almost uniformly left of scale with corporations, making the environment Socialist to serve their (note: unsatisfiable) needs, and they are simultaneously right of scale with the general public, leaving them unprotected from corporate voracity (i.e. the "free market"). The middle-of-the-road folk are just feeding us the worst of both worlds. The base cause is a fundamental misunderstanding of the American wealth-and-culture engine. It became profoundly dependent upon nonrenewable AND unsustainable energy. It cannot continue; the exoburbs must wither and the cities and urban areas must restructure. Once we return to understanding that a man's wealth is his own, then we'll start to see how mentally-retarded it is to advocate for corporate welfare and bigger government. (Note well that socially-intrusive government is like saying you want a government agent on every streetcorner. It's the biggest government of all since there's no limit in such an enforcement regime.)

The problem as I see it (if I may) is the overwhelming power that corporations have usurped, which has created the need for regulations to protect the citizens---thus, huge corporations, big government. If we restore corporations to their original intent:

* Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.

* Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.

* Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.

* Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.

* Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.

* Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.

Not to mention repealing corporate personhood, which does not exist. The Bill of Rights are guaranteed for We, the People NOT corporations.

Return corporations to their limited power, and the need for much of the current regulation and big gov't disappears.

Go to www.reclaimdemocracy.org

Pink Slip

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