Americanâs median income was $51,939.00 in 2013. In 2012 our median income was $51,759.00. In 1999, the pre-recession peak median American income was $56,436.00. Five years ago the United States Treasury took in 2.1 trillion dollars.
As someone who has lots of discussions with people about the political and social state of our country, Iâm well aware of the frustration felt by people who would like to change things for the better. Changing, or getting control, of entrenched bureaucracies, or trying to figure out how to reduce social problems, such as teen-pregnancies, high dropout rates, rising poverty levels, etc. can be a very daunting task.
Despite the fact that 2014 was not a legislative year, there are a couple of new laws that took effect the first of the month. Most will not have a major impact on the people of Nolan County, but there are a couple that may. In addition, there are already many new laws âprefiledâ for legislative consideration when they return to the capitol..
There is something in humanity that likes to âstart overâ, and to celebrate that new beginning as though nothing had gone before. We have an insuppressible urge to believe that âluckâ will be with us this time, and that things will get better. New Yearsâ Day is one for resolutions that, while voiced with all good intent, will probably not last the year; it is a day to remember what was good, mourn that which was lost, and to prepare for another year. So, while we are a few days past the actual first (brrrrrr!), perhaps some reflection would not be a bad thing.
Something thatâs been all over the news lately is that The Barack and his wife, Michelle, have recently laid claim to being victims of discrimination. Letâs see, both of them were helped into ivy league schools, and then, at least in Michelleâs case, into cushy, high-paying, no-show jobs (normally being a state Senator isnât a âno-showâ job, but thatâs pretty much how The Barack did it, unless of course there was a vote on killing children, and then he made sure to be there).
It was my intent to have a lighthearted column for today, one that would leave all concerned feeling âgoodâ about themselves, the holiday, and the days to come. Unfortunately, situations in our nation and world leave many of us feeling, at best, uncomfortable. The deaths in Ferguson and New York â with the ensuing riots-, the deaths in Pakistan, with gunmen seeking children to shoot, these and other horrific situations dominate our news. Even in the midst of war opposing sides have been known to stop and acknowledge the humanity of both sides; today that seems to be impossible.
The holidays are predicted to see Americans hitting the roads in record numbers. We take for granted our ability to move about on the highway system â and are quick to complain about the bumps, ruts, or periodic inconveniences! According to the National Research Council, we use highways for more than 90% of our trips, and ship 69% of our freight over them.
âHow much is that puppy in the window, the one with the waggldy tailâŠ?â While the song is not necessarily aimed directly at the holidays, retail research indicates that Christmas is still one of the favorite times to give someone a puppy or kitten. The problem is, if the person and / or household are not ready, this is a death sentence for the puppy.
Recently I caught part of a Sunday political show where Chris Wallace was trying to "take a bite out of" Ted Cruz's suggestion for dealing with The Barack going forward. Apparently, Senator Cruz suggested that after the new Republican majority Senate is seated, that they (the Senate) tell The Barack that no appointments, judicial or otherwise, will be confirmed as long as he (The Barack) is trying to rule the United States by Royal DecreâŠ, sorry I must have meant to say "executive order".
Many of us are starting this week with a light heart. Most employees will have Thursday and Friday as holidays to celebrate Thanksgiving. Somehow, this holiday that we were taught was a special time to express our gratitude for the blessings of life has become the extended shopping weekend for Christmas, something which is neither appropriate nor complimentary of the day. We owe more than we can ever pay to those who were involved in the celebration of the first Thanksgiving â the least we can do is make the time to remember them.