Which country should the US emulate if not ourselves?

Robert Reich says he is often asked what other country the U.S. should emulate.

He replies that the answer is quite easy.

“We should emulate ourselves,” he says because between 1945 and 1980 the US built the largest middle class in the history of the world and created opportunities for the poor to move upward.

“In the 35 years since 1980 we’ve done the opposite,” says Reich.

Here’s his list of reasoning and rationale for saying just that:

  1. Between 1945 and 1980: American incomes rose as the economy grew.
  2. Since 1980: American incomes have flattened although the economy has continued to grow.
  3. Then: Typical CEO of large company got 20x the pay of the typical worker.
  4. Now: CEOs get 300x the typical worker’s pay.
  5. Then: The richest 1 percent got 9 percent of the nation’s total income.
  6. Now: The richest 1 percent get 20 percent.
  7. Then: The marginal tax rate on top incomes was 70 percent.
  8. Now: The top marginal rate is 39 percent.
  9. Then: A third of workers in the private sector were unionized.
  10. Now: Fewer than 7 percent are.
  11. Then: The biggest 5 Wall Street banks had 5% of all banking assets.
  12. Now: They have 44%.
  13. Then: We expanded free public higher education.
  14. Now: Public university tuition is rising faster then inflation.
  15. Then: We passed the Voting Rights Acts.
  16. Now: The Supreme Court has gutted the Voting Rights Act and southern states are making it harder for blacks to vote.
  17. Then: We passed the Civil Rights Act and desegregated our schools.
  18. Now: Public schools are more racially segregated than they were then.
  19. Then: We built the interstate highway system, the largest public infrastructure project in American history.
  20. Now: We’re investing a smaller share of the economy in infrastructure than at any time since World War II.

What do you think?

Robert Reich is the author of “SAVING CAPITALISM: FOR THE MANY, NOT THE FEW” is now in bookstores. You can also order from:
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1UW92No
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1ihgd0M
Or Amazon: http://bit.ly/1F2A9PX
Audio version can be ordered at:

His Facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/RBReich?fref=photo

Gov. Snyder’s Detroit School Proposal… STOP meddling… try to put Detroit back where it was in 1999 please!

From: David Hecker, AFT Michigan <ddobbie@aftmichigan.org>
Date: Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 1:18 PM
Subject: Gov. Snyder’s Detroit School Proposal

Dear Jeff:

Today Governor Snyder held a press conference regarding the future of education in Detroit. We anticipate legislation next week, and will need your help to stand up for a public education system that provides the best possible outcomes for our students in Detroit and across the state.

AFT Michigan will continue to fight for our values and principles of equity and democracy, including communicating with decision makers and the public to ensure our voices are heard. I wanted you to see the statement we just sent out, as well as a summary of the Governor’s proposal:

“We have needed to stabilize education in Detroit for a long time, and addressing the Detroit Public Schools financial crisis is an imperative step. Obviously we are pleased to hear solutions where the state would take responsibility for the DPS debt, which has grown considerably under state control,” said David Hecker, AFT Michigan President and Co-Chair of the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren.

“But the Governor’s plan also calls for the type of state control we’ve seen in Detroit for nearly two decades. We have deep concerns about what happens to the thousands of hard-working people employed by the Detroit Public Schools and their collective bargaining agreements during the transition to a new district. The Governor needs to commit to making the governance transition seamless for students, teachers, and staff, returning EAA schools to DPS, and fully empowering an elected school board. We will continue to work with our community partners to ensure the final legislation truly builds the strong schools and strong communities our students deserve.”

Below is a summary of what Gov. Snyder addressed during his press conference:

1. State Takes Responsibility for Detroit Public Schools Debt: The governor’s proposal calls for the creation of the Detroit Community School District (NewCo), which would take on the responsibility of educating Detroit students while the accumulated debt would remain with Detroit Public Schools (OldCo).

a. GOVERNANCE: Per the Governor’s plan, the Detroit Community School District would have a board that would initially include four members appointed by the governor and three members appointed by the mayor. Over five years, these appointed positions would be replaced through elections. AFT Michigan, as part of the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, asserts that the city of Detroit should have an elected school board like any other district. Furthermore, the Governor’s proposal does not address the return of Educational Achievement Authority schools to the city school district.

b. FUNDING: “OldCo” would continue to collect local property tax for the purposes of paying off the debt. “NewCo” would be funded by the state, which would make up for the loss of local property taxes, allowing the new district to receive the full amount of the per-pupil allotment. The governor calls for this additional money to come from the School Aid Fund, which would likely cost approximately $50 per student from districts across the state. AFT Michigan does not support this method of paying off the debt. After the DPS debt is paid off, “OldCo” would be dissolved and local property taxes will be transferred to the “NewCo.”

c. JOB SECURITY: The governor’s proposal does not guarantee the transfer of all employees to “NewCo” and there is no specific requirement that the Detroit Community School District honor collective bargaining agreements and serve as the successor employer to Detroit Public Schools. Even worse, the governor’s proposal allows for the outsourcing and privatization of instructional staff. AFT Michigan is in constant conversations with legislators and stakeholders to ensure that dedicated staff maintain their employment and there is no privatization.

2. Rationalizing the Education Landscape in Detroit: The Governor would place all traditional public, charter and EAA schools in the city of Detroit within an Empowerment Zone governed by a board called the Detroit Education Commission, managed by a Chief Education Officer, and charged with crafting citywide facilities, enrollment, and accountability plans.

a. DETROIT EDUCATION COMMISSION (DEC): The DEC would be a five-member board, with three members appointed by the governor and two members appointed by the mayor. AFT Michigan believes local community voice is essential and should be included in this process.

b. CHIEF EDUCATION OFFICER: The DEC would hire a Chief Education Officer, who is responsible for creating and incorporating community input into the Zone Accountability Plan (a A-F grading system for measuring school success, based primarily on student test scores), the Zone Facilities Plan (siting schools), and the Zone Enrollment plan (a voluntary lottery-based common enrollment system). The CEO would be responsible for closing or reconstituting schools.

We will keep you updated as the situation develops,


Good Monday Moanin’ – GUEST MOAN by LaMar Lemmons III, Detroit Public Schools Trustee

Good Monday Moanin’ – Oct. 19, 2015
By JeffreyLSalisbury@gmail.com

GUEST MOAN by LaMar Lemmons III, Detroit Public Schools Trustee

Something new this week… for those of you who follow my weekly “Good Monday Moanin'” column… I made a promise to my friend Lamar Lemmons III to step down off my Internet Soapbox and make room for his “Righteous Rant” regarding the injustices being done (since at least 1999) to the parents, students, educators and citizens of the City of Detroit as it pertains to the unelected dictators, i.e. series of Governor-appointed (Engler, Granholm, Snyder) Emergency Financial Managers.


In 1999, Republican Gov. John Engler signed PA 10 into law, abolishing Detroit Public School’s elected school board and replacing it with a board he and then-Mayor Dennis Archer, which had no operational power except to hire a DPS CEO. At the time, DPS had a $93-million surplus, rising enrollment and improving test scores. Critics then and now believe that the purpose of the takeover was to control the recent bond program, which in 1999 still had $1.2 billion remaining to be spent. A lawsuit and protests followed to no avail. Emergency Financial Managers have continued to operate the Detroit Public Schools going on 16 years now and with each successive manager the district’s finances have only gotten more and more dire with each plunging the district further into debt and prohibited the elected school board from making an substantive operational decisions so much so that some members of  the current board euphemistically refer to themselves as “school board EXILES” instead of school board trustees.


  1. The FBI has launched a corruption investigation involving Gov. Rick Snyder’s K-12 reform district known as the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) a separate entity within the Detroit Public Schools
  2. Former DPS auditor Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s Detroit contracts are under federal investigation; Byrd-Bennett recently plead guilty to bribery and kickback charges in her role as superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools
  3. A former principal at Detroit’s Mumford High School recently cut a deal to plead guilty to bribery and tax evasion for her role in a wide-ranging and on-going FBI investigation of corruption and kickbacks in  schools run by the EAA.  Principal Kenyetta (K.C.) Wilbourn-Snap, who  was  known for carrying a baseball bat and driving a Maserati will  plead guilty to accepting a $58,000 bribe and to federal charges of  tax evasion.


In the midst of this mess along with other DPS school board “exiles” steps forward LaMar Lemmons III  who is a lifelong resident of the City of Detroit, former president and current member of the DPS Board of Education and like most of the other “exiles” is a  passionate defender of returning democratic, local control to the Detroit Public Schools and the City of Detroit as well as all those schools and communities across the state now under control of non-elected Emergency Financial Managers. Lemmons has also been actively involved in providing community service, working as a youth director at the Inner City Community Center and a homeless counselor for Operation Get-Down. Lemmons was also a drill-team instructor and a basketball coach. He was also founder of the Eastside Community Center and a member of the Michigan Community Reinvestment Coalition. Lemmons is the former Director of Evangelism at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Presbyterian Church and a former missionary. He also had the distinction of being one of the few father (Lamar Lemmons Jr.) and son teams to ever serve in the Michigan House of Representatives during the same session.


By Lamar Lemmons III

A noble lady Simone Lightfoot pulled me to the side some weeks ago and told me the truth about myself. I am brutish, a bull in a China shop, a big wild stallion – okay she didn’t use those words, but in a gentle and professional manner, she informed me that I can be a JERK.

Jeffrey L Salisbury calls my anger, righteous indignation.

But, I only got that “righteous anger” label now that the rats are running for cover.

As long as they were riding around in their Mazeratis with GUCCI1 license plate on the back, I was, I admit, REALLY PISSED OFF. And so today, I am going to open up and share a secret I have never admitted as a politician, less admit as a man. In the dog eat dog world of politics, some things you can’t tell the world.

If you show a weakness, the hyenas will go for your throat.

So here goes: 1, 2, 3…

I have a heart. I care. I am not just the biggest a**hole Detroit has ever seen. I have 192 children related to me in Detroit. Some I have taught to read. Some I cry for in the worst situations, some who I see shined up at family dinners, but all that I worry about.

And when someone is riding around in a Maserati because a Mercedes won’t do, to walk into a building to see the poorest children in our country, and lock them out of Mumford when they are late – knowing they came on the city BUS, maybe two buses, which are not reliable, knowing they may have been beat up along the way, or who knows what they run from at home and knowing that the food at school is all they have – I got a heart.

I GOT A HEART DETROIT. I feel some anger. So when you talk to me and I SEE what I see, and I KNOW what I know and MY friends cross sides because MY side doesn’t have it together, MY side is weak, MY side is broke, the kids can’t pay for a Maserati in your driveway principal.

Is your salary not enough, principal? I’m sorry, these poor kids can’t pay for you a trip to Punta Cana, they can’t pay you – Barbara Bennett to blow money at the casino, so since they can’t pay you – YOU GONNA STEAL!??? Ooh LAWD righteous indignation.

I’m on a Board with no power and the intercom is going off over the meeting I’m in, and the intercom is announcing that the students should leave class because Charles Pugh is in the building and I might just go off on you.

It’s been building for a while now. My SICK-OF-BULLSH*T meter is off the chain. THE BULLSH*T METER IF OFF THE CHAIN IN MICHIGAN when the Flint City Council can vote to put Flint back on City water and the EM says no, then that mother****** comes to Detroit and openly declares that God told him on I-96 he is the prophet Jeremiah and that he will send a principal around to your church if you need some $pecial encouragement. Yes, I have a problem with anger management, because I do feel things inside my body. Yes, I have tried to tear some folks up for the 3 S’s, Stupidity, Silence, and selling out.

Yes, I have. Yes, I have. Yes, God Almighty, yes I have.

They try to push me to go off. Too often a verbal assault leaves my mouth. Words like “coup d’etat”, because that is what Emergency Management is. That’s when I hear, “Whatchu call me? You callin’ me a cun* de twat? Oh, no he didn’t. Cuz I will hit a man,” they scream. Before anyone takes off their earrings, on me, I thank Simone for pulling me to the side as a friend and saying, essentially, “Brother, you are getting a reputation for your verbally blowing up on people.”

So I was feeling a little down.

To make myself feel better, I’ve been dreaming of sitting in the courthouse on November 3, 2015 watching Roy Roberts and Robert Bobb explain their side of the story.

So, this man who went into Lansing politics before I was 25 years old has had 33 years to think about all I’ve seen. Four years to reflect on the takeover of democracy called Emergency Management which I have seen here lately.

Months to understand why Detroit lost Flint as a water customer and why Flint had sludge coming from their tap. While I wonder, did you know that because my father ran for office after me that I’ve been told that I “played with democracy”? Forget the Kennedy’s who have great GRAND children in office, or Romney, the Bushes and other dynasties in Detroit – Kwame and Carolyn, Thomas and Keith, whoever, how many other same names have you heard? No offense intended to any. Because no no nooooo, when the folks dolling out cash and Maseratis and trips to Punta Cana can slide a dig in on me, “Ooh, don’t mind him, he is ruining American democracy!” Perhaps it makes folk feel better to allow themselves to be convinced by the shade that stealing from children is okay, because a man like me, stripped of everything but his pride, is “playing with democracy”. No, who is playing with democracy are those who the Feds are interviewing now. Not me and not the 192 kids who I give EVERYTHING I have to save! Enjoy your meetings with the Feds ya B******! Oh I let one out, sorry but I feel oh so much better now.

Thank you for being patient as I do my best to keep up the good fight.

I am fighting for what is right.

The Bible has something to say about those who steal from children.

I just can’t say it as nicely as Jesus can.


Acqua In Vino – specialty grocery – opens in beautiful downtown Wayland, Michigan USA

Penny and I were pleased to be the first opening-day customers at our newest and most unique shop in beautiful downtown Wayland, Michigan USA… Acqua In Vino a speciality grocery store – great selection of Michigan beer and cider and wines!

Oh my what a great shop! It’s REALLY worth the drive!
This is really their so-called “soft opening” but they agreed to take our money all the same. wink emoticon

We purchased 2 bottles of wine – Lakeshore Red – two packages of unique cheese – both “Made in Michigan” – a white sharp cheddar, very nice – from Farm Country Cheese House, Lakeview, MI – and the other was a “Leyden” (created after a Dutch cheese – Leyden being a city in Holland) – from Grassfields Cheeses in Coopersville, MI – had some of the cheddar with my eggs for late breakfast-early lunch.

We wish the new shop every success. They are planning a GRAND opening in the coming days too!

Please do follow the link – then LIKE and SHARE their Facebook page!