Thursday, July 13, 2017


I would have used today’s blog for additional comments on Monday night’s farce but I believe that Dan has finally covered it in his Plainfield Today Blog.

In the past two years, the Williams era, there have been significant changes in Council’s modus operandi. Last year Williams the Council President assumed the Chairman of the Committee’s role in presenting the agenda subjects. This year not only has the Chairman’s title been abolished in favor of Vice President but his Agenda functions have now been the responsibility of the City Clerk (Secretary of the Council).

This year there will be 3 combined Agenda Fixing Sessions and Business meetings. In fact this past Monday the Council was presented with only the business session agenda. Obviously this Council feels no need to have a week to ponder items for action. They will get the agenda on Friday and act on Monday. That is a no brainier to understand why the Council took only 1 1/2 hours to enact the City business.

I did find these quotes from Mehlman, a partner at the bipartisan firm Mehlman, Castagnetti, Rosen & Thomas in today’s Washington Post of interest.

1) Substantial social change. The United States is a very different place than it was 50 years ago. In 1967, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans controlled 27 percent of the wealth. Now they have 42 percent. Fewer than one in 10 kids were born out of wedlock; now it’s four in 10. Foreign-born people make up three times the share of the U.S. population (15 percent) as they did then. There are vastly more women in the workforce, vastly fewer whites with no college degree and one-third of 18- to 34-year-olds now live with their parents.

2) Accelerating technological change. It used to take 387,923 workers to manufacture $1 billion in goods. Now it takes 26,785. It took 75 years for the telephone to reach 100 million homes after it was invented. It took just a few months for Candy Crush to reach that milestone.

3) Weakened anchor institutions. Seven in 10 adults were married in 1967. Now it’s 50 percent. Three in 10 workers were members of labor unions then. Now it’s 11 percent. Two-thirds of Americans trusted government. It’s never been close to that since Vietnam and Watergate. The latest studies show only about 20 percent of the country trusts the feds to do the right thing.

4) The loss of honest brokers. Trust in media has been on a steady decline among not just Republicans but also Democrats and independents since Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in America in 1972.

5) Leaders over-promised and under-delivered. Mehlman cites four examples: Barack Obama told people they could keep their doctors if they liked them under Obamacare. Dick Cheney said Americans would be “greeted as liberators” in Iraq. Bill Clinton said he did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. George H.W. Bush told the country to read his lips as he promised no new taxes.
6) Politicians deferred hard choices. Entitlement spending has eaten up a bigger and bigger share of the federal budget, and Washington has lacked the political will to make tough choices. Mandatory spending rose from 53 percent of the budget in 1976 to 69 percent in 2016.

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