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Eric Paul Jacobsen

West Saint Paul, MN
Commenter for
5 years 42 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 08/02/14 at 03:06 pm in response to Minneapolis council approves filing-fee amendment

For once, I agree wholeheartedly with Dennis Tester. "What they should have done was require 500 signatures on a petition as a requirement to get on the ballot." Unless that was sarcasm, Mr. Tester, I say, Amen to that!

I am disappointed that the first instinct of a governing majority of elected officials, even in as supposedly liberal a place as Minneapolis, is to assume that the ability to spend money is an acceptable measure of the "seriousness" of a candidate for local public...

Posted on 07/20/14 at 08:15 am in response to Minnesota businesses, conservatives at odds over fate of export bank

I'm sure the tendency of the Export-Import bank to make safe loans to big corporations that don't really need them fits the same pattern as agricultural subsidies. They are rewards made to companies that are already doing so well that they don't need any rewards.

However, as I've written before about agricultural subsidies, the solution to the disastrous and corrupt "get big or get out" formula is to limit the subsidies so that they are once again need-based, as they were during the...

Posted on 07/16/14 at 11:50 am in response to 2014 Campaign Finance Dashboard

The total take in donations is only one part of the corruption equation. Corruption equals dollars divided by donors. We don't know how corrupt a candidate is unless we divide the candidate's donation dollars by the number of donors.

To give an example, if a candidate has five million dollars in donations taken from a million donors (that's five dollars per donor), how is this candidate corrupted?

To give another example, if a candidate has five million dollars in donations...

Posted on 07/17/14 at 03:02 pm in response to 2014 Campaign Finance Dashboard

I assume that by "small donors" you mean lower wage earners, whose tax contributions are comparatively small and whose direct contributions to politicians' campaigns, if any, are smaller still. I agree that for these people, the return on their "investment" in government is "huge." But this is true not only for "small donors." It is true for most mid-level "donors" as well.

For all of us who belong to the middle class, it makes great economic sense to share our resources and to...

Corruption equals dollars divided by donors. It's a simple equation. And it points to a simple solution: Effective campaign-finance law will limit the number of dollars that any donor can legally contribute to influence the political process.

Presently, the Supreme Court recognizes two different and very un-democratic equations: Money equals speech, and corporations equal people. This plutocratic pattern of interpretation is a throwback to the aristocratic prejudices of our country'...

Posted on 07/03/14 at 11:36 am in response to Rural immigrants find connections, and share cultures, through art

I love this work, both the pictures and the text! It shows, as clearly and colorfully as possible, what our newest immigrant neighbors really are: a blessing. Thank you, Gregg Aamot.

First you say we cannot afford immigration because of the burden it imposes on our welfare system.

Then you say we cannot allow immigrants to take low-skill jobs, because this will leave fewer of these jobs for us.

To paraphrase: First, you say immigrants consume too much, and then you say they produce too much. These two claims don't mix.

In fact, immigrants are less likely than natives to be employed only for the first five years. After that, they're even more...

Posted on 06/14/14 at 03:15 pm in response to Les Gelb: Iraq is Vietnam 2.0

Indeed, I remember it quite clearly. A rather high-profile veteran of the war in Vietnam once did complain about Dick Cheney's draft deferment during the years of that conflict. He was not unprovoked, however.

'In an increasingly vituperative political campaign, Mr. Cheney this week again questioned the credentials of Senator John Kerry and his ability to be commander in chief. Mr. Kerry, who was decorated in Vietnam and has made his service there a central element of his campaign,...

There's really no conflict between these two terms.

The warming is global.

Climate changes, of various kinds, nearly all of them harmful to human well-being, are local.

And the former drives the latter.

Should we believe the scientific community, or should we believe the fossil-fuel industry? Or to put it another way, should we believe the news, or should we believe the commercials?

(By the way: Thanks to MinnPost and Ron Meador for giving us the news.)...

If we're wrong about anthropogenic global warming, then by the time my old body is laid down in my grave, we'll have developed great new clean, green technologies that we can market to the rest of the world. The world's deserts, including our own vast American Southwest, will have become solar energy surplus exporters. The poorest Saharan countries will have become the world's richest.

And just as an aside, you really shouldn't worry that we will run out of money. That's one thing...