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Jon Erik Kingstad

Afton, MN
Commenter for
4 years 11 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 02/26/14 at 09:14 pm in response to What's worse, gridlock or the alternative?

if we had any clear evidence of what he describes was or is actually happening.

But look at the realities. A candidate like Obama is elected on a lofty, high-minded program of "hope and change". Actually promises to try to get proposals that a lot of people would probably call "left", like "universal health care" witha "pubc option" (not to be confused with single payer) and talks a great game about reform of banking and financial markets, help for people with their mortgages and...

As much as I disagree with them, the right-to-life's tactic of resisting Roe v. Wade by continually enacting laws that are sometimes in its teeth. Their tactic has paid off since Roe has been eroded since 1973 by the enactment of laws that defy that ruling.

The Supreme Court decisions in Buckley v. Valeo (the money is speech" decision), and Citizen's United and its line of cases (including the earlier Lewis Powell authored decision in Bellotti extending the First Amendment to...

Perhaps one type of reform Mr. Bruns has in mind is a provision related to patent misuse which was added in 1988. Patents are deemed to be an exception to American law and policy against monopoly but they are encouraged for the reasons mentioned in Mr. Bruns's article. During the 20th century, the US Supreme Court developed a policy against allowing extension of the patent monopoly by strict interpretation of claims to prevent things like "tying arrangements" where other unpatented ideas of...

There is no evidence that raising the minimum wage slows growth or prevents job creation. Now maybe it won't "create jobs", but so far, everything the right has proposed to accomplish this has been an abysmal failure. Especially running deep deficits to finance tax cuts for the "job creators". Consequently, the only thing the right has to offer is the "wisdom" of wingnut welfare "think tanks" like the Center for the American Experiment and deep thinkers like Kline, still bargaining for more...

Posted on 02/10/14 at 08:40 pm in response to Does LBJ get too much credit for the Civil Rights bill?

I haven't read the most recent installment of Caro's multivolume biography of Johnson. So I can't really speak to whether he gives Johnson too much credit for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Caro's previous bio of Johnson "Master of the Senate" does give Johnson a lot of credit for passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act which undoubtedly he does deserve. Caro I think amply supports his thesis that Johnson was a political mastermind - I think he even uses the term "genius" if that term can be...

Our society values people based on their earning capacity and their wealth. Somehow it's OK for the CEO's of the largest banks, health insurance companies and corporations to get multimillion dollar salaries and bonuses voted by their buddies on the corporate boards, but it's wrong for teachers to use tough bargaining methods to earn a livable salary.

We want our children to receive a good education. But for the vast majority of people in our country, education is not an end in...

is the reason for right to work laws in the first place. Let me spell it out for you.

Right to work laws are to make it harder- a lot harder - to organize and maintain a union. Unions exist to enable workers to bargain collectively for higher wages and better conditions of employment. So called "right to work" is built on the fantasy that individual employees can enjoy the same wages and benefits without having to belong to or contribute to that union.

Corporations like GM...

Right to work laws are different than employment at will. At will employment is simply the default common law in every state of the US that says in the absence of a contract, an employee is hired "at will." Many employers now only hire temporary employees to avoid having to pay benefits like health insurance and others hire only "independent contractors" who are often employees with no rights or pay.

Of course, without strong laws guaranteeing collective bargaining, the right to...

"price" with "cost." People buy cars for a certain price which it "costs" them; they don't ay for the wages or pensions that "cost" the manufacturer to produce them. There's no reason to believe that GM or any car manufacturer's prices are higher because of high wages, union or otherwise. The auto industry in this country was founded on Henry Ford's paying the highest wages in the country for manufacturing so his workers could afford to buy the cars they made. I fail to see how it is the...

Posted on 01/23/14 at 08:40 pm in response to MNsure leaders face big decisions, bleak projections

I wonder if the people who set up MNSure were aware that something that I would describe as an "exchange" already existed in Minnesota several years before this program was even conceived. It's called "e-health" and basically matches an individual or family with a private health insurance plan that meets their profile and needs. Now e-health does not decide whether or not to accept your application. Nor does it act as an intermediary in premium payments.The insurer can reject you or accept...