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Jon Erik Kingstad

Afton, MN
Commenter for
4 years 15 weeks

Recent Comments

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...

Posted on 01/21/14 at 05:10 pm in response to Trendy Minneapolitans conflicted over cars

is no laughing matter for the individuals whose mugshots get posted. Anyone who has ever tried to perform a background check on someone knows that you can't even get a telephone number or address these days without paying for it. Criminal and arrest background checks cost even more.

Mugshots are different. With these, it's the subject who must pay, even if they're cleared of any wrongdoing. The "entrepreneurs" which run these mugshot operations do not care about public information....

Posted on 01/20/14 at 08:56 pm in response to Target offers an exciting opportunity to test and learn

but guests are suffered only as long as they follow the host's rules and do as they're told.

Posted on 01/18/14 at 11:42 am in response to Members of Congress still want their shot at surveillance reform

is having elected officials like Michele Bachmann and James Inhofe to name but a few who not only don't "get it" when it comes to serious public issues but really don't want to "get it" because it feeds the vanity of their equally uninformed supporters. Accusing the President of proposing something like limitations on the FISA court which itself has ruled that the secret branches of government are out of control in surveilling us only reveals how unintelligent and misinformed she is. Again,...

Posted on 01/14/14 at 05:07 pm in response to U.N. doesn’t work, and a U of M professor has a plan to fix it

Excellent point by Mr. Schoch. I would maintain that the concept of "sovereignty" in today's world dominated by multinational corporations is all but completely obsolete. Mr. Schoch's comment about Citizen's United is right on target in that regard. Unfortunately, the same stranglehold which multinational corporations have on our "sovereign governments" through the dubious extension of constitutional protections to them also stands as an obstacle to the sort of reforms to the UN suggested by...