Evan Barrett http://mtpr.org en The Honorable John Q. Corporation http://mtpr.org/post/honorable-john-q-corporation <p>Happy 4<sup>th</sup> of July – Independence Day – tomorrow.</p><p></p><p>But the old red, white and blue looks a little more tattered this year compared to the past.</p><p></p><p>For today, thanks in great part to the US Supreme Court, John Q. Citizen, the human being citizen who is the bedrock our unique experiment in self-governance, is being replaced by John Q. Corporation.</p><p></p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 20:58:36 +0000 Evan Barrett 21452 at http://mtpr.org Fixing the Student Loan Mess http://mtpr.org/post/fixing-student-loan-mess <p>I do not accept, <em>carte blanche</em>, the reigning conservative belief that higher taxes directly shrink the economy and reduce economic growth.&nbsp; However, that macro-economic premise drives decisions in Congress that have made it virtually impossible to approach our economic challenges in a balanced manner.&nbsp; As a result, the only balancing that has been occurring is the balancing of our economic solutions on the backs of middle and lower income families.&nbsp; Meanwhile, money is allowed and even encouraged to continue to “trickle-up” to the wealthy, increasing income and wealt Thu, 05 Jun 2014 20:19:23 +0000 Evan Barrett 20110 at http://mtpr.org Medicaid Expansion – Good Jobs, Good Health http://mtpr.org/post/medicaid-expansion-good-jobs-good-health <p>Seldom, if ever, has such a big win-win proposal been put before the Montana Legislature as the opportunity in 2013 to enact an expansion of Medicaid coverage to thousands of Montanans under the Affordable Care Act.</p><p></p><p>Producing more than 10,000 jobs while at the same time making Montana and Montanans healthier, the bill was a policy bonanza that should have easily passed the Legislature, but was narrowly defeated based upon political dogma, not facts.</p><p></p> Thu, 08 May 2014 19:58:47 +0000 Evan Barrett 18777 at http://mtpr.org Living Up to the Legacy http://mtpr.org/post/living-legacy <p>Twenty years ago, Billings, Montana set a national standard for community rejection of hatred and bigotry.&nbsp; Almost as one, the community shouted a loud “NO” to ultra-right-wing extremist behavior that was racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic.</p><p></p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:11:19 +0000 Evan Barrett 17470 at http://mtpr.org A True Montana Melodrama http://mtpr.org/post/true-montana-melodrama <p align="center">A True Montana Melodrama</p><p align="center">A Montana Public Radio Commentary by Evan Barrett</p><p align="center">March 13, 2014</p><p></p><p>Much has been said about the appointment of John Walsh to the US Senate including comparisons to Montana’s earlier Senate appointments.</p><p></p><p>It’s interesting to look at the actual historical facts of the earlier situations.</p><p></p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 15:29:34 +0000 Evan Barrett 16299 at http://mtpr.org Educators as Leaders http://mtpr.org/post/educators-leaders <p>What do Mike Mansfield, Pat Williams, Jon Tester, Bob Brown and Angela McLean have in common?</p><p></p><p>Mike Mansfield, Senate Majority Leader longer than anyone in US history, led a US Senate that was arguably the most productive in US history.</p><p></p><p>Pat Williams, elected Montana Congressman for nine straight terms, more than anyone in our history, had a record of legislative accomplishment in fields as varied as labor, education, the arts, wilderness and public lands access.</p><p></p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 19:21:06 +0000 Evan Barrett 15010 at http://mtpr.org Giants Among the People http://mtpr.org/post/giants-among-people <p>When I was young, there were three pictures in my parents’ hallway -- Jesus Christ, &nbsp;&nbsp;Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and John L. Lewis, President of the United Mine Workers Union.&nbsp; These men informed my family’s political and life perspective.</p><p></p> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 17:11:23 +0000 Evan Barrett 13743 at http://mtpr.org Three Lumps of Coal for the Working Poor http://mtpr.org/post/three-lumps-coal-working-poor <p align="center"><strong><u>Three Lumps of Coal for the Working Poor</u></strong></p><p align="center">A Commentary from Evan Barrett</p><p></p><p>I ended my commentary last month this way:&nbsp; “Here’s hoping that the onset of Christmas will result in some Christian values rising up in that ‘millionaire class’ that we call Congress so that we might, by year’s end, see the minimum wage go up.&nbsp; But I wouldn’t bet on it.”</p><p></p><p>Well here it is, almost Christmas, and so far Zippo from Congress.</p><p></p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 21:38:03 +0000 Evan Barrett 12670 at http://mtpr.org Raise the Minimum Wage http://mtpr.org/post/raise-minimum-wage <p>Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving.</p><p>Events surrounding these two separate dates coincide to make a strong point about the challenges facing America's working poor.</p> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 17:17:35 +0000 Evan Barrett 11436 at http://mtpr.org The Stink Coming Through the Revolving Door http://mtpr.org/post/stink-coming-through-revolving-door <p>When one reflects on the recent federal government shutdown and Congress’ near “default” on the “full faith &amp; credit” of the US Government, a whole lot stinks.</p><p>Buried in that stinking pile of refuse is a small item that reminds us of a big problem -- the pervasive power that special interests have through their lobbyists and the benefits they gain from the revolving door between Congressional members and staff and those same special interests.</p> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 20:21:32 +0000 Evan Barrett 10156 at http://mtpr.org