Evan Barrett

Commentary
2:38 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Three Lumps of Coal for the Working Poor

Three Lumps of Coal for the Working Poor

A Commentary from Evan Barrett

I ended my commentary last month this way:  “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.  But I wouldn’t bet on it.”

Well here it is, almost Christmas, and so far Zippo from Congress.

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Commentary - November 21st, 2013
10:17 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Raise the Minimum Wage

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving.

Events surrounding these two separate dates coincide to make a strong point about the challenges facing America's working poor.

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Commentary - October 24th, 2013
2:21 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Stink Coming Through the Revolving Door

When one reflects on the recent federal government shutdown and Congress’ near “default” on the “full faith & credit” of the US Government, a whole lot stinks.

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.

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Commentary - September 26th, 2013
10:37 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Let’s Require Civics Education at All Levels

After many years away from the formal classroom, I am teaching again.

When I left graduate school in 1968, I was hired on to teach civics to high school seniors.  I ended up with a different teaching position, and after one year of teaching, I took a 44 year fork in the road.  Instead of teaching civics, I entered the real world of civics – the world of government and politics.  Over that period I was heavily engaged in government at local, state and federal levels – working for and with governors, senators, congressmen, legislators, local government officials. 

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Commentary - August 29th, 2013
1:49 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Labor Day Disconnect Between Congress & American Workers

As we approach Labor Day, Montana and American workers are plugging away at their jobs, producing products and profits for their employers while Congress goes out of session for 5 weeks, leaving Washington having produced little or nothing.

There is a great disconnect between Washington, DC and the rest of the nation.  Is it no wonder that less than 10% of folks give Congress a positive rating?

Let’s take a minute to compare the jobs, job quality and productivity of workers in Montana and the nation with the wages, working conditions and productivity in Congress.

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Commentary - August 1st, 2013
1:02 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Detroit: Conquering Challenges

The challenge in Detroit is two-fold: financial and economic.

There are sensible and proven solutions to both challenges.  This country and its leadership need to move beyond dogma and politics to do the right thing for both Detroit and the nation.

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Commentary - July 4th, 2013
9:49 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Counterfeit Constitutionalists

Today our hearts swelled with pride as the Stars & Stripes led our local Fourth of July Parades.  That flag reflects an American reality of which we are rightfully proud.  For, despite its imperfections, we live in a great country, with a remarkable democracy and governmental structure that are the envy of the world – the bedrock of our national identity.  We are a government of, by and for the people.  We are a nation of laws, not of men and their whims and fancies.

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Commentary - June 6, 2013
9:25 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Was Stillwater’s Future Foreshadowed by Anaconda’s Past

It’s said that "those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”  Almost exactly thirty years ago the last Anaconda/ARCO miner laid down his tools.  Does that economic disaster provide lessons for Stillwater Mining today?

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