The sock plants in Fort Payne, Alabama and the carpet mills in Dalton, Georgia were never unionized. But nearly all of the hosiery mills in Fort Payne have or soon will be closed and carpet cutbacks have pushed Dalton's unemployment rate near 13 percent. Our economic woes go far beyond whether workers belong to unions or not.
If education is the priority our government leaders say it should be, then America needs to catch up with the rest of the world and extend our school day and school calendar. Our schools operate on a 19th century model. No other business still operates this way. It's time that teachers have ful-time jobs. They already get full-time pay and benefits.
This week is a good example. No school today because of snow. Thursday is a half day of school and counts toward the 180 day school year. Since schools will be off for nearly three weeks, I guess the school system decided to give another half day off on Thursday for no real reason. It's time our school system got real and demanded more than part-time work of our school employees
Signal Mountain's football team literally had dozens of mostly laudable news stories throughout this fall iin the TFP. When the Eagles won the state championship, that honor brings more attention and responsibility. The level of interest and response to this story clearly indicates the pubic interest in a tale of individuals on a championship team, including the star quarterback, messing up and getting in trouble with the law. This wasn't some innocent beer drinking incident in someone's basement. This was a loud, outdoor illegal party with widespread drinking by young people violating the law and having to get in their vehicles after the party in a way that risked the lives of many young people and other motorists. The police responded to complaints and regarded the violations as serious enough to make criminal citations against many involved who also were on the football team. We'll never know who because the coach didn't have the decency to tell even his school principal until after the state championship game. It appears that winning was more important than doing the right thing. That is what makes this a national story.
If you think health care is too big and expensive today wait until the government tries to make it free.
The jack boot on the neck of Americans is primarily the taxes they pay in all forms. Cut taxes and let individuals, businesses, churches and charities help lift up those in need
We need low and fair taxes for all. Brick-and-mortar retailers pay property taxes, but Amazon is getting an 11-year forgiveness on most city and county property taxes. Brick-and-mortar retailers pay for the property they own, but the city and county are giving 80 acres to Amazon.
Now Amazon may continue to enjoy the advantage of not collecting sales taxes on its Tennessee sales which brick-and-mortar retailers must collect.
As more and more people shop online -- and we continue not to tax those sales -- Tennessee tax revenues will go down even as the economy recovers. But brick-and-mortar retailers will still be forced to collect one of the highest sales tax rates in cities like Chattanooga. Unfortunately, it now looks like sales taxes -- along with property taxes, franchise and excise taxes, employee training, land purchases and basic infrastructure -- are being given away to some but not others.
The payments into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds administered by the states pay for six months of benefits. But the extended unemployment benefits, now up to 99 weeks for some recipients, are paid beyond the initial 26 weeks by the federal government and those benefits exceed what people paid in surtaxes on wages to fund the program. The extra $12.5 billion expense to again extend jobless benefits another three months, if Congress grants the extension, will come out of the federal treasury, not state Unemployment Insurance trust funds. That's Uncle Sam giving a type of welfare assistance to long-term unemployed persons, many of whom can make as much or nearly as much by not working as they can by taking another job.
Scott DesJarlais is to be commended for speaking the truth. Unemployment benefits shouldn't continue for two years. That's welfare, not transitional assistance.
"Americans don't want to cut defense," DesJarlais says.
The founding fathers would be appalled, especially George Washington who didn't want us to have a standing Army during peacetime. The United States spends as much on its military as the rest of the world combined during a time when Congress has never constitutionally declared any wars. Dwight Eisenhower warned about the military industrial complex in his farewell address in 1960; it thrives in Huntsville, Oak Ridge and Tullahoma and now we have so-called conservatives using national defense as an excuse for bigger government.and a way to grow our local economy.
Tom Kilgore appears to be a great CEO and he and his top assistants have kept the lights on reliably and tackled key challenges. But 20 years ago, those in the same position were paid less than 10 percent of what Kilgore will receive in total compensation this year and next. and there were more employees and construction projects underway at the time and the overall job market was much better. Top TVA pay has risen ten-fold in the past two decades -- and has doubled even since the economic downturn hit three or four years ago. Legally, TVA directors must pay competitive wages. But one would hope that TVA executives in a depressed part of the country (that's why TVA was created) would not continue to take million-dollar-plus pay levels, at least until others of us are also getting pay raises again.