Two examples from today's news

People can get together and make a difference.
Two examples:
The people of Saranac Lake, NY, pooled their resources and established a new store, while stopping Walmart.
A representative from Ohio and 39 of his Republican colleagues have dropped their pledge against increased revenue and are urging the budget deficit supercommittee to take action.

In Saranac Lake, NY, the local Ames department store closed down several years ago when the chain went broke. The residents had to drive 50 miles to buy clothing or bed linen. Then Wal-mart announced plans to build a supercenter just outside town. The residents knew that this would ruin their downtown area as it has done in small towns across the USA, and would be an eyesore in this picturesque valley which is a major tourist attraction. After a vigorous campaign against them, Walmart abandoned the project.
Melinda Little and several friends decided "to take control of their future and make an investment in the community." They decided to raise capital and open their own department store. More than 600 residents each bought an average of $600 worth of shares. Five years later, in October 2011, the Community Store was opened on Main Street. Where possible they carry "Made in USA" products. It does not carry merchandise that competes directly with other local merchants who have cooperated in the venture.
Only the future will show whether this local initiative will be successful in the long run. However, a similar project in Powell, Wyoming, has now been in operation for 10 years and recently expanded. It has an annual sales of about $600,000 and has even paid small dividends to its investors. The downtown has been rejuvenated and other businesses have opened.

Representative Steven LaTourette, from Ohio, who pledged in 1994 "to never, ever, raise taxes" declared the other day that "It's time to put pledges on the bonfire," He enlisted 39 fellow Republicans to join 60 Democrats in a letter to the deficit Supercommittee to urge them to include new revenues as well as spending cuts in their plans. Whether this bold initiative will have any effect remains to be seen.
The above two examples are extracted from the New York Times 11/13/2011.

With only a few days left until the deadline of 23 November, the six Republicans on the Supercommittee adamantly continue to refuse to consider any new revenue, not even eliminating subsidies to the oil companies that amount to approx. 5 billion dollars/year. These subsidies are ridiculous considering that the oil companies are making record profits. For example, just one of them, Exxon Mobil reported 10.33 billion dollar net profit for the third quarter of 2011, 41% higher than 2010.

Meanwhile, Congress continues to stonewall all the Administration's proposals for projects to repair America's crumbling infrastructure or to guarantee loans for new alternate energy projects that would provide jobs.

Go to new article discussing the differences in conservative and liberal viewpoints in political and cultural thinking.

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