Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 4, 2010



 MountainViews-News Saturday, September 4, 2010 

HAIL Hamilton

My Turn

Mountain Views


Publisher/ Editor

Susan Henderson

City Editor

Dean Lee 


Patricia Colonello



Art Director

Allison Kirkham

Production Assistant

Richard Garcia


Jacqueline Truong

Lina Johnson


Teresa Baxter

Pat Birdsall

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Stuart Tolchin

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Hail Hamilton 

Rich Johnson

Chris Bertrand

Mary Carney

La Quetta Shamblee

Glenn Lambdin

Greg Wellborn

Ralph McKnight

Trish Collins

Pat Ostrye

Editorial Cartoonist

Ann Cleaves


John Aveny 

It should 
come as no 
news that 
the middle 
class is 
systematically wiped out of existence 
in America. The rich are getting richer 
and the poor are getting poorer at a 
staggering rate. Once upon a time, 
the United States had the largest and 
most prosperous middle class in the 
history of the world, but now that is 
declining at a blinding pace. 

 So why are we witnessing such 
fundamental changes? Well, the 
globalism and “free trade” that our 
politicians and business leaders 
insisted would be so good for us have 
had some rather nasty side effects. 

 It turns out that they didn’t tell us 
that the “global economy” would 
mean that middle class American 
workers would eventually have to 
directly compete for jobs with people 
on the other side of the world where 
there is no minimum wage and 
very few regulations. The big global 
corporations have greatly benefited 
by exploiting third world labor pools 
over the last several decades, but 
middle class American workers have 
increasingly found things to be very 

 The reality is that no matter how 
smart, how strong, how educated or 
how hard working American workers 
are, they just cannot compete with 
people who are desperate to put 
in 10 to 12 hour days at less than a 
dollar an hour on the other side of 
the world. After all, what corporation 
in their right mind is going to pay 
an American worker 10 times more 
(plus benefits) to do the same job? 

 The world is fundamentally 
changing. Wealth and power are 
rapidly becoming concentrated at the 
top and the big global corporations are 
making massive amounts of money. 
Ten years ago 1% of the population 
owned 56% of the nation’s wealth; 
today that same 1% owns nearly 70%. 
Meanwhile, the American middle 
class is being systematically wiped 
out of existence as U.S. workers are 
slowly being merged into the new 
“global” labor pool.

 What do most Americans have to 
offer in the marketplace other than 
their labor? Not much. The truth is 
that most Americans are absolutely 
dependent on someone else giving 
them a job. But today, U.S. workers are 
“less attractive” than ever. Compared 
to the rest of the world, American 
workers are extremely expensive, and 
the government keeps passing more 
rules and regulations seemingly on 
a monthly basis that makes it even 
more difficult to conduct business in 
the United States.

 So corporations are moving 
operations out of the U.S. at 
breathtaking speed. Since the U.S. 
government does not penalize them, 
but rather offers them financial 
incentives to do so, there really is no 
reason for them to stay.

 What has developed is a situation 
where the people at the top are doing 
quite well, while most Americans 
are finding it increasingly difficult 
to make it. There are now about six 
unemployed Americans for every 
new job opening in the United States, 
and the number of “chronically 
unemployed” is absolutely soaring. 
There simply are not nearly enough 
jobs for everyone. 

 Many of those who are able to get 
jobs are finding that they are making 
less money than they used to. In fact, 
an increasingly large percentage of 
Americans are working at low wage 
retail and service jobs. Competing 
for these low-paying jobs are millions 
of undocumented workers that will 
accept what they are offered, further 
undercutting wages. 

 But regardless citizenship or 
immigration status, you can’t raise 
a family on what you make flipping 
burgers at McDonald’s or on what 
you bring in from greeting customers 
down at the local Wal-Mart. Nor 
can you maintain even a low middle 
class standard of living collecting 
unemployment insurance or welfare.

 The problem with the United States 
economy is that the middle class is 
rapidly being eradicated. Middle 
class Americans are the backbones 
of the American economy and spend 
a greater share of their income on 
consumption. They are the economic 
engine of prosperity. Yet the middle 
class consumer is struggling for 
survival while the rich are getting 
even richer. 

 It is becoming increasingly apparent 
that the U.S economy will never 
recover without the return of the 
middle class consumer. Even worse, 
once the middle class in America is 
gone it will be incredibly difficult to 


Globalization and the Shrinking American Middle Class

STUART Tolchin ..........On LIFE 


Maybe it’s just the 
books that I read, 
or the programs 
I watch, or the 
people I hear talking, or maybe 
it’s just in the air but it seems to 
me that everyone has gone kind of 
crazy? Every conversation I hear 
involves someone talking about 
human extinction and laughing 
about it and then moving on to 
some other topic like whether 
Lindsay Lohan needs more jail 
time. I feel like Chicken Little 
screaming that the sky is falling 
and no one seems to care.

 Really, aren’t you having 
the same experience? All right 
let me ask you the question: 
YEARS? . The most common 
response to my question is a 
variant of what do I care, I’ll sure 
be dead by that time. Sometimes 
neighbors, otherwise seemingly 
sane people, say that human 
destruction and world-wide 
catastrophe is all in keeping with 
Biblical predictions;, worse yet, 
they seem kind of pleased about 
it. I guess they feel they’re going 
to be all right because they go to 
church and don’t say bad words 
and have good table manners.

 Not saying bad word is 
exactly the kind of thing that 
makes me crazy. Parents think 
it’s some sort of big deal to make 
sure that their kids do not say 
bad words. In Court no one ever 
uses profanity when speaking to 
a Judge even after they have been 
sentenced to prison We have 
all really learned this lesson but 
have failed to adapt to our kind 
of universal realization that the 
world is coming to an end and 
no one is doing anything about it. 
It’s like we are all prisoners of our 
own lies. Children everywhere 
learn these rules about acceptable 
social behavior and as adults we 
are all stuck in these beliefs. The 
major reason for human survival 
over all these thousands of years 
is our ability to adapt and we are 
not adapting.

 Maybe I’m the one who 
is being inappropriate. After all 
each of us must come to terms 
with our own death. Most of us 
have experienced the death of a 
beloved pet or even a relative. The 
world goes on right and each of us 
has adapted to our loss and has, 
more or less, gone on living our 
lives. What’s the big deal? Maybe 
there’s eternal life waiting for us 
after earthly demise; who am I 
to argue with such long-standing 
traditions? Wouldn’t it be better 
to spend my time learning how to 
use the applications on my iphone 
or working on my golf game, or 
even just keeping up with current 

 Current events!! The Tea 
Party Movement. That stuff really 
drives me crazy. It all seems to 
be based on the willing denial of 
knowledge. Tea Party folk seem 
willing to create a false world—
maybe one like the fictional 
world that they learned about 
as children—and pretend that 
this nonsense is the actual truth. 
Things, like scientific knowledge 
or even personal experiences 
that do not fit in with these 
preconceived notions of truth are 
simply ignored. Evolution and 
stem research and any perceived 
need for gun control are evil 
myths propagated by the Devil 
and anyone who speaks these 
words is therefore demonstrably 
evil. It is not only the absolute 
ignorance of this position that 
bothers me. It is also the fact 
that the position is so popular 
and already has shown to be of 
great influence in Congressional 
mid-term elections. Even that 
isn’t so bad—intolerable as it 
is—as my belief that the whole 
Tea Party Movement is a cynical 
and successful effort funded and 
orchestrated by the very, very 
rich for the purpose of making 
themselves even richer at the 
expense of everyone else.

 Still, I should just not 
focus on Tea Party adherents. We 
are all guilty. We are all focusing 
on individual trees and not 
seeing the dying forest. Really, 
don’t we all want humankind to 
survive? Have we all become so 
desensitized, so deluded, so busy, 
so filled with disinformation 
that we cannot notice that this 
FALLING. Our poor planet is 
going to Hell (and yes I know that 
I profess not to believe in Hell). 
. We’ve all been so steeped in 
lies for our whole lives that we 
cannot now escape. Perhaps this 
is the inevitable end of human 
evolution –EXTINCTION. 
Maybe other live forms will do 
a better job of just being able to 
hang around for awhile longer. 
Still it makes me sad to lose hope 
for our poor doomed selves. I 
just happened to look at the 
Barak Obama Campaign poster 
that says HOPE. Ironic, isn’t it—
where has HOPE gone? 

 Well, talk to you next 
week if da creek don’t rise and 
if it does rise what can you do? 
Hooray football season is starting 
up—GO BRUINS. What else is 

Mountain Views News 
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in Court Case number 
GS004724: for the City 
of Sierra Madre; in Court 
Case GS005940 and for 
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Court Case No. GS006989 
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In August, 2007, I, Mountain Views 
News Publisher and Editor, Susan 
Henderson, embarked on an ambitious 
endeavor by creating this publication, 
a community newspaper committed to 
providing news, not gossip or innuendo, 
to Sierra Madre, Pasadena, Altadena, 
Monrovia and Arcadia. 

 It hasn’t been an easy task, but with 
the help of an amazingly dedicated 
and loyal staff and supporters, we have 
published over 2,400 pages of news and 
information. Countless hours go into the production 
of this paper every week and there are no words 
that can express my gratitude for all you have done. 
When we first began writers, Dean Lee, Bob Eklund, 
Paul Carpenter (who by the way is my eldest son), 
Peter Dills, Rich Johnson, Chris Bertrand, and Hail 
Hamilton were right there with me. They continue to contribute, every week, and 
my sincere thanks and appreciation goes out to them. Also there in the beginning 
and still there behind the scenes today were Pat Birdsall, Joe Russo, Mary Carney, 
Lina Johnson and Kim Clymer-Kelley.

 By our second year of publication, we added Stuart Tolchin, Chris Nyerges, La 
Quetta Shamblee, and John Aveny who continue as part of our newspaper family. 
Shortly thereafter we were joined by Howard Hayes, Greg Wellborn, Richard Garcia 
and Patricia Plunkett.

 We have had our ups and downs, and we weather the scrutiny and criticism that 
comes from taking on a task such as this, but I can speak for our entire crew, WE 

 The Mountain Views News has been around long enough to even have two 
retirees, Pat Birdsall and Pat Ostrye, but they both continue to lend a hand and 
support whereever they can. 

 We are also quite proud 
of Teresa Baxter, who 
covered the Pasadena 
Unified School District for 
us. She earned a fellowship 
to Columbia University’s 
School of Journalism, and 
she too, keeps in touch. 

 And last, but certainly not 
least, everyone at the paper 
thanks our subscribers and 
other financial supporters 
who got the ball rolling in 
those very, very difficult 
early years. Oh, of course, 
there is my family, who, 
no matter where they live, 
have given me whatever 
support necessary to keep 
the Mountain Views alive. 

 Thanks to each and 
everyone mentioned here, 
those who I may have 
inadvertently overlooked, 
and most of all Thanks To 
Our Readers, for you are 
truly the backbone of this 

 So, fasten your seatbelts as 
we embark on yet another 
year of delivering the “news 
you care about.” 





Mountain Views 

Mission Statement

The traditions of 
the community 
newspaper and 
the concerns of 
our readers are 
this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. 
We hold in high 
regard the values 
of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence 
of our natural 
resources. Integrity 
will be our guide. 



Wednesday 4-7pm

 Fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits 

from California family farms. 

Specialty foods, vegetarian and vegan dishes, ethnic foods and 

hot food - Everything you’ll find at the farmers market has been 

made or picked fresh, is pesticide-free and preservative-free. 

Free public parking on Mariposa.

Subscribers like Grace and Artie Sanders of Buford, 
Georgia are an important part of the MVNews family.

MVNews this week:  Page 10