Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 13, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, June 13, 2020 





Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee


It ain’t just the Black People protesting! 

For the first time in my lifetime it is all ages, genders, races, 
religions, and anyone else I may have left out all walking the 
streets protesting. Even aged ones who can’t walk very far 
are standing in place at Dodger Stadium holding signs that 
express deep dissatisfaction. I know these protests, which, 
as of today have lasted fifteen days, were ignited by the 
cell-phone video tape taken by a seventeen year old female 
observer of Police conduct. The conduct that was video-
taped and broadcasted to all of us showed a smug nonchalant 
Police Officer holding his knee upon a prone non-moving African American 
Man for eight minutes and forty six seconds. Observing and assisting in what 
amounted to a public execution of the man, George Floyd, were three other 
police officers.

 The first question we all had was something like “What had the man 
done?” Before even knowing the answer anyone who saw the tape experienced 
a kind of revulsion. Was there any crime so horrible that it justified such action? 

Later we learned that the executed man was suspected (suspected) of using a 
counterfeit twenty dollar bill to purchase items at a neighborhood liquor store 
where he frequently shopped. I have not heard anything further as to whether 
a counterfeit bill was actually used but who cares now? 

The video has led to worldwide protests which even today seem to focus on 
the need to restrain police brutality. There is a demand for police reforms that 
will take place, some of which might actually take place; but I think that the 
demonstrations and the outrage were about something much more basic that 
this one issue, important as it may be.

 I believe the demonstrations are cries for help from populations that are 
dissatisfied with their lives and really don’t know why. Sure the outrageous, 
unbelievable conduct by the American President, combined with the restrictions 
and fears connected to the Coronavirus, and the confusion as to the proper way 
to behave, and the uncertainty as to the future all probably have something to 
do with this extraordinary explosion of dissatisfaction. 

Some of us have been prevented from even meeting with our families and 
some of us have been stuck at home trying to explain to our kids stuff that we 
don’t understand ourselves. 

More than half the marriages break up, the number of suicides keep increasing, 
many people are unemployed but even those with jobs report being unhappy 
with their work and see no future prospects. 

Maybe this communal venting of dissatisfaction will allow us all to realize that 
we are in this mess together and really our individual problems are no worse 
than anybody else’s. 

Sure other people may have more money but the virus and the universal 
uncertainty allows us all to realize that money isn’t everything and to be 
thankful that in this very moment we are still alive. 

Not a bad feeling afterall..





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The good news for America is that Donald Trump is crashing 
his presidency the same way he bankrupted casinos, with recent 
polls showing him significantly trailing Joe Biden. His own advisers 
reportedly say that his internal numbers are “brutal.”

The bad news for America – potentially – is that Trump may have 
found a life preserver to which he can cling, and perhaps slow his 
risk of being swept away.

Here’s what Trump said the other day in Maine: “(Protestors) are saying ‘defund the 
police.’ Defund. Think of it. When I saw it, I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ ‘They 
say, ‘We don’t want to have any police.’ You don’t want any police?”

“Defund the police” – formerly a cri de coeur in certain activist and academic circles; 
now painted on a street near the White House – is a bold slogan that’s potential grist for 
Trumpist demagoguery. Perhaps Trump’s efforts will ultimately fail, given his horrific 
performance in office, but Biden and the Democrats may need to be careful nonetheless, 
lest they be tarred as “soft on crime” – one of the GOP’s more durable smear tactics.

When lawmakers start talking about “defunding” a program, it generally means reducing 
the program’s money to zero. But “defund the police” is not about magically 
abolishing all police. As Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza said Sunday on 
Meet the Press, it’s about shifting priorities: “When we talk about defunding the police, 
what we’re saying is, invest in the resources that our communities need…What we do 
need is increased funding for housing, we need increased funding for education, we 
need increased funding for the quality-of-life communities that are over-policed and 

But fortunately for Trump and his enablers, a three-word slogan can be twisted and 
caricatured and exaggerated and distorted all kinds of ways, for the purpose of freaking 
people out. Hence this Trump tweet, posted Sunday: “Sleepy Joe Biden and the Radical 
Left Democrats want to ‘DEFUND THE POLICE’. I want great and well paid LAW ENFORCEMENT. 
I want LAW & ORDER!” And this one: “Not only will Sleepy Joe Biden 

Naturally, Trump is lying – Biden is opposed to defunding the police and the military 
– but Trump may have some room to maneuver. He can demand that Biden denounce 
the slogan and endorse our men and women in blue. If Biden does denounce the slogan, 
maybe he’d alienate progressives in his ranks. Alternatively, if he stands with the activists, 
maybe he’d tick off the majority of Americans – 71 percent – who support their 
local police departments.

As a slogan, “defund the police” is ripe for right-wing political mischief. Even though 
it’s generally about shifting some money from police (especially the purchase of military 
hardware) to a community’s basic human needs, Trump and his enablers will say it’s all 
about abolishing the police. Monday on MSNBC, the Rev. Al Sharpton admitted that 
“the slogan may be misleading without interpretation.”

Which means that, politically speaking, is not a good slogan. Not if you have to keep 
explaining it.

But here’s a good attempt to explain it, courtesy of Georgetown University law professor 
(and police reform expert) Christy Lopez:

“For most proponents, ‘defunding the police’ does not mean zeroing out budgets for 
public safety, and police abolition does not mean that police will disappear overnight 
– or perhaps ever. Defunding the police means shrinking the scope of police responsibilities 
and shifting most of what government does to keep us safe to entities that are 
better equipped to meet that need. It means investing more in mental-health care and 
housing, and expanding the use of community mediation and violence interruption 
programs…It means recognizing that criminalizing addiction and poverty, making 10 
million arrests per year and mass incarceration have not provided the public safety we 
want and never will.”

In all likelihood, Biden will 
stay broadly within those 
parameters. At this point 
– amidst a pandemic, an 
economic depression, and 
widespread civic unrest – the 
burden is on a failed, lawless 
president to leverage “law 
and order” to his benefit. 
And that’s the good news.

Dick Polman, a veteran national 
political columnist 
based in Philadelphia and a 
Writer in Residence at the 
University of Pennsylvania, 
writes at 
Email him at dickpolman7@


If you noticed a lot more cash parked in your 
checking account lately, you’re not alone.

Americans haven’t been saving this much money 
since the Great Depression, and antiquated 
Depression-era values such as thrift and duty are 
making a comeback. But embracing those virtues doesn’t mean Americans 
have become more virtuous. The pandemic and resulting economic 
catastrophe have upended the how we respond certain behavioral cues.

In these unprecedented times, we’re behaving quite predictably.

The scale of this behavioral change is staggering. Before COVID-19, 
Americans ranked 19th in the world in retirement security. The personal 
savings rate had been inching up from 3.7% in 2007 to an average 8.2% 
in the first seven months of 2019 – but now it’s blown up: 12.7% in March 
and 33% in April, nearly doubling the previous record since they started 
asking the question in 1960.

When asked to explain this behavioral shift, most analysts blame shuttered 
retail outlets and vague credit fear for finally getting Americans to 
save, but the truth is that Americans aren’t making rational decisions even 
when making good decisions. We’re all simply responding differently to 
stimuli because the context in which we make decisions has changed.

Take the principle of time preference, for example, which plays a role in 
how one perceives an immediate or future benefit from saving money. 
Before, saving was for something in the future – retirement, travel, or uncertain 
calamities. Now, saving is for a clear and present economic danger 
as a quarter of all American workers have filed for unemployment.

Our tendency to forgot future benefits in favor of the here and now is 
something we call present bias. Present bias is the main reason Americans 
ran up huge credit card bills and failed to save for rainy days. We 
still have a bias for the present, but the incentives have flipped. Mind you, 
at 0% interest no one is saving for the future. COVID-19’s 2% mortality 
rate and the 14.7% unemployment rate incentivize saving for what might 
happen later today.

Loss aversion is another trick our brains play on us. We are more likely 
to act to avoid losses than we are to realize wins, even when the odds 
are better for a win and a loss wouldn’t hurt that bad. Before, loss aversion 
explained a lot of big bar tabs and splurging while on vacations. We 
expected to have good times and were willing to spend more so our experiences 
could meet those expectations. Now, the equation for loss aversion 
have dramatically shifted in the other direction as we’re focused on 
avoiding losing much more tangible things: jobs, housing, basic financial 
viability, even our lives.

No one can say for certain whether Americans will continue to save 
money when this is all over, partly because no one can say for certain 
when this is all over. How long we wait for a vaccine and whether we face 
successive waves of infections until then will likely determine whether 
the society that survives will return to rewarding displays of conspicuous 

In today’s world, we admire essential workers nearly as much as we value 
essential products themselves. Will we recreate the Roaring ‘20s if the 
economy comes roaring back?

Right now, the best thing Americans can do to protect their financial security 
is to hoard money. Luckily, the behavioral cues incentivize optimal 
personal outcomes amid suboptimal public turmoil.

With so little to celebrate these days, we should take a moment to at least 
acknowledge this: It might have taken a deadly pandemic and economic 
cataclysm, but Americans are finally saving money.

Lilly Kofler is the Vice President of Behavioral Science and is the U.S. lead 
of Hill+Knowlton Strategies Behavioral Science Unit.

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