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Saturday, February 6th, 2016
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What it will take to address income inequality


By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Feb 1st, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

When the history of this year’s presidential campaign is written, one of its more remarkable features will be that candidates of both parties feel it necessary to talk about income inequality. Surely that makes this a watershed moment.

The issue is hardly new. As historian and writer Jill Lepore pointed out last year, income inequality in the United States has been rising since the late 1960s. As she put it, “The evidence that income inequality in the United States has been growing for decades and is greater than in any other developed democracy is not much disputed.”

More notable is that it has become a defining issue of our day, with Republican candidates seizing on it just as avidly as Democrats — though with different views of its causes and solutions. Some reformist Republicans have argued for some time now for the right mix of public policies to give poor and middle-income Americans more opportunity without shifting power to the federal government. On the Democratic side, as expected, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton press for a firmer public stance to redress the problem. No one suggests there are easy solutions.

To be sure, there are politicians, especially on the right, who believe there’s not much room for public action. Market forces will sort it all out, they argue. In this telling, inequality has come about because of globalization and technological changes that are unstoppable and that on the whole have raised living standards. Eventually, they believe, the gap between the highest earners and the rest of us will diminish. Instead of fighting inequality, we should be protecting and expanding the rewards for skill, leadership and entrepreneurship.

This argument assumes that the very wealthy won’t act to tilt the field even more in their favor. Yet as the New York Times noted last month, they are doing just that. “With inequality at its highest levels in nearly a century,” the newspaper wrote, “the very richest Americans have financed a sophisticated and astonishingly effective apparatus for shielding their fortunes.... Operating largely out of public view... the wealthy have used their influence to steadily whittle away at the government’s ability to tax them.”

Yet some reform-minded conservatives agree with Democrats on at least one point, which is that government needs to act to achieve greater fairness and opportunity in the economy. The stres .....
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Doldrums

Mon, Feb 1st, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

Does anyone else feel really tired? I don’t necessarily mean sleepy tired, although there’s something to that. I find myself craving sleep more and more as this winter has finally settled in to actually being, um, winter. It’s hard to get in ..... 
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What swimming facility will Chatfield residents want?

Mon, Feb 1st, 2016
Posted in Chatfield Government

At the Chatfield City Council’s January 25 meeting, the city’s swimming pool and its future was again discussed. Councilor Paul Novotny was absent. Burbach Aquatics, Inc. has done an analysis on the current pool. They have determined that the ..... 
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Boots & Badges debut event

Mon, Feb 1st, 2016
Posted in All Features

We have talked about the book extensively, and we have finally arrived at our destination. On Friday, February 5, 2016, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., the staff at the Fillmore County Journal will be hosting an event at the The Club - Bar and Veteran’s ..... 
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Saving lives while saving lives

Mon, Feb 1st, 2016
Posted in All Features

On Monday, January 25, 2016, as snow flurries made for dangerous driving conditions, Sgt. Troy Christianson, with the Minnesota State Patrol, spoke to an audience comprised of volunteer firefighters with the Harmony Fire Department and Preston Fire ..... 
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Lyle A. Reinsvold

Wed, Jan 27th, 2016
Posted in All Obituaries

Lyle A. Reinsvold, age 86, of Rochester, passed away on January 26, 2016 at Samaritan Bethany Home on Eighth. Lyle was born June 15, 1929 in Canton, Minn., to Arnie and Lula Pederson Reinsvold. He married Norma Jean Fishbaugher May 8, 1954 a ..... 
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John (Jack) Zachary Smith

Wed, Jan 27th, 2016
Posted in Harmony Obituaries

John (Jack) Zachary Smith passed away at the Harmony Gundersen Care Center in Harmony, Minn., on January 26, 2016. Funeral services were held at Greenfield Lutheran Church in Harmony, Minn. at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 30, 2016, with interment ..... 
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Judge Robert Benson

Wed, Jan 27th, 2016
Posted in Preston Obituaries

Judge Robert Benson, of Preston, died December 23, 2015 after fighting metastatic Merkel Cell carcinoma. He was born August 2, 1945 in Owatonna, Minn., to Josephine and Raymond Benson. He is survived by his wife, Sandra, children, Rebekah and M ..... 
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Helen (Marie) Haug

Wed, Jan 27th, 2016
Posted in All Obituaries

Helen (Marie) Haug, 81, of Leroy, Minn., passed away on Monday, January 25, 2016 in the hospital at Emmetsburg, Iowa. Marie was born in North Prairie, Lanesboro area, on October 14, 1934. She went to Todahl School for eight years and high schoo ..... 
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