It’s been a good week for Rockdale

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”— Benjamin Franklin.

I love this week’s front page, if I may say so. There is some “positivity” to it. Since Alcoa announced the closing of its smelter, there has been a pall hanging over this town, but this week ref lects some very good things.

• A heavy equipment training school will place its next campus here, bringing in 45 to 60 students for class modules with about 10 instructors.

• Rockdale ISD’s achievement scores are heading in the right direction. The new campuses are the pride of this town.

• The city council election has seven quality candidates. Don’t forget to place your vote on Saturday.

• People came together for one of the town’s favorite sons, Garry White, whom we marveled at when he was on the gridiron years ago. No family has done more for Rockdale athletics than the Whites. It’s good to see us return some love.

Moyers Moyers Maybe it’s just the warmer weather, but today at least, I feel better about Rockdale’s future.

Gotta work it The ATS stor y shows what can happen when locals put the hospitality bandwagon on “fullcourt press.” There is no greater reason to vote “Y ES” on the ballot than this positive news. I have ever y confidence that Rockdale’s Municipal Development District board of directors — Mark Jackson, Jim Scott, Mitul Patel and Bobby Pelzel — will work efficiently to bring more business our way.

Some people have reservations about giving tax money for development purposes and I understand. But it’s also a stark reality that dictates the need to sell your town in today’s markets. Employers, right or wrong, want to be wooed into a place.

As has been stated before, this vote is a chance to finally get a solidly funded economic development effort. Our town will not prosper without getting the word out and hustling for new business.

Please vote YES on Saturday and give our town a fighting chance to win new business.

Plutocracy and you I don’t watch a lot of television, but I did catch Bill Moyers’ last entry of his “Journal” show on PBS and it was a good one.

Moyers, who has never tried to hide his bias, had Jim Hightower on as his guest. The Texan liberal Hightower visited our town during the recent Tejas Festival. On Friday’s show, the two talke d ab out how the country’s preference for trickle-down economics — or tinkle- down, as Hightower calls it, with the imagery that casts — has created a wider disparity of rich and poor in our country.

Today, as the Wall Street robbber barons lobby with tens of millions of dollars so they might get nothing more than a slap on the wrist for steering the economy into the tank, Moyers’ words are worth repeating.

“Plutocracy and democracy don’t mix. Plutocracy, the rule of the rich, political power controlled by the wealthy.

“Plutocracy is not an American word but it’s become an American phenomenon. Back in the fall of 2005, the Wall Street giant Citigroup even coined a variation on it, plutonomy, an economic system where t he privileged few make sure the rich get richer with government on their side.

“...over the past 30 years the plutocrats, or plutonomists — choose your poison — have used their vastly increased wealth to capture the flag and assure the government does their bidding. Remember that Citigroup reference to “market-friendly governments” on their side? It hasn’t mattered which party has been in power — government has done Wall Street’s bidding.

“Don’t blame the lobbyists, by the way; they are simply the mules of politics, delivering the drug of choice to a political class addicted to cash — what polite circles call ‘campaign contributions’ and Tony Soprano would call ‘protection.’

“...millions of Americans have awakened to a sobering reality: they live in a plutocracy, where they are disposable. Then, the remedy was a popular insurgency that ignited the spark of democracy.

“Now we have come to another parting of the ways, and once again the fate and character of our country are up for grabs.

“So along with Jim Hightower and Iowa’s concerned citizens, and many of you, I am biased: democracy only works when we claim it as our own.”

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2010-05-06 digital edition

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