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Chad’s Morning Brief: Many See the American Dream Out of Reach, Lubbock City Council Meeting, and Other Top Stories

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of February 14, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Also, Happy House of Cards Season 2 Day!

Cole Shooter, KFYO.com

The American Dream?

Is the American Dream out of reach? According to a new poll, many believe it is or that it is heading that way.

Racing into a new century in which many of the old rules don’t seem to apply anymore, Americans are overwhelmingly pessimistic about their chances of achieving and sustaining the American dream, according to a new Marist-McClatchy Poll.

They see an economic system in which they have to work harder than ever to get ahead, and a political system that’s unresponsive to their needs. They see the wealthy allowed to play by a different set of rules from everyone else.

Eight out of 10 Americans think it’s harder now than before, taking more effort to get ahead than it did for previous generations. Just 15 percent think it takes the same work as it did before, and a scant 5 percent think it’s easier now.

And Americans don’t think it will get better soon, with 78 percent thinking it also will be harder for the next generation to get ahead.

The findings underscore the landscape at a time when the economy and the country are being fundamentally changed by waves of globalization and new technology, and as Americans struggle to see a better path forward and their politicians grapple over how to help.

President Barack Obama speaks frequently about the growing gap between rich and poor, and he pushes for a higher minimum wage and health care subsidies, as well as programs to help people find new skills, at the same time he pushes free trade, which some blame for an exodus of jobs to lower-paying foreign factories. Republicans propose help for businesses, hoping that would lead them to hire more and pay more.

Neither side has sold the public on a future full of economic hope.

Looking at work, Americans think by 75-22 percent that U.S. corporations make stockholders their top priority, over their employees.

Looking at their own lives, most people consider themselves middle class. Eighty-six percent of those polled identified themselves that way, with 14 percent calling themselves upper middle class, 50 percent saying middle class and 22 percent saying lower middle class.

Most think the middle class is hurt most by government policies. Fifty-five percent think the middle class is most likely to be left behind by those actions, while another 40 percent said the poor would be hurt the most.

The findings come as the nation and the federal government struggle to help the economy rebound in a robust fashion. Officially, the deep recession that began in December 2007 has been over since mid-2009, but growth has been sluggish, consumer confidence has just begun to improve and government spending has been restrained.

“The poll really explains why people are feeling on the sidelines and so despondent,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in New York.

Polling has found that most people are wary of whether Washington can assist, but the new survey has constituents questioning whether any part of the American system can be a big help.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said people who worked hard still had a hard time maintaining their standard of living, a view that cut across nearly every income, geographic and age line.

Seventy-two percent of those who earn less than $50,000 a year felt that way, and 66 percent of those who earn more agreed. So did 63 percent of 18- to 29-year olds, and 71 percent of those 60 and older.

These attitudes have been building for years, Miringoff said, and the gloom is fueled by a political system that people think isn’t responsive to their needs.

“People just feel that those in Washington are not looking out for them,” he said. “They really feel a disconnect.”

The distrust of the wealthy – and the old belief that you could pull yourself up by your own bootstraps – was evident as 85 percent said there were different rules for the well-connected and people with money. Only 14 percent said everyone more or less played by the same rules to get ahead.

Even the wealthier felt that way, as 84 percent of those who earn more than $50,000 agreed, while 88 percent of those who make less concurred.

If Obama and the Democrats have their way, the American Dream will be lost for many. With Obamacare and other liberal policies out there, the new American Dream is to not work, stay at home and collect handouts. Sadly, too many are just fine with this.

Lubbock City Council Meeting

The Lubbock City Council met last night and as Cole Shooter reports, much was discussed.

 

At their meeting Thursday evening, the Lubbock City Council tried out a new citizen comment procedure and approved a new location for a library that has been a hot button issue for several years.

The Council has removed the time limit for individual speakers, but now limits the time for citizen comments overall to 60 minutes. Those wishing to discuss items with the Council are now required to sign up 75 hours in advance of the meeting.

If a person misses the 75-hour deadline, they are able to speak at the end of the meeting, but the Council will not discuss items that are not on the agenda.

Turnout for citizen comments was fairly low for the meeting, as four people signed up to speak prior to the 75-hour deadline, and three people actually showed up to speak.

During the open citizen comment portion that preceded the Council’s business, two people spoke. Councilman Victor Hernandez counted 44 people in attendance overall at the meeting.

The Council also approved a resolution authorizing Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson to execute a lease agreement between the City of Lubbock and Luskey Brothers Investments for a new Godeke Library location.

The City will move the Godeke Library from the current location at 67th Street and Slide Road to the new location at 5034 Frankford Avenue.

The monthly rent at the new location will be $6,315 per month through August of 2016, and would begin on September of this year. The landlord is waiving rent until that point to keep the City from paying rent on the current location and the new location. The monthly rent at the current location is $25,000 per month.

The commercial lease agreement lists a rent increase to $9,472.50 per month from September 2016 through August of 2019.

At the end of the five-year lease agreement, the City will have the option to purchase the building. If the appraised price is not acceptable to either party and an agreement cannot be made on a price, the parties have the option to extend the lease for three years at $10 per square foot.

Under the lease agreement, Luskey Brothers Investments is responsible for the building’s foundation, walls, roof, structural components, and wood-destroying insect treatments and repairs. The City is responsible for all other repairs and maintenance on the building.

“It was pretty easy to look at the calendar and see that we had seven months before September 30th to find a home for Godeke Library,” said Assistant City Manager Quincy White. “The Luskey Building was available. We made a decision that time for discussion basically had to end. We had to make a decision and get the library moved or we ran the risk of the library closing, and we just didn’t even want to consider that as a possibility.”

The City will incur costs to outfit the building as a library and moving costs as well. White estimated that those costs could exceed $175,000.

The Council unanimously approved the lease agreement.

I am disappointed that this council decided to waste money on another lease for the Godeke Library. If the council was serious about finding a permanent solution and location for the library they never should have signed on for a $500,000 lease.

Other Top Stories:

Wendy Davis and Gay Marriage

Groups Urge TEA to Ban Tasers and Pepper Spray

Gay Marriage Divide in the Methodist Church

Bobby Jindal and the Silent War on Religion 

Cruz and Lee File Bill to Protect States Against Gay Marriage

House Dems Move on Minimum Wage

Fairness and Spite 

Millennial-Industrial Complex

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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