MailBag

I will post any longer comments or thought-provoking emails I receive here.

Squeezed to Death: MN’s Middle Class

I am the product of a Teamster truck driver and a stay-at-home mom. My parents came to St. Paul in 1945 from Oklahoma because my dad had heard that the Oskey brothers were hiring truck drivers to haul for National Butter. My name is Retha Kathleen Dooley; my brothers are Patrick, Michael and Sean.

We grew up in a different Minnesota than the Minnesota we live in today. We owned a small home, had one car, had health insurance, and took one 2-week vacation at a friend’s lake cabin for a number of years while I was a kid. Most young families today are lucky to have a job!

My three brothers at various times got to ride along with dad to Chicago in the semi-truck that he drove for a living; I got to go along once when I was about seven years old. My most vivid memory of the trip was looking in the side-view mirror and seeing the exhaust stack glowing red in the night!

But, here, the real reason I’m writing to you is to say that I am frightened beyond all good sense when I read about the bills that the “freshman” legislators have sent to the governor. I am concerned that these folks are so dang shortsighted. I “get” that we are not going back to the 50’s in terms of manufacturing, etc., but what blows my mind is the fact that the middleclass and working class folks are being squeezed to death for the sake of giving tax breaks to the wealthiest and of course the corporations. Don’t even get me started on what will happen to the most vulnerable of our citizens.

We have endured the no-new-taxes mantra and things have not got better. Regressive taxes are on the rise. And, if I hear one more time how government is like a family and must live within its means; I think I’ll scream! How often do families willingly cut their income source?

Well, you get my drift. I really want to say; keep writing! In the words of Mary Oliver: “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

– Retha Dooley