Alexander Clay Lavin | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Alexander Clay Lavin 
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Re: “After 25 Years, Burlington's Uncommon Grounds to Close

In 1995 I had my first cup of coffee from Uncommon Grounds when the B-Side staff took me there on break from my first summer job and I will never forget that taste.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alexander Clay Lavin on 10/23/2019 at 5:38 PM

Re: “Violence Caught on Camera Leads to Brutality Claims Against Burlington Cops

Pretty ugly stuff there. A charge or two against cops disregarding training or going way too far when there is no immanent threat would go a long way toward changing the culture behind the badge. Most cops in this town are square dealers who get paid little and the handful of times I needed them, they protected and served me. Shame if these outliers gave the whole force a bad name.

24 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Alexander Clay Lavin on 05/04/2019 at 11:25 PM

Re: “Vermont House Panel Approves $15 Minimum Wage

Here's an article citing two new studies that find strong minimum wage laws to be good for overall economic health:…

12 likes, 26 dislikes
Posted by Alexander Clay Lavin on 04/26/2019 at 6:34 PM

Re: “Minimum Wage Increase Could Trigger Costly Medicaid Shortfall

To Concerned VT'er (why does nobody say who they are around here?): thanks for your thoughtful response. This state is sadly not business-friendly. It's not only because of inordinately high taxes and fees but also because of the framework of regulations that make it difficult to conduct business. This is in dire need of reform. I agree 100%.

But we haven't got good evidence that flinging the doors open for unbridled business operations via deregulation, de-unionization, and utopian free market urges actually raises wages. On the contrary, the Reagan-and-after wild west economy has lowered real wages when adjusted for surging costs of living and inflation.

As stated before and now big in the news, income inequality has subsequently spiked to dizzying levels even as plants close, hours and benefits are cut, and America careens into the abyss. Nevermind the unemployment rate... the under-employment rate should trouble us.

In historical terms... when the minimum wage was first instituted, collective bargaining rights legislated, and child labor outlawed, we saw the greatest uptick in the human development index that the country has ever seen.

The "climb the ladder, loser" conceit taunted by wage skeptics: this assumes those with a will to succeed are destined for higher-paying jobs, and also a resilience to strive is natural, not socially constructed. It often comes down to what the person's world is. "It's who ya know"... an enduring tenet of the professional world.

The social darwinism of this thinking maintains some deserve to survive and others will be thrown off the lifeboat and drown in low-wage misery. 45% of American minimum wage earners have children, so we are talking about the future of the republic itself. This is the essence of the inhumanity and incivility of the mainstream's alignment against the working class.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Alexander Clay Lavin on 04/24/2019 at 6:57 PM

Re: “Minimum Wage Increase Could Trigger Costly Medicaid Shortfall

This entire conversation is such a supply-side, ruling-class prism of obscene inhumanity that it hardly warrants civilized response. Milton Friedman called and he is so tumescent he can't even go outside. $15 was needed back in 2010... by 2024 it will be closer to $20.

Do we delude ourselves into thinking that we are in a world where large sums of capital are not flying away from the working and middle classes and into the plutocracy? They are... and if we can't get together for long enough to put the brakes on this then we're bigger suckers than have ever lived on planet earth.

Nobody is pretending that this wage increase will be easy on local business. Everybody has a boss; for the embattled boss of the desperate employees that boss is called the bank.

The banks have been left out of this conversation. They are the ones who can afford to fill in the shortfall, and this plan cannot responsibly work without the accountability of the financier class whose primacy of speculation, refusal to lend at reasonable rates, and betrayal of material production have triggered the slow-motion collapse of the United States economy.

Why impose ourselves on the banks and the ruling class, nice folks as they are? Because that's where the money is!

4 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Alexander Clay Lavin on 04/24/2019 at 2:18 PM

Re: “Hello, Hula: Can Russ Scully Create a Lakeside Tech Scene?

We wish Russ nothing but the best. I smell a Presevation Burlington award on the horizon if he keeps those buildings around. BBA looks out for business--that's their job. We try to look out for the wagers that make the wheels of society turn--that's our job. Welcome to America.

It would be interesting to set aside a bit of space for co-op model business and artisanal production of material goods, something other than tech. Once somebody in on Winooski's blossoming remarked that, "people need something else to do other than gorge themselves and get drunk," and I'd say that applies here too in a different way.

Google Campus is open to visitors and it will make this place more dynamic to make it an open campus too, not an impenetrable fortress.

Here's to somebody risk-friendly enough to give this a shot!

15 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alexander Clay Lavin on 04/02/2019 at 5:48 PM

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