Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 05.19.2011

May 19, 2011


Rotary Cogwheel: Thursday, May 19, 2011

Today’s Program: Building, Community: Building and EPIC Community: Linda Hibbard, executive director of EPIC Enterprises (Solid)

Happy Birthday: Russ Halverson (5/15), Kurt Larson (5/16), Keith Covey (5/19) and Bob Flaten (5/21).

Next Week: – Beth Bergmans Classification (V. Dilley)

Last Meeting:

At last, we’ve found Harry Truman’s proverbial one-armed economist. She comes in the form of Martha Paas, Carleton College economics professor, who refused to equivocate on the roiling economic issues of the day. Here’s the economic landscape, according to Martha:

—- The U.S. is not going broke. It’s not a problem as long as the federal debt, now at $14 trillion, doesn’t grow faster than our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our debt to GDP ratio is currently 37th in the world.

— Causes of our recent deficit spending are: 1) Defense spending that has doubled in the last 10 years largely due to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; 2) Bush tax cuts; 3) The recession.

— Shrinking government will not solve the problem. By 2015, half of all government spending will be dedicated to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Social Security is solvent for now, and there is time to make fiscally responsible reforms. Containing health care costs is the real issue.

— Trickle down economics has not worked. The income inequality gap is wider than at any time in our nation’s history.  This is not simply a social justice issue. There are sound economic reasons to reverse this trend.

— Inflation is not a real danger. The recovery is more important at this point in time than guarding against inflationary forces.

— We need to be investing in infrastructure and clean energy.

— Policy decision must be based on hard evidence. “We can’t do it as long as ideology passes for truth and slogans for facts,” Martha said.


Paul Harris Presentation: Brett Reese honored Margaret Jacobson, his long-time assistant at Rebound Enterprises, with a Paul Harris Fellowship. He said her work models service above self. David Brown reminded us that the goal is for every Rotarian to contribute every year to the Rotary Foundation.

Guests: Laurie Fjelstad (Abbott), Leslie Vanderwood and Jennifer Labovitz (Fenton), Margaret Jacobson (Reese), Jennifer Wignau (Rich) and Jurandir Macêdo de Carvalho Jr. and Maria (Lola) Sales Souza Lima (Miguel’s parents)

Scholarship Enhancement: Bob Coonley who generously handed it off  to our exchange students.


. President Weber announced that Jean Wakely’s mother died.

— Jim Holden returned from a Rochester Rotary Club meeting with a flag from the club.

Coming Up

June 2 – Tim Madigan Classification (Abbott)

June 9 — Legislative Review with Sen. Al DeKruif,

Rep. Kelby Woodard (Thacher)

June 14 – Graduation party for in-coming students, Estenson ranch

Welcome Our Newest Members:

Devon Barnes, Beth Bergmans, Ryan Blumhoefer, Barry Carlson, Jim Holden, Michelle Lasswell, Tim Madigan,

Don Robertson, Betsy Spethmann and Roberto Zayas