Drew Rodgers

I live in Norway with my wife, Inger, and our cat T.J. Maxx and teach International Business Communications at Oslo University College School of Business.

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The Last Leaf to Fall

Published on Friday 5. January 2018

The leaves on the tree have begun to fall.
The winter of aging is upon us.
My family has lived to their 90’s.
I may live while the other leaves fall.
Will I be alone after all the leaves have fallen?
Alone to face the bleak winter of old age?
The last leaf to fall?

Or will I be an early leaf to fall?

Here is a song to accompany the poem:

The Last Leaf to Fall

A Democracy?

Published on Thursday 21. December 2017

In 1787, the United States became the first western democracy and a shining example for the rest of the world. That was then, but today one could make a case for the United States rapidly becoming an oligarchy. When the top 20% own 88% of the total wealth and the bottom 40% 0.4% then the direction becomes frightening clear. When the middle class, the foundation of democracy, is declining in numbers and many of those numbers vote for a person who is the prime mover toward oligarchy, then there is one more nail in democracy’s coffin. Then there is a free press which is the watchdog of democracy and it is trying its best to fulfill that function. But how many people seek their news in reliable sources such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NPR, PBS etc.? When a large portion turn to Fox News whose “news” is conspiracy theories, half truths and lies acting as our fearless leader’s Goebbels or they confirm their worst prejudices through talk radio or racists internet sites, then how democratic is the United States? And if you had any doubts, a recent ranking of countries according to how democratic they are, placed the United States at number 21 and in the second group entitled, “flawed democracy.” And the flaw is becoming more and more evident. So where does that leave us? Well, that depends and how much we want to live in a democratic country.

Delusion

Published on Wednesday 20. December 2017

A recent study revealed that over half of the middle class is just hanging there and they felt that politicians had betrayed them. In their frustration and anger, they sought relief in Donald Trump. When they bet their last dollar on him, they had to believe it was well spent and delude themselves regardless of what happened. Thus an explanation for their loyalty to the one man wrecking crew now residing in the White House; the one who is destroying the environment, alienating our traditional allies, widening the gap between the upper uppers and the rest of us, initiating a devastating trade war, weakening consumer protection so that predators from Wall Street can prey on us, wrenching children from their parents’ arms, tearing the safety net from under us, trampling on our traditional values though his tweets, and making us the laughing stock of the entire world. His supporters continue to believe in him and delude themselves saying look at the stock market and the unemployment rate. What they don’t see is this all could go south when the impact of his trade war kicks in. And what else they don’t see is that Trump is eroding the very pillars of our democracy. The question is will they wake before it is too late.

A Staged Reality

Published on Sunday 29. October 2017

Donald Trump is a product of reality TV. However, reality TV is simply a staging of scenes to make it look like reality, when it really is just the product of the mind of the inventor. Trump’s presidency is exactly the same with his screaming “fake news” when real news does not correspond with his staged reality. An American public which is entertained more than it is informed can easily slip into the illusion of Trump’s vision of what is true due to his ability to entertain. When you consider that an analysis of his statements over the first nine month reveals that 1318 of his “truths” prove to be false what will happen down the line when his policies based on invented truths meet reality? His base probably won’t know the difference, but let’s hope that the majority of Americans do.

Trump’s Tax Plan

Published on Saturday 7. October 2017

According to a Telfair Research opinion poll only those who believe in Breibart News, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and Santa Claus believe that the plan will help the middle and working classes. If you fall into that category, here’s some information you should consider.

1.The poorest 20% would receive a tax break of between 0.2% and 0.5%. The middle class consisting of the 20% to 80% of the population, would receive somewhere 0.8%-1,9% depending on their income.The upper 1% would receive a 10% to 16% tax break. Trump himself, based on the one tax returns available, would save $38 million.
2. It would add $1.5 trillion to the national debt which would increase interest rates on housing, cars etc.
3. It would not result in more jobs as corporate leaders take the money and save and invest in the stock market. Trickle down economics is dead. The only time corporate leaders increase production is when demand increases. Trump will do nothing, like raise the minimum wage, to increase demand.
4. It will hurt families with school age children as they will lose the personal deduction for each child.
5. Guess where the cuts will be to make up for the $1.5 trillion? Social security, Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start and a whole list of programs from which the working and middle classes benefit.