Daily Bread for 11.28.23: Opportunity If We’ll Take It

 Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 23. Sunrise is 7:03 and sunset 4:22 for 9h 19m 44s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 98.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Finance Committee meets at 5 PM

  On this day in 1895, the first American automobile race takes place over the 54 miles from Chicago’s Jackson Park to Evanston, Illinois. Frank Duryea wins in approximately 10 hours.

  A 11.21.23 essay from Brookings by author Homi Kharas describes what fuels middle-class optimism. (Kharas has a new book, The Rise of the Global Middle Class, that I have not yet read. For today, this post confines itself to Kharas’s 11.21 essay.) 

Kharas notes the rise of a global middle class:

Joining the middle class has been a ticket to the good life for two centuries now, a history I trace in a new book “The Rise of the Global Middle Class.” The American Dream, the glorious years of European reconstruction after World War II, miracle economic growth in Japan and other East Asian countries, Xi Jinping’s great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and India’s software revolution each brought hundreds of millions of people into the ranks of the global middle class. Today, thanks to this progress, most of the world, upwards of 4 billion people, enjoy a middle-class or better lifestyle for the first time ever.

Yes. (I’ll note that the period of China’s greatest economic success came only after liberalizing her economy toward freer markets, and that period of liberalization is regrettably over.)

Here’s how Kharas describes middle-class optimism:

Middle-class life satisfaction rests on two pillars. The first is the idea that hard work and self-initiative will lead to prosperity. The second is that thanks to this prosperity, the children of middle-class families will enjoy even more opportunities for the good life.

There’s a local aspect to this. To be successful, a community needs to have middle-class success. 

In Whitewater, CDA types in the decade from 2010-2020 failed to capitalize on state and national economic gains. See Whitewater’s Still Waiting for That Boom. (“While Wisconsin and America advanced, these gentlemen were left admitting reluctantly their own poor performance. (There was a national boom, uplifting many cities, but it passed by Whitewater. What did Whitewater get after the Great Recession, years into a national boom? Whitewater received a designation as a low-income community.  The gentlemen speaking, these ‘Greater Whitewater’ development men, were by their own accounts at the center of local CDA policy during most of the years that the state and national boom ignored Whitewater.) See also A Candid Admission from the Whitewater CDA (“This new EOZ program allows for private investments to be made, with significant tax benefits, in lower income communities like ours that need a boost to their economy,” said Larry Kachel, Chair of the Whitewater Community Development Authority (CDA).” Emphasis added.)

We have a chance for better. See A Development Director for Whitewater (“Whitewater’s development policy is meant to be a community development policy, not one captured against the public interest by a few. Who owns Whitewater? The proper answer — the answer suitable for a beautiful, well-ordered American town — is everyone and no one.”)

Rescued baby turtles scurry into the sea:

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New Attendee
7 months ago

“How the Grinches (almost) Stole Whitewater’s Christmas”

In Whitewater’s town, all snowy and bright,
Where hearts glowed warm, against the cold winter night,
A tale unfolded, strange and grim,
Of Grinches plotting, again, on a whim.

The grinchiest Grinch, atop his hill oh so stark,
Dreamed of owning buildings, from dawn until dark.
With a heart too small, and ambitions so tall,
He longed to possess, not one, but them all.

His Grinchlings, the lobbyist and Allen, oh so keen,
Scurried about, as though unseen.
They conspired in the mist, with a devious twist,
To snatch the town’s joy, with a flick of their wrist.

Their target was clear, in their grasping spree,
The town’s housing policy, key to glee.
The grinchiest Grinch, from his lofty view,
Dispatched his minions, through Whitewater they flew.

They whispered in meetings, spreading confusion and lies,
Presenting new policies, in a secretive guise.
As though unseen by the taxpayers, their future at stake,
In a game of dire consequences, deception and self-interest they make.

But Whitewater, strong and ever so bright,
Was not a town to give up without a fight.
Its people saw through the Grinchlings’ mean feat,
Vowing to make their sinister plans obsolete.

Together they stood, hand in hand, so grand,
Uniting every woman, child, and man.
Singing songs of joy, of a community so tight,
In Whitewater’s streets, they reclaimed the night.

Their voices soared high, in the chilly air,
A chorus of hope, love, and care.
They celebrated their town, with a spirit so vast,
For Whitewater’s joy, the Grinches couldn’t outlast.

The Grinches’ hearts did not grow, not even a bit,
In the warmth of Whitewater, they just didn’t fit.
But the town, it shone, with a glow so bright,
Proving that together, they could set things right.

For Whitewater’s charm wasn’t in policies or laws,
But in its people, united for a common cause.
And as the town flourished, more vibrant each day,
The Grinches stood alone, cold and astray.

In the spirit of the town, new faces appeared,
Arrived servants of all, as the community cheered.
Together they worked, making Whitewater gleam,
A place of joy, a shared dream.

And so, the Grinches, with their hearts still small,
Huddled together, having lost it all.
While Whitewater, in its newfound bliss,
Celebrated a future, they would have otherwise missed.

careful observer
7 months ago

lol!!! kind of surprising that this hasn’t become a Whitewater cartoon by now. they would have to pick who pulls the sleigh.

A Town Squire
Reply to  careful observer
7 months ago