Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Birthday George

Years ago, my youngest daughter wrote a grade school paper on the early development of democracy in Greece.  What caught my attention was the part about citizen participation and the expectations of good citizenship.  The emphasis was on giving to the well being of the whole and intelligent participation in civic affairs.

In so many ways, George Pillsbury is Minnesota’s model citizen.  He is always there, always participating, always contributing.

Take a moment and revisit Frank Capra’s marvelous film It’s a Wonderful Life and then think about all the meaningful improvements we have made in Minnesota since the close of World War II.  We became a national showcase for our efforts in education, the arts, business civic participation, human rights, the environment, political governance, etc.  Simply put, Minnesota was recognized as the state that works.

Continuing as a part of this exercise start to think about the impact of George’s involvement.  He and his truly magnificent partner, Sally, have been part of virtually all facets of what defines our quality of life from endowing scholarships at the University of Minnesota to growing the arts.

A war veteran (marine officer during World War II), business leader, philanthropist, and State Senator, George Pillsbury has always represented the best in Minnesota.  And he does it with grace, intelligence, and a deep sense of decency.

George, thank you for being you.

Happy Birthday!

Susan and Arne

P.S.  Read Lorie Sturdevant’s recently released book entitled The Pillsbury’s of Minnesota.  It is very well done.


  1. Has Trickle Down EVER Worked?

    I think if we look at this as an economic policy, whether for economic stimulus, personal, or corporate benefit, it has never truly delivered. At the core of the issue is that the upper echelon earners have little reason to truly extend their earnings and/or the extended earnings of an upper income class or corporate tax relief program.

    The returns at this level tend to be proportionately added to personal wealth or corporate treasure chests - conservatively planning for a "rainy day" that may or may not ever come. Providing a similar benefit to the lower income classes will most assuredly be spent within the economy. Why, because individuals within these brackets have fewer choices about saving vs. spending.

    So, if 97% of tax payers received a tax benefit, where would the money end up? It's safe to assume most of it (easily > 66%) would be spend buying goods and services from companies owned by . . . wait for it . . . the upper income class and corporations. How about this as an idea - tickle up! People buy more, more inventory and workers are needed, etc.

    I may be naive, but the logic is there and is demonstrable through several tax refunds. Provide money to the common folks and, voila, they spend it.

    By all means, give the wealthy a big break - so they can put more into their savings accounts and the corporate treasury. Take a peek at the cash positions of the largest American corporations - pretty shocking.

  2. Thank God for creative and wealthy people here in America. They build the grand homes, buy the big yachts, buy airplanes and many other appliances.They pay the salaries, the payroll tax, the unemployment taxes, and in many cases the health care of millions of employees. Fortunately they give to the poor and disadvantaged with gifts to orphanages, hospitals, universities and just about every other worthwhile cause. And the best part of their generosity is that it is more effective because the money doesn't have to pass through the hands of the buerocrats in St Paul or Washington. Those who would prefer the government to replace these high income taxpayers with a more socially acceptable culture should only look at themselves, not at others.................Bill Stouvenel


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