Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 6
June 18, 2011
Beyond merely complaining about what is wrong with our world, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. insists that we must begin now to imagine and actively create a new one. A short excerpt from chapter 5 of his last book appears at the end of this article to outline his overall vision for abolishing poverty by providing either jobs or incomes or both. This excerpt has been widely published and analyzed by individual blogs and reputable news sources throughout the Internet over time. But it is worthy of repeating here for a number of reasons.
In the 40 years since Dr. King’s death, we’ve heard endless discussions about how to create jobs and/or incomes. But talk is cheap, and most of these discussions are rooted in the mythical assumption that wealthy individuals are needed to provide either jobs or incomes in a so-called ‘developed’ or ‘industrial’ society. The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain has debunked this myth for more than 50 years. As it turns out, workers can create their own damn jobs. Absentee shareholders need not apply. Greg MacLeod’s book, “From Mondragon To America: Experiments in Community Development” puts real-world ‘legs’ on Dr. King’s vision of full-employment.
Furthermore, the state of Alaska has demonstrated for more than 30 years that a guaranteed income is, not only possible, but in many ways essential for a healthy economy. Since the natural resources of Alaska belong to all Alaskans, it is the legislature’s responsibility to develop these resources for the “maximum benefit of its people.” Richard C. Cook’s “We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform” puts real-world ‘legs’ on Dr. King’s vision of a guaranteed basic income for every U.S. citizen, regardless of employment status.
Meanwhile, Republican politicians in the United States seem obsessed about cutting government spending these days, specifically targeting so-called ‘entitlement’ programs. Why do these Republican defenders of American democracy consistently attack unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in their alleged attempts to ‘fix’ the American economy?
Let’s look at the puzzle from another perspective.
If these programs are either compromised or destroyed, how many millions of Americans will be forced into the labor market to compete for low-wage jobs, merely to survive and to pay their medical bills? More importantly, what happens when any ‘market’ is flooded with competition? Prices begin to drop significantly. The ‘price’ of human labor is called ‘wages’, and higher wages tend to result in lower profits. Such is the antagonistic relationship that forms the very foundation of our entire economy. So, at least in part, the ultimate goal of destroying ‘entitlement’ programs is to drive wages down in the United States, because lower wages tend to result in higher profits.
Conventional wisdom insists that, as American wages become more and more comparable to the wages in China, for example, American ‘investors’ might become more willing to create new jobs in the U.S. instead of exporting them overseas. This also leaves American workers without a social ‘safety net’. Still Republicans insist this is the only way for the American workforce to be competitive in the labor market of a global economy. Whether they honestly believe their own rhetoric or not, Republicans want us to believe they are doing us a favor by cutting our throats.
In a ‘global economy’, they might be correct. But who says we must live in a ‘global economy’? Who says there is any connection between so-called ‘entitlement programs’ funded by U.S. workers and tax increases for the wealthy? Who says American workers need to compete with Chinese workers for jobs? Who says wealthy ‘investors’ are needed to create new jobs? Who says ‘jobs’ are necessary for mere survival in a supposedly ‘developed’ society?
These are the kinds of questions Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was asking when he wrote his last book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” From within the pages of that book, this article series continues to explore Dr. King’s answers to a question that was asked a couple of years ago at the 23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Celebration in San Francisco, shortly after Barack Obama was elected President: “What would Dr. King say to Barack Obama?” 
For example, Dr. King said that, in a market economy, people must be made consumers by one method or another. Whether through job creation or through a guaranteed income, the problem of poverty must be abolished. He argued that the U.S. Government must shoulder this load to some degree. But he also maintained that we, the people, must form ‘cohesive cooperative alliances’ to effect ‘deep structural change’ in order to become a more ‘person-centered’, rather than ‘profit-centered’ society.
More than 50 years of Mondragon experience is convincing testimony that our reliance upon a handful of wealthy individuals for either jobs or incomes is a systemic dysfunction of American society. Dr. King could not have possibly known about the Mondragon cooperatives prior to his death in 1968. According to William Foote Whyte, the first English speaking discoverer of the Mondragon system was Robert Oakeshott in 1973: “At the time, during the Franco era, leaders of the cooperatives were deliberately maintaining a low profile, and even few Spaniards outside the Basque country had any idea of what was going on in Mondragon.” 
Even so, Dr. King’s ideas about consolidating work with education and his focus on person-centered values along with his suggested synthesis between capitalism and communism were strikingly similar to those of Mondragon founder, Don Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta. In fact, a general study of Mondragon might provide a fleeting glimpse of an ‘America’ that could have been, if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had not been assassinated by his own government. 
In chapter 5 of his book, Dr. King outlines the need and possible implementation for a Basic Income Guarantee for every American citizen regardless of employment status. But in the appendix of the same book, Dr. King also provides a rough sketch of his vision for “Educational Parks”, “Jobs First, Training Later”, an ‘Economic Bill of Rights” and integrated housing. 
In stark contrast, Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” clearly states his overall mission to “save capitalism from itself”.  True to his word, Obama’s continuing agendas have typically ‘bailed out’ a wealthy minority to the profound dispossession of everyone else, both domestically and abroad. But this should come as no surprise. After all, capitalism is an inherently lop-sided, top-heavy, bare-knuckles system that kicks the living piss out of most of us for the extreme benefit of an exclusively entitled few. There’s nothing new about that. To soften the blows and to make the battle a little more humane, Americans have arrived at a number of public safety measures like Social Security, unemployment benefits, Medicare and Medicaid. But as we’ve seen recently, these are precisely the measures that come under attack whenever the U.S. government decides to ‘take off the gloves’ and “save capitalism from itself”.
Nobody is being ‘sold out’, as many so-called ‘progressives’ have complained. We are all getting exactly what we voted for — the CEO of a multinational corporation called the U.S. Government whose primary objective is to “save capitalism from itself”. Like the CEO of any other corporation, the President’s primary function is to ‘maximize shareholder value’. If so-called ‘liberals’ or ‘progressives’ don’t like the results, then we need a new system, not a new President.
For example, Senator Bernie Sanders argues that balancing any budget should involve consideration of both spending and income. He derides Obama’s budget proposal because it assaults American workers and leaves huge corporations like Exxon-Mobile paying not a nickel in taxes.  But while his argument is perfectly valid, Mr. Sanders fails to address the most dysfunctional mandate of American economics, which is to ‘maximize shareholder value’. This mandate might seem reasonable if the ultimate function of ‘shareholder value’ was to ‘maximize the benefit of the people’, as the constitutions of both Mondragon and the state of Alaska suggest. But under capitalism, American workers are not typically ‘shareholders’ and ‘value’ does not typically denote new jobs or a guaranteed income for every citizen.
Instead, one in six Americans is now living in poverty, or 47.8 million people.  This number is significantly greater than the total population of Canada (34 million). It’s also an impressive number of potential American soldiers for Obama’s next military conquest. Has poverty become the new military draft in the United States? It has been speculated that most people don’t join the military unless they are forced to do so economically, and many do so to pay for college. This might also explain why the cost of higher education — a standard measure of ‘middle class’ upward mobility in the United States — has increased faster than the rate of inflation over the past 40 years.   The GINI coefficient, which measures the disparity between rich and poor, is currently the highest in U.S. history, higher than it was in 1929, and is now comparable to conditions in China. 
In his own defense, Barack Obama has argued, “this country was founded on compromise. I couldn’t go through the front door of this country’s founding.”  He’s not far off the mark in this regard. After all, this nation was founded on the premise that all ‘men’ — white male property owners — are created equal, and to hell with everybody else. ‘Compromise’, indeed. As such, our so-called representative democracy’ tends to facilitate one vote per dollar, not one vote per person. More accurately termed ‘shareholder democracy’ or ‘plutocracy’, the U.S. political system tends to provide white male owners of capital with an extraordinarily disproportionate voice in elections and in policy decisions.
From this perspective, a so-called ‘middle-class’ is needed only to maintain productive activity from which these so-called ‘men’ can siphon their incomes. So much for Mr. Obama’s false pretense of ‘saving the American middle-class’, which was actually exported to China a long time ago. Time Magazine notes that “back in February 2009, when President Obama unveiled the nearly $800 billion stimulus package, he said, ‘My economic recovery plan… will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.’ Two years later, new jobs are few and far between”. 
With dirt-cheap wages and a compliant government in China, what incentive is there for wealthy individuals to create jobs in the United States? It’s a simple matter of supply and demand, or ‘free-market economics’ if you like. When the supply of unemployed workers in China (200 million)   is greater than the total workforce of the United States (154 million),  there is no reason to expect a significant increase in Chinese wages any time soon. Quite the contrary, increased competition in the labor market tends to drive wages down. According to Zachary Karabell’s recent Time magazine article, “structural’ versus “cyclical’ unemployment generally means that American jobs aren’t coming back,  even if American workers get on their knees and promise to be ‘real good n*ggers’ from now on.  “The truth is that the decline in jobs is a result of megatrends including the growth of technology and the rise of globalization”. 
This is the general character of wage labor, one of the cornerstones of capitalism which requires some level of unemployment to discipline the workforce and drives wages down. But it’s no excuse for American workers to compete with Chinese workers for jobs, or more specifically, for wages. A far more viable and sustainable approach is for American workers and American communities to create their own jobs with or without assistance from government bureaucrats or wealthy investors. While this Mondragon-style approach doesn’t threaten the emerging economies of developing nations, it could significantly stabilize our crumbling American economy and provide an example for other nations to emulate. Continuing education is integral to this endeavor, as emphasized by the recent Time magazine article, the appendix of Dr. King’s last book, and the daily experience of the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation for the past 50 years.
It should be further noted that the real-world possibility of ‘full employment’ is not incompatible with a guaranteed income. In fact, advocates of a guaranteed income generally agree it should be provided to every citizen, regardless of employment status. Mondragon provides the equivalent of a guaranteed income for displaced workers who need time and additional training for their relocation to new employment opportunities. In Mondragon, workers are transferred, not fired or laid off, and the overall mission of Mondragon is to create new jobs for community development. So the unemployment rate in Mondragon is essentially zero, and yet their social ‘safety net’ is unsurpassed worldwide.
Norway is another example, where the average paid maternity leave is about one year. Is it a mere coincidence that maternal and child mortality rates in Norway are the lowest in the world, and women’s life expectancy and years in school are the highest? By comparison, the well-being of mothers and babies in the United States ranks 31st amongst 164 other nations.  Amongst wealthy nations, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s research entitled “The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger” consistently ranks the United States lowest regarding any sort of well-being and highest in terms of income inequality, suggesting a causal relationship between the two.  Some obvious implications of a guaranteed income combined with full-employment include less work-hours per person, more job-sharing and more leisure time, to facilitate “the potential of the individual”. 
It’s also important to note that a leisure dividend is not government subsidized sloth. In fact, it has been suggested that ‘leisure’ is the culmination of work.  In strictly economic terms, so-called ‘leisure’ denotes any non-market activity, like continuing education, child-rearing, and the maintenance of good health, which are all necessary to facilitate market activities.  Veteran policy analyst for the U.S. Treasury, Richard C. Cook, has actively promoted the implementation of a Basic Income Guarantee at the Federal level since long before the economic crisis of 2008. Also an advocate of monetary reform, Cook believes that spending, not lending, credit into circulation is the best way to facilitate what he calls a ‘leisure dividend’.
Moreover, any challenge to rehabilitate a disabled American economy must be accompanied by adequate purchasing power. In his recent book, “We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform”, Richard C. Cook claims the 3-trillion-dollar difference between consumer purchasing power and annual GDP would easily fund a ‘leisure dividend’ in the United States.  In view of Sarah Palin’s adolescent narcissism, it might seem ironic that the state of Alaska consistently turns up in statistical research as the region with the very least income inequality and the very least social/health problems in the United States.  Is it a mere coincidence that the state of Alaska also happens to be the only state in the union which facilitates a guaranteed income for all of its citizens regardless of employment status?
The Alaska Permanent Fund is rooted in Alaska’s Constitutional assertion that the natural resources of Alaska belong to all Alaskans, and it is the legislature’s responsibility to develop these resources for the “maximum benefit of its people.” Imagine that. A value system where people control the wealth instead of wealth controlling the people. If this value system is good enough for Sarah Palin and her Republican constituents, then why not extend it to every citizen of the United States? 
To conclude, the following is a short excerpt from chapter 5 of Dr. King’s book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” For many readers, this will be a review. It is by far the most popular excerpt from his book, as it has been posted and analyzed widely across the Internet over time. But it bears repeating here for a number of reasons.
First, this is where Dr. King writes about moving beyond the issue of racial segregation to confront economic problems that affect people of all races. Second, this is where he calls for a unified coordination of all so-called ‘civil rights’ programs that have been so typically disjointed in the past. This revisits his insistence, outlined earlier in chapter 5, upon a ‘cohesive cooperative alliance’ between all the agents of social justice. Third, Dr. King observes that people must become consumers through either a guaranteed income or guaranteed employment or both. He argues that, while a guaranteed income might be the most direct route, the “potential of the individual” must be facilitated one way or the other. Finally, Dr. King has recognized that averages tend to be heavily influenced by extreme values in any distribution. So he goes on to insist that a guaranteed basic income must be tied to the median, not the lowest or even the average societal income, and that it must be dynamic over time.
What if a such a ‘dynamic’ policy were applied to Social Security and Medicare? Moreover, why do American politicians keep trying to draw a sinister connection between ‘entitlement programs’ and tax increases for the rich? After all, the notable genius behind Social Security and Medicare is that they are paid for by wage earners who work all of their lives to fund both programs. As such, these programs should most certainly be considered ‘entitlements’, and not in any derogatory sense. These ‘self-help’ programs are ways for American workers to pool their resources in caring for themselves and their families, the elderly and the disabled, without any ‘handouts’ from the ‘rich’. Recent studies indicate a mere 3.15-percent ‘payroll’ tax increase for every American worker would effectively maintain Social Security and Medicare at their current levels.  This would have no impact whatsoever on the wealthy, whose incomes are derived from ownership, not from ‘payroll’. Job creation and income stability will be facilitated through similar methods of self-management in the United States when Americans and their institutions begin to collaborate toward economic democracy.
But for now, the following short excerpt most clearly illuminates the glaring contrast between Dr. King’s vision to “abolish poverty” and Barack Obama’s goal to “save capitalism from itself”. In view of this, there simply is no reason for anyone to consider Barack Obama’s ‘compromise’ the so-called ‘fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream’.
“Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”
By Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Excerpt from Chapter 5
In the treatment of poverty nationally, one fact stands out: there are twice as many white poor as Negro poor in the United States. Therefore I will not dwell on the experiences of poverty that derive from racial discrimination, but will discuss the poverty that affects white and Negro alike.
Up to recently we have proceeded from a premise that poverty is a consequence of multiple evils: lack of education restricting job opportunities; poor housing which stultified home life and suppressed initiative; fragile family relationships which distorted personality development. The logic of this approach suggested that each of these causes be attacked one by one. Hence a housing program to transform living condition, improved educational facilities to furnish tools for better job opportunities, and family counseling to create better personal adjustments were designed. In combination these measures were intended to remove the causes of poverty.
While none of these remedies in itself is unsound, all have a fatal disadvantage. The programs have never proceeded on a coordinated basis or at similar rates of development. Housing measures have fluctuated at the whims of legislative bodies. They have been piecemeal and pygmy. Educational reforms have been even more sluggish and entangled in bureaucratic stalling and economy-dominated decisions. Family assistance stagnated in neglect and then suddenly was discovered to be the central issue on the basis of hasty and superficial studies. At no time has a total, coordinated and fully adequate program been conceived. As a consequence, fragmentary and spasmodic reforms have failed to reach down to the profoundest needs of the poor.
In addition to the absence of coordination and sufficiency, the programs of the past all have another common failing — they are indirect. Each seeks to solve poverty by first solving something else.
I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.
Earlier in this century this proposal would have been greeted with ridicule and denunciation as destructive of initiative and responsibility. At that time economic status was considered the measure of the individual’s abilities and talents. In the simplistic thinking of that day the absence of worldly goods indicated a want of industrious habits and moral fiber.
We have come a long way in our understanding of human motivation and of the blind operation of our economic system. Now we realize that dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discrimination thrust people into idleness and bind them in constant or frequent unemployment against their will. The poor are less often dismissed from our conscience today by being branded as inferior and incompetent. We also know that no matter how dynamically the economy develops and expands it does not eliminate poverty.
We have come to the point where we must make the non-producer a consumer or we will find ourselves drowning in a sea of consumer goods. We have so energetically mastered production that we now must give attention to distribution. Though there have been increases in purchasing power, they have lagged behind increases in production. Those at the lowest economic level, the poor white and Negro, the aged and chronically ill, are traditionally unorganized and therefore have little ability to force the necessary growth in their income. They stagnate or become even poorer in relation to the larger society.
The problem indicates that our emphasis must be two-fold. We must create full employment or we must create incomes. People must be made consumers by one method or the other. Once they are placed in this position, we need to be concerned that the potential of the individual is not wasted. New forms of work that enhance the social good will have to be devised for those for whom traditional jobs are not available.
In 1879 Henry George anticipated this state of affairs when he wrote, in Progress and Poverty:
The fact is that the work which improves the condition of mankind, the work which extends knowledge and increases power and enriches literature, and elevates thought, is not done to secure a living. It is not the work of slaves, driven to their task either by the lash of a master or by animal necessities. It is the work of men who perform it for their own sake, and not that they may get more to eat or drink, or wear, or display. In a state of society where want is abolished, work of this sort could be enormously increased.
We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished. The poor transformed into purchasers will do a great deal on their own to alter housing decay. Negroes, who have a double disability, will have a greater effect on discrimination when they have the additional weapon of cash to use in their struggle.
Beyond these advantages, a host of positive psychological changes inevitably will result from widespread economic security. The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he knows that he has the means to seek self-improvement. Personal conflicts between husband, wife and children will diminish when the unjust measurement of human worth on a scale of dollars is eliminated.
Two conditions are indispensable if we are to ensure that the guaranteed income operates as a consistently progressive measure. First, it must be pegged to the median income of society, not at the lowest levels of income. To guarantee an income at the floor would simply perpetuate welfare standards and freeze into the society poverty conditions. Second, the guaranteed income must be dynamic; it must automatically increase as the total social income grows. Were it permitted to remain static under growth conditions, the recipients would suffer a relative decline. If periodic reviews disclose that the whole national income has risen, then the guaranteed income would have to be adjusted upward by the same percentage. Without these safeguards a creeping retrogression would occur, nullifying the gains of security and stability.
This proposal is not a “civil rights” program, in the sense that that term is currently used. The program would benefit all the poor, including the two-thirds of them who are white. I hope that both Negro and white will act in coalition to effect this change, because their combined strength will be necessary to overcome the fierce opposition we must realistically anticipate.
Our nation’s adjustment to a new mode of thinking will be facilitated if we realize that for nearly forty years two groups in our society have already been enjoying a guaranteed income. Indeed, it is a symptom of our confused social values that these two groups turn out to be the richest and the poorest. The wealthy who own securities have always had an assured income; and their polar opposite, the relief client, has been guaranteed an income, however minuscule, through welfare benefits.
John Kenneth Galbraith has estimated that $20 billion a year would effect a guaranteed income, which he describes as “not much more than we will spend the next fiscal year to rescue freedom and democracy and religious liberty as these are defined by ‘experts’ in Vietnam”
The contemporary tendency in our society is to base our distribution on scarcity, which has vanished, and to compress our abundance into the overfed mouths of the middle and upper classes until they gag with superfluity. If democracy is to have breadth of meaning, it is necessary to adjust this inequity. It is not only moral, but it is also intelligent. We are wasting and degrading human life by clinging to archaic thinking.
The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.
Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 1
Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 1
Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 2
Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 3
Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 4
Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 5
 Staff. (February 02, 2009). “What would Dr. King want to say to Barack Obama?”. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu:80/index.php/news/article/what_would_dr_king_want_to_say_to_barack_obama
 Whyte, William Foote. (1988). “Making Mondragon: The Growth and Dynamics of the Worker Cooperative Complex”. Cornell University. pg 301. ISBN 0875461824
 Douglass, James W. (March 15. 2000). “The King Assassination: After Three Decades, Another Verdict”. Christian Century.http://www.precaution.org/lib/09/prn_king_assassination_another_verdict.000315.htm
 Obama, Barack (2006). “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream”. Crown Publishing Group. pg 155. ISBN 0307237699.
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 Wikipedia. (accessed 5/3/2011). “Gini coefficient of income distributions”. Wikipedia.click here
 Obama, Barack. (December 01, 2010). “President Obama on the Middle Class Tax Cuts and Unemployment Insurance Agreement: ‘A Good Deal For The American People'”. The White House Blog. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/12/07/president-obama-middle-class-tax-cuts-and-unemployment-insurance-agreement-a-good-de
 Karabell, Zachary. (Jan 17, 2011). Time Magazine. pg 12
 Ministry of Foreign Affaqirs of the People’s Republic of China. (03/23/2010). “Wen Jiabao Meets with Overseas Delegates Attending the Annual Meeting of China Development Forum”. http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/zxxx/t674988.htm
 Xiaokun, Li. (03/23/2010). “Wen upbeat on US relations despite strains”. China Daily. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/23/content_9625455.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (accessed 05/03/2011). “Employment Situation Summary”. (Divide the number of unemployed persons by the unemployment rate to arrive at approximately 154 million). http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
 1971, Ron Dellums, Democrat, CA, Co-founder and Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, to John Lennon: “If you define ‘n*ggers’ as someone whose lifestyle is defined by others, whose opportunities are defined by others, whose role in society is defined by others, then Good News! You don’t have to be black to be a n*gger in this society. Most of the people in America are n*ggers.”
 King, Dr. Martin Luther (1968). “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community?”. New York, NY: Beacon Press. pg 163. ISBN 0807005711
 MacLeod, Greg. (1998). “From Mondragon to America: Experiments in Community Economic Development”. University College of Cape Breton Press. pg 63. ISBN 0920336531
 Rees, Albert. (1973). “The Economics of Work and Pay”. Harper & Row. New York, NY. pgs 5-7.
 Cook, Richard C. (2008). “We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform”. Tendril Press. Aurora, CO.
 Wilkinson, Richard. Kate Pickett. (2009). “The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger”. Bloombury Press. New York, NY.
 (March 5, 2010). “Politics Monday – The Alaska Permanent Fund”. Re/Creating Tampa: The Science of Imaginary Solutions.http://www.recreatingtampa.com/2010/03/08/politics-monday-thealaska-permanent-fund/
 Kendall, David. (March 7, 2011). “Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 5″. Oped News. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Dr-King-Spanks-Obama-Par-by-David-Kendall-110306-986.html
 Snow, Anita. (May 3, 2011). “Norway ranked as best place to be a mom”. Spokesman Review. pg 1. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/may/03/norway-ranked-as-best-place-to-be-a-mom/
 Ohlemacher, Stephen. (May 14, 2011). “Future of entitlements bleaker, trustees say”. Spokesman Review. pg 1.http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/may/14/future-of-entitlements-bleaker-trustees-say/