King Midas in Reverse: What Went Wrong for Blue Collar America

Date:  Sunday October 24, 2010
Speaker:  Richard Chapman

Dr. Richard Chapman received his PhD from University of Utah Economics Department in 1991. His research interests have been on the labor market experiences of the working class and the poor. He has recently been involved in research on the payoff for college education in the American labor market. Dr. Chapman has also been involved with important policy issues working with antipoverty groups and organized labor.

Dr. Chapman states, “Several observations emerged from the experience of the Great Depression:

  1. Capital had become too powerful and was plagued with overproduction.
  2. Skewed income distribution greatly contributed to the fragility of the economy.
  3. More regulation was needed in financial markets.
  4. A capital-labor accord that would increase the purchasing power of labor was requisite to a stable economy.

These observations were addressed by key policy changes and new government programs. Consequently, the post-world war II years witnessed a strong, healthy blue-collar middle class that proved to be a fundamental piece of a healthy economy. Beginning with the Reagan-Thatcher years, America embarked on a prolonged political and economic dismemberment of the institutions and policies erected in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Central to this institutional attack was a concerted effort to weaken the bargaining power of labor and redistribute wealth toward the upper class, resulting in the greatest redistribution of income since the industrial revolution in Great Britain. The success of these policies is self-evident in the so-called “lost decade” of the aughts and the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

References and Resources:
Harrison, Barry Bluestone and Bennett. Deindustrialization of America: Plant Closings, Community Abandonment and the Dismantling of Basic Industry. New York: Basic Books, 1982
Harrison, Barry Bluestone and Bennett. The Great U-Turn: Corporate Restructuring and the Polarizing of America. New York: Basic Books, 1990
Sabel, Michael J. Piore and Charles F. The Second Industrial Divide: Possibilities for Prosperity. New York: Basic Books, 1984
Wilson, William Julius. When Work Disappears : The World of the New Urban Poor. New York: Vintage Books, 1997

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Building Sustainability: The Path to Net Zero Energy Use

Date:  Sunday, October  10, 2010
Speaker:  Kenner Kingston

Kenner Kingston is an architect and partner at Architectural Nexus, a local firm located in Sugarhouse with a practice reaching throughout the Intermountain West. Kenner was an early adopter of the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System. He is Director of Sustainability at Architectural Nexus and, as such, is responsible to initiate research about, spearheading education for, and ensuring implementation of sustainable practices within the firm. More importantly, Kenner is helping to augment change in his community by means of Architectural Nexus’ Share Our Knowledge Program (SOKP), which includes building tours, online educational materials and speaking engagements. This program is offered with the intent to spark substantial energy savings and carbon reduction throughout the region.

Mr. Kingston will present on the topic of energy use reduction and on-site renewable energy generation as part of his firm’s ongoing Share Our Knowledge Program. Mr. Kingston’s presentation is a toolbox for those interested in improving the built environment, which consumes the vast majority of traditional energy resources. Case studies will demonstrate how to begin saving energy dollars while addressing sustainability in a comprehensive fashion.

Kenner Kingston will present on the topic of energy use reduction and on-site renewable energy generation as part of his firm’s ongoing Share Our Knowledge Program. Mr. Kingston’s presentation is a toolbox for those interested in improving the built environment, which consumes the vast majority of traditional energy resources. Case studies will demonstrate how to begin saving energy dollars while addressing sustainability in a comprehensive fashion. A facility tour of the new Architectural Nexus Design Center, designed for net zero energy consumption and currently on track for LEED 2009 (V3) Platinum, will follow the presentation at 2505 East Parleys Way.

References and Resources:
Books – Benyus, Janine M. Biomimicry. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1997.
McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York: North Point Press, 2002.
Periodicals – Environmental Design + Construction. Troy, Michigan: Diana Brown.
Greensource – The Magazine of Sustainable Design. New York: McGraw Hill Construction.
Films – An Inconvenient Truth, Dir. Davis Guggenheim. Paramount Home Video, 2006; Blue Vinyl: The World’s First Toxic Comedy, Dir. Daniel B. Gold & Judith Helfand.Docuramafilms, 2002; Who Killed the Electric Car? Dir. Chris Paine. Sony Pictures Classics, 2006.
Internet – Power Mundo: http://www.powermundo.com, USGBC National;
http://www.usgbc.org.USGBC Local: http://www.usgbcutah.org; Green Building Certification Institute: http://www.gbci.org/homepage.aspx; International Living Building Institute: http://ilbi.org; Energy Star: http://www.energystar.gov; 2030 Challenge: http://www.architecture2030.org; NASA Climate Change: http://climate.nasa.gov; Wasatch Front Clear the Air Challenge: http://cleartheairchallenge.org; Architectural Nexus SOKP: http://www.archnexus.com (navigate to: Who We Are/Green Design/In Our Practice/Click here.); Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com