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Recovery's foundation being built

During the federal government's case against Enron, I recall an especially contentious point in the proceedings when the lead lawyer for our government felt compelled to say "My. Lay, you seem to have forgotten that I'm here in this courtroom representing the People of the United States of America."

It marked a psychological sea change at which a deflated Kenneth Lay must have realized that this was not just another legal skirmish from which he would escape unscathed. It was us that had to deal with, and collectively we won't be pushed around.

Voters may have to do job of lawmakers

When you watch the dimes, the dollars take care of themselves. The problem for California taxpayers is that we are powerless when it comes to watching the dimes unless we bludgeon our Legislature with the fiscal sledgehammer of the initiative process. If Proposition 13 is any indication, it creates terrible law but serves an immediate need when the political process has collapsed in abject failure.

Butler: Main Street takes over Wall Street

Thinking about the Ayn Rand novel "Atlas Shrugged," I found myself wondering if we 401(k) investors are propping up Wall Street. Are we to be the unsung heroes of an economic turnabout? Do American workers and taxpayers effectively own Corporate America? What happens if we decide to shrug?

If the stock market, depending on the month, has a total value of somewhere between $10 and $20 trillion, how much of that value is attributable to the steady march of 401(k) contributions and all the 401(k) money that has subsequently been rolled into IRA accounts?

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