We’ve had it backward for the last 30 years. Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Rather they are a consequence of an eco-systemic feedback loop animated by middle-class consumers, and when they thrive, businesses grow and hire, and owners profit. That’s why taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all is a great deal for both the middle class and the rich.

So here’s an idea worth spreading.

In a capitalist economy, the true job creators are consumers, the middle class. And taxing the rich to make investments that grow the middle class, is the single smartest thing we can do for the middle class, the poor and the rich.

I will say, from my own belief and experience, that imagination thrives on contact, on tangible connection. For humans to have a responsible relationship to the world, they must imagine their places in it. To have a place, to live and belong in a place, to live from a place without destroying it, we must imagine it. By imagination we see it illuminated by its own unique character and by our love for it. By imagination we recognize with sympathy the fellow members, human and nonhuman, with whom we share our place. By that local experience we see the need to grant a sort of preemptive sympathy to all the fellow members, the neighbors, with whom we share the world. As imagination enables sympathy, sympathy enables affection. And it is in affection that we find the possibility of a neighborly, kind, and conserving economy.

Wendell Berry in his 2012 Jefferson Lecture, “It All Turns On Affection” (via shanai-matteson)

This pretty much sums it all up.



It’s the 21st Century art version of sitting you down for a timeshare sales pitch, but it’s got to be done. Please take a moment to view this short video for Salon Saloon’s Kickstarter campaign for Volume 7.

As you know, I am very proud of the work Colin, Shanai, Jake, Katie, Claire and Elliott do on the show, on a pretty shoestring budget. Kicking us a few dollars will help us continue to do it into the future, and see that more of our staff and guests are compensated for their hard work.

And some of the prizes are pretty good! For $25, you’d get a tote bag. Who wouldn’t want a tote bag? They’re really nice-looking; I designed them myself, using computers. You’ll be the most envied person on your bus or train with a Salon Saloon tote bag. You’ll make all the other riders with public radio and podcast-branded tote bags look like total chumps. “Man, I got to get with it,” they’ll think to themselves. “I’m advertising my affiliation with some dippy comedy podcast when I could be advertising my affiliation with a live-action arts magazine in Minneapolis?” And they’re right!

For $40, you’d get the bag, and you can get Salon Saloon: The Middle Years, a compilation CD of performances from the show by musicians like Chris Koza, Aby Wolf, and Brute Heart, as well as beloved writers like Dobby Gibson and Anne Ursu — it’s the first time we’ve ever made Salon Saloon recorded material available to the public. And it’s not just any Chris Koza performance. It’s Chris Koza singing a Jesus Jones song! And he sings it gorgeously! Surely that’s worth $40 to you. 

Have I persuaded you? I hope so. At least enjoy the video. It’s a nice snapshot of what the show looks like. Pledge away, friends!



Works Progress Happy Hour


This & Every Friday!

To celebrate our new home in the Robert’s Shoes building at Lake & Chicago, we’re hosting a weekly happy hour on Fridays from 3 to 6pm. Stop by anytime for a cup of coffee, tea, wine or beer. Learn what we’ve been up to, relax, brainstorm or share your ideas, meet and chat with other creative people, or just browse our growing library of books and resources.

Works Progress Happy Hour
Every Friday from 3 to 6pm
734 East Lake Street, Suite 208
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407

Important note: The buzzer is on the Chicago Avenue side of the building. Press # and then 09 to ring Suite 208 (a directory on the window will tell you the same) and we’ll buzz you in. Or call Colin at (612) 839-0810 if that’s giving you trouble.

You never know who else might be there! We’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now and some great connections have already been made. Please direct any questions to hello[at]worksprogress[dot]org.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Colin Kloecker & Shanai Matteson
Works Progress

Maybe you can stop by sometime?