Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Winter Afternoon Light

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Travel with Charley: In Search of America is in one of my to-read book piles. It may be the next book I reach for, being that I'm curious to learn what John Steinbeck was seeking as he wandered about the country with his canine pal Charley in 1960. Steinbeck was traveling in the era to which the present administration seems to want to return. You know the "Make America Great Again". Myself, I would rather not return to the age when civil rights for all was not honored by those mean-spirited in power and those cowardly who sided with the powerful.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How Do You Get Companies to Create Jobs?

Warning: There's not a thing about doughnuts, unicorns,  butterflies, and other sweet joys in today's post. Maybe next time. 

Here's an issue that no politician wants to address, I betcha: How does government encourage  private companies, small and large, to create new jobs, as well as to keep current jobs, when part of the basic business model to succeed is to employ "cheap labor"?

Ah, what's that some say: Get rid of the minimum hourly wage rate.

Hoo, boy. The federal minimum wage, since 2009, is $7.25 per hour. If you work full-time at 40 hours per week, you earn a gross weekly pay of $290.  Now, let's take at least 30 percent from that for taxes (FICA, federal, state, and disability). Wowza! A whopping $203 to spend for fun and essentials for the week. Bear in mind that some people  receive more net pay according to the number of dependents they claim. Too bad we can't claim our pets. Oh, and let's not forget some workers may also be contributing a portion of their check to their employee health plan and, possibly, retirement plan.

Ah, but my question is not: How are people able to live on minimum wage?

Some states are kind and require employers to pay a higher minimum wage, from a few cents more to almost a couple of dollars. In 2012, the state of Washington has the highest basic rate at $9.04 per hour. Arkansas ($6.25), Georgia ($5.15), and Puerto Rico ($4.10) have minimum rates that are lower than the national one. Does that mean employers don't have to pay the federal wage? And, how can they get away it? And, if they can, why don't the other states do the same thing? Questions, questions, questions. I don't know.

There are U.S. cities that are kinder than the states when it comes to the minimum wage.  The highest rate is decreed in Santa Cruz, California. As of July 2012, any contractor doing business with the city of Santa Cruz is required to pay its employees at least $14.26 per hour (if they receive benefits) or $15.55 per hour (if no benefits are given). Wowza! I bet Romney's $10,000 that churns the stomachs of a lot of anti-minimum wage people.   Other cities with generous minimum hourly wages are  Santa Fe ($10.29) and San Francisco ($10.24).

Hmmm, after writing all this, I have to ask: How does getting rid of the minimum wage contribute to the creation of jobs?

So, politicians, what say ye? What are your concrete plans to get companies, such as Hewlett Packard (which announced in May 2012 that it must cut 27,000 jobs)  to create new ones?  Forget about saying, "Trust me. I will do it." In my book, that just means you haven't a clue.

© 2012 Su-sieee! Mac. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Such Failures

How much is that designer bag in the window?

Warning: If you're not in the mood for political musing, come back next week. I may be in a better mood and write about my usual nothingness. Maybe.

The other evening, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke at a fundraising dinner at which donors paid several thousands of dollars to be there. Some as much as $50,000. Some, possibly more. Romney, dear heart that he is, acknowledged that he and they, his donors, in the room are doing golly-gee well in this horrid economy. (That's my paraphrasing of his words) But, continues Romney, lover-boy of cheap labor . . . of course, he is. What true-blooded rich man doesn't like cheap labor. It (meaning cheap labor) is a necessary element for becoming true-blooded rich. It's basic Economics 101 . . . .

As I was saying, Romney told his donor that they are in the money while the waiters and waitresses who were serving them their dishes of delectable food and drink are not. Gasp. I know, it's amazing how Romney knew every one of those waiters and waitresses and each of their particular incomes. Romney told his donors that the waiters and waitresses in that room are struggling financially because President Obama has not done right by them. They are still waiting for that hope and change that President Obama promised them when they voted for him . . . . Again, just amazing how Romney is. He knew how each of those waiters and waitresses voted in 2008.

I am sure that Romney's donors all clapped. Maybe some even cheered. Whoot whoot. Seriously, do you think the donors would have been happy for the waiters and waitresses if President Obama—that young, naive candidate of 2008—had managed to miraculously change things? Think about it. I'll bet Romney's $10,000 that Romney and his supporters think constantly about assuring their rich positions. My rationale—well, how about all that lobbying for tax breaks, corporate subsidies, and getting rid of regulations that may be good for the public, but it doesn't allow for making loads of money).

Perhaps President Obama could have succeeded if he had not had to deal with all the economic distress that he began working on before he was elected. Maybe then more workers in the private sector would be receiving an honest-to-goodness living wage that matches their honest-to-goodness hard work for . . . okay, I'm gonna say it . . . the man, who essentially are many of the men and women who paid the beaucoup thousands of dollars to eat dinner with Romney. That aside,  I am  amazed (yet again) at how much Romney cares that President Obama is unable to help the waiters and waitresses who served him, Romney, and them, his donors, their dinners.

Do you suppose the waiters and waitresses at that event could feel how horrible Romney and his donors felt that they were unsuccessful as well? After all, most, if not all, of them needed President Obama to extend President G.W. Bush's tax breaks in order for them to generate more jobs (either as employers or investors). Poor filthy rich people. They must feel so awful that they have been failing so outrageously over these past ten years or so.

© 2012 Su-sieee! Mac. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Remembering. . .What?

Some days are better than others when it comes to my memory.

Who am I kidding? It's really down to moments.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, when I was 17, I memorized all of Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss for a public-speaking competition. I recall stumbling once or twice. Maybe trice. Ah, I had a strong memory back then.

My long-term memory is still rather good. I just related a tale from over 40 years ago, didn't I?

It's the short-term memory. Sigh. The other day, I was telling the Husband how many states allow employers to pay their workers who receive tips far less than minimum wage, as long as the combination of their tips and hourly rate (let's say $2.13/hour) totals up to either the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is the higher amount in the state. Yes, I know. The Husband could not believe it either. I'm glad to say that California does not have that law. I told the Husband that I learned all this from research I had done the day before for the occupational profile I had written. But, I couldn't for the life of me remember what the occupation was. That was quite troublesome, you betcha.

That incident happened at around 2 p.m. in a supermarket parking lot. About five hours later, while I was pulling ingredients out of the refrigerator to make dinner, it suddenly came to me. Skycaps! That was the occupation.

And, since we're on the subject of skycaps, did you know that some airlines are now charging passengers $2 a bag for using skycap service? The bummer part about that is the money does not go to the skycaps. Passengers think it does, so they don't tip the skycaps for their help. Thank goodness for federal minimum wage. Currently that is $7.25 per hour. California's minimum wage is $8.00 per hour, which is one of the highest hourly rates for a state. Can you believe that some people believe that the federal minimum wage is just too high? Seriously. Some politicians want to abolish minimum wage because it will create more jobs. They obviously don't live on minimum wage.

I have digressed. What was I talking about?

Thursday, March 22, 2012


You, liberals, want the government to give everything away for free.


You want free sex and free rock-and-roll!


Tickets to rock-and-roll shows cost too much for my budget.

As for sex. Pay for it? You're kidding. Right?

Ah, if only I had been more nimble minded to think of these answers not four decades ago, but just several weeks past. The funny thing was that the person who said it was not someone from an older generation. Unless, hmmm, I count my generation, which is now an older one.  

A night out means wearing my dancing shoes
and carrying my fancy old-lady purse, which was free. Oh, no!