Thursday, March 23, 2017

Paying People Looks Dangerous

Paying people what they deserve looks dangerous, but it puts money in the pockets of so many people in our community. Those people are desperate for money. They will spend all of it. 

Does anyone even know how much the CEO of Walmart and the administrative classes are awarded every year in salaries and bonuses? It's a bit much compared to the people who generate those salaries and bonuses. 

There are ways to incentivize businesses to pay their workers for hard work that does not hurt the bottom line of the business. And, in small towns and rural areas, there are ways to assist small businesses to avoid any harm to their bottom-lines as well. We don’t have to look at this as a zero sum game
+Wonderful World

The outcomes would be that everyone in those small communities would have much more money to pay their bills, afford to take care of their families, and to live a much more secure and fulfilled life because they’re working hard like they are now.

Most people focus on the number. That’s what they want you to do. That’s why a minimum wage of $15 is a bizarre policy to put forward. It makes people react emotionally because you may have worked at a McDonald’s and didn’t make $15 and hour or went to a McDonald’s and had a sad customer experience from people making $7 and hour that weren’t trained at all, weren’t managed well because of high turnover rates, and had no wage for their hard work.

+Wonderful World
Taking care of customers is hard work. It’s not impossible, but you have to be trained in how to handle people with unrealistic expectations and demands that outstrip a $1 burger, $1 fries, and a $1 large sweet tea

McDonald’s used to be the place people lauded as the gold standard in training the young in hard work in this country. The company has failed communities because they were allowed to not pay their workers fairly and the people found reasons to let them continue doing it. This has allowed them to not train employees, to manage employees effectively, and to basically not give much of a rat’s ass about the communities where they sell their products and hire workers.

I don’t know about you, but when I go into fast food joints, increasingly I see older workers inside. But hey, I’m paying attention and care about people. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

We Need More Conversation and Dialogue

Today, the local paper printed one of my Letters to the Editor. I urge you to read it and ponder it here.

From my numerous conversations over the decades, I've come to understand that most of us truly believe similarly. We've just been led to believe by politicians, pundits, and the media that we're so different that we can't even respect each other.

We need real political will to hammer out real solutions that will produce real results for the American people. 

(Picture Courtesy of +Wonderful World)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Shimkus Traveling Help Desk Primer 2

These are the latest bills that Representative Shimkus has opted to co-sponsor in the this session of Congress. Go out and talk to his representatives at his Traveling Help Desks. 

He has never held a Town Hall, but claims he will meet with a handful of people face-to-face. Those meetings last 15-20 minutes.

Come on, Rep. Shimkus. Meet your constituents, address their concerns, answer their questions.

H.R. 631 - Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017

It’s just like the title suggests. However, it is not paid for . . . so this bill would increase the deficit and debt.

This is really a terrible bill for the environment, public health, farmers, and the economy.

I can understand there being some disagreements and debate being necessary regarding the inclusion of carbon dioxide and water vapor as being ‘air pollutants,’ but this bill takes reason and logic off the map.

It throws methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride off the ‘air pollutant’ list as well. Let me describe a bit about each of these chemicals.

Methane - Background on methane.

There are multiple methods to conserve methane, collect it, and reuse it. Even back in the 90s, one of my research projects was to engineer a way to collect and ultimately sell methane from landfills. This is a massive missed opportunity here in Illinois for diversifying our energy supply and for creating green jobs.

Nitrous Oxide - If you were alive in the 80s, this is one of the chemicals that leads to both smog and acid rain. Due to efforts by the EPA, the country was able to eliminate acid rain and reduce smog. By removing Nitrous Oxide from the EPA’s list of pollutants, our skies and cities will begin to look like Beijing. That reality alone will have a negative impact on the economy in America’s cities and the American heartland.

Fluorinated gases - These accounts for 2% of the greenhouse gases, but have 100 to thousands greater capacity to trap gases than methane. By taking these chemicals out of regulatory structures, it eliminates any need for creating better, more efficient equipment that doesn’t leak. That actually costs American jobs. Instead, we can anticipate buying more cheap goods from China.

This is a real slap in the face to those who desire separation of church and state. It allows churches to actively campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate and not lose their tax-exempt status. Basically, the for-profit church model could become a money-laundering/pandering scheme. Also, there is no accountability or transparency for sources of funding.

Congress applies flawed science and debunked studies to come up with a 14-point declaration on the pains of an embryos and fetuses. It basically requires all doctors to never cause pain to embryos or fetuses, yet says that both do at a certain stage of development, which is never proven. 

It also uses research involving adults and children to make the case for what happens inside the womb. The most horrifying government-forced action is to require doctors to attempt to extract the fetus alive, regardless of date of conception. This would actually precipitate the painful event that would make the procedure illegal under this act.

I would prefer women to analyze the language of the bill, since I’m just another man trying to understand this piece of disturbing legislation.