Sunday, July 25, 2010

Work Week

For as long as I can remember people have been complaining that the weekend is just too short. I have to agree that two days is just not enough. Over the years and in the various positions as a nurse I have experienced some very nice work schedules. Without a doubt having one more day off every week would go a long way to making folks less stressed and more relaxed. I believe that people might even help the recovery by taking mini vacations those three days. Three days gives you plenty of time to go and have a good time and get back in time for the next day of work. We all love those three day weekends we get every two or three months. Wouldn't you like to have those every weekend?

Gone for good

What many people may not realize about business is that when a business is started it's to make money; jobs are just a necessary part. Ask any business person in private and off the record and I think they would tell you that they would not have employees if they could avoid it. Recession has given business what they want and that is the ability to conduct business with fewer employees and keep production at the same levels. Having employees is a cost of doing business and part of the overhead that cuts into the profits. Granted there are few business models that can't get along without some employees but many are finding that they are making it with fewer and that is the problem. Realistically, it means that many of the jobs that have been lost are gone for good. The take home message is that if you have the chance you might want to think about training in a field where there will always be a need for employees. Remember to ask yourself, could this be done by a robot or in some way be done cheaper and better. If the answer yes then think again about heading in that career direction.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Earl Grey no I don’t think so

Recently, The Morning Journal had two opposing views of the "Tea Party "movement, one being from E.J. Dionne speaking to the NAACP view of the Tea Party and racism. Today's edition has an opposing view from Mona Charen.

Full disclosure dictates telling readers that I am white. My ancestors hail from England and Ireland which makes me Anglo-Saxon, and I was born in Kentucky which makes me part redneck I guess. I am as white as white gets. Moreover, there are "Tea Party" folks in my family and YES they are racists. Not outwardly, they're not stupid, but in private they make no bones about it. Does this mean that the tea party movement is racist? I am not sure but I can only tell you what I see and what I hear.

Currently we have folks running around screaming and yelling, girding their respective loins calling themselves the "Tea Party" in reference to the Boston Tea Party. From this chair, the only thing these folks have in common with the early Americans is their ethnicity, white Anglo-Saxons. Realistically, the "Tea Party" is a splinter group of the Republican Party and a full member of the conservative platform. Not many minorities are represented on the videos I have seen of the verbal gutting of politicians at town hall meetings.

However, the conservative movement has courted the minority vote with promises of inclusion and input in party platforms in the past. Minorities were important to the conservative movement for their monetary support and how they voted on Election Day. That is about as far as it goes; the last D.N.C. Convention looked like a NASCAR race at Darlington…a lot of white faces. Realistically, it seems that the conservatives only needed their votes to gain power and then it was thanks and will see in two years.

Granted the Republican Party has a black man as the head of the R.N.C. However, I believe that he is just there as window dressing. Very little comes from the head of the R.N.C. of late, and as we learned early on, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin are the speakers of the R.N.C.

Ironically, white Anglo-Saxons will be in the minority as soon as 2016. Maybe this is why there is such uproar. Notice who's doing the talking and what they are really saying? I have been around awhile and I don't believe for one second all this spleen venting is about health care and the government being too big. Power and keeping it in the right hands is what the fuss is about.


Sunday, July 11, 2010


Whether you like Wal-Mart or hate it, the corporation has a measured life span. Wal-Mart conveys everything it sells by truck; one estimate places the number at five thousand trucks, mostly eighteen wheelers. Moreover, many of the hard line items come from China so that means it takes a lot of petroleum to get those products on those trucks from site A to site B. Consequently, the price of that petroleum will rise as time goes by. Someday, and I won't speculate when, the price of a gallon of gas will hit ten dollars. Well before that time Wal-Mart, the airlines and any other business that depends on gasoline for its life will have gone by the wayside. Conversely, should the advent of some new engine that gets 100 miles to the gallon, or a new type of fuel that extends the range of a vehicle, we might see the lifespan of the above extended. However, like anything new, it will be pricey for a while and again making importing from overseas more prohibitive. This scenario will probably not happen anytime soon but it will happen. Oil is a finite commodity, and at the rate we consume it and spill it, we will see a dry tank sooner than we would like. What is the price when you decide enough is enough? One wonders what Wal-Mart will do when the cost of transport becomes an unattainable position! All those trucks and all those big box stores……

Co pays

Unless you have a great insurance plan, you have to pay a co pay. Amounts that you have to pay vary from plan to plan, but I have seen some folks pay as much as thirty-five dollars per person per visit. I have never understood the reason for co pays… it to deter you from going to the doctor or is it that the insurance company feels that they just can't get on board paying the full price for your visit? Doctors and hospitals already receive only partial payment for service and have for some time. Again, discounts vary from plan to plan, but most doctors receive somewhere around half of what they charge.

Co pays I feel will continue to rise and at some point we may need ask to see the finance department so we can stretch the payments out over three years. Unfortunately many of the state and federal health plans for the poor and indigent have no monthly premium and or co pay what so ever. Now I understand that if you're indigent you may not be able to afford any amount, but even one dollar would seem to be at the least a gesture of good faith considering taxpayers are paying the freight for two policies…

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Apathy is a condition which seems to infect a city and its citizens and drains its will to continue. You can see it in many aspects of society from the national government right down to the folks on your block. I believe it begins when you have been discouraged or disappointed so many times that you just don’t care any longer. I noticed a local aspect which reflects the cities problems and possibly its citizens. Maple Park is a small baseball diamond with a new backstop and some good folks who landscaped and really made the area look good. Unfortunately, that was last year, now the field is overgrown and the bases are gone, the flowers are dead and it looks much different than one year ago. Even the folks who did all the good work have not been back and I cannot blame them. They asked for help from the rest of the neighborhood and they got little or no help. Fighting a losing battle and spending your own money can only go on for so long. I would imagine that even Bill Gates would get tired without help. My point is that for this city and this state to get off its back, everyone has to do something. Even as we struggle through this recession it is more important than ever to help your neighbor and your neighborhood to get through the tough times. I do believe that old line that what does not kill you makes you stronger. So would it kill you to get up and help a little!