Some years ago I had a ham radio acquaintance who lived in West Virginia and worked in a Radio Shack. Anytime someone asked him what he did he very proudly said, “I work in retail.”
I never really understood how someone who sold capacitors and 7-transistor portable radios could swell up with such pride as he displayed. Maybe jobs that didn’t require working underground and breathing bad air were just that rare in the Mountain State.
Continue reading “I Work In Retail”
Over the holidays I watched the Netflix documentary, The American Factory. It’s about the closure of a GM factory in Dayton and its subsequent purchase by a Chines billionaire. His company invested lots of money, got lots of tax abatements, and created hundreds of jobs. They brought in an army of Chinese managers and tried to convince American workers they should succumb to Chinese work ethics and blind loyalty to the company.
It wasn’t long before an attempt to organize arose and not much longer before that attempt was crushed and those responsible were shown the door. When it was a GM plant the wage was $29 an hour plus benefits. After a couple of years, the starting wage under the Chinese was still only $14 an hour with far fewer benefits. The workers are mostly overworked, under-paid, underrepresented, and safety-wise, under-protected.
Continue reading It’s Still The Economy and You May Still Be Stupid!
I was talking with a couple of younger people who have both been employed in the field of higher education and can speak with some authority. I was surprised when both spoke about how traditional colleges and universities were losing students by the droves.
We went over some of the possible reasons and I think we agreed that there were multiple reasons. There was some agreement that part of it may have to do with the populist’s idea that colleges are elite liberal institutions and are part of some deep state plot to suppress the common man. While that is basically nonsense it is mostly true that people with college educations do tend to become a part of the elite establishment. After all, aren’t degrees supposed to result in better paying and important jobs? Isn’t that what we parents hope to see our children accomplish when they leave the nest for academia? Another reality about higher education is that exposure to a variety of ideas (otherwise known as education) should make more likely to challenge the status quo. Maybe that’s what populist confuse with liberalism.
Continue reading Notes on higher education
Who do you consider the greater threat to American democracy, Mitch McConnell or Donald Trump? I was just asked that question and replied that it was probably a toss-up but it could be argued that Moscow Mitch could be the greater threat. After all, it would be far more difficult for Bone Spur to be Bone Spur without the unbending support of Moscow’s iron grip on the US Senate.
Mitch is up for reelection in Kentucky next year and his retaining his seat is not a certainty. There’s a very capable woman clawing at his backsides and with just a little financial help from a lot of us who care about the future of America, Amy McGrath may just unseat another of Putin’s, “useful idiots.”
Continue reading AMY McGRATH v MOSCOW MITCH
I don’t always agree with Robert Reich but I do always enjoy listening to his points of view. Simply put, he makes me think and that’s what so many Americans need, to be forced to think.
While I don’t have a clue as to who I’ll vote for in Ohio’s Democratic Primary it does help to hear all the sides. Spending six-minutes listening to an informed and experienced voice like Riech’s will help me when decision time comes.
As the old radio news reporter, Gabriel Heatter used to say, “There’s good news tonight.” Just as fast as things went bad for Lordstown, OH, things suddenly got brighter. General Motors has announced it is joining with the Sout Korean company LG to build a new lithium battery factory in Lordstown to pave the way for the companies near future plans for Electric Vehicles (EVs).
While it will take a while the joint effort plans to hire 1,100 new workers but GM refused to address whether any of these would be rehired from the 1,600 laid-off workers from the closure of their auto manufacturing plant in that city.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there are now over 234,000 women truck drivers in America and the number is growing. While women few than 10 percent of truckers are women there doesn’t seem to exist any disparity of pay between men and women drivers.
It might be noted, however, that the trucking industry is currently witnessing a growing number of layoffs. Long ago the industry became a prime indicator of economic health. Full employment in the trucking industry indicates that people are spending their money, factories are operating at capacity, and the cash registers at retail shops are ka-chinging!
For as long as there has been an American “war on drugs” the nation of Columbia has been a target. Sitting at the top of South America, Columbia has been a major supplier of illegal marijuana and cocaine for decades. Arguably, no one knows more about growing pot and coke than Columbia.
Well, according to National Public Radio Columbia is putting all this experience into legal business opportunities, supplying the world’s needs for medical marijuana. NPR says:
“Colombia is on track to become a medical marijuana powerhouse. The South American country now has more than two dozen legal cannabis companies that have invested more than $600 million in building new facilities. The government legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and the country now exports products to Canada and the U.K.”
People love to talk about how great things used to be and in many ways, I’m no different. Several conversations recently have me thinking about those good old days. So, I decided to make a list of what we used to pay for things. Feel free to add to it.
Prices in the 1950s:
Continue reading Gee Our Old LaSalle Ran Great…
Medicare for all is a hot topic with progressive Democrats pushing for it and conservative Republicans falsely referring to it as communism and claiming it will bankrupt the nation.
Well, back in the fight over Obamacare days I did some checking and read a book or two about comparative health care systems. While I don’t remember much of the details I do remember the general knowledge I acquired. Lesson learned number one is that lots of countries have far better systems than America. Number two is that withing America the most efficient systems are the VA and Medicare. Both of which, by the way, are socialists systems and extremely popular.
Continue reading Truths About American Health Care
Do you ever wonder when wealth becomes, obscene wealth? Well, consider this.
“$70,000 per minute. According to Bloomberg, that’s how much money the Walmart-owning Walton family has made in the year since Bloomberg’s previous list of the world’s richest families. The Waltons top that list this year, with wealth of $190.5 billion. The Mars, Koch, Al Saud, and Wertheimer (of the Chanel fashion house) families round out a top five. The 25 richest families in the world
Continue reading The Waltons. No, Not John Boy, The Other Waltons!
A friend of mine found a post on their Facebook feed this morning extolling the policies of Donald Trump and boldly stating that they didn’t care how horrible Trump was since he was ridding America of its rodent problem. One thing this idiot said that caught my attention was that Trump deserved our support because he was self-financed and didn’t depend on lobbyist and corporate financing.
Continue reading Trump is Not Self-Financed – He Knows Fat Catz!
I was coming home from Wilmington recently and came upon David’s Drive, a newer road that leads over to the north side of Wilmington Air Park. So, I turned right to see what I could see.
Once the road reaches the airpark it takes a hard right and parallels the facility for some distance. The first thing that caught my eye was a large plane sporting the words Prime Air sitting beside a large building bearing a number of Amazon phallic trademarks (Yeah, you’ve seen those boxes and thought the same thing, haven’t you?).
Continue reading Snooping Around Wilmington Air Park
Even people who don’t know shit about history like to say that it repeats itself. Well, assuming that it does, consider this. George Bush ushered in a huge unfunded tax cut at the beginning of his first term, followed by a huge unfunded increase in the Medicare plan. Then he invaded Afghanistan and began America’s longest military conflict. If that wasn’t enough he ordered the unjustified invasion of Iraq which evolved into our second longest military engagement. Toss into the mix the almost totally unregulated housing industry and kaboom, the economy imploded in 2007-08.
Well, Donald Trump ignorantly backed a huge unfunded tax cut for the upper classes and America is looking at borrowing, for the second straight year, a trillion dollars to pay for the deficit caused by Trump and the GOP in Congress. Ole Donnie loves to rave about the economy but…will history repeat itself?
For more information about the ever-growing Trump deficit, read the article at Axios.com.
House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, is trying to call the opposition to Trump’s racist and misogynistic statements the work of communists who are against freedom. What a crock! All my adult life I’ve known that the average American couldn’t write a textbook definition of communism. They also struggle with defining socialism.
Communism, as the world has known it is an authoritarian, totalitarian form of government that has, in fact, stripped its inhabitants of their freedom. North Korea and China are communists countries, as is Cuba. Communism is supposed to be an economic system in which the nation’s wealth is distributed equally amongst its citizens. Well, it never was successful at that and instead became just another way to suppress the freedoms and rights of people while the rulers lived high on the hog.
Continue reading Crying Communist Plays to the Ignorance of the People