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Showing posts with label social commentary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social commentary. Show all posts

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Fighting for $15

I posed the following question on Facebook... but I feel like it deserves to be blogged?

Reading about the demand for $15 minimum wage. Wondering if they shouldn't do $15 for age 18 and up and $10 - 12 for under 18, and for training situations in starter type jobs.
Of course then they would also have to legislate percentages like 25-40% under age so they wouldn't just fire all the adults and hire kids.
Would that settle the argument of inexperienced kids? And also encourage jobs for teens again, which have been hard to come by?
Since I posed the question, I have only received one reply (4 by the time I was done typing this).  But I can see the direction it is going.  People think raising the minimum wage will raise prices, and so that won't change anything.  At face value, I can see that happening... it is simple math after all, but any company who just raises prices to raise wages, is perhaps being too simplistic about it.

Just this week, a Seattle Business workers raised all of his workers wages to a minimum of $70,000 a year.  That is the equivalent of over $30 an hour, if they work 40 hours a year... they will all surely work more... just because.  To make this work, he did not raise prices. He did not cut benefits.  He dropped his own salary from a million a year to $70,000.  Now, I am gathering that he has some serious money in the back... because that's just nuts.  I would however, consider cutting my million dollar salary to a half million, because, there's just only so much stuff I can buy in a year.  I can't wait to see how this experiment plays out.  I gather he will get bonus and profit share, but it is a smart move because my guess is that he will end up richer, and his company will do very well because he invested in his workers first.

What would happen if the Walton Family for instance took a billion or so out of the bank and split that among their workers?  That have at least 144 Billion, after all. How many billions would it take to give everyone a $5.00 and hour increase? I doubt it would slow down their personal shopping habits at all.  And if they were to just roll the cost over to the shoppers, here's an article that says it would cost shoppers 46 cents per trip to set their minimum wage at $12.00.

But this is not the direction I intended to go.

My concern is that I have two young adult children, who have yet to have a part time job. The problem is not that they are lazy. They have worked 20 hour days for the County Elections, and they have managed to make some money through entrepreneurship. The problem is timing.  During the time when most people get their first jobs, age 15-16, we were in the midst of a serious recession.  All the fast food and retail jobs in my area were taken by adults desperate for whatever wage they could get.  So why would an employer hire and train a kid, when an adult who NEEDED the job could hit the ground working?

That is my biggest concern in raising the minimum wage.  Is someone going to hire someone who has never, ever worked for $15 an hour when they could hire someone with experience?  This is where my question came from.  I wondered if lowering the minimum wage by age or for training periods would fix this issue.

At the end of the day, though, there is just not enough wages for people to live independent lives.  They can hardly pay rent, and buy food, never mind purchase clothing, purses, shoes, games, and go to the movies.  Has anyone noticed the rate at which malls are failing? I feel like raising the minimum wage, would allow people more expendable income, which will help them pay their bills and perhaps spend a few dollars on things they would enjoy.  That would bring back dying retail establishments, and more people would get hired, and more people would be spending, and so on and so forth!

Another thing that bothers me about how low wages are is how much college costs.  I went to college on student loans and retail paychecks.  Period.  The loans paid my tuition, and the my jobs paid my living expenses.  But, kids can't live on these teeny tiny paychecks since the cost of rent has easily tripped since I was a college student.  The cost of transportation has doubled.  And the cost of college... that has increase 1,120% in the last 30 years.  Corporate greed is preventing kids from going to college, because they can no longer work their way through when their parents can't afford to pay.

For me, that is reason enough to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 or to $10-$12 for kid under 18.

Do you agree?  Disagree?  Why?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"I just thought maybe I could do a better job myself"

This was the exact thought I had when I decided to homeschool my kids...and the sentiment is growing, especially among African Americans.
Black families have become one of the fastest-growing demographics in homeschooling, with black students making up an estimated 10 percent of the homeschooling population. (For comparison’s sake, they make up 16 percent of all public-school students nationwide, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.) And while white homeschooling families traditionally cite religious or moral disagreements with public schools in their decision to pull them out of traditional classroom settings, studies indicate black families are more likely to cite the culture of low expectations for African American students or dissatisfaction with how their children—especially boys—are treated in schools.  read more

Friday, November 14, 2014

Who's? What? Where? How not to test kids

Sketch a day #23 - 1 hr. Pen and ink
So clearly our society is obsessed with the size of people's butts.  Whether, you are all about that bass- no treble, or think silicone butts are Ew- EW.  They are everywhere!  And let's not talk about Kim K West's (no I'm not linking to it) latest magazine pics. The bigger the butt the better.

Pop culture has conversations about butts locked down.  So why-oh-why does Mecklenburg County NC have questions about butt size on exams used throughout the county?  Seriously.  Ew.

Here's my problem with the question:  

"LaShamanda (Who??? Lashamanda isn't a real name.  One can only assume that they were going for a stereotypically black name.  If you google Lashamanda, you will not find it has ever been used before.  Lashanda, or Shamanda would have been more appropriate.  Instead they chose to mock black names with this made up farce) has a heterozygous big bootie, (What?  are you referring to her behind?  Big bootie is a term used primarily in ebonics- slang... Both Oxford dictionaries and Webster dictionaries defines a bootie as a shoe worn by a baby.  If they meant booty.. well that is defined as a plunder won in war.  Urban dictionary, the worse source for a dictionary defines a bootie as "a woman with an --- that is healthy and fleshy from a bit of jiggle to firm but always tasty".  Is that the definition of bootie, they want kids to embrace?  How rude!) the dominant trait. Her man Fontavius (once again- who?  First, "her man" is a phrase not used in any dictionary, but is street for her husband or boyfriend, so by saying they were married was kind of redundant.  Second,  Fontavius is another name not found anywhere on Google.  Dontavious is a real African American name though, so way to go- mocking black names again!)has a small bootie (what? the term bootie is reserved for women, even in ebonics) which is recessive. They get married and have a baby named LaPrincess. (I actually found this name online, so ...OK.  still it is rare) What is the probability that LaPrincess will inherit her mama's (Merriam Webster says the word Mama is slang for mother) big bootie?" (Saying a baby or child has a big bootie is crass and inappropriate.  Like that time a man said my baby, who was six at the time, had a gadunk-adunk -and I almost slapped him.)

The WHERE is that this was on a science test in a public school.

This is offensive in more ways that I can count. The most detrimental salacious phrases possible was used in this test question. It mocked African American names and culture. And the subject matter was inappropriate.  I will stop there. 

So when a parent complained, a teacher replied "I am sorry IF your child was offended".  Please. Bye Felicia.

Can we please stop trying to bend to the lowest common denominator and teach kids using subject matter that won't dumb them down and victimize them?  Where is the commons sense in this.  Makes me glad we homeschooled. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why small businesses are losing to big businesses

Sketch a day #9  - 45 min.
This is a sketch of my upper window in my greatroom.  The room is two stories high, so there are upper and lower windows in the room.  You see a bannister in the foreground, because I am actually sitting in a room on the second floor to draw it.  The house is three stories high in the back, so in order for a ladder to be outside this window, it has got to be pretty tall.  Fire-fighter tall.  It is still not tall enough for the guy repairing the woodpecker holed trim to get where he needs to reach, so he is also propelling down from the roof to get to a certain area.

This job is driving me nuts! First, tomorrow will be two weeks since he quoted the job. Second he said it would be done by Tuesday... last Tuesday... It is now Thursday of the week after. Finally, as is true with most jobs, he didn't stick with the original quote.  As of right now, $400 to replace two pieces of trim 30-ish foot high from chimney top to ground has turned into $627.  In his defense, hubby added a small job of fixing some rotted wood on a door frame... but based on his quote for the big job, he charged an exorbitant amount for the smaller job comparatively.

My biggest problem is that I feel tied to the house for the duration of his "job".  While I may have said "OK" if he had quoted $500 or $600 dollars for the job, because it is a scary and difficult job, I would not have said OK to "I'm gonna come and go over the course of two weeks.  I will tell you I will be back tomorrow, but I'm going to leave this tall ladder leaning against your house for days on end, and when I feel like finishing, I will.  I would have said.. OK, I will call you... and then I would not call.  Seriously.

Appropriate book choice
I feel like too many people do bad business. They under-quote jobs and then raise the price because they want to make sure they get in... but I would have gladly paid the higher amount or a little more for a proper quote and the person sticking to it. If something unexpected had come up like termite damage, or a bees nest (which was my fear), then I would understand them telling me that they need to give me a secondary quote, of which I would have also gotten a second opinion, but this kind of bad business is stupid because it means you won't be called back.

And this is why mom and pop businesses are losing dollars to the big box businesses.  I have more work to do around the house.  I need to have my garage door repaired.  I also need the gutters repaired and have screens put in them, but chances are, I will now have Home Depot come do the work and not this guy.  Sure they will cost me more, with all the Home Depot overhead and all, but I want a quote that the contractor will stick by and I also want the work done in a timely manner, is that too much to ask?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I know you'd rather me not talk about the Zimmerman Trial

Things are strangely quiet around here.  There has been nothing on my mind but the Zimmerman trial, and I know that a great deal of my subscribers don't agree with me politically or socially... (but I love you nonetheless).  So that told me that they would certainly not agree with me on this trail.

Another reason I have been so quiet is that I am still processing how I feel.  Stunned, blown away, confused... this does not even begin to touch on the depth of my feelings.

I went head to head with an old friend who was defending why Zimmerman may have been so gun-shy  (realizing the pun) that night, and I really could just not see past my own pain.  Nor could I really communicate my pain. I just know that I keep looking at my wonderful son who I put so much effort into raising and homeschooling and I am still wondering how safe he really is.

We made sure he was polite.
We made sure he was smart.
We made sure he was classy and classic.
We made sure he was a man of integrity and honor....

But these are things you cannot tell when you see a young man that it 6'3, 240lbs,  and walks with a slow deliberate gait.  If it's raining, he may even want to pull on a hood.  How does he not look like a profilers definition of a thug?  All my work.  All my effort.  All of his success, and the content of his character is still not the first thing people see?

So excuse me that I can't see past my point of view when looking at this issue, which by the way has NOTHING to do with Zimmerman's actions or motives.

Like I told my old friend, who tried to suggest that we both need to repent for jumping to conclusions...

 I can only repent for myself. I can't repent for how some .... person will react to my son. I literally saw a waiter once literally jump 2 feet because my son walked up to him. He was shaking. Took him a minute to calm down, so excuse my reaction, but I am living in a real world of real actions that happen day-in and day-out. I don't want to hear another word about Zimmerman, because at the end of the day, someone's boy got killed over the same assumption that I have SEEN people make about MY kid.
But, who am I to second guess a trial.  Who am I to second guess God at work. Maybe being free in a world that is now hostile toward you is punishment enough???  But I have lived long enough to know that such a verdict gives others cart blanche to also say... "that person scared me, or worried me, so I confronted him.  He hit me, so I shot him."

Funny, I didn't really mean to  write all this, but this is how emotionally twisted up I am.  I open my mouth and all this stuff just floods out... and if you know ANYTHING about me, you know that race is always the furthest thing from my mind, but I think I am realizing that at the end of the day, we are STILL considered undesirable by many, and that is not cool.

I thought I was just going to introduce a video here, but still have so much to say... so, let me go ahead and introduce the video.  This young lady is a YouTube star, a comedian, and a social activist, and she really does have some great healing things to say about this situation.    If you have any attention span left after my diatribe, please watch her video.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Leggings are not pants

They're not... they are just not.  They are stockings or perhaps tights with the foot cut off.

There are exceptions.  Sometimes they are made of a heavier fabric that you can't see skin through... in this case, they are more like yoga pants, but barely.  They are still mostly tights or some kind of hybrid.

So here's my problem.  There is a big uproar about a TSA agent who chastised a 15 year old girl for wearing leggings as pants.  He (I believe) told her to cover up because of her age.  (Perhaps he has a 15 year old daughter too.) She found his behavior creepy and inappropriate and let her dad know.  Good girl.  The result of that is that they are trying to get the person fired, and hundreds of people are jumping on the band-wagon defending her clothing choice.

Actually, I kind of want to defend her too, as I feel like adults should not address teenagers who aren't bothering anyone.  They especially should not address them harshly.  If you have a problem, look for the parent and if you can't find one, then walk away. ( I can imagine myself pulling dad aside and saying "your daughter may not realize it, but I can clearly see her underwear through her leggings, perhaps she has a mini skirt in her luggage.)  But don't mess with someone's baby.  You might get your jugular torn out.  I know I almost ripped someone a new one at DMV last week because my daughter's naturally loud voice (from being on the stage) interrupted her from trying to spell her text messages or something.  So, yeah.  Mind your business.

But at the end of the day, is no one brave enough to mention that the Emperor... err. young lady is actually not wearing pants.  They are leggings.  She has on a reasonably long shirt, which is the rule I have for my daughter when wearing leggings (you need to have on something with it that covers your butt... coming down to fingertip length).  But the shirt is open, so it's not doing its job. But noooo they are jumping all over the response to the girl not being covered and are ignoring the elephant in the room.

Here's the link:    Am I crazy?  Am I wrong.  Are those not leggings... and the ones you can pretty much see through?

But this is none of my business.  Right?  There's just one thing that bugs me.  I have been first hand witness to what happens when a parent defends a kid to the point of ignoring the child's offense or issue.  But instead of letting this be a chance to have a conversation about little things you can do to adjust your wardrobe to make sure you don't get caught in the wrong light revealing too much, they chose to start a campaign against slut-shaming.  I feel like it just sets up the child in the future for never taking responsibility for their own actions... And that's really sad.