Wednesday, March 31, 2021

April 2021 playlist 2

 I couldn’t want till weekend for my 2nd April playlist after discovering my old Spotify playlists.  There’s a lot more and I want to mix them in with newer stuff in the future, but I love these... even if April hasn’t started yet (ha) and I LOVE playlist 1, also.  Anyway.. listen to 2 HERE.



Costs and Minimum Wage

 For this next topic, I am taking a few minutes on a break to break down the issues related to minimum wage and costs for both businesses and workers... something I actually know a LOT about from my accounting MBA, work history in both corporate and retail America and paying bills in poverty.

The last time that minimum wage was increased was 2009... 12 years.  In that time, the inflation rate has made something that cost a dollar now cost 1.24... 24 percent increase.  Likewise, a person could rent a 1 bedroom in 2009 for 1064 (that's median across the whole country).  In 2018, it was 1,588.  However... again... minimum wage has not increased AT ALL.  Not only does that mean that it has not increased but the purchasing VALUE of it has decreased.  There is no WONDER we have so many living in poverty.

Meanwhile, businesses do not care.  For the last several years, I have been working as a contractor... both digital and driving.  Driving... there are STILL hours that I will work all hour and make only what I spent in gas and tolls... so NO income.  Online, I'll use Mturk as an example... they offer tasks to do that take a half hour and pay 50 cent for it...if you work at thousand tasks at it, you can get the tasks that work out to 7 per hour, assuming you were able to immediately follow task with task and so on.  These are not small unnamed payers..... they are ivy league schools, news network, political campaigns, and busineses that figured out how to get work done and not have to pay employers taxes, not have to pay reasonable rate, and not have to give benefits.  If business is going to pay the least possible for their labor, SOMEONE has to monitor that, and that's where the labor laws come into play, even though they have not been kept up to date to protect contractors, as well.

Businesses rightly say that a sudden increase in minimum wage would make it hard to operate.  A sudden increase in labor costs means less budget for operating, and stores could close or people be laid off.  And, even the Biden administration doesn't want that.

But.... why not offer a years long subidy for it?  We have now spent a YEAR of paying literally TRILLIONS out to businesses.. specifically for labor costs, and checks to individuals.  Why is it unrealistic to pay a government subsidy on the labor costs so businesses don't pay it, till the incomes of ALL families increase and can pay for more goods and the increased incomes of business in sales can sustain a continued wage?  There is no risk to anyone, and if the government believes this will raise ALL sales, it can afford the debt for the program... or was that not the case when the government paid out stimulus and is still doing it?


Monday, March 29, 2021

Gender Stereotypes, Exile, and Discrimination

 Someone within my very small group of close connections is transgender.. although they don’t let anyone know as they felt it out, and I respect and support that.  I’ve talked myself about the challenges faced by not fitting into your group, and anyone that’s followed my posts over the years has heard me talk about what it’s like growing up and being literally mocked and bullied for not being like the other boys.

So, let’s talk about that.

Imagine that you grow up not fitting into the groups and being not only different but made to feel broken or bad for just being driven by your own likes and dislikes that don’t fit the mold of contemporary society.  I say contemporary, because just looking at figures in history like Shakespeare or Jesus for that matter finds others that don’t fit the mold ... indeed it is for their reason I don’t completely reject masculinity.  I’m just born out of time,

So... you grow up and realize it is GOOD to be yourself.  So, you start following your interests and living your life within context of your church, your school, your area.. and suddenly the bullies are back saying... you can’t be yourself here.

Now... you tell me... when that person cuts away from the groups and forms their own... who was the cause... the one that was looking to just not be judged for their own choices or the society that said they are EVIL to conform to the personality God gave them?  Maybe... if society had opened their arms to THEIR form of man, woman, believer, etc they could have added to the entire group and felt loved and secure.  But, that option was not given to them.

So.. the next time you judge trans people for trying to DESTROY society, maybe stop and consider if society made room for them...

Sunday, March 28, 2021

April 2021 playlist 1


 This is on my YouTube playlist link tab above, but you can also get to it here.. or the slightly modified  Spotify version here.

Immigration and Security

 The biggest political news that is ripping the Democrat party apart as we speak is the doublespeak and about face of Biden on immigration, though it was not a surprise coming... I predicted just this, as well as others we are beginning to see, the moment that Biden got the nomination.  Before you think this is an anti Democrat piece, my message has been and is that Biden defrauded the left for votes and betrayed the principles he spoke to get in office.  I said the same of Trump at the beginning of his term in many ways.

However, as I noted in last year's posts, Obama-Biden BUILT the prisons and the policy of family separation and kids being imprisoned in cages on the border, so what is the likelihood he would undo them... none.  Now, here we are, and ALL of the Trump prisons are being used as well as others, kids are being shipped off to prisons in other states.  The conditions at the prisons are as bad as ever.

This week, Biden came on tv to say it would be heartless to turn kids away that came to the border and that he was acting with compassion to imprison them, even though it was heartless for Trump to do it in his term by his assessment.  Further, he said that he was working with Mexico and other countries to turn back ALL immigrants that came to the border, except children... which sounds a lot like either kidnapping or engaging in child trafficking.  

So, when Trump was building a wall and turning people away, it was unamerican.  But, when Biden does it, its compassion.  The reality is that BOTH Presidents dealt with the same realities, though neither "side" acknowledges the other factors in their political rhetoric.  Here is a better assessment of the arguments and challenges each side faces.

Immigration

It is true that the country is build on immigrants and immigrants are used for many migrant tasks by employers from both parties.  It is true that many people want to come to our country, because it is a good country with many enhancements of life.  It is also true that BOTH parties have slowed the intake of immigrants, so we have a backlog of people trying to legally immigrate here that stretches many years or decades before their number being called.  Further, despite the fact that people in other lands have less skills and opportunities, both parties have put limits on who they take as being able to contribute to the economy, meaning the most needy will not be called.  Therefore, people make a desperate journey for their kids to be able to grow up in a better land, and there should be more intake of those legitimately entering the border.

Security

HOWEVER, it is true that not all of those coming to the border have legitimate needs that reflects the above description.  There are drug cartels, terrorists, and an active human trafficking chain operating on the border, including sex trafficking.  When the prisons are full, they are rushing people into the border, using FEMA at present that is not equipped to either check their criminal background or screen for Covid, which is another concern.  When people at the border are cleared for entry, they give them a court date, which they may or may not show up for...and many are currently not even being given the court date but are released directly into the country, untracked.  While I am AGAINST government tracking and control of people, this DOES present challenges in the post 9-11 world of allowing terrorist or other country cells to populate in the country to be activated at assigned times.

The Middle

We need to be able to distinguish between immigrants with legitimate purposes and those without and the only way to do that is either through a system of processing that is increased or by holding them until they are cleared.  The prison conditions are horrible, so maybe until they are improved they are sent back at the border.  We need to improve the methods of holding them, so we are not inflicting human rights abuses on them, and we need to end the practice of taking kids from their hispanic mothers and giving them to White mothers in foster care in a very racist fashion and send them back to their mothers in other lands... respecting their parentage.  When we find a runaway in our country, we don't just give them a new family.

Meanwhile, we need to do a better job of background checks on not only immigrants but gun checks and more.  The guns are not the issue, as much as immigration, in this case...it's about our failure to do a thorough job screening out those dangerous.

This issue has been used to rally votes and dollars, but both sides do the same thing.  We have been turned against each other over the "kids in cages" that exist in the other party and justify them in another party.  Maybe... instead... we should recognize both have been trying to operate in an unfunded system to process the great number of people that want to have our .. freedoms... such as they used to be.  MAYBE, instead of talking about the kids in cages, we use a little of the political money being used to campaign on them to actually improve the conditions of the holding facilities in which they are kept... or... was that not the point?

Saturday, March 27, 2021

If It Bleeds

 I saw that Stephen King recently named his book, “If It Bleeds,” and I think that is fitting in the society in which we find ourselves.  

People have become hardwired to look for the negative or the scandal or the gossip.  They don’t look for people suffering to help but people qualified for their scorn.  Shortly after Biden was elected, there was an honest discussion in media circles about what the news would cover, and Saturday Night Live ratings fell, since neither wanted to criticize the Democrat leader.  After that, they started attacking Trump, even though he was out of office and equating other Republicans to him.

But, it’s not just on the left.  The right has been making the case that our society as we know it will come to an end with the Democrats in office.

The reality is that news channels want ratings, politicians need fundraising and vote incentives, and they all are more interested in conflict than solutions.  The only is we have is whether we would rather have results of if we want to profit off conflict.. as even King did in picking that title.

Crime and Discrimination

 For my first topic on this blog, I wanted to talk about crime and discrimination.  So, I will present both side's arguments and where we can agree.

Discrimination

The argument on the left is that there are persistent stereotypes of minorities, which drives cops to assume negative things about individuals, based upon their neighborhood or color of their skin.  A higher percentage of African Americans make up the prisons, for example, and their cars are followed by cops that concentrate in their neighborhoods, while many white figures face less police scrutiny.

Crime

However, the right points out that there are more reports of crime IN those neighborhoods and minorities make up a significant part of criminal gangs and traffic of drugs in those areas.  Further, if you defund the police you end up with less prevention against things like the raids at the Capital and the shootings that have dominated the news over the last week, since it the police that would be needed to COUNTER that violence.

The Middle

I think it's easy to see that both of these can be true.  Indeed, when I had to live in an inner city motel for months, last year, I saw first hand what it is like to live where you can hear gunshots and see police presence more often.  One of the things that I saw what that ALL races hate the violence that is being done in that area, often by minorities against minorities.  

Also, while there can be the case made that a history of living in poverty can make it difficult for ANYONE to rise above it and to escape the violence of the area, and more African Americans find themselves in those conditions than White people due to a history of discrimination.  

However, I wonder if it couldn't be the POVERTY that is the cause.. not the race.  Wouldn't a White person living in that poverty ALSO face the violence?  They would.  I also know first hand that if you drive a vehicle in those areas, you are followed.. whatever your race.. and you are faced with a larger police presence than IS seen in richer neighborhoods, which happen to be White from past discrimination.  The police know that pulling over someone in that area can result in big names getting involved and donations being withheld.

Since poverty is such a motivator to both crime AND discrimination, maybe instead of blaming each other, we should do something about people having to live in such dire situations... whatever their race.  Doing so might reduce the incentive for them to be involved in the drug trade and help them to not be driven by poverty anger to steal or other crimes; however, it must be given in such a way to both offer them a lifeline but not discourage work, since the end goal that ALL those involved want is self sufficiency to have freedom over their life and pride in their accomplishments.

Then, as we lift the poor that live IN those communities, we can see both less discrimination AND less crime, which will benefit us all.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Happy In Between

 In the past, I have done personal, lifestyle, and political blogs; and they have had limited successes.  However, one issue that plagued all of them (and my own life) is the DEMAND by many readers to pick a side in their debates or fill the roles of a stereotype.  However, I am an independent by nature, meaning that I like to make up my own mind and use reason and emotion to guide me.

Recently, I withdrew from political posts, after years of doing them.  It was my goal in both cases of supporting one side or the other to help defend the victims and advocate for freedoms.  Yet, our culture is rapidly moving towards Roman coliseum "thrown them to the lions" intolerance and hatred on both sides.  We have lost the ability to listen and consider the other side's arguments and see what elements with which we might agree.  Further, there is literal violence being done by both sides, and the news camps have crafted media coverage to only call their "side" of victims as victims and to ignore the other side or even suggest they brought it on themselves.

This cycle will end in dissolution of society and perhaps the country, and it will plague us all in daily defensiveness, paranoia, and inability to learn.

At first, I was just going to live my own life and ignore it, and by am large that is going to be my main plan.  However, I want to do my own part to try to repair the rift that has happened.... not only between political parties but social cohesiveness and acceptance.  Each post will try to show the value in BOTH sides and some areas in which we can agree, as well as allowing for your own combination of what you accept.

I also want to use this blog to show that it is OK to be NEITHER side in the arguments or even neither side in GENDER or RELIGION or such.  It is acceptable to take from BOTH sides in forming YOUR life of which only you are the person responsible for creating and only to whom you have to justify it.

This is just the beginning post, and I will be adding more posts and sponsors and such in the days and weeks to come, as well as things to enjoy on the site, daily, without hostility. 

April Playlist 5

 April Playlist 5 at YouTube and Spotify