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One of my pleasures is going through the NY Times on the weekend.  Taking a seat in the living room with the sun coming through the window I get to catch up on world events.  While I enjoy the Car Section and Book Review I find the 'news' increasingly frustrating.  This weekend was no different.  As I read one article I found a connection to a different article, often in a another section of the paper.

In the Sunday Review there is an article about low income workers in the US starting to fight back against wretched wages.  You know, making less than $10 an hour like Salvador, who earns $10 an hour after 10 years at the McDonald's inside the National Air and Space Museum.  According to the Economic Policy Institute roughly 20 million American workers earn between minimum wage and $10 an hour.

Caterpillar recently instituted a two-tier wage system.  Longer term workers were forced to accept a 6 year wage freeze.  Six years.  Newer workers must be satisfied with a significantly lower wage.  That is OK with CEO Douglas Oberhelman....Find out why after the orange squiggle.

Mr. Oberhelman's compensation increased more than 80% the last 2 years.  According to a CEO compensation website, he earned almost $18 million in equity, wages and other sources in 2013.  Not bad.  Douglas indicated

"I always try to communicate to our people that we can never make enough money"
.  "We can never make enough profit".

CEO Compensation

Fighting Back

That is right, we can never make enough profit, even if we decide not to share it with the workers.  A Seattle entrepreneur was quoted with the obvious,

"Employees pay their work forces as much as they are forced to and no more".  There's no compelling reason to give raises"
.

Will those one day strikes by fast food workers do anything?  I doubt it.  Without stronger unions, and an improving economy resulting in lower unemployment, salaries for the working class will continue to stagnate.

Reading the Sports section was also depressing.  Besides the continuing problems with my NY Yankees fielding a team, the main story is 'That's as Bad as It Get's'.  It is pretty sad.  In western Tennessee there is a school for troubled young kids.  While there are plenty of boys to field a basketball team it is hard to field a girls team, so they've lost more than 200 games in a row.  But that's not what is sad.  Playing ball is a way to teach these young woman teamwork and perseverance.  These kids are often part of broken families, or families living with little income.  They struggle with drugs.  And they struggle with pregnancy and having children at ages when they should be kids.  A boy attending the birth of his child at 14 years of age.  Another child with 2 children from different fathers.  The pregnancy rate in Carroll Country is higher than most counties in Tennessee which is already higher than the national average.

Carroll Academy

One child was being cared for a relative who was pregnant at 14, had a miscarriage, and then had a son at 17.  She didn't finish high school.

So what are Republican Senators trying to do?  In the Main Section is the article, 'GOP Senators See an Upside In a Problematic Issue: Abortion'.  That's right, an upside.  To halt abortions at 20 weeks.  Not to attack poverty.  Not to improve the situation in so many of our rural counties.  Instead, they continue to flag one of the few social issues that still seem to have some traction.  Abortion.  Not family planning.  Not sex education.  Not keeping abortion safe, legal and rare.  Instead they use it to score points.  They could care less about what is happening to so many families.

What does Western Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn say in the Sunday Review, nothing about constituents in nearby Carroll County.  Instead, she is worried about energy standards.  This is what clueless Marsha, sponsor of an amendment to block ceiling fan standards, says

"First, they come for our health care, then they took away our light bulbs, and raided our nation's most iconic guitar company - now they are coming after our ceiling fans.  Nothing is safe from the Obama administration's excessive regulatory tentacles".
 Good ole Marsha.  Does she care about people who don't have enough to eat, can't fix their cars, and who can't even care for their own families?  No, she is worried about implementing more efficient fans and lights.

Not to mention the article about China rattling sabers in the China Seas.  Launching a new fleet of cutters to intimidate Japan and The Philippines.  How did they get all this money to buy these cutters?  Here's an idea.  Let's bring manufacturing back to the US.  Stop buying goods from China.  When I bought a new bike for my daughter to replace her stolen Trek I find out they are now made in China.  Can't we make bicycles?  Can't we make furniture and clothing?  Unless we find a way to bring manufacturing back home how will our middle class find the jobs to elevate them from the lower and lower middle class back into the middle class?  How can our youngest people have hope they can find a rewarding job without having to go into investment banking?

Well, I guess Monday we return to Anthony Wiener.  Whatever.....At least Derek Jeter is back....hitting a home run on his first pitch.  Thank You Derek and Mariano for some good news.

Originally posted to TomFromNJ on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 06:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Hellraisers Journal.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I read the Catepillar news in another paper: (7+ / 0-)

    And I put the exact same quotes and stats in a comment last night. I guess I am not the only one who was thunderstruck by the sheer audacity of the CEO, if not the actual underlying facts.

    But, think about the implications for that type of message and action. It's serfdom. Factually, not analogous, it factually is serfdom. Capitalism assumes that companies that become ever more profitable will spread those profits throughout all workers in the company b/c the profits depend flow from them doing a great job. The assumption is that the company will share in success as both reward and motivation going forward.

    A company that keeps increases profits, increases the take for the top (the aristocracy?) while at the same time suppressing pay lower than living standards, knowing workers have little choice in changing jobs? That's serfdom, no way around it.

    I am in the middle of writing a novel, a funny one but with a deep underlying message - that example is going in.

    Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

    by 4CasandChlo on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 06:58:53 AM PDT

    •  Look Forward to Your Novel.... (3+ / 0-)

      I think we can all use some laughs.

      •  Well, my goal is simply to finish: (0+ / 0-)

        I read that first time novelists should just have finishing as a goal. That sounds about right to me. I am now 80 pages in.

        It is about a political science professor how has been laid off due to budget cuts, can't find another job b/c he is "over experienced" but has "no experience" (which is directly out of my life. So, he is supper bummed about being unemployed for over two years and the near future.

        He is also a lifelong alien abductee. He has been abducted by bad bad aliens and been abducted by some good guys. So he steals some equipment from the bad guys and then tries to bribe the good guys by exposing the whole alien thing unless they come down, disclose themselves and have them tell the world that they are a bunch of backward cock roaches until the world gets its act together, full employment throughout, save environment, no poverty, no excess wealth. . .

        And then it gets a little complicated.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

        by 4CasandChlo on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:14:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4CasandChlo

      if you have a publisher. If not, you might consider smashwords.

      Good luck!

      Pls be sure to list it in the Kos Katalogue.

      Okay, but how many shits is it worth to you?
      Shop Kos Katalogue

      by Words In Action on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 08:26:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I don't have one: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomFromNJ

        I have never published a novel, only some essays in papers and a couple of magazines as unsolicited and unpaid stuff.

        My goal is simply to finish, first. then worry about publishing.

        Once I achieve the goal of finishing, it will go out to the 75 or so publishers that everyone needs to send a first novel to. If that doesn't work, I'll look at Amazon E-publish and I will also send it to the ufo writers/convention crazies/Coast to coast types (it's about alien abductions of a laid off poli sci professor, see above for a longer description. I most certainly will publish on Kos Katalogue

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

        by 4CasandChlo on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:18:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  On that approach (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4CasandChlo

          Typically, you will either need connections or you will need to establish them by attending various writer's conference and such and networking.

          The average published novelist has several novels in the can before they get one published. And that's not always because they needed that much polishing, though it often is. A lot of times it just takes all of those iterations on the marketing side, of building up a network until your work gets enough attention (and you get the truly useful feedback you need while honing your craft) to finally find one person who will take a flier on it...

          The biggest problem as I see it that a small percentage of those who want to and can write have much interest in marketing themselves and their work in the traditional ways that the industry demands.

          I think this is one of the reasons the alternatives like smashwords have deveopled.

          You might also talk to some of the writers in the kos katalogue (and/or see where there works are sold).

          Okay, but how many shits is it worth to you?
          Shop Kos Katalogue

          by Words In Action on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:57:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey, thanks so much for the response! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Words In Action

            That's really cool of you to take the time for the advice. I really have not thought through it that far yet.

            I am writing this as much for therapy as for any expectation of publishing. It is a way to get my frustration out. I spend roughly two thirds of the day looking for a full time professional job and this is to have something to take my mind off of things.

            Admittedly, I - just as everyone probably - have thought some about "what if?" and so I purposefully did a couple of things. One is that I intentionally picked sort of a "niche" topic. I am a ufo nut - which is not to say that I fully believe all the bullshit. But, there is an entire, near underground community of plain old crazy people that will read anything on the topic - - that, in and of itself, is a way to generate some interest by taking it to some of those conventions.

            Second, I've made it pretty damn funny so far. People who have read parts in front of me have been laughing out loud and aren't faking it. I think there is a slightly larger opening for funny (but rooted in deep issues) novels - more so than the "real writers" who do the beautiful work.

            Last, I have an incredibly unusual last name, astonishingly, one of the few people who share the last name is a woman at a big publishing house in NYC. I have contacted her previously regarding where her family was from and such and she returned the emails. I told her of my plans and in light of "solidarity" (we have a polish last name) she had to assure me she would at least eyeball it. She said she would love to. She's probably lying but its further than a lot of people get!

            Take care and thanks a lot.

            Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

            by 4CasandChlo on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:59:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Anthony who™? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:12:18 AM PDT

  •  Corporations like Cat are eating themselves. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, gooderservice

    What will they do when no one can afford to buy what they're selling because of too-low wages?

    Private health insurance: a protection racket without the protection.

    by rustypatina on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:33:40 AM PDT

  •  Would pretty much go for almost all of the (0+ / 0-)

    people the WH has nominated and/or appointed for a position having anything to do with the economy. Regardless what they say about the Middle Class and the safety net, they basically reinforce trickle-down economics and austerity at every turn. And they fail to hold Wall St. accountable for the financial disaster of a generation, one which will reverberate through society even longer...

    Okay, but how many shits is it worth to you?
    Shop Kos Katalogue

    by Words In Action on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 08:24:13 AM PDT

  •  greeed is a deadly sin (0+ / 0-)

    money the root of all evil and greed a deadly sin, so republicans are the root of all evil and are deadly sinners, what else is new.. GOP. god Opposition party, Corporation owned , Satan approved

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