Happy Labor Day ’13?!? – It is Time for American Workers to Get Lucky

Not ‘lucky’ in the slang sense, but ‘luck’ for a gain in wages and benefits for their full-time and part-time employees’ hard work.

How about a living wage for everyone that passes a 30-day probation period? I believe this is an ethical and win-win solution.

It should make sense for – particularly corporations in the service sector – to give even part-time employees a living wage!   We should support the occasional worker strikes at:

  • Wal*Mart
  • McDonald’s
  • Costco and Sam’s Club

These companies employment practices are costing government big-time funds and scarce safety-net resources.

occupy wile e coyote

 

Minimum wage must be adjusted for regional living conditions. Real estate, transportation costs, educational expenses, food prices, and medical necessities vary by location. For instance, we did an analysis in Sonoma County, California during 2009 and found that the living wage was $14.00 per hour.

Our study in a Southern Indiana college town – Monroe County -resulted in a living wage of $12.50/hour. Another community two counties east – Jackson County – had a living wage of $11.00.

What exactly is a living wage? One person earning this living wage could not live alone. It would take two incomes to live in a two-bedroom house or apartment. Food stamps, home energy subsidies, and other welfare assistance for this household would not be necessary. Thus, a worker in the service industries would need a roommate or be married to survive financially.

The latest government statistics should be alarming to the citizenship:

  1. Summer hiring of college and high school students took a dip this year!
  2. Unemployment rates (statistics are often doctored-up) indicate a rise. The real unemployment figures are approximately 30%. Many candidates have lost motivation to find viable employment.
  3. More companies are hiring part-time contractual workers who don’t receive any benefit programs or job security.
  4. Union activities are usually ineffective. Look at what happens in Northern California with the BART SEIU – an executive order is in-effect prohibiting any strike for at least 60 days.
  5. The real unemployment rate for disabled Americans willing to work exceeds 70%. What jobs are offered are menial (shredding paper tasks, or stocking supermarket shelves) and pay only minimum wage.

The Wal*Marts of this world are allowing their employees to live in poverty, without health insurance, and without other benefits. Yet these companies are making huge profits. The irony is literally killing people and creating a demand of state, federal, and local welfare resources.

homeless on the street

While our U.S. senators and congresspersons take a month-long vacation, they complain along with laborers and nothing gets improved.

Please help anyway you can. Place the welfare of low-income Americans on your bucket list.

http://www.pandora.com/station/play/1584073764935615200

“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey on the Escape CD

Schools are back in session but Congress is absent. Go figure…

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copyright MMXIII

– Max’s Scout Services & Communications of the Americas, LLC –

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Happy Anniversary, Dear! – – – Virtues of Marriage

In America, marriage has been such a sacred institution that gays have been forbidden to exchange vows.
Time flies… has it been 34 years?

It's is below freezin'. Let us go back to sleep!
One could hardly tell us apart

Our marriage has not been like Bonnie and Clyde, Antony and Cleopatra, King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, Burns and Allen, Ozzie and Harriet, John and Yoko Ono, or John Smith and Pocahontas.
Pocahontas’ romantic relationship set the stage for warm relations between white men and Indians for more than 400 years.
Marriage an outcome of love. Love is a battlefield (Pat Benatar), love is a deep river (Bette Midler), love is a razor (Patti Smith), love is strange (Donna Summer), love is wicked (Mary J. Blige), and this is a woman’s viewpoint put to music.
Male recording artists have their own take on marriage. Love is a hurting thing (James Brown). Love is murder (Sting). Love is dead (Billy Ocean). Love is just a four-letter word (Bryan Adams). Love is a bitch (Rolling Stones).

The real story is that our marriage blew up about five to eight years ago. One of us “grew out of love.”
Natural chemicals can be blamed for our downfall:

  • Serotonin: Neural inhibitor that led to blind craziness.
  • Norepinephrine: Stress hormones that made the heart and love muscles bulge.
  • Hormones: Testosterone and Estrogen kept changing.
  • Vasopressin: Sensory enhancer that made the hair and skin feel silky.
  • Pheromones: Made things smell better than things really were.
  • Oxytocin: Numbed awareness.
  • Adrenaline: Provided energy to defend the wife to family, friends, and the probation officer.

To sum it up, our marriage succumbed to nature and natural neurochemistry.

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Copyright MMXIII
– Max’s Scout Services and Communications of the Americas, LLC –
[ for musement only ]

Throw the Unemployed and Homeless in Prison?!?

When Reagan stepped foot in the White House, he said the job of the government was not just to ignore a surplus of workers, but to figure out ways to make a buck off of them. Reagan lived by the notion that profit was king.  If America’s businesspeople always and only did whatever made them the most money, that would magically cure all ills with supply-side fairy dust.

He fundamentally changed the way that we deal with surplus workers. Instead of ignoring them, or having the government put them to work, there was now a third option.

Make a profit off of them.

There are a variety of ways capitalists make a profit off of poor and unemployed people, from payday lenders, to “rent to own” furniture stores, to the most radical of them all: Turn them into prisoners.

That latter is the most radical, and has turned out to be the most profitable for America’s capitalists.

pedro s false arrest

 

 

It’s almost elegant in its simplicity.

Turn unemployed Americans into criminals. Track them, punish them for any crime possible, take away their rights and throw them into for-profit prisons.

Once thrown inside a for-profit prison, an inmate needs food, housing, healthcare and other services. This means huge profits for capitalists.  They’re raking in tens of thousands of dollars per prisoner per year – hundreds of percent more than Roosevelt paid to simply put them back to work.

And turning unemployed Americans into very profitable prisoners is a booming business.

From the beginning of America until 1980, the incarceration rate in America remained fairly steady. While Nixon declaring his war on drugs in 1971 did slightly increase incarceration in the United States, the increase was nothing drastic.

But then Reagan came to Washington, and his buddies realized they could make a buck off of unemployed Americans.

The nation’s incarceration rate took off like a rocket.

god answered

Thanks to Reagan elevating profit to a religion, between 1980 and 2009, the state and federal prison population in the U.S. increased by over 700 percent.

Since the for-profit prison industry started aggressively buying Congressmen 15 years ago, the number of people thrown into for-profit prisons has exploded.

And Americans sitting in jail make a very exploitable, very profitable, slave-like labor force.

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, the minimum wage for a prisoner who works in the UNICOR program, the federal government’s prison industries program, is 23 cents an hour.  The maximum UNICOR wage is $1.15 an hour.

Across all state prisons, the average minimum wage for prisoners for non-industrial work is 93 cents per hour.

And some states, like Georgia and Texas, are completely upfront about their slave-labor camps. They pay absolutely nothing to prisoners.

Because the Reagan Revolution changed America’s value system, we stopped asking, “What’s the best way to deal with surplus workers?”

Instead, we started asking, “How can we make the most money off surplus workers?”

The logical answer was a return to slavery, and it has been embraced by capitalists with a vengeance.

And that is insane brutality.

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Thom Hartmann is an author and nationally syndicated daily talk show host. His newest book is The Thom Hartmann Reader. Reprinted from Alternet, courtesy of a suggestion from SparkyNitro.

Heal Thyself

Building A Placebo in Silicon-Biotech Valley?

A placebo effect works is because our minds have the expectation that the drug is supposed to do something positive, and our mind and body follow by making that expectation come true (a kind of self-fulfilling belief, but at a biological level).

Sleeping Zero and Wilma

The placebo effect is proof that our minds have some influence over our bodies. That doesn’t mean we can use placebos to cure serious illnesses or disorders (real medicine still serves its purpose!), but placebos can be a valuable tool in making small improvements in our overall health, mood, and well-being.

Usually placebo pills are prescribed without the patient knowing they’re “fake,” but new studies show placebo pills can work even when patients know they’re getting a sham drug.

This likely means that we can create our own placebo pills and still get a positive effect from them. I’ve been experimenting with placebo pills over the past month. Below are basic instructions you can use to create a placebo pill of your own.

How to create your own placebo pills:

 

    • Buy empty gelatin caps. You can find them in most health/vitamin stores, but I picked up these cheap ones off of Amazon.

 

    • Fill the gelatin caps with a harmless substance, like a pinch of sugar.

 

    • Find an empty prescription bottle. Peel off the old label.

 

  • Choose what you want the placebo pill to improve. For example: 
      • Focus or Willpower

     

      • Wealth or Likability

     

      • Relaxation or Staying Up All Night

     

  •  
      • Happiness or Intelligence

 

  • Create a new label with the name of your placebo pill. You can just call it something simple, like “Intelligence Pill,” or you can come up with a more creative and inspiring name, like “The Albert Einstein Super Genius Pill.”
  • Add instructions to your label. For example, for my “Willpower Pill” I wrote: “Take one a day to improve willpower, motivation, and self-discipline.”
  • Add the new label to your bottle.
  • Take your placebo pill every morning you when feel you need that extra boost.
  • Make multiple placebo pills for different things, then choose one a day depending on what you need a boost in most.
  • You can make your “placebo pill” more effective by repeating positive affirmations while focusing on each before you put them in the bottle. Learn more about the power of self-affirmations in this free guide.

Please keep in mind: This is NOT real medication – and it should NOT be used to replace any kind of real medication.

Advocate for Human Rights in the USA – Be Like Joyce

Max's Scout Services & Communications of the Americas WebBlog

Only Rhode Island and Connecticut have passed a “Homeless Bill of Rights.” John Joyce is an American role model.

Many are homeless as a result of economic hardship, a shortage of safe, affordable housing, and a shrinking social safety net

 “All free governments are instituted for the protection, safety, and happiness of the people. All laws, therefore, should be made for the good of the whole; and the burdens of the state ought to be fairly distributed among its citizens. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied equal protection of the laws.

Concordant with this fundamental belief, no person should suffer unnecessarily or be subject to unfair discrimination based on his or her homeless status. It is the intent of this chapter to ameliorate the adverse effects visited upon individuals and our communities when the state’s residents lack…

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