Tag Archives: activism

Divide and Conquer the workforce

dīvide et īmpera

American business, the Top 1%, to divide and conquer the workforce. Moving from volatile attacks on the worker to an embracing and gentle approach in the workplace. Putting the worker to sleep.

Lets start by the idea of “inclusion in the workplace” where everyone’s opinion matters and is heard. The open door policy of the boss, where you bring your idea to him/her, and make your pitch or discuss your complaint. How many of your ideas have been heard and implemented where YOU got the credit or better yet some monetary value? maybe you’ve had a suggestion or concern left unaddressed, but still getting the “thank you for your thoughts” In the old days it was a suggestion box placed in a common area. The elimination of the suggestion box does eliminate the complaint part of it from some of the weaker in the workforce. We all aren’t the same personality, some need the anonymous (for the record I am no advocate of anonymous more like cowardly) .  The open door policy of management has effectively closed the mouths of the less confident. It also gives the impression that the individual can be successful on their own without a formal procedure. ( i.e Union)

Surveys: Companies have implemented these programs to better read their employees, getting an advantage. Generally, after they compile the statistics they come out with their target points to work on. More times than not, the target points are cost neutral to the company. They want more productive employees (cause they are happier and believe the company cares) that doesn’t cost them any money. Survey’s are the equivalent to a suggestion box , anonymous bitching that those that are less-confident or have no guts can make a complaint. I hate to break it to business but YOU are WASTING YOUR  MONEY on surveying your employees. 95% of your employees don’t give a crap about the content of the survey. These same people have no desire to make their work environment better. In turn, does the employee actually believe anything of substance will come from these surveys? Maybe the survey will create one feel good opportunity or the company will hand out a free luncheon……….

Yes the FREE LUNCH. Watch as you see all the little worker-ants flock to get a free spoonful of baked ziti or a sandwich from the hoagie tray! Make way for those who are fastest and also that do not wash their hands! These are the worst of the Great American Unwashed!  Have these individuals ever thought of the impact they would have if they skipped the “free lunch”? Cause it is NOT FREE. Could the boss/company take this feel good event and the few other bones they throw the workers and actually do something of real substance with them? Say like add it to the employee’s salary? Hey I’d take 1 cent a year per hour extra! One time warm and fuzzy moments will not help in your retirement years! How about increasing my pension not decreasing it! I recall my place of employment when the company decreased the contribution to the pension plan, barely a peep from the work force. But when they did away with the Holiday Party at Christmas??? OUTRAGE! These examples were written to show that business has already fooled the American worker for the most part. Believing that “we are a family and lets break some bread together” RECAP> ANGRY over canceling the Holiday Party, no anger over pension cut. Has the majority of workers been fooled already? You be the judge.

Everyone can be promoted! The younger generation of worker seems to have bought in to this notion. Maybe it is not just limited to today’s youth. This dirty trick of management to get the worker believing with a little more work, just a little extra, will get you noticed. Of course management is stating this to anyone who will listen. Which in the end leaves management with many an unruly worker when they finally realize they aren’t getting the coveted promotion. Pitting one worker against the other in competition is bad for business, especially when it really isn’t a competition (that’s found out when it’s too late for the worker). Far too often than not it is those who kiss the ass the best as many of us know too well. The temporary increase in production may get “the boss” noticed and moved up and out before anyone realizes they are being screwed.

These are just a few of the many ways management and the Top 1%  gets over on their workers, dividing them with hope of promotion, favorite treatment, or just a hoagie.  Being seasoned in the workforce is a benefit as these tricks are clear to me, today. Sure I have been fooled early in my career. I have allowed myself to participate (not anytime recently) in some of these shenanigans. I have learned the hard way and so will you. The real problem is it will never go away unless we educate the youth on the dirty tricks played by the Top 1% and their management “team”.

Voter suppression and Gerrymandering

Gerrymandering, the act (or art) of redrawing electoral districts to benefit the party in power. Named after former Vice-President Elbridge Gerry. we live in a rigged system? It doesn’t get more rigged than this! Republicans and Democrats, one of the same cloth in regard to this behavior.

Different rules for each state, how are the districts redrawn? Some states rely on their legislatures others have advisory commissions or independent commissions. One state, my state of New Jersey is a politician commission. Using census records one of the above parties will redraw districts to “better reflect the electorate”. This the idea, but as we have seen and heard from court challenges some regard it as voter suppression.   Court challenges and overturning district lines are not uncommon.

image: Wikipedia.org
image: Wikipedia.org

The idea of ONE VOTE = ONE VOTE. This is what both Democrats and Republicans seem to want to get around. Controlling Congress this is the ultimate prize but not the only one. Moving around districts can impact every level of government, even down to school boards.

Controlling the voters by drawing and redrawing the political map under the guise of “better reflecting the electorate.” Does the country need one set of rules in regard to who and how electoral districts are drawn? If you are sick of establishment candidates and establishment politics, changing the system starts at the unglamorous, Gerrymandering.


Vaping and your health

The science supporting quitting smoking should have had the cigarette industry go the way of the dinosaur years ago. But I like many, ignored the FACTS, and kept firing them up. Some have decided to take up Vaping ,replacing cigarettes. Some people have just taken up vaping. For the record I am not a doctor or chemist. But I can certainly tell you what my cardiologist told me and why after the statement I never smoked again.

“This is what nicotine does in your blood stream Paul. You ever see someone lay bricks? They use mortar to hold them together. Nicotine is the mortar to the cholesterol in your blood stream. Naturally ever person has cholesterol and over time it attached itself to arteries in your heart and other areas. When you take nicotine in to your body it gets in to your blood stream and is tacky. Pumping through your body it attached itself to the cholesterol. Then another cell of cholesterol comes by sticks to the other adhered by the nicotine. Over time, it grows larger and larger in the arteries and veins, eventually blocking off and you have a heart attack, stroke and possibly die.”

Nicotine, for the discussion of heart disease, heart attacks and death I can’t imagine it making a difference of how you take in. I like many ignored the science until I had no choice but to listen. Be Smart Don’t Start!

Philly soda tax, where do you stand?

If you live in or around the city of Philadelphia you should be well aware of Mayor Kenney’s proposed soda tax. Taxing sugary beverages at the source, the manufacturers. And naturally this cost will be moved on to the consumers. The ads on the radio in protest use phrases such as “the drinks we feed our family will be taxed”.  Meant to raise the peoples anger against the tax man and move the masses to pressure the elected to vote it down.

coca cola
pic: defenderofthemiddleclass.com

Singling out and taxing certain items is nothing new. You can see it on your cash register receipt each time you shop. Every state is different in what is taxed. Cigarettes is the best example of taxing a product that is not viewed as healthy. Sin taxes and the impact are also generally regressive as the burden falls on those with the least options. The argument for better health and the battle against obesity is a moving argument. But is it honestly about the health of the public? If there was such concern why are cigarettes still manufactured and allowed to be sold?  Government’s framing of the issue  and labeling as a sin tax? Is only meant to sway the public to their side not correct the problem. It’s all about revenue nothing else.

Congressional term-limits and the career politician

The current election cycle from both the Republican and Democrat side has had one consistency, contempt for the establishment. I myself am on board for an outsider as president (if that person is Bernie Sanders). Previously I have written about voting outside of the presidential election cycle being equally if not more important than the presidential cycle. Back in 2013, 75% of Americans supported term-limits for Congress. Over the years the idea of term-limits has been on the mind of the voters. But as time goes by opinions change. So in this moment of voter retaliation against the establishment candidate, are term-limits a priority? You might think so.

In 1995 the Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that states could not impose term-limits on their congressional seats. The majority opinion believed that the qualifications for Congress were clearly covered by the constitution. An individual has to meet age, residency and years of citizenship minimums. The states cannot impose additional restrictions as requirements need to be the same across all 50 states. In his dissent Clarence Thomas wrote “Our system of government rests on one overriding principle: all power stems from the consent of the people.” U.S. Term Limits V. Thornton

The only way we will ever see term-limits for Congress will be by amending the Constitution. And in the end is it worth the work? U.S. Term Limits thinks so who according to their web-site are a grassroots movement standing up against government malpractice. But if the constituency desires to vote in a candidate year after year for 30 years shouldn’t that be honored. The division between the federal government and states should be maintained, right? This the Libertarian argument and hardcore Tea-Partier.

What is the answer? Do you believe term-limits would have a positive impact on government? I am with the majority in the belief that change is needed. Getting it done at the voting booth, a difficult task the preferable method, but not realistic. Money is at the root of the problem from all sides. Campaign contributions by corporations, individuals, foundations fronting for people like the Koch’s. Take the money out of politics and you might find a different game. Could federally sponsored elections be the answer?  Or a spending cap on elections. The salary cap worked for parity in the NFL, why not elections?

Many questions asked. So what is the answer?