Monday, April 5, 2010

"A worthless fuckin' Buddha head."

Last night I was reading from Progress Paradox and a chapter on living wages really hit home. Despite the crappy economy of the past few years, the US is still pretty affluent yet you can work an honest forty hours a week and be considered poor. I know you make your own way in life, but it doesn't seem right to not be able to live on an honest wage. The book advocates raising the minimum wage to more than $10 an hour. Since the work year is roughly 2000 hours, $10/hour works out to $20k/year which isn't great, but is livable especially since you wouldn't have to pay much in taxes. A higher minimum wage would raise prices, but I think most people buy too much stuff as it is. Wouldn't you feel better about shopping if you knew the person who made your crap or grew your food is able to feed his own family? Maybe if you're a WalMart shopper, you might focus only on the low prices and not the social consequences. You pay just as much, but not all the payment is monetary. The environment and community take a hit as well.

Rather than turn this post into an anti-WalMart rant, let me focus on the social justice aspect of raising the minimum wage. I think most of us would believe that everyone has a right to pursue his own path of happiness. While we don't want to give too large of a handout, we should try to level the playing field by ensuring you have a chance if you work. To compensate for higher prices and whatnot, I would scrap most public assistance programs since they would no longer be needed. Besides people who don't have much know how to stretch a dollar better than the government. The government rarely does anything efficiently and it might help restore some pride if people are able to work themselves out of poverty or debt.

I feel strongly enough about this issue, I'll write my Congress folk. I doubt anything will happen, but I'll be optimistic since a small rolling pebble can set off an avalanche.

I noticed some jerks had gnawed a bit on a couple of my new trees in the backyard. I gave them a good spraying with Repels-All tonight, but I'll probably get some wrapping over the next couple of days. I didn't spend my Saturday afternoon buying and planting trees just to feed the rabbits. I figure they're the culprits since the bark is chewed down low. If it were deer, I think the new branches would be gone. I've been watching my trees carefully and I think all but my red delicious are going to make it for sure and that dude has been having problems since late last summer. It was pretty healthy when I planted it, but faded quickly.

School is out around here so the roads were nice and empty this morning and work was pretty empty as well. I'm not complaining since it was a little quieter.

The national championship game is on right now, but I'm not sure I feel like watching. I might hit the hay early. I'm certainly tired enough.

I got a letter about the Spansion settlement today. It seems the rumors were true and the lawyers are only going to take 25%. However, Spansion wants to recover the money it spent on health insurance for us after it let us go. I'm just going to assume I get nothing so if I get anything, it'll be a welcome surprise. I need to stop counting my financial chickens. This Thursday is going to be interesting because: it's payday, I'll find out if I got a bonus, I might get my patent bonus and I'll find out if I get a raise. I'll try to have no expectations here as well to avoid crushing defeat and disappointment.

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