Archives for : jobs

The Letter Series: Dear Employers…

To the CEOs, stock and share holders, Business owners, Efficiency consultants, and everyone who has ever played a decision-making role in the hiring, firing, or salary of another human being; Have you ever considered that maybe, just maybe, the best way to enhance your bottom-line and improve efficiency within businesses is to improve the atmosphere of the work place? Have you ever heard the saying “Happy employees are productive employees” and really considered what it would mean to actually make the work place a happy place for your employees to be?

Once upon a time, businesses like Apple and Google understood that concept and made the idea of working for their companies seem like the Shangri-La of employment opportunities. Droves of creative minds are still flocking toward their Employment Opportunity pages hoping to get into the promised land of gainfulWage Strike Livingl employment.

These days, jobs are hard to come by; not just because there are more unemployed people than there are jobs, or because the economy has made it easy for you employers to fire and hire folks and claim budget cutbacks. No. Jobs–good jobs–are hard to come by because  you have decided that the populous is undeserving of a proper living wage.

Specters; the likes of your McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and Starbucks… Insisting that paying higher wages or offering full-time employment and benefits would force you to charge your adoring customers for your loss in multi-billion dollar profits… You should be ashamed of yourselves… but you’re not. Because you’re making skrillions. And you don’t have to care about you employees or we the consumers. While the nation was suffering through a depression, your shareholders saw revenues that no code of ethics could support.

Minimum wage RealityAnd let’s talk about how so many of your representatives and supporters keep trying to push the idea that the nation’s unemployment situation and the economic downturn can somehow be blamed on a “lazy,” “taker” mentality… Because apparently, all the government subsidies, tax breaks, and incentives that you suckle from the government’s generous teet… Tax dollars you only contribute to in the form of taxes withdrawn from your employees’ paychecks long before they’ve even had a chance to smell it. You know what… I’ll just stop there. I believe I’ve made my point.

Dear Employers,
You have done such a great job of increasing and protecting your shareholders’ investments, that you have completely forgotten that you can’t do that without your employees. What will you do when your former and prospective employees opt for the Cooperative Enterprise model of business development? What will you do when the masses realize that they have options that don’t require your participation?

Do. Better… or Lose. Everything.

From: The current and future employees of the world.

Wage Strike

Politics, Governments, & You… Oh My

Politics is everything. I’d end it there, but then that wouldn’t do it justice now would it?

The schools, the roads, minimum wage, medical care, personal freedom… everything we have and do as residents of our communities ‘is’ because one government entity or another allows it to be so. Extreme? Remember the other day when you had to wade waist-deep through garbage to get into your car that fell apart because it hadn’t been properly assembled, and then when you finally made your way to work, your boss told you that you’d be taking a 50% pay cut and working seven 8-hour days or he’d give your job to the 6-year-old who just shined his shoes and told him a good joke? No? Yeah, me neither.

We aren’t wading through piles of filth and garbage every day because the government-run waste management companies make sure that the streets get cleaned anPuppetsd that garbage is collected periodically throughout the week. The government also has quality standards in place that requires manufacturing companies to build and produce functional, safe, and relatively durable products in an effort to protect we consumers from potentially unscrupulous corporate entities. Legally, an employer can’t drastically reduce a wage and implement a 7-day work week without notice nor can they employ a child to work more than a specified amount of hours per day, per week.

When people claim—usually with an air of arrogance and misplaced pride—that the government and politics has no effect on their lives, I am instantly forced to take a step back in order to stop myself from physically removing their sense of personal freedom and space while exclaiming “Who’s gonna save you fool? Who you gonna call?” Every time law enforcement agencies lose funding to some politician’s vendetta against protecting his constituents, and the crime rate mysteriously increases, and the same politician starts speechifying about society’s decline and the importance of cleaning up the streets, I want to shout “You mean you couldn’t see that coming?!?!” from the roof tops. Every time some talking head on Fox News has an oral shart about the government keeping out of their private lives and turns around to proclaim the evils of birth control while supporting some legislator who wants to require an invasive transvaginal probe to women seeking an abortion, I imagine both of my X chromosomes suddenly vibrating at a frequency high enough to make their heads explode… If only.

I hear you… “Reign… Why are you getting so political all of a sudden? You know it isn’t right to discuss politics in mixed company.” “Why?” you ask… because over the next eight, yes, 8 months we’ll be getting bombarded with political campaign ads, hot topics, budget talks, infrastructure improvements, and one scandal after another… And I want you to pay attention. I want you to make it your business to make sense out of what they want you to believe. I want you to require yourselves to get involved with the process that pulls the puppets’ strings. I want you to finally pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Most of all, I want you to exercise the little power you were given come November and vote based on all the shenanigans we’ll laugh at and logic we’ll slay. I want you to give a damn about climate change, health care, the minimum wage, legalization of marijuana (and all the other illegal intoxicants), foreign policy, the LGBT community receiving equal rights under the law, genetic modification of our foods, and the rising cost of living that none of we “Common folk” can keep up with. I want all of this, but more than anything, I want you to require it of yourselves because there isn’t one facet of our lives that can’t be managed or tampered with by a government that’s often more interested in what their corporate sponsors ask of them than what “We the People” need to keep this very tangled web from being blown apart by the winds of change.

Your homework: Pick an issue. Any issue. Get passionate about it, and share it with the class. Animals, education, entertainment, medication, new stuff people aren’t talking about, old stuff that people seem to have forgotten… whatever it is, I want to know about it…

Oh, and, if you haven’t already, Register to vote.

A Happy New Year: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Hello and welcome to our second week of 2014! There are many things I enjoy about starting off a new year: not choosing a New Year’s Resolution, hearing about what awesome member of the animal kingdom was chosen to represent this year in the Chinese Zodiac—2014 is the year of the horse—and the political sideshow resulting from the previous November’s election day. Thankfully, this year does not disappoint. If you follow current events like your elementary school social studies teacher taught you to, you already know what has me all kinds of giddy: Colorado & Weed. [Cue Applause]

That’s right folks; Colorado has legalized the recreational use of marijuana! The enlightenment era has begun, albeit one state at a time. Disclaimer: I have never and never will be in favor of *MY* personal use of drugs. I barely drink. I won’t smoke. Those things just don’t appeal to me. However, just because I choose to live my life a certain way, doesn’t mean that I want to be the one to decide how any or everyone else chooses to live theirs. Variety is the spice of life and personal preferences are no exception.

I know what you’re thinking… I mean, I don’t live in Colorado. I don’t have any intention of personally reaping any benefit from its legalization. “Why Reign? Why is this such an exciting development?” Why, you ask?  Because it means that as a nation, we United States of Americans are one step closer to having restored “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the foundation of how we treat our people, and the rest of the world. It means that at least some State governments can put the needs of its constituents ahead of their personal senses of political correctness. But mostly it’s exciting because we will finally have a real-time example of what common-sense drug legislation can do for an economy; I’m talking taxes, jobs, and a much needed 21st century boom that can literally hold its own weight for generations to come. On the first day of legalized recreational Marijuana sales in Colorado, the revenue topped 1 million dollars… yes, that’s $1,000,000.00 in one day.

Now, I could talk about the jobs created by simply opening stores… perhaps I’d rather talk about the government jobs created specifically for managing the oversight of the “new” industry. Or maybe I should skip to the jobs that should be created for the sole purpose of reintroducing the people who were incarcerated under now antiquated laws… I should probably even make a point about the fact that many of them already know the best ways to grow and move product in the most efficient and cost effective methods. No. Better stick to the generic: Yay Jobs!

And of course there’s my favorite point of all… Marijuana is after all a “gateway drug.” Once the government gets the taste of the addictive tax dollars from Marijuana revenues, they’ll probably start checking out all the other cool taxable narcotics. That is what all the cool kids are doing… right? So let’s get a bit serious for a moment…

Has the illegal status of any drug solved any drug related problem? NO. Has it made any difference in the so called “War on Drugs?” NO. Has it stopped people from getting or taking drugs when they want it? NO. Which kinds of people make up the greater population of those in prisons and jailhouses nationwide? The poor, the under educated, we the so-called minorities. More importantly, which group of people is making the greatest profit from the peddling and use thereafter of said narcotics? I’m not answering that question because you should already know the answer.

Let me step back so you can get a better picture of what I’m getting at…

The legalization of illegal intoxicants (sounds better than drugs or narcotics, right?) could make it less attractive to rebellious youths. It could make seeking help for rehabilitation easier for those ready to take that step. It might encourage the scientific community to do more research on the effects of drugs that is more objective and less presumptuous. It might help suffering cancer patients feel more comfortable seeking the relief that marijuana has been clinically found to provide. It might help find other medicinal uses for other intoxicants. I highly doubt that anyone who has not tried any drugs will run out and start snorting, injecting, or smoking just because it’s legal. More often than not, we want those things that we can’t have. Now that it’s no longer taboo,  I can’t imagine someone like me waking up one day to hear that intoxicants are no longer illegal and deciding to go buy a bit of Crystal Meth, some ecstasy, or even an ounce of Purple Haze. I just don’t see it.

As a matter of fact, even if present-day non-users were to start using just because it’s no longer illegal, the worst that could happen would be an increase of happy people walking around seeing flying monkeys and talking to street signs. There might be an increasing amount of people “trippin” out for no apparent reason. There would probably be a huge increase of absenteeism in schools and the workplace. Companies might have to include a “Coke Hour” or periodic “Weed Breaks” in their daily schedules. There could be bars with the different kinds of Ecstasy on their menu.

Businesses could give people who don’t do drugs higher salaries because they need fewer breaks throughout the day and have an easier time actually getting their work done. Commercials and TV shows would be sooo friggin funny–because half the people on creative teams would be on one hallucinogen or another.

But I digress… [Figuratively stepping forward, returning to our present reality] What we have now is one state serving as an awesome example of how government can get out of its own way and use something that people are unwilling to give up to their advantage. I think it’s Tony the Tiger level Grrrrrreeaat! So here’s hoping for more governmental #EpicPass moments. Considering Washington State and the city of Portland, Maine are in the process of solidifying their marijuana sales regulations, it looks like this might not be the last time I have something to applaud the government for this year. Maybe we can finally get our tax dollars’ worth out of them after all.