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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Reminders and lessons from the soapbox*

OK, I have the soapbox* out again - time for a refresher course.

1) There is NO government money! Do not expect government money to ever solve anything. When you hear the words "government money", "federal (or state) funds", "federal grant", "state grant", or anything similar, just substitute the words "tax dollars" or similar.

2) Corporations do NOT pay taxes! People pay taxes. You can tax a corporation all you want but the money comes from the customers or the owners. If the tax laws change to make corporations pay more, they just raise prices. WE pay the corporate taxes. So, when you hear people talk about raising taxes on businesses and/or corporations, just substitute the words "raise taxes" or similar.

3) (pay attention, most people seem to have a problem with this one) Companies and corporations do NOT exist to provide jobs or benefits to people! Companies and corporations are founded to make money for the founders and their investors. Jobs are created as needed to support that mission - making money. As for benefits, this is a relatively new phenomenon. For millenia the only benefit a job offered most workers was pay (and not always "money"). The shortage of workers during WWII combined with price and wage freezes enacted by the government required companies to come up with ways to attract workers. Insurance and other benefits were enacted and escalated to the point that a lot of people expect an entry level fast food job to offer insurance and other benefits. (see next point)

4) The salary scale provided by a job is NOT negotiated after getting the job! I am amazed at people that work a job (or in certain fields, like teaching) that do nothing but complain about the wages paid. There is a cry in the country now for a "living wage" in all jobs. All my life I have heard how teachers are underpaid. (BTW, they probably are, all things considered) So, if you decide to go into teaching you should realize you WILL BE UNDERPAID! Do not take a job at McDonald's for $7.50 an hour and then whine about how little you are making. In every job I have ever had or known of what a person was being paid was well established prior to taking the job. If a job does not pay what you consider fair, DON'T TAKE IT! If people really believe McDonald's pays too little - DO NOT TAKE A JOB THERE! The reality is, if people will take the job at a certain level, they are paying enough. That is how pay should be determined, with how much pay is required to get employees to do the job. A minimum wage is totally against a free market economy. Every job should be offered at whatever wage a person is willing to take a job for. (most people cannot grasp this one at all either - I have had many an argument about this one) In further consideration, I am not saying that people should not be given raises based on merit. I am commenting on people that think take a job that pays $8 a hour and then strikes or pickets because it does not pay $15 an hour.

5) People here in the U.S. illegally should be called ILLEGAL! Not, "undocumented worker", or some other attempted innocuous term. The U.S.A. is the only country in the world that is not protecting its borders! If we have no borders we are not a nation at all, just a place. One of the few responsibilities required of the government by the Constitution is to provide secure borders against invasion. I know this country was founded and mostly built by immigrants. I know immigration is needed. The illegal entry of people has nothing to do with immigration.

6) Requiring a photo I.D. to vote is NOT illegal, racist, discriminatory, or bigoted! We require I.D. to purchase tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, and even Sudafed. Get real people! If someone can show me where requiring a photo I.D. has prevented someone from legally obtaining cigarettes and/or beer, or slowed down the consumption of same; you may have an argument. Voting responsibly is one of the most important duties a citizen has. To insure that every vote is authentic is only proper, moral, and legal.

Enough for now. But I have a reward for you that came this far. You may have noted the * after the word soapbox in the title and the introduction. Have you ever wondered about the phrase? (if you are young, have you ever heard the phrase?) In earlier times, before corrugated paper (incorrectly called "cardboard" by many) boxes to ship consumer goods, wooden shipping boxes were widely used to protect the goods. Soap was one of the first widely distributed and shipped consumer products. Most cities had a wealth of well constructed wooden boxes around, a large portion of them originally containing soap. Prior to radio and TV for entertainment and news broadcasts, people would get one of these "soap boxes" and stand on it to deliver their messages. People would gather and hear speakers on subjects from politics to religion. This became a popular way for political messages to be disseminated. So, the phrase "on his soapbox" became popular to mean anyone "preaching" a message.