Big and small

Big Business (1929 film)

Big Business (1929 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Republicans support SMALL government and BIG business. Democrats support SMALL business and BIG government to regulate BIG business and ensure the survival of SMALL business. Without the regulation of BIG business by BIG government, SMALL businesses are subject to the predatory practices of BIG business, witness Standard Oil in the past and WalMart in the present. Mom and pop small businesses on Main Street are fast disappearing in America thanks to big-box stores and the outsourcing and off-shoring of American jobs. Many Americans cannot afford to purchase American goods and services because wages have not kept pace with American productivity. The average wage in America should be twice what it is now and it would be if not all the benefits of gains in productivity had not gone to the 1%.

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Walmart and the NRA

Cover of "Wal-Mart Effect"

Cover of Wal-Mart Effect

The Wal-Mart Effect, How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works–and How It’s Transforming the American Economy by Charles Fishman. I read this book several years ago, and now as I re-read it, something just jumped out at me as we try to eneact gun safety measures. Walmart does not want us to know how Walmart affects the country–employment, wages, healthcare, and quality of goods and services. And the NRA does not want the government collecting statistics on gun violence. That tells me that both Walmart and the NRA have something to hide, something that they fear the American voter might use  to decide to support restrictions on how both operate.

Bushmaster

The AK-47 was first adopted in 1949 by the Sov...

The AK-47 was first adopted in 1949 by the Soviet Army. It fires the 7.62x39mm M43 round. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The American-made Bushmaster assault rifle used in Newtown and elsewhere has a list price of $2685.00. I am surprised that discounters do not offer a cheaper made-in-China version so that more people can afford to arm themselves. The Chinese version would have the advantage for the rest of us that it would be poorly made and might jam more often, saving lives.

Retirement

 

Large treaded tire, named as a "super swa...

Image via Wikipedia

Definitions:

 

  1. Retire: stop working
  2. Re-tire: put 4 new tires on a car or truck.

If Mitt and others of like mind have their say, the first definition will fade from our vocabulary as the retirement age is raised until no one, except the 1%, will be able to retire. Not everyone will be able to continue working until the retirement age because the human body wears out with use. Some jobs are more physically demanding than others. I retired at nearly age 70, and I would still be working at almost age 71 if I were able. In a hospital working with patients, one is expected to assist patients if they cannot help themselves. Frequently the hospital worker’s back is stressed, and my lower back is still tender after a year of retirement. We were trained with an inflatable air mattress device that made patient transfer from gurney to x-ray table easy, but the device was never put into widespread use. A budget problem I suspect.

 

When I was age 50 and working as a hospital aide, I decided to switch from 8 hour shifts to 12 hour shifts to increase my income. Working 8 hours per day at that time was not a strain, but I found that I had to pace myself to survive 12 hour shifts. Sitting down between tasks became a necessity. I understand that at WalMart, a letter from your doctor is required if an elderly employee needs to sit during working hours. I also understand that the job of greeter at the entrance to WalMart is being phased out. One less employment opportunity for the elderly.

 

Please see Predatory lending and corporate restructuring | Age discrimination