Friday, August 1, 2014

Right vs. Left, Who is really correct?

I've been binge watching documentaries due to a shoulder injury that has left me a bit sedentary for a number of weeks. My viewing taste varies but inevitable I find myself watching topics on what drives our societies. From the earliest records, the present and into the future, the driving force behind our evolving social strata is human nature. Currently residing in the United States, places me in a time of extremes. Our current governmental structure seems, at best, corrupted with factions on the Left and Right crafting legislation and orchestrating crimes to further their respective agenda. Who, the Left or the Right, has the answers?

On the Right, we have people whom believe that man can create, progress and thrive in unchecked capitalism. While this is true to an extent, unchecked capitalism can and does infringe on the liberties of others. Whether it be pollution, depleting resources or taking advantage of labor, capitalism needs some oversight. I do believe that we could easily accomplish this with stronger whistle-blower laws. Billion dollar fines from a government that will not use those monies to improve a situation is not the answer. Instead some well-meaning politician will spend those monies on a feel good project. One that big government sees fit to oversee, which uses 3/4 of those monies just to administer. Which brings me to another ideal of the Right, smaller, less intrusive government. This is an ideal that I think we all could get behind. When has the government done anything that has not had terrible unintended consequences? Also, bailouts for businesses should not be the job of the government. The Right regards this as both bad and good with no solid stance. It all depends on who happens to be benefiting from it.

On the Left, we have a pretty simple social ideal. People on the left want equality. Across the board equality. This is an fools folly. Why you ask? Simple, Human Nature. This quality we all have prevents us, both Liberal and Conservative from creating a perfect utopian society. We have crafted a system of government that tries to give all people a chance at the gold ring, but equality..socially, economically and judiciously will always be stratified. It sounds wonderful but it's unattainable.

Quick example: If we suddenly adopted a utopian, socially equal society, without a monetary base there would have to be some sort of system that equally distributed the resources. This system would have to be overseen by some sort of elected or appointed officials. Now, the way that this system would work would be to give resources to those who need it, but who would determine need? What happens when a resource becomes scarce? Who would be those that would work to make and provide these resources and would they be compensated at a higher rate than those that don't contribute to the work load?

You see, in a system such as this, Human Nature and Self Preservation kicks in. If resources get scarce, people start to horde them, taking more than their 'fair share'. People at the top will take the most resources believing that they are in a higher position and are deserving of more. People that work to provide the resources give up working because they get the same as those that do nothing. Society comes crashing down upon itself. We do not adhere to a hive mentality so therefore shall never be able to build a utopian society until we can quell free will and that will never happen.

So who is correct? Which ever side of the aisle you place yourself on, I don't believe either side is correct. A balanced approach is the only one that will stand the test of time. Our founding fathers knew this and addressed these issues in our founding documents. Maybe y'all ought to read them before placing yourself on the Right or the Left.

That's my two cents, spend 'em or put 'em in the dish for the next person.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It Won't Have the Desired Effect

We've become a nation of causes. The enviroment, phthalates in our plastic things, soft drinks, gay marriage and a living wage It's still coming up in the media, the topic of a wage increase to $15/hr for fast food service workers. Nothing the government comes up with will have the desired effect and here is why.

Here's a scenario:

On a busy street in a large city there is situated 10 restaurants. They are on both sides of the street and vary in tastes/offerings. In no particular order:

  1. McDonalds
  2. Burger King,
  3. KFC/Taco Bell
  4. Wendy's
  5. Friendly's
  6. Dunkin' Donuts
  7. Great Wall Super China Buffet
  8. Thai Express
  9. Bagels and More
  10. Joe's Hot Diggity Dogs
These restaurants have carved out a little chunk of the business and burble along happily making enough to survive a faltering economy. Then along comes Uncle Sam and imposes an immediate raise to all food service workers at $15/hr. Interesting things are about to happen behind the scenes that we never see. First, Mcdonalds, Burger King, KFC/Taco Bell, Wendy's, Friendly's and Dunkin' Donuts reduce the number of staff on a shift (ie get rid of people). Then they all begin to adjust menu and prices, no more dollar menu and it's becoming less affordable to take the family out for dinner. Friendly's is the first to shut the doors and close up shop, people lose their jobs. Mcdonald's, Burger King, KFC/Taco Bell and Wendy's all experience drops in patronage, which causes more lay offs and higher pricing.

Interestingly, Great Wall Super China Buffet, Thai Express, Bagels and More and Joe's Hot Diggity Dogs appear to be operating the same. If we look a little deeper it becomes apparent why. You see, Great Wall Super China Buffet and Thai Express utilizes undocumented workers. A handful of employees are on the books while quietly behind the scenes three times that amount are toiling away for under the table cash. I'm not just talking about illegal aliens, but also desperate people who want to work and will even take $8 cash under the table to survive. This allows Great Wall Super China Buffet and Thai Express to appear relatively stable as compared to the businesses that adhere to the laws.

Bagels and More and Joe's Hot Diggity Dogs seem to be business as usual as well, but behind the scenes we see that Bagels and More is a family owned operation. No outside the family labor is used and they have changed to a salary model for compensation so that the $15 an hour doesn't apply. It does however put a strain on family life and what used to be a happy family business starts to cause rifts within the family. The family begins to question whether or not their collective dream is worth the struggle anymore. They are considering closing up shop. Joe's Hot Diggity Dogs is family owned as well, but because it's got a limited menu, only Joe himself and his wife Jill work there. They used to have four other employees that they utilized on varying shifts to get away from the business and do paperwork, or even a vacation or two, but now Joe and Jill are working open to close five days a week. They are putting in 15 hours a day, 5 days a week. 75hrs a week, then add up the paperwork for each week that runs up into the 10 to 15 hour range, oh and don't forget the weekly deliveries that come Tuesday and Thursday that needs someone on site at 6am open for business at 10:30am. Joe and Jill easily clock 90 to 100 hours a week each.

Across the country franchises start to fail. No longer able to offer affordable food and exceptional service, franchise owners decide to get out of the business altogether. McDonald's, Burger King, KFC/Taco Bell and Wendy's all close up. Great Wall Super China Buffet and Thai Express continue business with more undocumented workers despite being raided by ICE several times. There seems to be no shortage of people that will work under the table now that all the national fast food places are closing. Bagels and More has closed because patronage dropped sharply after a few loud arguments within the family workers during business hours. Word gets around fast and people don't want to be part of that scene. Joe and Jill got a divorce. Joe's Hot Diggity Dogs sits empty and dark awaiting it's fate from the divorce judge.

Things are looking up though, a Mexican restaurant has leased the old McDonald's. An immigrant entrepeneur, Jose Juarez, has begun the process of opening up! Once he wades through the myriad of governmental beauracracies for licensing and ponies up the $200,000 in start up costs, he'll undoubtedly fill his back end with a few highly skilled employees!! Of course, Jose has a very large family back in Guatamala! It would be remiss of him not to have them come to take part in his wonderful venture! Wading through the myriad of governmental beauracracies has taught Jose to stay clear of the man and encourages his family to find other methods to enter this great country.

So this once bustling street, with 10 choices for food, now gives you the choice between Chinese, Thai and possibly future Mexican. All the food service workers whom used to work on the street are all gone. A few work for the Great Wall Super China Buffet and Thai Express for the same wage they made at the other places but under the table and not contributing to their Social Security, Medicare or taxes. The only franchise that survives is Dunkin' Donuts because, let's face it, people still got to have their Dunkin'! These three out of ten restaurants are feeling the pinch as well because of all the vacant businesses people tend to steer clear of that area. It just doesn't look appetizing anymore.

It might look good on paper, but I don't know too many liberals that run their own business. The unions would love to corner the fast food sector. It would bring great, if fleeting, power to the unions again. It took fifty years, but look what the unions have done to the manufacturing sector in this nation.

That's my two cents, spend 'em or put 'em in the dish for the next person.