Monday, October 20, 2014

Some Things I Wonder About

Here are a few things I wonder about:

I wonder when restaurant and retail operators will determine the time is right for an increase in the minimum wage. Just as restaurateurs fought smoking bans inside their establishments on the pretext it would drive down sales, only to be proven wrong, they continue to argue that an increase in the minimum wage would hurt business. I cannot remember a time during the last 35 years when merchants and restaurateurs did not lobby against pay hikes, when they did not counsel the time was not propitious.

Yes, some stores and food establishments might suffer, but not because salaries were higher. They’d possibly go out of business because they were inefficient operators, or their locations were marginal, or their service and product were sub-par. 

I wonder when politicians will come to their senses and realize giving a few more cents to workers would benefit the whole economy.


Driving Gilda to and from work since she broke her wrist in mid-August has vastly increased my exposure to Sirius radio. Aside from the near 45 mpg fuel economy we have been enjoying in her Ford C-Max, we get to listen to Sirius. Often, it’s the BBC World News, but when we want music Gilda usually chooses the Pulse station. I sometimes opt for Bridge but she switches the station to one of her favorites. Until she explained the songs on Bridge, such as “Please Come to Boston” and “Dream Weaver,” were too melancholy, I never realized so many indeed were downers, which got me to wondering if the Bridge station wasn’t sending out a subliminal message to would be suicides that jumping off a bridge usually does the trick.


News reports continue to emphasize U.S. and allied aircraft are having limited results blunting the ISIS offensive in Syria and Iraq. Often, it is reported, ISIS has tanks and other heavy artillery while its foes have simpler, less impactful weapons. Which got me to wondering, how is it that with smart bombs and laser-guided drone attacks the allied coalition hasn’t been able to knock out the ISIS ordnance. It’s not as if these big guns are hiding. Newscasts clearly show them. Even if they were inside cities the U.S. (and Israel) previously demonstrated the pinpoint precision of aerial forces. So why the negligible results?


Regardless of political party it seems off-year congressional and senate candidates rarely want to be seen with the president, even if they share the same party affiliation. It’s happening with Obama and previously with George W. Bush. 

But I wonder why almost all political ads on TV, radio, billboards and printed flyers fail to identify party affiliation of the candidate. It’s particularly vexing when the roadway landscape is bedecked with all manner of political signs that leave one scratching one’s head about a candidate’s red or blue color. You’d think all Republicans would want to make sure they are not mistaken for an Obama supporter.

The failure to identify party affiliation can affect even the most tenured of elected pols. My U.S. representative, Nita Lowey, has served in Congress since 1989. She is the ranking minority member on the Committee on Appropriations. She is no slouch. Yet the flyer that arrived at our home over the weekend included absolutely no mention of her Democratic Party affiliation. I couldn’t tell you who is running against her, but, then again, anyone not familiar with Lowey couldn’t tell you her party alignment by looking at her literature. 


I ran this by my good friend Marty who’s okay with my posting this—I wonder why movies and TV shows invariably portray accountants as short guys and architects as tall, mostly sophisticated gentlemen.



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