Thursday, August 28, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2719, August 28th, 2014


The other night I was lying in bed and listening to WARM The Mighty 590 like I used to do as a boy. There was a deejay on via satellite by the name of Kevin who was doing the rundown of the year 1981. One of the news factoids he presented was that the minimum wage was raised to $3.35 an hour. It has been 33 years since then and the minimum wage is now $7.25 a hour. A raise of $3.90 in three decades. The business people will tell you that if you pay people too much, jobs will be lost. I don’t understand that because even The Wall Street Journal has stated that minimum wage workers only make up 2 percent of the work force.
Since 1994, the US economy has grown nearly 60 percent. This huge increase in productivity is due to automation, the internet, and other improvements in efficiency. But it's also the result of Americans working harder—often without a big boost to their bottom lines. Oh, and meanwhile, corporate profits are up 20 percent
Here’s what I can never, ever understand. If corporate profits are up, why are wages so low? Adding insult to injury is that fact that with wage stagnation, prices have gone through the roof. Wage earners are paying more for goods than ever before with less. Corporate bosses will tell you how their companies need to “compete”, but at the same time they’ll acquire billion dollar companies to “grow” But yet they will do nothing to “grow” their most important resource, people.
It does take money to make a company profitable. But it also takes a workforce too. In the last two decades workers have been getting the short end of the stick because a company will tell those people to take a walk. As a matter of fact, it seems companies want more experienced people to vacate.
State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski gives a great speech on the American worker. He says that he doesn’t begrudge the Executive or business owner getting a brand new car because as the “job creators” proclaim, “they took the risk”. BUT Pashinki reminds all of us that businesses, quality businesses would not exist without dedicated workers. And that worker is one of the reasons why the “job creator” has the new ride.
My conservative friends will chide me and ask, “Did a poor man ever give you a job?” The answer to that is no. But just because the “businessman” did well, doesn’t mean the people supporting his product in sales, on the line and in production need to be kept down.
In my own career, Radio and TV sales commissions went down, not up. Yet mergers created more money in the till. With travel, commissions were cut over and over again. To me it was always counterproductive to slash your sales staff’s ability to make more revenue.
There are many who blame the President on a weak recovery. The fact is economies grow when people buy stuff. But when wages are low, how much can you buy without getting in debt? In the first part of this century, everyone had credit cards (even people who should never have received them) and people spent. But by 2008, the piper had to be paid. The faux middle class was propped up by generous credit which led to predatory practices among the banks.
Our country is now in a recovery but it is not robust. The reason is that the majority of workers who spend money on goods can’t afford them with the wages they are being paid. Most people I know run things into the ground until they break. Not many people are boosting the economy.
The sad but laughable part of all of this is that the titans of industry with the million dollar bonuses are going to have a comeuppance when they start scratching their heads as to why people won’t buy their products. The erosion of wages in this country has for the short term enriched the corporations, on a long term basis it will destroy them. Mainly because when the current young to middle age work force gets everything they need and want, then they’ll stop buying.
So happy Labor Day weekend and when you want to splurge a bit, remember what “they” are paying you and take stock. For the most part union strength in this country is just a distant memory. Bu workers need to form their own personal union. If you buy what you need instead of what you want, the fat cats will wonder why sales are down. They’ll first blame it on their beleaguered sales department because they’ll tell the poor bastards “they’ve lost their passion”. But sooner or later it will compute, the people who buy their for them. When they don’t have money, they’ll only buy the essentials. And they’ll buy CHEAP. And the “job creators” will piss and moan about how they can’t compete with the big box stores! So if they choose to be parsimonious, i.e. cheap, ..they’ll pay in decreased profits. Then they’ll get the message.


If you listened to Tom Wolf talk about wages and his company you’ll know why people are supporting him. This is from Wolf himself on a question Wolf he keeps getting from folks around the state.
People often ask me why I share 20-30 percent of my profits with my employees.
I do it because it's right, but it's also really smart business.
If the company does well, it's not simply the result of my decisions -- it's because our success is the outcome of a lot of people working really hard throughout the enterprise.
I've always believed prosperity is only real when it's shared broadly.
That's true in my company and it's true in an economy the size of Pennsylvania.
I want to be a governor who brings people together and focuses on creating good-paying jobs for the middle class.


Two big deals this week, he’s leading in the polls by almost by almost 2 to 1 and he has received the endorsement of Roberto Clemente Junior.
Tom Wolf with Roberto Clemente, Junior. (Photo: Wolf Facebook page).


Elise Mosca from TV and Twitter. (Photo: Twitter).
Elise Mosca the contestant on the reality show “The Bachelor” is back in class at the Wilkes Barre Area School District. So many people say Mosca does not belong back in the classroom because of being on a reality show. Unreal. Mosca was on a network TV show watched by millions. (A dubious choice if you ask me but people were viewing). She did a video that hit You Tube. A boring video. Compared to some of the alleged conduct of a certain female school teachers, she’s a nun! Let her be. Back to school Ms. Mosca. Best of luck!


So the chicken debate in Luzerne County has now gone to the Planning Commission to see if people in 23 municipalities could keep up to four hens on properties. . The County Council voted 6 to 5 the other night Opposing it were Edd Brominski, Kathy Dobash, Linda McClosky Houck, Eileen Sorokas and Rick Morelli.
When I was a kid growing up in Pittston there was a guy who had chickens in his yard. In a pen. Never bothered me but I was a kid, what did I know. But this week former County Council candidate Mike Giamber penned an e mail regarding this issue. The guy made sense.
The proposed county zoning amendment allowing chickens in certain residential districts may not be a good idea. Poultry should not be allowed within residential areas unless the parcel of land is say at least a couple acres in size and the chickens are kept approximately 100’ or so feet from the nearest lot line. The impact or fallout of allowing poultry/farm animal in populated residential housing areas may cause harm to a community’s desirability factor, property values and nearby neighbors. If the chicken ordinance is approved, it may also open Pandora’s Box. Be prepared for pigs, goats, turkeys and so on. Where do you draw the line regarding farm animals in residential areas?
In addition, I can tell you first hand this County’s Zoning Office is not equipped to enforce existing ordinances and variances. I have several stories and pictures that would (should) shock you.
I ask Council to please consider applying your limited time and energy towards fixing that which is broken, rather than breaking that which is not.

But the quote of the day came from Council member Steve Urban Senior who proclaimed "The point is about freedom, how much freedom are we going to take away from the American people?
Here’s the big secret about this. I can now reveal it. It’s all on Obama!!!! First the chickens, then the guns.



ECTV Live takes a look at the important work of the Scranton Area Foundation on its next schedule of programs which will begin on Tuesday, September 2nd! David DeCosmo hosts the Public Affairs program which can be seen on Comcast CH 19 in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties and CH 61 in some other locations. The program airs throughout the week twice a day.


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Dr. Shivkumar Hatti from Sequoia Behavioral Healthcare about suicide and depression in the wake of Robin William's death.
Brian speaks with local comedienne Teri Lee Granahan about her comic inspirations and career.
And an encore of Brian's interview with Greg Snyder & Christina Evina form the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society about their upcoming "Light The Night Walk" at PNC Field in Moosic on September 20th.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:25am on Magic 93 and 7am on Good Times Oldies 590, WARM.



Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at noon on WILK FM 103.1.


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”


Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.


Every Wednesday at 5PM, Steve Corbett shines the light on a Public official with his “Somebody’s Watching Me” segment. Corbett picks an alleged public servant to eye ball and observe. Batten down the lawn furniture in the driveway and that e mail machine. There is nowhere to hide when “somebody’s Watching”. Wednesdays at 5 on WILK’s Corbett program.

Our 1974 logo.


Soyuz 15 carries 2 cosmonauts to space station Salyut ….NY Met Benny Ayala hits a HR in his 1st at bat..Soyuz 15 returns to Earth………USSR performs underground nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR ..An Express train runs at full speed into Zagreb, Yugoslavia, rail yard killing 15…. Launching of 1st Dutch satellite, ANS, from Vandenberg and US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site……in Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mayor Pet Flaherty discounts the idea that he has too little experience to be a U.S. Senator……and in Lackawanna County the Republican Commissioners Robert Pettinato and Charles Lugar come out in full support of the Lewis Lee ticket in the 1974 Governor’s race…and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was Tell Me Something Good – by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan.


At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: the great chicken debate, I believe Mr Urban resides in Wilkes-Barre where I doubt chickens are allowed

At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Come on Yonk, according to Louie T, as he said on air, the only reason you like Wolf is because he gave you an autograph.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Come on Yonk, according to Louie T, as he said on air, the only reason you like Wolf is because he gave you an autograph.

At 2:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of hearing about Tom Wolf. The man's a hack, a right-leaning centrist... nothing at all to write home about. He loves his workers so much, he loves all PA workers! So, why isn't he standing on the picket lines addressing the fast food workers striking for $15/hour? Tom Wolf loves women, but I can't find any pictures of him at events with Planned Parenthood as they try to stave off constant right-wing assaults on a woman's right to choose. Tom Wolf hearts gays and lesbians, but hasn't issued more than a press release or two on their issues and only spoke up for their right to marry once he started running for office. Tom Wolf wants to take money out of politics, so he spent millions of his own money on his own race to ensure that he would win the nomination. He thinks companies should pay their fair share of taxes... except for his own. He stands with labor unions... unless it's out of state, then he's all for Right to Work laws (aka Right to Be Fired For Any Reason Your Boss Makes Up laws).

Tell me why I should vote for this guy again? Or why I should get others to vote for him? The argument that "he's not as bad as the other guy" doesn't fly when your potential replacement isn't great to begin with. There is seriously no point whatsoever in voting this year.

At 7:30 AM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Tell me why I should vote for this guy again? Or why I should get others to vote for him?

1. I believe he will offer a new perspective on governing in Pennsylvania. The last few Governors all came from the political factory of “what’s the next step for me”.
2. Wolf will work smarter as a Governor not thumbing his nose at programs (like Medicaid) that will help Pennsylvanians. His demeanor will also help with Legislation. The current Governor with a rock solid majority has not had much success.
3. Wolf understands manufacturing and can translate that success into viable job growth with decent paying jobs. Unlike others, I think he means it.
4. Wolf will match up Educational expectations with what job opportunities that need to be filled. Right now we operate on the assumption that everyone going to college should be in Marketing, Teaching or Criminal Justice. You will see a different slant that will make sense on Educational funding.
5. Gas drilling taxes. There is a recent report that outlines the damage drilling has done to the water supply. It’s out today. It only makes sense to tax the drillers something.
If you want four more years of what we have, fine. But most people seem to want a change. And that is rare for a state that hasn’t changed administrations in the middle of an 8 year cycle that has existed since 1954.
Why do you think the "traditional" Democratic constituencies rebuffed the same old same old in the primary and picked him? It wasn't about the money. People want change.

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By your own numbers, minimum wage has gone up 116% while economic growth has gone up 60%. Not like anyone working for min wage back then is still working for it now, but still, where do I sign up for a 116% raise?

Hyperbole aside, you are right about automation and efficiency. Minimum wage has helped that, because it has encouraged the boss to automate tasks he used to pay people entry level wages for. Now a machine does the job that a kid used to do, which gave the kid a way to learn responsibility and work his way into and up the work force. Nice job, Minimum Wage!!!

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adjusting for inflation, minimum wage should be $8.78.

I'm sorry but minimum wage is really entry level wage.

You should NOT be going from minimum wage job to minimum wage job. You should be moving ahead, accepting more responsibility, proving yourself valuable and hence, earning more with each move up.

If you're not moving up maybe you need to move and finding better opportunities. Learn or improve your skills.

It works.

Minimum wage is NOT a living wage. You get that when you prove yourself a good employee. If you need to know what a good employee is and does then maybe it's you.

Most people can tell who is ready and going to move on to greener pastures. We have an idea in high school and that's what so damn frustrating.

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Little-Known Labor Day Facts


The first Labor Day was actually a Tuesday. Tuesday September 5, 1882 in New York City, to be exact. The holiday didn’t officially move to the first weekend of September until 1884.

McGuire or Maguire?

The subject of Labor Day’s father is a little controversial. Historically, carpenter and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, Peter J. McGuire, has been credited for suggesting the holiday to honor the working man. Others claim that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, was the real founder. Maguire fans cite research that shows he suggested the holiday in 1882 as secretary of the Central Labor Union in NY.

Average American worker

The average American worker in the late 1800s deserved a break much more than the average American worker today. Typical work weeks involved 12-hour days, seven days a week, just for basic living wages. Some factories and mines even employed children as young as five or six-years-old.

The Parade That Almost Wasn’t

The first official record of Labor Day recorded it as a celebration that should host a street parade to show to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, then a festival for recreation and amusement. The first parade’s turnout was so paltry that it was almost cancelled, until two hundred marchers from the Jewelers Union of Newark Two showed up with a band and saved the day.

Canada was first

Yes, Canada coined the first Labor Day in 1872, ten years before the U.S., but it was more of a large demonstration for workers’ rights than a celebration of laborers.


Sorry folks, but it’s time to put away your crisp white linen suits and white leather pants, if you have them. Technically, it’s no longer in fashion to wear white or seersucker after Labor Day because summer is officially over.

Oregon Originals

Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in 1887, making Oregonians the original Labor Day hipsters.

Good Old Grover

Labor Day wasn’t a national holiday until President Grover Cleveland made it so in 1894. As a result, many resident hipsters of Portland, Oregon stopped celebrating Labor Day around this time, because it had become too mainstream.*

*This is a joke, not a fact.

At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Veteran of a long ago unpopular war which I came to oppose myself. I have objected openly to our recent war efforts and for so doing been called un American. I dont think war is the answer. That said, I believe we should do "Whatever it takes" to eliminate ISIS from the face of the earth. Surely we can secure some credible, experienced allies in this effort. The goal should be not just the total destruction of ISIS but also a message to other future such organizations from the world! They will be dealt with by their own rules and their leaders beheaded! President Obama has accomplished more than most would give him credit for, but what a "Legacy" a short, swift, surgical as possible, successful lightning strike would leave for the future, for our Country and for a much maligned Presidency and the Man at the top.


At 12:09 AM, Blogger David Yonki said...

You should NOT be going from minimum wage job to minimum wage job. You should be moving ahead, accepting more responsibility, proving yourself valuable and hence, earning more with each move up.

At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe (and based on personal experience) you must prove yourself at every job, even some government gigs for your entire life.

Sorry, you are not entitled to lifetime support. No one owes you a living. Jiminy Cricket anyone?

As the economy changes there will be instances like those you cite.

"This is happening every day here" supports my contention that sometimes moving to a different locale is necessary.

I would hope our local education, medical, law, etc. graduates who are unable to crack the poli-ceiling move to land jobs somewhere else. It's can be a scary thought but growing up requires risk.

If our area refuses to recognize and nurture its local talent then the talent must move to survive and prosper.

When a local media personality hits the top of the pay scale they MUST move on when they become dissatisfied with the rewards they earned. Oh, need I mention THEY must prove themselves every day and every book?

I hope I don't come off sounding insensitive but once to pool of talent dries up our employers will be forced to make an adjustment.

At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we're going to yell at people to get out of the country if they don't like X policy, then it's kind of hypocritical not to do the same to these companies.

First we cut mimimum wage skilled trade jobs/manufacturing by automating them and sending them overseas, so we're left with service and office jobs. Next we'll cut service jobs because cashiers and waiters will be heavily replaced by technology (already you can order at redrobin via an ipad). So we'll all be left fighting for whatever office jobs remain in this country.
We're not going to get anywhere unless we bring skilled labor jobs back into the US.

My company has a plant here... but we can't beat the production from our overseas plants because we can't get ahold of the raw materials within the US.

Companies that offer them are so in-demand, they're too backlogged to take/fill our orders.

The regulations imposed on businesses specializing in raw materials impede start ups and their development in the USA.


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