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 stuff..work 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.
THIS GUY GETS IT
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.
SPEAKING OF TOM WOLFTwo 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.
(Photo: Wolf Facebook page).
MOSCA IS BACK!!!!!!(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!
CLUCK CLUCK CLUCK
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.
ECTVECTV 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.
SUNDAY MAGAZINEThis 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.
BOLD GOLD COMMUNITY FORUM
SUE HENRY’S SPECIAL EDITIONTune 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.
BUDDY RUMCHEKWant 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!”
KAREL ON THE STREETTune 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.
CORBETT’S SOMEBODY’S WATCHING MEEvery 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.