Editor: We should not be surprised nor disappointed nor frustrated at the antics of the inmates that seem to be in charge of the asylum in Washington D.C., if we only remember the four main goals that drive every political agenda.
The first goal of those in power is to remain in power. Every speech, every action, every law enacted is designed, ultimately, to secure the power base. True opinions are unimportant, the party line is all.
The second goal of the power elite is to extend that power. There is no status quo. You are either gaining or losing on a daily basis. The daily poll results are all important.
The third major goal is to finance the agenda of the majority. This is done with taxpayer money. Politicians have never been very frugal with taxpayer money. Their programs are advanced with little regard for economic reality and total regard for political consequences.
The fourth goal of any government is to silence, subdue, or eliminate opposition and opponents. Despots and tyrants kill their opponents or take them away in the night. Dictators imprison their foes or run them out of the country. In this,our more civilized country, we resort to character assassination, or attempt to make the critics irrelevant by belittling them or accusing them of being un-American.
Today, it seems, the most damaging thing one party can do to another is to use their own words, actions, or voting record against them; which is,of course denied by the accused. The most that they would ever concede is that they 'mis-spoke.'
Unfortunately we can never really tell what kind of leader a person will be until after they are in office. Some of our most promising leaders have failed miserably while some of our more underrated men have become our greatest and most admired presidents. The key seems to be personal character, insightful wisdom that looks beyond politics, and a sense of history and of the future. Still, the bad Washingtonites seem to never go away.
It is said that the Greek, Socrates, walked the streets of Athens with a lantern in his hand - looking for an honest man. Today, we need a searchlight!
Thanks from Cowboy Poetry
Editor and Friends of “Cowboy Poetry”: As we catch our breath and reflect upon the recent events of this year’s (19th), Western Music & Cowboy Poetry Gathering, several things come to mind.
A big “THANKS” for so much support from the Heber Valley, including hundreds of volunteers, Wasatch County, Heber City, Midway City, Wasatch School District and especially Wasatch High School and many more. Contributions from our sponsors are so important to the gathering. Our patrons--who buy the tickets, the art, the food and all the great Western stuff--are ultimately the source of our continued success.
We can’t tell you how important and gratifying it is to experience the “pitch in” attitude of neighbors and friends; really all the folks who made the events of Cowboy Poetry part of their life and time.
Some highlights this year were meeting and enjoying the new entertainers; honoring our old friends, The Sons of the San Joaquin and seeing lots of new friends that came to enjoy the experience, including folks from far away places. From the Cowboy Express Train and the Midway Steak Dinner Show, all the way through to Cowboy Church there were good times for all.
Happy trails folks; hope to see you on another day down the line.
Ted Caldwell and Crew
Editor: To the person or persons who steal kids turkeys: I want you and everyone who reads this letter to know just how low you went when you came into my back yard where my grandkids raise and keep their turkeys for the Turkey Sale at the Wasatch Events Center.
You went through two gates to get to the turkeys and then took the two biggest toms that belonged to a little special needs girl who went out each morning and night to take care of them. She is heartbroken to not see her turkeys out there and can’t comprehend what happened to them.
I just hope that you can live with yourself knowing that you took a little girl’s turkeys and broke her heart. The money she would have gotten at the sale was to help her mother who is a single parent and her brother and sister have a good Christmas but thanks to you not this year.
Dan A. Giles
General Statistics of Wages, Greed and Low Pay
Editor: This is a little late, but I felt a response was necessary to Dave Kennamer’s letter to the editor “General Theory of Wages and Greed”, Wave, 10-16-13.
Theories are nice, but statistics are more revealing and to the point.
In his first paragraph, Mr. Kennamer states that Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have no minimum wage, and “some have low unemployment and strong economies”. But this is the best part, hearing a capitalist explain the merits of low wages. Somewhere along the way, conservatives, capitalists, whatever, always leave out crucial parts of the actual conditions, to support their “argument”. For example; The above countries supposedly do well without a minimum wage. I googled “average blue collar wages for Denmark” and found this interesting tidbit, left out of Mr. Kennamer’s “theory”. A graph representing the top compensation, (benefits included) for industrialized nations, found in “The Atlantic Cities” magazine, showed the number of rank and dollar amount.
Norway #1 $57.53; Switzerland #2 $53.20; Denmark #4 $45.48; Sweden #5 $43.81; Germany #6 $43.76; US #14 $34.74; Italy #15 $33.41
Could we expect wages to go up to these levels here in the US, if we had no minimum wage? Doubt it, considering the exploitation of illegal laborers to pay less than the minimum wage already.
“Jobs are created by investors”, Dave claims, stating “Mr. Johnson and Mr. Gabrielson could pool their money and start a pizza business” .... Yes they could, but not where we already have half a dozen pizza shops already. It would be tough, without having the absolute best pizza in town. The key is having the demand for pizza, by consumers. You could open up 10 of them if you had the money, but if people aren’t buying your pizza, what good are these “investors and risk takers” in the job creation department, if the businesses fail due to lack of customers?
Mr. Kennamer states that “if you routinely underpay, your best employees will leave”. To where? When more and more semi skilled jobs are sent overseas for dirt wages, where are people to go for better paying jobs without having college degrees? In 1974, as a union carpenter apprentice in California, I made $6.25 an hour in my second year of a 4 year apprenticeship. Journeymen were making $13. 1 know guys today making $15.00 an hour in this “right to work state”, doing remodels for millionaires! How do you get money flowing into the economy without people having expendable income? When one pays rent, utilities, food and transportation, and has nothing left to go out to dinner or on a vacation, the economy suffers.
He claims that “employees are somewhat greedy too. How many think they should be paid less”. What? Personally, I’ve never heard of anyone saying that in my 59 years, but I know of a few people who could afford to make less. A lot less! The Wal Mart owners for one, and one of the candidates that ran for the presidency last year. He made $12,000,000 in 2011. What do you with all that money?
Silver plate your cars? Buy your kids an island somewhere? Have solid gold toothbrushes with camel hair bristles? This could go on and on, but back to my point.
According to the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign, in 1973 the richest 1% of Americans had 9% of our wealth. In 2007, the top 1% had 23.5% of America’s wealth! In 1928, before the Great Depression, the richest 1% had 23.9% of our wealth!
In a study done by the Fiscal Policy Institute of NY, NY, small businesses in 10 states that pay a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum, vs. 40 states that pay the minimum; The 10 higher wage states had a 5.4% increase in establishments vs. 4.2% for the mm. wage states; A 6.7% employee increase vs. 5.3%; a 24.5% payroll increase vs. 21.2% and payroll per worker increase of 16.7% vs. 15.1%.
The period between 9-1-1997 and 7-24-2007 was the longest period in America’s history, (since the minimum wages inception in 1938) without a minimum wage increase. The Great Recession started in late 2007.
In his last paragraph, Mr. Kennamer states that “when govt comes in and demands a higher wage, there’s a risk of paying more than can be captured with higher prices or less pepperoni per slice”. This sounds to me like the assumption that once the pizza parlor pays higher wages, the employees will take that extra money, and stash it in the Cayman Islands, never to be seen again until that person retires! Well, for Capitalists, I suppose this is what happens, but in reality, this money will start up the chain and end up in the hands of the job creators anyway. Most of them are either too greedy or too afraid to pay more, unless someone tells them to, like the government. If ALL of them paid more, all businesses would benefit eventually.
Seems to me that some countries can be prosperous, and have good wages for the ones who do the actual work. Why not here?