The economy and how I would change things.
First, I am not qualified to change anything. I have been a printer most of my life. I have been both a success and a failure early in my life.
I am divorced from one woman and married to a wonderful woman. I have three kids. Paid child support for a good number of years and remained close to poverty stricken during most of the 80s.
What I was able to do with overtime and a second job was to keep my house during those troubled times. I am religious. I believe in God. I believe in his son, Jesus Christ. You need that background to know where I am coming from.
Any money I have, I inherited when my parents died in my late 60s. They died within a few years of each other.
I predicted the crash in 2007-2008 a few months ahead of time. My chief claim to fame is basically instinct rather than any great brain trust. I was Chapel Chairman(Union Steward) of the Dayton Daily News Composing Room for about 6 or 7 years depending on whether you count that I gave it up and became an assistant chairman for a while after I was chairman. Chapel Chairmen are voted in to office every six months. I did something right because despite all odds I was re-elected throughout those years and chose my successor. I took one of the most difficult tasks and straightened it out. The distribution of overtime was my idea. I put it on a fair and rotational basis that everyone could live with. It was a very good success for everyone involved. I resigned when my successor decided to discriminate against a member because he was actually in management. He was an assistant foreman that was discriminated against. Our Union was unique because we took responsibility for our management as well as those underneath them. It was a professional organization rather than a labor union as such. Foreman were responsible for keeping our trade on a professional basis. I have not seen anything like it since then.
The first thing I would attack would be unemployment. We need to make it feasible for people to upgrade their skills that they sell to companies. We need to restore their skills to make it feasible for companies to want to hire them. That means if you are stuck in a position where you cannot better yourself, we need to make that change. Nursing assistants need to become Registered Nurses with on the job training. There are dozens of other places where a training program on the job would help, not just medicine. The problem is we all have to make a living. It leaves most of us too exhausted to better our selves. That has to change. I propose we divorce ourselves from the college based system entirely and put training in the hands of companies that want employees with more desirable skills. So give them tax incentives. Change the laws in our states to make this feasible. Training them on the job is just as good as a higher education in a lot of positions. These positions are now out of reach unless they go back to school and get a degree. This is ridiculous.
I suggest we make testing for skill levels a priority. So a person can actually get the position by challenging out rather than going to a college.
Housing . . . If ever there is a place where slavery is enforced it is in our mortgage markets. With housing taking up half a poor person’s income, there is no way most people can better themselves. How do you save, when even a few days sick kills any attempt at saving money. Between rent and mortgages the poverty stricken have no chance at bettering their selves. I suggest a suspension on foreclosures for those that have lost their employment. I suggest that the mortgage payments be added on to the end of the loan until they have found employment. This allows them to keep their homes while they look. It will have to have rules. No one who is long term unemployed should be able to use this to cop out of paying a mortgage. We have to see employment applications every month they are unemployed. Even if someone is fired, they should have a grace period to get re-employed somewhere. It has to be liberal to work. We need to reduce the vacant houses in our neighborhoods and the best way to do it is to invest in the people that need it. We need a golden parachute here to keep our banks solvent. The only way I know to do that is to provide an escape law that allows people to keep their houses when they are down and out. The way things are now both the unemployed and the bank lose big time. Even if you sell the house for two thirds of the mortgage value you lose. Both the bank and the city government depend on revenues from our housing market. We have to prop it up rather than penalize people for misfortune at least on a temporary basis.
I also suggest a golden parachute for people fired. Give them unemployment checks while they look for employment. This takes a tremendous burden off the welfare system. I have seen people fired for little or no reason, especially in our so called “Christian” companies that are tax exempt. They are some of the worst offenders on record. I have seen them fire a person with 40 years service because they could not make it into work during a snow blizzard of record proportions. We need to stop all abuses like this. I suggest if they have that kind of employment record we take their “charity exemption” away from them.
I have not addressed government reform. It seems to me we have spent a great amount of money keeping banking solvent. Yet our people on Social Security are going to be asked to make adjustments. Our pensions are at risk. Well, I suggest the banks are going to have to make some adjustments in how they do things. We are asking our Social Security to go direct deposit. Yet we are failing to support our Postal Service which depends on people getting checks in the mail. Making direct deposit mandatory is stupid. Which bank is going to fail next. Is your money going to be direct deposited there? I suggest that we do away with mandatory direct deposit all together. If someone chooses to get a check in the mail, let them continue to do so.
Another area is direct paying of bills, with a surcharge to the customer for handling it. I suggest that should be illegal. If you want to continue to mail your bills then you should have the right to do so.
Doctors are going broke. . . Well, that is because of $229,000 to produce a doctor. I suggest we need to revise the way doctors are forced to do things. But that is the subject of another article. They are basically wise in medicine and not capable business people. I like my doctor. He is a good doctor. I think his office staff is being run wrong. Not his fault. He is not a business oriented person. It takes business management to run an office.
Well, that is how I would straighten out a lot of what is wrong with our economy. This is a very complicated issue and needs someone a lot smarter than me. But I am seeing it from the bottom up. Not the top down.
Have a good day.