Hypocrites and Monopolies

Ready for the Rave? I hope you are sitting down; it could get a little messy today. Capitol Resource Institute wrote a piece today called “Capital Bullies.” It really got under my skin – but not for the reasons you might think.

I feel Google has a noose around my neck and keeps pulling it tighter. We run google ads on our site to help us fund our writing, but it’s very frustrating to have to work so hard to have a political voice. Matt Barber faithfully submits articles to be published by us and often they were right on, but I refused in the end to subject my readers to filth.

Let me explain. Any articles containing the letters G-A-Y in them or their close cousins H-O-M-O… etc. (you get the picture) ultimately presents offensive ads; ads that I find distasteful and out of place. This is a family oriented website written by a (often) radical host, bent on discussing real societal issues. I have found it nearly impossible to ban all of the offensive ads that get displayed whenever articles on certain topics are published.

If you believe in true freedom, the ability to make informed choices, then we, as parents, as sisters, and neighbors should be able to control our Internet experience (not to mention that of our children). A step in the right direction would be to require webmasters to check an ‘adult content’ box to avoid displaying pornography into our homes, without our consent — the owner of the domain found liable and fined for offending our delicate sensibilities.

Individuals should be able to decide for themselves, if they want access to adult themes. Face it folks, it’s not all that difficult of a request to honor.

I don’t think I’m asking for too much. Heck, I’ve got the government telling me I have to strap myself to the wreckage (of my car), they tell us that it’s for our own safety. But don’t believe it. The facts tell a different story. The truth is they want to ticket us – any excuse is as good as any, I always say. The other side of the coin is this; it’s easy to find a body if it’s fastened down.

I’ll tell you the same thing I tell the kids. My car (house) – My Rules! The day our all-powerful government buys me a shiny new Rolls Royce, is the day they can force me to buckle up. It just ain’ta goin’a happen. Facts are facts. According, to the constitution I read, the government has no right to "protect" me from my own stupidity.

I have no idea what ads are being served up to our visitors. Google, Yahoo and most other ad generating engines – all base the ads they serve up on "user" defined values, so everyone’s experience is different. A parent that views adult sites and allows their child to browse websites on that same computer, could end up responsible for the child seeing adult advertisements.

Which brings me to my next – totally unrelated topic.

Doorway to Danger

When you need shaving cream at 10pm and you live in the mountains, choices are limited, but never fear Wal-mart is always near. Such was our lot in life tonight. My dear spouse ran out of shaving cream and so we traipsed down the "hill" to pick some up.

The store, I’m told, is required to be totally remodeled every five years — this being the fifth year… if you believe a certain customer service clerk. Needless, to say finding anything was a real challenge. My son trotted off as usual to check out the toy section, to locate whatever new treasures were to be found.

When we went to find him, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was livid with the choice of their relocation of the toy department. Get this… they had moved the entire lawn and garden department outside. The childrens section was moved into its place, near one of only three sets of doors.

I inquired as to why on earth they would move the childrens section to the most exposed section of the store. The section came complete with its own exit door, without a greeter or guard, which on most occasions only has one clerk. (Though, to be fair, the customer service clerk informed me that it is Wal-mart policy to provide a greeter for each exit. I personally have never found a greeter to be present at that door. Ever.)

For those of you that can’t see our concern, I’ll spell it out: the childrens department is next to an open door. Any nefarious pedophile could use it as their very own shopping aisle for the children they’re after. Most parents let their children wander the toy aisles while they shop. The ‘temporary’ placement of this section next to an unguarded door is a huge – and unnecessary – risk. In the world this has become I would not be surprised if this were exploited before the toys were back in the main area.

Voicing concern with the minimum wage clerk didn’t get us very far. She had better things to do with her time. I hope the children that are kidnapped don’t weigh too heavy on her conscience.

Fortunately, the clerk assures me this is a temporary situation, while they work on various areas of the store. Currently the pharmacy is under siege. It looks like a war zone. If you want my opinion, they would have been better off giving the employees a paid vacation and closing the store. The work would certainly go a lot faster. Surely people can do without Wal-mart for two weeks? But what do we know? We are just lowly shoppers with an eye for safety.

America – The New Third-World Country

Employment opportunities are scarce – or so we are told.

I’ve been listening for years to IT professionals complain about losing their high-paying jobs to overseas tech-workers. Do they have a legitimate complaint?

The problem is a complex one. U.S. firms are owned by capitalists who answer to no one, not even their stockholders. The bottom-line is making money. They expect to turn a profit each quarter and turn a profit they do. Corporate earnings are up throughout the country, while job loss is at an all time high.

Did technology workers really believe the gravy train would go on indefinately? What company can afford to pay their workers a $8,000 a week paycheck and still stay in business? Our government for one, I know this first-hand because my own husband worked on a (I won’t say which one) government project and worked extensive over-time, earning some very hefty paychecks. His pay rate $26.00 an hour at that time. He was eventually replaced with an H1-B Visa holder.

I can’t even fathom how much many IT workers were bringing home, when we hear about programmers who were earning $180.00 an hour.

Software developers, who earn $60 an hour in the United States or $30 in Britain, are available at $6 an hour in India. Data entry clerks, who cost $20 an hour in America, cost $2 in Calcutta.

Part of the problem lies in where many of the positions were located. Anyone, who has ever visited the Bay area in California, can tell you, prices are steep. The cost of living in the area is staggering.

So staggering in fact, a person earning $20.00 an hour in the area would be living below poverty level and could barely afford a room to sleep in. The rates for a studio apartment start around $1,250 per month. I never would have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes.

If property values were not so over-priced in the area, technical workers wouldn’t require such high pay rates.

In contrast, living in India is very cheap. A Newly built, furnished, 1950 sq ft, 3-bedroom condo, with swimming pool and health club, goes for a mere 18,000 Rupees per month ($395.00 US). This is located in an upscale neighborhood (adjacent to Kowdiar Palace), situated very close to hospitals, schools, with a spacious balcony.

A technical worker, living in India, earning $6.00 U.S. could easily afford to live in this condo.

In the early 1980’s we watched as Reaganomics was first ridiculed, then embraced by politicians. President Bush has attempted to use Reaganomics to fix our current budget woes. The concept is simple in theory, give tax breaks to the wealthy to encourage business expansion which trickles down to the masses in the form of new jobs.

I hate to break it to President Bush but this isn’t the 1980’s and times have changed. What worked well in previous economies won’t work today. In our new global economy of open markets and free trade, American will end up a third-world nation.

The tremendous profits corporate America is realizing, benefits stockholders and not middle income earners. As more and more high-tech, skilled-trades and factory-jobs are being exported we are seeing the market flooded with low paying service-oriented jobs.

If President Bush and Congress refuse to act in the best interest of American workers, it will be up to us to fix the problem.

Many citizens are feeling powerless today as our bills continue to mount and the job pool dwindles. But we can change the outcome. We have the ability to stem the tide.

Take a stand against corporate America.

  • Refuse to purchase items that are imported, especially those from China.
  • Refuse to shop at stores that import heavily. Retailers such as Walmart hurt more than help our economic future.
  • Refuse to do business with corporations that export our jobs. Hold off purchasing a new computer. Why not hire someone to build one for you instead?
  • If you own stock in a company that has moved it’s operators overseas, sell.
  • Start your own business, refuse to work for large corporations.
  • Stay informed and help educate your neighbors on the problem.

The only other option is to pack up the family and move to India, where you can earn next to nothing and live like a king.