Jul 092015

Some political statements I can’t let rest like Jeb Bush’s apparent gaffe about Americans working more hours.

When I initially heard the story, this moderate Democrat found herself defending what he said, before I read it.  Surely he was talking about the vast majority of underemployed people, though who fell through the rabbit hole after the 2008 economic crash.

That’s not what he meant.  The Gallup Organization is quoted in the above article as saying our average work week is 47 hours.

Many of my friends who have my same skills sets and experience and decades on this planet are still out of work or underemployed after the crash.  We need more full-time jobs, not full-time people working harder.

I thought about it more, and realized more of us in the work place working full time is what we need.   What are the plans the candidates  have to make this happen?  Bring them on.  I haven’t heard any, and I follow the clown car fairly religiously.

Sure my detractors will call me a socialist for adding this article about how the rest of the world sees us but its worth reading all the way through.  Don’t stop if you are turned off by the first paragraph.  It’s thought-provoking even if you don’t agree.  (Hey, I read Rush Limbaugh’s column today on the subject of Jeb, so I’m giving equally time.  So can you.)

I have traveled in Europe and I can corroborate the strange way in which Europeans view us (though most comments I’ve gotten are usually about guns, but that’s for another day.)

I read The Nation article last night and I thought about it today.

Where I’m going with this is that if we spent money on repairing our infrastructure instead of some of the stupid things past administrations have spent money on that we’re still paying on, we might have more full-time jobs that benefit society.

This business of working more hours doesn’t fly unless he means moving more people to full-time work.  Full-time work today is more than forty hours, due to the change in society.  If you are connected with that electronic box in your hand, you are working.

I speak from the bully pulpit on this because I was underemployed for about five years.  I worked for a Fortune  100 company and received (take your pick), a pink slip, reduction in force, downsizing, firing, let go, shown out the door, early retirement whatever you want to call it.  My company treated me well and I had a decent severance and health insurance for a year.  But I had three job interviews in five years.  Making lemons out of lemonade, I free-lanced which was very fulfilling but chasing the dollars every month was awful.  And freelancing doesn’t pay much and you get the pleasure of paying in your own Social Security et al.

So when I got a great job offer I went back to work.  I work weekends, and I take work home every night.  Yes, that is part of being a professional, and yes, I’m very grateful for the wonderful job opportunity.  But I don’t want to work more.  There’s not much more of me to give.

I wish Jeb Bush would come spend a day at my place of employment working as a personal care assistant.  You see, many of them are part-time and work other jobs to make ends meet.  I’m in administration — their jobs are much harder and they deal with personal issues all day long.

Jeb, I voted for your dad who was what we used to consider a moderate.  But I left the Republican party shortly after that when the extremists took over your party and brought their brand of religion of the party.  Your brother left a legacy.

I suspect you’ve got some of 41 in you — so I’m offering these suggestions.

  • How about a real jobs plan, one that focuses on rebuilding our country and the middle-class that has almost disappeared.
  • Find a way to help college kids who cannot get a job and have thousands of dollars of student loans to repay.
  • Get on board with our president’s plan about time-and-a-half for low wage workers, even exempt workers (some of them are the college kids with their first jobs, trying to pay those usurious loans)
  • Look at rail in the major urban areas that don’t have it, and for those that do let’s keep it going.
  • Retool our military for an ISIS world and stop messing in the sandboxes of century-old skirmishes we can only make worse (see article in The Nation above.)  I understand and support the need for a strong defense, but building and sustaining more missiles and missile bases seems so Old School.
  • And, finally, why are you giving Donald Trump hell over his comments?  Your wife is from Mexico — your children are half Hispanic.


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