I Believe Large Retailers Fear Their Employees!

It would seem we've become more of a socialist society than capitalist one, which I think is hurting many businesses' profitability. Today companies in general are rightfully worried about their image as good corporate citizens. A larger part of that has to do with how employees perceive them, not the actual reality of situations that happen. I'm going to share one situation how and why retailers fear their employees.

Most candidates desperate for a job are not totally transparent with their interviewers. Many retailers I know go over with each candidate the needs of the business pertaining to the position. Maybe saying we are looking for those with open availability, we need you to show-up 10 minutes before, and these are the duties and expectations we require daily. Are you able to do these things? If the candidate meets the criteria and agrees a job offer with those expectations is presented for the person to sign. Many have what I call a hidden agenda, wait out their 3 month probation period, and then out of nowhere bring-out their issues. Something along these lines, I'm not sure if I mentioned this to you but I have these health issues. I went to my physician yesterday who has provided me with a doctor's note. I no longer am able to do all my duties, need Tuesday's off for treatment, and because of these health issues require a revised schedule. Now the dilemma begins...

The company hired that employee to work certain hours, explained it in the interview piece, and had them sign the job offer stating all. If they fire the employee because of no longer being able to meet the needs of business could be a huge problem. Maybe be considered possible discrimination, labor board issues because of the doctor's note. The worst part if the employee writes on social media how the company was not compassionate to their issues could be devastating. If you remember at the beginning of this I mentioned we've become more socialist than capitalist, who knows if some group with the same health issues doesn't start rallying against the company. It doesn't matter the company was transparent with that employee, today it is all about perception not reality.

It really is terrible that so many people are having all kinds of health and mental issues today, companies didn't go into business to be non-profit organizations, but to provide jobs and opportunities to those who will help them grow. It's not right that any company should fear the people they pay to work for them, make employee accommodations that effect their bottom lines, and that the public has become so judgemental not looking at both sides before reacting. The problem is also with those employees who do not have those issues now have to pick-up the slack, feeling favoritism, and becoming disengaged, maybe even stress-out work related costing the company even more money. I understand that people need to make a living, but there are too many exceptions simply because employers fearing their employees! By Arnold Nadler

The Winds Of Change

The point of conjecture in this Presidential election is not the bravado of Trump but having this nation regain the stature both nationally and internationally we had decades ago. To do this is to recognize that one of the most questionable tactics by the media today is placing our future at risk. With the most comprehensive push to curb carbon emissions coming from this recent Paris Climate Change Conference one has to wonder considering the Republican Presidential contenders state of denial on climate change will this accord be ripped apart like they are trying to do with the Affordable Health Care Act if anyone of them gets elected? Yet, the media all they are focusing on are opinion polls on who favors who. They are completely ignoring one of the most important solutions to the dangers already in play by our continued consumption of fuels. Energy sources that have only contributed to the acceleration of so much devastation of the earth's environment.

It would make good sense to use this Paris accord as a first step in ushering the changes that are so desperately needed to repair our infrastructure, secure our energy grid against all contingencies, and to implement the fuel sources that will power the world into the future and the third and final industrial revolution. We have the technology, the resources and the availability to ride ourselves of the fuel that powered the first two industrial revolutions. It has been for some time that the only reason why the US hasn't led the world in ushering in alternate green energy sources to power our nation is the enormous amount of money still generated by fossil fuel. It is this blatant greed by the oil conglomerates that have caused so much anguish, misery and devastation all around the world. We continue to see the horrendous atrocities committed by leaders of nations, organizations and individuals who are attempting to capitalize on retaining their hold on oil and the profits that it continues to bring in.

The first step to ensure this nations future is not electing a Trump or any of these bonafide Republican wannabe's. It is done through education and the wiliness of the public to realize the consequences of not implementing sound economic policies. Something the President has tried to do for years but, has been thwarted time and time again by these same Republican's that are stomping the campaign circuit theses days. The time is now while the leaders of many nations finally have come to a mutual agreement to implement available technologies that have a much greater potential for financial gain as well as an environmental impact that will ease the strife of so many millions around the world. Today, we continue to see the horrendous after effects of what global warming has already done to our environment by our reluctance to admit that fossil fuel is the greatest incubator of global warming and all the after effects that are rendering our planet inhospitable.

What has to happen in order to secure that the success of the Paris Climate Change Conference is not in vain is for the United States to first repair the damages of years of economic policies that have only entrenched the Oil industries strangle hold over the economy. This has only resulted in the greatest income disparity gap in history and impoverished the majority of Americans. The Media meanwhile has been complicit with the existing powers that be who continue to control the purse strings of incumbency of too many elected officials.

What to do? Repairing our infrastructure, energy grid, and economy go hand in hand. A total national economic reform agenda, one that will revitalize our nation is imperative to secure this nations future. Having the majority of Americans being able to achieve the "Williams Theory of Economic Evolution" is necessary for the stability of this nation and of every other nation as well. There are ten articles of confederation that when initiated simultaneously will produce the results that accomplishes what so many Americans really need to keep the American Dream alive.

What many Americans are hearing today is that the winds of change are not the kind of winds that produces a resurgence of economic growth but just the opposite. It is essential that we embrace the kinds of change that ushers in the dawn of a new age of peace and prosperity. One, that can only come when we dissolve ourselves of the dependency of fuel sources that by design are instrumental for the continuation of much of the worlds turbulence. The winds of change using energy sources that are now available through the development of new technologies will be the basis for the future of mankind. Together, with the implementation of National Economic Reform's Ten Articles of Confederation that future will be that much brighter for all.

Who Is Responsible For The Demise Of Small Business?

The thing is more of us older and senior people still judge a store by the service they provide. If that is the case, how come we have allowed our friends and families with businesses to be taken over by large corporations? These friends, family, and neighbours were the ones who gave us service, they lived in our neighbourhoods, knew our names, and made sure we received excellent service. These real people didn't have cookie cutter scripted interaction with us, but genuinely interested in their customers. They appreciated our business enough not to annoy us at the end, you know with point cards or up-sells. When we bought something they took us to the cash, put it through themselves no waiting in lines, and sincerely thanked us for the business.

Back in the day a shoes store was a shoe store, not a grocery, drug store, and hardware in one. It was about smaller specialty stores. The people in them knew their products better, so of course they were able to provide service. In the box stores if you're lucky to find someone, they can read the labels as well as you. If something was not on the shelf it was no big deal to go see if any were available in the back. Box stores expect us to come into their 5 football field size stores, find our own stuff, receive no service, pay and be happy their price was lower. The problem is we've become cheap, and still expect the same service for a pair of shoes that cost $20, as one that is $150. We can't have it all, made our bed and now need to sleep in it.

Next time you walk into a box store start getting grumpy about service, lashing out at the one poor associate who makes minimum wage, who is overwhelmed, not trained properly, barely surviving back off. At one time we lived in a democrat society, where a majority ruled, and our governments had no choice but to listen to what we wanted. Obviously we had no concern that large businesses were starting to squeeze out small and medium size ones, and changing our tune from quality products to cheap inexpensive. Free trade was great right, so many people lost jobs in the manufacturing industry, but getting bad quality shoes for $20 was real savings! No problem that unemployment is high, no real worthwhile job creation, the economy is in toilette, and the backbone of any countries economy has always been the small and medium size business. Instead we focus on the environment saving trees instead of people, and complain there is no service when walking into box store that purchase goods from other places. We are not even supporting our own people, and demand service really!

It's time to go back to basics, first people need to be fairly paid, bring back the small and medium size business concept, and have a better economy. Once that is accomplished we can afford to pay for the quality, and the service will be there. The small and medium business even if they had the same products and pricing winning by who has better service! If you're looking for exceptional service perhaps the first place to demand it is from our Governments. Then we can move forward walk into a small neighbourhood business, able to support them, and in return like before obtaining the service we as customers deserve. Box stores herd us in like sheep, and most people can't afford to go somewhere else. The ones most responsible for the demise of small business is us the older and senior people who didn't care about the future! By Arnold Nadler

Those Hard Choices

Already the summer of 2015 has been hit with the resurgence of scorching heat. Form the Southwest to the Gulf states temperatures have already reached well above 95 degrees. Those Republican Climate Change deniers about global warming have to agree this past summer was pretty darn hot. So darn hot it was the hottest summer on record. But, for so many especially those on fixed incomes where their Social Security is the only means of support and the rest of our working poor, which by the way is over 76% of the working population, have seen their electric bills reach a point that hard choices now have to be made to either pay for food or stay cool.

The family of Winston Smith who has three young children and works two jobs making a combined income of just under $30,000 per year is a typical statistic caught up in the cycle of what is now poverty income. He is one of the fortunate ones though for he still is working. The plight of the Smith's is typical of so many families all over America struggling to make ends meet. With so many caught in this cycle of poverty today is a sobering reminder that our governmental officials continue to carry out what looks like a vendetta against it's very own citizens.

Having three young children leaves the Smith family with some really hard choices that have to be made. For Mrs. Smith one hard choice is either working at the only job she could land, that being at Walmart for just $9 per hour or stay at home to take care of the children. But, with the rising costs of day dare today that hard choice of remaining at home to take care of her children really isn't a choice at all. Home being a two bedroom apartment at $850 per month in an area that really is not child friendly is the only place they could find with so little savings. Living in Tampa, Florida where over 9 months of the year where the temperatures remain so hot and sticky means that AC is just as relevant as home heating is in the Northeast, like Maine or New Hampshire.

What makes this situation worse is that the cost of energy has only continued to soar. That cost of energy today is draining the incomes of so many families like the Smith's to the point where there are going to be more hard choices one would not normally have to make if the cost of energy remained stable. The Smith's electric bill within the span of one month went from $120 to $196. When the food stamp program was slashed just last year around Christmas just is barely enough for one weeks worth of food still today at $122 per month. If one does the math considering rent, car insurance, car payment for Mr. Smith to get back and forth from work, extra food and all the other what many call necessities today like cable, phone and Internet there are going to be very hard choices that have to be made just to keep a roof over their head and some semblance of food on the table.

When a recent report came out about how so many Republicans and even some Democrats view a large percentage of the population as having it made in the shade sort of speaking just underscores how out of touch they really are. They have the audacity in dictating laws and policies the have a direct negative impact on the lives and livelihoods of so many millions of Americans. For the Smith's out there hard choices are being made each and every day. For seniors, there again are faced with even more hard choices that have to be made.

When one is faced with rising electric bills not to mention homeowners who have to also pay for water and sewage the increasing energy costs are also reflected on every other utility bill. Take the Smith's and everyone lese on fixed or low incomes hard choices become the norm. Do I rob Peter to pay Paul are the realities in today's economy. Many are caught in this web of juggling bills just to keep from being hungry and homeless. Incomes today for far too many just don't equate to the rising costs of living. A sad reality that is so often overlooked upon when legislatures from state houses and Washington convene to issue policies that consistently prove detrimental to the greater portion of our society.

For the Smith's when they got their electric bill a hard choice had to be made. Faced with the fact that there wasn't enough disposable income to pay for both the electric bill and their entertainment of cable TV the hard choice was made to discontinue the TV just to be able to pay for the energy to run the refrigerator and keep the apartment air conditioning on. The sad reality today is the fact that not only the Smith's but too many others on fixed or have low paying jobs have already made that hard choice. Welcome to the new reality. In so many instances trying to balance their expenditures on necessities just to stave off being out in the cold millions like the Smiths have to compensated each and every month to compensate for the fluctuating rising costs of energy. When the price of energy climbs everything else costs so much more.

The fate of not only the Smith's but for millions of Americans is a constant reminder of what our energy policies have done to the majority of Americas. When policies that continue to favor a select few have rendered millions the inability to gain an financial advantage where those hard choices don't have to be made. The United States does have the availability, the resources and the technology to implement policies that would greatly impact the lives and livelihoods so that the hard choices that are being made now won't have to be made. Does our government have the courage and the will to do what is right and beneficial for all Americans? We shall see especially with this next Presidential election. By Dr. Tim G Williams

I Hate Packing!

I'm a lousy packer.

I love to travel but I have failed to master the intricacies of packing a suitcase. Actually, packing is not the problem; deciding what to take is the real problem. My husband and I went to visit our daughter in New York for three days and I ended up taking the large suitcase better suited for a month's visit.

In retrospect, the real problem is the weather. When we visited our daughter, it was October. That's Autumn, the time of the year when it could be 90 degrees one day and 40 degrees the next. It could be raining; it's even possible to have an early snow storm. So what should one take? Shorts and a t-shirt or long pants and a sweater? Sandals or boots and a winter coat?

There's still another issue: activities. Are we going to stay home most of the time or go out for dinner and the theatre? Will we end up working together in the yard or will we visit relatives? Do I need "at home" clothes or should I bring a nice outfit? Maybe I need more than one nice outfit in case we go out several times; the fashion police frown on wearing the same thing two nights in a row. And, of course, I need shoes to go with each outfit. With all these questions unanswered, there's only one solution: bring everything.

However, we still haven't touched on the other essentials such as make-up and medications. There's dry skin lotion, deodorant, face cleanser, electric toothbrush, regular toothbrush (in case the electric brush runs out of power) and toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, style gel, hairspray and sunscreen. Of course we can't forget daily medications (which seem to have doubled and tripled as we age). I also bring a large bag of "in case I need them" medications. These include Tylenol, an antihistamine, left-over antibiotics (please don't tell my doctor), pain medicine in case someone (God forbid) is injured and in pain, (a prescription I filled but didn't need after a dental procedure), bandages and an antiseptic. I was a Girl Scout at one time and I've always believed in that motto, "Be Prepared"!

I imagine at this point you are probably feeling very sorry for my husband who has to lift my heavy suitcase into the car, out of the car, onto the airline baggage check, etc. Not to worry- I consider this his weight lifting training and believe ardently that my suitcases are keeping him in good shape. But I am also aware that not everyone packs like I do.

For instance, I have a friend who travels a lot and she is masterful at packing. She takes one medium suitcase wherever she goes and has certain clothes that she knows, through trial and error, travel well and can be washed and will dry overnight. I did manage to pack like this once, when we went to Africa on an animal sight-seeing safari. We were limited to one medium bag each, a condition that truly tried my abilities. I started packing three weeks ahead, taking clothes out and putting new ones in; then replacing them again. I do have to admit that having a smaller suitcase and fewer clothes definitely made traveling easier but by the next trip, I fell back into my old habits.

My seven-year old granddaughter was here for a visit and she has a very unique method of packing. She traveled with a small child-size suitcase and my husband and I watched while she unpacked two rather heavy containers of children's hand lotion, two stuffed animals, three small dolls, four bottles of children's nail polish, an iPad, a comb, three DVD's of children's movies, one book, and a folder of math problems to be solved before she returned to school. Our concerns about clothes were quickly solved when her mother entered the room with an armful of t-shirts, skirts and shorts. I was left to wonder what kind of packer she would be as she grew older.

Of course there is always the "I don't need anything but the clothes on my back" kind of packers. They tend to be in their early twenties and in seeing the world mode. A backpack with essentials (bottle of water, one change of underwear, small package of soap and a little money) seems to suffice. When their clothes disintegrate after too much wear, they simply wire home for enough money to replace them. Ah, to be young again - although I must admit I don't remember ever being able to travel this way.

On one trip I was forced to exist with the clothes on my back for three days when the airlines lost my suitcase. Except for a few essentials I purchased at the drugstore, I slept in my underwear and wore the same clothes every day. In some ways, it was liberating. I never had to think about what to wear or what was appropriate. And everyone we were traveling with knew the situation so I received a lot of sympathy. However, I was awfully glad to see my suitcase when it reappeared.

Someone once told me that packing is a metaphor for life. If you take too much, you may be carrying around too much baggage in your head. If you pack light, you've let go of all that old baggage. I don't agree; I think the only baggage I'm carrying around is literally in my suitcase and my problem is simply that I I'm afraid whatever I leave home is exactly what I'm going to need while I'm away!.

But in the end, it's not the things you take with you but the journey itself (I think that's a quote from somebody). Please do not emulate me; take only what you absolutely need and enjoy your family, your travels, and the rest of your life. Travel light, my friends.

Please visit my blog: http://www.stayingyounginflorida.com Email: jean@steigers.us
Watch for my book: Moving Into Murder

My Version Of Band-Aid Economics

I am not an economist but more of analytical thinker when it comes to our economy. For many years now we hear the spin doctors and politicians boasting about how our economy is growing, which is correct if that is all one considers. The question is why would this be happening when unemployment is high, a huge deficit, and those working are drowning in debt? The answer for me is what I call Band-Aid economics, here is how it works.

Instead of focusing on the real problem which is inflation, we emphasise how our country's economy is on an upward swing. Our bank of Canada describes economic growth like this online, "The most common way to measure the economy is real gross domestic product, or real GDP. GDP is the total value of everything - goods and services - produced in our economy. The word "real" means that the total has been adjusted to remove the effects of inflation." The idea from what I see is that if you paid last week $2.00 for lettuce, the next week it is $2.50, the following one $3.00, it makes the economy look good because as they have said inflation has been removed. The current politicians pitch is vote for me, since elected our economy has grown. Now let's examine the next factor in Band-Aid economics...

Let's face it most lower-income and working poor cannot afford higher ticket items upfront like $30,000 for a car. How about for almost nothing down with good credit, anyone could be behind the wheel of a new vehicle right! It helps our countries economic growth, even if the same type of car 20 years ago was less, but now jazzed-up with more technology, and of course insurance rates on a new cars is higher too. Decades ago people saved up, bought their cars for cash, and it was more of a positive economy. The financial killer for people is inflation, if everything costs too much constantly going up, but wages stay the same, deductions at source are unreasonable, consumer taxation is 13 cents/dollar spent, then not many people can save enough in their lifetime to buy a high ticket item like a car. However the GDP is the total value of everything. You buy a car on credit it goes into goods and services produced in our economy.

The reality is if a person is not earning enough they will always be ten cents or more short on the dollar. Families supplement their below standard income through credit cards, lines of credit, and over drafts. The reason is simple inflation doesn't match incomes. The great news for our government is even if they need to purchase food on credit it boosts the economy. The next time you hear our economy is doing well, maybe look at your own financial affairs, in product costs, and then decide for yourself if our countries economy is really in good place. Welcome to my version of Band-Aid economics 101, where a good economy doesn't mean citizens are living better, and over many years now even below par levels. By Arnold Nadler

Rent or Buy - Winners and Losers

Marital break-up and business-related challenges brought me to homelessness in the sense that I no longer own property. Do I feel deprived? Far from it. 'With one leap Jack was free.'

During Spain's property boom, in which house values could double annually, I put a deposit on an apartment in Murcia. However, due to my then relationship breaking down I opted out and licked my wounds. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. Had I gone ahead with the purchase I would have been more or less isolated in a back o' beyond concrete urbanization near Vera in coastal Spain.

Obliged to meet mortgage repayments on a loan twice that of the apartment's today value I would have been the unfortunate owner of a property I could neither let nor sell. I have since pondered our obsession with home ownership. Renting is common in mainland Europe. In Berlin 90% of properties are rented, in Munich 80%. Only in Saar-land and Rhineland is home purchase more popular. However, at 60% it is more or less level pegging.

The Spanish are the keenest to buy rather than rent. At the last count 83% were home owners. Perhaps this explains why each week 500 are evicted from homes they thought they owned. The figure for Britain is 70%. This could be less today due to the near impossibility of getting a mortgage. In France 45% rent and Germany and Switzerland respectively only 44% and 38% purchase.

Obliged to rent since 1999 I consider myself fortunately mobile and financially better off. For wonderful years I rented a palatial wow-factor annex in a parkland manor the mortgage of which I could never hope to meet. Retiring to Spain I rented at less than the owner's mortgage. When circumstances left her little choice but to sell she pocketed half of what she had paid for her property. Lawyers and notaries, the tax system partied.

When later I had opportunity to spend a long summer in Latvia, the Canada of Europe, I simply gave a month's notice and caught the plane. On my return I rented an apartment in Mijas Pueblo. The views were out of this world. Sunsets to die for. I drooled over the Straits of Gibraltar and beyond the African coasts and mountain ranges.

Due to her mother's death my wife is frustratingly ensnared in the entrails of bureaucracy. She negotiates rightful ownership through a maze of expensive legal and local government departments. Had I fallen off the perch and left my Spanish property to my sons they would have had good reason to curse the transfer of my 'assets'. I no longer need to bother myself with home maintenance, purchase furniture or mess with bureaucratic paraphernalia. If tomorrow, my editor in his wisdom calls and says: "Come here, boy: I am going to make you a star," I go tomorrow. Rent or buy? To me it's a no-brainer.

Michael Walsh was voted 'Writer of the Year' by the editorial board of Euro Weekly News. This English language weekly is read by 550,000 readers each week. A broadcaster and author of over thirty titles, he is a journalist / columnist providing hundreds of media published articles to mainstream international media.

Who's Afraid of Donald Trump?

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2015 in Washington, DC.
Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2015 in Washington, DC.
I was sitting in a doctor's waiting room when two men walked in the door, holding hands. As they approached the front desk, one man put his arm on the other's shoulder, giving it a soft pat of reassurance. At the same time, I heard the woman sitting next to me click her tongue. When I turned to look at her, she shook her head sadly. "I can't get used to this," she said. "It's against everything I was taught growing up. It's just wrong."

"If it doesn't hurt you or change your life in any way, why is it wrong?" I asked.

"I'm too old to change now," she said, and turned her attention to the magazine in her lap, cutting off the conversation.

For a moment, I studied her thinning grey hair, her face which had a few more wrinkles than mine. There weren't that many years between us and yet, I felt decades younger than her. At home, I told my husband about the encounter and asked, "Why do we accept change so easily? Why are we so different from this woman?"

He didn't have an answer either. Then, I saw Gloria Steinem interviewed on TV and she was asked what she felt her most important contribution was. She responded that she couldn't possibly know that since she was still active. "I am always future oriented," she said.

And that is the difference. My husband and I are still future oriented. Although we remember past events fondly and even recount them, our lives are not rooted there; we are still making new memories. We not only embrace change; we encourage it. The right of gay people to marry, adopt children, live and work without discrimination should have been a reality ages ago. Unlike Supreme Court Justice Scalia, I believe in Affirmative Action and feel African-Americans should have the right to an education at any college they chose.

I am not afraid of the Muslim people. I welcome Muslim settlement in our country and invite them to make their home here just like the Jewish immigrants, the Irish, the Italians, the Japanese, the Chinese. They want the same things that my grandparents wanted when they traveled across the ocean to a better life in this country.

I AM afraid of mentally ill white men who have access to as many guns as they want. And I must admit that I am afraid of the people who attend rallies for Donald Trump, who cheer him on, who believe the outrageous things he says. They are the woman in the waiting room, the people who stopped the buses filled with Mexican children last summer, the individuals who attempt to burn down mosques. They are living in the past, afraid of change and afraid of anything or anybody that encourages them to accept an inclusive future.

Now, instead of wondering why I am future oriented, why I can accept new ideas, I wonder why some people can't. I wonder if there is a way to help these people conquer their fear of change, to help them understand that change is how we grow, both as a person and as a nation. I want to tell them that we all benefit from accepting new ideas, new ways of doing things and, above all, new people.

We are enriched by each group of immigrants that enter our country. They are our future doctors, lawyers, writers, teachers, philosophers. In one or two generations, we won't even remember that they were once the new immigrants because, by that time there will be another group to take their place.

And now, I am wondering what I can do, what all of us can do to help people who can't accept a changing world, to embrace a new wave of immigrants to our country, to allow them to make us richer by introducing us to their culture and religion. Perhaps all we can do is speak up when we hear anti-gay slurs or hate speech against any race or religion. But we need to respond in some way; we cannot allow those people who are afraid of change or afraid of immigrants to shape the message of this country. We need to speak up, all of us who know how to look forward.

Please visit my blog: http://www.stayingyounginflorida.com  E-Mail: jean@steigers.us
Watch for my book: "Moving Into Murder"

Popular Posts