Monday Musings!

Monday morning! Now that I am retired I love Mondays, but even better I love Sunday evenings. When I was still working fulltime, Sunday evenings would often be filled with tossing and turning while trying to sleep. I would worry about many different things that never came to pass. Today, Sunday night sleep is usually not too bad. However, as every older male knows, sleep is often interrupted with a trip to the little boy’s room. Other than that, my sleep is usually uneventful.

Today’s blog offering is just a series of short comments on the plethora of editorials I read this morning. All of them reflect on our changing nation. There is no doubt in my mind that our country is changing. I don’t care who you are, it is our country. It is one out of many, and diversity gives us our strength as a nation. There are basic fundamentals that are critical to our continued success, but as a whole we are changing. This is not a quality statement, just a recognition of reality.

I am now a senior citizen who is sitting on his porch watching the world go by. I have enjoyed my life, and as the characteristics of my city and nation changes I mourn the loss of the past. Mick Jagger had heart surgery. Billy Graham is now with Jesus. Louis Palau is aging. Life goes on. I don’t recognize the music the youth seem to enjoy, the skinny jeans don’t fill my boat, and the manbun definitely is a no-go for me. Of course, at my age I am a bit follicle challenged, so the manbun is out. Maybe I am jealous.

The fact is the world turns. New generations rise, and old generations pass away. It is inevitable, and until the end it will continue on. So, what can I do about this? As the song says, “Absolutely nothing, say it again!” But I can scream from my front porch, watch out! This doesn’t seem right! Be careful! Today’s blog will be just that, a scream from my front porch to watch out for the cultural revolution, the true costs of increased minimum wage, and gum balls and immigration.

Anastasia Lin is a very interesting woman. She is a Chinese-Canadian woman who is a human rights activist. In 2015 she won the Miss World China pageant and was supposed to represent Canada in the subsequent competition that was to be held in China. However, China would not allow her to enter the country due to her human rights work highlighting abuses in mainland China. She warns North America of a Cultural Revolution that has emerged in North America.

She warns about online mobs and other mechanisms used by people to silence those with contrarian beliefs than the majority. “The presumption of innocence is a fundamental tenet of Western law. Yet, it is increasingly abandoned in the rush to force orthodoxy and destroy political enemies. The mobs pile on, destroying lives, careers and reputations with gleeful abandon. They claim to act in the name of tolerance, compassion and diversity, but their commitment to these principles is purely abstract. In practice, they are intolerant and cruel, and they demand total conformity.”

As I ponder those words I think of an event I was at several years ago. Our group was deciding whether to recognize someone for a life time of accomplishments. One person in the room said, “but this person doesn’t represent our politics.” That was the moment I knew our world was changing. The other now is being demonized to a point of exclusion. Even this move to eliminate the Electoral College is a move to negate those that don’t agree with what appears to be the majority perspective. Warning Will Robinson, danger, danger!
My next concern involves the fight for a $15 minimum wage, a worthy cause for sure. We all want to help the little person. But, I think we need to remember why the minimum wage was created. It is a short-term protection, so people can adjust their work skills and find better employment. When we start setting wage floors the substitution effect comes into play. Employers with look for other ways, usually involving technology, to provide the same services. Thus, the fecal infested kiosks of McD’s. As the WSJ demonstrated in its editorial this morning, “trying to increase low-skilled pay by political fiat isn’t a free lunch.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that in 2018 sit-down restaurants in New York City had 167,900 employees. This number has been reduced, as of January 2019 when the minimum wage increased to $15, to 161,700. A reduction of 3.7%, “when overall city employment increased by 2% year over year.” New York restaurant owners warned of this and continue to express their concerns. “The New York Hospitality Alliance surveyed 324 full-service eateries late last year. Nearly half, 47%, planned to eliminate jobs in 2019 to deal with higher labor costs. Three-fourths expected to cut employee hours, and 87% said they would raise menu prices.”

Once again, something that was meant to do good, is hurting the ones that need the help. I am all for increasing the minimum wage to a point connected with some index. However, I don’t want to reinforce people in a situation where they don’t want to improve themselves. Help them get the job skills they need to get a better paying job. Help them to rise out of a low-skilled job. This would have a longer-term effect for them and our nation.

My last scream from the porch deals with a point that Mary Anastasia O’Grady makes in today’s WSJ. The title of her piece is “Why Hondurans Flee For The U.S.” Once again she hits the nail on the head. However, it reminded me of a wonderful presentation I saw on YouTube. Roy Beck gave an amazing presentation on “Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs.” I have discussed this before in my blog, so I don’t want to go too deep into it. But the fact is, more can be done to help others in their countries. However, Honduras politicians need to take the initiative to want to deal with their issues. They need to help their people, not just line their own pockets.

There you have it. I am screaming from my porch. Warning everyone! There are problems here, and new ones coming. But you know what? When I was young the older generation did the same thing. Watch out young people the road is treacherous. There are many IED’s out there that can devastate your movement forward. I can only hope this younger generation listens, but probably not. Because we didn’t! Warning, warning, warning!

And that is my thought for the day!

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