Minimum Wage Increase Is Widely Criticised


minimum wage increase

Minimum Wage Increase Becoming A Political Minefield For Obama

The minimal pay rise is good news for Wal-Mart employees.  The extra three dollars could mean another hot dog on the weekend. Bad news for the Republicans who are in uproar about this audacious move on Obama’s part.

Republicans may not be able to scupper Barack Obama’s minimum wage increase to $10.10 a hour, but they’re not happy about it.

House speaker John Boehner said he will take legal action if Obama cuts into their territory. (As Boehner sees it).

“House Republicans will keep on looking to see if the president is loyally executing the oaths he took a vow to do,” he told correspondents on Capitol Hill.

““I think [in the case of] the federal contracts and the minimum wage he probably has the authority to do that, but we are going to watch very closely because there is a constitution that we all take an oath to, including him, and following that constitution is the basis of our republic.”

Pushed on what steps he may take, Boehner simply said, “there are choices accessible to us.”

Obama started 2013 with promises on firearm control, migration and environmental change.  These issues remain untouched, but then President Obama was hampered by events. Edward Snowden’s leaks created havoc, and added fuel to the flames created by the ongoing debate about ‘Obamacare’.

Nevertheless, this has been the worst year for Obama since coming to office.

Could this be the reason for the minimum wage increase?

Well, the president’s annus horribilis was due to public resistance to Obamacare, the highlighting of which Republicans have made their mission. Also, Democrats have more to lose throughout the midterms than Republicans, and could see share of the Senate drastically reduced.

Hence, Obama will use his powers to gain popularity.

Cynics might say, ‘two or three extra dollars is peanuts no matter which end you go; God bless you sir.’

But with this minimum wage increase,  is Obama really trying to do something for the little guy?

Well, yes and no.

The wage increase will hurt small business people, and job layoffs are inevitable. This is balanced by the relief for hundreds of thousands of American families living on the breadline.  The extra money may increase spending, (and lead to jobs) but eventually this will level out with the rise in inflation.

Nevertheless, the wage increase addresses financial pain in the lower strata of society.  Therefore, the cloudy lens of US politics is now squarely focused on the uncomfortable issue of inequality in America.

Rosa DeLauro who gave a speech about inequality got the ball rolling with her urgent warnings about the “crisis of inequality”. She stood and spoke to the house about the “existential threat to our nation,” posed by the “crisis” of national inequality, (that’s the 1% versus 90% of haves and have-nots).

Perhaps what DeLauro means is “listen guys, hadn’t we better spread it around, a bit? Better have a minimum wage increase, keep ’em quiet or they’ll come for us and our money too.”

Ergo, a few extra peanuts to the workers.

God Bless America!

 

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What Time Of Day Are You Most Creative?


creative

Our circadian rhythm dictates the time of day we’re most likely to be most creative.

Unfortunately, many creatives find that their best ideas come to them in the evenings or late at night, and that trying to force creativity during the work day is more likely to produce stress than a valuable design or article idea.

We all know that stress and frustration are creativity-killers, and that’s why it’s important to stop forcing creativity when it’s not happening. For many people, peak cognitive time and peak creative time don’t coincide — but that doesn’t have to be a problem. Here’s how to work out your most creative time of day, and how to put it to good use:

Get enough sleep

If your sleep schedule is out of whack, it’s easy to assume you’re a night owl, and that you work best after midnight. For some people, this may be the case, but others will find that getting to bed earlier on a regular basis will actually bring that creative peak forward a few hours, so you’re at your best late evening instead of late at night. You can then go to bed earlier, and will find that the first half of the work day doesn’t seem to drag quite so much.

Listen to your body

If coming up with new ideas is near impossible in the afternoon, then don’t worry about it. Focus on what you can do — you’ll save time, because you won’t be searching hopelessly for an idea that isn’t there. As long as you’re aware of when you think best creatively, and set this time aside, you’ll be fine.

Don’t think during creative time

Say you’re most creative in the early evening. Rather than sitting down at your desk and repeating ‘I need an idea’ over and over in your head until you panic, stop, and engage in another activity that allows your brain to relax. Household chores, like folding washing or rearranging a bookshelf, are great for this. If you’ve ever had a good idea in the shower, you’ll understand the importance of working on autopilot — you’re not really thinking of anything, but your brain is working to solve creative problems without you even realising it.

Break up your day

Your brain needs time to switch gears, so don’t expect to finish one project and go straight onto the next. Likewise, emailing clients all morning and then sitting down to think up an idea is not going to do you much good. Have a nap, or go for a walk — and if you can’t do either, just put on some relaxing music and sit in the dark with your eyes closed for five minutes. Don’t think about what you have to do next, just let your mind relax and refresh itself before you go onto your next task.

Make use of useless days

Didn’t sleep well last night? Under the weather? Had one drink at lunchtime, and now feeling ready to crash? Instead of writing the day off, give yourself permission to skip all cognitive tasks and just let yourself be creative. Being sleepy, groggy, or even a little drunk can actually help you make connections that you wouldn’t normally make, and although you might not be up to writing a brochure or designing a website, you’re probably still capable of coming up with ideas you can use later. And if not? Just rest. Relaxing is good for creativity, too.

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By Sam Wright

Sam Wright works for Brand Republic. As a freelance writer, he understands the importance of making good use of your creative time.

Bipolar or ASD?


Bipolar or Schizo, that is the question.

I jazzed the dream up big. Heinz was sucking on my psyche like a demented squirrel. He swallowed it whole. Germans are so easy to fuck with, unless of course you’re a Jew.
“It’s certainly an interesting dream, packed with significance, what do you make of it?”
“What do ‘I’ make of it? Hey, you’re the expert.”
“Take a layman’s guess.”
“Okay, it shows my sick, perverted mind.”

bipolar

“Sure, but this is unusual Dick, even for you. What do you think of the cavern?”
“Well it’s not John, Paul and Ringo.”
“Aren’t you forgetting George?”
“Who’s he?”
“The fourth member of the Beatles, and by far the most important, musically speaking.”
“Never heard of him.”
Heinz looked pained. I was really starting to enjoy myself.
“And who is the girl?”
‘The girl?”
“Yes”.
“Fuck knows.”
“I think you know more than you are letting on.”
Heinz was itching to dig into my brain. “Will you allow me to place you under hypnosis?”
The last thing I wanted was Mengele’s natural successor probing inside my skull. But it was quid pro quo, so I explained the deal.
“Look Heinz, I have to be honest, I’m in shit at work and I need your help sorting it out.”
“Why? What happened?”
I told Heinz about the Elena Rabbit incident. “She was that close to firing me, just for playing some easy listening music at reception.”
“What music?”
“Yeah, theme from Mash, know it?”
“Yes, it’s about Vietnam, about suicide. Is that what upset your boss?”
“Yeah, she’s such a brain-dead bimbo. I told her, I said “With all due respect Miss Rabbit, committing suicide is a dignified way to live. Look at these guys ” – now by this time they’re all humming along – ” when have you ever seen the patients this calm, looking so happy and chilled?” I even offered to compile a list of websites for the depressives to socialise with other depressives. It fell on deaf ears, she didn’t share my p.o.v.”
Heinz was shaking his head. “It astonishes me how blinkered these social care professionals can be. Anyway, how can I assist?”
(is Dick Bipolar?)
“I need a clinical letter to give to HR.”
“Of course.”
“Mention my condition, say it was severely aggravated by obscene amounts of stress and bullying work, hint about my boss.”
Heinz seized his fountain pen and scratched a note on a yellow sticky.
“Will Paranoid Schizophrenia be okay? Or would you prefer Bi-polar?”
“What’s your opinion?”
“Well, in my experience H R tend to be more sympathetic toward Bipolar. You see, on the whole mood swingers’s can function, though they’re a pain in the neck. Your average BP has low self-worth, he will accept minimum pay and conditions, whereas PS’s could raise a fuss. They’ll cut you more slack if you’re BP.
“Make it Bipolar.”
“Of course”, said Heinz, “I’ll get it typed up. Now, shall we begin?”

Agatha in the underworld sequence

Therapy With Coffee


HEINZ wasn’t too thrilled to see me, he gave that shifty-eyed look.
‘Dick! Long time no see, come on in.’
There was a blonde chick sitting on the sofa, she reminded me of Princess; the grunge version.
I looked at Heinz, ‘Heinz, if I’m not mistaken that poor girl is in a state of – deshabille – (I pronounced the French word carefully), what have you been up to? Did you molest her under hypnosis?’
‘Dick, meet my daughter, Bronwyn. Bronwyn meet Dick.’
‘Fuck you,’ the charming girl said.
She stood up, her ripped tee-shirt was little more than a few strands held together with nasty looking pins. Her jeans looked as though she had slashed them with a knife. She glared at Heinz on the way out, ‘This is not over yet, not by a long shot.’
‘Bye bye Bronwyn,’ Heinz said, ‘say hi to mother for me.’
The sweet child left the office leaving a hole in the atmosphere, a hole full of words unspoken.
‘I apologise for that,’ Heinz said, ‘it’s the only way I could get rid of her. She despises my patients.’
That struck me as quite sinister, since I was a client of Heinz. ‘Wait a minute, she doesn’t even know me, unless you’ve been talking about me behind my back. Not professional of you Heinz. How could you betray the trust of your client?’
Heinz held up his palms, ‘whoah, whoah?’ He looked horrified. ‘You misunderstand Dick, my daughter hates people on principle, it’s part of her philosophy, she only likes her dog, “Snap” who is very appropriately named, I might add.
I got the picture, but I let him sweat. ‘Well, if you say so Heinz, but …’
Heinz shifted on his feet, he tried to look positive, as if delighted by my presence.
‘Never mind all that, I’m sure you didn’t come here to talk about my defective child, let me make you a drink.’
The magic brew bubbled away in the corner and the scent was tantalizing, who would have though monkey shit could be so alluring.
When Heinz reached for the coffee pot, I saw the furtive glance. The words squeaked out of his throat. “Coffee? Or would you prefer a nice cup of English tea Dick?”
“Coffee please.”
For Heinz to offer me some of the golden nectar he obviously needed something from me. While Heinz poured the delicate aroma I racked my brains to figure out what the angle was, it didn’t add up. Here I was, the needy one, the helpless fool, the vulnerable idiot dependent on drugs, on therapy and yet Heinz was behaving as if I was the Queen.
“I’m glad you decided to give therapy another go, Dick.” Heinz said, wincing as he placed the precious nectar on the table in front of me.
“That is very presumptuous of you Heinz,’ I told him, ‘what makes you think I need treatment?”
Heinz raised his eyebrows. ‘Don’t you?’
Elena Rabbit had torn a strip out of me over the iPhone incident, she was ready to hand me the sack. So I needed a declaration from Heinz stating that I was suffering from PTSD. It sucked, but I didn’t have any other choice. I looked him straight in the eye. “No, no, Heinz I’m here to talk about a dream,, that’s all.”
Heinz chuckled to himself, “okay, ready when you are, Dick.”
He sat down. I wanted to smack the smug look off of his face. I watched him arranging himself neatly in his chair, crossing his corduroyed legs, and sipping his civet poo. I saw the little finger tweaking out; were all male psychiatrists faggots and mummy’s boys, I wondered? How he had managed to sire a little honey like the one I had just seen, was anyone’s guess.
Anyway, the dream was just a sideshow. Heinz was like a dog with a bone, as far as dreams went.
I yawned, conspicuously, then reached for the miniature thimble that passed for a cup.

Suicide Hotline


Heinz recommended redeployment and they put me typing in reception. Pointless me deal with the lost and the broken, since I had so many screws loose myself.

I jammed on the iPhone , slapped the headset on and got down to business. This was the shit. Just me and my machinery. Minimum human interaction. Even Singh knew better than to talk to me, he just dumped the tapes on the desk. all other communication was via email, and if the phone rang I ignored it,
The fax started screaming, it spit another document, marked urgent. I took it next door to Sue. She logged it on the system and tossed it in the ‘later’ tray
Sue said, ‘another person wantin’ to kill theirselves, wasting everyone’s flippin’ time.’
‘Yeah, right.’
Mr down under gave us a funny look from under his beard, it spelled trouble. There’s this queerness about me, whenever I smell trouble I have no choice but to make it worse, double it, triple it, quadruple it if possible. Especially when it comes to that dipstick.
Spencer drifted in from reception with a message for Singh.
‘I would have give it myself, but he’s not answering the phone,’ spencer said. ‘And he’s got three clients waiting for him in reception, they’re getting restless.’
I snatched the blue docket from his hand.
Someone rang the bell at the desk. It sounded angry. Spencer shuffled around on his feet.
‘Get back to the zombies’, I said
Mr down under glared at me from underneath his horn-rimmed spectacles, beady eyes glittering with indignation.
‘I think you should have more respect for our clients, Dick.’
‘We ought to have canned music out here in reception,’ I said ‘got to keep the customers satisfied.’
‘What sort of music would that be?’
‘Simon and Garfunkel.’
‘Oh good choice, I do like Simon and Garfunkel.’
I went back to the desk playing the theme tune from Mash on my iPhone.
I put the song on repeat in iTunes , Garfunkel ‘s soothing voice drifted into the lobby. I sat watching the crazies, hoping they were getting the message
Sour faces glared at me from the other side of the glass.
“Suicide is painless …”
Then Elena Rabbit walked in.

Obama Rap Foxy Knoxy


Obama Rap – Foxy Knoxy from New London Writers on Vimeo.