Friday, January 24, 2014

Some issues with deregulation

At this time we are lucky to still have the regulations we do. The Republicans continue to work toward deregulation either through literally repealing safety laws or by cutting agency budgets such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Oil train crashes are unique incentives to approve the Keystone Pipeline Project. Let's hope the derailments are not deliberate. Are they deliberate? We need investigators into these accidents.
Gas wells are spreading all over the country. Fracking is contaminating adjacent water tables and some wells are apparently exploding too.

Freedom Industries stored chemicals apparently without looking at the Material Safety Data Sheet to see if two different chemicals can be safely stored in the same container.

Other chemical spills around the country:

If you work for Halliburton, you won't have any problems with the law.

Chemical spills aren't the only problem. Chemical fires can be extremely dangerous along the entire path of the smoke as the wind carries it. Omaha, Nebraska and New Albany, Mississippi are currently having their share of problems with fires at chemical processing plants:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Minimum Wage increase and population growth

The Associated Press (AP) reported "Lower-paying industries led 2013 US job gains" but at what cost? The "Supply-siders" use these numbers to argue against increasing the minimum wage because "higher labor costs will force employers to lay-off employees."

People who make claims like this are thinking like accountants instead of economists because they don't look beyond the payroll to the local community where an increase in the flow of money to businesses could increase by at least twice what is currently being spent. With increased wages comes more customers. The demand will require additional employees and businesses.

My next question is this: If there is a sudden surge in the economy from a wage increase, will the unemployment rate shrink, stay the same or get worse because people will think it's safe to have more children again?

Population numbers might interfere. It's far easier to increase the size of a population than it is to reduce it, at least during peace time. The consequences of the post-second world war baby boom are still being felt, mitigated only by the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal just a decade after president Linden Johnson proposed a War on Poverty.

I was conceived irresponsibly a few short months before LBJ proposed his war on poverty in his January 8, 1964 State of the Union Address. I was given up for adoption. This about a decade shy of the Roe V. Wade decision. If I had been conceived after Roe, I might not exist at all.

Unless something is done to stave off the next population explosion that will follow a minimum wage increase, we will end up in the same situation. Hopefully the Affordable Care Act will give everyone who needs it, access to birth control since they don't seem to have much self-control.