I just watched an advertisement for Tourism in my home state of California. Perhaps you have seen this: happy go lucky skiers, snowboarders and skateboarders compare their fun to working in California. They ask the potential tourist if they would like a “job” in California. The ad ends with Governor Schwarzenegger asking “when can you start”?. I find this ad offensive. California state workers have to take four days of furlough leave to help balance the budget. None of these hardworking people can afford the fun the advertisers’ talks about. Maybe the ad should include a piece that invites tourist to hang out with state workers; they have a lot of time on their hands. They could be paid guides!
Speaking of furloughs we Nevada state workers have been told we are going to four day work weeks with an eight hour furlough each month. When asked how this would work, one legislator was quoted as saying “well they could take 2 hours of comp time each furlough day so they do not have to come in for two hours”. This is the best they can come up with? Telling us we can use our vacation time to avoid coming in on a furlough day. Oh thank you so much! Now I do realize that we have it better than they do in California. California state workers are now part time workers; I am thankful we are not but…
In 2004 our governor ran on the promise on no new taxes and plans to stick to it, even though it means shutting down state offices on Friday. No one could foresee that we would become last in education and first in foreclosures. Our unemployment rate is second in the nation. I would have a better chance of finding a job on a auto plant in Michigan than here in Northern Nevada. So now that our state is closing in on California as a failing state, our governor is digging his heals in and refusing to raise taxes even if it would mean saving the state. He has no problem raising the taxes on state workers by 11% but raising over all taxes by 1%? Forget about it! The only bright spot in all of this is he is up for reelection and so far he has little if no support. Once the economy picks up I will look to change my profession as I hate whining about my life. I would rather rant about other things and other people.
The other night I watched Food Inc. It is an Oscar nominated documentary about the American food industry. I thought I knew a lot about what really goes on behind the scenes of slaughter houses and chicken ranches but oh wow wrong I was! The film opened my eyes to the hidden dangers lurking in the meat we buy. The film was not intended to be one sided, but each attempt to interview the meat industry was met with rejection. Even so the film manages to show how meat, dairy and chicken production can be once again changed. Some American ranchers and farmers believe we can feed a growing population using modern technology but without the dangers of E-Coli and growth hormones. The ranchers interviewed for this film had positive things to say about food production but nothing good to say about how the big five meat companies have highjacked our food and food safety. I highly recommend it. If you like this film or are interested in changing your food habits I suggest reading Michael Pollan’s books In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. We have a right to safe and honest food.