commented on Small Businesses Are Not the Enemy
The tiny margins that small, local businesses are forced to endure are driven by their competition: large multinationals that can dictate low wages to vast numbers of people, and sales done on-line that don't have the overhead of a physical location and face-to-face contact with customers. Competing on price to stay in business is a race to the bottom, a race that the small players cannot win. We closed our business before the collapse because the prices our wholesale customers were willing to pay could not support the cost of our business location and that of the employees we needed to produce what we sold.
For small businesses to compete on a level playing field, the large ones can't be given tax breaks, special deals on real estate locations, and exemption from rules that apply to the small shops. But because the principle objective of for-profit corporations is to maximize those profits and inflate their stock price, they accomplish these things by hollowing out not only the well-being of their own employees, but that of their customers as well. If they cause harm to their customers, the jurisdictions they do business in, or the planet's environment, they don't care, because such things do not appear on the balance sheet.
Until all of the costs of doing business are exposed, none of this will change, and big businesses will continue to privatize profits while socializing costs.
But what do I know?
Jun 27, 2013
commented on Is It Legal at the Airport?
A long time before the TSA, we flew from St. Louis to LA with a cat on board and a stash to keep her mellow. The stash was in a left-over container, which security x-rayed for us before we boarded. In other words, we kept our cat high while she was high...
May 27, 2013
commented on Small Is Beautiful
It's good to see a short story writer getting a little respect. Years ago, I decided that it was better to set my political short stories free on the Internet where people could stumble upon them than to lock them up in a drawer while pitching them past the few venues that publish such fare, and maybe never finding their audience. There are good stories out there, but you have to look for them.
Sep 6, 2012
commented on It’s Time to Freak Out About Climate Change
The staggering scale of this problem is one reason why people deny it or try to ignore it. We're talking about nothing less than the ability of our species to continue to live on this planet. The global net of ecosystems is in balance with what the climate had been until we humans started mucking things up faster than it could accommodate. But we've pushed things out of balance, and the entire structure can come crashing down around us.
I use short stories to get my own head around issues of the day, and this was no different. But to grasp the magnitude of what is really at stake, I had to look at our world through other eyes. The story is called "Eulogy":
Nov 23, 2011
updated the link to his or her website.
Nov 23, 2011
commented on Resistance Is Not Futile
Speaking of lobbyists, have you ever thought about the disparity of influence caused by the ability of corporate interest groups to make demands on our representatives, while the citizenry have no interest-group representation? All houses of legislature are based on geography of one size or another. What if a geography-based legislative body were balanced by one that represented the citizens based on their own interests? Large but diffuse communities of interest would then have a voice to counter those of the moneyed interests.