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Reactions from Kansas politicians on health care ruling

Maybe someone else remembers it like this: waaaaay back when the healthcare bill was being debated, the only reason this mandate even came about was because the GOP flipped their collective lid at the idea of a public option, because said public option would somehow be so great and affordable and awesome that everyone would want to use it and it would put private insurance companies out of business, and yet so terrible and inefficient that no one who used it would get any healthcare, ever, and the Death Panels would make each state send one elderly man and one elderly woman to DC every year to compete in the Medicare Games, a battle to the death, the sole survivor of which would be allowed to go home with a hip replacement and a year's supply of insulin. The government option would somehow have been deceptively wonderful and disastrous all at once. And of course we can't have that, so the mandate was the compromise that everyone hated equally.

I agree with Paul Davis. Also, I think the mandate sucks. I think it's going to be a huge pain and expense to implement and run first off, and either private insurers are going to figure out that they can't make any money covering people at affordable prices and start trying to weasel out of it, or the government (state or fed) is going to have to pour insane amounts of money into subsidies. However, if I'm remembering correctly, that this sucky alternative exists at all is more thanks to people freaking out unnecessarily at the thought of a government option. Which would also be a somewhat sucky option, but better than this, IMO.
So while I'm not surprised at most of these statements, I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for most of those crowing about how awful the mandate is.

June 28, 2012 at 3:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Illinois mother in local abuse case says she was just as much a victim as the children

With all due respect, no, you were not just as much at fault as your abuser. That's like saying that the person who leaves their door unlocked is as much at fault as the person who robs them. Every situation is unique, and maybe you did make a conscious choice to stay because you were getting some kind of perk, but that's not always the case, and anyway the other person involved is the one who actually committed the abuse. That's way worse.

June 22, 2012 at 8:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

KU tuition and fees going up; admission standards getting more stringent

Eh, there's also loads of employers who won't even consider hiring a person for a non-burger flipping job unless he or she has a degree. Don't get me wrong, I completely disagree with this hiring model. As a person who totally thought her general common sense ability to learn on the job and work ethic would be more than enough right out of high school, and only ended up going back to college (career oriented AA from JCCC) because it was expected by employers, this troubles me. But the reality is that "just get a job" with only a high school education isn't really a viable option.

June 21, 2012 at 3:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sinking ship?

I wish I'd seen this sooner! I failed to mention that in my situation, I was also in charge of the bookkeeping and bill paying. So I knew how much rent was, I knew how much supplies, utilities, payroll, insurance, all of that cost. I couldn't tell you now but I did at the time. I don't have any illusions there: the owner of this business was not swimming in cash. But there were quite a few other, non business things that I wrote checks for that could have gone for raises had the decision been made to do that. Besides, the other part of my point was that in this case, the owner did next to nothing in the way of work to keep the business running. That was up to me and the ever-revolving cast of other employees. Which was ever-revolving in part because it was really, really hard to get paid more than minimum wage there.

I realize that my experience is not necessarily typical and that it's not fair to assume that everyone runs a business the same way that my former boss did. I was just trying to give a real-life example of a situation where (IMO, at least) the business owner was not the main contributor to the success of the business, and the people who did make that contribution were (again, IMO) not compensated in a way that reflected that.

June 20, 2012 at 4:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Noise pollution

Devil's advocate question (devil's advocate because as I"m sure I've already posted before, IMO all-privately-owned-roads is a recipe for all kinds of bad):

Suppose all roads were privately owned. The LW encounters the same kind loud obnoxiousness, tells the owner of the roads, but the owner replies that he or she doesn't care because, say, the loud, obnoxious drivers generate more income for the owner than the LW does. What then? In theory the solution is to take his business elsewhere, but It's not like he can choose a different way to get around town. Does he just have to live with it? And if so, how is being at the mercy of a business owner's decisions any better than relying on the government?

June 20, 2012 at 4:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Cost perspective

Following the mathematical line of reasoning, the LW earned the modern equivalent of $14,500 a month at his first job after college ($200X72.5), then advanced to $29,000 a month, or the equivalent of one year's worth of college per month. I can't think of any field where a freshly-minted BS holder can earn that kind of income. So in that sense, today's college students aren't better off at all.

June 14, 2012 at 8:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sinking ship?

I think you're conflating my comments with other people's; I'm not making any proposals about what minimum wage should be. You point out that starting a business takes more than capital, which is fair. My point was that, in addition to an idea and the work that goes into it, starting a business takes capital. I don't think these two points are mutually exclusive. BOTH are needed if you want to get a successful business off the ground.

When I say that the employer/employee relationship is reciprocal, I meant just that. That each relies on the other in some way. How much reliance exists either way varies, but you were sounding a bit like you saw the business owner as some benevolent being who just hires people out of the goodness of their heart and the employees are just sponging off them. Sorry if that's not what you meant, but that's how the "dependent on someone else for a job" phrasing came across to me. And maybe you've started businesses, but I've worked for and manged them. Not all business owners are as hardworking as you. To be fair, I wasn't there at the beginning, but I remember one specifically where where the owner did practically nothing but come in a take money from the register. Everything else was left to me and the rest of the employees. If we hadn't been there there would have been no business and I was pretty much the only one making over minimum wage so guess who was always training new employees because the turnover was so high? And guess who eventually found another job because she couldn't take it anymore? In that instance I would have no qualm with arguing that I was equal to, if not more important than, the owner as far as the continued profitability of the business. But every business is different. I begin to have a problem when any business owner doesn't want to take an honest look at what his or her employees actually contribute and whether or not what they are paid reflects that.

Most of my experience has been that it's far more likely that an employer will underestimate the value of an employee than overestimate their value. If someone is paying minimum wage the work is either very, very low skilled (and I'm aware that those jobs exist) or the employees are underpaid. And if a highly profitable company is paying minimum wage then I strongly suspect that the employees are contributing more than they're getting back.

June 1, 2012 at 3:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sinking ship?

Most of the businesses to which you refer take more that just a skill set to open. They also take capital, which even the most entrepreneurial among us might not have access to. Opening a bar or restaurant? Yeah, that costs quite a bit. Hanging out a shingle as a CPA or a chiropractor? That in and of itself might not cost much, but the education necessary to acquire that skill set is not free.

Besides, where would the bar/restaurant owner be without his or her waitstaff and cooks and bartenders? Where would the chiropractor be without his or her assistant to handle billing, appointment setting, etc.? Support staff are valuable for pretty much any type of business and I hardly see an expectation that staff be compensated by the business owner in a manner that reflects the contribution that they make the profitability of the business as displaying a "sense of entitlement." Maybe no one "owes" you a job, but if they choose to hire you then IMO they sure as heck "owe" you for whatever it is you do every day to keep their business running. If they don't want to do that then maybe they should just do all the work themselves. The employer/employee relationship is reciprocal; a good employer understands that and if you're not acknowledging that you're only looking at half of the picture.

June 1, 2012 at 1:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Proposal puts part of Lawrence in 1st District

Does this mean that our main industry will switch from the manufacture of electronics to luxury goods? Is that what everyone is up in arms about?

No, but seriously, this is freakin' stupid.

May 18, 2012 at 8:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Domestic violence victim advocates withdraw bid with SRS

I hear you, but surely they haven't actually said that? Usually for the sake of PR the state offers some kind of reason, however lame, for why they made a particular decision. Like with the Lawrence SRS office - it was glaringly obvious (to me, anyway) that "proximity to four-lane roads" is not a valid reason to close an SRS office, but at least they weren't dumb enough to come out and say "we don't care about Lawrence because Lawrence will never vote for us anyway"

That's what I was asking - has the state offered any kind of justification, however lame, for these new requirements and if so, what? LJ World, perhaps you could shed some light on this?

May 4, 2012 at 3 p.m. ( | suggest removal )