...So I'm working on a scene-by-scene revision of the novel, and I suddenly realize that I haven't posted on my own blog for several weeks, although I've contributed to another blog quite energetically (check the "comments" sections of anything remotely political.)
Conspiracy theorists base their beliefs on the idea that governments, institutions and leaders are competent enough to successfully engineer a conspiracy. I'm starting to believe that any kind of competence by those parties is doubtful, if not impossible.
Case in point: Saddam Hussein's execution. Justice is finally meted out and, with the exception of the usual anti-capital punishment crowd, mostly popular. Then the cell phone video turns up, showing the sectarian chants and gauche taunting of Saddam before he was executed. Suddenly, what should have been a satisfactory ending to the story becomes propaganda for our enemies. Once again.
Wouldn't an occasion that solemn and important call for searches before anyone was allowed inside? Or the ubiquitous announcement "Please turn off any pagers, cell phones, recorders..."? Apparently not.
As of this writing, the Democrats appear poised to force through a higher minimum wage, which I have addressed before. ("A Zero-Sum Wage," July 28, 2006.) The proposed minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, an increase of $2.10. This means that those companies that employee workers at minimum wage (or above; workers who were already paid $7.25 will insist on the same increase as those who were only earning the minimum) will experience a government-mandated forty percent increase in labor costs.
Let's say a businessman runs a small, family-owned restaurant, where he employees ten people at minimum wage. If all those employees work 40 hours a week, his increased weekly labor cost is $840.
Congratulations, you've just taxed the small business owner an extra $43,680 per year.
There will be a lot of meetings that culminate in "I'm sorry, but I have to let you go. I can't afford you." The workers who are fortunate enough to keep their jobs will pay more for meals at the restaurant, due to higher prices to offset the increased labor cost. Additionally, they'll pay more for all other goods and services that depend on minimum-wage workers. Not to mention the $334 more they'll pay each year in Social Security and Medicare taxes.
But the politicians can feel good about themselves, and read all the complimentary stories in the newspapers. Isn't that really what's important?
The world's crazy. I can only hope to carve out my own little pocket of sanity...then fortify it.