Friday, April 28, 2006

Federal Minimum Wage in 1968 was $1.25 per hour

Federal minimum wage in 1968 was $1.25 per hour which was the year current President Bush graduated from YALE with a degree in history and I was a sophomore studying at Memphis State University (now University of Memphis). Back then a bottle of Coke or Pepsi from a machine was 10 cents. So was a local phone call. Rent for a 3 room garden apartment was about $100 per month. Gasoline was $.29. Tuition for an in-state undergraduate was free at Memphis State and cost $250 for a full time out of state student up to 21 credits. Two small hambergers, a small french fry and a small drink was about 50 cents at McDonalds. A filling at the dentist cost $5.00 without dental insurance. A Volkswagen Beetle automobile brand new was about $2,000. The purchasing power was very high back in 1968.

The Federal minimum wage is $5.15 and has not been increased in about 10 years. I think we all know that the purchasing power of different items is much lower at minimum wage today than it was in 1968. Everyone know that Congress and the President should have increased the minimum wage a long time ago.

Ralph Nader said on TV that if the minimum wage of the 1960's had cost of living applied to it the new minimum wage should be just under $10.00.

It seems that in the 1960's we had cheap housing, fuel, healthcare, and tuition and today we have those things at excessive intolerable prices. It is cruel that so many Americans are caught today between low wages and excessive intolerable prices.

In 1968, President Johnson brought us the Great society and in 2006, President Bush brought us misery.

Slavery and indentured servitude ended more than a century ago and we don't need this president and congress to re-establish a generation or class of American citizens or illegal workers in this country of severely disadvantaged persons. This group of elitists as this president and congress people are bringing back the days of robber barons. I don't know where Bush goes to Church, but if I accidently stopped by, I hope I protect my wallet from being picked. All American senators, representatives, and especially the president shame us.

What do you think? Should the Federal minimum wage be raised appropriately and quickly? Do you think it is fair to take advantage of Americans or illegal workers in this country at such a low minimum wage?

Americans Can Learn From Mexico

I'll admit that I don't know much about Mexico. I never visited the country. The closest I was to Mexico was during a trip to San Diego, California and another to Tuscon and Tombstone, Arizona. I spent about a year in California altogether and about a week in Arizona. I saw the farm workers in California and I am a fan of Mariachi music. I also saw the Hollywood films about Texas independance and the cowboy/calvary movies about problems along the border. I know many Americans take cruises along the Pacific coast of Mexico, Acapulco has been a long term tourist spot, and Cancun is a newer tourist spot. The media says there are between one and three million Mexicans flee Mexico to work in America each year. Americans are warned not to stray from the tourist ships, hotels, and venues for their safety while in Mexico. American charities advertise that there are children severely disadvantaged in Mexico. Many Americans spend months in Mexico, taking advantage of cheaper prices than in America.

I am clueless about life in Mexico for the Mexicans. Is it good or bad? I think it leaves a lot to be desired since so many are fleeing to the United States. Do all Mexican children have the opportunity to go to school and graduate high school? Do all Mexicans have access to health care and immunization from childhood diseases? Do all adults have the opportunity to work in Mexico? Do all Mexicans have access to sanitary water and sewer facilities? Do Mexicans have the opportunity to live in homes with running water, toilet, electricity, cooking, and refrigeration? How many homeless Mexicans are there? Does Mexico have social programs like social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare, food stamps, child labor laws, OSHA, national minimum wage, and workmans compensation? Why or why not? How much crime is there in Mexico, especially crimes against americans in Mexico?

It seems that the average American lives in luxury compared to the average Mexican. What were the factors that improved the lives of the average American worker and did not do the same for the Mexicans? What can be accomplished today to improve the lives of Mexicans in Mexico?

Are the Mexicans advantaged over the other countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands? Why or why not? What are the facts that other third world countries in the world seem to be making fast improvements for their citizens such as China and India, while Mexico seems to be languishing?

There are restrictions for Americans in Mexico that legal Mexicans in America do not face. What are they?

Mexico is America's southern border partner neighbor and there seems to be such a stark difference in the standards of living for the two countries. It seems that Mexico has recent problems and these problems are impacting the citizens of America today. The Mexican problems did not occur overnite but obviously there are severe impacts today in both America and Mexico because of them. What are the current Mexican problems and what would be Mexico's government and business internal solutions for them? What would it take to move Mexicans citizens in Mexico closer to the standard of living of Americans?

There is news that many citizens of other countries have been crossing Mexico to cross into the United States. We have heard about many people travelling by boat trying to land in America also. Whatever the problems, many of them are probably the same for the people from Mexico and other Central and South America and Caribbean Islands. There are now many new leaders in South America who are hostile to America. What are the issues of all of these people about America? What is going on? What can be accomplished to improve the sentiments of the leaders and the citizens of all these countries? What are the really nice things going on in these countries that Americans can admire and learn from?

America cannot live in isolation. In fact there are many Americans that travel to these countries on vacation. There is a lot of trade coming into America from these countries. Most of our fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers come from there it seems. We must learn about these countries. We should examine their problems and issues to make sure we are not causing bigger problems for them. Maybe there are ways to help them if they need it. I think the more prosperous they are, the more prosperous America will be. America has enough enemies in the world and does not need more of them. I think that if America does not address some of the issues for the leaders and citizens of Mexico, and the other countries of Central America, South America, and the Carribbean there will be outright hostility and confrontation with American citizens.

What do you think? Should Americans learn more about our southern neighbors?
Have the problems of our southern neighbors escalated recently? Is there already more hostility from our southern neighbors recently than in the past? Does America have a vested interest in maintaing excellent relations with our southern neighbors?
America has enough violent enemies and does not need any more of them especially located close to home for most of us. Has the American government recently worked well with our southern neighbors? Has the American media presented adequately on the issues of our southern neighbors? Do we learn enough about our southern neighbors in public school? If there are any English speaking tv channels in any of our southern neighbor countries should the American cable and satellite tv companies provide access to them in America? Are there any English speaking webcasts available from authoritative organizations that Americans should watch to learn more about our southern neighboring countries?