Do Republicans hate Warren, or the middle class?
Republicans hate Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard professor who serves as special adviser for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
They hate her because she is smart. Prescient in 2004, her book, The Two-Income Trap, could have served to avert the financial crisis of 2009 had certain people been paying attention or even cared.
They hate her because she has ideas for solving problems. Her ideas are based on extensive research and analysis of household economics of the middle class.
One of her findings is that a typical middle-class family in 1973 had $800 more in disposable income per year than a typical family had in 2000.
Oh, and that 1973 family is a one-income family with a stay-at-home mom whereas the 2000 family achieved less with two incomes.
She says this happened by a mixture of means. In part she blames the women's movement for pushing women out of the home and into the work force even though she is a fierce advocate for women.
They hate her because of glaring light she casts on the declining American dream. Republicans know that, unlike Warren's ideas, all they have is ideological rhetoric.
While House Speaker John Boehner cries about it, she apparently is not content to idly watch the decimation of our middle class.
If Warren champions the middle-class American dream, and Republicans hate her for it, whom do you suppose Republicans stand for?
Flush with victory
Some weeks ago our new senator, Rand Paul, lamented that he could not find a certain bathroom fixture that met with his approval.
I'd like to suggest that Paul take a trip to his local Lowe's or a plumbing supply store, where they will show him in their catalogs dozens of those necessary fixtures from which to choose, many in nice colors. And maybe in Tea Party red.
My lady recently found us a nice energy-saving bathroom fixture that is quite attractive, as much as those things can be.
One wonders what Paul will think of those fixtures in the luxurious Senate restrooms he will have to use the next 5½ years.
In the restaurant and hospitality industry servers, waiters and waitresses strive hard to ensure their guests enjoy a satisfactory dining experience. They take measures to make sure your order is correct and your food is hot while they are being professional and polite.
They know this routine leads to good tips. They realize that guest competition is fierce and bad service can lead to a bad dining experience and guests will dine at other restaurants.
Often, servers use their tips to pay for college tuition and supplement other financial matters. However, we as guests often take for granted and ignore that servers work hard to please us to earn a moderate tip and gratuity. They serve us while enduring rudeness from us and our kids.
As guests, maybe we tip poorly due to the state of the economy. One server shared this guest experience with me. He said he and two other servers waited on 35 guests that ordered $450 in food and left a measly $30 tip. He explained they worked hard and forfeited other tables to split $30.
The gratuity rate in the hospitality industry is 17 percent or a fraction more. As guests, we should honor that.
Another server said churchgoers were the worst tippers. He claimed they either don't tip or tip with just change left over from the balance.
We finicky guests need to tip those folks and show our appreciation for servers who provide us with a great dining experience.
Killing for pleasure
I should like to agree with the letter that asked what is the point of hunting and killing the beautiful sandhill crane, except to give five seconds of glory to some gun-toting hunter who kills for the sheer pleasure of it.
Years ago we lived in Nelson County, Va., where a beautiful albino stag was spotted. Instead of rejoicing in the beauty and rarity of it, come hunting season all any hunter could think of was killing it, and they did.
Why is it we get so much pleasure from killing and destroying beauty? Isn't there enough ugliness in this world? At this rate, ugliness is all there will be to show our grandchildren and their children.
There is something wrong with a human race that kills for pleasure, not just to feed their family anymore, and it starts when children are given BB guns and encouraged to enjoy killing squirrels and birds. How about teaching preservation instead?
There is a place on this Earth for all creatures, at least there was until we decided that we have the right to kill whatever, whenever.
Let's face it. So far this human race has done a pretty good job of destroying and eliminating all kinds of wonderful creatures and landscapes in the name of pleasure and money.
One and done, for all
Suppose your son is a talented singer who has a scholarship to the University of Kentucky. During his freshman year he tries out for a TV talent show. He is very successful, and receives national praise and attention. He also gets several offers ,including an audition for a Broadway play. What would you advise him to do? Should he give up his scholarship and leave college?
Suppose your daughter is a computer whiz who has an academic scholarship. During her freshman year at UK, she develops a unique computer program that shows great promise in commercial applications. She has been contacted by several well-known companies with attractive job offers. Should she give up her scholarship and leave college?
Suppose your son is an excellent athlete who has a basketball scholarship to UK. During his freshman year, he has an outstanding season. He is considered to be a first-round draft selection in the NBA. Should he give up his scholarship and leave college?
Three identical situations. Or maybe not. In each case should loyalty to UK, moral issues, etc., play any part in making a decision?
One factor to consider. All surveys show college graduates earn more money over their career than non-college graduates. So money plays a big part in justifying spending four or more years in school.
If you can get the money and the career you want without spending the four or five years, why not go for it?
Jack D. Martin