Monday, September 04, 2006

MEME Monday, Labor Day in the US, Rosie O'Donnell Joins The View, In The News, Fun MEME of the Day, Daily Eye Candy

It is Labor Day here in the United States this MEME Monday, and I hope most of my blogger friends are off work and not laboring too much. Unfortunately, as I said, I am working this afternoon/evening. I am going to get a little political on you for Labor Day, as the state of labor in the US right now is in an awful mess and I want to give you some statistics to mull over that I read about courtesy of the McClatchy Newspapers group.......

It seems as though over the past 10 years, US productivity, a measure of worker output, has increased 33%. Something economists, especially our current Bushie administration, have hailed as a victory for America's "New Economy," because productivity is often seen as the key to raising living standards. As a matter of fact, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a speech last week, called the gain one of the past decade's most significant economic developments. The problem however, according to a new book-length study, is that average workers are no longer seeing those increases where it matters most, in their paychecks.

Now let's see, hmmmmmm, when did the Bushie Administration take over office? Ahh right, he was sorta elected by the Supreme Court in November 2000. It seems the wages stopped rising, and actually began losing ground starting in 2001, despite continued growth in productivity and corporate profits. This is all an analysis of government data in "The State of Working America: 2006/2007," by the independent Washington think tank, The Economic Policy Institute.

Want an example: UPS driver Mike Cortez last month got a 4% raise on his hourly pay, but with South Florida's inflation rate running at 5.8%, his costs are increasing much faster. As a Weston, Florida homeowner, Mike's homeowner insurance premium alone is up 66% this year. Now compare that to his employer UPS, which earned more than 1 billion in it's most recent quarter, a 7.6% increase over the year before.

Between 1995 and 2000, those pesky Clinton "Blow Job" years, productivity grew approximately 2.5% annually, and real median family income grew right along with it, at about 2.2%. Now consider productivity grew even faster from 2000 and 2005, the Bushie years, an average of 3.1% annually, but real median family income actually DROPPED 0.5% each year during that same time. This all points to the result that wages as a share of national income, are the lowest on record while the corporate profit share stands at a 56 year high. Even Wachovia Bank Senior Economist, Mark Vitner, who cautions that looking at wages only, doesnt tell the whole story of workers compensation these days because companies are investing more in benefits like health care and 401(k)'s, agrees with EPI's conclusions that productivity gains and increased corporate profitability haven't been passed down to the workers of today. And on that front, he's not too encouraged that will change anytime soon.

What does all this mean you ask? Well, the only workers who are going to see big salary increases are those who are willing to shop their talents around to the highest bidder, mostly CEO's and other senior executives. In 2005, CEO's earned about 262 times more than the average worker, according to EPI data. Forty years ago, that ratio was much smaller, with CEO's earning only 24 times more. If you are going to be a foot soldier as most of us are, you're getting squeezed!! And thats some facts to ponder this American "Labor Day"!!

On a much lighter note, Rosie O'Donnell is returning to daytime TV tomorrow on "The View." Love her, or hate her, Rosie is a force to be reckoned with and I am betting on her being a huge success once again. I first saw Rosie perform live waaaaay back when she was on Star Search, and my family went and watched a taping in L.A. She had big hair and had big laughs, and I fell in love. Even back then she sent my gaydar beeping, though I didn't really realize it at the time. From her small screen appearances and co-starring roles, to her big screen hits and misses, I have been a fan. When her talk show premiered 10 years ago, I was hooked again by the "Queen of Nice", which should never been taken as all encompassing as her critics tried to make it. As a gay man who wants kids, I loved Rosie cheering in my corner for gay adoption and foster care as a true champion when no other celebrities, gay or straight seemed to much care about it. I am hoping she will be the counter weight of gay openness and honesty, to balance Ellen Degeneres's, "non-issue" homosexuality. They are both huge forces in getting our visability our there, that we are just the same as everyone else, with our own problems and prejudices and needs and desires. I will be glued to the TV tomorrow at 11am, I hope you will give her a shot, and I will be hoping for the best for her and us all.

Speaking of Ellen Degeneres, she was In The News this weekend, along with a lot of other things I found interesting:...........DeGeneres Escapes Serious Injuries In Car Crash, there are some things to celebrate today; Labor Day 2006: Gays Mark Year Of Successes, and to prove we have a long way to go until we are considered a "normal" portion of society; School Board Asks Students If They're Gay, a gay institution of celebration is back as; Southern Decadence Returns To New Orleans, and finally, in the "what the heck God are they praying too," catagory; Church Dumped By Baptists For Ministering To Gays. There are a lot of other good news items that occurred over the weekend...check other links out as you look over these at

And since we are celebrating Labor Day here, our fun MEME of the day, asks you to take this quick and dirty career test. What is your Career Personality? Enjoy!!

Your Career Personality: Independent, Insightful, and Ingenious

Your Ideal Careers:



Business strategist

College professor

Computer programmer





Video game developer

And after a VERY long blog post today blogger friends, we are finished with a bit of Eye Candy for a cherry atop the post from one of my favorite MySpace Pages, Boys of the OC.....enjoy your day blogger friends....GG


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