Snow storms and travel bans

Sitting home today because of the New England weather. We received somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 feet of snow in the last 24 hrs and everything is closed. In fact the governor declared a state of emergency and imposed a travel ban for everyone except essential personnel; snow removal equipment drivers, medical personnel, etc.

In today’s case in the Boston area, staying off the roads was a smart move, but these government imposed travel bans seem to be more frequent and may be conditioning us to ask permission before traveling.

In days past it would have been up to the individual and the road owner to decide if it was safe to travel. Travel is generally accepted as a right. One should be free to travel where he/she chooses as long as he doesn’t trespass on another’s property or violate anyone else’s rights. Is the right to travel becoming “travel is privilege?”

But in an age when the State has a monopoly on road ownership they can restrict travel at will. I suppose you could argue that they were only restricting motor vehicle operation and one could, if he choose, walk or ride a horse on the road. But I’m not even sure that would have been allowed.

While it is probably not worth worrying about, it seems like these travel bans could be a form of conditioning. What sort of future emergencies might be excuses for banning travel? Civil unrest, false flag terrorist attacks, or just the threat of an attack of some sort?

Freedom doesn’t mean we will always be safe from all dangers, it means we are free to weight the risks and rewards for ourselves and choose our own action.

Massachusetts minimum wage increase

The commonwealth of Massachusetts raised the legal hourly wage that an employer can pay his/her employees on the first of this month. Whereas it had been $8 per hour the new minimum is $9.
This may sound like a great deal for marginal employees but is it?
As an employer and small business owner that is making less than minimum wage as I struggle to grow my business I have a different perspective.
While I was paying my few employees a little more than the minimum last week, now I’m only paying the minimum legal wage. Next January the minimum wage will be raised again to $10/hr and in 2017 it is to be raised again to $11/hr.
Hopefully my business will still be around in 2017 and I’ll be forced to deal with the wage issue the best I can. Suppose I’ll have to raise prices or cut back hours. And forget hiring a high school student looking for a first job.

10 ideas – ways to cut overhead

Exercising my “idea muscle”. Ten ways I might be able to reduce overhead at my store.

1. Under-staff on most days and have extra labor only when we get behind
2. Cancel that store cell phone we don’t use.
3. Reduce animal inventory even more to cut down on labor, towels, electricity. food, etc.
4. Move to a cheaper location.
5. Seal the windows to be more energy efficient.
6. Charge employees for water bottles.*
7. Get rid of the live plants.
8. Shop around for cheaper insurance.
9. Stop taking in people’s unwanted animals.
10. Find better deals on deli cups, towels, etc.

These are just items that came to mind.
* Some are not very great ideas.