Category Archives: Opinion

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.

Is email dead?

Email is no longer useful. I get dozens of emails a day but almost none are even opened or noticed at all. Most are commercial updates and social media updates. I almost never get a personal communication.

Just clicked the email icon on the iPhone and 53 messages downloaded, I scanned them and there was a reminder about an appointment with our kitchen remodel contractor and a reminder to make an appointment at the eye doctor. The rest will never get read or even looked at. And I’ll just ask my wife to remind me about the appointment with the contractor and I may or may not make an eye appointment.

I really think I could just ignore the email and never miss anything important ever again.

Ebola Concerns

With all the news about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa it is hard not to be concerned. But how worried should we be?

The virus is highly infectious, as little a 10 virus particles are needed to infect a host. However, the virus is not easily transmitted. It does not survive on surfaces very long, unlike the common cold and flu viruses. Ebola is not particularly a respiratory ailment, so it is unclear if it is spread by coughing, but the general feeling is that it isn’t.

Ebola is mostly transmitted to the patient’s caregiver. Even in Africa where the disease is having its biggest impact, children that are not caring for the patient are not often infected. So unless you are in direct contact with an infected individual you really should not be too concerned with getting sick and dying.

So why is there so much hysteria around this virus in North America? Mostly because the news media is in the business of selling eyeballs to advertisers. They need to keep people on the edge and addicted to the news reports so they sensationalize the situation.

There are easily a dozen things that are more worthy of our worry than the spread of ebola, but that is another post.

Stay safe.

Poverty is a Lifestyle Choice

Why are some people poor and others wealthy? Is it genetics? Circumstance? Destiny? Or is poverty a lifestyle choice?

First, there is no such thing as destiny. Everyone has the ability to change the direction of their own life given enough motivation and effort.

Genetics seems to be a possibility because poor parents seem to breed poor children who perpetuate the poverty lifestyle for multiple generations. But there are countless examples of people that were born in poverty and rose up to attain vast sums of wealth and abundance. Wealth does run in families, at least for several generations. But this can be explained away and does not have a genetic basis.

Circumstance? Well there are certainly obstacles in everyone’s life that prevent us from moving up the economic ladder. A child born to a poor, uneducated mother in Africa has a much harder time than a suburban middle class child born in America. So, yes, circumstance does play a role. But circumstances can be overcome and shouldn’t be excuses to live a life of poverty.

Poverty by choice. We are what we choose to be. The choices may not be easy and may require great personal sacrifice, but ultimately individuals choose the life they live. Most poor people, especially in a land of great opportunity, fail to make the best choices and therefore remain ‘trapped’ in poverty. They didn’t take full advantage of getting an education (which in given for free). They chose to watch TV instead of reading a book. They chose not to look for a better job.

The list of bad choices is long and I don’t need to list them all. Just look back on your life so far and you will find many examples of bad choices, at least I know that is true for me.

So what does one do if he/she has made many bad choices and finds himself/herself living a life that is less than abundant? Start making better choices! Read a book; there are more self-help, personal development books than any one person could possibly read. Stop hanging out with the losers in your life. Start visualizing the abundant life you want. Choose to start making better choices!

The amazing thing about abundance is that it is infinite. Start choosing to make more of it yours. What is your lifestyle choice?