As the gas prices continue to rise, I heard a rumor that the federal government was considering a $1.00 per gallon tax. Now, the other thing I know about this is that I overheard someone saying it. Whether it is true or not, that I can’t say. But, it got me to thinking about stuff…
#1. I don’t think using corn as an additive to gasoline is such a grand idea. All it is going to do is drive up the price of corn. Which will drive up the price of pork and beef because a lot of farmers feed their livestock corn.
#2. Has any of our government officials thought that if we are having difficulties coming up with the money to pay for the gas to get to work that this will slow the tourist trade? Every single year for as long as I can remember, Cheryl and I take a vacation to Door County. We buy some wine, some cheese and other trinkets. We always shop for a Sarah’s Angel and I try to find a new dragon for my collection. We stay in a hotel and we spend quite a lot of money. No one in Door County is going to be out of business because we can’t make the trip this year — we who live fairly simply can’t find extra money in the budget to put aside for vacation. But, the good folks in Door County will certainly be in trouble if even 10% of their regular tourists can’t make the trip.
#3. We keep hearing about how illegal immigration is bringing this country to its knees, but since I work with a lot of contractors — 90% of whom are legal immigrants, I can’t help but wonder if the Visas that bring the high tech foreigners to this country is helping us. While I don’t believe that the illegal immigrant who works as a bus boy is taking a job an American wants, I’m pretty sure the high tech legal immigrant is. Maybe, he or she isn’t taking a job right now, but as long as a company can higher an immigrant for less than an American, it will. Also, if we don’t invest in the education of our young people, we’re going to suffer on the global market. Now, I happen to prefer 95% of the foreign staff with whom I work over my American counterparts. Also, I want people who want to be here to come here — I’m the descendant of immigrants, but I think it’s time to reconsider just how many HB-1 (I think that’s the correct number) Visas we give out every year. We need to ensure that Americans are being trained for the jobs that the foreigners are doing.
#4. Now, having said my piece with #3, here’s my next thought… When someone comes into this country on a work Visa, they are pretty much stuck at that company until they get a Visa/green card on their own. If they switch companies, they have to start the whole process over, which I think pretty much stinks. What if you accept a job, get here and discover that the company isn’t doing what it promised to do? We’re basically trapping these people in positions and I think we should work on this to make sure they aren’t trapped in bad jobs or with bad companies.
#5. Now, having said #4, my other thought is we really do need to secure our borders to make America a safer place, but I don’t think a fence across the border in Mexico is the place to start.
#6. Healthcare — totally different track — I think we need to hold companies responsible for the healthcare they provide (sell) to their employees. We need to require companies to report how many of their employees have health insurance through them, how many have health insurance via their spouse and how many are covered by the state. Companies who have employees covered by state plans or no insurance at all, should be taxed an amount equal to the cost the state spends on that specific employee — the more employees covered, the lower the costs. Also, let’s not let them get away with that crappy catastophe insurance. These people might as well not have any insurance at all.
Those are just some thoughts off the Top of My Head. I might expand on them some other time or I might not. We’ll see.