That raise doesn’t cover the private sector of course. Just those whom We the People pay. And it supposedly only goes for future contracts or contract renewals and changes. Hmmm. That’s a big “or.” I have a sneaky suspicion there will soon be a raft of agreement changes within government contracts.
Unfortunately, that Executive Order will probably not endear him to Republicans and maybe not even to all the members of his own Democratic Party. Those folks on the Hill just don’t like it when they’re left out of the action. If he can change minimum wage by himself, they may very well feel the president will also try to do an end-around play on things like job training, retirement security, long-term unemployment and immigration reform. He does have to at least pay lip service to that piece of parchment called the U.S. Constitution, but he might just try to see how far he can read between the lines of that document.
While those above mentioned issues are on the minds of much of the nation, we here in the sunny South are currently dealing with a problem that has left all those others in our rearview mirrors. We were covered in snow and ice for much of last week. And we don’t know what the heck to do with it.
I think most residents of Dixie would agree that on the night of Obama’s State of the Union Address the uppermost on our minds was the removal of said snow and ice. We would just as soon Mr. Obama had remarked in his speech that his No. 1 concern was sending snow removal trucks to Atlanta and other Southern meccas.
(When one’s entire salting operation consists of Jim Bob and Sam Tim, their two F-150s, and half a dozen deluxe-size, blue Morton containers, one thinks about those things.)
Right now, we don’t care a whole lot about minimum wages or illegal immigrants. We just don’t want to have to deal with this cold white stuff on the ground. Yes, it looks very nice coming down, but when you’re not prepared for it, it’s just not much fun. Kids and dogs love it. The rest of us? Not so much.
Employers all tried to do the right thing as the flakes poured out of the sky. They told people to close up shop and head home around lunchtime. Trouble is, everybody had the same agenda. So instead of a 6 p.m. jam, it all happened at 2 p.m. It took a person near and dear to me almost three hours to go seven miles. And the main culprit wasn’t the slipping and sliding on the roads, it was volume.
(Even that was much better than the plight of those stranded in their cars or teachers and kids stuck in schools overnight, though.)
This is definitely a good time to be in the auto collision repair business. Tow truck drivers are the stars of the hour, but insurance agents are wishing this nightmare would end. I don’t imagine the constables on patrol were enjoying the weather either. Not many citizens greet police with a cheerful smile after they’ve been banged into — usually by someone who just couldn’t wait and had to try to make his or her own lane down the middle before skidding into the driver following the rules.
I know our fellow countrypersons in cooler climes think we are a bit on the namby-pamby side of wintry wonderlands. Northern relatives continually tell me, “We’d be happy if the temperature got up to zero today and it snowed less than a foot every hour.”
We do understand your situation. And we don’t really want to complain too loudly. After all, Georgia does tend to vote Republican. If we put up too much of a fuss, we may get Executive Ordered out of the Union. But we could use a truck or two.
Bill Lewis is a freelance writer in Marietta.