Sunday, January 6, 2013

How do We Create Common Ground and More Jobs in New Mexico?

Common ground is when people have shared experiences that enable them to understand and appreciate each other. You do not have to agree to find common ground with your friends. Common ground is created through shared experiences and time spent together learning more about each other. It helps to be able to have long conversations with people no matter what they believe.  For lawmakers to find common ground they must first see each other as real people and not demons. 

I have lots of republican friends that I don’t agree with on some issues. It helps to listen to their views and learn why they feel the way they do on hot button issues. I want to know if there is a starting point where we agree on any part of an issue.  It does not require me to completely agree with them but just to get some idea of where they are coming from and what they think the liberal stand is on those issues. Misunderstandings and miscommunication between the two groups is very common.

Take for instance job creation, everyone wants to create more jobs in this state. Republicans want to create private sector jobs and democrats want to keep more federal jobs. I don’t believe that cutting corporate taxes will help to create jobs because corporations already have record breaking profits yet they do not use them to create more jobs. To me more money for corporations does not equal more jobs.

I want to know why we should give them more money when they will not spend the money they already have in the bank. We give money to the poor because we are sure that they will turn around and spend it on much needed items which in turn does create more jobs. It makes no since to give money to people who will not spend it.  How do we get corporations in this state to create more jobs? What will get them to spend their profits on hiring new employees rather  than depositing it in an off shore bank account?

We all know that corporations go outside the country to produce products because the labor cost are lower and the environmental regulations are far fewer. Reducing labor cost would only destroy the middle class in this country. Fewer environmental regulations would only destroy our environment and make our children sick.

The answer is not lower wages or fewer regulations. The answer is to make it cost more for corporations to do business in other country or to retrain our workforce to produce items not produced in other countries because of a lack of skills or knowledge. The first would cause a rise in the cost of products to American Customers. The second would cost the government in both research and development and in retraining of the American workforce.

When it comes to salaries we know that the lower the wages the more government social programs are required to make up for basic needs of employees. If businesses will not provide health insurance for their employees or pay them a wage where they can turn to the private market to purchase it than government must provide it. Yet, corporations complain that government is not good as spending their tax dollars on this because of all the waste. Corporations create their own taxes by failing to provide the means in the first place for people to have health insurance.

We know the results of all the methods we have tried in the past to create jobs. We know what has failed and succeeded. We need new approaches to old problems. We need people who can come up with different answers to old problems. What we do not need is more of the same.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Restraining Orders and the Legal System

We have all seen the news lately about former congressional candidate Janice A. Jones. She is being stalked by a republican rival. The man most likely is mentally disturbed. He was arrested for cutting the tires on Jones’ car and that of her husband. The police arrested Mr. Smith because the Jones could afford to put up cameras to prove it was Mr. Smith who was damaging their property. Even after Mr. Smith was released on bail the Jones contend that he returned to their home in violation of the terms of his release. The police are filing yet another arrest warrant today in the hopes of put him back in jail.

Most of the voting public is not so lucky as to have the support of the police and the mayor when it comes to stalking cases. The police refuse to enforce civil restraining orders. A victim must use their own funds to force any legal issues because the police are unwilling to file arrest warrants. The police often inform the victim that until the stalker harms them nothing will be done. Without money for cameras it is often difficult if not impossible to prove that you are being stalked by a mentally ill individual. They are not likely to admit their crimes. We have seen cases right here in Albuquerque that have led to the death of the stalking victims. Victims are often stalked for years.

Clearly Mrs. Jones high profile image has helped her in forcing the police into action. Funny that she wrote the laws in this state along with the rest of state legislators in Santa Fe. They recently change those laws limiting the number of people who could get help from domestic violence laws. Judges who are not trained in the problems of people are now being forced to handout advice and restraining orders to victims of stalking and harassment. Most judges will tell victims to not even ask for a restraining order since it will not even slow the person down who is stalking you. In many cases it will only give a stalker more information about where you live and work.

After this last year we can only hope that this legislative session starting later this month in Santa Fe will force lawmakers into finding ways to get the mentally ill treatment. Maybe they could also look at strengthen stalking laws and restraining orders since they are basically useless in this state. Maybe we should ask lawmakers just who has to die before those issues are dealt with in this state.