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Families First or Second Jobs?

Dave Baumeister and a favorite adult beverage.
While Dave would rather be in Dublin sipping’ a pint o’ Guinness, he is returning for another DFP column this week.

Plus, Hearing Caller Color, and Comments on Comments

a guest column by Dave Baumeister

Recently, I was at a symposium addressed by South Dakota Secretary of Labor Marcia Hultman. As was natural, Sec. Hultman spoke to the audience about the work force in South Dakota in a very positive way.

Now, I have never met Hultman, and I really can’t say anything negative about her, but her comments did leave me scratching my head. Did you know that South Dakota was the No. 1 state for people with two or more jobs? I did not know this for sure; however, since I, personally, typically have two to four jobs at any given time, Hultman’s fact did not surprise me.

According to Wall, just under 10% of the South Dakota work force holds multiple jobs at one time, while the U.S. Dept. of Labor shows that in 2018, the national average for people with multiple jobs was only 4.9%.

What did astonish me about Hultman’s address, was that she seemed to think this was a good thing. Maybe I interpreted her presentation incorrectly, but she was very positive in the spin she put on this No. 1 statistic. She explained that the reason this was so high is that South Dakotans are such good people. When we see a job that needs doing, we “Git ‘r Done.” (That sentiment was hers, but the Larry the Cable Guy quote is mine.)

As an example, she then told us about how the Pierre Wal-mart is always understaffed by at least 40 people, and that the parents of her daughter’s soccer team will work to stock shelves there for a donation to the soccer team.

Of course, this example wasn’t even anecdotal, since it referred to volunteers, and people who would not be in the stats on multiple employment.

I have to say that what little interaction I had with Sec. Hultman seemed positive, and she seemed to be a very knowledgeable and intelligent person, so I had to wonder why she would think that people having to work more that one job was a good thing.

Wall also lists South Dakota as having the third lowest weekly salary in the nation.

I have to think that the rate of pay here, not our impetus to “Git ‘r Done” is what drives the statistics for needing two or more jobs. So, I am left wondering if putting the positive spin on a bad “South Dakota is No. 1” statistic isn’t in the Governor’s office edict to make lemonade out of lemons.

If it is, then what really threw me is when Hultman referred to Gov. Kristi Noem’s “Family First Initiative.” It seems that if the state really wanted to put the family first, they would foster situations where parents could stay home with their children or go out and volunteer to do things that support their soccer teams.

People who work multiple jobs are not doing so because they want to, but because they have to in order to put a roof over their head and food on the table. And this means that they are sacrificing time when they could truly be putting their families first.

He done seen an elephant fly… I just read an article on the CNN website. President Trump talking about all of the phone calls he has received from African-Americans about his Tweets against against Baltimore and Rep. Elijah Cummings. The article left me to wonder how would the President actually know the color of the skin of a person calling him? Giving him the benefit of the doubt on his claim that he does receive many, many calls supporting his stance on Baltimore, I am curious as to how he knows the nationality/color of the caller? Since I am pretty sure Trump believes that all African-Americans either sound like the black crows from the original “Dumbo” or Mammy from “Gone with the Wind,” it would be pretty easy for members of the President’s base to call (202) 456-1414, and say they were African-Americans.

But, I seriously doubt if the president ever received any calls in the first place.

Comments on Comments… Printing an editorial or op-ed piece should be the bread and butter of every newspaper. Those are the things people want to read. And if they read something they don’t particularly agree with, then that same newspaper should print the letters of their readers that disagree. A newspaper should be a place where ideas can be exchanged.

A blog like the Dakota Free Press allows for the immediate discussion of any piece with its comment section. While this can be a good thing, it is hard for an old newspaper man like me to read comments and not respond. But, since I already had my say, I felt like it was just as important for others to have their say, too.

However, I am still going to use this section weekly to make some general comments about the comment I read. And this week, I had 180-plus comments to look at.

First, I’d like to thank those who welcomed me, and second, I thought many people probably should have read a little more deeply into what I wrote.

While there seemed to be many personal discussions going on between people who are avid commenters on the blog, many people focused on why different candidates were better than Joe Biden.

But no one contradicted my main point, which was that Biden was best suited to defeat Trump. Re-read my last column. Nowhere do I say he was the best candidate; at this point, he is the best suited to beat Trump, and beat him decisively, on election day.

Beyond this, I did said Biden needs to embrace ideas of the younger, more progressive candidates, but any great ideas they may have are all for naught if Trump is re-elected.

A few people seemed to get this.

One commenter, a fraternity brother of mine, seemed to think that if anyone other than extremely liberal candidate were chosen, more young people would stay away from the polls this time than in 2016.

That is really selling young people short. They know what Trump is doing to the country, and they will come out and vote to get rid of him.

But as I know this person is a big Bernie Sanders supporter, I suspect his comment came from the fact that Bernie is too old to run in 2024, as is Biden. In fact, their vice-presidential pick will be extremely important, because going by the average life expectancy, if either Biden, Sanders or Trump is elected in 2020, he won’t finish his term! And this rules out Bernie for the VP.

Oh, and all of you who were saying negative things about “old, white guys,” congratulations, you managed to use ageism, racism and sexism all in the same phrase.

Next week… I will be talking about the most recent presidential debates. I am watching the first of the two as I write, but I have to get this off to my editor before the second wave.


  1. Chris S 2019-08-02 07:09

    Aside from the crowd of people running vanity campaigns and polling at 1%, Biden is the person least capable of defeating Trump. He’s currently ahead because of name recognition and because Obama picked him as VP, largely to reassure some people that there was still a white guy on the ticket.

    Biden’s reason for running seems to be “it’s my turn.” We’ve seen that movie before, and it doesn’t end well. He doesn’t appear to have any real policies, at least not that he’s able to articulate or be passionate about. On the contrary, he’s got decades of baggage that his supporters mewl it’s “unfair” to talk about — as though, if they whine that it’s “unfair,” the baggage magically goes away (we’ve seen that movie before too!).

    He’s got a problematic record on race-related issues and women’s issues — good luck inspiring massive turnout there. Plenty of people would vote for him out of duty, but plenty wouldn’t, and good luck yelling at the voters to hector them into voting for your candidate. Plenty of people would just stay home. (Say, we’ve seen that movie before too! Weird!)

    Then there’s the obvious red flag — so obvious that it shouldn’t have to be pointed out — that he’s run for President twice before and lost each time (including once way back in the 1980s when I was in high school!). A decades-long record of losing the nomination isn’t exactly the resumé of “the only person who can win.”

    Some people like Biden because he’s familiar and represents a return to “normal.” Others say they like Biden because they think everybody else likes Biden, so they’ll vote for him. It’s that kind of savvy mind-reading that has led Democrats into trouble in the past. Just ask Presidents Kerry and Dukakis, for example — oh, wait . . .

    In short, vote for the candidate you prefer, not who you speculate other people are going to prefer. Don’t listen to the Brain Geniuses on teevee, covering the campaign like it’s a stupid horse race. Find the candidate you like best and vote for her or him. That’s what the primary is for. You might be surprised to find that if you like a candidate, lots of other people feel the same way — regardless of what all the savvy Brain Geniuses handicapping the race are telling you to think.

  2. jerry 2019-08-02 08:39

    “Git’r’done” is another phrase meaning for “I have to eat”. Speaking of eating, there will be more ranch wives and husbands seeking that job away from the ranch chores.

    “Argentina is known for its quality beef — among the best in the world, if not the best — and trade deals are now allowing Chinese consumers to enjoy a higher grade of exports.

    This comes in addition to optimism in the sector, after the South American trade bloc Mercosur and the European Union reached a free-trade agreement, reported.

    Prime cuts of Argentine beef are processed by workers who cut, prepare and package meat for export markets like the European Union and Russia, and increasingly, Asia.”

    Boys and girls, trump and his republican allies (Rounds and Thune and little Dirty) have sold you out. Do something about it…or enjoy stocking shelves with the high school girls and boys…you know, your kids. trump and these three, have lost your market share..until Democrats come back in and save the day. Why wait? Give them the crappy boot and make them clean that bullcrap off of them.

  3. Buckobear 2019-08-02 10:34

    “Number one state for people with more than one job.” You mean we’re actually ahead of Mississippi ??

  4. Porter Lansing 2019-08-02 15:14

    Ageism, racism, and sexism all in the same phrase? (BTW – Cory would prefer you used the Oxford comma) Thanks, Mr. Baumeister for setting us straight. Here, we thought it was POC, women, Muslims, Jews, and the poor who were being discriminated against. I guess you set us straight that it’s older, angry, white, males who are the real victims.

  5. Debbo 2019-08-02 15:20

    #1 on 2+ jobs is not something to be proud of. As Dave said, it is due to poverty wages. So SD treats its wage earners the worst in the nation! Congratulations SDGOP!

    This is just bizarre:
    “parents of her daughter’s soccer team will work to stock shelves there for a donation to the soccer team.”

    It’s not a donation, it’s in lieu of pay, and certainly not as much as if Walmart had paid even their poverty wages to employees. I have an idea Walmart! Offer jobs for $15/hr! You’ll have all the employees you need! Cheap a$$ Walton billionaires. 😡

  6. Caroline 2019-08-02 21:44

    In my small, rural town several teachers work nights and weekends at convenience stores or the grocery store to make ends meet. Some are night time and or summer janitors at the school. I wonder how they have the energy to do a good job in the classroom the next day, or how late they have to stay up at night to correct papers.

  7. jerry 2019-08-03 08:33

    Republican racists, farmers and other idiots, here is your boy trump telling you that he has everything solved. Don’t worry about your farm failure, you see, you’re not paying for that, China is. Just look at your balance sheet under “China pays for that” and take it to your banker. He will be amazed at your bookkeeping and logic. Then go to town and get a job to survive while you stick it to China. There, that’ll show’em.

    Even Fox business news knows bullcrap when they hear it. Neal Cavuto can’t hardly help hiding his disgust over the utter failure of the crook and liar in the white house that South Dakota overwhelmingly supported.

  8. Clyde 2019-08-03 09:07

    Your comments on comments paragraph I couldn’t agree more on. Unfortunately, virtually every farm publication that I receive used to encourage comments from readers but no longer allow them. Most of those publications have been gobbled up by corporate media. Its no wonder that so many foolish farmers are Trump supporters

  9. Dave Baumeister 2019-08-03 11:51

    Although I blame corporate media for a lot of things, there is more to it than that. Many publishers are just afraid of losing one subscriber or one advertising dollar, so they don’t print anything controversial. I have been trying to get that changed, but it is like hitting my head against a brick wall. Yes the odd dollar may be lost temporarily, but most readers will be accepting of a differing opinion, as long as they know their opinions will be printed, as well. And printed without an “editor’s note” at the end keeps them from getting gate last word. The other thing as that the independent newspapers are often run by a skeleton staff, and they are just too busy to write editorials. But you and I are of a like mind on this subject. Maybe we should start our own newspaper! We could educate the masses!!

  10. jerry 2019-08-03 19:43

    20 dead, all shot to hell in Texas at a Walmart. Thoughts and prayers from the phony republicans in the congress and on the street. Remember, those can happen in South Dakota just as easily as they can happen anywhere else. Thoughts and prayers, my ass.

  11. jerry 2019-08-03 19:46

    21 year old white boy who hates immigrants. More white rage on defenseless people.

  12. Debbo 2019-08-03 20:27

    20?! Sickening. 😢😢😢
    White supremacists, a cancer on the USA, on the Americas, on the planet.🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

  13. jerry 2019-08-03 22:25

    Afghanistan, America’s other terrorist war zone besides here, 3 more deaths of American service men.

    “The Department of Defense announced the deaths of two soldiers and a sailor on Tuesday, July 30:

    Specialist Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Chicago, Illinois

    Private First Class Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, of Stryker, Ohio

    Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Slayton Richard Saldana, 24, of San Antonio, Texas

    Nance and Kreischer were both assigned to 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and were supporting the NATO-led Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. The 82nd Airborne confirmed both men died from combat-related injuries in Southern Kandahar on July 29, 2019.

    Saldana’s status was listed as DUSTWUN (Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown) after he went missing during a man overboard incident while underway on the USS Lincoln on July 17, 2019. Saldana’s duty status was officially changed to deceased on July 30.

    The soldiers’ deaths bring to 14 the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this year.”

  14. Roger Cornelius 2019-08-03 22:59

    Dr. Newquist, Northern Valley Beacon, has an excellent thread about the brainwashing of America.
    Today’s shooting and those of the recent weeks are proof that Trump’s evil ways are catching hold and that they must be stopped.

  15. jerry 2019-08-04 08:07

    9 more gunned down in another terrorist attack in Ohio. America is sick with the fevered hate of the racist in the white house. He is the Ebola to our country.

  16. jerry 2019-08-04 08:09

    In less than 24 hours, 9 more gunned down in another terrorist attack in Ohio. America is sick with the fevered hate of the racist in the white house. He is the Ebola to our country.

  17. jerry 2019-08-04 11:28

    24 year old trumpist white nationalist, was the killer in Dayton, Ohio. The republican party has now confirmed that they are the party of white nationalism, and racism. New uniform for the GOP, white sheet and cone head. Elephant is now extinct, this is your symbol. trumpist republicans now have to decide which religion will be their’s. Catholics, Jews and Muslims, you ain’t it. Shoot and kill among yourselves and leave the rest of us out.

  18. jerry 2019-08-04 16:14

    If business would pay their help more, then there would be no need of a second or third job. Even part time people who got a living wage could make the choice to put some extra time in for their own needs rather than for survival.

    Offer comprehensive affordable healthcare into the mix and you would get the workforce you desire. Highly motivated, well trained and loyal staff as well as the same with part time workers.

  19. Debbo 2019-08-04 19:39

    International research has found that U.S. mass shootings cannot be explained by a violent culture, racial divisions or mental health, the N.Y. Times’ Max Fisher and Josh Keller write in “The Interpreter” column.

    It’s simply the “astronomical number of guns.”

    “The United States has 270 million guns and had 90 mass shooters from 1966 to 2012.”

    “No other country has more than 46 million guns or 18 mass shooters” — the U.S. is way worse than the Philippines, Russia, China or India.

    From Axios, Mike Allen

  20. Roger Cornelius 2019-08-05 13:33

    Did Trump just target Toledo for the next massacre?

  21. Debbo 2019-08-05 13:50

    I cant stand to listen to that voice. 🤮🤮🤮

  22. jerry 2019-08-05 14:34

    republicans have got to make families first, all families or else just embrace their inner hate filled racism of white supremacy. They must change their names to Smith and Jones so they can forget that they descended from immigrant families that came from sh:thole countries that were dirt poor when this place opened the doors for them even when they could not speak the common language.

    republicans, your chickens have come home to roost and they are the terrorists you created.

  23. Debbo 2019-08-05 15:39

    From Mike Allen, Axios:

    “America has the world’s worst gun problem. And now it’s being forced to confront its hate problem.

    “The gun problem: In the 20 years since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, the U.S. has had 88 mass shootings (each with four or more victims), with 736 killed.

    “The hate problem: In the past 18 months, white-extremist active shooters in the U.S. have been responsible for 63 deaths in seven episodes, including attacks on a Texas Walmart, a Florida high school, a Texas high school and a Pennsylvania synagogue, a N.Y. Times graphic shows.”

  24. Debbo 2019-08-05 16:11

    From President and Leader Barack Obama:
    No paywall.

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