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 Street.com, 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 Street.com 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.