Poly Ticks – sucking the blood out of America

The first definition of the word “poly” is: more than one; many; much.  The second definition is: more than usual; excessive; abnormal.  I’m going to focus on the latter with regard to the second definition of the word “ticks” in this case used as a noun and defined as any of numerous bloodsucking arachnids  of the order Aracina, somewhat larger than the related mites and having a barbed proboscis for attachment to the skin of warm-blooded vertebrates: some ticks are vectors of disease. (courtesy of dictionary.com)

So, this post will not be about animals and insects but rather the growing malady known as capitalists buying and owning politics to keep the masses chained to their posts which we all call “a job”.  Who wrote the lyric “It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it”?  

We reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8, yep, it’s in the Bible, look it up) and what America has sown into the fabric of some of its people in the early life of this nation is to work hard and you’ll be rewarded.  That’s been the case since FDR, the 32nd President of the United States, who served for 12 years (4 terms) whose New Deal policies helped shape the America that was once a strong nation.  The new deal brought relief (via government jobs for the unemployed), recovery (economic growth) and reform (through regulation of Wall Street, banks, and transportation).  But now, however, those who work the hardest are the least rewarded and the great divide of wealth for the few with diminishing returns for the middle is at its worst: a bloodsucking tick on the backs of the working poor.

The Walton family who own the multinational retailer known as Wal-Mart has abundance in the magnitude of hundreds of billions of dollars. Amazing, isn’t it?  The average American earns about $50,000 a year in income and benefits (combined). But if you are among the 2 million employees working full-time for Wal-Mart, the CEO of your company earns more in ONE HOUR than you earn in an entire YEAR.  (Check that out here.) In fact, the total amount of money spent at Wal-Mart in one hour is $36,000,000. (yes, million) The total amount of PROFIT Wal-Mart makes EVERY MINUTE is $34,880.  Yet, a full-time employee earns 1/2 that in a full year of employment.  The great tick known as Wal-Mart sucks the blood out 2 million employees every single day of their working lives. And guess who subsidizes the world’s largest retailer with their taxes?  The average American worker pays the tax that subsidizes the poverty of the Wal-Mart employee among other things such as free-to-cut price land for the corporation and in many noted cases, deals allowing them to evade property tax.  So a company that reaps $405 BILLION annually has the rest of us sots paying taxes to subsidize its workforce and the land it stands on.  Are you pissed off yet? (Wal-Mart stats courtesy of here.)

Let’s move up the earnings path to focus on nurses for a minute. A registered nurse earns anywhere from about $60,000 per year up to around $80,000 with overtime pay.  OVER TIME means working beyond the requisite 8-hour work day (some work 12-hour shifts as their regular work day, but less days per week). Overtime is sewn into the fabric of an RN’s workday. Not enough assistance is provided to allow the nurse to do the job and finish it in the requisite 8 hours. This constant understaffing causes them to remain longer on the job, but provides overtime pay which gives them a nice chunk of change for their extra work. It’s an endlessly exhausting workday and the true reward is that they earn a middle-American wage.  And the ONLY way they can do this is because they have a very strong UNION.  They are organized.  Something the Walton family keeps their employees from doing while discouraging  them from receiving overtime pay for overtime work bullying the managers (the ones earning a bit more) to keep employee costs down.

How did we come to this?  Politics.  Big wigs like the Wal-Mart corporation and other bloodsucking multinationals that are formed solely to provide profit to the shareholders at the expense of whatever is in that pathway OWN our government – ALL THREE BRANCHES – the executive, the legislative, and the judicial.  And they are coming to your town to take over your city councils, your mayors, your state representatives, and your governors by way of their Super PAC money and organizations like ALEC to fund the candidate and policies that only serve to expand the corporate takeover.

America has been consumed by bloodsucking ticks that are making the decisions on education (check out Lumina Foundation and read between the lines), how we feed ourselves (agribusiness), how we name things (isn’t there a corporate name on your sports arenas/complexes?), how we earn a living (breaking up workers unions and the plan to put a “Scott Walker in every state”).

The list goes on and on.  And while Google spends $3.2 billion on Nest Labs expanding it’s proboscis into energy, science, and robotics, we’ll keep pretending that we’re safe and free because that’s what America has upheld as its anthem for a couple hundred years.

Poly ticks.  We are doomed if we don’t find a cure.

(Thanks to Goodsearch and Wikipedia for the vast amounts of information.)

Later this day:  I found this truly horrific, but excellent blog titled: “The Trouble With ‘Made In China’

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About danaj33

I have been teaching in the Broadcast Electronic Media Art department at City College of San Francisco since 2001. I was a part-time faculty member until 2009 when I became full-time. My career as an audio engineer spans 27 years since the first day I began to record and mix songs on my Tascam PortaStudio (cassetter 4-track) in the early 80's while attending college at UC Berkeley. I formed a couple of bands and sang lead (sometimes playing rhythm guitar) until 1988 when I discovered that the "behind-the-scenes" tech realm was much more to my liking. I love how an audio engineer controls the ENTIRE sound mix, and not just one's own instrument. I then began a career as a live sound engineer in earnest and have toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as front-of-house sound engineer for a multitude of bands on various record labels (most notably "Medicine" on American Recordings) and have been a staff engineer at the venerable Bottom of the Hill nightclub since their inception in 1991. The club and its staff are like family. I have maintained a live sound production company since 1989 called dcj Productions that has provided sound to the Bay Area community (mostly in the non-profit sector) in both large outdoor sound events as well as nightclubs and music halls. In 1991, I started recording bands on an 8-track Tascam TSR-8 analog tape recorder and moved into the digital realm in 1993 to 16-tracks of Alesis ADAT connected to a Soundcraft Ghost console in my home studio. In 1995, I advanced to Pro Tools and have been recording exclusively digital ever since, combining audio skills in sound for film as a location recordist as well as an engineer in post-production sound design and mixing. I remained "strictly analog" in my live sound mixing until just this past year (2012). Now that one can obtain a decent, live sound digital mixer at an affordable price, it was high time to check out digital for live. I now have a Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 to work on with my students to give them much needed hands-on experience with a digital console. I co-owned and ran APG Records & APG Studios, an SF record label and recording studio, from 1999 - 2004 which had a distribution deal through EMI. The company folded in 2004. I continue to record music and engineer live performances at many Bay Area venues in addition to full-time teaching at CCSF. In 2001, I was hired to the part-time faculty at City College of San Francisco in the Broadcast Electronics Media Arts department where I have taught many of the classes including Digital Media Skills (BCST119), Basic Audio Production (BCST120), Digital Audio Production (BCST124), Sound Recording Studio (BCST125), Sound For Visual Media (BCST126), Advanced Sound Recording (BCST127), Sound Reinforcement (BCST128), Audio for the Web (BCST135), Video for the Web (BCST136), and Field Video Production (BCST145). I have also taught classes in sound design, audio for animation and games, music video, and computer applications at Art Institute of California-San Francisco, Globe Recording Institute, and Laney College in Oakland, CA. A few CCSF Projects: - Produced a promotional video for the Math department Bridge Program titled "Quadratic Rap". - Produced a new employee orientation video for the Human Resources department at CCSF - Coordinated audio for camera - SF Mayoral Debate, Fall 2011 - Coordinator of Audio Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Fall 2011 - Co-Coordinator of Video Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Spring 2012 Outside Affiliations: - past Vice President and Interim President Board of Directors - Bay Area Girls Rock Camp - past volunteer/contributor to Women's Audio Mission - past member Bay Area Women in Media and Film - current member of Audio Engineering Society - current Board of Directors for Camp Reel Stories
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