Notes from around the Human Experience…
BACK TO THE FUTURE: In our last column we discussed how the latest unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, while good, is not indicative of a strong American economy. It should be, but it’s not.
Do You Wonder Why You Don’t Get Invited To More Parties?: One of the reasons we cited was that wages were still low. Anyone who has hit the streets looking for work, like us, knows this. Businesses adapted during the Great Recession and they’ve seen no reason to raise wages significantly.
This got us to thinking why are wages still low? Why haven’t businesses raised wages as profits have increased?
Duh: Well, because they haven’t been forced to, obviously. Workers are taking what business is handing out. They are not demanding anything better. Which led to another question:
Where in the hell is the American union?
Dry. Technical Matter: We are referring to private sector unions. Public sector unions, unions who negotiate their contracts with elected officials who don’t really want to annoy the union, remain strong, with over one-third of public employees union members.
Back On Message: It’s different in the private sector, where only 6.6 percent of private sector employees are unionized, down from 20 percent in 1983. In 1965 33 percent of American workers were unionized, down a bit from the all-time high of 35 percent in the 1950’s.
The Bottom Line: Employers are not going to pay anymore for labor than they have to, and employees who are not happy with what they make are free to put the work in to get the job they want. If workers are not standing up for themselves, either individually or collectively, they have no one to blame but themselves.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT: The United States Supreme Court issues one of its landmark rulings in Miranda vs. Arizona, ruling that defendants in custody must be advised of certain rights.
The 5-4 ruling led to what is known as the Miranda Warning, which advises those arrested they have the right to keep quiet, to have an attorney present and if they don’t keep quiet what they do say can be used against them in court, whether they have an attorney or not.
Really Dry, Technical Matter: The case stemmed from the arrest on kidnapping, rape and armed robbery charges of one Ernesto Miranda on March 13, 1963 in Phoenix, Arizona. Miranda was not advised of any of his rights and he signed a confession. When this confession was offered as evidence at his trial, his attorney objected that the confession not voluntary because Miranda had not been advised of his rights. The judge overruled this objection, and the Arizona Supreme Court upheld this.
Oh Yeah: Miranda’s conviction was overturned, of course, but he was later tried and convicted on the same charges and sentenced to a lengthy prison term. He was paroled in 1972 and was stabbed to death in a bar fight in Phoenix in 1976.
The Long And Winding Road Ends Here: The Beatles last American number one song, The Long and Winding Road, reaches the top spot on this date in 1970. It was the Beatles 20th number one song on the American Billboard chart, a record that still stands.
Get Out Your History Books: Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants pitches the 22nd perfect game in major league history on this date in 2012, retiring 27 straight Houston Astros in a 10-0 victory. Cain’s 14 strikeouts tied Sandy Koufax for the most strikeouts in a perfect game.
Some Places Have Interns For This: Plate umpire Ted Barrett worked his second perfect game. Barrett also had the plate for David Cone’s perfect game in 1999.
To Boldly Go…: Pioneer 10 becomes the first manmade object to leave the central Solar System on this date in 1983. Launched in March, 1972 to visit Jupiter, it had its closest approach to the planet in December, 1973.
Admit It, You Love Dry, Technical Matter: NASA received its last usable data from Pioneer 10 in April, 2004 and the final, weak signals were received the following January.
Thought For The Day: You can’t ensure success, but you can deserve it. You can’t guarantee results, but you can put in the effort to achieve them. – Bob Myers, General Manager, Golden State Warriors
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the American thoroughbred Triple Crown Races, first run in 1867.
Today’s Stumper: Which spacecraft is currently the farthest away from the Sun? – Answer next time!