Category Archives: Economy

WA Ecology Dept: Salad Oil as Dangerous as Crude Petroleum Oil

WA Ecology Dept. now fears salad oil as much as crude oil

The Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) has found a new villain.

Tossed on your salad greens.

DOE doesn’t see vegetable oil as any less of a threat to the environment than crude petroleum oil.  And they are ready to act on their latest fears.

The agency proposed in mid-January that short-line railroads in Eastern Washington that haul animal fats and vegetable oils will have the same requirements as interstate crude oil carriers.

Railroads that haul vegetable oils already must follow rules set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

But apparently the state didn’t trust the EPA to control all their imagined  hazards associated with transporting closed containers of  Saffola.

DOE has given no evidence that food oils have caused environmental damage, or are any conceivable threat that requires new regulations. Continue reading WA Ecology Dept: Salad Oil as Dangerous as Crude Petroleum Oil

From City to Farm – Technology Explodes Minimum Wage Debate

Lost opportunities from wage fight

Socialist Kshama Sawant-Seattle City Council
Socialist Kshama Sawant-Seattle Council

Across Washington State and the rest of the country, the battle over hiking the minimum wage continues to heat up.

Governor Inslee proposes that our state’s minimum wage should be $13.50 an hour.

Seattle’s socialist City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant campaigned and won on a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage.  SeaTac also has a $15 minimum wage.

New organizations are quickly springing up to promote the $15 proposal, each with a different spin.

Chicago’s Fight for 15 includes a host of other initiatives along with the $15 minimum wage, including unions and women’s rights.

15Now.org explains that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz makes $9, 637 an hour, compared to his employees. Continue reading From City to Farm – Technology Explodes Minimum Wage Debate

How Fight for 15 will lead to ‘Smart Dining’ and less jobs

“Smart Dining” outsmarts Fight for 15

Unions have focused their “Fight for 15” minimum wage movement on food service workers in large corporations.  Across the country, support has been growing.

Ironically, those big corporations are the most prepared to compensate for increased labor costs with “Smart Dining” — replacing workers with machines.

Restaurant chains are incorporating Smart Dining that will hedge against rising labor costs.  Chilis, Applebees, and Buffalo Wild Wings have already begun using table tablets for many waiter tasks, as demostrated here:

Continue reading How Fight for 15 will lead to ‘Smart Dining’ and less jobs

Puget Sound Regional Council – A Trainwreck in the Making

Fertile Ground for Corruption

Western Washington is increasingly ruled by unelected regional planning agencies with great power, utopian visions, hefty budgets, and little accountability.

In other words–the perfect breeding ground for corruption.

The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) joins other obscure regional governments like the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA), and the Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) that wield enormous power over our daily lives.

PSRC controls transportation dollars, and can withhold them when they believe that their visions are being disregarded.

And like these other regional agencies, the Puget Sound Regional Council makes it clear that they have the power to change the way people live and work. Continue reading Puget Sound Regional Council – A Trainwreck in the Making

How Minimum Wage Hikes Hurt the Elderly and their Caregivers

The corner drugstore still means life or death

In simpler times, it was called the corner drug.  In both small towns and urban cores, it was a lifesaver.  Neighborhood pharmacists knew their customers and their idiosyncrasies, and doled out sage advice along with brown bottles.old time pharmacy

Fifty years ago, little kids could buy penny gumballs and ride coin-operated broncos at their local drugstore.  Big kids could hang out at the soda fountain and sip real cherry Cokes.

Ladies could browse tidy aisles stocked with talcum powder, hair curlers and Toni home perms.  Contrite husbands could slink in and buy last-minute cologne spritzers and boxed chocolates for forgotten birthdays and anniversaries.

The trinkets and novelties have changed over the years, but the critical role of  the neighborhood pharmacy has not.  It has been a lifesaver for many, particularly the elderly. Continue reading How Minimum Wage Hikes Hurt the Elderly and their Caregivers