Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Jon goes political

Current mood: aggravated

Finally I'm posting my first political blog because mainly I'm tired of being silent. I'm pretty opinionated in politics and I think a lot of flase ideas are being circulated about all sorts of things. This first blog will be about some statewide issues in Ohio that I will be voting on via absentee ballots and why I'm voting the way I am.

ISSUE 2: Minimum Wage- "A Constitutional Amendment that would increase Ohio's minimum wage to $6.85/hr and would reduce employee privacy."

NO: First, I don't think raising the minimum wage is a good idea, not because I'm some rich miser, but because raising the minimum wage has ripple affects on the economy. The ones who end up getting hurt the most are the ones who need the most help financially. Most people think of huge corporations that can probably manage quite well by paying their low-end workers a little more. Unfortunately, the vast majority of businesses are small businesses and most cannot afford to pay employees any more. Let's say Jim and Sue work at a locally owned convenience store for $6 an hour, hardly much of a salary. The minimum wage is raised to $6.85 or 7.15. Chances are the owner himself is barely making it, so he must raise prices to help pay for the increased salaries of Jim and Sue. SO first, while both Jim and Sue have more "disposable income," prices have gone up so the increase is basically cancelled. If the increase in prices doesn't help the owner, then one of them will be let go so that the business can stay in the black. So say Sue remains while Jim gets the pink slip. Sue got a raise, but now she has twice as much work to do and prices are higher, while Jim now has no income at all. Oh yeah, this is coming from someone who barely made above minimum wage this summer. I'm hardly some rich person here. The above scenario is very much on the minds of small business owners and most of them aren't rich either- their business is their livelihood and they themselves don't make much. How is putting minimum wage workers out of work, putting small businesses in the red, and raising prices helping "the little guy?" I'm also voting NO because this is a constitutional amendment and there are better ways to take care of this issue, plus the privacy issue and the paperwork issue just make this a poor ballot issue.

ISSUE 3: Learn & Earn (gambling)- "This issue is a Constitutional Amendment that would provide scholarships to Ohio students funded through expanded legalized gambling."

NO: I am opposed to gambling at any level (including the lottery) and this is a ploy to support gambling. I have moral issues against gambling, but also gambling brings a lot of baggage with it including crime, loss of productivity and money, and addiction which can lead to breaking up of families and other not-so-good stuff. There are other ways to help Ohio students for college too. A good start is to lower the cost of education in Ohio so more families can afford it which needs to start at the university level with greater financial responsibility.

ISSUE 4: "Smoke Less Ohio"- "A Constitutional Amendment that would restricts smoking, while allowing exceptions for bars and certain other businesses."

NO: I am voting NO on this because it is a ploy to continue the status quo of smoking in Ohio and does nothing to protect the health of non-smokers. Further, the main supporters of this bill are tavern owners and the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company itself. Hmmmm. Don't even start about "smokers rights." No one has the "right" to pollute the air I breathe. If the EPA can tell a big company to stop putting harmful chemicals into the air, why can't the state of Ohio tell citizens and businesses the same thing? It's already been proven that second-hand smoke is dangerous to everyone and it's also been proven that separate smoking rooms in buildings don't eliminate the problem of second-hand smoke. After spending a big chunk of my summer breathing in second-hand smoke at Geauga Lake, I have no patience for smokers. Just because you have an addiction doesn't mean I should have to share your consequences. Banning smoking in places like bars, bowling alleys, restaurants, etc. is a good idea not only for patrons, but also for workers, many of who can't just go get another job. Why should they have to breathe second-hand smoke all day to earn a living?

ISSUE 5: SmokeFreeOhio: "A voter initiated statute that would enacts a statewide smoke-free workplaces act that would apply to all public places, and would supersede bans already in place in Ohio cities."

YES: This is a no-brainer. See above. There is no reason that smoking needs to be a part of any business. Further, this is a voter initiated statute and can be altered as needed while issue 4 is a constitutional amendment that would trump issue 5 if both were passed and it would trump exisitng smoking bans in several Ohio cities.

Ballot descriptions from:


LDS Drama Queen (Becky); October 5, 2006
I pretty much agree with everything you said. Good for you for speaking up.

Dorese; October 5, 2006
Kudos to you for speaking up! And when you hear people complain about the minimum wage, just remind them that the national minimum wage (and that of the state of Idaho) is only $5.15. And hey, we're surviving... Anyway, I appreciate your sentiments. Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Lundmark (Kelly); October 5, 2006
Boo yah! Jon Ridinger, you are my hero. Thank you so much for saying what needs to be said about these issues, especially the smoking one! I already joined the Facebook group for SmokeFreeOhio and definitely plan to vote NO on Issue 4 and YES on Issue 5, and I really appreciate your putting out some information on other important issues on the ballot. Rock on!

Nari; October 5, 2006
My vote is
no no on the smoking ban. Not that I want to protect a smokers 'right' but because I don't feel like the government should be telling a private business that they can't do something perfectly legal on their private property.

Now...if they want to make tobacco illegal, then that's a different story.

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