Tom's Thoughts

Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Friday, April 28, 2006

On Gas Prices

It seems that every time the price of oil goes up a dollar a barrel gasoline goes up a dime at the pump. Then when oil falls by two dollars a barrel the price of gas goes down a nickel at the pump.

I'm exaggerating of course.

But we are being ripped off. Thank God and the Founding Fathers that oil companies have to post their profits and losses publicly. Exxon-Mobil posted the largest profit of any company in history for the past year, and profited over 3 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2006.

As I said on the Immigration post, look who benefits. The oil companies took over the government when Ronald Reagan came in. He halted the alternate fuels research Jimmy Carter started and got gas prices down again, so it fell off the radar. Until now.

In the 2000 election George W. Bush bragged about how he would be able to jawbone the Middle Eastern governments to keep gas prices down. The average price was $1.46 when he took office, and they're $2.91 now. Twice as high. Some jawboning.

So what has been the response of our illustrious Congress? Giving the bloated oil companies more of our tax dollars so they can afford a $400 million golden parachute for the retiring chairman of Exxon-Mobil and so the executives will have more to squirrel away in their secret Cayman Island bank accounts.

Is it time for a change or what?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

On immigration

I have been following the immigration debate closely, since I wait on so many Hispanics in my work.

Let's look at who benefits from the current situation: big businesses that want the cheapest labor possible. They send every job they can overseas, mostly to China at present, but when a cheaper labor market opens up, Chinese factories will be history. For the jobs they can't export they want to hire the cheapest labor they can, so they hire illegals who will work for any wage they can get, especially since it is so much more than they could earn at home.

Now, it has been illegal to hire undocumented workers since the late 1980s, but who will enforce the current law? The big businesses that hire illegal aliens are the same ones who finance the politicians who write and enforce these laws. What politician in today's world is going to bite the hand that feeds and controls them? Ain't gonna happen, as they say.

So, when I propose doubling the minimum wage for all undocumented workers, it's an exercise in futility, because if they won't enforce the present law, they won't enforce that one, either.

The main thing is to remember that these aliens are human beings, created in God's image the same as all people all over the world, and that God loves them as much as He loves us.

Making them criminals won't work, increasing the penalties (which aren't being enforced anyway) for hiring them won't work.

We need to put our emphasis on improving conditions back in their home countries so they won't have the incentive to look for a better life here, plus working to assimilate those who are here now. Every person has something to offer society, and we need to benefit from each one.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I'm Back

I had a hard drive crash a couple of weeks ago, and I lost all my data (except for my financial records which I had backed up) along with the use of my computer. Bummer.

Anyway, I'm back with little to add to what has already been said. I'm hoping to bring more meaty comments soon, but right now I'm tired from taking my wife to the mountains for her birthday.

God be with all of you.