The sum of knowledge can be seen in this: we are taught, we express what we think we have learned, our errors are corrected, and we learn more by doing better.
Before there were child labor laws, occupational safety laws, and a minimum wage, the unions in this country provided a huge service to their members. In more recent times, unions have single-handedly harmed and killed businesses throughout the United States. The death of Hostess Bakery came at the hands of a union. In this case, it wasn’t the Teamsters. They worked out a deal with Hostess. We owe this one to the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (http://www.bctgm.org/). That union is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Maybe the AFL-CIO should take the $5.95 million its Political Action Committee gave to the Democrat Party in 2012 and give it to the families of the newly unemployed that it helped to create.
What are unions doing for us today? They make sure that pro athletes get tons of money. They don’t seem to do that for everyone though. The three most important jobs an American can hold today are teacher, police officer, and firefighter. In spite of the fact that these professions are largely unionized, the noble men and women in these jobs are some of the most notoriously underpaid in the nation. A large group of people making less than them today are 18,500 Americans that used to have a job with Hostess.
I am inviting anybody in the United States that held a different opinion than mine about our newly re-elected president to say, “I told you so” to me when any of the following happen:
- The national debt ceases to grow for 12 months straight
- Our credit rating goes back to AAA
- We completely leave Afghanistan
- A budget is passed
- The president sets foot in Israel
- Real unemployment stays at or below 6% for three consecutive months
- DOMA is repealed and benefits like Social Security and military spousal privileges are extended to all legally married people
- The academic rating in science and math of U.S. students gets back into the top ten in the world
- The president fulfills his 2009 promise to shut down Guantanamo Bay
- The number of appearances the president makes on talk shows in a year is less than the number of press conferences he holds in the same year
- There isn’t a single presidential appointee at the USDA that has not or does not benefit from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s)
You know where to reach me.
I wrote the following in a letter to a classmate: “Brevity and I don’t get along well.”
It was probably the shortest and wisest thing I’ve written in decades.
On September 24, 2012, I posted the following letter to Senator Tom Harkin’s Senate Web page.
As a veteran and taxpayer, I appreciate your desire to have the money used to educate our veterans be used effectively and efficiently. However, the presentation that you authored has issues. I’m trained in statistics and because of that, I could make a laundry list of issues. You are a very busy man so instead of going item for item, please allow me to point out one blatantly wrong slide. You have a slide entitled “For-Profit Colleges Employ Many Recruiters But Few Placement Staff.” From a subjective perspective, to have a slide with a title that indicates an issue with For-Profit Colleges as a group but then indicts a single one is disingenuous and ineffective because your case is that many schools have this problem, yet you showcase only one. It also smacks of a lack of objectivity and personal bias. Even if your chart is accurate, it does not make the point that this is a systemic problem.
Objectively, the slide in incorrect. University of Phoenix, the largest school under the Apollo Group umbrella, has an extremely robust Career Services site that covers the gamut of services from resume writing to career research to interview preparation. The site also lists major employers that Phoenix partners with to help find jobs for its graduates.
Your data was gathered from 2007 to 2010. I started at Phoenix in 2010 and I don’t know what its career placement services were like then. It could be that in 2010, your statement was accurate. However, it is nearly 2013 and it definitely is not accurate.
If I had the 20-30 hours free to write it, I would write a report that shows slide for slide, just how bad this report is. I don’t have the time to write it and anyone as busy as you doesn’t have the time to read it. Please consider making this “update” to your report as a show of good will. I’ll be the first person to thank you for that by making a post to that effect on my blog, andyknaster.com.
Since your Senate Web site has a link to that report on its home page, it appears that this is a report you are proud of and feel the people need to read. Don’t you owe it to your constituents and all of America to be accurate and up-to-date?
This is my second letter to you. I requested a response to the first one and I have not received it. I posted to your Facebook page and got no response. Please respond to this message. This is a very non-partisan issue. In this highly contentious and partisan time, taking action on a non-partisan issue is something I think would resonate well with many Americans.
Andrew Knaster, BA, MA, MCP
University of Phoenix Master of Information Systems student, class of 2013