Economics

WorkingPoorCover

Continuing on through the nonfiction books of the Fulton County Public Library, I arrived in the Economics section. This category encompasses broad topics such as labor economics, financial economics, economics of land and energy, cooperatives, socialism, public finance, production, and macroeconomics. Since there is no way I could possibly cover all of those topics in one blog post I’ve chosen to concentrate on the first two-labor economics and financial economics.

The recession that hit around 2008-2010 affected many middle class families causing hardship. Many were forced into underemployment or unemployment. Of those who were able to return to work many were unable to get a full time position or a job that paid anything but poverty wages. Most lost insurance and other job related benefits such as retirement packages. Millions of Americans now fall into a category known as the Working Poor. In 2013 this is what that looked like:

working poor 2013

Although there have been some improvements in the economy in the last 3 years, many former middle class families still can’t make ends meet. Even with minimum wages increasing in some areas (and minimum wage going up at least $1 since the graph was made),  millions of full time, hard working Americans with families still find themselves living at or below poverty level wages.

working poor pictogram

Often people are forced into working multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Many of the books I read in the Economics section focused on this issue. Even more alarming are the number of households headed by women raising children alone and the number of married women who are the main bread winners in their families but still making considerably less money than men doing the same job. The work world tends to discriminate against women with children. Particularly noteworthy books that I read dealing with these subjects follow.

The Betrayal of Work

 

This book, The Betrayal of Work by Beth Shulman, does an excellent job of describing the dead end cycle that many American families find themselves caught in. Shulman follows several full time, hard working people and describes the sorts of conditions they must deal with on a daily basis.

Selling Women Short Selling Women Short by Lisa Featherstone is a book detailing reasons for a class action lawsuit (Dukes v. WalMart ) which exposes many labor and ethical violations in the retail sector. After reading this book,  the reader will have a new appreciation for the need for change in the American workforce.

Overwhelmed Brigid Schulte does a remarkable job in Overwhelmed Work, Love, and Play  When No One  Has the Time of exploring the balance (or lack thereof) that many people (mostly women) experience between work and leisure time. This is especially an important work when one considers that in many cases women must work extra hours just to make up pay differences or split shifts due to needing to take care of children. Although a rather long read, this book has many important points to make and is well worth the time.

About the time I was reading these books, I was handed the following new addendum at work; author unknown.

Employee Handbook

Sick Days

We will no longer accept a doctor’s statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Personal Days

Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday & Sunday.

Lunch Break

Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch because that’s all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast.

Dress Code

It is advised you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing $350 Prada sneakers and carrying a $600 Gucci bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.

If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better so that you may buy nicer clothes and therefore you do not need a raise.

If you dress in-between, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Bereavement Leave

There is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives, or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Restroom Use

Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. There is now a strict 3 minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper will retract, the stall door will open and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the “Chronic Offenders” category.

Thank you for your loyalty to our great company.

We are here to provide a positive employment experience.

 

Although I read many books pertaining to financial economics there is one that I favor above all others. It is The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

The Total Money Makeover

Dave Ramsey has a common sense, no nonsense approach to money that will benefit anyone.  As he says in his book, it doesn’t matter if you make $20,000 or $200,000 a year this plan will work for you. My husband and I have taken on this particular challenge and we are seeing immediate results. Mr. Ramsey first attacks some financial myths and then redirects areas of thinking. He lays out a basic plan in which participants work their way through 7 baby steps. In my opinion this should be required reading for everyone. Dave Ramsey has literally helped thousands of people improve their financial situations.

 

 

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Political Science

Political Science

Confession: I don’t have a huge interest in politics. I vote. I stay informed of the main issues and the issues I personally care about but that has been the extent of my participation in politics. Political Science is another one of those categories that I was dreading reaching in my library read through project. One of the reasons for doing this project is to broaden my reading horizons and perhaps discover new interests. I surprised myself–and just about everyone who knows me personally–by really enjoying this section!

It was in broadening my reading horizons that I came across this gem of a quote that comments on the importance of just reading:

“Within eighteen months, I went from the bottom of the class to the top of the class, and many of those smart kids were now asking me for the answers. Some have described this academic metamorphosis as miraculous, but in fact, it is the kind of transformation I have witnessed or heard about countless times when people fill their time with reading and the acquisition of knowledge as opposed to worthless pursuits of near-constant entertainment.” One Vote by Ben Carson, MD

20369702 One Vote is a small but very interesting nonpartisan book that aims to encourage everyone to get out and vote. It also contains some very interesting websites. I checked some of these out and have chosen to share just a few.

http://votesmart.org/voteeasy/ This is a nonpartisan site which will help the user to narrow down his/her choice of candidates. At the top there will be small tabs. Click on an issue and the candidates who agree with you will move forward and those who do not agree with you will move backwards. Do this with all the main issues listed, and you might be surprised who you do or do not agree with!

http://www.isidewith.com is another nonpartisan site that is quite informative. Though the quiz is somewhat lengthy, it does an in depth analysis of which candidates you agree with on what issues and shows you where you fall on a political scale, identifying your core beliefs. This site can also help to educate you on relevant issues.

There are many other similar sites. Until I read through this section of the library, I had no idea that nonpartisan sites like those mentioned existed.

civil rights

In addition to reading numerous nonpartisan books/sites, I also was able to look at many picture books of important events such as the Civil Rights Movement. I found these to be very interesting.

Other books in this section were a little more light hearted such as The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception by H. Keith (Harold Keith) Melton and Robert Wallace.

The-Official-CIA-Manual-of-Trickery-and-Deception

One other book that I wanted to mention from the Political Science category was a book that I would have been unlikely to pick up and read because I wanted to. It’s titled Obama Zombies: [How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation] by Jason Mattera.

Obama Zomies

I came to have this book checked out by my normal method of shelf reading in order and choosing 5 books at a time. In my opinion, this is a very informative book regardless of which party one supports. It is written by a millennial author about how millennials were coaxed into voting for certain candidates during the last presidential election. It was rather eye opening.

If others have read the books mentioned here, I would love to hear your viewpoints!

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you so much to Youmeanme author of the Saving Without Scrimping blog for nominating Dewey Hop for the “One Lovely Blog Award!” Youmeanme is loving life on a budget and I love visiting her site where there are all sorts of great ideas for living life and staying on budget. She’s a fun and creative person!

Guidelines for the “One Lovely Blog Award”:
•Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
•Add the “One Lovely Blog Award” logo to your post and/or blog.
•Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
•Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

7 Random Facts & Things in no Particular Order:

1. I love to read and have always been a voracious reader. Writing the Dewey Hop blog for the Fulton County Public Library in Rochester, Indiana is a great excuse to get to read a lot! I am primarily a nonfiction reader (thus the reason Dewey Hop begins in the nonfiction section), but I do enjoy works of fiction and plan to read through all parts of the library as well as explore all the great resources and services.

2. My husband and I plan to someday be on the mission field. We have started taking baby steps towards this goal. The most recent one being that he has finished schooling for airplane mechanics/body work. (He is almost finished now with FAA Boards; one test to go!)

3. My daughter recently got a job cleaning airplanes!

4. Before working for the library, I have done all sorts of other jobs including, but not limited to:  being a Special Education Teacher, being in management positions for various retail stores, Co-founder of a group that helps people with difficulties in the workplace, a demo person giving free samples/items to customers in a grocery store and even working for a potato chip company.

5. I’m currently writing a book. It is a true story and testimony of things my family has been through and how we believe God brought us through them. Truth really is stranger than fiction!

6. The last book I read was about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder called  Amen, Amen, Amen by Abby Sher. The book(s)  I am currently reading are Angel Armies by Tim Sheets and a book about living with autism called Raising Cubby by John Elder Robison.

7. I have lived in 5 states: New Mexico, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. I have also lived in one US Territory: Guam.

 My Nominations for the “One Lovely Blog Award” are:

  1.  tierneycreates
  2. katherineotto
  3. A Year of Living Kindly
  4. Nancy of Practially Wise
  5. A Perfectly Flawed Ruby
  6. Claudia McGill and Her Art World
  7. transforminglife no
  8. anordinarywoman
  9. Tea and Tales
  10. Happiness Between Tails
  11. O-Pen-Unated
  12. Under Western Skies
  13. Finding My Own Way
  14. Pointing Telescopes
  15. Concierge Librarian