Sunday, April 04, 2004

Reading this morning's Post-Dispatch, I'm reminded of what I said on Friday about Bush boldly dealing with the issue of condom warnings. "PUH-LEEZE could we concentrate for a minute on something important?" For example, maybe he could pressure the Department of Labor to investigate companies that routinely shave workers' hours off the computer. I never suspected it was a common practice, but the article makes it clear that many big retailers erase hours all the time. Since employees get no paper record of their hours when they clock in and out, altering computer records is simple, and it's not easy to prove it happened--even if a worker is willing to risk his job by challenging the boss. (The scam resembles the problems we fear could occur with computerized voting.)

Store managers do it under pressure from the head office, which then turns a blind eye, keeps up the pressure, and says things like:

"Pep Boys' policy dictates, and record demonstrates, that any store manager found to have shaved any amount of employee time be terminated."

Karl, who was offering you that bridge a couple of days ago? He should sell it to someone who believes Pep Boys.

I pointed out Friday that sin doesn't begin and end with sex. Cheating workers who make maybe $8 an hour--barely enough to live on-- is distinctly unchristian. ("Do unto others" etc. and "Thou shalt not steal"). So if Bush is such a good Christian, he could ask Congress to pass a bill requiring that workers at least get a paper printout of their hours. And if he gave the Department of Labor more funds to investigate and prosecute these cheaters, the taxes workers would pay on the additional hours they earned would even compensate the government for its efforts. Win/Win.

But I'm sure that neither Bush, Bond, nor Talent would be interested in my ideas. One more reason, then, to support Kerry and Farmer.

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