Friday, July 18, 2014

p.s. I'm running for Nevdada State Senate !

I put up a bunch of junk about that on Facebook--or I used to:

If you really want to be a pal [or a doll, whatever], you could donate to my campaign !

I think I will have to form some committee: "Friends-of-Joe."

Anyhow, in the meantime... I filled out a questionnaire the other day for the Henderson Chamber of Commerce.  (If they want to endorse me.  Probably not, because I believe in a little corporate tax -- and a little ["graduated"] minimum wage increase.)

So...out of curiosity: here are some of my views !

(I edited my answers slightly here, for clarity--and length; they had a word limit.)

Q. Would you like to see a Minimum Wage increase ?

A. Well...Sure, of course, I would love to.  (I'd like to see the _Federal_ minimum wage increased.)

_BUT_ as it is now...I'm not sure it's feasible for Nevada.  I don't want to hurt small businesses. 

I can say this from experience.  I'm really an educator, but work part-time for a small-business: ESI Security in Reno.  (They have anywhere between 300 to 400 employees.  It goes up and down.)

But I have a solution: I'd like to see a “graduated” or “gradated” minimum wage increase.  That small companies can be exempt--but larger corporations, like Wal-Mart, who can afford to pay higher wages, should.

Q. What do you think of  SJR15 ? – which, essentially, taxes the mining companies more.

A. I support it.

It's like we're living in Africa, and these are blood diamonds.  If they are becoming enriched from the state's natural resources...I don't think it's too much to ask for them to share a little with the rest of Nevadans.

Again: this is one way to get money for Education--and other things we could use.

I have one idea: think we need to re-vamp the state's water works.  That we shouldn't be watering our lawns with -- or taking showers in-- potable drinking water.  Need to be more efficient.

Q. What are your thoughts on education ?

# 1. K-12 and Higher Ed needs more money.

So... We have to get that somewhere.  I like the idea of A. some corporate tax, B. taxing the mining industries.

# 2. I like Washoe County's shift in being more career-oriented.  (Having high schools focus on things like agriculture...)

I think we need mandatory classes in creativity / problem-solving.  I say this as an educator.  (Six years teaching English at UNR and TMCC.)

It affects businesses / corporations, too.  Here's a little link--to an article, "The Creativity Crisis."

p.s.  One note: I don't like charter schools--think they steal money away from public schools.

And I’m a fan of teachers’ unions, of course.

Q. What do you think of the “Business Margin Tax” ?  (Ballot Question 3.)
Do you support it, in its current form ?

A. I wish I could write "Maybe."

I think we need some sort of corporate tax.  (The state can no longer rely on casino revenues.)

One issue I have: it might not ensure that the money would go straight to education--which I think it should do.

Q. What are your thoughts on Health Care ?

# 1. Obviously, farming out the health-care exchange to Xerox didn't work.

So--like a lot of other states: it makes sense to use the federal one.

I pray for the day when we will all have Universal Health Care, a single-payer system.  I think if you eliminated the middle-man of insurance companies, you'd save billions.

I come by that opinion honestly enough.  Went on a Mormon / LDS mission to Sweden.  They have it there, and it works fine.

But:  I think it’ll be 5 or 10 years—and will have to come top-down.  (Don’t think we can go it alone, forging ahead ourselves, like Vermont.)  In the meantime, I think we could emulate California’s system a little more.  They seem pretty efficient.

And, really--even if you're dealing with say, uninsured homeless and poor people…Most doctors themselves agree: the state would save more money in the long run, providing pre-emptive, preventative care—versus having to wait until last-ditch, death-bed care.

# 2. I think it's ridiculous, that there isn't some system of having patient histories on an "intranet"--so they can be shared from one doctor to another.


Friday, July 11, 2014


# 0.  I arrive at 3:45.  Think that should be enough time.

# 1. At first, they tell me "1 hour wait time." Then, I get status updates, and it keeps getting longer. 69, 75, 89 minutes...

I ask lady at desk why that is. "Oh. Maybe people got dropped, but they're put back in." I'm like "Ahead of me ?"

One hour later, status update: "Your wait-time is one hour."

# 2. Instead of taking a ticket, so you'll know what order you're in...Like 7, 8, 9... They use the last four digits of your telephone. So: you have no idea when your number's coming up. (Status updates, but again: not helpful.)

# 3. I leave -- b/c I have a real life, outside of the DMV. I come back a little after 5 pm: guard won't let me in. I'm like "I got here at 3:45. Kept getting bumped back.  Not my fault." He says "Can't come in, unless you get permission--like this guy." (Middle-aged man enters.) I ask: "Where can I complain ?"

# 4. I complain through text message. Then, I get message: "Come on back to DMV." I'm like: "Really ? You're giving me permission ?" It says: "Ok, we pushed back your spot in line so you can have additional time."

I rush back, like "Hooray!" I tell the guard: "They gave me permission, over the phone." It sounds like a real person is text-messaging me--but he says no. The guard--with blond goatee--is totally cold-blooded. I ask to talk to manager. Won't come out and see me. Only over radio.  (Kind of cowardly.)  I ask "Then who's been texting me ?

I haven't been this mad in a while. Really horrible customer service.

p.s. They shouldn't have shut down the one in Sparks. B/c...then the wait time wasn't so long, with two locations.