Visiting the Imprisoned one of the corporal works of mercy

[I was] in prison and you visited me

Matthew 25:36c

There was an interesting story at ABC (via Instapundit) that jumped out at me this morning concerning President Trump’s relationship with the Black community vs President Obama‘s.

“This is probably the most pro-active administration regarding urban America and the faith-based community in my lifetime,” Scott told the group, adding, “This is probably going be … the most pro-black president that we’ve had in our lifetime.”

A black pastor saying Donald Trump the most pro black president we’ve had in our lifetime?  How is that possible?  The article continues

He compared Trump to his predecessor, Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, and said: “This president actually wants to prove something to our community, our faith-based community and our ethnic community.”

In other words Trump as a leader is trying to serve the black community.  Sounds like he’s taking advice from Christ:

Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt.  But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.  Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:25-28

And what’s the best way to serve a person who has been in prison, help him find work to support himself once he’s out.

Trump told the group, which included pastors and bishops from across the country, that his administration has been making progress on efforts to make it easier for prisoners to re-enter society and find work.

“When we say hire American, we mean all Americans,” Trump said.

But what about Barack Obama?  Didn’t he care about the back community and feel compelled to serve them?   Pastor Scott again:

“The last president didn’t feel like he had to,” he added, saying of Obama: “He got a pass.”

That sound odd to say the least.  Who can we explain that kind of attitude toward a community that voted for him overwhelmingly?  The answer again is Christ:

Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?  Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’?  Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?  So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'”

Luke 17:7-10

Put simply during his presidency Barack Obama saw that black community as his servants who owed him fidelity as existed to serve him politically as was his due as the first black president.  In contrast Donald Trump seeks to gain the support of the black community as a leader and thus is willing to serve to earn that support and it worth noting that the prison community is the least likely to provide votes as in many states ex-cons with felony conviction are not eligible to vote.

Donald Trump is putting the last first, you can’t get more biblical than that, and people wonder what the community of faith support him.



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A current portion of my scattershot career path, which this year has meandered from giraffe tenderer to Willy Wonka to rubber band man, daily places me on a rather lengthy bus ride around and in a white collar Mecca known by the locals as Bishop Ranch and by everyone else as that place where yuppies who don’t want to work in San Francisco proper go for presumably gainful employment. Bishop Ranch, or at least the vast majority thereof, resides in the city of San Ramon, a tony San Francisco Bay Area suburb where the police have so little to do they actually come to stores for shoplifting calls, residents out and about have to duck drive-by snubbings, and a street fight is defined as two soccer moms reaching for the same latte at Starbucks.

There was once upon a time – sixty years worth of time, to be precise – a ranch on Bishop Ranch’s seventeen hundred and seventy acres, this era concluding in 1955 when the at that time current Mr. Bishop passed away and his heirs decided they’d rather cut and run than continue to corral cattle, thus selling the land to Western Electric. Fast forward twenty-three years to when Western Electric, by then on its deathbed as part of the AT&T monopoly breakup that eventually gave us, um, AT&T, sold the ranch to a business development firm which immediately set out planting as many concrete wedding cakes with windows as it could fit into the available acreage. They’re still planting them, as daily I ride past a not unsubstantial construction site for yet another retail shops in the basement with apartments in the attic site currently all the rage in these parts.

There has been at least some effort to maintain Bishop Ranch’s rural legacy. The grounds have a multitude of trees scattered about, oak and pine and eucalyptus and even a few redwoods. A good portion of them give evidence by way of height and width of predating the building frenzy, doubtless present to both provide wood for assorted ranch requirements and shade for assorted cows and bulls to do what cows and bulls do, namely munch on grass while waiting for the next minor earthquake to rumble through so they can get a free hoof massage.

Trees notwithstanding, it’s impossible to gaze out the bus window and not wonder what this land was like when it was man using nature rather than man subletting nature and paving over everything else. In the city where I was born and raised, a standard joke whenever any kind of new development came in was the regrettable nature of tearing down yet another perfectly good empty field just for this. Progression progresses even as man multiplies; all these people have to have somewhere they can work and earn just enough money for enabling living the lifestyle they can’t afford. Yet, one wonders if any surviving members of the Bishop family, or the Gale family or any of the other families who have traded their earthy inheritance for an exceedingly large check, sometimes consider what was once theirs and regret leaving their farm on the freeway.

by baldilocks

Okay, maybe Spock didn’t really say that about Social Justice.

Stuff Spock Said.

Am I reading this correctly?

On Tuesday, 7 of the 13 members of Washington’s city council sponsored a bill to jettison the wage hike for tipped workers that 56% of D.C. voters had approved by a ballot initiative less than a month before.

Under Initiative 77, the workers would see their minimum wage climb from the current $3.89 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026, erasing the difference between tipped and nontipped workers. (…)

But the D.C. council members came to understand what economists — and D.C. restaurant workers themselves — already know. Sharp increases in the minimum wage will cost lost hours, lost jobs and lost income. (The unemployment rate is over 9% in D.C.’s poorer wards.) (…)

Democrats woke? Not quite.

The writer points out that the D.C. City Council has yet to figure out that the universal minimum-wage trade-off applies to nontipped workers also. That law is still in effect.

This wage mandate, just like the one the council is trying to repeal, will also end up hurting the very people it’s supposed to help.

I’m just shocked that a largely Democrat body with a nearly exclusively Democrat constituency is doing this. What could be driving even a bare majority of that council to vote to repeal one of the staples of “equality?”

Oh wait … it’s in D.C. — where the movers and shakers lunch, booze and schmooze. Minimum wage for waiters and waitresses would result in fewer wait staff, slower service, and, undoubtedly, crappier service as well. Can’t have that.

Mystery solved.

RELATED: The $15 Minimum Wage Is Wreaking Havoc On New York City Dining

Of all affected businesses, restaurants are at the greatest risk of losing their ability to operate under the strain of crushing financial demands. They run at the highest day-to-day operational costs of any business, partly because they must employ more people to run efficiently. In cities like New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco, even a restaurant that has great visibility and lots of traffic cannot keep up with erratic rent increases and minimum wage doubling.

When the minimum wage for tipped workers was much lower, employees sourced most of their income from guest gratuities, so restaurants were able to staff more people and provided ample training to create a highly skilled team. The skills employees gained through training and experience then increased their value to bargain for future, better-paying jobs.

It’s as if Leftist politicians don’t want working stiffs to improve their financial position in society and, through mass financial stagnation, the average worker might begin to believe that capitalism doesn’t work and socialism might be a better way.

Nah, that can’t be it.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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I’m pretty busy today working on the Trump Year one Lunch and Panel event in Leominster MA at noon today (you can still buy tickets here or at the door for $20 which includes an all you can eat buffet) so I don’t have a lot of time for a long piece on shutdowns, Tom Brady or even POTUS’ appearance at the March for Life.

Nevertheless I would like to take a few minutes before I get out of bed and have to be on overdrive for the next 12 hours to note that as President Trumps 2nd year begins and as everyone in media and government who predicted doom for Trump in both 2016 & 2017 continues to do so for him and the GOP in 2018 things continue to happen that favor the president.

ITEM: UNRWA funding cut in half, Terror supporters hardest hit.

As the leader of the Palestinian authority continues on anti-semitic rants (and is defended by the Sorus funded so called “Jewish” advocacy group J-Street as he does ) the US has decided to answer is the best way possible to show the old game of of pay and look the other way is done:

“There is a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of UNRWA, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded,” the official said.

The US had frozen a $125 million grant to UNRWA earlier this month, amounting to one third of the US annual aid to the organization. Part of the grant was unfrozen Tuesday.

The move follows tweets by US President Donald Trump in which he questioned the wisdom of providing hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority given their refusal to resume peace talks with Israel.

This is an amazing development.  Why it’s as if someone actually read the 1951 report back when UNRWA wasn’t a full employment scheme for cronies in and out of the middle east and and decided that ignoring this advice might not have been the best idea the US ever had.

Nobody but Trump would have dared do this.

ITEM: Common Core dies a Quiet Death.

Common Core has been a Tea Party issue since day one. GOP members have given lip service to reigning it in for years with little effect. On the Campaign Trail Donald Trump hit it hard but we heard little about it after he was elected but American Conservative has the transcript of Secretary Devos’ speech on the subject noting the failure of national standards both during the Bush years

President Bush, the “compassionate conservative,” and Senator Kennedy, the “liberal lion,” both worked together on the law. It said that schools had to meet ambitious goals… or else. Lawmakers mandated that 100 percent of students attain proficiency by 2014. This approach would keep schools accountable and ultimately graduate more and better-educated students, they believed.

Turns out, it didn’t. Indeed, as has been detailed today, NCLB did little to spark higher scores. Universal proficiency, touted at the law’s passage, was not achieved. As states and districts scrambled to avoid the law’s sanctions and maintain their federal funding, some resorted to focusing specifically on math and reading at the expense of other subjects. Others simply inflated scores or lowered standards.

And  Obama years

The Obama administration dangled billions of dollars through the “Race to the Top” competition, and the grant-making process not so subtly encouraged states to adopt the Common Core State Standards. With a price tag of nearly four and a half billion dollars, it was billed as the “largest-ever federal investment in school reform.” Later, the Department would give states a waiver from NCLB’s requirements so long as they adopted the Obama administration’s preferred policies — essentially making law while Congress negotiated the reauthorization of ESEA.

Unsurprisingly, nearly every state accepted Common Core standards and applied for hundreds of millions of dollars in “Race to the Top” funds. But despite this change, the United States’ PISA performance did not improve in reading and science, and it dropped in math from 2012 to 2015.

But the Donald Trump administration has had enough:

The trend line remains troubling today. According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress data, two-thirds of American fourth graders still can’t read at the level they should. And since 2013, our 8th grade reading scores have declined.

At HotAir Jazz Shaw notes the speech both for what it critiques and what it suggests as alternatives, namely allowing teaches to TEACH and comments thus:

Wouldn’t it be ironic if we actually made some significant strides forward in fixing our largely broken education system during this term, but had it sneak through under the radar while everyone else was busy screaming at each other about whether or not the President’s cholesterol level is too high? This was one of the better speeches on education that’s been given in a long time. The question is how much DeVos will be able to hammer through without politics poisoning the entire process.

But in the meantime, as far as Common Core goes… it’s dead, Jim.

I’m thinking more and more that it’s less a question of irony of these thing happening under the radar than by designed but no matter how it happens chalk this up to another campaign promise kept and another conservative priority handled.

Item:  More “crumbs” for the workers

Lost among the debate on if the President’s Doctor is a hack or not or the critical issue of if back when he was just a Billionaire Businessman he bedded a porn star, it seems that Apple had decided that to bring a ton of that money they had parked overseas back home.

Apple “anticipates repatriation tax payments of approximately $38 billion as required by recent changes to the tax law. A payment of that size would likely be the largest of its kind ever made,” the company said.
Using the new 15.5 percent repatriation tax rate, the $38 billion tax payment disclosed by Apple means they are planning a $245 billion repatriation.

and it looks like their existing employees are getting a cut of this too:

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is giving many employees a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units, rounding out a series of investment announcements made on Wednesday.

The iPhone maker will start to issue stock grants to most employees worldwide in the next few months, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the situation. Earlier on Wednesday, Apple said it would inject $350 billion into the U.S. economy over the next five years, as a result of the tax cut signed by President Donald Trump, to fund a new campus, data centers and 20,000 new jobs. Apple will also pay a $38 billion repatriation tax, bringing roughly $252 billion in cash back to the U.S.

Representatives from Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“We estimate about 100,000 employees will benefit, which implies a $250m liability that will vest likely in 2 years,” said Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster.

I wonder if Nancy Pelosi will call this crumbs too Sarah Sanders sure thinks so.

Donald Trump reportedly isn’t all that popular in the tech left but I’ll wager the prospect of further bonus’ of this nature is and I suspect that this will be remembered come election day in 2018.

Combine all of these successes and more that I don’t have time to mention now with a Trump boom and the left shutting down government for the sake of illegal aliens and I think the trendlines for 2018 will continue to move in their new direction.


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Get your Tickets today!

You can still buy tickets for our President Trump a Year in Review and Looking Ahead event Jan 20th 2018 at the Tang Dynasty Restaurant in Leominster Ma. Click on the image to the left to get tickets via eventbrite.The event co-sponsored by the Worcester Tea Party comes with an All you can eat Chinese buffet served till 2:30 (drinks are on you) and will include an all star panel (moderated by DaTechGuy) including

Chip Faulkner of Citizens for Limited Taxiation
Dianna Ploss from the Boston Chapter of Act for America
Christopher Maider from the Meat and Potatoes Radio show
Mike LaChance from the Legal Insurrection blog

Tickets are available at the door or you can get them here.  Come on down and join us for a great meal and a great discussion.

Major Pintz: These are today’s recruits, sir. Not much to pick from I’m afraid.
Col Klink: Well, as they say, beggars can’t be choosers. I’ll take them.
Major Pintz: Get these men uniforms, Sergeant, and have them report to me at once.
Sgt: Jawohl, Herr Major.
Col Klink: We are certainly scraping the bottom of the barrel these days.

Hogan’s Heroes The Swing Shift 1967

Over at Stacy McCain’s site there is yet another story of yet another one of the people I refer to as “Stacy’s Women” that is the various disturbed people that he regularly writes about:

OK, I’ll explain what and who inspired this rant. Rachel Sather graduated last year from CUNY-Hunter College. And she is crazy:

I’m very open about living with Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s a lot more common than people assume, with 1.6% of the general population living with BPD, most of whom are women. . . .
Between the psychotic episodes, addicting coping mechanisms, and the seemingly endless mental fog that comes with BPD, its incredibly difficult sometimes to maintain a healthy life. . . .
Thanks to social networks like Tumblr, there’s a whole network of bloggers that share their experiences with BPD. . . . The fact that I have learned more about my illness from Tumblr than someone with a Masters in psychology made me realize that not enough people were talking about it.

Great. You’re having “psychotic episodes” and “endless mental fog,” but you’ve got a college diploma and lots of friends on Tumblr. 

Now as a rule my only really interest in such people is that I pray daily for “Stacy’s Women” as a group on the 4th Glorious Mystery (and ask my late mother, mother in law & aunts to pray for them too) but it hit me today that while they may or may not be grateful for those prayers there is one person that Stacy’s women should be thanking their lucky stars for.

That person is President Donald Trump.

This might seem completely counter intuitive, after all President Donald Trump symbolizes all that they hate, but consider one of the facts of life.

In this modern world if you are looking for employment beyond something that involves the question “Would you like to upsize your combo meal?” you have to get past an HR department.

Now if you’ve graduated from a good college it’s very likely that your resume might be one of those flagged by a HR as one to check out.  But once your name is out of the pile, then comes the google search:

“Hello, world, I’m a queer who has psychotic episodes!” Is that how you want to introduce yourself to every stranger with an Internet connection? Are there actually people who could read that self-description without thinking, “Wow, better stay away from that weirdo”? And what about the ex-boyfriend with whom she had the “overall terrible experience”? Does he realize that Ms. Sather’s interest in him was “psychological attachment” symptomatic of her mental illness?

Y’know, some people had problems with sex before the Internet existed. They either solved their problems or they didn’t, but few of them advertised their problems to the entire world because (a) they didn’t have the means to do so, and (b) they weren’t completely crazy.

Now I can’t speak for HR departments everywhere but if you choose to advertise a bunch of personal problems, it’s not all that likely that HR and the manager looking to hire will be just dying to have you in for a chat.

And I haven’t even gotten started on the political stuff that screams to the corporate world that you are a lawsuit just waiting to happen.

However thanks to President Donald Trump Stacy’s Women have an ally that has the capacity to lessen if not cancel out all those legit worries. The Trump Economy!

In an economy with unemployment under 5% the labor market is tight. In an economy with unemployment under 5% AND growing at 3% or better that market is tighter.

Now picture an economy with unemployment under 5% that growing at 3% or better further stimulated by a corporate tax rate dropped by 40% to spur business growth and a drop in personal tax rates meaning that the average person has extra money to spend.  Like this:

CBS reported that Christmas sales reached $598 million this year, up $33 million over last year, for a 5.8% gain.

That is the biggest gain in Christmas sales in a dozen years.

And that’s not even considering what the ebbing of the flow of illegal immigrants does to said market.

In a labor pool where Kurt Schlichter’s “normals” are already snatched up everybody else gets a 2nd look.  Hey with a labor pool thin enough a college grad, even one with borderline personality disorder who has occasional psychotic episodes, not only avoids the circular file but might suddenly become a catch

It’s Donald Trump, not their liberal professors who will made this possible and every single one of these people who find themselves with a good job instead of manning a drive up window owe him a debt of gratitude that he will never collect.

DaTechGuy conducting an interview Photo via M Rogers Granite Grok

I was planning to write a piece this morning on the Arab threats that if we recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel they would not make peace with them (as opposed to the every other reason that they have not made peace with Israel over the last 70 years) when I got a phone call from work letting me know that I was laid off once again

In a business dependent on e-commerce such layoffs after the Christmas season are not uncommon but layoffs during said season are unusual but when you are dealing with high end products there is less of a Christmas bump as such folks don’t wait for a sale at Christmas to buy, so if volume doesn’t match projections the budget has to drop and as a 54 year old temp in a place full of people young enough to be my children or grandchildren I’m very expendable.

It’s a tough lesson in economics but the real lesson is the one that I’ve mentioned many times before. In the 2 1/2 years that I’ve been at the warehouse off and on, the minimum wage in Massachusetts has gone up twice first to $10 and hour and then to $11. This means that a potential client locates his product is a state at the federal minimum wage they can have three workers for the price of two in Massachusetts.

So as always the real minimum wage remains steady at Zero which is where I am right now.

And so I am once again asking for your help in this matter. The bite will start hitting next week when my last paycheck comes in so I ironically have 12 days before the money stops coming in the Christmas season.

Every $440 I can raise is a week the wolf remains away from the door, if I can raise $3600 by the 21st that will mean I’ll be OK through the end of January which will hopefully be time enough to convince someone in Massachusetts that a guy soon to be eligible for senior discounts who supports Trump and doesn’t check off a single affirmative action box is worth their investment. So I would ask you to consider Hitting DaTipJar Here.




You can also help out by buying my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer and recommending it to your friends. Using scripture as it’s basis it explains why the Hail Mary is a prayer our protestant brothers should embrace rather than reject.

If I can sell 10,000 paperback copies at $6.99, not only will my cut carry me all the way through February or March but as part of every sale supports WQPH 89.3 FM EWTN Catholic Radio you can support the station that carries my weekly show, Your Prayer Intentions Saturdays at Noon EST each week. And of course it would make an excellent Christmas Gift for the person of faith on your Christmas list.

Finally the math of my job is pretty simple. $440 a week comes to $1892 a month over the course of a year. (440 x 4.3) If you divide that by 20 that comes out to 94.6 meaning if I can get 95 new subscribers by the end of this month. I can permanently replace my warehouse job and do this full time while still paying my writers and other costs with the existing subscribers I currently have. This will give me time to work on several other book projects as well.


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UPDATE: Mega Instalanche: Thanks Ed and Glenn and thanks all of you. I’ll be going through DaTipJar hits and emailing you all and updating the totals as soon as time permits and the server decides it can let me in to do so.

Update 2:

Good think I’m planning on hitting confession tomorrow as these two images might constitute violation of the sin of pride

Give me the Insty book club anyday

Might I suggest this might be a great book for a confirmation class

Update 3: (12/12 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe) OK my plan which I blast emailed out to everyone who kicked in was to work on my book this month and start job hunting in January unless something dropped into my lap.

About 20 minutes ago something dropped into my lap. I got a call from the temp agency that I had this job through that said employer asked for me back.

Given my age and speed or lack thereof I’m presuming that there has been a sudden bump in business that requires bodies in a hurry, even old slow ones old enough to be the father or grandfather of many of the folks there. Of course there is also something to be said for us older folks brought up in the tradition of showing up for work and doing your job.

Now in this business it’s not odd for a layoff after the Christmas season and I wouldn’t be surprised if by the week of January 6th I find myself laid off again. But for now I’m going to take things as they are and see if this is two weeks work, two months work or full time work. But I think I should definitely do CPAC which means I won’t have to ask for money to go there.

I’ll keep you all informed.

Eagle River, Wisconsin

By John Ruberry

“‘Many are the strange chances of the world,’ said Mithrandir, ‘and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.'”
Mithrandir (Gandalf), in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Simarillion.

This week greets the first anniversary of Donald J. Trump’s historic election to the presidency.

Historic? Yes. Trump is first first non-politician–or former general–ever elected to the nation’s highest office. The Manhattan billionaire was one of 17 candidates for the Republican nomination and it’s very safe to say that among the GOP establishment, Trump was the least popular member of this group.

But among the unpolished masses–the folks that Hillary Clinton dubbed “Deplorables” a year later–Trump was their champion. House Speaker Paul Ryan said after Trump’s upset win over Clinton, said that the president-elect, “Heard a voice that no one else heard.”

Clinton, on the other hand, was clearly the choice of the Democratic Party insiders, and that point was driven home last week by Donna Brazile, the interim DNC chair when Trump scored his upset win.

Trump was branded a racist when he said that Mexico was sending “rapists” and “criminals” over the border and he vowed to build a wall at the Mexican border. Was he wrong to say that? Yes. But Trump revealed a glaring hypocrisy among the Republican Party. The GOP’s idea of “getting tough” on illegal immigration was to talk tough about illegal immigration. And suddenly, the emerging Trump base learned, here was a candidate who will do something about illegal aliens–who yes, not only take away American jobs, such as in food service, but also drive down wages.

Barack Obama waxed eloquently–he’s good at that–about the plight of the laid-off workers at a Maytag refrigerator plant in Galesburg, Illinois–the manufacturer shifted that work to a factory in Mexico, both in his memorable keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and in Audacity of Hope. Trump vowed–and vows–to stop the exodus of blue collar jobs to south of the border. After eight years of President Obama in charge, whose response to these job losses was to offer retraining to workers for scarce jobs in “green industries,” Trump’s message resonated. While Clinton doubled-down on green failure.

Last week Rush Limbaugh praised Trump’s making an issue during the campaign of China cheating on trade deals and its currency manipulation “China is ripping us off on trade,” Trump screamed. At the time El Rusho saw it as too esoteric of a topic for presidential campaign. But the “weak” understood while the “wise” faltered.

And the Deplorables of Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan–many of whom voted twice for Barack Obama–went with Trump last year.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Last Monday I had a errand to run for work–which brought me to Milwaukee’s suburbs. And for the first time in five years I drove on Interstate 94 north of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line–on what is known as the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor.

A lot has changed since 2012. As I left a toll road south of the border and entered a true freeway–okay, to be fair, the toll road has been there for decades–I noticed a lot.

Businesses–with huge facilities–that weren’t there five years ago leap out at you. Most obvious is the massive Uline warehouse in Pleasant Prairie. The headquarters office of the industrial supplier moved a few miles north from Waukegan, Illinois into Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County in 2010. Its “Chicago warehouse” followed four years later.

In the 1980s Wisconsin’s tourism slogan was “Escape to Wisconsin.” Illinois businesses are now heeding the call.

Yes, the Chicago area has a couple of Amazon fulfilment centers, but farther north on my drive I saw a massive one in Kenosha–it opened in 2015. The Milwaukee Business Journal calls it “the largest in the recent Kenosha County industrial boom.” There is a “Hiring Now” sign out front.

Sears Holdings, an Illinois loser

South of Kenosha County is Lake County in ILL-inois. There is no Lake County industrial boom. There is no Illinois industrial boom.

Why is that? Sure, tax incentives from Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker have helped greatly. Illinois, when inept Democrat Pat Quinn was governor, offered tax breaks to Sears Holdings, which operates the Sears and Kmart brands, and Mitsubishi Motors, to encourage them to stay. This was a few months after a huge income tax hike was enacted. What about attracting new business? By all accounts Sears and Kmart are on life-support and Mitsubishi closed its Bloomington plant in 2015.

Corporate taxes might be slightly higher in Wisconsin–no place is perfect. But Illinois has the nation’s highest median property tax rate. And Illinois’ expensive workers compensation laws frighten business owners.

In 2015 Wisconsin became a right-to-work state. All the states that border Illinois except for Missouri are right-to-work states and Show Me State voters will be asked next year if they want to join the trend. Nearby Michigan has been right-to-work since 2012. Job creators don’t like unions and based on recent workplace votes, neither do workers.

Illinois has its 800-pound odious gorilla in its basement, a woefully underfunded public-worker pension system. Wisconsin’s state pensions are by most accounts fully funded. Businesses don’t like uncertainty and Illinois’ pension bomb, despite a massive personal and corporate tax hike put in place this summer, has not been defused. Not even close. Ka-boom is coming.

Blogger in Pleasant Prairie

This summer Wisconsin and the Milwaukee to Kenosha I-94 Corridor snagged its biggest prize, the Foxconn factory. The Taiwanese manufacturer will hire anywhere from 3,000 to 13,000 employees for its facility in Mount Pleasant in Racine County. Yes, Illinois had also bid on the Foxconn plant.

Indiana is also enjoying great success poaching Illinois firms for the similar reasons.

And when the jobs leave the people leave. And Illinois is one of only three states with negative population growth.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Illinois at Marathon Pundit.

Let’s face it; everyone makes mistakes when they are younger. Whether it was a night of underage debauchery with your parent’s pilfered booze or a dare to rob the cash register at the local 7-Eleven, you might still be reeling in the wake of that bad decision today. People who were arrested as a youth have unique struggles in life, as they are often treated differently than those who haven’t had a run-in with the law. Here are a few challenges that the 70 million Americans who have been arrested might face.

Getting a Job

Image via Flicker by reynermedia

Getting a job is the number one issue with having an arrest record. Many job applications ask you to disclose any arrest information, and if you have anything listed, many companies simply choose not to interview you. Even if you do make it to the interview stage, 69 percent of employers perform background checks. In a background check, your employer will be able to see all of your arrest records, court reports, criminal convictions, and police reports.

If the report does come back negative, only 58 percent of employers allow candidates to explain the arrest or conviction. The rest will automatically decline the candidate for the position.

Renting an Apartment

Employers aren’t the only ones who can run a criminal background check on you. Landlords also choose to do this, and many are swayed by negative results. While this is technically against the law, many landlords are choosing to deny prospective tenants regardless. The Fair Housing Act is intended to prevent against this sort of discrimination, but landlords will come up with other reasons to justify their bias.

If you’re thinking of just skipping rentals and jumping into homeownership, think again. In a survey of 25-year-olds, 21 percent of them who had never been arrested owned a home. However, only 15 percent of people who were arrested owned a home. The rates were even worse for those who had been convicted, with only 10 percent being homeowners.

Earning a Professional License

If you’ve ever wanted to become a professional of any kind, you might be banned from doing so thanks to your criminal record. For example, many states won’t allow you to become a plumber, cosmetologist, or funeral director if you’ve been arrested before. Oklahoma, in particular, is extremely strict, limiting anyone with two convictions of marijuana possession from becoming a physical therapist, interior designer, or land surveyor.

Filling Up Your Bank Account

Whether it’s because they can’t find a good job or because of salary discrimination, those with an arrest record make far less than their peers. At age 25, the median income for someone who was never arrested was $25,000. For those with an arrest, it fell to $23,000, and for those with a conviction, $20,000.

If your arrest record is affecting your life, there are steps you can take to have it expunged after a certain period of time. Doing so might make life a little easier, so be sure to look up the rules in your specific state.

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