Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Remember A Yes Vote Is A Vote That Says Yes To Your Future!

OK, as requested... What do I think of the 2006 Massachusetts ballot questions?

Question 1: Selling wine at the grocery store. As if you had to ask. This one is a fucking no brainer. Bring on the cheap booze and get this party started.

Question 2: Should we allow a single candidate to appear on an election ballot for more then one party nomination and count the total votes for the individual. It's kind of the reverse of the 2000 Presidential election where George Bush got way less then 50% but because the votes were split between Gore and Nader the votes didn't matter. Really this is a bad idea. It can only make elections more frustrating and confusing. After all, we're a state that can't get it through our heads that 1 hour and 3600 seconds are the same amount of time. (You might know that fact but no matter how many times I try to tell your children that they still don't get it in any meaningful way.)

Question 3: Should we reclassify home based child care workers? Yeah probably but this question is even more confusing then #2. Really the question is should we require small daycare centers to maintain professional standards beyond what it takes to get the license. On the face of it, that sounds like a good idea but really it's requiring the little guy to shell out tons of money for classes and credits toward recertification. Lisa drops hundreds of dollars each year for continuing ed credits on her RE license and I'm going to have to get a Masters in Education to keep my teaching license. That ain't going to be cheap. The question is what do we expect out of daycare? If it's preschool age kids then "daycare" should be just that. Care during the day. Anyone with half a brain, even ones that haven't figured out that 3600 seconds is an hour, can do the job. Are the toddlers still toddlin' and alive at the end of the day? Job well done! The key to this question is the phrase "home-based" which means a small time operation where one or two people operate out of their house. This one sounds to me like some big daycare mill got tired of the competition and wants to squeeze out the little guy. I'm especially leery of ballot questions that make financial claims. I can believe the claim it won't cost tax payers extra money. I can't believe forcing a small daycare provider to go for extra classes which usually aren't free isn't going to result in that provider passing along the newly increased cost of licensing to the customer.

So those are the questions. I'd say Yes, No and No.


Blogger Bry said...

I'm supprised about your answer on number 1. I'm absolutely voting NO. There is no reason to add more centralization to industry. Walmart and Target are already putting businesses that sell EVERYTHING ELSE out of business, why are we adding another industry full of JOBS to the list? It may be convenient to pick up your beer next to your bread, but all it does is add to the wealth of large companies and put small companies out of business. I'm sure it will pass, but I will continue supporting my local liquor store because I LIKE talking to the owner about the new wine he found on his trip to Italy. That kind of face to face interaction will be lost with all the jobs.

Number 2: undecided.

Number 3: I disagree that pre-school should only aim to have the kids alive at the end of the day. Rich white kids who go to pre-schools where the teachers have masters degrees are better prepared for kindergarten and do better in their first years of elementary school (even with controls for parental support). The brain sheds tons of cells that it doesn't use between one and three and if these kids are being cared for by teachers who are ignorant they will actually lose parts of their brain that could have been useful.

HOWEVER, you are correct about the money thing. Legislation first is backward. We need to get local psych professors to offer free classes at community centers across massachusetts FIRST and THEN (once it has been established that small operations will not lose money from the requirements) raising standards can be considered. If we raise the cost of small operations we keep folks who can barely afford the services right now out of situations where their tykes have one on one relationships with adults and peers, which is ultimately the most important part of pre-school and is lost in large day-care programs.

So there!

Oct 25, 2006, 3:08:00 PM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

The child care thing is about requireing more certification in order for the provider to recieve public funds. It's purpose is really to ensure that only the well funded daycare centers recieve the public assistance vouchers that some low income but working families use to pay for their children. It's forcing those parents to only send their children to the Wal-Marts of daycare where ever they've set up in large commercial space rather then go to a local daycare located in their own neighborhood staffed by members of the community.

Oct 25, 2006, 8:37:00 PM  
Anonymous lisajsc said...

Question #1 is only geared towards WINE and I am sure that it will be a limited selection. I do not see them carrying high end stuff, but just those table wines that people cook with or will have fairly soon after buying it (like with that night's dinner). I do not see them selling hard stuff and beer. If they offered every option that a specialty store has then there would be no room for the groceries and they may have to remodel. I can see them having a couple of lanes open with people over 18 years of age (hopefully 21+). Those high schoolers who work there most likely will not be working those registers. I would hope this will be the case because that would totally fuck them out of jobs, but, then again, that probably would violate the labor laws somehow with age discrimination (maybe maybe not. Sounds good thought. I do not want the youth of today who want to work to lose a job because of this.) My concern is if this bill passes what will happen to those convenient "fast lane" check yourself out systems with NO ONE TO MONITOR WHO IS BUYING WHAT. I love going to specialty stores for everything. I love Charles St in Boston that still has seperate cheese, bread & wine shops. Very old wold quaint. I actually do not think this will hurt liquor stores. Gas/convenience stores are selling groceries and beer and wine. I doubt the people who work those places do not know anything about those products and sales are not affected anywhere else.
There needs to be stricter regulations on Day Care facilties. Someone needs to monitor them better and only quailifed people who will not touch the kids should be able to work and organize day cares. If I were ever to put a child in day care I would definately look at ALL of their qualifications.

Oct 26, 2006, 1:21:00 PM  
Blogger RicketyFunk said...

Prefaced by the fact that I don't live in MASS-achoo-SITS, I will weigh in on these issues as well. No one wants to hear my opinion but too bad.

Question 1: What's the issue? Oh no! Wine will be sold with other foods... (yes, wine is a foods. Ask a Wine-oh.) I understand that ya'll have some stuipd laws 'bout drinkin, similar to Utardian Policy in re: Kegs of Beer are illegal to possess, Alcohol content lower than normal, Only one shot allowed per customer per pour (no Double Balvanie Neat for you sir.) and that's just fine since I don't live there and have to put up with those puri-tyrannical laws. The fact is that in most elsewheres you can buy more than just wine at stores and people like it. If you want good wine (nod to Lisa on this point) you'll still want to go to a smaller store that specializes in quality, not ability to remove paint from your neighbors car. My vote: Leave the state and not deal with the stupid blue law.

Question 2: The explanation is quite fuzzy but I think what's being asked is this. I'm assuming that it means that John Q. Anti-Alcohol is running for Redneck Shariff and also City Jerk and either vote cast for either position would count towards both. If that's the case then that's Utarded.

(If that's not the way it works, than ignore that position.)

Question 3: The best thing to do is sell your children to whoever wants them, collect the cash and call it good. "Sell the kids for food, we can have some more" kind of mentality.

I think that most small-time daycare's are run by people who are limited by circumstance and need income of some sort but can't or refuse to work somewhere else. The "lack of quality" that comes from meeting and not exceeding the requirements for licensing maybe more along the lines of meeting and then not maintaining requirements (like cooking meth in the basement. True story. Happened in Misourra.)

It's a tough issue to say yes or no on.

Final Verdict: Abstane

Oct 26, 2006, 3:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q1- No. It cuts out the little guy.
Q2- Yes. It will be nice for people to have other options and increase interest in voting.
Q3- You guys are totally off base on what question 3 does, it doesn't set standards or certificates that providers need to do day care. It just gives them the right to collectively bargain with the state if they so choose.
And I'm all for that.

Oct 26, 2006, 7:56:00 PM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

Then I have totally misread the question. My interpretation was that if the law passed daycare centers would have to continually retrain and recertify in order to collect state funding for the children of low earning individuals. It would lock those providers in poorer neighborhoods out of the only paying job in a poor neighborhood in favor of corporate daycare that is more expensive and can afford to fudge professional development by bringing in a consultant for a day and dollar cost average the price per employee in ways that someone paying for the consultant outright can't.

Oct 26, 2006, 9:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

Ignore anon:

Q1: The little guy still sells his etoh. All we are talking about is wine folks. Wine at places like Trader Joes in Brookline which ALREADY sells it!

Q2: Hello! The Constitution clearly states we are a two party system. Life has not changed that much to warrant changes. All it does it let GOP try to fool stupid Americans that they care. Oh wait, they do that now. Atleast somewhat educated people know it's a lie when they see an R next to the name.

Q3-Maybe if we are sooo off base, the group who actually pushed it through would care enough to say, get a website or a commercial!!! They don't even care to educate us on their agenda. Furthermore, independant contractors are NOT a union. You want a union, got to SEIU, they'll support you. A bunch of housewives setting up a union is not a UNION! It offends union supporters. Plain and simple.

Thanks Dean for your comments. I've already voted and I voted the same as your feedback.

Oct 28, 2006, 8:12:00 AM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

The thing about the Trader Joes issue is that the state already allows just this practice but there's a cap on the number of retail alcohol outlets any one person or corporation can own statewide. Really the law is about removing the cap but just for wine sales. There still won't be a Blanchards or Kappy's in every town. Now Crosby's and Trader Joe's don't have to choose which market (in the case of Crosby's, Marblehead or Salem with the Mhead one selling the hooch.) they want to offer wine in.

Oct 28, 2006, 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

adorable girlfriend:

Why /ignore me? Not entitled to my opinions?

As for Q3- www.yeson3forkids.org been up for quite a few weeks, I've had flyers handed to me about Q3 on two occasions now in downtown Boston and they do have commercials. Also, from the endorsement page on Q3 website- SEIU endorsed them. :)

Oct 28, 2006, 7:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

That's interesting that they have a site, given it's not linked to the Massachusetts web page that shares the ballot and links to both sides, if they have web pages. One wonders how valid the site is given that the state offers to link to the official sites of sponsors.

Oct 28, 2006, 7:15:00 PM  

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