The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 1:00 am


Runup to Saturday rally may get a local boost

Rep. Jim Banks is hosting his annual BBQ fundraiser at Joseph Decuis Farm on Thursday. He has chosen freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina as his headliner. Sheila Curry Campbell's Sept. 7 op-ed exposes many of Cawthorn's reprehensible behaviors.

The BBQ is just two days before the “Justice for J6” Rally scheduled at the Capitol in D.C. on Saturday. It seems the potential for national soundbites from the BBQ of Cawthorn's positions on the events of Jan. 6 are high. This provides the possibility that what is said here in our Indiana 3rd congressional District will be used to inflame supporters of the rally nationwide and increase the possibility of further violence.

As Banks seems to be all in as Republican Study Committee chair, it seems unlikely he would feel a responsibility to protect the reputation of our district by canceling Cawthorn's speech. It does seem possible that Joseph Dequis, as one of only 5 AAA, 4-Diamond designated restaurants in Indiana, might not encourage or embrace being the source of a national soundbite that might aggravate the potential for violence at the rally at the Capitol.

Patricia Murphy

Fort Wayne

Virus reorders workplace similar to general strike

“We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune!” retorts a saucy peasant in the classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

You don't need to be an anarchist, communist or even a marginal reformer to appreciate the irony of the recent win for workers provided by the coronavirus. Ed Semmler, in his article “What's causing the labor shortage,” cites retirement, reevaluation of life or career goals, nosophobia (illness anxiety disorder), remote working and the gig economy, and entrepreneurism as significant factors keeping laborers from reengaging in the workforce.

It is a workers' market, making employers vie for the candidates by the most unconventional of means – raising workers' wages.

A Washington Post article published in early August claimed that 80% of U.S. workers now make a minimum of $15 an hour – a 60% increase from 2014 – while the average rate of increase across sectors for all non-mangers is up 7.8% since the pandemic began. These sharp rises in hourly wage are indicative of something that has never occurred on American soil: The coronavirus had the impact of a general strike.

Although Semmler's article lacks research on local markets, there is something to be said for his claims about the number of hiring signs across the purview of Michiana, as well as Elkhart's RV factories clamoring for workers' attention. Nevertheless, it is a much-deserved win for workers everywhere, even if it wasn't calculated purposely by a well-meaning collective but instead because of a malignant and deadly virus.

Scott Philotoff

South Bend

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