Business Owner Bites Back
After reading your article “Attack of the Woman-Dominated Workplace” by Jennifer Braunschweiger, I have to ask what planet is she living on? I am a woman who has owned and operated a manufacturing plant for a little more than 20 years. Jennifer is advocating adding yet another burdensome government regulation (The Healthy Families Act). Do you think we business owners aren’t smart enough to figure out that if we want good employees, we have to be good employers?
Jennifer evidently has no idea that business owners have to balance the needs of their customers with the needs of their employees every single day. This economy has impacted the vast majority of businesses. Has Jennifer seen the incredible glut of empty commercial space lately? Consumers are buying less, so retailers are buying less, so manufacturers are selling less. We are all trying to survive until hopefully a healthy economy returns. The last thing we need right now is one more regulation!
I should point out that what works at one company doesn’t work at all companies. Working at home from your computer is great, but try manufacturing products, boxing them and palletizing them from your computer. It doesn’t work. But there are other benefits that can make up for actually having to come to work. For example, having extremely generous paid vacation time that can be taken as a combination of sick time, family leave, vacation time, or cash.
I do not want some government bureaucrat who has never run anything dictating a policy that will not work well in my company.
Adopting From Africa
I’ve been reading Joyce Maynard’s words for years and I became teary-eyed when reading “Adopting at 55.” The girls losing their mom, dancing, and their happiness with the simple things like sparkly nail polish. In America we take our lives for granted sometimes and reading the article made me think about the things I’m thankful for.
While I applaud the compassion and dedication shown by Joyce Maynard in her decision to adopt two Ethiopian sisters in her memoir "Adopting at 55," it saddens me that Ms. Maynard apparently never considered adopting one or more of the thousands of children who languish right here at home in U.S. foster care and institutions. Many of these American children are minorities from difficult or disadvantaged backgrounds, and part of sibling groups who want to stay together, just like Almaz and Birtukan.
For some time, the shortage of healthy white babies in the U.S. has impelled prospective parents to search abroad for their newborn son or daughter. Plus, even those who want older children seem to prefer adopting from other countries. Maybe it’s the sometimes onerous U.S. adoption laws and paperwork; maybe it’s a trend given momentum by celebrities such as Madonna and Angelina; or maybe it stems from middle-class guilt about our comfortable American lives versus those of children in third-world countries. But no matter what the reason, it is disappointing that the majority of older children in the foster care system will never find a permanent, loving adoptive home like the one created by Ms. Maynard for her new daughters.
Fair to Farmers?
There is so much that I enjoy about your magazine. For example, the Christiane Amanpour interview and the book reviews among other articles–but I was disappointed and saddened after reading “The Corn Fed Toxic Avenger [More Now]. As a 60-plus woman, I have been in the professional world, but I’m now working fulltime with my family dairy farm/ice cream/milk bottling business. The tone of the article reminded me of the sort of thinking which promotes such attitudes as "all Muslims are terrorists" and "all Germans during WWII must have been Nazis." Your piece did a great disservice to all the family farmers out there, some of which are CAFOs, who work hard every day to ensure that their manure is handled properly, recycled and used as fertilizer, so they don’t have to use commercial fertilizers. I guess I expected “more” from you.