Get Your 40 Hours Back, America

For the overworked, cutting overtime sure sounds enticing, and employers are responding. For the millions working below Affordable Care Act mandates, getting back to 40 hours couldn’t happen soon enough.
There’s enough speculation behind the invention of the 40 hour work week to spark an all-night bar brawl. If you’re sitting on Ford Motor Company’s side of the fence, perhaps you’re right. However, thanks to 1916’s Adamson Act, railroad workers may have beaten Henry Ford to the punch. More important question of opportunity: who decided 40 hours wasn’t enough, or was too much?
According to an in-depth phone survey taken in December 2013 by Rasmussen, only 31% of Americans put 40 hours in for ‘the man’. Poll the same Americans in 2015, and watch that number decrease 50%. Whereas professionals and blue collar workers would rather stave off excessive overtime, multitudes of once happy workers are now fighting to get their 40 hours back. Some would love to get back to just 30. A big thanks to Obamacare’s financially sweeping effects for that devastating loss.
Even though Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced a more clearly defined workweek to provide an avenue for health care for everyone under Obamacare’s mandate, his Save American Workers Act would theoretically increase America’s already ridiculous deficit by roughly $73 billion over a decade. Scrap that idea. Forcing employers to provide 40 hours and health care would push even more companies overseas, cutting American jobs forever. File thirteen that one, too.
BambooHR, masterminds behind an HR software as a service (SaaS) solution based out of Provo, Utah, is certainly attune to working long hours to meet deadlines. Because the once overworked Bamboo co-founder, Ryan Sanders, realized the physical implications of toiling over a keyboard for sometimes 80 hours weekly, he erased overtime from his lexicon by enforcing a strict 40-hour workweek without argument or wiggle room. Should an overeager worker remain 30 minutes over, it’s treated as a serious problem. Working overtime on occasion is one thing: encumbering staff with weeks of overtime becomes an unstable recipe for workforce burnout. Cutting hours, however, is a growing problem.
According to analyses performed by the Congressional Budget Office, roughly one in six Americans, or 55.4 million, still punch 40 hours each week. Affordable Care Act states that 30 hours is sufficient time to receive employer-sponsored health care, one major reason why multitudes of private, small business and even corporate employers are knocking weekly hours down below 30. This makes for an interesting quandary: how does one afford mandatory health care payments when hours have been cut below the Federal threshold so employers aren’t forced to offer health benefits? That’s Rep. Young’s argument.
Regardless whether you’re cutting back or reaching forward, 40 hour work weeks have been archived by many employers, with salaried employees bearing few if any exceptions. Airline companies like Stratos Jets, however, are forward-thinking enough to handle employing a large workforce without bending. Whereas software developers may need 60 hours to complete projects without being forced away from their desktops, home health care workers and even automobile workers are fighting to get 40 hours back. There’s definitely a strong case that Americans don’t need to work more than a few hours a day on average, especially with technological and agricultural strides being made. An even stronger case exists that 40 hours should remain, however, and it couldn’t happen quick enough for the working millions living in destitute.
Overworked? Underworked? Make your stand and get back your 40 hours, America

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Celebrities at Mardi Gras – Ranking the Ride

Every year in New Orleans there are Celebrity Grand Marshalls, Monarchs, and Kings of the Parade and a few that go along for the ride. With the close of Mardi Gras Day, 3/4/2014 here is a brief review and rankings of the celebrity riders.
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This year’s riders along for the ride included Orpheus Founder, Harry Connick Jr who is ranked at 1,155 on IMDB Professional and is known for his roles on “Will and Grace” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” as well as being a top musical talent.
John Schneider rode as one of the Monarchs of the Orpheus Parade and ranks at 1,881. He is best known for his work on “The Dukes of Hazzard”, “Smallville”, and, coming soon – “Smothered.”
James Roday also rode as one of the Monarchs of the Orpheus Parade and ranks at 1,551 on IMDB. He is best known for is work as a writer, producer, director, and actor on the show “Psych.”
Hugh Laurie rode as King Bacchus this year and ranks at 1,411 in his celebrity status. He is best known for his roles on “House”, as “Bertie Wooster”, as well as being one heck of a musician!
Quentin Tarantino also rode in the Orpheus Parade and is more well known by name than face, as he has written, directed, and produced some top films including “Kill Bill”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Inglorious Basterds”, “Reservoir Dogs” Quentin Tarantino. He has also been in a number of movies as an actor and ranks in celebrity status at 226.
Ian Somerhalder road as Co-Grand Marshal in the Endymion parade and ranks at 186 in celebrity status. He is best known for his work in “Vampire Diaries”, “Lost”, and “Smallville.”
Norman Reedus tops out the celebrity ranks at 73 and road as Co-Grand Marshal in the Endymion parade. He is best known for his roles in “Boondock Saints” and “The Walking Dead” and is a frequent guest at the Wizard World Comic Conventions and can be seen at their next con, this weekend in Sacramento.
While not one of the parade royalty, Mayor Mitch Landrieu deserves an honorable mention as riding with John Schneider in the Orpheus Parade and he ranks in at 468,247 in celebrity status for his work as Himself in interviews, documentaries, and music.
Don’t take it too hard on only getting an honorable mention, Mayor Landrieu. The writer of this article, John N Collins only ranks at 3,714,415 on IMDB and is mainly known for presenting the “Best Science Fiction Feature” Award at Hollywood’s Shriekfest for the past two years.

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The Art of Subliminal Advertising

“I see what you did there.”
When a brand puts something out there that has a bit of a wink to it, consumers have a chance to get in on the joke. Sometimes, however, things are so clever that one wonders if the brand intended such a connection to be made…and those who get said über-clever connection are left wondering whether it was intentional or serendipitous.
The Aleve tie in to hit-TV game show Jeopardy is a great example. Take a look at this photo featuring New Jersey resident Jason Keller at the end of one of his many Jeopardy victories. The smiling Keller adds $25,000 to his growing pot and gets to stay for another try at winning even more money. What about the other two contestants? The connection from Aleve at first seems obvious: the analgesic is relieving their pain by providing some token “loser money.” But what else do you notice?
This isn’t just any pain reliever sponsoring Alex Trebek’s forum for geniuses and trivia masters. There is some subliminal reinforcement of the “Aleve” brandname. The winner gets to stay. Each loser must, ahem, leave. “I leave.” “Aleve.” Now look at the photo again, from left to right: I stay (to compete again), I leave (with dashed dreams), I leave (having to face friends and relatives after an abysmal performance).
Did Aleve intend this subtle and even comical brand reinforcement? Or is this just a “happy accident” waiting to be discovered by some viewers? Perhaps the brand will provide the answer to this post.

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