The QOL Covenant

What is quality of life?  We all have a broad concept of what it means; however when it comes down to constructing an actual definition “quality of life” (QOL) is different things to different people.  In its simplest form we could say that QOL is the wellbeing, or absence thereof, in a society.  Nonetheless, the CDC has identified social, mental, and environmental constructs that all contribute, negatively and positively, to the overall QOL of a culture, political region, or civilization.

Wellbeing is the state of being happy, healthy and prosperous, and that is the promise that leaders and potential leaders make to their constituents. “Vote for me, and I promise to vote for your wellbeing.”  It is the covenant, or promise, that exists between an elected leader and his/her voters.  When God made His covenant with the Israelites, he promised to take care of them and lead them to the Promised Land.  In exchange all they had to do was honor and worship Him, and follow the rules that He laid down (see the Ten Commandments, should anyone need a refresher on this).

So it is with our elected officials.  We promise to elect them over and over and over and over, and they promise to vote with our best interests in mind – to take care of us.  Three people who have promised to vote with Kentucky’s “best interests” at heart have voted to:

  1. Abandon the most vulnerable women and children in Kentucky by voting against the Violence Against Women Act.
  2. Repeal the Affordable Health Care Act
  3. Desert fellow Americans in New Jersey by voting against federal disaster relief
  4. Continue America’s dependence on fossil fuels and Big Oil by voting against bio-fuel refinery development
  5. Disallow agricultural reform and increased funding to grow fresh fruits and vegetables
  6. Prevent jobs coming home
  7. Thwart small business tax relief

These government initiatives represent critical elements of Quality of Life.  Who says that the government should step aside and let people take care of themselves, regardless of how vulnerable and helpless they are?  We have all been helpless although we don’t remember it.  When we were infants, most of us were not told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and take care of ourselves.  Those of us who were blessed enough to have parents or guardians to care for us were nurtured and guided until we were able to fend for ourselves.  Hopefully we were prepared to nurture and guide the successive generation. 

How exactly is that different than the government providing assistance to at risk children, people whose homes have been destroyed, families, seniors and veterans who need federal nutrition assistance through SNAP, and giving tax breaks and other economic development opportunities until they too can stand on their own?  Shouldn’t our goal be to prepare all Americans to nurture and guide successive generations toward prosperity, wellbeing, and the best QOL possible?

Take a look at the above list of seven government bills and funding initiatives, and tell me that each of these don’t support QOL.  You can’t.  Nobody can.  Because they do.  Democrats are about QOL – we want those vulnerable populations to be supported until they can stand alone.  We want a strong, healthy nation which can be achieved by assuring everyone has access to basic healthcare.  We want a secure nation with a foundation of economic strength and national security.  All of these are QOL issues, and all of them are supported by legislators other than the three Kentucky representatives on the Hill.

Those legislators have already broken their covenant with us, their constituents.  Let’s make a new covenant with candidates who truly will act in Kentucky’s best interest.

It’s Not About FTA’s (Free Trade Agreements) – A Letter to Labor

Dear Labor Unions,

Please know that I support you and I see the tremendous value in an organized, highly skilled workforce.   Labor’s focus on technical education is exactly what the US need.  We NEED a larger segment of workers that are technical experts; that is the only way that our economic development in advanced industries like biotech, alternative energies, and construction using new architectural engineering will be successful.

In a recent conversation with a labor representative whom I respect greatly, I mentioned that a new free trade agreement (FTA) was on the horizon.  The labor rep responded heatedly that FTA’s are a terrible evil working against unions.  Now, I am not an expert on organized labor, but I do know my way around FTA’s.

FTA’s are about opening foreign markets to US exports – goods that are manufactured by US workers that hopefully include members of organized labor.  “The reduction of trade barriers and the creation of a more stable and transparent trading and investment environment make it easier and cheaper for U.S. companies to export their products and services to trading partner markets. Forty-one percent of U.S. goods exports went to FTA partner countries in 2010, with exports to those countries growing at a faster rate than exports to the rest of the world from 2009 to 2010, 23% vs. 20%.” (International Trade Administration website:

Yes, FTA’s also eliminate customs duties on goods imported to the US, which may make production in other countries appear to be a good business decision.  But I guarantee that US import duties, which average roughly 4% of an item’s value, is nowhere near to the savings in labor.  If a business can save 4% on import duties, but 80% on labor, where will they go?

We have no FTA’s with China, however production in China is so attractive because Chinese labor costs a tenth of US labor, and Chinese workers they typically work longer hours.  Chinese workers are, however, more than three times more likely to be killed on the job (Huffington Post, March 8, 2012).  Also, contrast the types of items produced in China (low cost apparel, electronics, furniture) with the higher value items produced in the US, like airplanes.  The outcome is that US workers are more productive because the durable goods produced are more sophisticated, better made and therefore more expensive.  That’s where the strength of organized labor comes in.  When our skilled workforce grows and amasses more technical knowledge the US can be confident as a global economic leader because quality wins every time.

 So it’s not about FTA’s. It’s about labor and more importantly, it’s about what we make here in the US and how we make it.  Raw materials can and should come from lesser developed economies.  Same for products that are the result of less sophisticated manufacturing (cut and sew, simple assembly processes, etc.)  THAT is the natural evolution of economies.  And a more highly evolved economy will make products for aerospace, nanotech, and green tech industries.

So in closing, I would say to my labor friend and his colleagues shoot for the moon and the green…..technologies.


pro·mote: verb

  1. To help or encourage to exist or flourish; further: to promote world peace.
  2. To advance in rank, dignity, position, etc. (opposed to demote ).
  3. Education . to put ahead to the next higher stage or grade, course or series of classes.
  4. to aid in organizing (business undertakings)

general: adjective

  1. Of or pertaining to all persons or things belonging to a group or category: a general meeting of the employees.
  2. Of, pertaining to, or true of such persons or things in the main, with possible exceptions; common to most;
  3. prevalent; usual: the general mood of the people.
  4. Not limited to one class, field, product, service, etc.; miscellaneous: the general public; general science.

welfare: noun

  1. The good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group or organization;
  2. Well-being: to look after a child’s welfare; the physical or moral welfare of society.

Therefore the purpose of government is to help and encourage the prosperity, health and happiness of all people, not limited to one class. Now keeping in mind that the guys who wrote this were white slave owners, and these words did not include women and minorities, one concludes they were not the most inclusive group around. However the intent of that covenant with the citizens of the Baby USA (citizens being white guys, white guys and white guys) was clearly that EVERYONE has the inherent right to prosper, be happy, be healthy and be safe.

Wait, that sounds to me like:

  • The Affordable Healthcare Act
  • Let’s Move
  • Violence Against Women Act
  • Marriage Equality
  • Police officers. firefighters, emergency services

And every one of these things were OPPOSED by Kentucky’s representatives in the US House and the US Senate. Oh wait. They are privileged white guys. What year is this again? I know what next year is. Next year it will be 2014 and we have an opportunity to make a change for Kentucky and for women.

The power of government is sweeping and all-encompassing. Don’t believe me? Read the Constitution. Legislative, judicial and executive authority is powerful and all-encompassing, tempered with protections for the “blessings of liberty”. So government is the structure within which resides CHOICE: of faith, of sexual orientation, and of how one manages one’s own body, to the extent that choice does not adversely impact society.

The Right is the Party of Anti-Choice. They want to remove individual choice for other faiths, for women to choose what to do with their bodies, and for people to choose whom they will marry. Their policies do NOT promote the general welfare and they are, dare I say, ANTI-HUMAN.

Democrats are Pro Human Choice. Join us to learn more!