Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Wisdome of Having 2 or More Web Browsers

Because web browsers often crash, consider having at least 2 of them, so you’ll always have one working one in which to download a fresh copy of the one that crashed.

Please consider making as your homepage for your primary or secondary website browser. And one more thing. It has useful homepage links to email, weather, fresh and interesting news stories, Google search, and updated weekly quotations.

Thanks so much,


Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Need to Continually Improve Our Computer Skills and Upgrade Our Hardware and Software

On Sunday, I had some issues with my computer not working properly. After doing my best to resolve them on my own, which took at least an hour, I brought the computer into Office Depot and received some valuable help from Chris, who said they would charge nothing for assessing the problem. His assessment, which lasted about 20 minutes, eventually helped resolve the issue, and I am grateful for his time and expertise. Without his help, I would not have been able to complete the updates on this, and our other websites, or write this message.

This incident really brought home the fact that we are very dependent on our computers to get our work done. Without good, properly operating equipment, and the ability to use it well, and fix difficulties that arise with some speed, we simply can’t get our work done.

In Bonne’s work as a group home counselor, her employer recently switched to a paperless system to track everything having to do with their clients. The high volume of forms, client logs, medical information and programming directives, has moved from a paper system to a complex, web-based program. Without already having fairly high-level computer skills, Bonne could have been one of the many employees who recently lost their jobs due to an inability to navigate through the new program with reasonable speed and accuracy.

Who would have thought that group home counselors would need good computer skills to work with developmentally disabled adults? And here is the reality… It was more than enough to learn the complex program itself that here workplace now required within the short timeframe they had to learn it. If she hadn’t been skilled and reasonably fast in basic computer skills, such as keyboarding, cutting and pasting, working with a mouse and navigating quickly through multiple screens, she would have been let go as so many were. As a group, the older, (now former), employees were especially affected.

Prior to this switch to paperless client care, her employer had no computers in their group-homes at all, so there was not an opportunity at her workplace to acquire basic computer skills. And there were only a few months of notice that skills with computer-only client-care would be required.

Where did Bonne get her skills? She has assisted in the administration of our own, small, natural-healthcare businesses for many years, as well as having used her computer personally, for emailing and navigating the internet. Had she not done this with her own laptop over the years, she could have gone from full-time employment, to no employment, like so many of her former co-workers, who hadn’t kept up with computer literacy, because lack of computer skills now is the new illiteracy.

- Richard Chandler

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Politicians Manipulate Advantages of a Tax Cut for Small Business

Of the 26,911,465 business establishments operating in the USA, only 7,387,724 had employees, which is less than a third of all businesses. (US Census statistics) Recently, politicians have been claiming the difficulty of small businesses to create jobs, as a reason for not letting the tax rates of Americans earning $250,0000 or more to automatically return to the rates that were in place prior to the George W. Bush tax cut for wealthy Americans.

As a small business, in the 'no employees' category, I feel this lobbying for renewing the Bush tax cuts, which is on personal income, (not business income), by Republicans, supposedly on behalf of small businesses, is misplaced and misleading. It implies that not renewing this tax break for wealthy Americans somehow affects small businesses in general. It certainly doesn't affect mine. Even if we did earn a personal income of over $250,000, (which is not likely in my lifetime, as our income would have to increase many-fold to do so), we still wouldn't hire people. It is just too much life-complication for a very small business like ours.

And my suspicion is that the scheduled return of pre-Bush-era tax-rates still would not be all that relevant, in terms of hiring decisions for businesses, with an increase in personal tax rates for those earning a personal income of $250,000 or more. Why? Because the decision to hire or not to hire would likely have to do with whether it would make sense for overall for the long-term profitability of the business itself, and not so much for the amount left over for the business owners after some share of the business profit is removed from the business and added to the payroll that owners typically pay themselves as employees in their own businesses. In other words, for a business that is large enough and complex enough to have employees, decisions to hire and retain employees aren’t so directly tied to an increase in the owner’s personal tax rate.

So, as far as I’m concerned, if you are a politician lobbying to renew the Bush tax cuts, do so based on the honesty of declaring how you want to keep more of your personal money when you have high incomes, and not on the basis of somehow keeping small businesses from being detrimentally affected.

- Richard Chandler