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Kevin Dedicatoria
Independent thinker....ready to express my views
Independent thinker....ready to express my views

Kevin's posts

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The report also includes results from a survey done that asked opinions about the existing transit systems in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw (e.g. Ann Arbor) counties. I was stunned by the responses of participants. A more integrated public transportation system between those four counties remain vital for the success of that major Detroit area core. The express bus services on Gratiot and Woodward are a good start. Those two streets have sufficient demand to justify the plan. I share the concern of the ATU President's concern, who represent the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) bus drives, that the express routes favor the suburban bus system. However, I think DDOT should concentrate on improving on-time performance and bus frequencies in their existing routes. DDOT has cut back significantly on bus wait times, routes, and stops at the expense of poorer neighborhoods being isolated from dependable transit within the city.

Public transportation is a far cheaper alternative, especially for poorer residents, than using a car/truck/van/sport utility vehicle (SUV)/crossover vehicle all the time. I'm consider the automobile costs for gas, insurance (Detroit's car insurance rates are very expensive), maintenance like oil changes and tires, etc. Restoring bus services in poorer residences must be gradually returned as public transportation remains the primary and cost-efficient ways to go around cities. Having a single pass system for Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART), Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT), and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) is more convenient than paying for 1 or 2 passes. SMART and DDOT offers yearly and monthly bus passes good for both systems.

I agree with the majority of survey takers on more money being spent to repair and upkeep the roads of all four counties. Driving through potholes are costly in the long run for your cars' suspension systems.

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However, the commitment and accountability to Michigan's educational institutions by state residents and government(s) remain far from united to resolve the demand for skills and experiences beyond a high school diploma. Money to these learning facilities alone will not produce the Michigander workforce required to be hired and working. The motivation for students and instructors to learn and teach respectively are also needed like lectures meeting the learning objectives to graduate and/or be certified but keep the attention of the students. The education issues of Michigan, and really globally, require complex solutions and monitoring.
The study doesn't conclude ALL Michiganders must have a college or university degree to secure the better paying positions by employers. A combination of college & university graduates and those receiving apprenticeship and other skills beyond a high school degree are needed to help fill job/career vacancies and boost the median income in the state. We've dropped from 10th highest to the high 30s in that ranking.
I strongly recommend reading this piece from MLive & Bridge Magazine.

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The means to achieve the goals of the column are possible but not easy to accomplish. Putting more money into K-12 education, vocational training, and colleges and universities is a, but not the only, solution. Keeping the skills and knowledge from those institutions and applying them into the real world are separate challenges as well as making the lessons relatable but not deviate from the objectives for better paying positions.
What do you think of the column?

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The reports about the United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers Union (UAW)-General Motors (GM) new collective bargaining agreement are highly positive about the wage increases and investment in United States manufacturing plants like the second deal between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). However, there is almost no mention on how the contract agreed upon will commit to lowering per employee & retiree costs which make GM & Ford Motor Company more expensive on both things than almost all manufacturing factories of "foreign" car companies except Mercedes Benz USA. I am grateful the 52,000 GM employees covered in the agreement will benefit greatly from the contract (e.g. improved work schedule consistencies, increased holiday time, bonuses), assuming it is ratified by them. Regardless, I always stress GM, Ford, and London-based FCA must continue to dedicate to fully paying retiree and employee benefits AND cutting per worker costs in Canada and the U.S. which is an ongoing sticking point that making their factories in both countries less competitive than "foreign" counterparts.
What do you think of my analysis and the accompanying report?

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I think excluding the poorest residents in eradicating the City of Detroit's poverty and longer-term revival requires more than one solution and is not as simple as hiring more willing and able adult Detroit residents. The increased technicality and skills required beyond a high school diploma are what leaves the workforce more impoverished portions of Detroit at a disadvantage. An ethnically diverse collaboration of public and public entities must be involved to raise the literacy, education, and skill sets of adult Detroiters to secure not only jobs but careers that will bring them and dependents out of poverty. However, the sources of funding for the material and resources to make achieve those objectives will be disputed. 

I think the changes in mindset and actions among Detroiters, particularly residents of color, must start from within themselves. In other words, the different groups in the city's population (e.g. socioeconomic, race/ethnicity, religion) require persuasion and actions among members of their respective groups to change and better themselves and the rest of Detroit and its metropolitan area.

I detest the ongoing gentrification of Detroit and similar cities like my native Saginaw. The exclusion of poor individuals and persons of color from contributing to an area's positive economic and overall strength will only lead to communities' demises as time goes on. Segregating economic success and opportunities, by economic status and race among others, mainly breeds violence and social contempt because of racism and other prejudices. Detroit, like cities throughout the United States, are not new to reinforcing racial segregation. 

The Detroit Free Press, for instance, has archived photos of the influx of African-Americans from the South to Detroit being met with mass opposition and violence from White Detroiters. The layout of the freeways in Detroit were purposely intended to segregate by race and economic status, and they allowed middle to upper class Detroiters to leave Detroit starving of tax revenues to pay for services to counter crime, unemployment, and so on. I think the exclusion of eradicating poverty in the City of Detroit requires more than one solution and not as simple as hiring willing and able adult poor Detroit residents. The increased technicality and skills required beyond a high school diploma are what leaves the workforce more impoverished portions of Detroit at a disadvantage. An ethnically diverse collaboration of public and public entities must be involved to raise the literacy, education, and skill sets of adult Detroiters to secure not only jobs but careers that will bring them and dependents out of poverty. However, the sources of funding for the material and resources to make achieve those objectives will not be easily agreed on and executed. 

What do you think of the Detroit Free Press report?

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The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) remains in the planning and public input process. The RTA, when in full effect through voter approval in the following counties, will be a body governing public transportation services between the main three counties of Metropolitan Detroit (i.e. Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland) and Washtenaw County (e.g. Ann Arbor where the main campus of the University of Michigan is located). The meetings are/were intended to boost support for the authority and planning the routes to help residents in all four counties travel within them. One of the oppositions against the RTA, like almost any project involving infrastructure (e.g. roads, rails), is paying for it like bus maintenance and repairs, compensation of bus drivers and mechanics, and so on. I remain wary, but not completely hopeless, the residents in all four counties would vote against any referendum creating the RTA and the ripple effect (e.g. hiring workers to operate bust routes, repair buses, create para-transit services for people with limited mobility). Considering the vast opposition against Proposal 1, the support for raising and/or placing new levies/taxes on housing in the counties to fund the RTA will also be a tough sell.

The current bus systems do not cover all four counties and remain inadequate as they are now. The recent example of the Detroit resident who had to walk a lot of miles to/from work because the Suburban Mobility Authority for Rapid Transit (SMART) and the Detroit Department of Transporation (DDOT) do not travel to Livonia where he works. This guy is one of many Detroiters, for example, going through similar hurdles for going from point A to point B like home and to/from work. The solution of "buying a car," as one mayor suggested over participating in SMART, for residents who use the bus is not practical due to not just making car payments, but the expenses for gasoline, car insurance, repairs, etc. would be far more expensive than having a bus pass that covers the City of Detroit, the suburbs in Metro Detroit, and Washtenaw County to/from work, stores, events, etc.

What do you think?

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I applaud the United States (U.S.) Democratic Senators (except Senator Tom Carper of Delaware), plus Independent Senators Angus King and Bernie Sanders, for stopping the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) also known as "fast track." The TPA would allow Congress to pass trade agreements between the United States and other countries, either individually or as a group, quicker to be signed into law by the sitting President of the United States. I don't necessarily oppose ALL trade agreements but prefer to take each trade agreement with a grain of salt and review the deals individually.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) involves 11 countries from both Americas, Australia, and Asia with Japan being the top reason of opposition among Michigan Democrats and those with loyalties to the United Auto Workers (UAW). Japan's market is pretty closed to competition among goods and services, and Japanese consumer trends dislike foreign products as "shameful" like what Americans and American businesses (un)intentionally push in the United States for our goods and services and "foreign" ones with the "Buy American," "Support American Workers" (ironically), like-minded slogans and propaganda. Technically, you can support American workers by buying "foreign" brands and "foreign" workers through purchasing "American" brands based on where the materials and final goods are made. The profits, however, are not guaranteed to remain in the company's main headquarters and also go to executives and stockholders throughout the world. For your information, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has their headquarters in London, England NOT in the United States for those complaining about ASIAN car company profits going back to Japan or South Korea.

My main oppositions to the Trans Pacific Partnership are the negative effects of job losses in the United States from less tax revenues for local and state governments to businesses losing customers and/or shutting down due to manufacturing workers laid off without an income to spend there due to cheaper labour in Mexico, Vietnam, and Malaysia based on current foreign exchange rates and the substandard working conditions reported in lower paying countries.

I suspect the currency manipulation bill would mainly be considered because of Japan's "unfair process" to weaken their yen. In reality, the Bank of Japan is buying government bonds to lower interest rates to ease lending for business capital and consumer spending in the country. The process also improves profit margins for companies based in the country. Business capital, for example, includes repairing or replacing existing machinery for assembling automobiles or aircraft parts and computers to monitor supply chains of products to customers worldwide. The United States equivalent, the Federal Reserve, has been doing the exact type of program, also known as quantitative easing, for the past 7-8 years. The European Central Bank, or the European Union counterpart to both the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan for Eurozone countries like Germany, are in the process or right now doing the same thing for the same reasons. I do not believe Senate Democrats and/or free-trade opponents would push so fiercely for a currency manipulation bill for a European Union trade agreement. That would be why I think opposition to the TPP is also rooted in xenophobia and racism.

What do you think?

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I share this report for different reasons: the similarities and differences of Asian economies (particularly Japan) vs. the rest of "The West" (i.e. United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and rest of the European Union, New Zealand, Australia), my perception of racism as a factor of opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, ignorance (by choice or not) of East and Southeast Asian cultures and how that affects economies, and racism against Asians by the automotive industry and other reasons.

The Bank of Japan, like the Federal Reserve will stop in the near future, is lowering interest rates and buying the country's bonds to encourage Japanese consumers and companies to spend to purchase goods and services like food and manufacturing equipment to replace worn down ones and paying off loans and other debts. A consequence of the action is a lower value currency making their products like cars, televisions, etc. from Japanese companies cheaper to purchase worldwide and less expensive in business costs and higher profits. Once again, the Federal Reserve during their government bond buying and lower interest rates delivered the same outcome for American companies and made it cheaper to invest and hire workers in the United States versus Canada.

The European Central Bank is also participating in the identical actions the Bank of Japan and Federal Reserve are doing. The consequences would make both the Euro's value go down AND also make companies whose home country uses the Euro (e.g. Germany, France) at a better advantage to sell their products (e.g. cologne/perfumes, designer bags) because the Euro value is more closer to the U.S. Dollar. That leaves American goods at a much weaker advantage overseas and in the United States over European products. However, almost no backlash exists for the European Central Bank executing EXACTLY the same actions as the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan.

Japan relies a lot on temporary and part-time workers like France and other European Union countries for their economy but has a far lower unemployment rate than European Union countries. Japanese persons, like many in the United States, prefer to buy and use goods and services from their own companies and have great dislike for "foreign" products. Also, they prefer to have "one of their own" to train for and labour positions in workplaces including healthcare over "foreigners" much like the sentiment is among several in the United States........from progressives to conservatives. The dislike of people immigrating to their respective countries because they "take the jobs away from people in this country" is another thing Japan and the United States share in common.

What do you think?

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The bills really grant licenses to discriminate against someone based on actual or assumed sexual orientation and gender identity or expression under the excuse of religion. When you have a public business, you're supposed to serve everyone. Businesses have bigger priorities of staying profitable and making sure the services and goods their customers purchase are fully paid. Unlike what Fox News and the like claim, the worst penalty for violating non-discrimination laws are fines not jail time as the Colorado baker who refused to bake a same-sex wedding cake. This contrasts with another baker recently refusing to decorate a cake with an anti-gay message because she regards the customer's desire as hateful but provided him with the necessary things to create it himself.

Also, the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution was intended to separate religion and faith from governments and policies as Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists. Clergy are already guaranteed to allow or deny performing marriage ceremonies without being punished under laws by the same amendment. Any existing laws going against the last sentence violate the U.S. Constitution.

Here is a link reporting attempts in Texas to put such "freedoms" under their state constitution:

Here is the article where my commentary is sparked from:…/us/ap-us-xgr-religious-freedom.html

I'm interested in the opinions especially of LGBT conservatives/homocons (Yes, I've seen that label used by a gay conservative/libertarian), classical liberal (capitalist) libertarians, and the like. I want to make clear I call out and condemn politicians and political figures, analysts, and opinions against LGBT+ regardless of party affiliation, ideology, and the like such as former Michigan State Senator Tupac Hunter attempted a religious freedom bill to exempt medical and mental health professionals from treating people based on "a sincerely held religious belief" against the individual. That conflicts with medical and mental health licensing boards and associations who provide the accreditation to allow individual to practice medicine, counseling, psychology, etc.

What do you think of the "religious freedom" bills?

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Gas prices won't stay "low" for the long-term but will not likely return to the US$4/gallon (1 gallon = 3.78541 litres) it reached in Michigan during this past summer. The impact of the amounts of oil available for use being greater than what is desired by people and companies for fuel is a bittersweet thing: Fantastic for people who drive motor vehicles and airlines fueling airplanes to transport passengers and cargo but devastating for governments and economies of all levels relying on oil for tax revenues, jobs, economic growth in other fields (e.g. retail). Filling my car to/from Flint and Metro Detroit won't be as expensive for me compared to the summer ha ha ha.

The unfavorable outcomes are not unique to Canada, many Middle Eastern and North African countries (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya), etc. but includes U.S. states where shale oil is drilled onshore (e.g. Louisiana, Texas, North Dakota). Companies operating oil fields throughout Alberta Province in Canada, Texas, North Dakota, etc. will cut production to adopt to the low oil prices per barrel since the current oil prices per barrel are lower than the breakeven (the amount of money earned and spent for drilling, extracting, and shipping oil are the same amounts) US$60+/barrel minimum. Workers currently laboring at numerous oil fields to capture oil later to be used for electricity, fueling car and airplane motors, etc. will be laid off to adopt the need for oil in markets worldwide.

What do you think of the report and my commentary?
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