Joe Bialek 1 
Member since Dec 1, 2011

Recent Comments

Re: “A Place at the Table

With all the debate recently for amending the United States Constitution in
favor of certain issues and/or those constituencies, perhaps a
more appropriate amendment should guarantee each citizen of the United
States the right to food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Poverty is
defined as the condition of being poor or lacking the necessary means of
support to live or meet needs. Today we read of enormous corporate tax
breaks, outsourcing of jobs overseas and outrageous salaries "earned" by
athletes/entertainers. More recently came the revelation of the billions
of dollars spent by the U.S. on two wars. In the meantime, the
number of those in poverty continues to increase. The Old Testament of the
Bible often makes references to the promised land flowing with milk and
honey. All one has to do in this country is take a trip to the grocery
story or department store and bear witness to the fact that if anywhere was
close to exhibiting the characteristics of "the promised land", this country
is it. Yet somehow we are still unable to meet the four basic needs every
citizen has. Some would argue that this proposal is an extension of
Socialism/Communism. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Socialism/Communism is a political or economic theory in which community
members own all property, resources, and the means of production, and
control the distribution of goods. No one is suggesting the replacement of
Capitalism; an economic system in which the means of production and
distribution are privately owned, and prices are chiefly determined by open
competition in a free market. What is being suggested is that in this land
of surplus "milk and honey", there is absolutely no reason why the four
basic needs of every U.S. citizen cannot be met. Some would argue that food
stamps, thrift stores, public housing and Medicaid already meet these needs
but in the words of President John F. Kennedy, "this country is divided
between those who have never had it so good and those who know we can do
better". I think we can do better. Resolved, it shall be the right of
every United States citizen (in order to further guarantee the right to
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) to receive food, clothing,
shelter and medical care that is adequate to meet their basic needs.

Now, that being written {uh oh here it comes} everyone in this great country
of ours would agree that the most effective anti-poverty solution is gainful
employment. This Administration {along with Congress} didn't take it's eye
off the ball; didn't drop the ball and certainly didn't fumble the ball.
They kicked it down the road in the form of a onside kick. It has now
mutated into the form of a hot potato that no one wants to touch.

Well folks, it's time to prime the pump. One solution is Workfare whereby
those able bodied citizens are required to perform some type of labor in
order to receive assistance. This will help restore their dignity {as they
continue to search for even more meaningful work} while at the same time
allowing a large group of people to start purchasing various goods and

As for getting people back to work the solution is not as complicated as it
may appear to be. We need to bring back a agency similar {but not
identical} to the Work Progress Administration {WPA} which should take a
two-pronged approach. One is the most obvious; hire people to perform the
very services {and more} that the private sector will never engage in simply
because it is not profitable to do so. The second approach is a wee bit
more complicated but can be successful by utilizing private-public
partnerships. Let the governments {at all levels} develop a plan to share
{temporarily} in the salary expense of unemployed people so that they could
work full time, re-gain their lost skills and eventually retain a full time
position paid by the private company. This would result in a immediate
restoration of lost government revenues as well as help to prime the pump
for the new found consumer demand. Increasing demand will result in the
need for increased supply and hence a increase in production which will
result in increased employment. You could think of this stimulus plan as
a rocket booster that slowly fades away as the economy picks up. Isnt this
what government is supposed to do beyond providing safety for its citizens?
Is it too late now? I hope not; but to continue to waste time over which
side wins {while the rest of the country goes to hell} risks moving Americas
dissatisfaction with government to the disbelief of the legitimacy of those
who do govern. The question before us all is this: how far down must this
country sink before it becomes clear and apparent that current government
officials have forfeited their right to govern?

Government was never intended to be a ongoing circus act of constantly
handicapping the next election while nothing gets done due to this self-
perpetuating form of gridlock. I strongly suggest that members of both
branches and parties start making a better effort to get to know each other
more personally. Whether it be over breakfast, lunch or dinner on the golf
course, in a restaurant or the local disco tech you the leaders of our
nation need to familiarize yourselves with what is at stake in the other
person's life and realize that compromising on a policy is not the same as
compromising your values. Ladies and gentlemen, let's get to work by
getting this country moving again. And no, I'm not running for office but I
am Joe Bialek and I approve this message.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joe Bialek 1 on 11/30/2016 at 10:04 PM

Re: “Cleveland City Council to Introduce $15/Hour Minimum Wage Legislation

I recall when I was in high school that it was time to seek my first job
opportunity and so {following in the footsteps of my brother and sisters}
decided to apply at McDonalds. The first time I applied the store manager
asked me the proverbial question: "why should I hire you?" My response:
"because I need the money." Wrong answer. The following year I applied to
the same place and this time when asked the same question answered "because
I can get the job done." Result: hired. I only worked for this particular
franchise for one summer because another store {closer to home} was opening
and it was owned by the franchise owners who had employed my siblings.
With the small amount of experience I had attained {at the previous store} I
was actually able to take charge of the rookie grill team and pull order out
of chaos. This eventually resulted in my promotion to "swing" manager when
I transitioned from high school to college {1981}. A "swing" manager is
essentially someone who will manage any shift {often times with little or no
notice}. Exploitation of my services was the furthest thing from my mind as
the goal was to earn enough money to pay for college. My coworkers were
all my age with the exception of the "day ladies" who worked the morning
shift. The commonly accepted idea was that this was a temporary stepping
stone to better career opportunities once you graduated from college. I
would certainly agree however that my experience at McDonalds allowed me to
utilize some of the talents and abilities I possessed by exercising various
skills in particular situations. In other words; it wasn't all just about
"flipping hamburgers." One time the owner of the franchise put his hands
on my shoulders {while I was seated} and stated "I want this man paid $4.00
per hour." It never happened and I spent the remainder of my time there
earning just a smidgen above what the crew earned.

Today we recognize the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred in
the fast-food industry {over the last 30 years} with most positions being
filled by adults rather than their teen-age counterparts. Consequently the
industry has transformed from being a "temporary stepping stone" to a full
time career opportunity that still pays very little relative to the profits
posted by McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy's {now comically referred to as
the new "Big Three"}. One could argue that there is very little
opportunity in our economy for someone with a high school diploma {or
perhaps no diploma at all}. It could be further argued that economic
opportunity has been so slimmed down that these types of retail jobs are the
only ones available and it will {in all likelihood} be that way for a long
time to come. In the meantime people employed by these companies still
qualify for public assistance because of the low pay and lack of medical
benefits. We also read daily of the failure to teach people to read and
write upon graduating college not to mention high school. If this whole
situation doesn't smack of a deliberate and carefully planned booby-trap
then I don't know what does. Accordingly I am in favor of increasing the
minimum wage to $15.00 per hour at restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger
King and Wendy's as well as the provision of medical benefits. There is no
evidence that doing so will cripple these major chains in any form
whatsoever. It may reduce the amount of money flowing into the top of these
companies but it is doubtful that it would alter their lifestyles. Of
course there are those who will argue that the price of the food served will
increase and result in less business and therefore less employment. But
this is the accepted thinking of a outdated paradigm. Even Henry Ford was
wise enough to pay his workers more so they could afford to buy his cars
although {in this case} a diet consisting primarily of fast food has been
proven to be unhealthy. No the major chains can "afford" to increase the
pay of it's employees without having to increase the price of it's food. So
let this be written so let this be done.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Joe Bialek 1 on 05/12/2016 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Cleveland 2021: Artist Loren Naji Christens Second Time Capsule After Henry Senyak Destroys First

keep up the good work Henry...somebody has to

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Joe Bialek 1 on 03/02/2016 at 9:14 PM

Re: “Loren Naji Redux? More Ohio City Businesses Targeted for Code Violations

give 'em hell Henry...

8 likes, 42 dislikes
Posted by Joe Bialek 1 on 03/01/2016 at 9:10 PM

Re: “Loren Naji Redux? More Ohio City Businesses Targeted for Code Violations

Ohio City is like a box of Granola...full of fruits, flakes and especially NUTS !!!

5 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Joe Bialek 1 on 03/01/2016 at 8:29 PM

Re: “Scene Podcast: The Brelo Verdict and the Weekend Protests

This letter is in response to the coverage of the court decision concerning Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo.

I listened to Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell read his decision and found his thought process reasonable given the series of events he was required to describe. Whether or not you agree with his decision is immaterial given that the Law has spoken. And certainly people can protest peacefully and
work to improve the system that produced such a catastrophe. Still, there are no innocent parties here. Certainly Mr. Russell should have obeyed the order of a Police Officer to stop. What other lives were placed in harms way because he chose to continue fleeing? But why does it require so many police cruisers to join in a high-speed chase? Given the length of the travel why couldn't some sort of blockade been set up to stop the person fleeing? Mr. Russell and Ms. Williams did not have to die because the ultimate cause of their death could have been prevented. And what does this say about a potential diversionary tactic that could be
employed by domestic/foreign terrorists on American soil?

For those of you in the African-American community who are tempted to be filled with rage and hatred at every white police officer I can only say that I had a member of my family {Patrolman Hilary Cudnik believed to be the distant cousin of my Uncle Boley Cudnik} who was killed in the act of performing his duty. But he was killed by a African-American. Because of the influence handed down to me from my Paternal Grandfather {Dziadzia} Albert Joseph Bialek and my mother {Eileen Moran Bialek} I did not react to Hilary's murder like most people did. I never believed that looting and burning down businesses would solve anything and would certainly not bring him back. My African-American brothers and sisters please refrain from
engaging in violence as it will only exacerbate the situation. But rather let our two communities come together in reconciliation and love to make Cleveland once again the best location in the nation if for no other reason than to have achieved racial harmony once and for all.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, OH

"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted wasonce eccentric." Bertrand Russel

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joe Bialek 1 on 05/30/2015 at 11:00 AM

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