Monday, August 19, 2013

For two days only August 21st and 22nd my book will be available free on Amazon. It will also be made available for Prime Members in the lending library. Hope you enjoy it and share with someone who might benefit from it. It will also be available in the Prime Member lending library.


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CLDU4GE

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

THE OBAMACARE SAD SAGA CONTINUES


ANOTHER RAMIFICATION OF OBAMACARE I HAVEN'T SEEN DISCUSSED

A colleague of mine, Greg Gerber, wrote the following opinion in his daily RV Daily Report Newsletter and I thought I would share it with you. I have never seen anyone discuss the impact this horrible piece of legislation would have on the travel industry. Greg pretty much nails it in this following piece.

With the new state-run healthcare exchanges coming online within a few weeks, we are starting to see reports about the magnitude of cost increases for health insurance under the new "affordable" health care law.

I have seen reports of premium increases between 28 and 198 percent, based on the state. Let's assume it's all fluff and hype, and increases due to the law's mandatory coverage requirements and removal of pre-existing conditions only average about 25 percent.

Employers are unlikely to bear the full burden of the increased costs. Those that continue with private coverage, rather than shifting everyone to government plans, will likely pass a bunch of those costs on to workers, up to the maximum 9.5 percent of total income allowed by law. That, in turn, will impact discretionary income -- the lifeblood of RV purchases and travel.

Forget about that likely scenario, and let's focus on one nobody is really talking about.

Obamacare requires companies with 50 or more workers to offer insurance to any employee working more than 30 hours a week, or pay fines up to $3,000 per worker. The intent of the law was to force employers to cough up money to pay for health insurance for every full-time employee. The unintended consequence was that employers eliminated full-time positions.

Granted, many small businesses employ fewer than 50 workers, the threshold required by Obamacare. But, many firms and large chain stores do. So, a large number of people are impacted by this.

A report released today, which you can read by clicking here, notes that American businesses created 953,000 new jobs in 2013. But, 77 percent of them are part-time jobs. It is in that story that the unintended consequences of Obamacare will truly impact the RV industry.

If employers cut hours so that many workers are scheduled below 30 hours a week, a single employee will see a 25 percent cut in pay. This isn't France, so I can't see American companies being willing to pay full-time salaries and wages to part-time workers. But it is worse for families.

·         Two workers x 40 hours per week x 4 weeks = 320 paid hours (the status quo)

·         One worker x 40 hours PLUS one worker x 30 hours x 4 weeks = 280 paid hours, a 12.5 percent cut

·         Two workers x 30 hours per week x 4 weeks = 240 paid hours, a 25 percent pay cut

If companies are forced to reduce hours to 30 per worker, does that mean the other 10 hours become a new part-time job? In other words, will a full-time position be reduced to one 30-hour job plus one 10-hour job?

I doubt it. I suspect the companies will expect the 30-hour worker to get 40 hours worth of work done in a single week. So, the new normal for "full-time" work will be 30 hours per week with 25 percent less pay.

But, most families will need to augment that 25 percent hit, which means someone will likely need to take on another part-time job.

Will a primary wage-earner need to find two 30-hour a week jobs, while the second wage-earner works the one 30-hour job?  Where two people once worked 320 hours a month at two full-time jobs, will the same family now need to work 360 hours at three "full-time" jobs just to maintain the income?

The benefit will be those families will see a 12.5 percent increase in pay. If that isn't sucked up in higher taxes, they will have more money to buy RVs and go camping.

But, where will they find the time? If one person has to work 60 hours per week, that will likely include weekend work at a second job. Which families will invest in an RV, if one member must work every weekend?

Also, does this mean a new "full-time job" will mean six hours a day, five days a week. Or will it be 10-hours a day, three days a week. Six 10-hour days still doesn't leave time for much "weekend."

Or will employers just learn that it's impossible to get anything done with a reduced workforce and just suck it up, not offer health insurance and pay the $3,000 penalty per worker?

I have no idea how this will eventually play out. But, the statistics are showing that employers are finding ways around the Obamacare requirements. The problem is that employees don't have that luxury. They will remain at the mercy of a system designed to protect them.

Monday, August 5, 2013


EMPLOYER PROVIDED HEALTHCARE?

How did an employee benefit originally begun as a means to employ and retain top notch employees evolve into a mandatory cost of doing business for all employers? When did employers agree to become the caretakers of the health care needs of the country? Furthermore why should they?

It all began as a competitive offering benefiting the high achievers in their chosen fields, which mushroomed into a companywide benefit thanks to the intervention of government in decreeing that any benefit offered to one employee must be offered to all employees. "Thank you once again government interference." One of the incentives to excel  was systematically taken away by a government regulation. Now instead of working diligently in order to attain the status required to receive these benefits, a person could just coast along on the coat tails of the achievers. Two things were thus accomplished; there was no further reward for success while mediocrity was equally rewarded. We wonder why productivity in our country has stalled. I contend that were it not for the advent of computers, robots etc which do not require additional costs for health benefits we would be frozen in a period of zero gain productivity.

Now we have come full circle. We have regulated ourselves back to a period where employers having been forced to include the ever increasing cost of employee healthcare in their operating budgets, when given the opportunity have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Under current regulations, it is less expensive for them to pay the  comparatively insignificant fines than to provide healthcare for anyone. It also has provided companies with an incentive to change their operating plans to include more part time labor thus eliminating any costs whatsoever. "Thank you once again government interference".

Perhaps it's time for individuals and families to once again take responsibility for their healthcare needs. If we were to eliminate all government regulations, (aka interference in the free market system) don't you believe that competition among insurance companies, healthcare providers, and drug manufacturers would substantially lower our overall healthcare costs. For the truly needy for whom healthcare is not affordable, healthcare could be subsidized to some degree, though not entirely, through a pool of some sort provided by competing insurance companies. Perhaps some sort of health savings account with a higher deductible for affordability. Whatever we do the current state of affairs is a non-starter. We need to take the politics out of healthcare and turn it back over to the professionals in that field. We can no more operate a healthcare system than we can a post office or student loan program to name a few. Time to send the politicians back home forcing them work electronically, and while we are at it, enact some term limits,  eliminate the perks and turn our government back over to the people. A little tort reform would be very high on my wish list also. We can return to the past when America was a productive, innovative and dynamic world leader before we became so full of ourselves.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Finally! My book is now available in print on Amazon as well as Create A Space.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN OUR SCHOOLS AND THE WORKFORCE

 I just finished watching a commercial sponsored by a College extolling the value of a college education in today’s economy. It occurred to me as I watched how out of touch they were with the actual marketability of a college degree in our post recession workforce. While there is no denying the overall value of a degree, to pitch this sheepskin as a valuable tool in securing a position is pure hype. Undoubtedly there are certain positions requiring a higher education for which there are an inadequate number of candidates, and I would urge anyone with the skill set needed to pursue both the education and the positions. However to broadly insinuate that in order to succeed you need a college degree is pure bunk. There are states out west that are offering huge hiring bonuses for welders, drillers etc for which experience and on the job training is far more valuable that a college education.

 When America was in her greatest years, before we became too proud to work, get dirty and produce goods that we sold to the rest of the world, our educational system rather than belittle physical labor as a losing cause, was equipped to train everyone who passed through it, to not only pursue their dreams but to do so in an area for which they were best talented and equipped. Who but the oldest of us can remember high school woodworking classes, or yes even home economics which if nothing else trained our young women how to maintain a household budget? Trade schools were everywhere, teaching auto mechanics, welding, carpentry, machining etc. Today the goal is to load everyone with useless information required to pass an entrance exam to a college where in most cases they will waste the next four years of their lives going to parties, while accumulating debt which they will struggle with for years to come. Not to mention the tax dollars going to subsidize and guarantee these “low cost loans”.

 It’s time to go back to that time when we produced the best automobiles, airplanes, refrigerators and televisions to name a few, putting millions of people to work at middle class wages. Let’s give up on the pipe dream that everyone in this country will work a thirty hour week, make a quarter of a million dollars a year, drive a Ferrari, put their kids through the best private schools and belong to the most prestigious country clubs just by getting a college degree. “It ain’t gonna happen”. We used to be the most innovative country in the world with the strongest and best trained work force producing products the entire world clamored to own. Isn’t it time we quit attempting to equalize everyone. There will always be people who thanks to a great gene pool will be the movers and shakers society needs and conversely there will always be a need for others to support their efforts. That’s just what makes the world go around. We desperately need to get our manufacturing abilities back on track if we ever again hope to dominate world trade. We aren’t going to do it with technology alone and expect everyone to have a job.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

HEALTHCARE MYTHS!
 
According to our government, our healthcare system as it exists is completely broken and needs to be reconfigured and controlled by the same people who currently operate the IRS and the Postal Service. I realize that no amount of common sense will alter the minds of people currently benefitting from government largesse i.e. transfer of wealth, however for we the responsible grownups who pay the bill, I would like to share a recent experience. Let me add that I am not against helping people who are in genuine need of assistance through no fault of their own. We have Medicaid providing help, hospitals providing service for which they will never be reimbursed and likewise medical professionals. I do believe however that it is incumbent upon everyone to provide their own healthcare. When given the choice of big screen TVs, fancy cell phones etc. or medical insurance, it becomes a question of responsibility. Medicaid should be reserved for the truly needy and not for those simply too lazy to provide for themselves.

Several months ago my wife was diagnosed with renal cancer after extensive testing and diagnosis by our wonderful medical community. At the time her tumor was discovered, her health insurance was provided by her employer with very little monetary participation on our part. In a very short period of time the pain resulting from the bone lesions accompanying the tumor took their toll on her ability to perform her work functions and she was forced to resign her position. Your immediate thought would be that health coverage would be dropped and we would be on our own to supplement it. As a result of her employers sense of compassion and I suppose as a reward for five plus years of faithful service, this employer not only continued to supply coverage but paid for it for several months after she left her position. I know this doesn’t support the theory that all employers are out to screw their employees at every chance they get but it is nonetheless what happened and I suspect happens daily in the real world. As she is no longer employed at this company we will be converting to and paying for COBRA, allowing her to maintain the same levels of coverage until we are able to provide comparable insurance on our own. We have no expectations, nor should we, that our government will provide the necessary coverage. Why should we expect tax payers to provide our healthcare?

Our path to recovery and hopefully a cure led us to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL Here we experienced what I can only describe as the pinnacle of Patient – Provider interaction. If there ever was a group of more devoted, and caring healthcare individuals I don’t know where you will find them. From the valets who park your car upon arrival, to the experienced and specialized physicians to whom you ultimately are introduced there can be no finer. I am confident that Moffitt is not singular in the service it provides but it certainly has to rank among the top in the country. Altruism is certainly the driving force in this wonderful corporation. While undoubtedly a for-profit hospital they depend additionally on charitable donations to pursue the ultimate cure for this deadly disease.

My point is that we went from discovery, to treatment to hopefully a cure without the aid or assistance of our government. The only obstacles along the way were in fact those put in place by the government, liability insurance providers as well as the ambulance chasing attorneys who tremendously inflate the cost of doing business. This is the same government to whom we are shortly going to entrust management of our healthcare. Would they have allowed this wonderful hospital to treat her? Would they have made the reimbursement process so tedious as to discourage the great and total care they provide? Would they otherwise interfere in the treatment protocol in order to economize based on some criteria which remains unknown?

IMHO our current system needs some tweaking and adjusting but we should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In order to contain costs and to allow the medical community to continue providing outstanding service; we need to work on deregulation, fraud, as well as tort reform. These are the primary drivers of our spiraling healthcare costs. We should make every attempt possible to overturn Obamacare and replace it with other more meaningful reforms. Minus government rules and regulations, the free market system is quite capable of providing us with the care we require at an affordable price.

Richard Charron
www.richardcharronauthor.com

Sunday, May 19, 2013


MEMORIES!

 I’ve been under the weather a bit with health problems recently, most attributable to inactivity and age. Enjoying my sobriety for the last thirty years, I have scrupulously avoided taking any type of medicine to relieve pain other than ibuprofen, Tylenol etc... I have always had a healthy respectful fear that the use of mind-altering chemicals including pain medicine, would lead back to abuse on my part and I wanted no part of that ever again.

 A few days ago I injured by back to a point that the pain was intolerable. After an injection of some type of steroid and a prescription for more steroidal drugs, my doctor prescribed a codeine type of pain medication which I was to take in conjunction with the steroids.  I will tell you that for 24 hours I was not comfortable with the feelings I was experiencing. Due to the excruciating pain, I had no choice but to take them until the steroids could do their job. It was a long 24 hours. With the pain ebbing somewhat, I quickly stopped taking them and switched back to my usual remedies with which I was more comfortable.

 In the process of going through all this, my mind was reliving days of old. When that first codeine pill hit my system, I was thrown back into a period of my life I had completely forgotten. To say I was buzzed is an understatement. It only took one pill to reawaken those long ago lost feelings of indifference to my surroundings and the euphoria induced by this drug. I was truly stoned on one stinking pill. This insidious drug actually had me trying to remember the good old days when this feeling was a daily occurrence.

 The good news is try as I may after 30 years of sobriety all I could come up with for memories, was the bad times. I clearly remembered the sick mornings, the missed opportunities, the social missteps and most of all the pain I caused my family. The mere thought of returning to that period in my life was enough to get me to suffer the pain I was experiencing and to dispose of the balance of my prescription. For some reason the “good old times” were no longer in my memory. Perhaps they never existed.

 Reinforced in my mind was the knowledge that for this addict, one pill, one drink, and one snort is never appropriate or wise. I would not go as far as to say that I will never take another pain pill or narcotic medication should the absolute need arise, but I will always maintain respect for the danger these drugs present. 

Richard Charron
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardcharron

Sunday, May 12, 2013


MARIJUANA USE AMONG TEENS AND YOUNG ADOLESCENTS

Just finished reading a pamphlet put out by NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse) regarding marijuana use among teens and young adults and the statistics are staggering.

Were you aware that:

9% of people who use marijuana at least once will become addicted.

This risk increases for those who start in their teens to approximately 16%

The risk increases to about 25-50% among daily users.

 

The largest percentage of admissions in drug abuse treatment centers is attributed to marijuana. 61% for those under age 15 and 56% or those 15 – 19

 

School failure:

“Someone who smokes marijuana daily may be functioning with a ‘dimmed down’ brain most or all of the time. Compared with their peers who don’t smoke, students who smoke marijuana tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of high school. Also, longtime marijuana users themselves report being less satisfied with their lives, experiencing memory and relationship problems, poorer mental and physical health, lower salaries and less career success.”

 

How on earth can we justify legalizing a drug that is so detrimental to our young people.

 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Of major concern is the very casual attitude regarding drugs, alcohol and other creative

methods used to achieve the so called “high.” Can a high only be achieved by numbing the

brain? Ask a practicing addict to describe what constitutes a high and you will get amazingly

unique responses. For most it is a temporary escape from whatever reality they are battling. For

others, like me, it allows us to misbehave while avoiding responsibility. The ready excuse was

always, “It was the booze that made me do it; I didn’t know what I was doing.” The flagrant and

more frequent use of marijuana in particular, coupled with its acceptance in society, is extremely

worrisome. I have no doubt that productivity in our country will suffer from the legalization of

this dangerous and highly addictive drug. It is undisputable that a brain under the influence of

any type of drug will make different and more incoherent decisions than it would otherwise.

Society continues to push for the addition of more ways to destroy the intellect, as if we do not

already have enough with which to deal. Life itself can be such a high if only you will let it

happen.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Enabling and alcohol / drug use.

"In most cases alcoholism is entirely dependent on an enabling influence. Usually that
influence is another well-intentioned person. The alcoholic who cannot perform his
responsibilities as a result of being impaired or recovering from a drunken stupor needs
someone to cover for them. The enabler generally has a vested interest whether economic or
familial in the alcoholic and is generally obligated or pressured to perpetuate the situation.
Unfortunately and unwittingly, the enabler merely postpones the inevitable day of reckoning.
It is very difficult for someone to willingly allow someone they love to crash, however, time
and again it has been demonstrated that allowing that crash to occur is the only thing that will work. At some point no amount of cover-up is possible and everything crashes".
 
 

 



Saturday, May 4, 2013

Get a glimpse of my new book "Lying on the Ground Looking Up" at

 
 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


April 30, 2013

My eBook went live today on most book seller websites. If you are battling with the disease of drug addiction or alcoholism or you know someone who is, I urge you to take a look at my story. I hope I can be an example of what anyone can accomplish with regards to banishing drugs and alcohol from their lives. Amazon as well as Smashwords, currently has it available. It should be available on iBook in the middle of next week.  "Lying on the Ground Looking Up"

Friday, April 26, 2013


April 26, 2013

 

What on earth are the promoters of legalized Marijuana thinking? How can anyone think that the legalization of a “dangerous” mind bending drug be a good thing for our country? I have to believe that anyone endorsing smoking pot as beneficial to society in any manner must themselves be partaking in this mind-numbing pastime.

 

Any argument about Cannabis being useful for medicinal purposes to say the least is unwarranted. We currently have an array of legal and controlled prescription drugs that can accomplish and exceed the benefits of Pot.  Some are a derivative of THC combined with Cannabidiol and delivered in a mouth spray while avoiding the adverse effects of smoked marijuana. With the passage of the “Affordable Health Act” (Obamacare) and its supposedly all inclusive coverage for everyone, there is no reason for anyone to resort to street drugs for pain control. These drugs are also controlled for a reason and are monitored by a physician for both effectiveness and addictiveness.  If for some reason these drugs are not available to everyone, perhaps we should spend more time, effort and money in curing this problem instead of creating a new one.

 

Who thinks the workplace will be enhanced by these new laws? Loss of productivity, which is a given, can only exacerbate our problems in an already competitive business arena where competition from overseas and other drug free parts of the world is so keen. Make no mistake productivity will be severely impacted.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a study done among postal workers found that employees who tested positive for marijuana on a pre-employment urine drug test  had 55 percent more industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries, and a 75 percent increase in absenteeism compared with those who tested negative for marijuana use.  The question I have with this study is why were these people who tested positive for drug use hired in the first place, but that’s another topic for another blog.

 

Another area to be considered is the ability of someone under the influence of Cannabis to make intelligent decisions. According to the NIH, “marijuana’s negative effect on attention, memory, and learning can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off.  Consequently, someone who smokes marijuana daily may be functioning at a reduced level most or all of the time.” Who would knowingly hire someone who is not up to full speed? Think about this! Would you?

 

I am not aware of anyone who has done a study on the overall negative costs associated with marijuana use but I’m sure the amount would be staggering. Can you imagine how many business decisions alone are made on a daily basis, while under the influence of this supposedly recreational drug? The argument most often put forth by the pro marijuana lobby is that people are going to use this drug anyway so why not make it legal and enjoy tax benefits from it. This a totally absurd argument as the loss in productivity not to mention the social malaise resulting from this mind-bending drug more than offset any potential tax gain. How irrational a thought we would throw the welfare of our country overboard just to collect more in taxes.

 

There are many other arguments to be made with regards to this idiotic rush to legalize stupid behavior, but I will save them for future blogs.  We haven’t touched on the effect of this drug on our youth, health, driving…….. Well you get the point. This is a Pandora’s Box and I hope we come to our senses before it’s too late to close the lid.

 

Richard Charron

Saturday, April 13, 2013


NEED YOUR HELP.

I’ m seeking people to interview for my next book which has a working title of “Slices of Americana”. My goal is to interview people from all segments of life here in America to discover their personal stories, life, success, ambitions … I also would like to know what makes them happy, sad etc. Financial success stories are welcome though not necessary. My primary interest is talking to people who measure their success in happiness and spirituality.

If you know of anyone who you believe has an interesting, unique and compelling story to tell and who would be willing to share it, please ask them to contact me. If you would like me to initiate the contact please send me an email to that effect or give me a call. Not everyone will fit the storyline but I would really like the opportunity to talk to them. If you would be good enough to share this on your timeline, I would appreciate it very much.

 

Richard Charron Author

richardcharronauthor.com

Friday, April 12, 2013

According to an article I read this morning in Prevention Magazine, "more than 38 million adults binge drink and average of four times per month". While 18 to 34 year olds are more likely to go overboard, it's actually the over 65 set that does it most often. According to this article "overindulging in alcohol is responsible for more than 80,000 deaths in this country per year, and this is the third leading cause of preventable deaths".

"How much alcohol means you're overdoing it? For women, binge drinking means having four or more drinks in a short period of time, compared to five or more for men".

"Alcohol is also a factor in approximately 60 percent of fatal burn injuries and drownings, 40 percent of fatal falls and car accidents, and half of all sexual assaults according to the National Institute on Alcohol And Alcoholism (NIAAA)"

"If your family, friends, or co-workers have hinted (of flat out vocalized) that they are worried about you, it's time to cut back" If you question whether or not your use of alcohol is causing problems in your life the chances are excellent that they are and perhaps it's time to address this serious problem.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


My book is only a few weeks away from final edit and publication. My hope is, if you are battling this insidious disease, somewhere in the pages, you will find something to which you can relate. Remember you are not alone in battling these demons. Not everyone will succeed but you can, if you are ready to do so. There are no half steps. I urge you to spend some time with the people at Alcoholics Anonymous if for no other reason than to get a good foundation on which to base your recovery. You will hear many slogans such as: “keep the plug in the jug”, “one day at a time”, “don’t enter the lion’s den unless you are a lion tamer” and my favorite “keep it simple”.  These are more than slogans. Let them be warning signs as you struggle to contain and control the constant search for euphoria you will endure in the early going. This disease is insidious and will never relax its attempt to lure you back, but you must remain strong if you ever hope to enjoy everything life has to offer. It worked for me and it can work for you if you are truly tired of being sick and tired”.

“IF YOU THINK CHEMICAL ABUSE IS CAUSING A PROBLEM IN YOUR LIFE, IT PROBABLY IS”

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Book went to editor today for final edit. Hope to be ready to publish in about twenty days.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Finished the cover to my bio yesterday. I am close to finishing the editing, excited about publishing and starting a new writing project.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I have a new biography which will be published in mid April. The title is "Lying on the Ground Looking up. It is the story of my 27 years battle with drugs and alcohol and the road to recovery. It will be published in eBook format only and available at all major book sellers including Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple and more.