Opinion

My Take

August 8, 2017

“Palmer’s First (and last) Pet Parade”
The Writer Magazine is sponsoring a contest to see who can write the best “micro-memoir.” A micro-memoir has to be limited to no more than 200 words. I’ve been accused of not being able to yell fire in 200 words. But I decided to enter anyway. Three hours later, I finished my little memoir of 196 words. I’ve written complete chapters in less time.
The subject of the memoir had to be an object that triggered an emotion. I had to look no further than Palmer’s box of stuffed toys. Palmer was our Jack Russell terrier, who passed away back in 2012.
I picked out a stuffed mallard duck as the subject of my micro-memoir. I will include it in a future column, since the contest stipulates the piece has to be unpublished.
There must be over a hundred stuffed toys in his box, and we just don’t have the heart to throw them away. I’m sure the Humane Society would love to have them. But Palmer was very possessive of his things, and would surely turn over in his urn if we gave his toys away. Never mind that he only played with most of them once or twice.
Jack Russells have a very short attention span when it comes to chewing on their toys. Chewing on things they shouldn’t chew on, though, is a whole ‘nother matter. When we weren’t at home, Palmer would spend hours chewing on Chippendale chair legs, Martha Stewart comforters and Cole Hahn loafers.
He lived 15 ½ years, and each toy brings back a memory or two. The green and red rubber ornament revives thoughts of his favorite holiday. He loved to tear into Christmas gifts; his own, and anyone else’s he could get his paws on. Easter was special to him, as well. He knew he would end up with a dyed egg or two, peeled and sprinkled over his gourmet dog food.
The Independence Day stuffed dog bone (made in China) brought back memories of a particular July 4th celebration, which was almost Palmer’s last hurrah. That was the Fourth we decided to enter him in Pinehurst’s annual pet parade.
Sporting an Uncle Sam hat (made in China), he strutted down the street with 20 or 30 other dogs of all shapes and sizes, not to mention a pot-bellied pig and a cat or two.
It was brutally hot that day and Palmer became seriously overheated. A shade tree and a bottle of water later slowed down the panting.
He lived to see another day. But it was the last time he ever strutted his stuff in a pet parade.
Raymond Reid can be contacted at rreid7@triad.rr.com.

Our Town

August 8, 2017

“Pink Ribbon Rally”
It is time to mark your calendars and get tickets for a special event, the Kernersville Pink Ribbon Rally, which is planned for Saturday, August 26th.
The Pink Ribbon Rally, now in its 7th year, celebrates the survivors of breast cancer and raises funds to help women who are undergoing cancer treatments. With great food, music, and a live and silent auction, the evening promises to be fun and help provide support for an important cause.
The Pink Ribbon Rally was first held as a special event at the Joyner House, by Dr. Amy-Jo Fischer, who wanted to recognize the efforts of the doctors who help women fight cancer, and for all of the women who need to know that others are cheering for them in that fight, by providing a helping hand.
It has become an annual event, and each year, the Pink Ribbon Rally brings together doctors, dentists, and the community to help others in the battle against cancer.
Dr. Amy-Jo Fischer, herself a cancer survivor, announced at that first rally the creation of a fund in honor of two of the oncologists who treated her, Dr. Lisa Evans, M. D., and Dr. Judith Hopkins, M.D.
The proceeds of the Pink Ribbon Rally are distributed through the Kernersville Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Fund at Cancer Services in Winston-Salem. The fund helps cover non-medical expenses that are incurred by women undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
This year’s event will be held on Saturday, August 26th from 6-10 p.m. at the Kids’ Clubhouse, 745-G Cinema Court, off of North Main Street, in Kernersville. Tickets are available now, and can be purchased at www.PinkRibbonRally.org or at Smiles by Design, 406 W. Mountain Street, Kernersville. The event includes a Prime Rib Dinner by KB Catering and Bonefish Grill, and a live and silent auction. Music and dancing is by J & B on the Rocks.
The Pink Ribbon Rally is a wonderful opportunity to gather together as a community to celebrate survivors, to thank the doctors who help in the battle, and to raise funds to help others. It is an evening of hope, and an opportunity to dream that, in the years to come, there will be even more cancer survivors in our town.
Dawn Morgan is the Mayor of Kernersville and writes a weekly column for the News.

Longworth at Large

August 8, 2017

“Old Enough to Serve”
I never knew Richard Dobbs Spaight personally, but I bet he resented George Mason. In 1787, Spaight, a native of New Bern, was one of North Carolina’s delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and one of only four delegates under the age of 30 who signed off on our great document. Old Mr. Mason signed too, but he was also responsible for setting age limits on candidates for federal office. Mason made sure that no one under 25 could serve in the House of Representatives, and that you had to be 30 and 35 to run for Senate and President respectively. According to John Seary, author of Too Young to Run, Mason had a simple argument for not lowering the age a few notches. The Virginia politician said he “had been an idiot at age 21, and figured most 21 year olds were about the same.”
Spaight was 29 in 1787 and perhaps would have made a good President, but he just wasn’t old enough to run under the new rules. He did, however, run for high office later and, in 1792, became Governor of North Carolina. Still, it must have been difficult for him to listen to a bunch of old guys in Philadelphia disrespecting young people, and dictating the age at which they could vote or hold office. Now, 230 years later, another North Carolinian probably feels the same way.
Last month, Joe Schuler was told by the Guilford County Board of Elections that he was too young to run for a seat on Greensboro City Council. Schuler, a student at UNCG, is 19 years old, and the North Carolina Constitution bars anyone under 21 from holding a State office. Ever the optimist, Schuler told the Greensboro News & Record, “Hopefully, someday the laws will change.”
The laws have already changed in a number of States, where young people are running for and winning local races. This year, for example, Carl Nordman, age 19, is running for Mayor of Adel, Iowa. He is trying to unseat 26 year incumbent Jim Peters. His campaign is not unprecedented in the Hawkeye State. In 2011, 18 year old Jeremy Minnier was elected Mayor of Aredale, Iowa. In 2010, 19 year old Romaine Quinn became Mayor of Rice Lake, Wisconsin. In 2008, 19 year old John Hammond, a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, bested the incumbent Mayor of Muskogee with 70% of the vote. In 2006, 18 year old Kyle Corbin was elected Mayor of Union, Oregon. And, one year earlier, teenagers were elected Mayor in Linesville, Pennsylvania, Roland, Iowa, and Hillsdale, Michigan.
Despite the progress being made in some localities, wholesale change isn’t coming soon enough for author Seary, who writes, “In our country, 18 year olds can buy cigarettes, donate organs, drive cars, fly airplanes, shoot guns, sign contracts, have consensual sex, get married, get divorced, have children, join the military, serve as jurors, and be tried in court as an adult. But for some reason they are branded too immature and too inexperienced to run for office.“
Seary was referring mainly to federal office, but his argument also rings true for young people who want to run for State and local offices.
A particular sticking point among older teens is that if they can be sent overseas to fight for our country at age 18, they should be able to hold any elected office at age 18. It’s a familiar argument which arose over voting rights five decades ago. In 1971, following a growing protest against the Viet Nam War and our mandatory military draft, Congress amended the 26th Amendment to allow 18 year olds to vote. Today there is a similar move afoot to lower the age for young people who want to hold a local, State, or Federal office.
Like George Mason I also believe that a lot of young people are too immature and too inexperienced to represent themselves, much less thousands of their neighbors. But I also recognize that there are a growing number of exceptional men and women under the age of 21 who are wise beyond their years, and who have innovative ideas for how we should be governed. The problem is, even exceptional young leaders haven’t had enough life experience, or adult responsibilities, to give them a rounded perspective on how to go about serving and regulating others. Having said that, I also agree that anyone who is old enough to join the military is old enough to hold office. That’s why I propose that we raise the minimum age for military service to 21, and leave the North Carolina law as is.
My proposal won’t help Joe Schuler get elected any time soon, but it could save the lives of a lot of other Joe Schulers who might be allowed to grow up a little more before heading off to war, or to the Mayor’s office.
Jim Longworth is host of “Triad Today” which airs Saturdays at 7:30am on abc45 (cable 7) and Sundays at 11am on MY48 (cable ch. 15) www.triadtoday.com.

My Take

August 8, 2017

“Watching ‘Route 66’ From N.C. 66 … So Many Years Ago”
Besides a place where animals are kept, menagerie also means, “An odd or eclectic assortment of things.” That would describe our family room. Or basement. Or great room. Or whatever they call the place where people hang out after dinner these days.
Our current “gathering room” is three or four times larger than the den I remember off Highway 66. This was NC 66, which connects Kernersville to Horneytown, about nine miles. It was not U.S. Route 66, which connects Chicago to Los Angeles, about two-thousand miles…and the TV show by the same name.
Mother, and my two brothers and me, often watched “Route 66,” starring Martin Milner and George Maharis, on our little TV in our little den, among its assortment of odd and eclectic things.
On the knotty pine wall above the couch was a picture of “Jesus Knocking At The Door,” surrounded by pictures of the Reid family. As the years went by, Mother kept updating the wall to show pictures of her grandchildren, and my latest wife and me. She once threatened to start pasting a picture of my new wife over the picture of my old wife.
Built-in bookcases flanked a window at one end of the den, which was to the right of our 17-inch B&W TV from Sears. The bookcase housed a set of Grolier encyclopedias (we couldn’t afford World Book), several Reader’s Digest condensed books, medical encyclopedias, more Reid photos, a photo of a family I didn’t recognize (I think it came with the frame), someone’s brass baby shoes, a jack-in-the-box, and a pair of praying hands.
The other end of the den featured our “entertainment center,” consisting of a turntable (beside a stack of Elvis albums) and a Zenith radio. Eight-track tapes hadn’t come along yet.
By comparison, our modern “menagerie” features computers, iPads, printers, big-screen TV, a Bose Wave radio/CD player, photos (including my current wife and me), a few of my journalism awards, books by George Orwell to George Carlin, and an eclectic assortment of things including an empty Scotch bottle from World War II, a duck decoy, a Super Bowl trophy (from my fantasy team), a “Ray’s 19th Hole” sign, a Dodgers clock, a Jack Russell terrier figurine, a microwave oven, and a piano no one can play.
And then there’s the toy Corvette…When I close my eyes I see Martin Milner at the wheel, on Route 66. And Mother and Jerry and Bob and me huddled around the TV watching, in the little den in the little house on NC 66…so many years ago.
Raymond Reid can be contacted at rreid7@triad.rr.com

Our Town

August 8, 2017

“Working Together for a Safer Community”
Next week, many residents in Kernersville are joining with the Kernersville Police Department to celebrate National Night Out in their neighborhood, joining a national effort in recognizing the importance of community members and police officers working together in crime prevention efforts. While National Night Out is recognized one day each year, on the first Tuesday of August, the Kernersville Police Department works hard to prevent crime throughout the year.
One of the ways our community fights crime is by citizens stepping up and reporting suspicious activity, and Kernersville residents are encouraged to call the police department if they notice anything of concern. Citizens are the eyes and ears of the police department and alert citizens can help prevent crime and keep our community safe.
Neighborhood Watch programs are strong in Kernersville, and the Kernersville Police Department works with citizens who do not currently have a neighborhood watch program and would like to establish the program in their neighborhood. The Kernersville Police Department will also help residents who have an interest in organizing an Apartment Watch program. Officer Jones, the crime prevention coordinator, works directly with citizens on these and other crime prevention efforts. Officer Jones can be reached at 336-996-2294 or by email at crimeprevention@toknc.com.
Throughout the year, at community events like Spring Folly, Earth Day, and the Honeybee Festival, the police department reaches out to the community. Postings on the official Town of Kernersville FaceBook page, including press releases about crimes and upcoming safety programs encourages the community to connect with the police department.
Efforts to fight crime and enhance public safety include working cooperatively with other law enforcement agencies, including coordinated efforts between local law enforcement agencies to address DWI accidents in Forsyth County. Since 2010, Kernersville has participated in the DWI taskforce, a targeted enforcement effort that has been very successful in reducing the number of alcohol and drug related injuries and fatalities on our streets and highways, and which has become a model for law enforcement efforts in our state. In the past six months, participation by Kernersville officers in the Forsyth County DWI task force resulted in numerous DWI related arrests.
Another important effort is the School Resource Officer (SRO) program. A cooperative effort of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and the Kernersville Police Department, the SRO program allows law enforcement to be involved in our schools. Officers get to know the students, and the students know and trust the officers. Building these relationships provides a positive role model for students. The partnership between the school and law enforcement also helps deter crime, and can be important in investigating crime.
Throughout the year, working cooperatively with other enforcement agencies, the school system, and our citizens, the Kernersville Police Department continues to be proactive in enhancing public safety, and keeping Kernersville a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
Dawn Morgan is the Mayor of Kernersville and writes a weekly column for the News.

Longworth at Large

August 8, 2017

“Gorilla Girl from Graham”
Like most senior citizens, I am set in my ways. I like to watch the same old TV shows over and over again. I like to wear the same old pair of jeans around the house. I identify more with Johnny Bench than Johnny Depp. And I won’t try any food that has “grain” in the name.
OK, so a few weeks ago I was leaving the Triad Today studio when my friend Steve Rehburg, an account executive at abc45, handed me a bag of something called “Gorilla Grains”. I trust Steve because, like me, his hair is turning gray, nevertheless I wasn’t about to sample a bag of grain just because he offered it.
“Try it,” he said. “My wife Alicia makes it.” I thanked him and walked away, intending to re-gift the Gorilla Grains to my wife Pam. As fate would have it, I got stuck in traffic on the way home, and the longer I was stuck, the hungrier I grew. In what can only be described as an act of desperation, I opened the convenient, re-sealable bag of Gorilla Grains, and poured a handful of the buttery sweet morsels into my mouth. It was the best thing I had ever tasted! In just a few short seconds, I had gone from being set in my ways, to being hooked on grain. As a journalist I was naturally intrigued to learn more about my new vice, so I contacted Alicia Rehburg to find out about her company, and how she came to invent Gorilla Grains.
Jim: How would you describe Gorilla Grains?
Alicia: It’s a small, batch-baked granola with a toasty, buttery taste, and light, delicate crunch. We use 100% organic oats and real butter.
Jim: What gave you the idea to try and create the perfect grains?
Alicia: My husband Steve was a chef by trade. Food had to taste good to him, so he was not on board with any granola snacks that I made for our children. In fact, I had him sample granola from far and wide, and he said the bag they came in tasted better than the granola. I was convinced that there had to be a better way to make granola that would be tasty to discerning palates like Steve’s. I also believed there had to be a way to make a healthier snack than the things people stash in their desks at work.
Jim: So how long did it take you to come up with the right formula?
Alicia: For fourteen years I tried out variations of the recipe on Steve.
The poor guy endured things no one should have to (laughs). Remember, this is someone who would rather go hungry, than eat foods that don’t taste good.
Jim: Once you hit on the right formula, how did you envision Gorilla Grains being used?
Alicia: Customers tell me they like to put it on top of their Greek yogurt. Others take it to work for a snack right out of the bag. In fact, I hear that a lot of moms put a bag of Gorilla Grains in their kids’ backpack for school. Our favorite way to eat it, is in a parfait with Greek yogurt, layered with Gorilla Grains and frozen, mixed berries, topped off with a sprinkling of salted mixed nuts. Steve says it’s a symphony in your mouth!
Jim: You talk about Steve a lot. How did the two of you meet?
Alicia: We met outside of his television station. I went there on a Saturday morning to volunteer to answer telephones for a crisis call line. He was there to let volunteers in the building, then he would go back to his office and drink coffee and read the newspaper. After he let me in, he never made it back to his office (laughs).
That chance encounter led Alicia and Steve to the altar, and later produced four children. Today, the couple and their youngest daughter live in Graham, and Alicia’s company is growing by leaps and bounds. Gorilla Grains is garnering rave reviews, and was a finalist in the first annual Big Tasty contest held in Asheville, winning Alicia an opportunity to study at Rutgers University’s Food Innovation Center.
Jim: How did the Rutgers experience help you, and what are your goals for the company now?
Alicia: The wealth of knowledge I gained there established our direction for future growth, which is to market Gorilla Grains as a premium food product, and make it available to the public through fine retail stores, as well as through online sales.
Gorilla Grains is currently available at the Farmer’s Curb Market in Greensboro, the Blend & Company in Burlington, the Roasted Coffee Depot in Graham, the Market at Summerfield Farms, and at Musten & Crutchfield’s Food Market in Kernersville. Orders can also be placed online at www.gorillagrains.com
As for me, I’m still set in my ways. I still watch the same old TV shows, and wear the same old pair of jeans. But my outlook on eating grains has changed, thanks to a lady in Graham, her guinea pig husband, and a bag with a gorilla on it.
Jim Longworth is host of “Triad Today” which airs Saturdays at 7:30am on abc45 (cable 7) and Sundays at 11am on MY48 (cable ch. 15) www.triadtoday.com.

Our Town

August 8, 2017

“Celebrating Efforts to Beautify Kernersville”
Kernersville’s appearance is important. Realtors call it “curb appeal,” or that special something that leads buyers to make a home their own. Mothers encourage their children on the first day of school to “put their best foot forward,” and job applicants seek to have a neat appearance and confident manner to land the job. In the same way, Kernersville has made efforts to continue improving its image and appearance.
One way Kernersville continues to work on its image is through the efforts of citizen members of the Kernersville Community Appearance Commission. Established in 1985, the Kernersville Community Appearance Commission was the first of its kind in Forsyth County. Members are appointed by the Kernersville Board of Aldermen, and are charged with the mission to promote, enhance, and improve the residential and commercial environment in Kernersville.
The Commission promotes the beautification of Kernersville throughout the year, and over the years has developed an anti-litter campaign, coordinated volunteer efforts to beautify our community, and has worked with the business community to improve appearances.
The Kernersville Community Appearance Commission has worked with the town on the design and landscaping of signs, including the welcome sign at Union Cross and Shields roads.
A recent successful effort of the Kernersville Community Appearance Commission was the Fourth of July beautification effort. The Commission decorated our community with patriotic banners on Main and Mountain streets in the historic downtown area, and at the courtyard at town hall. These efforts showed the patriotic spirit of our town, and the decorations at town hall helped build excitement about the Independence Day holiday for children participating in the Miss Mary’s Parade.
Along with the Fourth of July banners, the Kernersville Community Appearance Commission and the Chamber of Commerce worked together on a star spangled decorating contest for the business community. Storefronts and front doors were decorated by local business and could participate in a contest. The winners, Amanzi Marble & Granite, Tiquers Alley, Pawlee’s, and S&R Motors were announced by guest judge, Lanie Pope, of WXII News. Twenty-two local businesses entered the contest and additional businesses decorated even though they did not enter the contest.
Other seasonal decorations, including the silhouettes of snowmen and ice skaters, wreaths hanging downtown, and blinkie lights, have been coordinated by the Kernersville Community Appearance Commission. Many of these decorations have been made possible by fundraising efforts of the Commission.
During the month of July, as we enjoy the patriotic banners and holiday décor, and throughout the year, we can celebrate the efforts that have continued to make Kernersville a beautiful community and a great place to live.
Dawn Morgan is the Mayor of Kernersville and writes a weekly column for the News.

My Take

August 8, 2017

“Getting My ‘Pigs’ Book Published Is A Sloppy Job”
The catchy title of my new book of essays, “The Day the Pigs Ate Uncle Harry’s Fingers,” has yet to catch on with the nine literary agents I queried. But there’s plenty of time. The replies I received, all of which were auto-replies, stated that if there was interest in the book, I would be notified anywhere within two weeks to 12 weeks. That’s a bunch of slop!
One agent wrote, “Because of the hundreds of queries I receive each month, I am not able to send a personal reply. If you don’t hear from me within two weeks, you should assume I have determined your project would not be a good fit for my strengths and that I have declined the opportunity to consider it further.”
But she left the door cracked. “If you receive an offer of representation during the two-week window, please send a second email to let me know.”
Translated: “I receive hundreds of query letters each month and I don’t have time to fool with you. However, if another agent makes an offer to represent you, contact me and I will find time to fool with you.”
I can’t reply to an automated reply, but if I could, here’s what I would say: “Please remove my query, although you don’t even know you have it. That’s how auto replies work. Too bad you literary agents are so self-absorbed and important that you don’t have time to address a person by name. Rest assured, if I do receive an offer of representation from another agent, you will be the last to know. I am proceeding to take you off my list of prospective agents. That means you wont’ have a shot at representing my next book, ‘My Mother Was a Teetotaler (Almost).’”
I hope I live long enough to see my latest manuscripts in print. And thanks to coffee, maybe I will. According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people who drank two to four cups of coffee a day had an 18 percent lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink coffee at all. That’s a good omen for my five cups a day.
It should give me a couple of extra years to finish, “My Ex-Wife’s Coffee Was Grounds For Divorce.”
Raymond Reid can be contacted at rreid7@triad.rr.com.

Our Town

August 8, 2017

“The Honeybee Festival”
With the fun of the Fourth of July Parade, concert and fireworks last week now as memories, this is a good time to mark your calendar and make plans to attend the Honeybee Festival. One of the favorite community festivals, and a long-standing Kernersville tradition, the Honeybee Festival will be held on Saturday, August 19th at Kernersville’s Fourth of July Park. The park will be “buzzing” with activity from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with live music, free admission, and free parking at Kernersville Elementary School.
The Honeybee Festival is a great opportunity to enjoy summer fun with family and friends, and is a family-friendly event. Featuring live music, craft vendors, and children’s activities, there is something for everyone at the Honeybee Festival. With educational displays by the police department, fire department, and parks & recreation department, it is a chance to learn more about our community and have a great time. There are lots of fun activities for children, including games, pony rides, face painting, inflatables and a petting zoo. Food vendors and food trucks will be available on-site.
There is also an opportunity to tour the historic one-room schoolhouse, and learn about local history. Thanks to volunteers with the Kernersville Historic Preservation Society, history comes alive. Write on a slate board, sit at a wooden desk, and learn about the education you could have had in Kernersville in the early days. Just behave or you may be called out to wear the dunce hat!
While touring the one-room schoolhouse, be sure to visit the building directly behind the schoolhouse. Constructed with materials salvaged from an old barn, a structure like this reminds us that back in the day, a school needed other buildings near it, as a place to store wood, or as a cover for the well or spring where children could draw water needed during the school day. Just imagine your teacher sending you out on a winter day to get wood for the school stove!
And, of course, the Honeybee Festival is a great place to find honey! Beekeepers will be there, and products made from honey will be available. You can “bee” sure to find crafts and a variety of local honey for sale at the Honeybee Festival.
The honeybee is the state insect of North Carolina, having been officially recognized on March 5, 1973, largely as a result of the successful efforts of local resident and WWII veteran Brady Mullinax and the North Carolina Beekeeper’s Association. The first Honeybee Festival was organized in 1975 by Lucy Lewis, Rev. Jim Carriker, and Beverly Everette in recognition and commemoration of Mullinax’s efforts and like many good ideas, has become a Kernersville tradition.
So mark your calendar to come out to Fourth of July Park on Saturday, August 19th and enjoy music and fun at the Honeybee Festival, a family-friendly Kernersville tradition. See you there!
Dawn Morgan is the Mayor of Kernersville and writes a weekly column for the News.

Longworth at Large

July 10, 2017

“Want a Raise? Become a CEO or Coach”

There was a headline in last week’s newspapers that caught my attention. It read, “Middle Class Wage Crisis Worse in North Carolina.” The story, written by Associated Press correspondent Emery Dalesio, highlighted findings by NC State University economist Michael Walden, in which he concluded that the collapse of middle class jobs in this century was worse in North Carolina than in the rest of the country. According to professor Walden, middle class jobs rose by 6% nationwide between 2001 and 2015, but fell by 5% here in the State. Communities that have lost textile jobs in large numbers accounted for much of our decline, and Winston-Salem was particularly singled out as having suffered from depressed wages.

Dalesio also referenced findings by UNC’s Maureen Berner, who added that the decline in middle class jobs and wages led to a “double digit growth in the need for food distributed by non profit organizations.” Her conclusion didn’t come as a surprise to me. Clyde Fitzgerald, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank, had warned of this trend on many occasions over the past few years when appearing on my Triad Today television program. He spoke of the high rate of childhood hunger in the Triad, and of the challenges in keeping food bank shelves filled, and financial donations flowing.

What makes all of this bad news especially hard to swallow is that while many North Carolina families are still struggling to make ends meet, the wages of wealthy people continue to rise at an obscene rate. In fact, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, and Senator Bernie Sanders have been railing against income inequality for years, even before the recession of 2008. So, just how bad is the disparity? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1982, the average CEO pay was 42 times greater than that of his average worker, but by 2012, the Institute for Policy Studies estimated that the ratio had reached 364 to 1. And while I will never defend greedy corporations who over pay their CEOs to the detriment of their employees, at least those executives work in the private sector. Not so with another elite group of “one percenters”.

If you really want to get steamed about stagnant wages, then just take a moment to examine what today’s college coaches earn each year. For example, Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzysewski makes $9.6 million dollars per year, and Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh is paid about the same. Alabama football coach Nick Saban earns over $7 million annually, while Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Louisville’s Rick Pitino take home around $6 million dollars each. But the pay rates and raises are also staggering for lesser known coaches in minor sports. According to a Washington Post story by Will Hobson from March of this year, the University of Virginia’s head Women’s volleyball coach has seen her pay increase from $94,000 to $221,000 over the past ten years. Meanwhile the salary of West Virginia University Men’s soccer coach rose from $66,000 to $188,000 per year, and Kentucky’s track and field coach went from earning $108,000 in 2006, to $429,000 last year. That’s a 298% pay raise! Not angry yet? Then consider that during that same period, the median pay for the average American worker rose by less than 1%.

The pay disparity at our nation’s colleges must also anger the men and women who have devoted their lives to providing academic instruction to students. According to the American Association of University Professors, the average salary of a full professor is $113,000 per year, while most instructors are lucky to be making half that amount. Even worse, their raises are few and far between, and when State legislators do approve a pay hike, it’s usually less than 5%. That’s a far cry from the coach who received a 298% pay raise.

So there you have it. Private sector CEOs make nearly 400 times the salary of the workers they haven’t yet laid off, while a growing number of college coaches earn anywhere from two times to 40 times more than the teachers who make it possible for those coaches to have a place to work. Pundits and politicians have suggested that higher taxes on the rich, and salary caps on coaches would make our lot in life easier. But the fact is, neither of those solutions would translate to more middle class jobs and higher wages for workers. That might only happen if President Trump makes good on one of his campaign promises: to incentivize companies who bring their factories and jobs back to America from overseas. Until then, those of us in the dwindling middle class can either make do with what we have, or else try and get hired as a CEO or college coach. Excuse me while I dust off my resume.