Monday, July 28, 2008

Previewing politics

I have a feeling the August issue of Hotel & Motel Management is going to be a big hit.

The entire team poured a lot into this issue--our biggest of the year--and the result is a top-to-bottom forecast of how this upcoming presidential election will affect the lodging industry. We outlined AH&LA's top political issues and how Obama and McCain stand on each of them. We talked to hospitality experts and got their opinion on who will be best for the industry. And we tracked down some great pictures of presidents at hotels and hotels named after presidents.

When it comes to liberal or conservative, I usually fall somewhere in the middle ... I like to decide each issue separately instead of siding Republican or Democrat on every issue. You could probably call me a flip-flopper because, not only do I spend a lot of time in flip flops, but there are many issues in which I see both sides of the story. For example, I can see why business owners like President Bush's tax plan and I agree there needs to be some incentives for operating a business. But, at the same time, I agree it is unfair for a handful of hedge fund operators, making more millions than they can even keep track of by means of capital gains, to pay less taxes than their secretaries.

One issue I can't seem to see both sides on--probably the most important issue to the hospitality industry--is "card check." I'm probably missing something somewhere, but I don't understand why anyone would want the Employee Free Choice Act passed. Sure, I think it should be any worker's right to unionize and, after working in the struggling newspaper industry for years, I see the need for a louder voice to stand up for workers' rights. But why force those workers to vote for unionization in public? If the majority of a hotel's employees really want to form a union, can't they do that through a private ballot? Someone please help me understand this issue better.

Overall, I learned a lot about current political issues, especially the ones that will affect the hotel industry, while working on the August issue of H&MM. When you get your copy, I hope it provides similar insight.

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