Tag: minimum wage

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Funny, normally the levelers known as Socialists or Communists prefer to bring the high-earners down so everyone is “equal”. This business owner in Seattle tried it the other way, making the minimum salary at his tech firm $70,000 per year. Yes, even new hires with less experience were paid at that rate, higher to start […]

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“Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian” is a left liberal spoof of Christians.  It’s exactly what you would expect a left liberal spoof of Christians to be.  I just watched this episode critical of Goodwill Industries.  I’m going to ignore her potshots at Christians and focus on her potshots at mathematics.  She tells us that Goodwill […]

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Let’s Demagogue Puerto Rico… For Federalism (Seriously)!

 

imageVia today’s Cato Daily Podcast, Puerto Rico is in a bit of a mess. Its economy hasn’t grown in a decade, it has net population loss (among U.S. states, only West Virginia has that distinction), and it’s got a debt-to-GDP ratio of 70%, more than four times that of the average U.S. state. And just this week, its state-run electrical utility is expected to miss a payment on its debts this week. It’s not quite America’s Greece, but it’s doing its best to audition for the part.

While many of these problems are the result of the islands’ own bad choices — among them, a refusal to publish its budget in English as well as Spanish, making it much more difficult for others to review — Nicole Kaeding explains that some federal policies are making matters worse. Specifically, she cites shipping regulations that artificially raise prices there (as well as in Hawaii, I presume) and the federal minimum wage. The latter has an enormous effect on Puerto Ricans: 28% of hourly workers there earn it, which means it likely prices many others out of the labor market entirely; unsurprisingly, Puerto Rico has an unemployment rate of 12.2%. If you have seven minutes, take the time to listen to the whole interview.

I think this has some excellent potential for use in the 2016 campaign. No, I’m not suggesting a “courting Latinos” strategy — though I’m happy for anything that works that way — but for using it as an illustrative, right-on-the-merits way to hammer Democrats on economic freedom that will put them on the defensive. Imagine Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, or Rick Perry saying something like this in a debate:

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Over on the McDonald’s post, some concerns were expressed about where entry level jobs were going for all the many workers that would be displaced by automated ordering kiosks.  One commenter put it this way: “…[W]e are sacrificing a huge source of entry level jobs which teach every new generation how to interact with the […]

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L.A.’s $15 Minimum Wage: Great for Government Workers, Bad for Everyone Else

 

1973900_ME_garcetti_wage_GMKWhen I think about California, I think the best thing is to paraphrase historian Richard Cobb’s famous quip about France: “Wonderful state, California… pity about the Californians.”

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Municipal Star Chamber (a.k.a. City Council) voted 14-to-1 to follow Seattle over a fiscal cliff and increase the city’s minimum wage to $15/hour (given that California law does not allow workers earning tips to be paid less than the minimum wage, that means waitstaff would earn fifteen dollars plus tips.) The city’s non-Mexican, anti-American Mexican-American mayor Eric Garcetti has been fervently pushing for Los Angeles to commit economic seppuku since taking office, and he has gotten his way. One can only assume the one holdout vote simply wanted a more reasonable living wage of $100/hour.

While The New York Times cheers this lunacy on, anyone with half-a-brain would know that this scheme is madness. Of course, the collective population of much of Los Angeles can barely cobble together a third of a cerebellum, so it is entirely understandable that this nonsense would pass in a town as overwhelmingly stupid as this one. But what is the real aim? Well, the unions were the real drivers of this wage hike, so that should explain everything. After all, there are only three major industries that remain unionized in L.A.: the entertainment industry (which is coughing up blood like a consumptive); the public school teachers; and the government employees. As the first group really does not have to worry about making minimum wage once it secures union membership, the latter two unions are certainly the real culprits.

The Origin of the Minimum Wage in the Progressive Eugenics Movement

 

Maybe I knew this and just forgot about it somehow, I dunno. But this 2005 paper from Princeton economist Thomas Leonard on the racist/eugenics/progressive origin of the minimum wage is pretty fascinating stuff. It’s a strange world:


Progressive economists, like their neoclassical critics, believed that binding minimum wages would cause job losses. However, the progressive economists also believed that the job loss induced by minimum wages was a social benefit, as it performed the eugenic service of ridding the labor force of the “unemployable.” Sidney and Beatrice Webb put it plainly: “With regard to certain sections of the population [the “unemployable”], this unemployment is not a mark of social disease, but actually of social health.” “[O]f all ways of dealing with these unfortunate parasites,” Sidney Webb opined in the Journal of Political Economy, “the most ruinous to the community is to allow them to unrestrainedly compete as wage earners.”  … A minimum wage was seen to operate eugenically through two channels: by deterring prospective immigrants and also by removing from employment the “unemployable,” who, thus identified, could be, for example, segregated in rural communities or sterilized. …

SF Raises Minimum Wage to Zero

 

In November, San Francisco voters decided to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Now one of the law’s biggest supporters is paying the price.

Borderlands Books, a Mission District store specializing in science fiction, opened in 1997. The specialty shop had survived the dot-com boom and bust, the rise of Amazon and e-books, and drastically rising rents in San Francisco. But the city’s progressive policies proved too tough to endure:

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I want to make sure I’m thinking about this correctly.  I think a $15 per hour minimum wage is not merely a bad idea, but actually a preposterous, impossible idea.  Take McDonalds for example.  They employ about 1.7 million people.  The average wage of these workers is around $9/hour.  To raise their hourly pay from […]

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The Rising Generation of Blamers

 

Raise the WageAs I sit here typing, I can scarcely comprehend the work it takes to be a farmer—even moreso a farmer of 100 or 200 years ago. Early mornings, sowing seeds, tending to the animals, all while keeping the house, the children, and life in order. By the time one day was over, it was about time to start the next.

In many ways, the farmer (either of today or 100 years ago) serves as an example of the kind of person America was designed for: hard-working, self-reliant individuals who add to the country’s growth and value.

For the farmer of old, the responsibility of provision laid squarely upon his shoulders. There was no government bailout and certainly no standing before the cows with a sign demanding higher milk output for the same amount of work. It was do or die — in the most literal sense.

Progressive Philosophy of Minimum Wage

 

I was catching up on Jonah Goldberg’s piece of last week on Elizabeth Warren and the broader progressive desire to keep big business as a lap dog, and clicked through to David Harsanyi’s piece at The Federalist on Elizabeth Warren more generally. David, in turn, linked to Warren’s “Eleven Commandments of Progressivism,” one of which is: “We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.”

After quelling my reflexive irate reaction about the economic idiocy pertaining thereto (lost jobs at the margin, fewer first jobs for teenagers, etc., etc.), I started thinking about the implications of the above “commandment” and realized that the key phrase is “work full-time and still live in poverty.” The progressive worldview implication, I believe, is the plain reading of the words: a belief that no one should fill their days with work, but still be poor. (I’ll leave alone for now the begged question of the definition of ‘poor,’ at least as pertains to life in the U.S.)

‘We Built This!’ Seattle Passes Small Business Relocation Incentive Plan

 

shutterstock_115433032…and it was passed unanimously to universal acclaim, establishing a national formula for bold action against the war on income inequality:

“No city or state has gone this far. We go into uncharted territory,” said Seattle City Council member Sally Clark before the council agreed to give workers a 61 percent wage increase over what is already the country’s highest state minimum wage.

“We did this. Workers did this. Today’s first victory for 15 will inspire people all over the nation,” said Councilmember Kshama Sawant.