Wendy’s recent announcement that it’s installing 1,000 self-service kiosks in its restaurants is a huge counter-salvo against the Fight for $15 and its effort to push through an unreasonable national minimum wage.

Most mainstream economists believe paying America’s youngest and least-skilled workers at least $15 an hour will kill countless jobs, especially for those least able to lose them. But the progressives behind the push, seemingly ignorant about how the economy actually works, claim the wage hike would have few ill effects.

But the Wendy’s plan, plus similar automation ideas being considered by other fast-food chains, puts the lie to that contention. When you force employers to pay workers more than they’re worth, the result is fewer people have jobs.

The battle over the minimum began at the turn of the 20th Century, the dawn of the original Progressive Era . There is, however, a huge difference with how the leftists of yesteryear approached the issue. The original Progressives backed a minimum wage precisely because it would throw people out of work.

As economic historian Thomas C. Leonard explains in Illiberal Reformers (Princeton University Press, 2016), the Progs were a new breed on the national landscape at the end of the 19th Century. Devout believers in science as a cure for every ill, Progressives were convinced the only way America could survive and thrive was if all aspects of society were run by experts — namely themselves.

One of the Progressives’ main concerns was racial purity. They feared that Americans of Anglo-Saxon stock were threatened by hordes of inferior creatures, primarily racial minorities and immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. They concluded that an efficient way to protect the native-born was to drive the undesirables — whom they called “unemployables” — out of the workforce.

The “experts” believed the government had to intervene to prevent white workers’ pay from plummeting to unsustainable levels. They thought blacks and immigrants would accept lower living standards than white men, so they would accept lower wages. The ensuing “race to the bottom” would cut white men out of the job market and leave them unable to raise families.

To that end, the Progressives sought a national minimum wage — or, as they called it even back then, a “living wage” — to make labor so expensive that employers would hire only highly competent workers (i.e., white men).

(The Progressives also wanted women out of the workplace. Not only did they hold jobs that men could do, but the Progs also wanted females at home, breeding and caring for their families for the betterment of the race.)

So what would the “unemployables” do if they were prevented from working? Under the Progs’ plan, some — imbeciles, drunkards, criminals and the disabled — would be institutionalized, while others would be placed in “labor colonies,” a euphemism for work camps. It’s not a stretch to imagine that such places could eventually become concentration camps.

By 1919, fifteen states had minimum wage laws, but the Progressives never got the federal law they wanted. Acts were passed, but the Supreme Court struck them down as unconstitutional because they interfered with employers and workers’ right to enter into free and willing contracts.

Not until Franklin Roosevelt’s administration did Congress approve a law, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, that survived judicial review.

When it comes to the Progressive Era, historians are unfailingly generous in telling how it improved American life by creating better working conditions, establishing food and drug regulations, and reforming the political system. Many also credit the movement for women gaining the right to vote even though most Progressives opposed the idea.

But the dark side of Progressivism is buried and rarely comes to light in the history books. Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism is an excellent antidote that is both enlightening and entertaining. Now we can add Thomas C. Leonard’s Illiberal Reformers to the must-read list for exposing the anti-humanity ideals that formed the core of the Progressive machine.

 

By John Ruberry

“So listen, there’s still a little bit of it to go,” the host of NPR’s witty Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Peter Sagal said as he opened his New Year’s Eve show, “but all the pundits and the pollsters have already called it: 2016 will go down as the worst year ever.” Which led moderator Bill Kurtis, the longtime journalist and Chicago news anchor to reply, “Sure, 1346 had the plague, but at least Black Death was a cool name.”

I’m here to explain, at least for me and people who visit Da Tech Guy and my own blog, Marathon Pundit, that 2016 was a darn good year, and absolutely a better one than 1346.

Defying the “pundits and pollsters,” but perhaps not the same ones Sagal was talking about yesterday, Donald J. Trump was elected president–he’ll be sworn into office in nineteen days. Although not as historic as being the first African-American elected to America’s highest office, Trump will be the first president who was not a prior public office holder or a general. That’s yuge.

Like Bob Dylan in 1964 keeping his love for the Beatles to himself and not, initially, telling his folk-music pals, I secretly hopped on the Trump Train in the autumn of 2015, but I was a vocal passenger well before the Iowa Caucuses. Like Sean Hannity, I saw Trump’s, yes, historic candidacy as the last chance to save America from collectivism and socialism, mediocrity, malaise, globalism, cronyism; and in what would have sealed the unpleasant deal, a runaway leftist Supreme Court. I am not an aberration, there are tens-of-millions of Americans who look at the rise of Trump in a similar manner.

A Hillary Clinton victory could have possibly hobbled America as much as the 19th century Opium Wars did to China. A large and populous nation does not necessarily mean that it will be a prosperous and powerful one, as India and Indonesia show us. And Russia is not prosperous.

I look at Trump’s win as the best news of the decade. But even as blogs and new media continue to prosper–my blog’s readership soared last year–the old guard media, which is dominated by leftists, for the most part despises Trump. Their bad news needs to be your bad news.

My daughter at the old
M*A*S*H set

The old year of course will forever be remembered as the year of so many celebrity deaths, which included Leonard Nimoy, B.B. King, Ben E. King, Dick Van Patten, Omar Sharif, Yogi Berra, and in one last cruel harvest by the Grim Reaper, a beloved actor from the television show MASH, Wayne Rogers, passed away on New Year’s Eve.

Wait…wait…don’t tell me! Yes, those are deaths from 2015. Celebrities die every year. Trust me, they really do.

Okay, second verse almost as same as the first: In 2016 the celebrity departures included David Bowie, Prince, Florence Henderson, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and in one last cruel harvest by the Grim Reaper, a beloved actor from the television show MASH, William Christopher, passed away on New Year’s Eve.

[Editorial note: The WordPress blogging platform does not like words with asterisks within them.]

Admittedly, some of these celebs are a bit different from the Class of 2015. Although enigmatic, Bowie, Prince and Michael meticulously cultivated their public images, they became familiar presences on MTV; so people, even if they weren’t fans, believed they “knew” these performers, and their 1980s videos enjoy eternal life on VH1 and on YouTube.

Fisher played Princess Leia in Star Wars, which was arguably the most influential movie, both artistically and in the business-sense, since The Jazz Singer. If you haven’t seen Star Wars, then you probably haven’t seen many films. Florence Henderson’s TV show, The Brady Bunch, was not a first-run success, but it achieved legendary status on the re-run circuit. Like Bowie’s “Modern Love” video on MTV, sometimes you need to watch something every day instead of once-a-week for it to be properly digested.

Oh, I mentioned earlier that Dick Van Patten of Eight Is Enough died in 2015. And few cared because I’m pretty sure you have to buy DVDs of his show to watch it.

As members of the Greatest Generation and the Silent Generation pass on, there are proportionately more self-absorbed people remaining, those of course being the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Snowflake Generation, many of whom view every event, whether it is a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, an election, and of course, a celebrity death, as being about themselves. When Ish Kabibble, a kind of proto-Jerry Lewis, died in 1994, my parents didn’t take it as a personal loss.

John “Lee” Ruberry of
the Magnificent Seven

Here is some more good news from 2016: Third quarter growth in the United States was a robust 3.5 percent, perhaps because the end of the Obama era was in sight. And since Trump’s win, the stock market has been soaring, clearly many people, smart ones, are confident that 2017 will be a year of strong economic growth.

Now if we can only convince the self-absorbed ones to stop thinking about themselves so much, then 2017 will certainly be a great year.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

From Trump’s Twitter feed

By John Ruberry

For as long as I can remember the words “Merry Christmas” have been pushed away from public life, in the both the political and business world. I get it. No one wants to offend people who aren’t Christian, or those few Christians, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who shun Christmas.

However, 83 percent of Americans are Christian, and for many of them Christmas is their favorite time of the year. And I know some secular progressives who set up Christmas trees in their home.

When  President-elect Donald Trump on the later stops of his ‘thank you’ tour replaced his ‘USA’ lectern logo with a ‘Merry Christmas’ one, it got my attention.

And Trump’s Christmas spirit didn’t end there

“We’re gonna start saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again,” Trump said at a Michigan ‘thank you’ rally. “How about all those department stores, they have the bells and they have the red walls and they have the snow, but they don’t have ‘Merry Christmas. I think they’re gonna start putting up ‘Merry Christmas.'”

About ten years ago the ‘War on Christmas’ compelled Christians who wished to say ‘Merry Christmas’ at their workplace to bite their tongues, including those working extended Christmas shifts at retail stores to accommodate Christmas shoppers. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, one of the defenders in the ‘War on Christmas,’ declares the conflict all but over, as increasingly more retail outlets use the word ‘Christmas” in their holiday advertisements. On Christmas Eve I was greeted with a hearty “Merry Christmas” when I walked into the local Walmart–and when I left.

Meanwhile, the outgoing president’s final Christmas card, oops, I mean holiday card, oh wait, make that a seasonal card, features the first family and a sprig of holly. Nothing else.

I’ll be shocked if Donald Trump’s first presidential Christmas card isn’t much different, even though his oldest daughter is a convert to Judaism.

Howard Kurtz ended today’s always excellent Fox News’ Media Watch program with “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.” Yes, like a rare planetary alignment, Christmas Eve and the first day of Hanukkah share the came spot on the calendar.

And from me to you, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

usa-china

By John Ruberry

Building upon Peter Ingemi’s RH’s spectacular Trump’s China Call is a Deliberate Overreach from yesterday, it’s my turn to add my two yuan into the discusssion.

The media loves to dismiss Donald Trump as a showman–as if there was no showmanship with Barack Obama–but those under 45 first encountered our next president as a real estate developer, albeit a flashy one. Developers are many things, including, yes, deal makers, as well as a negotiators. In regards to that last one, when you are sitting across someone you are negotiating with, or as it usually turns out, haggling with, a strategy that has worked since the Babylonian era is to get the person sitting on the other side of the table from you off of his script and on to yours. One tactic is known as “getting-yourself-inside-their-heads.”

And that’s something that Trump may have accomplished by accepting a telephone call last week from the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, which has caused a kerfuffle. Because the United States recognizes communist China as the legitimate government off all of China, including Taiwan, a president hasn’t spoken to a Taiwanese leader since 1979. Of course we still have extensive trade relations with the island nation–oops, breakaway province–and we still sell Taiwan weapons. If they are ever fired in defense it would very likely be against the Chicomms.

Oh, Taiwan and China are major trading partners.

Trying to understand international relations is a descent into madness.

Trump made the re-negotiation of what he calls bad trade deals a central campaign promise. Of course those bad deals with China, if they really are awful, are good ones for the Chinese. If Hillary Clinton won last month’s presidential election China could look forward to at least four more years of crony socialism from the former secretary of state. Since then China has been bracing itself for a return to the bargaining table, preparing for difficult deal making with this New York capitalist.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

But Trump, who was a very good baseball player when he was young, threw a curve ball at the Chinese.

He accepted a phone call.

He got inside their heads.

Trump knows what he’s doing.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Update (DTG): I’d like to take credit for the piece that John is referring to but that one was written by RH (NG36B) one of the newest additions to our magnificent 7 writers. I’m delighted to have both John & RH on the team

The shock still hasn’t worn off on the left. Donald Trump’s and the GOP Senate’s unexpected victories on Tuesday derailed many of the plans the liberals had for the next two years and they’re not taking the news well. They’re going to be angry for a while. On the right, it’s imperative that we start focusing on the one thing that was absent throughout the election cycle: discussion of issues.

This long campaign season was flooded with scandals and controversies that often left the actual issues facing everyday Americans on the sidelines. What are we going to do to fix the national debt? If Obamacare can be replaced, what will the replacement look like? Is abortion going to find its way onto the agenda or are we simply supposed to let Trump plug in conservative judges and call it a day?

How are we going to defend the nation against further cyberattacks? What do we do to keep terrorists out of the country? How do we prevent homegrown terrorists from being indoctrinated and potent? Is there a viable solution to the refugee crisis around the world?

How do we really increase jobs without embracing the short term solution of “fair” trade? Will we be able to prevent an increase in the federal minimum wage or will the GOP succumb to pressure? How are we going to address our oil dependency on the Middle East?

I can continue to list dozens of issues that need to not only be discussed but that also need real solutions. In every case above, there are huge question marks because we’ve never received a proper answer, at least not a consistent one. Paul Ryan has offered some solutions but most wouldn’t work while the others would be impractical (though I haven’t examined their proposed solution for healthcare at this point). What about from the White House? There was a lot of necessary ambiguity during the campaign on all of these issues. For example, Trump has both supported and opposed a national minimum wage hike. His most recent answer was to consider a $10 federal minimum wage. Is that still on the table? Would Congress sign off on that? Can we talk them out of it?

The GOP got its wish. Mission accomplished. Now, it’s time to lay out plans. We have two years to prove that the Republican plan can work. Folks, that isn’t a lot of time. Obama accomplished nothing in his two years with control of the House and Senate. Trump can’t make the same mistake or he’ll suffer the same fate of losing control of at least one if not both chambers in 2018. Please don’t tell me to give them room to breath. We’re already behind the eight ball and the clock is ticking.

trump-for-america-bw-and-colorBy John Ruberry

I haven’t read all of the thousands of John Podesta emails hacked by Wikileaks–has anyone yet?–but what I have read they betray a Democratic Party obsessed with two things: Money and power.

Liberal writer Thomas Frank, in his second great (gasp!) Guardian column in less than a week, accurately portrays the modern Democratic Party:

Let us start with the Democrats. Were you to draw a Venn diagram of the three groups whose interaction defines the modern-day Democratic party – liberals, meritocrats and plutocrats – the space where they intersect would be an island seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts called Martha’s Vineyard.

I’m going to drive the point home by reminding you that John F. Kennedy Jr, who was a liberal, meritocrat, and a plutocrat, was flying to Martha’s Vineyard to attend a cousin’s wedding when the airplane he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic. The Vineyard is Barack Obama’s favorite vacation spot–he’s been there seven times while president. Martha’s Vineyard the playground of the Democrat elitists. Bill and Hillary Clinton have vacationed there several times. In August her campaign held a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser on the island, just days after a devastating flood struck Louisiana.

In those Podesta emails, I haven’t so far found any mention of blacks, unless it’s about the black vote, the group that Democrats claim to champion more than anyone. But other than voting en masse for the Democrats and celebrity campaign appearances by people like Jay-Z, African-Americans otherwise aren’t much use for the Democrats.

Blue collar workers, a section of the electoral pie that has been shrinking for decades, appear to be missing from the Podesta emails too. They are also absent from Martha’s Vineyard, from what I hear, unless they are modern George Wilsons from The Great Gatsby, dutifully repairing plutocrats’ Teslas. The working class, once the biggest chunk of the FDR coalition, is heading towards the Republican Party. Perhaps a majority of them are inside the GOP tent already. And you won’t find what Michael Moore calls “the forgotten working stiff” on any vacation, because the leftist flamethrower pointed out last month his stiff hasn’t “had a real vacation in years.”

Some blacks besides the First Family “holiday” on the Vineyard, but in a 2009 article in New York magazine, Touré dismissed them as African-Americans who are “the only ones,” such as the only black in the room, neighborhood, or workplace.

“No man is an island entire of itself,” John Donne wrote nearly 400 years ago, “every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” Unless of course you are a member of the Democrat elite. An island accessible only by boats and airplanes is a fitting hangout for them.

Which leaves “the leftover people” for the Republicans. Sure, the elitists will blame the decline in unionization of the blue collar work force as why the leftovers have fallen behind.

Maybe.

Also discovered in Podesta’s WikiLeaks cache was an email from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who advised the Clinton campaign to choose a city outside of Washington for its headquarters because they would be better positioned to hire “low paid permanent employees.” And just what wage does Schmidt view as low paid? Is it less than the $15 minimum wage that Democrats call for?

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Oh, if Schmidt really believes every verse in the Democratic mantra, then why isn’t Google unionized?

So, no, the Democratic Party isn’t the champion of “the little guy” anymore, just as Martha’s Vineyard isn’t a vacation destination for blacks living in Boston’s impoverished Dorchester neighborhood. Ironically it’s a billionaire from Manhattan who, at least this autumn, has made “the little guy” feel at home within the Republican Party.

John Ruberry, whose closest brush with Martha’s Vineyard has been South Boston, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

220px-fort_calhoun_power_plant_1Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant, another victim of the anti-nuclear movement

This week, covered up by election coverage, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant closed down for good. Somewhere, a whole bunch of anti-nuclear activists are cheering. To replace Fort Calhoun, Omaha Power will instead use coal fired plants in Nebraska City, unless of course the future President Clinton shuts down coal, in which case Omaha will just not have enough power.

Fort Calhoun’s problems are just the surface of a growing threat to the future of nuclear energy in America. More nuclear plants are closing, and we aren’t building replacements. The soaring cost of nuclear regulation is piling on to what should be cheap power. The building of nuclear plants requires high level engineering work, something that normally brings in stable, long-term and high paying jobs.

But not anymore. I keep in touch with a headhunter that places nuclear-trained officers (like myself) into jobs after they leave the Navy. He sent a very depressing email to his distribution group, where he declared that he would no longer place officers in the commercial nuclear field:

The promise of cheap power via commercial nuclear was supposed to be its big advantage.  It was once even touted as “too cheap to meter!”  But it is economics that are now killing the industry.  Utilities are deciding it’s less expensive to close plants that are already operating than continue their operation.  Think about that:  it’s more economical to idle billions of dollars worth of existing infrastructure and spend the money to be build new generation facilities.  That’s crazy and a powerful indication of how uncompetitive commercial nuclear power has become.

We at -redacted- believe that strong professional successful Navy Officers should now avoid jobs and careers in commercial nuclear power and are suspending our relationships with our corporate clients in that sector.  If a career in commercial nuclear power is your focus, we will not be a good career transition resource for you.

Recent and future nuclear power plant closings and changes:

  • San Onofre in CA closing
  • Diablo Canyon in CA closing
  • Crystal River in FL closing
  • Vermont Yankee in VT closing
  • Pilgrim in MA closing
  • Kewaunee in WI closing
  • Harris in SC, 2 plants cancelled
  • Levy County in FL shifting from nuclear to natural gas
  • Comanche Peak in TX, 2 plants cancelled
  • Quad Cities in IL closing
  • Clinton in IA closing
  • Oyster Creek in NJ closing
  • And more are coming…

I have a former Naval Officer friend that worked at San Onofre who confirmed all this bad news. She has since left with her husband for a completely different career field.

pm2anuclearpowerplantModular nuclear plant? That’s so 1960’s

Meanwhile, China is rapidly building nuclear capacity, growing their engineering base in the process. Now they have designed a small reactor capable of providing 6 MW of power, enough to power a small island (South China Sea anyone?). Although the media is touting this as an accomplishment, it’s not. The Army built a number of small reactors, the Navy currently operates reactors on its submarines and aircraft carriers, and even the Air Force attempted to make nuclear powered aircraft. And this was back in the 60’s and 70’s. If we had continued investing in nuclear power, we could have closed our dirty coal plants and lowered electricity costs, perhaps enabling us to build the renewable energy sources for long-term electrical generation. Instead, we’re taking a second seat to China.


This post is the opinion of the author and does not reflect the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.


If you enjoyed this article, check out my blog and perhaps buy my kids book. And, instead of paying 5 dollars for a latte from Starbucks that they’ll use to fund Planned Parenthood, you should consider sending that to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar instead.

Lastly, please say a prayer for all the families of the engineers affected by Fort Calhoun’s shutdown. They now have to find new employment, and it’ll be hard on them for the next few years.

As you may or may not know I have a “day” job (actually an overnight job) that I was forced to pick up when DaTipJar started falling in a bad economy. I’ve been there since last November other than a brief 3 week period that I was laid off.

A large amount of our work comes during the Christmas season and as a rule hours and staffing increases to deal with the additional volume.

Lately we’ve had a huge surge in work that has kept us busy that is much earlier than expected.

While we’ve all been grateful for this there seemed to be no rational explanation for it until I spoke to a co-worker who told me of a relative who despite having tickets to see the Carolina Panthers play this weekend, decided to give it a miss due to fear of the protesters and violence.

That’s when it hit me.

All over the country we are seeing Terror attacks at malls, black lives matter protests, looting and roads blocked and innocent pedestrians and drivers in danger by violent thugs.

Given that fact why bother to go out and put yourself at risk when you can order product online from the safety and security of your home. Not only is there no physical risk but even if a riot means a trailer carrying your product is burned or looted it is the company’s responsibility to replace it.

Granted the actual chance of getting caught up in any of these things is very very low but when you are ordering product online from your home, the chances go from low to zero.

And thus I’m guaranteed a full 40 hour work week or more for the foreseeable future, although for myself I don’t think the price of riots and terrorism is a price worth paying to get it.

Hillary Clinton represents an existential threat to the nation. She would perpetuate the liberal dumbing down of America, attempt to load the courts with more leftists, and redefine our unalienable rights to match the progressive agenda. Under no circumstances would I endorse or even remotely consider voting for her.

That’s the preface necessary to set the stage for dissent. As I wrote previously, questioning Trump’s policies will not make you a #NeverTrump Clinton supporter. We can see Trump as a leftward lurch by the GOP or we can view him as an opportunity to take a malleable candidate and show him why fiscal conservatism is the right direction for America if we want to thrive today and be sustained into the future. I’ve held to the hope that the latter can come to pass but recent trends point to the former being the more likely scenario.

A recent poll should shock every fiscal conservative in the Republican Party. 85% of Republicans surveyed said that free trade has cost the U.S. more jobs than it has created, compared to 54% of Democrats. Let that sink in. The party of Reagan that has witnessed the tremendous benefits of a free market economy and the absolute need for free trade as a hallmark of our fiscal plan has reversed its perspective in a single election cycle. I don’t care how charismatic of a salesman someone is – this should not have been even remotely possible.

There’s a difference between believing that our current free trade agreements can be improved and believing that free trade is bad. Free trade is not bad. It has always been the driving force for our economic prosperity. Today’s communication and infrastructural advancements make this the perfect opportunity to take advantage of trade in ways that we have never been available to us.

More importantly, we are no longer the only consumers nor are we the primary producers. The global economy is expanding and the United States needs to lead it, not break away from it. The fear of globalism is a righteous fear. It’s the primary reason that we need to maintain as much control of global trade or risk losing our place as the main benefactors.

Here’s a short video from 2010 that explains it quite nicely:

The biggest argument against free trade is that it means more jobs are sent overseas. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of economics. In a thriving free market economy driven by free trade, the “loss” of jobs is an opportunity to replace low-yield employment with higher-yield employment. As companies rightfully send certain jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs, to places where they can be done more cost effectively, the nation’s economy becomes more stable. With stability comes the creation of more industries and increased domestic employment requirements within those industries. Jobs aren’t lost. They are traded. They are replaced. As a consumer-driven nation, the need for better employees rises with free trade. As a technology-driven nation, the need for higher-skilled employees rises with free trade as well.

“Fair” trade is part of an anti-growth economic system. It’s a short-term bandaid that forces companies to keep jobs and production facilities in the United States. This concept is being sold as a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s only a good thing in the beginning. As revenues dry up due to increased production expenditures, costs of goods rise for consumers. Whether through tariffs or forced domestication of production, the benefits for a few are taken from the wallets of the masses. For example, let’s say Apple was forced through tariffs or mandates to produce the iPhone in the United States. That would bring a huge number of jobs back; over a million people contribute in some way to iPhone production worldwide. It’s a win, right? The problem is that production costs would skyrocket. The already-overpriced iPhone would need to retail over $2000 to make up some of the difference. As sales volume drops, so too would jobs.

If you’re thinking that Apple makes enough money already and should bring those jobs to the United States without raising prices, you’ve already taken your first steps towards a socialist mentality.

The GOP has been more responsible over the years when it comes to fiscal planning… at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. I contend that the GOP isn’t pushing to the left because of Trump. Instead, it has always wanted to be the moderate populist party for the sake of winning elections rather than a party that believes in the tenets of fiscal conservatism.

The shift away from free trade is reminiscent of a lesson in George Orwell’s 1984 that doesn’t get as much attention as others. In the dystopian novel, we learn of the dangers of an overreaching government and how “Big Brother” can make our lives miserable for the sake of a perceived good to the oligarchy. We all know about doublespeak. What gets less attention is the lesson of controlled perceptions. In the book, Oceania is in a constant state of war with either Eurasia or Eastasia. The question of who the enemy is at any given moment is dictated by the leaders and maintained in false perpetuity, including in the past. If Oceania is at war with Eurasia at any given moment, it has always been at war with Eurasia. If the government shifts and declares that they are at war with Eastasia, then they have always been at war with Eastasia and have never been at war with Eurasia. Attempts to say otherwise are punished.

Somehow, the electorate is believing the manufactured reality that the Republican Party is now against free trade. If you were to question some of the 85% of Republicans who believe this, I would wager that a majority would say that the party has always been against it. Sadly, they may be inadvertently correct.

The movement to a nationwide $15 hourly minimum wage rolls right along, no matter what reality commands.

A lot of it has to do with organized labor, where many salary agreements are pegged to the minimum wage. Some of it has to do with “social justice”, where utopian views cloud reality, such as this (emphasis added):

it might take time for employers of many low-skill workers to learn how to economize on their labor costs, but they will over time, since the incentives to do so are much larger – and that would be bad news for the very low-skill workers the higher minimum wage is designed to help. For instance, fast-food workers might be more easily replaced by robots.

Hello, Marta

In the back kitchen of Mountain View’s newest pizzeria, Marta works tirelessly, spreading marinara sauce on uncooked pies. She doesn’t complain, takes no breaks, and has never needed a sick day. She works for free.

Marta also does not require mandated paid leave, payroll tax paperwork, and you don’t need to worry about checking her credit rating or her criminal record, or spend money on marijuana or drug screening.

Why?

Marta is one of two robots working at Zume Pizza, a secretive food delivery startup trying to make a more profitable pizza through machines.

Not only that, Marta can produce 100% consistent quality control, which includes “an artisanal touch,”

“We created her to spread your sauce perfectly, but not too perfectly, so the pizza still looks like an artisan product,” Garden said.

And to appeal to people like me, who would love a taco truck on Monday, a gyro truck on Tuesday, and a pastrami on rye truck on Wednesday (emphasis added),

In August, Zume wants to start cooking its pizzas in the startup’s patented delivery trucks. Each truck has 56 ovens that can be turned on and off remotely. Garden can barely contain his excitement for what comes next: “The robots will load all these individual ovens with different menu items. Then the truck will circle the neighborhood. At precisely 3 minutes and 15 seconds before arriving at the customer’s location, the cloud commands the oven to turn on and–” Garden made the symbol of a large explosion emanating from his brain– “BOOM, the customer gets a fresh, out-the-oven pizza delivered to their door.”

Zume’s fresh Lucky Bueno pizza, “a spicy pie with roasted garlic, Calabrian chili and soppressata”, delivered to your house for $18. Count me in!

There’s a basic economics lesson behind all of this.

The thing is, unless you have hands-on experience in the real business world, odds are, the lesson is lost on you.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.