You might have missed these two stories in all the Trump Tweet stuff but you might want to remind yourself what we’re fighting against before you jump off the wagon.

Cause:

Seattle’s minimum-wage law is boosting wages for a range of low-paid workers, but the law is causing those workers as a group to lose hours, and it’s also costing jobs, according to the latest study on the measure passed by the City Council in 2014.

The report, by members of the University of Washington team studying the law’s impacts for the city of Seattle, is being published Monday as a working paper by a nonprofit think tank, the National Bureau of Economic Research.

That law raises Seattle’s minimum wage gradually until it reaches $15 for all by 2021.

Well in the face of that bad news Seattle decided that there could be only one effect

When a University of Washington study came out this week showing Seattle’s minimum wage has cost 5,000 jobs and is hurting low income workers, city leaders attacked the messenger –- a team of respected economists at Washington’s premiere public university.

The researchers, led by Jacob Vigdor, were hired by the city in 2014 to study the effects of Seattle’s $15 wage experiment. The contract called for five years of research. City officials stopped funding the UW team when they didn’t like the results.

“The moment we saw it was based on flawed methodology and was going to be unreliable, the Vigdor study no longer speaks for City Hall,” said Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. 

So they’ve decided to fund a new study, meet the boss professor Michael Reich:

Reich is currently co-chair of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. Before earning his PhD in economics from Harvard, Reich was a founding member of the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE), a group seeking a “human-centered radical alternative to capitalism,” according to its website.

Reich has authored several studies on the effects of raising the minimum wage. They all concluded that increasing the minimum wage only helps low-skilled workers.

And I’m sure that Professor Reich will dutifully produces numbers that the leftists in Seattle will find acceptable but will not actually change the reality on the ground…

…unexpectedly.

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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:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  Governor-elect John Bel Edwards has declared that Louisiana has given him a mandate to do what he wants, what he promised during the campaign, and he intends to govern just that way.  Among his first steps, as I outlined last week, will be working to enact the Medicaid expansion that Governor Jindal has resisted.  Another high priority for Edwards is to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour.

Edwards vows that he will govern just as he campaigned and has no hidden agenda.  So far he is making plans to do just that.  I can’t help but think of Obama’s campaign where to too made promises that he vowed to keep, like destroying the coal industry.  Making and keeping promises isn’t always a good thing; one hopes that sometimes policy decisions may be re-evaluated.

Raising the minimum wage will only serve to force employers to pass costs on to consumers and in some cases will encourage employers to hire fewer employees thereby increasing the unemployment rate which is Louisiana is at about 6%.  But it’s okay if you lose your job because Edwards transition team is looking at reinstating SNAP benefits to 64,000 out of work people.

As Edwards works to get his teams and people in place, the question of who will be speaker of the House is drawing some interest.  Edwards has endorsed Democrat Walt Leger, citing in part the idea of bipartisanship.

“This time we’ll have a Republican president in the Senate (John Alario, R-Westwego) and a Democrat as speaker. I’m not asking for anything I didn’t agree to eight years ago. It’s entirely the same approach to bipartisanship.”

I’m pretty sure he said that comment about Alario being a Republican with a straight face, but it’s hard to tell.  Alario is about as Republican as Barack Obama is.

It remains to be seen how Edwards will govern and I know he has some plans toward education in the state that are positive, so I’m going to try to keep an open mind.  I would hope that rather than raising minimum wage and upping food stamps that Edwards would work to enact tax incentive policies and reduce government waste in efforts to bring jobs back to Louisiana.  Our bread and butter is the oil and gas industry and we need to keep those industries healthy and thriving which will also help support those small businesses which feed off of them.

Raising the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid, and upping food stamp benefits is only a Band-Aid.  We need jobs.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Last week there wa a piece at Fox News concerning Seattle and the sudden discovery by some workers that an increased minimum wage has other costs:

Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.

Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.

It’s a rational thought in the sense that if you can get $600 pay that you’re taxed on for working 40 hours or work half the time, get $300 that you’re taxed on PLUS $300 in government benefits that you’re not taxed you’ve effectively doubled your wages!

But there is something much more telling in this piece that brings to mind this TV commercial from Met Life.

The punchline of this commercial is that the Peanuts characters aren’t expected to understand why you can’t sell life insurance for five cents.

That sounds an awful lot like this San Francisco store owner who is doing his best to keep from closing thanks to a minimum wage hike ass in the city:

He doesn’t blame San Francisco voters for approving the $15 minimum wage, but he doesn’t think they had all the information needed to make a good decision.

Think about that sentence for a moment. He says flat-out the voters made a bad decision but somehow it’s not their fault for not having the info to make a good decision.

Why doesn’t he? Why isn’t it the responsibility of a voter to make an informed decision on a serious matter? Why, in an age where information and opinion are only a few clicks away, and the arguments of those who predicted exactly his result available to any who wanted to read them does this business owner assume that the same voters who send liberal stalwart Nancy Pelosi to the US congress time and time again should not be held responsible for their own ignorance?

Have we reached the point in America that when it comes to liberal voters, they are no expected to have any more sense than a bunch of cartoon characters? I guess that comes when schools are less interested in teaching business and math to people than analingus

Hey priorities are priorities.

Update:  At PJ Media

Those companies who can afford to not only pay their workers the new wage, but raise prices sufficiently to help pay for the increase. will survive. Those who work in industries where profit margins are small and highly sensitive to labor costs will have trouble. One thing is certain: there will be fewer workers receiving the minimum wage and fewer companies operating to pay them.

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Regular readers of this blog know I’m a Morning Joe fan who for many years did his writing with their show in the background.

During that time we constantly saw Mika Brzezinski defend the protesters who insisted the Minimum wage should be raised to $15.  Here is one example:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

At the time I challenged her to open up her Mika Burger franchise and I repeat that challenge today.

Mika you and a group of your progressive friends should simply open up a restaurant, have a starting pay of $15 an hour for all workers and before you can say “franchise fee” Mikaburger franchise will be all over the country resulting not only a living wage for the workers but profit for Mika & her friends that can be used for all kinds of delightful progressive causes.

In fact I’d like to suggest that Seattle be the location for the first Mikaburger franchise, because I hear in that city there is a lot less competition than there used to be:

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop. The Washington Policy Center writes that “closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.”

Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.” Seattle Magazine,

“Washington Restaurant Association’s Anthony Anton puts it this way: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”

 

Now one might think that such news might discourage Mika & people like her but it doesn’t matter if there is snark from Twitchy:

To Hotair

McDonald’s has been experimenting with point of sale automation for taking orders and Applebee’s rolled out smart tablets at tables in multiple locations last year. The latter solution is the most interesting to me because it seems like the easiest for younger consumers to adapt to. Most of the people going out to eat in such places are already familiar with laptops, tablets and smart phones anyway. Having one waiting at the table which takes the place of not only the menu, but the waitress as well, isn’t going to come as much of a shock to the system.

To Quando.net

Welcome to the land of $17 dollar cheeseburger. And, as you can figure out fairly quickly, everything else will be more expensive too … which, of course, erodes the purchasing power of that $15 wage. More importantly, if you work for one of those establishments that is closing, your wage is $15 times zero hours, isn’t it?

These naysayers and their math are no match for the combined effects of the power of progressive thinking plus the bonus of a restaurant fronted by a liberal celebrity in a liberal city anxious to prove her right.

So Mika the field has been cleared, go boldly forward and prove us wrong!  It should be a cinch.

Shouldn’t it?

 

The left continues to go all in on the minimum wage nationally

The Republicans blocked a bill on Wednesday that could have increased the minimum wage. President Barack Obama and Democrats are furious, but Republicans are holding firm.
The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour; with an increase over three years, the wage would have been $10.10 an hour.

 

The rhetoric from democrats looking for $10.10 has been pretty steady including yesterday on Morning Joe.

We even see a few people calling for an even higher increase

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said that she supports raising minimum wage in the state of California to $26 an hour, adding that she doesn’t think such a hike would hurt small business owners.
Speaking on CNN’s “Crossfire,” the California Democrat disagreed with Republican congressmen looking to keep minimum wage the same, or in one case, to be abolished as a whole.

While the left continues to use this issue to play the class war card this actually sets up the right for the perfect counter which was, ironically provided by by Democrat Governors in Maryland:


Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) touted his state’s move to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and knocked Republicans for blocking a similar measure this week in the U.S. Senate during a speech to Nevada Democrats on Friday night.

 

and Connecticut

HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers on Wednesday became the first in the country to pass legislation that would increase a state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017, the same rate President Obama wants for the federal minimum wage.

The bill passed the General Assembly, which Democrats control, largely along party lines. It was approved 21 to 14 in the Senate and 87 to 54 in the House.

I think these are both incredibly foolish moves for their states but consistent with the right of individual states to go their own ways. In terms of the midterm elections and beyond I think the Republicans should highlight, promote and applaud these moves by the bluest of blue states.

In fact we should point to those states where the left has overwhelming unstoppable control like Rhode Island, Vermont and even Massachusetts to do the same saying: “Go ahead blue states, raise that minimum wage to $10.10, in fast raise it more.” If I was the GOP I’d even challenge California dems to follow Barbara Lee’s advice & push their minimum wage all the way to $26 an hour.

At the same time I’d encourage Red States like North & South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas to stand pat & let free market forces dictate wages.

And then lets watch the fruit of these moves.

If the left is right then these moves will create booms in their states, The whole New England region will have a renaissance! Maryland economy, already fueled by federal dollars and K-Street, will become even stronger. As for California, if they raise that wage to $26 and hour will become the new promised land.

We can watch business flock to all of these blue states to operate and bring prosperity, tax revenues and population will come with it. By the time of the 2020 census the left will reap the greatest of political rewards of increased population and representation putting them in the driver’s seat in the house for a decade.

The left will have cause to celebrate their good fortune.

But if they’re wrong, their states will further entropy. Small business will continue to flee along with tax revenues and population and only the need to feed and clothe those who remain and to support the bureaucracy will keep business there at all and the Red States will have a lock on the House that will begin to resemble the Democrat dominance that wasn’t broken till 1994.

If the left truly believes in what they are pushing, they’ll make that bet in every state they currently control. and if the right is smart they’ll prompt and goad them into it until they do.

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by Gary S. Goldman

For many American workers, minimum-wage employment was a temporary, teenage condition, as we bussed tables, stocked shelves, or cleaned rooms for tiny paychecks before moving on to more financially rewarding work.

However in 2011, 3.8 million American workers — most of whom were out of their teens — earned the federal minimum wage per hour or less.

Advocates for a higher wage floor argue, first and foremost, that it is right to ensure that workers have the ability to earn enough to live on. As of January 1, 2014 13 states have increased their minimum wage.

Some feel that increasing the minimum wage would act as economic stimulus.

When low-income households earn more money, they are likely to spend it, pouring more dollars into the economy, the argument goes.

A higher minimum wage might also decrease turnover and thus keep training costs down, supporters say.

Is raising the minimum wage the real path to economic recovery?

Those that oppose an increase to the minimum wage, however, argue that the effects on employment rates would be exactly the opposite of those supporters foresee.

A higher minimum wage, they claim, would be too heavy a burden on employers, especially small business owners.

And those employers, in turn, would be unable to hire as many people — an undesirable result when unemployment continues to be an ongoing problem.

“When legislators raise the price of low- and unskilled labor, it’s usually low- and unskilled laborers who end up paying the price,”

“Multiple studies have demonstrated little to no relationship between a higher minimum wage and reductions in poverty,”

What do you think? Would a higher minimum wage help to economy or hurt it?

I feel that there is a need to increase in the mimimum wage.

However, I do not support wage increases that have a negative impact on business thus affecting the people that it was intended to help

We start our life’s journey at a minimum wage, and work ourselves toward a living wage.

Lets not once again allow an election year to blur our vision on this mater. With wage increases that are purely based on political gain.

 

Gary S. Goldman is the owner of  Gary S. Goldman & Associates out of Shearborn Ma. providing business & management consulting services to business.  His weekly radio program Business Politics & Lifestyle with Gary Goldman can be heard each Saturday at 9 AM EST on WCRN AM 830 Worcester MA.

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