14. July 2014 · 2 comments · Categories: Minimum Wage · Tags: ,

Minimum WageLately Seattle made waves by implementing a minimum wage law that will give the city the highest minimum wage in the nation.

The intentions are sincere – the law is cruel.

This is what will happen:

Meet the robot replacement that will be “hired.”

Research is picking up for such automated replacements for fast food employees — doubtless spurred on by the current massive proposed increases in the minimum wage (and all the related costs tied to wage — social security, workers comp, unemployment compensation, etc.)

There is compensation beyond wages – and by raising the threshold to entry, Seattle is providing a disservice to its residents.

ImmigrationIt has become clear that the United States’ immigration policy is busted.  My thoughts below.

There are two bedrock principles that absolutely need to be made clear.  These beliefs are a priori to the conversation of immigration in general and the immigrant in specific.

I – Laws

America is a nation founded on laws.  These laws need to be enforced.  When the law has served its purpose and no longer is applicable – that law needs to be changed.

II – We Are a Nation of Immigrants

America is Exceptional.  Not only are we a nation that tolerates immigrants we are a nation that cherishes immigrants.

With that said it is critical that we acknowledge the need for national borders and rules for passage across them.  Here are my reasons why an individual could cross into America:

  1. Citizenship – If an individual wishes to become a citizen of The United States of America she should be allowed to enter and begin that process.
  2. Resident – If an individual wishes to live and work in America but not become a citizen he should be allowed to enter and live his life.
  3. Foreign Worker – If an individual wishes to live in her home nation but work in America she should be allowed to enter and work.
  4. Student – If an individual wishes to attend an institution of higher learning he should be allowed to enter and go to school.
  5. Refuge – If an individual wishes to seek safe haven until she can return to her native country she should be allowed to enter.

In each of the above examples, the initial process should be extraordinarily clear, straightforward and easy.  Basically consisting of validation that the individual is not:

  • Wanted for a crime in his home country
  • On a Terror Watch list
  • Carrying an infectious disease

Satisfy that and come on in!

 

 

Big Data

President Obama is going to change the law regarding how students who take out Federal loans can pay that loan back:

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama will issue an executive action on Monday aimed at making it easier for young people to avoid trouble repaying student loans, a White House official said on Sunday.

The president will sign an order directing the secretary of education to ensure that more students who borrowed federal direct loans be allowed to cap their loan payments at 10 percent of their monthly incomes, the official said.

I would humbly like to make a recommendation.  Namely, that we extend this loan repayment forgiveness effort to students who actually earn a degree that is useful.

No Art Appreciation.  No Language Arts.  No Renaissance Art.

We need people pursuing degrees that:

A – We need

B – Have a reasonable chance at resulting in a job

Wanna go to school to satisfy curiosity or take up a hobby?  Power to ya.  But if you want me to pay for it – make it something we are in desperate need of:

There will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.

We need Quants.  And we pay Quants a TON of money.

Go be one of those!

 

 

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Global Warming

I am open to the fact that the world may be warming.  I would expect that spaceship earth experiences many climate  trends defined by a global cooling or a global warming.  Further, I’m sure that this has been the case since the dawn of earth’s existence.  We’ve seen ice ages and tropical conditions shape the globe for ages.

I’m sure that it’s possible the globe is warming over time.

However, it doesn’t seem to have been warming in the recent time measured by science:

Global Warming.NoneFrom ClimateDepot:

According to the RSS satellite data, whose value for April 2014 is just in, the global warming trend in the 17 years 9 months since August 1996 is zero. The 212 months without global warming represents more than half the 423-month satellite data record, which began in January 1979. No one now in high school has lived through global warming.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult too convince skeptics that man is significantly contributing to the changing climate.

VA

Is it just me or is there a simple common sense solution to the Veteran’s Affair disaster?

Consider the 2015 budget:

The President’s 2015 Budget includes $163.9 billion for VA in 2015.

Then use the VA’s number for vets:  Call it 22 million.

Last, the average cost of insurance:

As of February 24, 2014, the average premium for an individual health plan selected through eHealth without a subsidy was $274 per month…

So, do the  math.

$274 a month is $3,288.  Across 22  million vets you get $75,000,000,000.

Double the price of the plan and you STILL are $14 billion to the good.

 

Money

Much ado has been made of the rising income gap and the perceived shift in power.

A note:

Eighty-six percent of today’s millionaires did not consider themselves wealthy growing up (“self-made”), while only 14 percent said they grew up wealthy (“born-wealthy”). Key findings include:

Of those who are self-made, their top sources of assets included investments/capital appreciation, compensation and employee stock options/profit sharing. Those who were born wealthy were more likely than the self-made group to cite inheritance, entrepreneurship and real estate investment appreciation as an asset source.

Better than 5 in 6 of America’s wealthy created their own wealth.  And the method they used was work.

02. May 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Liberty · Tags:

Free Speech

Cleaning out the stack.  This thought courtesy of The Coyote:

So now that the Turkish incumbents have been re-elected, the government will allow Twitter to be turned back on in the country.

I think that the vast, vast majority of Americans would agree that this turning off of a communications vehicle several weeks before an election was a pretty transparent dodge to protect incumbent politicians, and that most of us would oppose such steps — even be outraged by them.

So why the hell was McCain-Feingold‘s ban on 3rd party ad-based communications 60 days prior to an election any different?

I think that a fundamental concept often times forgotten in American politics is that we are free.  We are free.

 

29. April 2014 · 3 comments · Categories: Fun · Tags: ,

Wild

So Minnesota should be leading the series with the Colorado Avalanche 5-1.  We’ll need to win our 6th game Wednesday to move on and play the Black Hawks.

ClippersLast night I posted on the ridiculous reaction of the attorney complaining that making it illegal to allow college admissions to base their decision on race is racist.

A thought on that – consider the opposite of the position.

If it’s okay to allow students with lower test scores in because we want  more black kids in a school then it should be okay to allow students with lower test scores in because we want fewer black kids in school.

Preposterous.

Since posting I’ve been following the story of the LA Clipper’s owner.  The man was quoted:

“In your lousy f**ing Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with — walking with black people,” the man says.

“If it’s white people, it’s OK?” she [the other individual on the phone] responds. “If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?”

Bird, the longtime Boston Celtics star, was Johnson’s NBA rival.

“I’ve known (Magic Johnson) well, and he should be admired. … I’m just saying that it’s too bad you can’t admire him privately,” the man on the recording says. “Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don’t put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”

Horrible.  Ugly and horrible.

No one disputes this – but what to do about it?

The first and obvious answers are fairly easy.

  • Quit going to his games
  • Quit watching the team
  • Quit advertising with or sponsoring the team

Less easy:

  • Quit working for the man

But can anything be done to punish the man legally or by the NBA?  And if so, what should it be?

The first first – Can we punish him legally?  I’m not sure how labor laws work during private conversations unrelated to on the job activity, but if they do, specifically in California, any black employee has a case.  If such laws do not include private speech between a man and his girlfriend, then there is little recourse available.

In either case, I have long maintained that an individual retains the right to personal preference – even if that makes him an ass.  In fact, BECAUSE it makes him an ass is why we need to protect individual liberty.  So, should it be illegal to hold bigoted beliefs?  No – it should not.

But the NBA is not the government ans the league can do damn near whatever it wants.  It can suspend Silver, fine him or both.  In fact, there are probably a ton of things it can do beyond either of those two options.

And I admit, I’m not sure the right and best course of action.  Thoughts include:

  • Release the players from their contract to the team
  • Ban Silver from all team operations
  • Buy the team from him and sell to the highest bidder

Again, I don’t know what the best answer is – perhaps after all is said and done, the damage will occur without any intervention: players won’t sign with him, sponsors will flee and advertisers will vanish.