Raising the Minimum Wage – Harming the Under Privileged

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I do NOT doubt the nobility of the liberal.  From food stamps to public schools – from Medicaid to minimum wage.  The liberal is earnestly striving the raise the standard of living for the less fortunate.

They’re just wrong.

They are wrong due to two critical errors:

1.  They don’t understand economics.
2.  They assign the moral benefits of personal charity to voting for a larger state.

Take for instance the minimum wage.

Businesses run on margin – profit.  Often that margin is razor thin.  So, if wages equate to X% of your expenses and those wages are going to go up by 40% it only stands too reason that costs need to go up by 40% of X or  some other expense is going to go down by 40% of X.

That ‘other’ expense?  Wages.  Either fewer wage earners or fewer hours worked.

And guess who is the first guy shafted?  The least productive – often the least experienced, the youngest, the poorest and the most in need of a job.

The cold hard fact of the matter.  If you want to increase the gap between my kids and kids born to a single, minority, uneducated, poor woman, you simply increase the minimum wage.

Period.

Not only do her kids not get the same jobs my kids get – they never benefit from the ‘On The Job Training’ that my kids get.

Data bears this out:

In the summer of 1995, more than half of teens age 16 to 19 worked in the summer; today, less than a third do. The drop has been especially steep for boys, who are now less likely than girls to work during the summer. Experts attribute the decline to a variety of forces: the disappearance of many entry-level jobs, the rising share of young people spending their summers in school or other educational activities and, at least recently, a rising minimum wage. (Employers may not see teen workers — especially those with less experience or fewer skills — as worth $10 or more per hour.)

Two of the three reasons are direct responses to increased cost of labor – automation and worth.

Young Americans from low-income families have been especially hard-hit by the decline in summer employment. According to data from the Current Population Survey, teenagers whose families make less than $20,000 per year are now less than half as likely to work as those from families who earn at least $100,000, and, unlike their wealthier peers, low-income teens have seen hardly any rebound in employment since the recession ended. (Black and Hispanic teens, too, have far lower employment rates than whites.)

Unfortunately, low-income teens are also the ones who most need summer jobs. They need the money, of course — a job that might provide pocket-money to a middle-class teen could be a key source of income for someone from a poorer family. But they also need the experience.

My son is soon going to hit the job market.  And I’ll find him a job.  I’ll either make one or or find one or buy one.  I won’t do this so that he has money for more Pokemon cards or Xbox games.  I’ll do this so that when he hits high school he’ll know how to:

  • Show up on time
  • Complete tasks
  • Take coaching
  • Earn money
  • Work a shitty job in the hopes of one day not

The tragedy, the REAL tragedy, is that the minimum wage liberal is doing more damage to the population they hope to help than any capitalist ever could.

The Anti Tea Party

 

My biggest concern about Trump is that he mimics Obama and trounces the constitution, expands the scope of the Federal government and inches ever closer to a “too big to fail” executive.

My second biggest concern about Trump is the pendulum – the swing back to a liberal majority.

Perhaps I’m wrong in fear number two:

But what made the tea party successful, according to Theda Skocpol, a Harvard professor whose field studies of the tea party movement became a 2011 book, was a particular climate on the political right. “We thought of the tea party as a set of several intersecting forces that were leveraging each other and helping to build each other’s clout to change and use the Republican Party,” she said. Self-organizing grass-roots groups, top-down professional advocacy and money groups, such as FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, along with right-wing media, swirled together to make the movement a success, according to Skocpol. It remains to be seen if the climate on the left will prove to be hospitable for the growth of a similarly effective movement.

Personally, my belief is that the Left is made up of fringe groups – each with their complaint.  It might be the environment, or women’s rights, racism, the poor or refugees.  Almost always the group is made up of people who themselves are not injured, but instead are people *representing* the injured.

Further, these groups don’t advocate policy that would require themselves OR the aggrieved to bear responsibility for the work to be done to fix the problem.  THAT responsibility falls on someone else, usually the rich, the white or the man.

As such, because they don’t feel it their responsibility, combined with the fact that it is not them impacted, they will never dig deep enough to do the work.

I shouldn’t fear the professional ‘outrager’, but I admit to some lost sleep.

The Racial Makeup of Police Force

I’ve often wondered why it’s been accepted as fact that if the racial makeup of a police force doesn’t match the racial makeup of the citizenry, then something is wrong.

Now we have some data:

“What we find is evidence that [having] more black police officers probably doesn’t offer a direct solution to this problem,” Sean Nicholson-Crotty, a political scientist at Indiana University and one of the study’s authors, said. Indeed, the researchers concluded that as the ratio of black officers in police departments rose — up to a certain threshold — so did the number of fatal encounters between officers and black residents.

I have a theory.  As an organization looks at itself and finds a demographic under represented and then seeks to increase that representation, they will lower the barrier to entry.  Thus allowing less qualified individuals entrance into the group.

On Immigration, Bans and Executive Power – Part One

 

A conversation:

Hebes:

My brother lost his job last week.  They moved the work to a contracting house staffed with laborers accepting lower wages.  I think  we need to seriously consider our immigration policy to limit foreign workers to our country.

They are stealing our jobs.

Callidus:

Consider the shop your brother was working in – the cabinet maker’s shop.  Do you believe that the workers in that shop were offered more money to work down the street but turned that wage down to work there?

Hebes

Why, Callidus, that would be madness!  Why would a craftsman turn down a stronger wage only to work for less?

Callidus

Exactly my point.  A man is entitled to negotiate the terms of employment to the best of his ability and expertise.

Let me ask you, when the cabinet builder takes his lunch, is he obligated to pass the sandwich shop offering a  higher quality meal to instead walk to the more expensive stand?

Hebes:

Of course not!  A man would be a fool to buy the more expensive lunch of equal or lower quality.  What does this have to do with my brother?

Callidus:

What, Hebes, should he not consider the character of the sandwich shop owner?  What if the man’s brother had just lost his leg?  Should that not play into his decision to buy the more expensive sandwich?

Hebes:

Callidus, what OF the man’s brother.  If he requires charity, so let it be.  But a man ought buy a sandwich without such concerns.

Callidus:

What if the foolish sandwich shop bought meat from a vendor who charged more – so he in turn could care for his mother?

Hebes:

Callidus, stop with this man’s brother, this man’s mother.  If the shop keeper is foolish and purchases meat at too high a price, he should not expect me to make him whole in the price of the sandwich.  If he is charitable, then he may enjoy his charity!  But that he might force the burden  on me?  No way.

Callidus:

So you would agree that a man may negotiate terms of his wage?

Hebes:

Yes.

Callidus:

And the terms of his purchase of goods?

Hebes:

Yes.

Callidus:

And the nature of his charity?  But not that of yours?

Hebes:

Most certainly yes!

Callidus:

Then why do you hate the furniture shop keeper?

Hebes:

Callidus!  Why would you say such a thing?

Callidus:

Well, you tell me a man is free to negotiate his wage yet you deny the same liberty of the wage payer.  In the next breath, you condemn the sandwich monger as foolish for paying too much for his commodities.  Even then you blame him for high prices to support his brother.  Or that man’s mother.  Yet you praise the worker looking for a fairly priced meal.

Why do you hate the furniture maker for paying less for his workers?  Certainly the wife of the sandwich man might enjoy less expensive cabinets?

Hebes:

Ahh Callidus, you are clever!  I will console my brother, cook him a meal and help him find another job.

You have changed my mind.  We should let every man of any country into our own!  We might all enjoy less expensive meals with even less expensive cabinets!

Callidus:

Hebes, you do not listen to any of my words.

Trump

I’ve been slow to blogging for some time now – and I go back and forth on trying to get the focus to get back at it.  And so I find myself at the keyboard today.  And I’m looking for something to write on with no luck.

And t occurred to me – I have to, HAVE to, post on Donald Trump and his Presidency.

It is an absolute shit show.

From the press secretary to the executive orders Trump is showing that he is going to abuse the Presidency with little regard to the law.  Forget the fact that his policies are wrong minded.  From tariffs to immigration, Trump is starting off horribly with every indication that he will keep on going.

Come on 2020.

Muslim Registration

 

It would appear it is upon on – a Trump presidency is mere weeks away.  And with it the specter of a registration based on religion.

Truly a heinous idea.  And dangerous.  And horribly unAmerican.

I am, of course, against any such registration.  First because it’s chilling and second, the constitution protects religion.

 

But for those of you on the left that agree with me I ask you to justify your position in light of your likely support of the registration of people exercising their 2nd amendment rights – owning a gun.

Put another way – why is it okay to restrict firearm ownership or speech but not the practice of religion?

Wolves

wolf

I have long been a lover of wolves, I love their fierce pack loyalty combined with the concept of an Alpha.

Now, I don’t know if this is true or not, some reading I’ve done suggest the impact is overstated.  Perhaps.  But in addition to being a feel good story, it does underscore my feeling that nature will survive.

Trump’s China Fallacy

trump-china

One aspect of Trump’s victory was his campaign of economic nationalism – that China was stealing our jobs and he was going to bring them back.  Of course, China wasn’t alone in his analysis – Mexico and Ford played a part as well.

The fact is, labor is a commodity and purchasers of labor will buy it at its cheapest.

If we want people to purchase American labor inn greater quantities, we have to make our labor cheaper.

Coyote lists but a few of the ways that we increase, needlessly, that price:

  • minimum wage laws, rising to $15 an hour in many parts of the country, and increasingly draconian overtime rules, both of which substantially raise the cost of hiring someone.
  • minimum benefit laws, including expensive health care requirements in Obamacare and a myriad of other state-level requirements such as mandatory paid sick leave or family leave
  • payroll taxes that act as sales taxes on labor  — we understand that cigarette taxes are supposed to reduce cigarette purchases but don’t understand that payroll taxes reduce purchases of labor?
  • employment regulations, such as chair laws and break laws in California, that make employing people more expensive and risky
  • employer liability laws, that make employers financially responsible for any knuckleheaded thing their employees do, even when these actions violate company policy (e.g. making racist or sexist statements)**
  • laws that make hiring far more risk, including those that limit the ability to do due diligence on potential employees (e.g. ban the box) and those that limit the ability of employers to fire poor performing employees.

We have yet to see how a President Trump will work to try and make the cost of American labor more equitable.

Chart of the Day

voter-turnout

Why Clinton lost in one chart.

There was no “Whitelash”.

The democrats just didn’t care who won.

Immigration – Assimilate

immigration

I have in-laws in Brooklyn.  I love going to visit.  In my travels I have met a friend of the family there on the street.  She’s great.  Yet every time I see her, every time, she wistfully asks me if the cost of living in North Carolina is as low as she hears it to be.

I always say yes.

Finally, one time I just couldn’t control myself.  See, the friend is a full on democrat.  So, as I answered in the affirmative, I added on.  I said, “The reason we enjoy such quality of life is that we don’t vote democrat.  We don’t impose expensive taxes and regulations, fees and zoning laws.  We are freer than you are.”

Enter Gloria Alverez: