Monthly Archives: May 2013

Minimum Wage : New York

Minimum Wage

I was in New York back in April during the fast food workers strike against the prevailing minimum wage.  They want to raise the wage to $15.  Amusing to say the least.

I think the whole argument is flawed.  Consider:

Gregory Reynoso, a driver for a Domino’s in Brooklyn, complains that he is making $7.25 an hour after a year and a half on the job. “It’s impossible to support a family on $7.25 an hour,” said Mr. Reynoso, 26, who lives with his 3-year-old daughter and his wife, a part-time employee at Macy’s. “We’re just surviving.”

The reality is that these jobs are not meant to be used to raise a family.  Neither are they meant to be a job that an individual stays at for more than a year or possibly two.  These jobs are meant to be entry level jobs in the job market.  A place where an individual learns to work, to take instruction, follow through, show up on time.  A place to learn customer service.

The argument that you cannot support a family working at Burger King is not a valid argument for raising the minimum wage.

Conservative Support For Gay Marriage

This makes me happy:

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A national group of prominent GOP donors that supports gay marriage is pouring new money into lobbying efforts to get Republican lawmakers to vote to make it legal.

American Unity PAC was formed last year to lend financial support to Republicans who bucked the party’s longstanding opposition to gay marriage. Its founders are launching a new lobbying organization, American Unity Fund, and already have spent more than $250,000 in Minnesota, where the Legislature could vote on the issue as early as next week.

The group has spent $500,000 on lobbying since last month, including efforts in Rhode Island, Delaware, Indiana, West Virginia and Utah.

Billionaire hedge fund manager and Republican donor Paul Singer launched American Unity PAC. The lobbying effort is the next phase as the push for gay marriage spreads to more states, spokesman Jeff Cook-McCormac told The Associated Press.

Immigration Policy Hospital Style

ImmigrationSo I’m torn.  I think that America should open her doors to anyone that wants to come here – terrorists and wanted criminals excepted.  However, that doesn’t mean that I’m signing up for paying for medical bills:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Days after they were badly hurt in a car accident, Jacinto Cruz and Jose Rodriguez-Saldana lay unconscious in an Iowa hospital while the American health care system weighed what to do with the two immigrants from Mexico.

The men had health insurance from jobs at one of the nation’s largest pork producers. But neither had legal permission to live in the U.S., nor was it clear whether their insurance would pay for the long-term rehabilitation they needed.

So Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines took matters into its own hands: After consulting with the patients’ families, it quietly loaded the two comatose men onto a private jet that flew them back to Mexico, effectively deporting them without consulting any court or federal agency.

When the men awoke, they were more than 1,800 miles away in a hospital in Veracruz, on the Mexican Gulf Coast.

I have no grand illusion that clouds my judgement when it comes to medical care.  You cannot compel me to contribute to your care without my consent.  However, that doesn’t mean we can just fly these people back to where they came from.

IRS, Obama And The White House



All of a sudden the IRS story that didn’t have legs to reach the White House has grown legs that reach all the way to the White House:

Washington (CNN) — New details emerged of what the White House knew about the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups, with spokesman Jay Carney disclosing Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was among the top officials made aware of the matter late last month.

We’ve now gone from individual low level IRS employees at a Cincy office all the way to the White House.

This cannot be good news for the Obama administration.

IRS, Benghazi, DoJ and Apple

Can you imagine, just for a second imagine, what the world would say if Timothy Cook, CEO of Apple, responded the way the Obama Administration has handled the trio of scandals?

“Mr. Cook, we the senators seated before you, want to know how you avoided paying your fair share of taxes!”

“Senator, I cant say that I know that answer.  I don’t know what happened there.  We were not clear on who exactly carried it out.”

Can you imagine what would happen if a CEO of a company was so in the blinds as this administration is having us believe it was?

What’s worse – A President and administration that knows what’s going on and doing inappropriate things or a President and administration having not clue one as to what is going on?

Obama’s Legacy

Barack Obama

I think that Harsanyi is on to something here:

One of the most seductive parts of President Barack Obama’s political message (and the message of progressive Democrats in general) is sympathy for the poor and a willingness to talk about the disparities of capitalism — about the rich being too rich and the poor being screwed. In some ways, it’s the predominant message of the Obama era.

Now, if you’re heavily invested in the market, life is peachy. A confounding fact, no doubt, when one considers that nearly every economic indicator known to mankind has been pretty abysmal of late. We are experiencing high unemployment, a shrinking labor force, stagnant gross domestic product growth and rickety consumer confidence. A disconnected market, though, has been on a historic boom. So if we need any more proof that life really isn’t fair, think about this: The rich have the Federal Reserve, and you have Harry Reid.

What does it mean in substance? According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data, thanks to a robust stock and bond market, coupled with a lousy housing market, the recovery has meant that households with a net worth in the upper 7 percent have seen their net worth rise, on average, by nearly 30 percent in the years after the recession and that everyone else’s net worth has dropped by an average of 4 percent.

The economic gap between whites and minorities is even worse. According to the Urban Institute, whites, on average, have two times the income of blacks and Hispanics and six times the wealth, and that gap is accelerating.

This is going on, if you can imagine, even after a tax hike on the wealthy.

The brutal and bitter reality of liberal policy is that the very people they claim they are helping are getting hammered.  And just as those very folks who are getting screwed by the democrats go to vote, they are going to hear that it’s all because of the republicans.

In all of history, nothing has improved the lot of the ordinary man in the way that a freer and more open market has.  Increased government regulation leads only to the poor remaining poor.

North Carolina Teacher Tenure


One of the most devastating aspects of unionized teachers is the concept of tenure.  With tenure, a teacher can’t be fired for poor performance.  Or, if it IS possible the process is so onerous that it is virtually impossible.

North Carolina is about to change that:

A bipartisan House bill that would change the state’s teacher tenure law moved swiftly through the House Education committee Tuesday.

The bill would allow veteran teachers to keep tenure, though they would lose it with two consecutive years of poor performance. Teachers with four years experience who are rated “highly effective” would be granted tenure.

Across America we’re getting closer.  No collective bargaining for insurance in Wisconsin and now weakened tenure laws here in Carolina.

How To Reduce Healthcare Costs: Increase Supply Of Healthcare

Health Care

Last week I posted on the fact that the government released data describing the prices hospitals charged the government for services.  Armed with this knowledge, perhaps we can begin to see some comparison shopping resulting in lower prices.

I am glad to see the administration embracing some free and open market concepts.

And we have another example, this time in California:

As states gear up for the Affordable Care Act, they’re trying to figure out if there will be enough providers of health care to meet demand from the newly insured.

California is one of 15 states expected to consider legislation this year that would give advanced practice nurses more authority to care for patients without a doctor’s supervision.

If you want to bring prices down, you need to reduce demand, something that Obamacare does NOT do, or you need to increase supply, something governments have been unwilling to do.

As an example, I was discussing this with my mother-in-law some 2 years ago.  I mentioned that we need to increase the amount of services that can be handled by lower educated/certified professionals, thus increasing the number of people who can perform that service.

“For example” I said, “if I were to break my finger today, there is no need for a medical doctor to set that finger; a nurse could do it just fine.”

“Not me!  Why would I want to see a nurse when I can see an orthopedic specialist today?”


Venezuela, Economics, Politics and Toilet Paper


When I heard that in the 2008 Presidential election it would be the first time in a long time that we would have a true wide open primary in both parties, I became interested in politics.  Can you believe that back then, I felt that if Romney didn’t win the GOP primary I would likely support the Jr. Senator from Illinois?


Anyway, before I started blogging I was a big commenter on Alan Colmes‘ site.  Only after experiencing frustration at being unable to format my responses did I begin blogging.  But while over at Alan’s place, I realized that I knew not thing one about economics.  I Googled basic economics and was driven to Amazon’s “Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell.

I ordered the book and my life changed.

One of the money quotes?

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.

A real life example:

The government has announced an emergency toilet paper run for 50 million rolls

Venezuelans are scrounging around for toilet paper. Markets throughout the country have run out, and when they are in stock the rolls fly off the shelves.

The country of Venezuela is running out of toilet paper.


State-controlled prices — prices that are set below market-clearing price — always result in shortages. The shortage problem will only get worse, as it did over the years in the Soviet Union. [AP]

Venezuela also has tight controls on foreign currency, which makes it hard for companies to import raw materials and equipment, slowing down production of a wide range of goods, according to the AP.

I should add a correction to Mr. Sowell:

There is never enough of anything, when the cost is sufficiently low, to satisfy all those who want it.


Below The Belt

Stephen Colbert

Recently Stephen Colbert’s sister was unable to defeat the Appalachian Governor in his attempt to re-enter politics.  Predictably, the brother was disappointed in the good people of South Carolina.  But in my humble opinion he went too far.

I just spent the weekend at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds where I worked at the furnace burning Hickory wood to use as fuel to smoke our BBQ pig cooker.  The pig went on at 11:30 at night and was served at 11:00 am the next morning.

‘Que is serious business.

There is no need to mock it:

Comedian Stephen Colbert re-energized the debate over barbecue in the Carolinas on Wednesday night, saying he would learn to love the North Carolina version – and then pretending to gag when he tried it.

Colbert, of the Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report,” is from Charleston, S.C. His sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, lost to former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford in a race for Congress Tuesday. Sanford won despite the fact that he had an affair as governor and lied about his whereabouts.

On Wednesday, Colbert expressed outrage with his home state on his show.

“My sister lost! How could this happen?” he said. “I was so sure Lulu won because CNN called it for Sanford.”

As for South Carolina, he said, “I feel so betrayed by South Carolina. If they are going to turn their backs on my family, I am going to turn my back on them. [Laughter] No, I am.

“From now on, and I never thought I would ever say this, I am from North Carolina.

“I’m a Tar Heel now. Whatever the [bleep] that means.

“But most shockingly, I will no longer enjoy South Carolina’s tangy, savory and deeply delicious barbecue made with our unique mustard-based sauce.

“Now, instead, I now officially love North Carolina’s sauceless, vinegar-based meat product that they call barbecue.”

At that point, Colbert whipped out a big plate of barbecue and took a bite. Then he made a face, pretended to gag and acted like he was having a hard time swallowing.

“I tell you what,” he said while shoveling the rest of the barbecue in the trash, “I might just save the rest of that for later.”

He then guzzled a bottle of mustard sauce and declared, “I can’t do it. I love South Carolina too much.”

There is no reason to bash the North Carolina BBQ.