Thursday, June 4, 2015

Guess who’s now more popular than Obama!

Hot ^ | June 3, 2015 | JAZZ SHAW 

This has to be a particularly depressing day for the current President of the United States, assuming somebody bothers to bring a summary of the morning headlines out to him on the golf course. The latest set of approval ratings for all the living presidents has been released by CNN and the numbers for the leader of what’s left of the free world are not spectacular.
Obama’s approval rating has suffered a similar blow.
While it’s dropped since April, going from a near-even 48% approve to 47% disapprove split to a negative-tilting 52% disapprove to 45% approve, the rising disapproval ratings come across party lines, from both men and women, from whites and non-whites.

Sad Obama
The popularity of the president can swing up and down all the time with the next set of headlines and being underwater on his numbers is old hat to Barack Obama by now. But this is the part that’s really got to sting. (Emphasis added)
Asked to rate their feelings about living former presidents, Americans pick Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush as the most popular of the bunch, with 64% holding a favorable view of each. Jimmy Carter notches a 56% favorability rating and George W. Bush cracks majority favorability with 52%. That’s his most positive rating since April 2005. His father’s favorability ratings have also climbed in the last year, from 58% last June to 64% now. Clinton and Carter have held steady since last year.
Ouch. Back in 2008, Barack Obama was technically running against John McCain if you only look at the names on the ballot records. But in reality, he was running against the record of George W. Bush and it was a pretty sweet ride at the time. Bush’s approval ratings were in the 30s owing to a combination of factors ranging from the ongoing wars to the slow motion collapse of the economy. You can debate the seriousness of either of those issues and how much blame can fairly be affixed to the White House for each, but the fact is that when you’re in the Oval Office you take the rap for every iceberg the ship hits. Obama was the shiny, new, fun, hopey changey guy and Bush was the villain. In that sense, it was a walk in the park.
Now the shoe is on the other foot and to see his own numbers surpassed by his previous nemesis has to be rather crushing. But I do have to wonder a bit about where the surge in W popularity is coming from. It’s a given that presidents enjoy something of a recovery when they leave office, mostly because once you’re retired you don’t really have the opportunity to make many major mistakes. Also, people tend to remember the good times and suppress the bad ones, so most presidents eventually glide up to at least slightly better numbers. But the country is largely engaged in foreign policy, ISIS and terrorism in general these days. Iraq is falling to pieces and Syria is already essentially gone. It seemed for a long time that the decision to invade Iraq would be the signature issue of Bush’s tenure and he would have to carry the “blame” for a war which even a significant number of Republicans (and their aspiring presidential candidates) are calling a mistake today. It’s a curious development in many ways.
As far as the other presidents, there aren’t too many surprises. Bill Clinton has enjoyed high marks since he left office and none of the shenanigans involving his wife or his massive non-profit seem to be denting those numbers. And after all, who doesn’t love Bill? The guy is the life of the party.
It was nice to see George H. W. Bush catching up with him in popularity. The base will likely never forgive him on the Read My Lips No New Taxesthing, but in other areas – particularly foreign policy – he’s rightly seen as a senior statesman and a generally successful world leader. How Jimmy Carter makes it to 56% is something of a mystery. I assume the only explanation for that is that a significant number of the people who had to live through those four years of hell are dead or dying off. Most younger folks today only know him for his charitable work with Habitat for Humanity and various disease fighting programs and economic development schemes in Africa. Again… if you live long enough you begin to get the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe that will work for Barack Obama too. Who knows? A few decades from now all these details will begin to blur into the fog of history and he’ll just be in the books as the nation’s first black president. I wouldn’t bet against it.

$15 Minimum Wage: Women, Blacks Hurt Most! ^ | June 4, 2015 | Larry Elder 

Fourteen to one, in favor.
That was the Los Angeles City Council vote to raise, over the next five years, the city's minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15. Of course, as

Investor's Business Daily tells us, the $15 per hour really is closer to $20.
How does it get to $20?
Investor's Business Daily says: "Once all the nonwage costs are added, including payroll taxes, paid sick leave and the big one -- ObamaCare's employer mandate -- minimum compensation for a full-time worker could rise as high as $19.28 an hour by 2020, an IBD analysis finds. 

That would amount to a jump of $10.67, or 124 percent, since June 2014."
How cynical is the push for higher minimum wage?
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, traveled from state to state, collecting signatures to place minimum wage increase initiatives on ballots. To pull this off, the organization needed to hire lots of workers. In 1995, ACORN came to California to gather signatures for a higher minimum wage. But ACORN sued the state, seeking to exempt itself from California's minimum wage and overtime laws. Its brief read, "The more ACORN must pay each individual outreach worker -- either because of minimum wage or overtime requirements -- the fewer outreach workers it will be able to hire."
Not cynical enough?
Union leaders, who successfully lobbied for LA's $15-an-hour minimum wage, then asked for an exemption for any firms using union labor! Repeat, the very same union leaders who successfully lobbied for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, then wanted an exemption for businesses that employ union labor and negotiate their wages under collective bargaining. Union bosses want the fear of a $15 minimum wage hike to push companies into unionizing their labor forces.
This push for higher minimum wage will mostly hurt women -- a constituency that the left claims to care so much about. According to the National Women's Law Center, women are at least half of the minimum-wage workers in all 50 states. In New Hampshire, Arkansas, Maine and Pennsylvania, 70 percent of the minimum wage workers are female.
Before the ever-increasing minimum wage laws took effect, a black teenager was slightly more likely to be employed than a white teenager. Economist Walter Williams writes: "In the 1940s and 1950s ... teenage unemployment among blacks was slightly lower than among whites, and black teens were more active in the labor force as well. All of my classmates, friends, and acquaintances who wanted to work found jobs of one sort or another."
Minimum wage and other New Deal policies, according to CATO's Jim Powell, cost jobs: "The flagship of the New Deal was the National Industrial Recovery Act, passed in June 1933. It authorized the president to issue executive orders establishing some 700 industrial cartels, which restricted output and forced wages and prices above market levels. The minimum wage regulations made it illegal for employers to hire people who weren't worth the minimum because they lacked skills. As a result, some 500,000 blacks, particularly in the South, were estimated to have lost their jobs."
Today's push for a higher minimum wage occurs as the supposed "pay gap" between male and female millennials now approaches extinction. Pew Research Center says: "(T)oday's young women are the first in modern history to start their work lives at near parity with men. In 2012, among workers ages 25 to 34, women's hourly earnings were 93 percent those of men. ... And women in the younger age cohort were significantly more likely than their male counterparts to have completed a bachelor's degree ?- 38 percent versus 31 percent in 2013."
Two years ago, Elissa Shevinsky, described as a "social justice warrior," complained about "sexism" in high-tech industries. She argued for policies to encourage more women in tech. But Shevinsky later had an epiphany: "I think the more important meaning is to actively choose a path that's yours -- for women to create their own companies and their own infrastructures, to actively seek out people and create places that are a fit for them. Women are martyring themselves trying to change the existing culture, and it's miserable for everyone."
In other words, stop acting like victicrats -- and take control. Shevinsky now says, "Complaining can be effective but also authoritarian, and often unpleasant for everyone involved. Building something new can be even more impactful, and I believe it's a healthier approach."
Former Sony Pictures co-chief Amy Pascal gives equally blunt advice about knowing and getting what you're worth. After the Sony cyberattack revealed that the studio head paid star Jennifer Lawrence less money than her less-popular male costars, Pascal offered this defense: "Here's the problem. I run a business. People want to work for less money; I'll pay them less money. I don't call them up and say, 'Can I give you some more?' Because that's not what you do when you run a business. The truth is, what women have to do is not work for less money. They have to walk away. People shouldn't be so grateful for jobs. ... People should know what they're worth."
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