Sunday, September 6, 2015

Why Raising the Minimum Wage is a Bad Idea

Townhall.com ^ | September 6, 2015 | John C. Goodman 


Hillary Clinton has a solution to the problem of low wages: Government should make them higher. Paul Krugman, writing in The New York Times, endorses the idea. There was a time when Krugman dismissed rhetoric like Clinton’s as economic quackery. These days he’s trying to sell the same snake oil as the politicians.


As I wrote in a column at Forbes, here is what economists know about the labor market: Employees tend to get paid their marginal product – the value they add to final output.

In a competitive market this is almost a truism. Wages are not a gift. They are not at one level, but could have been substantially higher or lower. They are what they are because of the employees’ skills and the market value of what they produce.

Now suppose that were not the case. Suppose there was a firm that paid employees more than their marginal product. That would mean the firm is collecting less from customers at the margin than it is paying out in wages. The firm can try to raise prices to cover the deficit, but then it would lose sales to rivals whose costs are lower and it would eventually go out of business. Or it could cover the deficit with lower profits. But then the investors would fire the manager and hire someone who gets the wages right and provides a market rate of return.

Suppose that there was a firm that paid employees less than their marginal product. In that case, rival firms would hire the employees away – since they are worth more than what they are being paid.

To summarize: a firm that pays workers more than they are worth cannot survive because it cannot match the prices and the rate of return to investors of its rivals. A firm that pays workers less than what they are worth, cannot survive because it will not be able to retain its employees. Competition in the marketplace tends to determine wages; there is a definite logic to what people are paid; and it has nothing to do with miserliness or generosity.

Also, economists know there is no free lunch. If one person has a gain – in the absence of any increased production — someone else must endure a loss. And we know a lot about those losses. For example, when government forces employers to pay higher wages, employers react by reducing other types of spending on their employees – less training and fewer fringe benefits, such as health insurance. On balance it appears that employees are left worse off. After a survey of the literature, economist Richard McKenzie wrote:

[I]f the minimum wage were raised to $10.10 an hour, for example, the estimated 16.5 million workers earning between $7.25 and $10.10 could lose nonmonetary compensation more valuable than the $31 billion in additional wages they are expected to receive.

In defense of Hillary, Krugman writes:

[E]mployers always face a trade-off between low-wage and higher-wage strategies — between, say, the traditional Walmart model of paying as little as possible and accepting high turnover and low morale, and the Costco model of higher pay and benefits leading to a more stable work force. And there’s every reason to believe that public policy can, in a variety of ways — including making it easier for workers to organize — encourage more firms to choose the good-wage strategy.

But here’s the thing. What works for Costco workers may not work for Walmart workers. And in any event does any rational person think that government should make decisions about these tradeoffs rather than competitors in the marketplace?

The other day The New York Times had two contrasting editorials on its op ed page. One, by Paul Krugman, called for a higher minimum wage and other labor market interventions. The other, by the chairman of Starbucks and his wife, Howard and Sheri Schultz, noted that:

[There are] 5.6 million people ages 16 to 24 in America who are not employed or in school. While some have lost hope in this population … we believe these young people represent a significant untapped resource of productivity and talent. With the right support and training, they can benefit our businesses and our communities.

The Schultz’s have formed a foundation and with the aid of other foundations and high profile companies their goal is to “provide jobs, internships and apprenticeships to 100,000 young people over the next three years.”

Although they don’t say so, their editorial clearly implies that the wage that is paid to these youths doesn’t really matter. What matters is they learn the life skills of showing up for work on time, following orders, conducting themselves in appropriate ways, etc. If they learn those skills, their wages will rise through time without any help from government.

Krugman, Clinton and others on the left say there is no economic harm in raising the minimum wage and in adopting other polices that close off job opportunities for those at the bottom of the income ladder. In making this statement they are ignoring the social costs. The Schultz’s write:

[T]he cost of youth disconnection — including health care, public assistance and incarceration — was $26.8 billion in 2013 alone. Quite literally, we can’t afford to do nothing.

And then there are the personal costs, which do not easily lend themselves to calculation in terms of dollars and cents.

I suspect these costs are not of much interest to either Krugman or Clinton.

The Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton: Cancel the Wedding?

Weekly Standard ^ | September 6, 2015 | Bill Kristol 

A few people have asked me to elaborate on the thought I tried hurriedly to express at the end of the This Week roundtable. Here it is: Republicans have a problem, while Democrats have a crisis. Clinton, Hillary
Republicans have had an exciting summer fling with Donald Trump, and are about to embark on a fall romance with Ben Carson. It will be little delicate to unwind those relationships. But it will happen, I believe—probably sooner rather than later (I'd bet against either Trump or Carson winning a primary).
When it comes down to selecting a nominee, the GOP finalists are likely to come from a group encompassing Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush. One is a former CEO of a major high-tech company; two are impressive young senators from big states (Texas and Florida); three are governors, and one a former governor, who won election and re-election in major states that Barack Obama carried. It's a reasonable field. All that has to happen to produce a good nominee is that one of the qualified candidates rises to the occasion.
(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...

Colleges brainwash students into believing 9/11 was our fault!

NY Post ^ | 6 September 2015 | Paul Sperry 

Case in point is a freshman-level English class taught at several major universities across the country called “The Literature of 9/11” — which focuses almost entirely on writings from the perspective of the Islamic terrorists, rather than the nearly 3,000 Americans who were slaughtered by them.
“These readings offer points of view that justify terrorism, paint the United States and its government as wholly evil and immoral and desecrate the memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,” the UNC College Republicans said in a recent letter to Chancellor Carol Folt.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...

Obama’s Iran Deal Is Still Far from Settled

 Nationalreview.com ^ | 9/05/15 | Andrew C. McCarthy 

The review process under the Corker law never began — by the law’s own terms. To undermine President Obama’s atrocious Iran deal despite the Republican-controlled Congress’s irresponsible Corker legislation, it will be necessary to follow, of all things, the Corker legislation. On Wednesday, Barbara Mikulski became the 34th Senate Democrat to announce support for the deal, which lends aid and comfort to a regime that continues to call for “Death to America.” Under the Corker Roadmap to Catastrophe, Mikulski’s assent ostensibly puts President Obama over the top. After all, the legislation sponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and other Beltway GOP leaders reverses the Constitution’s presumptions against international agreements that harm national security. In essence, Corker requires dissenters from the Iran pact to round up a two-thirds supermajority opposition in both congressional chambers (67 senators and 290 House members). If the Constitution were followed, the burden would be on the president to convince either 67 senators to support a treaty, or majorities of both chambers to make the pact legally binding through ordinary legislation.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...

Why Conservative Pundits Despise Trump (excellent)

American Thinker ^ | James Lewis 

Trump plays the part of a narcissistic blowhard, and his fans enjoy the joke. But when push comes to shove Trump is a very smart businessman who does know how to negotiate tough deals. He has faced business failure more than once, and managed to come back. Obama is a narcissist who has never experienced failure and who lives in his head; but it is failure that can turn narcissists into realists. The business world is all about reality. Trump's obnoxious habit of naming every phallic building he owns into Trump X is also a PR gag. But whereas Obama is a grim and ruthless narcissist who really wants to run the world, Trump has a sense of humor.
And he has enough common sense to ask, “Why in the world are we giving hard-earned money to countries who hate America and want to hurt our citizens?” The answer is “Because the Left hates America and wants to bring us down.” Trump doesn’t have to say that. All he needs is to ask the question. So far Jeb Bush has not been able to say those commonsense words.
Take the Jorge Ramos incident, when Ramos interrupted Trump's press conference by shouting down other journos. Ramos has appointed himself as the spokesguy for all Hispanics (who come from totally different cultures). Ramos does his own macho schtick by proclaiming that he votes illegally both in the U.S. and Mexico. When Ramos tried to take over Trump's press conferences, Trump appropriately had him escorted out. Our political class was shocked, shocked. But it was just a mano-a-mano game. Trump invited Ramos back into the presser, gave him his chance to talk if he followed the rules, and then spent private time making friends with Ramos.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

New Labor Day Polls Show Trump Leading in GOP Favorability & Defeating Every Democrat Challenger!

Gallup Polls The Last Refuge - Conservative Treehouse ^ | September 4, 2015 | Sundance 

Two Labor Day Polls Portend ‘Splodey Heads For The Anti-Trump Advocates….
Earlier today Gallup released a poll showing that Trump is the most heavily favored candidate (63% Approval Rating) amid Republicans.

A devastating defeat for the establishment GOP (GOPe) who are seeking to push their preferred candidate Jeb Bush. Such substantive favorable opinion of candidate Trump puts the RNC/GOPe in a difficult position as they plot to begin their collective assault against the unpalatable frontrunner.
But tonight the news for the Vichy Republican crowd is infinite degrees worse. As they plot the best course of Trump’s annihilation – national polls now show Donald Trump defeating every Democrat party candidate by substantial margins.
(Via Survey USA) In an election for President of the United States, today, Labor Day, business provocateur Donald Trump narrowly defeats Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Al Gore, in head-to-head matchups, according to nationwide polling conducted by SurveyUSA.
According to a survey of all Americans – Today it’s:
* Trump 45%, Clinton 40%. (There is a 20-point Gender Gap; Trump leads by 18 points among seniors.) * Trump 44%, Sanders 40%. (Trump leads by 10 among independents and by 6 among moderates.) * Trump 44%, Biden 42%. (Trump leads by 10 among the best educated; Biden leads by 17 among the least educated.) * Trump 44%, Gore 41%. (Trump leads by 12 among men and by 18 among voters age 50+.)
Among a subset of registered voters who tell SurveyUSA that they pay “a lot” of attention to politics, the scale tilts to the right. The poll results are even more devastating amid those who are registered voters: Today it’s:
* Trump 54%, Clinton 36%. * Trump 53%, Sanders 39%. * Trump 53%, Biden 37%. * Trump 54%, Gore 36%.
http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=d950cadf-05ce-4148-a125-35c0cdab26c6
That’s almost a twenty point margin for victory for Trump against Hillary Clinton with registered voters – BOOM !
While this is devastating news for the National Republican Committee, for those who research beyond the media narrative these results do not come as a surprise. The Hillary VS Trump polling numbers (general population) above are confirmation of prior polling (August) which reflected an almost identical outcome:

Obviously this visible and statistical reality cuts the preferred media narrative to shreds. These types of polling results are what Frank Luntz was referring to when he said his legs were wobbling after seeing how broad the Donald Trump support was. Luntz was apoplectic against the backdrop of a citizenry refusing to be swayed by media influence.
Despite an avalanche of MSM effort to paint candidate Trump as a vulgarian racist who hates Mexican Latinos, 59% of Americans support Donald Trump’s most controversial aspect within his immigration reform proposals, his willingness for forced deportation.
Again and again, in both polls and action, the broad U.S. electorate is showing full-throated support for Donald Trump and his policy proposals.
The RNC and the DNC in combination with the entire legacy media complex are facing a paradigm shift in their traditional ability to influence election outcomes. They have tried to ridicule Trump, and it hasn’t worked. They’ve tried to isolate Trump by dividing the electorate, it hasn’t worked. They’ve tried to marginalize Trump by dismissing his campaign validity – again, it hasn’t worked.
This in-your-face reality presents a serious problem for the media and professional political parties. With this much visible support -and it just keeps growing- how does the media and the professional political apparatus stop Trump from victory?
For the professional political class the entire risk/reward dynamic is now fraught with additional variables. If they continue to attack Trump they run the risk of making themselves even more visibly irrelevant – ergo each continued attack becomes even less impactful. Yet, if they don’t attack Trump their very existence is at risk…..
How will they possibly find a solution? 

Black Lives Matter - But Not to Democrat Politicians

Illinois Review ^ | September 5, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo 


Something changed in America in the summer of 2014. A criminal, as low a lowlife as a man can be, knocked down a store proprietor and robbed his shop for drug supplies, sauntered down the middle of the street, attacked a policeman, and died in the struggle… exactly as it often goes, when a violent thug attacks a policeman (that’s one of the main reasons that, traditionally, criminals don’t attack policemen!).
… And instead of America uniting in sudden recognition of the dangerous job of the modern big city policemen, America was divided, as an incomprehensible movement developed around the theme that the concept of “law and order” is evil, that having a functioning criminal justice system is evil, that criminals should be allowed free rein over America’s cities, and that any desire to defend civilization from barbarism is somehow a reactionary and racist goal!
The movement has taken the name “Black Lives Matter” – and its culture of unrelenting violence has the Democratic Party cowering in its shadow.
But is it really black lives that matter to them at all, or is it something else? ... such as, perhaps, a fear that the Democratic Party's most fundamental voting base may finally be realizing that they are not being well served by their monolithic party identity?
Chronic Unemployment:
Featured among the headlines are unemployment statistics. Forty percent, fifty percent, and more, in certain demographics. What’s likely the very worst? Black youth unemployment (age 16 to 25) is around 90% in our cities.
Since most black youths live in our cities today, we could simplify that to say that the vast majority of black young people are unemployed.
And since so many black youths, particularly males, are killed at a young age in gang warfare and related criminality in our cities, the result is that most young black men in this country do not have jobs, their friends and peers do not have jobs, and they never will have jobs. Their community is rendered ever further apart from the world of work, security and prosperity that people in the suburbs (of all races) enjoy.
We don’t mention this to make an excuse for criminality – there is no excuse for criminality – but to ask further questions.
- Are the people who decry punishment for young criminals doing anything to help their communities while they’re alive, or do they only take an interest after they die in the commission of crimes?
- Is the Black Lives Matter crowd interested in why there are ever-fewer job opportunities in their neighborhoods? Do they realize that it’s their very actions and attitudes that encourage existing employers to flee, and discourage potential future employers from starting up there?
- And we hate to put it this way, but we must: Does the Black Lives Matter crowd care at all about young blacks who don’t commit crimes, or only about those who do?
The War Against Incarceration:
The Black Power movement dates back to the 1960s, and is something of a bastard stepchild of the noble Civil Rights movement. In the 1950s and 1960s, an ever-broader national coalition agreed to undo the century-and-a-half old Democratic Party war on American blacks – finally trying to bring an end to the Democratic Party’s historical efforts, first to keep them enslaved, and then to "keep them in their place" by creating a Ku Klux Klan and a series of repulsive laws, generally known as Jim Crow.
But diverse interests – communists, criminals, Democratic Party hacks and pure retributionists, seething with unthinking rage – joined together to build a new movement to bring war to our cities.
And how best to bring about such a war? Well, they knew, you can’t have a war without warriors…
So they capitalized on such (usually) well-intentioned Supreme Court mistakes as Gideon, Miranda, Chimel, and others, to enable clearly guilty criminals to be acquitted on technicalities, or to be convicted for lesser charges, or to be released with minimal jail time.
And at a time when Chuck Colson and other such honorable leaders of prison ministry movements were striving to bring religion and attitudinal reform to the hearts of prison populations, the Black Power movement built a concurrent opposition effort, built on prisoner voter registration, prisoner recruitment into the Black Muslim movement, and a euphemistically named Innocence Project, dedicated to springing everyone on death row, whether guilty or not.
What has been the result of this half-century long war against incarceration? Our jails have become a revolving door, spending huge resources to capture and prosecute criminals, then releasing them to terrorize their communities again.
And who lives in those communities? Thanks to the welfare state, and thanks in particular to the effort of the 1950s and 1960s to convince southern rural blacks to move to northern cities, the neighborhoods these criminals terrorize are, more and more every day, completely or almost-completely neighborhoods of fellow blacks.
For the most part, the voters who elect the Democrats who have done all this never meant for it to happen. They had, and have, the best of intentions, hoping to offer charity to the poor, a second chance to the contrite, opportunities to those willing to work. They watched an industrial revolution creating massive employment opportunities in the northern cities, and thought that poor black southern farmers of the south would have far better opportunities if they moved north to this world of opportunity.
But then the Democrats killed employment in our cities. They passed tax increases and regulatory environments that make it harder and harder for a business to start, to grow, to succeed, even to survive. So the businesses started to move away; the opportunities started to flee the crime and taxation of the cities even as the willing workers were arriving.
And then, amidst all those poor, contrite, and willing people, there have been unleashed a poisonous infection of criminality, to terrorize those neighborhoods and crush even the few opportunities that remain.
Most of the people who vote for this result are innocent of any crime other than gullibility and thoughtlessness. But there are ringleaders. There are the leaders of the movements, the political officeholders, spokesmen, and agitators, who know exactly what they are doing, and have known all along.
Shouldn’t our fury be directed at them?
Location, Location, Location:
As we have seen, the statistics and the facts do not quite meld as the conventional wisdom presents it.
The American Left trumpets such statistics as “90% of young blacks are unemployed” and presents it as a crime committed by the white establishment, as if it’s the whites, and somehow the Republicans (who are sometimes a part of the establishment), who are responsible for it all.
But the truth is more complicated. Young blacks raised in young black suburban families don’t have these ghastly statistics; the ten percent of black youths with jobs, with educations, pursuing a career track and staying on the right side of the law, are – for the most part – those whose parents insulated them from the dangers of the city… by wisely living apart from it.
In large part, America’s problem with “young blacks” – essentially young black males in trouble with the law – is not a racial issue at all, except by tragic coincidence.
In the world of real estate, they have a saying: three things matter: location, location, location.
And so it is here. If you are raised in an urban welfare state environment, surrounded by violent crime, devoid of role models or opportunities, you are almost certainly doomed, if not to a life (and death) of crime, at least to a likelihood of inescapable poverty. If you are raised in a suburban environment, surrounded by opportunities and role models, you have more than a chance, but even a likelihood, of bettering your situation, of living safely and securely where you can raise your children in peace, giving each generation a chance at further improvement.
We should be furious about what is happening. We should be livid that whole neighborhoods, whole communities, whole cities, are condemned to lives of deprivation and violence. But screaming about it isn’t enough. Government programs aren’t enough… in fact, screaming at the wrong people, and creating more government programs, are part of the cause, not the solution.
We should be furious that children who are born with all the talents, all the native opportunities of other children, are denied those opportunities just because they are born to black families locked in the welfare state of Chicago, Cleveland and Milwaukee, rather than to families living just a few miles away in the suburbs. We should be angry, but the solution is not to ruin the suburbs too, as modern Democrat policy advocates, but to solve the problems of the cities. And who are the mayors and city councils of these cities?
The Democrat attack on the poor, and particularly on urban blacks, has taken many forms, from the domination of a slavemaster to the domination of a Klansman, from the visible oppression of Jim Crow to the faux-charitable oppression of the welfare state. The intention may not always have its roots in antiblack bigotry, but their policies have the same result, good intentions or bad.
It is clear who bears the blame for the crises in our cities, and it is all rooted in the people who run them – the people who develop and manage the welfare state, the people who intentionally set criminals free to terrorize the community, the people who continue to profit off the hells that our cities have become.
There’s a name for these politicians. They’re called Democrats. And every year or two, people have the opportunity to wake up and throw them out.
But will they?
Copyright 2015 John F. Di Leo

Howie Carr: Nothing ‘confusing,’ Hill; just downright criminal!

Boston Herald ^ | September 5, 2015 | Howie Carr 

Hillary Clinton deigned to go on moonbat TV Friday before a long holiday weekend to offer up an insincere non-apology apology for her latest scandal, involving multiple federal criminal and congressional probes of her email server.
“At the end of the day,” she told Mrs. Alan Greenspan, the wife of one of her husband’s hacks, “I am sorry that this has been confusing to people ….”
Confusing? No one’s confused, Hillary. It’s very simple. You set up your own email system to ensure that the sordid records of the Clinton Crime Family’s billion-dollar pay-to-play shakedowns would never survive to be used as exhibits against you and Bill in a criminal trial. Hillary wanted her own system for the same reason that old-time bookies used flash paper for betting slips — it was easier to destroy the evidence that way.
There’s no confusion whatsoever. If her dumbed-down Democrat non-working-class illegal alien voter base was confused, she wouldn’t be upside down in her favorability ratings, 41-51, her lowest numbers ever.
“(The latest scandal) has raised questions,” she said, on the network where her daughter, Chelsea, was employed as a $600,000-a-year intern. “But there are answers to all these questions.”
The problem is, the answers are all lies, or perjury and obstruction of justice, if she and her henchmen are ever put under oath, which is why they’re all going to take the Fifth, staring with her IT guy Bryan Pagliano.
(Excerpt) Read more at bostonherald.com ...

The Crooks!

Sorry?

LAWS are for poor people!

SLAP!

Weapons

Obama Dust

NEIN!