May 08, 2014
Business leadership needed on policies please

While there was some business representation on Mayor Ed Murray's Income Inequality Advisory Committee (IIAC), business leaders in general were conspicuously absent in making the case against raising the minimum wage. (For my position on it go here.) Reports on how Murray's deal came about suggest that some employers made an effort to push back behind the scenes. However, it was a case of too little, too late. Not enough of them were stepping into the debate and nor were other local company leaders who weren't part of the committee.

Tom McCabe, CEO of the Freedom Foundation, made the point in May's "Living Liberty" publication that this is a pattern that has played out for a long time:

"Most businesses and trade groups in [Seattle and Olympia] have spent years compromising, capitulating and just going along. They have lost the spine to slug it out in their own self-defense."

During the eight years I've lived in Seattle, we've seen some CEOs step up and help make the case against poor government policy. For example, Costco's Jim Senegal led on Initiative 1183, and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Amazon's Jeff Bezos both stood up to be counted on the proposed state income tax.

Sadly, they seem to be the exception rather than the rule. More often than not, business leaders sit on the sidelines or even worse, they're on the wrong side of the argument, like Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce's Maud Daudon who recently lamented the failure of Proposition 1 on King County Metro funding.

New Zealand provides a great case study in what happens when business leaders sit out policy debates or indeed lobby government for favors and handouts. Prior to the early 1980s, government there had been mismanaged for decades with entire industries run by the state. Rather than innovate and compete, businesses lobbied for protection, subsidies, price controls and more. The end result was that by 1984, the country was on the brink of bankruptcy and there was a run on the New Zealand dollar as investors fled.

This was a turning point for business leaders there. From that point on, chief executives of major businesses, such as the late Sir Ron Trotter and Sir Douglas Myers began making the case for smaller government and free markets. Not only did they fund policy research, but they and other leaders who had similarly sat on the sidelines of previous debates delivered hundreds of speeches in the decades that followed, which helped drive the wave of reforms that saved New Zealand from the brink of disaster and ultimately delivered a more prosperous and free nation. Indeed, most business organizations and trade groups there began supporting these reforms, often issuing joint studies on policies.

Let's hope it doesn't take a similar crisis to New Zealand's before Washington's business leaders play a more active role in policy debates. We need to hear them and organizations they support make the case against terrible proposals like massive minimum wage hikes and restrictions on innovations like Uber. And businesses should stop supporting leaders like Daudon who, on current trends, are complicit in taking us down a path of inexorably bigger government, low growth and fewer individual and business freedoms.

(Cross posted at The Kerrant)

Posted by Nicholas Kerr at May 08, 2014 09:17 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Nice job quoting Krugman out of context, when in fact he has cited evidence for a higher minimum wage overall being a boost to the economy. Meanwhile you are regurgitating the most simplistic libertarian talking point, that any regulation is bad because it restricts the free market. By your argument we shouldn't have any minimum wage or other labor workplace safety regulations that cost anything to comply with, because they could stop someone somewhere from holding a job.

Should there be any minimum wage? If so, what's the optimal level? If it was optimal in the 80s, it should be raised now because it has declined in real dollars. In fact, if the national minimum wage had kept track with increases in the income of the top 1%, it would now be $28 per hour.

And you have implied that this theoretical loss of a few jobs is the only factor, that there is no conceivable advantage to a minimum wage that might counter that drawback. And you have failed to cite any empirical data from anywhere anytime.

Your introductory post said you "studied economics". I hope you have more insightful studies to share with us in the future.

Posted by: Bruce on May 8, 2014 09:58 AM
2. Nice post. Thanks for contributing to Sound Politics.

Posted by: Mike on May 8, 2014 10:18 AM
3. Nice post. Thanks for contributing to Sound Politics.

Posted by: Mike on May 8, 2014 10:19 AM
4. Your headline is "Business leadership needed on policies please". Yet your post admits that many successful business leaders around here advocate liberal economic policies. Perhaps you might ask what these leaders know that we could learn from, instead of just declaring that "they're on the wrong side of the argument"?

Just kidding!

Posted by: Bruce on May 8, 2014 11:48 AM
5. I think business leaders are all keeping their heads down, afraid to make a politically incorrect mis-step that will condemn them.

Frankly, in the political climate of hatefulness and vengeance against anyone who disagrees with the 'correct' position, I don't blame them for keeping their heads down.

Further, our miserable economy should keep them focusing on building their businesses, keeping their customers happy and their employees productively employed.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on May 8, 2014 12:04 PM
6. While you're mostly on point, there has been at least one business leader that has spoken up:

http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/print-edition/2014/04/18/viewpoint-15-minimum-wage-threatens-businesses-and.html

This issue has been widely discussed at several business events in Seattle recently. Not a lot in writing but a lot has been discussed. Any business with employees that would be subjected to the new rules knows that a $15 minimum wage is going to be bad for business in the city, good for business just outside city limits.

All the low wage work that can be done outside of Seattle, will be. Everything from sandwich prep to printing services, it will get outsourced.

This is a classic case of seeing only the very visible benefits (raising the minimum wage) and not seeing the consequences (less workers hired, outsourced jobs, higher prices in the city). You can't get something for nothing except in the fairyland of Seattle.

Posted by: TedR on May 8, 2014 12:31 PM
7. Nicholas sez, "However, it was a case of too little, too late. Not enough of them were stepping into the debate and nor were other local company leaders who weren't part of the committee."

Unlike you, they probably know that the Fat Lady has already sung. It's over. From the ST,

"A core group of seven, which staff dubbed "The G-8" to reflect their influence and powerful constituencies, met throughout the first Saturday of spring, and five hours on Easter Sunday.

The group included Wright; Maud Daudon, CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; David Watkins, president of the Seattle Hotel Association; and Bob Donegan, president of Ivar's.

Labor representatives included Rolf, Freiboth and Sarah Cherin, political and policy director for the UFCW Local 21."

With those folks hammering out the details, Nicholas, it's over. The powers-that-be in the city who really couldn't care less what either socialists or libertarians think about anything have spoken. The Fat Lady has sung. There will be a $15 minimum wage in Seattle.


Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 8, 2014 12:59 PM
8. I'd say they ARE speaking out...

RE 6: There's more:
Minority small businesses band against $15 minimum wage hike

Seattle restaurant industry caught in the middle of $15 minimum wage debate

Seattle Waiters and Bartenders Make the Case Against a $15 Minimum Wage

A Nonprofit Manager Argues Against the Immediate $15 Minimum Wage

A restauranteur of five high end Seattle restaurants was on Medved last week. He says their accountants ran the numbers: it currently cost $40 million to run those restaurants and that gave them $2 million in profits. They figured out the $15 minimum wage would cost them $5 million, which of course puts them in the hole financially. He said that would mean closing one or more restaurants, raising prices AND laying off employees.

But of course dissent in Seattle, like the tree falling in the forest, goes unheard ... and unheeded.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on May 8, 2014 01:06 PM
9. Re: 5 - sure, I can understand why some business leaders would keep their heads down. But successful business people by their nature take risks and stick their necks out. If they just focus on doing the things you suggest, they're going to at best underperform as the economy here muddles along or at worst lose their businesses (along with their employees under a heap of regulation and a stagnant economy.
Re: 6 & 8 - yes, it's great to see and I acknowledged that some businesses have spoken out, but as I said, it's "too little, too late". Most all of these examples are from April and May. This possible minimum wage hike has been on the cards for months. Indeed, my blog on the subject was from January 8. The Mayor didn't sneak this in under cover of darkness. My broader point is we need leaders making a sustained case for good policies, free markets and economic growth. That's not happening right now.

Posted by: Nicholas Kerr on May 8, 2014 02:14 PM
10. During the eight years I've lived in Seattle, we've seen some CEOs step up and help make the case against poor government policy. For example, Costco's Jim Senegal led on Initiative 1183, and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Amazon's Jeff Bezos both stood up to be counted on the proposed state income tax.

No, you've seen some CEOs step up and make the case for government policy that would be good for them (and that you agree with). For them, that's not protesting against bad policy, that's merely using their influence to make (or keep) more money.

More often than not, business leaders sit on the sidelines or even worse, they're on the wrong side of the argument, like Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce's Maud Daudon who recently lamented the failure of Proposition 1 on King County Metro funding.

"Wrong side of the argument" is completely subjective. Your link to the Chamber of Commerce statement is clear that they were in favor of the Proposition because of traffic concerns that a well-funded transit system could help manage. You don't provide anything to dispute that claim.

New Zealand provides a great case study in what happens when business leaders sit out policy debates or indeed lobby government for favors and handouts. Prior to the early 1980s, government there had been mismanaged for decades with entire industries run by the state.

Which is not the case here. Massive privatization for a stagnant, state-dominated economy is far, far beyond a single initiative regulating one aspect of the labor market, no matter how much of a froth conservatives work themselves into about it. There's no nationalization here, nor any real threats to the free market.

Let's hope it doesn't take a similar crisis to New Zealand's before Washington's business leaders play a more active role in policy debates. We need to hear them and organizations they support make the case against terrible proposals like massive minimum wage hikes and restrictions on innovations like Uber.

Taking the advice of business leaders is fine... but allowing them to lead policy is pointless. If businesses could pay workers 10 cents an hour, they would leap at the chance. Assuming that they wouldn't work to lower the price of their inputs at all costs is naive, regardless of whether they could afford it or not.

To me, it's simply scare tactics. Workers at the lower end of the market have little to no leverage in negotiating higher wages, and without a minimum wage, would likely work for much lower simply because they would have no other choice in the matter. If you actually view the folks working at the lower end of the market as people, allowing them to get exploited in the labor market simply so that you can pay a dollar less for a hamburger is the poor policy.

Likewise, this is not a sudden increase, but one that will be phased in over time. If the economic impacts track to be larger than expected -- and I believe they won't be -- this increase can be slowed or stopped.

@9: My broader point is we need leaders making a sustained case for good policies, free markets and economic growth. That's not happening right now.

And my broader point is that taking the lead from business leaders doesn't get you good policy, it simply gets policies that make them more money.

Posted by: demo kid on May 8, 2014 04:44 PM
11. .
Nicholas Kerr,
demo kid on May 8, 2014 04:44 PM has pretty much said it all, but I'll add another piece for you to chew on.

Your support of the looney-toons Freedom Foundation's contention that Seattle and regional businesses need to "slug it out in their own self-defense" is nonsense.

Businesses do very well in Seattle and in the tri-county region.
More than a few world dominating companies started here in the last 30 years.

If you and your mentors at the Freedom Foundation crave a political dynamic of business slugging it out with the polity, try your luck and go build a business in a place like Charleston, WV or Wichita, KS.

Seattle and western Washington are better places for business and business owners for the very reason they ignore the Freedom Foundation's repeated idiotic advice.

To wit: Take the Field with Glenn Beck!


Posted by: MikeBoyScout on May 8, 2014 05:25 PM
12. @11 "Your support of the looney-toons Freedom Foundation's contention that Seattle and regional businesses need to "slug it out in their own self-defense" is nonsense."

Citation please.

Oh, we see that the mantra of the leftwingnut (leftist) is that Business should bow down to the continuation of burdensome regulations of the Government all in the name of power. That would result in a command control economy like totalitarian dick-tatorships have. Check out how regulations have increased over the last 25 years and how much our economy has gone down the pooper chute.
(i.e. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela for starters)

Posted by: KDS on May 8, 2014 05:42 PM
13. @12: Oh, we see that the mantra of the leftwingnut (leftist) is that Business should bow down to the continuation of burdensome regulations of the Government all in the name of power.

And people should bow down to the LACK of regulations in the service of unlimited corporate profit and power against their interests?

That would result in a command control economy like totalitarian dick-tatorships have. Check out how regulations have increased over the last 25 years and how much our economy has gone down the pooper chute.

Oh please. The days of Republican presidents imposing price controls are over. Saying that regulations have "increased" over the last 25 years doesn't even begin to reflect how the total burden to business has actually decreased.

(i.e. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela for starters)

Iran? Where exactly did you get that? It's a corrupt country, not a command economy.

Posted by: demo kid on May 8, 2014 06:24 PM
14. Iran is a totalitarian country.

"And people should bow down to the LACK of regulations in the service of unlimited corporate profit and power against their interests?"

When did that occur and where ? Certainly not now. Turn the clock back to the 1990's would be an improvement - less regulation and a better economy. A happy medium between too many regulations and not enough would be a significant improvement over what exists now.

Posted by: KDS on May 8, 2014 07:26 PM
15. @14.Iran is a totalitarian country.

In your little mind, someone calls a country part of an 'axis of evil', and you conveniently ignore what it is actually like on the ground. Again, while it may be corrupt, it is not a command economy.

Turn the clock back to the 1990's would be an improvement - less regulation and a better economy.

I've often said that Clinton was the best Republican president we've ever had. Still, I find myself consistently amused by conservatives that love to get all nostalgic about the past, when the level of actual government involvement was GREATER than today.

A happy medium between too many regulations and not enough would be a significant improvement over what exists now.

Oh, please. For all of the sturm und drang about "over-regulation", it seems that there's never an end to the amount of de-regulation that conservatives would prefer, even if it would mean that we'd be drinking toxic sludge and eating contaminated food.

Posted by: demo kid on May 8, 2014 08:02 PM
16. I love the tranquil confidence with which we in Seattle are routinely and loudly scolded about our proposed $15/hour minimum wage, especially via repetitive recitation of that (apparently unquestionable) article of pure faith, the one about jobs moving out of the city.

Washington State has the highest minimum wage of all fifty states, and shares a long land border with Idaho, a state with the federal minimum wage. Yet, none of the persons here who cite job migration as an argument against raising the minimum wage have *ever* shown proof that Washington state has ever lost so much as one net job to Idaho, despite the largest cross-border incentive to do so. Claims made without evidence may be dismissed without evidence, and unless some hard evidence for job migration is shown, we in Seattle will continue to dismiss this claim.

Posted by: tensor on May 8, 2014 08:31 PM
17. Stupe saz, "Turn the clock back to the 1990's"

I hate (heh) to be the one to tell you this, Stupe, but the good ol' days for which you long followed five years of increases to the minimum wage totaling over 100%.

http://lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/Wages/Minimum/History/default.asp

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 8, 2014 08:39 PM
18. Gosh how I love the liberal/progressive mindset. Raising the minimum wage is good, no, it's great! Why we even have that font of knowledge and nobel laureate Paul Krugman who has offered proof, proof I tell you, that raising the minimum wage is a benefit to the economy!!! Why those dasterdly businessmen, they just want the poor improvished folks to stay down so the rich can get richer!!!

Umm, ok, if raising the minimum wage won't hurt the ecomomy but will only help it, if Krugman is right and the rest of us who question his thinking (and the thinking of demo kid, MBS et al;)are just idiots who don't understand how the real world works, then please enlighten me.

Why are the dems/libs/progs only proposing a $15.00 an hour minimum wage? If it helps the economy why not $25.00/hr? Heck, why not $50.00 or $100.00/hr? Remember, it helps the economy right??? Gosh, all those poor underpaid folks will even be able to buy houses on Mercer Island or Medina then and help the economy even more!!!! Yeah!!!!

Or wait. Is it just possible that all those dem/lib/prog leaders actually understand that it does cause problems with the economy, with business, with unemployment? Of course they won't say that out loud, just a wink and a nod behind closed doors and hey, lets eeeaaassseee into this so folks don't wake up and see the damage.

Posted by: Jay on May 9, 2014 07:48 AM
19. Jay@18, you mock liberals for criticizing businessmen for wanting a low minimum wage, which is ironic since the original point of this post was Nicholas's criticism of business leaders for going along with a higher minimum wage.

Plenty of thoughtful economists including Paul Krugman have written about the tradeoffs of a minimum wage. Just because you haven't read anything intelligent on the subject doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

If the minimum wage is bad, why not eliminate it entirely? If taxes are bad, why not eliminate them entirely? If exercise is good, why not exercise 24 hours a day? Etc.

Posted by: Bruce on May 9, 2014 08:05 AM
20. Take the fight to them.

I doubt we'll win on points in the court of public opinion, but we can go after their base.

I just filed a complaint (IRS form 13909) on Socialist Alternative for operating as a 501c4. IRS rules don't allow political parties to be 501c4's. Sawant ran under their banner, making SA a political party.

Break their 501c4, get their donors disclosed, publicize their donor base, dry up their funds. Or in other words, exactly what they've done to conservatives for years.

Posted by: Delbert on May 9, 2014 10:20 AM
21. "Is it just possible that all those dem/lib/prog leaders actually understand that it does cause problems with the economy, with business, with unemployment?"

Your conspiracy theories as well as your predictions of doom and gloom are nothing but silly in light of the historical record. Try to understand for yourself that we've done this before, only the rate went up a hell of a lot more than what is proposed now, and it was state-wide.

The state minimum wage went up 113% over a five year period between 1/1/1989 and 1/1/1994. What followed was the best economic period you've ever known in your life.

http://lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/Wages/Minimum/History/default.asp

"I doubt we'll win on points in the court of public opinion, but we can go after their base."

By going after Sawant and the Socialist Alternative? You're just too funny, Delbert! Please do.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 9, 2014 10:57 AM
22. Bruce@19,

So my mocking of the liberals is in no way ironic, the business leaders that "participated" in the panel have all stated that they went along with the best deal they could get because in liberal Seattle, an increase was a forgone conclusion.

And you misunderstand entirely, if Mr. Krugman was the ONLY economist I had read then you would be correct in your assumption that I've never read anything intellegent on the subject. Luckily, my education went far beyond Mr. Krugman so I actually understand that in a real (that exists in the real world) economy unless there is an increase in the goods and/or services provided for the wage increase there is a net loss to the economy since the only thing that has been accomplished is to increase the cost of the goods or services with no increase in benefit or value. Theory, as Mr. Krugman so eloquently expounds upon, is a wonderful thing. Too bad it just doesn't seem to work out that way in the real world. There are many things about a minimum wage that in fact are bad for the very workers they are designed to help. If any worker does not produce (in whatever he/she does) enough to be worth the wage they are being paid, he/she is not going to be employed long in a free market. When government mandates an increase you run into problems. Sally works for $10.00 per hour and for the work she does and the effort she expends, she is worth $10.00 per hour. When government says "pay Sally $15.00 per hour" and Sally continues to work at a value of only $10.00 per hour, she is soon out of a job. Either that or the company that employs Sally is soon out of business. Either way, the economy has lost Sally's (or the entire company's)contribution. Theory will add lots of unicorn dust and rose petals to show that all of those things are actually a "good thing". The reality of lost jobs, higher unemployment (and please don't say the unemployment numbers are better - you know as well as I do, those are just made up numbers with no actual connection to the reality of unemployment in this state or this nation) stagnant GDP etc. give the lie to "theory".

The financial state of our largest liberal states and cities are a slap in the face proof that liberal policies don't work. Arbritrary raising of the minimum wage to make low income workers feel better about themselves and spread the wealth around a bit is just one more example of that trend.

In full disclosure here, I'm not at all sure that most of what the GOP proposes will work any better, it's just that I KNOW that what the Democrats propose WON'T.

Posted by: Jay on May 9, 2014 11:16 AM
23. Luckily, my education went far beyond Mr. Krugman so I actually understand that in a real (that exists in the real world) economy...

Washington and Idaho both exist in a real (that exists in a real world) economy. One state has a minimum wage much higher than the other. Which state does better, economically? Please use statistics from real (that exists in a real world) sources, and post links to this data that are also real (that exists in a real world), so that we may bask in your self-proclaimed (that may or may not exist in a real world) knowledge of this topic.

Posted by: tensor on May 9, 2014 12:15 PM
24. Jay- You make an eloquent argument about the drawbacks of a minimum wage -- or almost any regulation, actually. I and most economists agree that those drawbacks are real. But there are benefits to a minimum wage as well; do you acknowledge that? If so, how should we set the optimal minimum wage? You decry "arbitrary raising of the minimum wage" but do you realize that in real dollars there has been a major reduction in the minimum wage over the past several decades?

Posted by: Bruce on May 9, 2014 12:30 PM
25. Jay@22 writes, "unless there is an increase in the goods and/or services provided for the wage increase there is a net loss to the economy since the only thing that has been accomplished is to increase the cost of the goods or services with no increase in benefit or value."

Wrong. If production is unchanged then there is no "net loss" (or net gain) to the economy; the wage increase merely changes the distribution of money.

It's true that changing the minimum wage could cause production to increase, stay the same, or decrease. That's why no one wants the mimimum wage should be infinitely high. (Duh.) But your statement about the connection between the minimum wage and "the economy" is just wrong.

Posted by: Bruce on May 9, 2014 12:37 PM
26. tensor@23,

Forgive me for pointing out what should be glaringly obvious to anyone but Washington, with deep water ports for international trade etc along with a population base, industrial base etc can hardly be compared to Idaho.

That's kind of like trying to compare apples to potato's - a joke that really doesn't work because Washington actually produces more potato's than Idaho.

Somehow I don't think the minimum wages of either state has a darn thing to do with their respective economies.

Posted by: Jay on May 9, 2014 05:06 PM
27. how should we set the optimal minimum wage

You DON'T. It is not a function of government except perhaps in government jobs. Wages, as all trade transactions, are a product/result of value and worth. Why you refuse to allow that some people/things are not only worth more than others but also have more value in certain situation than other. It's this meddling that screws the market and costs jobs. The single prime example of it is UNIONS, especially government unions where it has been recently reported those jobs pay 21% more than the same jobs in the private sector. Are government workers working better? Are they working 21% better? Ask anyone who has had to deal with the DMV, the Obamacare website, the Social Security administration, the VA administration the post office. Private unions pay the same whether a guy works hard or hardly works. Good grief NY teacher unions pay scandal disgraced teachers to sit in a room! What the hell sense does that make to a hard working PRODUCTIVE teacher? Does it make him want work harder?

You liberals constantly whine that the government needs to force all those horrible stingy employers to do what ever YOU think is the necessary talking point fad of the moment. BS. Employers don't pay or work or hire outside their best interest simple BECAUSE it's not profitable. Paying well to hire and retain the best profits everyone, within that employers business AND in its community.

That's one of the blessings of the free market: people serve their fellow man without coercion or caring. For example, I think it's a wonderful thing that Texas cattle ranchers and Idaho potato farmers take the time and effort to insure that New Yorkers have beef and potatoes. Do you think they do it because they care about New Yorkers? They may hate New Yorkers but they make sure there's beef and potatoes on New York supermarket shelves. The why is easy. They want more for themselves. In a free market, the best way to have more for yourself is to serve others. How much beef and potatoes do you think New Yorkers would have if it all depended on love and caring? I'd fear for New Yorkers. - Walter E. Williams,July 13, 1998

Minimum Wage Maximum Folly - Walter E. Williams March 20, 1995

Economics 101 - Walter E. Williams, April 2, 1997


Private Interest Public Good - Walter E. Williams, June 10, 1997

Adam Smith, author of "The Wealth of Nations" (1776) and father of modern economics said about people in general and businessmen in particular, "By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it." That's a lesson lost in today's rhetoric of "giving something back", "feeling another's pain" and caring.

Economics 101 - Walter E. Williams, June 1, 2000

More than anything else, economics is a way of thinking. At the heart of economics are several simple and easily observable characteristics of humans and the world in which we live. The first is, people prefer more of those things that give them satisfaction and fewer of those things that give them dissatisfaction. Second, when the cost of something goes down, people tend to take or do more of it and when the cost of something increases, people tend to take or do less of it. Finally, having more of one thing requires less of something else. Or, as my colleague Professor Milton Friedman puts it, "There's no free lunch." Let's apply these simple postulates to public policy issues.

With any public policy there's a benefit and there's a cost. Intelligent public policy discussion requires an examination to determine whether benefits outweigh costs. For example, there'd be a clear benefit to mandating a national speed limit of 5 mph. The enormous benefit from doing so would be the virtual elimination of the tens of thousands of highway fatalities and injuries each year. But the costs of a 5 mph speed limit would be enormous. We sensibly conclude, without saying so, that a 5 mph speed limit and the lives it would save wouldn't be worth the hassle. The lesson here is that we can't simply look at the benefits. If we only look at benefits, we'd do just about anything because everything has a benefit.

From Whence Comes Income? - Walter E. Williams, April 21, 2003

In a free society, for the most part, income is earned. It's earned by serving and pleasing one's fellow man. Why is it that Michael Jordan earns $33 million a year and I don't even earn one-half of one percent of that? I can play basketball but my problem is with my fellow man who'd plunk down $200 to see Jordan play and wouldn't pay a dollar to see me play. I'm also willing to sell my name as endorsements for sneakers and sport clothing but no one has approached me.

The bottom line explanation of Michael Jordan's income relative to mine lies in his capacity to please his fellow man. The person who takes exception to Jordan's salary or sees him, as my letter writer does, as making "little contribution to society", is really disagreeing with decisions made by millions upon millions of independent decision-makers who decided to fork over their money to see Jordan play. The suggestion that Congress ought to take part of Jordan's earnings and give them to someone else is the same as arrogantly saying, "I know better who ought to receive those dollars."

Another part of the explanation for Jordan's high salary is simply a matter of supply and demand. If there were tens and tens of millions of people with Jordan's talents, you can rest assured he wouldn't be earning $33 million a year. And similarly you can bet that if people really valued hamburgers and there were only a few people with those skills, they'd be earning much more than they currently earn.

The Morality of Markets - Walter E. Williams, May 5, 2003

Economics 101 - Walter E. Williams, August 9, 2004


MINIMUM WAGE, MAXIMUM FOLLY - WALTER E. WILLIAMS, MARCH 23, 2005

The crucial question for any policy is not what are its intentions but what are its effects? One of its effects is readily seen by putting yourself in the place of an employer and asking: If I must pay $6.25 or $7.25 an hour to whomever I hire, does it make sense for me to hire a worker whose skills enable him to produce only $4.00 worth of value per hour? Most employers would view doing so as a losing economic proposition. Thus, one effect of minimum wages is that of discriminating against the employment of low-skilled workers.

THE MINIMUM WAGE VISION - WALTER E. WILLIAMS, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2006


Voluntarism or Self-Interest? - WALTER WILLIAMS, NOVEMBER 25, 2009

How many things in our lives would we like to depend upon the generosity and selflessness of our fellow man, and do you think we would like the outcome? You say, "Williams, are you now putting down generosity and selflessness?" No, I'm not. Let me ask the question in a more direct way. Say you want a nice three-bedroom house. Which human motivation do you think would get you the house sooner: the generosity of builders or the builders' desire to earn some money? What about a nice car? Which motivation of auto companies and their workers do you trust will get you a car sooner: the generosity of owners and workers, or owner desire for profits and worker desire for wages? As for me, I put my faith in people's self-interest as the most reliable way to get them to do what I want and believe most other people share my faith. What would your prediction be about the supply of housing, cars and most other things if Congress enacted a law mandating that a house or car could only be donated, not sold? If you said there would be a shortage of houses and cars, go to the head of the class.

Minimum Wage Cruelty - WALTER WILLIAMS, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 2010

Which allows an American Samoan worker to have a higher standard of living: being employed at $3.26 per hour or unemployed at a wage scheduled to annually increase by 50 cents until it reaches federally mandated wages at $7.25? You say, "Williams, that's a stupid question. Who would support people being unemployed at $7.25 an hour over being employed at $3.26 an hour?" That's precisely the outcome of Congress' 2007 increases in the minimum wage. Chicken of the Sea International moved its operation from Samoa to a highly automated cannery plant in Lyon, Georgia. That resulted in roughly 2,000 jobs lost in Samoa and a gain of 200 jobs in Georgia.

...The unemployment effect of minimum wages isn't restricted to American Samoa but to the mainland U.S. as well. Overall teenage unemployment stands at a record 25 percent while adult unemployment hovers around 10 percent. Also at a record high is the 50 percent unemployment rate among black teenage males. One might ask why teen unemployment, particularly that among black teens, is so much higher than adult unemployment. The answer is simple. One effect of a minimum wage law is that of discrimination against the employment of less-preferred workers. Within the category of less-preferred workers are those with low skills. Teens are disproportionately represented among such workers and are therefore more adversely affected by minimum wages. Black teens are disproportionately represented among teens with low skills and therefore share a greater burden of minimum wages.
One of the more insidious effects of minimum wages is that it lowers the cost of racial discrimination; in fact, minimum wage laws are one of the most effective tools in the arsenals of racists everywhere, as demonstrated by just a couple of examples. During South Africa's apartheid era, its racist unions were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. South Africa's Wage Board said, "The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would likely be employed." In the U.S., in the aftermath of a strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, when the arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages, the white unionists expressed their delight saying, "If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain."

Tragically, minimum wages have the unquestioned support of good-hearted, well-meaning people with little understanding who become the useful idiots of charlatans, quacks and racists.

Minimum Wage Cruelty: Update - WALTER WILLIAMS, WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2010

Minimum Wage, Maximum Folly - WALTER WILLIAMS, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010

How about this: The law of gravity is applicable to the behavior of falling objects on the U.S. mainland but not applicable on our Pacific Ocean territories Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands. You say, "Williams, that's lunacy! Laws are applicable everywhere; that's why they call it a law."

You're right, but does the same reasoning apply to the law of demand that holds: The higher the price of something, the less people will take of it; and the lower its price, the more people will take of it? The law of demand applies to wages, interest and rent because, after all, they are the prices of something.

In 2007, the Democrat-led Congress and White House enacted legislation raising the minimum wage law, in steps, from $5.15 an hour to $7.25. With some modification, the increases applied to our Pacific Ocean territories. Republicans and others opposed to the increases were labeled as hostile toward workers. According to most opinion polls taken in 2006, more than 80 percent of Americans favored Congress' intention to raise the minimum wage. Most Americans see the minimum wage as a good thing, and without it, rapacious employers wouldn't pay workers much of anything.

On the eve of the 2007 minimum wage increase, someone got 650 of my fellow economists, including a couple awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, to sign a petition that read "We believe that a modest increase in the minimum wage would improve the well-being of low-wage workers and would not have the adverse effects that critics have claimed." At the time, I wrote that I felt embarrassment for them, but at least the petition was not signed by any George Mason University economists.

According to a Sept. 30, 2010 American Samoa government press release, "Governor Togiola Tulafono today expressed his sincere gratitude to President Barack Obama for signing legislation that will delay the minimum wage increase scheduled to take effect in American Samoa for 2010 and 2011." My question to you is why would a Democrat-controlled Congress pass a measure (HR 3940), and a Democrat president sign it, that would postpone the enactment of something as "wonderful" as an increase in the minimum wage law


Minimum Wage's Discriminatory Effects - WALTER WILLIAMS, May 11, 2011


Higher Minimum Wages - WALTER E. WILLIAMS, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2013

Are people responsive to changes in price? For example, if the price of cars rose by 25 percent, would people purchase as many cars? Supposing housing prices rose by 25 percent, what would happen to sales? Those are big-ticket items, but what about smaller-priced items? If a supermarket raised its prices by 25 percent, would people purchase as much? It's not rocket science to conclude that when prices rise, people adjust their behavior by purchasing less.

It's almost childish to do so, but I'm going to ask questions about 25 percent price changes in the other way. What responses would people have if the price of cars or housing fell by 25 percent? What would happen to supermarket sales if prices fell by 25 percent? Again, it doesn't require deep thinking to guess that people would purchase more.

This behavior in economics is known as the first fundamental law of demand. It holds that the higher the price of something the less people will take and that the lower the price the more people will take. There are no known exceptions to the law of demand.

Mandated Wages and Discrimination - WALTER E. WILLIAMS, MARCH 6, 2013

Let's work through an example. Suppose 100 yards of fence could be built using one of two techniques. You could hire three low-skilled workers for $15 each, or you could hire one high-skilled worker for $40. Either way, you get the same 100 yards of fence built. If you sought maximum profits, which production technique would you employ? I'm guessing that you'd hire one high-skilled worker and pay him $40 rather than hire three low-skilled workers for $15 each. Your labor costs would be $40 rather than $45.


Suppose the high-skilled worker came into your office and demanded $55 a day. What would be your response? You'd probably tell him to go play in the traffic and hire the three low-skilled workers. After all, hiring the three low-skilled workers for $45, to get the same 100 yards of fence, would be cheaper than the $55 a day now demanded by the high-skilled worker.

The high-skilled worker is not stupid and knows that's exactly what you'd do. He will do a bit of organizing first, convincing decent, caring people that low-skilled workers are being exploited and not earning a living wage and that Congress should enact a minimum wage in the fencing industry of at least $20. After Congress enacts a minimum wage of $20, what then happens to the chances of a high-skilled worker's successfully demanding $55 a day? They go up because he's used the coercive powers of Congress to price his competition out of the market. Because of the minimum wage, it would cost you $60 to use the three low-skilled workers.

Politics and Minimum Wage - WALTER E. WILLIAMS, JANUARY 8, 2014

There's little debate among academic economists about the effect of minimum wages. University of California, Irvine economist David Neumark has examined more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage. He reports that 85 percent of the studies "find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers." A 1976 American Economic Association survey found that 90 percent of its members agreed that increasing the minimum wage raises unemployment among young and unskilled workers. A 1990 survey reported in the American Economic Review (1992) found that 80 percent of economists agreed with the statement that increases in the minimum wage cause unemployment among the youth and low-skilled. If you're searching for a consensus in a field of study, most of the time you can examine the field's introductory and intermediate college textbooks. Economics textbooks that mention the minimum wage say that it increases unemployment for the least skilled worker. The only significant debate about the minimum wage is the magnitude of its effect. Some studies argue that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage will cause a 1 percent increase in unemployment, whereas others predict a higher increase.

How about the politics of the minimum wage? In the political arena, one dumps on people who can't dump back on him. Minimum wages have their greatest unemployment impact on the least skilled worker. After all, who's going to pay a worker an hourly wage of $10 if that worker is so unfortunate as to have skills that enable him to produce only $5 worth of value per hour? Who are these workers? For the most part, they are low-skilled teens or young adults, most of whom are poorly educated blacks and Latinos. The unemployment statistics in our urban areas confirm this prediction, with teen unemployment rates as high as 50 percent.

You can learn from 20 years of Walter E. Williams articles HERE and you can learn ABOUT Dr. Walter E. Williams HERE. And remember, by your own definition, your own criteria, by the example your own accusations, if you disagree with even one word, one idea, one premise or punctuation mark made by Dr. Williams, YOU ARE A RACIST

984 Days

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on May 9, 2014 05:20 PM
28. "...they're going to at best underperform as the economy here muddles along or at worst lose their businesses (along with their employees under a heap of regulation and a stagnant economy."

Washington state has raised our minimum wage repeatedly over the last fifteen years; how have we done, economically, compared to states with lower minimum wages?

"The state minimum wage went up 113% over a five year period between 1/1/1989 and 1/1/1994. What followed was the best economic period you've ever known in your life."

And then President Clinton signed two minimum wage increases at the federal level. No worries, I'm sure Mr. Kerr can tell us all about the severe economic stagnation which grioped the United States during the latter years of President Clinton's administration. He can also tell us about all of the net job losses during that dire time, about all of the firms which closed, all of the workers impoverished, because of those hikes in our minimum wages. I have complete confidence Jay would appreciate such a masterful display of real (that exists in the real world) economical knowledge.

Posted by: tensor on May 9, 2014 05:29 PM
29. Bruce@24 & 25,

I do indeed recognize some limited benefits to a minimum wage, mostly from the social aspects. I lean however, more to the side of a free enterprise system that starts wages low for non-skilled workers (those to whom minimum wages are targeted) and allows the worker to attain the knowledge and training to increase his worth to the employer. In a free market, wages will rise with value since an employee can shop his skills if the employer isn't paying what the worker believes he is worth. If no employer wants to pay that amount then the worker is going to have to reassess his own value.

The problem with mandated minimum wage increases (as I see it) is that it artificially inflates the value of the employee without the increase of production that would support the higher wage.

That shows the fallacy of your argument in #25. If the cost of goods or services goes up with no increase in production it will most definitely result in a net loss to the economy. Remember, I prefer to deal with the real world, no company is simply going to absorb those cost increases so the cost of goods goes up and those very low income earners are now spending more of their hard earned dollars on the basics and those who earn just a bit more than the minimum are in the same boat but they don't even have the benefit of getting more than they were. Net loss to the economy. The only way it stays neutral is if the employer absorbs the loss. You can't argue that, it would put the lie to the "business is greedy" argument that libs are so invested in.

Posted by: Jay on May 9, 2014 05:41 PM
30. Ragnar@27,

"My question to you is why would a Democrat controlled congress ..."

Because Nancy Pelosi's husband is a principal owner of Starkist who operates a processing and canning facility in American Samoa and stood to lose a fortune if the higher minimum wage was applied there.

And they say the GOP is in bed with big business ...

Posted by: Jay on May 9, 2014 05:53 PM
31. "The financial state of our largest liberal states and cities are a slap in the face proof that liberal policies don't work."

That didn't long survive initial contact with reality, did it?

"Somehow I don't think the minimum wages of either state has a darn thing to do with their respective economies."

The minimum wage goes from paramount economic importance to absolute irrelevance in the space of just a few comments! If only reality did not continue to display that well-known liberal bias, you and Mr. Kerr might have something special going here. (Perhaps you still can...)

"Forgive me for pointing out what should be glaringly obvious to anyone but Washington, with deep water ports for international trade etc along with a population base, industrial base etc can hardly be compared to Idaho."

The Port of Lewiston, Idaho, begs to differ:

In 2002, an estimated $47 million worth of potato products--primarily in the form of frozen french fries--were exported from Oregon, Idaho, and Washington through Portland via the Columbia Snake transportation system.
"Other" containerized cargoes range from forest products (e.g., fiberboard, pine lumber) and farm crops (e.g., onions, sweet corn) to manufactured goods (e.g., electronic components, machinery)

Reality, how does it work?

Posted by: tensor on May 9, 2014 06:46 PM
32. Hey Jay, are you aware of the portion of the state of Washington which has a minimum wage higher than that of Idaho but has no seaports?
Or should we just ignore the inconvenient fact of eastern Washington?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on May 9, 2014 06:59 PM
33. "Or should we just ignore the inconvenient fact of eastern Washington?"

A place which, according to Jay and Mr. Kerr, has surely, absolutely, certainly been losing jobs to Idaho, lo these many years of economic stagnation in Washington, a sad misfortune caused by Washington's voters havng rejected free-market ideology in favor of repeated increases in our minimum wage.

I'm sure the (u)SP brain trust, energized by Mr. Kerr's recent addition to their ranks, will deliver many many many examples of Eastern Washington's massive job losses to Idaho. They'll do it any minute now! Why, even as I type, they are marshaling mountains of statistics in service of this claim!!

(Wait, what?)

Posted by: tensor on May 9, 2014 07:12 PM
34. "Remember, I prefer to deal with the real world, no company is simply going to absorb those cost increases"

And yet when presented with reality, you ignore it.

You should pay attention here, as this is the real world. After three decades of imposition of the minimum wage, cost increases which you say "no company is simply going to absorb", this state then imposed successive increases over a five year period ending in 1994 that more than doubled the minimum wage. What followed wasn't a "net loss to the economy", but a period of economic expansion unlike anything you've ever seen before in your life.

Real world? All of your tired predictions of doom and gloom have been heard many times before and have never come to pass.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 9, 2014 07:49 PM
35. tensor@31,

Is the implication that Washington is among the countries largest liberal states? LMAO, what alternate reality are you living in?

What part of any of my comments gave you the impression that I thought the minimum wage (in any state) was of "paramount importance"? For that matter, what part of pointing out glaring discrepancies between the states that makes a comparison of minimum wages between them pretty much irrelevant, suddenly mean that for some reason minimum wage has an effect on a states economy.

Oh wow, a whole $47 million in potato exports via the Snake river. Without looking it up because frankly, you just aren't worth the time, I'm guessing that $47 million is less than the Port of Seattle or the Port of Tacoma pays their respective employees annually, much less what they bring in in trade. What part of "deep water" are you having trouble with?

MBS@32 & tensor@33,

Are we now splitting off the eastern part of the state in order to make a comparison but conviently still using economic gains from the western side of the state to show how the minimum wage still works on the east side? Have you any idea at all how specious your argument has become.

I enjoyed sparring with Bruce, he at least injected the conversation with logical (for a lib - hey, I couldn't resist) arguments and semi-rational ideas. You two seem to do nothing more than mis-quote, mis-characterize and attempt to mis-construe whatever someone says that disagrees in the slightest with your idea of how the world must run. Heaven forbid that you should let facts get in the way.

I'll chat with someone who has reasoned disagreement with me but you two are pretty much a waste of time.

Posted by: Jay on May 9, 2014 08:16 PM
36. By the way, Nicholas, thanks for bonding with Rags and unleashing her again on the world. The other posters here had stuffed a sock in her because of her long, rambling, cut & paste screeds but, thanks to you, like Godzilla, she's back in full fury, having been given a green light by you to rant on and on in your threads. Seeing as how she's the absolute perfect symbol of hate-filled, right-wing lunacy, I just want you to know that it works for me.

Keeping track of another right-wing commenter of yours, Amused by Liberals, is much like following Waldo. Previously seen on the Bundy ranch brandishing a weapon and waving the flag of a nation he doesn't believe is legitimate, he has now popped up in a You Tube video, yelling at a "nappy-headed, jive-talking, bongo" black woman on a bus, ordering her to give up her seat up to him and to move to the back of the bus where she belongs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnCrJRM9Fhw

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 9, 2014 08:30 PM
37. Is the implication that Washington is among the countries [sic] largest liberal states?

In the context of a post which complains about liberal economic policies in the city of Seattle, I responded to the following statement (emphasis added for the benefit of the semi-literate):

"The financial state of our largest liberal states and cities are a slap in the face proof that liberal policies don't work."

If you don't know what that statement means, then I don't either.

What part of any of my comments gave you the impression that I thought the minimum wage (in any state) was of "paramount importance"?

The half-paragraph @22, wherein you cite a real (that exists in the real world) example that you just made up out of nothing, about a fictional person named "Sally", who will soon be out of her job if we raise the minimum wage. If the difference between having a job and not having a job is *not* of paramount economic importance to someone who depends completely upon that job for her sustenance, then please explain what is.

"For that matter, what part of pointing out glaring discrepancies between the states that makes a comparison of minimum wages between them pretty much irrelevant, suddenly mean that for some reason minimum wage has an effect on a state[']s economy[?]"

While you impotently ponder the "glaring discrepancies" between Eastern Washington and Idaho, and uncomprehendingly fail to wonder why the higher minimum wage in the former has not driven jobs across the long line on a map which barely separates their popation centers, I'll kindly dispose of the rest of your verbal garbage:

"Oh wow, a whole $47 million in potato exports via the Snake river."

No, I didn't expect you to read or to comprehend the entire quote either, especially not for you to read all the way to the end of two whole bullet points.

"Without looking it up because frankly, I can simply make up entire examples out of absolutely nothing and claim they are relevant."

Fixed that for you. You're welcome.

What part of "deep water" are you having trouble with?

If you claim to believe Boeing, Microsoft, and Starbucks export their products via container ships out of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, I would not find your belief surprising. (Dismaying, yes; surprising, no.)

Are we now splitting off the eastern part of the state in order to make a comparison but conviently still using economic gains from the western side of the state to show how the minimum wage still works on the east side?

No, we're comparing exactly that part of Washington which lacks "deep water ports," has an economy similar to that of Idaho, and asking you to show evidence of the harm Washington state's higher minimum wage does to that area. And yes, we're continuing to be utterly unsurprised you haven't produced any such evidence.

"Have you any idea at all how specious your argument has become."

At least my argument refers to the real (that exists in the real world) economy, and not to some fictional low-wage worker, named (so imaginatively!) Sally.

Posted by: tensor on May 9, 2014 09:15 PM
38. Thanks for the tip. I will do that asap. buy reverbnation plays

Posted by: WilliamTut on May 10, 2014 12:58 AM
39. Jay@29,

I'm touched that you enjoyed sparring with me, but it's not much of a spar if you keep ignoring my question about what the minimum wage should be. Are you saying it should be zero? Because that would be a true free market.

And you're dead wrong that "no company is simply going to absorb those cost increases so the cost of goods goes up and those very low income earners are now spending more of their hard earned dollars on the basics and those who earn just a bit more than the minimum are in the same boat but they don't even have the benefit of getting more than they were. Net loss to the economy."

Your scenario mentions no gain or loss to production, which is how we measure "the economy". So there is no loss to the economy, just a difference in how wealth is distributed. Now conceivably this change in distribution could lead to a change in production, but you have not even claimed that, let alone made a convincing argument for it.

Posted by: Bruce on May 10, 2014 01:00 AM
40. @35, Jay on May 9, 2014 08:16 PM,
you asked "Are we now splitting off the eastern part of the state in order to make a comparison ...?"

I'm sorry was it not you who @26 wrote "Forgive me for pointing out what should be glaringly obvious to anyone but Washington, with deep water ports for international trade ...can hardly be compared to Idaho "?

The person who wrote that seems to be splitting off the western part of the state with its "deep water ports" to compare it to Idaho, no?

Are we to understand you believe a Washington minimum wage greater than Idaho's works well for the entire economy of Washington because the western part of the state has "deep water ports" which give western Washingtonians an advantage and allows western Washingtonians to spread the wealth to parts of the state without "deep water ports"?

I'm sorry I can't follow your glaringly obvious (un)specious argument,
but maybe you can explain why the 30% higher minimum wage in Pullman, WA does not drive all the minimum wage paying businesses 10 miles east to lower minimum wage Moscow, ID?

Does a McDonalds hamburger on Stadium Way in Pullman cost more than a McDonalds hamburger on Troy Rd, Moscow?


Posted by: MikeBoyScout on May 10, 2014 07:05 AM
41. Jay@29 admits, "I do indeed recognize some limited benefits to a minimum wage, mostly from the social aspects."

Social aspects? Please elaborate!

"I lean however, more to the side of a free enterprise system"

More than what? More than Washington's current law? More than our nation's current law? More than our nation's 1970 law? More than I? More than Kshama Sawant? More than Dickensian England?

"In a free market, wages will rise with value since an employee can shop his skills if the employer isn't paying what the worker believes he is worth."

This is not necessarily true, and it is a key reason why your whole argument is wrong both in theory and in the real world. In a free market, wages will be the employee's value to the employer (i.e., the most it's worth paying), the job's value to the employee (i.e., the least it's worth working for), or anyplace in between, depending on many factors such as supply, demand, laws, and the structure of the labor market.

Posted by: Bruce on May 10, 2014 09:46 AM
42. @ 36. I'm so sorry you disagree with Dr Williams so vehemently (you RACIST) that you find it necessary to change the subject (your usual and cowardly MO).

Next time try to offer a position, as I did PRIOR to backing it up with appropriate quotes and links from Dr Williams who in turn offered appropriate quotes from other esteemed economists on the deleterious and yes, discriminatory effects of raising the minimum wage. And yes, if $15/hour is good why not $150/hour or $1500/hour? See if you can puzzle it out.

And for the record, I wish/hope Seattle DOES raise the minimum wage - as high as they can. See if you can puzzle that out, too.

983 days

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on May 10, 2014 01:26 PM
43. "You can't get something for nothing except in the fairyland of Seattle."

Working hard all day to earn the minimum wage is to get "something for nothing".

By the way, has it become apparent to you yet that both the GOP and Sound Politics have given up the fight on Obamacare?

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 10, 2014 01:35 PM
44. Rags@42 wonders, "if $15/hour is good why not $150/hour or $1500/hour?"

Maybe because the first would make our world better and the other two would make it worse?

If chocolate is good, why not eat 150 pounds/day or 1500 pounds/day?

If political dialogue is good, why not cut and paste thousands of words time and time again? Oh wait...

The world is very black and white to you, isn't it?

Posted by: Bruce on May 10, 2014 01:38 PM
45. Dr. Z @ 43 asks, "has it become apparent to you yet that both the GOP and Sound Politics have given up the fight on Obamacare?"

They haven't given up; they're just focused on issues of greater importance to Americans, such as Benghazi.

Posted by: Bruce on May 10, 2014 01:41 PM
46. "Next time try to offer a position"

Next time you post you could be the very first wingnut troll to comment about the minimum wage doubling over five years and how it was immediately followed by the fastest growing economy you've ever known in your life. Shoots down all the doom and gloom nonsense you wingnuts spew, don't you think? Or do you think?

Obamacare is here to stay. That is, until Hillary rolls out her plan for universal healthcare which, as you know, is only 983 days away.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 10, 2014 01:53 PM
47. "the deleterious and yes, discriminatory effects of raising the minimum wage"

Just think of raising the minimum wage as, "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 10, 2014 02:42 PM
48. The world is very black and white to you, isn't it?

Right/Wrong
Good/Evil
True/False
Black/White
Moral/Immoral
Is/Isn't
Can/Can't
Will/Won't
A is A and can never be B, C or D

If something I said makes you feel angry or sad or upset, close the page and go do something else. Do not contact me to tell me about your feelings. You cannot guilt me, shame me, demonize me, or insult me. It simply doesn't work. The man who must resort to such attacks shows only that he doesn't have the rational faculty to refute me. My convictions come from my reasoning, and they're founded on the premise that A=A. If yours do not, I will treat them the way they deserve to be treated.

Do not take this to mean that I can't disagree with you and not be friendly. In fact, some of my closest friends are the people that disagree with me the most. I simply will not trade my integrity for your friendship. I will not accept all or
part of an incorrect belief simply because my friend holds it.There is no middle ground to be had, no compromises to be made. I will never "agree to disagree". Why? Because there is no such thing as gray. To rest in the gray area, to try and find some middle ground with someone who is wrong is
to accept their falsity into your reasoning, which necessarily renders your reasoning false along with it. To accept a false argument for sake of compromise is nothing short of
intellectual fraud. Maintaining a contradiction means denying A=A. It means denying reality. I will not do it.
Ever.

"A process of reason is a process of constant choice in answer to the question: True or False? - Right or Wrong? It is the answers to such questions that gave you everything you have - and the answers came from a man's mind, a mind of intransigent devotion to that which is right. A rational process is a moral process. You may make an error at any step of it, with nothing to protect you but your own severity, or you may try and cheat, to fake the evidence and evade the effort of the quest - but if devotion to the truth
is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of the man who assumes the responsibility of thinking."

True or false. One or zero. Right or wrong. Is or isn't. White or Black. A=A.

There is no such thing as gray.

- Yes, my son wrote it. The emphases are mine.

Obamacare - As other recent national polls have shown, including the April health care tracking survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the recent surge in signups for the new health care exchanges has had little impact on public opinion about the Affordable Care Act. In fact, the share disapproving of the law (55%) is as high as it ever has been in the four-year history of the law.

Obamacare - the law that Obama keeps breaking. Quite the legacy that his FORMER sycophants refuse to run on. See my comment about hoping Seattle get's it's minimum wage and puzzle it out.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on May 10, 2014 03:01 PM
49. Just think of raising the minimum wage as, "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."
Posted by Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon at May 10, 2014 02:42 PM

Ahhh... the predictable, gullible, gotcha attempting guppy.

I was waiting for this and I knew it would come from you.

1. The Catholic Church has always been about social justice. They are the first, best and most comprehensive charitable vehicle EVER, both as an institution and as by the individuals freely giving within that institution.

In this exhortation, Francis links legitimate redistribution -- ie, social benefits that almost every nation distributes in some form or another -- with the larger efforts in the private sphere. Francis calls more for the conversion of the heart in private transactions in this exhortation more than any change in public policy. Much like conservatives like to profess in other contexts, Francis argues here that culture is upstream of politics. If we change hearts to be more generous and less attached to the hoarding of wealth as Jesus did with Zacchaeus, then there will be less need for governments to redistribute by force.

This may not be the most conservative or libertarian expression of economic policies, but it's basic Catholic teaching on economics for decades, if not centuries. The lesson of Zacchaeus isn't that government should seize more private property, but that private citizens should convert to a greater love of God and therefore have more solidarity with the poor. Those who oppose social-benefit programs will still find fault with Francis on this point, and there's plenty of room for debate as to what constitutes "legitimate" efforts in that sphere. It's clear, though, that he wasn't calling for widespread and massive confiscation of wealth by governments. In fact, the story of Zacchaeus points out the dangers and injustice that result from that kind of policy.

Just remember -- when the media provides only small soundbites of Pope Francis, it pays to read the entirety of his remarks, and to know and understand the teachings behind them.

* * * * *

First of all, anyone on the Left interested in claiming Pope Francis as an advocate for tax-and-spend redistribution needs to also accept his call for "an awareness of the dignity of each of our brothers and sisters whose life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death." He is explicitly stating that such awareness is inseparable from what he says about "giving back generously and lavishly" to those beloved brothers and sisters. We'll talk some more about whether this Pope is an ally of the American Left after you've dismantled the abortion industry and redistributed all that Planned Parenthood money to charitable endeavors.

Also, let us not overlook the Pope's statement that "equitable economic and social progress" requires "a generous and disinterested spirit of gratuitousness at every level." Not a single government in the Western world currently meets that standard; the government of the United States most certainly does not come anywhere close to it. That means no Obama luxury vacations on Air Force One, no glittering palaces full of six-figure bureaucrats along the Potomac, no lifetime politicians retiring with millions of dollars in the bank plus lavish taxpayer benefits. Remember that the Pope begins with the story of a tax collector who made himself rich through graft. An essential component of this notion of "legitimate redistribution" he advances is a humble and prudent State.

Conversely, a parasitic mega-government that enriches itself from the labor of honest citizens, and spends titanic amounts of money on endeavors that have nothing to do with alleviating desperate poverty, is not engaged in "legitimate" redistribution. Furthermore, what Pope Francis discusses here is charity and love toward the "poorest and those most excluded," not the "income inequality" ideology used by arrogant leftists to claim the power to fine-tune middle-class salaries to meet their notion of "fairness."

2. The Pope is the spiritual leader, not a head of state. He can talk communism, Marxism, capitalism or bead trading. So what? In those realms he speaks for himself. His "job" as Pope is the propagation of the FAITH.

3. As predictable as it was that you would attempt to taunt with words you don't understand it is equally predictable that you ignore his words emphasizing his clear position on abortion, euthanasia, the sanctity of life, the family, marriage and homosexuality.

Kathryn Jean Lopez also notes what the AP and other agencies left out of the speech:
He sounded some familiar themes of his past 14 months as pontiff. He admonished our "throwaway culture," he talked about the need for "solidarity" with the suffering, and to serve the poor. In his talks with Catholics and all people of good will, he injects the Beatitudes even into more secular context. The Beatitudes are who he is, why Catholics are who we are, and they just so happen to make the world more tender and compassionate.

So, of course, the first Associated Press story that hits the wires makes no mention of anything Pope Francis had to say about the "culture of death" but runs the headline "Pope urges 'legitimate redistribution' of wealth by the state to poor in spirit of generosity."



Actually, he didn't, but that gets in the way of the media's preferred narrative.

Swim, guppy.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on May 10, 2014 03:25 PM
50. The Obamabots here are simpletons. For them it is business bad, government good. Unless of course it is the business they work for, or have made a lot of money off of with the company's stock appreciation. Or if it is a business like a wind company where their idol Obama has made a speech about how green jobs will save the world, nine months before the same company goes bankrupt.

Remember the dim bulb Obamabots from the ridiculous Occupy movements? They railed against business while blogging and surviving on products made by and possible from the same businesses.

A pack of pathetic ingrates with nothing but blind adoration for their fascist leader.

Posted by: Mike on May 10, 2014 03:47 PM
51. So, a question. Well, actually several questions. Seattle wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 which is about 63% higher than the current minimum wage of $9.19.

What is the number of mega-corporation employees are there in Seattle vs small business employees?

What is the number of service employees?

How many of each actually earn the minimum wage and/or less than the proposed $15. (Hmm, you mean there are employers that voluntarily pay more than they are required to by law?? Yes, just read the want ads on Craig's List.)

Will raising the minimum wage harm many to help a few?

Now if the goal is to improve the lives of those earning minimum wage (as loud lefty's claim) and conservatives desire not further harm a crappy economy and business environment, why would the answer not be to mandate (as they want to mandate the MW) a reduction in the COST of everything in Seattle by 63%? Reduce sales tax by 63%, declare the cost of parking must be reduced by by 63%, the cost of hamburgers, latte's and flowers from the market by 63%, property taxes, rents, hospital stays, Mariner and Seahawk tickets all must come down by 63%. Shop owners and small business's must reduce their prices by 63%. Imagine how many ugly shoes Nike will sell if they only cost $47 rather than $100! As with sales tax, what they lose in profit, they'll make up for in volume - as will the rest of the city when the rest of the world finds out!! Hiring here will explode to serve those customers, and hiring elsewhere will explode to produce the goods to sell to them.

Surely the number who will benefit from those savings will be far greater than those will gain by a minimum wage hike. AND as a further benefit, reducing costs will bring more people to Seattle which will in turn insure those at the lowest end will keep their jobs rather than lose them when employers are forced to make due with 2 employees making $15/hour rather than 3 making $10.


Dear guppy, Oh, by the way:

A modern pope gets old school on the Devil

A darling of liberal Catholics and an advocate of inclusion and forgiveness, Pope Francis is hardly known for fire and brimstone.

Yet, in his words and deeds, the new pope is locked in an epic battle with the oldest enemy of God and creation:

The Devil.

After his little more than a year atop the Throne of St. Peter, Francis's teachings on Satan are already regarded as the most old school of any pope since at least Paul VI, whose papacy in the 1960s and 1970s fully embraced the notion of hellish forces plotting to deliver mankind unto damnation.

Largely under the radar, theologians and Vatican insiders say, Francis has not only dwelled far more on Satan in sermons and speeches than his recent predecessors have, but also sought to rekindle the Devil's image as a supernatural entity with the forces­ of evil at his beck and call.

" 'But Father, how old-fashioned you are to speak about the Devil in the 21st century,' " Francis, quoting those who have noted his frequent mentions of the Devil, said last month while presiding over Mass at the Vatican's chapel in St. Martha's House. He warned those gathered on that chilly morning to be vigilant and not be fooled by the hidden face of Satan in the modern world. "Look out because the Devil is present," he said.

AHEM:
Black/white
Good/Evil
Right/Wrong
True/False
Moral/Immoral
GOD/DEVIL


Pope Urges UN Leadership to Resist "Culture of Death"

Pope Francis met with the secretary general and other leaders of the United Nations today, urging them to challenge both a "culture of death" and the "economy of exclusion." In a meeting on May 9 with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other executives at the U.N., Pope Francis said that the institution should work towards goals which include providing "appropriate protection for the family, which is an essential element in sustainable human and social development."

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on May 10, 2014 07:27 PM
52. That is, until Hillary rolls out her plan for universal healthcare which, as you know, is only 983 days away.

Ah yes, Hillary - the democrats not good enough in 2008 sloppy seconds. Gosh, and it was just last week those in her very own state department couldn't think of even one single thing she accomplished!

Hey! And thanks for reminding us that Obamacare is the bastard cousin of Hillarycare!

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on May 10, 2014 07:31 PM
53. "GOD/DEVIL"

I reckon someone whose God is greed, whose messiah was a second-rate Russian novelist who hung out in Hollywood while collecting gubmint benefits, and who hates people for their wanting to see American workers receive a living wage likely sides with the Devil.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 10, 2014 08:10 PM
54. Pope said something inconvenient to your narrative again, eh? Wow, your hatred no know bounds.

I notice that once again, you change the subject to avoid answering the question I posed, eh guppy?

The gospel at Mass tonight was that of the Good Shepard. Perhaps you should find it and read it. We're in Year A, Fourth Sunday of Easter

Father Tom spoke of Mothers, which of course can't/don't exist for women who kill their children in the womb then celebrate with a video of the child's death. Perhaps you should call yours.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on May 10, 2014 08:37 PM
55. Oh I get it. You think a screen name defines the user. How utterly one dimensional you are. Hey a screen name defines the user. How utterly one dimensional you are.

Hey, didn't someone say YOUR screen name comes from some obscure pornographic cartoon? My, my, my ... and by your own standard...

Perhaps I'll change screen name to Rags, Mom of 3 who believes liberalism is the dishonest ideology of the simple-minded.

Posted by: Rags, Mom of 3 who believes liberalism is the dishonest ideology of the simple-minded. on May 10, 2014 09:00 PM
56. ... the current minimum wage of $9.19

The 2014 Washington minimum wage is $9.32.

Thanks for playing.

Posted by: tensor on May 10, 2014 09:00 PM
57. Got it from HERE and of course, it's a big government funded entity that you just said FAILED.

Thanks for playing.

Posted by: Rags, Mom of 3 who believes liberalism is the dishonest ideology of the simple-minded. on May 10, 2014 09:33 PM
58. Yes, there's a reason I haven't listened to NPR in many years.

I have several questions for you. Well, just one, really. In all of the rants you've dumped on this thread, you made exactly one on-topic statement of fact, and you got it wrong. Why should anyone in Seattle -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- give a tinker's dam for what you think about this topic?

Posted by: tensor on May 10, 2014 10:20 PM
59. Why don't you ANSWER THE QUESTIONS I posed? Or REFUTE them?

Could it be you would rather throw someone elses money at folks making minimum wage in a city they can never afford to live only so you can pat yourself on the back and say Yeah Me! I feel good - look how nice I am!". You don't want to solve problems, you want to whitewash them, dress them up and say "look how pretty I made them, now go away.". That may work when you throw thrift store clothes on your Fremont Stalin statue, but unfortunately prettied up good intentions have no real world benefits. Slapping lipstick on a pig just makes it a prettied up pig.

Why should anyone in Seattle -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- give a tinker's dam for what you think about this topic?

And yet you keep soliciting my comment. Hmm. I do believe that says more about your dishonest hypocrisy than the veracity of my comments.

Posted by: Rags, Mom of 3 who believes liberalism is the dishonest ideology of the simple-minded. on May 10, 2014 10:41 PM
60. you made exactly one on-topic statement of fact,

Oh, has the wobbly king tensor declared only FACTS are allowed? No discussion, just encyclopedic vomiting of 'facts'? Is that your criteria? Nice try. YOU don't make the rules. And once again you're wrong - or you simply LIE.

#5 ON TOPIC

#8 ON TOPIC

#27 ON TOPIC

#42 ON TOPIC

#48 - an answer to a direct question

#49 - a response to an incorrect off topic ASSumption by a gullible guppy

#51 ON TOPIC with legitimate questions conveniently ignored

#52 - a response to a laughable off topic suggestion

#53 - a response to off topic, hate-filled ugliness

#54 - a response to off-topic ridiculousness

#57 - source of information

#59 - a challenge to answer the questions posed

#60 - ridiculing your arbitrary 'rules' of convenience and telling you to go to ... church.

Posted by: Rags, Mom of 3 who believes liberalism is the dishonest ideology of the simple-minded. on May 10, 2014 10:54 PM
61. "MBS@32 & tensor@33,

Are we now splitting off the eastern part of the state in order to make a comparison but conviently still using economic gains from the western side of the state to show how the minimum wage still works on the east side? Have you any idea at all how specious your argument has become.

Heaven forbid that you should let facts get in the way.

I'll chat with someone who has reasoned disagreement with me but you two are pretty much a waste of time."

Jay, they and other leftists have had reinforcement from a corrupt, leftist Obamanation administration in power since 2009. They have totten away with a lot of unconstitutional manuevers that this administration has successfully stonewalled and prevented any consequences in spite of their lawlessness. It has given them along with Dr. Wierdo a sensation of being drunk with power - lawlessness prevails ! No matter how ridiculous the comments are they write on this and other blogs, they believe the garbage that they spew, but in reality they are IGNORANT progressive leftists but they aren't dumb though, just gullible.

Bruce, a liberal has more self-control and can carry on a reasoned debate from a different viewpoint, but you are correct when you say attempting to discuss stuff you might consider relevant, but you will get nothing but outlandish leftist drivel. Their homework consists of reading the Huff and Puff post, Media Matters or watching MSNBC and CNN to name the predominant lefiwingnut rags. They'll bait others with insults but after a while you will see that it is evidently a waste of time responding to their ilk after being perceived as fun initially. Don't let those distractions affect your visits and their attempt to transform this here blog into un(SP). Peace, out.

Posted by: KDS on May 10, 2014 10:56 PM
62. There was certainly nothing at the very top of that NPR link which could possibly have caused you to question the figure they gave for our state's minimum wage:

Correction

May 2, 2014

In this story, we say Seattle's current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Actually, the minimum wage in Seattle -- and all of Washington state -- is $9.19.

Thanks for playing.

Posted by: tensor on May 10, 2014 10:57 PM
63. "Oh, has the wobbly king tensor declared only FACTS are allowed? No discussion, just encyclopedic vomiting of 'facts'? Is that your criteria? Nice try. YOU don't make the rules. And once again you're wrong - or you simply LIE."

@60 - Rags - may I suggest you are gratuitous in feeding the trolls and helping to inflate their egos. By merely acknowledging an obvious lie by tensor, you are giving him another opportunity by which to lie. By merely requesting "Citation please" backs him and others in to putting up or moving on. Their sources are typically bogus anyway - just sayin'

Posted by: KDS on May 10, 2014 11:06 PM
64. Dear wobbly king: #51 and I quote: So, a question. Well, actually several questions. Seattle wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 which is about 63% higher than the current minimum wage of $9.19.

Oh wait. Didn't you just say I misquoted the $9.19 figure from NPR that you just quoted?

Read much? Thanks for playing. I'll wait for your humble apology ... probably a very long time - because of course, by their own definition, a smart ass liberal can never be wrong. Yes, that's an insult.

If you want to FORCE employers to pay people above the value of their work - and you have proven you do by your vehement support of union thugs, why not force ALL, starting with the government agencies, to REDUCE the cost of living instead by mandating lower prices by the same 62%? Both ideas are implemented by means of the FORCE of law. Only one punishes AND benefits everyone EQUALLY.

Find your ... courage and answer the question.

Posted by: Rags, Mom of 3 who believes liberalism is the dishonest ideology of the simple-minded. on May 10, 2014 11:18 PM
65. And yet you keep soliciting my comment.

I suggest you learn a brand new phrase: "rhetorical question." My public high school devoted time in our freshman year to this idea. While you're out finding a well-educated schoolchild to explain this new term to you, I will generously give you one hint as to the meaning: a rhetorical question does not imply the questioner seeks a response from a listener. (Rather the opposite, in fact.)

Thanks for playing.

Posted by: tensor on May 10, 2014 11:23 PM
66. "@14.Iran is a totalitarian country.
In your little mind, someone calls a country part of an 'axis of evil', and you conveniently ignore what it is actually like on the ground. Again, while it may be corrupt, it is not a command economy."

@15 Are you pretending to be ignorant or trying to be outlandish ? Command economy and totalitarian are synonymous. Islamists are totalitarian and a theocracy - look, the US is corrupt and so are most other nations, which makes your assertion a lame argument.

Turn the clock back to the 1990's would be an improvement - less regulation and a better economy.

"I've often said that Clinton was the best Republican president we've ever had."

Point taken. You leftists hate to admit that the GOP controlled congress influenced much of what Clinton did in his 2nd term, but he was smart by the way he led with a push from Congress - his main downfall is that he weakened the military and unfortunately laid the ground work for the war of terror, which has caused a lot grief to Americans and Bush fatigue set in at the end of his 2nd term and laid the groundwork for the predicament of corruptness beyond reproach in our Federal Government since 2009.

"A happy medium between too many regulations and not enough would be a significant improvement over what exists now.

Oh, please. For all of the sturm und drang about "over-regulation", it seems that there's never an end to the amount of de-regulation that conservatives would prefer, even if it would mean that we'd be drinking toxic sludge and eating contaminated food."

You are ridiculously overstating that straw man argument are intellectually dishonest. Do you really care about our economy ? I have a hard time believing you do with that kind of comment, Paint conservatives with a broad brush that may have worked 10 years ago but is different. Provide a citation about your last Democrat party talking point - that is spurious and out of line, until proven otherwise.

Posted by demo kid at May 8, 2014 08:02 PM

Posted by: KDS on May 10, 2014 11:26 PM
67. "By merely acknowledging an obvious lie by tensor..."

What on earth are you talking about?

Posted by: tensor on May 10, 2014 11:37 PM
68. "Hey, didn't someone say YOUR screen name comes from some obscure pornographic cartoon?"

You're thinking of Amused by Liberals and his home movies he shared of him picking his nose or something like that. He talks about it all the time. If you say it's porno, whatever. I never follow his links.

As you are ignorant of anything but Ayn Rand and Leviticus, you have no doubt never heard of Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman, the lead character of a number of very fine Japanese Samurai films. I'm his identical twin brother, Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon. We both slice and dice.

"You think a screen name defines the user."

No, that's something you made up.

You are defined by your vile, hate-filled comments. That said, a screen name dervived from that crap novel suits you fine, as the values of greed you espouse are found there, Rags, not in the teachings of Christ.

"And thanks for reminding us that Obamacare is the bastard cousin of Hillarycare!"

A bastard cousin in that Obamacare originated as the right-wing Heritage Foundation response to Hillarycare and was later implimented at the state level by your last presidential candidate, then adopted and fixed by Obama, something this blog will likely never talk about again. So sad. But that's okay. Obamacare will soon be replaced by the new Hillarycare - universal health care. In 983 days.

Providing health care to the poor. Lifting them up with an increase to the minimum wage. Food for hungry children. Unemployment benefits for the desperate victms of the Great Bush Recession and the abject failure of Reaganomics. Progressives are clearly nearer to God than thee, Rags, who would deny the poor these things they need.


Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 10, 2014 11:42 PM
69. KDS sez, "Turn the clock back to the 1990's would be an improvement"

The prosperous 1990s, brought to you not only by the Bush 41 "Read my Lips" tax increase, and not just by the 1993 Clinton tax increase on the rich and the 1994 tax increase, but also by a 113% increase to the minimum wage in this state that took place between 1989 and 1994. And then, boom, the economy took off!

It looks like a couple more tax increases to go along with the minimum wage increase would be just the ticket to take you back to the good ol' days you long for, KDS.

Quit your whining about a miserly 63% increase to the minimum wage. There's no evidence whatsoever of net harm. If you think there's net harm, quit ignoring what happened and explain the 1990s to us.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 11, 2014 12:02 AM
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Posted by: abtxtrzftmf on May 11, 2014 04:27 AM
71. I'll wait for your humble apology ... probably a very long time - because of course, by their own definition, a smart ass liberal can never be wrong. Yes, that's an insult.

The 2014 Washington minimum wage is $9.32.

You just claimed to insult -- using a known and provenly false statement as your justification -- the one perrson who brought the only correct fact to your entire long-winded "discussion". Do you wonder why you attempted to insult the very person who immediately got right what you repeatedly got wrong?

No, I didn't think so.

Thanks for playing.

Posted by: tensor on May 11, 2014 08:36 AM
72. "I've often said that Clinton was the best Republican president we've ever had."

A few weeks ago I remarked to an old vet I know that Obama is the best Republican president we've had in office since Clinton. He replied, "Yeah, in fact, the last decent Democrat we had in the White House was Nixon." I about died laughing.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 11, 2014 10:28 AM
73. By merely requesting "Citation please" backs him and others in to putting up or moving on. Their sources are typically bogus anyway - just sayin'

I cited my source, and it was immediately right. Rags cited her source, and it was repeatedly wrong. Whose sources are "typically bogus", again?

Thanks for playing. Run along now.

Posted by: tensor on May 11, 2014 12:02 PM
74. .
Obviously way off topic, but ...

re: "Their sources are typically bogus anyway - just sayin'" and anosognosia suffering Rags with "and of course, it's a big government funded entity that you just said FAILED." @57.

Of course National Public Radio (NPR) is not a big(!) government funded program but a not for profit organization where over 98% of its funding comes from non-government private entities.

Alternatively, the WA Department of Labor & Industry is a (big!) government entity funded by tax dollars and staffed entirely with government employees.

So, let's not blame poor Rags (Mom of 3 who did the right thing and put one of her son's on her family health insurance plan thanks to ObamaCare) on this Mother's Day for not being wise enough to understand how to source information and once again being too strident to admit she's wrong.

After all, if it were not for the Republican inability to use information to inform their opinions there would be no need for a Republican party.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on May 11, 2014 02:32 PM
75. .
"I think we ought to raise it, because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay, and I think communicating that is important to us," - Mitt Romney, 2012 GOP Nominee for President on raising the minimum wage

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on May 11, 2014 02:43 PM
76. MikeBoyScout -- you might think that when The Liberal Media (NPR) got a basic and easily-checkable fact wrong, not once but twice, all the conservatives here would be rejoicing in having one of their core talking points validated. Instead, they don't seem to be very happy about it, perhaps because "happy" is not one of their emotional options.

Of course, nothing written here will matter anyway. If Seattle does implement yet another progressive policy, and continues to prosper, neither Mr. Kerr nor any of the peanut gallery here will be back to admit error -- although, should this blog survive, they will certainly return -- with bitter criticisms of Seattle's next liberal policy proposal.

Posted by: tensor on May 11, 2014 03:36 PM
77. Nahhh. Business already has too much influence in the U.S., and giving them more won't be good for the country or our citizens. It's time for government to do something for workers and consumers.

Posted by: Roger Rabbit on May 11, 2014 04:53 PM
78. Yes, it's amazing to come to this blog, and to enter a world where business does not have enough political influence, government has too much power, and society is too tolerant of diversity.

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Posted by: jordan gamma blue 11 on May 12, 2014 04:19 AM
80. "Tom McCabe, CEO of the Freedom Foundation"

Tom McCabe and Mark Musser of the BIAW. What a pair. At least the BIAW wised up. It cost a pretty penny to dump McCabe, but at least it allows them to be a damed builder's association again instead of a crazed wingnut nest of hate wasting millions of dollars on failed Republican causes.

I take it that Nicholas pines for the bare-knouckle days of the McCabe-led BIAW. He's been here eight years and that puts him right in the thick of it, back when Mark Musser unleashed his Jonah Goldberg imitation on us, writing in the BIAW newsletter of commie-fascists and the dangers of little old ladies baking cookies.

As someone who has my projects built by the likes of Howard S. Wright and Sellen, it struck me that our state's residential builders had lost their damned minds. It was what led me to begin to post at Horsesass, where a search for Musser had led me. If anyone didn't like what I had to say about Republicans, goats and pedophilia, blame McCabe and Musser.

You seem to be hanging out with the wrong crowd, Nicholas. Your posts bear watching. What have we got with you? A Musser wannabe with an accent? An immigrant version of McCabe, a tough-guy keyboard kommando come here from afar to bare-knuckle Seattle's commie-fascists? A few more posts will tell.

You might read a little less Musser and McCabe and pick up a few books like Murray Morgan's Skid Road. It wouldn't be a bad idea to get a handle on what you're dealing with before you continue bad-mouthing Seattle's "old money" Musser-style, especially with you being fresh off the boat, so to speak, as that likely puts you a notch or two below Californians in their minds, and that ain't good.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 12, 2014 09:32 AM
81. Re: 80, Dr. Zatoichi

At least where my blogs are concerned, if I quote someone to support an argument, it doesn't necessarily mean I endorse everything that person has ever said or done. You'll find I quote lots of people, from all sides of the political spectrum.

As I've stated on my blog, I'm not affiliated with any political party and never have been. I assess arguments on their merits, regardless of who makes them.

In my experience, when people attack the messenger, they're usually on the losing side of an argument. I prefer to play the ball rather than the man. I think McCabe is dead right that business leaders have generally shrunk from getting involved in policy debates. I haven't noticed any comments that suggest he's wrong on the facts.

General comment:

I'll also add that, as the title suggests, this post is less about the minimum wage and more about the fact that we'd be better off if business leaders were more active in policy debates. I'm not suggesting, as some people imply, they should be the only voices heard. What I support is active input in debates from all sectors of the community. I see plenty of other groups getting involved, but individual business leaders, with a few exceptions, are conspicuously absent. We're all the poorer for it.

Posted by: Nicholas Kerr on May 12, 2014 11:57 AM
82. I haven't noticed any comments that suggest he's wrong on the facts.

Silence does not equal consent, let alone endorsement. If you like, feel free to continue quoting the Freedom Foundation. you might also add in material from the Washington Policy Center, the BIAW, and the BIAW's wholly-owned political party. (The one which has not fielded a candidate in Seattle in a very long time.) You may find your fellow Seattle readers ignoring all of that material as we have here ignored McCabe, because we long ago tired of debunking the utter nonsense they all constantly spew. They have all long since earned their complete irrelevance in Seattle's civic dialog.

...we'd be better off if business leaders were more active in policy debates...

No, you were very clearly claiming our business leaders should advocate only for the narrow range of positions you find acceptable to your ideology. Demo kid pointed this out to you in comment no. 10, above, and to flip your rhetoric back at you, you haven't said anything to counteract this.

Posted by: tensor on May 12, 2014 01:33 PM
83. "You'll find I quote lots of people, from all sides of the political spectrum."

And the first person you quote is McCabe. The inferrance is quite clear, you'd like to see business leaders "slug it out". If you're not desiring to see the McCabe style in action again, then you need to quote somebody else. But you had the subscriber-only Freedom Foundation newsletter at hand, so what the hell, huh?

"I'm not affiliated with any political party and never have been."

Of course you're not affiliated with any party. You merely post on a blog that only shills for Republicans and where the comments are filled with hate for McCabe and Musser's "liberal-fascists", and the first thing you do is quote McCabe in an anti-Seattle minimum wage post. If you're trying to speak in secret code, you need to know that it needs some work.

The political posts on your personal blog are regurgitated Republican talking points, such as the $5 billion USPS deficit you whined about without bothering to provide an explanation as to why there is a USPS deficit.

Please don't pretend to be impartial. It's quite clear where you're coming from.

"In my experience, when people attack the messenger..."

Horseshit. It's your message.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 12, 2014 02:26 PM
84. .
Nicholas Kerr,
It seems your fellow (un)SP front pager, Jim Miller, also has an opinion about the government of Seattle for Seattle and by Seattle passing legislation to assist workers in earning a living wage.

Jim asks

"Now consider a larger example. Some stores in downtown Seattle compete, directly, with stores in Bellevue Square. For most people, even in much of Seattle, Bellevue Square is easier to get to, if you are driving. The stores in Bellevue Square do have some minimum wage workers, and many other workers who get paid relative to the minimum wage.

Do you think that a $15 minimum wage in Seattle would increase Bellevue Square's advantages over downtown Seattle?"

If only there were some way to find out...oh wait, what did I write up @40?
"maybe you can explain why the 30% higher minimum wage in Pullman, WA does not drive all the minimum wage paying businesses 10 miles east to lower minimum wage Moscow, ID?
Does a McDonalds hamburger on Stadium Way in Pullman cost more than a McDonalds hamburger on Troy Rd, Moscow?
"

So Nicholas, what do "business leaders in general" or Tom McCabe, CEO of the Freedom Foundation have to say about what happened when one municipality (Pullman, WA) had a significantly higher minimum wage ($9.32/hr) than another municipality (Moscow, ID) ($7.25/hr) which is only 10 miles away?


Posted by: MikeBoyScout on May 12, 2014 05:13 PM
85. Pour la troisime fois en cinq semaines, le Premier ministre s'est invit chez les Fran?ais l'heure du d?ner. Manuel Valls tait, ce dimanche soir, l'invit du 20 heures de TF1. L'occasion pour lui de tenter de mobiliser les lecteurs, quinze jours des europennes, mais aussi de leur faire passer ce message : oui, le gouvernement a pris la mesure du sentiment de ras-le-bol fiscal. SUR LE MME SUJETVIDEO. Hollande : ?Sortir de l'Europe, c'est sortir de l'HistoirePopularit : nouvelle rechute pour Hollande, Valls baisse aussi VIDEO. Cop fustige le ?vide sidral de la politique? de Hollande INFOGRAPHIES. Hollande, an II : le tableau de bord de l'conomie fran?aise Le chef du gouvernement en a galement profit pour dfendre la rforme territoriale que l'excutif entend mettre en place en dpit des protestations qu'elle suscite et pour assurer de la solidit de sa majorit.

Posted by: ralph lauren pas cher on May 13, 2014 03:59 AM
86. MikeBoyScout -- good luck getting any poster or brain-trust commenter to evaluate their ideology against actual facts. The former know better, and the latter don't seem to know what facts are (q.v. every comment ever by Rags, KDS, Amused...).

There's a very good reason both the original founder of this blog and its newest comtributor reside as close to the geographic center of Seattle as they possibly can. Heartless "free-market" competition and "slug it out" brutality are always good for you and yours, never for me and mine.

Posted by: tensor on May 13, 2014 10:12 AM
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94. .
I realize the weather has been exceptional and that people have other things to do with their lives than comment on this infrequently read blog,
but if one is going to post about the necessity of "They have lost the spine to slug it out in their own self-defense." then isn't it incumbent upon Nicholas Kerr to make a case?

2 days ago I asked about the same comparison Jim Miller did.

Can it be true that the multi-million dollar trade group "foundation" that Nicholas Kerr cited about the need of businesses to do something has no data regarding the economic impacts of a substantial minimum wage difference between two municipalities located 10 miles apart (Pullman, WA vs. Moscow, ID)?

Where's the data?

Maybe Nicholas Kerr would better serve the business community of Seattle if he were to pressure the (Evergreen) Freedom Foundation to show the data which makes "the case against raising the minimum wage." rather than bemoaning Seattle's business leaders for not following the often comical and usually unsupported opinions of a "foundation".

Is it really so difficult, Nicholas Kerr, to believe that the reason Seattle's business leaders did not voice the opinions of the (Evergreen) Freedom Foundation is because the EFF is dead wrong? No?
What does the data show about the impact of a the economic impacts upon Pullman, WA of a substantial minimum wage difference with its neighbouring university community of Moscow, ID?

ps. As tensor @86 on May 13, 2014 10:12 AM mentions, we really don't expect you address the question. And reality has a well-known liberal bias, so let's just pay no attention to the men behind the EFF curtain. The Koch brothers and ALEC should not be expected to back up their opinions and we won't expect you too either. Let's just castigate above average performing Seattle business leaders for "have spent years compromising, capitulating and just going along" with EFF's nonsense!

Take the Field with Glenn Beck!

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97. "Business leadership needed on policies please"

Misrepresent things much?

There's plenty of business leadership. The problem you seem to have is that Seattle's business leadership, coming as it should from the likes of the Seattle Hospitality Group and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, isn't doing what you want.

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Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on May 15, 2014 01:00 PM
99. "...terrible proposals like massive minimum wage hikes and restrictions on innovations like Uber."

Insofar as using a web app to dispatch (what we New Yorkers once called) "gypsy cabs" counts as an "innovation," the government still has an obligation to protect the safety of the citizens. Having amateur drivers in vehicles uninsured for passenger carriage on our streets at peak hours presents a significant safety hazard to everyone around them. The city has mechanisms for proper regulation of for-hire car services, and should enforce those mechanisms. We shouldn't ever put "free-market innovation" ahead of human health and safety.

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