Former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi Speaks About Minimum Wage

(H/T Breitbart) “I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry — it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient [while] making $15 an hour bagging French fries,” Rensi said Tuesday.

“It’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe,” Rensi added.

L.A. Garment District vs. Left-Coast Values

Breitbart notes the impact of the impending law via California Gov. Jerry Brown

The first accomplishment of California’s pioneering $15 minimum wage law is killing the revival of America’s clothing industry.

American Apparel, which provided 10 percent of all apparel manufacturing jobs in Los Angeles, has terminated 500 employees in the last two weeks. Chief Executive Paula Schneider also told the Los Angeles Times that “manufacturing of more complicated pieces, such as jeans, could soon be outsourced to a third-party company.”

The company did not tie the announcement directly to California Governor Jerry Brownsigning of the nation’s first statewide $15 minimum wage on April 4. But the layoffs started shortly almost immediately after Brown’s action, and were announced on April 14 as labor organizers filled Los Angeles streets with fast-food workers set to strike, supported by unionized home-care and child-care workers.

Lloyd Greif, Chief Executive of Los Angeles investment banking firm Greif & Co. told LATimes, “They’re headed out of Dodge.” He added, “They are going to outsource all garments. It’s only a matter of time.”

At the turn of the 21st Century, Los Angeles County was the “rag trade” capital of America. With 4,000 active apparel-making sites employing almost 90,000 workers, the Los Angeles area was over twice the size of the rag trade in the New York region.

Apparel-making got cut in half over the next decade, as Chinese and Asian imports coming through Los Angeles ports sky-rocketed to $46 billion. The number of local apparel-making sites fell to 2,200 and local industry jobs shriveled to 46,000.

But according to the California Fashion Association, Los Angeles apparel-making was back to growth by 2013 as a “steady inflation rate” in China, driven by higher labor costs, increasingly pushed apparel manufacturing and textile contractors to move to lower wage countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bangladesh. Coupled with high sea, land, and air shipping costs, the advantage in outsourcing apparel-making versus U.S. manufacturing became much less attractive….

(read more)

White Castle vs. New York Values

(Inserted a video from Western Journalism)

Here is an excerpt of the National Review article Prager was referencing:

…White Castle, established in 1921 in Wichita, Kan., now operates more than 400 locations, with many in the New York City metropolitan area, which makes the news of New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s signing a bill that steeply hikes the minimum wage deeply personal. The wage will go from $9 to $15 an hour by 2018 in New York City, with the rest of the state seeing a more gradual phase-in schedule.

“We’ve been in New York for a long time,” Richardson says. “Castle No. 2 over on Fordham Road opened in 1930.”

Unfortunately, despite the Castle’s Empire State history, the road ahead may be difficult: “We’re disappointed. What this means for White Castle is we really have to evaluate how we manage our business,” Richardson tells me. “About 30 percent of every sales dollar covers the pay of our hourly workers, and that doesn’t include management.”

It’s our biggest investment, our biggest cost. And it’s one that if we see increase dramatically through fiat, and we don’t do anything — it’s unsustainable,” Richardson says. “We are in uncharted waters.”

Of course, Cuomo, California governor Jerry Brown, Hillary Clinton, and minimum-wage activists across the country think that dramatically raising the minimum wage will be a boon to workers and that business can handle the cost increases without too much trouble.

“By moving to a $15 statewide minimum wage and enacting the strongest paid-family-leave policy in the nation, New York is showing the way forward on economic justice,” Governor Cuomo said after signing the minimum-wage legislation on April 4. “These policies will not only lift up the current generation of low-wage workers and their families, but ensure fairness for future generations and enable them to climb the ladder of opportunity.”

But Cuomo’s idea of “economic justice” is a long way from the dollars-and-cents reality of running a burger business. If labor costs rise dramatically, White Castle will have to balance its books by raising prices or changing its business model so that it needs less labor.

“Is there any room to raise prices to cover costs?” Richardson muses. “We think we’d need to increase menu prices by something like 50 percent. It’s not something we’ve done before. It’d be catastrophic.”…

(read more)

Two graphs used in video upload:

And a third:

TAX THE RICH (Plus: CEO Pay vs. Worker Pay)

Updated (Originally posted in March 2014)

Debt Ramirez

(Pic has relevant link in it)

The first set of videos show the main point for quick and easy consumption. The rest is the larger case made that by taking or taxing the rich excessively ends up hurting the poor just as excessively, even more. Other topics related:

Enjoy.

Video Description:

  • The Left Keeps talking about the Gap between CEOs and Minimum Wage Employees…. I will analyze these salaries and break it down…. (about 10-mins):

Video description:

  • Is America really broke? Michael Moore (and others) tells us that there are oceans of cash being hoarded by the wealthy. But Iowahawk (iowahawk.typepad.com // Twitter) did a little addition, and armed with these statistics Bill and the ‘Hawk blow a hole in the “hoarding” lie big enough to fit a documentary filmmaker through (about 9-mins):

Video description:

  • Do the rich pay their fair share of taxes? It’s not a simple question. First of all, what do you mean by rich? And how much is fair? What are the rich, whoever they are, paying now? Is there any tax rate that would be unfair? UCLA Professor of Economics, Lee Ohanian, has some fascinating and unexpected answers (about 5-mins):


A Case Study


Big corporations WANT a medical device tax because it thins out the herd (the competition). Why? Because the little guy cannot compete with the high costs and so the giants worry less about competition and thus large corporations who corner the market become the rule.

Stryker Corporation has announced that it will close its facility in Orchard Park, New York, eliminating 96 jobs next month. It will also counter the medical device tax in Obamacare by eliminating 5% of their global workforce, an estimated 1,170 positions.

Jon Stryker is heir to the Stryker Corporation, one of the largest medical device and equipment manufacturers in the world. Stryker’s grandfather was the surgeon who invented the mobile hospital bed. The company now sells $8.3 billion worth of hospital beds, artificial joints, medical cameras, and medical software every year.

Stryker, a member of the Forbes 400 list, was one of the top five donors to the Obama campaign. Having donated $2 million to the Priorities USA Action super PAC, Stryker also gave $66,000 in contributions to Obama and the Democrat Party.

[….]

Stryker’s corporation is part of an industry that has been a big loser at the hands of Obamacare. Having refused to get on board with the White House and the Senate Finance Committee when the law was being crafted in 2009, the medical device industry was punished with an excise tax of 2.3% of their revenues, regardless of whether they make a profit.

Republicans in the House have attempted to repeal the excise tax with a bill called the Protect Medical Innovation Act. The Democrat-led Senate, however, has refused to cooperate, saying that withdrawing the tax would cause Obamacare to come unraveled.

Last June, while the nation awaited the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, Stryker Corp. announced that it was tying plans to slash 5% of its global workforce to the tax if the law was upheld.

★ ATTENTION ★★ 

The medical device tax is hurting women

even more than it’s hurting men

USA TODAY notes the job losses in the medical Device Tax ACA implementation:

WASHINGTON — Even as the new health care law adds millions of insured customers to the paying pool, medical device manufacturers say a tax on their product could cost them billions.

The tax came as the government looked for ways to fund the new law. Insurers agreed to pay a tax beginning in 2013 because they would gain new customers.

Hospitals agreed to lower Medicare payments because they would have fewer uninsured customers and therefore, would not be left with the bill.

And the government looked to higher-earning citizens — those who make more than $200,000 a year — to also contribute. In industry, the government focused on the $130 billion-a-year medical device manufacturing industry.

But the manufacturers say the tax will force money away from research, send jobs overseas and stop them from expanding in the U.S.

Analysts say the industry will easily make the money back in profits from overseas sales — where there’s a growing market of individuals with diabetes and heart disease — and that more insured customers mean more devices.

[….]

Steve Ubl, CEO of AdvaMed, the trade organization that represents the industry, said the tax would force companies to cut 43,000 jobs and will cost the industry $30 billion in the next 10 years.

“It’s very concerning to us,” he said. “It’s a tax on revenue, and it translates to a very deep cut in the bottom line.”

Ubl said the companies won’t look for more efficient products, contrary to what advocates of the law say.

Denny’s is the latest to admit that this will make them raise costs, hurting those who depend on their services using allotted retirement funds for eating (the retired elderly), as well as those single mothers the Left profess to love… no work.

President Obama’s election victory ensured his Affordable Care Act would remain the centerpiece of his first term in power – but that has left some business owners baulking at the extra cost Obamcare will bring.

Florida based restaurant boss John Metz, who runs approximately 40 Denny’s and owns the Hurricane Grill & Wings franchise has decided to offset that by adding a five percent surcharge to customers’ bills and will reduce his employees’ hours.

With Obamacare due to be fully implemented in January 2014, Metz has justified his move by claiming it is “the only alternative. I’ve got to pass on the cost to the customer.”

…read more at Mail Online…

Lately, a lot of people who are in the restaurant business have said the same, here are a couple of short videos on the matter:

NY Applebee’s CEO Zane Tankel

A Papa John’s Pizza franchise owner

Rermember my old story about the Burbank Country Club and how liberal city councils feel good in passing legislation without second thought to those they hurt in the process — whom they profess to be helping. Here it is used in a reponse to a small paper near my town:

Here is the answer with a great example from a few years back, right down the road a bit from both John and I… it comes from an article I have saved from the June 26, 2002 Daily News, Editorial Section, entitled “Killing Jobs”:

Billingsley’s Restaurant at the Van Nuys Golf Course may soon fall victim to the economic illiteracy of the Los Angeles City Council [almost all liberals by the by].

Five years ago, the council pandered to organized labor by passing a measure requiring all businesses that contract with the city to pay their employees a “living wage,” an hourly salary tied to the Consumer Price Index that tends to run about three dollars more than the California minimum wage.

The measure, intended to bolster economic status of the city’s working families, was a classic example of arrogant politicians thinking they could magically legislate wealth into existence.

But grandiose schemes have consequences. Extra money for salaries has to come from somewhere. Usually from customers, workers or taxpayers who end up paying the bill.

Billingsley’s is a case in point of what’s wrong with this scheme [which Santa Monica has made policy].

Because the restaurant’s lease on the city-owned golf course is up for renewal, it will soon have to start paying the living wage, which owner Drew Billingsley says will cost him $100,00 a year [keep in mind this is not only in wages, but the time and money spent on the mountains of new paperwork to make sure he is following this new regulation]. In an effort to meet that expense, he has laid off as many employees as possible, but its not enough.

Thus Billingsley now has two choices: Either he can raise prices and alienate his loyal clientele (which consists largely of retirees on fixed incomes), or he can close up shop altogether.

Either way, the community will suffer. That’s what happens when feel-good posturing, not sound policy, governs lawmaking.

City Hall has done its best to chase away well-paying jobs, and public schools have done their worst at educating people so they aren’t qualified for well-paying jobs. Artificial living wages won’t solve real people’s problems.

Chasing Alternative Energy Companies OUT of California

Loss of jobs and customer dissatisfaction are the result of government interference. Here are more examples noted by Dennis Prager:

C.S. LEWIS hits the nail on the head when he said:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

What did Reagan say? Oh Yeah. Well, many business owners are feeling this fear right now.

This story comes from the Orange County Register and documents yet another company leaving the sunshine state:

California has changed dramatically since 1941, when Carl and Margaret Karcher scraped together about 325 bucks to start a hot dog cart in Los Angeles – a precursor to a drive-through restaurant they opened in Anaheim and which grew into the Carl’s Jr. fast-food empire. The Karchers were household names in Southern California, not just for their restaurants but for their activism in conservative politics and Catholic charities.

Whatever you think of the Karchers’ politics, you’ve got to love the entrepreneurial story that surrounds their success and what it said about California in its heyday. The Karchers – he died in 2008 and she in 2006 – came to the Land of Opportunity from the staid backwater of Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

California has beckoned many Midwesterners – and people from every part of America and the globe – not just because of its pleasant weather, but because of a culture of openness that allowed creative people to go as far as their ideas would take them. Unfortunately, people with energy and creativity are now likely to go elsewhere, to places where the state government has different attitudes toward the private sector.

Indeed, CKE Restaurants, parent of Carl’s Jr., is likely to move its headquarters from Carpinteria, near Ventura, to Texas and is undergoing a rapid expansion of restaurants in the Lone Star State. Right before the budget circus got going Wednesday, CKE CEO Andrew Puzder spoke at the California Chamber of Commerce, blocks from the Capitol dome. Like most of us, Puzder loves California and has no interest in leaving it, but he told harrowing tales about doing business in a state that has gone from an entrepreneurial heaven to a bureaucratic nightmare.

It costs us $250,000 more to build one California restaurant than in Texas,” he said. “And once it is opened, we’re not allowed to run it.” This explains why Carl’s is opening 300 restaurants in Texas and only maintaining its presence in California. Texas has lower taxes than California, but the reason for the shift has more to do with regulation and with the attitude of the respective governments.

Puzder complained about the permitting process here, where it takes eight months to two years to open a new restaurant compared to an average of 1 1/2 months in Texas. In California, restaurants have to provide new curb cuts, new traffic lights, you name it. The company must endure so many requirements and must submit to so many inspections that it becomes excessively costly – and the bureaucrats are in charge of the project.

Once the restaurant is open, Puzder said, the store’s general managers are not allowed to run the business as if they own it. That’s the key to the company’s customer service approach – allowing general managers to do whatever it takes to make customers happy. But California’s inflexible, union-designed work rules, for instance, classify general managers as regular employees. They must be paid overtime for any work beyond an eight-hour day. They must take mandated breaks at specified times.

…(read more)…

Andy Pudzer, CEO of Carls Jr. Restaurants on over regulation from Dan Logue on Vimeo.

California is the micro of the growing Federal Government. Obama-Care is just another layer of the boot of government on the backs of business owners, who hire a lions share of people in the U.S. The reporter above says “the regulations are well-intended, but piled-on…” And do take note, we (as a body politik) add layers and layers of laws. Here is an old quote I often use:

  • This is most evident in the fact that Americans today must obey thirty times as many laws as their great-grandfathers had to obey at the turn of the century. Federal agencies publish an average of over 200 pages of new rulings, regulations, and proposals in the Federal Register each business day. That growth of the federal statute book is one of the clearest measures of the increase of the government control of the citizenry… (adapted from: James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty [St. Martins Griffen; 1994], p. 1.)

All these private people want, really, is for the boot to be lifted. But not for 4-more years. Sad. Which brings me to another quote that explains the egalitarian thinking behind legislation based on feelings:

There is a Liberal sentiment that it should also punish those who take more than their “fair share.” But what is their fair share? (Shakespeare suggests that each should be treated not according to his deserts, but according to God’s mercy, or none of us would escape whipping.)

The concept of Fairness, for all its attractiveness to sentiment, is a dangerous one (cf. quota hiring and enrollment, and talk of “reparations”). Deviations from the Law, which is to say the Constitution, to accommodate specifically alleged identity-group injustices will all inevitably be expanded, universalized, and exploited until there remains no law, but only constant petition of Government.

We cannot live in peace without Law. And though law cannot be perfect, it may be just if it is written in ignorance of the identity of the claimants and applied equally to all. Then it is a possession not only of the claimants but of the society, which may now base its actions upon a reasonable assumption of the law’s treatment.

But “fairness” is not only a nonlegal but an antilegal process, for it deals not with universally applicable principles and strictures, but with specific cases, responding to the perceived or proclaimed needs of individual claimants, and their desire for extralegal preference. And it could be said to substitute fairness (a determination which must always be subjective) for justice (the application of the legislated will of the electorate), is to enshrine greed—the greed, in this case, not for wealth, but for preference. The socialistic spirit of the Left indicts ambition and the pursuit of wealth as Greed, and appeals, supposedly on behalf of “the people,” to the State for “fairness.”….

….But such fairness can only be the non-Constitutional intervention of the State in the legal, Constitutional process—awarding, as it sees fit, money (reparations), preferment (affirmative action), or entertainment (confiscation)….

….”Don’t you care?” is the admonition implicit in the very visage of the Liberals of my acquaintance on their understanding that I have embraced Conservatism. But the Talmud understood of old that good intentions can lead to evil—vide Busing, Urban Renewal, Affirmative Action, Welfare, et cetera, to name the more immedi­ately apparent, and not to mention the, literally, tens of thousands of Federal and State statutes limiting freedom of trade, which is to say, of the right of the individual to make a living, and, so earn that wealth which would, in its necessary expenditure, allow him to provide a living to others….

…. I recognized that though, as a lifelong Liberal, I endorsed and paid lip service to “social justice,” which is to say, to equality of result, I actually based the important decisions of my life—those in which I was personally going to be affected by the outcome—upon the principle of equality of opportunity; and, further, that so did everyone I knew. Many, I saw, were prepared to pay more taxes, as a form of Charity, which is to say, to hand off to the Government the choice of programs and recipients of their hard-earned money, but no one was prepared to be on the short end of the failed Government pro­grams, however well-intentioned. (For example—one might endorse a program giving to minorities preference in award of government contracts; but, as a business owner, one would fight to get the best possible job under the best possible terms regardless of such a pro­gram, and would, in fact, work by all legal and, perhaps by semi- or illegal means to subvert any program that enforced upon the pro­prietor a bad business decision.)*

Further, one, in paying the government to relieve him of a feeling of social responsibility, might not be bothered to question what in fact constituted a minority, and whether, in fact, such minority con­tracts were actually benefiting the minority so enshrined, or were being subverted to shell corporations and straw men. †

______________________________________________
*No one would say of a firefighter, hired under rules reducing the height requirement, and thus unable to carry one’s child to safety, “Nonetheless, I am glad I voted for that ‘more fair’ law.”

† As, indeed, they are, or, in the best case, to those among the applicants claiming eligibility most capable of framing, supporting, or bribing their claims to the front of the line. All claims cannot be met. The politicians and bureaucrats discriminating between claims will neces­sarily favor those redounding to their individual or party benefit—so the eternal problem of “Fairness,” supposedly solved by Government distribution of funds, becomes, yet again and inevitably, a question of graft.

  • David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 116-117, 122, 151, 154.

One might say that the politician, the doctor, and the dramatist make their living from human misery; the doctor in attempting to alleviate it, the politician to capitalize on it, and the dramatist, to describe it.

But perhaps that is too epigrammatic.

When I was young, there was a period in American drama in which the writers strove to free themselves of the question of character.

Protagonists of their worthy plays had made no choices, but were afflicted by a condition not of their making; and this condition, homosexuality, illness, being a woman, etc., was the center of the play. As these protagonists had made no choices, they were in a state of innocence. They had not acted, so they could not have sinned.

A play is basically an exercise in the raising, lowering, and altering of expectations (such known, collectively, as the Plot); but these plays dealt not with expectations (how could they, for the state of the protagonist was not going to change?) but with sympathy.

What these audiences were witnessing was not a drama, but a troublesome human condition displayed as an attraction. This was, formerly, known as a freak show.

The subjects of these dramas were bearing burdens not of their choosing, as do we all. But misfortune, in life, we know, deserves forbearance on the part of the unafflicted. For though the display of courage in the face of adversity is worthy of all respect, the display of that respect by the unaffected is presumptuous and patronizing.

One does not gain merit from congratulating an afflicted person for his courage. One only gains entertainment.

Further, endorsement of the courage of the affliction play’s hero was not merely impertinent, but, more basically, spurious, as applause was vouchsafed not to a worthy stoic, but to an actor portraying him.

These plays were an (unfortunate) by-product of the contemporary love-of-the-victim. For a victim, as above, is pure, and cannot have sinned; and one, by endorsing him, may perhaps gain, by magic, part of his incontrovertible status.

  • David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 134-135.

And of course, the SNOOKY TAX example:

Take note that the persons opposed to tanning altogether are the ones who got this 10% tax added. They know that even a 10% tax (just like all the taxes added to smoking) dissuades someone from that action. Similarly, all the taxes coming down the pike will do what exactly to consumers wanting to go out and spend??

POLITICO:

In one scene, Snooki — with her impressively orange tan — broke the shocking news that she’s been staying away from her home away from home: Tanning salons.

“I don’t go tanning anymore because Obama put a 10% tax on tanning. McCain would never put a 10% tax on tanning. Because he’s pale and would probably want to be tan,” she said.

Snooki was referring to a provision in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act that mandates tanning salons impose a 10 percent tax on UV-ray sessions.

McCain and Jersey Shore team up. Why would a President who is concerned about jobs and people (supposedly) put a 10% on small business owners that would do nothing but hinder job growth. Many of his policies hinder this.

UPDATED!

Via Libertarian Republican

Excerpted, column by Howard Rich, Investor’s Business Daily, “ObamaCare Mandate To Cut Worker Hours, Leaving The Poor Worse Off”:

Having secured another four years in the White House, Obama can now block any effort to overturn his socialized medicine law — although states can (thankfully) still stop much of its new spending if they reject ObamaCare’s “exchanges” and refuse its Medicaid enrollment expansions. For the sake of our future deficits, let’s hope they do so en masse.

One provision of ObamaCare that can no longer be stopped, however, is its “employer mandate.” While nowhere near as infamous as the “individual mandate” compelling citizen participation in the health insurance market, ObamaCare’s requirement that companies provide coverage to all employees working more than 30 hours a week will be a job killer nonetheless.

Not only will this mandate prevent job growth among small businesses, it will also result in fewer hours and less income for workers at larger companies. These are people struggling to make ends meet on limited income — people who cannot afford to lose these hours.

Last month Darden Restaurants — which employs 185,000 people at nearly 2,000 Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Red Lobster restaurants — revealed that it was scaling back many of its employees’ workweeks to 28 hours. Ordinarily such a move would result in high turnover and an influx of less-competent employees — but not in Obama’s economy.

This month Kroger — the grocer that employs 350,000 people — announced that existing part-time workers and new hires would be limited to working 28 hours per week. “Kroger is doing this to avoid paying for full-time health care for employees who currently only receive part-time benefits,” one employee explains. “And (so) they will not get hit with the $3,000 penalty.”

 

L.A.’s Minimum Wage Law Hurts Poor/Middle-Class People

Larry Elder interview Dr. Joel Strom on exactly how and whom the arbitrary raising of wage will hurt the poor and middle-class dental patient. You can read more on the minimum wage law at my site, here.

  • Dr. Strom’s website is here.
  • You can also connect with him via Twitter.
  • Also, here is a video bio of Dr. Strom.

Here is part of the article in discussion from The Daily News:

…This crunch is causing many of them to withdraw from Denti-Cal or sell their offices to the larger corporate dental conglomerates.

Those very same corporate entities are now cutting the depth and breadth of their involvement in the Denti-Cal program as well; one large chain of dental offices recently reduced their payrolls by 200 and cut the amount of new Denti-Cal patients they will accept.

At the same time, independent doctors and dentists simply can’t afford to stay enrolled in the program. Most of us need to employ a full-time employee just to manage the process of seeking reimbursement from the state government, which is a time-consuming process that can eat up more than 20 percent of an office’s costs. Yet many times, despite receiving pre-approvals, payment is delayed or sometimes denied by the state. Nor does it help that California reimbursement rates are some of the lowest in the nation.

These factors, when combined, have caused the majority of dentists to refuse to participate in Denti-Cal. Ten years ago, only a third of L.A. dentists participated in the program. Today, that number is believed to be far smaller. In fact, many dentists choose to deliver free care to a set number of patients rather than fill out paperwork, wait months to receive payments, or suffer the setback of not receiving anything at all.

[….]

And that’s where the minimum wage hike comes into play. About the only option available to these small business owners is to maintain consistent and lower payroll, including many times paying administrative staff between 20 and 30 percent less than a $15 new minimum wage. A substantial increase in wages will most certainly translate to increased business costs — costs which, thanks to state law, we can’t legally include in our pricing structure.

As a result, many low-income Angelenos now stand to lose access to the health care and dental care that they need. A $15 minimum wage may help some people, but it is undeniable that it will also harm many of them, as well. Where will the unintended consequences end?

Minimum Wage Fail ~ McDonald’s Goes Hi-Tech!

Via BizPic! See my “Minimum Wage” post, which this is partly an update to:

While it seems liberals may think that raising the minimum wage will raise living standards for poor Americans, they should have seen this coming.

With Los Angeles joining Seattle in setting a $15 minimum wage (Los Angeles by 2020, and Seattle by 2021), it stands to reason that McDonald’s would find a way around simply paying workers more, as Vox pointed out the obvious fact that “the reality is that McDonald’s just wants to make money.”

In a very real-world example of big business’ response to liberal policies, a conservative Twitter user sent Labor Day wishes from McDonald’s workers whose minimum wage never goes up.

RPT Will Not Be Pulling for Dr. Carson in the Primaries (UPDATED)

Contents:

The following is just a couple reasons I am not a fan of Dr. Benjamin Carson in the 2016 Republican primaries. Now, this is of a different tone than my rejection of Ron Paul in years past. At worst Ron Paul is an anti-Semite, even going as far as thinking we were behind 9/11. At best he surrounds his professional career with anti-Semites and 9/11 conspiracy types. A “guilt by proxy” idea, which is more powerful than “guilt by association.”

This post is different however. I like Dr. Ben Carson. I think he would do great in a position like the head of NIH (National Institute of Health), or as head of HHS (Health and Human Services). He would be very effective in an area like that to be front and center in explaining how the implementation of Obama-care is devastating the health industry as well as the patient/doctor relationship.

This post is merely me saying that Dr. Ben Carson is not Presidential material. And the reasons are economics, environment, foreign policy, and being able to respond well to cultural issues.

Let’s start with economics:

Minimum Wage

Here is a recent CATO article responding to a Robert Reich video about raising the minimum wage:

…Perhaps the most remarkable flaw in this video is Reich’s manner of addressing the bedrock economic objection to the minimum wage – namely, that minimum wage prices some low-skilled workers out of jobs.  Ignoring supply-and-demand analysis (which depicts the correct common-sense understanding that the higher the minimum wage, the lower is the quantity of unskilled workers that firms can profitably employ), Reich asserts that a higher minimum wage enables workers to spend more money on consumer goods which, in turn, prompts employers to hire more workers.  Reich apparently believes that his ability to describe and draw such a “virtuous circle” of increased spending and hiring is reason enough to dismiss the concerns of “scare-mongers” (his term) who worry that raising the price of unskilled labor makes such labor less attractive to employers.

Ignore (as Reich does) that any additional amounts paid in total to workers mean lower profits for firms or higher prices paid by consumers – and, thus, less spending elsewhere in the economy by people other than the higher-paid workers.

Ignore (as Reich does) the extraordinarily low probability that workers who are paid a higher minimum wage will spend all of their additional earnings on goods and services produced by minimum-wage workers.

Ignore (as Reich does) the impossibility of making people richer simply by having them circulate amongst themselves a larger quantity of money.  (If Reich is correct that raising the minimum wage by $7.75 per hour will do nothing but enrich all low-wage workers to the tune of $7.75 per hour because workers will spend all of their additional earnings in ways that make it profitable for their employers to pay them an additional $7.75 per hour, then it can legitimately be asked: Why not raise the minimum wage to $150 per hour?  If higher minimum wages are fully returned to employers in the form of higher spending by workers as Reich theorizes, then there is no obvious limit to the amount by which government can hike the minimum wage before risking an increase in unemployment.)

Focus instead on Reich’s apparent complete ignorance of the important concept of the elasticity of demand for labor.  This concept refers to the responsiveness of employers to changes in wage rates.  It’s true that if employers’ demand for unskilled workers is “inelastic,” then a higher minimum wage would indeed put more money into the pockets of unskilled workers as a group.  The increased pay of workers who keep their jobs more than offsets the lower pay of worker who lose their jobs.  Workers as a group could then spend more in total.  But if employers’ demand for unskilled workers is “elastic,” then raising the minimum wage reduces, rather than increases, the amount of money in the pockets of unskilled workers as a group.  When the demand for labor is elastic, the higher pay of those workers fortunate enough to keep their jobs is more than offset by the lower pay of workers who lose their jobs.  So total spending by minimum-wage workers would likely fall, not rise.

By completely ignoring elasticity, Reich assumes his conclusion.  That is, he simply assumes that raising the minimum wage raises the total pay of unskilled workers (and, thereby, raises the total spending of such workers).  Yet whether or not raising the minimum wage has this effect is among the core issues in the debate over the merits of minimum-wage legislation.  Even if (contrary to fact) increased spending by unskilled workers were sufficient to bootstrap up the employment of such workers, raising the minimum wage might well reduce the total amount of money paid to unskilled workers and, thus, lower their spending….

…read more…

Homesexuality

Dr. Carson’s positions and responses to key issues facing our Republic are lacking depth. As a medical professional he should have had a better answer when asked about homosexuality other than:

  • “Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”

That was a bad answer, and most people would recognize that. And a person of decency and intelligence might respond to his statement by refuting it with logic and reason, by pointing out the myriad flaws in his analogy…

(GayPatriot)

That is weak! And this non-professional conservative-Evangelical blogger can supply a better response than that one without throwing fellow conservatives [or conservatarians] who happen to be gay, under the bus in such a low-level response.

Foreign Policy

And this next section is merely an interview between Dr. Ben Carson and Hugh Hewitt (the transcript is here). And having a son in the military and knowing his peers that serve alongside him I want someone who is serious about the Middle-East.

Energy Policy

As an update to this post, I think HotAir does a great job in showing how Dr. Carson says one things about supporting the free market… and then in the next sentence refuting completely the previous position:

….Ben Carson was out talking to the Cornhuskers and the inevitable subjects of ethanol, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and subsidies for King Corn came up. The answer from the esteemed neurosurgeon was dismaying even compared to some of the other pandering we’ve seen previously.

He started out on a fairly good note:

Carson, in his first speech in the state as a candidate, was asked by a voter about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal mandate that fuel refiners blend a certain volume of ethanol and biodiesel into their gasoline and diesel supplies.

“I don’t particularly like the idea of government subsidies for anything because it interferes with the natural free market,” Carson said, according to The Des Moines Register.

Not bad. Subsidies in general are detrimental. If he’d only stopped there. But sadly, he didn’t.

“Therefore, I would probably be in favor of taking that $4 billion a year we spend on oil subsidies and using that in new fueling stations” for 30 percent ethanol blends, he added.

How much wrong can you package into just one sentence? First of all… thirty percent blends? We’re fighting like mad to hold the line against E-15 as it is. I don’t even need to go back over all the reasons why yet again in this article. But let’s move on to the other half of that pitch.

He’s suggesting cutting subsidies for domestic energy companies in the oil and gas industry. Not for everyone, mind you. Just them. And then reallocating that money away from fossil fuels and into ethanol processing. Just five seconds before that Carson had been claiming that he didn’t want anyone interfering with the free market, but now he’s saying to cherry pick one specific set of companies in the energy sector, remove a subsidy from them, and then redirect it to benefit the ethanol industry? It’s difficult to imagine a more egregious example of the government picking winners and losers, with the winners just happening to be in the first caucus state.

Second, calling out the “subsidies for Big Oil” is the language of the Left, and as usual it’s complete horse hockey. As anyone who follows this topic knows, the subsidies received by oil and gas companies are not specific to them. They are precisely the same as subsidies given to almost anyone who sells anything, including Apple and Microsoft among so many others. In fact, you couldn’t just cancel the subsidies to the fossil fuel segment of the energy industry without rewriting the rules entirely just to exclude them. That’s a left wing, anti-energy talking point and Carson should be embarrassed to be saying it in front of an ostensibly conservative crowd.

..read it all…

And as some may know, I do not like ethanol at all. Here is part of a larger post of mine on the subject:


It’s Final – Corn Ethanol Is of No Use

This comes by way of Gateway Pundit, and chronicle a report showing that if you hate C02, you should love fracking.

Now, here’s something you won’t here on the mainstream news. Fracking has eliminated CO2 more than more than all of the solar panels and wind turbines in the world.

John Stossel at FOX News reported:

On my TV show this week, statistician Bjorn Lomborg points out that “air pollution kills 4.3 million people each year … We need to get a sense of priority.” That deadly air pollution happens because, to keep warm, poor people burn dung in their huts.

Yet, time and again, environmentalists oppose the energy production most likely to make the world cleaner and safer. Instead, they persuade politicians to spend billions of your dollars on symbolism like “renewable” energy.

“The amazing number that most people haven’t heard is, if you take all the solar panels and all the wind turbines in the world,” says Lomborg, “they have (eliminated) less CO2 than what U.S. fracking (cracking rocks below ground to extract oil and natural gas) managed to do.”

That progress occurred despite opposition from environmentalists — and even bans in places like my stupid state, New York, where activists worry fracking will cause earthquakes or poison the water….


Liberalism = Death

Ethanol is killing children around the world… Democrats! It takes 450lbs of Corn to fill one SUV tank… that is a years worth of food for multiple children, not to mention the rise of corn-based food for the poor worldwide.

Enviro-Nuts! (4-16-08)

And while Gateway mentions is, this is actually old news. For instance, I quoted economist Walter Williams back in March of 2008 saying,

…Ethanol is 20 to 30 percent less efficient than gasoline, making it more expensive per highway mile. It takes 450 pounds of corn to produce the ethanol to fill one SUV tank. That’s enough corn to feed one person for a year. Plus, it takes more than one gallon of fossil fuel — oil and natural gas — to produce one gallon of ethanol. After all, corn must be grown, fertilized, harvested and trucked to ethanol producers — all of which are fuel-using activities. And, it takes 1,700 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol. On top of all this, if our total annual corn output were put to ethanol production, it would reduce gasoline consumption by 10 or 12 percent.

Ethanol is so costly that it wouldn’t make it in a free market. That’s why Congress has enacted major ethanol subsidies, about $1.05 to $1.38 a gallon, which is no less than a tax on consumers. In fact, there’s a double tax — one in the form of ethanol subsidies and another in the form of handouts to corn farmers to the tune of $9.5 billion in 2005 alone.

There’s something else wrong with this picture. If Congress and President Bush say we need less reliance on oil and greater use of renewable fuels, then why would Congress impose a stiff tariff, 54 cents a gallon, on ethanol from Brazil? Brazilian ethanol, by the way, is produced from sugar cane and is far more energy efficient, cleaner and cheaper to produce.

Ethanol production has driven up the prices of corn-fed livestock, such as beef, chicken and dairy products, and products made from corn, such as cereals. As a result of higher demand for corn, other grain prices, such as soybean and wheat, have risen dramatically. The fact that the U.S. is the world’s largest grain producer and exporter means that the ethanol-induced higher grain prices will have a worldwide impact on food prices….

Read More

What’s Up With That comments that corn generates “more greenhouse gases than gasoline.” Further noting from the recent study that,

The researchers, led by assistant professor Adam Liska, used a supercomputer model at UNL’s Holland Computing Center to estimate the effect of residue removal on 128 million acres across 12 Corn Belt states. The team found that removing crop residue from cornfields generates an additional 50 to 70 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule of biofuel energy produced (a joule is a measure of energy and is roughly equivalent to 1 BTU). Total annual production emissions, averaged over five years, would equal about 100 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule — which is 7 percent greater than gasoline emissions and 62 grams above the 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

…read it all…

Al Sharpton

Jan Morgan is the first in my updated reasons for Ben Carson not getting my enthusiasm:

Dr. Ben Carson, on Fox News tonight said he and Al Sharpton have the same goal.

Carson on Fox: “Mr. Sharpton and I have the same goal: to build a brighter, stronger America that provides equal opportunities and access to the underserved and forgotten. ” (end quote)

Only an idiot would truly believe that Al Sharpton has the goal to build a brighter, stronger America that provides equal opportunities and access to the underserved and forgotten..

Al Sharpton is about himself.. period..

He has exploited black people and race for the advancement of his own personal exposure at a great expense to our country and race relations.

Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and Reverend Wright are 3 people NO ONE seeking the office of President, should have ANY association with in any fashion.

All three are enemies of our Constitutional Republic… [BAM!]

2nd Amendment

This is one that bothers me, it is when politicians speak about the Second Amendment and “semi-automtic” weapons. If Carson thinks the “life” in the Declaration is immutable, why not the 2nd Amendment as an immutable right?

Answer, because Carson does not think the Constitution provides rights, but the government does. And so the government can defines these rights… “well a baby isn’t human u-n-t-i-l-l…” ~or~ “the Constitution only meant you to have a 7-round clip…” etc.

When Government see’s itself in the place of God, slippery slopes happen often. In this case, God given rights are only applicable if you live in the suburbs:

Appearing on Glenn Beck‘s radio show this past week, Dr. Benjamin Carson took a vastly different stance from most conservatives on the issue of gun control, claiming you shouldn’t be able to own semi-automatic weapons in large cities.

Carson became a newfound conservative herolast month when he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast and laid out a series of criticisms of ObamaCare, political correctness, and tax policy right in front of the president himself. Many called the speech “inappropriate” given the apolitical nature of the event, but many conservatives lauded Carson for his “bold” and “sensible” suggestions for policy reform.

Asked by Beck for his thoughts on the Second Amendment, Carson gave the popular pro-gun argument: “There’s a reason for the Second Amendment; people do have the right to have weapons.”

But when asked whether people should be allowed to own “semi-automatic weapons,” the doctor replied: “It depends on where you live.”…