Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

AJ Delgado over at NRO wrote a piece titled “Black Americans: The True Casualties of Amnesty”, and opens it up like this:

One of the sleeper issues surrounding the debate on amnesty for illegal immigrants – an inconvenient one that no proponent of a widespread amnesty wishes to acknowledge – is the devastating effect so-called immigration reform will have on African Americans.

The black unemployment rate is almost 11 percent, far higher than that of any other group profiled by labor statistics. African Americans are disproportionately employed in lower-skilled jobs – the very same jobs immigrants take. As Steven Camarota asked in a recent column, why double immigration when so many people already aren’t working?

The answer is pretty simple, really.  The Democrats want a new underclass of voters.

Black folks are increasingly wandering off the reservation when it comes to supporting Democrats.  Black Louisiana Senator Elbert Guillory changed party affiliation last year because he saw that the point of the left is control, and that the left’s promises are all betrayals and failures:

Black folks like Bernadette Lancelin may not have thought through and realized that “White House money” comes from taxpayers, but she knows that her community is being betrayed in favor of illegal aliens.

Black folks like Elaine from Baltimore want to know where they can get asylum:

US Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow wrote the Congressional Black Caucus warning of the economic issues:

peter kirsanow

“The obvious question is whether there are sufficient jobs in the low-skilled labor market for both African-Americans and illegal immigrants,” Kirsanow wrote. “The answer is no.”

He referenced a 2008 commission hearing in which witnesses testified that illegal immigration “disproportionately impacts the wages and employment opportunities of African-American” males. Scholars noted that 40% of the 18-point decline in the black employment rate from 1960 to 2000 was due to immigration. He noted that illegal immigrants and blacks “often find themselves in competition for the same jobs.”

He pointed out a host of factors (many influenced or caused by progressive policies) that lead to large numbers of black Americans competing for the same jobs that no-skill/low-skill illegal aliens do.  What I didn’t see him mention is that the illegal alien can operate under the table and save their employer compliance costs for things like minimum wages, workman’s comp or social security – thus an employer can pay an illegal in cash, saving the employer resources, and allowing the illegal alien to unfairly compete in yet another way with American citizens.  And as noted, a large percentage of those poor Americans who are forced out of yet another job are black.

Democrats still have a huge number of black folks voting for them as a block, and they expect it to stay the same.  But the Democrats want new guaranteed voters and cheap labor (and many amoral Republicans want cheap labor, too).  A huge influx of teenagers moved around the country to strategic districts who will be voting Democrat not just next election but in every subsequent election – and they will be voting – that’s why Democrats oppose voter ID laws – that demographic change is how Democrats expect to dominate the nation in one party rule forever (flipping Texas is their most public focus).

Not sure if they’ll declare a thousand-year-reich or a people’s collective immediately afterwards.  Could go either way.

Just to preface this, I’ve read there are some conflicting definitions of “liberaltarian”, but for the most part I’ve seen it used not as a way to indicate some hybrid philosophy, but basically is one that is Modern Liberal that calls themselves libertarian in order to distance themselves from the negatives of the Modern Liberal… or progressive.  Maybe they’ll throw in some classic liberal ideas like Friedman, but then like John Stossel did last week, will cite Hayek’s “Why I’m Not A Conservative” essay… while ignoring that a European conservative is very different than an American conservative… a point which Hayek even makes.

I managed to catch an episode of FOX Business’s “The Independents” on Friday on the radio, which frankly was entirely dependent on misconceptions, absurdities, leftist phrasing, and a lot of broken windows.

The episode’s guests included an illegal alien “Dreamer” who’s lobbying for her own special protections; Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who’s so far down in the trenches and relying on direct experience that he sounds inarticulate when talking to high-rise New Yorkers because his viewpoint and argument is dependent on that experience; and Dan Stein, a representative from the Federation on American Immigration Reform.  There were a couple others as well – one a pro-amnesty shill, and the other one of those subtle muddling-the-issues amnesty supporters.

The entire episode was fraught with fallacies and errors of economic, moral, and logic standards.  There was also an intentional lack of differentiation between legal and illegal immigration, except by the FAIR representative and as footnotes for Arpaio, to whom as a law enforcement official, legal immigration is of no concern.

The hosts, MTV VJ Kennedy, Matt Welch – that other guy from Reason, and I assume Kmele Foster was on, though I didn’t hear him introduced; were all engaged in almost every pro-amnesty progressive leftist point dressed up as laissez-faire economic arguments, emotional humanitarian arguments, and general bullshit.

When Stein was on, they argued that illegal immigration is down because deportations are up (a spurious claim itself), while Stein pointed out that the massive surge in illegal immigration due to stories of the illegal-alien-abetting DREAM Act-by-exec-order means that data from last year is somewhat irrelevant.

They (the hosts plus the pro-amnesty guest opposite Stein) argued that illegal aliens are only coming because the economy is improving, and that thus illegal aliens are good for the economy.  Stein rebutted by explaining that illegal aliens are taking American jobs.  To which the response was basically this:

The highest point the argument against Stein got to was accusing him of protectionism.  To their credit, that’s not completely off base.

The purpose of a nation is to provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.  It’s for the citizens of the nation to enjoy the benefits of the nation.  It’s what citizenship is about.  The whole reason to be a citizen is to be a member of a nation.

The concept of having secure borders and enforced immigration laws that result in deportations for illegal aliens is one that exists in order to protect citizenry and the security and sovereignty of that nation.  The liberaltarians on “Independents” seemed only to see the glazier’s side of the economic argument of broken laws.  They ignored that having a secure nation means protection not just from economic threats, but from physical ones as well – not just the lurking specter of terrorism, but also of criminals and biological hazards illegal aliens bring with them.  You do want to screen who comes in to begin with at the very minimum for those physical threats – all of which lead to second and third order effects due to the hidden damages they cause.

As to the economic threats, they were dismissed by the liberaltarian “Independents” towing their party and paymaster’s line, while ignoring that there’s a much bigger argument than “Durka dur!”  (And keep in mind their master Rupert Murdoch is sitting down with Valerie Jarrett to work out ways for the Ruling Class to tell the American people to agree to be invaded.)

For one, illegal aliens do take American jobs.  The immediate response is – but they’re jobs Americans are too stupid/lazy/spoiled to do.

If there weren’t illegal aliens undercutting US wages, the pay rates for those unpleasant jobs would be higher.  This argument is usually dismissed with a wave of the hand or a subject change, and a bias on the part of the person arguing it.

There are a lot of Americans who do take labor-intensive, difficult jobs.  Mike Rowe’s made that point over and over.

mike rowe dirty jobs 1

If illegal aliens weren’t disrupting the job market with wages that can undercut the minimum, as well as using their illegal status as a way to reduce compliance costs for employers (no workman’s comp or insurance, only paid in cash, etc.), employers would have to pay a wage that’s commensurate with the job itself.

To give an example – throughout the midwest there used to be meat packing plants in downtown areas.  Urban populations would work in them for decent, but not great, wages, but enough to keep an economy afloat, provide for a family, and do all that good-ol-American “living wage” stuff unions get all wistful about.  Once illegal aliens became an exploitable resource, a lot of those meat packing plants moved out to rural areas, closer to farms, and where entire rural communities would be radically changed by the influx of illegal aliens and cheap illegal alien labor.  The plants could’ve hired the guy downtown for $20/hour, but found it easier to hire two illegals for $10/hour – illegals they don’t have to provide benefits for, and if one loses a hand in a band saw, they just get another illegal to replace him.

This usually spins into the idea of “well we need to bring those undocumented angels out of the shadows and into society to protect them”… but they don’t necessarily want that.  While they hypothetically could be deported as they’re here illegally, they also don’t have to deal with regulations and compliance costs, taxes, or often any laws at all.  Hell, they can get drunk, drive, and crash into Democrat politicians who will still support illegal aliens.

Democrat Moran, from the news story, states:

“I know this is a tough issue that we’re dealing with and as you probably know I have been and will continue to be pro immigrant and some cases even pro illegal immigrant. And it would be politically expedient for me at this point in time to change that. That should give you some indication of my commitment to immigration and immigrants to tell you that even after being hit by one I will continue to advocate for immigrants and their rights as citizens of this country.”

>Representative Moron Hit By Illegal Alien

Now, that moron aside, illegals enjoy the benefits of not having laws enforced against them in many states.  A park ranger I spoke with last week told me how he’d encountered people breaking laws in Yosemite National Park, but could do nothing as they were illegal aliens with no ID, no auto registration, and California didn’t allow for arresting illegals for pretty much anything.  A friend who did a ridealong for Wisconsin state police encountered someone who wanted to race the officer’s vehicle – when they pulled over the racing driver, it turned out to be an illegal alien and he was released with not so much as a slap on the wrist.  If a US citizen decided to go race the cops on a street, or tear up through a national park, the US citizen would be arrested and in all probability jailed.  If an illegal alien does it, they’re released.

So again, the illegals don’t necessarily want to stop being illegals – it takes away their protected status.

And it takes away their competitive advantage.  And it gives them the option to take the route some Americans have chosen to already – those Americans who turn down work because something else is better…

Getting back to the economics of it, the next liberaltarian counterpoint is that Americans are still too spoiled and lazy and fat to do dirty jobs anyway… and that’s where welfare and unemployment come in (which would also come into play for illegals granted amnesty).

Remember the Welfare Cliff?

welfare cliffNot working one brings in $46,000 in benefits.

For those who didn’t know it, there’s also a way to game unemployment.  I’ve heard it from employers who have difficulty finding help, and I’ve heard it from the lazy bastards themselves when they talk about what they do.  The scam is to work just long enough to get unemployment, then take unemployment for a few months, then go back to work just long enough to qualify for more handouts.

From a personal standpoint, it makes sense.  If you can work for three months, then take a three month vacation at taxpayer expense while your food is paid for by the taxpayer, your housing is subsidized by the taxpayer, your bills are all supported by the taxpayer, and your health care is just an emergency room trip away that’s also covered by the taxpayer… why work?  Your quality of life is decent – you have access to entertainment and cars and gadgets and such – so why bother aspiring for more?

This undercuts the American work ethic and makes the illegal alien’s labor look good.  The illegal alien is benefiting from being able to negotiate his wages to below the mandated minimum wage.  The illegal alien is further benefiting from having his competition removed from the market via government handouts.

Do away with welfare, take away illegal alien labor and suddenly those Americans who are unemployed won’t be sitting around collecting checks from the taxpayer – they’ll have to work for their money in those now available jobs.

Do away with the minimum wage so those workers can compete at the level of their skills, and this will allow employers and businesses to utilize those lower wages to lower costs of products for everyone (which in turn generates more benefit for the new employees, which moves the economy, generates skills for those workers, and puts them at higher wages anyway – and with lower taxes to boot).  But we’ve talked about the problems of the minimum wage for years.

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Anyway, back to “The Independents”.

At one point, one of the hosts, while talking with the “DREAMer” illegal alien used the term “undocumented American”.  This is nonsense.

If you sneak into Quebec tomorrow where you don’t speak French, have no plans to assimilate, and seek only to send remittances home to the US, you are not an “undocumented Canadian”.  You’re an illegal alien.

If you sneak into Japan tomorrow, where you don’t speak Japanese, have no plans to assimilate, but think you can make some money by working for less than native Japanese workers by staying out of sight, you are not an “undocumented Japanese”.  You’re an illegal alien.

If you sneak into Mexico tomorrow, where you don’t speak Spanish (Mexican spanish, not that Castillian lisping Spanish), you have no plans to assimilate, but you think you can make some money by offering a skill that isn’t around locally… well, you aren’t an “undocumented Mexican”.  You’re an illegal alien.  And in Mexico, you can’t own property as a foreigner, and you’re also subject to arrest by any authority or citizen.  You’re an extranjero ilegal and subject to arrest by anyone.

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The entire show was filled with false premises of how illegal immigration works, an economic view through rose colored glasses onto broken windows, it ignored the physical and biological security threats of a totally open border, and the last thing it ignored was the demographics issue.

The swarm of illegal aliens who are going to be made into wards of the state will not be voting for libertarian free market ideas.  They will not be Ron Paul voters or Gary Johnson voters.

illegal aliens democrat registrationThey will be Democrat voters.

They will vote for further expansion of government.  They will vote for the same cult-of-personality leaders they’re familiar with in their home countries.  They will vote for people like The Race who speak to them – The Race being the translation of La Raza.  The same giant racist organization that has Celia Munoz in the White House in charge of Obama’s domestic policy council.

Illegal aliens granted amnesty will not be listening to the erudite arguments for individual freedom because they don’t speak even english.  Those from Central America rarely even speak coherent spanish – instead speaking regional dialects, or regional indian languages.

These are not people wanting freedom – they’re people wanting “free” stuff at the expense of the taxpayer because they heard there’d be a free ride.

Demographically, amnesty will doom the nascent libertarian movement, slowly strangle what remains of both little r republicans and the Republican party, and push the Democrats into perpetual power, reigning as an oligarchy of socialist redistributors.

From Katie Pavlich over at Townhall:

Last week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, through the power of Dodd-Frank, passed a rule giving the agency unprecedented power to shut down businesses, no matter what the reason, at any time it wishes through a cease-and-desist order. Further, the rule puts businesses at the mercy of the CFPB and they cannot go back into operation until government approval or a court ruling is made over an issue. Subsequently because bureaucratic decisions and court rulings take a substantial amount of time to happen, businesses cannot survive during those waiting periods.  Here are the details:

In a notice published in today’s Federal Register, the CFPB has announced that it has adopted its interim final rule on temporary cease-and-desist orders (C&Ds) without change. The final rule takes effect on July 18, 2014.

The CFPB is authorized to issue temporary C&Ds under Section 1053(c) of Dodd-Frank. That provision authorizes a temporary C&D as an adjunct to a cease-and-desist proceeding brought under Section 1053 against a covered person or service provider. A temporary C&D is effective immediately upon service and remains in effect unless modified or terminated administratively by the CFPB or set aside on judicial review.

So they can shut any business down at any time.

regulations grow freedom dies

1053(c) of Dodd-Frank is almost incomprehensible.

(c) SPECIAL RULES FOR TEMPORARY CEASE-AND-DESIST PROCEEDINGS.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Whenever the Bureau determines that the violation specified in the notice of charges served upon a person, including a service provider, pursuant to subsection (b), or the continuation thereof, is likely to cause the person to be insolvent or otherwise prejudice the interests of consumers before the completion of the proceedings conducted pursuant to subsection (b), the Bureau may issue a temporary order requiring the person to cease and desist from any such violation or practice and to take affirmative action to prevent or remedy such insolvency or other condition pending completion of such proceedings.

Such order may include any requirement authorized under this subtitle. Such order shall become effective upon service upon the person and, unless set aside, limited, or suspended by a court in proceedings authorized by paragraph (2), shall remain effective and enforceable pending the completion of the administrative proceedings pursuant to such notice and until such time as the Bureau shall dismiss the charges specified in such notice, or if a cease-and-desist order is issued against the person, until the effective date of such order.

There’s more, but it’s the same kind of legalese gibberish that basically means if there’s something questioned in a terms of service agreement or contract, a business can be shut down.

Ms. Pavlich points out some more things going on with this:

The new rule comes on the heals of revelations the Department of Justice has been smothering firearms dealerships and other “high risk” entities out of business by “choking” banks and stripping funding through Operation Choke Point.

Consumer groups are pushing back against the rule and issuing a warnings to businesses everywhere about what the rule means for them. The United States Consumer Coalition in particular is sounding the alarm:

“This unprecedented rule created by the CFPB grants the agency unilateral authority to literally shut down any business overnight. It is a doubling down of Operation Choke Point (OCP), the Administration’s program to target lawful industries by intimidating banks from doing business with them. This rule allows the CFPB to immediately issue a cease-and-desist order, which terminates all business practices — and a hearing doesn’t have to be granted for 10 days, effectively shutting down businesses for at least 10 days. This is a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ tactic of the Administration that goes against every historical notion of justice under the law in America.”

A quick primer on Operation Choke Point:

The Obama administration, after failing to get gun control passed on Capitol Hill, has resorted to using its executive power to try to put some in the firearms industry out of business, House Republican investigators say.

The assertion is included in a report recently released by California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Citing internal Justice Department documents, the committee concluded that the administration used a program known as Operation Choke Point to target legal companies that it finds “objectionable.”

The program was started in 2013 to protect consumers by “choking” alleged fraudsters’ access to the banking system. The Justice Department essentially forces banks and third-party payment processors to stop accepting payments from companies that are considered “high risk” and are supposedly violating federal law.

However, the documents released by Issa’s committee show the federal government lumped the firearms industry in with other “high-risk” businesses including those dealing with pornography, drug paraphernalia, escort services, racist materials, Ponzi schemes and online gambling.

So basically the Orwellian-named Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is going to have the ability to shut down any business, any time, and we’ve already seen this administration using financial schemes to target businesses they find politically undesirable.

But what’s the best part about the Consumer Financial Protection People’s Defense Bureau?  They can’t be stopped – they’re funded by the Federal Reserve, and thus can’t even be reigned in by congress defunding them.

Republicans and Democrats on Captiol Hill continue to fight over whether the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should be subject to the congressional appropriations process — that is, whether Congress should directly control how much money the fledgling agency can spend each year.

In the meantime, the CFPB funds itself through a bank account at the New York Fed.

Under the Dodd-Frank law, the CFPB gets its money from transfers from the Federal Reserve System, up to specific caps set by the law. The Fed can’t turn down requests under that cap.

The caps are fixed percentages of the Fed’s operating expenses, which works out to the following:
–10% of Fed operating expenses in fiscal 2011 or $498 million
–11% of Fed operating expenses in fiscal 2012 or $547.8 million
–12% in fiscal 2013 or $597.6 million
–12% each fiscal year thereafter, subject to annual adjustments for inflation

So they’re a completely unaccountable, self-funded government group who’ve just made up the rule that they can shut down any business at any time, giving themselves virtually unlimited power to unilaterally destroy any company or enterprise.

It would seem that no advanced civilization has yet developed without a government which saw its chief aim in the protection of private property, but that again and again the further evolution and growth to which this gave rise was halted by “strong” government.

Governments strong enough to protect individuals against the violence of their fellows make possible the evolution of an increasingly complex order of spontaneous and voluntary cooperation.

Sooner or later, however, they tend to abuse that power and to suppress the freedom they had earlier secured in order to enforce their own presumedly greater wisdom and not to allow “social institutions to develop in a haphazard manner” (to take a characteristic expression that is found under the heading ‘social engineering’ in the Fontana/Harper Dictionary of Modern Thought (1977)).

- F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism

Hayek

He begins this discussion in Chapter 2 of the book and references classical antiquity and the trading societies surrounding the Mediterranean as a prime example of nations that went through that rise and decline, but as noted, modern society is going through much the same thing.  The Anointed, to borrow Thomas Sowell’s phrase, know better and begin to “nudge” society where they want it to go.  As Jonah Goldberg noted, American totalitarianism and government control comes with a smiley face, though they’re making pseudo-erudite academic arguments for more outright thuggery.

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”

- Thomas Jefferson

Transcript here.

Via Drudge, from ZeroHedge:

labor force participation jan 2014

The labor force participation rate is dropping again, both as boomers retire and everyone else gets fired and gives up, or quits and goes on welfare as they ask themselves “why am I working when I could be mooching?”

not in labor force jan 2014

The overall numbers keep increasing, and that’s what’s keeping the unemployment rate down.

This is like having two kids in college and saying they just improved their overall GPA… because the one with poorer grades dropped out.

The Obama administration will use the drop in unemployment to say how we’re “recovering”, but we’re ultimately losing jobs (though RINOs and Democrats say we need amnesty to fill all the jobs we have… that Americans can’t seem to get).  We’re losing jobs, we’re losing real wages, we’re losing quality of life, and the only people gaining are the redistributors who are giving handouts to the newly unemployed in order to buy their votes.  The welfare state is having its desired effects for those who wish to control and lord over the welfare state.

In a dispassionate, purely economic view, she has an economic incentive to not work.  Her behavior is reprehensible to those who work, but in an amoral view, her behavior is quite logical.

Parasitism is rewarded, and if it provides all she desires, why not be a parasite?

Margaret Thatcher gave conservatives/libertarians/classic liberals the answer in a simple sentence years ago:

margaret-thatcher other peoples money

To the individual riding the socialist gravy train, however, that’s not a concious concern.  The welfare recipient isn’t concerned about where the next handout is going to come from as long as they keep coming, and if the handouts stop, there’s always someone to blame and some politician willing to buy votes.  The career welfare recipient is almost always someone who isn’t concerned about their long-term well-being, otherwise they’d be actively working to improve their lot in life.  Those rare few that are concerned are those who demand more from others simply because they exist.

At the point that the handouts stop completely, they’ll either starve or work.  Whether that’s because of welfare reform that stops giving people disincentives to work or whether the system collapses and no longer can give handouts, either way, the practically Randian caricature of the moocher exemplified by that caller will simply cease to exist.

If that career welfare recipient is forced to starve or work because welfare goes away by reasoned economic decision-making in government, there’s going to be gnashing of teeth, bleeding hearts bleeding, and knee-jerkers jerking knees.  There will also be private charities for those who truly need, rather than the taxation at gunpoint that leads leftists who “care about the poor” to ignore the poor since they have government to care for them.

If that career welfare recipient is forced to starve or work because welfare has gone away because of collapsing government

mad-max2

That’ll make things interesting.

From the New Yorker:

For decades, business owners have resisted higher minimum wages by arguing that they destroy jobs, particularly for young people. At some theoretical level, high minimum wages will distort job creation, but the best empirical evidence from the past decade is aligned with common sense: a minimum wage drawn somewhat above the poverty line helps those who work full time to live decently, without having a significant impact on other job seekers or on total employment.

Except it’s wrong, ignores the loss of jobs that are never created and the subsiziding impact of welfare and low-income benefits that also siphon funds away from job creation and into government redistribution.

I’ll let Orphe Divounguy explain it again:

(For example, a study of pairs of neighboring counties with differing minimum pay found that higher wages had no adverse effect on restaurant jobs.)

Of course, he doesn’t cite the study, the amount of difference in pay, or an analysis of what jobs were lost, not created, or where these counties were.

Even so, a federal minimum wage of ten dollars or more will not solve inequality. It will not stop runaway executive pay or alter the winner-take-all forces at work in the global economy.

And here we see the true intentions.  The objective is to make equality of outcomes.  The ideology is a belief that executive pay is “runaway” and that the economy is a “winner-take-all” scenario, rather than one of mutual cooperation for benefit.  Apparently the New Yorker’s Steve Coll doesn’t understand where pencils come from.

Coll continues:

Yet it will bring millions of Americans closer to the levels of economic security and disposable income that they knew before the housing bubble burst.

No, it won’t.  It will artificially increase wages, which will then result in employers increasing their expenses to customers.  There will be a transfer of wealth from the many to the few.  There will be a visible result of a handful of people with minimum wage jobs making more money, but it will result in a less visible loss of wages by everyone who uses those services, by employers whose payrolls will be adjusted in favor of old employees versus new ones – meaning jobs that would be created will not be created, and it will result in overall economic loss.

Coll starts his piece by talking about increases in wages for baggage handlers at SeaTac airport, where the minimum wage was bumped from $10/hour to $15/hour by a ballot initiative.  Businesses spent money pushing against it, and Coll celebrates that leftists emerged triumphant, that the “grassroots left, which seemed scattered and demoralized after the Occupy movement fizzled, has revived itself this year—with help from union money and professional canvassers—by rallying voters around the argument that anyone who works full time ought not to be at risk of poverty”.

Union money was sent in by union people who can now look forward to extracting union dues from those $15/hour workers at a higher amount than when they were $10/hour workers.  Professional canvassers are leftist marxist agitators and professional shit-stirring revolutionary groups who serve no function but to create conflict that they exploit for their own personal profit.  The businesses involved opposed it as best they could, but the leftists in Seattle & Tacoma voted for it.

What that means is that the expenses against the airport have gone up, and they’ll have to come up with something to balance it out.  That may mean layoffs, it may mean no new hires, but most likely it will mean increased rates and fees to customers.  The customer is hurt at the expense of the visible aid to the fictional oppressed proletariat.

…life on fifteen thousand a year is barely plausible anymore, even in the low-cost rural areas of the Deep South and the Midwest. National Republican leaders are out of touch with the electorate on this as on much else, and they are too wary of Tea Party dissent to challenge their party’s current orthodoxies of fiscal austerity and free-market purity.

Life on $15,000 per year is not something that someone manages alone.  First off, there are massive government handouts to those of that low income group; second, as Orphe explained, a lot of times, those workers are entry-level workers just getting started – like teenagers.

The Tea Party is composed of people who understand how economics work – that you can’t just arbitrarily say “we’ll make your employer pay you more” without that money coming from somewhere.  Again, Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote comes to mind:

thatcher socialism

Coll finishes with this bleeding heart plea:

The case for a strong minimum wage has always been, in part, civic and moral. Minimum wages do not create new “entitlement” programs or otherwise enjoin the country’s sterile debates about the value of government. They are designed to insure that the dignity of work includes true economic independence for all who embrace it.

The case for strong minimum wage laws has been couched in some people’s idea of what other people are entitled to.  If you pay the neighbor kid $5 to mow your lawn, it’s not moral for the neighborhood to tell you that you MUST pay him $20.  The result will be that the neighbor kid goes without the $5 and you mow your own lawn.  There’s nothing moral about dictating to people how much a worker has to sell his labor for or how much an employer has to pay for that employee’s labor – because it destroys entry-level jobs and harms the community.

The tut-tutting busybody who wants to put the government’s gun to someone’s head and make them do what they feel should be done is not moral.

Minimum wage laws inflict an entitlement by force.  The dignity of work comes from what people put into it – and earning a paycheck, not having the government hold a gun to your employer’s head – leaving you either paid more than you’re worth or unemployed entirely.

There is no “true economic independence” for a $10/hour job, a $15/hour job.  Idle rich and trust fund babies have “true economic independence” – and even they can lose it if economies change.  Economic independence comes from having one’s own skills that are marketable in different job environments.

If Coll and clowns who publish his Marxist drivel want to provide “dignity” and “true economic independence”, why not mandate a $100/hour minimum wage?  If people made $8000 every two weeks, they’d be doing pretty well.  Why not a $1000/hour minimum wage?  Or a $10,000/hour minimum wage?  You could work for a day and pay off student loans and buy a new car all in one.

If he’s got intellect greater than that of a grapefruit, he’d respond with “but businesses can’t afford to pay $10,000/hour.”  And just the same, they can’t afford to pay any other artificial minimum wage without modifying their business model.  Some businesses could handle $10,000/hour minimum wages, but it would harm them severely and result in cutting many employees, hiring no more employees, and passing costs off to customers.  Some businesses can handle a bump to $15/hour minimum wages, but it will harm them as well, it will harm future employment, and the business will pass costs off to their customers.

He wonders why the Midwest and South have a lower cost of living – and that is due in no small part to not having to deal with wage inflation – those costs are passed on to businesses, which pass them back on to us.

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Update: Some leftist union organizers have decided to stage strikes for higher fast food wages across the country.  When they get the government to force their employers to pay them $15/hour, they’ll find that those businesses can’t stay open because no one wants to pay $17 for a Whopper or $13 for a Big Mac.  They won’t be able to afford the Taco Grande meals they make.

The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.

It’s like I should just write “the usual suspects are at it again”.

Beating a dead horse – if they’re not worth the pay, they’re not worth the pay.  That’s not a measure of their value as a human being, just their respective value in their chosen job.   Demanding more wages because you’ve chosen to make an entry-level job a career is a problem with the individual’s ambition and drive and desire to sit on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, not a question of whether their employer is a greedy robber baron capitalist pig-dog.

From the Weekly Standard:

“Jessica Sanford was cited by the president as an Obamacare success story at a health care event he had here at the White House in the Rose Garden on October 21,” says a reporter for CNN from the White House. “That of course being just last month….”

Of course, she found out her coverage was being taken away by Obamacare and she can’t afford what she’s offered by Obamacare.

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Jonah Goldberg over at NRO has decided to just sit back and enjoy watching Obama fail.  After all, this was warned against for a long, long, long time.  They were warned, they were told it wouldn’t work, they were told why it wouldn’t work, and they rammed it down our throats anyway… and now they get to fail.

If you can’t take some joy, some modicum of relief and mirth, in the unprecedentedly spectacular beclowning of the president, his administration, its enablers, and, to no small degree, liberalism itself, then you need to ask yourself why you’re following politics in the first place.  …

The hubris of our ocean-commanding commander-in-chief surely isn’t news to readers of this website. He’s said that he’s smarter and better than everyone who works for him. His wife informed us that he has “brought us out of the dark and into the light” and that he would fix our broken souls. The man defined sin itself as “being out of alignment with my values.” We may be the ones we’ve been waiting for, but at the same time, everyone has been waiting for him. Or as he put it in 2007, “Every place is Barack Obama country once Barack Obama’s been there.”

In every tale of hubris, the transgressor is eventually slapped across the face with the semi-frozen flounder of reality.  …

During the government shutdown, Barack Obama held fast, heroically refusing to give an inch to the hostage-taking, barbaric orcs of the Tea Party who insisted on delaying Obamacare. It was a triumph for the master strategist in the White House, who finally maneuvered the Republicans into revealing their extremism. But we didn’t know something back then: Obama desperately needed a delay of Healthcare.gov. In his arrogance, though, he couldn’t bring himself to admit it. The other possibility is that he is such an incompetent manager, who has cultivated such a culture of yes-men, that he was completely in the dark about the problems. That’s the reigning storyline right now from the White House. Obama was betrayed. “If I had known,” he told his staff, “we could have delayed the website.”

This is how you know we’re in the political sweet spot: when the only plausible excuses for the administration are equally disastrous indictments.

Of course we’re all going to suffer for the government takeover of 1/6 of the US economy, but at least we can enjoy watching the left fail at it.  We can enjoy some schadenfreude watching the leftist supporters have their hopes and dreams dashed as they look on in baffled confusion and pain like a dog who’s just discovered how skunks work.

Hold on to your tin foil hat…

Via ZeroHedge, from Alt-Market:

The idea that our government has indeed run economic collapse scenarios, found the United States in mortal danger, and done absolutely nothing to fix the problem is bad enough. I have my doubts, however, that the Pentagon or partnered private think tanks like the RAND Corporation did not run scenarios on dollar collapse long before 2009. In fact, I believe there is much evidence to suggest that the military industrial complex has not only been aware of the fiscal weaknesses of the U.S. system for decades, but they have also been actively engaged in exploiting those weaknesses in order to manipulate the American public with fears of cultural catastrophe.

Constitutional conservatives are the most substantial existing threat to the establishment hierarchy because, unlike dissenting groups of the past, we know exactly who the guiding hand is behind economic and social calamity. In response, the overall conservative culture has come under relentless attack by the establishment using the Administration of Barack Obama as a middleman. The goal, I believe, is to misdirect conservative rage toward the Democratic left and away from the elites. The actions of the White House have become so absurd and so openly hostile as of late that I can only surmise that this is a deliberate strategy to lure conservatives into ill-conceived retaliation against a puppet government, rather than the men behind the curtain.

Department of Defense propaganda briefings with military personnel have been exposed. These briefings train current serving soldiers to view Tea Party conservatives and even Christian organizations as “dangerous extremists.” Reports from sources within Fort Hood and Fort Shelby confirm this trend.

Obama and his ilk have been caught red-handed in numerous conspiracies, including Fast and Furious, which shipped American arms through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. And how about the exposure of the IRS using its bureaucracy as a weapon to harass Tea Party organizations and activists? And what about Benghazi, Libya, the terrorist attack that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton allowed to happen, if they didn’t directly order it to happen? And let’s not forget about the Edward Snowden revelations, which finally made Americans understand that mass surveillance of our population is a constant reality.

To add icing to the cake, a new book called Double Down, which chronicles the Obama campaign of 2012, quotes personal aides to the President who relate that Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, when discussing his use of drone strikes, bragged that he was “really good at killing people.”

Now, my question is, why would the Obama Administration make so many “mistakes,” attack conservatives with such a lack of subtlety, and attempt to openly propagandize rank-and-file soldiers, many of whom identify with conservative values? Is it all just insane hubris, or is he serving his handlers by trying to purposely create a volatile response?

But of course, then there’s the other end of the spectrum:

A sudden and inexplicable shutdown of electronic benefit transfer cards (EBT cards or food stamps) occurred in more than 17 States while the debt debate just happened to be climaxing. This month, cuts to existing food stamp funds have taken effect, and food pantries across the country are scrambling against a sharp spike in demand.

Remember, about 50 million Americans are currently dependent on EBT welfare in order to feed themselves and their families. The response to the relatively short EBT shutdown last month was outright fury. Imagine the response in the event of a long-term shutdown, or if extraneous cuts were to occur? And where would that anger be directed? Since the entire debt debacle has been blamed on the Tea Party, I suspect conservatives will be the main target of welfare mobs.

The left, once just as opposed to government stimulus and banker bailouts as the right, is now unwittingly throwing its support behind infinite stimulus in order to cement the continued existence of precious Federal handouts. The issue of Obamacare has utterly blinded liberals to fiscal responsibility. Universal healthcare, perhaps the ultimate Federal handout, is a prize too titillating for them to ignore. Democrats will now go to incredible lengths to defend the Obama White House regardless of past crimes.

As the situation stands today, at least 50 million welfare recipients and who knows how many others exist as a resource pool for the establishment to be used to wreak havoc on the rest of us. All they have to do is take away the cookie jar.

It’s really worth it to read the whole thing, either at ZeroHedge, or Alt-Market.

And if you don’t have an AR-15, sell your cloak and buy one.

jesus ar 15