Archive for the ‘Welfare state’ Category

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.

So God Made a Farm Bill

Posted: February 10, 2014 by ShortTimer in Democrats, Government, Republican, Tax, taxes, Welfare state

Very sharp, from Kim Strassel at WSJ:

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, and then go to Washington and claim that this particular type of hard work is somehow unique in America and ought to be underwritten by the rest of the nation. I need a willing audience for that plea—a group clever enough and self-serving enough to see the electoral profit of standing for Carhartts, wheat fields and John Deere tractors.” So God made a Congress.

He said, “I need somebody in that Congress savvy enough to realize that farming means food, and food means nutrition, and nutrition means good things to voters, so farming means food stamps. Somebody to call to make that assistance bigger and forever, tame howls over soaring deficits, and plant the seeds of perpetual votes. Somebody to threaten to label anybody pushing for reform as rich, cruel and downright hateful of happy, cornfed children playing in hay lofts—and mean it.” So God made a Democratic Party.

God said, “I need somebody willing to spend five long years complaining about overspending, big government and special-interest giveaways. And get up and vote for $1 trillion in overspending, bigger government and special-interest giveaways—in the name of farmers. Then—when reminded of his reform promises—dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody to fret about drought, wax about food security, and muse (in private) that heedless government shutdowns really do have consequences. Including pressuring parties to prove they can accomplish something by voting for 949-page spending extravaganzas that nobody has bothered to read. Somebody willing to put in 40 hours spinning excuses for abandoning his principles and then, pained from the camera lights, put in 70 hours more.” So God made Republicans.

God had to have Democrats and Republicans willing to cast aside their differences in the name of handouts, and bale a legislative vehicle together with the strong bonds of self-interest. A vehicle that would combine food stamps and farm pork and thereby guarantee a coalition so powerful that it could mow over procedural ruts, race ahead of political rain and hogtie pesky opponents. A vehicle so unstoppable that its creators would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when the reformers vowed change: “Good luck, suckers.” So God made a farm bill.

God said: “I need somebody mighty enough to divert money to those who need it least, yet sneaky enough to do it behind closed doors. I need somebody to wheedle, deal, logroll, beg, trade, and cajole subsidy checks for corporate agribusiness, sushi rice, catfish, Christmas-tree promotion boards, biorefineries and at least 15 sitting members of Congress. Somebody to make sure there are no caps on subsidies and no asset tests for food stamps. Somebody in a nice suit. Somebody who has never been on a farm.” So God made lobbyists.

He said, “I need somebody or something to help patriotic Americans forget that 80% of that ‘farm’ bill is going to welfare, and most of the rest to sugar barons and cotton kings who vacation in Mallorca. Somebody or something to ensure people don’t get to wondering why it is we have a ‘farm’ bill when we don’t have a ‘laptop’ bill, or a ‘vampire-novel’ bill or a ‘swing-set’ bill in this free-market economy that Americans supposedly prize. Somebody or something who will so inspire the public with homespun images of clapboard churches and cows, leathery men holding rope, sheepdogs, plaid shirts, cowboy hats, and American flags that folks will entirely fail to realize that the people pictured—the hardworking souls tilling the back 40—are these days the last to see a dime of farm-bill money.” So God made Ram pickup trucks and Super Bowl commercials.

Finally, God looked down on all he’d created and He said: “Now I need somebody who really will work hard. Somebody who’ll get up day in and day out to plow through traffic to work, come home to help the kids and make the dinner and do the laundry, and struggle with the bills, and get up to do it all over again.

“Somebody who will limit himself to dreaming about that Ram pickup truck he can’t afford—because the IRS bill is due, and because the government-inflated cost of groceries and gas sure do make things tight, and because his own small business, which he built with his own sweat, doesn’t qualify for any handouts. I need somebody to spend his life paying for this week’s farm extravaganza, somebody who Congress made sure had no damn choice in the matter.”

So God made a taxpayer.

Well, I wanted to post just a couple paragraphs and say “read it all here” (and with comments), but linking to it from WordPress sends you to WSJ’s paywall, when this one’s a free-view article meant to pull in subscribers, and is free-view when found from other locations.

It’s already circled around various places, but was written by Kim Strassel at WSJ, as noted here and above.

Welfare for Weed

Posted: February 4, 2014 by ShortTimer in FedGov, Government, Welfare state
Tags:

FOX already got the best title for this:

Amid the growing debate about the legalization of marijuana, Colorado GOP lawmakers are trying to make it a little tougher for people receiving welfare or other federal government benefits to spend that money on marijuana.

Colorado pot shops currently have ATMs where welfare recipients can withdraw cash using their EBT cards. A State Senate committee rejected Republicans’ proposal to close this loophole.

Of course the Colorado Democrat-controlled senate would reject it.  If you’re giving people handouts to vote for you, you need them to dope themselves up, too.

Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, said Colorado’s new legal pot industry needs to make sure not to invite federal scrutiny through improper cash withdrawals at recreational or medical marijuana stores.

“Already we are operating an industry which is not allowed under federal law,” said Marble, one of the chief lawmakers involved with Colorado’s marijuana regulation bills.

If federal authorities notice public benefit card use at marijuana shops, “I have a feeling we’re going to see trouble we’re not ready to deal with,” she said.

It’s only one of the chief lawmakers who worked with Colorado’s pot bills saying “we should probably not invite the fedgov in to crush us”.

The choom gang will eventually be out of office and other federal administrations may be less pot-friendly overall.

But even before the specter of a new administration, Obama’s “revenue”-happy fedgov will demand its share of taxes off these unlicensed pharmacists and it’ll get interesting.  The FDA will get involved, the IRS will get involved, and all these happy hippy doper businesses will suddenly find out that government regulation and taxation is a real pain in the ass.

There are still pro-pot people who say “legalize and tax it and it’ll solve the ______(fill in financial problem of choice)____”.  It’s as though they don’t understand what they’re inviting in.

Right now it’s a largely unregulated business.  Wait until they find out about all the laws they have to comply with for their pot shops.  Inviting in the fedgov in any way while pushing for deregulation especially in violation of federal law – is going to be a problem for them.

OSHA will have to be regulating secondhand exposure to pot smoke, the EPA will have to assess their carbon and particulate output, the NLRB will be out there representing the Marijuana Cultivators and Harvesters Local 420 against the Big Pot companies that are out to crush the working man and deny the grower a living wage.

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As Colorado’s government leaders have decided that their people are unfit to defend themselves and thus should be disarmed, but should be doped up and given feelgood drugs – even going so far as to enable welfare benefits to provide direct handouts for drugs – it’ll make for some schadenfreude entertainment as they begin to run afoul of fedgov – whether it be through law enforcement, taxation, or regulation.

They might have even had some support from people who dislike pot, but who’d agree with them on an individual rights basis… except they traded a valuable right of self-defense in for a dubious right of self-intoxication.

They traded in the tools of liberty for soma.

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.

Break into someone’s house, give your kids their TV, and suddenly it’s the kid’s TV, because that kid dreamed all their life of owning your TV set.

Democrats and RINOs keep calling it immigration reform, but they should call it what it is – amnesty.

About two hours after holding a ceremonial signing New Jersey’s version of the “Dream Act,” Gov. Chris Christie tweeted a photo with one of the “Dreamers” the law will benefit, a New Jersey high school student who immigrated to the U.S. without authorization at a young age

She didn’t “immigrate without authorization” – she broke in or her parents broke in for her.  That’s like someone stealing your car and saying they’re a “driver without formal acknowledgement”, and demanding they be allowed to keep your car.

But that doesn’t stop a RINO like Christie from doubling down:

kfc double down

No, I mean doubling down on pushing for amnesty:

Union City, New Jersey (CNN) - Flanked by Hispanic leaders, students, and immigration reform advocates, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie celebrated the signing of his state’s so-called DREAM Act on Tuesday, hailing the new law a sound economic choice and an object lesson in bipartisan cooperation.

“Sound economic choice” by importing illegal alien workers who work below legal wages, crony corporations get cheap labor, and Democrats get to give handouts and get votes.

Legalizing illegals (which states can’t do) will take those illegals out of the illegal labor market and is seen as a way to recruit them into unions by Democrats.  The economic effect is to take away the under-the-table workers and end up raising wages across the board, hurting those employers who were using illegal labor to undercut costs.  The illegal workers lose the jobs they had illegally, and the employers can’t afford to pay them.  So even ignoring the illegality all around, it will actually hurt businesses and depress wages.

But it will add to union and unemployment rolls, and drag more ethnic-voting-bloc groups out to vote for Democrats.

“We know that when we bring people together, when we work together despite some of our differences, that we also set an example of optimism for every one of the 8.9 million people who live here,” Christie said at a signing event in Union City, a Hispanic stronghold just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

That there is a “Hispanic stronghold” in the US full of illegal aliens who are being pandered to is frankly offensive.  Ethnic neighborhoods that are recognized as primarily full of criminals demean both the ethnic group there and US citizens, and particularly US citizens of that ethnic group.  But Balkanization is good for race-baiting politicians and Democrats giving handouts to ethnic voting blocs.

“Unlike what happens in Washington, that government can actually work for you,” he added. “That things can actually get done, that agreements can be reached, and that commitments can be kept.”

No, Christie, you cannot do that.  Because laws for immigration come from Washington.  It’s one of the few authorities the fedgov has unquestioned in Article 1 Section 8:

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization

But that’s not going to stop Chris Christie from making New Jersey taxpayers (as well as national taxpayers) subsidize illegal aliens and their children who benefit from those crimes:

The bill grants in-state college tuition rates to undocumented high school graduates who attended a New Jersey high school for at least three years.

Meanwhile, the kid in Delaware or New York who wants to go to a college in Jersey will be paying full rate.  And their taxes – their money from their pockets – will be taken to subsidize those illegal aliens.

That money in their pocket is being taken by a state government acting illegally, taken by force from their pockets, and given to illegal aliens in the form of subsidies.

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Try sneaking in to a foreign country and demanding that you be treated better than the children of citizens of that nation, and that their government give you what you want.

That’s what’s going on here, but in a masterful work of propaganda, people actually believe that illegal aliens should be treated better than their own children.

That’s downright cuckoo.

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.

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

A few choice quotes.  The first from the LA Times:

Thousands of Californians are discovering what Obamacare will cost them — and many don’t like what they see.

These middle-class consumers are staring at hefty increases on their insurance bills as the overhaul remakes the healthcare market. Their rates are rising in large part to help offset the higher costs of covering sicker, poorer people who have been shut out of the system for years.  …

Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage.

Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don’t qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined.

It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” said Harris, who is three months pregnant. “This increase is simply not affordable.”

Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.

She said, ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,’” Kehaly said.

…many are frustrated at being forced to give up the plans they have now. They frequently cite assurances given by Obama that Americans could hold on to their health insurance despite the massive overhaul.

All we’ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it,” said Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent in Westchester. “I’m infuriated because I was lied to.

Cavallaro received her cancellation notice from Anthem Blue Cross this month. The company said a comparable Bronze plan would cost her 65% more, or $484 a month. She doubts she’ll qualify for much in premium subsidies, if any. Regardless, she resents losing the ability to pick and choose the benefits she wants to pay for.

I just won’t have health insurance because I can’t pay this increase,” she said.

And from the San Jose Mercury news:

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.

Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

“I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,” Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

“I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”

Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

The hardcore leftists who believe in collectivism and destroying the individual for the common good still say it’s a good thing, of course:

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said the state and insurers agreed that clearing the decks by Jan. 1 was best for consumers in the long run despite the initial disruption. Lee has heard the complaints — even from his sister-in-law, who recently groused about her 50% rate increase.

People could have kept their cheaper, bad coverage, and those people wouldn’t have been part of the common risk pool,” Lee said. “We are better off all being in this together. We are transforming the individual market and making it better.”

Translation: “We are doing this to you.  We do not approve of your choices.  We will force you to change.  We will transform the market into what we want it to be.”

And when it doesn’t work, as it always doesn’t, they’ll start looking for people to blame and more people to squeeze money from, just like happens in every socialist/communist utopia.

“The rates aren’t going up because insurance companies are pocketing more money,” Lee said. “That is what it takes to pay the claims and deliver the healthcare.”

That would be bad if those people with the cheaper “bad” coverage wouldn’t be part of the collective.  So they are forced into the system in order to force them to pay for what liberals and leftists want to do with your money.

Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

The same collectivist totalitarian logic would say that good cars are good, so everyone needs to drive a Cadillac.  Thus Kias will be made illegal, and anyone not buying a Cadillac will be taxed for a Cadillac until they buy a Cadillac.  Don’t need a Cadillac?  Well then you’re one of the stingy people with cheap, bad coverage who doesn’t know what’s best for yourself, and who’s a greedy selfish asshole who won’t pay for litte Billy’s Cadillac.  You must be punished because  you resist the collective.

“We believe the prices are higher than they should be,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica advocacy group. “This is giving a bad name to the Affordable Care Act.”

Socialism gives socialism a bad name every time.  Communism gives communism a bad name every time.  That’s why socialists and communists always lie and say that socialism and communism work, that every time they were historically used “that wasn’t real socialism/communism”, and other such lies.

The FSA [Free-Shit Army] strikes at two Wal-Marts in Louisiana courtesy of CBS news.

Wal-Marts in Springhill and Mansfield were ransacked by EBT users attempting to take advantage of the two store’s hospitality of allowing the users to use their cards even though the EBT debit system was down and there was no way to validate a balance on any specific card. Springhill police chief Will Lynd explained one such situation:

… the cards weren’t showing limits and they called corporate Walmart, whose spokesman  said to let the people use the cards anyway. From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Walmart said they wouldn’t press charges if she left the food.

Providing for her family, or just plain looting? Tough to say either way unless you consider the mind of an average member of the FSA. They think anything and everything should come with out cost. From Healthcare to Obamaphones these people want MOAR!

moarNever mind the taxpayers footing the bill that’s what they want. Here is a further example of the behavior of FSA members:

Amateur video taken on shoppers’ cell phones shows dozens of shopping carts, piled high with merchandise, abandoned in the aisles of one Walmart after the announcement was made that EBT cards were once again showing accurate spending limits.

So now that our cards show a balance that doesn’t cover what we are “buying” let’s get the hell out of Dodge. Once the rules of trading have been reestablished, as usual, the FSA retreats in haste to its previous position.

There were people present who actually called this situation exactly as they saw it:

Shopper Stan Garcia was more critical of the unscrupulous shoppers, however, saying that taking advantage of the brief glitch in the benefits system amounted to “… plain theft. That’s stealing, that’s all I got to say about it.”

Agreed Stan, if you don’t have the cash you shouldn’t get the goods.

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