Big Government advocate Bill Lueders prays the liberal rosary for that Hallelujah moment when the Democrats in the Legislature raise the minimum wage to $7.60 from the current $7.25 an hour "along with automatic adjustments." Because, gosh darn it, that's what Democrats do. They look out for the little fella. They create economic prosperity through the holy sacrament of the party-line roll call vote. Without Democrats, the underclasses would be as Old Testament lepers, helpless without the miracle of stimulus legislation. [Dems don't do the minimum]
What the hey? It don't cost the Democrats a dime to raise someone else's wages; they're not payin' 'em. It's the best of both worlds. Dems get that all-around good feeling, like Mark Twain's Christian holding four aces. Virtue on someone else's dime. With automatic adjustments, yet.
(Here at the Stately Manor, Blaska's Blog is forced to reduce Ruben Mamoulian's hours and cut his rations to compensate for his incompetence and thievery.)
Elect David Blaska to the Legislature and he'll introduce a bill to abolish the minimum wage altogether. Not because I am mean (although Bill is right about that) but because I want to help kids. There is no program, repeat -- no program whatsoever -- that does as much for a young man or woman as that first job. That includes 4-year-old kindergarten.
A job teaches responsibility. It teaches the value of a dollar and therefore, to respect property, thereby encouraging saving. A job requires cooperation and participation and delayed gratification. A job demands proper dress, a helpful attitude, and listening skills. A job instills self-respect. A job teaches civilization.
Oh, for more jobs at the Meadowood shopping mall for teenagers! Jobs bagging groceries and sweeping up after the barber. Jobs shoveling snow and stacking shelves. Jobs carrying out purchases to customers' cars and scrubbing toilets. Now, there's encouragement to get a good education -- all without spending a single tax dollar! Show me the youth center that can do that!
Here's the problem: when you raise the price of something buyers will buy less of it. That includes labor. A 16-year-old kid's labor simply isn't worth $7.60 an hour. At that point, economics students, his effective wage is $0.00. Can't get much more minimum than that. That's why entry-level jobs on the farm are diminishing. The equipment is too complicated, which itself is the result of the scarcity of cost-effective labor. (Technology replacing labor.)
Your faithful blogger has been talking about teenagers for a reason: 64 percent of minimum-wage employees are not the primary breadwinners in their families; they are teens, retirees or spouses working part-time.
In fact, the average family income of a minimum-wage earner in New York state is about $48,400, according to research by the Employment Policies Institute, in Washington, D.C. The Manhattan Institute tells of university study that found a 10 percent rise in the minimum wage produces a 5.7 percent decline in overall teenage employment and an 8.5 percent decline in employment among African-Americans aged 16 to 24.
Jon Barry makes a good point. Employers can't just raise prices without losing business. Families are not required to ski Jonathan's ski hill; they don't have to take the Ducks or do the water slides at the Dells. They can eat fewer restaurant meals and take in one less movie. Then there is the inflationary ratcheting effect -- an increase in the bottom wage bumps up everything above it. If you want to help the poor, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, which puts money directly into the hands of the demonstrably poor.
If the government class wants to "create jobs" just eliminate the minimum wage and other hidden employer costs. Make employers compete for jobs. That's what raises wages! Don't make employment more expensive in a recession!
Un-Elect the RTA 19
Here is who the Dane County Democratic Party is officially endorsing in the "nonpartisan" County Board election on April 6. No surprise that each and every one of the incumbents (*) (Corrected: except for Hesselbein, Hampton, Downing and Duranczyk) voted against letting you and I have a referendum on a regional transit authority (RTA) with its increased sales tax increase to fund commuter rail. Democrats are always for "the little guy."
Scott McDonell (*) District 1 (downtown Madison)
Elaine DeSmidt (*) District 3 (far east side of Madison)
Brett Hulsey (*) District 4 (the near west side of Madison)
Analiese Eicher, District 5 (much of the UW campus)
Matt Veldran (*) District 7 (southwest side of Madison and Fitchburg)
Carousel Bayrd (*) District 8 (western Madison)
Dianne Hesselbein (*) District 9 (Western Middleton)
Jeremy Levin (*) District 10 (Near-West Madison)
Al Matano (*) District 11 (Shorewood Hills and Near-West Madison)
Paul Rusk (*) District 12 (north side of Madison and airport area)
Chuck Erickson (*) District 13 (UW Campus and Vilas Neighborhood)
Melanie Hampton (*) District 14 (Far west Madison)
Barbara McKinney, District 15 (west and southwest side of Madison)
Dave DeFelice (*) District 16 (far east side of Madison and town of Blooming Grove)
Tom Stoebig (*) District 17 (East and Northeast Madison)
Melissa Sargent, District 18 (the very north end of Madison)
Marc Gofstein, District 19 (western Sun Prairie)
Gordon Shea, District 20 (eastern Sun Prairie and town of Bristol)
Sheila Stubbs (*) District 23 (South Madison and Town of Madison)
Robin Schmidt (*) District 24 (Monona)
Sharon Corrigan, District 26 (east side of Middleton)
Kyle Richmond (*) District 27 (south side of Madison)
Patrick Downing (*) District 30 (southwest corner of Dane County)
Samuel Cooke, District 33 (Fitchburg)
Patrick Miles (*) District 34 (McFarland and town of Dunn)
Denise Duranczyk (*) District 35 (southeast corner of the county)
We are all journalists #2
I said we are all journalists now. The Supreme Court decided as much in Citizens United when it held that all corporations, not just certain corporations (Capital Newspapers, New York Times Inc.) have First Amendment rights. That is why I oppose any special privileges for so-called "journalists," including shield laws. Jack Craver catches an acorn at The Sconz when he asks Is this what a journalist is?
"Members of the Wisconsin Newspapers Association, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and any other Wisconsin media organization designated by the director of state courts." From the text of the bill to restrict certain court records to the public, with the exception of law enforcement officers, lawyers and journalists.
This is the Helen Kelda Roys bill ... and you wonder why I say it is the Left that is always trying to restrict free speech.
Not a good time to be illegal?
Speaking of "former journalists" as Bill Lueders calls me, Phil Haslanger truly is a man of God and was so when he was an editor at The Capital Times. But, please, Rev. Phil, "It's not a good season to be an illegal immigrant in America?" [The Capital Times: 2-4-10]
When is it a good time to be illegal? Are illegal immigrants exploited? Gee, you think? That is why immigration laws were created -- to protect everyone. You can't protect what you don't know is here and isn't supposed to be here in the first place!
The Left entertains itself with the notion that most of us were illegal immigrants. Not so or there would have been no Ellis Island. My people predated the construction of that immigrant processing facility in New York's harbor but we still have the papers, including that proud grant of citizenship more than 150 years ago, two years after arrival.
Platinum subscriber bonus material
- Here is why Scott Brown won in Massachusetts. No weasel words!
- Andrea Mitchell of NBC breathlessly reports that Todd Palin advised wife Sarah when she was governor of Alaska. So ... what? (See: Hillary. See: Eleanor. etc.) Now Andrea tells us that Sarah has written on her hand. What, no TelePrompTer! Fire Andrea Mitchell!
- Moonbattery reports that Michael Moore has been approved to receive a refundable tax credit of up to $1 million from the State of Michigan Film Office for his 2009 documentary, "Capitalism: A Love Story." Two years ago, Moore attacked the movie-subsidizing program for giving "free money" to corporations.
- Be part of Blaska's campaign to unduly influence city government. Call or write Mayor Dave. Tell him we need another Dav(id) at the controls.
(Thanks to Dennis.)
In Washington an old priest lay dying in the hospital. For years he had faithfully served the people of the nation's capital. He motioned for his nurse to come near.
"I would really like to see Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi before I die", whispered the priest.
Soon the word arrived; Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would be delighted to visit the priest.
As they went to the hospital, Reid commented to Pelosi, "I don't know why the old priest wants to see us, but it will certainly help our images and might even get me re-elected."
Pelosi agreed that it was a good thing. When they arrived at the priest's room, the priest took Reid's hand in his right hand and Pelosi's hand in his left. There was silence and a look of serenity on the old priest's face.
Finally, Nancy Pelosi asked, "Father, of all the people you could have chosen, why did you choose us to be with you as you near the end?"
The old priest slowly replied, "I have always tried to pattern my life after Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
"Amen," said Reid. "Amen," said Pelosi.
The old priest continued, "Jesus died between two lying thieves; I would like to do the same."