We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, February 25. 2014
Pic above is the USMC museum
Miley Cyrus´ Behavior Sign of ´Cultural Sewage´
Asperger's or mild autism? In Defense of Bronies
Another US energy milestone: US was the world’s largest petroleum producer in October for the 12th straight month'
Congress & America’s Diverging Priorities
Sounds like fun
Billionaire tech star Peter Thiel, big GOP donor, says time to “seriously consider” $12/hr minimum wage
Soros group triples its lobbying spending
Russia’s Vladimir Putin is acting like a grandmaster of chess while Obama stumbles at checkers
Simple arithmetic: The Coming Collapse of the Welfare State
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The minimum wage argument drives me crazy. It always seems to come from billionaires, politicians, and the main stream media.
The idea s silly. It is not as though there are people making minimum wage and then there is a huge wage gap to tech billionaires. There is a continuum of wages among employees.
Lets say we raise the minimum wage to $12.00. That is currently a decent wage (not high - but not low) for a hard working - seasoned - laborer in middle America. Is this person who has 20 years experience on his job now going to be content to make the minimum wage of $12.00? Probably not.
Now the whole economy has to reset. Minimum wage is $12. The laborer now wants $24. The white collar managing the laborer now wants $40 instead of $20, and on and on and on.
Obviously business can't afford to absorb these increases - so they raise prices accordingly.
So - where do we end up? The $12 minimum wage is now worth what the original minimum wage was in purchasing power. The whole economy has been distorted for years by inflation. The United States is less competitive in the world market AND YOUNG OR UNSKILLED WORKERS ARE STILL POOR.
I guess the good part is that some billionaire, journalist, or Washington politician can feel good about themselves because they "cared" about the little guy in middle America (not that they would ever talk to them - or actually go to middle America)
Really - the logic just escapes me. Its unicorn and rainbow thinking.
There are two things that nobody wants to talk about. The first is if you set the minimum wage at some arbitrary number like $12, why not make it $100. Proponents of hiking the min. wage laugh and say that's absurd. Well, how about $50? "Nobody's suggesting that!" is the reply. Well, that isn't answering the question. It's not just about what the number is (today) but what is the process for determining the correct value? There isn't one.
The second is what you bring up. Raising the min. wage doesn't just affect those few earning the minimum wage (and the fact that you're going to make it harder for companies to hire unskilled labor) but it also affects the next several rungs so the calculations for the cost to the business are bogus. Since labor is the cost of a business doing business, those costs will just be passed on to the customer.
The reality is that just as a company doesn't pay taxes, it also doesn't pay for labor. The customers of the company pay those costs and if they are more than companies in other locations have to charge, then they become less competitive.
There is a reply, not unlike mudbug's, which I use with my liberal friends who support the min wage.
Simply put - if the minimum wage does what you think it does, then why not set it at $100,000 per year and be done with it? Everyone will be rich, happy, and working.
It either works, or it doesn't. I say it doesn't because it can't. It implies that wages are perfectly elastic while businesses operate in a monopsony.
If people can leave their jobs for a better wage somewhere else, all the minimum wage does is encourage firms to keep wages AT the minimum level and hire people who are unlikely to leave. If that wage level is raised again (by fiat, as we are seeing requests for now), then businesses must continue to make decisions regarding the hiring and firing of labor to, at the very least, remain slightly profitable.
If you assume (justifiably) that McDonald's has at least 120,000 full time min wage employees and you want to raise their wages by $3.00 per hour, that will cost McDonald's $748,800,000 annually.
"Let the rich CEO cover that cost" the liberals say.
The CEO only earned $19mm last year.
The company, as a whole, earned $5.4 billion, they will say. Let it come from company profits.
OK, let's do that. That will be about a 14% drop in profit, so shares will probably fall off, investors will be pissed, and you may see a 20%+ drop in the market price.
McDonald's won't like that. They will cease expansion, look to automation, and lay off their minimum wage workers.
Fact is, McDonald's has many more than 120,000 full time min wage workers....but I chose that number because it 'works' to make my point.
Minimum wages do not help people. Fewer teens work today not because they are lazy, but because government has thrown up restrictions to their ability to get a job and minimum wage is one of them. Why pay some kid who can only work seasonally and part time? Get someone with a bit more experience who can go full time.
Yup, there are lots of arguments against raising the minimum wage aren't there, Bulldog!
Solar energy and the desert tortoise: So a biologist is pretending to be a physicist...and making a fool of himself.
"Pic above is the USMC HQ's entry"
Er, not quite - it is The National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico, main entrance. Tun Tavern is in & to your right...
"Pic above is the USMC museum"
You really want to pi## off some old time NCO's there, don't you? Now get it straight, or someone's liable to get a boot up ... well, you get the idea.
"National Museum of the Marine Corps"
oh, and it's "The Marine's Hymn", not the "Marine Corps Hymn" or some such.
That is all.
"Why scholars can’t resist the uncrackable Voynich manuscript" It's simple really. Scholars think too much. About esoteric things. Complications piled upon convolutions. I will illuminate their path and lead them to the key which will unlock the meaning of the manuscript. The Voynich manuscript was prepared by the, "Secret Order of The Rosy Cheeks and Pendulous Pears". The drawings of the voluptuous females getting wet gives it away. Go now and ponder the wonders I have shown to you.
Simple arithmetic, fails in the face of politicians and voters that is unwilling to pay for the stuff they want. Look over Mead's chart for particulars or the drive to reduce flood insurance premiums. However, never a bad idea to re-read the old BSA handbook and maybe fiddle with the LDS food storage calculator.
Putin, a grandmaster? Think instead poker, not chess. He is quite adept at reading tells.
I was thinking the same thing of Vlad the Impaler...
He may play chess, but he sure can call Bambi's bluff and weak feints.
Funny thing is, why is there NOBODY on the right that can maneuver our leftists the same way?
Solar Plants: "They're All Gonna DIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
Voynich: People like puzzles. Sometimes OCD sets in.
So, is Clark saying "Give up, There's no chance for you"? He's likely wrong, but some will believe him.
Whitman: Doing a Clark?
Building in flood plains: Money spent there is encouraging stupid behavior, ans is a stupid behavior itself.
Any reason why we care about Miley Cyrus?
I don't. She's a pig. Some people like her. I don't. That's what makes a market.
I didn't think there would ever be a time when I'd look back at Britney Spears' antics and think "it was such a simpler time." But I am.
As one comment on that site put it - either support censoring Miley (and I don't), or you don't care.
I'd add one other option, however. You just feel sorry for her and her fans, and then get about your business.
Minimum wage. I know many nonrich or unemployed who support it. Refusal to do arithmetic is part of the problem. But there is a problem in assumptions and approach that I think drive this nonsense. There is first the tendency to think anecdotally, to think in terms of single individuals and their circumstances, rather than entire systems. Advocates can conjure up an image of a decent enough fellow or gal who is trying but having a difficult time. The heartstrings are tugged. This is not clear thinking, but it is understandable and natural, and it isn't going away.
More problematic is the belief that there is this pile of money out there that rich people have, and are keeping from the little guys. They (McDonald's Wall St, manufacturers) can afford it. goes the mantra. Hence the constant focus on how much others have, as if to prove that the money is out there, if we could but divert it.
Perhaps that is hardwired into us as well, this resentment of those who have much. Fairytales of all lands are full of the theme, after all. Thou shalt not covet, goes the most-neglected commandment.
It took a pair of Marines, one GySgt Lewis and one Sgt Reynolds, from MCB Quantico, two days to sculpt this in front of the Museum of the Marine Corps following the snow storm a week and a half ago. They finished in time for a group of Iwo Jima Veterans and their family members to visit the Museum on 15 Feb.