April 30, 2014

BREAKING: “Republicans block Dems’ minimum wage hike, citing stagnant economy”

Washington Examiner:

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, arguing that the central legislation in the Democrats’ “fair shot” agenda would kill jobs and hurt the economy.

The vote was 54-42, falling short of the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster. The debate started just hours after the Commerce Department reported the U.S. economy barely grew at all in the first quarter, expanding only 0.1 percent.

The bad economic news gave the GOP a talking point to counter Democratic arguments that raising the minimum wage, which was last increased in 2009, would lift many working families out of poverty.

Well, thank goodness for the Commerce Department report, which the Republicans will try to (unsuccessfully, if I have my guess) use as political cover.  But then, it is easier than explaining the economics behind a minimum wage increase — at least, they believe it to be — because they think most of the subjects outside DC are too stupid to comprehend something so overcomplicated as, eg., math.

Here, let me help:  an employer has X amount of dollars to run his or her operation and still pay all the taxes, etc., leaving them with enough of a profit incentive to keep the business running.  By forcing upon such employers a wage that doesn’t allow for enough profit incentive to keep the business running, the government all but compels employers to do one of a handful of things:  cut the number of employees, because it now costs more per employee to run the operation, and the cost of running the operation hasn’t changed; raise price on the consumer end, which is essentially a usage tax on everyone who buys from the employer or uses his or her service; hire illegals to work at a reduced wage in order to stay solvent and to keep that expense off the books, a move that hurts US citizens by decreasing the number of jobs; or insist upon far more skilled workers at the artificially inflated wage, which translates to fewer entry-level jobs for the young, minorities, etc., creating a restless new dependency class with no way of solving the catch-22 of accumulating work experience in order to move up to the next level job.

The bill, even if it had passed the Senate, stood no chance of consideration in the Republican-led House.

Instead, Senate Democrats plan to use the vote to contrast their party with the GOP as the critical November election approaches.

Democratic lawmakers sought to make the distinction in the moments leading up to the vote. A minimum wage increase, they argued, is the only way to offer lower wage workers a fair chance at achieving the American dream.

A full-time worker receiving the minimum wage earns about $15,000 per year, far below the $23,850 poverty level for a family of four. The CBO report found that a minimum wage increase to $10.10 would move 900,000 people about the poverty threshold.

“Who is this chamber is going to stand with millions of Americans who work full-time but are left on the brink of poverty, struggling to make ends meet?” Asked Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who authored the legislation. “And who is going to vote against them?”

The minimum wage bill is the second measure Democrats offered in their “fair shot” agenda. Earlier this month, Republicans blocked a Democratic bill that aimed to ensure women receive equal pay. The legislation would have expanded federal oversight and regulation of private company wages and would have expanded the ability to sue over pay differences.

The minimum wage vote, however, will be tougher for the GOP to defend on the campaign trail, with polls showing wide public support for it.

“This is about trying to make this side of the aisle look bad and hard-hearted,” Cornyn noted.

So then take that power away from them.  It’s simple, really:  stop looking at polls and start embracing principles.  Once you do that, you’ll find how easy it easy to counter the left’s phony “fairness” rhetoric.

Try bullet points if your mush brains can’t routinely make a basic, common-sense economic argument:  minimum-wage jobs are meant to be entry-level jobs.  Increasing the minimum wage will essentially create a tax on everyone, as employers raise prices on goods and services to make up for the costs incurred.

Worse still, while the CBO report finds that forcing employers to pay more for jobs that the market doesn’t think is worth the increase will “move 900,000 people about the [ever-fluid and increasingly relativistic] poverty threshold,” it will seriously reduce opportunity for low-skilled workers or those entering the work force for the first time, creating a pool of new people who will then refill that same original poverty demographic — the upshot being that less people will have work, and the consumer will pay more.  Women, children, and minorities hardest hit.

Why is it so hard to articulate these things?

Well, if I had to guess, it’s because many of the long-term GOP establishment pols have forgotten basic free-market economics, and because they’ve acceded to the left that the only thing that matters is positioning and “strategy” for positioning in the run-up to elections.

This, they believe, is “realism.”  “Pragmatism.”

Yet as I’ve written on numerous occasions, it is equally pragmatic to assert free-market principles and to take away the left’s emotional and rhetorical cudgel.  In this instance, the counter could easily be, should the GOP need to soundbite it, “in a country where we already have a high rate of unemployment, particularly among minorities, women, and the young, why does the Democratic party want to worsen that situation by diminishing entry-level opportunity and creating a universal user tax on goods and services that disproportionately would harm the poor they claim to champion?

“Democrat demagoguery to the contrary, one does not help the impoverished by rewarding the few by taking away opportunity for employment from the many, then in essence taxing all of us on goods and services.  This is just another example of the left choosing winners and losers.  And when they do so, the biggest loser is the country — and the only winner is the Democrats, should they prevail in making emotional appeals about ‘fairness’ that are fundamentally unfair to the majority of Americans.”

Come on. This ain’t rocket science — though for dinosaurs like McCain, McConnell, Graham, and Alexander, I’m sure it must sometimes feel that way.


Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:40am

Comments (44)

  1. We have another new pragmatic doctrine on the scene: we can’t impeach a deserving politician because his skin is black, it wouldn’t be pragmatic, and besides, who knows but the procedure would be turned on ourselves! Better we keep to our corruptions, better for everyone!

  2. …Democratic arguments that raising the minimum wage … would lift many working families out of poverty.

    At least, until they redefine a new, higher poverty line before the 2016 election cycle

    Then, ZOMG look at all teh pepuls in poverteh! Increase the minimum wage!!!

  3. The enlightened progressive minds of Seattle see through your wall street winger hate rhetoric and understand that all capitalist enterprises exist solely to produce riches on the backs of honest workers while giving back as little as possible.. Seattle is trying to raise its minimum wage from the $10 where it currently stands to $15 which is way more fair. The greedy bastards that own all those burger joints and coffee stands will just have to sell a couple of the gold bricks they build their pool houses out of to throw a few crumbs the worker’s way.

  4. They really only need one bullet point:

    • The unions want the minimum wage raised because it fattens their pockets, which in turn embiggens the Democrat Party war chest.

    But they can’t even pull that together.

    Fatuous morons.

  5. I want a $40hr minimum wage so I can quite my job and get an easy one close to home. Hows Home Depot? It looks fun?

  6. No need to impeach Obama. New Plan: Take the LA Clippers by an imminent domain action and give the the team to Obama on condition he resigns immediately.

    As for President Biden, seriously, no one is going to listen to him. We’ll be OK.

  7. The higher the minimum wage goes, the more attractive automation becomes.

    I, for one, welcome my new robot overlords.

  8. Along the wage ladder, successive rungs are forced higher by increases below.

  9. So you say that Harry Reid came down from his “Koch” induced psychosis long enough to actually have the Senate vote on something that had no chance of passing in the other chamber of our federal legislature.

  10. …Democratic arguments that raising the minimum wage … would lift many working families out of poverty. –

    The problem with that is that “poverty” is defined not as a certain amount of money per year, but as belonging to a certain percentile of income earners. And when you define poverty as “anyone in or below the 20th percentile of income earners”, is it any wonder that the percentage of people in poverty hovers around 20%? (The income required to be above the poverty level has increased by 250% since ’82.)

    It also fails to take into account geographic differences, and differing costs of living in different areas. For instance, it is obviously much less expensive to buy a nice house in St. Louis than in San Francisco, or in Waco than in Washington DC. Gasoline, food and energy prices are higher in California than in Nevada or Arizona.

    It also fails to take into account the one undeniable fact that the REAL minimum wage is $0.

    “If you are still making minimum wage after two years in the same job, the problem isn’t the job, it’s YOU.”

  11. Heartless Rethuglians.. How is a hard working McDonalds cashier supposed to raise a family and pay for a modest 3 bedroom house and a Prius on a lousy $8 an hour..? Or are those things just for you privileged elites?

  12. How about everyone make a prescribed/mandatory wage? Say $25/hr no more, no less. Bet that would go over big.

    c’mon, it is only fair.

  13. LOL…Obviously code for Donald Sterling acolytes. Nothing to see here but more racism {EEEEEKKKK} by the republican’t party. If they truly cared about people they would allow the minimum wage to be hiked to $30 dollars an hour. But of course they don’t. And bgbear is an obvious racist/bigot/bourgeois/elitist jingoist. Kill em all and let your God sort em out, eh bgbear! The great purging cannot come to quickly!

  14. Nothing proves that republicans are all racist fuck bags like some rich democrat caught being racist, who got away with it for years and an NAACP award eh? Embrace the stupid.

  15. >The great purging cannot come to quickly!<

    just ask soddam and gomorrah . salt free too.

  16. How, I must ask, did Senate Republicans achieve such evil in this brave new post-filibuster world?

    I blame Rove.

  17. And Tom DeLay, who was so evil they had to convict him of a crime that didn’t even exist yet.

  18. The conviction got over-turned once the Ronnie Earle magic had faded. As usual.

  19. austin demonrats – grifters

  20. If they truly cared about people they would allow the minimum wage to be hiked to $30 dollars an hour.

    Why should people even have to work? Just give ’em the $60,000 every year.

    On May Day.

  21. A fun absurdity you find when you start employing a decent number of lower wage workers is how the government knows all the things you do for them that could be considered a wage so that they can tax it.

    Let’s say that you gave staff meals to all workers because you don’t want anyone busting ass at full speed during a dinner service without eating something first. They know restaurant owners do that. They want their cut.

    Let’s say that you wanted to give your employees a chance to buy things cheaper than they could otherwise that your business purchases or produces whether it’s raw product you buy in volume or some end product. Guess what? They know we do that. They want their cut.

    Shit, let’s say that your saute cook got kicked out of the house for a week by his wife and you let him stay over so he’s not out on the street. That’s compensation in lieu of wages. If you’re not taking taxes out of his actual wages for that? Hire a tax attorney, sucker. They want their cut.

    Screw them and screw anyone on our side who isn’t willing to take a rhetorical meat cleaver to these assholes. These are the repugnant sons of bitches who are actively convincing more and more small business owners that it’s a rational decision to hire illegal aliens who’ve learned to shut up and say, “No habla” when the man from the city or state or country comes around asking questions. Shit, workers from third world banana republics know how this works, they have an important job skill that few American teenagers have yet learned.

  22. What’s this fly doing in my soup?

  23. A thought that has crossed my mind a few times over this past year has been how the mafia had the distinct benefit of not requiring a great deal of added professional expenses like legal or accounting costs when they shook you down.

    They just asked for their take in cash out of the till every month. They didn’t rub it in by making you post nonsensical signs in the break room or demand you sit down with your accountants/insurance agents/lawyers every month so that you could wonder whether you were wasting time or money faster during those meetings.

  24. raising the minimum wage just throws more food stamp sluuuuuuurping obamawhore americans out of work

    raise it up up up

    or not

    how is this my problem I don’t eat fast food except for when I have a qsr client

  25. What skill is that bh? Keeping your mouth shut and your head down while you go about doing your work?

    And it’s not their cut. It’s an offering. If you weren’t such a “racist/bigot/bourgeois/elitist jingoist[,] Kill em all and let your God sort em out” type, you’d be happy to make your offering to their god.

    Then you could do whatever you wanted. At least until your mistress released a tape to the media, anyways.

  26. It’s a pitty Paul Rahe’s essay on the Godfather isn’t available online anymore. It goes right to what bh is talking about.

  27. What skill is that bh? Keeping your mouth shut and your head down while you go about doing your work?

    Keeping your mouth shut… when the man comes around. Only (young, gullible) Americans think anything good could possibly come from being open and honest.

    Knowing how to deal with The Man With The Clipboard is a valuable skill.

  28. chipotle is raising its prices

    everywhere you click you see this

    it’s particularly bothersome for “steak lovers” is my understanding

    Jesus wept

  29. Beef prices are out of control.

    I’m already at around $8.60 a pound on select NY strip that we butcher from primal cuts in-house.

  30. Spoke with the regional Sysco beef purchaser for lunch a month ago and it’s just bananas throughout the supply chain.

    At every single node, seriously, there is absurd market distortion. The ranchers, the butchers, the shippers, the distributors, the shippers again, every single node.

    Here’s a fun new wrinkle: there’s apparently some noise now about not letting restaurants handle butchery in-house because they don’t have USDA agents onsite.

  31. i just meant if you’re a “steak lover” and you’re sniffing around chipotle for your fix

    you’re doing it wrong

    but with respect to meat handling

    if the USDA pussyfags won’t approve irradiation

    then fuck them and their whore mothers

    science has spoken

  32. It’s worse than that. Really.

    Of course irradiation is a good idea. They wouldn’t all go home and stop creating transactional friction all along the supply chain if that suddenly started tomorrow though.

    Irradiation is a bit like monetary inflation like that. It’s a thing to focus on.

    They don’t have one or two hooks in us. They have tens of thousands.

    Here’s a small example. Every single place where food processing happens (with human workers, as compared to robots let’s say) you need to print out/display/train workers with current MSDS sheets. These sheets cover exotic substances like bleach (Don’t drink it, dummy!) to multi-quat sanitizer (You can probably drink a pint of it, dummy!).

    Multiply that by the number of bottles in the supply closet at each business in the supply chain. Then realize that’s the easiest hurdle to jump in a never-ending line of them.

    Safe, irradiated meat doesn’t solve anything beyond protecting the public from spoiled food. That minor detail only matters to sellers and buyers.

  33. if I had to talk to some USDA government flunky shitwhore I would say BUT YOU HAVE NO RIGHT




    and then I would tell them okey dokey

    say let’s talk about this in the parking lot in like five minutes I had some bad thai food for lunch so I have some issues to work out

    and then I would go watch Teen Wolf to see if this is the episode where Crystal Reed dies

    whilst the USDA government flunky shitwhore waited in the parking lot, getting madder

    and madder

    and madder

    until the USDA shitwhore finally got in his/her Saturn and drove away into the night

  34. Here is a song JD linked awhile ago that I still listen to once every couple months.

    Ok, later.

  35. goodnight Mr. bh

    i know that whole cd by heart

    it’s all about Los Angeles and it makes me sad

    but in a good way

  36. They don’t have one or two hooks in us. They have tens of thousands.

    Government now by Cenobites. Yeah, that works.

  37. Why does the Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of the 66% white by “race” state of Nevada berate the people of 57% black by “race” federal enclave of Washington D.C. who loves them their football team? Is this man a dunkler Topf singing a tune of a schwarzer Kessel?

  38. Reid’s criticizing Pyongyang-by-the-Potomac residents for standing by their beloved Red Inks?

  39. $8.60 a pound for NY Strip? Luxury.. When I was a kid we lived in shoebox in the middle of the road. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down at the mill, and pay the mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, we ate undercooked USDA canner grade hamburger at $1000 a pound and our dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.

  40. .…Democratic arguments that raising the minimum wage … would lift many working families out of poverty.

    Until the price increases kick in, which put them right back into poverty.

    Frankly, the minimum wage should be abolished enitrely.

    Mimimum wage laws are a joke, and an inflation trap for the suckers.

    So you mandate more wages be paid out? And you think those costs don’t get passed on to you as the end consumer?

    Since this typically affects fast food workers, think about what has happened to the cost of said fast food, in just a few short years. Remember the Carl’s Jr. “Six Dollar Burger” promo–a high end sit-down restaurant burger at a fast food half price? It isn’t half the formerly $6 price anymore, is it? Now it is about $6.

    Soon the extra value fast food meals, which a few years ago were $3-$4 and are now about $8-$9, will be $12-$14. And then those who demand “a living wage” will say they need even more.

    “Running to stand still”, as the U2 song goes.

    They demand more wage money, but they never do anything to lower the cost of the inputs other than labor, in fact, they jack those up too, with various “green” mandates.

    Obamunist Oh-flation, here we come.

  41. Is this it, Ernst?…

    That’s the one Bob. Thank you. Everyone should read that. Twice.

    Through the filter of Prayers for the Assassin.

  42. I’m probably way off base on this, but let me put my Cap’n McClusky hat on an’ spec’late onna hypot’isis anyways.

    At the end of the day, the beef thing is all about supply and demand, right? Supply is down because of weather related events and demand is way up because of globalization –the ChiCom commissars like to eat better than their peasants.

    In one of P.J. O’Rourke’s books –I don’t remember if it was his book on Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations or something like Eat the Rich— he had this argument that the trade deficit with China wasn’t a bad thing, and in fact might be a good thing because we got their stuff and they got our paper. Well, it seems to me that now we’re getting our paper back and they’re getting our beef. And our bourbon too,

    damn them.

  43. Sadly, it looks like Seattle was pulled the trigger on the feel good $15/Hr minimum wage thing.. No doubt hilarity will ensue.