Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Do you want government to practice compassion so you don’t have to?

original article: How the government has changed the way we value our neighbors
February 23, 2017 by Kate Dalley

Kate Dalley talks about how government programs have changed the way we look and value others in our society. She states that the more the government provides services for us the less we do for each other, and the less we reach out to each other.

Kate explains how back in the 1800’s we looked after each other and relied on each other, because there was no backup plan. She feels we don’t need the government to step in with programs for us as we gain character through service.

listen to the podcast

culture, ethics, government, ideology, nanny state, socialism, unintended consequences

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Did the Obama admin discriminate for job positions based on race or religion?

original article: LEAKED: Obama Team Kept List of Muslims For Top Jobs, Excluded Non-Muslims
October 24, 2016 by Justin Caruso

The newest batch of John Podesta’s hacked emails released by Wikileaks shows Obama’s transition team kept lists of Muslim and Asian candidates for jobs in the administration.

According to an email chain from 2008, John Podesta received lists of exclusively Muslims and Asians to be considered for jobs in the Obama administration. The email chain revealed that in this process, Middle Eastern Christians were purposefully excluded, or set aside in a separate list, with an aide writing,

In the candidates for top jobs, I excluded those with some Arab American background but who are not Muslim (e.g., George Mitchell). Many Lebanese Americans, for example, are Christian. In the last list (of outside boards/commissions), most who are listed appear to be Muslim American, except that a handful (where noted) may be Arab American but of uncertain religion (esp. Christian).

Also notable, there was concern that some of the Muslims suggested would not survive media scrutiny, with one aide writing, “High-profile Muslim Americans tend to be the subject of a fair amount of blogger criticism, and so the individuals on this list would need to be ESPECIALLY carefully vetted.”

She continues, “I suspect some of the people I list would not survive such a vet — but I do personally know, at least in part, virtually all of the candidates in the 1st two categories (but I know very few of those listed for outside boards/commissions).”

Within the lists themselves, candidates were further broken down, with every candidate labeled by their nationality and sometimes race.

This follows a pattern of the Obama Administration using race and religion to determine hiring, with other leaked emails showing potential political appointees being labeled with an F for female, B for black, H for Hispanic, and M for Muslim.

Another Wikileaks release showed the Obama transition team keeping extensive lists of non-white candidates for administration posts.

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What happens to societies that embrace a right to die?

Holland has been on the bleeding edge of the “right to die” movement, a movement employing Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS). Most people supporting this supposed right have never actually thought through the long term consequences on a grand scale, and that is true of such supporters in the U.S. as well as Europe.

Just last month the DailyMail reported a Dutch doctor killed an elderly patient, a woman over the age of 80. The patient at some earlier time expressed a wish to be euthanized, but later (several times) expressed her desire to live. When the doctor decided it was the “right time” to perform the medicalized killing she drugged the patient without the woman’s knowledge. But the patient unexpectedly awoke during the lethal injection and struggled and resisted so much the doctor asked the family to hold her down. The patient’s right to change her mind seems to have been entirely ignored. Or does the patient even have such a right?

During the court proceedings, the panel charged with handling the matter wanted the case to go to court not to prosecute the doctor, but to have “greater clarity” on the rights of the physician who engages in medicalized killing. Read the full article to see the horrific reasoning used to justify the situation. Those of you who didn’t have your head buried in the sand during the Obamacare debates may remember warnings of “death panels” and other dangers that corrupt health care by allowing elitist government bureaucrats to interfere. Keep in mind, the right to die movement is already here in the U.S. and is growing with the help of various left wing groups.

This is by no means the first incident of PAS where the patient was euthanized against their wishes. But when a society embraces the right to die, with not only the approval but also with the assistance of the state, any person capable of thinking past their own nose should see the obvious problems that will arise. In the name of a persons’s “choice” to die we are seeing government endorsement of medicalized killing without the patient’s consent.

How does government-endorsed medicalized killing go so wrong? Ryan T. Anderson examines this important question in his report Always Care, Never Kill: How Physician-Assisted Suicide Endangers the Weak, Corrupts Medicine, Compromises the Family, and Violates Human Dignity and Equality from March, 2015. It’s a lengthy report but touches on very important issues such as:

  • changing how society deals with the marginalized
  • fundamentally altering the doctor-patient relationship
  • compromising the nature of the family
  • damaging the essential premise of human dignity

It might be funny if this weren’t so serious hearing people pretend to be well informed on this issue while they insulate themselves from the anti-euthanasia side of the debate. When “thinking for yourself” involves intentionally avoiding a view you disagree with (which implies you may not actually know what you disagree with) it becomes a euphemism for not thinking at all. If you claim to care about people you should read the full report. And while you do, think about how compassionate a health care system is when the state is run by enlightened people who think overpopulation is one of the greatest dangers the world faces.

abuse, corruption, culture, elitism, eugenics, extremism, freedom, government, health care, hypocrisy, ideology, left wing, liberalism, marxism, medicine, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, scandal, socialism, tragedy, unintended consequences

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Doctor who forcibly euthanized elderly woman ‘acted in good faith’

original article: Dutch gov’t panel: Doctor who forcibly euthanized elderly woman ‘acted in good faith’
January 31, 2017 by Claire Chretien

NETHERLANDS, January 31, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Dutch doctor who forcibly euthanized an elderly woman without her consent “acted in good faith,” a euthanasia oversight panel decided when it cleared her of wrongdoing. The chairman of that panel has expressed hope that the case will go to court – not so the doctor can be prosecuted, but so a court can set a precedent on how far doctors may go in such cases.

This particular case was sent to the Regional Review Committee, which oversees the country’s liberal euthanasia regime.

The woman, who was over 80, had dementia. She had allegedly earlier requested to be euthanized when “the time was right” but in her last days expressed her desire to continue living.

Nevertheless, her doctor put a sedative in the patient’s coffee. The doctor then enlisted the help of family members to hold the struggling, objecting patient down so that she could administer the lethal injection.

“I am convinced that the doctor acted in good faith, and we would like to see more clarity on how such cases are handled in the future,” Committee Chairman Jacob Kohnstamm said. Taking the case to court would be “not to punish the doctor, who acted in good faith and did what she had to do, but to get judicial clarity over what powers a doctor has when it comes to the euthanasia of patients suffering from severe dementia.”

Society has “flipped everything completely upside down,” Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told LifeSiteNews. “This is a prime example of another upside down attitude in the culture.”

“Doesn’t someone have a right to change their mind?” he asked. “They sell it as choice and autonomy, but here’s a woman who’s saying, ‘no, I don’t want it,’ and they stick it in her coffee, they hold her down and lethally inject her.”

“It’s false compassion,” Schadenberg continued. “It’s killing people basically out of a false ideology” that treats euthanasia as somehow good when “it’s the exact opposite of what it actually is.”

“All signs say she didn’t want to die,” he said. “Canadians should take notice of this because this is exactly what we’re debating in Canada.”

A current debate in Canada is, “should they expand euthanasia to people who ask for it in their power of attorney…so if they’re incompetent, they can have euthanasia anyway,” Schadenberg explained.

abuse, corruption, culture, elitism, ethics, eugenics, extremism, health care, ideology, left wing, medicine, nanny state, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, public policy, reform, scandal, socialism, tragedy, unintended consequences

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Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike Is Underway. Hiring Has Slowed Already

original article: Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike Is Underway. A Damning Chart Shows How That’s Working Out…
October 26, 2015 by PARKER LEE

Since Seattle, Washington’s Minimum Wage Ordinance went into effect on April 1, many have looked to the city as a sort of litmus test, specifically how the local economy is able to bear the weight of a $15 minimum wage.

Though the ordinance allows for the changes to become fully implemented over the next 3 or 7 years, depending on the size of the business, it has already proven to be too much for some owners to handle.

Now, as financial experts get a look at the newest hiring data from Washington, it appears that one particular Seattle sector is feeling the pinch of the historic measure in an eye-catching way.

Image Credit: AEI

Image Credit: AEI

Using employment data from the last five years, the American Enterprise Institute found that Washington state as a whole has seen an increase of about 5,800 restaurant jobs thus far in 2015, while Seattle has seen a decrease of 700 in the same time period.

It’s worth noting that Washington has one of the highest state minimum wages at $9.47, though it’s still significantly lower than Seattle’s.

Proponents of Seattle’s ordinance argue that the move is the correct course of action to address income inequality and to make the city’s high cost of living more manageable. But business owners like Ritu Shah Burnham would be likely to disagree.

Burnham was forced to close the doors of her Z Pizza restaurant because she simply couldn’t afford to stay open, despite her best efforts:

“I’ve let one person go since April 1, I’ve cut hours since April 1, I’ve taken them myself because I don’t pay myself..

I’ve also raised my prices a little bit, there’s no other way to do it.”

Though it’s too early to make a definitive call on the data, it certainly seems telling that Seattle’s seeing a decline in restaurant employment in a state that appears to otherwise be experiencing an industry boom.

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A Truly Honest Leftist Says Our Incomes Are the “Rightful Property” of Government

original article: A Truly Honest Leftist Says Our Incomes Are the “Rightful Property” of Government
September 21, 2015 by Dan Mitchell

In a perverse way, I admire leftists who openly express their desire for bigger government and less liberty.

That’s why I (sort of) applauded when Matthew Yglesias wrote in favor of confiscatory tax rates while admitting the government wouldn’t generate any revenue.

And I gave Katrina vanden Heuvel credit for openly admitting her desire to redefine “freedom” so that it means a claim on other people’s income and property.

Both are proposing horrible policy, of course, but at least they’re honest about their goals and motivations. Unlike politicians, they’re not trying to disguise their intentions behind poll-tested platitudes.

We can now add another person to our list of honest leftists. The new leader of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, Jeremy Corbyn, is a British version of Bernie Sanders, except he really is a socialist who believes in government ownership and control of business. And the chief economic adviser to Corbyn is Richard Murphy.

And, as reported by the U.K.-based Sun, Mr. Murphy openly says everyone’s income belongs to government.

Chartered accountant Richard Murphy, 57, is the brains behind the “Corbynomics” strategy of renationalisation, higher taxes and printing millions of pounds in “new” money. …his bizarre ideas have already sparked fears among Britain’s top economic experts… One of Murphy’s strategies was revealed in August 2014… The dad-of-two claimed taxpayers’ money was NOT their own – and was instead the state’s “rightful property”. Murphy said: “I would suggest that we don’t as such pay taxes. The funds that they represent are, I suggest, in fact the property of the state.”

To be fair, sometimes people mangle their words. To cite one hypothetical example, accidentally omitting a  word like “not” might totally change the meaning of a sentence and give a journalist an opportunity to make a speaker look foolish.

So maybe Mr. Murphy didn’t really mean to say that the government has first claim on everyone’s income.

But if you continue reading, it becomes apparent that he really does believe that government is daddy and the rest of us are children who may be lucky enough to get some allowance.

“…if we give the state the power to define what we can own, how we can own it and, to a very large degree, what we can do with it – and we do – then I would argue that we also give the state the right to say that some part of what we earn or own is actually its rightful property and that we have no choice but pay that tax owed as the quid pro quo of the benefit we enjoy from living in community. Murphy went on: “Well let me inform you that there is no such thing as ‘taxpayers’ money’: it is the government’s money to do what it will with in accordance with the mandate it has been given and for which it will have to account.

Wow, this truly gives us a window into the soul of statism.

Though let’s be fair to Murphy. He’s simply stating that untrammeled majoritarianism is a moral basis for public policy, even if it means 51 percent of the population ravages 49 percent of the population. And that’s an accurate description of how economic policy works in the United States ever since the Supreme Court decided to toss out the Constitution’s limits on the power of the federal government.

Moreover, Murphy’s view is basically reflected inthe “tax expenditure” concept used in Washington and the “state aid” concept in the European Union.

None of this justifies Murphy’s poisonous ideology. Instead, I’m simply making the grim point that statists already have achieved some of their goals.

But maybe it will be easier to counter further attacks on economic liberty now that Murphy has openly said what his side wants.

P.S. There are two types of honest leftists. Richard Murphy, like Matt Yglesias and Katrina vanden Heuvel, are honest in that they openly state what they really believe, even when it exposes their radical agenda.

Some other folks on the left have a better type of honesty. They’re willing to admit when there is a contradiction between statist ideology and real-world results. Just look at what Justin Cronin and Jeffrey Goldberg wrote about gun control and whatNicholas Kristof wrote about government-created dependency.

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Higher Ed has become anti-MLK

original article: College Codes Make ‘Color Blindness’ a Microaggression
August 5, 2015 by Brendan O’Neill

The worst thing about college speech codes is how they incite hyper racial consciousness.

There are many mad and worrying things about the speech codes spreading across campuses like a contagious brain funk. There’s their treatment of even everyday words as “problematic” terms of abuse. There’s the branding of the most anodyne forms of friendly banter as “aggressive” (apparently it is a microaggression to say to a Latino or Native American, “We want to know what you think”). And there’s the idea that even static objects can commit acts of violence against students: one university bemoans “environmental microaggressions,” which can include a college in which all the buildings are “named after white heterosexual upper class males.” What these codes add up to is a demand that everyone be permanently on edge, constantly reevaluating their every thought before uttering it. It’s an invitation to social paralysis.

But perhaps the worst thing about these tongue-clamping rules is how they incite hyper racial-consciousness. Indeed, some college speech codes chastise students who refuse to think racially, who balk at the idea that they should always be actively mindful of their own and everyone else’s racial make-up.

The “problematization” of students who refuse to think and behave racially is best captured in a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) guide to “Recognizing Microaggressions.” In keeping with other campus speech codes, the guide treats as dicey everything from simple questions (such as asking someone “Where were you born?”) to expressions of faith in meritocracy (like saying “America is the land of opportunity”). But even more perniciously, it warns students and faculty members against being non-racial, telling them they must always “acknowledge” other people’s race.

UCLA says “Color Blindness,” the idea we shouldn’t obsess over people’s race, is a microaggression. If you refuse to treat an individual as a “racial/cultural being,” then you’re being aggressive. This is a profound perversion of what has been considered the reasoned, liberal approach for decades—that treating people as “racial/cultural beings” is wrong and dehumanizing.

UCLA offers the following examples as “color blind” utterances that count as microaggressions:

“When I look at you, I don’t see color.”

“There is only one race: the human race.”

“I don’t believe in race.”

Apparently such comments deny individuals’ “racial and ethnic experience.” But on a campus like UCLA a few decades ago, refusing to treat individuals as “cultural beings” would have been the right and good thing. Now, in an eye-swivelling reversal, the polar opposite is the case: to demonstrate your politically correct virtue you must acknowledge the skin color of everyone you meet.

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point similarly advises that color blindness is a racial microaggression. It lists “America is a melting pot” as an aggressive phrase. It brands as problematic any comment by a white person that suggests he or she “does not want to acknowledge race.” Anyone who claims to be “immune to races”—that is, who prefers not to think about people as racial beings—is viewed as aggressive.

At the University of Missouri, the guide to “inclusive terminology” lists color-blindness as a form of prejudice, even as it recognizes that this term “originated from civil-rights legislation.” Once, color-blindness was considered cool, but now we know it can be “disempowering for people whose racial identity is an important part of who they are,” says the school.

And in the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) barmy guide to “bias-free language”—brilliantly mocked by Reason’s Robby Soave at The Daily Beast, and now disowned by UNH’s president—students are expected to take account of a person’s skin color, age, and heritage before engaging with them. Whether they’re being told that using “American” to refer to people born in the U.S. is wrong, that they should call Arabs “Western Asians” (what?), the message to students is clear: judge your acquaintance’s skin color, consider his or her cultural origins, and then decide what to say. Think racially, always.

Gwendolyn R.Y. Miller, a diversity consultant who advises educational institutions on how to tackle racial microaggressions, says being color blind is a “microinvalidation,” since it serves to “exclude, negate, or nullify the psychological thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality of certain groups.” She says the phrase “We all bleed red when we’re cut” is a microaggression. (Perhaps Shakespeare was being microaggressive to Jews (and others) when he wrote his great, humanistic line: “If you prick us, do we not bleed?”) Miller says the claim that “character, not color, is what counts with me” is a racial microaggression too.

If that line sounds familiar, that’s because it is almost exactly what Martin Luther King said in his “I have a dream” speech. But American colleges in the 21st century demonize those who follow the King approach of judging people by “the content of their character” rather than by the color of their skin. Today, MLK would be viewed as naive at best and suspect at worst, conspiring to deny the primacy of our selves as “racial/cultural beings.”

But here’s the thing: King—like many other postwar radicals, liberals, and progressives—waschallenging the idea that people should be engaged with and judged as “racial / cultural beings.” He, and others, preferred to treat people as people, not as products or expressions of “culture.” Now, 50 years on, the regressive, racial politics of identity has won out over that old humanistic dream of a post-race society, to such an extent that anyone who refuses to think of whites and blacks as different is treated as problematic.

New college speech codes don’t only infantilize students and stymie open, frank discussion. They also point to the creeping re-racialisation of society, and to the rebranding of universalism itself as a form of racism. Call me microaggressive all you like but, as a humanist, I will not treat my fellow citizens as “racial/cultural beings.”

It’s time for a separation between school and state.

bias, bullies, bureaucracy, civil rights, corruption, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, elitism, extremism, free speech, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, justice, left wing, liberalism, oppression, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, public policy, regulation, relativism, socialism, unintended consequences

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Is feminism anti-human?

Feminism is far from a monolithic single-minded entity. There is vast diversity of thought within feminism, and not all denominations of the movement agree with one another. Some wings of feminism are not even acknowledged by others. Part of the problem is that, while all feminists at least seem to be fighting for equality for women, not all of them actually are fighting for that goal.

Among the nuance one might have noticed 3 primary schools of thought within feminism: the pro-equality school, the pro-women school, and the anti-male school. The latter has a fairly bad reputation in western culture with the most extreme flavors of feminism falling into this category. That reputation, sadly, is well earned. It should not have to be said that an anti-male attitude is not the same as a pro-woman attitude, and certainly not a pro-equality one. This radical brand presumes to be the primary voice for women in the world. This ultra-left flavor of feminism gives all feminism a bad name and it should be called out for what it is. So what is it exactly that needs to be called out?

First, not all brands of feminism are inherently Marxian, as is the ultra-left anti-male feminism. Marxism teaches, among other things, that life can be understood as a contest between oppressors and the oppressed. The problem with this mentality is that it is tragically reductive, over simplifying life to a simple equation utterly dependent on fomenting anger and bitterness. In the anti-male feminist school this amounts to treating men as inherent, inevitable enemies of women. To understand life in these terms is not to understand life at all. While plenty of evidence can be found to support this rabid view of life, to maintain such view the believer must ignore most of life’s experiences or distort them in a way as to confirm the predetermined bias. Any confirming evidence is treated as the norm (i.e., “rape culture”), and conflicting evidence treated as an aberration, if acknowledged at all. This is how confirmation bias works, but it is not how understanding (or intellectual honesty) works.

Second, the anti-male school of thought unintentionally ends up being anti-woman. Think about it. What are the most common ways extreme feminists advocate to empower women? By urging women to act more like men! Women are denigrated for living a lifestyle which militant feminists would ridicule as “gender stereotypes”. Motherhood is often treated as a form of slavery, marriage as a form of oppression. The maternal instinct is regarded as something like a disease that must be educated out of a women in order to free them. In this way womanhood itself is denigrated and shunned. Women are instead encouraged to abandon traditional hallmarks of womanhood and instead become aggressive, like men. On the one hand we have the feminization or Oprahfication of men and the masculinization of women, both of which are designed to reduce men and women to a politically correct delusion where the sexes are the same. Not equal, mind you – the same. Treating people equally is one thing, trying to make them the same is quite another. You are not the same as other people in the world, you are a unique person. You are more than your sex organs or life choices. But the militant wing of feminism has made it seem they reduce women to mere tools, politically viable weapons and force women into a victim mindset. Whether that was the intent of this brand of feminism, this is in fact how it makes itself appear.

Which leads us to a third issue with militant feminism: it is anti-freedom. We are not allowed to think for ourselves regarding militant feminism. If these feminists see a situation as the oppression of women, even falsely accusing men of rape is blindly accepted as truth, where there is no need to verify any evidence. If something is deemed sexist we are not permitted to view the situation is any other way. (Some feminists insist the tradition form of narrative (story telling) is sexist because it models the male sexual experience – as if that were the only legitimate way to think of narrative).

Ruling in Twitter harassment trial could have enormous fallout for free speech
July 14, 2015 by Christie Blatchford

Likewise, women find militant feminism attempts to control them by pushing for some choices and denigrating others. A woman who has a college degree is often pressured into following a career, as if she has an obligation to womanhood to do this. If such a woman instead, of her own will, chooses to be a home maker and mother, that same woman can expect to be treated as a traitor to her sex or as a blind zombie mindlessly falling into a patriarchal trap. Women are encouraged to treat sexuality with the same selfish, consequence-free fantasy (and childish) attitude men are often criticized for. With bully tactics like this (telling other people what to think) we find militant feminists constructing a way of womanhood while claiming to abhor social constructs.

At the end of the day it seems modern feminism (the anti-male type) is intent on destroying anything feminine in women, even the freedom to make their own life choices.

On the other hand there are women who fight for equal rights for women without devoting their lives to attacking men. Such women have the misfortune of being attacked by extremist feminists but they also offer a far better picture of empowering women. These women fight an uphill battle against a hyper-politicized and well funded extreme left wing brand of feminism.

One such woman is Christina Hoff Sommers of The Factual Feminist. Sommers is an academic who does not allow falsehoods and fraudulent augments to pass for truth in feminist circles. She challenges bogus data and politically motivated bunk because feminist fraud doesn’t help women, it harms real efforts to help them.

Another woman fighting against bogus feminism is the infamous Phyllis Schlafly. I say “infamous” because Schlafly is often accused of being anti-woman. I’ve seen Schlafly in person and read numerous criticisms of her. I can’t help but notice a deliberate effort to misconstrue and mischaracterize her work by those who accuse her of being against women. Besides, Schlafly’s experiences show she didn’t need a militant feminist movement to earn her education or establish her career – she did all that before most modern feminists were even born (let alone “helped her” achieve what she has achieved). I’ll let her tell her own story:

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Seattle sees fallout from $15 minimum wage, as other cities follow suit

original article: Seattle sees fallout from $15 minimum wage, as other cities follow suit
July 22, 2015 by Dan Springer

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law is supposed to lift workers out of poverty and move them off public assistance. But there may be a hitch in the plan.

Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.

Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.

“If they cut down their hours to stay on those subsidies because the $15 per hour minimum wage didn’t actually help get them out of poverty, all you’ve done is put a burden on the business and given false hope to a lot of people,” said Jason Rantz, host of the Jason Rantz show on 97.3 KIRO-FM.

The twist is just one apparent side effect of the controversial — yet trendsetting — minimum wage law in Seattle, which is being copied in several other cities despite concerns over prices rising and businesses struggling to keep up.

The notion that employees are intentionally working less to preserve their welfare has been a hot topic on talk radio. While the claims are difficult to track, state stats indeed suggest few are moving off welfare programs under the new wage.

Despite a booming economy throughout western Washington, the state’s welfare caseload has dropped very little since the higher wage phase began in Seattle in April. In March 130,851 people were enrolled in the Basic Food program. In April, the caseload dropped to 130,376.

At the same time, prices appear to be going up on just about everything.

Some restaurants have tacked on a 15 percent surcharge to cover the higher wages. And some managers are no longer encouraging customers to tip, leading to a redistribution of income. Workers in the back of the kitchen, such as dishwashers and cooks, are getting paid more, but servers who rely on tips are seeing a pay cut.

Some long-time Seattle restaurants have closed altogether, though none of the owners publicly blamed the minimum wage law.

“It’s what happens when the government imposes a restriction on the labor market that normally wouldn’t be there, and marginal businesses get hit the hardest, and usually those are small, neighborhood businesses,” said Paul Guppy, of the Washington Policy Center.

Seattle was followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles in passing a $15 minimum wage law. The wage is being phased in over several years to give businesses time to adjust. The current minimum wage in Seattle is $11. In San Francisco, it’s $12.25.

And it is spreading. Beyond the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week also approved a $15 minimum wage.

New York state could be next, with the state Wage Board on Wednesday backing a $15 wage for fast-food workers, something Gov. Andrew Cuomo has supported.

Already, though, there are unintended consequences in other cities.

Comix Experience, a small book store in downtown San Francisco, has begun selling graphic novel club subscriptions in order to meet payroll. The owner, Brian Hibbs, admits members are not getting all that much for their $25 per month dues, but their “donation” is keeping him in business.

“I was looking at potentially having to close the store down and then how would I make my living?” Hibbs asked.

To date, he’s sold 228 subscriptions. He says he needs 334 to reach his goal of the $80,000 income required to cover higher labor costs. He doesn’t blame San Francisco voters for approving the $15 minimum wage, but he doesn’t think they had all the information needed to make a good decision.

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Minimum Wage Hike Hurting Oakland Economy

original article: Minimum Wage Hike Hurting Oakland Economy
April 10, 2015 by shawn

November was a bad time to be a Democrat, but liberals did manage to push their dubious ideas through in a few cities. Local minimum wage hikes were particularly popular; conservative politicians can’t quite make a coherent argument against giving poor people a little more money. Especially if that money will come from businesses and not the taxpayers.

If the state of affairs in Oakland, California is any indication, the citizens are already coming to understand why these hikes are a bad idea. After only a single month under the new law, which raised the minimum wage from $9 an hour to $12.25, area businesses are feeling the pinch. Well, that’s not exactly accurate. It’s fairer to say the employees are feeling the pinch.

The Employment Policies Institute conducted a survey of 223 Oakland businesses to see how the minimum wage increase was affecting the economy. The results, to say the least, are eye-opening. 30% of businesses have cut employee hours and another 17% have actually been forced to lay people off. Keep in mind that the new wages have only been in effect since March 1st.

EPI’s research director, Michael Saltsman, said that the numbers “should give pause” to other cities thinking about voting for a higher minimum wage in the future.

Uh, that’s what we call an understatement.

Unfortunately, Oakland isn’t the only city that voted for a higher minimum wage. Seattle and San Francisco are among the other West Coast cities that approved an increase, though they are waiting to phase in the new laws gradually. If they were smart, they would find a way to scrap them altogether. Because the example seen in Oakland will only be the start. Every time a city or state increases the minimum wage beyond the federal standard, the result is the same.

And yet Americans fall for it every time. We’re too softhearted for our own good. It kills us to think about some poor sucker trying to raise a family on his McDonalds salary, even though we know intellectually that isn’t a common scenario. The sad part, though, is that these hikes hurt the very people they’re meant to help. What’s better? Working for minimum wage or not working at all? Actually, I wouldn’t want a liberal to answer that.

We need someone with a national platform to tell the truth about how capitalism is supposed to work. How the minimum wage is supposed to be a starting point, not a finish line. How it’s easier to do the work, earn a promotion, and get ahead than it is to stand on the sidewalk with a protest sign in your hands, waiting for someone to take mercy on you. A lot more satisfying, too.

But no. Hard work has become a dirty concept in 2015 America. We would rather teach young people that the deck is stacked against them. That they can’t get anywhere because of white privilege and the 1% and slavery and whatever other excuses are trendy that day. Predictably, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Too bad. The American Dream is still as vibrant and real as ever. The ladder is still there. Still sturdy. We just have fewer and fewer people willing to climb it.

economics, economy, government, ideology, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, philosophy, politics, progressive, public policy, reform, regulation, socialism, unintended consequences

Filed under: economics, economy, government, ideology, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, philosophy, politics, progressive, public policy, reform, regulation, socialism, unintended consequences

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