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Posts Tagged ‘minimum wage’

Eugenics and the Racist Underbelly of the American Left | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 2, 2019

For progressives, a legal minimum wage had the useful property of sorting the unfit, who would lose their jobs, from the deserving workers, who would retain their jobs. Royal Meeker, a Princeton economist who served as Woodrow Wilson’s U.S. Commissioner of Labor, opposed a proposal to subsidize the wages of poor workers for this reason. Meeker preferred a wage floor because it would disemploy unfit workers and thereby enable their culling from the work force.

https://mises.org/wire/eugenics-and-racist-underbelly-american-left

The New York Times has created a huge stir with its 1619 Project , which claims that the real founding of the United States was not the American Revolution, but rather slavery and racism. One might mistake the concept as one that said America’s political founders did not hold enlightened racial views, but still helped to create a country with the kind of ideals that finally led to the end of slavery and even undercut racism itself. After all, during the Civil Rights Era, Martin Luther King, Jr., himself appealed to founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights in urging Americans to “live up to the ideals” of the nation.

Instead, the NYT, using academics that represent the New History of Capitalism viewpoint, is claiming that racism, brutality, and slavery were the basis of the founding of the country. This is not a case of saying that the founders were racist, but rather that the legal, social, and economic foundations of the USA were racism. Capitalism in this country, the NHC and NYT allege, came about because of slavery, and that everything related to capitalism here exists solely from slavery. Without slavery, the United States as we know it would not exist.

Double-entry bookkeeping and modern accounting methods? Forget their origins in late Medieval Italy; they were developed on the slave plantation to further the institution of slavery. Modern human resources management did not come about in the late 1800s as a way improve workplace productivity and improve worker welfare. No, human resources was born on the southern slavery plantation and without the institution of slavery, it never would have existed.

Although a number of economists and historians such as Phil Magness, Robert Murphy, and others have effectively contradicted the NYT accounts, American progressives simply are accepting the slavery-as-fundamental-to-American-capitalism as true on its face. Sojourners, for example, declared that the only reason one could disagree with the NYT narratives was racism on behalf of those taking issue with these accounts. Thus, even people who agree that slavery was immoral but question the NYT narrative do so because they are racists who “fear black power.”

While I have written my own disagreements with the NYT narrative, I propose this time of pursuing something similar to what the NYT is claiming, but changing the time and circumstances. I ask the following question: What if racism really is at the roots of the creation of modern America, and what if the NYT has played a major role in promoting structural racism? That is what I intend to show. Furthermore, I hold that the year 1896 is the founding of the America that exists today, and that includes the legacies of Jim Crow and the modern dystopian urban culture of murder and violence.

To understand the points I am making, one first must understand what we call the Progressive Era and the vast intellectual and social changes that it brought. Thomas Leonard of Princeton University writes :

American economics transformed itself during the Progressive Era. In the three to four decades after 1890, American economics became an expert policy science and academic economists played a leading role in bringing about a vastly more expansive state role in the American economy. By World War I, the U.S. government amended the Constitution to institute a personal income tax, created the Federal Reserve, applied antitrust laws, restricted immigration and began regulation of food and drug safety. State governments, where the reform impulse was stronger still, regulated working conditions, banned child labor, instituted “mothers’ pensions,” capped working hours and set minimum wages.

Academic historians (who mostly fall in the progressive camp) would present these changes as uniformly positive, the general narrative being that before the progressive reformers began to reshape the economic and social landscape, Americans – and especially American workers – lived a near-hellish existence. The historians, however, also tend to ignore the darker side of the so-called reformers, who believed that the application of science could help them do away with “inferior” races of people and transform humanity into some sort of super-race. Writes Leonard:

Less well known is that a crude eugenic sorting of groups into deserving and undeserving classes crucially informed the labor and immigration reform that is the hallmark of the Progressive Era (Leonard, 2003). Reform-minded economists of the Progressive Era defended exclusionary labor and immigration legislation on grounds that the labor force should be rid of unfit workers, whom they labeled “parasites,” “the unemployable,” “low-wage races” and the “industrial residuum.” Removing the unfit, went the argument, would uplift superior, deserving workers.

Leonard continues:

…the professional economists who wrote on immigration increasingly emphasized not the quantity of immigrants, but their quality. “If we could leave out of account the question of race and eugenics,” Irving Fisher (1921, pp. 226–227) said in his presidential address to the Eugenics Research Association, “I should, as an economist, be inclined to the view that unrestricted immigration . . . is economically advantageous to the country as a whole . . ..” But, cautioned Fisher, “the core of the problem of immigration is . . . one of race and eugenics,” the problem of the Anglo-Saxon racial stock being overwhelmed by racially inferior “defectives, delinquents and dependents.”

While academic historians tend to see the Jim Crow era, which began in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as a logical extension of the racial turmoil of the South following the end of the Civil War and the ending of slavery, history tells a different account. For example, South Carolina, which in later years produced one of the most infamous race-baiting politicians of all time, Ben “Pitchfork” Tillman, for many years was governed by Wade Hampton, a former Confederate general who also was a racial moderate.

While racial discrimination and strife existed in the South (and much of the rest of the country, for that matter) post-Civil War, racial discrimination did not become institutionalized through the vast network of Jim Crow laws until later. For example, in 1898, the Charleston (South Carolina) News and Courier editorialized against a proposed law to segregate railroad passenger cars:

As we have got on fairly well for a third of a century, including a long period of reconstruction . . . we probably can get on as well hereafter without it [the proposed law], and certainly so extreme a measure should not be adopted and enforced without added and urgent cause.

The editorial went on to say that such a law probably would require “Jim Crow eating cars” and the “Jim Crow Bible for colored witnesses to kiss” and so on. In other words, a leading South Carolina newspaper declared such laws ridiculous. Yet, within a short time, there were Jim Crow eating cars on trains, Jim Crow sleeping cars, Jim Crow Bibles, and a host of other measures enforcing racial segregation until well into the 1960s.

Enactment and enforcement of Jim Crow policies were mostly the product of the Democratic Party post-Grover Cleveland, who left the White House in 1897. Cleveland was a racial moderate and one who believed strongly in individual rights, free markets, and individual responsibility , along with “hard” money. He would be the last Democrat president who believed that way, and the Democrats’ rejection of the Founders’ ideals began even before Cleveland left office, as the party in 1896 fully embraced progressivism, nominating free silver advocate William Jennings Bryan , who had electrified party delegates with his “Cross of Gold” speech at the party’s convention that year .

Bryan’s campaign would be the most radical in U.S. History up to that point. His campaign promoted progressive “reforms,” business regulation, and a silver-based monetary inflation. Had he lived long enough, he most likely would have supported Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal just as he supported pretty much every progressive legislative measure in the early 20 th Century. Likewise, the political heirs of Tillman and other southern Democrats that made race the central focus of their legislative policies became the staunchest supporters of the New Deal.

Although Bryan lost the 1896 election to William McKinley, his campaign platform would become America’s future, and it is safe to say that modern America is much more the product of the Democrats’ 1896 progressivism than the southern plantation system that the Civil War destroyed more than three decades before.

In 1896, despite the creeping political centralism that had come with the northern victory in the Civil War, the United States still was a constitutional republic. In 20 years, thanks to progressive governance, the USA was well on its way to becoming a progressive democracy. The Democrats’ wide electoral victory in 1912 gave way to what Thomas DiLorenzo has called the Revolution of 1913 . In that year, the Democrats created the Income Tax, the Federal Reserve System, direct election of U.S. Senators, and a host of legislation that bolstered the Jim Crow system. What began in 1896 began to bear fruit with Woodrow Wilson’s 1912 election to the presidency.

Jim Crow policies and the racial purity theories behind them were at the heart of progressivism, something that few progressives today are willing to acknowledge. Leonard writes that eugenics dominated progressive thinking, and one can seriously doubt that people would impose policies that mysteriously violated their racial beliefs, something that modern progressives want us to believe. Take the minimum wage, for example, for which progressives claim that opposition to it is based in racism . Writes Leonard :

Progressive economists, like their neoclassical critics, believed that binding minimum wages would cause job losses. However, the progressive economists also believed that the job loss induced by minimum wages was a social benefit, as it performed the eugenic service ridding the labor force of the “unemployable.” Sidney and Beatrice Webb put it plainly: “With regard to certain sections of the population [the “unemployable”], this unemployment is not a mark of social disease, but actually of social health.” “[O]f all ways of dealing with these unfortunate parasites,” Sidney Webb opined in the Journal of Political Economy, “the most ruinous to the community is to allow them to unrestrainedly compete as wage earners.” A minimum wage was seen to operate eugenically through two channels: by deterring prospective immigrants (Henderson, 1900) and also by removing from employment the “unemployable,” who, thus identified, could be, for example, segregated in rural communities or sterilized.

He continues:…

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Margaret Sanger and the Forced Sterilization of Americans ...

 

 

 

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: The Minimum Wage Kills Again: Pizza Hut Closing As Many as 500 Dine-In Restaurants

Posted by M. C. on August 8, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/08/the-minimum-wage-kills-again-pizza-hut.html

Pizza Hut is closing as many as 500 dine-in restaurants.

They are moving to a less labor-intensive format.

“We are leaning in to accelerate the transition of our Pizza Hut U.S. asset base to truly modern delivery/carryout assets,” said David W. Gibbs, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Yum! Brands, in an Aug. 1 earnings call.

RW

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: New York City’s $15 Minimum Wage Is Now Officially a Disaster

Posted by M. C. on August 8, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/08/new-york-citys-15-minimum-wage-is-now.html

By Jake Dima

New York City’s $15 minimum wage, which began to take effect Dec. 31, 2018, was meant to bolster earnings and quality of life, but for a lot of residents, it’s doing the opposite.

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in 2016 to increase the New York York State’s minimum wage to $15.00/hr. The lowest minimum wage in NY at the time was $9.60. NYC’s “big employers” (11 or more employees) were the first to be forced to increase minimum wage pay toward the end of 2018. The rest of NYC’s smaller-scale businesses won’t have to pay up until December of 2019, according to data on Cuomo’s website.

Cuomo claims to have created the bill with “the needs of workers and businesses alike” in mind, but a lot of business owners in the boroughs beg to differ. They say the extra money comes with an unforeseen cost: higher good prices, fewer working hours and layoffs.

 

“Many people working in the restaurant industry wanted to work overtime hours, but due to the increase, many restaurants have cut back or totally eliminated any overtime work,” Andrew Riggie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, told Fox News. “There’s only so much consumers are willing to pay for a burger or a bowl of pasta.”
Roughly 77 percent of NYC restaurants have slashed employee hours. Thirty-six percent said they had to layoff employees and 90 percent had to increase prices following the minimum wage hike, according to a NYC Hospitality Alliance survey taken just one month after the bill took effect.
“What it really forces you to do is make sure that nobody works more than 40 hours,” Susannah Koteen, owner of Lido Restaurant in Harlem, told Fox News. “You can only cut back so many people before the service starts to suffer.”
NYC restaurants are taking hits from Cuomo’s push, but Washington doesn’t seem to have received the memo. The House passed the Raise The Wage Act in July, which mandated a nation-wide $15 minimum wage. The bill was later blocked by the Senate.
The bill would have effectively doubled the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr. There is dismal 6 percent support for a nation-wide $15 wage hike among economists, according to Fox News surveys.
Cuomo’s office did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation by the time of publishing.
The above originally appeared at the Daily Caller.
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Democratic Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Has Whites in Audience Apologize to the Nearest Black

Posted by M. C. on July 28, 2019

https://www.targetliberty.com/2019/07/democratic-presidential-candidate.html?m=1

Starts at 11:10 mark.

Why would every white person in a room have to apologize to blacks if they had nothing to do with slavery, etc.?

In my case, they should be thanking me, since I am in support of freeing anyone in prison on drug charges. I want to stop horrific forced public school education and I want to eliminate the anti-black minimum wage. And I write about this actively.

RW

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Bernie Sanders Shows Us How a Minimum Wage Hike Hurts Workers | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 24, 2019

In other words, by cutting worker hours, the Sanders campaign elected to provide fewer “services” in the form of campaign activities. In practice, this will likely mean fewer rallies, less travel, or fewer television ads.

Sanders reacted the same way any real world business man would react if he wanted to stay in business.

https://mises.org/wire/bernie-sanders-shows-us-how-minimum-wage-hike-hurts-workers

The Washington Post reported last week that some workers on the Bernie Sanders campaign for calling for a wage increase to a the equivalent of 15 dollars per hour. This, of course, is the hourly rate which Sanders has long pushed for in legislation and on the campaign trail.

But that’s more than what many Sanders employees make per hour.

Many campaign workers are salaried, so the problem lies in the fact that total campaign salaries, when calculated on a per-hour-worked basis, come out to less than $15 per hour. Many employees work around 60 hours per week — as is often typical for full-time workers on a presidential campaign.

As reported by the Des Moines Register,

For a staffer working 40 hours a week, [the typical campaign salary] comes out to about $17 an hour. But 40-hour workweeks on presidential campaigns are rare.

So, some Sanders employees have complained they aren’t earning a “living wage” and have demanded Sanders raise wages immediately. Recognizing the bad optics of the situation, Sanders apparently began looking for a way to raise the per-hour wage.

But how to do it?…

So what is Sanders’s solution?

Not a Raise in Terms of Total Income

According to the Register:

Sanders said the campaign will limit the number of hours staffers work to 42 or 43 each week to ensure they’re making the equivalent of $15 an hour.

It’s not really an increase in total earnings for workers, of course, although workers do now have time to work a second job. Workers won’t be getting any closer to that “living wage” they keep talking about, but by cutting hours for salaried workers, the campaign can claim it raised hourly wages. The move is a masterstroke of cynical public relations.

There are a couple of things we can learn from this.

First of all, we learn that Sanders is not willing to put his money where his mouth is. He’s not willing to use any additional portion of his personal wealth to supplement worker wages.

He is willing to cut back on campaign activities to raise the per-hour wage. In other words, by cutting worker hours, the Sanders campaign elected to provide fewer “services” in the form of campaign activities. In practice, this will likely mean fewer rallies, less travel, or fewer television ads.

The Long Term Effects

Ironically, in the longer term, this may nonetheless turn out to represent a very real pay cut for campaign workers by reducing their employment options moving forward…

The result will be concentration in the industry: smaller and less-capitalized firms will go out of business. Larger firms will gain even more market share. Ultimately, consumers will pay more as a small number of firms can then raise prices more easily. And workers will have fewer options among potential employers — and this will mean wage compression at all levels above the mandated minimum.

Thus, not only will a minimum wage hike mean fewer products and services offered per firm, it may also mean fewer firms providing products and services.

It’s debatable, of course, whether or not the Sanders campaign provides a “service” many people want. But by cutting back on total hours in order to pay higher hourly wages, the Sanders campaign is illustrating what private firms must do whenever government regulators and legislators raise costs: they must become less competitive.

The result is workers working less, firms offering fewer services, and smaller start-ups losing out to bigger competitors.

Unfortunately, Sanders is unlikely to learn anything from the experience.

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Bernie Sanders: Minimum Wage Hypocrite

Posted by M. C. on July 21, 2019

Yah, but it is OK for the rest of US.

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/07/bernie-sanders-minimum-wage-hypocrite.html

Wherein Bernie discovers the concept of anti-central planning competitive market wage rates.

The Washington Post’s Matea Gold reports:

“For years, Bernie Sanders has traveled the country advocating for a $15 per hour minimum wage. His campaign organizers say they aren’t making that much, and they’re using his words to protest for higher wages.”

Bernie is apparently, lol, justifying the below $15 per hour rate that he is paying by stating he is meeting market competition.

From the Post:

The Sanders campaign late Thursday issued a statement lauding its union contract. “We know our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports,” Shakir said. “Every member of the campaign, from the candidate on down, joined this movement in order to defeat Donald Trump and transform America. Bernie Sanders is the most pro-worker and pro-labor candidate running for president. We have tremendous staff who are working hard. Bernie and I both strongly believe in the sanctity of the collective bargaining process and we will not deviate from our commitment to it.”

RW

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: The $15 Minimum Wage Will Put Me Out of Business

Posted by M. C. on June 22, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/06/the-15-minimum-wage-will-put-me-out-of.html

By Larry Fox

Want to earn a living wage in Alabama? Try working in a full-service restaurant.
I’m a restaurant franchisee with nine locations throughout Alabama and Florida, and my tipped employees report an hourly wage between $18 and $28, inclusive of base pay and gratuities. That’s more than the living wage for a single adult in Alabama, as calculated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Unfortunately, some well-meaning members of Congress are trying to pass a minimum-wage bill that would destroy my business model. Tipped employees are currently paid a lower base wage and are legally guaranteed to earn at least the minimum wage with tips included. My employees average roughly three times the relevant minimum wage when tips are accounted for.
But Rep. Terri Sewell (D., Ala.) has introduced one of several bills that would upend this system. Under her bill, employees would have to earn at least the minimum wage before tips. A handful of states—Alaska, California, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington—have adopted this approach. Were it to take effect in Alabama, it would represent as much as a 600% increase in the hourly cost of paying a tipped employee to work for me. In pursuit of a “living wage,” Ms. Sewell could cause my employees to lose their incomes entirely by forcing me to shut down my business.
Despite the widespread popularity of restaurants—sales in Alabama totaled $9 billion last year, according to the National Restaurant Association—the public has surprisingly little understanding of how the business works. At my restaurants we sell a six-piece plate of chicken wings for $10. Customers typically assume we keep $6 or $7 in profit from that sale. In fact, our profit on that six-piece is closer to 50 cents, after accounting for food and labor costs, rent, overhead and other expenses.
My employees actually make more money from a sale than I do. I earn 5% on each customer check, while they earn 20% or more of the check in tip income.
If that doesn’t seem shocking to you, consider this: According to Deloitte’s Restaurant Industry Operations Report, labor costs are about a third of a restaurant’s budget. Now, imagine if a household expense that takes up a third of your income—maybe a mortgage payment or rent—increased by 600%. You’d probably be panicking.
So am I.
Read the rest here.
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Guide to tipping in almost any situation - Business Insider

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: New York City Restaurant Jobs Are Collapsing in the Face of a Higher Minimum Wage

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2019

Some tend to tip less when they know wages are up. Oops!

Another central planning success story.

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/05/new-york-city-restaurant-jobs-are.html

The New York City minimum wage has been exploding:

….and restaurant jobs in the city have crashed.

In addition to the general minimum wage of $15.00 for large employers,  restaurant employers are required to pay servers and bartenders who generally get a lower hourly base pay but substantial tips, $10 an hour, a 16 percent jump from the previous $8.65 per hour mandate.

Is it any wonder the jobs are disappearing, with restaurants running with less staff?

RW

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Watch “Who Is the Minimum Wage Really Protecting?” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on May 8, 2019

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Fighting The Minimum Wage in Berkeley…

Posted by M. C. on May 8, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/05/fighting-minimum-wage-laws-in-berkeley.html

…via food delivery robots.

Spotted last night in the city of 120,000 Lefties and 250,000 regulations:

RW

1 comment:

  1. Don’t take this one at face value. There is an army of technicians riding orange bicycles that frequently rescue these things, and sometimes even deliver the food manually.

    It’s not a triumph of automation it’s just a malinvestment.

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The future of artificial intelligence

 

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