Seattle Update: Left Unwilling To Let Facts Get In The Way Of Push To Increase Minimum Wage Nationwide

The Democrats plan to make raising the minimum wage an election issue. Senate Democrats plan to introduce legislation to take the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $12 per hour by 2020.

Over the weekend, there were protests around the country pushing for a mandatory $15 minimum wage like the one recently passed in Seattle. As reported by Western Journalism, though the new minimum wage is being phased in over the next few years, Seattle is already feeling its negative economic impact.

survey of Seattle area small businesses found that 42 percent of employers were “very likely” to reduce the number of employees per shift or overall staffing levels. Furthermore, 44 percent stated they were “very likely” to scale back employees’ hours to help offset the increased cost of doing business. Sixty-three percent of business owners responded that it was very likely they would be raising prices. Of course, economics 101 says the demand curve ultimately slopes down as prices increase, i.e. less people want to buy what you are selling if it costs more.

National Review reports that the number of firms seeking business licenses in the city has dropped off drastically, too, roughly corresponding with the passage of the minimum-wage increase.

Not content with their victory in Seattle (and the unintended negative consequences of achieving $15 per hour), some on the far left want to see the minimum wage raised to $20 per hour. There is no need to conjecture the effect even phasing in such a plan would have on lower wage workers.

In 2007, Congress passed a law which required American Samoa to raise its minimum wage from $3.36 to $7.25 per hour in phased annual increases — the equivalent of raising our current minimum wage to $20 per hour. By 2009, the wage had reached $4.76, and the effects on the economy were very devastating. Rather than increase the purchasing power of workers, stimulate demand, or raise living standards, it had quite the opposite effect.

StarKist, one of the territory’s largest employers, laid off workers, cut hours and benefits, and froze hiring. The other cannery, Chicken of the Sea, shut down entirely in September 2009.

Heritage Foundation economist James Sherk testified before Congress:

The Government Accountability Office reports that between 2006 and 2009 overall employment in American Samoa fell 14 percent and inflation-adjusted wages fell 11 percent. Employment in the tuna canning industry fell 55 percent. The GAO attributed much of these economic losses to the minimum wage hike.

The Democratic Governor of American Samoa, Togiola Tulafona, harshly criticized this GAO report for understating the damage done by the minimum wage hike. Testifying before Congress Gov. Tulafona objected that “this GAO report does not adequately, succinctly or clearly convey the magnitude of the worsening economic disaster in American Samoa that has resulted primarily from the imposition of the 2007 US minimum wage mandate.” Gov. Tulafona pointed out that American Samoa’s unemployment rate jumped from 5 percent before the last minimum wage hike to over 35 percent in 2009. He begged Congress to stop increasing the islands’ minimum wage:

“We are watching our economy burn down. We know what to do to stop it. We need to bring the aggressive wage costs decreed by the Federal Government under control. But we are ordered not to interfere …Our job market is being torched. Our businesses are being depressed. Our hope for growth has been driven away…Our question is this: How much does our government expect us to suffer, until we have to stand up for our survival?”

Samoan employers responded to higher labor costs the way economic theory predicts: by hiring fewer workers. Congress hurt the very workers it intended to help. Fortunately, Congress heeded the Governor’s plea and suspended the future scheduled minimum wage increases.

Fortunately, the far Left need not look as far away as American Samoa to get a basic economics lesson in supply/demand and job creation. Last fall, the Freedom Socialist Party — a leading proponent of the $20 minimum wage and strong supporter of the $15 minimum wage in Seattle — sought to fill a part-time web designer position on Craigslist for an advertised wage of $13 per hour. Questioned about the group’s hypocrisy in not being willing to pay a “living wage,” Doug Barnes, the party’s national secretary responded that, based on the group’s current revenues, “[W]e can’t pay a lot more than $13.”

Nothing like actually having to make a payroll to administer a strong dose of real world economics.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Devastating Video Explains How President Obama Is The False Messiah

This Youtube video has a chilling message of biblical proportions. It describes itself as “apocalyptic literature” written by a pastor’s wife in “biblical prose” for a commentary of current events. It was uploaded in 2013 but is ever more relevant in 2015.

The video commentator opens by saying:

And it came to pass in the age of insanity that the people of the land called America, having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as, The One.

He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but he hypnotized the people telling them, “I am sent to save you.”

“My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence. I shall save you with hope and change. Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout the land that he who preceded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he has built must be destroyed.”

And the people rejoiced, for even thought they knew not what The One would do, he had promised that it was good; and they believed.

The video runs through much of what the Obama administration has done to “fundamentally change” America. It covers taxing of the rich and redistributing the wealth, marxist policies, approval of radical [Islamic] terrorism, the falling housing market, the disruption of the coal market and increasingly-expensive electricity, amnesty, mandated healthcare, and the destruction of businesses.

The video ends with the people becoming aware of what “The One” had done to their once-great nation. The “hope” and “change” he spoke of destroyed them and left their homeland in ruin.

You may think this is a fairy tale, but it’s not. It’s happening right now.

Has Obama corrupted our great nation? Is his fundamental change our destruction? Let us know what you think and spread this message to inform those who may be blinded to “The One.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

With All The Fuss Over Minimum Wage, This Seattle Biz Just Did Something ‘Freaking’ Revolutionary

Images Credit: The New York Times

Seattle, it seems, has become the new epicenter in the highly charged debate over the minimum wage and whether government-mandated pay increases are ultimately good for the workforce, for business, and for the free market.

As Western Journalism reported in mid-March, a number of businesses in Seattle — especially small restaurants — are facing severe financial hardship and even closure as a result of the city council’s approval of a $15-per-hour minimum wage that goes into effect over the next several years.

The pay hike imposed on businesses by the council’s progressive majority is having the proverbial unintended consequences, as minimum-wage employees talk of benefit losses that have accompanied the wage gains.

A cleaning woman who works in a hotel near the airport was asked by a reporter what she thought of the new law:

“It sounds good, but it’s not good.”
“Why?” I asked.
“I lost my 401k, health insurance, paid holiday, and vacation,” she responded. “No more free food,” she added.

The hotel used to feed her. Now, she has to bring her own food. Also, no overtime, she said. She used to work extra hours and received overtime pay.

Now, The New York Times reports on a Seattle-based business whose new, self-imposed minimum wage policy is beyond stunning and may well mean that this business will be inundated with employment applications.

Just this week, Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments — a credit-card payment processing firm he started in 2004 — announced to his staff that the new minimum wage at his small business would be $70,000 a year.

“…Mr. Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative and salesman to a minimum of $70,000.”

That works out to approximately $33 per hour, more than double what the city’s government-mandated minimum wage will be when it has climbed to the peak.

“Is anyone else freaking out right now?” Mr. Price asked after the clapping and whooping died down into a few moments of stunned silence. “I’m kind of freaking out.”

The difference, of course, between what the Seattle city government ordered by law and what private business owner Dan Price instituted by choice goes to the heart of any rational examination of the minimum wage and its impact.

As the Times article notes, the move by Gravity touches upon another hot-button issue, in addition to minimum wage. “Mr. Price’s…unusual proposal does speak to an economic issue that has captured national attention: The disparity between the soaring pay of chief executives and that of their employees.”

The Gravity boss says he will pay for the staggering wage hikes for his employees in a way that would no doubt please populist politicians advocating “economic justice” and redistribution of wealth.

“…by cutting his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and using 75 to 80 percent of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million in profit this year.”

It will be interesting to see how Dan Price’s high-flying wage structure fares as unanticipated market forces inevitably affect his company’s fortunes.

The long-term question, certainly, is whether those forces of Gravity will bring Price’s lofty plans crashing back to Earth.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

New Study Ranks States From Most To Least Economically Competitive

Capture

Though economic trends are undoubtedly felt throughout the nation, it is clear from the results of a recent American Legislative Exchange Council study that local policies have a substantial impact on the relative prosperity among the 50 states.

As it does each year, ALEC compiled statistics from each state and ranked each in its Rich States, Poor States index. The results are tallied under two separate metrics, explained by the study’s authors as follows:

The Economic Outlook Ranking is a forecast based on a state’s current standing in 15 state policy variables. Each of these factors is influence directly by state lawmakers through the legislative process. Generally speaking, states that spend less – especially on income transfer programs, and states that tax less – particularly on productive activities such as working or investing – experience higher growth rates than states that tax and spend more.

The Economic Performance ranking is a backward-looking measure based on a state’s performance on three important variables: State Gross Domestic Product, Absolute Domestic Migration, and Non-Farm Payroll Employment – all of which are highly influenced by state policy. This ranking details states’ individual performances over the past 10 years based on this economic data.

Utah leads the pack for economic outlook, while Texas is ranked first for economic performance.

The study paid special attention to economic outlook rankings, using data to create a map showing which states are set up for financial success and which have state policies limiting such prosperity.

Twitter/@ALEC_states

Twitter/@ALEC_states

Many of the lowest-ranking states are located in New England, with four of the bottom five – New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, and 50th ranked New York – all located in the region. The only state in the bottom five not located on the East Coast is Minnesota, which is ranked 48th.

The West Coast is home to two states – Oregon and California – that barely missed the bottom five with rankings of 45th and 44th, respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum, the top five states for economic outlook includes – in addition to Utah – North Dakota, Indiana, North Carolina, and Arizona.

The only two states to rank in the top five for both economic outlook and performance are Utah and North Dakota. New Jersey is the only state to appear in the bottom five on both lists.

Share this article on Facebook if you are proud — or surprised — with your home state’s ranking.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

BREAKING: Obama’s Economy Lays An Egg Just In Time For Easter

WCJ images Jobs Broken

Given their dismal ability to offer a forecast that’s anything close to accurate, one has to question why anyone other than market-watching broadcast media eager to fill empty air time would pay attention to what economists have to say.

Equally curious, one might notice, is the shameless ability of the leftists to declare a loser to be a winner as they smear a thick coating of glossy lipstick on the pig that is the Obama economy.

PoliticusUSA — the website that touts itself as offering “real liberal politics” — has just put so much spin on the latest jobs report from the government that any reasonable visitor might suffer a debilitating bout of dizziness just reading their post.

“More Bad News For Republicans As President Obama Sets A New Job Growth Record,” proclaims the PoliticusUSA headline. The “record” the lib site trumpets is the administration’s self-declared achievement “that March makes the 61st straight month of job growth — ‘extending the longest streak on record’.”

So the number of jobs added in March was really spectacular, eh? Well, not so much, as USA Today notes in a post far less congratulatory of Obama’s economic policies.

“Employers added a subpar 126,000 jobs in March as the labor market cooled off…. Economists surveyed by Action Economics expected employment gains of 248,000, according to their median forecast.”

Further bad news in the latest unemployment numbers from the feds: “Job gains for January and February were revised down by a total 69,000.”

And about that Obama-driven jobs “record” the far-left website celebrated, a really key number that PoliticusUSA neglected to highlight during their happy dance for the president — the incredibly high number of discouraged Americans who have dropped out of the labor force, job seekers who have given up.

Breitbart digs down into the revealing statistics that expose the failure of the administration to implement policies that benefit Americans across the board:

More Americans dropped out of the labor force last month, as the number of people not in the labor force hit another record high in March.

According to Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statics jobs data 93,175,000 Americans were not in the work force in March, an addition of 277,000 to February’s level of 92,898,000.

The Breitbart post notes that March was the first month in which records have been kept where the number of people not in the U.S. labor force surpassed 93 million.

One sector of the economy hard hit by falling gasoline prices has been the mining industry, which includes oil and gas companies. As USA Today notes:

Oil producers and related service companies have announced about 80,000 layoffs since December amid a sharp drop in crude prices. Manufacturers that supply the industry also have planned an additional 10,000.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom