Obama’s Sneak Attack On American Business: The MASSIVE Wage Hike He’s Poised To Impose

When it comes to fair pay for U.S. workers, so much of the nation’s attention — and the Democrats’ rhetoric — is focused on the debate about the minimum wage. As Western Journalism has reported, the $15-per-hour demand by employees of fast food restaurants — supported by union bosses and political grandstanders — has been all over the news. Just two days ago, we told you about the Democrat-driven push for a $15 hourly minimum in the state of New York, a move that — if the wage is okayed by a three-person panel — could force up to 20% of fast food outlets in the Empire State to close their doors.

But the hotly debated pros and cons of a hefty hike in the minimum wage are serving as a useful distraction for a president more intent on making an executive move that would impose a substantial wage hike for millions of workers who are paid far more than the mandated minimum. It’s an administrative action that a post on Politico describes as “the most ambitious government intervention on wages in a decade.”

As early as this week, the Labor Department could propose a rule that would raise the current overtime threshold — $23,660 – to as much as $52,000, extending time and a half overtime pay to millions of American workers.

And as with so many actions by the Obama administration, this massive new wage hike wouldn’t require legislative authority, meaning the president could change the rules of the game for an untold number of U.S. businesses without approval from Congress.

However, that doesn’t mean that lawmakers on Capitol Hill — especially Republicans in the House and Senate — wouldn’t try to block the anticipated wage hike by Obama’s Department of Labor. Politico says the battle lines are already being drawn, even though the overtime rule change hasn’t been formally proposed by the administration.

“Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, said the rule — sight unseen — ‘seems engineered to make it as unappealing as possible to be an employer creating jobs in this country.’”

The United States Chamber of Commerce — in a nine-page letter to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez — warns that any changes to overtime rules “threaten to upend years of settled law, create tremendous confusion, and have a significantly disruptive effect on millions of workplaces.”

The Economic Policy Institute estimates the new overtime threshold the president wants to mandate would give a raise to as many as ten million salaried workers, some 12% of the American workforce.

Politico notes that, despite their campaign speeches about the need for a higher minimum wage, at least two Democrats challenging Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential nomination have already taken up the banner of more overtime pay for U.S. workers whose votes they’re courting.

“In announcing his candidacy May 30 former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley called for ‘overtime pay for overtime work.’ Sen. Bernie Sanders did the same in his May 26 kick-off speech in Burlington, Vt., calling it a ‘scandal’ that ‘millions of American employees, often earning less than $30,000 a year, work 50 or 60 hours a week— and earn no overtime.’”

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

NY Dems Want $15 Minimum Wage. They Just Got Slammed With A Dose Of Reality That Could Change Their Minds.

It happened in Seattle — pay goes up, business goes down. As Western Journalism reported about the city’s $15-per-hour minimum wage law, an article in Seattle Magazine raised the red flag about the red ink a number of local restaurants would be facing because of the increasing labor costs.

The publication noted that a “major factor affecting restaurant futures in our city is the impending minimum wage hike.” Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Restaurant Association, told the magazine: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”

Los Angeles, too, is feeling the heat from a significant minimum wage hike mandated by city officials intent on helping low-skilled labor — workers who just might find themselves out of work because of the law of unintended consequences coming down hard on the City of Angeles. Western Journalism reported on that minimum wage hike that even the L.A. labor unions are now trying to avoid for their members.

As Los Angeles prepares for a significant minimum wage hike over the next several years, the negative connotations of paying unskilled laborers $15 per hour are already being realized.

Hollywood has been synonymous with the American film industry for generations, though some see the added business costs associated with paying support staff such a relatively high wage as a deal breaker.

Now the state of New York is bracing for a possible minimum wage increase that could be imposed not by voters or the state legislature, but — as The Washington Free Beacon reports — by an unelected “three-member board that is debating a potential $15 wage at chain restaurants.”

And the results of such a minimum wage skyrocket being set off by this board at the urging of the liberal Democrat governor could be devastating on fast food outlets, according to a new report that finds some 20% of those restaurant owners surveyed said they could be forced to shut down if Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets his way.

“The Employment Policies Institute, a free market think tank and critic of minimum wage hikes, surveyed nearly 1,000 self-described fast food entrepreneurs about how they would respond to statewide, industry-specific wage hikes. More than 20 percent of respondents said they were ‘very likely’ to go out of business if the state raises the minimum wage for fast food joints to $15, a 70 percent increase from the current $8.75 statewide minimum wage.”

Plus, argues a spokesman for the International Franchise Association interviewed by the Free Beacon, the Democrat governor is playing politics with the minimum wage proposal.

“…Cuomo’s targeting of fast food is about politics, not populism. The state, he said, has more than 8,000 local franchisees, many of which are owned by local entrepreneurs, rather than the big corporations Cuomo has portrayed them as.”

Meanwhile in St. Louis, the city’s governing body, the Board of Aldermen — vigorously supported by the mayor — is considering a measure that would essentially double the city’s minimum wage from the state-mandated $7.65 per hour to the increasingly popular $15 level. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the proposed hike could be facing a court challenge.

So far, various business groups have organized to oppose the minimum wage hike, but none have officially announced plans for a legal challenge.

Still, a 2014 Missouri Supreme Court decision restricted charter counties, like St. Louis, from creating laws contrary to state law — which could throw the matter into legal controversy.

Protesters across the country insisting on a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers have also been met with another kind of resistance that goes to show how their efforts can be brutally counterproductive. Instead of people behind the counter making more money, there could be “robots” with absolutely no wage demands.

CNN Money noted the tech trend in a recent report:

In a widely cited paper released last year, University of Oxford researchers estimated that there is a 92% chance that fast-food preparation and serving will be automated in the coming decades.

With artificial-intelligence technology like IBM’s Watson platform making strides in advanced reasoning and language understanding, it’s not hard to see how robots could be designed to provide more sophisticated interactions with restaurant customers than kiosks can manage.

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

EXPOSED: The Ugly Truth Behind New Jobs Report The Obama-Backing Media Won’t Tell You

jobs

Whenever a new government report comes out that gives the left-leaning media any reason to raise a cheer for the Obama administration, you can bet the progressive chorus will begin to sing the praises of their champion.

And so it goes after today’s release of the latest jobs creation and unemployment report from the Labor Department.

Right on cue, outlets such as The Huffington Post sound a triumphant trumpet for the latest figures — 248,000 jobs created last month, with the country’s unemployment rate falling to 5.9%.

Here’s how The Huffington Post helped to lead the cheerleading for Obama, citing a report by the reliably pro-administration Associated Press:

The mostly positive government report also showed that employers added 69,000 more jobs in July and August than previously estimated.

The rate fell from 6.1 percent in August and is now close to 5.5 percent, which many economists consider a healthy level.

The improved figures come after President Barack Obama touted his administration’s economic achievements in a speech Thursday. The economy is the top issue in voters’ minds as the November elections near.

So, right after the president’s speech at Northwestern University in which he extolled the virtues of his economic policies and programs…right when polling shows that the economy and the jobs market are at the top of most voters’ list of concerns…right as the real pressure mounts on vulnerable Democrats heading into crucial midterm elections — we get this “mostly positive” government report.

Well, let’s look a little deeper than the glossy surface reflection of Obama’s self-congratulatory talking points — the ones that make for the kind of glib arguments that miss the underlying fundamentals — the fundamentals showing a perilous weakness.

Beneath those top-line talking-point numbers — new jobs, lower unemployment — beneath those figures lies a much-more telling statistic. The labor force participation rate — the not-so-rosy number that Obama and his cheerleaders in the media don’t want to shout about.

Zerohedge.com reveals the ugly truth — that, once again last month, a ton of folks dropped out of the U.S. labor market. They became a drain on the system rather than contributors to it. Instead of paying taxes, they’ll suck up government benefits funded from tax revenues paid by others.

While by now everyone should know the answer, for those curious why the US unemployment rate just slid once more to a meager 5.9%, the lowest print since the summer of 2008, the answer is the same one we have shown every month since 2010: the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which in September slide from an already three decade low 62.8% to 62.7% – the lowest in over 36 years, matching the February 1978 lows.

And while according to the Household Survey, 232K people found jobs, what is more disturbing is that the people not in the labor force, rose to a new record high, increasing by 315,000 to 92.6 million!

So, far more people last month left the labor force than joined or rejoined it. Far more Americans gave up on finding work and dropped out.

The truth is, America is working less…even as Obama is gloating more.

 

Photo Credit: Ruslan Guzov | shutterstock.com

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

Listen: Former Obama Labor Secretary Caught On Tape Violating This Federal Law

Photo Credit: Facebook/Hilda Solis

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is keeping busy investigating the many scandals plaguing the Obama administration. This week, however, he found time to weigh in on a voicemail left by a high-ranking Obama official.

“In March 2012, United States Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, a sitting member of the president’s cabinet, engaged in prohibited activity outlined in the Hatch Act,” Issa said in the opening statement of a recent committee hearing.

He explained that Solis “solicited a donation from a subordinate Labor Department employee,” noting the apparent crime was caught on tape when she left a message on the underling’s phone.

“The committee has come now to have possession of a voicemail,” Issa confirmed, “and I would ask that it be played now.”

The woman on the tape, who identifies herself as Solis, said she was making the call “off the record” to “ask you if you could, um, help us get folks organized to come to a fundraiser that we’re doing to Organizing for America for Obama campaign” coming up later in the week.

She offered the name and phone number of an event organizer, asking for her subordinate’s help in bringing more people to the fundraiser.

“There are a lot of folks that we know that are coming,” she said, “but wanted to ask you if you might help contribute or get other folks to help out.”

While Issa said it is not uncommon for an official to misuse his or her office to further a political cause, the Obama administration has tried to hold itself up as above reproach.

“Hatch Act violations have been a problem under all administrations,” he said. “This makes the claim by this administration that they are doing everything right and should be immune from oversight all the more indefensible.”

He concluded that incidents such as this further belie the claim that Obama would preside over an open and honest federal government.

“It is deeply ironic,” he asserted, “that an administration claiming to be the most transparent ever has resisted oversight of its political office and offered less corroboration than its predecessors.”

Photo Credit: Facebook/Hilda Solis

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

Biden to Union Thugs: You Keep “Barbarians from the Gate”