4 Myths About Raising The Minimum Wage That You Probably Believe

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Every so often, (where the word “often” means “election time”) interest groups and politicians suddenly decide that now is a good time to start talking about increasing the minimum wage again. Taking a break from downloading pirated movies and telling the critics of their favorite singer to go home and die, hoards of internet users then swarm to message boards and suddenly transform into economic professors. Just like repeating the line “we’re currently experiencing technical difficulties” made us sound smart when we were 10 years old, many start rattling off economic terminology to explain how higher wages increase demands, stimulates the local economy and creates jobs .

Here’s a breakdown of the top four economic myths about raising the minimum wage:

 

Myth #4: Higher minimum wages means more employee loyalty and productivity.

Costco, where the starting hourly wage is $11.50, is often thrown around as an example of how paying employees more than the minimum wage actually helps businesses because it attracts and keeps great employees. As Costco’s CEO said, “”Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.””

That’s great for Costco and all the great employees they attract. The question everyone else should be asking: what about all those not-so-great employees?

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Because let’s face it, sometimes standing and stuffing precut ingredients down a taco shell at the same time is pushing the skill set for some people. Besides, there is also the concept of the minimum wage. A lot of workers translate minimum wage = minimum effort, no matter how high it is. Because hey, if you’re paying me the lowest amount legally required by law, why bother?

So how does this affect employee loyalty and turnover? Let’s say Walmart was forced to pay an $11.50 minimum wage to match Costco. Costo’s employees will suddenly realize they are now literally the lowest paid workers in the country and *POOF* all that touted job loyalty disappears. After all, there’s no reason why those great workers will stick with Costco now that they can get paid the same anywhere else.

 

Myth #3: It’s good for the economy.

This myth goes something like this: if we raise the minimum wage, people will have more money in their pocket to spend. Since minimum wage earners are the types of people who need to spend their entire paycheck right away, the money flows right back into the local economy (unlike the filthy rich people who save and invest it). This increased purchasing power then inspires businesses to hire more people to help serve this increased demand. Yay, economics!

Unfortunately, upon closer examination, this myth falls flat on its face. If attracting business from people who need to immediately spend their entire paycheck really did have corporations rubbing their hands in glee, then low income areas would be particularly attractive places to open new businesses. Obviously, the opposite is true . . . unless you’re opening a pawn shop or liquor store.

But hey, at least raising the minimum wage means there is more money being spent in the economy than before right? That is absolutely true . . . if you think that businesses burn their leftover money to heat their showers.

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What? It was feeling a bit drafty in here.

 

Logically, any money that is now spent by employees would have instead been spent by businesses, cancelling out any “spending boost” increasing the minimum wage might cause. But who cares about business owners right? If they make less profit then we’ll just play ‘em a sad song on the world’s tiniest violin. What really matters is lifting millions of minorities, single moms and others out of poverty by getting them a “living wage”, right? Which brings us to the next myth:

 

Myth #2: It’ll help lift poor out of poverty.

A large part of this myth is a misconception of what kinds of people actually earn the minimum wage. For example, it is frequently pointed out that making $15,080 a year on the minimum wage is not enough to support a family of four. Though there are often-repeated legends of single moms working three jobs and still not making enough to keep the lights on, that certainly doesn’t represent the typical minimum wage earner. Here are some facts from the Department of Labor:

– More than half of people who earn the minimum wage are between the ages of 16 and 24.
– Their average household income is $65,900, a far cry from the “drowning in poverty” stereotype.
– 79% of these young people are only working these jobs part-time, probably because the majority of them, about 62%, are still in school.

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Only YOU can raise the min. wage and get us out of poverty!

 

Ok, so half of these minimum wage earners are suburban, middle-class kids. What about the other half, the adults 25 and older? According to the Department of Labor:

–          The average household income is $42,500 and half of those are only working part time.

–          Less than 25% of these adults live below the poverty line.

A statistic sometimes repeated is how there are more women than men working at minimum wage jobs. Yet as it turns out, the many of these women are likely just looking to make a little extra money on the side while their husband is working and the kids are in or graduated from school. Only 4% of minimum wage earners are single parents working full time.

So even though they are a small minority, will raising the minimum wage at least help those who are stuck in poverty? Sadly, no. As the U.S. Census shows, the problem with people in poverty is not that they are earning the minimum wage (9% of poor people work full time). The problem is that many aren’t working at all (67%).

Well ok. But at least the few poor who are working full time will start making more money right? After all, aren’t economists saying that raising the minimum wage doesn’t hurt overall job growth?

 

Myth #1: What are they going to do, make burger-flipping robots?

The fundamental principle behind any minimum-wage-increase fight is the myth “my job isn’t going anywhere”. According to the organizers of the 15Now campaign, “Nobody should have to struggle on poverty wages just to satisfy big corporations’ endless thirst for profits. Fast food and low wage workers are rising up demanding a $15/hour minimum wage.” When people point out that rising union wages caused car companies to replace workers with machines, minimum wage activists roll their eyes as they imagine McDonalds replacing its staff with Terminator-style, burger-making robots.

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We love to see you smile.

Unfortunately for them, making burgers by machine will be available in the not-too-distant future. One company, Momentum Machines, has almost finished developing a machine that can make fresh, customized, gourmet burgers at a fraction of the cost of a Big Mac.

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But let’s just say there is some job that ISN’T doable by machines. Is your job safe? Not necessarily. A lot more people, many probably better qualifed, will suddenly get very interested in replacing you. For example, many family therapists, who usually have a Master’s Degree at minimum, make $12.28 an hour. If McDonald’s was forced to pay $15 an hour, who would the manager hire, the family therapist looking to make more money or the single parent with little job experience?

So it turns out that raising the minimum wage certainly does benefit some people . . . those with valuable job skills. Not only do they get a bigger paycheck, but it also locks out many people who have little job experience out of the job market, reducing competition. Which, not coincidentally, was the reason why the minimum wage was created in the first place.

The Psychology of Talking Politics on Facebook

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You can say there are three certainties in life: death, taxes and the fact that you will lose friends if you talk about politics on Facebook. After being un-friended by multiple people (sometimes later re-friended so they can shoot back another attack), I decided to look for some advice on how to best discuss political issues online. The one thing everyone seems to agree on? Don’t do it.

 

So now I guess it’s time to let you in on a little secret: I don’t discuss politics on Facebook to change anybody’s mind. It is a fundamental fact of human nature that you will NEVER change anyone’s opinion on anything in an argument, even if you bring dozens of irrefutable facts to the table and they have nothing more than what they heard on Saturday Night Live (yes, that has actually happened). So why do I bother? Besides being naturally more interested in extremely important, world-changing (and often bad) decisions being made by our country’s leaders than that picture of the taco you had for dinner, there is principle I learned in business that I like apply. It’s called: Market Noise.

 

In business, it is known that you advertise not only to sell your own product, but to keep your competitors from selling more of theirs (also called: preserving market share). For example if Coke stopped advertising and people only saw ads with celebrities saying how wonderful Pepsi is, people will naturally start assuming the Coke is passé and Pepsi is the “it” thing that everybody hip and cool drinks.

 

You: Do you want a Coke or a Pepsi?

Young Person: Coke? Are you kidding? Only old people drink Coke these days!

You: But I like the flavor . . .

Young Person: *smirks* Looks like someone is still living in the 1950s!

 

In business terms, Pepsi ads are very effective because they are heard loud and clear by the consumer with no competing “noise” from other competitors.

 

Now let’s say that Coke realizes their mistake and starts advertising as much as Pepsi does. The soft drink marketplace will get very “noisy” from competing advertisements and people will start naturally tuning both of them out and go back to whatever they were doing/drinking before.

 

So how does this relate to politics? Currently in the United States, everyone is by default a liberal because their teachers are liberals, the movies are liberal, the TV shows are liberal, the news is extremely liberally biased and it is just plain darn easier (read: lazier) to be a liberal (“Hey that’s a pretty serious problem . . . the government should do something about it!”).

 

You can say that our current pop culture is all singing the same song and God help anyone who whistles a different tune (it’s been scientifically proven that it is more socially acceptable to tell people that they have sex with their mom than to wear a Bush t-shirt that didn’t have a Hitler mustache). It’s as if Pepsi ads not only promoted themselves but also portrayed all Coke drinkers to be inbred racist religious freaks that believe that Jesus rode around on a Triceratops with an AK-47 strapped to his back with a belt made from unicorn skin.

 

The solution? Start making noise. At first it will be difficult because many people have been well trained to call anyone who stands for traditional moral values a hateful homophobe. But if you stick to the facts, soon people will get confused because all the evidence you bring up clashes with what pop culture is telling them to believe. Frustration and annoyance is a common result of this confusion (also known as “cognitive dissonance”). Finally, many people will throw their hands up in the air, announce they don’t like politics (anymore) and then go back to posting pictures of their tacos.

 

So there you have it. You now know my secret that when I post some new political fact on Facebook, I don’t really have any expectation to change your mind. I’m simply trying to counteract the flood of liberal groupthink messaging by creating a little noise. Maybe, just maybe, enough people will tune out and therefore won’t be so quickly taken in when pop culture starts telling people that if you don’t believe anyone can pick their own gender then you must be a racist close-minded Coke drinker still living in the 1950s.

 

Steubenville Rape: Society Pretends To Be Shocked

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**WARNING!** This post deals with graphic content. It is also assumed that the reader is able to realize that this post is not excusing or defending the convicted rapists’ actions in any way, shape or form, but instead examines our culture’s role in sowing the seeds for this kind of behavior.

Steubenville High School football players found guilty of raping 16-year-old girlYahoo Sports 3/17/13

Steubenville teens treated girl ‘like a toy,’ prosecutor saysCNN 3/13/13 

Rape in Steubenville and Delhi: Where is the difference?Los Angeles Daily News

By now, most people have seen or heard about the trial where two teenagers were convicted of raping a classmate and then posting videos and pictures of it online. It seems the only question left on people’s mind is how high to hang these two monsters and who else should hang with them. However, in my years of writing, I’ve learned two things: 1. Be wary of joining mobs and instead check the facts and 2. Remember the L.A.A.A.W (Liberals Are Almost Always Wrong).

Never have I seen a rape case where both the rapists and the rapee can all still be virgins AFTER the rape. It bothers me that the media blasts headlines and write stories that make most people think two privileged teens in a backwards town held a girl down screaming as the mercilessly had sexual intercourse with her against her will.

So what actually happened? Here are the facts in brief:

  • In a series of back-to-school parties, a 16-year-old girl and two boys, aged 16 and 17, were illegally drinking large amounts of alcohol with their classmates. The legal age of drinking is 21.
  • Despite her friend’s efforts, the girl refused to stop drinking and got mad and hit her friend when she tried to stop her from leaving the party with one of the boys, whom she had been cozying up to that evening.
  • The girl threw up at one point, was driven to a house while unconscious, where she was fingered by the two boys who were also drunk, then was stripped naked and taken pictures of.
  • The girl later woke up naked, had no memory of what happened but found out a few days later when videos and pictures were spread online.

There is no question that I, a traditional conservative, thinks this is horrible. My question to the rest of society is: what in the world do you expect?

We live in a society where schools start passing out free condoms to 12-year-olds. Our nation’s leading sex educator, Planned Parenthood, teaches 14 year olds about proper “fisting” techniques, (how to insert your whole hand/arm into someone’s vagina or anus) and passes out fisting kits. This is a country that so looks down on abstaining from sex that we’re kicking abstinence programs out of our schools and replacing them with programs that teaches 11+ year olds about various sex positions, mutual masturbation and the safety of anal sex. Celebrities who proudly state they are waiting to have sex until marriage are widely ridiculed and mocked, with contests to see who can make them break their promise first.

Does anyone have any doubt that sex was on the boy’s mind after he left the party with the girl? It’s not like they invented the formula of having a party, drink alcohol and then get laid. This has been consistently glorified in popular movies such as the Road Trip, Superbad, American Pie, Knocked Up, Project X, Spring Breakers and practically anything with National Lampoon in the title.

Why are people so surprised that these two Steubenville boys acted like they thought sex is supposed to come after drinking? It’s not like they don’t know TV consistently celebrates drunken sex on shows like Family Guy, Weeds, The Bachelor, Jersey Shore, Two and a Half Men, The Real World, Friends, Skins, Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy, Girls, True Blood, Don’t Trust the B— in Apt. 23 and How I Met Your Mother?

It is no secret that society has for a long time been teaching teens to be “comfortable with their sexuality”. The boys probably thought that having sex with someone who was in a drunken stupor was stepping over the line and so they fingered her instead. After all, every teenager since the Sexual Revolution knows if you think sex and hooking up is a big deal, you’re just a close-minded, prudish fuddy-duddy.

Although Christians and conservatives have predicted for years that this devaluing of sex will cause young people to naturally treat it more casually and erode their moral values, who cares? As TV shows like Glee and Good Christian Bitches love to portray, Christians are all crazy and hypocrites anyway.

The sad thing is, if these two boys had shot her instead of molested her, society would have ignored them and instead be all up in arms crying out for the need for more gun control. So why is this different? Why is there is a need to demonize these boys and compare them to the monsters who so savagely gang raped a young female student on a bus in Delhi that she died of her injuries 13 days later? After all, the media knows when it puts “rape” in a headline, everyone think of scenes like in the AMC’s show Bates Motel, where a strange man enters the house and beats the mom, bends her over the table and proceeds to rape her (by the way, this show is rated acceptable for 14 year olds).

Maybe there is a need to demonize these Steubenville boys because no one wants to admit that instead of being monsters, this might be just the natural result of our free sex culture. Even the most vocal critics admit that nothing would have happened and no one would have cared if these boys hadn’t posted pictures and videos online. As for the witnesses, maybe they didn’t feel the need to call the police because they knew that if the girl had only had a little less to drink, she might have decided to go all the way and actually have sex, with every feminist in the country loudly defending her right to do whatever she wanted with her body. How do we expect teenagers to make good sexual decisions when they are legally mentally incapable to consent to sex in the first place and yet are encouraged by our culture to do so with popular songs with choruses like “Please excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude but tonight I’m fucking you” (Tonight by Enrique Iglesias).

Maybe society needs to pretend this is an isolated incident because nothing is worse than admitting that those crazy Christians might have a point when they say things like having porn freely available on any smartphone or computer might cause kids not to think twice before posting naked pictures of themselves or others online.

In the end, it is extremely sad that the only lesson teens will probably take away from the Steubenville rape case is not to talk about it so freely online. After all, how could they possibly think what they did was that bad when they are being told every day the exact opposite?

When It’s Acceptable To Call Someone A “Slut”!

Do you trust the mainstream news media to provide accurate, objective information? Do you believe that reporters and news anchors, despite being overwhelmingly Democrats, do their best to stay neutral, just present the facts and allow the viewers to make their own conclusions?

Why don’t we take a recent issue concerning slander and calling a political opponent names and I’ll let you judge for yourself.

WARNING! The following contains vulgar language from members of the media directed at women.

  • NBC’s Jimmy Fallon’s band greets Michelle Bachmann with the song “Lyin’ Ass B*tch
  • Fox News’ Chris Wallace asks Michelle Bachmann “are you a flake?” during an interview
  • Air America’s radio talk show host Montell Williams suggests that Michelle Bachmann kill herself by decapitation.
  • Radio talk show host Robert F. Kennedy Jr. calls Republican Senator Inhofe a “prostitute” and a “call girl”.
  • MSNBC’s Ed Shultz calls radio talk show host Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut”.
  • Wisconsin radio host John “Sly” Sylvester accused Republican Lt. Governor Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch of performing “fellatio on all the talk-show hosts in Milwaukee” and said that she had “pulled a train” (a reference to group sex).
  • E! New’s affiliate Playboy published a top 10 list of conservative women who deserved to be raped or “hate f*cked”, including Michelle Bachmann.
  • Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi said concerning conservative writer Michelle Malkin “When I read [Malkin’s] stuff, I imagine her narrating her text, book-on-tape style, with a big, hairy set of balls in her mouth.”
  • One of President Obama’s largest contributors and frequent guest on CNN and MSNBC, Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a “dumb twat”, “c*nt”, “bimbo”, “boob” and a “MILF” (a mother I’d like to f*ck), which to the last one, CNN’s Piers Morgan laughed.
  • Comedian Louis CK, invited to headline this year’s Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner, chaired by Jay McMichael of CNN and other prominent media figures, “joked” that Sarah Palin is “holding a baby that just came out of her f*cking, disgusting c*nt, her f*cking retard-making c*nt. I hate her more than anybody.” He also tweeted that Palin is a “f*cking jackoff c*nt-face jazzy wondergirl” who “has a family of Chinese poor people living in her c*nt hole.
  • Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute”.

A photo of Sarah Palin at a rally distributed by Reuters. Some say this is an example of Reuters 'objectifying' Palin with a 'strip club shot'.

Time to play the guessing game. Guess which media personality was singled out and condemned for an entire week by across the national media – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today? Who’s program did the media pressure sponsors to pull their advertisements from? To whose victim did the President of the United State personally call to voice his support? Who has been widely condemned as a misogynist and accused of waging a “war on women”?

If you said “all of the above”, then that means you truly believe that the media is balanced and objective, fighting for what is right and making sure we have civil discourse in our nation. It also means you’re incredibly naive.

The truth is, only the conservative, Rush Limbaugh, has been targeted for outrage. Media personalities called for his removal from the airwaves, demanded that Republicans condemn his remarks, and brought heavy pressure to his advertisers to pull their sponsorships. Even after Rush apologized, his comments were framed as reflective on the entire conservative movement on this country and to push the label that the GOP is just a group of “rich white men”. The current ongoing narrative we hear is that Republicans hate women, want to take away their rights and move them back to the “dark ages”.

There are only two possible reasons for this glaring double standard by news media.

1. This is just an honest mistake and reporters on all the networks will now demand apologies, women rights groups will call on the FCC to remove the above programs from the airwaves and President Obama will return the $1 million Bill Maher donated to him.

or:

2. The liberal mainstream news networks don’t give darn about objectivity and are actively working to make sure that President Obama gets reelected.

Well, it’s been about a week. To paraphrase NBC’s Matt Lauer, the silence from the left is ‘deafening’.

As any objective person looking at this situation can see, the Republican “war on women” is looking a lot more like the media’s “war on conservatives”. So the next time you hear the politics discussed on the news, remember this double standard. They want Obama to win. And they’ll try to publicly destroy anybody who tries to stand against him.