The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 23rd, 2015: From One to Infinity?

Last night I was doing an extremely necessary cleanup of my emails, and was about to delete some recent ones from our local Republican NYS Assemblyman, when I decided to take a look to see what he was writing about. Here’s one of them:

Cuomo’s Undemocratic Minimum Wage Hike Will Kill Jobs

East Fishkill, NY – (5/7/15) – Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I – East Fishkill) issued a statement today criticizing Governor Cuomo’s decision to unilaterally move to raise the minimum wage for some businesses without legislative approval.

“Dictating new regulations outside the legislative process is a recklessly undemocratic decision by Governor Cuomo,” said Lalor. “We have a process for passing new laws and the governor has chosen to bypass it because he was only able to get part of his job-killing minimum wage through the legislature. It seems he’s taking a page from President Obama’s playbook and simply dictating new laws when he can’t do what he wants through the legislature. Impaneling a wage board gives Cuomo’s action a veneer of unbiased approval, but is there any doubt that the board will simply follow Cuomo’s directions? We know how closely Cuomo has controlled previous ‘independent’ commissions.”

Lalor added, “This isn’t just undemocratic, it’s a job killer. San Francisco’s recent minimum wage hike is pushing small businesses to the brink of closure. [emphasis mine] This will hurt minimum-wage earners when businesses that can’t afford the increase start cutting jobs. Studies have shown entry-level job opportunities decline with minimum wage increases. The governor can’t simply mandate a better economy. Small businesses are struggling with New York’s high taxes and never-ending regulations. New York’s economy is struggling because of those taxes and regulations. The only way for government to increase wages and opportunities is to cut taxes and regulations across the board. We need to open up opportunities for businesses to thrive and create jobs in New York.”

“It’s also inappropriate for the governor to target just one industry,” Lalor added. “Governor Cuomo says he wants to raise fast food wages because fast food CEOs are millionaires. But, many fast food restaurants operate as franchises. They’re small businesses. This isn’t just hitting big corporations, Governor Cuomo, this is hitting small businesses. Cuomo’s dictate is so vague, we don’t even know how far this will go. It’s up to his wage board to decide what jobs will be defined as within the ‘fast food industry’. Pizzeria and deli owners, among other small businesses, don’t know if they’ll be included. They might not even know that this regulation could affect them until it’s already passed, missing the chance to voice their opposition.”

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Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel…”

I started to search for any information regarding what problems have been caused by San Francisco’s recent minimum-wage raise. The Google brought up several articles referencing “a San Francisco newspaper says that some restaurants and grocery stores in Oakland’s Chinatown have closed…” Okay, that’s Oakland, which, as far as I know, is still a separate city across the bay from SF. And my search for even that one “San Francisco newspaper” story yielded nothing but references to it from right-wing sources, i.e., The American Spectator and World Net Daily. As you can see, Thomas Sowell of The American Spectator has apparently coined (or at least emphasized) a new buzzword for the right, “ruinous compassion” – don’t be surprised if you start hearing that phrase in conjunction with any minimim-wage-raise arguments.

I finally found one article from Yahoo! Finance titled “Minimum Wage Hike Closes San Francisco Bookstore.” Although I had seen other stories from 2011 on about several booksellers such as the Borders chain losing business or closing, none of those seemed to be as a result of minimum wage hikes; it’s been pretty much a given for several years now that any bookseller would be in tough competition with current technology, with which one can access any book one wants with a few clicks. However, even this particular bookstore in San Francisco isn’t exactly going out of business entirely:

“Borderland Books, which specializes in science fiction and horror, says it has withstood a host of challenges since it opened in 1997, including the rise of Amazon.com and e-books, a landlord who supposedly doubled their rent while dotcoms were first booming, and a deep recession that the owners say “hit us very hard.” A higher minimum wage, though, would take the business from being modestly profitable to being a money loser, the owner says. “Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principal and we believe that it’s possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage.”

But according to the article:

“The blog post went on to say that the Borderlands café business will stay open and should have “no difficulty at all” with the new minimum wage because it will be able to raise prices as needed. The bookselling business is different, the blog post argued, because book prices are set by the publishers and clearly printed on the books.”

So, although the owner wasn’t making much of a profit anyway from selling books, he’s still going to do just fine with the cafe associated with his bookstore. The last paragraph of the article itself links to this survey of economists who are mostly supportive of minimum-wage raises.

Hmm…So why is this one bookstore being used as, it appears, the definitive argument against all minimum-wage hikes, and why does it sound like the Ronald Reagan “Cadillac-driving welfare queen”? And since when does ONE = ALL?

I think I’m going to have to write to Assemblyman Lalor about his research team – if he has one.

This is our (very late) Daily Open Thread–what’s on your mind?

46 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 23rd, 2015: From One to Infinity?

  1. I’m not at all surprised at what was said, I’m just surprised at who said it.

  2. The idea that businesses who compete directly with online sales should get a lower minimum wage is ludicrous. Most of the cities considering minimum wage increases can’t attract workers without it. Who’s going to commute from an affordable area into a city like SF or LA for $8-9 an hour? When I lived in Marietta, Ga., stores and restaurants couldn’t find people to work because MARTA (buses) didn’t run from Atlanta’s low income areas out to Marietta, Smyrna and Gwinnett County. Those workers couldn’t afford a car on what those jobs paid.

    • oops, guess he didn’t get the memo in time before confessing to the public!
      It’s ok, he’s a damn republican and a christian. All is forgiven.////

    • This should prove to be a very good test. If Ireland should crumble, or if the
      Apocalypse begins (hopefully very soon the Rapture) that should mean that god is really pissed at his image (us people). OTOH, if none of that happens, all should be well here IF the SCOTUS should decide in favor of gay marriage. In fact, with any luck the evangies will self-destruct and disappear once and for all.

  3. Entry level jobs will disappear? This idea is usually accompanied by a picture of a blond teenage smilingly handing someone their burger. In reality, teenagers aren’t finding many entry level jobs because those positions are filled by desperate parents trying to bring in something to put towards the utility bill.

    • Funny thing about wages is that when people make a little more money they tend to spend it locally to the benefit of small businesses all around. When billionaires make more money, they tend to offshore it or invest it in ways that benefit no one but the already wealthy.

      I’m guessing that greed is winning even as people who make the country work are being tossed in front of the greed bus.

      Amurkkka has earned her upcoming failure.

      • We have. We are wasting our human capital. We’ve lost the notion that people rise if cultivated properly. We no longer nurture our seeds.

  4. Waco declares May motorcycle safety month. No, really.

    (AP) The same group that organized a biker meeting in Texas that ended in violence has received a proclamation from the Waco City Council designating May as “Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month.”

    The City Council issued the proclamation two days after the deadly biker shootout at a Waco restaurant.

    Waco City Secretary Esmeralda Hudson said Friday that the proclamation was to be presented to Steven Cochran on behalf of the Confederation of Clubs, but Cochran declined to show up for the Tuesday meeting.

    On his Facebook page Cochran said he and Sandra Lynch accepted the proclamation in absentia. Lynch couldn’t be there because she was one of about 170 people arrested after Sunday’s shootout. She remains jailed on a charge of engaging in organized criminal activity.

    Cochran declined an interview with The Associated Press on Friday.

    Hudson said the city issues the proclamation annually.

    • Hudson said the city issues the proclamation annually.

      Free-For-All or not they deserve to be recognized, that’s the TexAss way.

  5. Same-Sex Marriage Wins in Ireland by a Landslide, Breitbart Says “Why Didn’t the Muslims Help Us?”

    The funniest reaction I’ve seen so far is at Breitbart “News:” Landslide Win for Same-Sex Marriage in Ireland.

    To the very end, opponents of same-sex marriage in Ireland held out hope. Yesterday they were reporting high numbers of immigrant Africans and Muslims standing in line at polling stations and hoped they would balance out the hordes of young people who were expected to make Ireland the first country in the world to vote for same-sex marriage.

    Man, that’s gotta be painful, when the people you’ve been smearing and demonizing as uncivilized violent savages for years are the only allies you think you have left.

    • Man, that’s gotta be painful when the people you’ve been smearing and demonizing as uncivilized violent savages for years are the only allies you think you have left.

      That right there is so telling.

      • I imagine they thought all Muslims were hyper-conservative. like ISIS.

  6. I dunno, but when you add it all up, Arkansas somehow seems a little weird.

    Founder of Josh Duggar’s ‘treatment center’ left after ‘sexually grooming’ teens and young women

    The founder of a chain of Christian “treatment” centers Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar sent their eldest son to for molesting five girls — including his sisters — resigned in 2014 under a cloud of accusations that he had “sexually groomed” and harassed young women and teens in his ministry.

  7. Well, first today we watch the Monaco Grand Prix, then there’s the Indy 500, and to wrap up, Nascar’s World 600 (Coca Cola 600), featuring Danica Patrick and some guys.

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