Friday, August 16, 2013

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

Recently, fast food workers around the country walked off the job to protest for higher wages. Their demand is to be paid $15 per hour, more than double the minimum wage of $7.25. Many (most) people that work for minimum wage cannot support a household, and the populist notion is that we should raise the minimum wage to allow those people working in those jobs to earn enough to support a family. Now, there are a lot of issues with raising the minimum wage to $15, and both sides of the issue have valid points about why or why not raise the minimum. I want to call your attention to just one part of this issue, the cost of hiring an unskilled worker under our current system of government regulation and taxes. Say the owner of a fast food restaurant decides to pay his staff a minimum wage of $15 per hour, about $30,000 per year on a full time basis. That business owner must also pay half of his employee's payroll tax, federal and state unemployment insurance, workers compensation insurance, and the health insurance (or the employer penalty) under Obamacare beginning in 2015. All of a sudden, that $15 per hour employee now costs the business between $19 and $25 per hour depending on how the company handles the Obamacare mandate. So for every $15 per hour worker that is hired, the business owner faces government mandated costs that range from 40-50% of their compensation. Think this is a bad deal for employers? And do you think that this is one of the main reasons that our economy is creating mostly part time jobs and not well paying full time ones? Until we create a better financial environment for employers, especially small businesses, to hire new employees, the economy will still limp along and not create quality full time jobs. And doubling the minimum wage will only make that worse.

I heard that women find "six packs" sexy. Well, I have been drinking a bunch of them, but it's not working.

Although numerous lies have been exposed about global warming, there is still a persistent push by those on the left to implement changes that will supposedly slow this mythical event. Data that has been significantly altered, outright lies, and scant evidence that anthropomorphic causes are responsible for what appear to be normal cycles in the heating and cooling of the planet have not stopped those on the left from attempting to implement draconian and costly changes that will affect our economy and our individual lifestyle. Now, rather than wait for Congress to perform their deliberative function, the Obama Administration and new EPA chief Gina McCarthy have said they will bypass the legislative branch and unilaterally implement a Climate Action Plan. This action is sure to raise our energy costs at a time when the economy is struggling and the real wages of the American worker are falling. Built on false assumptions and doctored data, this amounts to nothing more than an economic power grab by this administration on behalf of radical environmentalists. Pay attention to what this administration is attempting to foist onto the American public, because this is coming out of your wallet.

I think it's bad luck to be superstitious.

President Obama has proposed that the federal government pay for high speed internet connections for all public schools in America. While that may be necessary to expedite getting these connections in place, President Obama has been unwilling to ask Congress for the funds to do this. So how will we pay for this? The President has asked the FCC to tack a fee onto each cell phone users bill, going around Congress and unilaterally implementing a fee (tax). Forget the merits of the program (which I believe are worthwhile). The principal here is the ability of the government to add fees or taxes without any input from those who are paying them. If the FCC approves the rate hike, it will begin to show up on your bill, forcing you to pay it without any recourse. Seems to me this line of thinking by elected officials and bureaucrats in Washington is extremely dangerous. You and I are viewed as an unlimited bank account in which they can draw out funds to use for their purposes and pet projects. Until this attitude changes- until WE force the change- Washington will look at us as a source of funding and will have little to no input in the process. And just like the EPA implementing costly climate change regulations without proper deliberation, this is becoming a disturbingly frequent trend.

Just remember, there is no "me" in, wait...yes there is.

And that, my friends, is my view.

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