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States Behaving Badly

Got a bunch of baseball cards in the attic?  Beanie Babies maybe?  How about some old CD’s?

Now, say ya wanna sell ’em.  Everyone knows that if you start the bidding to high you won’t get any takers.  Bring the price down and you can sell almost anything.

Simple:  More expensive, fewer people buy.  Less expensive, more people buy.

Which makes this so mind boggling:

Eight states will ring in the New Year with a higher minimum wage, under state laws that require wage floors to keep apace with inflation. San Francisco, one of the few cities that sets its own minimum wage above the federal level, is also raising wages for the lowest-paid workers in the new year. It will become the first big city in the country to require companies to pay their workers more than $10 an hour.

The minimum wage increases in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington will be 28 cents to 37 cents an hour, according to the National Employment Law Project. That is an extra $582 to $770 a year for a full-time minimum wage worker, and resets these states’ minimum wages to $7.64 to $9.04 an hour.

At that higher end is Washington State, which will become the first state in the nation to set its minimum wage above $9 an hour. For reference, the federal wage floor for most workers is $7.25 an hour.

I get it, I do.  No one’s time should be worth so little.  However, by forcing businesses to pay more for labor than they otherwise should, they will buy less labor.  And lastly, should an individual be free to bargain for the value of his time?

 

A free and open market will settle on the demand for goods or services.  As the government adds requirements to that market, the price will change and adjust to accommodate the new cost of that good or service.  For example, if you wanna house, one can be built for you at such and such a cost.  However, when the requirement, however reasonable, that the house have plumbing is added, the cost of that house is going to go up.

I’m not claiming that we allow houses to be built without plumbing.  I’m simply stating that when we DO make that requirement, we price homes above what some segment of the population can afford.

This is true of all things.  And school lunch is no exception:

It’s lunchtime at Van Nuys High School and students stream into the cafeteria to check out the day’s fare: black bean burgers, tostada salad, fresh pears and other items on a new healthful menu introduced this year by the Los Angeles Unified School District.

But Iraides Renteria and Mayra Gutierrez don’t even bother to line up. Iraides said the school food previously made her throw up, and Mayra calls it “nasty, rotty stuff.”

And why is the school cafeteria serving lunch that students don’t wanna eat?

Earlier this year, the district got rid of chocolate and strawberry milk, chicken nuggets, corn dogs, nachos and other food high in fat, sugar and sodium. Instead, district chefs concocted such healthful alternatives as vegetarian curries and tamales, quinoa salads and pad Thai noodles.

The district, government, tried to regulate the market.  No longer could schools sell food that kids wanted to eat, rather, the school was forced to sell food that the regulators decided was fit for the kids.  Now, do I think that fresh pears and pad Thai is better for you than corn dogs and nachos?  Hell yeah!  In fact, I’ve eaten many many more portions of pears and pad Thai than corn dogs and nachos in the last, what, 20 years.  I fact, I can’t remember the last time I had a corn dog.

Point is, independent of the fact that mandating healthy food is good or not, when the regulation is applied, the market shifts.  It adjusts.

Many of the meals are being rejected en masse. Participation in the school lunch program has dropped by thousands of students. Principals report massive waste, with unopened milk cartons and uneaten entrees being thrown away. Students are ditching lunch, and some say they’re suffering from headaches, stomach pains and even anemia.

Waste.  And unhealthy behavior.

But do you know what ELSE happened?

At many campuses, an underground market for chips, candy, fast-food burgers and other taboo fare is thriving.

The market adjusted and is now providing the very thing the regulations were meant to diminish.

The lesson?

The market will win.

 

 

 

The desire to protect the citizens drives crazy results.  People, intending to “do the right thing” and “protect” the people, get so caught up in that role they never stop and consider the absurdity of what it is they are doing.  The never ending desire to prevent harm is a constricting burden when placed within the hands of those who fail to understand that man is largely able to craft positive outcomes for himself.

And so it is that government has created a condition such that we are unable to hand our free hot dogs to free people:

Tin Cup’s bar and restaurant in St. Paul’s North End will pay a $500 fine to the city for grilling hot dogs outside on Oct. 2 without an event permit.

Co-owner Gidget Bailey appeared before the city council Wednesday to explain that she inquired with a state agency before cooking the hot dogs, which were given away inside the bar at 1220 Rice St. and not sold or consumed outside.

“I did call the Minnesota Department of Health asking if there was anything I needed to do,” Bailey said. “They told me no.”

The city’s Department of Safety and Inspections cited them for not obtaining a “temporary extension of service area” license for the outdoor event, which led to several calls to the District 6 Planning Council. The planning council then informed DSI of the event.

Council Member Lee Helgen reminded the bar owners that they should have known to check with the city.

The council vote to impose the fine was unanimous.

Note one member of the government body felt that the regulations describing the proper offering of hot dogs was so onerous as to prevent the levying of the fine.

 

It’s an old adage but I think it’s important to point out how often people tend to overlook it:

If you tax it, you’ll get less of it.

Politicians forget this all the time.

A case can be made that raising income tax rates at the state level won’t force people, en mass, to move.  Or, that if you reduce state income tax rates, people will move in.  I agree with this; people fundamentally chase jobs, not tax rates.  This is for people however, not corporations.

When you tax corporations at a rate that is so high that businesses begin to move to avoid those taxes, people will move too.  Further, the higher the “income” chain you go, the more able that individual is free to move.

Own your own internet widget company and live in CA.  Pay too much in taxes?  Move to Nevada, or Texas.  Are ya a gazzilionaire and just live off dividends?  Pay too much taxes?  Move to Florida.

The point is, the higher the income stream, the greater the desire to tax it.  And the greater the ability to avoid it.  These people did not amass great wealth because they are careless or foolish.  And they certainly didn’t amass that wealth in order to have it stolen from them.

They’ll move.  And when they do, the revenue expected from them will be less:

LOS ANGELES — California’s budget problems show no signs of abating.

A report released by state budget analysts on Wednesday forecasts a sharp decline in revenue for this fiscal year, which could set off more than $2 billion in new cuts in state spending in January, including a seven-day reduction in the school year for public school students.

The report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office projected that the state would fall $3.7 billion short of the $88.5 billion in revenues and transfers that was anticipated in the 2011-12 state budget approved in June. Under the terms of that budget, automatic reductions — known as trigger cuts, and specified in some detail in the budget — go into effect if revenues fall $1 billion or more short of projections.

California is a state blessed by weather and geography.  And people are fleeing the place.

Liberals love to scream that corporations influence elections in an unfair manner.  They have tons of money and are able to exert influence that ordinary people can’t.

Strangely they are silent when that exact same influence is wielded by unions:

The nation’s biggest labor unions spent nearly $30 million to repeal the law. That was more than twice the amount spent by Republican-affiliated groups backing the law.

30 million dollars.  30.  Million.  Dollars.

Listen.  The Left complains that abuses take place all the time by “actors” of the right.  Rules are broken and advantages are exploited.  But make no mistake.  The REAL complain isn’t that those rules are really important or that advantages shouldn’t exist.  The REAL complain from the Left is that they aren’t the ones benefiting from ’em.

Once again we have Unions using illegally obtained money to elect officials and pass laws that benefit the Union.

Occupy Ohio people, Occupy Ohio.

The Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe has decided to weigh in on the University’s use of the “Fighting Sioux” mascot; they have retained legal counsel and sued.  Sued the NCAA that is:

FORT TOTTEN, ND – Speaking at the tribal headquarters of the Spirit Lake Sioux Nation, attorney Reed Soderstrom announced a lawsuit against the NCAA alleging copyright infringement and civil rights violations. The Sioux tribe supports the University of North Dakota’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo, but the NCAA has deemed them to be “hostile and abusive.”

“Today, the Spirit Lake Tribe of Indians, by and through its Committee of Understanding and Respect, and Archie Fool Bear, individually, and as Representative of more than 1004 Petitioners of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association in direct response to their attempt to take away and prevent the North Dakota Sioux Indians from giving their name forever to the University of North Dakota,” said Soderstrom in prepared remarks.

Soderstrom alleges that the NCAA has violated “the religious and first amendment rights of the Dakota Sioux tribes.” He also alleged a double standard in the application of the NCAA’s policy against the use of Native American names and imagery.

The Sioux Nation WANTS the mascot to remain.  They find honor in being thus honored.  The NCAA is insane.

One more for the file labelled: We Hate Kids, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers has come out against a policy that would allow the city to fire and hire teachers based on merit, you know–teaching kids–rather than on seniority:

A coalition of City Council members, former school leaders, parents and pastors are calling for Minneapolis public schools to end seniority-based hiring and firing practices in the next teachers union contract.

In its “Contract for Student Achievement” position paper, the group argues that past agreements between the district and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) “repeatedly put the needs of adults over the academic needs of students.”

“We call on the district and the MFT to negotiate a different kind of contract — one that recognizes the academic crisis in our schools and makes student achievement the top focus,” the coalition says in its letter, which was delivered to the school board this week.

Saying the letter “feels like an attack” on teachers, union president Lynn Nordgren disputed some of its findings and the argument that past contracts have halted reform.

At the heart of all successful organizations is innovation.  And innovation requires change; sometimes massive disruptive change.  And Unions aren’t in favor of that.

Children!  Children, gather ’round.  I wanna tell you the story of the Leftist.

When someone you disagree with enters into a war to overthrow a brutal dictator, you protest him, call him Hitler and burn him effigy.  It is IMMORAL to use force against a foreign nation in an attempt to overthrow an evil brutal dictator.

But.  But….if Barack Obama would like to do the same, it is okay if:

  1. He does it quickly.
  2. There is no #2.

See, if one President goes to the United Nations and obtains resolution after resolution forcing the evil bad-guy dictator to allow this or allow that, and the evil bad-guy dictator doesn’t, AND the President gathers a coalition of foreign nations to assist in the overthrow of that evil bad-guy dictator AND that President goes to, you know, CONGRESS, AND….AND Congress authorizes force to remove evil bad-guy dictator AND that evil bad-guy dictator is captured AND that evil bad-guy dictator is imprisoned with human right’s representatives on guard AND that evil bad-guy dictator is given a trial and found guilty; well, THAT is immoral and the President is a douche.

He is greedy and is Hitler.

But, if the other President is Barack Obama, well, then we can target the evil bad-guy dictator in an assassination attempt, never go to Congress, the UN or any other body, watch as he is strung up on the hood of a truck like a deer, beat and shot without trial THEN allowed to have his body, decaying, be placed on public display for all to see while crooning:

We came, we saw, he died.

THAT is a foreign policy success, and the President is macho.

The Left is without morals.  They have none.  Which is why they try to legislate morals to force ME to abide by ’em.  They demand the rich donate to charity, but never do the same.  They demand that the Right care for the poor, but never do the same.  They scream that the Right engages in immoral wars, yet don’t care that they are the worst offenders.

They legislate others to do what they themselves can’t or won’t.

I love teachers.  My dad taught, many of my friends teach, some in my family currently teach.  Hell, I was a teacher.

I love great teachers.  We should fire the horrible ones, not the bad ones, just the horrible ones, but that’s a post for another day.

My beef is the Union.  That organization that represents teachers and bargains and negotiates for them.  If you ever had any doubt, any doubt what so ever, that Unions not only don’t care about kids, but hate children, here it is.  In all its glory, how Unions are power hungry monsters:

To the relief of college-bound seniors, Lakeville high school teachers will once again write letters of recommendation under a deal reached this week between their local union and the school district.

The agreement ends a standoff that began two weeks ago during contract negotiations between the union and district. Hoping to spur a settlement, some teachers began refusing to write recommendation letters, among other measures requested by their union.

The Union requested teachers stop writing letters of recommendation for seniors trying to get into college.

Power.  Pure and unapologetic power.  Unions do not exist for the benefit of the children.  They exploit children.  And teachers.  And you.

Measure teachers.  Fire shitty ones.  Reward great ones.  And abolish teachers unions.

I bleed Purple.

Much of my childhood is wrapped around the beat of the NFL football season.  It permeated everything as I grew up.

My church, bless their souls, scheduled the late morning service at 10:45 so that it would end at 11:45.  There isn’t a home in town that’s more than 10 minutes away; we all could get back in time to watch the Vikes.

We played scratch on the streets.  We kept our feet in-bounds by the feel of the curb even as we layed ourselves out on the boulevard to catch that pass.  We ALL were Ahmad Rashad.  We didn’t even TRY to be Page, Eller, Marshal or Larsen; they were simply too mean.

Bud Grant is simply the coolest human being in all the world.  He won championships in the NBA AND the CFL.  He played in the NFL.  Dude flat out nails macho.  And Minnesota.

I died when Drew Pearson Cheated.  And then winced as they twisted the knife with Herschel.  By that time I didn’t care that they took my Stars, what the hell, right?

I’ll die all over again if the team moves.  The team that BEAT Chicago on their first game; you kidding me?  I’ll just die.

But we can NOT buy them a stadium:

 Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday that National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell told him Los Angeles’ desire for a football team makes it all the more important for Minnesota to resolve the Vikings stadium issue.

Dayton said that no threats were lodged in Thursday’s conversation with Goodell, but the implications of no action were clear.

“If we don’t act in some way and get a stadium project going, it’s unrealistic in my opinion to think that we are not going to face competition for the team in the near future,” Dayton said.

The Vikings are one of several teams being mentioned as possibly relocating to Los Angeles, where there are competing proposals to build an NFL stadium.

I give massive props to the Democrat governor.  He is an equal opportunity State spender; the arts and the Vikings.  But as much as a abhor the State sponsoring of the opera, so too do I abhor the idea of the State paying for a private football club’s stadium.

I’d just die.