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  1. Wraithkin commented on Michael Ramirez 1 day ago

    I’m not refuting the opinions of small business owners. Two points of contention to your poll, though. First, and probably more significantly, is that the minimum wage is suggested at 10.10 an hour, not 15. For a full-time employee, that’s nearly a $10,000 annual difference.

    Secondly, and more to the point, is what about the other 40% that do not agree with it? We aren’t talking about legislation about regulations. We’re not talking about a speed limit, or building a new road. We’re talking about the livelihoods of people. This simple change has the capacity put them out of business and cost them a means to feed their families.

    I also looked at the study itself, not just the blog post. Here’s what I find concerning:

    “This poll reflects an Internet survey of 500 small business owners across the nation, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for Small Business Majority”

    As of 2010, there are 27.9 million small businesses in this country. 500 is not a very large sample. Also, if you look at the specific answers to the question, there is a split only amongst “somewhat favor” vs. "somewhat oppose. Both strongly favor and strongly oppose are about the same.

    Somewhat concerning is the fact that they do not identify in which geographic region these businesses are. Wages in San Francisco are bound to be higher than in Boise, simply because the cost of living is higher in San Fran than in Boise. So if you live in San Fran, and you see a 7.25 minimum wage, of course that’s going to be appalling. But in Boise, 7.25 is not a bad deal if the median wage is 9/hour and that’s in line with the cost of living.

    I could go on, but the poll is not comprehensive enough to be used in an argument that could impact over 11 million small businesses across the nation. So if we just apply the raw stats at face value, that’s 11 million businesses that are at risk of losing their jobs if they can’t absorb that large of an increase to the minimum wage. And that’s only at 10.10 an hour. What about $15?

    Indexing the minimum wage against inflation is not a bad idea. But that means historically averaged out, you will be looking at slower growth than what is suggested here. Because if indexed against inflation from its inception, instead of picking a point mid-stream where it was “at its best,” it means there is actually going to lower the wages.

    If you leave minimum wage alone as it stands today, and then just lock it to index with inflation, then I’m certain you would see overwhelming support for it. My VA benefits index against inflation, and my job provides me an annual raise that is pretty consistent with inflationary growth. I see no reason to prevent that from happening to those making minimum wage. Just be aware that it won’t have as significant of a positive impact that you believe it to have.

    And last thought: What if we approve say the 10.10 an hour increase, and then index it against inflation. What’s the next step if that’s still not enough of other people’s money? I highly doubt this is going to be the end of the conversation. Then it’s going to move on to 1.5x inflation, or 2x inflation. Etc. it will never end. People always want to blame others for the reason why they don’t make enough money.

    And the frustrating part is the people making the decisions aren’t the ones who end up paying the bill; it’s always someone else’s money that is given away. What right does government have to dictate these edicts without there being any consequence to them?

    That’s why I like Ron Johnson and Reid Ribble. They are business owners, that grew their businesses from the ground up. They know what it’s like to have changes inflicted upon them. Most of Congress is made up of attorneys… people who have never felt the pinch of making payroll.

  2. Wraithkin commented on Michael Ramirez 1 day ago

    I also would like to take a moment to thank you guys for being civil. This discourse we have is they way it’s supposed to work. Name calling and vitriol only serve to distract from the issue at hand.

  3. Wraithkin commented on Michael Ramirez 1 day ago

    Voter ID requirements (State ID’s are free in my state) are not poll taxes. They are a means to ensure you are properly verifying you are a US Citizen when you are voting for the most powerful government in the world. Yeah, verification that you are a citizen is probably a good thing.

  4. Wraithkin commented on Michael Ramirez 1 day ago

    The problem is licensing is frequently required by the state to ensure ethical behavior. For instance, financial advisers have to be licensed, as to insurance sales agents and claims adjusters. It’s meant as a means to ensure criminals and other undesirables are not granted access to people’s private financial information. Plus, then you run the risk of corporate abuse.

    The solution is to give power to the individual states. In my experience, the only thing the federal government is proficient at is issuing checks. So have them block grant states for job retraining and adult education and let individual states figure out how to best use it. This way the situation is held more accountable to the population, as local government is more sensitive to population needs.

    However, business should be directly involved in the training and licensing process. This way they are able to produce the workers they need. That’s why I’m a huge fan of the technical colleges system: they are short, to the point, and get you real-world experience for the career you’ve chosen, and they are frequently directly involved in the course catalog.

  5. Wraithkin commented on Lisa Benson 1 day ago

    I’m flattered you think I’m of the privileged. However, that’s not the case. I am of the demographic that makes up the masses: White middle class male. My parents (both middle class workers when I was a child, small business owners now) expected more of me because they knew I could achieve whatever I wanted if I put my mind to it. They challenged me to become better than I was. That background led me to become a Marine and serve a tour in Iraq.

    I am not privileged. I, at one point in my adult life, had dragged my girlfriend (now wife) and 6 month old son to another state on the hopes of getting a better job. We had 3 days’ of food, $5 to our name, and half a tank of gas… with no safety net.

    Fast forward 12 years, and I now have 12 years left on my mortgage, 2 cars purchased new, my wife, two kids now, three dogs, and a promising career. I earned all this on my hard work and unwillingness to quit.

    So it is based on this background that I have no compassion for quitters. Yes, it’s difficult. I have been there. But people have lost their conviction to work as hard as you need to in order to succeed.

    I owe no allegiance to any one political party. Both are idiots, imho. I’m a conservative pragmatist that believes individual determination is the singly best means of elevating one’s position within society. I have no patience for excuses, because when I hear “I can’t,” it means to me, “I don’t want to.” It’s that simple.

  6. Wraithkin commented on Lisa Benson 1 day ago

    You guys do have to admit, it is a pretty amusing drawing.

  7. Wraithkin commented on Michael Ramirez 1 day ago

    It’s actually based on the causal relationship between wages, supply, and demand. When wages go up, demand increases for standard goods. When demand increases and supply remains static, prices go up. That is the inflation piece.

    As to the jobs piece, most of the losses will come from franchise owners (who operate on thin margins) and small business owners (who operate on even thinner margins). While McDonald’s corporate is making money hand over fist, the small franchisees only make a small fraction of profit. Here’s an example:

    The local Subway restaurants in town are owned by one individual, and he owns around 10 or 12 of them (if memory serves). Right now, he does okay for himself (about 150-200k annual take-home pay for himself). He employs around 70 people as full-time equivalents (mixed bag of full and part timers, which is pretty standard). He pays his employees around 9-10 an hour, ish.

    So let’s say the increase is only $5 an hour, if the $15/hour comes through. That’s $14,000 more per week in payroll expenses that his balance sheet has to absorb, or $728,000 annually. So if his net profit is 200-250k and he takes nothing home (works for free, which is not viable since he has to live), where’s the other $500k supposed to come from? Anyone?

    My father is in a similar situation. He employs 10 people (bookkeeping firm, not much human overhead), and they make around $11/hour. He profits roughly $3.00 a worker hour, out of which comes his salary. He is in a niche market that prevents him from raising his prices; to do so would price him out of the local market. So if the minimum wage brings his costs up $4.00 per hour, he loses his entire salary and then some. He has to close his business, thus unemploying 10 people and himself.

    People are always saying the minimum wage has such far-reaching positive results, but they are only looking at how it impacts large corporations — corporations that (by and large) pay over the minimum wage to begin with. They neglect to think about the impact it will have on small business.

  8. Wraithkin commented on Michael Ramirez 1 day ago

    Interesting graphic. Funny thing is that those who voted for the minimum wage hike, and those that support it like yourself, are the ones without a clue about how economics work.

    Basic economic theory: When wages increase, demand increases for standard goods, demand decreases for substandard goods, thus the price of standard goods goes up, and the price for substandard goods goes down. Supply will remain static.

    So what you are saying, effectively, is that you want to inflict artificial inflation on this nation’s working class? You also appear to be in support of stealing effectively $15,000 annual purchasing power from those in the middle class. If that’s the case, then I’m all for the 98% of republicans that voted against the minimum wage hike.

    How about instead of expecting others to pick up the tab for you, you go out and build your marketable skills and earn a better wage? That’s the fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals appear to believe that society exists to provide success for those who cannot (or will not) provide for themselves. Conservatives believe that society exists to provide the opportunity and environment for others to succeed, but expect those individuals to provide for themselves.

    For instance: Instead of forcing the minimum wage to be $15 per hour (which hurts small employers in a large way, and hurts consumers even more), how about instead we invest in jobs training programs for people. Or coordinate/support day care services to allow single parents to work. Or grants/scholarships for qualified adult learners to retrain their skillsets to current market needs?

    Many people who work at these minimum wage-style jobs do so because they do not posses the skills needed to compete in today’s job market. So instead of treating the symptom (aka raising the minimum wage), why don’t we instead treat the disease (job skill lag)?

  9. Wraithkin commented on Lisa Benson 2 days ago

    No, it was insulting because it, even when taken in context, diminished the hard work people put into building their businesses. They take the risks, not the road builders. They put in the extra hours, not the teachers. They struggle to comply with the tax code that keeps changing, not the government. So by him saying “you didn’t build that,” demeans those who did build it from scratch. Some people have mortgaged their own homes and bet big on their businesses.

  10. Wraithkin commented on Lisa Benson 2 days ago

    My father and brother both own their own businesses, and they both are doing fine. They aren’t independently wealthy, but their business model really doesn’t empower that. Of course, their offerings are geared business-to-business, not to the general consumer.

    But as to the hordes of people I resent? The only people I resent are those who are unwilling to take a job for minimum wage and bust their rear ends at 2-3 jobs to better their economic standing like I did at more than one point in my life, and stop mooching off the system because that’s the path of least resistance.

    I do not work 50+ hours a week at a very demanding job to support those who are unwilling to put forth the same effort that I did/do.