Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
If I ever get tired of trying to make an honest living and want to start ripping people off, and make sure I never get caught at it, I’m going to start talking in a thick Boston accent heavily sprinkled with the word “Ah.” It seems to be an effective way to deflect probing questions. That’s the one thought I have, reading the AP’s puff-piece about Ted Kennedy’s “agenda” for next year, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
“Americans are working harder than ever, but millions of hardworking men and women across the country aren’t getting their fair share,” Kennedy said during a speech outlining his legislative agenda for next year. “We’re not rewarding work fairly anymore, and working families are falling behind.”
President Bush signaled readiness last week to consider some Democratic priorities such as a minimum-wage increase, overhauling immigration policy and finding compromise on renewing the No Child Left Behind education law.
Critics of boosting the minimum wage say it kills job creation as employers hire fewer entry-level workers to compensate for the higher wage expenses. Kennedy said the minimum wage has remained at $5.15 an hour for nearly 10 years. Under Kennedy’s proposal, the increase would occur over about a two-year period.
Most states have their own minimum wages laws, with some states having rates the same as the federal minimum wage and some with rates higher than the federal minimum.
Kennedy noted that ballot initiatives establishing or raising the minimum wage in six states all passed in this month’s election.
“If there is one message from this election that emerged loud and clear, it’s that no one who works for a living should have to live in poverty,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy also said he would seek to expand federal support for research on stem cells coming from embryos, which Congress approved last year, but Bush vetoed. The issue won’t go away, he promised.
On education, Kennedy said he would seek to make college more affordable by increasing the size of Pell Grants from $4,050 to $5,100, and by cutting interest rates on student loans.
He said that the student loan business has become too profitable for the banking industry. “It’s time to take the moneychangers out of the temple on student loans,” he said.
I don’t have to wait too long, nowadays, for a left-winger to insist that his positions on various issues makes him smart, and my position make me dense. We live in a time in which people on both sides of the aisle, apply rustic and faulty “intelligece tests” to those around them, by gathering up peoples’ positions on the issues. Well, the minimum wage has become my way of paying this back. Lefty says I’m a big ol’ NASCAR dolt because I supported “George Bush’s illegal war in Iraq,” and golly, you know he just may have a point. Maybe the left-wing hippy does know something I don’t. So like a pig digging for truffles, hoping to engage an intellect that maybe has a different perspective to provide me, perhaps finding an angle to the big picture of which I was previously not aware, I ask about the minimum wage. If my left-wing antagonist supports the minimum wage, I can rule out this possibility. Completely. If the asshole has a brain in his head he isn’t using it. And he isn’t seeking to “educate” me, he just wants to indoctrinate me and assimilate me into the collective. There’s no thought involved. Guaranteed.
Raising the minimum wage has been a favorite agenda of Democrats my entire life, and then some. Whenever the subject comes up, my favorite way of commenting on it has come to be “Congress is currently reviewing a measure to outlaw millions of jobs.” The lefties out there, predictably, cite this as further evidence of my cluelessness and thick-headedness. But who’s clueless? Congress raises the minimum wage — is Congress considering the appropriation of general funds to reimburse employers for the difference? Not so far as I can see…ever. Is Congress going to provide punitive measures against employers who dismiss their associates, specifically because of the financial ramifications of the increase? Again, not within my memory.
So the minimum wage is all about defining a class of jobs out there, and announcing that something has got to happen with them if the employer is not to violate this new law. On what that something is, Congress, within the information that has made its way to me, throughout my lifetime — has not a tinker’s damn to say about anything. Nor has Congress sought to say anything. The employer has absolute latitude; all that is required of him, is that something be changed. We have this pipe dream that the employer is going to say “Good golly! I better find some more money to pay these people!”
But a pipe dream is all it is.
With things left unchanged, these millions of jobs, which up until the moment in question were in comportation with the law…no longer are. And at that point, Congress’ involvement abruptly comes to a stop. Seriously. In my lifetime, I have yet to see a pro-increase-minimum-wage Congressman step up and so much as denounce employers opting to get rid of these now-more-expensive associates. I have not yet see anything like that happen yet. I’m waaaaaaiiiiiiting…haven’t seen it.
So to say this kind of activity is “a bill to outlaw jobs,” is simply a more accurate statement of the facts. The pit bull that is in place to keep those jobs from being eliminated, is the union. But of course all those “hardworking men and women” who are affected by minimum wage laws, are not necessarily represented by a union. Those who are not, are off Kennedy’s radar. This is only about the unionized forces. And the purpose of the legislation, is to pay back those unions by increasing the wages from which the union dues are going to be derived.
Just a little bit of payback. One hand washing the other.
But don’t the egghead economic scientists insist that the minimum wage does nothing to eliminate jobs, in fact, may actually cut the unemployment rate? Why, yes they do! They have yet to explain how making any commodity more expensive, stimulates the consumption of it. They can’t explain that…because that simply isn’t how things work. In fact, if you listen to them carefully, you’ll see they don’t even come out and say this is what’s happening. They’ll recite some cherry-picked facts to lead the audience to this conclusion, but you won’t hear a pro-minimum-wage egghead economist guy come out and say, “when it became more expensive to hire people, employers jumped at the chance to do so, because it made good financial sense to them to spend more money on the same labor.”
As far as the unemployment rate being kept more-or-less the same throughout various increases in the minimum wage, this much is true. And it’s by design. Adjusted for inflation, throughout forty years the minimum wage hasn’t even been raised, really. It is generally agreed to have peaked, in “real” dollars, sometime in the late 1960’s. We’re coming up on ten years since the last federal increase…unemployment is at an all-time low…the conditions are right. It is “time” to raise it. What if — and this is just a hypothetical — we were to yank the minimum wage up when unemployment was high? If it really wasn’t a job-killer, wouldn’t that make a lot of sense? Or…what about the Rush Limbaugh hypothetical? Why not $20 an hour? Why not $50? The position of the left on this, as far as I can gather, is that this would be “silly.” Or yes, this would cause unemployment, but things are different when the increase is more “reasonable.”
So you see, there isn’t any disagreement about the minimum wage between the right and the left. Both sides agree that it is safe in smaller doses, dangerous in higher doses — essentially, that it does indeed cause existing jobs to disappear. They disagree only in what is to be acknowledged exuberantly, or conceded grudgingly. What it does, is put people in control of the job market — union officials, politicians, lobbyists — who have nothing whatsoever to do with creating those jobs, or for getting the objectives of those jobs fulfilled. It keeps them in charge of things.
Now, what would happen if regulation was peeled way back, and the employers and employees had more control? There are those who believe the employers would run everything; and since employers don’t really want to hire anybody, all the jobs would disappear except for a handful, and those wouldn’t pay for shit.
Well, I can only go by what I see. People having jobs and losing them…people applying for jobs and not getting them…people hired on, and the jobs suddenly going away…this happens five times, and only one time out of those five, at most, does the issue have something to do with a stingy employer cutting corners. The other four, it has something to do with regulation, or auditing. Decisions about jobs, being made by people who have nothing to do with the job being done.
Why does this ratio seem so out of balance? It makes perfect sense when you think about it. The stakeholders in the job getting done, if they are to make the decisions, the job stays. Of course it does. They want to get that job done, because if they didn’t, the job never would have come to be in the first place.
Of course…Kennedy speaks with that thick Boston accent. And he uses the word “Ah.” So none of this came out in the interview…or press conference…whatever it was. Kennedy said stuff, and if anybody asked a probing question anywhere, it didn’t make it into print. The AP just caught his glittering generalities and wrote ’em up.
Kennedy also said he wanted to support embryonic stem cell research.
What exactly is this committee and when did it get formed? I was just noticing…grinding up babies doesn’t have a whole lot to do with outlawing jobs. Kennedy’s chairmanship puts him in a position to do both. This borders on the surreal.
When I was a pre-teenager type kid, “baby in a blender” jokes were all the rage. If I could travel back to that time, and tell people in 2006 this will actually become a legislative agenda, they’d never believe it. And here we are.
I’m more concerned about the ability we have to vote in these legislative agendas. Mark Foley sent some spicy Internet messages to a former page, and we have this huge sloshing mushbucket of unrelated liberal objectives now in charge of the nation’s capital. Suppose — and this is another hypothetical — as a member of the electorate, I was desiring a little bit more surgical precision in what was to receive my support. Suppose I was in favor of grinding up the babies, but against outlawing jobs. Or vice-versa. What if some parts of Kennedy’s agenda sounded good to me, and other parts of it did not.
How do I vote for that? I just have one Congressman…some years I have a Senator running too, the one this year was a shoe-in even though I despise her…I can elect these incumbents, or vote ’em out. And based on who wins — and a lot of years, it’s just like this one, some silly scandal decides everything — we have this asshole and his juggernaut agenda, mashing up babies, outlawing jobs, making war on the cherished American values of individuality, capitalism, opportunity, keeping the money you have earned…choice. We vote for our elected representatives, and the elected representatives vote on all of Sen. Kennedy’s agenda, or none of it. Can’t have nuthin’ in-between.
I’ve been listening to liberals for six years tell me our “democracy is slipping away.” Well, it certainly is…just not in the way they’ve been saying.
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