Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Minimum Wage

The Bubble in the Caribbean: Puerto Rico

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 30, 2013:

The complacency of municipal bond holders ended in July with the filing for bankruptcy by Detroit, an unhappy town of just 700,000 owing more than $18 billion to investors. Haircuts there have variously been estimated to be between 15 and 60 percent.

Since then, those holders have been looking around to find the next shoe to fall, and they have found it:

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Why are Puerto Rico’s Bond Prices Falling?

Despite the fact that Puerto Rican (PR) municipal bonds are triple-tax-exempt (no federal, state or local income taxes apply on their interest), those interest rates have skyrocketed since the Detroit bankruptcy first ended the complacency among municipal bond investors in July. High quality municipal bonds are paying little more than 1 percent annually but PR bonds, even though they remain investment grade (barely), have spiked

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President’s Speeches on the Economy Draw Attention Away from His Scandals and Falling Poll Numbers

From the New York Times to Politico.com the president’s speech to students at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois on Wednesday was headline news. More than an hour long, it contained enough platitudes, sound bites and falsehoods to keep pundits busy and away from more about the Benghazi, IRS, NSA surveillance scandals and Obamacare fallout which have caused the president’s poll numbers to plummet. It was time to get out of Dodge and take

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Will Scranton be Next?

Following Detroit’s application for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9 last week, pundits have had a field day predicting which city would be next. Fox News thinks it’s going to be Chicago, which Moody’s just downgraded because of its $19 billion unfunded pension liabilities. The agency said those liabilities are “very large and growing” and as a result the city faces a “tremendous strain.”

Other cities like

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Wal-Mart Shrugs: Pulls Plans to Build Stores in Washington, DC

Writing in the Washington Post on Tuesday, Wal-Mart’s regional general manager Alex Barron told Washington DC’s city council that if they voted to pass the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA) his company would “not pursue [building] stores at Skyland, Capitol Gateway or New York Avenue” shopping centers and they would

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New Poll Shows Small Business Owners Favor Raising the Minimum Wage

Quoting the results of a poll funded by a lobbying group known as the Small Business Majority, the Central Valley Business Times (CVBT) of Stockton, California, announced that a majority of small business owners now support raising the minimum wage. The Times iterated the hoary refrain that such a raise

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The Modern German Economic Model is a Myth

Dessau, a small and steadily shrinking town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt in what used to be East Germany, is doing the best it can. Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the anticipated “miracle” enjoyed by West Germany following World War II failed to materialize for Dessau and so it is in the process of

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More about minimum wage laws and unemployment

Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson contains one of the clearest expositions of the impact minimum wage laws have on employment that I’ve seen:

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A fact the media failed to report: Obama’s minimum wage demand repays his union supporters

A politician never does anything without a purpose or a payback of some kind. Obama is a politician. Therefore there’s a payback there somewhere. It took the Center for Union Facts to find out what it was:

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Another discussion about minimum wage laws?

Obama’s demand that the minimum wage be raised to $9 an hour triggered an avalanche of commentary on the issue, including this from the Associated Press:

President Barack Obama says raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour and tying future increases to inflation will

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How the Free Market’s “Invisible Hand” Works

Description unavailable

(Photo credit: • Brusselssprout_in_Manhattan • Eliane •)

Rather than write a new New Year’s column, Donald Boudreaux recycled one of his from 2005. Here it is:

Happy New Year!

This winter morning I bought a bouquet of wildflowers from the supermarket. Its price was $5.99. The flowers are fresh, beautiful, fragrant – and from Ecuador.

Ponder this fact.

For a mere one hour and eight minutes of work, a minimum-wage worker in the United States can acquire a bouquet of fresh flowers grown in South America. In other words, for 68 minutes of working in the U.S., a minimum wage worker can

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How Minimum Wage Laws Put Productive People Out of Work

English: Wage_labour

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Economist Donald Boudreaux uses himself as an example. He reads in the Washington Post one day that the government, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that all economists must be paid $500,000 a year, not a penny less.  Boudreaux admits that he doesn’t make that much – half a million a year is a sum “which is multiple times my current annual earnings” – and then asks his students: “would I be excited about this news?”

Most people’s’ reaction, I’m sure, would be “good for you!” You’re finally getting paid what you’re worth. It’s a great gettin’ up mornin’!

Boudreaux doesn’t think so. He considers himself “an ordinary and none-too-accomplished professor of economics at George Mason University” and knows that if he were really worth that much, the free market, or what’s left of it, would reward him accordingly. But because he isn’t – he may be right, although I like his writings a lot – he’d be

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A Fool’s Reasons to Vote for Romney

Mitt Romney - Cartoon

Mitt Romney – Cartoon (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Somehow John Hawkins (a self-styled “professional blogger”) got his article published at Townhall.com, giving independent voters five good reasons why they should vote for Romney over Obama. They are ridiculous.

  1. Mitt is from a blue state and understands how to work with the other party.Hawkins said that Romney was able to “pass legislation and balance the budget” in Massachusetts by working with a legislature that “was 87% Democrats.” But Obama and the Republicans haven’t been able to, and that’s a bad thing, according to Hawkins. This is called gridlock. I call it political salvation from more mischief that would result from said “cooperation.” And I thank the Founders for creating a system that put checks on unlimited government that would otherwise result from such “cooperation.”
  2. Mitt Romney is a moderate Republican.Here Hawkins is just plain incoherent. He created a blog called Notmittromney.com during the primaries, alleging that Romney would be a

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Union-Owned Bank Bails Out Scranton Unions

English: Lackawanna County Courthouse, downtow...

English: Lackawanna County Courthouse, downtown Scranton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a remarkable turn of events, union-owned Amalgamated Bank, which had never lent money to a municipality before, has decided to loan Scranton, Pennsylvania, $6 million in order that union members get paid their full salaries. As first reported here, Scranton’s Mayor Chris Doherty ran out of money in June and put everyone, himself included, on minimum wage. The unions protested and won a judgment that Doherty was out of bounds but by then the reduced checks were already in the mail.

A reader of that article made this prescient comment: “What’s the mayor to do? No money in the bank, [he] can’t kite checks … maybe the unions have some sort of slush fund, backup rabbit hole, something…?” The reader was spot on. The mayor’s cutback to minimum wage apparently so angered John Judge, the president of the city’s firemen’s union, who saw his own check reduced from

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The Minimum Wage Folly

This week, Jeff Jacoby wrote about one of my favorite topics—the folly of a minimum wage set by politicians who allegedly want to improve everyone’s standard of living by passing a law. It’s folly of the first order, and a measure not only of their ignorance but their hubris. It’s the King Canute syndrome—commanding the tides to go out just because they say so.

What’s remarkable not only is Jacoby’s reminder of the continued failure of this policy, and the politicians’ insistence on continuing it, but that the real minimum wage for millions in the country right now is—are you ready?—$0.00 per hour!

Scranton Can’t Kick the Can, Cuts Salaries to Minimum Wage

English: Downtown Scranton, PA, on an autumn a...

After conferring with the city’s business administrator, Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mayor Chris Doherty announced on Wednesday, June 27, that all 398 city employees would be getting minimum wage, starting with their next paycheck. Doherty said the city doesn’t have the money to pay everyone their full salary:

I’m trying to do the best I can with the limited amount of funds that I have. I want the employees to get paid. Our people work hard…I just don’t have enough money, and I can’t print it in the basement.

Ryan McGowan, Scranton’s business administrator, confirmed the desperate condition of the city’s finances: “We can’t issue a check if the money’s not there, so at this point [we’ll] just be paying individuals [the] minimum wage…”

Doherty’s announcement gave the city’s employees just eight days’ warning. John Judge, the president of one of the three local unions being impacted by Doherty’s decision, said that he usually receives his salary check every two weeks in the amount, after withholding, of about $1,500. Last week’s check was just $600, before withholding. Said Judge:

My members are getting a check for $7.25 an hour. These are people [who] are the head of their households. They have mortgages. They have other living costs. They are now going to have to throw their bills in a hat and randomly pick what gets paid on time.

The three unions, representing the police, the firefighters, and the public workers, went to court and secured an injunction against Doherty for unilaterally violating the unions’ compensation agreements with the city. But the mayor claims 

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French Elections: Austerity, No! More Spending, Yes!

François Hollande à Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire

By a three-point margin, French citizens replaced President Nicolas Sarkozy with the Socialist and Radical Left Party candidate, Francois Hollande. Hollande, a former mayor of Tulle (pop. 15,000) and then president of Correze (pop. 242,000), beat Sarkozy 51.9% to 48.1%, resulting in the first Socialist president of France since Francois Mitterand left that office in 1995. With Socialist Party majorities in the upper house of parliament and two-thirds of all French towns, a win by the party in the upcoming June elections in the lower house would give the Socialist Party “more levers of power than ever in its 43-year modern history,” according to NewsMax.com.

With such control, Hollande knows exactly what he is going to do: apply what France is already suffering from, only more so. He wants to spend more money even in the face of the agreement recently signed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to cut spending in order to save the banks and the euro. His campaign slogan, “Austerity is not inevitable,” Hollande is persuaded that he can do the impossible: spend more and balance the budget at the same time. He plans to:

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Chavez Imposes Price Controls to “Protect the People from Capitalism”

Hugo Chávez, President since 1999.

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced last Tuesday the imposition of new price controls on a long list of consumer items, he expressed optimism that they would help curb inflation:

This is a law to protect the people from capitalism. We have a tough battle ahead [because] inflation is one of the biggest problems we have.

I’m at the front of this operation, and we’re going to occupy factories and companies. We’re going to nationalize what needs to be nationalized. The bourgeoisie hoard milk, sugar and cooking oil and then [they] blame me. But it’s their fault, the hoarders.

The citizens were smarter than Chavez. Having lived under a regime enforcing price controls on cooking oil and sugar with its natural and predictable resulting shortages, they looked at the list of household items about to be “fixed” and 

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Four Ways to Reinvigorate Private Sector Job Growth

"Big Pete" Ramagos, rigger at work o...

There was precious little good news in the latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for October. Employment rose by 80,000, less than economists expected, and much less than the 250,000 needed to begin to bring down the unemployment rate significantly.

But inside the numbers there was a little good news: The unemployment rate dropped slightly to 9.0 percent, the number of long-term unemployed declined by 365,000 and private-sector employment increased by 104,000. At the same time government payrolls have been decreasing, reducing slightly but inevitably the drag on the private sector that ultimately pays for that government overhead. In fact, according to the BLS,

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Unemployment 25% and Rising

A closer look at the Department of Labor’s employment report earlier this month reveals that the real unemployment number is different from the “headline” number. Restated, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) should have concluded that unemployment is at least 9.1 percent, and most certainly much higher.

If the BLS adds the 9.3 million who are “involuntarily” employed part time because their hours were cut back or because they couldn’t find a full-time job, that brings the total to

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann