Sen. Bernie Sanders belatedly released his tax returns this week. The New York Times reported:
The returns show that Mr. Sanders’s earnings shot up after his first presidential bid, when he built up a vast national following. He and his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, reported income that topped $1 million in 2016 and 2017, lifted by proceeds from his books.
The couple had an adjusted gross income of $561,293 in 2018, according to their most recent tax return. Mr. Sanders had about $393,000 in book income last year, and he and his wife reported giving nearly $19,000 to charity.
His income now puts him within the top 1 percent of taxpayers, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service.
Apparently, nothing succeeds like penalizing success.
Sen. Sanders said, “I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.” But his incarnation as John Galt didn’t last. In a Fox News town-hall, Bret Baier asked him, “When you wrote the book and you made the money, isn’t that the definition of capitalism and the American dream?”
After an uncomfortable pause, the senator answered, “No.”
But he is wrong. Having an idea, acting on it, and making a pile of money is the very definition of successful entrepreneurship.
Sen. Sanders took a laptop costing a few hundred dollars and produced, in Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In, a document for which he was paid $795,000. Taking an input valued at a few hundred dollars and turning it into an output worth $795,000 is the essence of entrepreneurial capitalism.
And Senator Sanders is right—he deserves that money. In January 2018, an estimated 73 percent of US adults owned either a desktop or a laptop. That’s 187.4 million people. How many of them produced a word document worth $795,000? Very few. No doubt Jersey Shore’s Snooki used a laptop like Sen. Sanders’ to produce Gorilla Beach, her debut novel, but there were more people willing to pay—and pay more money—for Sen. Sanders’ book. Value is subjective, after all. By providing greater satisfaction, Sen. Sanders reaped greater rewards.
Be the Change? You First
Sen. Sanders and his wife paid an effective tax rate of 26 percent, well below the levels of 70 percent or so he claims “the 1 percent”—which includes him—ought to pay. They topped this up with $19,000 in charitable donations, another 3.4 percent of their income.
But if Sen. Sanders really thinks he isn’t having enough of his income taken from him, he can solve this situation unilaterally, and he can do it today—without waiting for Congress. He can donate his money to the federal government.
On Wednesday night, Tucker Carlson asked a Sanders supporter, Nomiki Konst, why he didn’t do just that. “Because that’s not how our government functions,” she replied, “Where do you send that form? The IRS? ‘Hi IRS, here’s a cheque for 70 percent?’”
No, you send it to the Treasury, as their website clearly instructs.
“Who does that?” she went on, “I would love to see one guest on your show that has actually written an entire paycheck.” In fact, so far in 2019, the Treasury has received $3.7 million in “Gift Contributions to Reduce Debt Held by the Public.” Carlson could get one of these donors on his show.
There’s an old line that “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.” Konst’s argument shows how hollow that phrase really is.
Sen. Sanders has a choice, as do the members of the so-called Patriotic Millionaires. If they truly feel that politicians are not getting enough money to spend, they can give them some more. They can choose to “Be the change.” But they don’t. They will only act on their professed desire if other people are forced to act along with them. For all their talk about wanting to give the government more money, they make such payment contingent on other people who may not want to do so being forced to by law.
This is a curious form of generosity. It is an even more curious form of choice. Where is the choice for the people who think they already pay enough in tax? Government is not simply the name we give to the things we “choose to do together,” it is the name we give to things where 51 percent of people choose something, and the other 49 percent have to go along. As economist Milton Friedman once wrote, “You may get to vote once a year—on what? On a long, long list of propositions, with very little relationship between your vote and what ultimately happens.”
Socialism Is Not about Sharing
Sen. Sanders claims to be a socialist, and socialism is often described as “sharing.” But there is nothing inherently socialist about sharing. You can just as easily share under capitalism. Indeed, the latest World Giving Index produced by the Charities Aid Foundation listed the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands—all seven of them capitalist countries—in the top 10 most charitable countries over the last five years. By contrast, Venezuela, formerly Sen. Sanders’s poster child for “democratic” socialism, ranked a miserly 115th in 2017.
In 2011, the year when Sen. Sanders was boosting Venezuela, it ranked 118th compared to first place for the capitalist USA. But then, according to the World Bank, in 2011, GDP per capita in the US was $49,000 compared to just $14,000 in Venezuela*. Under capitalism, you actually have something to share. As Margaret Thatcher once put it,
No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money, as well.
Giving your money voluntarily—what most people would think of as sharing—is not what socialists actually mean by the word. That is why Sen. Sanders and the Patriotic Millionaires refuse to give the federal government their money voluntarily while a mechanism exists to do so and others are already using it. Their idea of sharing is that the government takes money from somebody else to hand it out as it sees fit. We already have a degree of this in capitalist societies. Today’s socialists want to increase the amount of people’s wealth that passes through the hands of the government.
The socialist notion of “sharing” is nothing of the kind. Sharing is voluntary, this is coerced. It is not sharing but coercion that is the essence of socialism. As the British author Kingsley Amis—a youthful socialist who came to support Thatcher—put it, “if socialism is not about compulsion, it is about nothing.”
* In constant 2010 dollars
John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment and fellow of The Cobden Centre.
EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission.
The biggest political scandal in US history has been exposed. The treasonous illegal take down (insurance policy – which has lapsed), and the failed coup d’ etat is exposed for the world to see. We are now living in a post Mueller Investigation. It’s a brand new day! The disruptive cloud of the collusion hoax has been lifted. President Trump is unchained. Watch Trump at this recent rally in Michigan as he unleashes on the fake news, democrats and the deep state. Furthermore, we will begin to see even greater success with international leaders and negotiations with such countries as China and North Korea etc. Any delays or uncertainties that the witch hunt created will no longer be an obstacle to forging ahead with our allies and trading partners as Trump dismantles globalism and the new world order.
With this hoax, for all intents and purposes behind us, President Trump has now openly gone on the offense. The enemy has been and continues to be doing an excellent job at destroying themselves. The president has expressed his views on the dedicated one hour show with Sean Hannity (a must watch), as well as to the international media and from his busy Twitter account. The president acknowledged that this was not only a complete fabricated hoax, but in fact a treasonous illegal take down and failed coup d’ etat against a duly elected president. Trump vows to expose this so that justice will be served. The president stated this must never happen again to any president.
When asked by Hannity about declassifying FISA and other intel records and releasing this to the public, the President concurred that this will now take place. Trump indicated to Sean Hannity that he will now look into Hillary Clinton which I have a well documented track record stating this day would come. President Trump has used words such as evil individuals. Sick people doing really bad things. With regards to the media in a tweet, the president said “The Fake News Media is going Crazy! They are suffering a major “breakdown,” have ZERO credibility or respect, & must be thinking about going legit. I have learned to live with Fake News, which has never been more corrupt than it is right now. Someday, I will tell you the secret! Looking forward to the secret revealed Mr. President.
The president talked with Sean about Obama and his responsibility in all this since it was under BHO’s watch and BHO’s DOJ, FBI, CIA where and when all this originated. We’ve known all along about the Bushes, Clinton’s and Obama’s. The Bush’s are now under Trump’s control. Beginning perhaps from the bottom up, we will see Clinton and Obama in due time, facing justice. What did the founding fathers say is the punishment for elected officials guilty of high crimes, sedition and treason? Oh yeah, execution.
Keep in mind that Google hearings are on going. Facebook is under federal investigation and frantically data dumping as an attempt to hide their crimes. FB, Twitter, Google, Microsoft YouTube etc. will be challenged further. Are they news sites? Are they breaking any laws with regards to censorship? Shadow banning? Data mining? Algorithms designed to silence the opposition? Leave this up to intel and the lawyers but I am sure we will be hearing about monopolies and anti trust laws along the way.
Q has told us there are over 82,000 sealed indictments. We are witnessing sedition and treason. We are witnessing felonies, high crimes and misdemeanors. These acts will now see the light of day and the facts will be known as the day of reckoning is upon is. Comey, Shiff, Schummer, Pelosi, Feinstein, Ryan, Burr along with McCabe, Clapper, Brennan and so many others.
Watch Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul. The probes, hearings, investigations, grand juries, subpoenas, indictments as well as military tribunals, will now commence and quicker than we may think. This will, however go on for several years. But it’s a new day dawning. In fact, President Trump stated on that Hannity interview I mentioned, that we are in a very dark, dark period but we are now shedding light and coming into the truth and into the light. Yes, from dark to light.
President Trump mentioned in the Hannity interview that he is working on restoring election integrity of which I have written extensively about in my book “Trump and the Resurrection of America“. Trump talked about the importance of a paper ballot back up to computers which we now all know are rigged. The chapter in my book titled “Free and Fair Elections” is perhaps among the first to reveal what really went on rigging the polls, election theft and voter fraud. We have now officially entered steps six, seven and eight on the scale of discovery and action which will prove to be the longest and most dangerous phase as we are well engaged in America’s second revolution. The democrats, fake news and the deep state will fight back with a vengeance. Expect further false narratives and legal attacks and attempts against the president. False flags will continue and perhaps escalate in terms of damage. Be prepared spiritually, personally and economically.
The hoax has ended. Take a win. Calm down and enjoy the ride. And so the Nuremberg style trials that I wrote about back in August of 2017 are now at our doorstep. In fact with the tribunals of both John McCain and George Herbert Walker Bush already behind us, I stand corrected as this has already begun. Get the popcorn and enjoy the show.
Informed – Connected – Grounded
Read through my books and nearly 400 articles here on this website. Sign up for the JMC Report. I have a pretty good track record for over two decades. It’s either us or them. Mark my words. They are all going down. The global financial reset and the rule of law reset are the underlying policies of which our brilliant and brave President is operating. President Trump is restoring power to the people and re-directing the course for humanity. We are on God’s side. May the force remain with us.
So now we still have leftist statists Gerrard Nadler, Chair of House Judiciary Committee and Adam Schiff Chair of House Intelligence Committee stating they will continue pursuing unnecessary investigations of every facet of President Trump’s life before he became President as well as the 2 years he has been President despite the Mueller Report. Both have stated their is plenty of “circumstantial” evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians and/or obstructed justice. What a total lie which proves the Democrats are consumed with HATE and more interested in trying to find something to impeach President Trump more than governing in the best interest of the United States. Not to mention the leftist New York Attorney General who is constantly and unfairly trying to dig up dirt on President Trump, his family and associates.
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler epitomizes the irrational HATRED he, his leftist allies in Congress and the drive-by media have towards President Trump. Without any evidence produced by the Mueller investigation, Nadler stated “we are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, corruption and obstruction of justice.” He will subpoena 60 former/current Trump officials and others including those with whom Trump had business dealings long before becoming President.
Adam Schiff, Chair of House Intelligence Committee is just as bad as Nadler planning more hearings on non-existent “Russian Collusion.” The 2 yr Mueller investigation costing taxpayers r $50M+ has produced no evidence. The whole investigation was based on false FISA warrants issued with bogus “dossier” information paid for by Hillary Clinton.
Trump supporters know this vitriol stems from his legitimate election which Nadler, Shiff and their ilk can’t accept.
Nadler and Schiff, like Mueller, are conducting “Witch Hunts” to create crimes that don’t exist. Nadler’s assertion that “our job is to protect the rule of law” demonstrates the height of hypocrisy and double standards after all the criminal activity conducted by Obama and his administration including “Fast & Furious”; Benghazi; IRS scandal; failure to follow Obamacare laws; Iran deal; whitewashed Clinton investigation, etc.
No POTUS before Trump has ever been falsely criticized 24X7 for his first two years much less maintained a 50% approval rating and delivered on every campaign promise. The left just don’t get it. They are lying themselves into another loss in 2020.
Remember these numbers.
- 19 – the number of Clinton lawyers hired by Mueller to conduct this investigation based on fake, unlawful FISA warrants and made up dossier funded by Hillary Clinton
- 40 – the number of FBI agents involved in the Mueller investigation
- 2800 – the number of subpoenas issued by the Mueller investigation
- 500 search warrants
- 230 orders for communications records
- 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers
- 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence
- 500 witnesses
- 25 – million dollars – (as of September 30, 2018) the cost to the American taxpayer for nothing
The witch hunt continues under Schiff and Nadler because they have nothing else they care about. Americans and America be damned.
RELATED VIDEO: The Trump campaign released a video montage of Democrats’ reckless, false charges titled “Collusion Hoax!”
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler epitomizes the irrational HATRED he, his leftist allies in Congress and the drive-by media have towards President Trump. Without any evidence produced by the Mueller investigation, Nadler stated “we are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, corruption and obstruction of justice.” He plans to call in 60 former/current Trump officials and many others including those with whom Trump had business dealings long before becoming President. Trump supporters know this vitriol stems from his legitimate election which Nadler & hi s ilk still can’t accept.
Nadler, like Mueller, is conducting a “Witch Hunt” to create crimes that don’t exist. His assertion that “our job is to protect the rule of law” demonstrates the height of hypocrisy and double standards after all the criminal activity conducted by Obama and his administration including “Fast & Furious”; Benghazi; IRS scandal; failure to follow Obamacare laws; Iran deal; whitewashed Clinton investigation, etc.
No POTUS before Trump has ever been falsely criticized 24X7 for his first two years much less maintained a 50% approval rating and delivered on every campaign promise. The left, including Nadler, just don’t get it. They are lying themselves into another loss in 2020.
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. We have all been waiting so long for the hammer of justice to come down upon the deep state and its operatives. Having written about this extensively over the past 2 years first in my book Trump and the Resurrection of America, but also in the many articles I’ve written on my website, I draft this short post with much anticipation of the events on the now very short term horizon, like sixteen more days to be more specific.
Declassification Countdown – Trump Goes To War With The Deep State
The declassification will come in stages. We cannot expect justice to be served just yet. This comes a bit later. We are at steps 6, 7 & 8 on the scale of discovery and action. It is the media that will be hit the hardest with the soon to be steps of declassification. Why? Because the truth will be revealed and the media will have no choice but to cover it. What will they say? How will they handle this? After all, we are talking about evidence. Facts. Truth. Through FISA and other sources.
As you think this trough, this further exposes and implicates the MSM fake news deep state mouth pieces and slowly but surly the public and global support for Trump shifts (even if not expressed). The MSM will be fuhrer exposed not to mention all those implicated in the declassification. This then leads to the trials, hearings, grand juries and indictments which then leads to justice. And let us not forget, the military tribunals are already under way with at least two tribunals already completed where justice has been served.
And so, sixteen days to go. Get the popcorn and enjoy the paradigm shift of power and control as President Trump and team goes on the offense. This battle of sorts will rage on for some years to come as Trump restores the power to the people. Stay the course and trust the plan.
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov.
Larry Kudlow, director of the president’s National Economic Council, called Thursday for putting socialism “on trial”—and convicting it.
“I want you, and everybody in this room and your friends and your neighbors, I want you to put socialism on trial, that’s what I’m asking,” Kudlow said, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside Washington.
“I don’t want us to stand idly by,” he told the CPAC audience. “I don’t want to let this stuff fester. I want it challenged. I want it debated. I want it rebutted. I want to convict socialism.”
The top economic adviser to President Donald Trump noted the emergence of support for socialism among young voters and among Democrats in Congress.
He singled out the so-called Green New Deal, a proposal backed by congressional Democrats in the form of a resolution sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
The Democrats’ plan would move the country away from fossil fuels while implementing a raft of liberal initiatives.
Kudlow called the proposal “central planning on a grand scale.”
“The Green New Deal would literally destroy the economy. Literally,” Kudlow said. “It would knock out energy, transportation, airlines, jobs, business. We’d probably lose 10 to 15 percent of our GDP. That’s remarkable. But that’s what our opponents and critics are saying.”
Kudlow added: “About $75 trillion is the total cost of the Green New Deal and its associated policies.”
He called for Americans to be armed with facts.
“Tax the rich. Tax wealth. Wealthy, successful people don’t pay their fair share,” Kudlow said, echoing the left’s arguments.
“The top 1 percent of income earners pay about 40 percent of taxes,” he said, ticking off some facts. “The top 10 percent pays nearly 70 percent. The bottom 50 percent pays 3 percent. So, who pays the taxes? Successful people.”
“So don’t let this ‘tax fairness’ debate go by,” Kudlow urged his audience. “Use the numbers.”
CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs through Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.
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“Behold, a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.” – Revelation 6:8
The original New Deal (1933-’36) was a series of programs, public works projects, financial reforms and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, designed to rescue the U.S. from the Great Depression. The artfully-name Green New Deal, proposed by Democrat-socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), is a series of drastic changes designed to divert the US from the path of improvement and greatness set by President Donald J. Trump, and propagate Obama’s disastrous and divisive policies.
President Trump’s focus on energy has been removing the Obama era’s burdensome energy regulations so that we are now experiencing an unprecedented boom in domestic oil production and energy independence. We are exporting more oil than importing for the first time in 75 years. Trump has been so successful, in fact, that Obama has tried to assume the credit in the hope of salvaging his eight years of failure. The unscientific, childish Ocasio-Cortez endorses the climate change hoax, blaming every winter storm and summer hot spell on corporate America and on cattle with normal gastrointestinal activity. As clearly clarified by Paul Driessen on cfact, “AOC wants to lead the world in economic suicide, environmental degradation, plummeting living standards, shorter life spans and societal upheaval.“
Her desire to raze, rebuild, and refurbish every building with, allegedly, non-polluting solar or wind-power equipment, would create an insurmountable debt. Considering the revelation that she is supported by anti-American, globalist and Nazi-sympathizer, George Soros, it may be that she hopes to erase all remnants of our national history, a common aspiration for every tyrannical regime that has not the ability to improve on what others have achieved. Alexandra has described herself in divisive intersectional terms, as a Puerto Rican descendant of African slaves, Indigenous people, and Spanish colonizers. She does not call herself an American and seems to have no affinity for the welfare of our country and our fellow-Americans.
It is not uncommon for a conquering power to burn (or replace) books and destroy historic sites and monuments, and to erase their essential cultural knowledge and evidence of existence. Today we have leftist instructors who have stopped teaching America’s history and Antifa groups and students tearing down our memorial statues, recalling the disposal of artifacts under the Temple Mount, the ruination of the Buddhas of Bamyan, and the damage done to Christopher Columbus images. Every edifice has an architectural style and history that, serving as a memorial to the earlier generations and an inspiration to succeeding ones, we have the duty to protect. But under the ruse of energy replacement, O-C would demolish all and replace with communist-style, regulated, mean living quarters – if, indeed, she would rebuild anything at all.
Her plan could well be more sinister.
Her program calls for the complete cessation of all methods of transportation that rely on fossil fuels, leaving many millions of people jobless in manufacture, warehousing, sales, and product shipments, thereby returning us to the backwardness of previous centuries. Without air travel, international business becomes virtually impossible. Without shipping, we could not manufacture or trade with the world. Without trucks, we would have few internal shipments, including food stuffs. Without cars, our ability to travel within our own country would come to a standstill, save bicycles, among the most vulnerable in road accidents in China. O-C proposes a high-speed rail, such as the disastrous Fast Train project in California, where the cost overruns are becoming world-record setting – hair-brained or intentionally meant for financial collapse.
Following O-C’s destruction of cattle, junior Senator Cory Booker (D) would impose his vegan food choices on the rest of the country. Therefore, in addition to losing cows (beef, milk and all dairy products, and foods that require those ingredients), he opposes chicken and eggs with a misplaced sense of morality, since he clearly does not consider the health and welfare of his fellow citizens. Neither is he concerned about the inevitable burgeoning prices for other foods that must replace what had been our necessities.
With O-C’s destruction of the transportation, beef and dairy industries, and Booker’s destruction of the poultry industry, and the various feeds grown for their animals, the number of unemployed would reach an insuperable level. The burden of feeding the populace would fall on low-wage, labor-intensive grain, vegetable and fruit growers, and be subject to the variations of climate and weather.
Despite our current all-time low employment achieved under Trump, the better educated, highly skilled might not be employable if O-C’s madness were implemented. She assures that everyone would be an employee of the government, as pharaoh’s monarchy employed its slave labor. O-C’s proposed 70- to 90-percent tax rate might also be reasoned as the citizens’ paying themselves. Our country would become a Welfare State.
Elizabeth Harrington, in The Washington Free Beacon, assures us that each federal (or monarchial) job comes with:
- a salary (befitting what lifestyle?)
- paid vacation (to go where and how?)
- retirement benefits (at what age, amount, and nature and extent of services?)
- adequate housing for all (surely not the equal of the elites’ mansions), and
- access to nature (the land overrun with wild fruit, weeds and garbage, now a food source in Venezuela, and queueing up to obtain necessities with the hope that there will be enough for those strong enough to endure the wait. Bernie Sanders thinks bread lines are a good thing.)
- healthy food (barely adequate or generous? Without the master’s obligation to feed the worker, we would be heading toward the starvation of Stalin’s peasants, or Hitler’s untermenschen, or Pol Pot’s agrarian workforce.)
Again displaying her intersectionality biases, in case life is not Utopian, her plan calls for “reparations for all but white men.”
A review of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) indicates that Russians rate their housing at 4.8, compared to the US at 8.7; their income at 0.9, compared to the US at 10.0; and their life satisfaction at 4.2, compared to the US at 7.8. I cannot help but wonder, with some trepidation, where O-C’s Green New Deal would place us.
Roosevelt’s Works Projects Administration (WPA) employed millions of unskilled people for construction of public buildings and roads – a storm of great activity and inventiveness. By grim contrast, O-C’s administration would engage low and unskilled laborers to systematically raze our architectural achievements – edifices designed with the charm of Baroque, Colonial, Neoclassical styles, and more – and replace them with a depressing energy-efficient sameness in every town and city. The streets would have to be an unimaginable grid of steel tracks to support the massive public transportation system, and a blight of charging stations everywhere for State-approved electric vehicles.
As a set design of the bleakest futuristic Science Fiction films spring to mind, we are being herded to the ever-closer socialist dream of a controlled society, where individual choice is disallowed by the State, and our lives lead unwaveringly to a predetermined destination.
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by christels on Pixabay.
This will be a rough year for full-service NYC restaurants as they try to navigate a future with significant economic headwinds and significantly higher labor costs from the city’s $15 an hour minimum wage.
An article in the New York Eater (“Restaurateurs Are Scrambling to Cut Service and Raise Prices After Minimum Wage Hike“) highlights some of the suffering New York City’s full-service restaurants are experiencing following the December 31, 2018 hike in the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, which is 15.4% higher than the $13 minimum wage a year earlier and 36.4% higher than the $11 an hour two years ago. For example, Rosa Mexicana operates four restaurants in Manhattan and estimates the $15 mandated wage will increase their labor costs by $600,000 this year. Here’s a slice:
Now, across the city, restaurant owners and operators are reworking their budgets and operations to come up with those extra funds. Some restaurants, like Rosa Mexicano, are changing scheduling. Other restaurateurs are cutting hours and staffers, raising menu prices, and otherwise nixing costs wherever they can.
And though the new regulations are intended to benefit employees, some restaurateurs and staffers say that take home pay ends up being less due to fewer hours — or that employees face more work because there are fewer staffers per shift. “The bottom line is, we have to reduce the number of hours we spend,” says Chris Westcott, Rosa Mexicano’s president and CEO. “And unfortunately that means that, in many cases, employees are earning less even though they’re making more.”
In a survey conducted by New York City Hospitality Alliance late last year, about 75% of the more than 300 respondents operating full-service restaurants reported they’ll reduce employee hours this year because of the new wage increases, while 47% said they’ll eliminate jobs in 2019.
Note also that the survey also reported that “76.50% of respondents report reducing employee hours and 36.30% eliminated jobs in 2018 in response to mandated wage increases.” Those staff reductions are showing up in the NYC full-service restaurant employee series from the BLS, see chart above. December 2018 restaurant jobs were down by almost 3,000 (and by 1.64%) from the previous December, and the 2.5% annual decline in March 2018 was the worst annual decline since the sharp collapse in restaurant jobs following 9/11 in 2001.
As the chart shows, it usually takes an economic recession to cause year-over-year job losses at NYC’s full-service restaurants, so it’s likely that this is a “restaurant recession” tied to the annual series of minimum wage hikes that brought the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour at the end of last year. And the NYC restaurant recession is happening even as the national economy hums along in the 117th month of the second-longest economic expansion in history and just short of the 120-month record expansion from March 1991 to March 2001.
Here’s more of the article:
“There’s a lot of concern and anxiety happening within the city’s restaurant industry,” says Andrew Rigie, executive director of the restaurant advocacy group. Most restaurant owners want to pay employees more, he says, but are challenged by “the financial realities of running a restaurant in New York City.” Merelyn Bucio, a server at a restaurant in Soho that she declined to name, says her hours were cut and her workload increased when wage rates rose. Server assistants and bussers now work fewer shifts, so she and other servers take on side work like polishing silverware and glasses. “We have large sections, and there are large groups, so it’s more difficult,” she says. “You need your server assistant in order to give guests a better experience.”
At Lalito, a small restaurant in Chinatown, they used to roster two servers on the floor, but post wage increases, there’s only one, who is armed with a handheld POS (point of sale) system, according to co-owner Mateusz Lilpop. Having fewer people working was the only way for him to reduce costs, he says. Since the hike, labor costs at Lalito have risen about 10 percent — from 30 to 35 percent to 40 to 45 percent of sales, he says.
These changes get passed onto the diner, some restaurateurs argue. Service can suffer due to fewer people on the floor, or more and more restaurateurs will explore the fast-casual format over full-service ones. Some restaurants are also raising prices for customers. According to the NYC Hospitality Alliance’s survey, close to 90 percent of respondents expect to raise menu prices this year. Lalito’s menu prices have increased by 10 to 15 percent. Lilpop says, and it’s not just the cost of paying his staff driving prices up — it’s a ripple effect from New York-based food purveyors’ own labor cost increases.
“If you have a farmer that has employees that are picking fruit, he has to increase his labor costs, which means he has to increase his fruit prices,” Lilpop says. “I have to buy that fruit from him at a higher rate, and it goes down the chain.”
A few economic lessons here.
- A reduction in restaurant staffing that results in a decline in customer service (e.g., longer wait times, less attentive wait staff, etc.) is equivalent to a price increase for customers.
- The increases in the city minimum wage to $15 an hour, in addition to directly increasing labor costs for restaurants, also affects the labor costs of companies that supply food, liquor, restaurant supplies, menus, etc. and causes a ripple effect of indirect higher operational costs throughout the entire restaurant supply chain as described above.
- Even for workers who keep their jobs, a higher minimum wage per hour doesn’t necessarily translate into higher weekly earnings, if the reduction in hours is greater than the increase in hourly wages. For example, 40 hours per week at $13 an hour generates higher weekly pre-tax earnings ($520) than 33 hours per week at the higher $15 an hour ($495).
Prediction: This will be a rough year for full-service NYC restaurants as they try to navigate a future with significant economic headwinds and significantly higher labor costs from the city’s $15 an hour minimum wage.
Mark J. Perry is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus.
On Facebook there is a meme (right) based upon what President Donald J. Trump said at his “Choose Greatness” 2019 State of the Union. President Trump said:
America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free and we will stay free.
Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.
When I saw this meme I posted this:
Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV – “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
A Facebook friend Randy Rioux asked, “What is that for?”
I responded to Randy with, “Communism and Socialism is based upon the core belief of coveting other peoples things. It is a violation of the Tenth Commandment. At some point Communists and Socialists run out of other peoples things.” Randy replied, “Thanks for clarifying.” I believe Randy got it.
Merriam Webster defines coveting as, “to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably.”
Synonyms for covet include: ache (for), crave, desiderate, desire, die (for), hanker (for or after), hunger (for), itch (for), jones (for) [slang], long (for), lust (for or after), pant (after), pine (for), repine (for), salivate (for), sigh (for), thirst (for), want, wish (for), yearn (for), yen (for).
The Individual vs. The Collective
Ayn Rand’s 1946 monograph “Textbook of Americanism” explains in the simplest terms possible what made America unique and great.
Rand opens with an explanation of two starkly contrasting ideas.
What Is the Basic Issue in the World Today?
The basic issue in the world today is between two principles: Individualism and Collectivism. Individualism holds that man has inalienable rights which cannot be taken away from him by any other man, nor by any number, group or collective of other men. Therefore, each man exists by his own right and for his own sake, not for the sake of the group.
Collectivism holds that man has no rights; that his work, his body and his personality belong to the group; that the group can do with him as it pleases, in any manner it pleases, for the sake of whatever it decides to be its own welfare. Therefore, each man exists only by the permission of the group and for the sake of the group.
These two principles are the roots of two opposite social systems. The basic issue of the world today is between these two systems.
President Trump clearly threw the gauntlet down against the “collective” when he said, “America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free and we will stay free.”
2020 Presidential Primary
This is what every America should be alert for as we enter the 2020 Presidential primaries. There will be dozens of debates as both political parties field candidates at the national, state and local levels.
The defining issue in 2020 will be coveting.
Coveting takes on many forms. Here are some core coveting issues to watch out for:
- Coveting other peoples freedom of speech. There are those politicians who hunger for the power to limit free speech. Many social media giants have become gate keepers and salivate over denying some freedom of expression.
- Coveting other peoples ability to defend themselves. This ongoing battle will heat up as politicians use tragedies to yearn for the day that all Americans are disarmed and unable to defend themselves from thieves, criminals and the government.
- Coveting other peoples religious beliefs. Some politicians will use hatred of Jews to promote their political agenda.
- Coveting other peoples wealth. Taxes is the tool of politicians at every level to take what is not theirs and redistribute it as they wish.
- Coveting other peoples individualism. The great battle since the beginning of mankind is the struggle between the individual and the collective (government).
- Coveting other peoples children. This is perhaps the most dangerous form of coveting. This form of coveting takes on many forms: the brainwashing of children to turn on their parents, the sexual assaults on children to feed a craving (pedophilia and pederasty) and the using of children for personal gain (human trafficking and prostitution).
- Coveting another persons life. The law recently passed in New York and the law proposed in Virginia are the definition of infanticide.
All of these forms of coveting, and many more, will be on full display during the 2020 Presidential primaries.
Coveting leads to worshiping false images (the earth), disrespecting your parents, adultery, stealing, lying (bearing false witness) and even murder.
Watch for them. Beware of them. Vote to end coveting.
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Pixabay.
Years from now, when history looks back on the Democratic Party, one date will almost certainly stand out: July 25, 2016. That was the Tuesday, in the capital of the Revolution, when everything changed. For the first time in America’s 240 years, a major political party threw its full support behind one of the most savage and violent practices of the modern age: full-term, no-apologies abortion.
It’s just a party platform, some said. It doesn’t mean anything. Try telling that to Americans today, who watched in stunned silence last night as a leader of the U.S. Senate walked to the same floor where giants of freedom have stood and defended the killing of a perfect, fully-born child. It was not just a party platform when another senator, Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.), looked at the other side of the aisle and saw a group of men and women willing to “betray the universal truth of human dignity and [turn] the stomachs of civilized people… in every country on earth.” And it wasn’t just a party platform when, the only other time this issue came up for a vote, every Senate Democrat agreed: infanticide is wrong.
The moment Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) rose to her feet and objected to protecting the survivors of abortion will be a defining one for Democrats. It should have signified to everyone that the radicalization of the party that started in 2016 is now complete. And like so many others, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) could only look on in horror. “This is the world’s greatest deliberative body,” she said. But “there is nothing great, there is nothing moral or even humane, about the discussion that we have before us today.”
New Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) stood in disbelief. “Is this really the extremism of the Democratic party?” After decades of proving that there was still some scrap of moderation in their abortion agenda, liberals have thrown off any pretense of solemnity or restraint. And just like the Brett Kavanaugh debate, they’ve significantly overplayed their hand. “I can’t imagine a vision less just or less consistent with the goodness and compassion of the American people,” Hawley argued.
He’s right. “Gallup polling from 2018 found that only 13 percent of Americans favor making third-trimester abortions ‘generally’ legal, and only 18 percent of Democrats shared that position,” Alexandra Desanctis warns. Less than a quarter of their own party is willing to follow them into the most radical terrain on abortion ever broached. “Women reject late-term abortion at an even higher rate than men. A Marist survey from earlier this year found that 75 percent of Americans would limit abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy, and majorities of Democrats and those who describe themselves as pro-choice agreed.”
With almost an eerie detachment to the issue at hand, Murray tried to frame the bill as unnecessary. “We have laws against infanticide in this country,” she claimed in her brief justification for stopping its passage. But, as so many have pointed out, only 26 states have “affirmative protections” for born-alive babies. Even if all 50 did, what’s the harm in reaffirming the Senate’s commitment to protecting these innocent survivors? Surely a party that can eat up hours of the legislative clock with a passionate plea to save the Delta Smelt can spare some sympathy for endangered children.
Even after yesterday’s disgrace, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has no intentions of walking away from survivors like Melissa Ohden and Gianna Jessen, who wouldn’t be alive today if Democrats got their way. Before the vote, McConnell cautioned that if the other side stopped the bill, it “would make quite a disturbing statement.” If they do, he vowed, “I can assure them that this will not be the last time we try to ensure that all newborns are afforded this fundamental legal protection.”
To almost every American, “health care” does not include the killing of innocent newborns. “But in defending bills that expand the right to abort [living children], Democrats are giving away the game,” Desanctis predicts. “Most people, even those who favor some abortion access, instinctively recoil from what they see. These late-term abortion bills do more than reveal Democratic radicalism. They draw back the veil of euphemism to expose abortion for what it is: At every stage of pregnancy, it is the taking of a human life. For the anti-abortion movement, it is a pivotal moment to insist upon that truth.”
That’s where you come in. If you haven’t contacted your senators about the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act, make sure you do today. Let them know that extremists like Patty Murray stand alone!
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
We have all seen people on both sides of the political aisle use catch phrases routinely in response to political topics, but it seems the Democrats have honed this skill to razor sharpness. For example, in her recent “60 Minutes” interview, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was asked by Anderson Cooper if she thought President Trump was a racist, to which her reflexive response was,
“Yes, no question. When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy, when you look at how he reacted to Charlottesville incident where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crisis, like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it is night and day.”
Her response seemed almost robotic. I found her use of words like “dog whistles,” “white supremacy” and “manufactures crisis” illuminating as if she had been programmed to use such expressions on command, kind of like Pavlov’s dog. Say a certain word or ask a question, and the person begins to salivate automatically. Frankly, it’s kind of scary.
The expression “dog whistles” is particularly interesting as it is now commonly used by the Left to denote how they believe conservatives respond. Now I will admit I have seen Republicans use catch phrases, such as “Lock her up” and “CNN sucks,” but I have found conservatives more inclined to engage in honest debate as opposed to Democrats trained in Pavlovian responses.
Do you want to stop a left-wing Democrat in his/her tracks? Just tell them you have voted for a Democrat in the past, as you thought the person was the right candidate for the job, and then ask if they ever voted for a Republican. A wild-eyed expression comes over their face and they are at a loss for words.
I had a Democrat friend who recently told me point blank, “I will never go to any meeting where a Republican is speaking.” So much for open-mindedness. I also guess I will not see him in any of my audiences any time soon.
What I am finding with Democrats is there is less courteous debate and more conditioning in terms of talking points. Whenever I get in an argument with them, I feel I am dealing directly with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow or CNN’s Don Lemon, et al. Interestingly, if you ask them to explain their rehearsed talking points, they are at a loss. This speaks volumes about the power of the main stream media. Further, they tend to turn up the volume as if you cannot hear them. I have found both young and older Democrats becoming excessively passionate and less inclined to hear opposing views, thereby emboldening them to attack their opponents.
Now there is a movement in the media to label Republicans as racist, hate-filled liars. This is all being done as a prelude to the 2020 elections to condition their constituents to believe Republicans are evil and must be eliminated. Through the use of identity politics, the media is creating stereotypes intended for character assassination. I don’t think Hitler could have done it any better.
As to racism, let us never forget not one Republican ever owned a slave. In fact, the Republican Party was created to abolish slavery (anyone remember a guy named Lincoln?). The Left conveniently overlooks the fact that the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow laws were all Democrat inventions, and somehow try to blame the Republicans for their creation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nonetheless, by training people to repetitively chant “Racist, Racist, Racist,” they are hoping people will develop a reflexive action against the Republicans.
By religiously parroting the talking points of the Left, the Democrats have become a party of lemmings controlled by the news media who has plotted them on a course to tear their opponents apart. More likely though, they will end up in the abyss.
Keep the Faith!
RELATED VIDEO: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper
EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies. The featured photo is by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇭🇨🇦 on Unsplash.
At least one newly elected member of Congress is showing her support for the LGBTQ community, but has she gone too far?
U.S. News and World Report published the below photograph of Rep. Weston’s office stating:
In this photo [below] provided by the Office of Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, a transgender pride flag, right, is displayed along with U.S. left, and Virginia, second from right, flags, outside newly elected Virginia congresswoman Rep. Jennifer Wexton’s office in Washington on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Wexton is a Democrat from 10th District in northern Virginia who was sworn in Thursday, Jan. 3. (Office of Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton via AP)
Note that Wexton is not displaying a traditional rainbow flag of the LGBT movement. The flag is light blue, pink and white striped. The flag, now flying in the halls of the U.S. Congress looks eerily like the Minor Attracted Persons (MAPs) flag. The MAPs flag is known as the pedophile pride flag, shown below.
Obviously the two flags are not identical. But this new flag is problematic in that it may be the first step in embracing the MAPs as a protected category?
The Western Journal in an article titled “Pedophiles Desperately Trying To Join LGBT Movement with Their Own ‘Acceptance’ Flag” by Erin Coates notes:
Pedophiles have renamed themselves as “Minor Attracted Persons” in order to try and get acceptance and inclusion into the LGBT community.
The Daily Caller reported that Urban Dictionary defines Minor Attracted Persons — also known as MAPs — as a blanket term that includes infantophiles (a person attracted to infants), pedophiles (a person attracted to prepubescent children), hebephiles (a person attracted to pubescent children) and ephebophiles (a person attracted to post-pubescent children).
There are also NOMAPs or “Non-Offending Minor Attracted Persons” who reportedly don’t act on their attractions. “Just because someone is attracted to a child does not mean they are automatically going to sexually abuse them,” The Prevention Project said.
It should be noted that all pedophiles are not homosexual. However, by definition all pederasts are.
As Ayn Rand wrote,
“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”
Unless members of Congress tell Rep. Wexton to take down this flag, we are on the path to making sodomy, and pedophilia, the official ideology of America.
RELATED ARTICLE: 30 Transgender Regretters Come Out Of The Closet
Controversy Over Push to Redefine Pedophilia.
RELATED FBI INFORMATION ON PEDOPHILIA.
Picking up trash and donating school supplies used to be considered good deeds. Now, they could disqualify you from public service! That’s the absurd conclusion of at least two Democratic senators, who are holding one judicial nominee hostage for daring to help a couple of Catholic charities.
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) aren’t exactly champions of religious liberty. After skewering Amy Coney Barrett, Russell Vought, and other nominees of faith, it probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that Brian Buescher, the president’s pick for U.S. District Judge, was next on the Democrats’ hit list. During his hearing in late November, the liberal duo insinuated that anyone who’s a member of a Catholic organization is incapable of being “fair or impartial.” “[Your beliefs] don’t suddenly go away just because you become a judge,” Hirono argued.
But what are those “extreme” beliefs Hirono is talking about? Social service, for one. As the Knights of Columbus explained in an open letter to both senators, what’s so objectionable about giving away more than $4,000 worth of coats to needy children or collecting diapers to mothers in need? There’s nothing nefarious or controversial about donating pop tabs to help the developmentally disabled or providing an ultrasound to a clinic — unless you’re a U.S. senator bent on religious intolerance.
“We recently read about statements which expressed the fear that the Knights of Columbus held many extreme beliefs,” the organization wrote. “It is our great pleasure to assure you that this fear is not grounded in any truth. The Knights of Columbus in general, and O’Boyle Council in particular, are dedicated to the three fundamental principles of charity, unity, and fraternity.” The group went on to explain all of the good the Knights are doing for the local community. “We hope this list of activities help to assure you that we are simply a group aiming to do God’s work while building friendships.”
Despite those assurances, Hirono asked in a follow-up questionnaire of Buescher if he would quit the Knights of Columbus. After all, she wrote, “it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.” Senator Harris followed suit, demanding to know if the Nebraskan was aware of the group’s fanatical pro-life and pro-marriage positions.
But what’s so radical about an opinion that the plurality of Americans hold? Based on last November’s exit polling (of primarily Democratic-leaning voters), man-woman marriage is still the predominate view (48-45 percent) in America! If anyone’s extreme, it’s the increasingly anti-Catholic Democratic Party, who believes that the only people who are fit to hold down a job in this country are the men and women who reject the Bible’s teachings.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who’s had enough of the far-Left’s religious tests, blasted his colleagues for trying to undermine Buescher’s qualifications with another faith-based witch-hunt. “Hopefully, in the eyes of Democrats, you are not disqualified to be a judge because of your religious affiliations and beliefs.” Later, he promised that he and the rest of the Senate majority “will not tolerate disqualifying judicial nominees because of charitable works and personal religious opinions.”
With two more senators in his column heading into 2019, President Trump has a chance to add even more solid constructionists to the bench. Let’s just hope that none of them have to go through what so many nominees already have: a bigoted interrogation meant to chase Christians out of public service. America was founded on faith predominately by people of faith. It’s time for Democrats to stop their religious test.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by FRC is republished with permission.
In the last 48 hours, there’s been a lot of speculation about what motivated voters to give back control of the House to Democrats. But based on exit polling, we can tell you one thing: it isn’t their radical social policy. Some Americans may be frustrated by GOP leaders or at odds with Donald Trump, but their positions on life, religious liberty, and sexuality are still light years more conservative than the party they just handed half of Congress to.
In a new FRC-commissioned McLaughlin & Associates survey, 1,000 Americans were asked their thoughts on a wide variety of issues — including some that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has already promised the House will address. The answers we got (which, interestingly, included more people who voted for Democrats on Tuesday than Republicans) might surprise you. When heartland Democrats tried to explain that Hillary Clinton lost because it seemed like she cared “more about bathrooms than jobs,” the party should have listened. Today, those same people are sending the same message – and it’ll be interesting to see if the extremists under Pelosi’s control pay attention.
When they were asked if they approved or disapproved of “government forcing schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations opening showers, changing facilities, locker rooms, and bathrooms designated for women and girls to biological males and vice versa,” the answer couldn’t be clearer. Sixty percent said they opposed the bathroom policies of Barack Obama and other liberals, compared to just 24 percent who approved. That’s a 36-point gap on an issue that Pelosi has already promised to force on Americans in the new Congress. The Equality Act, the most radical piece of LGBT legislation ever introduced, is about to become a top 10 priority of the Democratic House.
As recently as this year, the Democrats’ own base pleaded with them to stop pushing their transgender agenda and get back to the work of real governing. “You’re killing us” was the headline. “The Democratic brand,” Illinois State Rep. Jerry Costello told Politico, “is hugely damaged, and it’s going to take a while to bring it back. Democrats in southern Illinois have been more identified by [transgender] bathrooms than by putting people back to work.” That seems destined to continue, based on the agenda of House Democrats.
Along those same lines, the majority of people don’t want the federal government to redefine sex to include “gender identity.” That’s especially significant now, as President Trump considers rolling back Obama’s overreach on that very issue. Asked if they wanted to “allow individuals who identify as transgender to get a special legal status related to employment law, federally-funded health care benefits, and the use of bathrooms and showers of the opposite sex,” 54 percent said no. Only 27 percent agree with radical positions of Pelosi and Obama.
On abortion, where Democrats have boxed themselves into one of the most militant positions of all — even going so far as to demand taxpayer-funded abortions in their platform — 56 percent don’t agree. As other polls have shown, the majority of Americans appreciate the Hyde Amendment that Democrats want to abolish – the 41-year-old wall between taxpayers and elective abortion. That’s double the 28 percent in Pelosi’s camp.
But perhaps the most powerful support came on an issue where President Trump stands tallest: religious liberty. A whopping 70 percent of respondents agreed that the government “should leave people free to follow their beliefs about marriage between one man and one woman” — not just in how they live their lives but in how they run their businesses. They’ve seen people like Jack Phillips, Aaron and Melissa Klein, and Barronelle Stuzman personally destroyed for daring to hold a view on marriage that Barack Obama did five years ago. (And, as our poll shows, a plurality still do!) That’s an astounding majority, especially when you see the minuscule number (18 percent) who think like Obama and Pelosi do – that government should be used as a club to beat people into submission on LGBT issues.
The bottom line of the survey is this: if Democrats think they have a mandate to push their fanatical social agenda, they’re wrong. And trust me. In two years, Americans will remind them — like they did in 2010 and 2016 — if they try.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.