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Black Democrat Lawmaker Bernadine Kennedy Kent Endorses President Trump

President Trump will obtain significant support from the Black community on November 3rd. And Trump (unlike the vile racist Joe Biden) deserves it. Black Trump supporters will have a huge role in sinking the racist Joe Biden on November 3rd. Read Rep Kent’s statement here.

Democrat Ohio Lawmaker Bernadine Kennedy Kent Endorses President Trump

By The Village Reporter, September 29, 2020

As President Donald J. Trump gears up to debate Joe Biden tonight in Cleveland, life-long Democrat and Ohio lawmaker Bernadine Kennedy Kent announced her endorsement of President Trump’s re-election. Joe Biden has spent nearly half a century in Washington and his actions have only resulted in further divisiveness and mass incarceration for Black Americans. Only President Trump has taken historic action to empower the Black community through economic opportunity and access to quality education, resulting in the lowest poverty rate for Black Americans in U.S. history.

The letter from Bernadine Kennedy Kent, Ohio State Representative (D) – District 25 reads:

“No matter what my feelings are towards the Democrat Party, one thing is crystal clear: my values truly align with President Donald J. Trump’s willingness to work with those of differing opinions and perspectives more so than with Joe Biden’s divisive rhetoric, promotion of mass incarceration, and disrespectful, insensitive ideologies that substantiates his infamous comment ‘…if you’re still deciding between me and Trump, then you ain’t Black…’ during an interview on a popular African American radio program earlier this year.

“Not only am I Black, I am a proud American and delighted to endorse President Trump for re-election.  Furthermore, I am honored to share with people my intent to vote for him and spread the word on the value of his leadership and his dedication to the American people.”


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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

President Trump Grows the Fastest Economic Recovery in U.S. History

Despite the Democrat lockdowns, riots, looting, widespread crime and violence — the American people want what’s right, decent and good.

The fastest economic recovery in U.S. history

Under President Trump, America built the strongest economy the world has ever seen. The stock market broke records, the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in half a century, and income inequality fell as blue-collar jobs returned to our country.

Then, as a pandemic from China spread across the globe, President Trump made the difficult but necessary decision to shut the economy down to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Now, as we safely reopen, our economy is surging back faster than anyone predicted:

  • America added over 9 million jobs from May through July—beating market expectations three months in a row. President Trump’s historic, bipartisan relief package alone is estimated to have saved over 50 million jobs.
  • Retail spending has fully recovered and is now at an all-time high.
  • Industrial production rose for the third straight month in July, with factory output up 3.4 percent last month after a 5.7 percent surge in June.
  • The NASDAQ and S&P 500 stock indices are trading at or near record highs once again, lifting Americans’ 401(k)s.

That result is no accident. After the financial crisis more than a decade ago, it took America over four years to regain 9 million lost jobs. But following the Coronavirus shutdown, it took the Trump Economy only a few months to do just that.

“We had such a strong foundation that we’re recovering much faster than anybody anticipated,” President Trump said at a news conference on Saturday.

In addition to pro-growth, pro-worker policies long before the crisis—including tax cuts, deregulation, renegotiated trade deals, and more—President Trump responded to the pandemic by using the Defense Production Act to lead the greatest mobilization of American industry since World War II.

The Trump Administration has exercised the DPA and related authorities 78 times so far, dispersing over $3.5 billion to speed the development and manufacture of essential materials here at home. President Trump mobilized the productive power of General Motors, for example, to create thousands of ventilators for Coronavirus patients.

As a result, GM repurposed its Kokomo, Indiana, plant in just 17 days. It has now produced over 21,000 ventilators.

Other companies, including Ford Motor Company, GE, 3M, and Puritan Medical have partnered with the Federal Government to ramp up production of everything from N-95 masks to testing swabs. This nationwide effort is boosting American manufacturing, creating jobs, reshoring supply chains, and replenishing our Strategic National Stockpile.

“New factories, businesses, and laboratories are being built all over America to match our Nation’s demand for personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, drugs, testing supplies, therapeutics, and vaccines,” President Trump said.

President Trump’s “Made-in-America” strategy is crucial for defeating this virus, important for restarting our economy—and essential for restoring our country’s promise.

RELATED ARTICLE: We have rebuilt America’s Strategic National Stockpile

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Swing Voters In Michigan Focus Group Say They Are Voting For Trump, Call Biden A ‘Puppet’: Axios Report

Former Vice President Joe Biden is not mentally fit for the presidency, and he would likely become a “puppet” for the “deep state,” several Michigan of swing voters said during an Axios focus group session released Monday.

The focus group included nine people who voted for former President Barack Obama in 2012 but voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. Seven of the nine swing voters said would vote for Trump in November’s election, Axios noted in a report Monday on the group.

The focus group, part of Axios’s monthly Engagious/Schlesinger swing-voter series, is not a scientific poll, but it does provide a snapshot into how a select number of voters in the battleground state are thinking ahead of the election, according to Axios. The session was conducted last week, Axios said.

Biden is “showing signs of dementia” and would likely become a “puppet … controlled by a lot of people in the deep state,” one member of the focus group calling himself Matt T said. He used the term “deep state” to describe “the lobbyists, the people that have influence on a lot of the politicians,” he said.

WATCH:

Another panelist echoed that position.

“I don’t think that Biden is going to be running our country. Whoever his vice president is, is going to be running the country. The vice president or whoever the puppet people are telling him what to say,” a woman calling herself Shelly D said.

Vicki S, another member of the panel of nine, said she is voting for Biden because of the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China before spreading to the United States, where it has reportedly killed nearly 146,000 people, according to John Hopkins University’s tracking system.

“I don’t want either of them. It’s the lesser of two evils in my book,” Vicki S told the other panelists.

Biden is leading Trump by significant margins in battleground states, including in Michigan.

The former vice president opened up a 13-point lead on the incumbent in the state of Florida, according to a Quinnipiac poll published on July 23. He now leads Trump 51-38 in that state, the poll showed. Trump is behind Biden in five other battleground states the president won in 2016, and is trailing Biden by nine points in Michigan, according to July 24 Fox News poll.

Biden led the presidential race by seven points in Arizona, nine points in North Carolina, and 10 points in Pennsylvania, according to a New York Times poll conducted in late June. Trump’s poor numbers coincide with a surging pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in May after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9-minutes, video shows.

COLUMN BY

CHRIS WHITE

Tech reporter.

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ECONOMY: June Jobs Report SHATTERS Expectations

America added 4.8 million jobs in June—the largest monthly increase ever recorded, according to today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With 7.5 million jobs added over the past two months, America’s economic comeback from the Coronavirus is taking off well ahead of schedule.

President Trump: Today’s report is “spectacular news” for America

“There’s not been anything like this—record setting,” President Trump said at a press briefing this morning. “We’ve implemented an aggressive strategy to vanquish and kill the virus, and protect Americans at the highest risk, while allowing those at lower risk to return safely to work. That’s what’s happening.”

After May and June ranked as the two largest monthly jobs gains in history, an estimated one-third of all job losses from March and April have now been recovered.

“Our work won’t be done until every single American who lost their job because of COVID gets back to work,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said today.

June’s job gains were spread broadly across American industries, with the hard-hit leisure and hospitality sector seeing the biggest turnaround:

  • 2.1 million leisure & hospitality jobs
  • 740,000 retail jobs
  • 568,000 education & healthcare jobs
  • 357,000 service jobs
  • 356,000 manufacturing jobs

The Great American Comeback is reducing unemployment for a number of historically marginalized groups, too. African-American workers saw historic gains with more than 400,000 jobs added last month. Hispanic-American employment is up by 1.5 million, and the unemployment rate for women fell even quicker than the rate for men.

On top of that, “workers with a high school education or less made the biggest strides of all,” President Trump said.

There is more work to do in the months ahead as we rebuild the strongest economy on Earth together. The incredible, expectations-busting jobs reports in May and June, however, should give every American hope that we’re heading toward a bright future.

President Trump: Stock market is soaring with best gains in 20 years

READA Record 4.8 Million Jobs Created in June


President Trump hosts ‘Spirit of America’ showcase!

President Trump welcomed small business leaders to the White House today to spotlight their incredible work as America reopens from the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The small businesses represented in this room continue a great and noble American heritage,” he said. “You’re entrepreneurs, artisans, creators, craftsman who forge your own path, made your own products, and provide good-paying jobs for our citizens.”

Eighty percent of U.S. small businesses are now open, and new business applications have doubled since March. Thanks to President Trump’s Paycheck Protection Program, many American workers have stayed on the payroll during the pandemic, lifting incomes and helping to spark a quicker economic comeback.

President Trump: 80% of small businesses are now open

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“Restaurant Recession” Hits NYC Following $15 Minimum Wage

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

This article was reprinted from the American Enterprise Institute.

COLUMN BY

Mark J. Perry

Mark J. Perry

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.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column with images is republished with permission. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Exit Signs: Poll Warns Dems to Back off Social Issues

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.


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Why Cheap Muslim Refugee Labor has Taken Over Meatpacking Jobs

Editor:  We occasionally post comments or guest posts from readers that are so informative that we don’t want them lost where comments are normally posted.  This is from a reader answering my perennial question about how it came to be that good paying American jobs in the meatpacking industry have now become low paying jobs for immigrants and refugees.

Before you read what Deena has to say, check out a post I wrote in 2008 about how President Bill Clinton brought tens of thousands of mostly Muslim Bosnians in to the US to do meatpacking jobs in Iowa in the mid-1990s (with the help of Lavinia Limon who was Bill Clinton’s director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement). The business model allows BIG MEAT (or LOL! BIG YOGURT) to pay low wages which are then supplemented by welfare that you pay for!

The US State Department is acting as a head-hunter for big business, so forget about the humanitarian mumbo-jumbo they are trying to sell!

From Deena:

You asked if slaughterhouse work used to be a good job. It did; and, in fact, was heavily unionized until sometime in the late 80’s or early 90’s, I believe.

jbs-greeley

Brazilian owned JBS (formerly Swift & Co).

It had its own union (Amalgamated Meat Cutters (AMC)) and the former president of the Iowa AFL-CIO back when I worked for the national AFL-CIO came out of this union. This work was among the best in pay and benefits in the US along with auto work because basically the entire industry was unionized; and like in the UAW, workers spent a lifetime in the trade.

This is a photo I took on my fact-finding mission in the heartland this past summer. Meat giant JBS (formerly Swift & Co) is a Brazilian owned company that encourages Somali refugee labor, and as such it is changing the demographic make-up of Greeley, Colorado.

It ended when the market was flooded by foreign workers – largely illegal. The decent paying companies – and most then fell into this category – were unable to compete with low-paid-unskilled-foreign-worker-filled companies which sprang up. The pay is now about 55% of what it was then. Forget benefits.

The union merged into what is now known as the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW), which largely represents retail workers. The ‘meat cutters’ of today are more likely to cut and package large sections of pre-cut meat into individual packages for purchase by shoppers in local grocery stores like Kroger where I live.

The actual slaughterhouse industry has high turnover – some logging over 100% in a year. The work is hard on the body and dangerous, which is why the wages used to be reasonably high. I’m sure OSHA still requires the posting of health and safety rules but I doubt if most of the workers can even read them, let alone care about them.

Back when Bush was staging company raids, the first things a company would do after losing its illegal workers to a raid were to raise wages to attract legal workers to this hard, dirty work and to offer bonuses to workers who could bring in new workers, proving that this was work that US workers would do, just not for the wages and conditions that prevailed in the plants where illegal workers set the standards. [And where legal refugees are now hired at those low wages—ed]

Construction work has largely followed slaughterhouse work.

The AFL-CIO used to be against massive immigration because of what I just outlined: the law of supply and demand in which large numbers of workers who will work for low wages under bad conditions drive down wages for the remaining ones who stay and force those who can’t or won’t work for these wages out of the field. It changed after Sweeney-Trumka came in 1996, bringing several operatives from the Democratic Party.

screenshot-122

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Recently the AFL-CIO has toed the Democratic Party’s line on immigration – more and faster – and has paid the price.

Their idea seems to be that they can organize these low wage workers, but it doesn’t work out that way. The union numbers keep decreasing. SEIU*** has enjoyed some success but they are organizing workers at low wages who can be easily replaced. If necessary, companies like WalMart simply subcontract out work like janitorial work to companies who will hire illegal workers on the cheap.

Construction companies hire subcontractors for wall boarding, painting, and roofing. Young men who would like a start in construction don’t get hired at these entry level jobs and so don’t make their way up the ladder.

The loss of such careers as meatpacking and construction to non-college educated men is a shame and a disaster.

In 2013, Senator Jeff Sessions called out Trumka and the meat packer lobbyists on the Gang of Eight bill, a bill to legalize more cheap laborers. This is why they hate him so much!

The MSM made much of women voting for Trump. I’d be willing to bet that many non-college educated women would be far happier for their husbands still to be able to get those better paying jobs so that they didn’t have to work full-time and could spend more time at home when the kids are small.

***See our post over the weekend where SEIU is attempting to organize Rohingya refugees.

For more comments worth noting and guest posts, click here.

Sessions photo!  please read this!

Senator Jeff Sessions has been a stalwart in fighting for American workers in the US Senate and tomorrow the Left will try to destroy him!

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Sweden took in 162,000 Muslim migrants in 2015 — 494 got jobs

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are of the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).

margaret murders in sweden by a muslim

In lieu of the jizya, there is welfare. It is the duty of the Infidels to pay for the upkeep of Muslims, as that Qur’an verse makes clear. UK jhadist Anjem Choudary said in February 2013:

“We are on Jihad Seekers Allowance, We take the Jizya (protection money paid to Muslims by non-Muslims) which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to take money from the Kafir (non-Muslim), isn’t it? So this is normal situation. They give us the money. You work, give us the money. Allah Akbar, we take the money. Hopefully there is no one from the DSS (Department of Social Security) listening. Ah, but you see people will say you are not working. But the normal situation is for you to take money from the Kuffar (non-Muslim) So we take Jihad Seeker’s Allowance.”

Malmo Refugees Welcome Sweden

“Sweden Took 162k Refugees Last Year, 494 Got Jobs,” by Jacob Bojesson, Daily Caller, June 1, 2016 (thanks to Steve):

Just 494 out of the 162,000 refugees who applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015 have managed to get a job, according to government figures released Tuesday.

Refugees are eligible to work while their applications are pending as long as they can show a valid identification document and haven’t been rejected for asylum in the past. A majority of asylum seekers would qualify for a work permit, but the national migration office was only capable of issuing one to one-third due to the high demand.

“There was an incredible amount of people who applied for asylum in Sweden, and for us to be able to register everyone we had to disregard certain areas, and employment was one of them,” Lisa Bergstrand, officer at the Swedish immigration office, told Swedish public broadcaster SVT. “We do what we’ve been told to do.”

Getting migrants off welfare and into the job market has been a problem for most European countries during the ongoing refugee crisis.

Germany announced reforms to its labor laws in May to make it easier for migrants to enter the job market. Migrants are exempt from minimum wage regulations and thousands of  “one-euro jobs” —  in which refugees can work for low wages of between $1.13 and $2.80 per hour — have been created.

The center-left government in Sweden has proposed a reform to asylum laws to force migrants into the work force. If an applicant can’t support himself after three years in the country, they won’t be eligible for permanent residency if the reforms pass.

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The Cruelty and Carnage of the Minimum Wage: The Case of Tad by Jeffrey Tucker

Not having a job means not participating in the fullness of life.

If your goal is to ruin the lives of young and marginalized population groups, raising the wage floor to $15 an hour is a good plan. Already, much of the current problem with youth unemployment is due to the high minimum wage increases we’ve seen over the last eight years.

After all, the original purpose of the minimum wage was to disemploy undesirables. Not having a job means not participating in the fullness of life. It’s a big deal.

A wage floor of any sort traps people in the economic basement. The higher the floor, the larger the basement. Today, millions are rattling around down there, unable to find their way out. Millions more will find themselves there once all this legislation goes through.

I feel a particular frustration with this issue, and it’s not only because of the economics texts I’ve read.

My first real job was working maintenance at a department store. I was 15 (yes, I lied about my age; you could get away with that back then). My job was to clean toilets, crush boxes, pick pins out of the dressing room closets, wax the floors in the china shop, vacuum the place, and shine the glass.

It was a great job. I mean, truly great. I loved it because it was a hugely important job. If I didn’t clean the bathrooms well and replenish the toilet paper and towels, customers the next day might be grossed out and never come back. I played a big role in ensuring the profitability of this store.

My Coworker Tad

I especially loved my co-worker. His name was Tad. The department store would close, leaving just the two of us to have so much fun doing all this wonderful work. We would sing together, thrill to the danger of the wax machine, gross out at the mucky bathrooms, and just have that wonderful feeling that comes with having a real work partner.

You see, Tad was not a normal kid. He had some physical deformities. His face was oddly shaped and had what looked like a large stain on half of it. He couldn’t move around that well, really. I had to help him and assign tasks carefully. He was also mentally retarded. He spoke in a muffled way, and you had to be very clear about instructions.

But I tell you what, when he was happy, it made me happy. To see that big smile come across his face when I would praise the way he shined up a counter just gave me a huge lift. Every day I would try to find ways for him to be both delighted and productive. We were a wonderful team. I wanted it to stay this way.

One day, a poster appeared in the workroom. It was from the Department of Labor. The minimum wage was going up by 40 cents. Tad pointed the sign out to me. He said, “Look, we are getting a raise!”

I was a bit suspicious. I was pretty sure that the boss was the one who set the wage, not some weird distant government thing. I didn’t quite believe it was true. Still, I was happy that he was happy.

The next day, I showed up at the usual time after school. I was getting the mop ready, running hot water in the pail and prepared to do my thing.

Tad wasn’t there. I asked the boss, “Where’s Tad today?”

Well, he explained that he had hired Tad only because he was a boy he knew from church. He needed work. He knew that he would require a lot of help, which was one reason he was excited that I was able to work with him. In the end, he said, this was charity, because he knew that I could do the job by myself. It worked for us to be together so long as he could afford it. But this new minimum wage changed things. The store’s profit margins were very thin, and the wage requirement applied to the whole staff. So he had to make a hard decision.

The long and short of it: Tad had to be let go.

The Death of Tad

I was devastated. I stared at the Department of Labor sign again. Cursed thing! That sign just ruined a kid’s life. It stopped a great act of charity. And look what it did to me. I now had to work alone.

I suddenly felt guilty about my own job. I kept mine at his expense. And why? It was pure accident of birth.

Management left, the lights dimmed, and I heard the familiar click of the doors leading outside. I would have to clean alone today. I did all the tasks I had to. But there was no more music, no more laughter, no more clowning around, and no more beautiful smiles. Tad was somewhere else, probably at home, confused and sad.

I didn’t call him. I was too embarrassed and I didn’t know what to say. So I let our friendship go.

He died a few years later.

This is what the minimum wage means to me. So you can say that I have a vendetta. When the president announces that he is raising wages to make everyone better off, I can’t help but think of the millions of Tads that will lose that opportunity to do wonderful things in this world and with their lives.

Jeffrey A. TuckerJeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE and CLO of the startup Liberty.me. Author of five books, and many thousands of articles, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook. Email.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Minimum Wage Should Be Called the Robot Employment Act – Wall Street Journal

It Wasn’t Broke, so they Shouldn’t Have Fixed It

The United States of America used to be a nation where things got done.  No matter what the challenge, everything from natural disasters to overcoming negative civic and political issues, the normal inclination was to start over and get it right.  If something was working just fine, usually common sense dictated it was to be left alone, at least until a superior method of operation was developed.

Take the United States of America for example.  She was founded upon superior values and principles.  Some of which included the supreme right of sovereign individuals to live according to their own God or self-directed path.  For the first time in human history, the United states was comprised of a set of economic principles and personal liberties that obliterated the worldwide concepts of government domination, or an equally abusive caste system.  Those dominated by cradle to grave government or a monarchy simply existed from day to day and were under the strain of not having enough to eat. That was only one of many problems people suffered with no way out.

Venezuela is a nation that at one time was fairly prosperous and the citizenry usually had more than enough to eat.  But in more recent years, cruel communist dictators with no respect toward individual rights have enacted brutal economic, property, religious, healthcare, agricultural, education and media controls brought that onetime prosperous to a screeching halt.  In fact, Venezuela has not only been halted, but in actuality, she is hurtling backwards.  People have been rioting in the streets, seeking the last vestiges of food supplies to raid do to abusive government induced starvation.

Venezuela is a perfect text book case of what the United States should not be doing.

America the beautiful has been generally blessed with a system of market based economic principles that favored equal opportunity for those willing to work for it.  Unfortunately, in more recent decades, the already difficult job of creating opportunities and benefiting for your labor has been hampered by brutal government intrusions via regulations. So now they make it impossible for America to win on the world economic stage.

Either purposely or through sheer ignorance, America’s course of direction has steadily drifted from a free market economy based upon reward for effort, into punishment for trying.  At every turn, small business owners are treated by government like they are criminals for simply attempting to be successful.  Many local and state governments throughout the union are horrendously hard on small business owners.  They often enact unfairly high taxes or fees on everything from waste baskets, to needed equipment.

Even the big boys are being choked out of the American economy.  Eaton Corporation of Cleveland recently announced a world headquarters more to Ireland.  Carrier, the giant air conditioning manufacturer will soon leave business friendly Indiana and move to Mexico.  The reason being, the highest corporate tax rate on earth and regulations that are much to oppressive.

The government goal of forcing equal results through redistribution of wealth and artificial increases in the minimum wage will continue to cause reductions in the number of entry level jobs.  Unfortunately, those are most needed by both teenagers just starting out and lower skilled older adults.  These efforts to fix what was not broken help drastically affected America.  She evolved from being the world’s manufacturing floor and most innovative economy into an increasingly undesirable place to conduct business activities.

As a result of fixing what was not broken, America is now broken financially, morally, economically, militarily, educationally and racially.  She can only be truly repaired now, by a concerted effort reestablish the enormously successful principles the Founding Fathers enacted long ago. They include a firm recognition of the unalienable God given rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness and or Property.  There also has to be an immediate working plan to reduce the enormous economic and Constitution violating federal government.

For the good of the future of our republic and to truly fix America, now that she has been broken, the importance of real education must not be overlooked.  What is taught to one generation dictates what direction the nation takes in the next.  Our current broken state can be fixed with a genuine return to high quality education, critical thinking, and true American history.

Last but not least, America’s first president George Washington along with the majority of the Founding Fathers had an unyielding faith in the God who shed his grace upon the United States.  They left warnings of the negative consequences we are witnessing today, if our republic turned away from the ways of God.  However, I firmly believe that if America (We the People) wisely seeks God’s forgiveness and repent of her wayward ways, she will once again be the glorious shining city on a hill nation under God, Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

RELATED ARTICLE: How Washington Politicians Wasted Billions Trying to ‘Invest in Our Future’

“Creating Jobs” Will Hurt the Economy by T. Norman Van Cott

How many jobs would the Keystone Pipeline project create? Political reporter Tom Murse points out that the answer is a matter of dispute. “Supporters argue that the Keystone XL pipeline would create tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of new jobs.” But critics “claim those numbers are wildly inflated,” Murse writes.

Both sides assume a higher number would make the project better for the economy. Both sides have it backwards.

Home Economics

The value of work is easy to grasp at the most domestic level: your own home.

Being a homeowner isn’t easy. Among other things, you always seem to have more chores to do than time to do them. The chores are not ends in themselves. Rather, they are means to an end — in this case, making a home and yard more livable or aesthetically pleasing.

Opting to do a chore yourself — “insourcing” in current parlance — isn’t costless. You lose the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your other labors. For example, you could tackle different chores, spend more time with your family, or work extra hours in the marketplace, increasing your income. Hiring someone else to do the chore — that is, “outsourcing” — isn’t costless, either. It means you can’t buy other things. Costs represent sacrificed alternatives.

The rule when it comes to home ownership isn’t rocket science. Tackle those chores whose ends you value more than their cost. If your water softener breaks, and you value having softened water more than what it would cost either you or the plumber to repair it, then hire the plumber if his cost is less than what it costs you to fix it yourself. (Don’t forget to count the work time you’ll be giving up to act as your own plumber.)

By outsourcing the repair work, you will have “lost a job,” but your standard of living will be higher. By how much? The difference between your cost and the plumber’s cost.

Added household chores — that is, “gaining jobs” — are anything but a blessing. Chores represent hurdles between you and that more livable, aesthetically pleasing home and yard. Each job represents something you’re going to have to give up before your house is the way you want it. “Gaining jobs” to achieve a given objective is synonymous with worsening your situation, not improving it.

The Rule Writ Large — The Case of the Keystone Pipeline

What is rocket science for many is the ability to recognize that the rule for individual households extends to the national household, as we can see in the case of the Keystone Pipeline controversy. The project, which has been a political football for several years, would transfer oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. The project’s desirability is associated with the number of jobs required for the pipeline’s construction and maintenance. The more jobs created, the more desirable the pipeline, it would seem.

All involved in the discussion fail to apply lessons for individual households to the national household. Pipeline jobs are part of the cost of getting oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. They are not part of the benefits. The fewer jobs created, the better. Indeed, in the best of all worlds, there would bezero jobs required to transfer oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. That way, we could get the oil transferred without having to give up anything!

Pipeline proponents who note a large number of required jobs are unwittingly arguing against the project, just as opponents who cite a small number of jobs are unwittingly arguing in its favor.

Beyond the Pipeline

This failure to apply the simple rules for individual households is not restricted to the Keystone Pipeline issue. It pervades economic, business, and political discussions. Government programs come packaged with estimates of the number of new jobs the programs will supposedly create. The more jobs, the merrier. That’s the political refrain. Likewise, state and local economic development bureaucrats tout the number of jobs associated with business relocations or expansions.

One has to wonder whether those who peddle this more-jobs nonsense apply it to their own households. I bet not. Fewer chores, not more, make their homes more enjoyable. National households are no different. Or as Adam Smith put it in his classic, The Wealth of Nations, that which “is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.”

T. Norman Van CottT. Norman Van Cott

T. Norman Van Cott, professor of economics, received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1969. Before joining Ball State in 1977, he taught at University of New Mexico (1968-1972) and West Georgia College (1972-1977). He was the department chairperson from 1985 to 1999. His fields of interest include microeconomic theory, public finance, and international economics. Van Cott’s current research is the economics of constitutions.

Taxpayers Pay through the Nose for the Minimum Wage by Adam Millsap

A Billion Dollar Stool to Reach the Bottom Rung of the Job Ladder.

In February, the Obama administration proposed a “First Job” initiative. The main goal of the aptly titled initiative is to help unemployed young people obtain their first job by spending $5.5 billion on grants, training, and direct wages. Unfortunately – but unsurprisingly – the press release failed to acknowledge the most significant factor impeding employment in this age group: the minimum wage.

Everyone knows that a first job is a vital step in a young person’s development. Research has shown that work experience at a young age teaches positive work habits, time management, perseverance, and improves self-confidence. Increases in teenage employment also reduce the rate of violent crime. Yet despite these well-known benefits, the US maintains a minimum wage policy that makes it very difficult for all but the most productive teenagers to find a job.

When the minimum wage was discussed in the late 19th and early 20th century it was in the context of preventing the least skilled, most “undesirable” workers from finding a job, with the goal of eradicating the unemployable people. For the next 80-plus years it was common knowledge that a minimum wage would reduce employment among the least-skilled workers. The only debate was about whether such a reduction was desirable from society’s perspective, as many of the appalling eugenicists of the time contended.

As late as 1987, the New York Times editorial staff recommended a minimum wage of $0 because of its negative effects on employment. The Times argued that the minimum wage was an ineffective anti-poverty tool whose employment costs outweighed any benefits from higher wages.

Fast forward to the early 1990s, when an economic study purported to show that a slight increase in the minimum wage may not reduce employment after all. Despite the tenuous results of this study, it provided minimum wage supporters with the ammunition they needed to push for increases in the minimum wage at the federal, state, and local level without worrying about declines in employment. This misinformed thinking continues and is the basis for modern calls to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour or even $15 per hour, as some cities have already done.

Meanwhile, the labour force participation rate for 16-19 year olds has fallen from over 50% in the early 1990s to 35% in January 2016. Some of this is due to more young people engaging in extra-curricular activities and attending college, but if those were the only causes then the Obama administration would have little reason to be concerned about teenage employment.

Despite the decline of teenagers in the labour market and the numerous recent studies that show that the minimum wage has adverse effects on teenage employment, the minimum wage continues to be viewed by many as an effective anti-poverty tool with little to no adverse effects. It is this line of thinking that has encouraged the newest proposal calling for billions of taxpayer dollars to provide jobs; the labor market, not the government, is the problem and so the government should intervene.

An all too common occurrence in US policy is that government intervention causes a problem that the government then tries to solve with more intervention, completely ignoring the possibility that the initial intervention was the source of the problem. In this case, price controls at the bottom of the labor-market ladder have prevented young people from getting on the first rung, so now the government wants to roll over a $5.5 billion dollar taxpayer-funded stool to give them a boost.

Government programs rarely achieve their goal so there is good reason to be skeptical of this one, especially since it fails to address the root cause of the problem. A better, more effective solution for helping teenagers gain valuable job skills would be to set the minimum wage at the proper level of $0 and let the labour market work.

Cross-posted from Mercatus.org.

Adam Millsap

Adam Millsap is a PhD student in economics and a graduate instructor at Clemson University in South Carolina. His research interests are in urban economics and public choice theory. He is currently working in Washington, D.C. as an economic policy intern at the Reason Foundation.

2016 Is the Year of Inequality – And Prosperity by Chelsea German

This past weekend, the Economist uploaded a short video to its Facebook page called, “The year of the 1 percent.” The video shows a graph superimposed over the Earth seen from space, while a voice narrates, “2016 is set to be a more unequal world than ever before. For the first time, the richest 1 percent of the population will enjoy a greater share of global wealth than the other 99 percent.”

The Economist’s graph reminded me of another graph, which also shows two lines that eventually cross but tells a very different story. Despite population growth, there are fewer people living in extreme poverty today than ever before:

How can both graphs be accurate? Poverty can decline even as inequality rises, as long as the total amount of wealth in the world is growing.

To ignore this is to fall prey to the “fixed pie fallacy.” Throughout most of human history, global wealth hardly changed. But thanks to trade and industrialization, wealth has skyrocketed, especially since the 1900s, and continues to climb.

At the same time, technological advances have also increased human wellbeing in ways not captured by looking at GDP alone.

Because the pie is growing, focusing solely on inequality, like the Economist’s video does, makes little sense. Most of us would rather have a relatively small slice of a gigantic pie than the biggest slice of a microscopic pie.

In other words, most of us would rather be wealthier in absolute terms, regardless of our relative position. This is why many of us, if given the choice, would choose to be an ordinary person today, instead of a member of the upper crust a century ago or a 17th century king.

Cross-posted from HumanProgress.org.

Chelsea GermanChelsea German

Chelsea German works at the Cato Institute as a Researcher and Managing Editor of HumanProgress.org.

Why We Need to Make Mistakes: Innovation Is Better than Efficiency by Sandy Ikeda

“I think it is only because capitalism has proved so enormously more efficient than alternative methods that is has survived at all,” Milton Friedman told economist Randall E. Parker for Parker’s 2002 book, Reflections on the Great Depression.

But I think innovation, not efficiency, is capitalism’s greatest strength. I’m not saying that the free market can’t be both efficient and innovative, but it does offer people a strong incentive to abandon the pursuit of efficiency in favor of innovation.

What Is Efficiency?

In its simplest form, economic efficiency is about given ends and given means. Economic efficiency requires that you know what end, among all possible ends, is the most worthwhile for you to pursue and what means to use, among all available means, to attain that end. You’re being efficient when you’re getting the highest possible benefit from an activity at the lowest possible cost. That’s a pretty heavy requirement.

Being inefficient, then, implies that for a given end, the benefit you get from that end is less than the cost of the means you use to achieve it. Or, as my great professor, Israel Kirzner, puts it, If you want to go uptown, don’t take the downtown train.

What Is Innovation?

Innovation means doing something significantly novel. It could be doing an existing process in a brand new way, such as being the first to use a GPS tracking system in your fleet of taxis. Or, innovation could mean doing something that no one has ever done before, such as using smartphone technology to match car owners with spare time to carless people who need to get somewhere in a hurry, à la Uber.

Innovation, unlike efficiency, entails discovering novel means to achieve a given end, or discovering an entirely new end. And unlike efficiency, in which you already know about all possible ends and means, innovation takes place onlywhen you lack knowledge of all means, all ends, or both.

Sometimes we mistakenly say someone is efficient when she discovers a new way to get from home to work. But that’s not efficiency; that’s innovation. And a person who copies her in order to reduce his commute time is not an innovator — but he is being efficient. The difference hinges on whether you’re creating new knowledge.

Where’s the Conflict?

Starting a business that hasn’t been tried before involves a lot of trial and error. Most of the time the trials, no matter how well thought out, turn out to contain errors. The errors may lie in the means you use or in the particular end you’re pursuing.

In most cases, it takes quite a few trials and many, many errors before you hit on an outcome that has a high enough value and low enough costs to make the enterprise profitable.) Is that process of trial and error, of experimentation, an example of economic efficiency? It is not.

If you begin with an accurate idea both of the value of an end and of all the possible ways of achieving that end, then you don’t need to experiment. Spending resources on trial and error would be wasteful. It’s then a matter of execution, which isn’t easy, but the real heavy lifting in the market process, both from the suppliers’ and the consumers’ sides, is done by trying out new things — and often failing.

Experimentation is messy and apparently wasteful, whether in science or in business. You do it precisely because you’re not sure how to answer a particular question, or because you’re not even sure what the right question is. There are so many failures. But in a world where our knowledge is imperfect, which is the world we actually live in, most of what we have to do in everyday life is to innovate — to discover things we didn’t know we didn’t know — rather than trying to be efficient. Being willing to suffer failure is the only way to make discoveries and to introduce innovations into the world.

Strictly speaking, then, if you want to innovate, being messy is unavoidable, and messiness is not efficient. Yet, if you want to increase efficiency, you can’t be messy. Innovation and efficiency usually trade off for each other because if you’re focused on doing the same thing better and better, you’re taking time and energy away from trying to do something new.

Dynamic Efficiency?

Some have tried to describe this process of innovation as “dynamic efficiency.” It may be quibbling over words, but I think trying to salvage the concept of efficiency in this way confuses more than it clarifies. To combine efficiency and innovation is to misunderstand the essential meanings of those words.

What would it mean to innovate efficiently? I suppose it would mean something like “innovating at least cost.” But how is it possible to know, before you’ve actually created a successful innovation, whether you’ve done it at least cost? You might look back and say, “Gee, I wouldn’t have run experiments A, B, and C if only I’d known that D would give me the answer!” But the only way to know that D is the right answer is to first discover, through experimentation and failure, that A, B, and C are the wrong answers.

Both efficiency and innovation best take place in a free market. But the greatest rewards to buyers and sellers come not from efficiency, but from innovation.

Sandy IkedaSandy Ikeda

Sandy Ikeda is a professor of economics at Purchase College, SUNY, and the author of The Dynamics of the Mixed Economy: Toward a Theory of Interventionism. He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

California’s $15 Minimum Wage Is a Terrible, Unethical ‘Experiment’ by David R. Henderson

The law will have devastating consequences, particularly for immigrants, minorities, and the less educated.

In yesterday’s Washington Post, Charles Lane reports on the move, that’s almost a done deal, to raise California’s minimum wage in stages to a whopping $15 an hour by 2022. Lane, or his editors, wisely titled the article, “The risks of California’s minimum-wage increase.”

Lane writes:

By 2022, when fully phased in (small firms with fewer than 25 workers would have until 2023 to comply), the California minimum wage would represent 69 percent of the median hourly wage in the state, assuming 2.2 percent annual growth from the current median of roughly $19 per hour.

That 69 percent ratio would be all but unprecedented, in U.S. terms and internationally. The current California minimum wage represents about half the state’s median hourly wage, just as the federal minimum wage averaged 48 percent of the national median between 1960 and 1979, according to a 2014 Brookings Institution paper by economist Arindrajit Dube. (It is currently 38 percent of the national median.)

Other industrial democracies with statutory minimum wages typically set theirs at half the national median wage, too.

Even Dube recommends a minimum wage equal to half the median wage. One that’s 69 percent of the minimum wage is 38% higher than the level Dube recommends.

So Dube would oppose such an increase, right?

Wrong. Assuming that Lane reported Dube’s response accurately, he favors the increase. Why? Lane writes:

He [Dube] told me by email that California’s experiment is worth running and monitoring.

But these are humans being experimented on. Worth monitoring? Absolutely. Worth running? No damn way.

Economist Jonathan Meer, whose work Lane also cites, writes on Facebook (I am quoting with permission):

Playing with the March CPS [Current Population Survey], I find that a whopping 11% of young high school dropouts in California have a full time job. 85% of all high school dropouts in California are paid $15 an hour or less.

Among young (under 30) high school dropouts, that number is 96%.

Among *all* black and Hispanic respondents under 30 (irrespective of education), 90% are paid $15/hr or less.

This will not be good.

Cross-posted from Econlog.

David R. HendersonDavid R. Henderson

David Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and an economics professor at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He is editor of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (Liberty Fund) and blogs at econlib.org.