American Elephants

Three-Dimensional Illusions in Street Art by The Elephant's Child

(h/t: Maggie’s Farm)


Who is Really Protesting and What Exactly Do They Want? by The Elephant's Child

Fast Food Protests

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is trying to unionize the fast-food industry. Fast food workers (augmented by hired strikers) are striking restaurants in major cities, to demand that employers should hike their wages to $15 an hour. Because they want more money.

“On Strike: Can’t Survive on $7.25.” Workers are targeting a whole industry. They want more pay, and they want to unionize because SEIU is telling them that if they strike they can get $15 an hour for the same work the are doing now. SEIU is not telling them about the jobs that would be lost, nor is SEIU telling them that there is now a robot hamburger maker that can make better hamburgers faster and cheaper. They can be replaced. Permanently.

Unions in general are a little fuzzy about the laws of supply and demand. Union interest is in acquiring more union members and more union dues because that gives them more political power. Unions portray the fast food industry as ruthless and exploitative. Phil Hickey, who started out washing dishes in a Big Boy restaurant and now owns nine of his own restaurants, and is chairman of the National Restaurant Association, writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Consider the facts about the minimum wage. The majority of workers who earn a minimum wage in the United States work outside of the restaurant industry. In reality, only 5% of the 10 million restaurant employees earn the minimum wage. Those who do are predominantly teenagers working part-time jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 71% of minimum-wage employees in the restaurant industry are under the age of 25; 47% are teenagers.

Striking fast-food workers seem not to have noticed that our economy is in the tank, that people are being laid off full-time jobs, and the only real job growth is in part-time jobs specifically because of ObamaCare regulations.Many fear that we are becoming a part-time nation. The best performing business in the current economy is the temporary-worker industry. Small businesses are closing their doors at an alarming rate, and the unemployment rate is as low as it is because of the huge increase in part-time work.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour simply eliminates entry-level positions, for employers will hire only experienced workers. A “living wage” is a nice turn of phrase, but meaningless. Why $15? Why not $25, or $50? Do workers expect to stay in that entry-level position, or do they intend to advance? How does a worker go from washing dishes to owning nine restaurants? Is that a potential career open to all those people now protesting?

Looking at Google Image pictures of striking fast-food workers, I was struck by the absence of the young people I encounter at fast food restaurants.  The visible older “strikers” seemed to be the same strikers last seen in purple SEIU tee shirts. Doesn’t lend much credibility to their protest.

Can Democrats Fool All of Their Base All of The Time? by The Elephant's Child

The Democrats real history with race and slavery is not something on which they choose to dwell. They have chosen instead, a pleasant tale in which they are the heroes of the civil rights movement — who have freed black Americans from oppression and restored the civil rights to which they are entitled. They have uplifted poor blacks with generous welfare; they have occasionally fought for better schools if the teachers union approves; they have given them affirmative action so they can attend college; and they have given them generous student loans and permanent debt; They have provided food stamps; and 47 job training programs, all ineffective; and built free housing. They have given them free phones.

Democrats have had some success with their pleasant little fantasy about race. So they are betting that they can win the midterm election next year by telling black people that requiring a person to show photo ID in order to vote — is an attempt by Republicans to deny their right to vote.

This is so outrageous that  you cannot see how anyone would fall for it. But Democrats are pursing it with a full court press. Attorney General Eric Holder is suing states to block any requirement that voters  prove their identity, because it is racist. There are very few people who do not have picture ID. You need a photo ID to cash a check, to open a bank account, to get food stamps, to get on an airplane, and to enter the building housing Eric Holder’s Justice Department. Photo ID is available to anyone, for free, from a drivers license bureau. So asking to see ID is clearly a racist act.

Politico, always ready to toe the party line, gives it the full agitprop treatment:

The irony of the historical forces colliding at that moment won’t be lost on anyone. The nation’s first African-American president, standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. stood 50 years earlier, will speak at a time when many African-Americans and other minorities feel that the Voting Rights Act — one of the proudest accomplishments of the civil rights movement — is being dismantled.

The backdrop for the big event is a surge in voter ID laws and other restrictive election measures, and the legal fight the Obama administration has picked with Texas to stop the wave. It’s suing to block the state’s voter ID law from taking effect, a clear signal to other states to think twice before they pass any more restrictions on voting rights.

The other portion of this phony political ploy is the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was intended to prohibit discrimination such as poll taxes, refusal to allow a qualified voter to vote, any form of intimidation, any “test or device” such as a literacy test, or residency requirements that require more than 30 days between registering and voting. The act requires election materials and assistance for a single language minority or illiteracy. The act required certain Southern states who had engaged in such discriminatory practices to get a pre-clearance before making any changes to their voting requirements.

Eric Holder is attempting to claim that because blacks and Hispanics are more apt than white citizens not to have photo ID ( Proof of that illogical claim?) requiring photo ID is a form of discrimination and the state should be required to get pre-clearance and be prevented from requiring such ID. Perhaps the Justice Department should be prevented from requiring photo ID from anyone who wants to enter their building. If it is “racist” for Texas, it is also racist for the Justice Department.

The Court found, June 25, 3013, in Shelby County v. Holder, since blacks were voting in larger percentages than white citizens and had been doing so for many years, that discrimination had ended, and requiring pre-clearance was thus unconstitutional. The pre-clearance part of the law had thus served its intent, and was no longer needed. The Obama administration had no intention of giving up that amount of control. Obama stated that the Supreme Court made a “mistake” on voting rights, but he ignores the Court unless they agree with him. Only the pre-clearance part of the Act was struck down, the rest remains in force. So this whole political ploy is a pretty risky maneuver.

Democrats have no accomplishments to boost their electoral chances next year. The economy has not improved, most of the jobs created have been part time, the only reason the unemployment rate is as low as it is, is because so many people have dropped out of the labor force entirely. Wages are down, and household net worth has decreased sharply. ObamaCare is an unworkable train wreck. The people who have really gotten the short end of the stick are Black Americans, with double digit unemployment numbers, and young black people’s unemployment rate is twice that. Obama’s promises to black Americans were just words to keep them believing.

Economist Thomas Sowell explained Obama’s approach:

Like other truly talented phonies, Barack Obama concentrates his skills on the effect of his words on other people— most of whom do not have the time to become knowledgeable about the things he is talking about. Whether what he says bears any relationship to the facts is politically irrelevant. A talented con man or a slick politician does not waste his time trying to convince knowledgeable skeptics. His job is to keep the true believers believing. He is not going to convince the others anyway.

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