American Elephants

The Ever-Growing Lexicon of the Left: New Additions. by The Elephant's Child

dis•pro•por•tion•ate: adjective: having or showing a difference that is not fair, reasonable, or expected: too large or too small in relation to something.
being out of proportion.

#LiveTheWage: Congressional Democrats’ stunt to attempt to live on the minimum wage (briefly). The federal minimum wage of $7.25 would be $290 a week, subtract $176.48 average for housing and $35.06 for taxes leaves $77 remaining for the week to live on. Democrats ask if you could live on that amount?

Informed by polls and public reaction, Obama’s staff and advisors told him to knock off the “income inequality” theme. It wasn’t working. President Obama had hailed it as “the defining challenge of our times.” Yet internal polls proved the class warfare and soak the rich rhetoric was an election loser. Polls have also shown that “minimum wage” doesn’t even register among important issues. Well, not so fast. Income inequality and envy of the rich are perennial hot buttons for liberals, a bedrock issue.

Change the language. The proportion of national wealth that belongs to the 1% is certainly disproportionate. The wages of the average worker are clearly disproportionate to the wages of Industry CEOs. The killing of Hamas terrorists is disproportionate to the numbers of Israeli dead. Are wars supposed to be proportionate? “A difference that is not fair or not reasonable.” I see. Go for fairness.

See how difficult it is to live on just $77 a week? How can people survive on a minimum wage like that? $290 a week is over the poverty level. The minimum wage at $290 a week adds up to $14,500 a year which is over the poverty level of $11,490 a year. And how come Democrats don’t mention that the problems of low wage jobs have become a problem particularly because of ObamaCare, which forced employers to make their full-time workers part time at less than 30 hours. The big increase in new jobs has been in part-time jobs — the other half of the hours of those whose hours were cut.

Minimum wage laws were instituted by union pressure to protect their workers from being undercut by those who would work for less. Ideally, there should be no minimum wage, but only contracts between a willing employer and a willing employee. If I’d like to hire the neighbor’s kid to mow my lawn once a week for far under the local minimum wage of $9.25 I should be able to do so if he wants to mow my lawn. Minimum wage jobs offer new workers a chance to learn marketable skills. A person with marketable skills should be able to find a better job.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky shared her “minimum wage” menu for the week. Her twitter audience was unimpressed.  Pinkie “I honestly think @janschakowsky has no idea that 95% of Americans eat what’s on her menu all the time.” DLoesch “What does @janschakowsky eat normally? Geebus”



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And what makes Rep. Schakowsky’s goofy stunt even more laughable is that she is doing it in DC, where there are no – repeat, NO – jobs that pay $7.25 an hour. Minimum wage jobs in the District start at an average around $10.50 (the McDonald’s in the Air & Space Museum starts the counter help at $13.50), and across the river in Alexandria and Arlington between $10.00 and 10.25, the Maryland side runs about the same or higher. These are the average STARTING pay levels… most people advance beyond them fairly quickly.

And what the hell with those assumptions? $176.48 average for housing? That works out to about $764.75 a month. If there’s a studio or a 1-bedroom apartment within 50 miles of the Capitol Building that rents for that (without subsidies!), it’s the best kept secret in North America. And that’s not counting the bills (water, electric, gas, cable, etc…) that most apartments do not include with the rent.

And let’s take a brief moment to examine that $35.06 for taxes. That’s the federal clip for withholding and social security (12.1%). DC, Virginia, and Maryland all have state and local taxes to deal with, which can take another 5% to 7%.

Now let’s discuss transportation. Schakowsky isn’t going to give up her car service to and from the Capitol. The rest of the people in the area don’t have that option. The Metro is a pretty good system, but it still costs to get anywhere. Many jobs will put an allowance in your check to help cover the cost, if not outright giving you a SmartCard.

And the menu she put together for her week of poverty? That looks pretty similar to one that I lived on for a number of years (substitute a couple of pizza nights!). It should be noted that Rep. Schakowsky was one of the ones who made fun of President G.H.W. Bush when he was supposedly surprised by a supermarket scanner (and why shouldn’t he have been? Barbara did most of the grocery shopping). It’s apparently some kind of a revelation to Schakowsky that there are people who have a limited budget, and have to stay within it.


Comment by Lon Mead

Just a little add on…

You get a certain level of tunnel vision when pursuing an agenda, to the point where you may not realize that you are making the opposition argument better than your own.

From Michelle Malkin’s website:

Tweets from @BarackObama pointing out that from 2009 to 2014, the price of eggs has increased 23% and the price of milk is up 17%, but the minimum wage has stayed the same.

I realize that there’s only a limited amount of space in a tweet, but somehow they fail to mention who has been President for that entire time.

So while Obama will claim this is a need for raising the minimum wage, many observers will wonder why he doesn’t try policies that will reduce the cost of goods and strengthen the dollar.


Comment by Lon Mead

It would be funny if it weren’t all so damaging. Obama doesn’t think that way. All bad things are caused by Republican intransigence, all good things come from the wise experts in government. Obama was complaining today about the corporations who were putting their head offices overseas — merely because they didn’t want to pay the taxes due to the government. He’ll just take away their loopholes, and they’ll be sorry. It simply does not occur to him that if the corporate taxes were lowered to the average of the industrialized nations, they wouldn’t be moving. “Economic Patriotism.” He doesn’t see the connections between policies. He talks about creating opportunity, while his EPA is trying to shut down all the coal-fired power plants which will be hugely damaging to American business and industry, raising their cost of electricity, as well as the cost of everything else. Government experts will fix the problem of low wage people by forcing employers to pay them a higher salary. Big business will respond by employing more robots, small business will just go out of business. From the ads I see from smallish businesses that have never advertised before — everybody’s hurting.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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