Tag Archives: minimum wage

The Eugenics Plot of the Minimum Wage

In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. identifies the government as the enemy of the rights and dignity of blacks. He was locked up for marching without a permit. King cites the injustices of the police and courts in particular. And he inspired a movement to raise public consciousness against state brutality, especially as it involved fire hoses, billy clubs, and jail cells.

Less obvious, however, had been the role of a more covert means of subjugation — forms of state coercion deeply embedded in the law and history of the United States. And they were offered as policies grounded in science and the scientific management of society.

Consider the minimum wage. How much does racism have to do with it? Far more than most people realize. A careful look at its history shows that the minimum wage was originally conceived as part of a eugenics strategy — an attempt to engineer a master race through public policy designed to cleanse the citizenry of undesirables. To that end, the state would have to bring about the isolation, sterilization, and extermination of nonprivileged populations.

The eugenics movement, as an application of the principle of the “planned society,” was deeply hostile to free markets.The eugenics movement — almost universally supported by the scholarly and popular press in the first decades of the 20th century — came about as a reaction to the dramatic demographic changes of the latter part of the 19th century. Incomes rose and lifetimes had expanded like never before in history. Such gains applied to all races and classes. Infant mortality collapsed. All of this was due to a massive expansion of markets, technology, and trade, and it changed the world. It meant a dramatic expansion of population among all groups. The great unwashed masses were living longer and reproducing faster.

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Why racists love the minimum wage laws

By Thomas Sowell     Modal TriggerWhy racists love the minimum wage laws

A survey of American economists found that 90 percent of them regarded minimum-wage laws as increasing the rate of unemployment among low-skilled workers.

Inexperience is often the problem: Only about 2 percent of Americans over the age of 24 earned the minimum wage.

Advocates of minimum-wage laws usually base their support of such laws on their estimate of how much a worker “needs” in order to have “a living wage” — or on some other criterion that pays little or no attention to the worker’s skill level, experience or general productivity. So it’s hardly surprising that minimum-wage laws set wages that price many a young worker out of a job.

What is surprising is that, despite an accumulation of evidence over the years of the devastating effects of minimum-wage laws on black teenage unemployment rates, members of the Congressional Black Caucus continue to vote for such laws.

Once, years ago, during a confidential discussion with a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, I asked how they could possibly vote for minimum-wage laws.

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Progressive Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Historic German nutcracker company declares bankruptcy; says new minimum wage too costly

One of Germany’s largest producers of traditional wooden nutcrackers has filed for bankruptcy, citing increased labor costs due to the country’s new minimum wage.

The dpa news agency reported Sunday that the approximately 200-year-old Steinbach nutcracker company, based in Hohenhameln in eastern Germany, said labor costs had risen 27 percent since the country’s national minimum wage was introduced Jan. 1.

Director Karla Steinbach told the Hildesheimer Allegemeine newspaper that she had paid most of her 120 employees around 5.50 to 6.50 euros ($6.25 to $7.40) per hour before the government increased the minimum hourly wage to 8.50 euros ($9.65), dpa reported.

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California Labor Union That Fought for $15 Minimum Wage Now Wants an Exemption

Natalie Johnson  / September 30, 2015

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which led the charge for a $15 minimum wage hike in California, is trying to get an exemption for employers under union contracts. (Photo: Ringo Chiu/ZUMA Press/Newscom)

The labor union that led the charge for a $15 minimum wage hike in cities across California is now moving to secure an exemption for employers under union contracts.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor buried the exemption on the eighth page of its 12-page proposal for the Santa Monica City Council to review Tuesday while deciding whether to follow Los Angeles and increase the minimum wage.

The loophole would allow employers with collective bargaining agreements to sidestep the wage hike and pay their union members below the proposed $15-per-hour minimum wage.

James Sherk, a research fellow in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, said the exemption is a union attempt to encourage businesses to unionize by making themselves the only low-wage option as union membership continues to drop off.

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A Demagogic Theory of the Minimum Wage Why Minimum Wage Laws are ‘Phased In’ (Hint: It’s an attempt to hide the terrible consequences.) Bryan Caplan

Increases in the minimum wage are usually “phased-in.”  Instead of raising the minimum wage overnight, the law usually specifies a series of steps.  The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 increased the prior $5.15 minimum wage in three steps:

…to $5.85 per hour 60 days after enactment (2007-07-24), to $6.55 per hour 12 months after that (2008-07-24), and finally to $7.25 per hour 12 months after that (2009-07-24)…

Ron Unz’s proposed increase, similarly, has two steps.  In his own words:

The initiative is targeted for the November 2014 ballot. If it passed early in 2015, the minimum wage in California will go up to $10 an hour; early in 2016 it would be raised to $12 an hour. In other words, the initiative in a couple of stages would raise the minimum wage of all California workers to $12 an hour.

What’s the point of these byzantine time tables?  Why not just immediately impose the minimum wage you actually want?  On the surface, the steps seem like an implicit admission that sharply and suddenly raising the minimum wage would have the negative disemployment effects emphasized by its critics.  The point of the steps, then, is to turn a dangerously sharp and sudden hike into a harmlessly slow and gradual hike.

On reflection, though, this argument makes very little sense.  Giving people more time to adjust to incentives normally leads to larger adjustments, not smaller.  If you suddenly raise the gas tax, for example, there is very little effect on gas consumption.  But if people expect the gas tax to go up years before the higher tax kicks in, many will buy more fuel-efficient cars, leading to a large behavioral response.  Minimum wage hikes should work the same way: Employers’ long-run response should exceed their short-run response.  If minimum wage advocates want to minimize the disemployment effect, they should remember the old adage about ripping off a Band-Aid: One sudden pull and you’re done.

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No Human Job is Safe- Tiny Micro Tug robots can pull 1800 times their own weight

Monday, 18 May 2015 – 4:52pm IST | Place: Washington | Agency: PTI

Researchers have developed lightweight robots that use strong and “smart” adhesive surfaces to pull up to 1,800 times their own weight.

Researchers have developed lightweight robots that use strong and “smart” adhesive surfaces to pull up to 1,800 times their own weight.

Researchers from Stanford Universitylooked at van der Waals force, the same force used by ants to pull heavy loads and geckos to climb on vertical glass walls, to develop “MicroTugs” robots.

The tiny robots use a special directional adhesive to pull 1,800 times their own weight. The robot’s design incorporates a strong adhesive deposited onto a series of 100-micrometre flexible wedges made of silicone rubber, Gizmag reported.

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from a decidedly male perspective