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Der Fledermausflügel

In another lifetime, I was newly married (one year) and had job ‘issues’.  Those who know me know I held 40 jobs from age 16 until I landed as a credit card fraud investigator (TMCCC).  I stayed in that job for almost 22 years!

My bride worked for an electronics company, then ubiquitous in the Phoenix area.  MOTOROLA.  Seems her father and one brother also worked there.  Family business (?)

(Well, anyway) I was between jobs, and The Wife told me they were hiring.  I applied, with the hope I would be working armed security (based on my job experience).

Not only did they NOT hire me for security, they hired me a a line worker doing silicon wafer inspection, in a clean room suit, and, I was assigned second shift!  Which meant I’d hardly got to see The Wife.

Hardly my first choice!

But, they had a credit union, and health insurance, and I needed work.

It was NOT the best of experiences.

The crew was largely like those one encountered in the security business.  Mixed education and experience, ethnicity and background.  One manager was constantly sexually harassing the men, openly; one of the new guys was openly addicted to pills, and treated co-workers horribly.  The harasser was left alone, because she was a long-term female employee.  The pill-popper was ethnic, and so he was allowed much more leeway than if a White guy had been doing the same.  One of the lead engineers was also a harasser, who didn’t get held accountable until years later.

And management constantly held impossible standards over your head, and threatened all with layoffs (a product of the semiconductor production business – we need to get product out, hire more people.  When contracts end, lay the folks off!)

So, I worked there a little more than a year-and-a-half.  And was miserable.

The Wife and I DID get to see each other on weekends (she became pregnant in May!), and I left der Fledermausflügel in November to begin my private investigation business.

I was laid off.

Why der Fledermausflügel, you ask?

German for bat wings, of course!

About The Raising Of The Minimum Wage…

Here’s what that bastion of liberal thought, Harvard University, has to say about it:

(from the Daily Wire)

Harvard Study: Minimum Wage Hikes Killing Businesses

Erik Mcgregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty ImagesA rally in New York City for hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Feb 13, 2017.

A new Harvard Business School study found that minimum wage hikes lead to closures of small businesses. “We find suggestive evidence that an increase in the minimum wage leads to an overall increase in the rate of exit,” the researchers conclude.

The study, titled Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit, looks at “the impact of the minimum wage on restaurant closures using data from the San Francisco Bay Area” from 2008-2016.

Researchers Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca chose the Bay Area due to their frequent minimum wage hikes in recent years. “In the San Francisco Bay Area alone, there have been twenty-one local minimum wage changes over the past decade,” they write.

The Lucas found that lower-quality restaurants (indicated by Yelp scores) were disproportionately affected by wage hikes, increasing their likelihood of closure relative to higher-quality, established restaurants.

“The evidence suggests that higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants. However, lower quality restaurants, which are already closer to the margin of exit, are disproportionately impacted by increases to the minimum wage,” says the study. “Our point estimates suggest that a one dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating), but has no discernible impact for a 5-star restaurant (on a 1 to 5 star scale).”

While “firm exit” was the focus of the study, the researchers also noted that there are often other consequences from wage hikes, such as worker layoffs, increased pricing and hour-cuts for existing workers:

While some studies find no detrimental effects on employment (Card and Krueger 1994, 1998; Dube, Lester & Reich, 2010), others show that higher minimum wage reduces employment, especially among low-skilled workers (see Neumark & Wascher, 2007 for a review). However, even studies that identify negative impacts find fairly modest effects overall, suggesting that firms adjust to higher labor costs in other ways. For example, several studies have documented price increases as a response to the minimum wage hikes (Aaronson, 2001; Aaronson, French, & MacDonald, 2008; Allegretto & Reich, 2016). Horton (2017) find that firms reduce employment at the intensive margin rather than on the extensive margin, choosing to cut employees hours rather than counts.

Such findings were backed up by Garret/Galland Research’s Stephen McBride, who highlighted in March the “minimum wage massacre.”

“Currently, rising labor costs are causing margins in the sector to plummet. Those with the ability to automate like McDonalds are doing so… and those who don’t are closing their doors. In September 2016, one-quarter of restaurant closures in the California Bay Area cited rising labor costs as one of the reasons for closing,” McBride wrote in Forbes. 

“While wage increases put more money in the pocket of some, others are bearing the costs by having their hours reduced and being made part-time,” he added.

As noted by Red Alert Politics, the Bay Area is headed for a $15 minimum wage in July of 2018, though they’ve already seen over 60 restaurants close since September.

While it would behoove the Bernie Bros picketing for $15 an hour to take a look at this study, it’s entirely unlikely that such evidence would deter their entitled attitudes.

I posted regarding this phenomena before, but I obviously don’t have the gravitas of Harvard (nor, apparently the other sources I borrowed stole from!)

It’s basic economics – businesses expect X dollar profit to be profitable – having the gov’t mandate paying their employees more money lessens profit.  Something has to give.

We’re seeing many more kiosks on restaurant tables and counters these days.

They cost less.

Q.E.D.

“Come With Me If You Want To Live!”

Harvard ‘Shock’ Study: Each $1 Minimum Wage Hike Causes 4-10% Increase In Restaurant Failures

When I was making minimum wage, I changed jobs when I saw I couldn’t make rent and eat on that income.  This was in the 70s, when I began making $1.60 an hour, and moved up to $2.10…

 

51% – ers

from Brock Townsend:

Socialism’s False Promise

Via Billy

Given its track record, one wonders why socialism is gaining in popularity in the U.S. and what appeal it has to a generation that, apparently, knows little about it.

A recent survey from Harvard University has found that 51 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 do not support capitalism. Just 42 percent support the economic system that has allowed even the poorest American to live better and to have more opportunity for advancement than most of the rest of the world. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed support socialism.

Why does socialism receive such strong support among the young? I think it’s partly due to what is being taught in too many public schools and universities and it is partly due to ignorance and human nature, which would rather get a check than earn one.

Three quotes about socialism sum up both its false promise and its danger.

Back-in-the-day, when I was going to college, I paid all my own tuition, bought my own books, and worked full-time.  At minimum wage or slightly more than minimum wage jobs.  No student loans for me!
This is not to say I wouldn’t have considered a loan – I didn’t think I’d qualify and didn’t know I’d a choice!
What changed, wherein young people cannot work and afford college on their own? 
(I suspect the government is involved!)
(In the interest of full disclosure, I barely make it on SSDI today, and sometimes borrow (or am gifted) money to pay my auto insurance, or to make groceries.  This is not a bleg, but just a statement-of-fact.  What changed, when I could once afford to pay my own way, and now cannot?  I suspect the government is involved.)

♫ Take This Job And Shove It ♫

I ain’t workin’ here no more!

Prior to my almost twenty-two year stint @ TMCCC (that major credit card company) as a credit card fraud investigator, I held FORTY JOBS(!)

Beginning at age 16.

I don’t know if it was immaturity, or low pay/no benefits, or just the wrong fit.  Not everyone is right for every job.  Some jobs I quit, some was fired, some laid-off.  In many I was quite angry at the way things were managed.  And I left – one way or another.

BUT, I never considered THIS:

Of course, I never won the lottery, either!

h/t Irish

Standing On Principles

gayI like to think I have Principles

I like to think I stand on them, and admire those who do also.

Unless, of course, their principles are diametrically opposed to mine!

One would think that working as a county clerk, and gay marriage was upheld by The Supreme Court, and licensing gays violated my principles, that it would behoove me to look for employment elsewhere(?)

The same thing applies to pharmacists who dislike dispensing a ‘morning after’ pill to their customers.

Or going to work at the Walmart sporting goods department, and being told you must sell guns and ammunition.  And you are anti-gun.

This just in – an Islamic flight attendant is objecting to be required to serve her passengers alcohol!  (as if she didn’t know this going in!)

If working there and doing your assigned job violates your principles – QUIT!

There’s an old saw, emblazoned on many a sampler and kitschy poster, stating “When you work for a man, WORK for him!”

Perhaps the women in the news are hoping to become another cause celebre, and make it to the Supreme Court?

In another lifetime.

I’m certainly not pristine in holding to my principles.  I AM human.  I worked for a polygraph company (not as a polygrapher) and federal legislation was pending to severely restrict private polygraph pre-employment companies.  (It passed).  But the boss had us calling in on company time (we were getting paid to do this) in an effort to sway the Congress to not pass the bill.

And, having had some (not all) negative experiences with polygraphs, I privately supported the legislation.

But, I also needed a paycheck, so…

I chose getting a paycheck over standing on my principles.

I was laid-off six months later, regardless, I’m sure in part to the decreased company revenue.

I probably should have quit.

Correlation?

from Brock Townsend:

Cocaine Production Plummets After DEA Kicked Out Of Bolivia

Via sauced07

After the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was kicked out of Bolivia, the country was able to drastically reduce the amount of coca (cocaine) produced within its borders. According to data released by the United Nations, cocaine production in the country declined by 11% in the past year, marking the fourth year in a row of steady decrease.

It was just seven years ago that the DEA left Bolivia — and only three years after that, progress was finally made. The strategy employed by the Bolivian government may be a surprise to many prohibitionists because it did not involve any strong-arm police state tactics. Instead, they worked to find alternative crops for farmers to grow that would actually make them more money.

More @ Zero Hedge
GEE, I wonder if there was/is some kind of correlation?  A symbiosis, if you will…?

Immigration INTO Mexico

The OTHER side of the story…

My good friend OldNFO was recently given specifics as a counter to the ‘we are being hard/difficult/bigoted against those poor undocumented workers, migrants, illegal aliens here in the United States.

A view from working in Mexico, as it were…

From the other side of the fence…

Received the following from Tom Xxxxx, who was a Director with SW BELL in Mexico City:

I spent five years working in Mexico. I worked under a tourist Visa for three months and could legally renew it for three more months. After that you were working Illegally. I was technically illegal for three weeks waiting on the FM3 approval.

During that six months our Mexican and US attorneys were working to secure a permanent work visa called a ‘FM3′. It was in addition to my US passport that I had to show each time I entered and left the country. Barbara’s was the same, except hers did not permit her to work.

To apply for the FM3, I needed to submit the following notarized originals (not copies):

1. Birth certificate for Barbara and I.

2. Marriage certificate.

3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.

4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of graduation.

5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at least one year.

6. A letter from the St. Louis Chief of Police indicating that I had no arrest record in the U.S. and no outstanding warrants and, was ‘a citizen in good standing’.

  1. Finally, I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated why there was no Mexican citizen with my skills and why my skills were important to Mexico. We called it our ‘I am the greatest person on Earth letter. It was fun to write.

All of the above were in English that had to be translated into Spanish and be certified as legal translations, and our signatures notarized. It produced a folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left side and Spanish on the right.

Once they were completed Barbara and I spent about five hours, accompanied by a Mexican attorney, touring Mexican government office locations and being photographed and fingerprinted at least three times at each location, and we remember at least four locations where we were instructed on Mexican tax, labor, housing, and criminal law and that we were required to obey their laws or face the consequences. We could not protest any of the government’s actions or we would be committing a felony. We paid out four thousand dollars in fees and bribes to complete the process. When this was done we could legally bring in our household goods that were held by US Customs in Laredo, Texas. This meant we had rented furniture in Mexico while awaiting our goods. There were extensive fees involved here that the company paid.

We could not buy a home and were required to rent at very high rates and under contract and compliance with Mexican law.

We were required to get a Mexican driver’s license. This was an amazing process. The company arranged for the licensing agency to come to our headquarters location with their photography and fingerprint equipment and the laminating machine. We showed our US license, were photographed and fingerprinted again and issued the license instantly after paying out a six dollar fee. We did not take a written or driving test and never received instructions on the rules of the road. Our only instruction was to never give a policeman your license if stopped and asked. We were instructed to hold it against the inside window away from his grasp. If he got his hands on it you would have to pay ransom to get it back.

We then had to pay and file Mexican income tax annually using the number of our FM3 as our ID number. The company’s Mexican accountants did this for us and we just signed what they prepared. I t was about twenty legal size pages annually.

The FM3 was good for three years and renewable for two more after paying more fees.

Leaving the country meant turning in the FM3 and certifying we were leaving no debts behind and no outstanding legal affairs (warrants, tickets or liens) before our household goods were released to customs.

It was a real adventure and if any of our Senators or Congressmen went through it once they would have a different attitude toward Mexico.

The Mexican government uses its vast military and police forces to keep its citizens intimidated and compliant. They never protest at their capitol or government offices, but do protest daily in front of the United States Embassy. The US Embassy looks like a strongly reinforced fortress and during most protests the Mexican military surrounds the block with their men standing shoulder to shoulder in full riot gear to protect the Embassy. These protests are never shown on U.S. or Mexican TV. There is a large public park across the street where they do their protesting. Anything can cause a protest such as proposed law changes in Arizona, California or Texas.

Please feel free to share this with everyone who thinks we are being hard on the illegals.

h/t JP

Radical Religious Escalation

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

–Winston S. Churchill

There was a time when a President, the military and the population of The United States (by and large) stood tall and fought for the rights and lives of others.  World War Two would be a good example.  Japan had taken much of the Far East, and Germany much of Europe, and parts of Africa.

And was systematically exterminating Jews, gypsys, cripples, intellectuals and homosexuals.

Now I’m not all about being the World’s policeman.  I would much rather be isolationist and let the rest of the World solve her own problems.  The problem with that ideal currently is radical Islamic fundamentalists have brought the battle to us.  It’s not just about 9-11, it’s about England, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Spain, and anywhere persons are being religiously persecuted to the extent they are being raped, burned alive and beheaded.

The Nazis didn’t start with thousands of death camps, train schedules, IBM tabulating machines, and giant crematoria. They started small and worked up. It wasn’t until Kristallnacht in November of 1938 that they got organized enough to kill 91 Jews at one time.

ISIS has kidnapped 90 Assyrian Christians this week. They beheaded 21 Christians last week. They’re a new government, recently formed. They’re starting small and already talking about working up.

We can wait. Unless some miracle happens, we will wait. But we shouldn’t expect the outcome to be anything other than the obvious. It’s the same evil manifesting itself under a new name.

It will be the Jews, the Christians, the homosexuals, the intellectuals, Muslims from different sects and any one who doesn’t go along. They will die, deaths by every mutilating, degrading means, wiped out along with the ideas, thoughts and dreams they had. They will be erased. And when it gets rolling, we will not be able to say we didn’t see it coming because they are proud of it and they are posting for the world to see. (WARNING! Graphic images).  (Borepatch)

And our President claims it’s fundamentalist American Christians who are more dangerous than ISIS !

Now, I’m not a fan of those whack-jobs who protest at military funerals.  Or their fellow travelers.  And they claim to be fundamental Christians.  They even announced a protest at Leonard Nimoy’s funeral!

But, I’ve not seen any of then burn someone alive or behead them on International television.

It’ll only get worse before it gets better.

And offering them employment isn’t the answer, Mr. President!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…