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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…

 

No Good Deed…

You know the rest!

With both my roommate and I having infirmities and physical limitations (along with no longer being 22!) sometimes things get procrastinated about, or just ignored.

One of those things is our back ‘yard’.

Living in a small townhouse, the yard isn’t particularly large, but my roomie, with her love for the flora, has numerous plants, both potted and in the ground, which sometimes require tending.

And between recent other adventures and doctor’s appointments, the yard has not seen proper maintenance.

And a number of ‘volunteer’ plants have been added to the mix by Mother Nature.  Like lantana, which has taken over to the extent we cannot reach the hose bib or electric box!

Now, there is a time constraint, as her first shoulder surgery is scheduled for March 21.  And I suspect nurse will be added to the title chief cook and bottle washer for me.  And, with her right arm immobilized for a minimum of six weeks, her physical abilities will be severely limited.

So, Thursday last, I carved out some time in the morning to take a stab at the yard.  Because it was necessary. (It didn’t help a number of massive fronts were coming in from California starting Friday!)

My target:

wp-1487515826737.jpg

(the white structure on the right is a non-functional Jacuzzi – now a plant stand)

I popped a significant pain pill, waited for it to kick in and headed out.  Wishing in all seriousness I had a machete ala Indiana Jones.

I had a rake, a shovel, and a weed-eater.

The plan was to work until it was done – no excuses!  Then, the pain pill wore off.  At about two hours.  When not involved in manual labor, they last four or more!

So much for THAT idea.

BUT, I cleaned up 75-80% of the yard, obtained access to the bib and the utility box (getting stabbed byagave-americana the century plant at least twice!), and trimmed back the palm tree by the back gate as to only get attacked by one palm frond, in lieu of three.

With palms like these, who needs anemones? – Thelonious Monk (from the liner notes for the Dave Brubeck ‘Take Five’ album)

More obviously needs to be done.  But that’s for another day.

And Friday and Saturday I paid for my good deed…

My arthritis kicked in big time, as did muscle pain, general tiredness and malaise.

And my doc wants me to limit use of NSAIDS, having over-used them for the past twenty years or more.

SIGH.

The Most Effective – Says Peter

Peter (again) brings the Truth!

“What’s the single most effective thing you can do to improve your chances in a gunfight?”

That question was put to me by a reader this weekend.  He asked, “There are so many different opinions out there for a defensive weapon:  this or that caliber, or cartridge, or firearm, or technique, or whatever.  Is there any one thing I should look to master before worrying about the others?  Is there any single element that can make the difference between life and death, if I ever need it the hard way?”Why, yes.  Yes, there is.  It’s basic marksmanship.

  • No matter what super-dooper, felon-stopper, magnum-blaster ammunition you carry, unless you can put it into an attacker’s vital zones and shut him down, he’s going to hurt or kill you or your loved ones.
  • No matter what plastic-fantastic, space-cowboy-zapper death-dealing firearm you’re toting, unless you can bring its whiz-bang features to bear against an enemy, it won’t do you any good (except to make you look technologically sexy, and I doubt your corpse or your surviving family members [if any] will care about that).
  • No matter how gung-ho, super-fit, extreme-martial-artist your physical capabilities may be;  no matter whether you can sprint a hundred meters in Olympic-record time while simultaneously dodging speeding bullets;  no matter whether you can bench-press three hundred pounds while operating a machine-gun with your toes;  unless you can put down-aimed, effective fire on your opponent, his return fire is going to turn your superhero body into a colander.

A couple of years ago I wrote an article titled ‘.22LR as a defensive round‘.  It remains one of my most popular and most-searched articles on the subject of defensive shooting.  In it I outlined a very low-cost and extremely effective training technique that anyone can apply to almost any weapon.  If you read that article, and follow the training it advises, I guarantee that your combat effectiveness will be multiplied several times over, even if you do nothing else to improve your chances.  Weapon and ammunition selection can follow, and of course you’ll need to practice to achieve similar results with a harder-kicking, less easily controlled firearm.  Nevertheless, the basic principle of getting effective rounds on target remains the key to successful self-defense.

Remember, too, that accuracy with a firearm is a perishable skill.  It’s not one you’ll retain unless you keep in training.  Start with basic ‘bullseye’ target shooting and/or competition, by all means, and progress through the training methods I outlined in my earlier article;  but don’t rest on your laurels once you achieve marksmanship nirvana.  You’ll have to stay in practice.  I reckon you should be shooting at least a hundred rounds a month with your BB handgun to do that;  and if you’ve upgraded to a suitable defensive weapon, plan on shooting 100-200 rounds every three months as an absolute minimum with it.  I prefer a practical minimum of 50-100 rounds every month, but I realize not everyone can afford that much time or that much ammunition.  That’s why ongoing practice with a BB gun is a very inexpensive, ultra-affordable and extremely important way to keep your skills current.  You can do that in your back yard, or in your garage, or even (using Airsoft guns) in your living-room without risking damage to your furniture or fittings.

Practice, practice, and more practice.  It’s indispensable – and it really does make a difference.  There’s a lot more to defensive shooting than just marksmanship, but in the absence of accuracy, none of it matters worth a damn.

Peter

Reading this, I was reminded of what I read regarding Marine training, long ago.  Basically, what was said was bullets hitting people was the desired result.
You can have the most inherently accurate, reliable machine.  In the best caliber.  BUT, if you cannot hit your target, all is for nought!
When was the last time you practiced?  Or even dry-fired?

_______________________________________________________

(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to www.projectwelcomehometroops.org/#22kill

22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY

Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #13 of 22)

MORE Yardwork!

SO…

I’m quietly resting on my laurels, thinking the ‘chores’ (a word from childhood I loathe!) are completed, when the lady of the house says to me,

“We have more plants to move in the back yard so the painters can access the walls.”

YIKES!

But, it must be done.  After all, if we don’t move the stuff, the walls won’t get properly painted.  And, I’m certain, the HOA would try to fine us for noncompliance with the bylaws.  (Being a townhouse H.O.A. and all!)

So, it’s back out into the yard for us!  Sigh.

Fortunately, we didn’t have THAT much to do.  Mostly pry a large, overgrown yucca from it’s perch and move it about six feet away from the wall.

Using a shovel, hand truck and brute force.

(Note to self – Yucca are SHARP!)

BUT, we accomplished the task.  Here is a picture of the side of the yard, showing about half the plants, tools, cacti and succulents we moved:

20150804_062337The offending yucca plant is left-of-center.

And, of course, once the painting, exterior maintenance and noise are completed, we will get to move everything BACK!

As my Dad used to say, no rest for the wicked!

Father’s Day Courage

My Dad was a very complex individual.  He certainly had courage, but he had his unresolved fears, as well.  He had amazing will power, but not in all areas of his weaknesses.  Guess that’s why they’re weaknesses.

My Dad did a stint ‘working on the railroad’ back in the forties and fifties.  He was still living in Connecticut, and his father (the former Marine sharpshooter) was a Lieutenant in the NY,NH & H Railroad Police (The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad).  This was long before AMTRAK.

I’m certain, at least in part, my father obtained the RR police job through nepotism.  That doesn’t mean he wasn’t qualified, but getting a railroad job was exceedingly difficult.

One late night, he was on a platform awaiting another train’s arrival.  The platform was basically empty.  Suddenly, two drunken sailors appeared and approached my dad.  And proceeded to beat the living crap out of him.

As he told the story (being a macho former college football lineman) he tried to defend himself as best he could.  Have you ever been in a physical confrontation?  Against multiple assailants?  It can’t be easy, given just one can be problematic.  And these two guys were fit Navy guys.

Ultimately, he found himself down on his hands-and-knees, covering his face and eyes with his hands, and his ribs with his arms, while being kicked by two men.  At least one had brought him into that position by kicking him in the crotch.

And there he was, awaiting death.  And appealing to God to give him the strength to survive.

Suddenly, there was a break in the pain and nausea, and he lunged sideways, tackling one of his assailants.  After banging his head on the platform (I assume multiple times), he faced the second sailor.  He threw him off the platform and down onto an empty track.

Then he somehow made his way to a railroad room where he could lock himself away.  There was no such thing as instant communication and backup in those days.

After returning to work, he found out two sailors had reported having been assaulted on the platform.  One with a concussion, the other a broken back!  No one connected my father to the injuries.  Or at least tried to make the connection.

A couple years later, I was born.

Fast-forward about 20 years after that, my Dad was officiating a Pop Warner football game.  And one of those events that seems to be more common these days occurred.  Some kiddie-footballer’s dad took offense to a call and began physically attacking the officials!  And a melee ensued.  Fans and officials fighting all over the field!   A buddy of my father’s, another official, was being choked by one of the irate fan fathers.

And, here comes my Dad, 20+ years after the sailor fight.  He was able to pull the attacker off his friend, and then was blindsided by a second idiot, having his eyeglasses broken for the effort.  He was obviously much older and overweight.  The end result was three crowd members were arrested, fortunately, no officials.  And no serious injuries.

My dad’s friend presented him with a trophy, a football in a kicking tee with a plaque reading COURAGE.

He certainly had that.  And he left us way too young.

He died six years before Molly was born.  He would have revelled in her.

I no longer have my Dad, nor my daughter.  I still have the trophy, somewhere.

Meanwhile, back @ TMCCC…

aka That Major Credit Card Company

(from whence I medically retired)

Being a fraud investigator for a major credit card company was always educational.  Having worked with ex-military and ex-cops before as a PI, there were expectations with regard to fact-checking, double-checking and due diligence.

Because most of the staff had not the experience, background or education, sometimes short cuts were made.  (This is not to say that some of those investigators weren’t excellent…)

Fast forward to meetings for the IACCI  (The International Association of Credit Card Investigators, which later morphed into Financial Crimes Investigators in a new name).  Our building had lots of meeting space, so we always volunteered a place for the organization to hold meetings.  Folks from other financial institutions and local and federal law enforcement usually attended.

This particular day, the Attorney General for the State of Arizona was scheduled to attend and speak.  I was familiar enough with the AG’s Office to know he was a Democratic mover and shaker.  His name was (and is) Terry Goddard.

The black rubber marquee with white press-in letters stood proudly in the foyer opposite the main entrance, announcing both the meeting, and welcoming our guest speaker.  (I considered taking a photo of it with my cell-phone, but, only recently had personal photos inside the building been banned.)

The marquee read:

Welcome Attorney General Teri Goddard 

Whatever nimnul who had prepared the sign either had no idea who the AG was, or was a poor speller.

I toyed with the idea of letting it go, because I can sometimes be snarky that way, but did eventually alert management as to the error, and it was duly corrected.

Kinda wish I’d taken the picture, though…

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…