Tag Archives: Minimum Wage

Obama changing overtime law – workers to suffer (again)

arrogant_obamaPresident Obama has decided to change the overtime ceiling from $23,600/year to over $56,000/yr – but it won’t have the affect he promises.

Currently, salaried workers making more than $23,600 per year are exempt from the overtime pay rate which requires that employers pay them 1.5 times their pay for each hour over 40 hours.

According to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, the President has already sent an order to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review that would almost double that limit. The OMB report will likely be glowingly in-favor of Obama’s proposal.

Obama’s plan is to make more employees eligible for overtime or push them up to a new ceiling. Unless someone is already close to the new ceiling, neither will happen.

The economy has been struggling to create wage inflation, so what could be wrong with the president’s idea? Won’t it increase wages?

Ummm, no. The only thing that can create wage inflation is a tight labor market and, despite Obama’s claims, the market isn’t even close to that.

First, employers aren’t seeing the economic boom progressive demand-side economics were supposed to produce. Cash for clunkers, shovel ready projects, stimulus, stimulus II, night of the living stimulus and more have all failed to create the booming economy of yesteryear.

Second, oppressive taxes and regulations make it much more expensive for employers to hire or even retain existing employees. Obamacare, skyrocketing energy prices and silly rules like this make it impossible to compete.

Employers will examine the rule, do the math and realize that they can neither afford to raise essential personnel to $56k nor pay them 1.5x their pay. Instead, they will trim back operations or send them overseas. *Gasp* you say?

U.S. regulations already make it favorable to build factories, offices and distribution overseas. Add this stupidity to TPP and just like NAFTA, there won’t be any work left for Americans in America.

This and TPP might just crush middle-income earners into the ground.

But maybe that’s the point .. the President is kinda’ running out of time to fundamentally transform the nation.

Group Urges Obama to EXPAND Executive Order on Wages

There are some that do not feel Obama’s overreach of power has not gone far enough! The National Federation Of The Blind say that his Executive Order  raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers must also include workers with disabilities.

BALTIMORE, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s oldest and largest nationwide organization of the blind, has sent a letter to President Obama urging him to value the work performed by workers with disabilities by including disabled workers in the forthcoming executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers.  Over four-hundred thousand disabled workers, many of whom work for entities that receive federal contracts, are currently paid far less than the federal minimum wage under an obscure provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Here is the letter to President Obama, from Dr. Marc Maurer:

February 3, 2014
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

In your January 28th State of the Union Address, and via a conference call with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Labor Perez on January 29th, it was announced that all contractors would be required by executive order to pay their federally funded workers at least $10.10 an hour under any new contracts. The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, urges you to include workers with disabilities in this executive order, affirmatively and explicitly. We further urge you to announce that you will sign the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act (H.R. 831) if and when that legislation reaches your desk. With a Republican sponsor and substantial Democratic co-sponsorship, this nonpartisan piece of legislation will responsibly phase out the discriminatory practice of paying workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage.

Our respect and prayers go out to Americans like Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom and equality we seek to enjoy as American citizens. We are thankful that Sergeant Remsburg is recovering from the wounds he suffered in service to this great nation. But we must point out that his value to our society is not a function of the restoration of his eyesight and ability to walk, but of the simple fact that he is a human being with determination, belief in himself, love for the United States, and aspirations for his future. There are millions of others who actively seek to serve this nation we love with our unique talents and strengths, whether or not we can benefit from technology or medical intervention that will mitigate or eliminate our disabilities. Some of us may be blind in both eyes; others may not be able to hear; some may be unable to walk; some may have developmental disabilities that require innovative interventions; and still others may have other disabilities that require them to perform everyday tasks a little differently. We seek to have our different characteristics embraced as respected contributions to our nation’s diversity, not as badges of inferiority that condemn us to a life of low wages and low expectations. We are no less valuable, we are no less capable, and we are no less American than any other citizen.

We wholeheartedly agree with you when you say, “The America we want for our kids – a rising America where honest work is plentiful and communities are strong; where prosperity is widely shared and opportunity for all lets us go as far as our dreams and toil will take us – none of it is easy. But if we work together; if we summon what is best in us, the way Cory summoned what is best in him, with our feet planted firmly in today but our eyes cast towards tomorrow – I know it’s within our reach.” We believe that this America includes people with disabilities, and we ask you to demonstrate that you believe it as well.


Marc Maurer, President

cc: Vice President Joseph R. Biden

The Honorable Thomas E. Perez




Walmart Encourages Grinch Accusations

WalMart NerdWalmart is a corporation that generates strong opinion. Unions — and their wholly–owned subsidiary the Democrat Party — view Walmart as a rapacious corporation run by brutal overseers whose overriding goal is exploiting the working class.

Many Republican officeholders view Walmart as a corporation run by a bunch of cheap so–and–sos who won’t make large campaign contributions and hire refugees from the Clinton administration.

Unions hold annual protests just prior to Black Friday and attempt to convince millions of shoppers that the largest private employer in the US might have low prices, but it’s only because the corporation harvests employee organs to sell on the black market.

The protests are held nationwide and union employees, rented homeless and liberal voyeurs demand the corporation pay full–time employees a minimum of $25,000 per year. Democrat officeholders show solidarity by attempting to pick the corporation’s pocket with minimum wage laws that give government the power to tell business how much employees should be paid, without government having any responsibility for the bottom line.

It’s vote buying through extortion.

In the Nanny’s Republic of Washington, DC animosity toward Walmart was so high the city council passed a bill amusingly titled the Large Retailer Accountability Act. (I wait in vain for the Bad Leftist Ideas Accountability Act.) The bill would’ve required Walmart to pay 50 percent more than the city’s current minimum wage. In fact the amount was more than the minimum wage the DC government pays its employees!

Fortunately for Walmart shoppers, the mayor vetoed the bill.

So one might ask at a time when Walmart is viewed as a penny–pinching, soulless exploiter of the down–trodden, why would a store manager in Canton, OH arrange a crèche of plastic bins in the breakroom with a sign that read: “Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner.” I suppose it beats letting them dumpster dive, but the optics are bad.

When it comes time for the 2013 Bad Public Relations Ideas nominations, this will be hard to beat. Why not invite Occupy Wall Street to provide entertainment at the next stockholder’s meeting?

This only feeds the narrative of Grinch–like exploitation that the MSM, unions and Democrats work so hard to tattoo on Walmart’s corporate hide.

Even regular Walmart shoppers have mixed emotions. Just thinking about it conjures up associations with domestic drama in the parking lot, unfortunate fashion choices and dangerously high customer BMI.

Who hasn’t experienced that all too common Walmart shopping experience? You can’t find the item you want and you can’t find an employee to direct you to it. (I just assume all the on–duty workers are either manning the cash register or in back passing the hat.)

Even cemeteries have a higher ratio of employees to customers than your average Walmart store.

Which brings us back to: When there is such a cultural divide in opinion regarding your business, why do something that reinforces the negative side?

In fairness to the manager, the charity display was in the employees–only section and not outside next to the Salvation Army kettle, but regardless of location once the media becomes aware the damage is done.

And sure enough, anti–Walmart organizer Norma Mills, quoted on Cleveland.com, observes, “That Walmart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers — to me, it is a moral outrage.”

When you compare this to Walmart’s profit in 2012, $17 billion, and the net worth of the Walton family, $144 billion, even the most dedicated shopper can’t help but wonder why the company can’t toss a turkey leg to deserving employees.

Unfortunately, the majority of that profit has been used in recent years to buy back Walmart stock, which is essentially financial onanism that creates nothing and only serves to enhance the value of stock the Walton family owns.

The WaPost had a story about a woman and her daughter who were struggling and homeless much of the time. The Post, as usual, ignores the choice the woman made that created the problem: having an out–of–wedlock child, a sure path to poverty. (This by the way is not blaming the victim. The victim is the child and none of it’s her fault.)

After that bad decision, the woman worked hard to turn her life around. She finally landed a job with the YMCA and found an apartment she could afford on her salary, but she couldn’t save enough for the security deposit.

Management at the Y heard about her problem and instead of asking the towel boys to hold a car wash for her, the Y gave the woman a salary advance and she got the apartment.

In the Cleveland.com story, spokesperson Kory Lundberg defends the company. “This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships.” But that is not completely true. It is part of employee culture, not management culture.

According to Lundberg the company has a program called the Associates in Critical Need Trust. Walmart workers can receive grants of up to $1,500.00 to “address hardships they may encounter, including homelessness, serious medical illnesses and major repairs to primary vehicles. Since 2001, grants totaling $80 million have been made.”

Here’s the problem: Walmart takes credit for the charity and the concern, but it’s paid for by payroll deductions from the workers. Walmart needs to stop dunning employees for this money. The corporation should provide all the funding.

That way the company is really buying into Lundberg’s “culture.”

It is simply good business practice for management to demonstrate real concern for the staff. Putting the corporation’s money where the corporate mouthpiece is will go a long way toward blunting future attacks on the company. And that will help everyone — management, employees and stockholders.

California moving to increase minimum wage

Tax Credits (CC)

Tax Credits (CC)

The California Assembly has passed a measure that will increase the minimum wage in The Golden State. Wages would increase from $8 to $9.25 under this measure that is now moving on to the state Senate for consideration. UPI reports:

The bill’s author, Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, said higher wages would “allow our families to provide for their children, pay their bills and give them dignity and respect.”

The measure would increase to $8.25 an hour next year, $8.75 in 2015 and reach $9.25 by 2016. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.

The vote was 42-24. Only Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, crossed party lines in the vote.

The California Chamber of Commerce stated that this measure will be a “job killer,” and will prevent businesses from being able to afford to hire new employees.

Despite greatest level of government spending in history, more Americans are poor

For almost a century, progressives, socialists and centrists of almost every shade have spouted that in order to make things more fair, the government has to redistribute wealth from the richest to the poorest. During Barack Obama’s Presidency, taxes have been raised, government spending on the poor has exploded and yet, according to government figures, we are experiencing the highest levels of poverty in over fifty years.

In Decemeber, a government report showed that the government is spending almost $170 a day per household on those who are under the federal poverty line and receiving welfare. That’s $1,190.00 per week or almost $62,000 per year that was taken from someone more likely to invest in and build the economy.

In 2012, welfare paid better than a minimum wage job in 40 states. It’s not surprising then that 4.3 million Americans are on the program. Tack on other government programs and it gets easy to see why someone would rather stay home and on the dole than to start making a better life for themselves by taking a minimum wage job and working up to a better wage. 20% of all recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children have been on the program for more than five years. That is not a hand up, that is a handout.

To add insult to injury, nine states pay their welfare beneficiaries more than the national average for a teacher. Seven states pay more than $12/hr in welfare benefits. The top 10 benefit paying states average $13.68/hour wage equivalent. Why work?

Unfortunately for those that choose the easy early path, there is no way to climb out of poverty. Welfare recipients can’t get promoted or ask for a raise and eventually get above that line. Learning a trade or skill might start out at a lower hourly wage, but the more improved the worker, the more opportunities that present themselves and that will bring them out of poverty.

In 2011, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported that there were more than 80 over-lapped government assistance programs spending roughly $1 trillion dollars to aid the poor – the single largest budget item in 2011. That’s what the President said we needed to spend on Health Care for every single American. More than we spend on

If the huge expansion in social welfare programs were working, poverty would be dropping and more would be returning to work. Instead, we have the largest spike in those under the federal poverty line since the 1960’s and an economy that struggling under the weight of redistributive change, handouts and government over-regulation.

Rubio on CBS: Hey, I Wasn’t Even Around for DADT…

senator rubioIn a follow up interview from his Republican Response speech, Marco Rubio had an opportunity to explain further some of his personal positions. In this CBS Morning clip the senator acknowledges that he, like many, agree with some of the president’s comments from the State of the Union address, including finding actual solutions for gun violence. However, he noted strong disagreement with many of the president’s proposals particularly raising the minimum wage.

On a personal note, I had to chuckle when Rubio took Norah O’Donnell to task after her criticisms were shown to be without merit. Maybe Ms. O’Donnell will get her facts straight next time.

And yes, the senator did laugh at his awkward water moment.

The Minimum Wage Increase Myth

The Minimum Wage

Yesterday (February 2, 2012) Rush Limbaugh announced that Republican presidential nomination hopeful Mitt Romney favored a minimum wage increase linked to inflation. Romney renewed his support for automatic increases in the federal minimum wage to keep pace with inflation. “I haven’t changed my thoughts on that,” said Romney about automatic minimum wage increases, a belief he has held for a decade. Limbaugh then demonstrated the fallacious thinking behind raising the minimum wage by suggesting that it be raised to $20/hour. “How much of a raise is enough?” was the theme of his discussion. The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and has been since July, 2009.

Economic Effects

This source, by Paul Kersey, is somewhat dated, but the percentages he offers (according to my research) have not changed. He contends that the working poor (minimum wage recipients) do not necessarily need government help because the “dead-end job” (one that pays minimum wage forever and/or a job in which someone is stuck forever) is largely a myth. So increasing the minimum wage will do little to improve conditions for the working poor because relatively few of the recipients of such an increase are living in poverty. An increase in the minimum wage will likely make low-wage jobs more scarce.

The typical beneficiary of a minimum wage increase will not be a poor father or mother trying to keep a family fed, clothed, and housed, but is likely to be members of the middle class. Fifteen percent of minimum wage only are currently living in poverty. Nearly three-quarters of these workers, 72 percent, have a family income that is at least 50 percent higher than the poverty line, and over half belong to families earning double the poverty level. One fifth of low-income workers belong to families earning over $80,000 annually. The average family income of the typical low-wage worker is $40,000 per year. Remember, these are 2004 dollar amounts.

The value of a minimum wage increase for poor families is limited by the low amount of hours that parents in poor families actually tend to work. So increasing working hours would have a far greater benefit for these families, both immediately and in the long term, than increasing the minimum wage. Finding full-time work provides the poor with the means to escape poverty. Minimum-wage work can serve as a path to a better job. Unskilled workers may gain new skills, or gain a record of reliability, that allows them to move on to better-paying positions. Low-wage earners frequently see their wages rise quickly. Raising the minimum wage will destroy the path to prosperity for many poor families, and will delay the entry of other workers, including youth, into paid work by needlessly increasing the cost of unskilled labor. Employers will not be able to afford to hire as many unskilled workers, and will respond by cutting back services or replacing workers with machinery.

Poverty Is Relative

We should remember that our notion of poverty is relative. The average minimum wage earner has a car, air conditioning, at least one color television along with cable or satellite TV, a home that is in decent condition and enough food in the refrigerator. For those who do not work, the worry that comes from knowing that one is dependent on the determinations of state and federal bureaucrats, and the loss of self esteem that comes from knowing that one is not self-sufficient, is enhanced by the lack of a job, regardless of wage or pay.

But that’s just my opinion.

Obama Nominee Krueger Accused of ‘Sloppy Research’

Alan Krueger nominee for White House Economic CouncilToday, in a move to combat Americans’ view that the President is failing on economic policy, Obama will nominate Alan Krueger to head the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Alan Krueger, if confirmed, will be walking into a group that has faced failure and discontent. Larry Summers, Christina Romer, and the man Krueger will replace, Austan Goolsbee, have all left the council in recent months.

Krueger is a veteran of the Obama administration. Alan served as Asst. Treasury Secretary under Tim Geithner in 2009 and 2010. He returned to his 20 year teaching career at Princeton in 2010.

The confirmation of Alan Krueger is likely to be contentious. The make-up of both the House and Senate have changed and Republicans are likely looking to put a microscope on this nomination considering the lack of review Obama’s collection of Czars have received and their failure to do anything substantive to help the American economy.

Krueger is known as a labor economist. In 1994-95 he served as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. In 1993 he was credited for his narrow research that attempted to buck conventional wisdom on minimum wage. Most economist stipulate that by forcing raises to minimum wages instead of letting them happen through market forces will force them to hire fewer people.

Krueger conducted a study during a recession in New Jersey. His report postulated that while the state raised the minimum wage, fast food restaurants actually hired additional staff. Unfortunately, that study has since been proven as flawed  ..  on House.gov [emphasis mine]:

The best data Card and Krueger could have obtained from these restaurants were hours worked. However, they did not obtain that data. Another set of economists, Dr. David Neumark and Dr. William Wascher, obtained the payroll data from the restaurants Card and Krueger surveyed. When Neumark and Wascher calculated the numbers, using the identical statistical methodology of Card and Krueger, they found the exact opposite of Card and Krueger. Card and Krueger found that restaurant employment in New Jersey rose, while restaurant employment in Pennsylvania fell. Neumark and Wascher found that employment in Pennsylvania rose more rapidly than employment in New Jersey. A Presidential Commission found in 1980 that teenage employment fell one to three percent for every ten percent hike in the minimum wage. The difference between Pennsylvania and New Jersey was exactly within that range.

The Card and Krueger study has collapsed. The foundation of the Administration’s argument for higher wages has fallen apart. Raising the minimum wage destroys jobs. Only by doing sloppy research can economists arrive at another answer. The Card and Krueger fiasco is an example when inadequate research is used to buttress unwise policy.

If being wrong on an entire study weren’t enough, he also missed the mark when gauging the American economy, of which he will now be advising the President. In Charlotte last June Krueger said, “But recoveries also have internal momentum.   The income generated from restocking inventories leads consumers to spend more, which in turn leads businesses to sell more goods, invest in more plants and equipment, and hire more workers.   Although the recovery will move in fits and spurts and is still fragile, I think the most reasonable forecast is for economic growth to proceed in the 3 percent range this year and to be stronger next year. ”

Obama is now relying on more false facts from academia and base socialism instead of the truth that free-markets and capitalism represent. If Obama can’t abandon his attempt to turn away from a free-market system, the economy may never recover.

Americans have lost all faith in the President’s ability to lead on the economy. Alan Krueger will be yet another toppled domino in the string of poor nominations, decisions and policies that Obama’s made in order to prevent the very double-dip recession he may be causing.