Punishing the poor

Over a million jobs in danger according to their own analysis:

A federal $15 minimum wage could soon become reality, thanks to Rep. Pramilya Jayapal's seemingly successful efforts to secure its inclusion in the House's forthcoming $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Democrats are celebrating this potential win, believing that it could lift millions of working class Americans out of poverty. [...]

As part of their rationale for raising the minimum wage to $15, Democrats are citing a new Congressional Budget Office analysis finding that it would lift 900,000 workers above the poverty line. Yet that same analysis also finds that the "Fight for $15" would leave 1.4 million fewer workers employed, and that prices would rise to offset much of the costs. And there's every reason to believe these downsides would paradoxically hit disadvantaged and marginalized workers hardest.

Yup. It's not hedge fund managers, doctors, engineers, teachers or politicians who will lose their jobs when the minimum wage is hiked. Those who do get hit will learn the harsh truth about the real minimum wage: $0/hr.


Lots of explosions and implosions

Is Dan serious? He's comparing a 100-year price chart of gold with a decade of insane Bitcoin volatility!

Forget the whole decade; just take the past twelve months. One Bitcoin was $5,000 less than a year ago. Today, it's worth almost $50,000. Bitcoin is a speculative asset. It's definitely the most spectacular gamble of the last decade. But a currency? Nope. Not with that level of psycho volatility.


Can you feel the compassion?

Kroger Co. will close two Southern California supermarkets in response to a local ordinance requiring extra pay for certain grocery employees working during the pandemic.

The decision announced by the company Monday follows a unanimous vote last month by the Long Beach City Council mandating a 120-day increase of $4 an hour for employees of supermarkets with at least 300 employees nationwide and more than 15 in Long Beach.

The ignorant politicians don't understand basic economics:

The Long Beach ordinance was approved during a Jan. 19 meeting in which council members and Mayor Robert Garcia said that many grocery stores gave employees hazard pay during the early stages of the pandemic but later phased it out.

“These folks that are working at these markets and these grocery stores are heroes,” Garcia said at the time. “This is nothing new. They have received this type of additional pay in the past and if they deserved it in the past, they deserve it today.”

Thanks to his actions these heroes will soon get zero dollars an hour. This is going to be the ugly reality for hundreds of thousands of unskilled and low-wage workers across America in the next few months as the minimum wage is increased and many businesses with thin margins have no choice but to fire their workers and shut down.


There is no equality

A CEO learns a very important lesson:

One of the big decisions that Calvin made when he founded Spill was to pay himself and his colleagues an equal salary.

"There were five people, and everyone was pretty much contributing the same," he says. "So we tried this experiment where we paid each of us an equal amount of money - regardless of experience, regardless of role. We wanted to challenge the traditional model of pay. We decided on £36,000 a year for everyone. We calculated that was a decent living wage for London."

That simple strategy doesn't work when one hires varied staff:

As Spill took off, Calvin recruited new staff such as a software developer, a salesperson and clerical workers - and decided to offer them all the same £36,000 salary. This is when the problems started.

The real world is ruled by the iron laws of supply and demand. You'll get a lot of clerks for $4,000 a month but almost no software developers.

Calvin eventually let go of the equality nonsense and now has pay grades. It's distressing that nobody in his social or professional circle convinced him that this was an extremely bad idea from the start. Well, at least, he learned.


How dare they make money!

The hedge funds cry out in pain as they short you:

WallStreetBets has been banned from Reddit and Discord after conspiring to make money on the stock market, even though they are unworthy of such riches. Shortly after they were banned for "hateful and discriminatory content," the online dictionary Merriam-Webster quickly changed the official definition of "white supremacist" to "anyone who makes a lot of money in the stock market when they’re not supposed to."

Know your place, peasants!


No skin in the game

Average guys lose thousands of dollars in the stock market everyday. They take tremendous risk with their own money. Nobody bails them out when they often fail. Here, we have money pooled from millionaires and billionaires and when it evaporates there's talk of bailing them out!

Absolute fucking vultures! They take all the sweet gains and when huge losses arise, they pass the bill to the American taxpayer. No wonder there's such tremendous hatred for these craven parasites.


Learn to code version 2.0

More immigration combined with an increase in the minimum wage is going to push a lot of jobs to the underground economy. Low-skilled workers in America are really going to feel the pain in the next few years. Most of them voted for these policies.


Decades of misfortune

Yup. It's not a surprise or a mystery. Average wages have been stagnant in America for three big reasons:

  1. Women entered the workforce in huge numbers. Increased labor supply.
  2. Colossal levels of immigration. Again, labor supply increased.
  3. Atrocious free trade which resulted in manufacturing being exported. Decreasing that specific labor demand.

Those who're highly educated and technologically savvy survived and thrived. Those who're poor, below average, and who obviously don't own equity suffered greatly during this time.


Walter E. Williams

I found out about Walter E. Williams in the late 90s. He was an economics professor and a columnist. I spent many hours online reading his bold, logical, and uncompromising prose in those summers in Saudi Arabia. One could instantly see that he was an excellent teacher. His work will inspire many more for years to come.

Thomas Sowell writes about his friend:

Walter once said he hoped that, on the day he died, he would have taught a class that day. And that is just the way it was, when he died on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

He was my best friend for half a century. There was no one I trusted more or whose integrity I respected more. Since he was younger than me, I chose him to be my literary executor, to take control of my books after I was gone.

This didn't surprise me:

Holding a black belt in karate, Walter was a tough customer. One night three men jumped him -- and two of those men ended up in a hospital.


Fuck you, White men!

Nasdaq is going to push Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DIE) on White people:

Nasdaq is pushing for greater diversity among the more than 3,000 companies listed on its exchange. [...]

Under the proposal, the majority of companies will be required to have at least two diverse board directors: one woman and one person who identifies as either an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ. If a company cannot meet these requirements, it will not be delisted, but it will need to explain why it cannot satisfy the goals. Failure to publish board data, however, could result in delisting.

According to the article, more than 75% of companies don't meet this retarded diversity standard. The new colored, BBQ, vaginas that will get hired will surely be looked upon as bright and competent.


How to destroy a country

The Canadian economy has been devastated by the political response to the pandemic. Millions of people have lost their jobs. Shelter, food, electricity -- all of it is becoming more expensive. The Canadian government has decided to throw fuel on this fire by planning to import over a million immigrants in the next three years:

On October 30, Justin Trudeau’s government announced its plan “to support economic recovery through immigration”. The plan would increase immigration between 2021 to 2023 by more than 1.2 million immigrants to “compensate for the shortfall” of immigration due to the pandemic.

What will this accomplish:

  1. The out of control real estate market remains crazy. Banks and flippers are happy.
  2. Rents spike as supply is limited. More residents packed in tiny apartments.
  3. Downward pressure on wages as more cheap labor is available.
  4. Public transportation and traffic get worse.
  5. Cultural enrichment intensifies!

Real incomes crushed

Vox Day:

The two primary problems are debt and immigration, as can be seen by this comparison of 1952 and 2020 prices.

A few data points from the table:

Average income in 1952: $6,850
Average house price in 1952: $9,075

Average income today: $33,706
Average house price today: $312,803

The average American could buy a house with 133% of his annual income in 1952. Today, the average guy requires 928% of his annual income to buy a house. In seventy years, an average house has become seven times more expensive!

If one adds the young and foolish students who take on mountains of debt to go through university, then the situation becomes even more dire for them since the increase in tuition is much more worse than the real estate boom.


Socialism doesn't work

Lauren Chen understands that there's no reasoning with such people.


"Free" health care

Think about that. Even with thousands of Canadians like Olson who drive to America every year and pay money to get necessary treatment, there's still a shocking shortage of doctors and a long waiting line in Canada.

The young and ignorant Canadians love their compassionate healthcare system. They pay sky-high taxes towards it their entire lives and when they truly need it in their old age, they see the ugly reality when they suffer through months or years of waiting to see a specialist. Given the mounting public debt, this situation is not going to improve.


The Oppression Continues

Standards are for White people:

As companies grapple with their roles in contributing to racial equality and inequality, diversity and inclusion programs have taken on more importance in the corporate world.

But in retail, one well-regarded bicycle brand led by an industry legend is innovating a more direct approach to address racial inequality: reparations in the form of a 45% discount for Black customers.

Rivendell Bicycle Works, based in Walnut Creek, Calif., is offering the discount not because they are “a nice thing to do, but because they’re owed,” Grant Petersen, Rivendell’s president and founder, wrote in a post explaining the new policy.

This would be a sweet enterprise for a Black dude. Offer your bike-buying services for White people for a small fee. Any White person who pays full price there is, officially, an idiot.


The joys of socialism

The public healthcare system of Ontario, Canada is sending its COVID-19 swabs to ... California!

There are private clinics that offer tests. What's the government response to this beneficial option that reduces the stress on the public hospitals? That's a two-tier system! Super-wealthy people can pay a $100 and get their results in a swift manner! SHUT IT DOWN!

Instead of thanking the private clinics, these thugs want to crush them.


Deceitful Demagogues

The Fake News Media and the lying democrats are counting on the stupidity and ignorance of the average voter to make it look like that a horrible multimillionaire paid less than a $1,000 dollars a year in taxes.

Income tax =/= Total tax!

Of course, the Left will ignore the millions of dollars that Trump pays in other taxes: sales, property, payroll, etc. Here's one example in which waiters and illegal aliens are saints and ORANGE MAN BAD!

AOC is a lying bitch. Trump pays more in taxes in a single year than what a waiter would make in his entire life.


The Road to Darkness

That's on top of one of the biggest disadvantages of electric cars: the time it takes to charge them.


Billions Lost in Mayhem (BLM)

Foundation for Economic Education:

Dozens of people were killed or injured in the violent unrest, and thousands of businesses and properties, many minority-owned, were looted, torched, or otherwise vandalized. Only now are we beginning to realize the full cost of the destruction. New reporting from Axios reveals that the total insured property losses incurred during the George Floyd riots will come in at $1 billion to $2 billion.

That's only the insured losses.

[...] insurance is no panacea for the societal ills imposed by rioting. Indeed, 75 percent of US businesses are under-insured and about 40 percent of small businesses have no insurance at all. Their untold millions in losses don’t show up in the $2 billion figure. [...]

One study of the 1992 Los Angeles riots concluded that not only did the destruction cause $1 billion in initial property damage, over time it led to an economic decline of $3.8 billion in sales activity and at least $125 million in tax revenue.

The worst loss for the Left: the re-election of the God-Emperor.


Spend less

Rory Sutherland is quite astute:

There are two ways to become richer. One is to earn more. The other is to spend less on things you are forced to buy. Given the extraordinary centralising forces of the past 40 years — where the gains of the knowledge economy have disproportionately accrued to rent-seeking city landlords and transport networks — the freedom to work remotely is an instant 20 per cent pay rise. And sorry Boris, but if I travel to work in order to buy a £6 sandwich, in the short term, yes, I am bailing out Pret A Manger, but in the long term I’m bailing out the Duke of Westminster.

The cost of driving a car is staggering for the average person in Canada.

The total cost of ownership for a car is $955 per month when you include all your car payments, gas, maintenance, and auto insurance costs. After 3 years, you’ve paid for your car in full, and your payments drop to $502 per month.

That's $6,000 a year if you buy and use a prudent car for a long time. A cost that's not mentioned? The hundreds of hours burned in miserable traffic. I knew a colleague who often took over one hour to get home after work. During a horrendous snow storm it took him close to four hours. Living close to work (if it's not crazy expensive) or working from home (if possible) is definitely a huge income boost.

Of course, the landlords and, by extension, the banks won't be very happy about that.


Enlightened Riots

The trillions of dollars transferred over to blacks in the past five decades wasn't enough:

Supporters of reparations assume the racial wealth gap between blacks and whites is the result of slavery, and thus, something to be fixed through reparations. “If the 40-acres-and-a-mule that was promised to free slaves were delivered to the descendants of those slaves today, we would all be billionaires,” state Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) said. “I hear far too many people say, ‘Well, I didn’t own slaves, that was so long ago.’ Well, you inherit wealth — you can inherit the debt that you owe to African-Americans.”

That's the evil of equality. It can never be achieved. The demands are, therefore, never-ending.

Eugene Volokh:

My parents and my brother and I came to the country in 1975. We didn't inherit any wealth in the U.S. (and really none anywhere). I don't owe any debt—because of my skin color my ancestors or theirs—to blacks or whites or Asians, and neither do other Californians.

Utterly irrelevant. What matters is that you've got $$$$ and the retarded losers don't. The power-hungry leftist politicians will have no qualms about extorting money from Asians, Indians, Jews, and even rich blacks in America to appease their precious black vote. In effect, it'll be another wealth transfer from the rich to the poor. The slavery rhetoric is there to call the opponents horrible, evil, racist Nazis who hate poor black people.


Strong, Independent, Fierce Women!

Math is very hard!

The diabolical and predatory universities have increased the costs of higher "education" while the real wages for most jobs are stagnant. Also, the government doesn't trust these teenage idiots with a can of beer but it's perfectly acceptable for them to offer tens of thousands of dollars in loans with shockingly high interest rates that eventually crush the wealth building capacity and sanity of young people.


The Left is not right

Life in NYC:

  • High taxes.
  • Increasing crime rate.
  • Decreasing law enforcement.
  • A disaster of a response to the epidemic.
  • More homeless people.
  • Violent crime spikes.

The result? The rich people start leaving and the city deteriorates even more.

Oh, they never learn. They'll just blame the eeevil rich for not paying their fair share.


A Very Bad Idea

Dan Mitchell: The Economic Damage of Wealth Taxation.

Consider a large farm worth $50 million in the US. The owner of that farm makes roughly $500,000 annually in profit. Now, the government decides to levy a "modest" wealth tax of 2%. The owner of that farm would have to pay $1 million a year, every year, for that farm. That one "small" tax is double his annual income. If he doesn't have substantial savings, then he'll have to sell the farm. Of course, then the new owner will have to worry about the tax. Most likely, the property value will drop and a few workers will be fired to make the whole enterprise more efficient.

Smart rich people will see this atrocity coming from a mile away. They'll quietly move a significant amount of their money to outside of the US before the wealth tax hits. In other words, the negative consequences of the wealth tax will be seen before it even goes into effect.


Can't satiate this

That's essentially a wealth tax. That would be extremely destructive. Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised to see this proposed for real estate. Imagine a guy whose house doubles in value from $500,000 to $1 million. The clowns in government will be "asking" him to pay a 50% tax on those "gains".


Another dumb privilege

Deal prices in Ontario, Canada:

  • Dozen eggs: $2
  • Potatoes: $0.2 per pound
  • Chicken legs: $1 per pound
  • Chicken breasts: $3 per pound
  • Frozen turkey burgers: $1 for 1 (100 grams)
  • Burger buns: $2.5 per 8
  • Minced beef: $3 per pound
  • Coleslaw salad: $1.5 per pound
  • Ketchup: $3 for 1 liter
  • Miracle whip: $3 for 0.9 liter
  • Sriracha sauce: $2.7 for 0.7 liter
  • Olive oil: $10 for 1 liter
  • Apples: $1.25 each
  • Tangerines: $0.25 each
  • Mini-cucumbers: $0.5 each
  • Tomatoes: $0.75 each

Add in salt, pepper, chili flakes, garlic power, paprika, and oregano, and you've got the essentials for healthy and inexpensive meals. 

Eating healthier isn't a privilege. It's simply inconvenient. Waiting in line for under a minute to get a calorie-packed meal combo is just easy. The average adult watches five hours of TV in a day in America. "I got no time," isn't a legit excuse.


"Welcome to the world"

The change in his expression is both sad and funny:

It's under 8%. If he's making a decent living a few years later, then he'll be paying close to half of his income to the various levels of government (state and federal income taxes, sales taxes, property tax, etc.). That's really going to hurt.


D for Dumb

Matt Patsky confronts corporations on everything from their carbon footprints to the diversity of their workforces. But now, in the wake of racial unrest sweeping America, Patsky is having a reckoning of his own.

“I get a ‘D’ on diversity,” says Patsky, whose $3 billion Trillium Asset Management pressed investors to divest from South Africa during its anti-apartheid struggles. Just 10% of his 44 employees come from minority backgrounds -- a number that he said warrants a “C” relative to the broader financial industry. “We have to start walking the talk and make the same changes we’re asking companies to make.”

I wonder if this "representation" bullshit applies to all businesses. For instance, a company has a few dozen employees and all of them are non-White; do they have to fire 60% of their workforce to hire White workers to be in compliance with the non-racist current year? Of course, we know the answer.

“We have made considerable progress on gender equality, but I think that has to some extent been at the detriment of the same level of razor focus on issues to do with ethnicity and class,” Baig says.

Considerable progress on gender equality? Can you guess the percentage of women in the following professions in the USA?

  1. Carpenters
  2. Automotive service technicians and mechanics
  3. Electricians
  4. Construction laborers
  5. First-line supervisors of construction trades
  6. Industrial and refractory machinery mechanics
  7. Maintenance and repair workers
  8. Machinists

Answer: 2-4%. SJWs want quotas for vaginas in boardrooms but they curiously neglect those professions mentioned above.


Surreal Supremacy

Amir Pars asks a very interesting question:

Disparities are only proof of disparities. Just because Group X doesn't have the same as Group Y, doesn't mean that it's explained by racism. And why does this so called "White Supremacy" only run against one group of Black Americans? Why doesn't it run against Asian Americans, who out earn White Americans by over 60%? Why doesn't it apply to Jewish Americans? Or Indian Americans, all of whom earn more than... White Americans??

The concepts of "White Privilege" and "White Supremacy" are quite strange when the average Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Singaporean, Malaysian, Indian, Pakistani, and the Lebanese household out earns the average White household in America.


A Sinister Shortage

As health restrictions ease and stores, restaurants, and other services start to reopen, some employers complain they cannot entice workers back to their old jobs. Perhaps their employees changed careers or enrolled in higher education; others may be reluctant to come back while community spread of COVID-19 is still widespread.

It’s another headache for business owners trying to restart after the shutdowns. The President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business went so far as to declare that Canadian employers now face a “shortage of labour.”

Technically, he's correct. If I was an employer and I offered jobs that paid $10 per hour, then there would definitely be a shortage of labour.

The correct solution to this "shortage"? Increase the wage. The solution that the employers want? Import peasants who'll work for low wages and not complain. Of course, if you oppose this, then you're a HORRIBLE RACIST WHO SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY AND PERMANENTLY CANCELED.

In theory, if something is in short supply, its price should increase. But the laws of supply and demand are suspended whenever employers complain it’s too hard to fill job openings — and then inevitably demand that government do something about it.

Yup. It's a neat trick. Keep wages low ... get almost zero local workers ... cry, whine, gnash teeth ... get cheap foreign workers!

While low wages are a big part of the problem, meager and irregular hours make matters much worse.

Employers’ recruitment problems are partly due to stingy wages. But their failure to offer decent, reliable hours is actually the bigger issue. Most retail and hospitality workers are scheduled for inadequate and irregular hours. As a result, weekly incomes are very low: a median of just $450 a week in the hospitality sector. Who wants to return to work and risk infection, for a handful of hours’ work at minimum wage?

I know that at my local grocery store, the workers are scheduled in an utterly unstable manner. It's not unusual to have the following work week for an average employee:

MON: 11 AM - 6:30 PM
TUE: 6:45 AM - 3:30 PM
WED: 3:30 PM - 8:30 PM
THU: OFF
FRI: 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM
SAT and SUN: OFF

Then, the next week brings a completely different schedule. And yeah, that's a minimum wage job. 25 hours a week, on average. Take home monthly pay? $1,300. What's really insidious is that a motivated employee can't really fit another regular, part-time job in the mix because the hours are unpredictable.


Banksters and boobs

Of all people, a real estate agent is crying about the greed of banksters:

When the pandemic hit Ontario, Kristina Barybina's income as a real estate agent dried up and she knew the writing was on the wall — she'd have to sell her own house.

She also knew there'd be a penalty for getting out of her five-year mortgage with TD Bank early — she just wasn't expecting it to be almost $30,000. "I thought my eyes were going to pop out," said Barybina. "It's insane."

Later in the article:

She was only 19 months into a five-year mortgage, with a fixed-rate of 3.71 per cent, and still owed $591,000. TD used a controversial calculation to arrive at the penalty for breaking the terms. She owed another $29,530.

$29,530 out of $591,000. That's a 5% penalty for getting out of the mortgage. It's steep but not unreasonable. It looks insane because the dollar amount is huge.

What should be more concerning is that this woman accepted over half a million dollars of debt less than two years ago while having zero emergency savings. She was on shaky ground even before the virus hit as she tried to sell the house six months ago. This means that her normal income streams weren't sufficient to cover all the bills.

She also shot herself in the foot by going public with this story. I certainly wouldn't want to hire this whiny fool as my agent.


White vs. Blue

People with physically demanding jobs take more sick leave. They also have higher unemployment rates and shorter work lives, a new Danish study finds.

"This study showed that high physical work demands are a marked risk factor for a shortened expected working life and increased years of sickness absence and unemployment," study co-author Lars Andersen and colleagues wrote. Andersen is with the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen.

The difference was much smaller than what I expected.

For men age 30, working life would be expected to last almost 32 years for those with physically demanding jobs and nearly 34 years for those with physically undemanding jobs. Among women, the figures were just over 29.5 years and nearly 33 years, respectively, according to the researchers.

Old high school teachers and professors almost always have the option to teach a course or two in a given semester. Retired laborers, however, would seriously injure themselves in their old jobs. I knew a mathematics teacher whose husband was a car mechanic. They didn't need the money but he just loved his work. Eventually he had to give in as the body couldn't take the toll. A few years later, she retired as well. Funny, how that anecdote fits the data.


Sweden's Experiment

Scandinavia’s biggest economy will shrink 7 per cent this year, Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Tuesday. And while overall deaths are on the decline, Sweden’s had 6.25 deaths per million inhabitants per day in a rolling average between May 12 and May 19, according to Ourworldinsata.org. That was the highest in Europe on a per capita basis and just above the United Kingdom, which had 5.75 deaths per million.

Over the course of the pandemic Sweden, which reported a total 3,831 deaths as of May 20, still had fewer deaths per capita than the U.K., Spain, Italy, Belgium and France, which have all opted for lockdowns, but the Swedes have a much higher death toll than their Nordic neighbours Denmark, Norway and Finland.

The big unknown is the long term impact for those who got sick and recovered. Just how much damage did they suffer? Did the virus significantly reduce their lifespans? We simply don't know the answers at the moment. In a perverse way, Sweden has provided the world a grand experiment. Scientists can follow, record, and compare the myriad costs of Lockdowns vs. No Lockdown.


The wardens are not happy

MIT has been uploading in-class lectures from certain professors for over two decades. A student can miss his 8:30 a.m. class and still get the exact same info at noon upon waking up. However, most universities don't offer this option. This old high school and university system is incredibly inefficient*. Worse, as the Dark Lord puts it:

Conventional classroom education is expensive, unhealthy, and unethical.

Of course, the purpose of the system isn't education but Leftist indoctrination. Also, as one commenter correctly states: K-12 is basically daycare for parents.

* Think about how much money universities could save by a) hiring only one superstar lecturer per course, and b) not having to pay weekly rent and utility costs for giant halls. From a purely economics point of view, online education would be a HUGE money-saver for these institutions. So, it's not about the money ...


Traitors in charge

A million Canadians have lost their jobs in a just a few weeks. An excellent way to help them is to import tens of thousands of foreign workers:

Employers bringing thousands of agricultural labourers into Canada in the coming weeks will be required to quarantine them before they can work, and the federal government is promising to offset some of the costs.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced $50 million in federal funding Monday to provide $1,500 per worker, which can be used to cover wages while they are in quarantine or the costs of space to isolate for the 14 days required under a law meant to stop the spread of COVID-19.

What a perverse situation: unemployed Canadians are going to pay higher taxes to subsidize workers from other countries. On the bright side, they won't be called racists.