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Shooting themselves in the head? Putin and Yanukovich are producing a generation of Ukrainians who will passionately hate Russia.
@zbig
Erica Grieder:
Another week, another polarizing result from the (nonpartisan) Congressional Budget Office. The new one, which was released yesterday, is about how a minimum-wage increase would affect employment and family income around the country. Like the last report, which had some controversial projections about the Affordable Care Act's effects on the labor force, it's given ammunition to both sides in Washington: to Democrats (who have been calling for an increase in the federal minimum wage in recent months) and Republicans (who oppose it). According to the CBO's projections hiking the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from the current $7.25, would indeed increase overall compensation to low-wage workers by some $31 billion. But the number of workers who would benefit would, per CBO, decline, as companies reduce the number of workers to contain labor costs; total employment would decline by about 500,000 people.

I wanted to offer a comment on this because I've repeatedly argued in favor of raising the minimum wage, specifically in Texas (which is one of the states where the minimum wage is, by default, the same as the federal minimum). I made that argument in my book, and elaborated on it here at Texas Monthly, exactly one year ago. I still think raising the minimum wage would be a good idea--especially in Texas. I'll explain why after the jump.

Jay Bookman:
So who's right? Maybe nobody. The answer is so muddled that even the CBO notes that it has merely a 66 percent confidence level that the jobs impact will be between its projected range of neglible and 1 million jobs lost. There's a 33 percent chance the policy could have an impact on either end of that range.
That uncertainty was also reflected in a survey of top economists by the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business last year. Asked whether an increase in the minimum wage to $9 an hour "would make it noticeably harder for low-skilled workers to find employment," 34 percent of the economists said yes, 32 percent said no and the rest said they didn't know.

Given all that, I'm willing to accept the CBO projection of 500,000 jobs loss as a reasonable, neighborhood guesstimate of the tradeoffs involved in raising the minimum wage. If we keep squabbling over that number, we never get to the more interesting and productive debate, so let's set it aside for the moment.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Greg Sargent:

As I’ve noted before, the notion that Republicans have the luxury of waiting on immigration reform is a fantasy. It will only get harder to embrace reform later.

But beyond the politics, there’s a substantive problem with Republicans deferring action: Specifically, doing nothing now is tantamount to supporting a status quo that even Republicans acknowledge is untenable.

The moral case for reform as an alternative to an unacceptable status quo — a humanitarian crisis that is hurting untold numbers of people — has motivated many evangelicals to get involved in the push to fix the immigration system. And today, evangelical writer Jim Wallis makes that moral case by painting a vivid picture of the dilemma the country currently faces:

WaPo:
Alex Ovechkin is going home in the first round of the playoffs. Sidney Crosby’s team somehow survives. And Dan Bylsma is outcoaching everyone, even when he doesn’t always have the best players on the ice.

Disconcerting, no? I walked into the Olympic hockey tournament Wednesday and a Washington Capitals season broke out.

There is no joy in Putinville today. Sochi and beyond is suffering. After futbol, the only team the entire nation cares about lost.

Ovi was wrong, the “cost of gold” was not $50 billion for 143 million Russians; no, $50 billion was the cost of being knocked out in the same quarterfinal round as Latvia (pop. 2.02 million).

Somewhere, President Vladimir Puckhead is fuming “Go! Take the West’s millions. Lose to Scandinavian pacifists. Fetisov and Kharlamov would not let this happen. Makarov and Larionov would not let this happen. The stray dogs Pussy Riot wants to adopt would not let this happen!”

Charles Blow:
The Michael Dunn case has caused us to look once again at the American culture and criminal justice system, and many don’t like what they see.

But we shouldn’t look at this case narrowly and see its particular circumstances as the epitome of the problem. They are not. The scope of the problem is far more expansive, ingrained and elusive.

This is simply one more example of the bias against — and in fact violence, both psychological and physical, against — the black body, particularly black men, that extends across society and across their lifetimes. And this violence is both interracial and intra-racial.

EJ Dionne:
The law is supposed to solve problems, not create them. Laws should provide as much clarity as possible, not expand the realms of ambiguity and subjectivity. Laws ought to bring about the practical results their promoters claim they’ll achieve. And at its best, the law can help us to live together more harmoniously.

By all these measures, “stand your ground” laws are a failure. These statutes make the already difficult task of jurors even harder. They aggravate mistrust across racial lines. They appear to increase, rather than decrease, crime.

This story from the Atlantic, on fraternities, is too well written to ignore:
One warm spring night in 2011, a young man named Travis Hughes stood on the back deck of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house at Marshall University, in West Virginia, and was struck by what seemed to him—under the influence of powerful inebriants, not least among them the clear ether of youth itself—to be an excellent idea: he would shove a bottle rocket up his ass and blast it into the sweet night air. And perhaps it was an excellent idea. What was not an excellent idea, however, was to misjudge the relative tightness of a 20-year-old sphincter and the propulsive reliability of a 20-cent bottle rocket. What followed ignition was not the bright report of a successful blastoff, but the muffled thud of fire in the hole.
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Comment Preferences

  •  We have Vladimir Putin ping-ponging (15+ / 0-)

    through the Olympic Village, having a beer with this group of athletes, that team, and so forth.  Schmoozing with the would-be medalists on the international stage.  

    Public relations schmoozing doesn't make me forget that he is deeply authoritarian.  Soon the Olympic schmoozing will end.  All the athletes will go home.  

    But Russia under Putin will be the same.  

    - - - -

    We'd be a stronger republic if more news outlets carried Charles Blow, IMO.  

    - - - -

    There are reports out of Sochi, regarding their difficulties with stray dogs, that Mitt Romney put in a bid to come over with a fleet of cars and strap the animals to the car tops in cages and drive them into the Urals for release.  It was initially green-lighted but at the last minute, the bid was felt too high, and they used the money instead for another shirtless photo shoot for Vlad.  

    - - - -

    Nifty round-up this morning, Greg.  Thank you.

  •  When corporations write out laws, then the (8+ / 0-)

    murky provisions have the barbs all going in their direction.  Law is no longer a rational tool, but a set of religious doctrines twisted together into a rope.

    Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

    by StrayCat on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:49:41 AM PST

  •  Those protesters in the Ukraine (5+ / 0-)

    could really learn a lesson from Americans.

    You don't fight your oppression in the streets.

    You stay home and watch TV and vote every coupla years.

    THAT is power.

    Politicians in America live in abject fear of that vote that happens every coupla years.

    You don't see the US population being oppressed and exploited and scammed and ripped off and punked..........

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:51:59 AM PST

    •  And decent people tolerate a large amount of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, GrindtheHills, thomask

      exploitation and scamming because oppressors and other scumbags have feelings and rights too.

      Perhaps I judge them too harshly and am missing out on life by not scamming and oppressing and ripping off others.

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:56:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I followed you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx

      but Twitter wants me to verify my reality, is that real?!

      •  yes. It prevents spamming and stuff. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hulibow

        hard to think a product like "true twit" would be successful....

        Thank you for following!

        I am a sucky tweeter these days.

        Seriously, we should have an option here to easily tweet our posts/comments, as there is on Discus.

        Ain't got time to tweet....

        Legal means "good".
        [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

        by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:13:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm having a hard time figuring out the motivation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caniac41

      of the protesters, but I guess they think a trade agreement with France and Germany and England and such would result in more jobs in the Ukraine.  And I would guess they are right, considering the relative economic condition of the parties, so their protest is coming from the other end of a relationship that we would find ourselves in.  Any protest by us would be to protect our jobs by avoiding a trade agreement.  

      But one thing about it is unsettling.  These people are protesting with rocks and bottles and clubs and baseball bats.
      They don't have a gun safe full of military-grade weapons like our teabaggers do.  I'm thinking if the teabaggers are ever oppressed to the point of taking up arms as they threaten, we're in for a BIG mess.

      I'm not worried though, and you know why?  The teabaggers are not oppressed, not even close.  In fact they are protesting any attempts to help them for Chrissakes.  No, the teabaggers' complaints are imaginary.  And when it comes to putting your life on the line over your complaints, the first thing you do is sit down and ponder whether or not you really have a legitimate complaint, or you just like to blow a lot of smoke over having your sensibilities offended.

      People don't risk their lives, the lives of their loved ones and the very roof over their heads over merely having their sensibilities offended - at least not en masse.  Road rage maybe.

      Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

      by ZedMont on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:38:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Immigration reform may not press hard enough (4+ / 0-)

    on the elections of 2014 because the GOP is still deafening us with the loud audio loop of Obamacare, Benghazi, IRS, but it will certainly be unavoidable by the most obstructive of the GOP in 2016.  The lagging economy will not reach anywhere near full correction until immigration reform is accomplished.  The shadow economy is entrenching, and it will have ongoing negative impact.

    For this year, Rev. Barbour has provided a model for messaging which I hope will be replicated because it will bring a message that the nation's real problems are still out there begging for solutions not teevee talking points.  His model enables a walking talking agenda for the country that is based on unity and goodwill, two lost arts.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:52:19 AM PST

  •  2 good CBO pieces (6+ / 0-)
    want to make sense in short order of CBO and minimum wage? @jonathanchait and @mattyglesias
    http://t.co/... http://t.co/...
    @DemFromCT

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:52:51 AM PST

  •  Re: the Sargent piece on immigration (9+ / 0-)

    Here's a quote he cites from Jim Wallis:

       As with gay rights, Washington is trailing the American public’s open-hearted attitude — as well as its pragmatic impulse to solve a problem. Sooner, rather than later, Washington will come around.
    I would change that to read: "As with gay rights, immigration reform, women's rights, affordable health care for all, increasing the minimum wage to put it above the poverty line, and all others..."

    In summation, Sargent says:

    Reform will happen. Republicans can continue deferring action, forever hoping that the next cycle will make embracing reform easier for them politically, or give them more leverage over what reform ends up looking like. Maybe that gamble will pay off. Or maybe it won’t, in which case reform will have to wait until Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress, and do it themselves.
    True that.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:55:13 AM PST

  •  The minimum wage costing jobs seems silly (22+ / 0-)

    at least to me. These are the jobs where the rubber meets the road, not middle management, where possibly you can go from 8 regional managers down to 7. How can McDonalds hire fewer minimum wage workers for the lunch shift? They can't, they still have to get the burgers and fries out the drive-up window. They are typically operating with as few employees as possible already.

    •  Frozen out of the $10.10/hr economy.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Remediator, ChemBob, thomask

      The Horror.

    •  You've got it in one. (13+ / 0-)

      Employers ALWAYS seek to have the fewest possible staff to meet the demands of the work to be done.

      The only people who will fire people needed to actually meet demand are the vulture capitalists who only care about the numbers right before they destroy a company, because they know there won't be a next quarter, so it doesn't matter if they suddenly have too few workers to meet demand.

    •  I agree, CB (8+ / 0-)

      Healthy businesses will absorb the added costs through price increases. With the entire population being more prosperous, price increases will be accepted.

      Take Walmart, for example. They have roughly 1.5 million low wage employees at an average of $8.80 an hour. So, every employee will cost them maybe another $1.50 an hour, factoring in other costs. (Added SS taxes, medicare taxes, unemployment insurance, etc) At 2000 hours per year per employee, that puts the added burden at less than $5 billion. Their annual sales are about $500 billion, so that translates to a 1% price increase at the checkout lane. Would the average consumer even notice that, especially after having just received a bigger paycheck?

      On the other hand, there may be marginal businesses that just can't cope with $10.10 and will go belly up. Many of these would probably not have survived for long anyway, and maybe we're better off without them. Some of the sales that these marginal businesses once made will probably be picked up by others such as Walmart and McDonalds.

      Meanwhile, as you point out, most low wage employers have already cut their low wage staff to the bone. They just can't cut any more without affecting sales.

      And finally, the workers who have gotten a raise will put less of a burden on the safety net, and pay more in taxes of every kind. So federal, state, and local governments will have more net revenue. And those workers will spend practically all of their raise (at least the after tax portion). More consumer demand translates to more jobs.

      Republicans should recite that last sentence 50 times before they propose yet more spending cuts.

      Vote, dammit, even if you think it won't matter, Especially when you think it won't matter. (-7.25, -6.21)

      by Tim DeLaney on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:45:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The CBO report did a great disservice (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, Tim DeLaney

        by not addressing the jobs that could be created by the increased demand associated with a rise in the minimum wage to the extent that they addressed the possible job losses associated with the new wage.  Doing so would have made the political fallout of the report easier for the Democrats to deal with.

        I realize making political arguments easier for one side or the other is not the CBO's job, but addressing all possible ramifications of a proposed policy certainly is.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:41:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They will blame any job cuts on the minimum (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17, bear83, ahumbleopinion

      just the way employers are blaming anything they possibly can on Obamacare.

      So we'll never be able to know what the real jobs cost of raising the minimum will be.

      It will be much easier to document the benefits to the people with jobs, of having essentially a 50% pay raise.

    •  Let's talk morality (0+ / 0-)

      I wish somebody would finally just stand up and say what is moral about wages that leave working folks in poverty?  Unable to adequately feed their children day after day?  Unable to afford median rents month after month in many places (ok no jumping on me for using median rather than average or something else, I am not a mathematician and I think you get the point).  Not able to pay for medicine or utilities or take a little vacation or stay home when sick or when a child is sick.  What is moral about this in a country that spends more on it's military than all other countries put together?

    •  Here's what the CBO really said: (0+ / 0-)

      If they said at a 66% confidence limit that job loss could be zero to 1 million, centered at 500,000, then that's 500,000 plus or minus one standard deviation, or plus or minus 500,000. If you want to state the same thing, only in terms of a 99% confidence limit, that would be plus or minus three standard deviations (ever heard of 6 sigma?), or plus or minus 1.5 million, so 99% of the time, an increase of minimum wage to $10/hour would result in a range of job loss from creation of 1 million jobs, to a loss of 2 million.

      In other words, they can't really say what the fuck is going to happen.

  •  Raising the minimum wage will create jobs (17+ / 0-)

    because everyone who benefits from it will be at the lowest end of the pay scale, and will immediately buy more stuff and plow that money back into the economy.

    A 0.5% bounce in economic activity creates how many jobs? Do the math.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:01:06 AM PST

  •  Another 'polarizing result'? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tampaedski, skillet, coppercelt, indie17

    Well, yes, if the poles are 'people who actually read and understand what's said, and the limitations and uncertainty of the underlying economic theories used to generate the report' and 'those who not only fail to understand that the output you get depends on the input and the methods used to calculate, but also simply can't even understand what they read'.

    •  Economic ignorance is the Republicans' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caniac41

      best friend.  And they're not about to allow any educational efforts that might change that.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:44:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some rough weather in Wisconsin and some (6+ / 0-)

    potentially damaging emails -- secret emails ! -- now made public from the Walker next of thieves.

    Could get interesting.

  •  At what point do (8+ / 0-)

    many corporations realize that they are now being the pooch that is being screwed because of what they themselves set in motion?  

    If, in my non scientific pea brain, I understand the CBO report correctly -- the raise in minimum wage would/might result in 500k layoffs or voluntary quits.  How exactly do you run a McDonald's with fewer staff when you also don't want to give them enough hours to qualify for insurance?  

    As is happening with Walmart -- many of these other sweatshops will suffer from lack of staff, not enough product for the customers and general sense of malcontent in their workplaces.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:11:57 AM PST

  •  15. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator

    And the 1%ers get taxed til their eyeballs bulge out. That's all there is to be said.

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:12:41 AM PST

  •  Offset? ACA = 2.1M less workers, 0.5M less work (4+ / 0-)

    due to increase in minimum wage jobs?  

    The timeline prediction by CBO wasn't noted in the snips, but if 2.1 million workers (FTE hours) voluntarily CHOOSE to relinquish hours because they no longer need to work because of ACA, isn't this some kind of overall workforce offset if one accepts that 0.5M workers (FTE hours) will be eliminated by employers?  

    My guess is that there may be some difference in the kinds of hours relinquished - probably by older (more highly paid) workers, but I think, as a former employer, this would be an opportunity for employers to move to replace any necessary hours lost (by ACA-happy workers) with promotion tracks opportunities for those less-well paid workers to move up, and create a happier better paid workforce (and still "save" on labor costs overall by "losing" higher paid, more benefit costly senior employees).

    To my first glance eyes, both these Obama initiatives together ultimately seem to be a win-win for both employers and employees.

    What am I not seeing?

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:15:24 AM PST

    •  That the GOP has no interest in improving the (6+ / 0-)

      economy while Dems can take credit, and little interest even while they're in charge.  Not only will they refuse to work on initiatives to create jobs, but any such that come from Dems must be condemned as 'job killers' and spun (ie, lied about) in the worst possible light.

      •  I get the GOPs position on this, my question (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bear83, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, SueDe

        is why isn't this obvious response, which is net positive for American workers (both ACA and minimum wage) and net negligible to net positive to American employers used as a rebut to the GOP lies?

        As a former employer, the impact of both these policies on labor costs is net positive, the impact of both these policies on worker productivity, loyalty, and morale even more net positive.  We always hate to engage in forced layoffs to balance budgets, voluntary attrition is always best as a way of reducing labor costs.  And those employees who have been employed for the longest (usually older workers who have ADEA protections, and age discrimination cases have the highest liabilities for employers) are usually the most costly class of employees - normally when doing layoffs you offer "packages" that include buy-ups for "years of service" specifically to make them more attractive for older employees to choose voluntary sweetened layoffs.  ACA offers a non-employer funded way of addressing the biggest impediment by offering health insurance supplimented by the government (not the private employers).  It also allows employers to have more funds to pay a higher minimum wage, and still reduce labor costs.

        Again, I understand why the GOP is saying what it's saying, my question is why isn't the response one that ties these two together from an employer's positive point of view:  You can raise wages, not have to pay for buyouts on layoffs, offer promotion tracks, and still end up with net labor costs savings.

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:01:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The main reason I think these two impacts (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uncle Moji

          on employees and employers have not been sufficiently touted to the public is that initially they were both first presented as negative to employees and jobs - jobs lost, work hours reduced, job benefits reduced or eliminated.  It's very difficult to overcome first impressions.

          Also entwining the two is unnecessary - maybe not from an employer's viewpoint, but from that of the worker.  The message from the CBO report on a minimum wage hike presented to the public should be focused on the jobs that will likely be created by the increased spending power of minimum wage workers rather than the estimated loss of jobs.  No need to complicate that message by including the CBO's estimates of hours lost through ACA enactment.

          Before retirement I was a business owner too, so I agree with you completely about the offsetting ramifications of these two policies.  But I'm also aware that the least complicated message to reach the public is always the best politically.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 08:03:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Did I type 'next of thieves'? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, tampaedski

    No.  I typed 'nest of thieves,' and the spell check changed it.

    Or IS it the spell check?

    Maybe it was the NSA.  

    Or an agent from S.P.E.C.T.R.E. sitting at his desk stroking a white cat.

    Or a nerdy 16-year old from Hamburg.

    Or Victoria Jackson.  

    Whoever it is, damn them.  

  •  Numbers... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tim DeLaney, alrdouglas
    According to the CBO's projections hiking the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from the current $7.25, would indeed increase overall compensation to low-wage workers by some $31 billion. But the number of workers who would benefit would, per CBO, decline, as companies reduce the number of workers to contain labor costs; total employment would decline by about 500,000 people.
    a half million people, working at 7.25 an hour for, say, 30 hrs a week, 50 weeks a year works out to something like just under 5.5 billion a year.

    Now I imagine that 'increase overall compensation..by some 31 billion', already factors in that sort of loss, but even if it didn't, that's still more than $25 billion being pumped into the economy of low wage workers.  That right there puts the lie to what Joe Scarborough said about the money all being taken from the poor to give to the poor.  IF we do indeed see 500k layoffs, then something like 1/5 of the money goes 'from the poor to the poor', and the rest comes from the non-poor, which is a net flow towards wealth equality any way you look at it.

  •  Another good reason to ignore economists (7+ / 0-)

    and their 'projections.' The CBO is about as good at predicting the future as a Washington pundit is at understanding the electorate. Both are consistently wrong, yet consulted as if credible.

    Want to know what the CBO predicted todays budget deficit would be 10 years ago? $508 billion SURPLUS. That was the prediction. LOL! So Congress made policy based on that. Completely and totally wrong, but who cares.

    The CBO should simply tell us what is happening RIGHT NOW and leave it at that. That they can do with a reasonably high degree of accuracy. What they cannot do is (surprising that this even has to be said), is predict the future. So we shouldn't make policy based on their predictions, but only act on the facts we know to be true.

    •  Well, they're shooting at a moving target. (5+ / 0-)
      Want to know what the CBO predicted todays budget deficit would be 10 years ago? $508 billion SURPLUS.
      They make projections on what they've got to work with, and then Congress wildly changes things from what they used to work with.

      Remember, a decade ago, we were still being lied to that we'd be able to pull out of Bush's idiot wars 'quickly, and Bush hadn't finished plunging us into the nightmare economic vortex he left as his parting gift in the Oval Office en suite toilet.

      •  That's exactly my point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo

        You'll never be able to accurately predict anything 10 years from now, because...you know...shit you can't account for always happens. This is like the Washington Pundit excuse "Well had I had known..."

        You can't make policy based on crystal balls and tarot cards. That's what you've got with the CBO.

        All we need to do is look at the current situation and the historical FACTS about the minimum wage, and that's that. That's what you base your policy on. Things you can actually know.

        The CBO should stick to a very simple task: tell us the current situation with the budget. Period. Not, 'predict for us how many jobs there will be ten years from now.'

        •  it's a tool of common language (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCalSal

          not an oracle. Just accept "many more people lifted out of poverty" than "some jobs lost", though both will happen.

          And then pass the increase.

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

          by Greg Dworkin on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:04:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Greg Dworkin

            no effect on poverty and many jobs gained? Who knows?

            The rationale for passing an increase in the minimum wage has nothing to do with the Federal budget, which should be the CBO's proper concern, not weighing in on nonbudget policy matters with useless predictions.

            The argument is about the proper balance of labor equity and capital equity. The proper value of work. Moral arguments you can't measure with a sliderule.

  •  Booth economists are probably smart people, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator

    how can 1/3 think increasing the minimum wage will make it harder to find jobs and 1/3 not know, given that at some point a company has to have employees and presumably they have just as many as are required to do the work?  Idk, maybe nobody really "knows."

  •  Increase jobs; let kids back in the coal mines! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, se portland, Egalitare

    If we would free ourselves of the notion that robbing five and six year old citizens of their god given, constitutional  right to work we could get the little urchins down into those tight places that grownups won't fit to get the last bits of coal out of closed mines. This would add to the number of jobs in the economy lowering the unemployment rate and I bet the sweet, naive tykes wouldn't even object to below minimum wage wages thereby increasing corporate productivity rates, which in the end is all that matters in a great, freedom loving democracy.

  •  Don Susswein is waving the conservative TP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, ahumbleopinion

    That's "TP" as in "Talking Points" (but any confusion with "toilet paper" is certainly understandable). In an article appearing on Forbes today, he bemoans how the ACA already is an increase to minimum wage, and how the increased cost to business for low-wage earners, coupled with a minimum wage increase, will lead to higher unemployment. He concludes:

    Whether you think it is good or bad for lower wage workers to have a new disincentive to work, the ACA will apparently have other clearly adverse consequences for lower-wage workers, at least according to the CBO.  For the majority who keep their jobs it will apparently come at a cost of reduced cash wages.  For some others – who are currently employed at or near the current minimum wage — it will cause their jobs to be eliminated.

    Whichever side you are on, these non-partisan conclusions of the government’s top economists cannot be ignored.

    Note the tricky little reference in his closing line - "these non-partisan conclusions of the government's top economists cannot be ignored" - and then recall this little nugget from yesterday:
    All predictions, of course, amount to speculation of things that could happen in the economy, but in this one the speculating goes in a direction that is, to a surprising extent, in tune with Republican ideology.

    [...]

    The report also notes that the benefits of a wage hike are real, and substantial. 900,000 people would be lifted out of poverty. Ninety percent of the benefits in wage increases would go to those making less than six times the poverty level, with a solid concentration for those who make less than three times the poverty wages. And 16.5 million workers would see a pay bump at a new $10.10 minimum wage, with an additional 8 million experiencing a “ripple” raise above that rate.

    [...]

    According to Arindrajit Dube, an expert on minimum wages, the 900,000 may even underplay the benefits. “The CBO’s estimate is influenced by an over-reliance on simulation work, which underplays the actual, historical poverty reduction we see.”

    [...]

    So the CBO’s methodology is weighed to overstate the impact of a $10.10 minimum wage on jobs, while also understating the benefits. Even then there’s a clear tradeoff - a minor fall in jobs for serious real gains against inequality and wage security."

    From the tag line on the Forbes article: "Don Susswein served as the tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee, and is now a Principal in McGladrey’s Washington National Tax practice.

    A CBO report that used decidedly controversial, new & untested work as a basis for its report is not one I could consider "non-partisan" - and the fact that the elements which Mr. Susswein selected for his "evidence" that the ACA and a minimum wage hike would have a huge negative impact on jobs just happen to also fall in line with conservative TP, leads me to the immediate conclusion that the claim is bullsh!t - conservative TP has, quite literally, placed our economy in the sewer and struggled to keep it there for the majority of the nations and her workers, so anything based on their theories is not only "suspect" - it's quite possibly simply sh!t.

    That's just my own conclusion. Will repost this as a brief diary, too, for others to take a swat at.

  •  The CBO "predictions" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    se portland

    are essentially useless, IMHO. Their range is from zero to 1 million, with only a 33% chance of being correct? That doesn't seem much better than a monkey picking numbers at random could do... But as to the actual possible job losses--this assumes that a) a given business has an employee or employees whose job duties are so easy that they really are not essential, and b) that the business is operating so close to the bone that there's no wiggle room at all for changes in cost.

    Neither of these assumptions is likely to be correct for the majority of decently run, successful businesses. I am old enough to remember when the minimum wage got raised on a regular basis, and do not recall anyone losing a job or closing a business because of it. Have things changed? I doubt it, other than perhaps the greed of some businesses and the willingness of the media to copy and paste directly from the Chamber of Commerce press releases.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:36:22 AM PST

    •  Chicago (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      The CBO goes to the fresh water economist at the University of Chicago and gets a mixed verdict? Why didn't they ask at least a few of the East Coast so called salt water economist, like Paul Krugman, too?

      Chicago is the home of Eugene Fama and Milton Friedman. Forgive me if I think 66% confidence is too high.

      “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

      by se portland on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:57:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Michael Dunn can shoot and kill someone and get (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ohkwai, tb mare, ahumbleopinion, SoCalSal

    away with it under the defense of "I thought I saw a gun", even though there was in fact no gun, are there any circumstances under which we all can't just start shooting each other?  "Your Honor, I thought I saw a gun" is the get out of jail free card.  Unless your black, of course.

    •  Only if you live in and will be tried in a state (0+ / 0-)

      that doesn't have a stand your ground law - maybe even one that disallows the use of the castle doctrine as a defense.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 08:26:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fraternities, not fraternaties (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin

    See last section.

  •  Maybe well written, Greg (0+ / 0-)

    The problem is the reason WHY Ms. Flanagan wrote this terrifically long article. It's that her years of anti-feminist writing (see this takedown by Irin Carmon in Salon from 2012) have put her in a position where she can't write about women anymore so she's decided she has to demonize men now.

    This feels a few years late too. It's as if she digested the whole Duke Lacrosse team thing, and then, when she needed another topic, she went back and wrote about something else sort of like that, without spending too much time looking at the differences (or the outcome of the Duke business).

    •  Why does it matter why she wrote it? (0+ / 0-)

      If what she writes is true, then her motives don't seem particularly relevant. It does seem that the fraternities would rather cover up the problems than try to solve them.

      And how is asking the fraternities to make some changes to help prevent injuries to students any different than asking car companies to make their cars safer to prevent injuries to passengers and drivers? If you have a product that injures people, then you ought to have an obligation to try to prevent that injury.

      It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Mark Twain

      by lynneinfla on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 09:31:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, they have a point. (0+ / 0-)

    Unemployment - other than the fact that it hadn't been invented yet as a statistical measure - was probably near zero in the antebellum South.  There weren't many slaves sitting around sipping mint juleps, and for the free folk who weren't wealthy planters?  Well, let's just say that anybody who could grow a turnip by the side of the road was technically employed.

    And we might even be able to reduce unemployment today in teabag times by eliminating the minimum wage, but the theory didn't hold up so well circa 1929 - 1939.  Not so well at all.

    But there are arguments for and against raising the minimum wage, other than the rate of unemployment.  For example, let's look at the net economic result of raising the minimum wage for 16 million little people as opposed to stuffing the pockets even fuller of the 80 or so folks who own as much wealth as half the world.

    The little people are then going to be able to shop at WalMart again, maybe Target on occasion.  The folks at WalMart and Target might have to bust loose and hire some more folks, who like the first little people, will go out and smack their extra 3 bucks down on the barrelhead for stuff like sardines and oatmeal and knock off shoes.

    The big 80?  They already spend all the money they're ever going to spend and they need never worry about the potential inability to spend it.  No, they will either squirrel their money away in a trust fund for their little-soon-to-be-big-by-no-fault-of-their-own progeny, or if they're in the mood, they'll employ some little people in India or China or some other USA-not place.

    This is a really sucky economic analysis, except for one thing.  I've been one of the little people who couldn't wait to shove what little extra I could earn right straight down the gullet of "the economy."  

    I think that makes me an expert of sorts.

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:23:22 AM PST

  •  Slave wages and Corporate Slavery (0+ / 0-)

    The bottom line is:
    Poverty Wages = Slave Wages

    We had a civil war in this country over slavery.  Let's hope we don't have to repeat that bloody lesson again!

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