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Black Friday protesters at a Westerly, Rhode Island, Walmart, November 2012.
There's a Walmart out there that pays well. But it's not yours.
It's hard to think of two things that the right wing loves more than Walmart and oil drilling. So it comes as no surprise that the American Enterprise Institute, one of the conservative movement's most influential and aggressive pro-business economic think tanks, would be overjoyed at the opportunity to promote both in one fell swoop. Last month, Professor Mark J. Perry, a scholar at AEI, found just that opportunity in the form of a picture documenting the starting wages at the Walmart in Williston, North Dakota. The wages in question range between $17.20 and $19.90 an hour—far higher than Walmart's average hourly rate, and yet still a few dollars short of the wage of the average employee at Costco.

Now, to set the stage here, North Dakota is in the middle of an oil boom. The increased price of crude has combined with the development of new extraction techniques to result in a massive expansion of oil production in the Bakken shale. This has led to North Dakota having the lowest employment of any state in the country, and the Williston area is right at the boom's epicenter. Now, in what follows, we're going to ignore the fact that the continued extraction of oil from the Bakken shale is actively contributing to the warming of our planet and the concomitant impending destruction of society as we know it, and choose instead to focus on the specific economic arguments.

See, Dr. Perry is using the example of this one Walmart situated in the middle of perhaps the strongest economy in the state to argue for Walmart and against the minimum wage. Either he's dumber than a bag of hammers, or he thinks his readers are, and it's hard to tell which. More below the fold.

In his first point, Professor Perry notes the first and most obvious thing about about the store in Williston: the comparison between the wages at the store in Williston with Walmart's average wages nationwide indicate that, yes, even Walmart has to respond to the market forces prevalent in a particular community in order to get its stores staffed. Yes, Walmart won't be able to staff its stores if it attempted to pay minimum wage in Williston—but that doesn't mean that market forces require Walmart to pay lower wages in other places. Perry's apparent confusion on this issue is illustrative of a significant difference between upward pressure and downward pressure on wages: upward pressure on wages sets a higher floor for businesses to be able to get labor at all. Downward pressure, on the other hand, allows businesses to use wage levels as a determiner of company values and strategy. A Costco and a Walmart in the same general vicinity are subject to the same wage pressures, but Costco chooses to pay a higher wage to engender higher employee loyalty and morale, along with its corresponding effects on customer satisfaction. Walmart, on the other hand, chooses to exploit its labor by seeking it out at the lowest possible price, and expecting government to pick up the remaining tab through social services. In short, Walmart could choose to pay higher wages: after all, if it weren't profitable to keep the store in Williston open despite the comparatively high labor costs, Walmart would simply close it down.

But Dr. Perry isn't just using the example of this one store to mistakenly defend Walmart's business practices. Instead, he and AEI are using it to attack the very concept of a minimum wage:

2. The fact that Walmart is paying almost 2.5 times the minimum wage in Williston, ND is evidence that a single, national minimum wage for every city, county, labor market in the country can’t possibly make sense. Even proponents of the minimum wage have to agree that a single national minimum can’t be optimal for every labor market in the country. In that case, they would logically have to support thousands of minimum wages tailored to thousands of local communities, or maybe even more logically agree that minimum wages are unworkable.

3. You probably won’t be hearing anybody calling for a $15 per hour “living wage” in North Dakota, since the entry level wages at Walmarts there are already above that

Now, as we break down this section, let's not forget that Perry is a professor of economics at the University of Michigan. Arguments like this are convincing evidence that Wolverine State taxpayers aren't getting their money's worth. To begin with, Perry is assuming that Walmart is by its very nature a minimum-wage employer, and will only pay the lowest wage it can possibly get away with. But if Perry is representative of his colleagues, it seems that AEI is so invested in the supremacy of free markets that it has forgotten what the job of the minimum wage is. The entire point of a minimum wage is not to find what the lowest wage is that the market will bear, and codify it. The minimum wage exists as a tool for governments to contravene the very cheap price that the free market places on human dignity, and to ensure that  those who work can theoretically enjoy some modicum of decency regardless of what the free market might have otherwise intended for them. The entire point of a minimum wage isn't to tailor it to every single local community. Instead, the point is to establish a floor that will be functional for every community, regardless of whether upward pressure on wages in boom towns like Williston is ensuring that nobody will ever meet that floor. The same principle, of course, applies for the concept of the living wage: if a local economy is putting such upward pressure on wages that everyone is making a living wage, that's fantastic in theory—but it doesn't change what a living wage is or why it needs to exist. They exist because some businesses won't pay even that much unless they absolutely have to.

This, of course, brings us to Perry's final, and most ridiculous, claim:

5 (New). From Jon Murphy in the comments:

Of course, what we also have here is a huge hole blown in the "we need minimum wage because businesses won't pay good wages" argument.

Yep. This, after writing just a couple of paragraphs earlier that Walmart is only paying good wages in this one boomtown because the local economy gives them no other choice. It's simply amazing that material like this is being published on the website of one of the most active, longest-standing economic think tanks on the right. They're clearly scraping the bottom of the barrel.
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Comment Preferences

  •  "This has led to North Dakota having... (17+ / 0-)

    ...he lowest employment of any state in the country..."

    you mean unemployment, doncha?

    "I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends… that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them." –Adlai Stevenson

    by mellowjohn on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:50:47 PM PDT

  •  Michigan's taxpayers (27+ / 0-)

    may not be getting their money's worth but the Koch brothers (who pay the salaries of a lot of economics professors, apparently) surely are.

    30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:55:09 PM PDT

  •  . (5+ / 0-)

    "two things that the right wing loves more than Walmart and oil drilling"

    Hillary Clinton was on the board of directors of Walmart for 6 years.  

    "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:55:39 PM PDT

    •  So what? (7+ / 0-)

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:28:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When Elizabeth Warren serves on the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        board you can say so what?

        I am a Liberal. I am not a Progressive. If you are a Progressive you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

        by LemmyCaution on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:14:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So this: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BLUENCCOASTER, NoMoreLies, nicteis

        As your own sigline states:

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"
        These strong fears exist, especially among real (i.e., New Deal) Democrats:  If we elect Hillary Clinton President, what we'll end up with is another Reagan -- the last thing this country needs.

        Now, Ms. Clinton could do quite a bit between now and then to allay those fears somewhat.

        For starters, she could make it clear that she was a candidate. Once she had done so, she could then start acting like one, and call for things the working class needs to happen. She could call for a nationwide adult-livable minimum wage (apropos to the Diary's subject). She could call for full re-regulation of the financial sector, including a full and complete restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act in all its aspects.  She could call for the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act while leaving the National Labor Relations Act in situ, which would help restore the labor movement in this country. She could call for the abolition of the "free trade" treaties and demand restoration of "fair trade" policies which would allow American laborers to obtain wages Americans can live on decently, instead of having to price-compete with demi-slave "employees" in countries from Qatar to China to Ethiopia.

        And that's just a few of the things Ms. Clinton could do, right now, to show American working-class people that she was discernably different from Ronald W. Reagan.  Rest assured, there's more where that came from.

        Methinks she won't, though. And her willingness to sit as a board member of Walmart is part of the reason why methinks this. Not to mention that she'd need to demand repeal of a good chunk of what her very own husband did when he was President -- a situation which would be problematic for any of us.

        On the other hand, what non-corporatist options do we have? Warren has repeatedly stated she isn't running. A ticket with Sanders or Grayson at the helm is virtually certain to guarantee an R victory in November 2016. (Which itself burns my butt a little -- I think Sanders/Grayson would be the ticket best representative of my interests.) And, for practical intents and purposes, Biden is just Hillary with different private plumbing in his doors.

        Our chances for creating another FDR in 2016 are miniscule. Which is tragically pathetic, as that's exactly what our nation needs. If we had the political situation in 1940 that we have today, you'd be reading this in Japanese.

        "I have to remember that while Jesus dined with publicans, there is no record of his consorting with Republicans." -- entlord

        by thanatokephaloides on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:15:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  dude (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      She's from Arkansas.  It's like a law she'd be on the board.  Perhaps she was the dissenting voice in the board room?

      •  Rec'd for reminding us it's a possibility (0+ / 0-)

        She may indeed have been that dissenting voice. (And I will be voting and campaigning for her if she's nominated, because I'll take Reagan Lite over Mussolini any day, and every potential GOP candidate is just a different mask over Mussolini. And I disagree with thanatokepholoides to the extent that I think HRC would be Reagan Lite, not Reagan Redivivus.)

        But you could be setting yourself up for a serious comedown if you were to trick yourself into elevating possibility into likelihood.

        The real USA Patriot Act was written in 1789. It's called the Bill of Rights.

        by nicteis on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:53:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  just stating the unstated obvious (17+ / 0-)

    If companies are all willing and will anyway pay more than a minimum wage, then the minimum wage is a no-op and there is no reason to oppose it, right?

    •  In the case of North Dakota.... (0+ / 0-)

      the ONLY reason Walmart is paying these wages is "demand".

      The last time my husband was working up there the McDonald's had closed because they couldn't find anyone to work there ($18.00/hr). Every person they hired was hired away by an oil/gas company willing to up their hrly.

      On his previous trip, McDonald's was only open 5 days a week...same reason.

      I suspect Walmart will run into the same problems in retaining staff. Isn't it just delicious thinking about that Walmart exec. having to pay someone $20/hr???
      teee heeee

  •  This is further proof (14+ / 0-)

    that when talking about conservative outlets like AEI the "think" in "think tank" needs to be in quotation marks.  There is no thought involved in this.  Just a bunch of gibberish that might as well say "why isn't YOUR locale going through an oil boom?"  (And if it is, why isn't YOUR locale in a sparsely-populated park of the country where there are very few available workers on hand?)

    30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:57:17 PM PDT

    •  They've all been nurturing the nut jobs (6+ / 0-)

      (look at Heritage with Jim DeMint), and the actual scholars are dead or pushed out.
      Here's a list of AEI's current fellows and "scholars":

      Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
      Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House.
      David Frum, a presidential speechwriter for President Bush, contributing editor to the right-wing magazine Weekly Standard.
      Christina Hoff Sommers, anti-feminist crusader, author of Who Stole Feminism? How Women Betrayed Women.
      Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, a book that asserted inherent intelligence differences between the races.
      Ben J. Wattenberg, host of PBS weekly show "Think Tank."
      - See more at:

      If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

      by skohayes on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:01:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  mystery solved (as to where their brains are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, NoBlueSkies

        at a once-revered think tank).

        If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel the Elder, Ethics of the Fathers. Corporadeus

        by Floyd Blue on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:10:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Eww....quite a list. (0+ / 0-)

        Dick could provide a few pointers on economics. Like the inherent value of sending empty trucks all over a war zone in order to claim hostile fire pay for truck drivers driving empty trucks all over a hostile fire zone.

        “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

        by nutherhumanbeing on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 12:24:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They THINK effectively ,,, (0+ / 0-)

      about half of the people in the USA believe what they say.

      It's about time for many Democrats to climb down from their high-horse, and try to understand why the Right's horse-shit sells to well. Remember, about half of the people are buying this horse-shit.

      If the Left doesn't do something to counteract this, horse-shit sales may soon exceed 50%.

    •  As usual, Doonesbury's Gerry Trudeau nailed it (2+ / 0-)
      ...when talking about conservative outlets like AEI the "think" in "think tank" needs to be in quotation marks.
      when he referred to W's interest in belief tanks.

      "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

      by bartcopfan on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 06:40:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  so then (24+ / 0-)

    the question is

    If this particular Walmart can pay those wages, why can't the rest of them do so as well?

  •  The facts contradict point #2 his own argument. (17+ / 0-)

    Of course there are differences in the cost of living between various places in the US.

    Yet, we already have a federal minimum wage in this country.  It's not an untried proposal, it's been in existence for over three-quarters of a century.

    And guess what, various states and municipalities have decided that the federal minimum wage doesn't fit them and have instituted higher minimum wages.  This, too, has been going on for generations.

    So saying that something that's been in place for longer than most people have been alive can't exist and is unworkable is at best insane, and most likely simply a lie.

    •  Differences in the cost of living across the (3+ / 0-)

      country is a favorite talking point of conservatives against the minimum wage.  

      Their argument is not only that current minimum wage is too high in some low cost of living areas, but that raising it
      force some businesses to reduce the number of workers.  "It's a job killer!"    

      •  You're too kind. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, Calamity Jean
        Their argument
        Call it what it is.  A lie.

        There is a certain amount of work that is absolutely tied to location.  You can't serve me burgers in IL when you live in TX.  You can't do inventory, pump gas, or hundreds of other jobs from remote locales.  None of those jobs are moving.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 05:21:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah...except that they are already running at the (0+ / 0-)

        bare minimum of employees as a standard. Makes one wonder exactly who's jobs will be lost. I can't help but see that when I stand in line at everyplace that I go. Banks, DMV, P.O.

        Now, admittedly, I haven't shopped at walmart in like a decade, but I think it is a safe bet that they are leading the charge in the absolute minimum expense on labor.

        “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

        by nutherhumanbeing on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 12:31:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some people will say anything for pay. (6+ / 0-)

    Some people will say anything for pay.

  •  Williston, SD. Home of no housing, and (2+ / 0-)

    women are assaulted and raped.


    Rape and assault:

    I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:08:02 PM PDT

  •  Has anybody been to Williston? (10+ / 0-)

    I don't live there but was there a month ago for a job I had to do, and that nice Wal-Mart wage he is so proud of, won't go any further than Wal Mart's normal cheap wage due to the cost of living up there.

    If you are not the lead dog, the view never changes.

    by RepresentUsPlease on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:08:20 PM PDT

  •  It goes hand in hand with the other trend (10+ / 0-)

    And that trend is to give a low priority to creating jobs, because as the Walmart example shows, if employment is high corporations have to pay more to attract employees. Workers have more leverage over working conditions. They may even demand benefits.

    That's why Wall Street doesn't like it when wages start to creep up. They claim it's concern about inflation - but what it really means is workers starting to get ahead in the game. It's why Republicans keep blocking efforts to rebuild our infrastructure or invest in all the other things that would really create jobs and boost the economy. They'd rather have an economy ticking at half speed than one with a tight labor market where corporations would have to compete for workers.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:19:22 PM PDT

  •  I live in ND (20+ / 0-)

    and what you have to realize is that this HAS to be the starting wage out there, because rent prices are astronomical to the point of being absurd. Every job like this  (Mcdonald's, gas stations etc) start at this wage because (assuming you can even find a vacant apartment) is $2300 dollars for a one bedroom apartment. Now if you have lived in this area all your life, had a home before the oil boom, you're all set. But assuming you are renting, that $17-$20 dollars an hour is going into rental prices that are over 4 times the amount of what is typical in the largest city in the Eastern part of the state, Fargo.

    •  A quick trip to Craigslist... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradMajors, NoBlueSkies

      ...shows rents in Williston are around $2000 - 2800 for 2-bedroom apartments.

      A new complex right near the Walmart in question has rents from $1850 for a 1-bedroom to $3200 for a 3-bedroom.

      A comparison would be an expensive part of New York City, like North Brooklyn.

      You can't spell "Dianne Feinstein" without "NSA".

      by varro on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:30:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When Tom Joad showed up to pick peaches (0+ / 0-)

    The straw boss told him 25 cents a bushel.

    But the flyer said 35 cents complained Tom.

    There are 200 men standing behind you, you want the work, or get out of the way.

    Supply and demand at work.

    There's a new supply of low wage workers streaming over the southern border as we speak, and many more just waiting for Obama to bring them out of the shadows with an amnesty deal.

    Reagan did the same thing, the middle class has been disappearing ever since.

    Is it worth the votes?

  •  Mark Perry just proved (10+ / 0-)

    that Walmart can afford to pay higher wages.  But Mark is too dumb to realize it.

  •  Wait a second... (5+ / 0-)

    "Perry is a professor of economics at the University of Michigan."

    But, but, the talk radio told me that college professors are all liberal indoctrinators!!!  

    My poor little head can't figure it out... the pain, the pain! Make it go away!

    Nobody deserves poverty.

    by nominalize on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:32:11 PM PDT

  •  Isn't the place having the "Boomtown Blues"? (10+ / 0-)

    Ya know, like 27 people living in a 2-bedroom apt, campers in the back yard, $5000 a month for a 3-bedroom tract house, all that fun shit, so the Wal-Mart workers STILL get fukd?

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:32:52 PM PDT

  •  Communities do not want to see their citizens s... (3+ / 0-)

    Communities do not want to see their citizens starve. We have bozos like this economist basically arguing that the minimum wage should be decoupled from community standards and that taxpayers ought to front the difference he's arguing that taxes subsidise wages. Or to put it another way that retail business need not pay all their costs

  •  Pretty poor argument, I think. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tom 47, skohayes, Mister T

    I don't know what the state's role in "dignity" is, even presuming that we all define it the same way or value it the same.

    If dignity=wages, why on earth must dignity cost the same in New York as it does on East Texas? The answer? There is no reason on earth.

    The best alternative to the minimum wage is a strong economy.

    The best justification for a minimum wage is the state interest in the welfare of all its citizens and a refusal to let employers to shift costs to the state.  Another decent justification is protect demand for consumer goods (and its effect on GDP) in an economy where the bargaining power of certain workers has sunk below their ability to contribute value to employers.

    The dignity argument sounds nice, but is like Maslow's hierarchy of needs: something that doesn't hold up no matter how sensible it sounds.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:38:02 PM PDT

    •  dinotrac do you ever tire of it? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samer, tardis10, NXNW, thanatokephaloides

      I suspect you are retired and getting money from Uncle Sam while you cry cry cry.

      I am a Liberal. I am not a Progressive. If you are a Progressive you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      by LemmyCaution on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:23:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Get tired of telling the truth? Nope. (0+ / 0-)

        I suspect you are still in school and trying to imagine what the real world is like. No -- strike that.  It doesn't matter. You know better.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:22:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    • from past. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I agree here. Dignity is something people can worry about when they have the benefit of choice. Wages flat-lined in the 70's and remain relatively the same. This was not an accident. Companies like Walmart have gone to great lengths to keep it so, obviously, because not only does it mean forever rising disparity but it hinders upward mobility. Having no upward mobility in life is Walmart's favorite tune. Outsourcing the manufacturing keeps the prices in the ballpark of being the only thing you can afford, hence their enormous food stamp sales. Even subsidizing a better wage would suck for them because a better quality of life means less sales to the folks on gov assistance.

      This is very much like how business was done in the mining camps of old with their fake money for rent and groceries from the mining co's housing and food stores. It is also very much like things are done with their workers in China, albeit much less subtle.

      Keeping minimum wages at a "minimum" goes a long way to ensuring that the only things one can spend their money on are energy bills, insurance, health care, gasoline, credit cards and bank loans, and, of course. food. This pretty much rules out completely any disposable income for anyone else in the market and pretty much makes sure that no matter how abusive and cruel your asshole supervisor will never be able to leave.

      I think it is a no brainer that dignity hasn't been a corporate concern for...well...ever, so making that argument would be like convincing the German people that Hitler simply misunderstood the Jewish people.    

      “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

      by nutherhumanbeing on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:57:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and Sol Price (RIP) is a saint...

    "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Labarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

    by Joe Jackson on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:49:20 PM PDT

  •  the... (4+ / 0-)

    skyrocketing housing costs, the skyrocketing crime (both violent and property), the environmental hazards, the deteriorating transportation network...all reasons that help put the lie to the assertion that low unemployment and wealth doesn't remotely equate to prosperity, security, tranquility and overall quality of life.

    The people truly getting rich off the oil boom don't live there.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:50:30 PM PDT

  •  They formed the Heritage Foundation because AEI (3+ / 0-)

    wasn't crazy enough........

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:55:55 PM PDT

  •  to be a bit contrarian (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, Metric Only

    The reason we have minimum wage debates, social security debates, etc is because progressives keep talking in terms of human dignity and deserving a lifestyle, which is a reasonable view, but a view that conservatives can easily and often defend against.  To me the wining and equally valid proposition is that minimum wage keeps the economy going.  as it insures that every person has funds to be part of the marketplace.  Social security and the like insure a steady stream of funds even if there is large unemployment.  Walmart proves this by bad quarters when these assistance funds are cut.

    Second, the minimum wage also exists to set a standard for paying workers.  It creates a equal baseline for employers to enter the market and creates efficiencies in the labor market.  It is like putting price tags on products.  Yes, stating a price every time a customer enters a store and then haggling might be of benefit, but it reduces the velocity of money and creates distrust.

    Once the minimum wage is set, it creates a pressure to increase other wages.  This is why calculating only the costs of increasing the wages to minimum wage employees is so bogus.  Everyone is going to damand a higher wage.  This is what is really silly about the AEI article.  Walmart would be able to pay less, probably, if the minimum wage was lower.

    Finally, we should have regional minimum wages.  The reality is that it take more money to live some places than others, so there should be a national base, at least $11, and then regional adjustments.  Those adjustments should be linked to taxes in some way, for instance bussinesses that do not pay the correct minimum wage in the area the employee works with the highest minimum wage would lose deduction.  This is the crux of the situation in N Dakota because the cost of living has increased significantly, and if the AEI article is to make any sense, they must show that the higher wages result in a higher standard of living.  If they do not, then a higher wage is meaningless.

    For instance, there is a chain of stores in Texas called Buc-ees.  They apparently start employees out a $11 per hour. They are mostly in rural locations where the cost of living is very low.  This is what it costs to get good  employees in rural locations, and the money probably results in a increased quality of life. On the other hand, someplace like portland has an cost of living that is at least 40% higher than rural Texas.  So, if $11 is going to provide a decent lifestlyle for someplace that is significantly below the national average, then we end up with $15 for someplace like portland that is significantly higher.  An $11 minimum wage is just not going to do it.

    And if we have an oil boom place, even $15 is not enough.

    She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing. -Kurt Vonnegut Life is serious but we don't have to be - me

    by lowt on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:57:51 PM PDT

    •  There are regional adjustments (6+ / 0-)

      The federal minimum wage is a national floor.  Many states and communities have chosen to legislate a higher minimum wage.

      "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

      by Old Left Good Left on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:22:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You have made a reasoned argument and I respect (4+ / 0-)

      that,  but why should anyone in the country have to go hungry and unhoused? This is not about economics, it's about dignity and ethics and being human, why in the richest country on earth should we have hungry and unhoused people? I just dont get it.  I will gladly pay taxes so no one goes hungry, will you?

      I am a Liberal. I am not a Progressive. If you are a Progressive you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      by LemmyCaution on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:29:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that corporate power is that hard to (0+ / 0-)

        grasp. In the 20th century, along with the rise of democracy and corporate power came a third entity...corporate propaganda. Corporate propaganda was created to protect Corporate power from it's enemy...democracy.

        You are right about dignity and common decency; however, those things aren't even in the capitalist handbook. They mean absolutely nothing. Humans are labor. Period. They are listed as a country's resources right along along with oil and fruit and whatever. And when your corporations manage to take as much control as has happened in America, it is understandable that the Democracy set in place to ensure that people are more valuable than simply being a resource is no longer ensuring such irrelevant notions.

        It is the oldest rule in the book. Control your nobles...or they will control you.


        “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

        by nutherhumanbeing on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:11:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If geology is the Kardashians of science (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, kmfmstar

    then economics is its Honey Boo Boo.

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:58:40 PM PDT

  •  Have to respond here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First, North Dakota has the lowest UNemployment rate.  Second, there is no true scientific evidence that what is happening in North Dakota is " actively contributing to the warming of our planet and the concomitant impending destruction of society as we know it".  There is only dedicated skewed data to prove that and even though I know the majority of people here are all about environmental issues (as I am, believe it or not), this is all a bunch of political B.S.

    Third...America needs to compete with the rest of the world.  I know, I know...there is a lot of stuff being put out about how China is the premier leader in "ALTERNATIVE" energy and so forth.  Well, guess what, they're also the LEADING purchaser of coal from the U.S. because the true fact is, they use coal and so-called "dirty energy" more than any nation on earth.....and they get most of that energy from the U.S. giving us a MASSIVE number of jobs.

    Do I sound like a troll?   A horrid republican?  Well..maybe.  But, I'm honest and what I say is tough to argue.  So, where do you, truly stand on this, you all?

    •  "Dedicated skewed data"? (6+ / 0-)

      Please provide proof of your claim of skewed data or GTFOH.
      I know science is hard, but it's not impossible.
      There is data from the study of the oceans.
      There is data from the study of ice cores.
      There is data from the study of the atmosphere.
      There is data from the study of trees and plants and animals.
      And of course, the data from the study of the climate.
      Thousands of studies, all saying the same thing, in various degrees (98% of them agree that the climate is warming and it's caused by greenhouse gases.) Hundreds of scientists, peer reviewed research, but you seem to think it's ALL skewed?

      If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

      by skohayes on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:24:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't need to provide anything (0+ / 0-)

        I don't need to provide anything anyone else is not asked to provide here.  That's silly.

        Anything I did provide would be subject to whatever "data" you and others would find on Google to show otherwise.  You state there is data about any number of things anyone can go to Google and show things that reject that data.  

        We're not in a debate contest here.  We're here to present our beliefs/opinions etc.  You can show all the "hundreds of scientists, peer reviewed research" you want.  I can go to the Internet and find scientists and others of equal character and education that show the opposite.

        You know this.  C'mon.  Let's have a legitimate conversation.  Sheeeeesh.

        •  No you can't (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoBlueSkies, Meteor Blades

          You might find a physicist that claims it's not happening, but you won't find that physicist writing any peer reviewed papers about climate change.
          Even former skeptics have changed their mind once they start looking at the data:

          Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

          My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.

          These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that defines the scientific and diplomatic consensus on global warming. In its 2007 report, the I.P.C.C. concluded only that most of the warming of the prior 50 years could be attributed to humans. It was possible, according to the I.P.C.C. consensus statement, that the warming before 1956 could be because of changes in solar activity, and that even a substantial part of the more recent warming could be natural.

          It's easy to say it's not happening, not so easy to find the studies to back up these claims.

          If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

          by skohayes on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:49:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •'s a legitamte opinion. (0+ / 0-)

          We don't need to compete with the world in the raping of our resources to feed China's obsession with being like us or any other country. We don't need to sell China coal. We don't even really personally profit from our own resources. Private companies do. Companies that do anything and everything necessary to avoid paying their fair share of tax revenue on those very resources.

          We need to compete with the world in innovations and technologies that will keep us afloat when those resources fail or rather before.

          Hunting for data to support talking points and fisking debate is really a moot point at this juncture. All you need to do is look out the damn window. I don't know how things are where you are, but here in Texas the aquifers are running dry. Now you can attribute that to gas and oil drilling or sand mining or chemical production or drought or irresponsible consumption or non-regulation or climate change or all of the above, but you aren't going to make it all just magically better by suggesting it hasn't happened because so and so of the commission for alternative science funded by so and so says that in spite of what you can see there is no need to worry and we would rather you didn't say anything because we are trying to get our development on.

          People will hope it isn't true until it is. People like yourself who just want to keep it in the realm of opinion.


          “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

          by nutherhumanbeing on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:36:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It is really curious to me how people can be so (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          invested in convincing others that they need to just chill out on the climate change thing so that disgustingly profitable companies can just feverishly continue to do the same ol' thing. These are technically your resources. I mean, seriously, what does it profit you to spend your time trying to debunk your own nations scientists, let alone the global science community so they can profit solely from their harvest.

          this country's leadership just finished emasculating the efforts of another country in promising their citizens to lower greenhouse gases solely so we could sell them tar sand and coal. We can't even allow other country's to make a change.

          “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

          by nutherhumanbeing on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 03:56:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No you sound like an idiot, a moron, and imbecile (3+ / 0-)

      am i being too kind?

      I am a Liberal. I am not a Progressive. If you are a Progressive you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      by LemmyCaution on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:32:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your dedicated skewed data is in reality (5+ / 0-)

      Overwhelming, and from all credible sources.  NASA, NOAA, the IPCC, (if you want international sources.), and ever the US armed forces is working with the assumption that it is real.
      Sort of like your massive number of jobs in the coal industry,
      "Wind industry jobs surpassed coal mining jobs in 2008, as wind employment increased by 70% from 50,000 in 2007 to 85,000 in 2008"
      From Coal and jobs

    •  Utter nonsense on so many counts: (0+ / 0-)

      The U.S. exported  106.7 million metric tons of coal in 2013.

      China got 7.5 million tons of that, making it the 5th largest importer of U.S. coal for the period. In the first quarter of 2013, China fell to 27th (at 781,332 metric tons).

      China does use a lot of coal, consuming 49% of the world's total, the vast majority of which it extracted from its own territory. But in 2013, China added a total of 94 gigawatts of electrical capacity in 2013, of which 55.3 GW came from renewable sources and 36.5 GW from thermal (mostly coal) sources.

      Links here, here and here.

      The questions in my mind after reading that "actively contributing to the warming of our planet and the concomitant impending destruction of society as we know it" is "all a bunch of political B.S." are:

      • What is your stand on climate change?
      • Do you agree that the extraction and burning of fossil fuels adds CO2 and unburned methane to the atmosphere?
      • Do you agree that adding these two molecules in massive amounts cause global warming?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 04:22:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also missing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What is the cost of living there?  How much is rent?  Or a mortgage?  Does that $17/hr translate to a much better quality of life there?  

    I went into science for the money and the sex. Imagine my surprise.

    by Mote Dai on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:59:29 PM PDT

  •  Yeah, Sure - - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Now, in what follows, we're going to ignore the fact that the continued extraction of oil from the Bakken shale is actively contributing to the warming of our planet and the concomitant impending destruction of society as we know it, and choose instead to focus on the specific economic arguments.
    Should all hydrocarbons be eliminated? Are you aware that the lowered price of natural gas has kept the wolf from the door for many working poor people these past few winters? And that the switchover to natural gas has reduced coal-generated electricity by 10%?

    Although there are more effective and utilitarian means of developing energy resources in the Bakken than has taken place, one cannot deny the jobs, the pay scale (especially for those in the energy field), and the minerals taxes that flow to the state, counties, and municipalities.

    The above quote really is little more than a sledgehammer.

    •  Coal as a source of energy is dropping (4+ / 0-)

      for a number of causes.  Besides the drop in natural gas, solar and especially wind are pricing coal based generation out of the market.  That is even without taking into consideration the Side effects of coal.

      And, Yes! the goal is to be done with hydrocarbon burning ASAP.
      After all, it is a diminishing supply, and too useful to waste by burning.

    •  There's more than one way to do it. (5+ / 0-)
      Are you aware that the lowered price of natural gas has kept the wolf from the door for many working poor people these past few winters?
      The fact that it happened one way does not support the idea that that was the only way to do it.

      There are plenty of other ways to keep poor people from starving.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 05:29:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The inertia of your argument is petering out. (0+ / 0-)

      Of course the money is good, but a handful of folks making bank and in turn being raped with triple rent and COLA is a shiny apple that is literally nothing in comparison and will, like all booms, run it's course and then the people that didn't live in ND because it's too damn cold will move south. Meanwhile the lion share of that energy is being packaged up and shipped out to other places.

      Pissing Russia off so they shut off the pump to Europe may work great for BP and Exxon, but we will never see that money and hooking up folks with artificially inflated prosperity is not worth boring a larger hole in the atmosphere.

      “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

      by nutherhumanbeing on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 04:08:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They're arguing with anecdotes (8+ / 0-)

    First, a hint to anyone planning a cross country driving trip this summer.  Avoid this place.  (And don't stop there for gas, not only will you get gouged, but if you're doing this in a nice car, it's likely to get carjacked.  ND is a place that has historically had very little crime and they are not prepared to deal with oil boomtowns.)  However, conservatives think in gold-standard economics: boom-bust cycles aren't, to them, evidence of an underdeveloped economy but their model of prosperity -- after all, someone is getting rich.

    Second, even if you ignore the gold rush economics, this is an anecdote.  And this is fundamental to conservative thought.  Anecdotes ("individual results") are more important to them than quantitative reality.  They focus on that one anecdote and don't pay attention to the other 1,000 or whatever WalMarts in America.

    I'll put it this way.  Vermont is also a cold, rural state.  (And ND does surprising well in the scenery department, or did do well before all the detrius of the extractive industries arrived, so boasting about the Green Mountains only goes so far.)  But Vermont's economy does not depend on extractive industries.  It depends on tourism, technology, hippie retirees from NY and Boston, and of course, ice cream.  If you can work remotely and can tolerate the evil offspring of the marriage of New England and Quebec winters, it's a very nice place to live.

    •  The quality of life in those boomtowns (2+ / 0-)

      was always hell. It's always been that way, hasn't it?
      But Vermont has the beautiful mountains and the forests in the fall and all that damned snow. But it IS pretty!
       I'm retiring down south, where an inch of snow shuts the highways down and closes the schools.

      If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

      by skohayes on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:28:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mark Perry makes a great argument (4+ / 0-)

    that what this country needs is a good labor shortage.

    That means that it needs a massive infrastructure and jobs program. It also needs to institute automatic countercyclical spendinginvestment in the economy in recessions, and automatically rising taxes during bubbles. The only way I know of to do that would be what I call the Unbalanced Budget Amendment. Or we could start with the Guaranteed Minimum Income. We will not get either while we are stuck with Republican gerrymanders and voter suppression.

    So a new Voting Rights Act has to come first the next time we take the House.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:50:00 PM PDT

    •  I'm for jackbooting big oil and gas and straight (0+ / 0-)

      up seizing their trillions in the interest of national security. All that oil and gas belongs to the American people anyway. I'd say 5 percent of all that revenue doled out in dividends to every tax payer in the country would stimulate the economy well enough for starters while the rest goes into our infrastructure, education, health care, and energy research. Hell they could even triple the salaries of all the politicians for all I care just to placate them. Throw a big chunk at national debt to give a nice piss off to China.

      Why trickle it down when you can straight up give the economy an enema.

      Yeah I know....fascism is a tricky bet, but I'm fairly sure that we are already there anyway, in a soft smiley face sort of way.

      “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

      by nutherhumanbeing on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 04:20:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Movement Conservatism (9+ / 0-)

    is utterly divorced from having to live down the ruinous results of Movement Conservatism.

    This is one of the ideologies greatest triumphs.

    There are no greater predators than the poor, the weak, the sick, and the vulnerable in Movement Conservatism. Poor black people rig elections so rich white people can't have free and fair elections. If you take the "Voter fraud is rampant" logic to its logical conclusion, then the most powerful man in America is a homeless black man shivering in the cold somewhere.

    To me, you have a minimum wage, you champion a minimum wage, just like you champion regulations and oversight, for national security reasons as much as for reasons of wanting dignity. People who are driven by profit at all costs are driven by profits at all costs. Even a minority of companies or businesspeople who are predatory are enough to do real and lasting harm to the stability of a society. For the same reason you have environmental standards, there are enough people who will dump toxic chemicals into rivers in the middle of the night to pad the books to make it a threat to society. I'm not insulted or offended if I have safety standards in my shop. I'm disgusted by people who don't give a shit if their workers lose limbs so they can have an extra fancy Porsche rather than a merely awesome one. Everybody has the same rules, even people who would pay a living wage or who would never dump a 55 gallon drum into a river in the dead of night, because a minority of people will abuse the system if you allow it. Because history has shown that, if you do not, there will be abuse at the hands of those in search of profit in great enough frequency to effect the nation as a whole.

    Conservatism assumes, constantly, in both policy proposals and in terms of big picture hypothetical debates about societies and civilizations, that there is no point where systems break down due to abuse and malfeasance unless non-Conservatism is involved.

    Conservatism assumes that people in crisis, in chaos, in direct fiscal or physical danger will just go away and die quietly somewhere. No riots. No breakdowns. No bridge collapses.  

    Look at the economic track record of the Bush years. Of Kansas under Sam Brownback. Every bullshit canon about how things work has not just been a try and fail, but spectacular epic fails. Cutting revenue doesn't increase revenue. Fancy that. If you have no rules, enough people will engage in predatory practices and they will lie about things if they can get away with it to cause systemic issues.  

    Conservatism is, literally, an ideology that cannot fail, it can only be failed. This is one of the things that makes it the most dangerous.  

    Think about what AEI is asking you to do here as a thinking rational human being. It's actually quite remarkable how damning it is to journalism as it is blatantly insulting it is to the political opposition's ability to make them pay for doing it.

    A minimum wage is not a maximum wage. It is a baseline. A bottom standard.

    There is no place in America where, on the federal minimum wage, you are living like a king. The federal minimum wage is a poverty wage cast by men wearing thousand dollar suits who would spend a WalMart workers entire paycheck on a silk tie as a prohibitive burden.

    Just because a minimum standard exists, does not mean that you are, in any way, barred by circumstances to paying more than that wage. If you want to pay somebody 2 dollars an hour, you are a predator not a businessman. The entire drive to have no minimum standards is a drive to ensure that the bottom can be expanded downward to a new pedatory low.

    This is why we have a minimum wage. Child labor laws. Workplace safety rules.

    The abuse that comes with having lax or no minimum standards is historically established. It is a fact.

    We have a minimum wage because of what happens when you don't.

    It means that there is a bottom because, without a legally mandated bottom, there would be predatory practices and abuse. Corporate America has demonstrated, repeatedly, that they cannot be left to their own devices because protecting people or the environment will always come in second place, or further back, to making a buck.

    This is like having a conversation with somebody who wants you to think about setting and maintaining some form of tax policy based on the idea that you might win the lottery someday. Like that is something you can plan for.

    What if some unexpected fracking boom happens and your town becomes like a gold-rush town from the 19th century? What then? Huh? What then? Pretty stupid to have a minimum wage then? Huh?

    Children with a halo of Oreo mush all over their mouths saying that they didn't eat the cookies, no way, uh-uh, no siree, have greater intellectual integrity and a stronger footing in good faith.  

    They have found not just an outlier, but a radical outlier, an embarrassingly over-the-top unique situation that stands in defiance to the vast majority of circumstances in the nation, and they want you to see that radical outlier as not just a baseline but also trumping every other bit of evidence you can gather to sell their nonsense.

    This is what "Fuck you, now, what are you going to do about it" looks like.

    This is a movement telling you, with a middle finger hovering two inches from you face while they do it, that they fear no fact and dread no blowback or rebuttal.

    Movement Conservatism understands nothing but the political bloody nose. That's it. They stop when they feel pain or see blood.

    It is moments like this where everyone who falls outside of the realm of conservatism in America is being challenged to stop debating these assholes as if they are acting in good faith or merely disagree with you and just think of them as you would think of somebody who is engaging in an act of deliberate social sabotage and policy-based economic terrorism against those who were not born in a Lucky Sperm Club household or family.

    It should be more and more clear that, if left unchecked or unchallenged, the current American Right would utterly destroy this country for the vast majority of people who live in it, figuring that their wealth and power would insulate them from the consequences of their actions in the long run.

    "Real journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." -George Orwell

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:54:05 PM PDT

  •  Zero minimum wage (5+ / 0-)
    But Dr. Perry isn't just using the example of this one store to mistakenly defend Walmart's business practices. Instead, he and AEI are using it to attack the very concept of a minimum wage:
    Senate candidate Joni Ernst thinks a zero federal minimum wage is a good idea.
  •  I like this diary, especially the headline. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    But I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't point out a flaw:  There's not one word (unless I missed it) about how many hours there are in the average Williston Wal-Mart employee's weekly shift.  From what I've read, WM employees in other parts of the U.S. are lucky to get 25 hours per week on the clock.
    Makes me think (consistent with the headline) that the AEI scholar's motto should be:  "I'll piss on your leg and tell you it's raining any damn time I want to!  And you'll LIKE it!"

    "What are we afraid of, and why are we holding back, when nobody's gonna listen to this shit anyway?" -- magic mitch

    by oldmaestro on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 07:24:36 PM PDT

  •  "Michigan seems like a dream to me now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as we all come to look for America"....  Geesh, what a numbnutz for an economics professor.  I used to have respect for Michigan but no longer with that bullshit.  I'll bet you 5 bucks the dude cannot make change at a register.  

  •  When the oil runs out, and it will, wages will (0+ / 0-)

    Fall.  So don't worry.  Folks in Williston will be poor again.  Bust, boom, bust.  It's just capitalism.

  •  This level of thinking is (should be/used to be) (0+ / 0-)

    intolerable at AEI.

    I would be embarrassed if thinking like this came from Brookings.

    If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel the Elder, Ethics of the Fathers. Corporadeus

    by Floyd Blue on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:08:33 AM PDT

  •  Oil is not the important liquid (0+ / 0-)

    They are about to find out they can't operate without water..

    "You can't run a country by a book of religion. Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side." Frank Zappa

    by Uosdwis on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 06:19:17 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      As we all watch in horror, a significant body of this country's fresh water is being hijacked and used in a disgusting display of gentrification in what was once one our greatest cities.

      A sign of things to come and certainly more critical than fossil fuels.

      Fighting for water will be a hell of a lot more important to everyone.

      “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

      by nutherhumanbeing on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:34:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We are dumb as hammers. (0+ / 0-)

    Evidence to the contrary?

    America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

    by Back In Blue on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:06:17 PM PDT

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