Hillary Ad: “Our children are watching. What example will we set for them?”

 

Yes, Donald Trump could use some polishing in his speech and a few policies.  But while it’s easier to ridicule his superficial faults, we disregard Hillary Clinton’s foundational faults at our peril.

If we disregard her abominable record of:

  • the (preventable) lives lost at Benghazi
  • the transfer of 20% of our nation’s uranium to Russia1
  • loss of trust from our allies when she was Secretary of State,
  • the thousands of at-risk national security emails which will endanger us for an unknown amount of time
  • seeking the support of those who believe freedom of religion and speech can be limited by arbitrarily assigning “hate speech”2,

Then, the question to “With whom would our children better off with as a role model?” can be limited to their parenting abilities.  That is the only case it would be difficult to decide.

But this is certain, the only children who have a chance with Hillary Clinton are those already born. Unborn babies are at severe risk with a woman who thinks a human life can be taken by “choice” and who is amused by Madeleine Albright’s often used “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”3 for women who stray from the Left’s agenda regarding women including support for Hillary Clinton.

Those millions not allowed to live can never see what example she may be setting for them.  But then, she’s not concerned about them, they can never vote against her.

 

1—” –Bill and Hillary Clinton had helped a Canadian financier named Frank Giustra and a small Canadian company obtain a lucrative uranium mining concession from the dictator in Kazakhstan;

–The same Canadian company, renamed Uranium One, bought uranium concessions in the United States;
–The Russian government came calling and sought to buy that Canadian company for a price that would mean big profits for the Canadian investors;
–For the Russians to buy that Canadian company, it would require the approval of the Obama administration, including Hillary’s State Department, because uranium is a strategically important commodity;
–Nine shareholders in Uranium One just happened to provide more than $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation in the run-up to State Department approval;
–Some of the donations, including those from the Chairman of Uranium One, Ian Teler, were kept secret, even though the Clintons promised to disclose all donations;
–Hillary’s State Department approved the deal;
–The Russian government now owns 20 percent of U.S. uranium assets.

2 – “Conservative outlet Townhall notes that several European countries have prosecuted their citizens for merely speaking out publicly against radical Islam and Sharia law, including a pastor in Northern Ireland who gave a sermon critical of the religion.”

“’This resolution is an overt attempt to force Sharia Law compliance worldwide – banning criticism of Islam everywhere – and Hillary Clinton supports it wholeheartedly,’ claims Bare Naked Islam. ‘Despite the countries of the OIC ignoring and perpetuating many human rights abuses and even refusing to sign the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, these nations worked with Hillary Clinton to meet their objective of criminalizing so-called ‘Islamophobia.’” From “Hillary Will Impose ‘Blasphemy’ Laws to Protect Islam: Conservatives,” http://www.therightperspective.org/2016/05/14/president-hillary-will-impose-blasphemy-laws-to-protect-islam-conservatives/, 5/14/2016.

3 – “Albright: ‘special place in hell’ for women who don’t support Clinton,” https://www.the guardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/06/madeleine-albright-campaigns-for-hillary-clinton, 2/6/2016.

 

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Significant Minimum Wage Increase Likely to Worsen Economic Injustice

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Let me start by emphasizing that I believe in the dignity of labor, that workers should receive a livable wage and that people should not be taken advantage of.  My upbringing is to blame for this!1

There are many imbalances in world economies due to concentrations of power which do not always act ethically.  Raising the minimum wage significantly, however, could very well cause as much pain as it relieves.

Tracking the effects of a change in the minimum wage is difficult because it is but one variable amidst ongoing ups and downs.  It cannot be empirically proven or disproven with a tidy experiment.  In this article, I’ll look at minimum wages vs. national unemployment starting with 1974 and the unemployment of states with minimum wages above the current federal requirement.

U.S. Unemployment vs. Minimum Wage (both as of Jan. 1 in a given year)
Unemployment vs Min. Wage

[Unemployment]  The erratic nature of unemployment is obvious and trending upward since 2000.  Even a best fit, polynomial line to the fourth power is not an impressive fit.

[Minimum Wage]  While minimum trend line has a nice positive slope, the extended plateaus of 1981-1990 and 1998-2007 are long periods where the minimum wage was unchanged.  During these times, individuals who were both employed and covered by the minimum didn’t lost buying power.
In the first plateau, the unemployment rate spiked after the “freeze” began then returned to a slight improvement at the end of the freeze. Much of the spike was the reaction to the very high prime rate at the end of the Carter administration, the uncertainty brought on by the Iranian hostage situation (Nov. 1979-Jan.1981) and early Reagan fixes which weren’t working.  Remember, too, many economic causes and effects don’t occur simultaneously, but with a delay.
The recent unemployment increases was not just due to minimum wage increases, recalling the mortgage explosions and other economic shocks.

Result:  INCONCLUSIVE


U.S. Unemployment  vs.  Minimum Wage  in 1996 Constant
Dollars

Unemployment vs Min. Wage [constant 1996 $]

Minimum wage in constant dollars dropped from 1979-1989.  This might be able to take some credit for the unemployment recovery after 1983, but not all. The
U.S. economy in general was doing well along with the typical sign of American
spending, the trade deficit, taking off in 1983-1987.Unemployment saw a noticeable increase during 1991-93 after the minimum was raised 13% in April ’90 and 12% in April of ’91 after a nine year freeze.  The sharp increases in unemployment started in 2009 after three successive years of 70 cent increases in the minimum wage.  May
have a chicken-and-egg situation here. Was the mortgage bust aggravated by rising incomes prompting overzealous lenders to take even more risks or was the lending fiasco’s momentum already too far gone?

Result:  More indicative that a higher minimum wage in constant dollars leads to higher unemployment.


Current  States  With  Min. Wage  Higher  Than  the  Federal  vs. Unemployment3

Washington     $9.19    7.5%    better by 0.4
Oregon              8.95     8.3      worse by 0.4
Vermont            8.60    4.9       better by 3.0
Connecticut       8.25     8.2      worse by 0.3
Wash. D.C.        8.25     8.4      worse by 0.5
Illinois                8.25     8.6      worse by 0.7
Nevada              8.25     9.8      worse by 1.9
California           8.00    9.8       worse by 1.9
Massachusetts   8.00     6.7      better by 1.2
Ohio                    7.85    6.7       better by 1.2
Arizona               7.80    7.9       even
Montana             7.80    5.6       better by 2.3
Florida                7.79    7.9       even
Colorado             7.78    7.5       better by 0.4
Alaska                 7.75    6.6       better by 1.3
Rhode Island       7.75    9.9      worse by 2.0
Maine                  7.50    7.2       better by 0.7
New Mexico        7.50    6.6       better by 1.3
Michigan             7.40    8.9       worse by 1.0
Missouri              7.35    6.6       better by 1.3

I won’t make a bigger mess with a graph here.  The scatter for both the top ten above the federal minimum wage and the top twenty show a best fit line as a curve with unemployment peaking in the $8.30-$8.40 range.  Even tossing Vermont as an outlier didn’t help much.
Looking at it simplistically, we see that six of the top eight states above the federal minimum wage have unemployments higher than the national average.  Might mean something, but need help from the experts.

Experts  With  Clinching  Arguments

Instead of attempting to restate Walter Williams’ article to avoid plagiarism, I’ll simply quote him directly: “University of California, Irvine economist David Neumark has examined more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage.  He states that the White House claim ‘grossly misstates the weight of the evidence.’ About 85 percent of the studies ‘find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers.'”
“A 1976 American Economic Association survey found that 90 percent of its members agreed that increasing the minimum wage raises unemployment among young and unskilled workers.”
“A 1990 survey found that 80 percent of economists agreed with the statement that increases in the minimum wage cause unemployment among the youth and low-skilled. If you’re looking for a consensus in most fields of study, examine the introductory and intermediate college textbooks in the field.  Economics textbooks that mention the minimum wage say that it increases unemployment for the least skilled worker.”4

CONCLUSION:  While raising the minimum wage may partially address the need for wage justice, it appears to also bring on increased unemployment for those on the lowest rungs of the pay scale, at least for a while.  (Unless, of course, a raise in the minimum wage is also accompanied by autocratic restrictions or requirements on business, something the current occupant of the Oval Office does not seem adverse to.)

Nevertheless, it would also not be moral to allow the minimum wage to stagnate for more than a few years.  Otherwise, it may start subsidizing corporate profits and the wallets of those fellow citizens already making substantially more than the minimum.

As in any decision involving the economy, it is not as simple as the political suitors of voters make it seem!

1 – “Even if it does not contradict the provisions of civil law, any form of unjustly taking and keeping the property of others is against the seventh commandment: thus, deliberate retention of goods lent or objects lost, business fraud; paying unjust wages [emphasis added]; forcing up prices by taking advantage of the ignorance or hardship of another.”  (first half of paragraph 2409, Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Liguori Publications, Liguori, MO, 1994
“A just wage [no added emphasis] is the legitimate fruit of work.  To refuse or withhold it can be a grave injustice.  In determining fair pay both the needs and the contributions of each person must be taken into account.  ‘Remuneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural, and spiritual level, taking into account the role and the productivity of each, the state of the business, and the common good.’a Agreement between the parties is not sufficient to justify morally the amount to be received in wages.” (paragraph 2434 of the “Catechism”), — from Gaudium et Spes, issued on December 7, 1965, the term “man” refers to all mankind, remember this is from a translation of a document written in a formal style

2 – 1983 deficit nearly $58 billion, 1987 almost $152 billion, www.census.gov.  Of
course, our trade deficits since 1998 have greatly surpassed those years, but
that’s another story.

3 – States’ minimum wages from the Hamilton JournalNews, 2/17/2013 and unemployment data from www.bis.gov, seasonally adjusted for Dec. 2012

4 – Walter Williams, on Higher Minimum Wages, posted on www.PoliticalMusingsAtTheSunstOfMyLife.wordpress.com  Mr. Williams’ article also has a surprising continuation: “As detailed in my recent book “Race and Economics” (2012), during times of gross racial discrimination, black unemployment was lower than white unemployment and blacks were more active in the labor market. For example, in 1948, black teen unemployment was less than white teen unemployment, and black teens were more active in the labor market. Today black teen unemployment is about 40 percent; for whites, it is about 20 percent. The minimum wage law weighs heavily in this devastating picture. Supporters of higher minimum wages want to index it to inflation so as to avoid its periodic examination.”

H.S. Principal Teaches a Valuable Lesson

(That  There  Are  Consequences  to  Our  Actions)

Students at Cincinnati’s Withrow High School learned the lesson that actions will have consequences in the real world.  Principal Sharon Johnson had been informed that a senior prank, involving water balloons, had been planned.  Ms. Johnson gave several warnings that its implementation would cause the cancellation of the school’s prom for May 2nd.  Unfortunately, 200 students carried out their misbehavior; consequently, the prom was cancelled.  Numerous parents and Withrow graduates are said to be supporting her decision.1

The water balloon fight took place in the cafeteria and involved about half of the senior class.  The actions had effects beyond a mere disruption of a school lunch hour as Principal Johnson listed in her letter to the parents and guardians affected by the decision, “This so-called ‘prank’ was a problem for many reasons.  First and foremost, it created significant safety issues for our students and staff.  Several students slipped and fell in the water, and one sustained a serious knee injury.  Second, it created a sizable mess for our custodial staff to address. Lunch sessions for other grades were delayed while we worked to restore safe cafeteria and hallway environments following the ‘prank.’  Finally, and perhaps most disturbingly, the students were advised multiple times not to engage in such behavior, and chose to do so anyway  The letter also states that Withrow’s ‘school resource officer informed the senior class during lunch (Thursday) that any future incidents like this one will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.’”2

Unfortunately,  Two  Lessons  Still  to  be  Learned

It was noted, “School officials said that at least three parents, including Kenya Stewart, are trying to raise money for an alternative prom for the students.  ‘We just want our children to have a prom,’ Stewart said. ‘So, it’s three or four of the parents working together and we’re going to try and get it done.’”2  The wisdom of that decision remains to be seen.  Will it simply be viewed as an attempt to bring justice to those who were not disruptive or will it come across as opposing the rightful authority of the principal to make and enforce school policy?

One of the seniors, Brandon J. Craig, was thoughtful about the incident and aftermath.  He had a point that apparently previous classes had faced similar warnings, but the administration had not followed through.  If the “pranks” were of similar gravity as he implied, then it points out the hazards of authority not following through on its warnings.  Mistakes of the past should not be perpetuated because previous mistakes suggest a precedent to some people.

It does not also indicate that school officials were negligent as Brandon claimed when he wrote, “The warning was given in enough time that the administration could and should have done what was needed to do to keep the prank from happening and to apprehend and punish those solely responsible.”   High school administrators are not there to prevent mishaps from occurring as teachers in kindergarten need to do.  Unless they were informed of an impending danger of serious proportions, they acted responsibly in allowing these pre-young adults learn one of life’s lessons.

It may be years before all of the students realize what was gained from this experience.  Those of us on the plus side of 50 know this all too well.  To be reminded, we just have to pick up a newspaper (or look online, sorry).

1 — WLW radio, 700AM, Cincinnati, 2/8/2013
2 – Alyssa Dailey, WCPO digital, 2/8/2013

Fear Motivates “Black Thursday/Friday” Spending As It Did With Obama’s Re-Election

Big box retail and the President have once again capitalized on the individual’s most dreaded emotion: the fear of not getting what you believe you can’t do without.  In the case of Obama, the fear was generated from the Biden false assertion that Romney/Ryan would re-enslave Americans of all races in a financial sense.  Big box retail succeeds every November by encouraging customer fear that their Commercialized Christmas will be a flop unless they grab Thanksgiving night bargains.

The success of each campaign ensures a tightening of the economic vise.  Instead of “looking up” to the higher things in life as I exhorted pre-election, many consumer/voters continue to narrow their tunnel vision.  They become increasingly worried that if they don’t look out for themselves, even if at the expense of their fellow citizens, they will suffer.  Damaging compromises ensue.

As a result, we have signed up for another four years of the accelerating intrinsic evils we believe are a necessary trade-off to survive.  We have abandoned the moral foundation which lifted us from colonial oppression and have replaced it with moral degradation leading to federal oppression.

We have succumbed to the fear that unless we accept a platform which promotes the murder of the unborn, we will have our retirement necessities taken away by the opposition’s platform.

The President duped us into thinking that we must go along with the legitimizing of disordered behavior contrary to natural law and to the destruction of the family , or we will not curry the favor of Robin Obamahood, the “only” one who can save us in the fight against unfair business practices.

Finally, we ignored the growing specter of foreign ownership of our monumental national debt in order to receive a national health insurance whose “benefits” reduce human beings to mere uncontrollably reproductive animals.  Of course, to accomplish Big Brother’s domination we must be willing to abandon our inalienable right of religious freedom.

So, how does this relate to Black Thursday/Friday buying habits?  By supporting the increasingly earlier store hours which curtail workers’ rightful time with their families, we encourage the big box retailers to ignore all decency in their scheduling.  It enables the “famously aggressive labor practices” of Wal-Mart (from The Atlantic, posted yesterday) which, in turn, leads other large retailers to follow suit.

In addition, every successful Black Thursday/Friday empowers the big box retailers to continue their legal, but unfair pay structures.  The same online article quoted median hourly wages for all retail employees to be $14.42.  However, for the perpetrators of earlier and earlier store hours, the average is much less.  While Wal-Mart claims an average hourly wage of $11.75, The Atlantic article said an independent study put that figure closer to $9.00/hour.  (As a former team leader with a discount retailer, I can concur with the independent study.)

The Atlantic stated that the federal poverty line is $19,090 for a family of three.  To reach that, a person would have to make $9.18/hour with forty-hour weeks for every week of the year.  This pay rate is above that of numerous retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s.  Not to mention that full-time employment is harder and harder to come by as well.

As a nation, we blew an opportunity on November 6 to make a stand for what is right at the polls. Every Christmas season we are presented another chance to “look up.”  By following the crowds every year, we are supporting an industry including the likes of Target, which “managed to put a more fashionable face on the same abysmal pay for its workers.”  However, to make matters worse, with each made-in-somewhere-other-than-the-U.S. label, we are also sending more manufacturing jobs overseas to workers who are mistreated in other ways.

The choice is ours.  Will our gifts travel to their recipients on the backs of downtrodden workers, or will we brings our gifts in the same way the Three Wise Men did, from the heart and with a clear conscience?

“Right to Know”…. Or Gossip?

“Too many secrets” was the underlying theme of the early 1990’s movie, “Sneakers.”  The theme was voiced a few times as “bad guys” and “good guys” tried various means to secure a little box developed by a mathematician which could break “unbreakable codes.”  The much-wanted item could be hooked up to a computer and give the user access to any database, federal or private.  Obviously, these individuals did not have the “right to know” the information they wanted.

Information powers the world as never before.  Its use can accomplish great good or great evil in business and international relations.  The same is true with our personal relationships.

A good example of this occurred recently at my workplace.  A member of the crew had known that some had felt negatively toward her and she felt compelled to know what had been said about her.  She pressed a younger co-worker for the information.  He tried various ways to be polite and avoid the issue including that he didn’t “feel comfortable talking about it.”  She tried to use the argument that since the information was about her, she had a right to know about it.  In a sense, she was claiming “too many secrets.”  To his credit, he didn’t cave in.  Shortly afterward, I complimented him for his resolve.

“Right to know.”  It has received increased recognition over the last few decades with regard to government operations which had been previously kept secret, yet deserved scrutiny from the public.  But with any awakening, it can be taken to an extreme in the other direction.  This, too, applies to our personal relationships.  We have an unquestioned right to know about anything which may cause harm to people or reputations.  In that work situation, the older employee was not in any danger from the criticisms said behind her back.  In addition, her wish to find out was not from an expressed desire to mend relationships.   The young man was, therefore, morally justified in not telling what he had heard.  Congratulations to him for being able to discern between helpful informing and plain ol’ gossip!