What exactly is Measure R and why does it cause fear of city-wide devastation?

MOLA:42’s Guide to Getting What You Pay For

J warren & virginia

“Our Glorious Dear Leader has announced…”

Watching Channel 3 News is a trifle more interesting (and depressing) than it used to be. That is, since a former president of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce (J. Warren Hockaday) became their News Director.

Since then their news leans toward pro-business stories (especially their “Special Reports”) and anti-anything that inconveniences our heroic business leaders.

Please understand… I’m very much pro-business. We’d all be living in huts and wiping our hinders with our hands without what business provides for us. I get it. But when they go on and on about how oppressed the Business Person is….

Back to Channel 3: The ultimate was one night they ran a Eureka Chamber of Commerce press release as a major news story (they did everything short of starting the story with, “Our Glorious Dear Leader has announced…”) and didn’t even bother to mention the other side of the story.

Oh, the other side? They were the folks who are trying to raise the minimum wage in Eureka from the mandated $9 an hour (as of July 1) all the way up to $12 an hour. That would be Measure R, which the city electorate will vote on in November.

The poor Eureka City Council does not have it easy on this one. Encourage a vote for Measure R and your major financial backers will become unhappy with you (we all know what happens then). Encourage a vote against and you will be the target of a lot of angry people (some of whom do vote in elections).

So the Eureka City Council took the courageous stand of, “We don’t want to get involved.”

Okay, what exactly is Measure R and why does it cause fear of city-wide devastation?

Measure R will raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour for employers within the city limits that employ 25 or more people. It gives non-profit groups 18 months to comply and everybody else 90 days.


How the Eureka Chamber of Commerce sees Eureka after the Minimum Wage Tsunami (Measure R)

So you can see why the Pacific Ocean will crash over the City of Eureka leaving few survivors to tell the tale.

Businesses will either go under or pack their bags and take themselves elsewhere in pitiful lines of refugees pushing rickety carts filled with all their worldly possessions. Their teaming masses choke the roads as they are ruthlessly machine gunned by Nazi fighter planes… sorry.

That is essentially the argument given by the Chamber of Commerce and their like-minded allies (minus the Nazi fighter planes). Combine that with the arguments for Measure Q (the extension of the Measure O “Public Safety” sales tax) and the City of Eureka is on the verge of a Mad Max-like dystopia where life will have no value and death and destruction will be a common entertainment. (Hey… don’t they have that already?)

Old town Image1

You can count on one hand the businesses that employ 25 or more in Old Town

And yes, the cost of doing business will increase… for SOME businesses.

Who are those businesses you may ask?

Well, think on it. Who employs 25 or more people?

Not the boutique on a nice corner in Old Town, not the plumber, not the building sub contractor, not the candy shop nor the Ma and Pa grocery store (but the Chamber of Commerce takes perverse glee in scaring the holy crap out of those folks).

So, who does take the hit?

There are of course Kmart and Walmart and their crowd. As a group they are not likely to pack up their kit and move on.

What local businesses in town employ 25 or more people? Not many and also not likely to flee the city.

The really sad part is actually how few workers will directly benefit from Measure R.

But let’s look at Costco (which wouldn’t be affected by Measure R because it already pays a minimum wage near or more than $12 an hour). Costco could no doubt get a full crew for their Eureka store for $9 an hour.

Does Costco pay its workers more than it has to out of the kindness of its corporate heart?

Which brings us to the pro-Measure R folks main argument (at least that a business person can appreciate). Pay more and you get more competition for every job you need to fill. More competition means better employees to choose from. Better employees mean higher productivity, better customer service and longer retention (so you aren’t constantly paying to train new workers to do the job).

That means more bucks in your pocket.

That is why Costco does what it does. Costco does better by its workers because its workers do better for Costco’s bottom line.

Pretty clever of Costco, huh?

Another Measure R motivation: People at the lower pay scales tend not to hide their money in their shoppersmattresses. They can’t afford to. Their wages flow right back into the community stimulating more economic growth. I mean, my fellow Americans, someone has to buy Stuff, right? The rich can’t buy enough Stuff to keep the rich… rich.

The more money minimum wage earners have, the more they will spend.

Those without cars get cars; those with cars get better cars.

Those who live out of their cars or in tents get a place to rent. Those who live in gawdawful rentals move up to awful rentals. Those who live in awful rentals move up to minimal but decent housing.

They buy more and better food and so are healthier and less inclined for themselves and their families to be a drain on medical resources (like the ER).

What this means is if you are a business person, you may be paying more in wages but you will be getting

During most of the 20th century—until the 1970s—wages of American workers grew much faster than inflation

During most of the 20th century—until the 1970s—wages of American workers grew much faster than inflation

much more in return.

Even a good fascist like Henry Ford understood that. In the beginning he paid his workers far more than his competitors. But… he could look over his company parking lots and see row after row of shiny new Fords that his employees were able to buy.

The moral of the story is: Just because you could hire a worker at $9 an hour does not necessarily mean you are wasting money paying that worker $12 an hour.

Come on Chamber of Commerce supporters; you DO get what you pay for.

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Standard Disclaimer: My opinions are my own and not necessarily those of the Tuluwat Examiner. I am not on the staff of the Tuluwat Examiner. I don’t even know who these people are. But my secret sources at the jail have informed me the entire staff of the Tuluwat Examiner was arrested after loudly playing circus music outside of the latest Eureka City Council meeting (I think they used kazoos).

Fortunately, there were plenty of meth dealers and drug distributors to kick loose to make room for them.

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52 thoughts on “What exactly is Measure R and why does it cause fear of city-wide devastation?

  1. Businesses will cut the labor pool as to save on taxes. Where there could have been two workers, only one will be there. Humboldt is known for poor service and unclean food as it is, just wait and watch 3rd world standards overwhelm the community.


  2. I’m always amazed when a non- business person tells business people what’s good for their business.


  3. What kind of business has Moron Brady run? A one person graphic shop? What kind of business has the Drunkard run? What kind of business has the Chetster run (besides running his mouth.) The problem with local conservatives is that so many of them have been sucking off the taxpayers teats for generations. Generations of government employees. They like things the way they are.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your point is that raising wages leads to 3rd world conditions? That’s Econ what? Who is going to cut employees? Which companies? Be specific.

    Liked by 3 people

    • all businesses will be cutting- when a business owner cuts you a paycheck for working for them the cost is greater than your check, government insurance, social security pyramid scam, etc.

      get rid of payroll taxes and wages would be higher, more business would happen, and government workers could be rounded up, deported to countries that need overweight, low IQ, followers with no idea how to operate on a budget in a marketplace.

      seattle is the golden child of this movement and the cuts are already starting to happen with smaller businesses shutting down because they won’t be able to compete against corporations that are really behind this movement.


  5. I don’t live in Eureka so I’m not voting on this and my opinion doesn’t matter politically. However I have an opinion, and I favor increasing the minimum wage.

    But the narrow ‘carve out’ of organizations with 25 employees and the large differential between non-profits and others make this specific measure seems prejudiced and unfair. That may mean if challenged it will be found illegal.

    I understand the political realities of getting enough signatures to qualify a measure. But if the political necessity is to affect ‘outsiders’ while exempting ‘locals’, that seems a thin basis to convince a majority.

    Regardless of a business vs labor divide, most people believe basic fairness means treating similar enterprises identically. After all, a retail business is a retail business. Being larger or smaller doesn’t seem to me a proper way to differentiate working conditions. Its different from land use and planning concerns that reasonably limit the siting of ‘big box’ stores, store signage, or ‘pattern restaurants’.


    • “But the narrow ‘carve out’ of organizations with 25 employees and the large differential between non-profits and others make this specific measure seems prejudiced and unfair.”

      There’s a couple things about that:

      They likely went after the larger businesses to cash in on the anti- business sentiment in the state (and county). That made it easier to get signatures and to pass the initiative, although I suspect most that signed the petition likely would have signed it no matter how they wrote the proposal.

      By limiting it to businesses with more than 25 employees, it’s actually an admission by supporters that raising minimum wage can be a problem for businesses. If it’s so beneficial, as MOLA suggests, why didn’t they just include all businesses?


    • Large non profits like St. Joes will have to pay the $12 while non-profits with less than 25 employees will be exempt. For profit and non-profits are treated equally except for the phase in. Do you think St. Joes can’t afford it?


    • Its interesting that the Los Bagels owner is complaining about a statewide minimum wage that of course applies to large and small businesses. It really doesn’t apply. How will Measure R effect Los Bagels? It won’t.


  6. Fred, how about they went after larger businesses because of a genuine belief that corporatism will destroy the local economy? It was only when Tyson and the rest of the Bitter old Dead Enders on K st. betrayed us and snuck Walmart into town that this all came about.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This would hardly be the only law, fines, or fee applied to small businesses that are arbitrarily based upon the number of employees.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. How about the Small Business Administration? I will share this with you. There are lots of government programs, grants, tax breaks and regulatory breaks (federal state and local) based upon the size of businesses. This argument is a non-starter though you geniuses are quite free to throw your money at some attorneys.

    A very basic perusal of Eureka business data will reveal clusters of business at several levels of number of employees, like there is a cluster at 19 and one at 49 (if my memory serves) Go look it up don’t take my word for it.. These are local businesses taking advantages of tax code breaks for small businesses.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. If Measure R was about growers paying their workers a living wage, would you be for it?

    Greedy people make money off the worker’s back. CEO, grower, non-profit executive director. Same difference.


  10. I would think that small businesses who won’t be required to pay a higher minimum wage are worried about the quality of employee they will be able to attract given the higher wages and benefits at larger businesses and will have to raise their wages to keep valued employees. If history is any indicator, demand will increase for most businesses as workers have more disposable income and the increased profits should enable them to pay higher wages as well. Of course, if wages had kept up with increased productivity and inflation all these years we wouldn’t be having this discussion and probably wouldn’t be in the dire economic straits we find ourselves in today.

    Another positive aspect of this issue is the decrease in social program costs/increase in tax and SS revenues which will result from a higher minimum wage.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. In general subsidies to small businesses are intended to allow them to pay skilled employees higher wages than they otherwise would and thereby be competitive with larger companies for hiring and retaining skilled employees. Some subsidies also mitigate higher borrowing costs and lower economies of scale.

    That’s very different from a policy allowing small businesses to pay employees less. Because small businesses with poorly paid employees are more likely to fail, and the whole idea of a small business subsidy to help them succeed.

    In thinking about this, its possible that the best Eureka employees will have much greater incentive to switch to larger companies, leaving smaller companies with fewer qualified employees. For people who complain about poor or incompetent service in retail establishments, it may get worse.

    To an extent that’s what the Los Bagels manager said. She will have to raise the wages of more skilled workers above the new minimum or else she will lose them. In the end, I think decent wages for employees are an absolute good and enterprises that over time can’t pay a decent wage aren’t businesses. Even small business subsidies have a time limit, they don’t go on indefinitely..

    Liked by 2 people

  12. What the swells at the Chamber of Commerce aren’t telling you is that the REAL JOB KILLER on the November ballot is Measure Q. Why? Measure Q is a tax increase that will siphon a few million dollars a year right out of the local economy. Where will it be spent? Not here. The Eureka City budget is shrinking despite raising taxes. It will be spent in Sacramento pumping up the pensions of the recently retired. Google “pension spiking”

    Do the math. Measure R adds a few million to the local economy. Measure Q subtracts a few million from the local economy. Yes on R, No on Q and you have a $5,000,000 swing to the good.


  13. Over 100 cities and 12 states have raised their wages with positive economic results that have been well-understood for over 80 years since the first Federal minimum wage was established and each subsequent increase lowering unemployment.

    But, this is what you get with entrenched, right wing ideologues dominating Eureka and county politics forever.

    Local mainstream media has barely reported on the popular Eureka Fair Wage Movement, their success, and certainly not one word on 80 years of minimum wage history and recent, CA city’s that are enjoying the immediate and broader economic benefits of enabling their working families to escape poverty.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Mom and Pops and Non Profits in Eureka with over 25 Employees
    Don’s Rent-all
    Blood Bank (Non profit)
    Schafer’s Hardware
    Redwood Coast Regional Center (Non profit)
    HCAR (Non Profit)
    Tri County Independent Living (non-Profit)
    Humboldt Rehabilitation
    Los Bagels

    Just to name a few


    • I was just talking with someone closely involved with City of Eureka affairs. He was saying Measure R’s passage would cost the city something like $200,000+ (he gave a more exact figure, maybe 240-+K?).

      Many functions within the city are done by minimum wage employees. Those costs would also extend to other employees and perhaps the city council itself since their pay would have to be raised to be kept in appropriate scale to those earning minimum wage.

      Basically, minimum wage earners pay goes up, then everyone earning more than them has to have a pay raise to keep them in a higher pay bracket.

      As I pointed out to this fellow and have wrote elsewhere, that’s the way this works: Minimum wage goes up. Everybody else gets pay raises to compensate. Prices of most things go up to compensate, and It’s not too long before the minimum wage earners are back to square one.


    • Good, most people’s wages haven’t kept up with inflation or shared in the profits their increased productivity have created for their bosses.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Fred 1:19:

      Really, the City of Eureka has minimum wage employees? News to me (could be true I guess).

      The City Council would not get a raise because they are not hourly employees. I think someone was just winding you up.

      As for the rest… please read the article to discover how people getting paid more for their labor is a good thing for everyone.

      We live in a society where everyone wants more but doesn’t want to pay for it.

      Meanwhile… the minimum wage jobs I worked when I was young ($2 to $3 an hour) was worth twice as much in real earning power as the modern nine dollars an hour.

      Was I overpaid when I was a kid? Or are modern workers worth so much less?

      Also, is the economy of our society so much better now for the mistreatment of modern low wage workers than it was for “way back then”? What justifies making low wage workers earn less and less as the years roll by?

      “I got mine… screw you.” (Not a quote of Fred, just my observation of a general trend in thinking.)

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Doesn’t Fred generally hate the Government? If the Government costs more than there will be less of it. A reason he should support Measure R.


    • By that reasoning, most of you here should oppose it.


    • Only someone without the ability to reason would think that.


    • “Only someone without the ability to reason would think that.

      Nope. If he’s saying I should support minimum wage increases because it means less government, that means maintaining the status quo means more government. How is that so hard to understand?

      Taking it a step further, Measure O/Q will keep local government coffers fuller. That means more government. Most here should be supporting the measure, not opposing it.

      You’re trying to pick a fight, Jane, without a reason to, aside from us being on opposite sides of liberty vs. freedom. You’re usually better than that.


  16. 1. Measure R doesn’t mean more or less government. Paying more in taxes doesn’t reduce the size of government by making it more expensive. That’s just silly as anonymous 2:27 undoubtedly knew. It means paying people a living wage which reduces the social services they require and increases the amount they pay in taxes and Social Security. In addition, since most if not all of the pay increases will be spent on living expenses (as opposed to invested in the stock market, paying for vacation homes or vacations elsewhere) it will increase demand and create local jobs. Paying more in taxes doesn’t mean less government. It may mean more government or the same sized government that is adequately funded to provide the services Americans in the 21st century demand, depending on how the increased taxes are spent.
    2. Most here support government doing what the majority demands from it, i.e. democracy.
    3. The suggestion that freedom and liberty are opposed to each other is idiotic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Plain Jane.

      “3. The suggestion that freedom and liberty are opposed to each other is idiotic.”

      I honestly thought I had missed something in Fred’s statement in the last paragraph.

      I imagine he’s repeating some artificial construct that Rush or someone nearly as bad has been pushing.

      But to read his blog it seems us TE readers have all become a bunch of demanding money for nothing liberals (I think we have shown that the real “money for nothing” people in our community are represented by the Chamber of Commerce).


      I respect Fred but I can’t help but think he knows better.


    • MOLA,

      If you think Fred knows better, you must think he is lying. How then can you respect him?


    • Mitch:


      Even reasonable people can occasionally get carried away with either emotions or rhetoric.

      Neither state is lying.

      Plus, while the durability of my respect for another is not infinite it’s also not soft; it does not blow away with the wind.


    • Freedom vs. authoritarianism is what I meant. Wrote it wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Since I’m on the side of freedom/liberty, you must be on the side of authoritarianism. You should read Bob Altmeyer’s The Authoritarians, available free online.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Give back your government check Fred! Go work in the private sector, or use the money you’ve saved for retirement! Sitting at home, using ‘entitlement’ money to subsidize your ‘ libertarian’ blog is beneath you. It should make most true libertarians sick to their stomachs. Don’t live on tax money and then complain about how big government is. By your professed standard YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. Hypocrite!

      Liked by 1 person

    • MOLA. Would you fess up to any connection to current or past local media, if it exists?


    • Mitch:

      Is this just an idle curiosity you want satisfied?

      I was on the high school newspaper, went on to Journalism School, had exactly one job for ever so brief of a time that taught me the last thing I wanted to be was a journalist; then I became a shiftless meanderer.

      There, I think I have admitted to everything.

      I would think a far more interesting question would be what MOLA:42 is supposed to represent. No one has ever asked.

      Was there a point to your question?


    • You are right that the meaning of MOLA:42 is an interesting question.

      I’m occasionally bothered by not knowing who various anonymi are, or at least what background they bring. That was the only point to my question.

      Your last response regarding Fred was stern and I felt quite properly scolded. I was just wondering who was doing the scolding and whether they knew anything about me beyond what I write on blogs.

      Your chosen profession sounds great.


  17. Fred is from the fascist wing of the Libertarian Party, the Ayn Rand Athiest Cult,

    Ayn Rand has turned a small but lovable group of whackos and social misfits (the Libertarian Party of the 70s) into a political version of Scientology.

    Complete with the science fiction author “Ayn Rand” who wrote her novels with the teen age male in mind, full of spunk and fantasy. A lot like Tom Swift with balls.

    And that’s fine but some day ya gotta grow up. Tea parties are for kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I will admit that Mr. Mangles does upon occasion annoy me to the edge of tolerance. But I think he performs two vital functions for this blog:

    1. He does have a view point that deserves attention, even if I or the rest of us do not agree with it. You can not successfully strive against an opponent you do not understand.

    2. He prevents this blog from being nothing more than a bunch of liberal progressive apostles preaching to the choir. He tests us and therefore makes us stronger.

    Perhaps I am feeling guilty for annoying Mr. Mangles on his own blog but if you manage to drive him off the TE it will be (in my view) against our own best interests.


    • Why do you use MOLA:42 as your nom de blog?


    • Mitch:

      Hooray and At Last!

      It’s been like walking around in public with a pelican on my head and no one asking about it.

      It’s a reference to one of my favorite Sci-Fi writers Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

      A group of alien folks called the Magretheans built the most powerful computer in the universe to find the answer to the meaning of life. The computer, Deep Thought, told them to come back in a million years.

      So they did and Deep Thought’s answer was “42.”

      Deep Thought told the Magretheans 42 was the correct answer, they just didn’t ask the correct question.

      Meaning Of Live Answer: 42


    • Thanks. I never would have guessed, even though I already knew about that important property of 42.

      I’ve since read a dystopian sci-fi novel in which we’ve invented computers which/who far exceeded us in intellectual abilities. The only problem was that no human beings understood what the computers had to say. Society had invented a whole new job classification whose task was to try to communicate a shadow of what the computers had said into terms we could understand.

      I wonder if 42 was part of the origin of 420.


    • which is why blue’s calling him a fascist or as near as does not sit so well with moi. Fred does a good job splaining his point of view and being basically respectful while doing it. mostly I very much disagree with him and agree with your opinion of his commenting here

      other than that whine I agree with you and blue’s otherwise well written comments and description of the tea party/rand cult. And remember the tea bagger experience was by no means a spontaneous action but a very well done professional astroturfing that the followers fell for.
      Good stuff TE and MOLA, keep it up.


  19. Those of us who have been reading FM for a number of years, and who have, btw, been blocked from posting on his blog for expressing views of which he disapproves, understand his point of view pretty clearly. I mean, how difficult is it to understand “welfare for me because I am worthy but not for thee who aren’t?” His compartmentalized, simplistic TP/Libertarian views with a large measure of “guns for all and all for guns” while worshiping at the feet of the rich and powerful is hardly unique around here.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I think all you need to know about Fred is to understand that he believes “violence is probably necessary and justified” to reach his political ends at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Great…Mitch derails another meaningful and relevant issue wanting to
    “know who you are”, ie, a bloated ego in search of another is a guaranteed distraction and the same place where many folks eventually ended up on the blog Mitch tanked via censorship, a “personality glitch” he shares with FM.

    Trolls on their own blogs… where they belong…

    Minimum wage initiatives are registering voters in large numbers, thus, passing in every city and state where they appear.

    What’s notable in Eureka, that contains 2 supervisor districts, is that almost none of the local “politicos” are on-board.

    After a generation of never holding a single majority in any elected/appointed office (except for Trinidad and Arcata), the “non-right wing candidates” are gearing up (yet again) with their complex county voter data, media, tech. consultants, number crunchers, endorsement lists, public events, press releases and massive fund raising drives, expecting a different result: to count themselves among the rare exceptions by winning.

    Meanwhile, a blind canvass of Eureka homes would reach the actual majority; 70% of the eligible voters that never vote!

    “EEEWWW! We have to reach out and talk to THOSE people??”

    The insanity of repeating the same strategy is so much easier!


    • Annonymous 1:55:

      I’m glad you are finally on board on this discussion.

      I agree the discussion went off topic with Mitch wanting to know who or what I am. And I admit I too have an ego, so I guess I am part of the problem.

      But I think the discussion really went off the rails when everybody decided to discuss how dangerous Fred Mangles is.

      What can I say? We each make our contributions but the flow of the discussion is not in our individual hands.

      And yes, you are right, we have to reach out to “those” people. What few (other than yourself) seem to realize is that those others were pretty much “us” until the economy collapsed and $9 an hour was what one had to do to get one’s family by.

      To me that is the real violent revolution, the slow but steady but ruthless dismantlement of the Middle Class; the despair and frustration that causes people to believe there is no point in participation in government.


  22. Well Yogi I have seen Fred advocate for armed civil war as a solution to our problems. That is brownshirt stuff. He’s a fascist.

    We live in a democracy. We are allowed to strongly advocate for our sides. We are not allowed to threaten each other with our militias. We will very quickly look like Lebanon or Syria.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Thanks MOLA.

    As long as the “debate” is focused on personalities, identities, celebrity, (as we see in most of our public culture), our attention remain diverted from the power of ideas that can become action and actual change. It all starts with language, the second victim of petty tyrants, after anonymity….

    Blogs are predominantly anonymous, if folks don’t like that, why are they here? It would be easy to start another of those “singles” sites.


  24. Pingback: Tuluwat Examiner | This weeks burnt offering! Again

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