Quit your bitchin’, you’re better off being poor….

matt and rex

OMG Rex! First they want more money, then they’ll actually want a say in how we run things! (photo NCJ)

At least according to folks that don’t have to worry about money!! Matthew Owen, “Home Mortgage Consultant” for Mega Bank Wells Fargo, is pretty clear on his position: Earning minimum wage is the best path for success. “Matthew in the Middle” recently trumpeted in a bunch of ads about how raising the minimum wage in Eureka (Measure R) would ruin the chances for poor people to better themselves. It’s amazing how folks who have plenty of money speak as if all it takes is “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps”. Somehow that’s the way to a better standard of living, even if you can’t pay your PG&E bill.

Matthew was right with part of his letter. Measure R will pass. Why? Because raising the minimum wage is needed and is the right thing to do. Corporate Big boxes like Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Kohls, etc., etc., can easily afford to pay for this increase. Matthew was also right that this increase will probably be taken to court, and potentially ruled unenforceable. Why? Because Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Kohls, etc., etc., will pay Mega bucks for attorneys to fight this ordinance. Legal defense of the ordinance will be up to the “very competent” Eureka City Attorney (ug!). Who will fight for Measure R? No…It will come down to those “minimum wage” folks, who barely can afford a pot to piss in, to fight for the enforcement of this ordinance.

This ordinance may pass handily. Sadly and just as handily, rich power elite will ensure it is never enforced. We urge you to Vote for Measure R and at least send the message.

This Big Corporate money dominated Democracy is a bitch, isn’t it?

Measure R might kill Eureka jobs?

mimimum wage

Not in 13 states that have tried it!

 

 

Bill Holmes a big supporter of Eureka’s Measure R  passes this story along:

Fast Food CEO Says Minimum Wage Hike Kills Jobs. Not in 13 States.

July 8, 2014

by Terrance Heath

Fast food CEO Andy Puzder says that raising the minimum wage will harm workers and kill job growth. A new study of the 13 states that have tried it – including eight states where Puzder runs restaurants – says otherwise.

Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, told Yahoo! Finance that he opposes raising the minimum wage because he believes it will harm workers in his industry. Puzder — who took home about $4.4 million in 2012, according to Forbes magazine— earned about 291 times what workers at his company’s Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants earn in a year.

Puzder repeats the same old, debunked, right-wing myths about raising the minimum wage. He claims that minimum wage increases would lead to fewer jobs because, “What businesses do is they increase their prices and they move to automation so you have less jobs.” (In 2010, CKE began implementing touchscreen automation to take orders in all company-owned restaurants.)

The problem that that the facts don’t support Puzder’s claims. In the absence of congressional action, states and municipalities have  passed their own minimum wage increases, without any of the disastrous economic consequences Puzder predicts.

A Center for Economic and Policy Research study of the 13 states that increased their minimum wage at the beginning of this year knocks down the argument that raising the minimum wage kills jobs. Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island passed laws increasing their minimum wage. In Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington State, minimum wage increased in line with inflation. (CKE has restaurants in all but five of the 13 states — Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.)

The CEPR study — which updates a Goldman Sachs analysis — shows no job loss and faster job growth in states that have raised their minimum wage. (All but one, New Jersey, are seeing employment gains.) In fact, the 13 states that have raised their minimum wage have higher rates of job growth on average than the 37 states that still have not increased their minimum wage.

Wolcott 2014 06 30 494

Puzder argues that teenagers pushed out of the market by minimum wage increases will instead be, “at home looking at posters from the last election or waiting for mom to make dinner, as opposed to being out there actually working, and getting the experience they need to go forward in life.” But 75 percent of minimum wage earners are adults.

Puzder says adults are working at minimum wage jobs because companies are reducing worker hours due to Obamacare. The “recovery” has created far more low-wage jobs than better paying jobs. It’s more likely that adults are working in fast-food and other minimum wage jobs, because they need to support themselves and their families, and those are the only jobs available.

The CEPR study doesn’t explain why states that increased their minimum wage have higher job growth rates, but it’s not hard to figure out. Minimum wage is not a livable wage in any state. Visit MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, and check just about anywhere in the country. You’ll see that minimum wage isn’t enough to cover basics like food, housing, transportation, medical care and child care. As a result, workers rely on assistance programs like food stamps to help them make up the difference. Increasing the minimum wage puts more money in the hands of workers who spend it on goods and services. That increases demand, which in turn supports existing jobs, and stimulates the creation of new jobs.

Perhaps Puzder subscribes to what I call the “Michele Bachmann School of Economics.” In 2005, Bachmann said, “Literally, if we took away the minimum wage—if conceivably it was gone—we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.” Bachmann’s inane point was that almost everyone would have a job if employers could pay workers even less. The 13 states that have taken the lead on raising the minimum wage show that there’s a better way to increase job growth than minimal wages for all.

Also of note locally:

Chris Kerrigan to Speak at Fair Wage Cafe, Hammond Park, July 12

by highboldtage

Supervisor Candidate and former Eureka City Council Member Chris Kerrigan will be making a short speech at our Fair Wage Café.

 Chris will speak at 3 pm.   Hammond Park 14th and E, Eureka.

 Free food, free music from noon til five pm!

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.

flood

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.

*           *           *           *           *

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.

*           *           *           *           *