By Ed Ring, executive director, California Policy Center
“If you say there is an elephant in the room, you mean that there is an obvious problem or difficult situation that people do not want to talk about.”
– Cambridge Dictionaries Online
If you study California’s legislature, it doesn’t take long to learn there’s an elephant in both chambers, bigger and badder than every other beast. And considering the immense size of that elephant, and the power it wields, it doesn’t get talked about much.
The unions don’t like it. Many libertarians and free market types don’t like it. But Obama and the Chamber of Commerce are keen. Something smells here.
Something else to keep in mind. Just because something is called free trade doesn’t mean it actually is free trade. My bet, and the author alludes to this, is that the agreement will be full of crony nooks and crannies. Nooks and crannies some would prefer the public not learn about.
Until it’s too late.
Seriously Democrats is Hillary Clinton really going to be your nominee? So she’s taken millions of dollars from the head of an oil company which has strong connections to the Colombian military, which also just happened to “round up” the striking workers of Pacific Rubiales, the company in question.
I mean, I get that she is a woman, and that she has name recognition, and that she has long been the presumed nominee. But guys, I may not agree with you on most things but this is an integrity thing. At least don’t throw in with someone who many of my friends on the “Left” would probably call a union busting, fossil fuels promoting, political profiteer if she wasn’t named Hillary Clinton. At least stand for something lefties – other than cronyism.
Many people wrongly believe that politics is to a large extent a battle between government and business. That the 2 represent opposite dispositions. This is a foolish notion. Business and government are more often partners than adversaries. Especially now.
But crony capitalism has a long history in this country.
By Ed Ring
Increases to the minimum wage in California are moving closer to reality. As reported on March 30th by MyNewsLA.com, “Los Angeles County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis will ask their colleagues to approve spending up to $95,000 to have the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation review a series of studies of the issue performed in relation to the city of Los Angeles’ proposal to raise the minimum wage to $13.25 an hour by 2017 and to $15.25 an hour by 2019.”
California’s minimum wage is currently $9.00 per hour. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour.
Largely lost in the debate over the “fight for fifteen” (dollars per hour) is America’s inflation adjusted minimum wage based on historical precedents. It’s an interesting topic that deserves discussion, because historical minimum wages expressed in 2015 dollars vary a great deal. Since establishing the first federal minimum wage in 1938, the amount has been adjusted 22 times. As can be seen on the chart, between 1938 and 1968 the minimum wage expressed in 2015 dollars rose steadily. In 2015 dollars, for example, the 1938 minimum wage would be $4.13, rising to $11.01 per hour by 1968. Since then, it has been in decline – in 2015 dollars the minimum wage was roughly between $9.00 and $10.00 per hour during the 1970’s, then fell to roughly between $7.00 and $8.00 from 1980 through 2009, when it was last adjusted.
Historical Minimum Wages
Expressed in 2015 Dollars
The other day we wrote about how government employees are a big part of the crony problem.
Of course the municipal union guys came out and explained that the government employee bit is not a scam, and that taxpayers – who pay their salaries – shouldn’t complain.
We should do a lot more than complain. We the taxpayers should insist that the salaries for government employees be indexed to the average pay in a municipality. Adjust this pay for experience, competency, and the high level of job security which government work always affords. (Notice I did not say education level should be a factor.)
I like California. It’s a wonderful place to visit. But at this point I wonder how any business gets done in the state at all. Strike that – I don’t know how any non-crony business gets done in the state.
You didn’t think you were going to get away from the SEIU that easily did you? This is Illinois baby!
Well, the stakes are high for the teacher’s unions. California is a place where teachers get a particularly sweet deal and hold considerable political sway. But the union guy for the job, Tom Torlakson, is being beaten by a charter school advocate, Marshall Tuck. Both men are Dems, but Tuck could be a change agent and the unions fear him.
Boy, you know you are in California when the “conservative” candidate (Tuck) has received money from Michael Bloomberg.
Why should we expect federal employees to actually work for us? Wouldn’t our money be better used if we paid these federal employees to organize their unions so that they can figure out how to squeeze more money from us?
Good news. We already pay them to do that!
If it does it will kill a major tool for upward mobility in America. And all to satisfy a narrow band of labor activists.
The idea that schools are supposed to serve students first and teachers second doesn’t seem like a radical idea. Let’s be frank, for pretty much everyone this is just assumed. But it is NOT assumed by the teacher’s unions, especially in California where they have a stranglehold on the system.