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the left in disarray
Minimum Wage Campaign Highlights Blue Model Contradictions
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  • Andrew Allison

    This is largely virtue signalling by the cities. Costs being what they are in the Bay Area, I suspect that very few (documented) workers are not already making at least the increased minimum wage. It’s the impact of the Statewide minimum wage on non-coastal CA ( which should be of concern.

    • Jim__L

      Yeah, that’s why the Tech Giants love undocumented workers. Lots of those around…

      • Just call me Joe

        Yes they are…. housekeepers, nannies, landscaping workers, fast food workers, PC board stuffers.

        Visit any low skill factory in LA (if you can find any left). About 1/3rd to half of the workers are illegals. They “borrow” or buy IDs complete with matching SSN to pass the everify gate.

  • Fat_Man

    Silicon Valley adopts polices that will result in the increased sale of automation software. Color me surprised.

  • Unelected Leader

    The US doesn’t need a $15 minimum wage to lose a lot of jobs. Terrible trade policy and dumb currency policy have already cost many millions of jobs, including decent paying (about $1000/week) electronics manufacturing jobs, of which ONE MILLION have been lost to China alone (that’s a full 1/3 of the total three million lost 2001-2011). And they weren’t lost to Chinese robots. Labor-intensive manufacturing is done by humans and lost to other humans. Capital-intensive manufacturing with highly paid, moderately to highly skilled labor is really at threat by automation.

    • Wow you get it! Can’t be American are you? If you’re American and most knew as much as you do then China wouldn’t be what it is today. Lucky you’re a rare one.

      • seattleoutcast

        No, we got it all along. Our leaders sold us out years ago, just like your leaders are selling you out. Go slave labor!

      • Unelected Leader

        Yes I am an American. I’m often a distraught American. I know you’re either a 50 Cent brigade troll from China, or you’re a rich Chinese baby living abroad. You’ve got the economics mostly right, but calling most Americans stupid isn’t fair because Trump just won talking good, and correct economics. Fixing the broken trade policy. Even talked about the horribly inept currency policy. If he actually makes policy on what he said is another story. He did not label China as a currency manipulator three months ago which it most definitely is, beyond even any realm of conversation.

        • Oh we definitely are a currency manipulator because we are smart! But we bribed Trump so easily. He was a president for six weeks and all of a sudden trademark cases were settled for him that he had been working on for many years. And a few weeks later he did not call China a currency manipulator:) You should have a low expectation.

          • seattleoutcast

            Still a little mad at that opium incident?

          • America has the opium epidemic now. Why care about 150 years ago? The Han didn’t control China. It was the Qing dynasty. They were the Manchus. Didn’t an American history class teach you that? Did the teacher even know?

          • tellourstory

            American students don’t learn any Chinese history with the possible exception of China going communist. I once had a Hong Konger get rather upset upon hearing that I didn’t learn Chinese history in school. I don’t really know what she was expecting, since American students rarely learn their own history anymore.

            As for the opium epidemic, it was quite devastating for the Chinese population and was an effective destabilization tool. It’s not surprising to me at all to read that the opioid drugs currently plaguing America can be traced back to China.

            In other words, it’s great for China that Americans not only don’t learn our own history, but know nothing about yours. If they did, they might start making these connections and get angry. Then, perhaps, our own politicians might actually have to address this grave threat to the social cohesion. . .

            Nah, who am I kidding? Our politicians only care about Chinese redbacks. Carry on.

          • That’s right. Americans don’t know much about themselves and no one else either. They just want the $15 hour so they can by the weed and hydrocodone.

          • Pete

            If Americans are stupid and don’t know much about anything, what are the Chinese constantly trying to ape us?

          • Pete

            Die in your own smog.

        • ——————————

          Your swinging at air UL.
          I quit replying to that PRC troll, long ago….

          • Pait

            Since it appears that you and the others here can’t detect irony, let me spell it out for you: the fellow with a Chinese pseudonym may be a troll, but he’s not acting like a member of the 50 cent Army; rather, he’s using irony to show how clueless the followers of your dear leader are. You know, the guy who has fake Time covers of himself made.

          • Yes! But not just Trump. Its been American policy to lose for 30 years now and counting. I say on behalf of all Chinese THANK YOU SO MUCH. Keep doing the drugs and buying as much as you can. We get $900 million every day from America. Wake up in the morning and there is another $900 million.

          • Pait

            Repetition is the soul of wit, I know. But I think your joke is overstaying its welcome.

          • You think $900 million leaving america coming to China every SINGLE day is a joke? Good:) we are in great shape then.

          • ——————————

            Jeez Pait!
            Your all over TAI today with your flamethrower on high…and wound up tighter than a 10 day clock.

            Maybe you better get a couple of goats to pet to calm you down when you get all spun up.
            It works for FG….

        • If China ever realizes the value of individual liberty and the responsible exercise of individual initiative it fosters, they will leave us in the dust because we are still mired in Blue Model policies (though Trump is making some headway in reversing those).

          Protectionist trade policies is just another flavor of the mire. We need to get back our respect for initiative and responsibility at the individual level, instead.

    • Protectionist trade policies simply trades one set of Blue Model cronies for another.

      Free trade works … but for those who take the initiative to capitalize on the opportunities it creates.

      That initiative is suppressed by living under the Blue Social Model. THAT is the real problem.

  • Anthony

    “The simple story of America is this: the rich are getting richer, the richest of the rich are getting still richer, the poor are becoming poorer and more numerous, and the middle class is being hollowed out. The incomes of the middle class are stagnating or falling, and the difference between them and the truly rich is increasing. Disparities in household income are related to disparities in wages and in wealth and income from capital – and inequality in both is increasing. Just as overall inequality has been growing, so have inequalities in wages and salaries. Over the last three decades, those with low wages (in th bottom 90 percent) have seen a growth of only around 15 percent in their wages….” (Joseph E. Stiglitz, How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future)

    On the contrary WRM, it’s not restrictively about a legacy labor movement nor Blue Model contradictions – just maybe, a closer look at rent seeking and the making of an unequal society (America) may also offend vested interests.

    • Rent-seeking is a core attribute of Blue Social Model society.

      And the Blue Model creates the inequality you describe, by encouraging millions to wait for their “betters” to solve their problems FOR them instead of building on the opportunities around them.

      • Anthony

        Check our history: rent seeking has been around since country’s founding – neither blue or red and predates modern governmental coloration. Thanks.

        • The more you ask government to do FOR you, the more opportunities are created for rent-seeking and other forms of graft/corruption/cronyism … so that is what Blue Model governance delivers.

          Don’t confuse party affiliation with principles held.

          • Anthony

            No confusion or conflation – look within. But issue is mute and post several days old (about 5 days approximately).

  • Dan Kearns

    I love the analysis here, but feel compelled to add, for the record, that I’m really interested in job with dignity much more than I’m interested in lower prices. Hey, call me pie-in-the-sky. 🙂

    • Jim__L

      The solution here is to move jobs out of Silicon Valley and into regions of the country where the cost of living is lower. Those who love the SF playground will howl, but that’s too d*** bad for them.

      • Dan Kearns

        But there’s no leverage to do so as long as the best software engineers are needed for success. A company that moves will lose its talent to one that doesn’t.

        • Erik Iowegian

          I don’t think so…with Virtual Conferencinng getting better and cheaper due to faster bandwidth…people can choose to work near HQ where a studio condo goes for $1.4 million….or the suburbs of St. Louis within 5 minutes of the airport where the same condo goes for $150,000. Insurance costs are 1/4 of the cost of CA. Public schools are 5x better and quality of life is 100x better…

          Which is why Zuckerburg and the others want massive immigration. They want Indian and Chinese engineers who’ll devote night and day to their effort for $70k a year vs. the Americans who want $120k/year + vacations. They also want gardeners, housekeepers, busboys, etc….who’ll work for $10/hour off the books while they publically declare their support for $15/hour minimum wage.

          Which may be why CA is resisting the effort to share their voter file with the Presidential Commission. How many of these people who are ineligible to vote live at the exact same address as the billionaire man-child’s Silicon Valley has produced…tending to their every need inside the gated compounds?

          It’s worth a look-see.

          • C_Before_E

            Suburban St Louis has 100x the quality of life of San Francisco? Hmmm.

          • Erik Iowegian

            You’ve never been to Clayton and the surrounding communities? When you don’t have to pay 1/2 your salary for rent, insurance and taxes…yes…it does allow one to enjoy life itself vs. working 24/7.

          • Just call me Joe

            Yes, it does. The Saint Louis area has some of the highest quality of life cities that are also very affordable. Obviously, that doesn’t include the Democrat infested City of Saint Louis.

            North Dallas is also one of the best places in the country to live.

          • Jim__L

            Nailed it.

        • Bunky


    • Just call me Joe

      All jobs have dignity except politicians and some lawyers. The amount of money one makes has nothing to do with it.

      However, I suspect you are merely a hypocrite. I seriously doubt you go around handing employees money at the places you buy from or that you intentionally buy hand made instead of robot made.

      • Dan Kearns

        I think you took my comment a little too seriously (and perhaps even too aggressively?). 🙂 I’ll watch out for my hypocrisy, though.

    • You want a job with dignity? Here is how you get it … hint: it doesn’t involve government wage mandates:

    • Dan Kearns

      Sometimes fellows with my same pull towards the Right can be as over-reactive and missing-of-a-point as the worst of the Left. That’s not surprising. People are people. 🙂 But it seems the most likely to flame away without much civility, curiousity, or interest in conversation are the doctrinaire capitalists of “I’ve got mine.”

      Perhaps, the divide between the traditionalist-inclined and doctrinaire libertarians is moving towards the unbridgeable. With the libertarian capitalists preferred scolding tone, maybe they can join up with the SJWs and eco-warriors as the party of “We are just better than all of the rest you with our dogmatic ideologies showing how badly you don’t meet our standards.”

      • For me, it’s far more than any sense of “I’ve got mine”.

        The Blue Model has led us to lie to ourselves, about what it takes to secure our jobs and prosperity … and left millions comfortably numb to the economic peril they are in, by expecting others to bring security and prosperity to them as they simply work the same job in the same place in the same way for a lifetime.

        And when what can’t go on, won’t (as in 2007-2008) we all suffer, but those millions suffer the most, and most unexpectedly.

        Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth … I Corinthians 13:6.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Maybe TAI knows of some “new-era” politicians not yet seen. It certainly isn’t Republicans who will be offering policies which raise real wages via lower consumer costs. Consider that one way that actually happened was the Walmart effect—–driven by imports. Do you know what border adjustment, a dandy GOP idea, was for? It was to reverse that effect and use the revenue to eliminate AMT and Estate taxes.
    It was to export oil/gas tax free. Bring back all the manufacturing of Waimart stuff from China? So laughable that the border adjustment idea is already DOA.

    • From someone who has promoted the Blue Model and its lying to millions about their responsibilities – and capabilities – calling the Republicans “nefarious” is a real hoot.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Pretty is as pretty does, they always said. Similarly nefarious is as nefarious does. I plan on watching the unfolding fruit of Republicanism as it affects working people on the ground. You do too, of course, because neither of us has any choice.

        • The most likely way the Republicans will fail, is not via nefariousness or even greed.

          The most likely way they will fail, is if they continue to embrace large chunks of the Blue Social Model and continue to – as the Progressives have – mislead people about their responsibilities and capabilities in a free society.

          That is how working people have gotten – and will get – screwed over while remaining comfortably numb to what’s been done to them.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’m more worried about ordinary people in the lower middle class failing than Republicans failing. We can only wait to see how they do in the aftermath of Trumpism. Your side HAS the steering wheel and the gas pedal. A few years of this and we can THEN count those who were run into a ditch vs. those who were helped to climb out of one.

  • Jim__L

    The American labor movement destroyed itself by allying with hardcore Urbanists.

    The solution is not to push wages up into the stratosphere; the solution is to push jobs out of obscenely overpriced hyper-cities. Does anyone seriously think that by legislation, Labor will ever be able to win wages for single moms of $55 an hour for a cashier’s job?

    No. This country has a huge amount of land, sparsely settled. That’s a HUGE advantage America has over the hyper-urbanized lands of Europe (or even China and India.) The solutions of the 21st century will come from successful efforts to spread prosperity geographically within America itself.

    Trump voters understand this intuitively. Whether or not “Trump Tower” Trump is the solution, expect to see political movement in that direction over the next decade.

  • Josephbleau

    Once the elites get rid of the middle and lower middle class they can get rid of the poor overnight by suddenly enforcing immigration law. Then they will have the California they want.

    • StaceyPokorney

      You are clearly not thinking this through. If the rich elites get rid of the poor, then who will cut their lawns and clean their mansions? If the rich elites get rid of the middle and lower middle classes, then who will teach their children, stock the grocery stores, and police the streets?

      • Josephbleau

        Robots and Amazon. They will hire Ivy PhDs to teach their few kid and pay them well. No poor, no crime few police lots of private security guards. (I was making an exadurated comment that is an extension of the truth.)

  • sanford paris

    “Supply and Demand” is a stronger law than any legislation. It is on a par with “Actions have consequences.”

  • Erik Iowegian

    Teaching is the next major area of our economy about to get their ‘paradigm’ shifted…by the same young bucks in SV who want their busboys to make $15/hour while cleaning up after their $50 lunch of vegan encrusted organic tofu.

    It doesn’t take a teacher to teach a kid anymore. This will go the way of AI, VR and AR….which VC firms are investing heavily in.

    Each child…whether their parent(s) have read a single page to them at night or not…enter in their vitals (IQ, # of hours per day reading, parents IQ, work ethic, sibling support, community support, previous achievement, standardized tests) which becomes part of an algorithm that then spits out a personalized curriculum.

    Teachers can work on social skills (Lord help us) and decision making skills…and make sure their PTA fundraising letter makes it’s way home…but they’ll largely become baby-sitters with a little extra responsibility, certainly worth the $15/hour they’re clamoring for for everyone else.

  • rambothedrughunter

    “The real damage, though, will come from the automation of low-skilled tasks.” Actually, I’m looking forward to automation of those low-skilled government bureaucrat (but I repeat myself) “tasks.”

  • brian_in_arizona

    The minimum wage push is an admission that trade unionism has failed to organize specific industries/companies and is just going broad-brush. Unions only flourish where unions can produce economic advantages for their members vs unorganized labor.

    The union movement would do well to focus on unionizing the Amazon warehouses. Yes, the jobs are threatened by automation, but there are lots of them and they are concentrated in specific locations (which makes organizing easier). And even in the warehouse of the future there will still be some people. No strategy last forever. You have to pick the fruit that is available.

  • Cato_the_Elder

    Excellent article as usual from WRM. The observation that wages are always higher “in a gold rush.” is accurate. The main reason wages have not risen in the non-gold rush areas is that U.S. worker productivity has been flat for the last 5 years. Wages historically trail productivity gains. Instead of asking why this is happening and addressing it, the focus has shifted to profit re-distribution which only distorts the markets and leaves the real issue in place.


    Each of the major voting blocs of the Dem Party deserve its own “What’s the Matter with xyz” book!

    The much smaller but MONEYED bloc, today’s “Hollywood, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley”, needs to be credited for how it’s been so successful in compelling the major blocs to vote against their own long-term interests….to the detriment of their own diminishing place in our nation!

  • AARGH63
  • jeffwa

    I’m a PROUD LIBERAL who supports the MAXIMUM amount of PROGRESSIVE WEALTH TRANSFER possible. I’m AGAINST ALL UNIONS…..ALL OF THEM. Why? because for the last 25 years they haven’t been successful in achieving the maximum progressive wealth transfer possible. All Unions do is mobilize a majority or near majority of voters against Progressive policies. Meanwhile, the only unions left with any power are GOP UNIONS: Police and Firefighter. ********NOT A SINGLE OTHER UNION HAS ANY POWER BECAUSE SCOTT WALKER DESTROYED THEM ALL*******. Yet, GOPs get away with this hypocrisy of claiming to be against unions while being in the back pocket of the only union left with any power.

    • JJS_FLA

      “SCOTT WALKER DESTROYED THEM ALL”. Boy, that’s great news. You really need to get in touch with the Governors of Illinois and Connecticut RIGHT NOW!

      July 1, 2017 Headline: “Illinois Republicans Help [Finally!] Pass Democratic Budget Plan with Big Tax Increase”

      June 30, 2017 Headline: “It’s Not Just Illinois: Connecticut Faces Friday Day Of Reckoning”

    • LCDR

      Just another liberal crying for someone else’s money while he sits on his couch all day long wearing pajamas in his mother’s basement.

    • The reason wealth hasn’t transferred, is because you Progressives told us “little guys”:

      All you need to do is show up for work or go to school; we have experts who have the answers to your housing needs, your health care needs, your financial needs … no need to plan for your future or actively manage your career, since we can do a better job than you can; just trust us to solve those problems FOR you.

      So many of us just waited for them to transfer that wealth, simply punching in/punching out each day, instead of taking the initiative to actually compete and excel and get the wealth from the table ourselves … never realizing that our “betters” lacked the functional omniscience necessary for them to succeed in that transfer.

      Your way of thinking has left millions comfortably numb to personal economic peril, because they were led to f___ up and trust others to bring prosperity TO them.

      You can accept your share of the blame for that.

      On the other hand, those that did not buy into this Biggest Lie of All have been better able to absorb those shocks … they retained a valuable ability – the ability to work AROUND the errors and mendacity of others, particularly our leaders – through the responsible exercise of their personal initiative.


    Henry Ford doubled the prevailing wage thereby confounding Marxists ever since. Of course, he was the one paying the wages.

    • Jim__L

      His particular market could bear it.

  • LCDR

    The blue model had its place nearly a hundred years ago. But like any good movement, its time has passed and must be replaced with a newer model. But right now, I like seeing liberals continue to wage a rear guard action on what can only be seen as failed policies. Liberals are now entering the era of “Running Out of Other People’s Money.”

  • donqpublic

    So, will the pool robot cleaner be called Jose or Omar?

  • mike green

    This is NOT just a problem that intensifies the retail crisis; it will impact restaurants, both moderate and fast food,
    summer jobs, virtually anyplace that provides entry level work for young people or part time work for retirees. It will result in fewer positions, fewer hours, since almost every rational business has a payroll budget that is a fixed percentage of sales. that budget being divided by the hourly wage = hours available. now maybe a few more dollars in employees pockets will result in other restaurants and stores, in which case the businesses may not cut the schedule, but in most cases it will probably not affect sales in a big enough way to matter. This just adds to the overall destructive effects of the internet economy; people in local communities all over the country are saving pennies on laundry detergent and pet food by buying online. but every time they do, they are reducing or destroying their own customer base in their community.
    whether you sell real estate or insurance or cars, work in health care or construction, own a restaurant – every time a retailer cuts back or fails the ripple extends to suppliers, utilities, commercial real estate and reduces jobs in those local companies as well. All of these people used to be your customers

  • Just call me Joe

    When something being done in a complicated environment doesn’t make sense, the way to find the truth is to “Follow the money.”

    A few things stand out about this rush to eliminate jobs. First, is as the article said, venture capitalists and techies will make hundreds of billions of dollars by replacing millions of employees with robots, kiosks, and online websites. Second, many labor union contracts have wage increases tied to minimum wage hikes. Therefore, if minimum wage goes up, the union members will see increases. Most union members today work for the government, so their jobs are not in jeopardy. The rest are less concerned about fewer jobs in their line of work than how much they personally get paid. Unions have always worked to shut out competition of other employees.

    The really interesting thing is that many of the protestors are paid by those VCs to shout to eliminate jobs for the unskilled.

    • The rest are less concerned about fewer jobs in their line of work than how much they personally get paid.

      Until they – unexpectedly! – lose their jobs in the rush to “fewer” … unexpectedly! because they have been led to believe that those in “authority” will secure those jobs FOR them as they just punch in, do what they’re told, and punch out, even when the competition does more than that.

      This is one of the most significant failures of the Blue Social Model: keeping us “little guys” comfortably numb to the need to actually do what it takes to be competitive and keep those jobs.

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