Friday, November 7, 2014

"Reform" Does Not Equal "Amnesty"

According to exit Polls, a majority of voters stated that they want ‘Immigration Reform’.

Obama and his thugs are making the claim that this is a call for a ‘Comprehensive Immigration Bill’.  As everyone knows ‘Comprehensive’ is LIBERAL SPEAK for amnesty.   Of course, the media blindly echoes whatever the administration feeds them.

The truth is that every poll taken over the past two years show that 70% to 85% of those polled oppose amnesty!

A similar number want the borders sealed as a first step!

Over 80% want existing laws enforced.

Several state and county governments have recently gone public with reports that the only ‘illegal immigrants’ that ICE will accept are those who are criminals.  The reason these agencies have gone public is that just days after turning these felons over to ICE, ICE has released them back onto the streets!

Just over a week ago, the administration issued a press release admitting that some of those aliens that they released were in fact criminals.  We know from several sources that ICE only accepts felons, so how is it that when they are released back on to our streets, that only some of them are “criminals”? 

It is clear that the American people do not want or support amnesty, they want the borders sealed, and they want, at a minimum, the criminal al

It would serve this President well if he were to heed another Exit Poll fact:

61% of those polled, stated that they voted “TO STOP OBAMA!”

It does not get much clearer than that!


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Send feedback to:  WatchDog

Thursday, October 23, 2014

4 Things Every American Should Know About Uber.Com, AirBnB.Com, et. al.

by Austin Hill
 Uber.Com. AirBnB.Com. TaskRabbit.Com. What are these websites about, and why are they so controversial?

Let's be clear: these websites, and others like them, are online hubs for what is best described as the emerging "freelance services industries."  The service providers you find through these websites are most certainly feelancers,  not established corporate business owners or employees of other peoples' companies.

Uber.Com, a San Francisco-based venture that matches people who need a ride from one end of a city to another with people who have cars and are willing to travel, is perhaps the most high profile of these entities.Visit the company's website, download the app, and search for people who are ready right now to shuttle you about. If you want to be a freelance service provider, Uber.Com has a screening process whereby you can register to deliver transportation services.

This very basic " seller-hooks-up-with-buyer" type of transaction is happening at an increasing rate in cities all across the country, all on a freelance non-professional basis and mostly all via online connections. Need someone in your area to run errands or perform household chores? TaskRabbit.Com might help you find a provider who's ready right now. Got an extra room to rent for people visiting your town? AirBnB.Com connects travelers with in-home accomodations. If Uber.Com doesn't have the ride you want, their main competitor Lyft.Com might be helpful.

Be careful to not form an opinion about the freelance services industry too quickly. And don't decide that it is irrelevant  and choose to ignore it. Consider these important facts:

1) Freelance service providers are business owners unto themselves, and not employees: The most egregious examples of people misunderstanding this generally happen in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other large cities where President Barack Obama's economic entitlement policies are still popular. Indeed, protesters have demonstrated against Uber.Com in their home turf of San Francisco demanding that Uber drivers be given membership in a labor union.

But drivers for Uber.Com are independent contractors, not employees, and as such they are NOT "laborers" in the organized labor sense. If you don't like the going rates for Uber rides, then start your own freelance business without Uber.Com's assistance or get out of the industry altogether. But understand that when you're a business owner you can't just simply "protest" or "demonstrate" like the AFL-CIO suggests. Business owners have to be more responsible and mature than that.

2) The freelance services industry is a huge disruption to bigger, more powerful interests:  Guess who doesn't like  Uber.Com ride sharing services? The established taxi cab industry. And can you imagine who might not like AirBnB.Com providers renting a room in their home? The established hotel and motel industry. And mayors, governors, and elected officials nationwide are disposed to not liking any of this freelance enterprise because they don't know how to tax it and regulate it.

To be fair, many taxi service operators have a legitimate gripe with Uber.Com and Lyft.Com. In most cities across the U.S. (some far worse than others), owning and operating a taxi business requires thousands of dollars in training, licensing, permitting, bonding, insuring, and permitting, just to get government approval to launch the business. And then there are the recurring expenses of permit renewals and vehicle inspections - once again, all paid to the government - just to keep the business going. 

 This same type of expensive government taxation and regulation applies to just about every other type of service industry one can Envision. And if private individuals are undercutting, say,  a hotel owners' revenues by renting out rooms in their houses and apartments, even after the hotel owner has paid all his or her government fees, then yes, the hotel owner should be upset.

Politicians share in the outrage over successful freelancers. Less business at the hotel or the taxi company means, in most cases, less tax revenue for the politicians to spend.  If you're intending to become a freelance business operator, beware: there are lots of people who have an interest in your failure.

3) A successful freelance economy requires a society that respects individual rights: There may be few Americans who are willing to deny that they support "individual rights." But when confronted with what "individual rights" entails, many of us begin to hedge.

The rights of individuals to freely sell their services on the open market means competition for established industries -and these established industries often have powerful lobbying capacities than can pressure politicians to pass laws that squelch the freelancers. Do we really respect everybody's individual rights in the U.S., even if the exercise of one's rights means that my immediate financial wellbeing is challenged?

4) Resolving the disparities between established industries and freelance services providers will require less government regulation, not more:  In New York City - another region where President Obama's vision of politicians determining economic winners and losers remains quite popular - Mayor Bill DeBlasio has determined that individuals who rent-out a room in their house or apartment are violating city law, and has vowed to run AirBnB.Com out of the city.

On the other hand, in Spokane, Washington - a city where American free enterprise is still generally accepted - the city just crafted new transportation industry regulations that both the taxi cab industry and Uber.Com seem to like. Despite city council members' threats to run Uber.Com out of their city, the voices of freelancers managed to be heard and the result was a compromise that subjects Uber.Com and its service providers to some new, minimal levels of government regulations, while reducing the heavy-handed burdens the city has historically placed upon traditional taxi operators.

Will the USA move to respect and uphold the rights of freelance service providers? Or will we continue to embrace the Obama-styled protections and priviledges for large corporations and old-school traditional groups?  Americans have an important choice to make - and the economic wellbeing of individuals is weighing in the balance.
 
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Tell Them "NO:" Americans Must Stop State And Local Lawmakers From Damaging The Emergent Small Business Revival

by Austin Hill
Participation in the US labor force is at an all-time low, consumption of taxpayer funded welfare services is at an all-time high, and the greatest level of "job creation" is in the part-time category.

So what, naturally, would city, county and state lawmakers pursue in response to  a new, entrepreneurial small business startup movement? More taxes, regulations, restrictions and prohibitions, as a matter of course. In the era of Barack Obama such policies are "the American way." 

It has to do with what is often referred-to as "the sharing economy." Despite the socialistic sounding name, the essence of "the sharing economy" is actually very positive. The term is used to describe individuals and organizations providing, on a very basic and freelance basis, products and services to people who want to pay for them, and the seller and buyer are usually brought together through a website or online community. Such service providers are, indeed, small business owners, even if they don't have a storefront or office or  their own dedicated website.

Take for example Uber.Com, a San Francisco-based venture that matches people who need a ride from one end of a city to another with people who have cars and are willing to travel. Visit the company's website, download the app, and search for people who are ready right now to shuttle you about. If you want to be a provider, Uber.Com has a screening process whereby you can register to deliver transportation services.

This very basic " seller-hooks-up-with-buyer" type of transaction is happening at an increasing rate in cities all across the country, all on a freelance non-professional basis and mostly all via online connections. Need someone in your area to run errands or perform household chores? TaskRabbit.Com might help you find a provider who's ready right now. Got an extra room to rent for people visiting your town? AirBnB.Com connects travelers with in-home accommodations.

 One might think that Americans getting off their backsides and working, even if only on a freelance basis, would be a good thing. Yet city governments in Dallas, Seattle, Tampa, New York, Portland and Oklahoma City have all sought to impose strict regulations and, in some cases, prohibit these types of freelance services businesses, largely because the freelancers are not taxed and regulated like established handyman, hotel and taxicab companies. At the state level, Arizona, North Carolina and Virginia have all sought similar regulations and restrictions.

If you happen to be in the minority of the population that believes that government should encourage, rather than discourage entrprenuership of this sort, consider spending time figuring out who serves on your local city council and county board of supervisors, and who represents you in your state legislature. Then contact these people and politely ask them to stay out of the way of the emergent "sharing economy," so they don't kill it before it becomes fully grown.

Don't expect your local politican to agree with you, that the sharing economy can and should flourish without his or her special meddling. Be prepared for a barage of rhetoric, but also have a response.  Consider for example, the following accusations that are frequently made about the "sharing economy" freelancers, and the facts that underlay these claims:

A) Sharing economy services providers are"un-trained and un-licensed": Sometimes this is sort-of true, but not entirely. Consider the ridesharing services that Uber.Com or Lyft.Com distribute. Labor union bureaucrats and politicians lament that the drivers aren't trained and licesned as cab drivers, yet both websites require a service provider to be a licensed driver in their jurisdiction. If politicians want to impugn people for "selling" an occassional ride across town via a website, they best crackdown on people that provide rides to friends and family without compensation as well - there isn't much difference between the two. And if the goal is to "level the playing field" between freelance ride providers and professional cab drivers, then cab drivers should get some relief from the burden of government regulation, rather than freelance drivers being saddle with more of it.

B) "Sharing economy services aren't taxed and that's unfair to businesses that are taxed": Again, this is sort of a "kind of true kind of not true" proposition. Granted the person who rents a room in their home or provides a ride on occassion isn't subject to the taxes, regulations, licensure and authorization fees that an actual motel owner or cab operator has to put up with. But ride-share providers pay taxes on the fuel, tires and insurance that they consume when they're driving, and room hosts pay taxes on the energy and food consumed by each of their in-home visitors.

C) "Sharing economy providers need to be subject to the same regulations and taxes as more established business owners, just so its 'fair' " : No doubt there is at times a disparity between freelancer service providers and established shop owners. The question is, what will remedy the disparity, and make things more fair? Politicians quite naturally want more control over all businesses, not less, and the option they never want us to consider is reducing the burdens of taxes and regulations on existing businesses instead of increasing it for the freelancers.

Will Americans allow selfish politicians and business bosses wrap their chains around freelancers? Or will we demand that the path remain clear for the freelancers? Perhaps we'll begin to act like Americans once again, and tell the politicians to back-off.


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Send feedback to:  WatchDog
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Immigration: Past And Present

Every time that an objection to blanket amnesty is raised, we hear a retort of “we are a nation of immigrants”

The statement, “we are a nation of immigrants” is the truth.  However, it is a lie to use that statement as a justification for amnesty!

Current science tells us that the ancestors of both the North American and South American Indians emigrated from Asia some 56,000 years ago.  European settlers started immigrating to North America in the 1500’s and in the late 1700’s; those immigrants formed the new nation, the United States of America.   Very soon thereafter, that nation took control over who entered, who stayed, and who would become citizens.  We controlled our borders!

This nation of immigrants was built by people that desired to assimilate in to the culture that was America.  They had no desire to remake America in to a little Italy or new Germany or wherever it was that they came from.  They did not come for a handout; they came because they wanted to be Americans.

It was my privilege, to grow up in small towns were Italian, Polish, Hungarian, German, and Slavic immigrants were our neighbors.  They all came here legally.  They all wanted to earn their citizenship.  And they all learned English.

At the bottom of the hill on which we once lived, a very nice Italian man operated a small grocery store.  He attended classes twice a week as he studied for his citizenship test.  I once saw him throw his brother-in-law out of his store for speaking Italian rather than English.

That was typical of the immigrants that I knew.

Today, the administration wants to grant amnesty to between 10 million and 50 million people that are in this country illegally.  Note: they are illegal; they are criminals.  Many of them have also committed murder, rape, armed robbery, and various other crimes.  Several are members of very dangerous gangs.

These do not want to assimilate in to American culture.  They come looking for handouts.  They march in the town square making demands.

They most certainly aren't interested in learning English.  A Hispanic group (2 adult males, one adult woman and a couple of children) lives on the next street.  One male speaks English; his brother, after 12 years living in America speaks very little English, and the woman who has lived here for 15 years speaks no English at all.

There is no doubt that many illegals are also voting.  Several studies have indicated that as many as 10 million voted in 2012 and those votes were the determining factor in several elections.

Granting amnesty to this group will guarantee that the socialist policies of the Democrat party will be the permanent rule of the nation.


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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The "Sharing Economy": Will Americans Embrace The Entrepreneurial Revival?

by Austin Hill
Back in the first century a poet named Juvenal surmised that his fellow citizens of Rome would put up with just about anything from their government, as long as they had enough food and entertainment.  "Give them bread and circuses, and they'll never revolt" he wrote sarcastically.

In the 1920's Fascist Prime Minister Benito Musolini said much the same thing of his fellow citizens in Italy. The people that he governed would tolerate just about anything he wanted to do, Musoli suggested,  "as long as the trains run on time."

Today  Americans  seem as tolerant of bad abusive government as the ancient Romans and the 20th century Italians were back in the day. But statist politicans in America may just find that they've "jumped the shark," so to speak, if they continue to selfishly manipulate the  "the sharing economy."

Despite the socialistic sounding name, the essence of "the sharing economy" is actually very positive. The term is used to describe individuals and organizations providing, on a very basic and freelance basis, products and services to people who want to pay for them, and the seller and buyer are usually brought together through a website or online community.

Take for example Uber.Com, a San Francisco-based venture that matches people who need a ride from one end of a city to another with people who have cars and are willing to travel.  Visit the company's website, download the app, and search for people who are ready right now to shuttle you about.  If you want to be a provider, Uber.Com has a screening process whereby you can register to deliver transportation services.

This very basic " seller-hooks-up-with-buyer" type of transaction is happening at an increasing rate in cities all across the country, all on a freelance non-professional basis and mostly all via online connections.  Need someone in your area to run errands or perform household chores?  TaskRabbit.Com might help you find a provider who's ready right now.  Got an extra room to rent for people visiting your town?  AirBnB.Com connects travelers with in-home accommodations.

With people freely choosing to sell their services - and others freely choosing to buy them - it may seem confusing why anbody would object to this type of productivity. But established business owners - small business owners and large corporations alike - don't like the competition, labor unions hate it because the service providers aren't "organized," and politicians think they're "losing tax revenue" that otherwise rightfully belongs to them.

But before you throw your support to politicians and bureaucrats who promise to throw cold water on the embers of "the sharing economy," consider the things that they say, and the realities behind the rhetoric:

A) Sharing economy services providers are"un-trained and un-licensed":  Sometimes this is sort-of true, but not entirely. Consider the ridesharing services that Uber.Com or Lyft.Com distribute. Labor union bureaucrats and politicians lament that the drivers aren't  trained and licensed as cab drivers, yet both websites require a service provider to be a licensed driver in their jurisdiction.  If politicians want to impugn people for "selling" an occasional ride across town via a website, they best crackdown on people that provide rides to friends and family without compensation as well - there isn't much difference between the two.

B) "Sharing economy services aren't taxed and that's unfair to businesses that are taxed": Again, this is sort of a "kind of true kind of not true" proposition.  Granted the person who rents a room in their home  or provides a ride on occasion isn't subject to the taxes, regulations, licensure and authorization fees that an actual motel owner or cab operator has to put up with.  But rideshare providers pay taxes on the fuel, tires and insurance that they consume when they're driving, and room hosts pay taxes on the energy and food consumed by each of their in-home visitors.  

C) "Sharing economy providers need to be subject to the same regulations and taxes as more established business owners, just so its 'fair' " :  No doubt there is at times a disparity between freelancer service providers and established shop owners. The question is, what will remedy the disparity, and make things more fair?  Politicians quite naturally want more control over all businesses, not less, and the option thhey never want us to consider is reducing the burdens of taxes and regulations on existing businesses instead of increasing it for the freelancers. 

Will Americans allow selfish politicians and business bosses wrap their chains around freelancers? Or will we demand that the path remain clear for the freelancers?  Perhaps we'll begin to act like Americans once again, instead of Italians and ancient Romans.  


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Send feedback to: watchdog
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

But It Sounds Good: Democrat Economic Rhetoric And America’s Critical Thinking Deficit

by Austin Hill 
How can the United States of America jump-start job creation? Obviously there’s nobody better to answer that question than a politician who’s been on the U.S. government payroll for nearly half a century and has never owned or operated a business – Vice President Joe Biden.
“There’s no reason in the world why an American working 40 hours a week has to live in poverty” Biden stated as he began his stint filling-in for President Obama with the recent “President’s Weekly Address” to the nation. “Right now a worker earning the federal minimum wage makes about $14,500 a year.  And you all know that's incredibly hard for an individual to live on, let alone raise a family on” he stated.
Biden was – again- promoting the Democrat party’s 2014 midterm election theme of raising the federal minimum wage requirement.  “If we raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, that same worker will be making $20,200 a year—and with existing tax credits would earn enough to bring that family or a family of four out of poverty” he claimed
The Obama-Biden legislative agenda is going nowhere in Congress, at least not right now. Consequently, it’s easy to dismiss Biden’s rhetoric as nothing more than that – mere words to push a political agenda and not much more.
Yet America’s existing fiscal and economic policy has over the past several years been driven by this same kind of “mere rhetoric.”  Biden may lack President Obama’s charisma when pleading the case for a policy initiative, but our nation’s current economic crisis has been caused in no small part by an electorate that heard the President’s charming words about more plentiful, less expensive healthcare, and believed him.
So before you dismiss the rhetoric about the magic of minimum wage laws, try some critical analysis of what the Vice President said, and consider the veracity of his claims. To start, consider this line:  “there’s no reason in the world why an American working 40 hours a week has to live in poverty.”
On the surface it’s difficult to disagree with that statement, but consider its implications. For one, it begs the question “what is poverty anway?” (I’ll get to that in a moment).

Additionally, it presupposes that one is entitled to something on the order of “middle class” status simply because one puts in 40 hours a week working at some job. That is, this statement of Biden’s ignores the fact that peoples’ contributions to the economy vary according to their capacities, their skills, and the expectations placed upon them– and with these variables comes a variance in the wage one earns.
 
This harsh reality implies that, yes, one can work really hard – even 40 hours a week – and still not earn enough money to live at the comfort level they desire.  But Americans have been facing this dilemma in a variety of ways since the earliest days of our nation’s founding.
Even today there are Americans who are choosing to work more than 40 hours a week, working multiple jobs, and making sacrifices to increase their education and skill levels as a means of surviving the Obama economy, rather than following the Democrat party’s ways of “protesting,” “organizing,” “demonstrating,”  “demanding,” and “signing up” (for taxpayer-funded benefits). Such independence doesn’t serve the interests of any politician who prefers to be a nanny rather than a statesman, but it is nonetheless the type of initiative and resolve that sustains an economy, and a civil society.
And what of this issue of “poverty?”  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has its own complex and circuitous mathematical formula for defining who lives “below the poverty line,” a formula that varies on a region-by-region basis. But this we know to be mostly true nationwide:  our federal government, along with the departments of health and welfare among the states, to one degree or another regard a person without a mobile telephone to be living “in poverty.”
 
In recent years it has garnered attention as the “Obamaphone” program, but in fact the federal telephone subsidy program has a history that dates back over half a century. Today, when one goes to their state department of health and welfare to sign up for the federal Food Stamps or Medicaid programs (both are federal programs administered by state health and welfare systems), most states automatically enroll that individual in the “free phone” program as well (why would anybody aspire to a higher wage – for that matter, why would anybody want to work – if phones, food and healthcare are available “for free?”).
Will Americans continue to empower politicians who implement policies based on feel-good yet illogical rhetoric?  Free people throughout the industrialized world – places like Canada, New Zealand, India, Australia, Germany, France and the U.K. – have begun voting-in governments that encourage work and wealth creation, rather than offering hand-outs and driving up debt.
Americans can make this choice – or we can continue voting for our nation’s demise. November’s election should give an indication of whether or not we, the people, are seeing beyond the empty rhetoric.


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Send feedback to:  WatchDog
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Which Way, USA? America At A Crossroads With Economic And Energy Policy


 by Austin Hill
 Will Americans continue allowing a radicalized environmental agenda to animate Washington, one that prohibits the utilization of natural resources – oil in particular – and that squelches the nation’s economy? Or could it be that, at such a time as this, rationality might take-hold in the USA yet again?
As if our own problems aren’t a sufficient reason to bolster the U.S. energy industry, the world is now upended by a Russia that appears intent on re-creating another Soviet Union while simultaneously forming an energy axis with China. If America could supply more of the world’s natural gas and oil supplies, it would mean more wealth flowing in to the U.S., more American employment, and greater stabilization for the Western world, even at a time when the NATO nations appear to be in a leadership vacuum without steady leadership from the U.S. 
 Instead, eco-warriors on the left are poring big money in to political advertisements bashing congressional Republicans who support the Keystone pipeline project with Canada, and some are even threatening to abandon the Democrat party if President Obama doesn’t abandon the pipeline project altogether.
The real needs of human beings – needs for employment, expanding opportunity, and a stable economy – take a backseat to the “one true religion” of green energy.  Yet as the American left continues to worship at the same altar and the American president tries not to offend them, other nations of the free and industrialized world are actually trying to improve their economies and get out of debt.   
 Consider Canada and its Prime Minster Stephen Harper. First elected in 2006, Harper has over the past eight years championed free trade, federal government spending reductions, and  - a dramatic boost in oil production. Today the Canadian government is on track to be debt-free in 2015, as Harper tirelessly lobbies the U.S. to become more cooperative with pipeline projects and energy exploration.
Then consider the country of Australia and it’s new Prime Minister Tony Abbott. It wasn’t sufficient that in 2013 Australia was already a global leader in iron ore and timber production and that its’ government was set to close out the calendar year debt-free – no, the citizenry of the land “down under” wanted an even more business-friendly and fiscally sound government for themselves, so they elected a candidate for Prime Mister who repeated from the campaign trail that the global climate change agenda is “absolute crap.”
Shortly before his election victory Abbott was asked in a nationwide television interview “with our government debt so low, why do you want to cut government spending even further?”
“Because there’s still waste in our government, that’s why” Abbott replied. After his September 7, 2013 landslide win he set a date of July 1, 2014 by which he intends to eliminate his nation’s “carbon tax.”
And despite that fact that American eco-zealots ignore this, it is nonetheless a fact that the European nations are abandoning their “green” status. In January the European commission, the legislative body of the union that sets policies shared among the member nations, voted to officially abandon specific sets of “climate change protocols.” Even more stunning, the commission appears to be preparing to allow fracking among the member nations, with the hope of making Europe a leader in the global natural gas and oil shale markets.

America may continue to embrace the economic hostility of Obama, Biden, and the radicalized Democrat party.  But the rest of the industrialized world is moving in the exact opposite direction of our President and Vice President, away from the Obama traditions of dangerous government debt and economy-killing environmental zealotry. 

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Canadian News Anchor Gives Warning To American Gun Owners



]


Can't happen here:

That is what they said in England!
 (Now you go to prison if you so much as scare a criminal with a TOY gun)

  That  is what they said in Australia!
(Australia is almost as bad as England)

 You have just seen what happened in Canada!

Does anyone really need to tell you what happened in Germany? 

The truth is that every gun registration has led to confiscation! 

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This Just In: Low Information Voters Serve Up A Bad Economy


By Austin Hill
 If you’ve ever wondered how the United States got in to its current mess of a stagnant economy and out-of-control government, I have a suggestion. Take a good look at what a handful of voters in one of America’s finer suburbs did to themselves and the rest of their community, and realize that it is a microcosm for what’s happening all across the country.
 

The city in question is Seatac, a small suburb in the state of Washington (it’s name is derived from the larger neighboring cities of Seattle and Tacoma).  Last year a group of activists there were frustrated with the preponderance of low paying entry-level service industry jobs, so they did what seemed only logical:  they collected enough signatures on petitions to launch a  ballot initiative that, if passed, would require a minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.

The city was soon flooded with cute campaign signs. Featuring the silhouetted image of a young child tossing a toy glider in to the air as the glider pointed upwards, the slogan read, “vote ‘YES’ for proposition 1 and watch our economy take off!”

Unionized workers at the Seattle Tacoma (frequently abbreviated “SEA-TAC”) International Airport and at nearby hotels and restaurants took to the streets urging passage of the initiative. And while the margin of victory was so slim that the election results weren’t certified until three weeks after Election Day, on November 26th proposition 1 was declared the law of land.

The Huffington Post called it “historic.” CNN Money said business owners had been “stung.”  The true believers in big government declared it a harbinger of things to come, and celebrated the new wealth that would be theirs once the new wage requirement took hold on January 1 of 2014.

]But then suddenly the rule of law got in the way of the liberal progressive agenda.  A court challenge quickly ensued and a county judge determined that, for a couple of very good reasons, the new minimum wage requirement wouldn’t apply to many of the workers who  had campaigned for it.

For one, the employees at SEA-TAC airport wouldn’t see a wage increase because SEA-TAC airport is owned and operated by the city of Seattle. While the city of Seatac is adjacent to Seattle – and the name of the city of “Seatac” and the abbreviated name of the “SEA-TAC” airport are pronounced the same, the laws of the city of Seatac don’t have jurisdiction in the city of Seattle – so the passage of proposition 1 had no impact on the wages paid to Seattle city employees.

Secondly, the judge ruled that even within the city of Seatac the new minimum wage requirement wouldn’t apply to unionized workers.  When members of a labor union agree to a labor contract with their employer, the terms of the contract are legally binding for both the workers and the employer.  The government, so the judge ruled, has no right to arbitrarily impose a law that would change the terms of the contract that private parties (the workers and the employer) had already put in place.  Thus unionized hotel and restaurant workers would continue to earn their less-than-$15.00 per hour wage for the duration of their union contract, despite all their tireless efforts to turn out the vote. 

The frustration didn’t begin and end with unionized workers and airport staffers. Many non-unionized workers in the city of Seatac were disappointed to learn that the new law only applied to businesses of certain staffing sizes – smaller companies with few employees didn’t have to comply. Even so, small business owners in Seatac are still feeling the pain of workers resigning to take higher-paying jobs with bigger companies.

]Interestingly, a tiny portion of the city’s population created the chaos that has engulfed all of Seatac. With a citywide population of 27, 667, less than fifty percent of the residents – 12, 108 – are registered voters.  Among them, only 6, 003 people actually cared enough to vote, and Proposition 1 passed with only a 77 vote margin.

In an era where members of Congress vote on unread bills and the President signs them in to law, it stands to reason that workers, union leaders and private residents could pass a ballot initiative without understanding the most basic things about the initiative’s limitations, implications and jurisdictions.  We live at a time when Americans are far more interested in sports scores and reports of Justin Bieber’s latest arrest, than they are interested in the inner-workings of their government and the economy, or even the history of their own country.

Such foolishness causes uncertainty for businesses, and uncertainty kills jobs.  Until Americans care enough to start reading the fine print again, conditions aren’t likely to get much better.
  

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Obama Administration Is Raiding Medicare To Pay For Obamacare".

Citing proposed cuts in "Medicare Advantage" plans, Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the Obama administration is raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

Scott was in Washington over the weekend for a National Governors Association meeting and met with President Barack Obama. In a press release Monday, Scott said he had asked Obama "to fix Obamacare immediately."

"We learned last week that Medicare is being raided to pay for Obamacare, which is hurting our seniors, who could lose access to the doctors they liked and were told they could keep," Scott said. "We need to give our seniors a voice and ask the president directly to not pay for Obamacare by raiding Medicare. He has stopped and delayed other broken parts of the healthcare law. He should do the same with this," the release said.

Appearing Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World With Neil Cavuto," the Republican governor said he's seen 300,000 Floridians lose health plans they were promised they could keep, and now senior citizens, a significant part of the state's population, are telling him they can't find a doctor who accepts Medicare.

"It's totally different from what our citizens were promised," Scott said.

Cavuto noted that several of Scott's fellow governors said during the weekend conference that Obamacare isn't going to be repealed, so it is up to them to find ways to make it work.

"Well, it should happen," Scott replied. "This president's not going to do it, but somebody's got to fix this."


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