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March 29, 2012

How San Francisco’s $10.24 minimum wage hurts the people it allegedly helps

NBC Bay Area, March 29 brings us another example of the tyranny of good intentions:
Signs posted at Subway sandwich shops sadly inform San Francisco patrons -- we hear Willie Brown is a big fan -- that "all SUBWAY Restaurants in SF County DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN Subway National $5.00 Promotions," according to the newspaper.

[…] Apparently, the city's new minimum wage, raised to $10.24 as of Jan. 1, make $5 footlongs an impossible business model.
Apparently the economic concept is too difficult for the compassionate left to grasp: Raising the minimum wage also raises the cost of items sold at businesses that employ minimum-wage workers.  As these workers go out and spend their raise, the extra income is consumed by the price increases, and the employees are not much better off than they were before. 

When employers are allowed to pay wages at a level where each employee’s labor is a net economic benefit to the business, prices remain stable (absent other upward pressures on costs, such as government regulations or taxes).

The best way for a low-wage employee to better his life is to make himself more valuable to his employer through merit, or to get some training and find a better job.  When he does that, and the employer has the freedom to pay the employee what his labor is worth, everybody wins.

March 15, 2012

How to know if we really believe in the right to free speech

Mark Steyn, in a recent speech given in Australia:
Anyone can be in favour of free speech for Barney the Dinosaur and the Wiggles, but if you’re not in favour of free speech you find offensive and repellent and loathsome, you’re not in favour of free speech at all. And you’re on the side of creeping totalitarianism.
Ironically, a generation ago it was the left that claimed the need to remind conservatives of this truth.