Minimum Wage, Maximum Economic Ignorance

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Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 8.51.54Ten random thoughts on the minimum wage:

* The idea that a minimum wage job should provide a living wage demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of economics and the market.

* The greatest portion of the budget of virtually any business is wages and benefits.

* Minimum wage employers, such as fast food restaurants, make very little profit on most items they sell; their profit margin is tiny.

* Any decrease in the profit margin must be recouped by charging more for their products.

* The market for such products is so competitive that charging more often decreases patronage, which reduces overall profits.

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Watcher’s Council Nominations for 05-04-16

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The School of Athens by Raphael

The School of Athens by Raphael

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

13-trump-laughs.w529.h352

Council News:

This week we were sad indeed to say goodbye to long time Council member Brent Parrish at The Right Planet.

Brent is taking a hiatus from blogging to concentrate on family and business concerns, and all of us wish him the best. And of course, as a plugged in member of the WoW community, we’ll look forward to hearing from from him in the future in our Forum,our inter-Council threads and perhaps, even an article as a non-council submission if he gets the bug to write again, which we certainly hope he will.

This means we currently have a vacancy on the Watcher’s Council, the oldest and most established blogging group in the ‘sphere. Any talented, interested parties should contact me directly by leaving a comment on any story on JoshuaPundit including your name, site name and e-mail info as well as anything else you wish to include. Needless to say,it won’t be published but I will respond promptly to your inquiry and tell you what’s involved.

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions:

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Mr. Inevitable?

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Some now suggest that Donald Trump is inevitable. It may be so, but this poster illustrates my primary concern about him:

Pass-Trump-copy

We really have no idea of his principles. This poster illustrates my primary concern about his supporters: none of them actually know his principles:

Trumps-Act-copy

The last time we elected someone that was a blank slate, a blank slate upon which anyone could project their own perceptions, irrational and wrong as they were, things didn’t work out well for America. We can be mad as hell, but it’s a good idea to know the principles of anyone we elect president and be reasonably certain those principles will make repairing the damage not only possible, but likely.

Who You Gonna Believe? Hillary, Or Yer Own Lyin’ Eyes And Ears?

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Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 13.21.49My most significant worry about Donald Trump is that, apart from profit and self-aggrandizement, he has no firm principles. Certainly, he can’t name, explain, or stick to any. Hillary Clinton, however, is an entirely different animal. She is as much a socialist as Bernie Sanders, but is willing to tell any lie to hide her true principles. Consider this from The Federalist: 

During CNN’s Democratic townhall event in Ohio on Sunday night [03-13-16], Hillary Clinton said she wants to move away from using coal as an energy source — even if it means eliminating jobs in the process.

‘We’re gonna put a lot of coal miners and coal companies outta business,’ Clinton said.

Even in Democrat circles, that didn’t play well. So more recently, as Fox News reports:

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The Watcher’s Council Forum For 05-02-16

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The Forum, Rome, Italy credit: wikipedia.en

The Forum, Rome, Italy
credit: wikipedia.en

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Have Been Your Most Influential Books?

Fausta’s Blog: Many, may books, but the one that made a difference when I was very ill almost twenty years ago is “Toughness Training for Life: A Revolutionary Program for Maximizing Health, Happiness and Productivity.”

I had developed hypoglycemia – not diabetes – was misdiagnosed twice, and it took me two years to find the right way to control my blood sugars. Loehr’s book gave me a roadmap of sorts, and I highly recommend it.

Bookworm Room: A lot of books have made a difference to me. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People. I’d grown up in a very European household, which meant that I was snotty, prissy, and judgmental. Dale Carnegie’s book was the first step in my becoming a much nicer person, one who learned to respect and value others.
  2. Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice, a book that helped me gain a bit of perspective about the (to me) overwhelming life choices I was making in my early and mid-20s. The book’s structure is a little unusual, as the narrator, Noel, is the lawyer for a young woman named Jean Paget. He meets her after the war because he is the executor of a will that leaves her a legacy.

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The Freddie Gray Case, Update 33.7: The Ferguson Effect–Baltimore Version

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credit: patch.com

credit: patch.com

Have you, gentle readers, ever wanted to be a police officer? You have?! OK then; stand up straight, raise your right hand, and repeat after me:

Me: “I…”

You: “I…”

Me: “Your name…”

You: “Your name…”

Me: “No, your own name…”

You: “Your own name…”

Me: “No, I mean…OK, OK! Am a police officer.”

You: “Am a police officer.”

Me: Booga booga booga!”

You: “Booga Booga Booga?”

Congratulations! You are all virtual police officers of the SMM police force until the end of this article. A benefit of attaining this prestigious position is that all of the organizational knowledge of a police officer has been automatically downloaded into your subconscious as you read this sentence. Did you feel the tingle of excitement?

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Utah, Pornography and Knowing It When We See It

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credit; fox news.com

credit; fox news.com

I remember Playboy in its glory days. Lithe, busty, gorgeous young women gracing the centerfold of a magazine people admitted reading “only for the articles.” In truth, in a pre-Internet age, Playboy was one of the few sources for its kind of literature and journalism, but oh, the young ladies! Imagine my disappointment when I learned of airbrushing.

But the world was changing. Following the lead of less respectable publications, Playboy began depicting pubic hair, mere wisps at first, but eventually, entire rain forests. The imminent downfall of civilization was forecast, yet civilization survived.

Playboy continues to hang on, but recently announced it will no longer publish nudity. Anyone still subscribing will be doing it for the articles.

The subject of this article is one I broached in The Porn Paradox in 2014. In the 60s and 70s, those seeking XXX-rated movies found themselves, with like-minded souls—mostly male–in tiny, sordid little theaters where popcorn sales were not a major money-maker. And then came VCR technology, which, in a span of a few years, ended the XXX theater industry, replacing it with the XXX video industry. DVD’s increased the convenience of distribution and ownership, and expanded the specialized offerings available in the porn industry. The imminent downfall of civilization was forecast, yet civilization survived.

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The Light Of Life

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The moment...

The moment…  credit: the telegraph

The more we learn about the natural world, the greater opportunity we have to become closer to the source of life.   

To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.’

Professor Teresa Woodruff, Northwestern University

Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film.

An explosion of tiny sparks erupts from the egg at the exact moment of conception.

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Avid Readers: An Endangered Species

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 9.40.50 PMI regularly despair about the state of my students. With relatively few exceptions–fewer seemingly each year–they are not readers. Oh, they can read. Some of them are able to read aloud quite well. But fewer and fewer of my students show the benefits of the avid reader.

What might those benefits be? Before I explain, consider this from Stephanie Cohen at acculturated.com: 

I recently spent time with a class of fourteen-year-olds, talking about words, specifically words strung together to form speech. I started out by asking them whether they thought words could make people act in a particular way. ‘Can words lead to action?’ I asked. There was some thinking and mulling over.

We spent several weeks discussing, reading, and studying many of the greatest (and infamous) words read aloud: the Gettysburg Address, Ronald Reagan’s ‘Tear Down This Wall’ speech in Germany, John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, a host of Winston Churchill speeches from World War II, Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor speeches, and some of the best contemporary commencement addresses given in the US in recent years. Many of these speeches were written in reaction to events, and most of them called on their respective audiences to do something (be calm, have fortitude, ensure victory, reach for success). Whether or not the words we read actually shaped (or changed) history can be debated, but the more important question is whether words can shape conscience, which affects not just one action but a lifetime of actions. This is something teachers have long relied on the power of literature to do.

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