Hunky Dory

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is driving down the road, when he notices Avery LIBRELLE by the side of the road.  LIBRELLE is standing by the trunk of a Chevy Volt; on the trunk is perched a miniature windmill, attached by cables to a terminal under the Volt’s open hood.   LIBRELLE is blowing on the windmill. 

BERG sighs, pulls over.  He gets out of the car, notes that there is no wind – it’s a flat calm – and walks up to LIBRELLE.

BERG:  Hey, what’s…

LIBRELLE:  Hah, Merg!  The economy is doing fantastic!  You were wrong!

BERG:  Um, what now? 

LIBRELLE:  Unemployment is under 6%

BERG:  That’s that’s because so many people have left the workforce, as we see on this chart here…:

 

…which is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Labor Force Participation Rate, representing the percentage of the labor force – able-bodied people between 16 and 70 – that are actually working.  As you can see, since Obama’s election, that number has plummeted from the mid-sixties to under 63%.  .

And six percent of them are unemployed, which means that the actual share of the population that’s working is more like this:

That’s the labor force participation rate minus the unemployed.  Now, if there were an economic recovery going on, that number would be ticking back up. 

LIBRELLE:  Hah, Hah, Hah, Merg!  You’ve been watching too much Faux News!   (Goes back to blowing on the windmill, spinning the blades madly)

BERG: That’s pronounced “foh”, not “fowks”.

LIBRELLE:  Standard pronunciation is a microaggression of the patriarchy!  Anyway – you lie.  The labor force participation rate is dropping because Baby Boomers are retiring!  Hah!

BERG:  That’s a great theory – because statistics show that older people are working less, and that hours and productivity are ticking up among people in their prime working years.

LIBRELLE:  Hah!  Got that right! (LIBRELLE blows on the windmill some more)

BERG:  Except that both of those statements are untrue.  Neither is actually the case. 

Older workers are the only group of workers who are actually increasing their share of the workforce:

And the “inactivity rate” of men between the ages of 25 and 54 – the prime income-earning years – is double what it was during the Reagan Administration…

…and a good third above what it was under Dubya.  And since the “end” of the recession, it’s just kept climbing. 

LIBRELLE:  So you admit you lied to me?

BERG:  Huh?

LIBRELLE: By saying that the stats said one thing, and then showing that they said another!

BERG:  Uh…right.

LIBRELLE:  (Resumes blowing on windmill)

BERG:  What are you doing?

LIBRELLE:  My car ran out of battery.  I’m trying to give it a sustainable jump start. 

BERG:  With a…

LIBRELLE:  With a Personal Wind Generator. 

BERG:   Er…where…

LIBRELLE:  I got it at Sharpened Image.  It was $499. 

BERG:  Don’t you mean “Sharper Image?” 

LIBRELLE:  No. Sharpened.  It’s from Nigeria. 

BERG:  Huh.  Have a great week.

LIBRELLE continues blowing on windmill as BERG walks to his car. 

And SCENE. 

It’s A Mad World

Not only some rock stars, but indeed the Communist Peoples’ Republica of Vietnam gets free enteprise in a way that Mark Dayton, scion of a business family, to say nothing of “community organizer” Barack Obama, never can. 

Maybe the parts of the United States that value economic freedom need to launch a torpedo at a US destroyer…

Reasons To Raise The Minimum Wage

[SCENE:  John "FUZZY" Premisse, age 45, steps out behind a Burger King on a grimy industrial boulevard.  He is paunchy, his hairline a distant memory.  His face, doughy from decades of blue-collar food, is criss-crossed with stress lines.  In the background, the smokestacks of a high-tech incubator park belch smoke into the night sky, the glow of the open code hearth lending a faint glow to the background as he lights a cigarette.  ]

[FUZZY is joined by a much younger man.  It is  his son, Luke "STRETCH" Premisse.  Stretch, age 21, bums a cigarette off his father.  As he lights the cigarette, we see spatter burns on his forearms, accrued through hard years on the deep frier]

STRETCH:  [takes a puff] Busy night. 

FUZZY:  [Takes a long puff, holds it, lets it go slowly]  They’re all busy, in their own way.  [Stares into the distance

STRETCH:  Yeah.  Hey, Dad?  That guy who was talking with Erica the assistant manager?  Who was that?

FUZZY:  [Scowls, with an air of contempt] Pfffft.  Sheee-*t.  Buddy. 

STRETCH:  Buddy?

FUZZY:  Buddy Dayusexmachina. 

STRETCH:  Seems like a nice guy.

FUZZY:  [Spits with contempt]  Sh*t.  He’s a f****ng “earner”.

STRETCH:  “Earner?”

FUZZY:  Someone who earns more than minimum wage. 

STRETCH: Huh.  [Takes a puff on hiscigarette].      

FUZZY:  [also takes a puff].

STRETCH:  So – that’s a bad thing?

FUZZY:  [Looks at his son with an air of alarmed]  What?

STRETCH:  So he earns more than minimum wage.  That’s a bad thing?

FUZZY: [Alarm turns to comtempt].  What the hell?  Is that how I raised you? 

STRETCH:  [Takes a puff, flicks his cigarette, stands a little straighter]  What do you mean?

FUZZY:  We’re minimum wage earners.  My grandfather earned $.35 an hour at a burger joint in the forties.  My father before me?  He started at a buck and a quarter at this same Burger King, back in 1965.  Nineteen Sixty Five!  And he worked away, stayed at that minimum wage, til the day he died at the drive-thru.  I started here in 1983 – I made $3.35 an hour.  Flippin’ burgers, just like you do today!  You probably don’t even remember back in 1997, when Bill Clinton raised the minimum from $4.25 to $5.15.  You were just a baby.  But it was one of the proudest days of my life!

STRETCH:  But…why?

FUZZY:  [Steps aggressively toward his son]  Because the minimum wage got raised!

STRETCH:  Yeah, but…so?

FUZZY:  It’s how our life gets better.  When the minimum wage goes up, we get more money.  How f****ng hard is it? 

STRETCH:  Right.  I get that.  We’re the Premisses; the best burger flippers, frier operators and shake-pourers in the Valley. 

FUZZY:  Damn straight.  [Takes another puff]

STRETCH:  OK…well…Mister Dayusexmachina says that if I learn to run the scheduling system and how to count tills, I could move up to assistant manager.  That’d jack my pay up to $12.50…

FUZZY:  [Drops cigarette in shock, turns on son in muted menace]  What did you just say? 

STRETCH:  They said I could move up…

FUZZY:  [walks closer to son, rage building]  I hear what you said.  You wanna “move up”.  Is that how I raised you?   

STRETCH:  Er…what do you mean?

FUZZY:  We earn minimum wage.  You do.  I do.  My daddy did.  So did his daddy.  That’s what we do.  We’re the Premisses!

STRETCH: But – this would be more than minimum wage…

FUZZY:  [looks son in the eye] Mark Dayton just raised the minimum wage.  We all just got raises. 

STRETCH:  Yeah, but this is even more?

FUZZY:  What are you?  Getting all “too good for minimum wage?”  Going out and “learning new skills” to “get pay raises” and “move ahead in life” without waiting for the Feds to raise it for you? 

STRETCH:  Well…

FUZZY:  You think you’re too good for the minimum wage life?  The life that was good enough for your father, and his father, and his father? 

STRETCH:  It has nothing to do with being “too good”.  It’s just that I know how to use the computer, and that other assistant manager Shaylene got fired for dealing pot out of the bathroom, and…

FUZZY: You look at me, son.  Look at me!  Other people may “learn skills” and “move up”.  And some of them “screw up” and “move down”.   But we Premisses?  We are always here.  Reliable.  We do the jobs nobody else wants to.  And we’re the best at them. 

[Javier AMARILLO, President of the local SEIU chapter, steps into the frame and addresses the camera]

AMARILLO:  What we’ve seen here is why America needs to raise the minimum wage.  Because all across this great but racist and deeply flawed nation, hundreds of millions of hard-working Americans have chosen not to learn more marketable job skills, to better themselves, and to go to the job market without skills or education that would give them a skill that anyone would pay for.  Many of them, raised in a public school system that taught grievance-mongering and neglected hard work and striving to better oneself, have no concept of the idea that “bettering oneself” is not an entitlement, but a personal responsibility. 

And it’s for these hundreds of millions of Americans that we need to raise the minimum wage. 

So please join me in demanding your congressperson demand a raise to the federal minimum wage!  

FUZZY:  Hey, it’s Javier Amarillo, of the SEIU!  When are you going to organize fast-food workers?

AMARILLO: [Smiling blandly]  You don’t exist to me. 

STRETCH:  Do you make minimum wage?

AMARILLO:  As if.  I make $187,000 a year plus perks.  I drive a BMW.  I haven’t eaten at a “Burger King” in 20 years.  Get back to work, as****es.    I’ve got to get to a dinner meeting with Tina Flint Smith. 

[And SCENE, as a Pete Seeger song plays dimly in the background]

Like A Fish Needs A Demand Cycle

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Gas is below $3.00 per gallon. This is proof that Democrat policies are good for America.

20141009-074955-28195883.jpg

Plainly, raising the minimum wage does not cause prices to go up: just the opposite, they went down. Restricting oil permits on federal lands did not cause a shortage of domestic oil: we’re awash with it so prices are falling. And there’s no need to worry about stability in the Middle East when America now produces more oil than Saudi Arabia. The natural conclusion is we should elect more Democrats to continue their good work.

Or . . . gas prices are falling because demand is falling as the economy worldwide is collapsing. Mitt Romney famously pointed out that gas was $1.81 when Barack Obama took office, to which Liberals everywhere insisted that low gas prices were due to impending economic collapse. If the same logic applied now as applied then, we should be worried. Very worried.

This time it’ll be different, of course. This time, it’ll be Bush’s fault.
Joe doakes
Como park

To be fair, I think the administration is going to have to pivot from blaming Bush to blaming the next president.

Eventually, anyway.

Chanting Points Memo: The Dayton Economy Just Keeps Getting Better And Better!

Just keep repeating it to yourself, DFLers; the Dayton economy is awesome!

The Dayton economy is awesome!

The Dayton economy is awesome!

Housing starts are off 15 percent in August (the full story appeared on MPR last night – but naturally isn’t available online today):

Confidence in the local homebuilding market took a hit in August, as permits for new single-family houses declined 15 percent from a year ago and permits for new multifamily units were down 78 percent. 

And the price of farm land – one of the key indicators and drivers of the farm economy – is slipping in Minnesota.  But hey, at least they’ll be getting taxed more for it…

 

The Skewed Market

Childcare is hard to find in Minnesota – a state where daycare costs are already among the highest in the nation, per-capita.

And it’s even harder in Greater Minnesota.

Eight months before her due date, Angie Steinbach started calling day cares to reserve a spot for her baby.

Nobody had an opening as far as Marshall or Willmar — both a 45-minute drive away. Steinbach got on waiting lists “behind people who hadn’t even conceived yet,” she said.

When Steinbach’s boy was born, her husband — who had just earned a degree in computers — planned to stay home with their son. The couple didn’t find a way for them both to work until a relative tipped them to an opening at a child care in Granite Falls.

“You just don’t realize until you actually experience it firsthand just how bad the shortage is,” said Steinbach, community development director for the city of Montevideo.

Large parts of rural Minnesota don’t have enough child care for working families. Finding a place for newborns is especially difficult.

The piece does a fairly useful job of citing the economic problems that the shortage is causing.

What it doesn’t do is explain how the DFL’s strategy of raising the cost and crimping the supply of childcare with its daycare union jamdown is going to help anything.

Attention, Minimum Wage Activists

The free market is providing small business with all sorts of alternatives to “being forced to pay more for something” – in this case, minimum marketable skill – “than they would normally pay”.  In this case, a coffee shop that operates entirely on the honor system

Would it work in, say, Minneapolis?  Of course not.

But could the idea put some people out of work – people who haven’t yet developed a skill worth $8-9 an hour – in places like Watertown?  Mazeppa?  Albert Lea?

Say “Thanks, Uncle Ryan Winkler!”

All That DFL Happy Talk About The Economy…

is baked wind.

 Minnesota lost 4,200 jobs in July, and is adding them at an anemic pace year-to-date:

State officials said Thursday that Minnesota employers shed a seasonally adjusted 4,200 jobs in July. Meanwhile, they also revised June’s numbers downward by 3,600 jobs.

That means that, year-to-date, Minnesota has added a meager 2,900 jobs, or about 400 per month, on an adjusted basis.

During July, the education and health services sector lost 5,300 jobs. Information shed 1,000; construction, 700; financial activities, 200; and government, 100.

The sectors that added jobs: trade, transportation, and utilities (up 1,600); manufacturing (700); leisure and hospitality (600); and other services (200). Logging and mining, and professional and business services held steady.

Look for the Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s lie machine to fabricate a lot of phony economic happytalk in the next ten weeks; as we discussed earlier, they’re off to a running start.

No – a lot.

Chanting Points Memo: Our Slammin’ Economy!*

The left is jumping up and down proclaming that Minnesota’s economy is lighting up the charts. 

And it is – in the same sense that I’ve got the best chance of being the best pitcher in my division (if the other teams started Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli). 

But as Bill Glahn points out, it’s less about “economic strength”, and more about the comparisons that the Democrats are highlighting:

Most of the recent bragging around Minnesota’s economy centers on a single fact: that Minnesota’s unemployment rate (4.5%) is below that of Wisconsin’s (5.7%). But Minnesota’s unemployment rate has been lower than Wisconsin’s since February 1997.

Wisconsin’s economy has always been focused more heavily on manufacturing – and manufacturing has been on a slow decline for decades.  Minnesota’s economy focuses on financial services and healthcare (insurance and devices), both of which are hot tickets these days, and parts of which have been getting lavish government subsidies.  Of course they’re doing well

The two states’ relative positions not only predate Walker, they’re the same as when Wisconsin was dominated by idiot liberals. 

As to the purported “job growth” (with emphasis added):

It’s worth noting that Minnesota’s job growth during the past year has merely kept pace with the job growth in the rest of the country…Iowa (4.4%), South Dakota (3.8%), Nebraska (3.5%), and North Dakota (2.7%, the nation’s lowest) all enjoy lower unemployment rates than Minnesota. We may be beating Wisconsin, but we are losing badly to those states with which we compete for new residents and businesses.

And I’d be very interested in seeing how the states compare if you leave out manufacturing in Wisconsin. 

And the claim that the Twin Cities have the lowest unemployment rate of any major metro area in the country?”   Perhaps – but the smaller metropoli around us, Fargo and Des Moines and the like, are smoking the Twin Cities:

The “nation’s lowest” claim only comes by comparing MSP to the biggest American cities. If you are a sprinter, you’ll be happy to edge ahead of the fattest guy in the race, but you need to notice that all the other runners have already crossed the finish line.

Rather than comparing Minnesota’s economic performance to the relevant benchmarks, it seems we are determined to find someone, somewhere we can brag over. Yes, we are doing better than Detroit, but does that really mean we are doing well?

And don’t look now, but downtown Detroit is a lot more vibrant than downtown Saint Paul on a non-hockey night.

Read the whole thing.

Breaking Some Eggs

I had a great pleasure of meeting seven or eight of my closest friends at the River Oasis Café in Stillwater Saturday morning.

We talked about the cafe last week; they aroused the ire of the entire Minnesota Left – few of whom would ever seem to have been at the River Oasis – by putting their “minimum wage fee” on their receipts:

20140811-065434-24874747.jpg

First things first: It’s a classic American diner – like Mickey’s on West Seventh, or Keys, and not a whole lot of others out there anymore. The food was excellent.

I had the pleasure of talking with Craig Beemer, the owner, on my show on Saturday afternoon (and his wife on Saturday morning). And we learned a couple of things about the place, and the “controversy”.

Money:  One of the left’s main whining points about the public “minimum wage fee” is that it’s “disrespectful to the employees”.  

Of course, it’s a stupid point.  Unlike most restaurants, the Beemers already pay the back of the house staff – the line cooks, dishwashers and the like – better than minimum wage, and (according to Beemer) very competitively with the similar places in Stillwater.  That’s the kind of “respect” I actually cared about when I was a low-wage employee.

The only people making minimum wage are the waitstaff – and when you add on tips, they’re making closer to $25 an hour, often more, and the minimum wage is not an issue. 

Except for the Beemers, for whom the wage hike was a $10,000/year hit on the bottom line.   Remember – restaurants across the river in Wisconsin have a minimum wage of $3-and-change per hour.

Because they have a tip credit.

Power:  Which is what Governor Dayton’s sons asked for earlier this summer.  Andrew and Eric Dayton, owners of “The Bachelor Farmer”, a chi-chi restaurant in Minneapolis, complained to Dadders because the new, higher minimum wage hike was harshing their fiscal mellow.  They asked for…

…a tip credit.

Bonus Explanation For Leftybloggers, none of whom apparently have ever worked for tips:  you don’t work for minimum wage.  Even when there’s a “tip credit” in effect and your “wage” is $3-and-change/hour, like in most surrounding states, you’re still making more.  How much more?  If you work at a crummy place with lousy food, maybe not enough more.  If you work at Manny’s Steakhouse and tend to tables  that rack up $400-$1000 for a meal, you can make well into six digits.  In between?  It’s a complex set of dependencies; waiting skill, clientele, season, even the weather. 

But for all the crap that Tom Emmer took for his “waitstaff making over $100,000″ “gaffe” four years ago, you might be amazed at the number of waitstaff that take home solid middle-class “living wages”; $50,000, $75,000 and more. 

Which isn’t bad for a trade that requires no education, licensing or anything but talent and hard work.

Which may be what bothers liberals about all of this.

“If Ifs, Ands And Buts Were Candy And Nuts, We’d All Have A Wonderful Unbedankfest”:  Here’s another note for ignorant leftybloggers; a “tip credit” acknowledges the fact that for a good waiter at a good establishment with a good clientele, the minimum wage is the fringe of their income; the owner can apply some of the waitstaff’s tips to the wage, in effect. 

“I think tipping is just wrong”, whined a massive clot of liberals last week, “and I think we should do away with it; it’s unfair.  They should all just be paid”, they say, reflecting the “progressive” desire to oversimplify the free market (and working for tips is the ultimate meritocracy). 

Of course, it’s been tried.  Not a few restaurants have tried to abolish tipping – paying their waitstaff more, and jacking up the prices accordingly, to a brief flurry of adoring media attention. 

Then they quietly vanish.  And a few years later, the cycle repeats. 

“It’s So Tacky!”:  Tackier than jamming down a minimum wage increase with the barest possible minimum of debate, and then reconsidering when the governor’s kids get into a jam? 

“Why don’t they publicize all the costs that hit their bottom line?”:   Because if they use too much electricity, they can unscrew the lightbulbs in the bathrooms.  If the price of tomatoes goes up, they can use fewer of them in their recipes.  If Ecolab cleaning products are too expensive, they can switch to Servicemaster.   In other words – as with everything in the free market (including restaurant choices), they, the consumer, can say “no” and pick a better option. 

But they can’t switch states.  Tempting as it is for many businesspeople.  Government is the one thing you can’t say “no” to, without having men in uniforms with guns busting down your door eventually. 

And the hypocrisy of a “progressive” movement that twisted itself into knots to try to legitimize the “Occupy” movement turning around and attacking an actual working business for using its right to free speech is enough to put me off my breakfast, were it less delicious.  

“What are you going to do, Berg?  Hang out there all the time?”:  It’s not really about me.  But when in Stillwater – a place I may get to annually – sure why not? 

The “point” they’re shooting for is that conservatives won’t be going there forever, and the liberals among the Oasis’ clientele will stay gone. 

I’m going to guess that most of the people doing the “protesting” have never been there, and would never have gone - and if they did, they were, like most liberals, lousy tippers anyway. 

Anyway - kudos to the Beemers.  And thanks for a fantastic breakfast, a great discussion, and for fighting a battle that a lot more people need to fight.

Protest! With Bacon!

Well, it’s official – at least a few of us are going to be meeting out at the Riverside Oasis Café in Stillwater tomorrow morning at 8 AM.

Our goal, of course, will be to put our appetites where our mouths are when it comes to the left’s whingeing about the café putting a “minimum wage fee” on their receipts, showing customers the impact of the DFL’s minimum wage hike on their bill.

The DFL – including Gov. Mumbles – have reacted to this “affront to employee dignity” by ranting like spoiled toddlers and threatening to boycott the restaurant, throwing the benighted employees of work.
So I’ll take my First Amendment with the side of hashbrowns, please.

And if you happen to be in Stillwater at 8 AM tomorrow, stop on by.

Saturday Breakfast

Earlier this week, Sally Jo Sorenson of Bluestem Prairie unleashed the nagging, hectoring, joyless scolding hordes of the Minnesota left on the River Oasis Cafe in Stillwater for daring to protest against the DFL’s minimum wage hike jamdown by informing their diners how the price hike was affecting their meal price.

The comments on Sorenson’s piece were the same sort of uniformed ad-hominem that the mindless cattle of Minnesota specialize in, in their bovine way.  And given that most of them  are idlers with more time on their hands than brain cells to burn, we can only assume that they’ve taken other actions against the River Oasis. 

Because protest is a good thing, unless it’s the DFL that’s being protested against. 

Anyway – any establishment that’s got the seeds to tell the emperor they have no clothes deserves the thanks of the people who really make this state work, the taxpayers for whom the DFL has such oozing pustulent contempt.

So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m gonna run out there (here’s the map link) for breakfast Saturday morning. 

And if you’re a Minnesota taxpayer, businessperson or citizen who thinks that real people speaking truth to stupid power is a good thing, I’ll invite you to join me.  For breakfast. 

(Separate checks, by the way).

If it’s just me, that’s fine.  But feel free to come on out.  Drop me a comment if you get a moment, just so I know whether to expect company.

The Shorter “Every Liberal In Minnesota Responds To The Oasis Cafe’s Listing Its ‘Minimum Wage Fee’ On Its’ Receipts”

EVERY LIBERAL IN MINNESOTA:  “Clearly the owner of the cafe hates his employees, because he’s making the minimum wage an issue on his receipts.  So we’ll show our concern for the employees by boycotting the place and trying to put the employees out of work”.

(And SCENE)

That Joyous Moment…

…when liberals actually realize they have to pay for the “progressive” legislation they demanded.

A cafe in Stillwater tacked on a “Minimum Wage Fee” to their bills, to show their customers – this being Stillwater, mostly DFLers – what their “generosity” with other peoples’ bottom lines was costing everyone. 

Sally Jo Sorenson – one of the handful (literally – maybe five, no more than ten) liberal bloggers in Minnesota who don’t belong under police surveillance – just doesn’t like those peasants getting uppity:

The restaurant industry had tried–but failed–to make the case to the Minnesota legislature for a “tip credit” system under which wait staff could be paid less than the new minimum wage. New legislation raised the state’s minimum wage to $8.00/hr on August 1, with new raises for workers until the wage is $9.50/hr in August 2016.

Accurized:  The restaurant industry’s case had no more chance of being heard in a legislature dominated by a DFL that owed their union benefactors big bucks than Ice Cube has of getting applauded at a Ted Nugent concert.  The minimum wage was going to pass, no matter what. 

And once the DFL has spoken, to the left (via Sally Jo Sorenson), people should just shut up and forget all that “free speech” and “protest” crap. 

The cafe in question should oughtta be careful, of course; next, it’ll be the IRS. 

Reading the smug, PC commenters (as if Sorenson deigns to print any other kind) is just precious.

I’d like to find out what the cafe is, so I can grab breakfast there this weekend and thank them for forcing the Minnesota left to marinade in its own cowardly hypocrisy.

Dead Cat Recovery

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Fewer people are missing mortgage payments in Minnesota. I suspect that means all the bad loans, marginal loans, unemployed, sick and elderly mortgage payers have been wrung out of the system over the past seven years and now are renters, which explains the tight rental market.
The only homeowners left are those who can and will pay. It’s nice that fewer people are losing their homes. If that’s because fewer people have homes to lose, it’s not unalloyed good news.
Joe Doakes

Where are the housing values blooming these days? Not where the worst of the foreclosure crisis was, or most of the bad loans got shaken out.

Doakes Sunday: Findings Of Fact

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Another company leaving Minnesota for Wisconsin. This one is probably more about marketing to its customer base than taxes; still . . . . . Dayton -1, Walker +1.

unlike the date and administrations job numbers, the number of “companies leaving Minnesota” is getting revised downward anytime soon.

In unrelated news I see that Chuck Knoblauch is accused of domestic assault, therefore the Twins have cancelled his induction into the Twins hall of fame.
I don’t care a whit for sports heroes, but the endless manipulation for PC is really tiresome. Not to mention that if this happened when he was on the team and useful for their pennant rally, they would be on the soap box reminding us that the justice system needs time to work, that a person is innocent until proven guilty, etc.
I did not read any of the story, or see it on the news. Don’t have a clue what evidence, if any, is involved. But PC sucks.
Joe Doakes

it’s Minnesota. “People” – ha ha – accused of domestic abuse will be assured a speedy trial and immediate execution.

Rose Colored Glasses

You can’t escape it on Twitter or in the Media – the DFL and its various spokespeople, and the media (pardon the redundancy) crowing about Minnesota’s job numbers.

Because raising taxes creates jobs, dammit!

Except, as Bill Glahn notes, the numbers just don’t add up.

The state and its minions have been crowing that the state gained 8.500 jobs in June, and a total of 10,700 jobs so far this year.

Doing the arithmetic, that total means Minnesota gained 8,500 jobs in June, but a mere 2,200 jobs in the five months of January through May, combined.

And it the numbers get more interestinger:

 Each month DEED also reports on the jobs created in the previous 12 months, for a rolling look at the number of jobs created for a year-long period. For the 12 months ending June 2014, DEED reports Minnesota created almost 53,800 jobs. That figure would mean that we’d created 43,100 jobs in the six month of July through December 2013, but a mere 10,700 jobs in the most recent six months. Rather than suggesting an economic boom, those numbers indicate a real weakness in our state’s economy.

Bad, politically-driven reporting from the state?  Casual illiterate reporting from the media? 

Glahn’s not done:

 But consider this anomaly:
 
Reporting
 
Jobs Gained
 
Month
Month
YTD
Last 12 Mo.
June
8,500
10,700
53,779
May
10,300
45,617
April
(4,200)
41,934
March
2,600
41,582
February
(100)
44,714
January
600
52,160
Total
17,700
 
 
 
Adding together the number of jobs created each month in 2014, as reported by DEED, produces a total of 17,700 jobs for the year so far. So that means that sometime during the last few months, 7,000 jobs have vanished from the official state rolls.

“Unexpectedly” vanished, of course.

Glahn predicts the state’s rosy “8,500″ number for June will be gradually revised out of existence.

To be replaced – this is my prediction – by more inflated, misleading predictions intended to lull the incurious.

And the news consumers they report to.

The Real Minimum Wage

Progressives, awash in worry about income inequality, will barber on and on over whether the minimum wage should be $10, or $11.50, or even a Seattle-sized $15/hour.

Conservatives know that the real minimum wage is zero

“Diggity”, a new fast-food restaurant concept in Coon Rapids, gets a jump on McDonands, does away with the server:

Diggity functions on an elaborate and expensive system of self-serve, touchscreen kiosks and software that allow customers to place orders directly from smartphones or tablet devices. Diners watch monitors (or their phones) to track the progress of their order and pick it up at the counter when ready.

 Customers can also order takeout online, drive into a designated spot in the parking lot and check in using the restaurant’s wireless Internet connection, which will ping the staff with a request to bring the order out.

“You don’t even have to make a telephone call, which is one more convenience factor,” Cary said.

The system cost six-figures (Cary wouldn’t be more precise), but he said he has no doubt it will pay for itself. The setup from Michigan’s Nextep Systems allowed Hemipshere to hire half the staff a restaurant of Diggity’s size would normally need.

But wasn’t it just the “wow” factor that led to the innovative design? 

Cary and Managing Partner Anoush Ansari said the new model was inspired by Minnesota law mandating a gradual bump in the minimum wage.

Thanks, DFL!  The teen unemployment rate is going to take another hit.

How To Do Transit

If you read my blog or listen to my show, you know I’m a huge fan of Kevin Williamson, writer at National Review and author of The End Is Near (And It’s Going To Be Awesome).

One of his book’s (and body of work’s) central theses is that politics is the worst possible way to allocate resources.

Yesterday’s story about the Green Line light rail – which was built as a relatively heavy, relatively high-speed “Light Rail” line down a crowded commercial street entirely due to the desire to play the political subsidy game, and was conceived in the first place less to move people than to re-engineer the layout of the area between the Twin Downtowns – is evidence toward the thesis.

“But if the government doesn’t build things – not just trains, but roads and streets – then who will?”

If people need to go from one place to another, somebody will find a way to get them from point A to point B.

Contradictory Indicators

Joe Doakes from Como Park writes:

If the economy is as bad as the first quarter economic report indicated, why is the stock market so high? Powerline supplies a clue.

20140703-061924-22764003.jpg

We know that correlation does not prove causation, but since the Standard and Poors Weekly 500 stock index so closely tracks federal government stimulus spending since President Obama took office in 2009, it’s fair to ask if we’re headed for another stock market bubble, one entirely of government’s making.
Joe Doakes

Fair, but – until we get a media that isn’t serving as a praetorian guard and, hopefully, a Congress full of economic realists – pretty much hopeless.

Dear “Progressives”

We warned you. Oh, yes we did.

“When you raise the taxes on the parts of our society that produce wealth, the wealth moves”

That’s especially true when the taxes you’re raising make the producers of wealth – companies, in this case – less competitive in a global marketplace with other companies that produce wealth and get less of a tax hit.

Two weeks ago, it was Medtronic packing up its corporate plantation moving to Ireland for a much, much, much better tax rate.

This week? Word that Walgreens is planning a similar inversion with a company in Switzerland.

And after news that Nash Finch and Advance Auto Parts are leaving Minnesota largely because of the DFL’s tax orgy, and Red Wing Shoes and Laurence Transportation shelving major expansions because of that same tax policy, i’m wondering how much longer the DFL can hide behind the the headlines about Minnesota’s phantom, low unemployment rate.

(Which translates to “low unemployment in the metro, where all the Fortune 1000 companies are, with the market a little less reassuring outstate…)

Unexpected

The “Obama Recovery” still isn’t

The U.S. economy shrank at an annual rate of 2.9 percent during the first three months of 2014, government bean counters announced this morning. That matches the worst non-recession contraction of the U.S. economy in over 40 years.

Perhaps, taking a cue from minimum wage hike laws, the Administration could issue a decree for everyone to build, spend and borrow more?
 

Doakes Sunday: 1950

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mark Steyn insight:
We speak of “credit bubbles” and “housing bubbles,” but the real bubble is America’s 1950 moment: a very precise set of post-war conditions that put the U.S. in a different league from other nation-states. Europe rebuilt, Asia got the hang of capitalism, and still America thought 1950 was forever. It’s not. It’s already fading.

The argument over unions is the perfect evidence of this.

In 1950, we were the only functional economy in the world.  This was when contracts like the UAW’s iron grip over the auto industry got started.

Which was great – while Germany and Japan were rebuilding, and China, Singapore, South Korea and India were still third-world hellholes.

Things have changed.

We – too many of us – haven’t.