Well, the title is a little misleading. Where I wrote “without limits”, I guess I what I meant was “no bottom to the barrel”.
Because in the arc of downfall for the City Pages, from its heady days in the eighties publishing James Lileks, and its journalistic peak in the nineties, where they ran a lot of excellent reporting, the CP just keeps falling.
And every time I think “they can’t possibly get any worse as reporters?” They somehow pull it off.
I didn’t think they could get any worse than Dan Haugen’s factual malaprops – but sure enough, Kevin Hoffman was right there with the onanistic panty-sniffing disguised as high-school-caliber schadefreud. From thence, we’ve had a couple years of the ongoing gift of hilarity that is Corey Zurowski’s writing, which has been its own reward.
So given that the City Pages seems to have no lower limit, I’ll refrain from saying Pete Kotz’s piece about the GOP’s pushback on cities trying to jam down $15 minimum wage laws bespeaks any descent below any journalistic or factual pale.
Because there’s always more ground below the barrel.
But oh, lord – it’s getting worse.
The City Pages‘ relentlessly white, upper-middle class staff  invokes their Urban Liberal Privilege, which they believe insulates them from being ridiculed for whitesplaining.
As I have no Urban Liberal Privilege, I’ll mock him anyway (emphasis added):
Though Republicans’ strong showing in the November elections can’t be pinned to a single issue, one prevailing theme was the rural white man’s thirsting support for the GOP.
What in the flaming hootie-hoo does that bit of whitesplaining even mean?
Broke and left behind by the modern economy — and perhaps a tad butt-hurt by the Democrats’ fetish for identity politics
“Those who use the term “butt-hurt” in conversation (much less writing) outside junior high locker rooms can be safely ignored without fear of missing anything important” isn’t quite Berg’s Law yet – the term “butt-hurt” will vanish sooner or later, and Berg’s Laws are eternal – but it’s ever-so-close. And, law or not, it applies in this case.
I’m going to add a little emphasis in the next graf or two:
— white men in Minnesota’s countryside went overwhelmingly Republican, allowing the GOP to capture both houses of the state legislature.
Well, let’s be honest; Minnesota’s “countryside” is mostly white. The demographics outside the 494/694 loop are pretty predictable.
As predictable as the demographics of the City Pages’ lilywhite stable of writers .
Here’s the howler:
Now those same voters will be repaid for their support by… having their wages capped.
So in the world of Pete Kotz, the minimum wage is a wage cap?
I know boutique “journalism” doesn’t pay well these days; it’s entirely possible that the minimum wage is Kotz’s cap.
Of course, an artificially-high minimum wage does in fact cap a lot of low-income and entry-level workers’ maximum – at zero – but that’s not what Kotz is on about.
Minneapolis and St. Paul are both considering upping their minimum wages to $15 an hour. The idea is to help the poor better afford a basic standard of living. It also pumps more loot directly into the local economy – poor people can’t afford to save – instead of beaming it to a hedge fund manager who will park it in Panama.
I’m sure it may be “the idea” among some of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul City Councils’ lower-wattage members – Alondra Cano jumps to mind for some reason.
Kotz breeziliy – and, without knowing it, aptly – refers to “pumping more loot into the economy”. He actually made a great point there, although he really didn’t know it; even if it works as advertised, the minimum wage hike is essentially a wealth transfer – providing “loot” – from local businesses to…other businesses (which means, given the shopping patterns of low-income people, a wealth transfer to WalMart).
But it doesn’t work as advertised. As conservatives – and anyone who had a decent Econ 101 teacher – predicted, employers, especially small ones, are reacting by laying off the more vulnerable, lower-skilled minimum-wagers. And that’s the ones that stay in business at all; in Seattle, over 1,300 food-service workers, cooks and waitstaff, lost their jobs even before the city’s $15/hour minimum wage went into effect. Bigger enterprises, who can react more creatively to the hike in costs, are indeed reacting pretty creatively, automating (i.e. eliminating) many jobs, and streamlining their operations (i.e., getting rid of more low-productivity, low-wage workers and shaving benefits for those that remain) to try to forestall the inevitable result of higher prices, people staying home and not spending their money at all.
But Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) hopes to abort the idea before birth…”The concern at the legislature is more that we live in one state, and we should have one policy for these important issues,” he told MPR. “If we start allowing every city in the state to have their own sick leave, own maternity policy, their own minimum wage, it’s just going to make it completely unworkable to do business in the state of Minnesota. And this is going to result in fewer jobs and lower pay for workers.”
The first part seems reasonable. In the best of all worlds, Minnesota would make it as easy as possible for businesses to prosper.
Well, no. Not in the “best of all worlds”. It should be the case in the world we live in, right now.
Yet Garofalo’s Businessman Always Drinks First theology has been crushing the middle class since the Reagan Years.
I’m going to hazard a guess right here that Pete Kotz couldn’t say why he wrote that – and if he tried, in a face to face debate, he’d get through one round of refried “Media Matters” factoids before he started whitesplaining.
And his comment about “fewer jobs and lower pay” is telling. It’s clear his proposal isn’t about raising wages statewide; it’s about keeping the cities from leading the way.
And finally, one hopes, Kotz may be right.
The Saint Paul, Minneapolis and especially Duluth are a huge dead weight on Minnesota’s economy already. If the Legislature manages to keep that from getting worse than it is, that’s a net good.
 Are the City Pages’ staffers almost uniformly white, middle-to-upper-middle-class, disproportionally from Saint Olaf, Macalester or Carlton, and every other stereotype that applies to the left’s alt-media? Put it this way – any exceptions are vanishingly rare, become rarer as one moves “up” hierarchy, and essentially prove the rule that the Twin Cities’ “liberal” alt-media is as lilywhite as an East Hampton PTA meeting.