Day: January 29, 2016

Buddy, can you spare $15 an hour?

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS Two years ago, Thumbtack—a startup that connects consumers with local contractors—conducted a survey to see what they thought of proposals to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, as per President Obama’s bid “to give America a raise.” The survey found that a plurality of the small businesses that used Thumbtack thought a wage hike would be good for the economy. Most thought that a minimum-wage increase would have no effect on their hiring or firing decisions. But what happens if Washington passes Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ proposal to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour—or Californians pass a ballot measure to raise the state minimum wage to $15 from $10? One piece of news this past weekend suggests a big minimum-wage hike could cost low-skilled workers their jobs. Wal-Mart closed its Oakland store amid speculation that the city’s $12.55 minimum wage played a role. Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid told The Chronicle the city’s wage law was a factor in the closure. It’s hard to think otherwise when Oakland was one of 269 stores slated to be shuttered across the country, while in nearby San Leandro, where the $10 state wage floor prevails, two stores will remain open for business. The Washington Post reported last week that Wal-Mart was withdrawing plans to build two superstores in the...

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Stop coddling Malheur Refuge militia

Any American with a child who wants that child to grow into a responsible, law-abiding adult knows that if the parent gives in to every demand of the child the consequence will be a monster. One does not need a college degree in psychology to figure out the result from a person raised with no boundaries or behavioral limits. Yet, we see something similar to the indulged child being played out at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County.  Somehow the “geniuses” among our FBI leaders believe that if those invaders who have broken the law by taking over and wrecking the refuge will just come to their senses and simply head back home when they tire of their antics.  What that adds up to is that from the Bundy incident dealing with federal property in Nevada last year—where there were no consequences—and what looks like an over-patient, indulging FBI “parent” again this time in Oregon, these “spoiled” adults can go about the U.S. countryside and do as they wish with nothing other than an FBI and other state and federal agencies saying, “You’re bad boys (and girls) and shouldn’t do things like that.” Maybe the mind set of these people is that they can do whatever, wherever, with federal land as long as it’s in the middle of nowhere with vague directional intents that have to do mainly with what they call their...

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