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Apr 14 madcap commented on Seattle’s New Minimum Wage Highlights the Income Disparity Among Restaurant Staff.
This story was a great demonstration of how the debate over "living wages" goes far beyond some nominal minimum wage.

Current employees are somewhat upset that new employees don't have to 'work their way up' to a wage level that they themselves had to struggle to reach. That's a completely human emotion, and now that the minimum wage bumps are part of the law, they can turn that energy into demanding higher wages for their more experienced work than newcomers, rather than tearing down newbies looking to start at a higher wage.

Back house employees who aren't seeing the bump in minimum wage but do see their front-house employees get a bump while still bringing in tips (for those companies not considered small businesses, which can apply a tip credit) can more forcefully question the tip-sharing policies at their workplace, or whether the tip model is actually a good one; or they can start seeking higher wages to compensate for the increase in disparity.

And in Saephanh's story, we see the imperfection with minimum wages meant to provide a "living wage", as most 16 year olds are dependents and arguably don't need the same wage level (need in a social justice sense of the word) as their 25 year old independent coworkers not living off their parent's funds. While I don't have a problem with the minimum wage applying even to minors, if you want to help bring a boost to the income of working-poor adults, there are more efficient mechanisms like negative taxes (more or less like the EITC), which can be better targeted based on need.
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Mar 30 madcap commented on City Council Gets Chance to Help Homeless People—and Does It!.
@1 please clarify- which taxes are you talking about? The taxes the people of Seattle have the legal right to actually increase, which we're all reminded disproportionately affect those with low incomes? Or something like income or wealth taxes, which the voters of Seattle typically support more than most of the rest of the state?
Mar 30 madcap commented on City Council Gets Chance to Help Homeless People—and Does It!.
Good luck getting tent cities in any upscale residential neighborhoods. Remember that time that Seattle voters decided to elect most of the council by neighborhood district? Please name the neighborhood district whose voters will support a council member who votes to put tent cities in their neighborhood. Certainly not the neighborhoods you believe to be filled with residents who "don't give a flying fuck about the homeless".

How about instead of wasting money studying something that will never be politically palatable, we put some money into studying treating mental health- you know, the cause many of the homeless have for being homeless. And then let's create some real housing to offer people more housing so that they're not homeless anymore.

Oh, and please note that people making 6 figures at Amazon don't typically work for wages.
Feb 7 madcap commented on If a Black Man Kills a White Cop, Can He Ever Get a Fair Death-Penalty Trial?.
I'm really curious what that questionnaire asks specifically.
Jan 16 madcap commented on RockCreek's Problematic "Hip-Hop Brunch" Menu.
It's a real shame that, because of RockCreek's hip hop brunch menu, blacks will remain disproportionately disadvantaged and police will continue shooting black kids without justification.

If only RockCreek had not appropriated hip hop culture, or at least had better timing about it, these tragic stains on American society would have been fixed shortly.

Americans at large were just on the precipice of enlightenment to the struggles evinced by the lyrical stylings of NWA and Public Enemy, from which, after so many long centuries, the system of racial injustice would surely be torn asunder, and from which a more just society could have arisen.

But lo, RockCreek did thwart the noble march of history with their hip hop brunch menu.
Jan 16 madcap commented on The City Council Is About to Approve Priority Hire Legislation. Here's What That Means..
I don't object to trying to benefit workers from economically poorer areas, but I do object to the way this article treats those areas as synonymous with minority communities.

I mean literally, the article conflates the two (emphasis mine):

The bill approved yesterday in the council’s Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency Committee requires at least 20 percent of the work on city projects costing more than $5 million to be done by people from economically distressed zip codes. Eligible zip codes are those with high numbers of people who are unemployed, don’t have college degrees, and live below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

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Plus, the 20 percent requirement still applies, so workers from minority communities will still be required on projects.


It may be the case that certain minorities are disproportionately represented in economically disadvantaged areas. And if that's the case, then targeting economically disadvantaged areas should disproportionately benefit those minorities, without requiring racial quotas, and that's great! Further, it's not a problem if such a policy also benefits poor communities that happen to be majority white, either.

Further, using terms like "traditionally disadvantaged groups" tends to lead toward the assumption that everyone with the shared characteristic (say, skin tone) requires or deserves your special treatment or sympathy, regardless of their individual circumstances. That sort of behavior makes you the kind of douche that gives otherwise well-meaning liberals a bad reputation. Examining if someone lives in an economically distressed area is not a perfect solution, but it gives a much better rationale for whether a particular individual should benefit from policy prescriptions like government-mandated preferential hiring practices.

While it's fair to draw conclusions from statistical averages for a given demographic, applying those conclusions to every individual in that demographic is just another form of stereotyping.

Finally, the real buried lede here is the involvement of the unions. I don't have anything against unions, but what a nice handout this seems to be for them. Is it fair to say that policy seems to target those from economically disadvantaged areas who also are willing to pay union dues?
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Jan 6 madcap commented on Some Interesting Details About the Woman Who Was Shot to Death by Her 2-Year-Old Son in an Idaho Walmart.
Other than not allowing concealed carry of a loaded weapon (which presumably would require a constitutional amendment, or the Supreme Court to overturn some recent decisions, including by them), I'm not sure what legally could be done to prevent events like this.

OTOH, it would be nice for gun owners to look at cases like this and acknowledge that in exchange for the small chance that carrying around a loaded firearm will protect you from random violence, there is a much greater chance that the gun will be used by someone in your household to do injury to themselves or others.

So while 'Boring Dad is Boring' is focused on protecting himself from "those around me who attempt to make me or my family one of the 1.1M+ annual victims of violent crime in the US", for his sake let's hope he recognizes that those in his family are statistically the greater threat, and in that case, it'll likely be one of his/their guns that is involved in the violence.
 

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