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Feb 19 hotairinky commented on Walmart Raising the Minimum Wage Is Not a Triumph of Business. It's a Failure of Government..
Paul, this statement, "But the point of government is to force big business to do the right thing..." is, well, just about everything I think is scary about your vision for government and economics.

The point of government is to force us all to do the LEGAL thing, and if you think the RIGHT thing should be the LEGAL thing, then we're going to have to decide who is RIGHT about everything, and then we're going to be left with a very limited range of available possible actions.

What's the "right thing?" I'm sure you and I can agree on a list of "wrong things" that would fill reams of paper, but what is this "right thing" government is supposed to, in your worldview, force big business, and, I'm extrapolating here, all of us, to do?

Take this far enough and we'll lose the big wide open field for experimentation in commerce, technology, social behavior, etc, that distinguishes the United States and keeps us out ahead of the rest of the world in terms of tolerance, prosperity and resiliency. Start forcing people to do what you think is RIGHT and you will erode our leading competitive advantage: the relative freedom of the individual.

As someone who was forced to read Ayn Rand in high school and hated it ('Anthem') and as someone who is a moderate who's never been able to vote for a republican in his life, as someone who was FOR $15 an hour, in the phased in model, I'm more worried about the dystopian novel that starts with your post than the one that starts with this story.

So, just what is this "the right thing" you think the government is supposed to force big businesses to do?
Aug 22, 2013 hotairinky commented on Did You Know It's the Season When Giant House Spiders Walk Around Seattle Homes?.
My preferred anti-spider tool is the vacuum cleaner! Let them starve in the bag/cylinder. Of course it terrifies me to think of them growing big in there.
Aug 16, 2013 hotairinky commented on Go Work On Your Own Time.
If you work in an office where the culture discourages goofing off, you work for a company that won't exist in 20 years.
Jun 6, 2013 hotairinky commented on Today in the Surveillance State: Secret Court Gives FBI and NSA Blanket Access to Phone Records.
We absolutely must restrict the government's use of personal data, and we must do it now. Data profiles of people are becoming more and more complete. Young people today who start leaving data trails as soon as they start speaking... I just can't imagine all of the implications.

It's one thing for private companies to collect and use this data for marketing purposes, although we should limit and regulate the collection and use of that data to some extent.

It's a completely different thing for the state, which has the power to compel action through force, to compile data profiles on Americans without cause. It's spine-chilling.

Maybe it's just a new reality. Maybe this is a new stage in our evolution. Who knows?

But my gut says we have to restrict the ability of the state to compile data on people without compelling cause.
May 31, 2013 hotairinky commented on "Supersize My Salary Now!".
CPI-W, sorry.
May 31, 2013 hotairinky commented on "Supersize My Salary Now!".
And by the way, I think the minimum wage could probably go up a bit and everything would be fine. Probably not to $15/hr, but it could probably be higher than it is now.

Minimum wage in WA is COLA adjusted according to the CPI-WA index. (It goes up each year in direct relationship to cost of living.)

Of course CPI-WA growth has been very low, so maybe a little bump to account for that and then leave it on the COLA track again for a while.
May 31, 2013 hotairinky commented on "Supersize My Salary Now!".
@70: Exactly. An even better question might remove the idea of compensation and ask: what is the standard of living to which all workers, at minimum, should be entitled by virtue of working?

And it's important to understand that this standard of living will be in direct competition with the standard of living all people are entitled to by virtue of being alive.
May 31, 2013 hotairinky commented on "Supersize My Salary Now!".
@65, but you did a much more concise job of it, David.
May 31, 2013 hotairinky commented on "Supersize My Salary Now!".
@ 63.

1. Income is not distributed; income is earned.

2. Before income can be earned, in cases in which labor is involved, employers and workers (or other representation of capital and labor) must come to an agreement over labor cost, or wages.

3. Periodically, employers and workers can revisit their agreement over wages, usually when income has increased because of a worker's specific skills or other contributions, but also sometimes when revenues are no longer sufficient to fulfill the currently negotiated wages. Then income is earned under the new agreement.
May 31, 2013 hotairinky commented on "Supersize My Salary Now!".
@ 58. You're looking at the change adjusted for inflation of household income without taking into account how households have decreased in average size over the past 60 years. There are fewer working adults per household than there were in 1948 (and certainly since 1970) and fewer working adults tend to earn less money.

Also, you're making up your numbers. " The bottom 90% is even or declining since the 70s, adjusted for inflation." That number is bullshit.

Go get yourself some good per capita numbers, or median individual income numbers (some of them will even be kind enough to throw out the zeros for you) and then you'll see that all levels of income have increased since 1948, with, as we should expect, accelerating increases as you get closer to the top.

One day, you'll figure out that when you talk about these categories (top 10%, bottom 50%, whatever) you're not even talking about people. You're talking about income statistics from a certain year. People more through these categories quite a lot during their lives. But that's the next level economics lesson.