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Aug 21 mistral commented on City Proposes a Massive Overhaul of Its Labor Laws.
@ 13 Well said Bertha.

If you want to kill small businesses or drive them out of Seattle, this is just one more nail for the coffin.

The city counsel, mayor and Sawant camp needs to realize that small businesses are not the enemy. They are not filthy rich, corporate monsters preying on the working class.

Most of them are the working class and have risked much....many times mortgaged their homes, emptied their retirement accounts to take a chance and participate in the American dream. Namely, to better themselves, their families and to get ahead by hard work, imitative and imagination.

These are very dark times for the small business owners....very dark indeed.
Aug 20 mistral commented on City Proposes a Massive Overhaul of Its Labor Laws.
@9 I guess the point is that all people, employees and employers, should be treated equally under the law, especially since these would be potentially classified as a criminal act.

Let one assume you owned a little espresso bar and you made or your accountant made a simple clerical error on the payroll, would you like to be called a criminal? Probably not. Would you not like the standard of proof of beyond reasonable doubt or that there must be evidence of malice of forethought. I think you would.

Aug 19 mistral commented on City Proposes a Massive Overhaul of Its Labor Laws.
I have no problem with an employee taking up the matter in court. In fact, why shouldn't they have the right to make their claim in open court.

However, that said, the same set of standards should apply in the court room for employee and employer, namely, the burden of proof.

In order to get punitive damages, (because the proposed legislation appears to makes it a civil rights violation, the employee should be required to prove "criminal intent" or willful disregard for the law or malice of forethought before being entitled to this level of damages.

Take the case of a small business owner, with constantly changing city codes, tax laws, employment laws, it is very conceivable and many often do make an honest mistake, but they would be subjected to extremely harsh and punitive penalties....even be branded as a criminal.

The economy has been very hard on workers, especially low wage earners, but taking it out on small businesses, which have in large part been the engine of job growth and creation, seems to be more an expression of popular frustration, not with small business, but with the economy as a whole.

Aug 15 mistral commented on I, Anonymous.
@15 I stand reproved. Your vision is certainly the most well thought out, economically viable one I've ever encountered. How could we have been so blind?

Yes, from now on we could walk over, introduce ourselves, politely suggest they look around:

-- at all the people waiting as they slowly react to the lights
--fail to pull into the intersection to turn make a left hand turn
-- or day dream while signalling to take a free right.

Of course we can all get our bikes out, ride to work or just hitch up the ox carts if we have products to move. Time isn't of the essence in laid, back, politically correct, socialist Seattle. No, not at all.

Yes, imminently feasible.

Meanwhile, lets get SDOT to turn all major arterial roads into single roads, with bus stop islands in the middle so that all cars, if they should dare to be used, must follow along at the same speed of the poorly administrated Metro, stopping at every station.

Hint--- if you want to get rid of cars, may I suggest you simply add a tax of $2.50 to a gallon of gas. Its what they do in Europe to fund mass transit. Say get the price up to $8/gallon or so and you'd see your Utopia of urban living realized. Also, those who like to have a house with a white picket fence and commute to Seattle daily would quickly reconsider paving over the planet.

Your lot thinks changing people's behavior is accomplished by forcing them to do what you want, and not what be easily achieved by economic incentives or choices. Your crowd never learns.

Aug 14 mistral commented on I, Anonymous.
Seattle drivers, in the main, are some of the worst I've encountered.

Frequently inattentive to traffic flow & non anticipatory (kind of like watching lemmings)
Very passive on who has the right of way
Clueless as to taking to taking a free right hand turn
Completely oblivious to other traffic backed up 10 cars deep

This combined with the city trying to turn every main arterial into a bike path just adds a new horror to travel in the city. This isn't Amsterdam.

I'm very understanding of frustrated motorist having to contend and "honk" to wake up Seattle's very inattentive drivers. The best quotes I've heard from my NYC friends:

1) "what shade of green are you waiting for before proceeding".
2) You need to honk to let them know its safe to go.
Aug 10 mistral commented on Mayor Murray Loses Spine, Comes Out Against His Own Committee's Recommendation for Increased Density.
@65 I think you mistake a "blanket wide change in SF zoning", rightfully dissented upon by the majority of citizens verses a "carefully considered zoning plan". Little wonder it provoked the type of justified visceral reaction exhibited by the people of this fair city.

I suggest Mayor "flip-flop" got schooled.

The same will occur with the rather silly and poorly considered idea of turning the City Light Sub Stations into a patch work of homeless encampments.

As to $15 Now, if you would care to listen, will indeed begin to impact the "non skilled" by driving them from the labor market. They will be replaced by more skilled workers as business will need more productive labor to meet the rising labor cost.

Its pretty simple economics, something you might learn in Econ 101....but I'm beginning to get the impression you may have skipped that area of course study all together.

At present we are in the first stages of this poorly considered wage policy. Most businesses are already paying $10 to $11 per hour for unskilled labor. Thus the first round has had only the slightest or nominal effect.

As the price of labor rises from $12/hour, then to $13 per hour, then to $14 per hour and finally to the desired political goal of $15 per hour, you'll see a very significant drop in the unskilled labor force. (traditionally minorities, those just entering the work force and the uneducated ....the later being a group you might identify with)

Who is willing to pay $30,000 per year for unskilled labor for any manner of unskilled general labor? Further as the "floor of the labor cost" increases, you'll see a corresponding increase in general labor costs for skilled workers.

As I said in economics there is no free lunch. For that you have to get on the government doles.

Strangely, it is exactly the opposite effect which was intended by our erstwhile city socialist Sawant.

Aug 6 mistral commented on Socialist Bernie Sanders to Hold Fundraiser at the Comet, Which Is Owned by a Prominent Critic of Local Socialists.
While I think Mr. Sander's agenda is set forth with the bests intentions and laudable, I tend to differ on his methods of achieving these goals. He proposes government edicts to achieve the goals, where as others propose free market approaches.

We are not a socialist state, nor a social democratic state (using a European model--in particular Germany). Keynesian economics are not "socialist in structure".

Keynes advocated the government engaging is economic stimulation in a recession or drop in the normal business cycle. His approach was to increase government spending in the private sector to increase employment and foster a recovery. It was never meant to be the basis or justification of a welfare state. In fact, he never abandoned or really disagreed with monetarist theory or policies.

As I said, I like Mr. Sander's agenda, but I not particularly thrilled with his approach to solving them.
Aug 4 mistral commented on Bernie Sanders Is Coming to Seattle Next Weekend.

.At present they do indeed buy US Treasury bonds. But they do expect to be paid back with interest.

I think the situation in Greece or Puerto Rico clearly illustrates what happens when you don't.

While we are busy paying off those bonds to foreign bond holders, where do you suppose we are going to get the money to pay the social security retirement benefits?

We could take it out of the trust fund....but its already been spent by other government agencies and they left an IOU in the box.

Tell me how does the Dept of Defense earn money to pay back the IOU. Does it sell off tanks, aircraft carriers or simply sub out the army for hire to fight other countries wars?

We could acknowledge the system is in peril and it seems we will need to

Increase pay roll taxes to 18% of worker's wages?
Decrease benefit payments?
Tax the benefits?

I guess that is the problem and I don't think you gotta destroy the system, it is already well along on that path.

We should address the situation, plot solutions, now and make sure it doesn't happen again.

A lot of people are going to get hurt by this erosion of the benefit payments.
Aug 2 mistral commented on Mayor Murray Loses Spine, Comes Out Against His Own Committee's Recommendation for Increased Density.
@64 Don't be weedy.

Of course the zoning in SF neighborhoods and through out the city will it has for decades.
As Winston Churchill once said.....

The Americans will exhaust all options until the do the right thing"

So will it be with Mayor "flip-flop". He'll go back and forth, take consensus polls, read the newspaper editorials and eventually come up with a city wide zoning plan.

Land values will rise. People will sell their land and reallocate assets. Hopefully, you and your wife will get a substantial price for your home and move to a place where your brand of socialism and economic understanding will be embraced.

With Cuba opening up again, there are plenty of great homes In Havana near the water front or in Mira Flores (old embassy residential neighborhood) which are quite reasonably priced these days.

The pressure to better utilize land (a free market principle) will result in a change in zoning. Otherwise ..I suggest we'd still have log cabins and saw mills downtown.

Now on to the The $15 min wages laws will and are currently presenting challenges to the poor and unskilled trying to get jobs and experience. In fact they are being priced out of the market. That's not good old fashioned "right wing talk" its fact. You'll see the effects in the minority neighborhoods as more and more minorities are unemployed. And of course...crime rates will increase...they always do.

You are just struggling with anger and the denial phase of these profound economic changes.

Eventually, you'll have to face the consequences of these policies which impose costs on the economy and reduce efficiency. There is no such thing as a "free lunch" in the economics.

Aug 2 mistral commented on Bernie Sanders Is Coming to Seattle Next Weekend.

When the debate is lost, adolescent name calling becomes the tool of choice of most losers.

Social Security is bankrupt. It can't pay current or future benefits from the "non existent" trust funds, (A stack of IOU from other US government agencies running a multi-trillion dollar deficits isn't collateral) nor from the payroll deductions being collected presently. The benefits presently being made exceed the amount being collected.

This is a fact and not even the Social Security Admin. Trustees dispute this. In fact, they say the problem is "significant" and "urge congress to act now" which is bureaucratic phrase ...meaning a "three alarm fire" status exists.

The only way to "balance" the equation is:
-- Cut benefits
--Tax Social Security Benefits
--Raise the Retirement Age
--Increase payroll taxes past the 15% already being deducted from hard working Americans
--Increase Federal Income Taxes and fund the missing money

So, choose your poison or perhaps simply admit the system is fatally flawed and broken. We've promised too much, which is very easy to do on Capitol Hill.. As they say....

"Its always easy to be generous with other people's money"

Meanwhile, back at the US Treasury Dept. we are indeed running a multi-trillion dollar deficit and greater percentage of that debt is held by foreign investors, the largest one being China. So we no longer "owe the debt" to ourselves but to others.

The interest payments on this debt will be increasing as inflation takes hold.

Tell me again, how do you suppose we will be able to
a) Replenish The Social Security Trust Fund Deficit
b) Make Interest Payments on the Multi-trillion dollar deficit
c) Increase taxes, while still maintaining a healthy economy.

Hopefully your rebuttal includes something more efficacious than adolescent name calling.

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