Minimum Wage Laws and Special Groups Impact

Fast-food workers and civil rights groups in Birmingham, AL, are mounting a constitutional challenge to a recent state law that bars cities from setting their own higher minimum wages, alleging the law violates the workers civil rights.

The plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the state’s Republican Gov Robert Bentley, claiming the bill he signed into law in February was tainted with “racial animus” toward the predominantly African-American city.

One of the lawsuit’s main claims is that the state law disproportionately impacts minority residents who live and work in Birmingham, many in low-wage, fast-food industry jobs that leave them impoverished and on public assistance.

Minimum Wage Revisited

Kevin Williamson, at National Review, had a thought that’s only now percolating to the surface of thinking Americans and that still is avoided by the American Left.

Properly understood, raising the minimum wage—and having a minimum wage at all—is camouflage, something to talk about and fight about while we’re not talking about and fighting about the more important underlying issue.  Declaring that all American workers shall be paid at least $15 an hour is not the same as ensuring that all American workers produce $15 an hour worth of value, and, eventually, the disconnect between those two considerations must make itself felt.

Another Intrusive Government Regulation

US regulators proposed requiring the nation’s largest banks and financial firms to hold back executives’ bonus pay for four years, extending by a year the common industry practice on Wall Street incentive payouts.

The plan would also require a minimum period of seven years for the biggest firms to “claw back” bonuses if it turns out an executive’s actions hurt the institution.

In a free market economy—that is to say, a healthy economy—this would be a business decision, validated or rejected by that business’ owners and its marketplace customers.  However, in this Progressive-Democrat Party administration, this is a Government Decision, made by Government Know Betters, because those actually participating in an economy, with their own money on the line, can’t possibly understand the situation.

A State Appeals Court Missed the Point

Recall the California case, Vergara v California, in which nine students and the nonprofit advocacy group Students Matter, sued the State of California, arguing that the State’s tenure laws and its firing and layoff policies made it too hard to fire bad teachers, thereby denying students a decent education.  At trial, the students won, and the laws were struck as unconstitutional.  Naturally, teachers unions—California Teachers Association and California Federation of Teachers—anxious to protect its tenure perks, appealed.

Last Thursday, a State appellate court

said the plaintiffs had not successfully proven that some students were indeed getting an inferior education because of job protection provisions.

“Long-Lasting Effects of Socialist Education”

That’s the title of a paper published at the end of last year by Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln of Goethe University Frankfurt and Paolo Masella of the University of Sussex.

Here’s the abstract:

Political regimes influence contents of education and criteria used to select and evaluate students.  We study the impact of a socialist education on the likelihood of obtaining a college degree and on several labor market outcomes by exploiting the reorganization of the school system in East Germany after reunification.  Our identification strategy utilizes cut-off birth dates for school enrollment that lead to variation in the length of exposure to the socialist education system within the same birth cohort.  An additional year of socialist education decreases the probability of obtaining a college degree and affects longer-term male labor market outcomes.

Supreme Court Damage

This is why we so desperately need a Republican President and a Republican Senate from 2017 on.

The Supreme Court split 4-4 Tuesday on a challenge brought by public school teachers who objected to paying union dues, delivering a big win for the unions[.]

The Liberal block on the Court has continued to vote in lock step, rather than on what the law actually says, this time damaging—as they surely know—not only the Free Speech Clause, but the Free Assembly Clause as well, of the 1st Amendment.

More Overregulation

More fallout from Dodd-Frank: these regulators now are about to promulgate a rule set that requires companies to sequester bonuses paid to their executives for some period of years before those execs can collect their bonuses.

Aside from interfering with decisions that are wholly internal to a business and so none of the government’s business, there are other problems with this set.  This rule set will

govern pay to risk-taking executives who are in a position to do material damage to their companies.

Federally Mandated Wages

Here’s another fiasco-in-waiting being manufactured by the Progressive-Democrat Party and its leader, President Barack Obama.

The Obama administration has advanced to the final stages a contentious rule that will make millions more Americans eligible for overtime pay….

The Labor Department sent its final version of the overtime-pay regulation to the White House Office of Management and Budget on Monday for review, according to an administration official.

This rule will force employers to pay overtime for hours worked beyond 40 in a week to salaried workers whose annual basic salary is $50,440 or less—an increase of more than 200%.

The Truth

…is beginning to come out.

At a CNN Ohio coal country Townhall involving Progressive-Democrat Party Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT), Clinton said, in all seriousness,

I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country, because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.

Her campaign then clarified, in a post-Townhall statement, that her plan “would also safeguard workers’ retirement and health benefits.”  But do nothing about their current jobs so they can get to retirement, apparently.

The PRC’s Economic Malaise

Andrew Browne had some thoughts in a recent Wall Street Journal article. PRC’s Premier, Li Keqiang, wanted to do some serious revamping of the nation’s economic structure and deemphasize a massively overbuilt industrial capacity, shifting the economy more toward consumer production and consumer spending. His words—”This is not nail-clipping; it’s like taking a knife to one’s own flesh”—were reminiscent of his predecessor’s actions. Zhu Rongji eliminated 30 million jobs in an actual overhaul attempt in the ’90s.