minimum wage

NYS H2O is weird

It must be.  It's the only explanation.  And since we're not fracking here, that can't be the reason for the bizarre state of the drinking supply.

Despite being doused by the judge,

Nanny Bloomberg is still busily dashing around, dripping wet, telling everyone what to eat and drink—like most progressives, he seems to suffer from the delusion that he's God—as  well as influencing gun legislation in other states with his megabucks.

And Senator UpChuck Schumer has a surprise in store for legal gun owners, S. 374, the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013, formerly known as the ridiculously misnamed Protecting Responsible Gun Owners Act of 2013:

...Title II of the S. 374 is a gun controller's wet dream.

First, Section 202 makes it illegal for a firearm transfer to be made between unlicensed persons. It would required a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to first take possession of it, enter it in their bound book, perform a NICS check, fill out a Form 4473, and then and only then, complete the transfer....

...Section 203 is equally egregious. It mandates the reporting of lost or stolen firearms within 24 hours of discovery to the "Attorney General and to the appropriate authorities." More importantly, the penalty for knowingly violating this provision is 5 years imprisonment! 

If passed, the law goes into effect in 180 days from passage. So far, it has passed out of the Judiciary Committee on a 10-8 party-line vote.

While the gun prohibitionists would like to have bans on standard capacity magazines and semi-automatic firearms with ugly cosmetics, universal background checks is what they really want because the only way to make enforcement of them possible is a national firearms and firearm owners database. As Andy Gross, the former CEO of Intel Corporation, famously said, only the paranoid survive.

Of course, you're not paranoid if they really are after you. Read the whole thing.

What are some of the possible ramifications of Schumer's quietly-snuck-under-the-radar bill?

  • If you left town for more than 7 days, and left your gay partner, or unrelated roommate at home with the guns, you’d be committing a felony. This should be called the “denying gun rights to gays act.” Remember that the federal government does not recognize gay marriage, even if you’re state does, thanks to DOMA. 5 years in prison.
  • Actually, even married couples are questionably legal, because the exemption between family only applies to gifts, not to temporary transfers. The 7 day implication is if you leave your spouse at home for more than 7 days, it’s an unlawful transfer, and you’re a 5 year felon. I suppose you could gift them to your spouse, or related co-habitant, and then have them gift them back when you arrive back home. Maybe the Attorney General will decide to create a form for that.
  • It would be illegal to lend a gun to a friend to take shooting. That would be a transfer. 5 years in federal prison.
  • Steals the livelihood of gun dealers by setting a fixed fee to conduct transfers. The fee is fixed by the Attorney General. What’s to prevent him from setting it at $1000?
  • Enacts defacto universal gun registration, because of record keeping requirements.
  • All lost and stolen guns must be reported to the federal and local government. This means everyone will have to fill out the theft/loss form, and not just FFLs. You only have 24 hours to comply. If you lose a gun on a hunting trip deep in the woods, and can’t get back home to fill out the form in 24 hours, you’re a felon and will spend 5 years in federal prison.
  • Want to lend a gun to a friend to go hunting? It’s a 5 year in prison felony.
  • No exception for state permits. All transfers must go through a dealer or 5 years in federal prison.
  • UPDATE: Teaching someone to shoot on your own land is a felony, 5 years, if you hand them the gun. Not an exempted transfer.

And lastly (for now...there's never an end to it in this state), there are the state legislators—Republicans included—who seem to think that the laws of economics are suspended the moment one crosses the state line into New York.

We live in an

I'll see your ignorance and raise you some idiocy

To graduate from high school in NYS, students are supposed to have had a semester's worth of economics.  You know, this sort of thing:

Granted, the high school graduation rate in NYS isn't anything to write home about—74%—and it's even worse in specific cities like Rochester, where the rate is an abysmal 46%, so presumably lots and lots of New Yorkers have never seen anything remotely like the above graph.

But what's Shelly Silver's excuse?

In the SOTU address the other night, Barack Obama took the predictably pandering populist path of calling for an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour (and called for indexing it to inflation, too).

Meanwhile, back at the Empire Ranch, Andrew Cuomo had already proposed raising the state minimum wage to $8.75, without indexing. But not to be outdone in the economic illiteracy department, Speaker Silver and

...[t]he Democrat-dominated state Assembly has amended its proposal for a boost in the state's minimum wage to match President Barack Obama's desire to establish a federal $9 per hour wage...
But this never helps the people it claims to.
...The key idea underlying the textbook model of minimum wages is that when something becomes more expensive, people use less of it...
Translation: the real minimum wage is zero.
...It seems that one could still seriously question whether now, when so many are struggling to find jobs, it makes sense to enact a policy that makes it more difficult for them to do so...
Well, yes, we could question it, but we already know why this is being proposed (emphasis mine):
...Because a higher minimum wage is easy to implement, and because a higher minimum wage is a mandate for higher costs on businesses, rather than an item in the budget on which states would have to spend more money, minimum wages are a popular policy for trying to help poor and low- income families...
A three-fer for politicians: appearing to help the relatively poor (and "poverty" is now relative, defined based on income rather than on purchasing power) at no cost to themselves but at significant cost to evil, greedy businesses.  Such a deal.
As for the fact that a higher minimum wage never helps the people it's supposed to?  No matter.  It isn't really about them, anyway. It's a disingenuous exercise in ignorance and idiocy by our moral and intellectual superiors—an ultimately ruinous, self-serving game.




Snakes on a bus

Sister Si-moan v. SE (via NewsBusters):

I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that Sister Simone means well in this instance (although I can just hear the nuns who taught me: "You know what happens, class, when we ASS-U-ME...")  but the woman is dumb as a box of rocks—my apologies to all the ladies in habits who taught me over the years who had infinitely more on the ball than Sister Simone.

She needs to read a little Thomas Sowell, who might just know a wee bit more about economics than she does:

...the cold fact is that minimum wage laws create massive unemployment among black teenagers. Conversely, one of the lowest rates of unemployment among black teenagers occurred in the 1940s, when inflation virtually repealed the minimum wage law passed in 1938, since even unskilled labor was paid more in inflated dollars than the minimum wage law required.
Even during the recession year of 1949, black teenage unemployment was a fraction of what it would be in the most prosperous later years, after the minimum wage rate was raised repeatedly to keep pace with inflation. One of the few benefits of inflation is that it can in effect repeal minimum wage laws...
But Sister and her ilk are our moral and intellectual superiors, doncha know.  Right. 

Of minimum wages and corporate personhood

Ah, it's spring in Tompkins County and can the May Day rallies be far behind?  

In today's Ithaca Journal, a little story about the Tompkins County Legislature voting on issues that are above their pay grade on, of course, May Day:

With the Tompkins County Legislature voting on resolutions to endorse a higher state minimum wage and end corporate personhood Tuesday, the Tompkins County Workers' Center is preparing to rally in support of the two measures, while the county Republican Party is calling endorsing a higher minimum wage hypocritical.
The minimum wage resolution supports state minimum wage increasing from $7.25 to at least $8.50 or ideally $12.78 an hour. County representatives are scheduled to consider the resolutions at a special meeting of the Capital and Personnel Committee at 4:45 p.m. and then the full Legislature will take it up at 5:30 at the Tompkins County Courthouse, 320 N. Tioga St...
...The county GOP issued a statement Sunday saying the county Legislature should leave the issue for state legislators and calling the higher wage an unfunded mandate causing increased costs and prices. "It is hypocritical to complain only about those unfunded mandates that directly affect the Tompkins County Legislature but not those that impact the private sector," Tompkins County Republican Chairman James Drader said. "Ultimately it is the same taxpayer/purchaser who pays for unfunded mandates, whether these mandates are on government or businesses."
For more actual, you know, data on the effects of a minimum wage increase in NYS, see Raising the Minimum Wage in New York: The Poverty Impact of A. 9148.  To whet your appetitie:
...The data show that a majority of the employees affected by an $8.50 minimum wage in New York are either living with family or have a spouse that also works. As a result, the family income of a typical beneficiary of an increase in New York’s minimum wage is far higher than the $15,080 full-time, year-round income figure cited by policymakers and advocates.
The average family income of an employee affected by the proposed wage increase is above $53,000 a year. Even the median income of a beneficiary is $37,033 per year—more than double the $15k family income figure that advocates rely on....
Read on, Macduff.  Sound like an unfunded mandate that doesn't even do what it claims to do anyway?
And as for ending corporate personhood, see this post at Middle Class Dad on Politics, Marriage, Low-Carb Diets and a 1967 Firebird:
...Under this amendment, if I were to gather a group of my friends to advocate a position and we incorporate so we can claim non-for-profit status, we could be limited on what we could say by the government....
And that's only one of many issues with the idea that those evil, nasty, greedy corporations need to be muted.  
In the end, though, it boils down to free speech for me but not for thee. Progressives just hate it when they don't have enough rational arguments marshalled to win a debate, so their solution to that sticky wicket is to silence the other side.
And then, of course, there's the issue of the Tompkins County Legislature spending taxpayer money, in effect, as well as time on topics like the state minimum wage and an amendment to the US Constitution that are well outside their bailiwick.
Must be there are no county issues to deal with.
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