6/19/17

Restaurant die-off is first course of California’s $15 minimum wage

California is the bellwether for the country on the "living wage" issue and it's not looking too promising for small businesses:

Source: http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article155979969.html

THE FRESNO BEE - OPINION COLUMNS & BLOGS
JUNE 13, 2017 2:41 PM
Restaurant die-off is first course of California’s $15 minimum wage
BY JEREMY BAGOTT
In a pair of affluent coastal California counties, the canary in the mineshaft has gotten splayed, spatchcocked and plated over a bed of unintended consequences, garnished with sprigs of locally sourced economic distortion and non-GMO, “What the heck were they thinking?”
The result of one early experiment in a citywide $15 minimum wage is an ominous sign for the state’s poorer inland counties as the statewide wage floor creeps toward the mark.
Consider San Francisco, an early adopter of the $15 wage. It’s now experiencing a restaurant die-off, minting jobless hash-slingers, cashiers, busboys, scullery engineers and line cooks as they get pink-slipped in increasing numbers. And the wage there hasn’t yet hit $15.
As the East Bay Times reported in January, at least 60 restaurants around the Bay Area had closed since September alone.
A recent study by Michael Luca at Harvard Business School and Dara Lee Luca at Mathematica Policy Research found that every $1 hike in the minimum wage brings a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of a 3.5-star restaurant on Yelp! closing.
Another telltale is San Diego, where voters approved increasing the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour from $10.50, this after the minimum wage was increased from $8 an hour in 2015 – meaning hourly costs have risen 43 percent in two years.
The cost increases have pushed San Diego restaurants to the brink, Stephen Zolezzi, president of the Food and Beverage Association of San Diego County, told the San Diego Business Journal. Watch for the next mass die-off there.
But what of California’s less affluent inland counties? How will they fare?
Christopher Thornberg, director of UC Riverside’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, told the San Bernardino Sun that politicians should have adopted a regional approach. He said it would been better to adapt minimum-wage levels to varying economies – something like the Oregon model, the nation’s first multi-tiered minimum-wage strategy.
Oregon’s minimum-wage law is phased, with increases over six years. By 2022, the minimum will be $14.75 an hour in Portland, $13.50 in midsize counties and $12.50 in rural areas.
“That makes sense,” Thornberg told the Sun. “That’s logical.”
California is even more varied economically than Oregon. Thornberg believes hiking wages in blanket fashion will spark layoffs and edge low-skilled workers out of the job market.
In the Central Valley, wages for all workers, on average, are lower than those of the coastal counties.
U.S. Census Bureau data show about 21 percent of workers in Bakersfield earned from $8 to $12 per hour in 2015, the most recent year for which data was available. In Fresno, 32 percent of workers were in that wage group, and in Modesto about 25 percent. Contrast that with Santa Clara County, home of Silicon Valley, which registered only 12.5 percent at that level.
The state’s diverse unemployment rates tell a similar tale. Unemployment in Bakersfield was 9.5 percent; 8.8 percent in Fresno, and Stanislaus County notched 7.9 percent. Compare that to Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate – 3.2 percent
“Part of our whole concern with (the $15 wage) is it’s a one-size-fits-all,” Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, told The Sacramento Bee last year. “Areas with double-digit unemployment, this is scaring them to death.”
Jamil Dada, chairman of the Riverside County Workforce Development Board, told the Sun that he believed the state’s Inland Empire will be hit harder than other parts of the state.
“It might be tolerable in the coastal regions,” he said. “Their business environment is completely different.”
As politicians insert their sausage fingers into subtle market mechanisms, scarcity and unintended consequences will ensue.
Joining San Francisco’s restaurant die-off was rising star AQ, which in 2012 was named a James Beard Award finalist for the best new restaurant in America. The restaurant’s profit margins went from a reported 8.5 percent in 2012 to 1.5 percent by 2015. Most restaurants are thought to require margins of 3 and 5 percent.
If what’s happening with one early adopter of the $15 wage progression is any indication, locally famous inland hash houses and burger joints from Calexico to the Cow Counties will disappear as mandated wages climb to $15 statewide. And that will only be the start of things.

6/16/17

Has any American President ever been treated with such disrespect?

Yesterday I was searching Amazon for a gift for my mom. I was using the search term "gift for a woman" and this came up in the results:

Amazon Trump gift

Yes, it is a Trump "pencil holder" and yes, the pencil is stuck up his ass!

OK, so let me preface this rant by stating my current feelings on Donald Trump. I'm not a fanboy. I voted for Trump but was never "on the Trump Train" as they say. I voted for Trump because the alternative was truly unthinkable. 

So far Trump has mainly let me down as far as the expectations I had going in. His attitude and seeming inability to let the small shit go has hurt him terribly IMO. However he has accomplished some good things- getting a conservative SCOTUS appointment approved is at the top in my opinion and was the key reason I voted for him. 

Basically, I support President Trump and really want him to succeed for the good of the country. I don't see how wanting him to fail benefits anyone in our society. I'm not going to blindly defend him like some do. If he fucks up, I'll call him on it.

When I see something as absurd as this "gag gift" it really makes me angry though. I mean, the level of disrespect towards Trump is just off the charts. It triggers my sense of fair play, and this is way over the edge in political humor. This is just another example of how the anti-Trump crowd has totally lost their fucking minds. 

I sent a couple Tweets to Amazon about this asking sarcastically- "I can't seem to find the Obama with a pencil up his ass figurine. Can you help me?" But I've received no response.

Although Amazon is not the seller of this product, they do stock it in their warehouses and distribute it. In my opinion this needs to be pulled and products screened more carefully. This is outrageous.

6/14/17

Millennial Wars Episode IV - A New Hope

I get really depressed at the reality that our future is in the hands of Millennials. I mean, come on, they're fucking idiots.

But every once in a while there is a glimmer of hope. Hope that there are a few of them who actually "get it" and aren't the lock-step mindless morons who willingly enslave themselves to Liberal PC culture.

I saw this video and young women like this give keep that hope alive in me.

6/10/17

Fast Food Employees Closer To Extinction (Fight For $15)

Remember the good old days when a job at a fast food restaurant was an entry to the working world, not a final destination?

Remember when the fast food joints were staffed by eager fresh faced high school kids earning their first paychecks and gaining valuable work experience? OK, so maybe they weren't all that eager to be there, but they knew it was just "paying your dues" before moving onward and upward to a real career.

Today's reality is that your average fast food employee is more likely to be older, foreign born, uneducated, unmotivated, and harboring a great deal of resentment at having to work for a living in the land of plenty.

This sense of entitlement and lack of ambition has led to the "workers of the world, unite!" socialist attitude that spawned the "fight for $15" movement for a so called living wage for minimum wage employees.


The marketplace, as it always does however, is adapting to the rising labor costs and lowering labor quality by moving steadily toward automation.

For example I saw this today: Hamburger-making robot company raises $18 million

From the article: "Founded in 2009, Momentum Machines is developing food-preparing robots, the first one of which supposedly can prep hundreds of made-to-order hamburgers in an hour ― from raw ingredients to packaging. In other words, it might be the future of fast-food prep work."

The next time you're at Burger King and the person taking your order can barely speak English, and you get your Whopper looking like some gorilla was playing soccer with it, just remember things will change soon.

6/9/17

"Mahk" Destroys Millenials

This is one of the funniest videos I've seen in quite a while.

If you're not familiar with this YouTube video series, this guy plays a based Boston working class guy named Mark, or pronounced in the Boston accent - Mahk. Mahk is inserted into commercials, mainly from Chevy, and he plays a real life participant who tells it like it is.

This episode had me rolling. Mahk destroys Millenials and Hipster culture.

Subscribe to this guy's YouTube channel: Zebra Corner  Updates are infrequent because of the production values involved in the videos, but it's worth the wait.


3/3/17

What Is Life?

I was watching TV and came across a show about the possibility of finding "life" on other planets.

It got me thinking about the controversy over defining when a human baby becomes alive. For some reason this seems to be a big issue for people in determining the ethics of abortion.

At the 2 extremes, those on the anti abortion "Pro Life" side argue that life begins at conception. On the far "Pro Choice" extreme, they argue that a child is not actually "alive" until it takes it's first breath outside the mother's body and therefore, believe it or not, they think it is acceptable to abort a pregnancy up until the moment of birth- for ANY reason.

I for one believe that life begins at conception and going back to my opening sentence in this post, I offer this scientific justification. If we were to send a probe, rover, whatever, to another planet (Mars for example) and it was to dig up even one lone single celled organism, the headlines in every news program and paper in the world would read "Life Found On Mars!". It wouldn't say "Random mass of cells that's definitely not alive found on Mars!" it would just say Life.

Personally I'm staunchly Pro Life. I'm also Agnostic, so the Judeo-Christian arguments in the Pro Life / Pro Abortion debate don't factor in for me. I do however believe in science, and from a scientific viewpoint I think the definition of Life is pretty clear in my mind.

2/28/17

The Stupid Shit Leftists Choose To Get Upset About

A couple days ago President Trump hosted representatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Oval Office of the White House.

Instead of focusing on the significance of this meeting, Libtards chose to focus on Kellyanne Conway who was sitting casually on a sofa with her legs tucked under her.

The "Twitterverse" lit up with all kinds of tweets slamming her and Trump for "allowing such disrespect and lack of decorum" in the Oval Office. Oh, the outrage!


This is the shit they choose to focus on. Trivial nonsense.

I wonder if any of these idiots had any problem with President Clinton's disrespect and lack of decorum in the Oval Office when he was getting blowjobs and sticking his cigars up Monica Lewinski's snatch there.