Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Giving a Handout Job
As the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't teach simple math to Bernie Sanders." A saying which is particularly apt in light of the Vermont senator's statement that he will soon be announcing a new federal jobs program which would guarantee a $15/hour job and health benefits to every adult American who "wants or needs one."
Sure, such a program sounds like it would be prohibitively expensive, but surprisingly the whole thing could be funded simply by raising taxes so high that the evil rich and the somewhat-evil middle class will literally beg for quick, merciful deaths.
Even apart from the funding for such a program, we foresee a number of other problems with the idea:
• What the heck kind of jobs will these even be? Jobs in the actual government?! Because we're not guessing that this new pool of workers would add much in the way of efficiency for our already hopelessly moribund bureaucracies. Or will the government create businesses which will compete with their private sector counterparts, who will be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to getting employees or actually being profitable?
• When these magical $15/hour jobs appear, what will happen to those currently making less than that amount? Oh yeah, they'll all jump ship and take the new jobs (which apparently aren't finite in number). And who will take their places? No one - unless they're stupid and hate money. Although Bernie's plan does contain a loophole: the new jobs are for adult Americans. Meaning the jobs with substandard wages can still be performed by children.
• Bernie's plan would include job training (presumably in many languages) for any who need it. But where will these instructors come from? And how will job seekers be ferried back and forth to class? We're guessing that in any given week, one third of the group will be paid $15/hour as drivers, one third will be paid $15/hour to take classes, and the last third will get $15/hour to teach. The next week (and the one after), they all switch jobs. Finally, a perpetual motion machine!
• Businesses trying to compete for workers by offering higher wages (while simultaneously being taxed more) will have to raise consumer prices significantly just to survive. Unless, say, GovMart or GovPizza or McGovBurger undercuts those prices since they're not required to make an actual profit. So the likelihood is that prices in the private sector would shoot up until consumers rebel and desert them...after which the private businesses will close, reducing the tax base, and forcing taxes to be raised even higher to keep the program funded. This is what is known as a "death spiral" to both economists and the gigantic self-devouring worm Ouroboros.
Is Bernie's plan likely to pass? Thankfully, no - but it's a frightening bellwether of where quite a few Progressives want to take the country. And if the midterms go badly for our side, they just might possibly get the chance.
Posted by Stilton Jarlsberg at 12:01 AM
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Obviously, if you raise the wages of untrained, entry level workers to $15/hr., then more experienced workers will want...more. What do you get when you pay more for the same goods and services?
Ding! Ding! Ding! Inflation! And the price of everything else goes up, possibly putting you into a higher tax bracket, without really increasing your purchasing power.
Tell Bernie the first lesson is free!
Maff be hard and stuff.......
And for those who don't want 15 dollars an hours ....you can always join the military ......
The mad dog droolage is a nice touch, Stilt. Maybe he should have an obedience collar to help control his spewage. BTW, what ever happened to his wife who bankrupted the school she was running ? Seems like it was swept under the rug due to a lack of concern by the local toadies back home......
I do believe that a key point is being missed here. This silly program would add untold millions to the Union's larder. If you would like to see how unskilled workers work for the government, check out the efficiency of the airport gropers. This would probably be the biggest government boondoggle yet - and that would really be saying something. Stilt: Crazy Bernie does not need this fiasco paid for, just turn up the crank on the printing press a notch. Sort of apropos that fiat work would be paid for with fiat currency.
Last year the voters of Flagstaff passed proposition 414, which instantly raised the minimum wage to $11/he and further raises it $1/yr until it reaches $15/hr. As a resident of the county, I did not get to vote on it, but still am forced to do most of my business and buy all of my goods in the city.
I already have seen an increase in prices and the demise of several "mom and pop" stores which couldn't compete with the big box outlets.
As a self-employed electrician, I can simply raise my rates to compensate and still dramatically undercut the big time contractors.
Problem is, if people can now barely afford electricity, they certainly aren't going to be hiring me to install a new light fixture or ceiling fan as often as they used to, and my Burger King Double Cheeseburger has already gone up from $1.88 to $1.99.
Now that Robert Mugabe's finance minister is out of a job, perhaps bernie can snap him up.
There's still time for the 1 Trillion USD bill with a picture of the Obamessiah!
We’re going to need a whole lot of money in the future ... gotta talk,to my incestment counselor about wheelbarrow futures.
I'm willing to bet the persons considered 'appropriate' will be from the 'disadvantaged' minorities who have from birth been shut out from competing in the job market. Maybe even reserved for those 'poor Latinos with no future in their homeland'.
What was said is true. Many employers in 'Fracking Land' are looking for employees to replace the persons finding job in tar fields. Nobody who works for less than $15.00 / hr. will be immune to the charm.
'Uncle Bernie' (why do I immediately also think of good old 'Uncle' Joe Stalin too?) is as barmy as a fox.
Thinking strategically about the upcoming midterm elections, look at his idea as another clever way to get out the blue vote in the heavily populated urban centers to first lay the foundation (democratic majorities) for such in the event 'Uncle Bernie" or democratic candidate succeeds in beating Trump.
Second even if 'Uncle Bernie' is unelectable, it doesn't mean his ideas wouldn't be co opted and made the law of the land; its happened before. Norman Thomas, the perennial, losing socialist party POTUS candidate campaigned on guaranteed income - what we now know as Social Security. FDR took Norman Thomas's idea and made it part of his campaign platform.
And as REM1875 has pointed out,'Uncle Bernie's' idea is a bit superfluous. There is indeed a federal jobs program for those interested; the military.
Here's the solution...Bernie's workers can PRINT MONEY! Then his program can pay for itself with the freshly minted million dollar bills. Way to go Bern, who said socialism can't work?
Ah, don't sell them TOO short. They know their demographic all too well, and know how to market to them. Thankfully, all but the most foaming-at-the-mouth gimme-gimme citizens this tripe panders too also believe that the government should VOTE for them, too - so they refuse to show up at the polls until they will.
Pure Keynesian economics makes all of Bernie's dreams come true. Equally capable of doing so are unicorns, King Midas, fairy dust, and other such financial theories, personages, and instruments. And, as a bonus, Keynesian economics and the aforementioned instruments hold their basis in the same version reality...
Massive inflation is a benefit, not a drawback, of Bernie's plan. That way, the existing government debt seems less by comparison, and becomes possible (not easy) to eventually pay down.
Not that they'll decrease spending. Or show the true level of inflation in the economic statistics.
Y'know Stilt, I had to do a double take reading the title of today's column. Nice play.
And this whole "I want more money onnacounta just because" is why China sells so many goods here; the vast majority of them inferior. "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear".
It really does cost less to make a crappy product than one of high quality. Take moonshine for example. Oh, wait, never mind. They're listening.......
Will "Burn-me" at least have the integrity to wear a Santa Claus suit when making such ludicrous pronouncements from now on? And what about the lazy blobs (educated by his contemporaries) who are so entitled that they want to sit on their corpulent cabooses and play video games because they do NOT "want" one of these magical jobs?
The oppression of communism is the epitome of "taxation without representation". What could POSSIBLY go wrong!
I've had people tell me they took LSD without any negative results. I think Bernie would tell me the same thing, but I would have to disagree.
Any bad idea can be tweaked to make it even worse. But let's explore the possibilities of this latest incarnation of govt cheese for a minute. Why not pay for the whole thing by IMMEDIATELY setting the hourly wage of EVERY current gummint employee to $15? Hell, make it retroactive to Jan 1, 2015! A living wage is a living wage, right? And if every gummint worker is making the same $15/hr from dog catcher to state governor to POTUS then I'll never have to hear about wage inequality again. Better yet, freeze that wage for the next 15 years. Make it a rule that workers must be on the job 15 hours a day, work 15 days a week, for 15 months of the year!!! This should appeal to anyone getting a free Kollege ejukAshun as they’ll only have to lern one number: 15!
I will say that this is a much better platform plank than the usual Progressive/Commie goals, such as no borders, no genders, higher taxes, you didn't build that, et cetera, ad nauseam. He does know his base. You know, the type that voted for Hugo Chavez.
Bern just needs to retire at this point. Take the Mrs. and join Morty & Helen down at Del Boca Vista.
"Sanders is a longtime advocate of "Fight for 15," the national movement aimed at raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour."
I have to ask why he is oppressing the poor with only $15.00/hour? After all if he REALLY cared wouldn't he propose a solution that is TEN times better, $150.00/hour?
I can't help but wonder, will the "Burn" tax that $15 an hour? Leave it to the Liberal/Progressive/Democrat doofi to prove the adage "A government big enough to give you everything, is big enough to take it away."
God save us from "Government help".
I have to wonder if we eliminated welfare for the healthy and brought back things like the CCC construction camps (at the oft 'required' $15/hr wage), would it result in a net gain or loss for the federal budget? I've long thought welfare checks should be distributed at the end of a workday, even if it is just picking up trash or trimming brush on the side of the roads.
Holy smokes! Just re-read my post ... investment counselor - fat fingers, lol!
Sorry I've been missing. Only just discovered that the world did not end the other day.
But I did have a nice "earth day". I drove hundreds of miles in my SUV to enjoy one of our national parks. I had a great time, even considering the copious amounts of crystallized "global warming" falling from the sky.
Bernie's Handout Job: I could spend an hour or so spewing forth another highly detailed and lyrical missive about exactly how and why this is nuts. But it wouldn't be anything I haven't said here before, and it really wouldn't be any better than what @Stilton has already said.
At this moment, the problem is ironically that there are not enough skilled people available to fill the multitude of jobs that already pay better than $15-an-hour. It turns out that the trillions spent on "higher education" has largely gone to waste on "Social Justice" degrees instead of things that are actually of use in a modern economy. Suffice it to say that the vast majority of people taking these new "make work" jobs would be people that the free market has little use for. Bernie waxes poetic about these people being directed to where there's need, like health care workers. But would you really want a bored SJW taking care of you when they'd rather be doing something else, or nothing?
Also note that Bernie didn't put a price tag on his plan. You have to give him credit for at least knowing better than to even bother. Any figure given would at best be imaginary and troublesome; both woefully low by a factor of dozens and considered simultaneously absurd expensive. It's hard to concurrently complain about Trump's trillion-dollar deficit over 10 years when your schemes would cost trillions a year while simultaneously turning America into Venezuela.
But I do hope this makes it to the Democrat's platform for 2020. For decades now, I've been arguing that the real "class war" isn't between "rich" vs "poor", but between the "net producer" and the "net consumer". Bernie's agenda makes that divide much more stark.
@Mike aka Proof says "Ding! Ding! Ding! Inflation!"
Exactly. Not only that, but also because of the increase in the consumption of goods and services without a proportional increase in the production of goods and services. Similar to what would happen under the various "guaranteed minimum income" schemes being promoted.
Bad news for my early retirement plans. But the good news would be for those with pricing power, who can simply raise their rates faster than inflation. It would still suck to be "poor", even making $15 with benefits.
@American Cowboy asks "After all if he REALLY cared wouldn't he propose a solution that is TEN times better, $150.00/hour?"
I've long asked this. IMHO, it's impossible for a family to have a worthwhile life in any major city in the US making less than $100,000 a year. So if there are so few negligible effects of creating or raising minimum wages, why are we screwing around with $15-an-hour and just raise everyone to $100,000? "Social justice" demands nothing less!
I can hear Tina Turner singing, "What's math got to do with it, got to do with it?"
Ol' Bern is just using the oldest politician "Chicken in every pot" BS to get himself and other proglodytes elected. Sad part is, it works. But maybe not? I honestly think there are perhaps millions of young people who don't want a (gasp!)job; they just want rich people to send them money so they can continue doing what they do best.... nothing.
Or do like the Golgafrinchian's! Make the leaf the official currency of the USA. Everyone would be instantly filthy rich.
@American Cowboy and @John the Econ,
Yup... we all know the $15 is just the bait. The ultimate goal is EVERYBODY's a millionaire, drives a Ferrari, and doesn't have to work a lick.
Oh yes, Venezuela has such a booming economy! And how about Greece? The free money thing is working awesomely there as well. But, do the starving people actually vote for him? If so, they are even stupider than our Millenials because they have reaped the rewards already.
I can just see a howling mob of college economics majors yelling. They are saying how burnie is a commie miracle worker and a money savant and he will save us all. Just like fdr. Just bend over and spread your cheeks. No. The ones at the other end.
You really have to wonder why Bernie would even suggest this.
#2 of a few possible answers: He really is nuts.
But #1 may be because it may buy enough votes from this dumbed down electorate to win. That's the one that's really troubling.
You people have it all wrong: the potential employees are gonna work on an orchard, harvesting all of the money that grows on the trees there. It will, of course, be fertilized with pixie dust to make the trees all the more abundant.
The drool is a nice touch.
It will, of course, be fertilized with pixie dust to make the trees all the more abundant."
..and don't forget the Unicorn manure to grow those juicy $1000 bills.
Cause that's what we'll be using when Kwazy Boinies economics drive up the rate of inflation. A huge plus is we finally won't have to use those annoying pennies anymore, or nickels, dimes, quarters...
Bernie reminds me of Oprah. You get a car! You get a car! Giving away things someone else paid for just for the glory of it. Except with him, it's not the glory, it's the political power. I liked him better when he was just the doddering old fool with a bad haircut shuffling around capitol hill. Once he got the taste of the adulation, he got drunk with power. The trouble is, his ardent supporters are not the ones who have jobs and are supporting themselves or others. Hopefully, there aren't enough of them to vote him in as president. Hopefully.
@Readers- I had a bunch of chores to do today and now I see I'm so badly outnumbered here in the comments section that I can't catch up with everyone individually. Then again, I probably don't need to - we're all on the same page.
Bernie's plan would be a disaster on so many levels. It's a direct attack on capitalism (no surprise there) which is the economic engine that drives everything in this imperfect but great nation. But as others have noted, this "plan" isn't really about changing anything - it's about making fresh, impossible campaign promises ahead of the midterms.
And I'm glad folks noticed the drool (and wandering eye) I gave Bernie!
Bernie's Plan: Bernie's a whack-job, but he does understand (and has said so in the past) that the Democrat's "open borders" immigration paradigm definitely is not compatible with his socialist Utopian dreams.
But the Democrats have effectively turned any immigration enforcement or even reform into a third rail. So is Bernie going to touch that rail and somehow convince the Democrats to close the border and build the wall, or does he honestly think that we'll be able to dole out $15-an-hour-plus-benefits (meaning well over $20-an-hour) to everyone who just shows up, which they certainly will when news spreads and the rest of the turd world empties out to come here.
Or is the real plan to do what they've already effectively done? They'll limit the federal jobs deal to actual citizens, and let the newcomers take over what's left of the old minimum wage and under-the-table jobs while feigning interest in their plight in exchange for their votes.
Thank you. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't teach simple math to Bernie Sanders." is now, officially, my favorite saying.
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