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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Fighting for the Scraps

Toeing the poverty line: Alabama blocks cities from increasing minimum wage


© Kevin Lamarque
Alabama, the second poorest state in the US, has effectively banned local governments from increasing the minimum wage. The governor and legislature approved legislation that retroactively prevents Birmingham from setting a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.

On Thursday, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed a bill that blocked Alabama cities from setting their own minimum wage or require employers to provide leave or health benefits.
The bill, AL HB174, not only prevents local governments from setting a higher minimum wage than federally required, but also bars them from mandating benefits and leave, solidifying Alabama’s reputation as a right-to-work state. Right-to-work laws prohibit union security agreements and abolish requirements forcing workers in certain occupations to join unions. As a result, jobs that are frequently unionized are no longer protected.
With no state minimum wage, Alabama uses the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. An adult earning the federal minimum wage working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, would earn $15,080 before taxes.
However, that number only applies to those working full time jobs. Alabama has the fourth highest unemployment rate. Eleven percent of its potential employees are either seeking employment, or would like and are available for full time work, but can only find part-time jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Birmingham’s race to increase the city’s minimum wage began in August of 2015, when officials voted to raise it to $8.50 by July 1, 2016, and then to $10.10 by July of 2017. The state began attempts to repeal the bill in February, however, forcing the Birmingham city council to speed up the process. On Tuesday, the council voted to increase the minimum to $10.10, effective immediately. However, the law was to go into effect on March 1 and state legislators acted faster.
State Senator Jabo Wagonner (R-Vestavia) opposed Birmingham’s wage increase, claiming that a wage increase would hurt the economy more than help it. “We want businesses to expand and create more jobs – not cut entry-level jobs because a patchwork of local minimum wages causes operating costs to rise,” Wagonner told the Guardian.
Birmingham Council President Johnathan Austin told Al.com that, “It certainly is unfortunate and, if it stands up, it is a loss for those who deserve to earn a livable wage in the city of Birmingham and, for that matter, the state of Alabama,” adding, “But the state obviously disagrees.”
The average per capita income in Birmingham was about $19,650 between 2009 and 2013, the Guardian reports. Meanwhile, overall average per capita income in the US was $28,155 for that same period, according to the US Census.
Alabama’s struggle with poverty is very real. The US Census reports that 18 percent of Alabamians live below the poverty line. Johnathan Austin told the Guard, “People cannot pull themselves up by their bootstraps if they can’t afford boots.

41 comments:

  1. The state legislature did the same thing to Kansas City, Mo.

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  2. A tisch less than 20% of Trump voters told Pew that the Emancipation Proclamation was a mistake.

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  3. Alan Krueger has done the definitive work on the connection between a higher minimum wage / unemployment, and found no linkage to speak of.

    Card-Krueger

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  4. There is no greater draw for illegal immigration than the minimum wage. Low minimum wages are a magnet for workers in poor countries to come to the US, live in group housing and provide employers with a limitless supply of low income workers/

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    1. .

      Reportedly, the flow of illegals to the US as slowed due to a couple major factors. One, Mexico is clamping down on people from Central America trying to enter through their southern border on their way to the US. And through the recession and recovery here many migrants have returned home. Some of these report that things are as good (bad?) for them in Mexico as in the US.

      I don't know how much credence to give to the reports or if it is just a temporary situation.

      .

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  5. .

    There is no definitive work on this issue. But I do agree with the conclusion that the effect of a min wage increase is, shall we say, minimal. I always have. Except in one company or industry towns, there are usually a number of factors that cause employment to fluctuate.

    The number of minimum wage jobs is just too small for a wage increase to effect the economy and jobs in a macro way (although through the recovery the rise in employment has been skewed to the lower paying jobs as was noted by the FED). Of course, on the micro or individual level, the minimum wage increase positively effects the worker and probably negatively effects some labor intensive companies and small start-ups.

    .

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  6. Open borders have destroyed job opportunities for US Citizens.
    California leads the nation in wealth and poverty.
    Rich Democrats, poor Mexicans, illegals, and citizens displaced from the workforce.

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  7. http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/3270/6835/original.jpg?w=800&h

    ReplyDelete
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    1. http://www.theamericanmirror.com/video-bill-clinton-snaps-at-veteran-during-speech-shut-up-and-listen-to-my-answer/

      Delete
    2. .

      The top picture brings to mind this one.

      http://shark1053.com/is-this-picture-of-hillary-clinton-next-to-im-with-stupid-shirt-in-nh-real/

      Snopes says the picture is a phony. I say it is too good to be true.

      .

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    3. .

      On the second story, I have to agree with Bill. The 'vet' if he actually was one was just flat out rude.

      An observation though, Bill is looking really fragile these days. Hillary may be taking a chance having him campaign for her, on a couple of levels.

      .

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  8. .

    The late night comics are having a ball with the last GOP debate. They typically play the video showing Trump, Cruz, and Rubio unchained in their impression of a Three Stooges skit, yelling, gesticulating, talking over each other like arguing six-year-olds with the occasionally pan to Wolf trying vainly to restore order.

    CNN and the other stations bring this on themselves by allowing candidates to respond when they are attacked all but guaranteeing that two (at the most three) of the candidates will dominate the time on camera. This leaves candidates like Kasich sitting and watching the show and occasionally pleading to be heard and Ben Carson plaintively begging "Will someone please attack me?"

    It's a joke. Although probably good for ratings.

    It even had Lindsay Graham, at a celebratory dinner and looking a little tipsy, saying, 'And I lost to these guys. Ben Carson stabbed his cousin and he is the nice one. The GOP has gone batshit crazy'. The first good comment old Lindsay has made in this whole process.

    And on the Democratic side, every Clinton commercial I've seen shows Hillary with her mad on (not a good look) and bringing back the lecturing shrew image and memories of "What difference does it make." And now, she even has Morgan Freeman doing voice overs for her on her campaign ads for god's sake.

    What cosmic flaw has brought this country to this state?

    .

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    1. http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/3270/2440/original.jpg?w=800&h

      Delete
  9. A certain amount is required to live.

    Now, the worker either gets it from the employer, or from the government (which is, basically, paid for through the employers', and higher wage earners' taxes.)

    For ex., a large number of Walmart employees get food stamps. Does that make sense?

    And, higher minimum wages do tend to push up wages further up the pay ladder. Many (most?) union contracts are tied to the minimum wage. Obviously, retail sales are higher in higher wage areas.

    Median Family Income is higher in areas that have higher minimum wages - and more union employees.

    It all just makes sense.

    As the old wag put it, "you can pays me now, or you can pays me later." :)

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    1. .

      I can see union wages driving median wages. Not so sure about minimum wage driving union wages.

      .

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    2. Quirk, I can't give you a link on this, but I'm sure some (many?) union contracts reference the minimum wage as a starting point for their calculations.

      As for old Bill, I agree with you. She needs to get that creaky, old relic off of the stage, pronto.

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    3. Union workers in the construction trades make at least three to four times the minimum wage and their contract gives them the same percentage increase as the percentage increase in the minimum wage.

      Delete
  10. .

    WATCH: U.S.-made missile goes up against one of Russia’s most advanced tanks


    Hard to tell how much real damage was done to the T-90.

    Interesting comments on the defensive capabilities they build into tanks these days.

    .

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    1. It did rate a high number of alluakbars.

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  11. Did you notice ALL the charges have been dropped against former Texas Governor Rick Perry ?

    Yup, it was a political persecution from the beginning and it accomplished its task.

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  12. .


    Early Iran results show gains for relative moderates

    60% of 55 million Iranians said to have voted; Rouhani’s so-called ‘reformist’ camp heading for best parliamentary showing in a decade.

    .

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    1. Don't fool yourself.

      There are no 'moderates'.

      Delete
  13. Yeah, that wasn't a particularly good shot with the Tow. The sweet spot is where the turret joins with the body.

    That said, I imagine someone got a headache out of the deal. :)

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  14. But, I thought Democracy and Islam were incompatible . . . . :)

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  15. .

    The entire adult male population of a village in southern Iran has been executed for drug offences, according to Iran’s vice-president for women and family affairs.

    The matter came to light earlier this week after Shahindokht Molaverdi revealed it during an interview with the semi-official Mehr news agency in rare comments from a senior government official highlighting the country’s high rate of executions of drug traffickers.

    “We have a village in Sistan and Baluchestan province where every single man has been executed,” she said, without naming the place or clarifying whether the executions took place at the same time or over a longer period. “Their children are potential drug traffickers as they would want to seek revenge and provide money for their families. There is no support for these people.”


    Shahindokht Molaverdi, vice-president for women and family affairs, said: ‘Society is responsible for the families of those executed...’


    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/26/all-adult-males-in-one-iranian-village-executed-for-drug-offences-official-says

    .

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  16. Rouhani was moderate enough to make the nuclear deal, get their money back, and avoid a war. Seems "moderate enough" for me.

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    1. What a deal !

      Negotiated by total fools on our side.

      Who wouldn't jump at that "deal"

      Delete
  17. .

    From today's Guardian,

    "New Mexico teenagers can now exchange nude photos without fear of criminal prosecution under a new bill that legalizes sexting and could have national implications for laws on child abuse images.

    Governor Susana Martinez, a Republican, signed into law a proposal that allows people aged 14 to 18 to engage in consensual sexting..."


    .

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    1. Old Susana, oh won't you sext to me,

      I've come from the Nursery,

      Them baby's bottoms for to see.

      Delete
  18. Mass escape of ISIS members from Sharqat toward Hawija

    (IraqiNews.com) Salahuddin – A security source in Salahuddin Province revealed, that dozens of ISIS members fled from al-Sharqat District after the approach of the security forces and al-Hashd al-Shaabi fighters, while pointed out to the killing of two ISIS members in an armed attack on a check point belonging to ISIS in northern Salahuddin.

    The source said in a statement followed by IraqiNews.com, “Today, dozens of ISIS members left their hideouts and fled from al-Sharqat District toward Hawija District, due to the intensified air strikes carried out by the Iraqi Army Aviation.”

    The source added on condition of anonymity, “The security forces and al-Hashd al-Shaabi fighters cut ISIS supply lines, while ISIS ranks collapsed after shrinking the salaries of its fighters from 459 thousand dinars to 100 thousand dinars.”

    “Two ISIS members were killed in an armed attack on a check point belonging to ISIS near Saylo District, while the attackers managed to escape to unknown destination,” the source continued.

    Slim done left town.

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  19. Strikes in Syria

    Attack, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Tal Abyad, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.

    -- Near Hawl, five strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL buildings and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

    -- Near Raqqah, a strike destroyed an ISIL excavator.

    -- Near Hasakah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, two strikes destroyed an ISIL front end loader and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

    -- Near Fallujah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Kirkuk, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Kisik, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Mosul, seven strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas, five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle bomb facility, an ISIL weapons storage facility and suppressed an ISIL mortar position and two ISIL rocket fire positions.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike produced inconclusive results.

    -- Near Ramadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

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    1. .

      ISIL assembly areas


      Is that where they assemble 'elements'?

      .

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    2. ISIS is going to run out of excavators.

      This one has the ring of truth to it:

      Near Qayyarah, a strike produced inconclusive results

      They have been going light on the 'bed down positions' lately, either a change of strategy of for lack of targets remaining....

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    3. They seem to have run out of bed down locations.

      Perhaps they assemble bed down locations in the assembly areas. Maybe 'elements' too.

      We need to flatten their industrial capacity.

      The have, for instance, way to many backhoes, some inoperative.

      Delete
    4. Fox News is letting Rubio have his day today.

      Non-stop Rubio.

      Delete
  20. 600 ISIS fighters fled from Fallujah to Mosul

    (IraqiNews.com) Anbar – The leadership of al-Hashed al-Shaabi in Anbar Province announced on Saturday the escape of 600 members belonging to the so-called ISIS from the city of Fallujah (62 km west of Baghdad) to the city of Mosul in Nineveh Province (405 km north of Baghdad).

    The commander of l-Hashed al-Shaabi in Karmat Fallujah brigade, Colonel Juma Fazaa Jumaili, said in a statement obtained by IraqiNews.com, “The intelligence information pointed out to the escape of 600 ISIS fighters from Fallujah to Mosul.”

    Jumaili added, “ISIS called its elements in Fallujah to be prepared to leave to Mosul with their families by orders of the second man in ISIS Ayad Hamid,” noting that, “Few members of ISIS remained in the city of Fallujah.”

    Iraqinews

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  21. Elizabeth Warren on Hillary and Bankruptcy Law:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7ZnapWoG6E

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  22. "Old Susana" = "Oh! Susana" above.

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