“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

All central authority in Post Soviet Afghanistan, post ISAF Afghanistan, post Saddam Iraq, post Gaddafi Libya, and Syria, currently under Assad, has been wrecked by foreign, mostly US intervention. What remains is a power vacuum and a society of survival of the fittest. Society has degenerated into tribal warlordism. The Global War on Terror has abrogated The Treaty of Westphalia, which cemented the concept of sovereign nation states after the Thirty Years War in Europe. The US War on Terror has replaced viable nation states in a new Thirty Years War of Islamic nations.

The Treaty of Westphalia is considered the beginning of the international system of laws. The concept of sovereignty which included territorial integrity, non intervention, and political self determination was recognized. 

Posted By Mohamed Eljarh FOREIGN POLICY

Monday, July 29, 2013 - 10:59 AM 

As dusk was falling on Sunday, the city of Benghazi was rocked by two huge explosions. Bombings have become depressingly frequent in Libya's second-largest city over the past year. But they're not the only form of violence plaguing Benghazi, either. There have been 57 assassinations since the end of the war that toppled Qaddafi's regime. 
The explosions come two days after the assassination of prominent lawyer and activist Abdulsalam al-Mesmari, who was shot as he left one of Benghazi's mosques after Friday prayers. Mesmari, who was credited with playing a prominent role in Libya's revolution, was also an outspoken critic of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamists. 
More recently, Mesmari was involved in the organization of a planned demonstration over the investigation into the 2011 killing of General Abdul Fatah Younis, a leading commander in the war against Qaddafi. Islamist extremists are suspected to have been behind his killing. 
As if all this weren't enough, more than 1,000 prisoners staged a jailbreak from one of Benghazi's main prisons on Saturday. Many of those who got away were Qaddafi loyalists and extremists; predictably there has been much talk of a conspiracy, but the circumstances remain unclear. Officials are exploring the possibility of a link between the jailbreak and the two explosions in Benghazi. Nuri Abusahmain, president of the General National Congress (GNC), Libya's interim legislature, made a short speech to the nation on Sunday night in which he accused Qaddafi loyalists of trying to destabilize the country. 
Many Libyans suspect, however, that it is the Islamists who are behind the killing of Mesmari and others like him. Extremists are exploiting the security vacuum in the country, and are doing their best to deepen it by targeting the security infrastructure. (Professional army officers are among the most frequent targets.) 
Political polarization is reaching alarming levels. The authorities in Tripoli are incapable of bringing the security situation under control. No one has been brought to justice for the Benghazi assassinations, and no arrests have been made in connection with the bombings in Benghazi and Tripoli. The authorities have registered the cases against "unknown assailants," a category of people that seem to be able to attack at any time and place with complete impunity. 
As a result, Libyans are becoming increasingly suspicious of political parties, whom they suspect of maintaining their own armed wings to influence the political situation. These suspicions were affirmed by various exchanges on Libyan channels between GNC members from the National Forces Alliance and Islamist members. Hours after Mesmari was shot, angry mobs attacked the headquarters of political parties in different Libyan cities and towns, in some cases setting them on fire. The Islamist parties were particularly hard hit. The Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters in Benghazi was ransacked and looted; popular sentiment against the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya seems to be rising exponentially these days. (The backlash against the Brotherhood in neighboring Egypt may have something to do with it.) Some are calling for the movement to be dissolved completely. 
The situation is becoming unsustainable for the government and the GNC. Public anger is mounting by the day, and there are growing calls to sack the government and dissolve the GNC. This would be a dangerous path for Libya to take, because there is no clear alternative to filling the vacuum that would ensue. However, there are calls to amend the Constitutional Declaration, the country's transitional roadmap, and to agree upon a new framework for the country's transition. Judging from the rapid deterioration of the situation in Libya, the GNC will need to take some drastic measures and make changes in order to defuse the mounting public anger and tension on the streets. The government has been unable to reign in militias, while militias have shown unwillingness to lay down their weapons and join the army and police forces. 
GNC president, Abusahmain authorized the "revolutionaries" militias that have besieged government ministries and blackmailed GNC into passing the controversial isolation law to "protect" Tripoli in light of the deteriorating situation in Benghazi. These very same militias threatened to overthrow government and GNC if the law was not passed. In his address to the nation, Abusahmain warned against an armed coup against the legitimate democratic institutions. However, it is not clear who is leading the coup against whom, because pro-February 17 revolution groups own most of the weapons in Libya. 
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan announced in a press conference on Sunday an imminent reshuffle of his government. He hinted that he is contemplating the formation of a crisis government in order to stabilize the situation in the country. But some Libyans are discussing an alternative scenario in which Zeidan would resign, paving the way for a new prime minister to head the new government. The formation of a crisis government has been a key demand of the Zintan tribal conference that took earlier this month. 
The gap of mistrust among the various power brokers is widening. The Islamists, and their sympathizers in the important city of Misrata, view any calls for dissolution of the GNC as an attempt to repeat the Egyptian scenario, in which the Islamists are removed from the political scene with support from a majority of the Libyan people. Meanwhile, the powerful tribes in the east and south of the country, as well as the somewhat more secular leadership of the city of Zintan, view any attempts to prolong the life of the GNC in its current form as part of a gradual Islamization of the state. The Zintanis and the tribal groups worry that the Islamists are consolidating their grip on the state's institutions, especially after the passing of the controversial political isolation law that excludes many of the Islamists' opponents from positions of power. 
The only realistic way out of the current crisis is to launch a genuine process of national dialogue, one that is inclusive and transparent. There were calls for such an effort immediately after the revolution two years ago, but it never happened. The lack of national dialogue in Libya is feeding into the intensifying dynamic of mutual mistrust. Eventually Libyans will have to realize that it is only through compassion, justice, and inclusion that we can build the country we aspire to live in, a Libya that is built by all and for all. I pray that Libyans come to this realization sooner rather than later. 
Mohamed Eljarh is the Libya blogger for Transitions. Read the rest of his posts here


  1. Q’s comment from the previous comment is apt.

    Quirk - Tue Jul 30, 11:02:00 PM EDT

    US Foreign Policy and Egypt

    Will US officials never learn?

    The answer apparently is no. Just look at Egypt, where American policy combines equal parts hypocrisy and futility. Washington officials are never content to just shut up and stay home.

    The US remains wealthy and powerful, but still cannot micro-manage the globe. Every new administration, irrespective of party, ignores this reality. The outcome is always the same: values sacrificed, money wasted, credibility lost, reputation damaged. If President Obama wants to leave a positive foreign policy legacy, he should do and say less abroad.

    Read more:




    We need to mind our own business and quit fucking with people, our own and others. We need to put a collar, preferably a cinch, around the collective neck of DC, an out of control and lawless president, a feckless congress and an unrestrained imperious legal system that will intrude and sanitize anything its political masters desire.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. "The only realistic way out of the current crisis is to launch a genuine process of national dialogue, one that is inclusive and transparent."

      This writer is in the Quirkian category of having no solutions to anything at all.

      "Genuine shit.....

      It's time to admit we desperately need Quirk as Secretary of State. We need someone who is willing to get out there and forthrightly state:

      "Don't look to me, I haven't a clue, and have no solutions at all to anything at all."

      This would be astonishingly refreshing and clear the international air.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. .

      Rather than waste more time with this doofus, I will merely provide the reply I gave to this same line of gibberish posted on the last stream.

      QuirkWed Jul 31, 03:51:00 AM EDT


      Once again, Mr. Green Jeans proves that he lacks the ability to read a simple post, comprehend its meaning, and regurgitate it back in its original form.

      Unfortunately, this proves that he is a liar.

      Either he is lying in his current statement. Or, he is lying in his statement that he is an English major. Based on his past performance on this blog, I would probably bet on the latter.

      (Of course, there is the possibility that he started taking English Lit, Composition, et al and merely flunked out.)

      I don't ever recall seeing the likes. This happens every day on this blog with the Wizard of ID.


      A word of advice. Hire someone to read you this blog and explain to you what the posts you are responding to actually say before you continue to make a fool of yourself. I am more and more convinced that post that you use in continually accusing the rat is a figment of your imagination.


    4. Mr Green Jeans??




    5. No, it isn't. It was taken down by someone. If rat had the keys to the Kingdom then he did it. If he didn't the someone else with the keys to the Kingdom took it down, presumably taking down both my and WiO's earliest comments about a self confessed criminal.

      I didn't bring the subject up this morning. You did, just now, Quirk. I was done with it, mostly.

      It doesn't matter. WiO and I know what we read. And rat knows as well.

    6. Nope not in the least. I KNOW what I read. Deleted now of course.

      Not a figment of my imagination in the least.

    7. .

      I made the comment based on recent experience with Farmer Bob. In the most recent example (above), he took half a sentence out of context and has been ranting about it ever since.

      In this case, he took the first part of a compound sentence in which the two independent clause were connected by the conjunction 'at least', took the first independent clause, dropped the second independent clause, and then attempted to offer up an explanation of the sentence. He thus misrepresented, by ignoring the overall context, the meaning of the entire sentence.

      As noted above, unless he only has the attention span of a gnat, he is a liar. He either misled by intent. Or, he has lied these many years over his major in college. (Note: I am, out of deference to a fellow blogger, here ignoring the explanation related to declining mental faculties commonly associated with advancing age.)

      The only reason I made the rat comment was that I recall Bob once saying that 'if the rat didn't say it in exactly those words then the context left no doubt as to his meaning' (paraphrase). That simple statement while coming from any normal person is easily understandable. Coming from Bob, it is meaningless.


  3. Why faith is such a dangerous thing -

  4. This Reza Aslan guy is really f-ed up. I am continuing my research and also have ordered his book.

  5. Green Jeans signed a continuing lease on the old home place, which isn't much of a place, with an excellent farmer who happens to farm right next door, so it fits in well. Going to spray it out with a super heavy hit of Round-Up then no till drill garbanzos in next spring. Garbanzos are 35 cents a pound here now.

    Garbanzos beans are those big tan beans you put in your salad at Arby's, Quirk.

    It will be fun to see how they do. Never did raise Garbanzos.

    Green Jeans

    1. Garbanzo beans are a necessary ingredient for hummus. I am not sure that I would buy anything grown from ground sotted from a heavy hit of Roundup. Thanks for heads up.

      Note to self :

      86 non-organic hummus.

    2. Abstract

      The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. In females, all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5–5.5 times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3–2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.

    3. Leave it to mankind to take something that took nature millions of years to balance and then pollute in one.

    4. When I was a boy, the first thing you did after shucking corn was to remove the expected worms. Now every ear of corn is perfect. More GMO magic, I guess.

    5. "These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences."

      IMHO, of all the chemicals out there on the ag market, Round-Up is about the last one to worry about.

      And it has done marvelous things.

      Mankind has been genetically altering plants since we took up farming. Perhaps we'd be better off if we had never taken up farming, but then we wouldn't have the joys of civilization, like arguing with one another endlessly at the speed of light from a thousand or two thousand miles away. Our population would still be that of the hunter/gatherer/fisher folk, and we wouldn't have any Detroits to be concerned over.

      Trade offs.

    6. Without the development of farming, Quirk's role would have been that of tribal shaman.

      With farming, he is supersalesmanshipshyster.

      Some things never change.

    7. .

      I would have made the same comment about Roundup as you Deuce. My wife keeps me up on this stuff and has talked most of the neighbors out of using Roundup in their yards for weed control not only for health reasons (the stuff has a half-life of a billion years) but for the business practices the company uses worldwide. Perhaps, a billion years may be a bit hyperbolic. :)

      Developed by Monsanto, it is part of the big scam pushed by Big Ag, in this case Monsanto, to monopolize first the genetically modified grain market and then the world wide grain market.

      I am not sure that I would buy anything grown from ground sotted from a heavy hit of Roundup.

      Neither would the EU, that's why the US/EU ag-trade agreement is in trouble right now. The EU refuses to accept GM grains from the US.

      Monsanto may do the world a great deal of good but they are also, like the tobacco companies before them, dishonest in their business practices, misleading in their marketing, and deceitful in their defense. Also, we are creating the potential for a major food crisis by reducing the diversity of the various seeds used worldwide. Even the seed banks set up in various countries are pretty much controlled by a few seed companies. This doesn't even discuss the monopoly practices employed and the cost to farmers from using these seeds.


    8. "the stuff has a half-life of a billion years) but for the business practices the company uses worldwide. Perhaps, a billion years may be a bit hyperbolic"

      Only just a little off, maybe a billion years.

      Perfect Quirk, what 'facts' are given are wrong by magnitudes, killing weeds and genetically modified foods are confused, a blanket attack is made on big business, and a total mess is made of the whole discussion.

      Pure Quirk.


  6. >>>>July 31, 2013
    Black Politicians Mostly to Blame for Detroit's Demise
    By The Drive-By Pundit

    Idea for a sitcom:

    A cultured, big-city lawyer -- let's call him Oliver Wendell Jackson -- gets a hankering to pursue his childhood dream of farming.

    He snatches up his reluctant but glamorous Nigerian-born wife, LakaLisa, sells his luxury penthouse in the heart of downtown Detroit for millions, and journeys a block and a half away to a ramshackle farmhouse. Sure, there're some neglected pavement to plow over and a crack-whore or two who hadn't yet got the Detroit-is-toast memo, but for the most part, there's nothing but emptiness for as far as our protagonist's eyes can see.

    Over the course of the show, Oliver encounters an eclectic mix of rural rubes, including a super shyster salesman named Quirk, a dimwitted farmhand, a scatterbrained county agent, and a high school-educated pig that understands English and enjoys watching television. Each week, as Oliver stands outside, surveying the miles of deluded Detroit farmland, with lungs full of air unsullied by even the least bit of effluence from industry or commerce, he blares:

    Deeeeetroit is the place to be.
    Farm living is the life for me.
    Land spreading out so far and wide.
    Thanks, libs, for all of this countryside<<<<

    Fine list of American cities suffering the same syndrome - Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C, and Newark - included in diagnosis of America's disabled cities.

    Via the feared and detested American Thinker at:

  7. Replies
    1. At the end of 13 years of CRP my field had developed a heavy, solid growth of St. John's Wort in some places. I hadn't known for sure what it was earlier, but suspected. My new guy confirmed the identification. You just don't want to eat that stuff like that, though. Out of the field it can screw up your eyesight.

      Continue your urban destruction of the environment yourself, pave paradise to a parking lot.

  8. UPDATE: The BEA's first look at Q2 U.S. GDP is out.
    Growth was 1.7% at an annualized rate in the second quarter. Economists expected GDP to rise only 1.0% in Q2.

    Q1 GDP growth was revised down to 1.1% from 1.8%.

    Personal consumption growth slowed to 1.8% in Q2 from a downward-revised 2.3% in Q1, also beating economists' consensus estimate of 1.6% growth.

    Below is the full text of the release:

    Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013 (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 1.1 percent (revised).

    The Bureau emphasized that the second-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 3 and "Comparisons of Revisions to GDP" on page 18). The "second" estimate for the second quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on August 29, 2013.

    The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, and residential investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

    The acceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected upturns in nonresidential fixed investment and in exports, a smaller decrease in federal government spending, and an upturn in state and local government spending that were partly offset by an acceleration in imports and decelerations in private inventory investment and in PCE.


  9. {…}
    The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 0.3 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2 percent in the first. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8 percent in the second quarter compared with 1.4 percent in the first.

    Real personal consumption expenditures increased 1.8 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.3 percent in the first. Durable goods increased 6.5 percent, compared with an increase of 5.8 percent. Nondurable goods increased 2.0 percent, compared with an increase of 2.7 percent. Services increased 0.9 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent.

    Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 4.6 percent in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 4.6 percent in the first. Nonresidential structures increased 6.8 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 25.7 percent. Equipment increased 4.1 percent, compared with an increase of 1.6 percent. Intellectual property products increased 3.8 percent, compared with an increase of 3.7 percent. Real residential fixed investment increased 13.4 percent, compared with an increase of 12.5 percent.

    Real exports of goods and services increased 5.4 percent in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 1.3 percent in the first. Real imports of goods and services increased 9.5 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent.

    Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 1.5 percent in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of 8.4 percent in the first. National defense decreased 0.5 percent, compared with a decrease of 11.2 percent. Nondefense decreased 3.2 percent, compared with a decrease of 3.6 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 0.3 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 1.3 percent.

    The change in real private inventories added 0.41 percentage point to the second-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.93 percentage point to the first-quarter change. Private businesses increased inventories $56.7 billion in the second quarter, following increases of $42.2 billion in the first quarter and $7.3 billion in the fourth.



  10. {…}

    Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 1.3 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent in the first.

    Gross domestic purchases

    Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever produced -- increased 2.4 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.4 percent in the first.

    Disposition of personal income

    Current-dollar personal income increased $140.1 billion (4.1 percent) in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $157.1 billion (4.4 percent) in the first. The upturn in personal income primarily reflected sharp upturns in personal dividend income and in wages and salaries and a sharp deceleration in contributions for government social insurance (a subtraction in the calculation of personal income).

    * Personal dividend income increased in the second quarter, in contrast to a large decrease in the first. The first-quarter decline in dividend income primarily reflected the accelerated and special dividends that were paid by many companies in the fourth quarter of 2012.

    * Wages and salaries increased in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease in the first. The first-quarter decline in wages and salaries is based on preliminary quarterly census of employment and wages data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    * The sharp deceleration in contributions for government social insurance primarily reflected the first-quarter expiration of the "payroll tax holiday" that increased the social security contribution rate for employees and self-employed workers by 2.0 percentage points.

    Personal current taxes increased $36.0 billion in the second quarter, compared with an increase of $74.3 billion in the first.

    Disposable personal income increased $104.1 billion (3.4 percent) in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $231.5 billion (7.2 percent) in the first. Real disposable personal income increased 3.4 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 8.2 percent.

    Personal outlays increased $44.7 billion (1.5 percent) in the second quarter, compared with an increase of $98.7 billion (3.4 percent) in the first. Personal saving -- disposable personal income less personal outlays -- was $553.4 billion in the second quarter, compared with $494.0 billion in the first.

    The personal saving rate -- personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income -- was 4.5 percent in the second quarter, compared with 4.0 percent in the first. For a comparison of personal saving in BEA’s national income and product accounts with personal saving in the Federal Reserve Board’s flow of funds accounts and data on changes in net worth, go to

    Current-dollar GDP

    Current-dollar GDP -- the market value of the nation's output of goods and services -- increased 2.4 percent, or $98.1 billion, in the second quarter to a level of $16,633.4 billion. In the first quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 2.8 percent, or $115.0 billion.

    Read more:

  11. •Are Israeli-Palestinian Talks Based on 1967 Lines? - Ben Lynfield

    Israelis and Palestinians are sparring over the central question of whether the talks are based on Israel's 1967 lines or not. Abdullah Abdullah, deputy commissioner for international relations of Abbas' Fatah movement, insists that the U.S. invitation to the talks spells out clearly that the negotiations are to be based upon the line between Israel and the West Bank that existed before the 1967 war. But a senior Israeli official said, ''We did not agree to that. Israel rejected the Palestinian demand for this as a precondition for talks."

    *******Ghassan Khatib, a former PA minister, says that the negotiations will in practice continue for some time, albeit without a peace deal. "Endless negotiation is good for the Americans. They can point to success in bringing the sides to the table and keeping them there. Netanyahu can avoid U.S. pressure and shows he's engaged in the peace process. Abbas can continue to be fed with money, prisoner releases and other things and maintain the survival of the PA."********

    (heh heh - this is the best description of the 'peace talks' I have read so far -bob)

    "They have zero chances of reaching an end of conflict, end of claims agreement," says Yossi Alpher, former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies. ''The positions are too far apart on narrative issues like the future of holy places and the right of return'' for Palestinians. (Christian Science Monitor)

    See also Peace Process: Interim Solution a More Likely Outcome - Yossi Alpher

    Maximalists might only qualify as a success a full-fledged two-state solution that ends all claims by both sides. Sadly, that is the least likely outcome. More likely, "success" will be measured, if at all, in incremental gains, such as an interim solution. (Jewish Chronicle-UK)

    •Gaza Rocket Hits Israel as Talks Resume
    "A rocket was fired from Gaza and exploded in a field in Israeli territory without causing any damage or casualties" on Tuesday, said Israel Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, as a first full day of resumed Middle East peace talks was to open. Israel holds Hamas, as the de facto authority in Gaza, responsible for all rocket fire, regardless of who launches it. (AFP-Fox News)

  12. With all the data, all the money, how can there possibly be such a major revision between two quarters?

  13. You don’t think it could be political manipulation due to the immigration bill do you?

  14. Where is the justification to flood the US labor market with the economy doing so poorly? The theme is that the US economy is in dire need of new workers. It is the path to prosperity. OOps, must be hard to diddle the numbers two quarters in a row.

  15. It would cost McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) and its franchisees more than $8 billion a year in the United States, if its workers received a raise from current wages to the $15 per hour demanded by workers striking in seven cities. The number is just as huge for Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. The expense of the move to Wendy’s Co. (NASDAQ: WEN) would just as harsh, given its total sales. At Burger King Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: BKW), where the company now franchises some 97% of its U.S. restaurants, the impact on the company would be small, but franchisees would feel the sting.

    This week’s walkouts at restaurants owned by and franchised from the big four fast-food chains have as a primary goal improving the wages of low-wage, hourly workers at these companies. The federal minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25. The people who have walked off their jobs are seeking a raise to $15 an hour. Is the increase even financially possible given the economics of the fast-food industry? The answer likely is no.

    24/7 Wall St. put together an analysis of what each of these companies currently spends on payroll at both the stores that they own and operate and at their franchised stores in the United States. The data comes from a report on big business, corporate profits and the minimum wage published by the National Employment Law Center (NELP) that was completed last year. Of the workforce totals, NELP states that 89.1% are low-wage workers who earn an average of $8.94 an hour. Using this data, 24/7 calculated total cost to the restaurants for all their average workers who work 35 hours a week for 50 weeks a year.

    Yum! Brands Inc.

    > Number of employees: 880,330
    > Total wage expense at current pay level: $11.99 billion
    > Total wage expense at $15 an hour: $20.11 billion
    > Annual wage cost increase: $8.32 billion

    Read more: The Wage Hike to $15 Would Cost McDonald’s $8 Billion - McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) - 24/7 Wall St.

  16. > Number of employees: 880,330
    > Total wage expense at current pay level: $11.99 billion
    > Total wage expense at $15 an hour: $20.11 billion
    > Annual wage cost increase: $8.32 billion

    Well then, here is the answer, cut wages in half and we can double the number of employees to 1.6 million. What could possibly go wrong?

  17. What is happening is that government transfer payments are filling the gap for underpaid workers and 100% to those that don’t bother to work because of the lack of an economic incentive to do so.

    This is as much a welfare subsidy to business as it is to underpaid employees.