Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

New study: raising minimum wage hurts young, minority workers most

This report is from the libertarian Cato Institute.

Except:

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that significant minimum wage increases can hurt the very people they are intended to help. Authors Jeffrey Clemens and Michael Wither find that significant minimum wage increases can negatively affect employment, average income, and the economic mobility of low-skilled workers. The authors find that significant “minimum wage increases reduced the employment, average income, and income growth of low-skilled workers over short and medium-run time horizons.”  Most troublingly, these low-skilled workers saw “significant declines in economic mobility,” as these workers were 5 percentage points less likely to reach lower middle-class earnings in the medium-term. The authors provide a possible explanation: the minimum wage increases reduced these workers’ “short-run access to opportunities for accumulating experience and developing skills.” Many of the people affected by minimum wage increases are on one of the first rungs of the economic ladder, low on marketable skills and experience. Working in these entry level jobs will eventually allow them to move up the economic ladder. By making it harder for these low-skilled workers to get on the first rung of the ladder, minimum wage increases could actually lower their chances of reaching the middle class.

Most of the debate over a minimum wage increase centers on the effects of an increase on aggregate employment, or the total number of jobs and hours worked that would be lost. A consensus remains elusive, but the Congressional Budget Office recently weighed in, estimating that a three year phase in of a $10.10 federal minimum wage option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers by the time it was fully implemented. Taken with the findings of the Clemens and Wither study, not only can minimum wage increases have negative effects for the economy as a whole, they can also harm the economic prospects of  low-skilled workers at the individual level.

With that in mind, I have some bad news for everyone who likes the idea of young people of color finding work.

The Daily Signal explains: (H/T Dad)

At the stroke of midnight today, 19 states increased their minimum wage. Residents of three more and the nation’s capital can expect hikes later on this year.

[…]Federal legislation was met with resistance. though. Republicans argued raising the minimum wage would cause an increase in prices for consumers and low-wage workers likely would face layoffs as companies grappled with the higher costs associated with hiked wages.

Some of those concerns were validated last month by a University of California, San Diego, study. For three years, researchers followed low-income workers residing in states that saw wage hikes and those that did not. The study found that minimum wage hikes had negative impacts on employment, income and income growth.

[…]“Minimum wage supporters have good intentions, but those good intentions cannot repeal the law of unintended consequences,” James Sherk, an expert in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. He added:

Minimum-wage increases reduce the total earnings of low-wage workers — the higher pay for some workers gets completely offset by the nonexistent pay of those no longer employed.

In its study, UCSD researchers found that after minimum-wage increases, the national employment-to-population ratio decreased by 0.7 percent points between December 2006 and December 2012.

In addition, the study found that minimum-wage increases hindered low-skilled workers’ ability to rise to lower-middle -lass earnings.

So we need to be really careful about setting economic policy based on emotions. Things that sound nice, which we feel will help the poor, actually hurt the poor. We have to have evidence-driven public policy, not feelings-driven public policy. People’s lives are depending on it.

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Why is the Latino poverty rate going up?

From the Heritage Foundation.

Excerpt:

It has been reported recently that the poverty rate among Latinos has reached 28 percent.

The number, based on a new poverty measure by the Obama Administration, should be interpreted with caution, as explained here and here. However, the overall point that more American Latino families, and Americans in general, are struggling to achieve self-sufficiency is troubling.

What’s not mentioned in news reports, however, is the greatest driver of child poverty in the U.S. today: unwed childbearing. Among Latinos, unmarried parent families are roughly three times as likely to be poor as married families. Tragically, over half of Latino children born today are born outside of marriage. The rate has increased from less than 40 percent in the 1990s to more than half—nearly 53 percent—today.

These facts are rarely mentioned, and few attempts made to address the matter. Instead, big government proponents clamor that the antidote to poverty is greater government welfare spending. Unfortunately, these programs do not help people overcome poverty. Today, the U.S. spends roughly five times the amount necessary to pull every poor person out of poverty, and welfare is the fastest-growing part of government spending, exceeding even the cost of defense spending. However, poverty rates have not declined.

While welfare can provide temporary relief to those who have no other options, the vast majority of welfare programs are based on promoting government dependence rather than self-reliance. To pave the way to upward mobility, anti-poverty efforts should address the causes of poverty, such as family breakdown, not simply transfer material goods. Institutions of civil society—faith-based and community-based—are better suited to address the complexities of poverty, having a greater ability to reach individuals on a personal level.

Avoiding poverty in America is easy: you just have to finish high school, stay out of jail, get married before you have kids, stay married, and work at any job.

You just have to make the right choices, and that would be even easier if the government stopped rewarding people with taxpayer money for making the wrong choices – and then blaming others for their own poor decisions. People choose poverty, and they ought to be held responsible for it. If we really wanted to “help the poor”, then we would be increasing tax breaks for charity, for marrying and for working at any job – no matter how much it pays.

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Haitian man who could not be deported kills three people in Florida

From the Miami Herald.

Excerpt:

When burglar Kesler Dufrene became a twice-convicted felon in 2006, a Bradenton judge shipped him to prison for five years. And because of his convictions, an immigration judge ordered Dufrene deported to his native Haiti.

That never happened.

Instead, when Dufrene’s state prison term was up, Miami immigration authorities in October 2010 released him from custody. Two months later, North Miami police say, he slaughtered three people, including a 15-year-old girl in a murder case that remains as baffling today as it did the afternoon the bodies were discovered.

DNA on a rifle found inside the house and cellphone tracking technology later linked Dufrene to the Jan. 2, 2011, slayings.

But North Miami detectives never got to interrogate him. Just 18 days after the murders, Dufrene shot and killed himself when he was cornered by Manatee County sheriff’s deputies in Bradenton after an unrelated break-in and shooting there.

The episode is a black eye for U.S. authorities, who by law could not detain Dufrene indefinitely after the Obama administration ordered a temporary halt of deportations to the island nation. 

[…]The failure to deport Dufrene infuriates the victims’ family members. “This guy shouldn’t have been in America,” said Audrey Hansack, 37, who moved back to her native Nicaragua after the murder of her daughter Ashley Chow. “I’m so upset with the whole situation. Because of immigration, my daughter is not alive.”

Just to be clear, the policy of the Obama administration is a backdoor amnesty.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration is taking steps to grant what amounts to amnesty to as many as 300,000 illegal aliens.

In a recent announcement on a sleepy August Friday in Washington, D.C., the Department of Homeland Security directed immigration enforcement officials to start dropping cases against as many deportable alien lawbreakers as possible.

The administration is clearing out removal cases wholesale.  Despite insisting that it will give them case-by-case treatment, an interagency committee is charged with finding all the cases it can to grant relief.

This backdoor amnesty broadens and encourages use of “prosecutorial discretion” on behalf of foreigners who face removal orders.  Not only will potentially thousands of illegals be allowed to remain in the United States, but the administration has also confirmed that those aliens can obtain work permits.

Democrats are soft on crime, and they favor amnesty for illegal immigrants. And this is the result of their views. Three dead people in Florida.

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Obama appoints amnesty advocate to head his Domestic Policy Council

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

In another move aimed at aiding his re-election, President Obama on Tuesday announced that Cecilia Munoz, a former senior vice president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), would replace Melody Barnes as head of his Domestic Policy Council.

[…]The NCLR, whose name translates as “the race,” is a tax-exempt nonprofit that describes itself as “the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.” It most recently led in vocal opposition against Arizona SB 1070, a law attacked by Attorney General Eric Holder as a discriminatory incarnation of profiling that usurped federal authority over immigration policy.

When then-candidate Obama spoke to the NCLR national convention in 2008, he told the group what it wanted to hear — that Latino “communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids.” He also condemned those “communities taking immigration enforcement into their own hands,” such as those that have passed state laws or local ordinances to check that those who are here are in fact here legally.

At this year’s La Raza convention, Obama touted the federal Dream (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act, a thinly disguised amnesty program that is part of “comprehensive immigration reform” designed to pit those who have successfully eluded the border patrol on a path to citizenship.

Munoz has been serving since January 2009 as director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the time of that appointment. She was La Raza’s vice president for research, advocacy and legislation.

Since her entering the Obama administration, according to the watchdog group Judicial Watch, federal funding for La Raza has increased dramatically. In fiscal 2008, NCLR received $2.8 million in federal grants, and in fiscal 2009 it got $4.1 million. In 2010, the total rocketed to more than $11 million.

[…]La Raza has ties it refuses to condemn with groups such as MECHa, which has spent the last three decades indoctrinating Latino students on American campuses, claiming that California, Arizona, Mexico, Texas and southern Colorado were stolen and should be returned to their rightful owners, the people of Mexico.

MECHa’s slogan is derived from the rhetoric of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro: “Through the race, everything; outside the race, nothing.”

Here’s a good article summarizing all of the ways that the Obama administration has been pushing a backdoor amnesty since he was elected.

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Republicans won a record-breaking 680 seats in state legislatures

Wow… the ultra-leftist National Journal reports on the 680 seats lost by Democrats in the state legislatures. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Republicans picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures — an all time high. To put that number in perspective: In the 1994 GOP wave, Republicans picked up 472 seats. The previous record was in the post-Watergate election of 1974, when Democrats picked up 628 seats.

The GOP gained majorities in at least 14 state house chambers. They now have unified control — meaning both chambers — of 26 state legislatures.

That control is a particularly bad sign for Democrats as they go into the redistricting process. If the GOP is effective in gerrymandering districts in many of these states, it could eventually lead to the GOP actually expanding its majority in 2012.

Republicans now hold the redistricting “trifecta” — both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship — in 15 states. They also control the Nebraska governorship and the unicameral legislature, taking the number up to 16. And in North Carolina — probably the state most gerrymandered to benefit Democrats — Republicans hold both chambers of the state legislature and the Democratic governor does not have veto power over redistricting proposal…

And Fox News reports that the Republicans won a huge number of governorships as well.

Excerpt:

In Michigan, Republican businessman Rick Snyder, who vowed to turn around the state’s devastated economy, defeated Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, a Democrat.

In Ohio, another closely watched race, and one of the fiercest, Republican John Kasich, a former chairman of the House Budget Committee, defeated Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.

In New Mexico, Republican Susana Martinez became the first Hispanic woman to become a state’s chief executive.

In Oklahoma, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, a Republican, became the state’s first female governor. She defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. Jari Askins to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. Brad Henry.

In Tennessee, Republican Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam defeated Democratic businessman Mike McWherter to win the state’s open governorship.

In Kansas, conservative Republican Sen. Sam Brownback defeated Democratic state Sen. Tom Holland to win the governorship. Democrat Kathleen Sebelius was elected in 2002 and again in 2006 before joining Obama’s Cabinet as secretary of health and human services. Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson replaced Sebelius but did not run for a full term.

In Wyoming, former U.S. attorney Matt Mead, the Republican nominee, defeated former state Democratic chairwoman Leslie Petersen. And Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert won another two years in office.

A Tea Party-backed South Carolina Republican, state Rep. Nikki Haley, was elected to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Mark Sanford. Haley won over state Sen. Vincent Sheheen.

In a high-profile race for which both parties spent millions, Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who has already served 10 years, defeated Democrat Bill White, a former mayor of Houston.

South Dakota’s Republican lieutenant governor, Dennis Daugaard, defeated Democratic challenger Scott Heidepriem to succeed term-limited Gov. Mike Rounds, keeping the seat in GOP hands. Alabama also remained in the Republican column as state Rep. Robert Bentley defeated Democratic nominee Ron Sparks. Republican Gov. Bob Riley is term-limited.

In Nebraska, Republican Gov. Dave Heineman was easily re-elected over the Democratic candidate, lawyer Mike Meister.

It was a landslide. The worst defeat the Democrats have ever endured. I am a big admirer of Mary Fallin, by the way. She is ultra-conservative. She is the third of the trifecta of female Republican governors. These are very conservative women – excellent choices for the Republican party, and possible future Presidents!

Oh, by the way… what do these Republican governors do? They cut spending.

Excerpt:

When Governor Christie set his sights on reducing the size of government and the debt in the Garden State, he is keeping that promise.

The governor announced that beginning January, he’ll cut 1,200 state jobs saving New Jersey taxpayers $8.8 million. The job cuts will include layoffs and attrition.

So why January you may ask?

Previous liberal tax and spend governor, Jon Corzine created a deal with his buddies in the state’s unions to prevent Christie from cutting these jobs before leaving office. The deal prevented these lay offs until January 2011.

Christie said the layoffs are needed to balance the state’s $29.4 billion budget. This is the type of fiscal conservatism that has made Governor Christie a rock star in the Republican party.

That’s what they were elected to do, and they’ll do it.

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