All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

$15/hour minimum wage?

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has declared Washington State needs to have a higher minimum wage.  If the worst tradition of "liberalism" Inslee is spending someone else money, but now Inslee is too cowardly to tax it first. 

A minimum wage supposes no dignity of working -- under the minimum wage system, people don't get a wage, they are assigned a scale. 

Government forces upon them the idea that the wage earner is inferior to the employer, that only Big Brother government can make the mean ol' employer pay the wage -- premised upon the idea the worker is too weak to stand on his own hind legs. 

The government supposes the worker is a weakling, and must be protected and coddled and controlled, never to live life as a free citizen, but only to exist until it is convenient for the government autocrats to allow the worker to perish.  No free worker should believe this kind of patronizing.

The economic impact is the minimum wage has always caused a reduction in labor hours, i.e. total employment drops. 

Think about it:  If something goes up in cost, do you 1) buy more of it because you are stupid and loaded with money?  or 2) you buy less of the thing because you are not loaded with money and are watching your expenses too.  

If the $15 hour wage is adopted we will see more automation and less unskilled labor used in the market.  Another impact is new workers in the market, i.e. the young, will get frozen out.

The second result is more severe:  The actual use of labor may drop significantly because the hourly price is set too high.  If $15 is good, why isn't $35 better?  Why not make the minimum wage $35 per hour?

Obviously, government authorities will have to set the amount exactly right, or the economy goes stupid. 

The authoritarian autocrats will never confess that they are bad managers of the economy.  The authoritarian leftist will say something must be wrong with the workers, or the employers are too greedy, or anything except take responsibility.

The whole productive system can grind to a halt and jobs get sent overseas.  Some Authoritarian-Democrats will complain that America is a consumption based economy.  That is stupid.  Production has to equal (or exceed) consumption, otherwise there is a shortage.

Every time the people get fooled into demanding the government do something for them, the people have suffered.  Power always takes more than it gives

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Get the power back, workers.

Negotiate your own wage between you and your employer. Once in history, this was done by the local union, but even that doesn't exist anymore. 

Too many greedy authoritarians have seen the money they could get by pretending to be the protector of the people.  All they are looking out for is their own gain.  Don't trust them, workers.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why don’t Democrats want to Fund Education First?

Republican legislators’ mantra last year during budget negotiations was Fund Education First, and it was a popular one. Not only does our state constitution say that education is the state’s paramount duty, it’s also voters’ number one priority. To them, it is obvious that state leaders should fully fund our paramount duty before other priorities in the budget.

Gov. Inslee announced his plan Tuesday to end seven tax preferences and raise $200 million in new tax revenue this year, to be put toward school operational costs, textbooks, and a cost-of-living raise for teachers. Public radio’s Austin Jenkins asked the governor directly at his press conference why Democrats don’t agree with Republicans’ preference for funding education first and funding other, lower priorities of government through tax increases if Democrats feel that is necessary.

Not surprisingly, Inslee didn’t want to answer that question. Instead, he gave an answer about his current supplemental budget proposal that ignored the premise of the question: If education is the paramount duty of the state, why not fund it first and make a tax fight about other spending?

You don’t have to go back in time very far to see Republicans step up for education while Democrats made their support contingent on getting new taxes approved. Just last year, the Majority Coalition Caucus proposed a budget that increased education funding by $1 billion without needing general tax increases. Budget proposals from the House Democrats and the governor also increased education funding, but only if big tax increases were approved.

Of course, we all know why the governor and his party don’t support Fund Education First, they just can’t say it out loud. As the party of bigger government, they want tax increases, and they think they’re more likely to pass a tax increase if it’s “for schools.” Legislators and the public are less likely to feel pressured to approve new taxes if they went to, say, more government regulations enforced by more government employees.

Unfortunately, Fund Education First doesn’t fit into their Grow Government First agenda at all.

– Rob McKenna

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Report from Olympia

The 2014 legislative session is underway. Before the session started the consensus seemed to be we would be done in the 60-day timeframe and there wouldn’t be anything to keep us in Olympia for a special session. However, a January Order issued by the state Supreme Court claimed the Legislature was not doing enough to fund education, even though we pumped an additional $1 billion into K-12 education last year. And, our work with education is not done. The court has clearly overstepped its authority and is violating the separation of powers that is supposed to exist between the three branches of government. Justice Jim Johnson wrote the dissent and I believe was correct. His comments include:
  • the legislature holds a constitutionally delegated duty specific to the funding of education. The judiciary does not.
  • Such unwarranted extension of judicial authority violates both the constitutional separation of powers and the explicit delegation of definitions and funding for education to the legislature.
  • This court’s exercise of continuing jurisdiction in this case usurps what is intended to be and what expressly is a legislative function and duty.
  • We are not–and should not be acting as–managers of the state coffers.
Comment cards
I want to thank everyone who has responded with the comment cards. I have received hundreds and your feedback is important to me. The most popular issues tend to be:
  • opposition to any new gas tax;
  • no new money for the Washington State Department of Transportation until we can show we are using the current monies effectively (eg, the cost overruns on the Seattle tunnel);
  • if there is any new money for transportation it should go toward maintenance and preservation only;
  • concerns about rising health care premiums and deductibles, and the implementation of Obamacare; 
  • lower taxes and regulations on employers so they can create more jobs; and
  • fund the teacher COLA’s. 
Legislation moving forward
As many of you know, most sessions I sponsor very few bills. I am not going to draft legislation just for the sake of introducing bills, although there are occasional exceptions. But, I also do not want to draft anything unless I feel there is a legitimate chance to pass the legislation or it will lead to good debate and discussion and could be considered in future sessions. This year has been a different experience for me. I introduced more bills than I have in most sessions. Up to this point I have had public hearings or will have one in the next couple weeks. Issues include:
  • Snowmobile license fees:  House Bill 2002 – would raise the snowmobile annual registration and renewal fee to maintain the current level of service for trail maintenance and grooming operations.
  • Audits of state universities:  House Bill 2308 – would require the state auditor to conduct a comprehensive financial audit of the University of Washington and Washington State University.
  • Independent contractor certification:  House Bill 2147 – would simplify and protect independent contractor classification and provide more consistency under independent contractor guidelines. Read my news release here.
  • Payment of property taxes:  House Bill 2309 -  Delays the imposition of penalties imposed on delinquent property taxes and allows a county treasurer to accept partial property tax payments.
  • Legislation to enhance our wine industry: House Bill 2327 and House Bill 2355 – the first bill would allow wine to be sold in growlers, the second would allow multiple liquor licenses at certain locations.
  • License plate recognition: House Bill 2606 – would address privacy issues around this new technology.
  • Marijuana excise tax revenue: House Bill 2144 – would create a dedicated local jurisdiction marijuana fund of which participating counties and cities would receive a certain percentage of the I-502 monies – since there is no current tax collection at the local level.
We are obviously working on a wide variety of issues in our short timeframe. If you have any questions about any of the legislation I have mentioned in this update, or any other issues before the Legislature, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Proposed Minimum Wage Increase
One issue that came up late yesterday (Thursday) you will find very interesting, particularly those in the business community, House Democrats are proposing to increase the minimum wage. Click “House Democrats propose $12 minimum wage” for the story from The Seattle Times. You may know a $15 minimum wage this was a ballot issue in the city of Sea-Tac last November. The city of Seattle is also considering a minimum wage hike. I believe this would hurt our economy and actually decrease the amount of jobs as employers would struggle to come up with a way to pay for the increase in labor costs. It isn’t as simple as just raising the price of your products as many of you in the agricultural industry know.
In January 2014, Bill Gates said: “Well, jobs are a great thing. So you have to be a bit careful: If you raise the minimum wage, you’re encouraging labor substitution, and you’re going to go buy machines and automate things – or cause jobs to appear outside of that jurisdiction. And so within certain limits, you know, it does cause job destruction. If you really start pushing it, then you’re just making a huge trade-off.”
Our state already has the highest minimum wage in the country and Washington state’s youth unemployment rate is fifth in the nation. An increased minimum wage would further reduce employment opportunities for low-skilled workers and teenagers. This also favors larger corporations over small businesses.
Health care numbers
You have likely seen news stories, including national stories, on state-based and the federal health insurance “Exchanges” that indicate our state-based Exchange (Washington HealthPlanFinder) is working well and that we have had good enrollment numbers. Here is a slightly different perspective:
  • Of the 454,009 that have completed health plan enrollments using the Exchange as of January 9, 2014, 380,911 are Medicaid, and:
  • The majority of Medicaid recipients now do their annual renewals in the Exchange. (183,141 of enrollments were Medicaid renewals)
  • Another 63,070 were new Medicaid enrollments eligible under pre-Obamacare Medicaid eligibility requirements. (This includes typical new enrollees each month, and any “welcome mat” enrollment due to Obamacare.)
  • 134,700 are newly eligible Medicaid recipients (i.e. Medicaid expansion enrollees/adults under 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level).
  • Only 73,098 of the Exchange enrollments are for non-Medicaid health plans; and
    • 56,285 will receive a tax credit/subsidy (i.e. funded by taxpayers).
    • Only 16,813 individuals purchased a “full-price” health plan on the Exchange.
    • It was estimated that 130,000 individuals would enroll in a non-Medicaid, Exchange health plan by January 1, 2014.
    Rep. Cary Condotta, 12th District

    Friday, November 29, 2013

    The clear case of government bullying

    Freedom and democracy can't be just about elections -- there is too much time between election to ignore serious abuse.   Out of control, bullying tactics have come to Washington State.  The state and local governments are using those tactics to badger and ruin individual people.  What follows is one example.

    ~~~~~~~~

    Captain Dave Petrich built his dream business--the Farm Boat--to bring local, organic produce to Washington residents. That all changed when the City of Seattle came after Dave to collect $8,000 in parking fines incurred by someone else.

    The city's aggressive legal tactics shut down the Farm Boat. Dave found himself fighting City Hall alone.

    In late September, Freedom Foundation intern Conner Edwards learned of Dave's battle with Seattle. Conner led the Freedom Foundation's charge to help Dave recover his business and document one more story of out-of-control government. We told Dave's story and got the word out about the City's unreasonable actions.

    With the Freedom Foundation's help and the power of a story made public, the City-in a rare move-dropped its pursuit of Captain Dave Petrich and the Farm Boat.



    Victories like this one are encouraging. They show the power of a story, both to secure victory for one man and one business and to make two key point: unlimited government hurts people and we can fight city hall ... and win!


    "... Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights." Washington State Constitution

    The video is produced by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation

    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    Student's Self-Defense Leads to University Disciplinary Action

    The story comes from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington -- two students living in an off-campus, university-owned apartment were put on probation for the "infraction" of displaying a legally-owned firearm to thwart a home invasion by a convicted felon.

    According to a CNN article, on the night of October 24, students Erik Fagan and Daniel McIntosh were in their apartment when there was a knock on the door.  Fagan told CNN affiliate KXLY in Spokane that he opened the door and a stranger, who said he'd just gotten out of jail, asked for $15.  Fagan told KXLY he offered the man a blanket and a can of food, but "didn't feel comfortable" giving the man money because he was a stranger. 

    "My gut instinct was telling me I wasn't going to be able to get that door closed before he came through," Fagan said.

    As the man started coming through the door, Fagan said he yelled for his roommate, McIntosh.  McIntosh said he came to the door holding his pistol.  When the man saw the gun, the students say he turned and ran away.

    The story notes that all university housing is patrolled at regular intervals by campus security, but this particular apartment complex isn't gated, and secured key cards or codes are not required for entrance.

    The students called 911 and campus security.  A short time later, police captured the suspect, whom they identified as a six-time convicted felon with an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant.

    If the story ended here, we'd have yet another example of how a firearm was successfully used for self-defense against a dangerous criminal without the firing of a shot.  But the story continues.

    Unbeknownst to Fagin and McIntosh at the time, having a firearm on university-owned property, is a violation of Gonzaga policy, whether or not that property is located on campus.  At 2:00 a.m. the next morning, campus security officers returned to the students' apartment and confiscated the pistol and a shotgun from the apartment.  The shotgun is owned by Fagan, who uses it to hunt and for sport shooting, and it was not used in the incident.  The pistol belongs to McIntosh, who has a concealed carry permit.  It was a gift to him from his grandfather.

    Based on their act of self-preservation, the two students were placed on probation for the rest of their time at Gonzaga.  The penalty will also be a part of their permanent record.  The students are appealing the decision.

    After quickly gaining national infamy for its actions, the university has agreed to review its policy and has returned the firearms to the two students but with the stipulation that they not be stored at any property owned or operated by the university.  In other words, Fagan and McIntosh, and all other students living in University property, remain unarmed in their own residences, a fact that will likely not escape notice of the local criminal element.

    Gonzaga University reacted to the victimization of its own students on University property by punishing and disarming them. That is outrageous.

    Posted at the NRA 

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    Gun rights -- There is too much fear and too little understanding of how gun rights are not only a matter of self-defense, collecting, hunting and target competitions--but, also a barometer of how well our other rights are protected.

    Somebody ought to tell Gonzaga they can lose everything in a massive class action lawsuit if they continue to deny their student body the constitutional right to armed self-defense.

    "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired... ." Washington State Constitution Article 1, Section 24

    What other people read on this blog

    Effing the ineffable - Washington State elections sometimes have been rigged.

    “It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
    -- Joseph Stalin