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.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Governor debates about minmum wage

Gov. Jay Inslee and challenger Bill Bryant were on stage together Wednesday [August 17] for their first debate. Too often the “debates” we see between public officials are the accusations they trade back and forth in TV ads. That’s why real debates are so important. There’s no substitute for putting candidates in the same room, pinning their positions down with sharp questions, and letting them directly challenge each other.

Not surprisingly, the issue of a higher minimum wage came up. With an initiative on this fall’s ballot, you’ll be hearing a lot more on this topic. Inslee said something striking on that stage. Asked about those who might lose their jobs if the initiative passes, he said to look at Seattle’s new minimum wage law: “The evidence has shown no loss of employment, no loss of profitability, no loss of net businesses.”

Only trouble is, that’s not true. The true “evidence” shows much more of a mixed bag. Of course there are some job losses for some low-wage workers, even as others have benefited.

Just ask Felix Ngoussou. The Seattle restaurant owner attended a “media availability” Tuesday of business owners backing the statewide minimum wage initiative. He said he supports the initiative but also said, going off the organizers’ script, “he had to cut staff in the wake of the [Seattle city's] minimum wage hike. ‘I used to have four. I now have two.’ He was asked again for clarification. You reduced employee numbers? ‘Yes.’ Because of the minimum wage? ‘Yes.’ Campaign sponsors scattered in a panic.”

That’s another kind of unvarnished truth that you won’t see in a campaign TV commercial.
-Rob McKenna

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The minimum wage debate is based on the idea that if people are forced to pay more for a thing, they will still buy the same amount.  This is absurd on its face.  Obviously if the wage goes up, employers will look for ways to use less labor.

People have gotten confused by the apparent success of unions.  But they overlook the fact that unions represent skilled workers, and further, that unions often certify the skill level of the union members they send out to a job. 

Minimum wage is usually thought to apply only to the beginning worker.  The beginner is usually unskilled and not accustomed to working.  If you remember your first job, you remember it takes a lot of self-discipline to get going to work.

Minimum wage only creates more dependency on government handouts for the unemployed.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Washington State Supreme Court

We are in the midst of a unique political season. There may not be a consensus regarding candidates at the national level, but we all can join together to make a HUGE difference in our state. Greg Zempel, the popular six-term prosecutor from Kittitas County, is running for Washington State Supreme Court Justice (Position 5). We all need him on our state’s highest court.

As you know, I am a close observer of the state Supreme Court and I can tell you, this court has lost the respect of many, as long established precedents in criminal law are replaced with result-oriented, unworkable decisions. This means that our police, prosecutors and trial judges are uncertain about how to proceed in many cases. There is a public safety cost to this uncertainty, as some criminals go free who should remain incarcerated.

The Court’s overreach is unmistakable. As you likely have heard, the justices are holding the legislature in contempt because of funding choices they don’t agree with. They are fining “the state” (i.e., all of us) $100,000 a day, raising serious questions about the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of our state government.

Voter-approved charter schools were also nearly closed by the Supreme Court, threatening some of the most at-risk and deserving children in our state with the loss of schools they love just a day before the new school year was to begin.

Another voter-approved initiative, I-1053, was also overturned by the Court even though the voters have made it clear again and again that they want to require a 2/3 legislative majority for raising taxes.

Greg Zempel was elected in 1994 as the Kittitas County Prosecutor and has been re-elected five times. He has practiced at every court level in our system, from district court to the Washington State Supreme Court, and tried well over 100 jury trials as a defense attorney (his former career) and prosecutor.

Zempel was instrumental in creating the Sexual Assault Interagency Coalition, and Protecting Our Children, a community organization that educates parents on protecting their children from predators. Zempel also assisted in creating the Kittitas County Drug Court which functions to change the lives of drug addicts whose criminal conduct impacts our communities.

Prosecutor Zempel is committed to strengthening public safety according to the rule of law and the rights and freedoms protected in our state constitution.

-- Rob McKenna

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Washington State Impolite endorses Greg Zempel, Judge Dave Larson, and David DeWolf for Supreme Cour.

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