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Re: “Fight the “Fight for Fifteen”

Jonathan, you are biased against the minimum wage and you are just cherry-picking your facts. First of all, you neglect to mention that these low wages very often are supplemented by public assistance [1]. That means large employers are heavily subsidized, even while they hand out large dividends to shareholders and huge bonuses to their executives. Second, you say that consumption *will go down* (because prices will go up) but somehow you forget the very first premise: We are increasing wages, so people will have more to spend. (Just on this latter point, we can say your article is irresponsibly naive; I really don't know how it got past the editor.) If prices go up, that just means the people actually using those products/services (instead of the public) are paying closer to the true cost. But I'm skeptical that they will go up very much since they can readily absorb the cost (corporations have been doing quite well, even through the recession).

Furthermore, it may very well be true that the transition to livable wages for everybody won't be accomplished by this single action that is the minimum wage increase. But guess what? There's a ton of other things we can do to react to adverse consequences--you know, like write more legislation. Or we can raise taxes on the wealthy and close loopholes that let corporations hide income from the IRS. Wouldn't it be great if we could have education, roads, *and* a working class all at the same time? It's pitiful how much you cry when the poor ask for the dignity of a livable income from a job *they are already doing*.

1. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/business/economy/working-but-needing-public-assistance-anyway.html

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mark on 04/22/2015 at 9:19 AM

Re: “A 'Debt-Free College' Resolution Was Introduced in Congress Today

I continue to insist that higher tuition remains a Wall Street scam. Look up Professor Wolff's analysis on http://youtube.com/.
That said, in California (and I suspect the rest of the nation) Wall Street bond-rating extortionists told the chancellors if they wanted attractive construction bonds ratings for potential investors they would have to put up as *collateral* something else besides ever-tighter state revenues. Student tuitions would do just fine, thank you very much.
If students wished to attend college, well, heck, they could always get a student loan...
That sent tuitions into the stratosphere. States no longer felt the need to fully fund colleges, as tuition fees--paid with student loans--would pick up the slack. College construction bond ratings soared on the backs of impoverished students.
In addition, and to add injury to injury, college loan-industry IOU's have become a trillion dollar, bankruptcy-proof cash cow, for the investment class--that pays little or no income on this revenue source.
Overall, that's what happens when the investment class gets major tax breaks. They get to keep more of their money to *lend with interest* to folks who desire an education. Whereas, previously, (pre-Reagan, pre-Clinton) those same investment class folks actually paid their fair share of taxes in proportion to the benefits they received under our economic system and colleges were fully funded...
By the way, the scarcity of MD's across the land is America's gift to the AMA. Decades ago doctors lobbied for "birth control" on the profession by limiting the number of med schools and med school graduates in the U.S. Tinkering with the law of supply and demand thus gave us a constantly growing demand for doctors as the population grows--with a supply number frozen in place... Doctors can now charge what the market will bear.
Each state needs at a minimum 4 to 5 more med schools. And public policies that make parasites of the investment class should cease. They, too, should pay taxes toward our civilization. Where's FDR when you really need him?
Be well.

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by socrates2 on 04/22/2015 at 9:11 AM

Re: “A 'Debt-Free College' Resolution Was Introduced in Congress Today

Its not free. The government has to get the money somewhere and it come from the citizens. They also have long waiting lists that can go months if you need surgery. I have known people to come to the US to have surgery because of the wait time.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by trainmanswife on 04/22/2015 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Show Us the Money: Tucson City Council Set To Debate $1.3 Billion Budget

What happened to the 200 million dollars that evaporated in the Rio Nuevo project? It all disappeared into thin air and no one knows what happened to it? Some one got it. It's somewhere.

It seems like a severe case of embezzlement to me. The problem in this issue is the Police do not want to investigate white collar crime as it is to complex and they do not want to spend the time looking through complex documents to discover who the thieves are. Meanwhile, the taxpayers take it on the chin.

There should be no new budget till the City of Tucson finds out where the money went and who or what received it. This loss was a serious one that know one seems to care about.................. You won't care till you receive the new tax statement. You and your family will make up the shortfall as the embezzlers will be in Europe enjoying their new found wealth.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Eye of the Sparrow on 04/22/2015 at 9:02 AM

Re: “420 Happenings

I attended the 420 celebration. The barbecued pork was excellent and the celebration fun. This event should become a Tucson staple. It's a great event to dispel the "Marijuana Myth". Everyone was polite and there were no problems.

Posted by Eye of the Sparrow on 04/22/2015 at 8:51 AM

Re: “Smoke and Mirrors

Tobacco is a poison and a carcinogen; most people who smoke or chew tobacco die from their habit, as it is with Alcohol. Most drinkers end up dead from a failed liver, or an accident. Many end up dead from lead poisoning, a gunshot wound during a quarrel or from the police.

Pima County is correct is increasing the insurance payment from nicotine addicts and drunks. These employees are the center of the web when it comes to insurance costs If you are a drunk or a nicotine addict you should pay more as the insurance risks are greater for you and your addiction. No one cares if you are a nicotine addict or a drunk but the rest of us should not have to pay for your suicide.

Posted by Eye of the Sparrow on 04/22/2015 at 8:40 AM

Re: “Fight the “Fight for Fifteen”

Just read the MIT chart. In the real world, people wear clothing and get an education/training. Yet the category, "Other," only lists $71. for a single adult. One is spartan, not ignorant and naked. Please, if we must use data, let's be intellectually honest about how we use it, what we include and what we omit.
Be well.

Posted by socrates2 on 04/22/2015 at 8:31 AM

Re: “A 'Debt-Free College' Resolution Was Introduced in Congress Today

I have often said, the solution to our medical crisis is a free education set up on a military style system of get the education for doctor, nurse free with a 4 hear obligation to work at a set salary in government run medical system, use current hospitals, imagine doctors/nurses who for 4 years got free education, degrees then paid a reasonable living salary, then once they complete the obligatory 4 years can go into private practice, if its good enough for our service men/women why not for a medical system that would drastically reduce hospital costs, medical costs! Do away with the insurance companies by setting up a optional "free to every citizen" medical card as they have in Canada, UK, see how quickly the leeches on society the insurance companies go the way of the dinosaur!

3 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Ralph Hill 1 on 04/22/2015 at 8:11 AM

Re: “Fight the “Fight for Fifteen”

There is a lot of arguing here about a "living wage" which is an arbitrary number, since what is a "living wage" depends on where you are. Fifteen dollars an hour seems to be the number being discussed the most. Here is the simple fact - if the minimum wage is raised to $15 an hour, it will no longer be a living wage. Prices will increase. Those people whom have spent years in school and gaining skills that are currently making a decent salary at $20-25 an hour will effectively get a massive pay cut, since their wages aren't going to go up. I really am not sure why unskilled labor feels that $15 an hour is somehow "fair".

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Chris Staley on 04/22/2015 at 6:44 AM

Re: “Earth Day: When Endangered Species Awareness & Sustainable Condoms Meet

It's hard to believe there are people who believe we can continue the current rate of population growth without severe consequences (or that we haven't already severely affected populations of other species).
Good for the Center for talking about population. Most environmental groups won't touch the subject, but it's the key and I'm still optimistic people will get the message.

9 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 04/22/2015 at 6:33 AM

Re: “Show Us the Money: Tucson City Council Set To Debate $1.3 Billion Budget

8% increase in government spending for the 5th poorest city in America where growth, jobs and future prosperity are met with a resounding "NO". There's never enough money that can be taken from the fruits of others labor.

But no worries, the floods of illegals filling the seats in our public schools will solve everything.

7 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 04/22/2015 at 6:31 AM

Re: “Fight the “Fight for Fifteen”

15$ to Flip a burger? Really? Most people in the medical field don't make 15$. Stop complaining, buck up and make yourself more valuable and get educated. If the minimum wage was increased to 15$ the entire system would be effected and all across the board the wages would go up. Then the economy would adjust and things would cost even more and then collapse. Thats when the cycle starts all over.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Jason Britt on 04/22/2015 at 6:11 AM

Re: “A 'Debt-Free College' Resolution Was Introduced in Congress Today

While I'm of the opinion that, especially at state universities, tuition is much higher than at should be (mostly due to high administrative costs), what the Democrats' proposal will do is actually lower the value of higher education. I guarantee that it will also lower the quality to where people just won't go to a university unless they want a degree in highly theoretical sciences or mathematics.

If it doesn't cost you something, chances are it's not worth anything.

4 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Troy James Martin on 04/22/2015 at 5:29 AM

Re: “Fight the “Fight for Fifteen”

Why do the prices of goods/services have to automatically increase if minimum wage increases?
Why can't the billionaire CEOs absorb the difference?
Why is it automatically the general public that have to account for everything? I'm sure the higher ups at fast food burger joints would survive on 1 billion a year instead of 5 billion. Period.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by No time, always working. on 04/22/2015 at 1:21 AM

Re: “Fight the “Fight for Fifteen”

The last 30 years has seen the middle class all but disappear. For the great majority, their mobility was not upward. Now the rich are whining because poor people are picking on them. It's their own fault for destroying the only buffer between the two.

An economy only works when money moves. Once it stops moving, it isn't really even money anymore. Now it only serves to ensure that there is absolutely no possibility that an incredibly small number of people will ever want for anything ever again. Or for political leverage to outright buy elections. This was done on purpose. After all, the 1% does pretty well in third world countries.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by LouisWu on 04/21/2015 at 10:28 PM

Re: “Fight the “Fight for Fifteen”

If you will, allow me for a moment to suggest that the poor of this town,
and our country have never been helped by following rich men's advice.
And by rich men, I count among them both historic European intelectuals and their benefactors...
and the perversions to which their words have been distorted in support of modern wealth.
Heresy, you say? Go to your local, still public and un-monetized non-profit library, and read *all* of what he wrote.
And by poor, I include among them pretty much all of the middle class these last 30 years.
The doctors, city lawyers, engineers, restarauneurs, plumbers & tradesmen, and all the other small business owners-
who pay the largest percentage of their income in taxes of any in this country.
I can do the math. I was educated in this state when the public education (and prison!) system wasn't
being turned into an elaborate scheme to funnel tax dollars back into the financial system.
If the goal is to put people back to work, then it is clearly established that this is most directly acomplished
by putting money in the pockets of those who will spend it in the real economy...
not in a stock market soaring on fed-printed funny money.
Henry Ford knew that his factory workers had to make enough to afford his cars in order to prosper.
When did we lose sight of that in this land?
It is no different when you run a (local) restaraunt in Tucson.
People who don't have enough to live on don't eat out much.
A large increase in the number of Tucsonans with some spare change ought to increase your fortunes, no?
You ask me if I am in support of increasing the minimum wage? I say yea.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by desertrat on 04/21/2015 at 10:25 PM

Re: “Fight the “Fight for Fifteen”

To everyone: I'm curious if this is an opinion piece running as a published guest commentary in the coming edition, or if this is a mere guest blog post. Jonathan Hoffman is TW's noted Libertarian contributor to provide an alternative voice to the alt-weekly.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by IPH on 04/21/2015 at 10:05 PM

Re: “Fight the “Fight for Fifteen”

I like what you wrote, Isadoro, until you note Ford escaped a bailout. How they escaped the bailout was not by patting workers more, but through economic risk: Ford bailed itself out by essentially mortgaging the whole company, right down to its proprietary logo. It then worked its way off of the loans it took out.

I agree Ford makes a better product than GM.

Sidenote: Ford took a small bailout in the early 1980s. Chrysler took a much bigger bailout at the same time period and became a poster child.

(Not trying to start a car talk here.)

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by IPH on 04/21/2015 at 10:04 PM

Re: “Show Us the Money: Tucson City Council Set To Debate $1.3 Billion Budget

Ha! It's true, I got to the studio and realized I left my cheaters on the coffee table at home! Thanks for watching.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Nintz on 04/21/2015 at 9:10 PM

Re: “Fight the “Fight for Fifteen”

The taxpayer essentially subsidizes businesses that don't pay a living wage. Workers who can't afford health insurance or food use social services and that is paid for by the taxpayers. Raise the minimum wage and you will see a significant decrease in the need for food stamps, medicaid, etc. It's not a real free market when corporations like McDonald's and Walmart are subsidized by the government.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by AC on 04/21/2015 at 8:55 PM

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