Author Archives: DCG

Shocker, not: UW study finds Seattle’s minimum wage is costing jobs

shocked face

From Seattle Times: Seattle’s minimum-wage law is boosting wages for a range of low-paid workers, but the law is causing those workers as a group to lose hours, and it’s also costing jobs, according to the latest study on the measure passed by the City Council in 2014.

The report, by members of the University of Washington team studying the law’s impacts for the city of Seattle, is being published Monday by a nonprofit think tank, the National Bureau of Economic Research.

That law raises Seattle’s minimum wage gradually until it reaches $15 for all by 2021.

The UW team published its first report last July on the impact of the first jump in Seattle’s minimum wage, which went in April 2015 from $9.47 to $10 or $11 an hour, depending on business size, benefits and tips.

This latest study from the UW team looks at the effects of both the first and second jumps. The second jump, in January 2016, raised the minimum wage to $10.50 to $13. (The minimum wage has since gone up again, to the current $11 to $15. It goes up again in January to $11.50 to $15.)

The team concluded that the second jump had a far greater impact, boosting pay in low-wage jobs by about 3 percent since 2014 but also resulting in a 9 percent reduction in hours worked in such jobs. That resulted in a 6 percent drop in what employers collectively pay — and what workers earn — for those low-wage jobs.

For an average low-wage worker in Seattle, that translates into a loss of about $125 per month per job.

“If you’re a low-skilled worker with one of those jobs, $125 a month is a sizable amount of money,” said Mark Long, a UW public-policy professor and one of the authors of the report. “It can be the difference between being able to pay your rent and not being able to pay your rent.”

The report also estimated that there are about 5,000 fewer low-wage jobs in the city than there would have been without the law.

The researchers focused on “low wage” jobs — those paying under $19 an hour — and not just “minimum wage” jobs, to account for the spillover effect of employers raising the pay of those making more than minimum wage.

For instance, an employer who raised the pay of the lowest -aid workers to $13 from $11 may have then given those making $14 a boost to $14.50. (The team had also tested lower- and higher-wage thresholds for the study, and the results did not change, members said.)

To try to isolate the effects of the minimum-wage law from other factors, the UW team built a “synthetic” Seattle statistical model, aggregating areas outside King County but within the state that had previously shown numbers and trends similar to Seattle’s labor market.

The researchers then compared what happened in the real Seattle from June 2014 through September 2016 to what happened in the synthetic Seattle.

In addition to earnings, the report analyzes data on work hours— relatively rare in minimum-wage studies, the researchers said, since Washington is one of only four states that collects quarterly data on both hours and earnings.

Other studies on minimum wage have typically used lower-wage industries, such as the restaurant sector, or lower-paid groups such as teenagers, as proxies to get at employment, they said.

That was the case with a University of California, Berkeley study released last week that found Seattle’s minimum-wage law led to higher pay for restaurant workers without costing jobs in 2015 and 2016.

The UW team’s study actually corroborates the Berkeley conclusion, finding zero impact from the minimum-wage law on restaurant employment — when taking into account jobs at all wage levels within the restaurant industry.

But the UW researchers did conclude that, for low-wage restaurant workers, the law cost them work hours. (Specifically, though the actual number of hours worked by low-wage restaurant workers in Seattle increased a slight 0.1 percent from the second quarters of 2014 to 2016, the researchers’ “synthetic Seattle” model showed that if the minimum wage law hadn’t been in effect, there would have been an 11.1 percent increase in hours for those workers.)

Michael Reich, a UC Berkeley economics professor who was lead author on the Berkeley report, said he found the UW team’s report not credible for a number of reasons.

He said the UW researchers’ “synthetic” Seattle model draws only from areas in Washington that are nothing like Seattle, and the report excludes multisite businesses, which employ a large percentage of Seattle’s low-paid workforce. The latter fact was also problematic, he said, because that meant workers who left single-site businesses to work at multisite businesses were counted as job losses, not job gains in the UW study.

Reich also thought the $19 threshold was too low, and he said the UW researchers’ report “finds an unprecedented impact of wage increases on jobs, ten times more than in hundreds of minimum wage and non-minimum wage studies. … “There is no reason,” he said, that Seattle’s employers of low-paid workers “should be so much more sensitive to wage increases.”

Jacob Vigdor, a UW public policy professor and one of the authors of the UW report, stood by the team’s findings.

“When we perform the exact same analysis as the Berkeley team, we match their results, which is inconsistent with the notion that our methods create bias,” he said.

He acknowledged, and the report also says, that the study excludes multisite businesses, which include large corporations and restaurants and retail stores that own their branches directly. Single-site businesses, though — which are counted in the report — could include franchise locations that are owned separately from their corporate headquarters. Vigdor said multisite businesses were actually more likely to report staff cutbacks.

As to the substantial impact on jobs that the UW researchers found, Vigdor said: “We are concerned that it is flaws in prior studies … that have masked these responses. The fact that we find zero employment effects when using methods common in prior studies — just as those studies do — amplifies these concerns.”

He added that “Seattle’s substantial minimum-wage increase — a 37 percent rise over nine months on top of what was then the nation’s highest state minimum wage — may have induced a stronger response than the events studied in prior research.”

As to how the UW team’s findings jibe with the Seattle area’s very low unemployment rate, tight labor market, and anecdotes from hospitality employers desperately seeking low-wage workers, Vigdor said that, based on data and what he’s hearing from employers, businesses are looking to hire those with more experience.

“Traditionally, a high proportion of workers in the low-wage market are not experienced at all: teens with their first jobs, immigrants with their first jobs here,” he said. “Data is pointing to: Since we have to pay more, employers are looking for people with experience who can do the job from Day 1.”

DCG

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From the masters of fake news, CNN’s latest hit piece: ‘Trumpcare’ would send California couple to Mexico for birth control

hyperbole

CNN doing what they do best: fake news.

From CNN: All Ariana and Kevin Gonzalez want is birth control.  As far as health care needs go, that’s pretty simple. But the California couple says that if the Republican alternative to Obamacare becomes law, they’ll be driving over the border to Mexico to get it.

It’s not that the Gonzalezes don’t have insurance; they have very good insurance through Ariana’s job as a high school teacher.

The problem is that “Trumpcare,” as Ariana calls it, would probably run her health clinic out of town. It’s Planned Parenthood, which the Republican health care proposal defunds because it performs abortions.

The Gonzalezes live in the Imperial Valley, an agricultural area two hours east of San Diego, with a severe doctor shortage. On average in California, there’s one primary care physician for every 1,341 people. In the Imperial Valley, there’s one physician for every 4,170 people, according to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

For Ariana, that means it takes well over a month to get an appointment with her gynecologist and then four or five hours in the waiting room to see him, which means she has to take the day off work. At Planned Parenthood, she gets an appointment the next day and is in and out in about 30 minutes.

If the Republican plan passes and Planned Parenthood leaves town, Ariana says, her best option would be to cross the border, where she can see a gynecologist immediately. It’s an option she doesn’t want to take but will if she has to.

Ariana has a message for senators as they contemplate whether to pass the law, also known as the American Health Care Act. “If (Planned Parenthood’s) doors are shut, you’ll be driving your own constituents to an entirely different country in search of health care, and that’s not America,” she said. “I don’t think that’s who we are as a country.”

Ariana, 23, knows what life would be like without Planned Parenthood in her town because she’s lived it.  Before Planned Parenthood opened in the Imperial Valley two years ago, she became pregnant when she didn’t want to, and then later she couldn’t get pregnant when she did want to.

Without easy access to birth control, Ariana became pregnant at 15. A doctor tried to convince her to have an abortion, saying she was one of countless teen moms he’d seen just that week. “He said it would be better for me, and we could have it done in 10 minutes if I just said the word,” she remembers. But Ariana, now 23, says her “maternal instinct kicked in,” and she never considered termination.

In the summer of 2011, when her son, Oliver, was 18 months old and she was 18 years old, Ariana met her future husband.  She wasn’t looking for love — in fact, she’d shunned dating to focus on caring for Oliver and preparing to study at San Diego State University in the fall.

But one day, she was visiting a friend when Kevin and his brother showed up to visit. They were hanging out in the front yard, and she excused herself to go inside and check on her napping son. “I was expecting ‘you have a child?!’ “she remembers. “But he just said, ‘OK, no problem.’ He didn’t blink an eye.”

Kevin proposed a few months later and adopted Oliver. They tried to have another child so Oliver would have a sibling close in age, but Ariana suffered three miscarriages, including one with twins. Then, an ectopic pregnancy permanently damaged one of her fallopian tubes, and she was unable to get pregnant for nearly two years.

With each medical failure, Ariana sought advice from her gynecologist, and each time, the wait for an appointment was about six weeks. The Gonzalezes’ hope for another child seemed to be stuck in an endless cycle of complications and long waits to see the doctor.

They say they wish Planned Parenthood had been in their town then, as the clinic, unlike her gynecologist’s office, treats infertility without long waits.

Finally, after nearly four years of miscarriages and infertility, Ariana’s doctor prescribed steroids, and she became pregnant with their daughter, Bailey. She wanted to see her obstetrician immediately, but again she faced a six-week wait. “We needed to make sure that this pregnancy was going to stick and it was going to be healthy, and in order to do that, off to Mexico we went,” she said.

Read the rest of the story here.

h/t Twitchy

DCG

Unintended consequences: California’s travel ban may trip up intercollegiate athletic teams

unintended consequences

Way to punish the athletes and guarantee diminishing alumni donations. Brilliant move California…

From SF Gate: California’s newly expanded ban on state-funded travel to states that discriminate against LGBT people could trip up intercollegiate athletic teams in the coming years — not only by restricting where they may play, but how they tap new recruits.

As of Thursday, state employees — including those at the University of California and California State University — are banned from traveling on the public dime to eight states. The shunned states often appear on college teams’ travel schedules. They are: Alabama, Texas, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and South Dakota.

“In terms of recruiting, under current California law our coaches would be restricted from using state funds to travel to affected states,” says a statement issued Friday by the Cal Athletics Department.

On Friday, a day after state Attorney General Xavier Becerra expanded the list from four to eight states, his office told The Chronicle it had received a request for a legal opinion on whether the ban applies to “athletic team staffs” at UC and CSU. His office did not respond when asked who had made the request.

Each of the states in the ban has enacted a discriminatory law since June 26, 2015, according to Becerra, such as preventing adoptions and foster care by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people (South Dakota and Alabama) or allowing school clubs to restrict membership on that basis (Kentucky). In Texas, a law that passed June 15 prohibits the state from “taking adverse action” against religious caregivers, which critics say gives them too much power over the welfare of LGBT children.

California’s travel ban took effect in January and specifically includes the two university systems. But it also exempts them from the ban to fulfill any athletic contracts they entered into with schools in the affected states before Jan. 1. That helps many major college athletic teams — for now — because they set their travel schedules with other schools sometimes years in advance.

But the exemption does not apply to collegiate postseason contests, where teams that do well could find they are headed for one of the states in question.

Eight sports are scheduled to have their top-tier NCAA regionals or championships in states affected by the travel ban within a year: Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina. The most notable is the men’s Final Four basketball championship, to be held in San Antonio.

The others are men’s and women’s cross country, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s indoor track. Championships for lower-tier schools, including many in the CSU system, also are scheduled for some of the states included in the ban.

When California’s ban took effect in January, the Cal athletic department issued a statement saying: “Our intent is to support our student-athletes in their right to participate in NCAA postseason competition should they be assigned to a restricted state.”

But it’s not clear how they could do that, short of raising private donations to support not only travel costs, but also salaries for coaches and staff, and potentially insurance.

Meanwhile, Cal had been in preliminary talks for a men’s basketball series with the University of Kansas in January, when the travel ban that included Kansas took effect. “Cal got back to us and told us the state ban would prevent it,” said Jim Marchiony, a spokesman for KU athletics.

On Friday, Cal issued a new statement affirming its support of “equity, diversity and inclusion,” adding: “We have an obligation and firm commitment to remain compliant with California law.” The statement also said Cal will fulfill any contracts it signed with affected states before January.

Cal’s baseball team is signed on to play in the Frisco College Baseball Classic in March in Texas. The contract for the event, which features Texas A&M, Baylor and Louisiana Tech, was signed two years ago, former Bears head coach David Esquer said.

At California State University, several campuses have major sports teams, including Cal State Fullerton, San Diego State, Long Beach State, Fresno State and San Jose State.

The news that Texas is now included in the travel ban has made some sports fans nervous at San Jose State, and Lawrence Fan, spokesman for campus athletics, has been fielding questions — mostly about whether the San Jose Spartans will be able to play its scheduled football game at the University of Texas in September. Fan tells them not to worry. The contract was signed in September.

Nevertheless, CSU is taking a close look at the expanded travel ban and will consult with the attorney general if needed, said Toni Molle, spokeswoman for systemwide Chancellor Timothy White. However, she said, “The CSU fully intends to comply with the law, and we will not be using any state funds to pay for travel expenses to any of the banned states.”

Ricardo Vazquez, a spokesman for UC, agreed. But he said, “There have been instances where UC sports teams or researchers attending conferences have used nonstate funds to travel to the states on the list.”

Vazquez did not reply when asked for examples.

At UCLA, spokeswoman Liza David said the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics receives no state funding, but said that UCLA is “committed to promoting and protecting equity, diversity and inclusion.”

DCG

Hollyweird “stars” who want our taxes to pay for Planned Parenthood abortions

These libtards apparently think 1) we care about their opinions and 2) you are too stupid to figure out how to contact your senator.

Know who to boycott.

From Daily Mail: The looming vote on the controversial Senate Republicans’ health care bill has motivated Hollywood to take part in the rancorous debate.

A-listers Jennifer Lawrence, Jon Hamm and Lena Dunham, joined a plethora of 25 more celebrities including Aubrey Plaza, Padma Lakshmi, Suki Waterhouse, Elisabeth Moss, Spike Jonze, Amy Poehler and Brie Larson among many others to create a video on Friday supporting Planned Parenthood.

In the opening frame, superimposed text reads ‘these famous faces want to help you reach your representative.’

A number of celebrities follow with their names before the actual message of the video starts with superstar director of Her and Being John Malkovich Spike Jonze.

The message ‘We need you to contact your United States senator and you can do that by visiting istandwithpp.org/call’ is then carried on by several more celebrities.

After an example of how to leave a message for senators suggesting a no vote for ‘any attempt to defund Planned Parenthood,’ a more personal message is expressed.

‘This is nothing more than a blatantly political attempt to do whatever it takes to attack women’s health and rights and take health care away from the people who need it the most,’ declare another series of celebrities.

Famous activist Gloria Steinem also appears, saying ‘the right to decide our own bodily future is the most basic of all human rights.’

In a statement accompanying the release of the video, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said: ‘We are so grateful to have the support of so many artists, many of whom have themselves relied on Planned Parenthood for health care and who understand the importance of speaking out.’

‘This support is especially important right now as the Senate is jamming through a bill that would block millions of women from getting birth control and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. Now is the time to speak out. One in five women in this country rely on Planned Parenthood for care. They will not stay silent as politicians vote to take away their care and their rights.’

Anticipating its universal unpopularity, Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell crafted the bill in secret and only released the actual text of the bill earlier this week.

The bill would end Obama’s tax penalties on people who don’t buy insurance – effectively ending the so-called individual mandate – and on larger companies that don’t offer coverage to their workers, according to AP.

It would offer less generous subsidies for people than Obama’s law but provide billions to states and insurance companies to buttress markets that in some areas have been abandoned by insurers, and has language blocking federal money Planned Parenthood.

Democrats said the measure would result in skimpier policies and higher out-of-pocket costs for many and erode gains made under Obama that saw roughly 20 million additional Americans gain coverage.

DCG

Girl bye: Lisa Durden fired following her racist BLM remarks on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’

lisa durden

Lisa Durden is now a “victim”

Boo- hoo-hoo.

From Fox News: A New Jersey college professor who appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to defend a black-only Black Lives Matter event has been fired after the college’s president said she made racially insensitive comments on the show, according to reports.

Essex County College in Newark announced Lisa Durden’s firing Friday. She taught communications and pop culture classes as an adjunct, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

On his June 6 show, Carlson and Durden, who is black, got into a heated exchange over the appropriateness of allowing only blacks to attend a Black Lives Matter event in New York City on Memorial Day.

“Listen. What I say to that is boo-hoo-hoo,” she said. “You white people are angry because you couldn’t use your ‘white privilege’ card to get invited to the Black Lives Matter’s all-black Memorial Day celebration! Wow!”

Two days after the show, the school suspended Durden with pay. She addressed the matter with school officials Tuesday, three days before the firing was announced.

College president Anthony Munroe said Friday the Fox News appearance prompted calls from students, faculty and prospective students and their families “expressing frustration, concern and even fear that the views expressed by a college employee with influence over students would negatively impact their experience on the campus.”

He noted that although Durden did not mention her affiliation with the school during the show or claim to be representing its views, “her employment with us and potential impact on students required our immediate review into what seemed to have become a very contentious and divisive issue.” 

Munroe went further in explaining his reasons for firing Durden in a lengthy statement — in which he invoked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“The character of this institution mandates that we embrace diversity, inclusion and unity,” he said. “Racism cannot be fought with more racism.” 

Durden declined comment Sunday when contacted by Fox News.

She has said that she was “publicly lynched” by the school.

On Friday, she told the Star-Ledger that she has received a lot of support from school staff members and students, but compared her experience to a rape victim who is blamed for the crime, and a person who returns from war to a hostile environment.

“I thought it would be a safe place for me,” she told the paper, referring to the college. “I thought when I came home from war, I would be safe.” Instead she said she was fired.

Durden’s attorney, Leslie Farber, said she believes her client’s free speech rights were violated. “It is free speech guaranteed by the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution and New Jersey law,” Farber told Fox News Sunday.

The attorney said they were considering whether to take legal action in the matter.

DCG

What a dhimmi: Justin Trudeau wears “Ramadan” socks at “Pride” parade

trudeau meme

Oh look, another liberal performs virtual signaling. How quaint.

He forgot to check the Ramadan Bombathon tally.

From Breitbart: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore Ramadan-themed socks during an LGBT Pride parade in Toronto on Sunday.

Trudeau was photographed wearing the socks at a service just before the parade, where he also wished attendees a happy “Pride Mubarak” in celebration of the end of Ramadan.

“Trudeau was joined by his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and their children Xavier and Ella-Grace. Grégoire Trudeau waved a rainbow flag, one of the symbols of the LGBTQ community,” reported TheStar.com. “Trudeau also wished the crowd a happy ‘Pride Mubarak,’ a play on words referring to the end-of-Ramadan celebrations happening in the Muslim community Sunday — celebrations Trudeau honoured with a pair of brightly coloured socks.”

In his speech, Trudeau declared “This is all about including people.”

“It’s all about how we celebrate the multiple layers of identities that make Canada extraordinary and strong, and today we celebrate with the entire LGBTQ community,” he continued.

This did not extend to Toronto police officers, who were reportedly asked not to march in uniform following demands from Black Lives Matter activists in 2016. According to TheStar.com, dozens of officers traveled from Toronto to New York to march in uniform as part of the New York Pride parade.

Being gay or bisexual is punishable by death in thirteen countries, all of which are majority-Muslim nations.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Democratic Official Fired for Saying He’s ‘Glad’ Scalise Was Shot

phil montag

Phil Montag cries the “taken out of context” excuse

The demorats did the correct thing, this time. Don’t expect it to become a long-lasting pattern.

From Yahoo: Nebraska Democrats removed party official Phil Montag from his job on Thursday after a recording surfaced of him saying he wishes House Majority Whip Steve Scalise died during a recent attack.

Earlier this month, a gunman opened fire with a rifle on a group of Republican politicians practicing for the Congressional baseball game, striking Scalise and several others. Scalise remains in the hospital with a long recovery ahead after multiple surgeries.

“His whole job is to get people, convince Republicans to f—–g kick people off f—–g health care. I’m glad he got shot,” Montag, the technology’s committee former co-chair, said in the audio recording.

Montag continued: “I wish he was f—–g dead.”

Nebraska Democratic Party Chairwoman Jane Kleeb confirmed to FOX 42 News in Nebraska on Thursday it was really Montag’s voice.

“We obviously condemn any kind of violence, whether it’s comments on Facebook or comments in a meeting,” said Kleeb told the Fox affiliate.

Kleeb fired Montag as soon as she heard the recording, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The conversation took place in a private home in Omaha, according to the paper.

When reached by the World-Herald, Montag said, “I did not call for the congressman’s death,” and claimed the tape had been taken out of context.

DCG