. . . Code For Union Organizing

2012-07-05-unionbutton500There is a low down bit of strategy afoot.  It seems to be growing like a cancer around the country and may be coming soon to a city near you.

It did not start in Los Angeles, but the strategy recently came to light when, on May 19, 2015 the L.A. City Council voted 14-1 to raise the minimum wage, ultimately to $15/hour.  Why?  Why is, of course, to correct the injustice of an unlivable wage.

OK.  That’s a politically correct trump card cutting in on the trick.  The rules (whoever makes them) say you can’t argue with it.

Well, I might.

Now, we need to remove from consideration all of the high-school and college students who are working entry-level jobs and who don’t depend on income from work as their primary source of support.  But the proponents of minimum wage hikes don’t.

We also need to remove from consideration all of the chronic entry-level workers, more often than not churning from one employer to the next, who don’t aspire to higher wages by earning them and applying best efforts to their work.  But the proponents of minimum wage won’t.

Finally, we need to remove from the target group all of the occasional, seasonal, and part-time-on-the-side workers who are not primary breadwinners in their families, happy to do odd (or not-so-odd) jobs for a little side money. “Who?”—ask the minimum wage proponents.

So who is left?  That seems to be the $15 or $12, or $10 question, depending on which minimum wage advocate you ask where.  (Just don’t ask the social media peanut gallery in L.A. howling for $25/hour because $15 wasn’t enough!)

Apparently, as was quickly revealed just a week+ after the L.A. resolution passed, who is left are future union workers.

Read the story here.

Now, it really speaks for itself, but to summarize, minimum wage in L.A. was apparently about a clever union plan aimed at unionizing small business workers.  Perhaps this is because big businesses of late have had a lot of success resisting unionization.  It seems that despite the historical employer abuses of a hundred years ago that are still recalled to justify ongoing unionization today, most large employers in a competitive marketplace realize that they cannot get good workers by mistreating them according to any reasonable definition of ‘mistreatment’.  So, unsatisfied with this lack of large employer success, unions are trying to raise new dues revenue by using minimum wage law to extort small businesses.

Brilliant.  No, really, I mean it is rather brilliant, indeed.

But the unions reneged. They are cheating and trumping in when they have the suit that was led still in their hand, hoping to get away with it.  And they need to be called on it and asked to leave.

Minimum wage has all kinds of destructive economic impacts that actually reduce incomes at the blue-collar level.  Proponents (those leading the charge, not their shills) of minimum wage hikes are counting on the fact that most Americans don’t know their economics well enough to understand why, let alone defend against the subject.  Walking through that is a whole separate white paper.

But I’ll say this in support of minimum wage: if the government will support price floors for small business owners (meaning minimum retail prices that all customers must pay for their goods – removing price competition and supporting a minimum livable profit for business owners), then I’ll support minimum wages for employees to go along with that.

By the way, that combination is called a planned economy which has been tried (Communism) and found crushingly lacking in leading to any commonly-shared prosperity except that commonly shared by a very, very tiny minority of autocratic rulers.

Go figure.  No, really, I mean go do the math.

Jeff Koenig

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