$15 an Hour: If This Ain’t Socialism, Then What SHOULD We Call It?

If you give something to someone they did not earn, it is called a gift, a give away and in a political context, it is called socialism. Seriously, should the ushers at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood get paid $15 and hour for showing you to your seat? Dos the staff at a restaurant deserve $15 an hour for showing you to your seat and filling the salt and pepper shakers—if they remember. Does the person at a fast food joint, mixing up your order deserve $15 an hour for giving you fries instead of onion rings? The good news is that the restaurant business is going high-tech and these workers are no longer needed. Were it not for unions demanding $15 an hour minimum wage they could still have jobs—but at $15 an hour that is pure socialism.

“But the Merriam-Webster definition of “Socialism” is as follows:

“a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies”  (Check out Webster)

So now it’s beyond a simple “you didn’t build that”.  As the City Council just proved, amidst all the hoopla and self-congratulations and adulation of their fan bases, there is virtually no such thing as owning one’s business. In the City of the Angels, the City Council (which has CLEARLY proven time and again their expertise on budgets, business, balancing expenses/tax flow, etc.) owns the businesses, and will inform businesses how to operate.”

PileOfMoney

$15 an Hour: If This Ain’t Socialism, Then What SHOULD We Call It?

Written by Ken Alpern. City Watch LA, 5/29/15

CONSIDER THIS-Funny how when you accuse, or even suggest, to a liberal (or is it “progressive”?  or is it “reformist”?) that he/she is socialist, they get all bent out of shape.  One reason that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is so respected is that he says it like it is–he’s a sincere socialist who means what he says and says what he means. One may not always agree with him…but even his political opponents know that his heart is in the right place.

So why the big deal about “socialism” when we talk about the Los Angeles City Council decision to support an elevation of the minimum wage to $15/hour?  Perhaps it’s an echo of the Cold War, where we fought the communist Soviet Union; perhaps it’s a reference to the failed and failing economies of the former economic powerhouses of Europe.

But the Merriam-Webster definition of “Socialism” is as follows:

“a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies”  (Check out Webster)

So now it’s beyond a simple “you didn’t build that”.  As the City Council just proved, amidst all the hoopla and self-congratulations and adulation of their fan bases, there is virtually no such thing as owning one’s business. In the City of the Angels, the City Council (which has CLEARLY proven time and again their expertise on budgets, business, balancing expenses/tax flow, etc.) owns the businesses, and will inform businesses how to operate.

And then…the other shoe dropped.

An eleventh-hour proposal by unions to exempt businesses from the minimum wage ordinance if their workers were unionized is either: 

1) An admission by the unions who fought for the minimum wage increase that the increase will truly, as its opponents argue, lead to layoffs and cutbacks in worker hours. 

2) A ham-handed attempt to force businesses to employ unionized workers and lose even further control over their ownership. 

3) Both.

The question of whether union and/or City takeover of businesses will lead to layoffs and economic misery for low-skilled and low-wage workers is already being answered in the enlightened Cities of San Francisco and Seattle, where the jump in minimum wage is so high and so fast that even leftist/progressive/liberal/whatever-you-want-to-call-them experts fear economic impacts.

Similarly, the question of whether income inequality is destroying the middle class and our collective way of life is also already being answered.  There’s a reason why both former Presidents Reagan and Clinton are revered for their eras of economic progress for the middle class, and why former President George W. Bush and current President Obama are…well…not revered so much.

Income inequality and rising costs of living (despite all the nonsense being spouted about decreased unemployment and low inflation) DO exist, and entities such as the City Council of Los Angeles appears hellbent–despite their good intentions to make income inequality and rising costs of living increasingly unbearable for the average Angeleno who is fighting mightily just to make ends meet.

Insufficient education for training our young and middle-age workforce in trade and business skills?

Whatever!

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

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