Soda Taxes

When Did the U.S. Repeal the Laws of Supply and Demand?

Of soda taxes and minimum wages.


Back in October, The New York Times reported that the law of supply and demand still works. "Yes, Soda Taxes Seem to Cut Soda Drinking," the newspaper told its readers, relating the results of Mexico's new tax on sugary beverages. Mexico's measure imposed a 10 percent tax on soft drinks, and so far has cut consumption from 6 percent to as much as 17 percent among the poorest Mexicans.

The efficacy of the soda tax comes as no great surprise. After all, as the news story noted, "the idea for the soda tax is in some ways modeled on… tobacco taxes… A robust literature now exists showing that the resulting higher prices really did push down cigarette sales, particularly among young people."

The paper's editorial page soon came out in full cry demanding higher soda taxes for Americans, too. Noting that "a big tax on sugary drinks in Mexico appears to be driving down sales of soda," the editors urged "lawmakers in the United States to consider comparably stiff taxes."

Some already have. Soda taxes have become a chic cause in progressive enclaves, from Berkeley and San Francisco to Philadelphia and New York.

But if you want to make liberal heads in those same enclaves explode, dare to suggest that raising the minimum wage might reduce employment.

Thanks to legislation their governors signed Monday, California and New York are hiking their minimums to $15, the target hourly rate of a national campaign by labor activists. Earlier this year The Times encouraged Hillary Clinton to join Bernie Sanders in demanding a $15 minimum for the entire country. "Mrs. Clinton has argued that $15 might be too high for employers in low-wage states, causing them to lay off workers or make fewer hires," the paper noted, but then argued: "There is no proof for or against that position."

Sure there isn't—not if you don't remember the argument for soda taxes, anyway.

True, soda and labor—like everything else—have different price elasticities. When an economic good has a high degree of price elasticity, a small change in price can produce a big swing in demand. This usually applies in cases of luxury goods such as movie tickets—or soft drinks. Other economic goods with lower price elasticity might not suffer weaker sales even if the price skyrockets. For example, you'll eagerly buy the last parachute on a falling airplane whether the price is $1 or $1,000. It's safe to say employers consider low-skilled labor more desirable and less easily replaceable than a can of soda, but less desirable and more easily replaceable than the last parachute on a falling airplane.

But it does not follow that because we can't know exactly how much the $15 minimum—the highest minimum in the world—will affect employment, we therefore can't know if it will affect employment at all. Yet you can find that very argument lots of places. This is on the order of saying that because we can't know how many people a thermonuclear strike on Manhattan would kill, it's premature to say it would kill lots of people, or even anyone. Hey, you never know!

We do have some preliminary evidence, though. Several large U.S. cities recently have enacted stiff hikes in the minimum wage, and—surprise!— jobs have disappeared.

In D.C., Walmart abandoned plans for two new stores, and employment in the leisure and hospitality industry went from 3 percent growth to zero. Investor's Business Daily does the math and finds that "restaurants, hotels and other employers went from adding 2,000 jobs to adding zero."

In San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., employment growth has been cut in half. In Seattle, job growth has plunged from 4.6 percent to 1.8 percent—even while restaurant hiring rose more than 6 percent for the rest of Washington State.

Sure, you can find studies that purport to show small hikes in the minimum wage don't hurt jobs. You can find a lot more that say they do. But the more honest advocates for a higher minimum wage acknowledge that it will cost some people their jobs. But some argue that's no big deal and might even be a feature, not a bug: "What's so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs?" asks public-policy professor David Howell.

Which is easy to say if the job being gotten rid of isn't yours.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

NEXT: Is Bernie Sanders as Big a Joke Candidate as Donald Trump?

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  1. “The current minimum wage is a moral outrage”

    At what point does it stop being a “moral outrage”? Is there an exact quantification of “outrage”?

    1. $10.10 an hour

      $15 an hour

      (for now)

      1. I like how $15/hr went from “unserious” to actual policy so quickly.

        I think MJGreen was the first one to notice it.

      2. Serious question: Is there any published analysis that “proves” $15 an hour (for now) is “a living wage”, whatever that means?

        1. No, they picked the number that sounded good in a slogan.

          1. “Fifteen, if ya knows what I mean” — that slogan?

            1. She was fifteen years old, going on thirty-five, Doc, and she told me she was eighteen, she was very willing, I practically had to take to sewing my pants shut. Between you and me, uh, she might have been fifteen, but when you get that little red beaver right up there in front of you, I don’t think it’s crazy at all and I don’t think you do either. No man alive could resist that, and that’s why I got into jail to begin with. And now they’re telling me I’m crazy over here because I don’t sit there like a goddamn vegetable. Don’t make a bit of sense to me. If that’s what being crazy is, then I’m senseless, out of it, gone-down-the-road, wacko. But no more, no less, that’s it.

              1. +1 Flew Over

        2. If you can’t live off $30,000 per year, then you don’t deserve to live.

          It’s science.

        3. In some parts of the country $15 an hour is well above the median wage, in other parts it doesn’t even begin to approach a “living wage”.

          That is actually one of the problems with the idea of it.

          In NYC they can pretty easily absorb a $15 per hour minimum because somewhere around 95% of the jobs there already pay above that. In Syracuse (just to keep it in the same state) however the median household income is only $38k which means the median wage is actually right around $15 per hour, almost half the city would be getting a pay raise of some sort

          1. And the other half will be getting pink slips.

            1. And good luck finding a job as a teen…

              1. The last round of raises to $7.25 wiped out jobs for anyone under 16. It’s not worth it to restaurants to hire kids under 16 who are restricted to doing only dishes, table wiping, mopping and running a cash register, for no more than 4 hours a day.

                Raise it to $15 and nobody under 18 will be having any kind of a job. They’ll be fighting the younger kids for lawns to mow.

                1. Now, it’s starting to sound attractive!

                  But in all seriousness, if we’re going to invoke the “free market” you have to ask why, since the eighties, the rich are getting richer, while the working poor are getting poorer. We don’t really have a free market, we have liberal capitalism, which is highly regulated and stacked in favor of the wealthy. Not to mention the billions in corporate welfare we pour out each year. American wages are out of whack with American productivity. I don’t have a big problem with giving it a kick from the bottom for once. Maybe a little less greed at the top is in order?

              2. …or a minority….

          2. You can definitely live in NYC on $15. If I didn’t have tens of thousands in student loan debt, I would’ve been sitting pretty at under $15/hr.

            Course, if you add in kids, a car or two, a house, etc., it’s not enough. But you shouldn’t be doing that if you’re in NYC and can’t pull in $80k.

            1. You can also live in Los Angeles as a single person, no kids, renting a small place in a middle-income neighborhood, for $15/hr. and live pretty well. You won’t be buying a BMW 3-series but could buy a Toyota Corolla, and you won’t be eating at the fancy Beverly Hills restaurants every weekend, but you can live pretty well. I’d say the most important thing is that you won’t have to live in a high-crime, high-poverty area.

              Note that this is not an argument in favor of the foolish $15/hr. minimum wage. I’m just saying that claims that $15/hr. is not a “living wage” are untrue under certain circumstances. Yes, if you have a family of 5 living on one $15/hr. income, it probably is not livable in any major metropolitan area–you would have to move out to the boonies, and so on.

              1. A BMW 3-series is a human right!

                1. An AMC AMX/3 is a human right! There are only six of them but I deserve to have one!

              2. A BMW 3-series is a human right!

            2. I’m all late, but I find that very surprising. I live in Annapolis, MD, and if you’re making $15/hr working a full-time job, you’re living in a shithole with three or four other people and you’re eating ramen every meal.

        4. Exactly – if $15 is good, isn’t $20 better? $30? Why are you stopping – do you hate poor people or something?

          1. Fuck it, anything less than $50 is a moral outrage, because everyone should be able to make six figures and have a financially comfortable life.

            1. See how simple this is? Just mandate that everyone make at least $200K a year, and all of our economic problems will be solved!

              1. “To grow the economy you have to break some windows.” Seems like I’ve read that before.

              2. $250K

                THEN WE’LL ALL BE 1%ers (mindblowngif)

                1. In SF and NY isn’t that the poverty line?

          2. Actually, yeah! We can just get rid of the 1% by giving everyone a few billion dollars a year!

      3. Exactly on point on the (for now) part. By the time the $15 min wage in California is implemented in 2022, it will be considered the greatest outrage ever that some people are forced to live on $15 an hour.

    2. That sign is completely accurate. The current minimum wage is greater than $0, and that is a moral outrage.

      1. Correction, the price floor on labor is set above the actual minimum wage of $0.

        1. You know that and I know that, but I prefer to keep things pithy on the off chance someone might come here looking to have their mind changed. Your pedantry is just going to confuse them.

          1. Thanks, boys! You sure mansplained it for all us goat fuckers real good!

        2. If interest rates can be negative, why not wages? You should have to pay for the privilege of having something to do. -$15.00 for the really good jobs.

      2. What if I want to pay someone to let me work for them because of the experience I’ll gain?

        1. Then you are just shoving your privilege in people’s faces. It’s not fair because not everyone can afford to do that.

    3. I would say that expecting to be paid more than your labor is worth at the point of a gun is moral outrage.

      1. How much is your labor worth at the point of a gun?

        1. $1 per round with premium ammo.

    4. “When Did the U.S. Repeal the Laws of Supply and Demand?”

      Apparently around the time McCarthyism ended.

      1. When Jefferson wanted to make the holders of War Bonds whole after they dumped their holdings for pennies on the dollar? Or about the time of the first sugar subsidy? Or the bundling up of land grants for the railroad builders?

    5. I saw that sign and I was like yeah, minimum wage is a moral outrage! the government has no place getting in the way of voluntary exchange, but I don’t think that’s what they mean.

  2. “What’s so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs?” asks public-policy professor David Howell.

    Remember how “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan” wasn’t a lie because all those healthcare plans people wanted but couldn’t keep were crappy healthcare plans anyway? This is how big jumps in minimum wage don’t cost any jobs, because it’s only crappy jobs being lost. Now all those minimum wage workers can go get better jobs as brain scientists and rocket surgeons. If they’re not qualified for that, well, that’s why we need free college, isn’t it?

    1. No one should be forced to perform the tasks we require someone to perform to fulfill our idea of “rights”.

    2. “What’s so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs?” asks public-policy professor David Howell.

      Like, say, public policy professorship.

    3. There’s no problem that cannot be solved by more government and less liberty!

    4. “What’s so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs?” asks public-policy professor David Howell.

      So he’s, like, totally willing to sign up for bathroom cleaning volunteer duty, right? Because what’s so bad about getting rid of crappy janitorial jobs?

    5. I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that professor Howell is tenured.

      1. I always thought tenure was a bad idea. I redoubled that opinion when I was at college, because those professors with tenure were always the most useless assholes and deserving of being kicked to the curb with no severence.

        1. Along with the Department of Diversity and Inclusion. And any department with “studies” as an object.

          1. They’ll just add “ology” to the end of everything to make it sound harder. Womenology, Filmology, Genderology, Medieval-Renaissancology.

        2. Tenure was actually one of the reasons that bothered me about the plans I had in becoming a professor. Not only does it ensure that professors can become useless without repercussions, but it also means that I’d be stuck at a university, with no way to move to a different university without starting over.

          The idea struck me as kindof weird.

          There is a creature that, once it attaches itself to the coral where it would spend the rest of its life, would immediately absorb its brain. Movement requires a brain; I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to extrapolate what happens to tenured professors once they get tenure.

    6. “What’s so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs?” asks public-policy professor David Howell.

      And when teh evul corporations start exporting said crappy jobs to China and Mexico, because they aren’t worth $15/hour, Prof. Howell will throw another hissyfit and demand laws punishing said corporations for robbing American workers of their livelihoods.

  3. “What’s so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs?” asks public-policy professor David Howell.

    No “crappy” jobs for you. You know what adjective is worse in a job description?

    1. Hitleresque?

    2. Academic?

    3. What’s so bad about getting rid of jobs for entry-level, low-skill workers? I think the question kind of answers itself.

      1. Black people are terrible workers. Best to keep them all on welfare, amirite?

        An academic paper on the 2007 federal minimum-wage hike by William Even of Miami University in Ohio and David Macpherson of Trinity University in Texas detailed the effects on young blacks, who were by far hit hardest. The “employment losses for 16-to-24-year-old black males between 2007 and 2010 could have been nearly 50% lower had the federal and state minimum wages remained at the January 2007 level,” wrote the economists, adding that the “consequence of the minimum wage for this subgroup were more harmful than the consequences of the recession.”

        1. Well, if you want people to keep voting for the party of government dependency, you need to keep them dependent on government.

    4. Pulsating?

    5. Flatulent?

    6. What’s so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs?

      Well, for one thing, stupid and lazy people need jobs too. As do young, inexperienced people, old people, and lots of other people who just need some income and don’t have to raise a family on it.

      It’s a good thing that the 400 lb retard at the local Walmart can get a job standing by the door saying “hi” to people. But that job sure as hell isn’t worth $15/hour.

      1. The real danger is that the left plans to move the goalposts on the word “crappy” in “crappy jobs.”

        Right now on the New Republic there is an article saying 1099 jobs are bad. My accountant told me that the State of California is making it harder and harder to hire 1099 subcontractors–the leftist gov’t wants to destroy 1099 jobs in favor of W-2 jobs. They’ll do so by labeling 1099 work as “crappy”–the New Republic article is just the beginning of this agenda.

        1. That’s the only kind of labor I hire. It would put me out of business and would take food out of the mouth of a lot of unskilled laborers.

          Most days, I need one guy, or none. But when a roof needs to be replaced or a whole house needs to be renovated quickly, it could be half dozen. Obviously W-2 is completely out of the question. I’d have to look for one decent starter-level handyman, and … I don’t know what I’d do on stuff like the roofing jobs. I’d have to hire a general contractor, I guess, which would be a huge hit. Especially because general contractors would become enormously expensive if all their labor was W-2. Who could afford that?

  4. When did the U.S. repeal the laws of supply and demand?

    Politicians have always believed they can repeal the laws of supply and demand. And the ones that don’t really believe it don’t give a fuck because they are only too happy to buy votes with stupid mandates.

  5. Aw, come on. Everyone knows that intentions are magic.

    Sin taxes are intended to get people to buy less of the item that is made more expensive by the tax, so that is what they do.

    A ridiculously high minimum wage is intended to force employers to pay workers more than they actually earn for the company, so that is what they do.

    See? Intentions are magic.

    1. Exactly. The economic spirits scrutinize the intent of each new law before deciding how to react. I thought everyone knew that.

    2. Yep – no black markets or under-the-table employees will ever happen… scout’s honor!

      1. No hiring illegals and paying cash, either.

    3. Well, you see, all of those minimum wage workers will be spending their well-deserved money and stimulating the economy and that’s good.
      Evil products like cigarettes, booze and (Worst of all!) sugary drinks are made by corporations. As all right thinking people know, corporations contribute nothing to the economy. A corporation is a sort of ogre which does nothing but sit in its cave, where it eats money and shits misery.

  6. “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

    ? Thomas Sowell

    1. Can’t be said enough.

  7. I demand that you supply me with free education, a guaranteed job, and daycare for my children. Besides, everyone knows the real minimum wage is $0.00/hour.

    1. You’ll get what you asked for. The free education will be in a communist indoctrination camp, the guaranteed job will be in a state-owned work prison where you break big rocks into medium-sized ones, and daycare for your children will be in a smaller work prison where they break medium-sized rocks into small ones.

  8. I had a conversation with my leftist father on this subject a little while ago. He agreed that making things more expensive results in people buying less and/or finding alternatives, and I even got him to admit that that applies to unskilled labor as well. His response was that people need a “living wage” so the economics doesn’t matter. He grudgingly accepted the fact that a high minimum wage will have the unintended consequence of rendering an entire class of people as permanently unemployed, but still wouldn’t budge from wanting a ridiculously high minimum wage because people need to be able to live off of their paycheck. So it is better to be permanently unemployed than to gain the experience to actually earn a living wage. I guess you’ve got to like break a few eggs or something and stuff, you know?

    1. If you want to live off your paycheck, learn some valuable skills.

      1. Like budgeting.

        1. And abstinence.

          1. And delayed gratification.

            1. We keep this up, and people will start to think we’re no fun in real life.

              1. I am no fun.

                So I have no problem with people forming that opinion.

                1. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Well, Jack works for ME now. And I don’t give a good goddamn how interesting he is!

            2. wait, does that mean I have to let her cum first?

              1. +1 coitus interruptus

      2. Or Learn to settle for less.

        1. yeah, it would also be fair if nobody came, but it would also sort of suck, no?

    2. It is a form of insanity. I got into the same argument with a lefty friend on derpbook (I know, I know) and actually got her to admit all that was wrong about the minimum wage, including forcing someone to pay more for someone’s labor than it was worth to them at the point of a gun, loss of jobs, etc. etc. But she just wouldn’t let go of “Still, everyone deserves a living wage, so you shouldn’t begrudge them that” even after agreeing to all my points.

      1. It is an obsession with fairness. People like that favor fairness over justice. That is why they pervert the meaning of justice with terms like “social justice” and “economic justice” which are in fact institutionalized injustice. But they don’t care. They would rather the government be an instrument of injustice than justice if it means making things more fair at the expense of the evil rich.

        1. I think that’s it. It’s not that they are incapable of following logic, because they will often concede the logical points if you lay it out correctly. But at the end of the day they just reject the conclusions because “fairness”.

        2. I don’t know what could be more fair than the just and equal enforcement of a small number of laws protecting the life, liberty, and property of all.

          But fair processes do not result in equal outcomes.

          1. Justice isn’t fair. Justice means that if my neighbor works harder than me he can buy three cars, while my slacker-ass can only afford one. Justice means if I steal one of his cars in the name of fairness, he can go to the government and ask for justice. “Social justice” and “economic justice” mean I go to the government and ask them to steal one of my neighbor’s cars for me, and now my neighbor has no means of getting justice because the people tasked with justice were the very ones who committed the injustice against him.

            1. The left believes that the only reason you can’t work and achieve just as much as your neighbor is because he was privileged in his life and you were disadvantaged, through no fault of your own. So it is only right for men with guns to even things up a bit.

              1. That is why they use words like “fortunate” to describe people who make a lot of money. As if they rolled the dice and were “fortunate” enough to land a good paying job. Hard work and discipline have nothing to do with anything. It’s all up to fortune.

                1. Yup, the same way they talk about people “receiving” income. As if they just magically happen to get it in the mail, not having done anything to actually earn their income.

                  1. I find nothing gets leftist worked up like using terms like “earn.” Man, does that piss them off. That shit is just unfair. People should be payed what they “deserve,” not what they actually “earn.”

                    1. People should be payed what they “deserve,” not what they actually “earn.”

                      Hence, the $15/hr minimum wage “fight for fifteen” idiocy.

                    2. I deserve a billion dollars a year. and a Hawaiian island. Not the leper one.

                      Pay up fuckers.

                  2. Like politicians?

                2. It’s all up to fortune.

                  To be fair, some people are born with more of what it takes to succeed. I.e. life ain’t fair.

                  1. “Life isn’t fair” was a very common rebuke in my household growing up.

                    If only my siblings had listened.

                    1. “Life isn’t fair” was a very common rebuke in my household growing up.

                      We used to say “It’s a free country” a lot, too.

                    2. We used to say “It’s a free country” a lot, too.

                      Yeah, those were the days. Now someone is more likely to say “Who said you could do that?” and then call the cops if you can’t give them an adequate answer. After all, freedom means asking permission and obeying orders.

                  2. This, more than anything else. The world isn’t fair – news at 11. If life were fair, we’d all be tall, muscular, rich, and get to fuck supermodels. Alluring as that may be, it’s as silly to gnash your teeth about as being angry that humans don’t have wings and can’t fly without machinery.

                    1. If life were fair, we’d all be tall, muscular, rich, and get to fuck supermodels.

                      What fun would that be? I mean, there would be nothing to strive for.

                    2. You could always strive to outrun the morlocks.

                    3. That would hardly be fair to the morlocks, now would it? Try punching up in the future, and check your white privilege.

                    4. Yeah, if we were all tall, muscular, rich, and fucking supermodels, it wouldn’t be anything special.

                    5. I am neither tall, muscular, rich nor fucking a supermodel, but I’ve got a decent income and a wife who looks damn good in ass-jeans, so I’m happy.

                    6. you’ve got that right – my life has become tedious for precisely that reason! hahaah

          2. But fair processes do not result in equal outcomes.

            And that’s the problem as the left sees it. They think if outcomes aren’t equal among all groups, then the process must not be fair. So the government must step in with force to remedy this, and make it more “fair”.

          3. Fair processes do result in equal outcomes. That is what they believe and we’re fools to start the debate with anything other than, “No, you’re completely wrong.”

    3. I think I met your father last week.

      1. Doubt it. The dude is a recluse.

        1. Dude, he’s everywhere.

          1. i believe you’ve got my dad confused with Elvis.

            1. Well, that would explain your dad being a recluse.

          2. Thank you, WTF. Dude is everywhere. “It doesn’t make sense logically, but look at it with your heart.”

            1. IF my heart were repositioned to view external events, I would be dead from severe shock, blood loss, and cardiac arrest. I will use my mind-brain instead.

      2. Me too! All of them!

        1. The Elvii or Sarcasmic Sr?

          1. Sarcasmic, but wish it was Elvii?

    4. Does your leftist father also recognize that businesses can simply raise prices (as the businesses that are unable to escape the higher minimum wage in Seattle did)?

      To pay a fast food worker $15/hr. instead of $8/hr., the restaurant can crank the price of a burger from $6 to $12, and then the worker still can buy only about 1 burger plus maybe a side for about 1 hour of his labor.

      In the end, money is just a medium of exchange between the worker’s labor TIME and some other worker’s finished good or service.

      1. When you posted that, somewhere a leftist just started counting on his fingers, then got a glassy look in his eyes, then went out with his buddies and flipped over a car for social justice.

    5. It’s not as much of an affront to many people that someone is unemployed as if that person is paid what they consider an undignified amount. If the person isn’t working at all, well, that’s nobody’s fault, it means the person has free time, and it means the person still could get a well-paying job. If OTOH the person is making an amount that’s infra dig, that means the employer’s a cheap bastard and the employee’s basic humanity isn’t recognized.

    6. I’m disappointed in the basic flaws in fundamental economics that people present as ‘reason’ here. There are a number of pretty simple counter arguments that haven’t been posed, not to mention that there are obvious secondary effects of a minimum wage increase that aren’t explored.
      First, the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. The claim, ‘$15/hour is the highest in the world!’ without adjusting for 1. inflation and 2. GDP/capita is meaningless. The federal minimum wage, according to The Economist (, should be closer to $12 than $7.25. And, while that’s not $15, that’s from 2015, and inflation keeps going.
      Second, the point about losing existing minimum wage jobs ignores the fact that many people have to work more than one job to make ends meet. Fewer, better paying jobs, are better than more jobs that don’t pay enough to live on. People are better off being encouraged to find better work. Failing that, getting rid of pseudo-employment is a good thing.
      Third, demand goes both ways. The economic impact of more people having more disposable income from jobs that actually pay enough to live on, means more retail activity. More retail activity means more growth, which means more jobs. Imagine that.
      All that to say that this article provides absolutely no meaningful insight, and is demonstrable of a gross lack of basic economic modeling. That’s nothing unique or surprising on the internet. But is especially sad on a site that calls itself “Reason”.

      1. First, the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation.

        So? Rather than making it keep up with inflation we should abolish it. It is an evil law and it is counter-productive.

        Second, the point about losing existing minimum wage jobs ignores the fact that many people have to work more than one job to make ends meet. Fewer, better paying jobs, are better than more jobs that don’t pay enough to live on. People are better off being encouraged to find better work.

        No it doesn’t. There will be some people who do better with a higher minimum wage. Those are the people who keep their jobs. But, there will be more losers. People will lose their jobs over this. More jobs will fail to be created than would have if there were no minimum wage.

      2. Failing that, getting rid of pseudo-employment is a good thing.

        What the hell is “pseudo-employment”? I’m gonna guess it’s any job that is lost due to the increased minimum wage. “Sure a million jobs were lost, but those were just pseudo-employment, so that’s actually a good thing.”

        Third, demand goes both ways. The economic impact of more people having more disposable income from jobs that actually pay enough to live on, means more retail activity. More retail activity means more growth, which means more jobs. Imagine that.

        Nonsense. Even if no one lost their job because of this, there would not be more disposable income because the extra money minimum wage workers will get will be money that comes out of their employer’s pockets. The minimum wage worker has more by the same amount that the employer has less – it’s a zero sum game. The way to get more disposable income is to increase productivity – not to shift money from person A to person B.

        The long term effects that we should expect from this are that prices will adjust so that the new MW has about the same buying power as today’s MW and that alot of jobs are permanently lost due to automation and others just because no one is willing to pay the MW to have that job done. Examples of the former are cashiers in stores that now have self-checkout lanes. Examples of the latter are gas station attendants and ushers in movie theaters. I’ll be able to give more examples in a few years.

  9. The new go-to response from the left is a resounding “NUH UH!” It doesn’t matter how polite and respectful you approach the matter. I frequently use the “what if..” approach. Not pointing fingers or accusing anyone or anything. Just merely suggesting an idea. And it’s met with a chorus of “NUH UH!”

    ….and usually some Robert Reich video that’s so fallacious that I feel spinal fluid dripping out of my ear

    1. This is part of why I just steamroll over progtards in full asshole mode. Even then, they’re barely worth debating. Just take what’s ours back from them. they are nothing but weak pussy faggot cookies anyway.

  10. I’m sad. This is all gone too far, where a compromise to end it will only result in another 30 yards lost on the field.

  11. The rest of the article was great but this:

    This is on the order of saying that because we can’t know how many people a thermonuclear strike on Manhattan would kill, it’s premature to say it would kill lots of people, or even anyone. Hey, you never know!

    Struck me as a bit daft.

    1. It’s not the best analogy, that’s for sure.

      1. It’s not an analogy, as much as a sound recommendation.

        1. A good idea to be sure. Can we do the same to Hollywood during the Oscars?

    2. Wait, I get it.

      It’s okay everyone, I get it now.

      *goes back to lurking*

  12. If they do succeed in driving down demand for soda pop, I’ll bet they have the nerve to act shocked when Pepsi, Coke, etc. start laying workers off. “Market failurezzzzzz!!!!!!” “Greedy korporashuns!!!!”

    1. As long as management is getting paid and investors are making money, they will cry unfair. They’ve been raised on the everyone gets a trophy mentality until it is just who they are.

  13. For the millionth time, progressives talking about how the economy works are far dumber than creationists talking about evolution. In fact, the belief that the universe is so big and complicated that there must have been an infinite intelligence behind its creation is much less stupid than the belief that Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or any of their favorite intellectuals possess the infinite intelligence necessary to optimize our economy from on high.

    And it shouldn’t be lost that the everyday progressives who would impose economy crushing regulation and taxes on us to combat global warming are many of the same idiots who know less about how economies work than fundamentalist Christians know about evolution.

    In fact, if the global warming alarmists are correct, and doing nothing about global warming does lead to environmental catastrophe in our lifetimes, it won’t be because regular people denied the science. It’ll be because progressive alarmists are so painfully stupid about how the economy works that no one in their right mind would trust them with the keys to the car. I mean, why would anybody put their faith in a global warming alarmist who denies that raising the minimum wage might have a net negative impact on somebody somewhere?

    If we have to put somebody in charge of the economy, I’ll take the Jesus freaks over the willful stupidity of progressives each and every time!

    1. Fun fact – creationists’ loony theories about evolution have ZERO impact on my day-to-day life. Proggies’ equally discredited economic theories, however, are actively destructive.

      1. The thing that really bothers me is how confident progressives are in looking down their noses at fundamentalists for their ignorance, too.

        Faith requires a certain amount of uncertainty. Progressives have none. It’s one thing to be wrong. Quite another to be wrong and absolutely sure that they’re right.

        That’s what makes them feel so confident about inflicting themselves on the rest of us.

        1. What really gets me, especially on issues like evolution and the climate, is that those who are most vocal about how pro-science they are tend to have, at best, only a rudimentary understanding of the subject.

          1. They’re not even asking the relevant economic questions, the answers to which might drive support!

            How much will we need to sacrifice in GDP per capita before our sacrifices would save the first polar bear?

            Is it $100 a year? $10,000 a year? Does anybody know?

            How long will we need to continue to make those sacrifices before we start seeing lower temperatures than we’d have without sacrificing our standard of living?

            Is it five years? 20 years? A hundred?

            Does anybody know?

            The worst possible outcome is the one where we make giant sacrifices in our standard of living (GDP per capita) and it doesn’t have any substantial impact on the environment, isn’t it?

            Well, isn’t it?

            You ask these questions to progressives, and they look at you like you’re coming from Mars.

            Some of the more reasonable ones may say, “Well, there will be negative consequences if we don’t make sacrifices, too”, but that’s hardly the issue. The issue is whether the results will justify the sacrifices–just like with any other policy, these are economic question. Not having answers to these economic questions is why people “deny the science”. And most progressives don’t even have the intellectual wherewithal to ask these questions–much less answer them.

            Or they have answers, but their ridiculous answers are about how people are unwilling to sacrifice their standard of living because they’re selfish. You really can have more rational arguments with creationists about evolution!

            1. You really can have more rational arguments with creationists about evolution!

              I actually listened to a debate (through the Unbelievable podcast, I believe) in which Young-Earth creationists argued their case. While ultimately unconvinced, I was rather impressed with their propensity for research and presentation of evidence.

              AGW proponents? Not so much.

      2. You sound like a Science Denier

  14. Speaking of taxes n’ shit….how about a state taking a budget hit because of one guy moving?

    Clearly the answer is to stop all movement of people making over $500k.

    (sorry if this has already been discussed – I’ve had actual work to do this morning!)

    1. But the proggies on the local paper insist billionaires won’t move, even if you tax them 111%!

    2. “New Jersey relies on personal income taxes for about 40 percent of its revenue, and less than 1 percent of taxpayers contribute about a third of those collections, according to the legislative services office. A one percent forecasting error in the income-tax estimate can mean a $140 million gap, Haines said.”


      1. As a resident of NJ, I say good, fuck the thieving politicians and their pubsec cronies.

        1. They won’t change until they have to. Hell, if they’re like the politicians in Detroit, they won’t even change when they have to. But they certainly won’t change before then!

          This is why I’m still such a big proponent of staving the beast. Revenue shortfalls are the only thing that prevents further spending. There will never be a time when the government is so flush with cash that it decides to cut spending. Spending cuts happen because the voters cut off revenue.

          This is what Prop 13 in California was about. It worked spectacularly. If the State of California had more property tax to spend, they would have spent it. If you want to cut spending, there is no better method than cutting off revenue.

          Now New Jersey is chasing the source of 40% of its revenue out of the state? Yeah, that’s the way problems get solved. They’ll start cutting spending after they run out of money to spend. The way to stop drunken sailors from spending our money isn’t to give them more money to spend. It’s to laugh in their faces when they start talking about the crippled children who will go hungry if they don’t raise taxes.

          1. Oh, they’ll change alright. Next step is to either a) make it nearly impossible to move by drowning people in paperwork and bureaucracy before they can permanently take their money to another state steal form the fine people of NJ by not paying taxes there anymore, or b) institute some kind of “departure tax”.

            Either way, NJ may be the first state to try and hold its wealthy residents prisoner.

            Grabbing popcorn…

            1. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall a Supreme court decision shorty after the civil war which ruled that states (NY in particular) cannot stop companies from relocating to a different state due to the impact it would have on tax revenues.

              Wouldn’t the same apply here?

              1. Yep. Because states never go full retard and create crazily unconstitutional laws despite legal precedent.

                1. They’ll try. It’ll work until someone else with enough cash or status or balls/ovaries will fight it hard.

      2. They’ll have to tax the remaining billionaires even more to make up for the shortfall. Tax’em hard and fast!

    3. It’s almost like having super high marginal state income tax rates in an undesirable place to live might cause people paying a lot of those taxes to want to move to a place with a better climate and NO state income tax.

      Or something else completely unexpected.

  15. Historians, keep this shit in mind when the shit hits the fan in the next decade. When people are trying to figure what happened, there’s always a multifacetedness to it. When the whole thing goes tits up, things like $15 minimum wage will be one of those “and didn’t help that” or “exacerbating an already difficult situation” or something similar. This is going to put people out of jobs and it will close up businesses.

    It’s amazing how anemic our economy has been for fifteen years, unless ginned up by the government, and the social engineers keep adding new diseases and maladies to the “patient”. The host will, very soon, be swamped under by all the parasites that are attached to it.

  16. These are the same people who think that walking into a factory and pulling levers 8 hours a day is the American Dream, and should automatically command more and more income over time. Because magic.

    1. But when The Jetsons satirized automation by having the guy’s job be pushing a button, people understood that was satire. Similarly the movie of Starship Troopers, which hilariously subverted the line about that from the book. Now there are people who take it seriously?

  17. “What’s so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs?” asks public-policy professor David Howell.

    Fuck. You.

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  19. Dude that makes no sense at all man. WOw.

  20. “What’s so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs?” asks public-policy professor David Howell.

    Evil. Just plain fucking evil.

    These people are evil.

  21. Get rid of all the crappy jobs (and all the people employed in them), said the Golgafrinchans, who soon after all died of an infection contracted from an unsanitary telephone.

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  23. Increasing the price of soda reduces demand, as the law of supply and demand predicts. If that is desirable, isn’t the right way to increase it to stop subsidizing the production of sugar, not increasing the tax on it? Oh yeah, that doesn’t bring more money for politicians to buy votes with.

  24. I see the socialist sign = the current minimum wage is a moral outrage. But forcing someone to pay you more is moral?

  25. Liberals are assuming that demand for sugary drinks is elastic, while demand for labor is inelastic. They are wrong, but that’s what their arguments come down to.

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  28. Some of this is CA-specific tho. CA needs to gentrify in a big way or many of the cities will bankrupt in the next downturn.

    1) CA, of course, has Prop 13 and cities are losing money big time on poor people. SJ currently looses $250 a year per person that live in an apartment (more likely double that in the rent controlled ones) and $100 per person that live in a house.

    2) Since property tax is not cutting it, cities make up the slack for services (police pensions) from sales tax. “Crappy job’ed” people don’t spend money on items that generate a lot of sales tax. They buy groceries, pay rent, and send remittences back home. Thus the need to gentrify those crappy jobs outta here.

    3) Rent Control is getting as crazy here as the $15 movement. Regardless of the stream of single mothers they march in front of city councils, everyone knows that rent control helps middle class over the poor. So”crappy job’ed” people will exit stage right once the real world effects of rent control really kicks in.

    4) Don’t forget paid maternity leave, that snuck in there too.

    So $15/hr + rent control + a little paid maternity leave = less “Crappy job’ed” people in CA. Gentrification and police pension secured! Keep in mind the liberal’s holy trinity is a rent control apartment, free healthcare (medicare expansion will do), and working part time crafting artisanal coffee. So everybody wins!.

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  30. RE: When Did the U.S. Repeal the Laws of Supply and Demand?

    Since when did the USA become a capitalist nation?

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  35. Supply and demand heavily influence FDI, which is one of the few acronyms that can’t hurt you.

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