Latest Restaurant Jobs Data Proves Nothing Except the Fact That We Shouldn’t Believe Mark Perry

Latest Restaurant Jobs Data Proves Nothing Except the Fact That We Shouldn’t Believe Mark Perry

A couple months ago at the conservative American Enterprise Institute , economist Mark Perry wrote that according to the St. Louis Fed, Seattle’s minimum wage was turning out to be a huge failure. “The loss of 1,000 restaurant jobs in May following the minimum wage increase in April was the largest one month job decline since a 1,300 drop in January 2009, again during the Great Recession,” Perry wrote. Problem is, Perry’s allegation wasn’t true. The dip proved absolutely nothing about our minimum wage. We’ve talked at length about how the numbers were based on a much larger geographic area than just Seattle, which makes the data meaningless. Seattle’s increased minimum wage would not be responsible for job losses in Tacoma, for example. And then the next time the St. Louis Fed’s restaurant employment numbers were published, they indicated the largest month-over-month gain that the region has ever seen. This should be obvious, but I’ll say it again for people who confuse correlation with causation: this does not mean that every question relating to the increased minimum wage has been settled. That month-over-month gain relates to a very large geographic area, and so it’s impossible to attribute the gain to Seattle’s minimum wage. So let’s bear all that in mind when we look at the very latest set of numbers from the St Louis Fed , which fall juuuuuuuuust a little short of the all-time seasonally adjusted gain. Does this mean the $15 minimum wage is settled? Again, just the same as I said in the above paragraph, no it doesn’t. It’s going to take a long time before we can quantify the effects of the increased minimum wage. So why am I even bothering to comment on this? Do these numbers prove anything at all? Yes. They do prove one thing conclusively: Mark Perry shouldn’t be allowed to predict the future based on a single data point. The fact that Perry’s report got as
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Daily Clips: September 21st, 2015

Daily Clips: September 21st, 2015

Bernie Sanders says top 0.1% in US have almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%:  PolitiFact checked out Sanders’ comment and found it to be “Mostly True” – which made me sigh in defeat. How can this be true in 2015? Colorado’s marijuana tax revenues nearly double last year’s figures:  More good news for the legalization movement! (Also, why is it that we always hear about Colorado and not Washington when it comes to legal marijuana? Bummer, man.) The Guardian reports: Through the first seven months of this year, Colorado has brought in nearly $73.5m , putting the state on pace to collect over $125m for the year. These incredible (and surprising) numbers make the success of future marijuana ballot initiatives far more likely. The Pope is coming to town:  The highly anticipated arrival of Pope Francis has the US media buzzing. However, his controversial positions on climate change and refugees has angered Congressional Republicans; indeed, some are even considering skipping his address to Congress. The discussion of abortion (especially in the light of the Planned Parenthood stand-off) will be of particular interest. Obama citizenship push stokes conservative fears:  Politico reports that the Obama administration is putting together a “new initiative to nudge 8.8 million legal residents who are eligible for naturalization to become full-fledged citizens — and therefore, eligible to vote.” These new citizens would most likely vote for Democrats and this reality hasn’t been lost on the Republicans. A paper from the right-wing Eagle Forum warned: Republicans can never turn liberal-leaning immigrants and their adult children into supporters of limited government faster than the current high level of legal immigration (one million a year) is bringing in new liberal voters,” the report warns.

Vast Majority of New Yorkers Favor $15 Minimum Wage

Vast Majority of New Yorkers Favor $15 Minimum Wage

CBS News reports : A new poll finds that New York voters support raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. The poll released Friday by Quinnipiac University found 62 percent of voters supporting a phased-in increase. This isn’t some online clickbait poll, either. It’s drawn from a fairly substantial sample size—1,366 voters. The American people are finally coming around to the understanding that raising the minimum wage won’t harm business. In fact, they realize that if you give workers more money, businesses will have more customers. Opposition to the minimum wage increase is running low, at 35 percent. This is a popular idea: Americans are in favor of giving workers a raise. Why, then, was Rick Santorum the only Republican candidate to support a minimum wage during the entire five hours of Wednesday night’s debate? And why was Santorum supporting a measly 50-cent minimum wage increase? That would leave the minimum wage below $8 an hour. I know math is tough, but Republicans are going to have to realize at some point that you can’t win a majority election with 35 percent of the vote. It’s time for Republicans to abandon their regressive fear and hatred of a minimum-wage increase. The numbers are running against them.

Daily Clips: September 18th, 2015

Daily Clips: September 18th, 2015

Hillary Clinton releases a great ad: Anyone that watched the GOP debate two nights ago would’ve been astounded with how little policy was actually discussed. Hillary’s communications team does a terrific job of highlighting their silence on the important issues: Planned Parenthood provides a rebuttal to Carly Fiorina:  Planned Parenthood Action Fund executive vice president Dawn Laguens had some strong words for the Republican candidate: I am writing to tell you directly that your claims are completely false and that the video footage you described simply does not exist. Literally, there is no such scene on any of the heavily edited, widely discredited videos that have been released by anti-abortion extremists. Your statements last night, while vivid and attention-getting, were completely untrue,” Laguens wrote, in the message addressed to Fiorina’s campaign headquarters in suburban Alexandria, Virginia. American incomes shrink:  According to Census Bureau data released earlier this week, the median annual household income in the US has fallen by 1.5 percent to $53,657. More than this, median income is still 6.5 percent lower than it was prior to the financial crisis in 2008. The good news from the report? The number of Americans without health insurance has dropped to 10.4 percent of the population, down from 13.3 percent in 2013.   The Fed will raise rates…in December: After deciding not to increase interest rates from zero this week, the Federal Reserve is allegedly ready to raise rates at its December policy meeting. The futures market implied traders see a 42 percent chance that the rate hike will occur in December.

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