Failing State: $15 minimum wage drives clothing manufacturer out of Los Angeles

April 17, 2016
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we raised the minimum wage! Yay, Jerry Brown!!”

In my posts on the minimum wage and the Left’s push to raise it ever higher, I’ve tried to point out one key truth: Labor is a cost of doing business that businesses have to account for. When costs go up, these firms have only a few choices:

  1. They can pass on the cost to the consumer, risking the loss of customers’ business.
  2. They can cut labor costs by reducing hiring, cutting back hours, laying off employees, and automating.
  3. They can decide the reduced profit isn’t worth it and close shop, costing all employees their jobs.
  4. They can move out of the jurisdiction, probably costing local employees their jobs.

The government of California recently decided to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, an increase of 50% from today’s state-mandated rate. At the bill’s signing, the Governor said the measure didn’t make “economic sense.” (1)

One employer, at least, agrees with him:

Los Angeles was once the epicenter of apparel manufacturing, attracting buyers from across the world to its clothing factories, sample rooms and design studios.

But over the years, cheap overseas labor lured many apparel makers to outsource to foreign competitors in far-flung places such as China and Vietnam.

Now, Los Angeles firms are facing another big hurdle — California’s minimum wage hitting $15 an hour by 2022 — which could spur more garment makers to exit the state.

Last week American Apparel, the biggest clothing maker in Los Angeles, said it might outsource the making of some garments to another manufacturer in the U.S., and wiped out about 500 local jobs. The company still employs about 4,000 workers in Southern California.

“The exodus has begun,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at Cal State Channel Islands and a former director at Forever 21. “The garment industry is gradually shrinking and that trend will likely continue.”

When San Francisco raised the city’s minimum wage, a beloved bookstore closed shop because the cost of business had grown too high. Seattle has lost 700 restaurant jobs because the restaurant industry’s thin profit margins cannot support a $15 minimum wage.

And it’s not just current workers who are harmed: low-skill or unskilled youths looking for that first job are going to discover its harder to find one. Not only will fewer jobs be available out of the limited pool of funds set aside for hiring, but employers are going to want more for their money: employees who already have skills, who require less training. The unskilled 17 year old looking for his or her first job is going to be a lot less attractive.

Great work, legislature and governor, activists and union leaders.You’re driving businesses out of state, costing people jobs, and making it harder to find work. Well done.

They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. In this case, that road runs through Sacramento.

RELATED: Moe Lane notes that AA was bleeding cash from paying already-uneconomical wages.

Footnote:
(1) I leave it to the reader as an exercise to determine why a governor would sign a bill he says make no economic sense. Or, you can read the article.

 


Winston Churchill was a funny guy

April 17, 2016
x

Comedian

From Ian Lindquist’s review of Larry Arnn’s Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government:

Churchill walked into the men’s room in Parliament and noticed that Clement Attlee, his replacement as prime minister and leader of Britain’s Labour Party, was his sole restroom companion. The rambunctious former prime minister sauntered down to the urinal furthest from the peacetime P.M. Attlee, sensing something amiss, turned to him and quipped: “Feeling a bit standoffish today, are we, Winston?” Churchill, presumably doing his business at this point, rejoined: “No. It’s just that whenever you see something big you want to nationalize it!”

*Rimshot!!*

Sir Winston should have take that act on the road. Smiley Laughing Maniacal Clown

Speaking of which, I have that book on my Kindle. Must get around to reading it.


(Video) Protester to @HillaryClinton – “You are evil and guilty!”

April 16, 2016

But, really, tell me something I don’t know:

The Free Beacon explains:

Two protestors interrupted a Hillary Clinton campaign event on Saturday, with one being escorted out after shouting that the Democratic presidential frontrunner is “evil” and “guilty.”

Clinton was speaking to a crowd of supporters in Los Angeles when two individuals separately protested the rally and her candidacy. One man could be heard shouting, “She is guilty, she is guilty, she is evil,” as security removed him from the event.

Supposedly these were Sanders supporters. If so, take note of this moment: it is the one time I will probably ever agree with Bernie Sanders fans on anything.

Bipartisanship at last!


(Video) Are 1 in 5 women raped in college?

April 11, 2016

The “1 in 5” statistic has been used by the feminist left and pandering politicians to promote the idea that there is a “rape culture” crisis on our college campuses. This, of course, has lead to new laws in some states (1) that set an “affirmative consent” standard — minutely regulating the sexual interactions of college students, a progressive’s dream.

But is this statistic correct?

For Prager University, Caroline Kitchens of the American Enterprise Institute says the answer is “no” and shows what a hollow foundation that “1 in 5” figure rests on:

This false statistic has harmful real-world consequences, as universities assume guilt-upon-accusation and deny males accused of sexual assault even the most basic protections of due process, acting like a Star Chamber. This is the real “crisis” on campuses. Journalist Ashe Schow has written extensively about it and you can learn a lot from her archives.

Footnote:
(1) Such as California. Sigh.

 


(Video) It’s a good thing we have that “deal” with Iran

April 4, 2016

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, the man with the final word on everything in that benighted land, has declared that any willingness to negotiate over Iran’s nuclear program is treason:

Here’s the transcript, via the invaluable MEMRI.

Ali Khamenei: Some people say that the world of tomorrow is a world of talks, and not of missiles. If this is said out of ignorance, that’s one thing, but if it is said out of cognizance, it constitutes treason.

Crowd Chants: Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar!

Khamenei is the leader!

Death to those who oppose the Rule of the Jurisprudent!

Death to America! Death to England!

Death to the hypocrites!

Death to Israel!

Imagine what it would be like if Obama and Kerry hadn’t worked their magic with them.  smiley whew


Shamefully exploiting an atrocity, Donald Trump displays his megalomania

March 27, 2016
Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

The only man to solve the problem of jihad?

Today is Easter, one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar. It was marred by news of a massacre in Pakistan when a Muslim suicide bomber attacked a park that was a favorite for local Christians and killed scores of women and children:

A suicide bomber killed at least 65 people, mostly women and children, at a park in Lahore on Sunday in an attack claimed by a Pakistani Taliban faction which said it had targeted Christians.

More than 300 other people were wounded, officials said.

The explosion occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park close to children’s swings. The park is a popular site for members of Lahore’s Christian community, many of whom had gone there to celebrate the Easter weekend holiday.

Witnesses said they saw body parts strewn across the parking lot once the dust had settled after the blast.

These women and children were targeted because of their religion by someone who believed he was acting in accord with his religion in furtherance of a 1,400-year old war of domination. It is a war that has cost thousands of lives here in America. One would expect anyone running to be our Chief of State and Commander in Chief would at least have the decency to express sympathy with the victims.

That “anyone,” however, does not include Donald Trump, who tweeted the following:

I alone can solve.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is called “megalomania,” and that came straight from Trump’s verified account. No need to analyze all the ways it’s wrong. Res ipsa loquitur — the thing speaks for itself.

How any rational American  considering the candidates can look at that and think Trump is in any imaginable way qualified to be president and fit to command the most powerful armed forces the world has ever seen is beyond me. He makes Hillary Clinton look positively statesmanlike, while Barack Obama is a picture of humility and self-awareness by comparison.

He doesn’t need to be sent to the White House. He should be sent to the madhouse.

PS: In case Trump comes to his senses and deletes that tweet, here’s a capture:

Trump Pakistan megalomania

 

I’d say “unbelievable,” but these days that’s all too believable. And appalling.


Brussels massacre: Your periodic reminder that they’re still trying to kill us

March 22, 2016

Fatwa this!

Brave knights of Allah waging jihad fi sabil Allah –“jihad for the sake of Allah”– bravely struck the Brussels airport and a subway station in Belgium this morning, killing at least 34 innocent people, wounding over 100 more.

But it’s a Religion of Peace, dontcha know?

A series of coordinated terror attacks in Brussels Tuesday have put Belgium on its highest threat level alert and sparked the U.S. Embassy there to warn American citizens in the city to shelter in place.

Multiple explosions targeted two locations in Brussels Tuesday morning. Two blasts struck a departure hall of Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and one occurred at the Maelbeek subway station.

The subway station is close to the offices of the European Union in central Brussels. At least one of the attacks is believed to have been the result of a suicide bomber.

Officials have confirmed that at least 31 people were killed in the attacks and 187 injured. Belgian media reports have indicated that the death toll has been elevated to 34.

“The level [of] threat in Belgium has been raised to 4 (maximum alert) with special emphasis on transport hubs, airports, stations, and nuclear plants,” Prime Minister Charles Michel said Tuesday.

Authorities have shuttered the subway system and closed the international airport in the wake of the attacks. Reports later Tuesday indicated that the Belgian nuclear plant close to the country’s border with Germany had been evacuated.

The attack came in the wake of the shooting and capture last week of Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris massacre of last November. A social media channel linked with ISIS has hinted at responsibility for the attack, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Regardless, Belgian authorities have a lot of questions to answer about how this could happen. I’m not minimizing the challenges security services face –figures given by the head of the UK’s MI5 several years ago were mortifying, and intelligence agencies have to get it right every time, while terrorists have to be right only once — but still one has to ask how jihadists carrying explosives got past airport security. What weakness or flaw did they spot? Did they have inside help? The Belgian people and bereaved families will no doubt be demanding answers.

It’s also a somber reminder to us that, no matter how much we’d like to ignore the world outside our borders (whether America’s or the EU’s), that world will not ignore us. Despite one major party obsessing over electing the first woman president (solely because she’s a woman) and the other seemingly hell-bent on nominating a reality-show star, both of whom are utterly unqualified for office, we are still very much the targets in a very old war. The threat posed by the jihad is deadly serious, and the world needs an American president just as serious and who has a sober, realistic approach to his duties.

Meanwhile, good hunting to Belgian and European authorities as they hunt down these maniacs’ accomplices.

 


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