The indefatigable Invictus took a pause this week from his incredible work bringing reality to nonsense Economics 101 garbage about Seattle restaurants… to bring some reality to nonsense Economics 101 garbage about a higher minimum wage causing robots to steal jobs.
As the post ably demonstrates, the robot storyline is a scare tactic and nothing more — sure, technology has changed work and will continue to do so, but the idea that workers should shut up or else they’ll be punished by robots is Not How Things Work. In reality, Invictus writes, automation “will or won’t happen depending on what some green-visored bean counter (wait, they’re gone, too?) says after running a cost/benefit analysis on his abacus calculator Excel spreadsheet.”
Our economy isn’t a system of moral comeuppance for political activity libertarians disapprove of. In fact, it’s not a system of moral anything… unless we make it so.
Like a windsock for the fight for $15
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo completed his rapid evolution on the minimum wage this week, offering a valuable indicator that marks perhaps the final transformation of the $15 minimum wage from fringe demand into mainstream political opportunity.
Never known as much of an economic justice hero, the Andrew Cuomo of 2013 seemed satisfied with a statewide wage increase to $9. Then in March he announced an effort for $10.50 statewide and $11.50 in New York City. Then he convened a wage board which has established a phased-in $15 standard for fast food workers statewide. And now he’s endorsing $15 for all workers in New York. Knowing which way the storm is blowing in from, riding a wave — whatever it is, we’ll take it.
#Notyourjob, part 1
A Hungarian TV camera operator intentionally tripped a refugee father and child who were attempting to escape local police who were treating them horribly. Full disclosure: the two were in fact likely guilty of being willing to endure excruciating conditions and inexplicable hatred for a shot at achieving a better future for themselves and their family.
The good news is that it was all caught on video and publicized by a German TV staffer who was also on the scene. And in perhaps the grandest act of solidarity official Hungary has been able to muster in months, the TV camera person was fired over the incident.
#Notyourjob, part 2
A Muslim flight attendant has filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC, alleging she was suspended from her job for not serving alcohol. Sure, this might sound a bit like a through-the-looking-glass version of Kim Davis being arrested for denying marriage licenses to anyone but straight couples in Kentucky, but there’s a substantial difference: the flight attendant and her co-workers had figured out an arrangement to ensure that customers were served the alcohol they requested, while also honoring the worker’s religious expression. The entire point of Davis’s actions, on the other hand, was to block couples from obtaining the marriage licenses they sought.
And that’s a huge difference. Because offering reasonable accommodation for a workers’ religious expression is only fair, especially when nobody is denied anything as a result. But turning your public-sector workplace into an evangelical opportunity is something else entirely, especially if you’re the boss.
There’s at least one detail that still bugs us
The creator of Marmaduke died at 91, but the lovable pooch seems to live on in newspaper comic pages, flipping the script on the master-pet relationship. Clifford presumably offered the kind of condolences that could only be offered by another large cartoon dog who is famous primarily for being a large cartoon dog.
A 19-year-old female black bear named Green 108 has raised 3 cubs who have been euthanized by authorities after engaging in nuisance behavior like getting into the garbage, which is apparently a capital crime for black bears. It’s unclear if it’s science or profiling, but it’s believed the black bear “actively tutored” her young to live it up, and she herself has been detained 4 times by authorities for trashing trash cans.
And a 10-foot-long Burmese python named Stella attacked an employee of the Bremerton Bug Museum after freaking out at the smell of thawed rodents in a “back room.” The snake only released the employee’s leg after firefighters bashed the snake’s head into the side of a bucket, the human was back to work the next day, and Bremerton does not have a paid sick time law.