Funny Business - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Funny Business

Re: Enemy Central’s The Heat Is On :

I truly enjoyed reading this on Saturday morning. I wouldn’t miss a day of The American Spectator.

It gave me great pleasure to hear VP Cheney’s remarks to Leahy. I have used worse than that in my reference to Leahy (and Kennedy, and KKK Byrd, and Clinton, etc.). At least I can laugh about the Democrats. Gore seems to have lost any sense of humor if he ever had one. I would be the first to sign any papers that would put Maureen Dowd in Iraq. She doesn’t offer much but maybe the terrorists would understand her kind of hate. She could take Paul Krugman along for companionship. If she needs female companionship I suggest Ellen Ratner. I saw her this morning on the TV with a turkey. Had trouble figuring out which one was the turkey. There goes that sense of humor again. If I don’t laugh at the Democrats I might actually believe them. Poor souls are truly lost.

Re: George Neumayr’s Lonesome Love:
Hi folks!

“The Floydada corridor”?

Hey! I lived on it, right there in Crowell, county seat of Foard County, where Thalia is located.

I never heard any local wits refer to it as that. Perhaps I didn’t hang out with folk who were quite as witty as the ones Mr. McMurtry did.

“Fornicating presidents will find no welcome there”? Well, hey! Senator Kennedy carried the county when I lived there in 1960. I guess he wasn’t yet a fornicating president. Yeah, that explains it.

“Elephant gun”? Mr. McMurtry must know President Clinton pretty well.
John N. Davis

Having been in the middle of Jesuit high school training at the same time that Clinton was at G-town, I find it extraordinary that any Jesuit inclined to see Slick Willie as a Jesuit recruit, would also find it praiseworthy that he “write(s) like a Catholic think(s) like a Catholic.” In the Regis High School class of 171, this accolade would have been viewed by faculty peaceniks as grounds for suspension, rather than a résumé enhancement.
Richard Cross
Leominster, Massachusetts

Here’s a newsflash for Bill Clinton. They never stopped making RC Cola and it is still available nationally. He can’t even reminisce truthfully about minor points.
Mitchell A. Kaufman
Independence, Ohio

Re: Lawrence Henry’s The Culture of Iron Will:

Yes, and the scary thing is that organizations that actually do stuff, like produce tangible goods or provide healthcare or education are run the same way.
Dennis M. Duggan

He gets it dead right.
John Schuh

Re: Brandon Crocker’s Minimum Wage Myths:

One adverse consequence of raising the minimum wage that is not mentioned in Brandon Crocker’s fine article is the labor substitution effect. Raise the minimum wage, and you draw in senior citizens looking for a way to get out of the house and stay part of a team. As an employer, you now have your choice between hiring a senior citizen with a 40 year history of responsibility, versus a teenage high school drop out. No brainer, right? Oh, and by the way, raising the minimum wage also increases the high school drop out rate. So now you have coaxed more teens, most specifically more black male teens, into a workforce where they bring few skills, and you make them compete against old people. Net effect: greater unemployment among black teen age males. It’s been documented — google it and you’ll find plenty of studies.

Oh, and did I fail to mention that many government union contracts specify hourly wages that are a multiple of the prevailing federal minimum wage? It will help the union members to be able to move out of those neighborhoods that experience an increase in the population of male high school drop-outs.

So let’s do something constructive — get high school dropouts to organize politically to protect their own interests and vote against Kerry! Calling Al Sharpton. Al, are you with us? Jesse? Anyone? Bueller?
John Hatch, Ph.D. (economics)
Arlington, Virginia

Further to Brandon Crocker’s “Minimum Wage Myths,” I see the nut of the matter in simpler terms. The most important factors are:

(a) These are entry level jobs where young or under-educated people can begin in the job market to obtain experience and build a good work record.

(b) Increasing the minimum wage will absolutely drive many small businesses out of the market place, taking their entry level and other jobs with them (increasing the minimum wage from $5.50 to $7.00 an hour is an increase of over 27%, a huge increased expense for any business, even if it’s over a 3 year period).

(c) Inflation — a cruel tax on everyone, including minimum wage earners — will be stimulated not only because the increased minimum wage costs must be passed along to consumers but, also, co-workers earning more than the minimum wage will fairly expect an increase in their wages, again to be passed on to the consumer. And, naturally, labor unions will quickly begin efforts toward concomitant raises for their members, which, again, must be passed to consumers. For unions, a 27% raise for lowest wage earners would be a robust starting point to begin their new negotiations; and

(d) In any case, as a percentage of workers in this country, very few rely on minimum wage jobs as a long-term source of support for themselves and their families. They quickly move up, or on, when they demonstrate a good work record.

The bottom line problem, of course, is artificial influence being placed on our whole system of commerce affecting hiring, producing, pricing, marketing, distributing, and consuming goods and services. This perverts the entire market place, and John Kerry’s flip comment that past increases in the minimum wage “never” have resulted in fewer jobs or increased prices illustrates either his ignorance, his refusal to believe his lying eyes, or his steadfast adherence to a long-standing concept used so well by liberals: lying through his teeth.
A. A. Reynolds
Chula Vista, California

Thank you for your excellent article on the myths of the minimum wage. However, I must point out one rather glaring error of basic economics:

“The common sense notion that if you increase the price of something, all other things being equal, you will decrease the demand for that something, has been demonstrated…”

This statement is the single surest sign of someone who wasn’t paying attention in their college econ class. An increase in price does not decrease demand. Instead, it decreases the quantity demanded (all other things, etc. etc., of course).

Otherwise, an excellent article!
Sean Parnell
B.A. Economics, Drake University, 1996

Re: John Tabin’s Ryan Express Ways and Terence McMahon’s letter (“Not in the Mood”) in Reader Mail’s Who Goes There?:

It is not my task here to defend Mr. Tabin or his article. First the statement by Mr. McMahon that “anyone with half a brain” knows the difference between a real person and a character in a Clancy novel is an expression of opinion NOT fact. The examples of folks in today’s society that obviously do NOT appreciate the difference between fiction and reality are too numerous to need any serious citations.

Finally, if this “lame attempt at humor” is all that it takes to get Mr. McMahon’s panties all in a wad, he must live in some kind of Camelot where serious problems and errors simply do not exist. In other words, get a life Mr. McMahon and save your righteous indignation for something at least mildly serious. Take another Prozac and chill out.
Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

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