New Hampshire Raises Its Minimum Wage

In an article by reporter John Quinn, our local paper headlines the news: "Minimum wage hike gets mixed reactions".

Unfortunately, the "mixed" part is perfectly summed up in the article's first paragraph:

Business owners and residents said Sunday that they're glad the state is increasing the minimum wage, but expressed concern that a 75-cent raise won't be enough for struggling workers.

No "struggling workers" making the minimum wage were actually interviewed for the article, and no business owner interviewed seemed to be paying minimum wage.

They did interview a couple of politicians, though. Here's one:

"We are leveling the playing field with the rest of New England and recognizing the need to provide greater earning power to some of our most valuable workers, including women, who make up more than 60 percent of those earning the minimum wage in New Hampshire," state Sen. Martha Fuller-Clark, D-Portsmouth, one of the original bill's co-sponsors, said in a statement late last week.

To put it kindly, deeming people making the minimum wage "some of our most valuable workers" shows that economics is—literally—the furthest thing from Senator Fuller-Clark's mind. I'm sure minimum wage workers are nice people, but … no, as workers, they are not that valuable, in any sense that might be meaningful to an employer. For businesses looking to their bottom lines, they will be the first to be let go, or to have their hours cut back.

And there will be a number of low-skilled would-be workers who'll never get hired at all.

And the compassionate Senator Fuller-Clark will not be around to be interviewed for that, and in the unlikely case that ace reporter John Quinn does the story, it will almost certainly not occur to him to seek her out.

And as far as "leveling the playing field with the rest of New England", here's the reported unemployment rates for the relevant states:

New Hampshire4.0%
Rhode Island7.5%

Anyone want to guess how long it will take for this playing field to be leveled as well?

Last Modified 2014-12-01 1:22 PM EDT

The Phony Campaign

2008-09-01 Update

We predicted a "bump" in phoniness due to the Democratic National Convention; we did not foresee that McCain would get an even bigger bump. Obama's lead continues to narrow:

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"Barack Obama" phony813,000+62,000
"John McCain" phony789,000+89,000
"Bob Barr" phony13,200-52,900

But what's the phony story behind these raw numbers?

  • A read-the-whole-thing for phony fans is Tom McGuire's reaction to the Obama acceptance speech: "Achingly Phony".

  • Writing in the Hartford Courant, Ms. Yvonne R. Davis is disimpressed with McCain's GOP outreach:

    With stiff upper lips and phony grins, black Republicans are going to the Republican National Convention in Minnesota to be dissed by the party. Many will make believe they are down for Sen. John McCain — too afraid to come out the closet for Obama

    Well, that's just what you'd expect from a Democrat partisan, right? Sure, but:

    Since the 2000 and 2004 Republican conventions, a lot has changed for African American Republicans. I was a vice chairwoman for Bush in Connecticut, a national co-chairwoman for African Americans for Bush, a surrogate spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee and worked on Latino outreach efforts nationwide. With a number of blacks, I served on various committees to plan events at the Philadelphia and Big Apple conventions. There were rainbow coalitions of interns and delegates. Featured speakers such as Colin Powell, J.C. Watts Jr., Condolezza [sic] Rice, black actors and ministers and gospel singers played a role on prime-time television.

    There's probably more to the story, but it seems that the post-Dubya GOP has gone out of its way to sideline Ms. Davis. Her column contains probably the only kind words for George W. Bush that the Courant has published all summer.

  • With plagiarism charges and serial fabrications about his education, Joe Biden brings major-league phoniness to the Democratic ticket. But Steve Chapman points out that it takes the mainstream media to really obfuscate things about Biden's past.

    In his Wednesday night speech at the Democratic convention, Biden referred to "those of us who grew up in middle-class neighborhoods like Scranton and Wilmington." In the video preceding his address, he said that the people he knew as a boy didn't regard themselves as working class but as middle class.

    So what did the news media report? "Sen. Joseph R. Biden accepted the vice presidential nomination of the Democratic Party with a speech that hearkened back to his working-class roots in Scranton," said The Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal informed readers that "Sen. Joe Biden showcased his working-class upbringing." The New York Times said he "spoke frequently, and earnestly, of his blue-collar background."

    No, he didn't. In fact, he did just the opposite. Anyone paying attention would have noticed as much. But the legend of Joe Biden, born in a welding shop, dies hard with political reporters, who find it easier to romanticize a gritty, hardscrabble childhood than a conventionally comfortable one.

    Joe, relax: you don't have to make stuff up any more. The media will do that for you.

  • Is there anything phonier than Real ID? If the issue is strong enough for you to base your vote on it, your choice is clear.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 1:22 PM EDT