The arguments in its favor are emotional appeals and distortions of economic reality.

The perennial fight over the minimum wage is once again in bloom, and the usual arguments will be rehearsed on both sides. Those against raising the minimum wage will cite Economics 101: Raise the price of something and demand will go down. Those in favor of raising the minimum wage will harrumph in the face of economics and declare that their opponents, and economics, hate poor people.

The purpose of this fight is not to hash out economic questions related to low-income people. The purpose of the fight is the fight: There is no minimum wage high enough to keep the Democrats from introducing an increase next year, because the point of bills hiking the minimum wage is to force Republicans to vote against them, which provides Democrats with a moment of cherished political theater. They do not give a fig about poor people — as everybody knows, the real minimum wage is $0.00, and more Americans today are making that than at any time in recent memory, which is what is meant by “record low workforce-participation rates.”

But let’s pretend like those pushing the new increase are not a gaggle of cynical charlatans building their political power on the backs of the poor and the unemployed and examine their arguments.

Why would you want to raise the minimum wage? A few possibilities:

1. Minimum-wage workers are worth more than we pay them. That is a meaningless statement; labor, like apples and oranges and widgets, is worth what you can sell it for. If you believe that we have a large supply of low-wage workers who are secretly more skilled and productive than they let on, you have to assume that everybody in the question — the workers, their employers, their employers’ competitors — has somehow overlooked that fact, but that our ingenious friends in Washington have special insight into the conditions of people they have never met and markets they have never operated in. That’s fanciful.

2. Slight variation: You might want to raise the minimum wage because you think that markets can set prices for most things but not prices for labor. This is contrary to pretty much all of the economic evidence in existence on the question, so maybe you want to refine that and argue instead that markets may do a pretty good job of setting prices for labor, but they don’t do a good job of setting prices for labor when those laborers are at the lower end of the market. Another way of saying this is that you believe that low-income people are too stupid and hopeless to negotiate appropriate, market-value wages for themselves, and that the vast majority of businesses that employ minimum-wage labor are operated by people too stupid to see that there’s a lot of higher-value labor out there for the taking that they are simply too thick to avail themselves of. But that isn’t really an argument for a higher minimum wage; it’s an argument for a more generous food-stamp program. It’s sort of uncomfortable to argue that low-income people are too stupid to see after themselves, but that is, after all, the assumption behind things like Medicaid and Section 8 housing vouchers and food stamps — if low-income people could be trusted to make appropriate choices about things like health care and housing, we could just give them money and let them make their own decisions about whether they need an extra $1 in health care or an extra $1 in groceries. In any case, it’s not likely that that millions of low-income people are too dumb and shiftless to seek higher wages but are smart and enterprising enough to compete for those higher-wage positions.

Rash of Black-on-White-Violence Confounds New York City’s Media Outlets David Paulin See note please

This “Knockout Game” is deadly and not a game.

We heard from the President, the Attorney General, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the media about the death of Trayvon Martin. The President made a big fuss when professor Gates was mistakenly detained while breaking into his own home. We are told that having voter ID will disenfranchise minorities.Why aren’t we hearing from these people about this deadly activity? ….Jan Mel Poller

It’s an infuriating example of political correctness: Most of New York City’s media outlets have sanitized the nature of a spate of unprovoked attacks upon hapless pedestrians — all recent victims of the so-called “knockout game.” There have been injuries and several deaths among men, women, and youngsters, as they suffered walloping “sucker punches” by roving black youths in New York City and elsewhere.

The knockout game involves an unmentionable subject for most in the mainstream media: black-on-white violence. To a lesser extent, Asians and Hispanics have been targeted as well. They’re white enough, it seems, for black youths playing the knockout game.

For those unfamiliar with the knockout game, it’s how some black youths amuse themselves, especially in urban settings. The goal: use a single devastating punch to knock a hapless victim unconscious. And when they succeed, they invariably react with merriment and laughter, as videos capturing the mayhem have revealed. Could racism be motivating these black youths? Nobody in the mainstream media dares suggest that this might be fueling the black mob violence in what President Obama said would be a post-racial era.

Cheerleading and Legal Support for Terrorism at Haifa University: In the Past, the Law School Prohibited the Singing of Hatikvah. Steven Plaut


In recent days the University of Haifa in northern Israel, where I am employed, has come under intensive criticism because the “legal clinics” operated by its School of Law are assigning law students the task of counseling and defending convicted Arab terrorists and mass murderers of Jews. The president of the university issued a statement defending the activities of these clinics. The dean of the law school, together with the head of the clinics, went on the attack and denounced those who criticize the clinics’ practice of counseling and defending terrorists. The dean, Prof. Gad Barzilai, is a radical who is active in leftist “human rights” groups and involved in academic politicization in Israel. (Barzilai was a defender of the Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University – the worst anti-Israel agitprop center in the country – when an international panel of experts called for shutting it down). Barzilai claims that all criticism of the law school for its involvement with terrorists is politically motivated. In particular he denounced the Zionist student movement Im Tirtzu for criticizing the law school. Several faculty members at the university called for filing SLAPP suits against the students to silence them, and one anti-Israel faculty extremist complained that the clinics were not defending the terrorists enough. Im Tirtzu claims that 80 percent of the cases taken on by the University of Haifa’s legal clinic for “prisoner rights” involves Arab terrorists and spies. One involved a terrorist and convicted rapist seeking a furlough. Dean Barzilai insists the law school is simply devoted to “repairing society” and defending the “weakened populations” of Israel. In the past, the law school prohibited the singing of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, at its graduation ceremonies, claiming it would offend the sensitivities of Arab students. On a discussion list for faculty members in the University of Haifa, I posted the following as a response to the statement from the dean of law: To: The Segel-Plus Discussion List From: Prof. Steven Plaut Re: Some more Ideas for the Law Clinics to Achieve Social Justice and Help the Weak Date: November 13, 2013 I am sure we are all grateful for the amazing statement distributed by the Dean of Law and the head of the “law clinics” in the school of law. It is chock full of impressive claims and arguments.

A Change of Carbon Climate in Japan: Shinzo Abe Introduces Some Economic Reality Into Emissions Policy.

Much of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic revival strategy is still on the drawing board, but earlier this month he helped his cause by abandoning Tokyo’s 2009 pledge to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by 25% from 1990 levels by 2020.

Mr. Abe’s announcement came as world potentates meet in Warsaw for more talks on global carbon reductions. Tokyo isn’t entirely giving up. But its new carbon target—a 3.8% cut from the 2005 level of emissions by 2020—amounts to allowing emissions 3% higher than the 1990 level.

One reason for the shift is politics. The 2009 target was set by Democratic Party of Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. Although Mr. Abe had supported carbon reductions during his first stint as prime minister in 2007, his Liberal Democratic Party, which traditionally enjoys strong industrial support, has little political capital invested in the DPJ’s pledge.

Mr. Abe has also promised to revive economic growth, a goal incompatible with strict emissions limits. Deep carbon cuts would require sharply higher energy costs—already high in Japan—via some combination of cap-and-trade, direct carbon taxation and subsidies for renewables. And while the Japanese public still generally favors some action on climate change, specific steps have grown less popular.


The ObamaCare train wreck is plowing through the White House in super slow-mo on screens everywhere, splintering reputations and presidential approval ratings. Audiences watch popeyed as Democrats in distress like Senators Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor decide whether to cling to the driverless train or jump toward the tall weeds. The heartless compilers of the Washington Post/ABC poll asked people to pick a head-to-head matchup now between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Mitt won. This is the most amazing spectacle of mayhem and meltdown anyone has seen in politics since Watergate.

No question, it’s tough on Barack Obama. But what about the rest of us? For many Americans, the Obama leadership meltdown began five years ago.

In fall 2008, the U.S. suffered its worst financial crisis since the Depression. That wasn’t Barack Obama’s fault. But five years on, in the fall of 2013, the country’s economy is still sick.

Unemployed middle-aged men look in the mirror and see someone who may never work again. Young married couples who should be on the way up are living in their parents’ basement. Many young black men (official unemployment rate 28%; unofficial rate off the charts) have no prospect of work.

Washington these days kvetches a lot about what is doing to the Obama “legacy.” Far worse than ObamaCare, though, is that the 44th president in his second term presides over a great nation that is punching so far below its weight that large swaths of its people have lost heart.

For five years, news stories have chronicled the social and economic deterioration in America of people with no jobs or weak jobs.


When scholars of Islam, quoting the words and teachings of their prophet, openly assert that the blood of non-Muslims is cheaper than the blood of Muslims, this is not even deemed worth reporting by Western media or condemned by Western politicians

Arguing that Muslim blood is more precious than infidel blood, Muslim clerics in and out of Sudan are outraged because a Sudanese court has condemned a Muslim man to death—simply because he murdered American Diplomat John Granville on January 1, 2008.

A 2009 report offers context:

The court had sentenced the men [originally four] to death in June for killing Granville and his driver in January 2008, but the sentence was cancelled in August after [his Muslim driver] Abbas’s father forgave the men.

Under Islamic law, the victim’s family has the right to forgive the murderer, ask for compensation (fedia) or demand execution.

Granville’s mother, Jane Granville, at the time had asked for the men’s execution, but her letter was rejected because it was not notarized.

The judge said the sentence was confirmed because Granville’s family, from Buffalo, in northern New York State, had requested it.


Liberals casually use our armed services as lab rats for all sorts of social experimentation. But even they used to have limits. The warrior culture — which has everything to do with merit and nothing to do with “diversity” — embraces every man of every race, creed, and religion who can make the grade. But the liberals have successfully attacked it in the past ten years with women in combat arms and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” We’re all supposed to believe that none of that interferes with the culture of the warrior, military readiness, enlistment rates, or the retention of officers. We’re also supposed to believe that the military welcomes those changes despite rampant misogyny, bias, and discrimination within it.

And that’s driving the latest experiment on the military. It’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) attempt to impose “social justice” on the military. Her bill, which would ensure “justice” by taking the military justice system out of the chain of command, may be voted on by the Senate as early as today. (Senate sources say Gillibrand lacks the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture.)

The idea she proposes is so bad that not only are the military chiefs of staff united against it, but even some of the most prominent liberals — such as Michigan Democrat Carl Levin — oppose it. You’d never think that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would support it, but he does. He should know better.

Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are required to obey any lawful order, a concept that covers a lot of ground. Illegal orders, such as an order to kill an unarmed prisoner (a war crime), are extraordinary rare.

European Anti-Semitism and the Fear of Muslims by Timon Dias When European history teachers omit the Holocaust from their curriculum, they do not do this because they hate their Jewish students more than their Muslim students. They omit it because they are afraid of their Muslim students. They might also believe they do it to be “nice,” but then how come this same “niceness” […]


Karimi Hotel & other African equations by Nidra Poller (Feb 28, 2013) 14.00 $13.30 Paperback Order in the next 8 hours and get it by Friday, Nov 22. $9.99 Kindle Edition Auto-delivered wirelessly

Kerry Sees Common Ground with Tehran’s Barbaric Terror Regime: Andrew McCarthy

Secretary of State John “I don’t think we’re stupid” Kerry should think again.

On Tuesday, a branch of al Qaeda executed atrocious twin suicide bombings against Iran’s embassy in Beirut, killing at least 23 people, with more than 140 wounded. Those of us who have urged that the United States should stay out of the Syrian civil war have contended that, deprived of our lightning rod effect, America’s mortal enemies on both sides of the conflict would turn on and thus degrade each other. That is precisely what has happened: al Qaeda, the terror network that is aligned with its fellow America-hating Sunni supremacists, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the effort to oust the Assad regime, has now effectively declared war on Assad’s main Shiite backers, Iran – the world’s chief state sponsor of terrorism – and its Lebanese jihadist militia, Hezbollah.

So what is our secretary of State’s response to this unintended foreign policy coup? (For all policy coups during the Obama administration are unintended.) Kerry actually proclaimed that the attack proves there is common ground between the United States and Iran, with whose jihadist rulers he and President Obama are desperate to make a deal, any deal – as John Bolton explains here, with our Michael Ledeen adding context here. Just like mullahs, Kerry twaddled, “the United States knows too well the cost of terrorism directed at our own diplomats around the world.”

Well, yes, we do. But that’s because, for over 30 years, Iran has aided and abetted terrorists in strikes against American diplomats and other American personnel serving overseas – in addition, perhaps, to attacks on Americans here at home.

As I’ve recounted before, the modern Iranian regime was in fact spawned by Iran’s siege against the U.S. embassy, which began on November 4, 1979. Ultimately, the new jihadist regime held 52 American hostage for well over a year – 444 days, to be exact. Eight U.S. servicemen were also killed during the Carter administration’s botched rescue attempt, undertaken after American diplomats, who sounded very much like John Kerry, were mocked by Ayatollah Ruhollah Kohmeini when they tried to flatter the Iranians and negotiate an end to the crisis.