Monthly Archives: April 2019

New Mexico: Stuck on Stupid

New Mexico: Stuck on Stupid by Peter Burrows 4/25/19 elburropete@gmail.com  – silvercityburro.com

The economist Walter Williams once wrote that minimum wage laws were “breathtakingly stupid.” Welcome to New Mexico, where the minimum wage will jump 20 percent on the first of January to $9 an hour, on its way to $12 in a few years.

It could have been worse. Rep. Patricia Roybal Cabellero, D-Albuquerque, proposed $15 an hour starting next year, which would have made New Mexico’s minimum wage the highest in the nation, breathtakingly stupidest, so to speak.  I wonder what Rep. Cabellero pays HER employees? It’s so easy to be compassionate with somebody else’s payroll.

Would Rep Cabellero, who is doubtlessly a very nice person, think it acceptable if the police were to walk into her home and take something in order to give it to someone earning less than whatever she thinks is an appropriate wage?   That’s what she wanted to do to New Mexico’s employers with her $15 proposal.

You’re thinking, “Whoa, Burro! Outright theft is not the same thing as a minimum wage law.”

That’s only because minimum wage laws are a LEGAL form of theft. The biggest difference is that the intended victim, the employer, has the option to either go along with the robbery or thwart the crime by going out of business.  In either event, the employer is the bad guy, not the badge-wearing thief.

And that illustrates the most obvious stupidity of minimum wage laws: the assumption that poverty is caused by evil employers because they don’t pay “enough.”  This in turn rests on the false assumption that employers are the source of the workers’ wages. They are not.  The customer pays all the bills, folks, including the payroll.

That means that when Robin Hood Government robs the employer to pay the employee, it is the customer who gets the arrow, not the employer.  And if the customer ducks, i.e. refuses to pay the higher prices necessitated by a higher minimum, the business closes and the worker who loses his job is the one who takes the arrow.

Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe already have minimum wage laws greater than $9. Those three cities comprise over 35% of New Mexico’s population and are solidly Democrat.  Seen in that light, we are fortunate that $15 wasn’t enacted into law.

Even at $9, I’m afraid our corner of New Mexico is going to have a lot of arrows coming our way in the upcoming year.  Grant, Hidalgo and Catron Counties have a combined population of 35,000, less than five percent of the three cities mentioned above and less than two percent of New Mexico’s population. Furthermore, since 2010, the three counties have suffered almost a seven percent DECREASE in population since 2010.

The area’s three largest employers, the mine, the university and the hospital, will probably be able to withstand $9.  Walmart will hire fewer people, but at least they’ll keep the doors open, something questionable at $15.  The many small businesses will try to pass on the wage increase and some will not be able to. We shall see.

In the meantime, attracting new businesses will be a tough sell with a $9 minimum going to $12.  The message sent is loud and clear: “Hey employers!  Nine dollars now and twelve coming! Take that, you evil-dirty-exploiting bastards!”

Breathtakingly stupid.

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Reparations? No Thanks

By Peter Burrows 4/8/19 elburropete@gmail.com

Years ago, the billionaire Warren Buffett was asked about the secret to his success and he said something like, “Well, first, I was born in America. I won that lottery.”

Indeed, to be born in America is a Heaven-sent blessing and is not something any of us can take credit for, which is one reason why I refuse to take any money from my black brothers and sisters, who are understandably grateful to be living here and not in Africa.

Furthermore, my ancestors came to America from Ireland in the 1840s and had no connection to the slave trade, which means I can’t point to any black and say, “You here because of me, so pony up!”

My Scotch-Irish ancestors settled in Chicago and while they were probably abolitionists, I can’t prove it. Also, I’m pretty certain none of them joined the Union Army during the Civil War which means I’m not entitled to any reparations for that, either.

Bottom line: blacks don’t owe me anything for either bringing them to America as slaves, or for then shedding blood to free them. Since reparations are supported by most of the Democratic Party’s presidential candidates, I can’t in good conscience vote for any of them.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I won’t keep any reparations money that comes my way. After all, I’m an old white dude who’s entitled to receive a little gratitude from all those pro basketball players, hip-hop artists, and other millionaire blacks.

Plus, Roberta Flack has not answered any of the letters I’ve sent her over the years which has hurt my feelings no end. That’s a little personal, but it’ll make reparations from blacks easier to take, though not as easy as reparations from Italians would be.

You’re thinking, “Italians? What are you talking about, Burro?” Let me explain.

Cicero, the Roman statesman and philosopher who died in 51 BC, once advised his fellow Romans not to buy slaves from the British Isles because he found them “difficult to train,” i.e. stupid. This proves that Italians owned slaves who were my ancestors, ergo Italians owe me reparations.

Rubbing salt in the wound, Cicero showed contempt for my relatives by insulting their intelligence. He disrespected them. He dissed them, in fact, he be dissin’ me, the Dago Wop bastard! The next time I get a pizza from Papa John’s, I AIN’T PAYIN!!!

Why, the more I think about reparations, the more sense it makes. I must be a Democrat.