Why the Mainstream Media is Obsessing Over Trump’s Veteran Donations and Other Such Minutia

Why is the Mainstream Media obsessing over Trump’s Veteran donations and other such minutia?

Well, that is pretty obvious. They are working hard to find something that will stick to Trump and knock him off his high perch. As Trump gains momentum against Hillary Clinton in the polls, it looks like the Trump Train is about to land in the Oval Office in January 2017. Back in May 2012, several polls, including the LA Times, showed Obama up by 20 or more points in California. And Obama won California by over 23%. Hillary is leading Trump in California in a new LA Times poll by just 12%.

Panic has set in in the Democrat camps. And the Press, part of that camp, is trying hard to find something that will derail Trump.

And they’re not having much luck.

It was the tax returns. “When will Trump release his tax returns,” they obsess. But make no mistake, that is still very much in play for the press:

A letter from Trump’s lawyer confirms that Trump is being truthful when he says he is under IRS audit. And that he has been since 2009.

Trump’s tax returns have been under “continuous examination” by the IRS since 2002, “consistent with the IRS’ practice for large and complex businesses,” the lawyers wrote.

IRS examinations of Trump’s tax returns from 2002 to 2008 have been “closed administratively,” the lawyers wrote, “without assessment or payment.” That means the examination of those returns is finished.

IRS examinations of returns for the years since 2009 are “ongoing,” the lawyers said.

But here’s the catch: The lawyers said Trump’s recent tax returns — the ones the IRS is still auditing — are just extensions of his older returns, because they include “items that are attributable to continuing transactions or activities that were also reported on returns for 2008 and earlier.”

“In this sense, the pending examinations are continuous of prior, closed examinations,” the lawyers wrote.

This gives Trump legal backing for claiming all his returns are being audited, not just those under active examination.

And with taunts from the press and the Democrats that Trump is lying about his wealth, hiding his tax evasion, or doing something underhanded – like cheating – they are keeping up the pressure on the GOP Nominee.

Do any of these people really believe Trump is poor? And that he could possibly cheat with constant audits?

Of course not. They are just looking for something to spin into a tar ball in hopes it will stick to The Donald. They are hoping to find someone who did work for Trump that has mob connections, or deleted a kitten video from Youtube. Anything they can find and spin.

Trump released a Financial Disclosure that the New York Times examined with a fine tooth comb and were upset when they couldn’t find anything to smear the Billionaire with saying the document’s limitations made it difficult to corroborate his claim. Waaa. Waaa.

Donald J. Trump earned just $14,222 in salary. He owes at least $265 million in debt. He is paid about $250,000 per speech. And he received $110,000 from a pension with the Screen Actors Guild.

Those details were revealed in Mr. Trump’s financial disclosure form, filed with the Federal Election Commission last week and made public on Wednesday.

Like Mr. Trump’s favorite, elongated adjective, “hu-u-u-ge,” his disclosure filing, which covers the past 18 months, is mammoth, clocking in at 92 pages, far longer than any other 2016 presidential contender’s.

When he submitted it, Mr. Trump boasted in a statement that his wealth exceeded “TEN BILLION DOLLARS.” (His capitalization.) However, the document’s limitations made it difficult to corroborate his claim.

Again, nothing to smear him with.

CNN even asked if Trump would have shot the gorilla who was tossing around the little boy like a rag doll. (Still waiting for them to ask Hillary.)

cnn_gorillaAce reporting there, huh?

Obviously hurt and disappointed that there is nothing they can even spin to hurt Trump, the press moved on to calling various Veterans groups and asking if Trump had given them any money. And while the Veterans wait for ever to get health care at the VA, even turning down qualified Vets (like myself) none of that matters to these “news” organizations. The burning questions is, did Donald Trump give all the money away he said he would? Obviously to the Mainstream Media that is more important then Hillary hiding emails, refusing to answer questions and her staff taking the Fifth. But be that as it may, it turns out that the Media worked with Hillary who provided Veteran Protestor’s (who have been outed as Hillary supporters by a simple look at their Facebook page) to attack Trump. And he finally released the list of the Veteran’s groups that received the money.

Shock and horrors, some of the groups only received the checks after the press started taunting Trump on May 24th. Now that must be a tar ball, right?

Wrong. Unfortunately there are a lot of sleazy groups pretending to help Veterans, but the deserving Vets hardly see a dime. And even some that do a lot of good for a number of Vets have not had a stellar record of passing along money to the Vets, like the Wounded Warrior Project. You might chalk up the 40% they spend on “overhead” compared to some spending as little as 8% on overhead as inefficiency, but it still does not look good.

The organization has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years on public relations and lobbying campaigns to deflect criticism of its spending and to fight legislative efforts to restrict how much nonprofits spend on overhead.

About 40 percent of the organization’s donations in 2014 were spent on its overhead, or about $124 million, according to the charity-rating group Charity Navigator. While that percentage, which includes administrative expenses and marketing costs, is not as much as for some groups, it is far more than for many veterans charities, including the Semper Fi Fund, a wounded-veterans group that spent about 8 percent of donations on overhead. As a result, some philanthropic watchdog groups have criticized the Wounded Warrior Project for spending too heavily on itself.

Some of its own employees have criticized it, too. William Chick, a former supervisor, spent five years with the Wounded Warrior Project. “It slowly had less focus on veterans and more on raising money and protecting the organization,” he said.

And everyone knows that all it will take is one donation to a bad seed group who’s leader is busted for some nefarious crime to see the press spend the next few days on Trump supporting some criminal.

So Trump checked out the charities before he donated to them. Is it beyond the scope of probability that the press is sitting on a story about some Veteran’s group that is a front for a drug cartel or porn ring just waiting and hoping Trump donates to them? Would the press really be that wicked?

You know the answer to that.

From here on out, every question from the media and every penny Trump spends or donates – or doesn’t spend or donate – will be under a microscope while Hillary is given a free pass. The Fourth Estate have become a 3rd rate Democrat cheering squad for 2nd rate publications run by first rate idiots.

I was very proud of Donald Trump for going on the attack against the press and calling them out.

You can check out the video here:

Puts it right out there.

 


Article written by: Tom White

A Well-Meaning but Inappropriate Senate Resolution

The recent US Senate resolution on the US Women’s Soccer team alleged equal pay issue was inappropriate for several reasons:

It makes findings of fact without any basis – no witnesses, no evidence taken by Congress or even a report by a congressional committee.  From the actual resolution:

Whereas the members of the United States Women’s National Team, despite the international success of the members, are consistently paid less than similarly situated members of the United States Men’s National Team for doing the same job, regardless of the performance of the teams;

***

Whereas the pay disparities suffered by the members of the United States Women’s National Team are reflective of the reality of many women in the United States who, more than 50 years after the enactment of the Equal Pay Act, still make on average only 79 cents for each dollar made by a male counterpart;

Whereas those pay disparities exist in both the private and the public sectors and, in many instances, the pay disparities can only be due to continued intentional discrimination or the lingering effects of past discrimination;

Whereas unequal pay on the basis of gender tells women and girls that, whether on the soccer field or in the office, the hard work of the women or girls is not valued equally to that of male counterparts;

And there’s more but I’ll speak to this further down; but these are findings of facts that there is no basis for.

The resolution also repeats liberal propaganda about equal pay when it repeats the discredited at several places “79 cents” (it is actually closer to 96 cents) pay disparity and also makes a finding that “many pay disparities” are the result of intentional discrimination or past discrimination.  But it also does more:  This resolution also calls for actual policy changes!

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) urges the United States Soccer Federation to immediately end gender pay inequity and to treat all athletes with the respect and dignity those athletes deserve;

(2) supports an end to pay discrimination based on gender and the strengthening of equal pay protections; and

(3) instructs the Secretary of the Senate to submit a copy of this resolution to the United States Soccer Federation.

It is dangerously close to a unconstitutional bill of attainder – where Congress makes a judgment and then punishes the offender.

Finally, this US Soccer Team issue is presently being litigated before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – and maybe the Federal courts.  It is grossly inappropriate for the Congress to get involved in pending litigation.  It is also not clear that the women’s team has been unfairly treated:

The core fact is not in dispute: The players on the World Cup-winning United States women’s national soccer team earn less money than their counterparts on the men’s national team. After that truth, things are muddier. How much less? How can that be fair? And most important: What is being done about it?

U.S. Soccer and the union representing the players on the women’s team have traded court filings and accusations — in a lawsuit filed by U.S. Soccer over the validity of the team’s collective bargaining agreement and in a wage-discrimination complaint filed by five top players last month. Amid all of this, we gave both sides the opportunity to make their case using U.S. Soccer’s public (and private) financial data. What we found suggests a complicated battlefield. 

If the New York Times says it is not clear then both sides do have an argument.  Let’s see what the courts say.  The US Senate should have stayed out of it and not allowed emotion to place that august institution on one side in the alleged equal pay issue.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

The Council Has Spoken! Our Watcher’s Council Results

http://i2.wp.com/nicedeb.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/tribal-council12.jpg?ssl=1

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“Do not live in shame as a prisoner. Die, and leave no ignominious crime behind you.” – Field Service Code issued by Tojo, 1941

“Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Ending wars is very simple if you surrender.” – P.J. O’Rourke

The Glittering Eye

This week’s winning essay,The Glittering Eye’s Apologize For What? is his reaction to calls by the usual suspects for President Obama to follow his usual practice and issue and apology for the bombing ogf Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here’s a slice:

There’s been quite a bit of speculation about what President Obama will say when he visits Hiroshima next week. Some say they think that the president should apologize. This report from ABC News should provide a taste:

A group representing Japanese survivors of U.S. atomic bombings urged President Barack Obama to hear their stories and apologize when he visits Hiroshima next week.

Two leaders of the Tokyo-based nationwide group told a news conference Thursday that many survivors still want an apology, though they have long avoided an outright demand for one out of fear that it would be counterproductive.

Toshiki Fujimori, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, said he found it awkward to hear local and central government officials say they are not asking for an apology.

“I suspect there was a pressure (not to seek an apology) to create an atmosphere that would make it easier for Obama to visit Hiroshima,” Fujimori said, declining to identify where the pressure was coming from. “But many of the survivors don’t think they can do without an apology at all.”

Apologize for what? For saving the lives of millions of Japanese? That’s how many would have been killed in the invasion for which the Japanese were preparing. Not to mention the tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans who would have been killed.

For many years I thought that our use of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been a ghastly mistake. Then I applied what I knew of the Japanese culture of the time and realized that we had, literally, no other way to communicate to the Japanese that the war was over and they had lost. Only the emperor could have told the Japanese people that and the only way of communicating that reality to the emperor was through demonstrations so graphic and awful they could not be denied.

James Gibney, writing at Bloomberg, arrives at the same conclusion:

After reading this book, though, I found it hard to argue with what Yamashita told me: “Had the bombs not been dropped, and had the Allies invaded as they were planning to, it would have been horrible beyond belief.” The numbers support him: As many as 150,000 civilians may have perished in the battle for Okinawa alone, for instance. Never mind the Allied servicemen who might have died — including perhaps my father, a battlefield interrogator in U.S. naval intelligence who went on to join a cadre of postwar Japanologists. Spare a thought for the Japanese boys and girls training to throw themselves under advancing U.S. tanks with bombs strapped to their chests.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Robert Trcinski in the Federalist with Imagine No Possessions, Imagine Venezuela submitted by The Glittering Eye. Admittedly, John Lennon’s stupid little paean to socialism, atheism and anarchy is an easy target, but Tracinski does a great job of destruction on it by giving us a good look at a place where Lennon’s ‘vision’ is being practiced.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Fausta, The Daley Gator and Angry White Dude were ubnable to vote this week, but none were affected by the 2/3 penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

This article:

The Council Has Spoken! Our Watcher’s Council Results


Article written by: Tom White

The Council Has Spoken! Our Watcher’s Council Results

https://nicedeb.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/tribal-council12.jpg

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“Do not live in shame as a prisoner. Die, and leave no ignominious crime behind you.” – Field Service Code issued by Tojo, 1941

“Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Ending wars is very simple if you surrender.” – P.J. O’Rourke

The Glittering Eye

This week’s winning essay,The Glittering Eye’s Apologize For What? is his reaction to calls by the usual suspects for President Obama to follow his usual practice and issue and apology for the bombing ogf Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here’s a slice:

There’s been quite a bit of speculation about what President Obama will say when he visits Hiroshima next week. Some say they think that the president should apologize. This report from ABC News should provide a taste:

A group representing Japanese survivors of U.S. atomic bombings urged President Barack Obama to hear their stories and apologize when he visits Hiroshima next week.

Two leaders of the Tokyo-based nationwide group told a news conference Thursday that many survivors still want an apology, though they have long avoided an outright demand for one out of fear that it would be counterproductive.

Toshiki Fujimori, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, said he found it awkward to hear local and central government officials say they are not asking for an apology.

“I suspect there was a pressure (not to seek an apology) to create an atmosphere that would make it easier for Obama to visit Hiroshima,” Fujimori said, declining to identify where the pressure was coming from. “But many of the survivors don’t think they can do without an apology at all.”

Apologize for what? For saving the lives of millions of Japanese? That’s how many would have been killed in the invasion for which the Japanese were preparing. Not to mention the tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans who would have been killed.

For many years I thought that our use of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been a ghastly mistake. Then I applied what I knew of the Japanese culture of the time and realized that we had, literally, no other way to communicate to the Japanese that the war was over and they had lost. Only the emperor could have told the Japanese people that and the only way of communicating that reality to the emperor was through demonstrations so graphic and awful they could not be denied.

James Gibney, writing at Bloomberg, arrives at the same conclusion:

After reading this book, though, I found it hard to argue with what Yamashita told me: “Had the bombs not been dropped, and had the Allies invaded as they were planning to, it would have been horrible beyond belief.” The numbers support him: As many as 150,000 civilians may have perished in the battle for Okinawa alone, for instance. Never mind the Allied servicemen who might have died — including perhaps my father, a battlefield interrogator in U.S. naval intelligence who went on to join a cadre of postwar Japanologists. Spare a thought for the Japanese boys and girls training to throw themselves under advancing U.S. tanks with bombs strapped to their chests.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Robert Trcinski in the Federalist with Imagine No Possessions, Imagine Venezuela submitted by The Glittering Eye. Admittedly, John Lennon’s stupid little paean to socialism, atheism and anarchy is an easy target, but Tracinski does a great job of destruction on it by giving us a good look at a place where Lennon’s ‘vision’ is being practiced.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Fausta, The Daley Gator and Angry White Dude were ubnable to vote this week, but none were affected by the 2/3 penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

BREAKING NEWS: Corey Fauconier will Live Blog for Virginia Right at the Libertarian Convention in Orlando!

I am pleased and honored on behalf of the Virginia Right blog to announce that Corey Fauconier, community activist, member of the Main Street Motivators Toastmaster club, and presently the Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of Virginia (of course all titles are for ID purposes only and do not imply endorsement of the blog) will be covering the proceedings live from the LP convention May 26 through 30 at the Centre Hotel in Orlando Florida.

A number of candidates are seeking the President and VP nod from the LP, including former NM Governor Gary Johnson (who has picked his preference for running mate former MA Governor William Weld), Austin Petersen and John McAfee.   There also are other contested races, including national party chair, presently held by Nicholas Sarwark (who I have met – along with Governor Johnson) and other races.  I am told that both Johnson and Sarwark are favored and that is how I would vote if I were a delegate.  (I am not an LP member – well not yet anyway!)

Fauconier will bring many aspects to this live blog and Tom White and I look forward to reading his commentary.  I wish I could be there for all the fun but I might be nominated for something!

The LP convention ought to be covered at C-Span and I would check their schedule for details.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Our Watcher’s Council Nominations – Appetite For Destruction Edition

Appetite for Destruction.
www.daybydaycartoon.com

Grsphics by the one and only Chris Muir, of course!

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

We have a special treat for you this week! A lot of the Council have long enjoyed Angry White Dude’s writing and we’re glad to welcome him aboard as a new member of the Watcher’s Council. Be sure to check out his site and savor his debut this week.

So, let’s see what we have for you….

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Paul Ryan has a lot of Nerve Asking for Help Stopping Obama’s 3rd Term – ENDORSE TRUMP NOW!

I got one of those incessant fund raising emails from the GOP. Paul Ryan sent it asking that we send money to him to stop Obama’s 3rd Term – President Hillary.

Tom,

Hillary Clinton will stop at nothing to become the next president of the United States.

She will say anything. She will do anything.

But you know what’s even worse? If Hillary Clinton & Nancy Pelosi are in power at the same time.

They would cause irreparable harm to our great country.

As of right now,the only thing that could stop them is the decision you make today.

You see, this week is one of the most important of the entire election. In the final days before the May FEC deadline, we’re in big trouble if we don’t do better than we did last month.

Nancy Pelosi raised $3.3 million more than House Republicans last month – putting our majority in Congress in serious jeopardy.

Now is the time to unite to stop Pelosi and Hillary from obtaining their one goal: a complete liberal takeover of our government.

That’s why I hope you will join me and help keep our majority in Congress.

Can I count on you again to pitch in before Tuesday’s FEC deadline?

How about this, Mr. Speaker. YOU help stop Obama’s 3rd term by endorsing Donald Trump – the party nominee. Any self respecting Republican would be better served sending money to your opponent Paul Nehlen.

And I would urge any Republican who finds your failure to support the party nominee as offensive as I do to click this link and donate to Paul Nehlen today!

And don’t send a dime to your Obama supporting a$$ until you prove yourself. I just made a donation to your opponent and urge others to do the same.

We need a speaker that will work with President Trump. Time for you to go away.


Article written by: Tom White

Reality vs Government Mandated Overtime, “Living” Wages and other Mandates

Most of the young people today point to the sluggish economy, the lack of jobs and growing poverty and government dependence today as proof that Capitalism and Free Markets don’t work. They have been brainwashed by public education, which has become more indoctrination than education, into believing the United States has actually had a Capitalistic Free Market society all along and it is time to “try something new” that is more “fair”. And of course that would be Socialism which they believe will be “fair” because the government “levels the playing field”.

But people with the ability to use critical thinking, something that stopped being taught in public schools and universities decades ago, understand that you can’t have both government control and a free market. Any incursion of government into a free market renders the market no longer free. And our government has had a heavy hand in the no longer free markets in this country since the 1930’s and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Progressive “New Deal” which used the Depression as a springboard to control business and the economy.

The National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA) was enacted in 1933 and was the beginning of the heavy hand of government control on the economy. It set a minimum wage and maximum work week and abolished child labor among other things. But back then, the Supreme Court still used the Constitution as a guide and the law was eventually held as unconstitutional. Of course the Liberals went nuts and accused anyone against the law of enslaving women and children.

One of the most interesting facts was the ways that businesses found to get around the laws. One of the major cases that caused the NRA to fall was that of a laundry owner in Brooklyn named Joseph Tipaldo. He was forced to pay minimum wages by law, which he did, but he demanded a kickback from the employees. He paid them minimum wage, but they were required to return the money above what they were previously making. The case went to the Supreme Court and the 5-4 decision upheld Tipaldo’s right to contract with anyone without the government’s interference. Freedom of Contract is a major principle of a free market economy. Without the freedom of a business to contract with anyone as it pleases, there is no free market. So America lost her Free Market economy under FDR and the NRA in 1933, but regained the freedom with SCOTUS decisions in 1935 and 1936. But, alas, the return to free markets were short lived. then, like today, the liberals screamed about fairness and the need to regulate businesses. While this would seem to be “fair” it actually removes the free market from existence. And of course laws like this only expand.

If I were to tell you that one of the worst and most crushing blows to a free market economy in the history of the US came when Conservative Justice Roberts decided to switch sides and deliver a crushing blow to businesses by siding with the 4 liberal justices and allowing the government to dictate what companies must provide to employees you would immediately think I was talking about Chief Justice John Roberts, the Conservative turncoat who upheld Obamacare along with the 4 liberal justices. But that is not what I am referring to here. The Conservative Justice in this case was Justice Owen Roberts and his betrayal came to be known as the “The switch in time that saved nine”. See FDR was also a Progressive like Obama and he had threatened to add several more Supreme Court Justices to the 9 we had. And of course they would be left wingers. Owen Roberts was looking out for his job.

Nevertheless, the Roberts switch to opine with the liberals ushered in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) and since then, America has had neither a Free Market nor a Capitalistic economy. So for the Bernie Sanders fans who believe that the “Free Market” has caused all of our economic woes and is responsible for the malaise that has set in on our economy, you might want to do a bit more research before you call for more government intervention to “fix” the economy by raising wages and demanding overtime pay, health care and a plethora of other government mandated regulations. The truth is, it was Socialism that has damaged the markets, not the free market system – because we have not had a free market in nearly 80 years.

And just as the business owners of the day that found “creative” ways to get around the laws (kickbacks) business owners are now doing the same thing. More and more onerous regulations fall on a company as the number of employees grows to certain thresholds. There are many companies that would like to expand and hire more people, but they have to hold their number of employees down to stay below the points where they would then be subject to far more expensive government mandates. Under a free market, the business would be able to expand and hire as needed.

Kickbacks are out now, but more and more “legal” methods are created to avoid mandated pay and benefits. Several years back I worked for a company and traveled a lot. Most times travel was by air, but there were times when we were installing a new system where we drove from Virginia to as far away as Alaska. We were hired as “exempt” employees, meaning we were really salaried, but they were required by law to pay us time and a half for hours over 40. They had a creative way to avoid a lot of overtime, especially when we were traveling. A drive to Alaska provided no income for the company, but a lot of overtime. So what they did was take your normal weekly pay for a 40 hour week and divide that by the number of hours you worked to arrive at your “new” hourly pay amount. And they paid time and a half on that.

For example, say an employee made $15 per hour. A normal 40 hour week, she would make $600.00. Now say she worked 60 hours one week. The new hourly rate would be $600 (the normal 40 hour work week pay) divided by 60 hours. So instead of making $15 per hour, you would make $10 per hour for the first 40 hours that week and time and a half for the 20 hours overtime – $15. So you would make $400 for the first 40 hours (instead of $600) and an additional $300 overtime. So your pre-tax pay would be $700 ($400 + $300). Interestingly, if you worked 40 regular hours and 40 overtime, the extra 20 hours would get you $50 more. That’s it.

Why would we allow this? Well, we were technically salaried and when we worked overtime, we ended up with a bit extra. Beer money we called it.

And to top this off, when we were on the road we were required to work 12 hours per day, 7 days a week. But then what would you do if you worked a 40 hour week? Drag an install out to 3 weeks? We wanted to get home and sitting around in a hotel in some city far from home wasn’t going to get the job done. Again, it worked for us. We got to do some fun stuff if we wanted. Glaciers in Alaska. Golf. Bars. Mostly bars. And often, I would come home and pick up 3 or 4 paychecks. And I was single. I hardly spent a dime of my personal money on the road.

So how will the President’s mandatory expansion of overtime pay work out? There will no doubt be some creative ways like I have seen first hand. But rulings like this will force some employers to hire a couple of part time workers instead of a full time employee. So jobs will be lost. Others will hire temporary contractors. No benefits, no overtime. And for those that are used to being able to take a child to the doctor, run errands and do other tasks freely as a salaried worker, these hours will now be deducted. Most will convert salaried workers to hourly which often entails less generous benefit packages and other “perks”.

And the $15 minimum wage will have it’s own fallout. All of the fast food workers who are salivating over $15 per hour, but they don’t realize that the big “rich” corporations are not the ones who actually run the fast food restaurants. Most are owned by entrepreneurs who had to pay a lot of money to buy a franchise and they have to pay the corporations a percentage of their sales. Most franchises are required to buy their supplies from the Corporation and the prices are set for them. They cannot simply raise prices, they cannot buy cheaper quality food and their profits are already thin. Many franchise owners put in more hours than any employee, but they will have to put in even more as they let employees go.

The other option is automation. If you have ever ordered food at a Wawa Convenience Store, the video below shows how they control costs:

Of course there are a couple of humans actually making the sandwiches, but I have seen a couple of people handle a lunchtime rush and they probably do as much volume as any fast food place.

These kiosks are already replacing workers across the US. Investor’s Business Daily notes:

Wendy’ssaid that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages.

It will be up to franchisees whether to deploy the labor-saving technology, but Wendy’s President Todd Penegor did note that some franchise locations have been raising prices to offset wage hikes.

McDonald’s (MCD) has been testing self-service kiosks. But Wendy’s, which has been vocal about embracing labor-saving technology, is launching the biggest potential expansion.

Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10% of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5% to 6%, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage “to access good labor.”

It’s not surprising that some franchisees might face more of a labor-cost squeeze than company restaurants. All 258 Wendy’s restaurants in California, where the minimum wage rose to $10 an hour this year and will gradually rise to $15, are franchise-operated. Likewise, about 75% of 200-plus restaurants in New York are run by franchisees. New York’s fast-food industry wage rose to $10.50 in New York City and $9.75 in the rest of the state at the start of 2016, also on the way to $15.

Free Market intervention continues to erode employment. When is the last time you called a pizza restaurant to order a pizza delivered? I honestly can’t remember. I used to go to my computer and place the order but now, I simply use my smart phone.

Ever been to Red Robin Hamburger Restaurant? You will find a Ziosk! Order and pay right from the table.

And what about mobile apps? Other than the pizza orders already mentioned. Business Insider says:

Lots of different types of retailers have embraced the opportunity to generate additional sales through mobile commerce apps. But fast-food chains — dubbed Quick-Service Restaurants (QSRs) — have only dipped their toes into this space.

In part, this is because their service is fast by nature and requires an in-store visit, so there isn’t an obvious advantage to enabling online or mobile ordering.

Recently, though, Taco Bell launched a mobile order-ahead app that allows customers to purchase food from the app and pick it up without waiting in line. The app has seen significant early success — with higher average order sales boosting total revenues — and now other QSRs are starting to follow suit.

In new research from BI Intelligence, we look at how fast-food chains are leveraging mobile order-ahead to attract more customers, intensify loyalty, ease payment friction, and drive additional incremental revenues.

These kiosks are coming down in price, but are still somewhat pricey. But pretty much everyone has a smart phone and before long, expect to walk into a fast food restaurant, or even sit in the parking lot and order and pay for lunch on your smart phone. then walk in or drive up to pick up your meal. This is a much smaller investment and will eliminate more positions at $15 per hour.

But we can’t eliminate the cooks, can we?

Absolutely. Robots are already available that can make and assemble hamburgers. they are far more consistent and never spit in your food. Advanced models even allow you to order your meat and have it custom ground to create your own burger.

So is all this technology as evil as the corporations that will soon embrace it? Or is this simply the logical result of a free market adapting to the boot of government on it’s neck? I believe it is the latter. And I applaud the innovation and spirit of the inventors, entrepreneurs and pioneers who never stop adapting and moving to go around the heavy hand of government. And this is a perfect illustration of what will happen when the government tries to control the economy.

The Independent (UK) reports a hamburger in Venezuela now costs $170.00:

It (the government of Venezuela) has already asked women to stop blow-drying their hair and given a two-day working week to public sector workers, now the scale of the financial crisis propelling Venezuela towards economic ruin can be seen in how much it costs to eat a humble hamburger.

The official exchange rate is now at a rate of 10 bolivares for $1 as the country continues to be gripped by a currency crisis caused by the fall in the global oil price and the economic mismanagement of President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

That means the hamburgers being sold for 1,700 Venezuelan dollars as reported by the AFP news agency will set customers back $170.

It means even the middle classes are struggling to afford the most basic necessities.

Venezuela is a bit further down the road to Socialism than we are in the US, but not that far ahead. The anti free market movement, the “pillage the corporations” and demonize the “rich” proponents who can be seen at any Bernie Sander’s rally or Fast Food demonstration rally, don’t understand that they are hurling themselves off a cliff. Here in America we are in a race between technology and stupidity. Stupidity won in Venezuela.

Let’s hope a determined free market and an innovative people, here in the US and other developed countries as well, are ahead of the stupidity curve the Bernie supporters are pushing.

And when the only jobs left go to the critical thinkers who can figure out ways to circumvent a government that is suppressing a free economy, the country’s schools and universities will have a harder time justifying turning out the Socialist turnips they have been indoctrinating for a couple of generations. Fortunately, some engineers and computer scientists manage to emerge in spite of the American education system.

As for the rest, you have condemned yourself to a life of dependence on government. But the good news is, Virtual Reality has come a long way. But I just wonder where a nation full of professional gamers living in their parent’s basement will go when their parents are gone.

Me, I’ll be down at Wendy’s ordering from a robot.


Article written by: Tom White