The Garbanzo Annex

Labor unions are the biggest force behind attempts to raise the minimum wage, not only in the United States but in other countries around the world. That may seem strange, since most union members already earn more than the minimum wage. But the unions know what they are doing, even if too many gullible observers do not.

Low-skill workers with correspondingly low wages compete in the labor market with higher skilled union members with correspondingly higher wages. Many kinds of work can be done by various mixtures of low-skilled workers and high-skilled workers.

Minimum wage rates that are higher than what most low-skilled and inexperienced workers are worth simply price those workers out of the job markets, leaving more work for union members. All the unions have to do is camouflage what is happening by using rhetoric about “a living wage,” or “social justice” or whatever else will impress the gullible.



We would like to wish the folks of the BDS Movement a hearty congratulations on achieving what is definitely a well-deserved victory in the battle against the occupation.

Unfortunately I am referring to the occupation of the 900+ “West Bank” and “East” Jerusalem Palestinian men and women at the Sodastream factory in Ma’ale Adumim.

That’s right. As of 2015, the Sodastream plastics and metals factory in Ma’ale Adumim will be closing its doors and moving to its much larger $40 million facilities near the town of Lahavim in the Negev. This leaves all the previously highly satisfiedPalestinian employees out of a job.

The new plant will still be practicing its equal opportunity hiring policies and will provide employment to the region’s Bedouin and African refugee population but this time on uncontested Israeli soil (it’s uncontested unless you’re a terrorist).

Regardless I’m still willing to bet the haters will still claim they are abusing Bedouins or something. …. … what’s that? They already have? (Damn you, Ali A-bomb-a-nation).

Don’t get too excited, the decision to move is purely operational, but regardless. BDS. You wanted it? You got it. Unemployed Palestinians.


32 notes

What is the price of Hamas’ tunnels? The welfare of its own people.


What is the price of Hamas’ tunnels? The welfare of its own people.

“I’d like to thank the Academy, my fellow actors/directors/producers, my family, and mostly the taxpayers who helped finance the film for making this all possible” – No Academy Award winner ever

There are two things that many in Hollywood often preach against: 1) “Greedy” Wall Streeters who don’t “share the wealth” during the good times and then leave taxpayers holding the bag when things go bad; And 2) Tax breaks for the rich.

File this under “method acting”:

Although Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, one winner has already been determined: the Oscar for Best Tax Break (not a real Academy Award). Among the nine films nominated for Best Picture, The Wolf of Wall Street received the largest state tax incentive, a 30 percent tax credit from New York State. In effect, New York State taxpayers paid for a third of its $100 million in production costs.

According to Forbes, Hollywood’s moguls are receiving around $1.5 billion a year in film tax credits. Rich Tinseltown libs then use some of the money they saved to maintain the soap box from which they complain that the rich need to be made to “pay their fair share.”

(h/t Instapundit)

**Written by Doug Powers

Yaalon’s “new strategy” seems to have been composed in complete ignorance of the Peel Commission Report of 1937. This Report indicated that thanks to Israel’s economic assistance, Arab income in the “West Bank” multiplied four-fold. Moreover, the Report noted that Israel’s Government established new hospitals, health centers, primary and secondary schools and universities. Nevertheless, the Israeli-built schools and universities became hotbeds of Arab insurrection.

In fact, the Peel Commission Report of 1937 concluded that the Jewish contribution to Arab prosperity in Palestine only increased Arab hatred!  

The same phenomenon occurred after the Six Day war of 1967 when Israel regained control of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.  Once again both Israeli and American officials and decision makers failed to understand that there are motives and even cultural affinities which are stronger than economics.

Ignorant of history, they were (and continue to be) oblivious of the fact that France and Germany were the greatest trading partners before the Franco-Prussian War—and these countries, unlike Muslims and Jews, shared the same European heritage.

Now ponder this: after 1967 Six Day War, as many as 100,000 Arabs from Gaza had jobs in Israel and thus worked alongside Jews. In fact, even though an increasing majority of Israel’s own Arab citizens, who enjoy a relatively high standard of living and possess educational and professional opportunities unequalled in the Islamic world, they nonetheless identify with Israel’s enemies and are therefore committed to Israel’s demise—contrary to their own economic interests.



PHNOM PENH, Cambodia

Nicholas Kristof addresses reader feedback and posts short takes from his travels.

Before Barack Obama and his team act on their talk about “labor standards,” I’d like to offer them a tour of the vast garbage dump here in Phnom Penh.

This is a Dante-like vision of hell. It’s a mountain of festering refuse, a half-hour hike across, emitting clouds of smoke from subterranean fires.

The miasma of toxic stink leaves you gasping, breezes batter you with filth, and even the rats look forlorn. Then the smoke parts and you come across a child ambling barefoot, searching for old plastic cups that recyclers will buy for five cents a pound. Many families actually live in shacks on this smoking garbage.

Mr. Obama and the Democrats who favor labor standards in trade agreements mean well, for they intend to fight back at oppressive sweatshops abroad. But while it shocks Americans to hear it, the central challenge in the poorest countries is not that sweatshops exploit too many people, but that they don’t exploit enough.

Talk to these families in the dump, and a job in a sweatshop is a cherished dream, an escalator out of poverty, the kind of gauzy if probably unrealistic ambition that parents everywhere often have for their children.

“I’d love to get a job in a factory,” said Pim Srey Rath, a 19-year-old woman scavenging for plastic. “At least that work is in the shade. Here is where it’s hot.”

Another woman, Vath Sam Oeun, hopes her 10-year-old boy, scavenging beside her, grows up to get a factory job, partly because she has seen other children run over by garbage trucks. Her boy has never been to a doctor or a dentist, and last bathed when he was 2, so a sweatshop job by comparison would be far more pleasant and less dangerous.

I’m glad that many Americans are repulsed by the idea of importing products made by barely paid, barely legal workers in dangerous factories. Yet sweatshops are only a symptom of poverty, not a cause, and banning them closes off one route out of poverty. At a time of tremendous economic distress and protectionist pressures, there’s a special danger that tighter labor standards will be used as an excuse to curb trade.

When I defend sweatshops, people always ask me: But would you want to work in a sweatshop? No, of course not. But I would want even less to pull a rickshaw. In the hierarchy of jobs in poor countries, sweltering at a sewing machine isn’t the bottom.

My views on sweatshops are shaped by years living in East Asia, watching as living standards soared — including those in my wife’s ancestral village in southern China — because of sweatshop jobs.

Manufacturing is one sector that can provide millions of jobs. Yet sweatshops usually go not to the poorest nations but to better-off countries with more reliable electricity and ports.

I often hear the argument: Labor standards can improve wages and working conditions, without greatly affecting the eventual retail cost of goods. That’s true. But labor standards and “living wages” have a larger impact on production costs that companies are always trying to pare. The result is to push companies to operate more capital-intensive factories in better-off nations like Malaysia, rather than labor-intensive factories in poorer countries like Ghana or Cambodia.

Cambodia has, in fact, pursued an interesting experiment by working with factories to establish decent labor standards and wages. It’s a worthwhile idea, but one result of paying above-market wages is that those in charge of hiring often demand bribes — sometimes a month’s salary — in exchange for a job. In addition, these standards add to production costs, so some factories have closed because of the global economic crisis and the difficulty of competing internationally.

The best way to help people in the poorest countries isn’t to campaign against sweatshops but to promote manufacturing there. One of the best things America could do for Africa would be to strengthen our program to encourage African imports, called AGOA, and nudge Europe to match it.

Among people who work in development, many strongly believe (but few dare say very loudly) that one of the best hopes for the poorest countries would be to build their manufacturing industries. But global campaigns against sweatshops make that less likely.

Look, I know that Americans have a hard time accepting that sweatshops can help people. But take it from 13-year-old Neuo Chanthou, who earns a bit less than $1 a day scavenging in the dump. She’s wearing a “Playboy” shirt and hat that she found amid the filth, and she worries about her sister, who lost part of her hand when a garbage truck ran over her.

“It’s dirty, hot and smelly here,” she said wistfully. “A factory is better.”

F A Hayek - Social Justice


Because having to pay someone 22 bucks an hour for jobs that require minimum skills and education wouldn’t cause businesses to hire fewer people or cut hours at all.Oh, wait…It would actually be devastating.Start measuring things by outcomes, not intentions, people.


Because having to pay someone 22 bucks an hour for jobs that require minimum skills and education wouldn’t cause businesses to hire fewer people or cut hours at all.

Oh, wait…

It would actually be devastating.

Start measuring things by outcomes, not intentions, people.