Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Terrible Election Night News

It wasn't unexpected though.

CNN projects Arkansas and Nebraska voters have approved ballot measures to raise minimum wages.

This, of course, means that the least productive workers will find it impossible to get a job.  (SEE: Murray Rothbard On the Only Way to Truthfully Regard the Minimum Wage: Compulsory Unemployment)


The Bay Area went all in on unemployment creation:

San Francisco voters, voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Nearly complete returns showed San Francisco’s Proposition J cruising to victory with more than two-thirds support. With almost 98 percent of precincts reporting, the measure had more than 76 percent support, reports The San Francisco Chronicle.

Passage makes San Francisco the second city in the nation after Seattle to raise its minimum wage to $15.

A similar ballot measure in Oakland had an even wider lead with almost half of the votes counted. It had 80 percent support with 44 percent of precincts reporting.Measure FF would raise Oakland’s minimum wage from $9 to $12.25 starting in March.


South Dakota voters have approved a hike in the minimum wage and Illinois voters passed a non-binding referendum that will place before the state legislature a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour.


  1. Because perception matters more than reality. They can pat themselves on the back about their insufferable self-righteousness while impoverishing the unskilled. It is hypocrisy on steroids.

  2. Private Equity Kingpin KKR Threatens Iowa Pension Fund Over FOIA Request

    The article also demonstrated, as we’ve pointed out earlier, than many investors are so cowed that they don’t need to be on the receiving end of overt threats:

    Once public pension funds start releasing detailed information in response to public-records requests, “that’s the moment we’re done,” said Linda Calnan, interim chief investment officer of the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund. “These are sensitive documents that managers don’t want out there.”

    This risk, that private equity funds might exclude public pension funds that the general partners deemed to be insufficiently zealous in defending their information lockdown, has long been the excuse served up public pension funds for going along with these secrecy demands. As we demonstrated in May, the notion that the information that the funds are keeping hidden rises to the level of being a trade secret or causing competitive harm is ludicrous. We based that conclusion on a review of a dozen limited partnership agreements, the documents that the industry is most desperate to keep under lock and key.

    But the only known instance of that sort of redlining actually taking place, as the Journal notes, took place in 2003 after CalPERS said it would start publishing limited data on financial returns as a result of a settlement of a Public Records Act (California-speak for FOIA) lawsuit. As we wrote in April:

    Two venture capital firms, Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins, had a hissy fit and refused to let funds that would disclose their return data invest in them. Now this is of course terribly dramatic and has given some grist to the public pension funds’ paranoia that they’d be shut out of investments if they get too uppity. But the fact is that public pension funds overall aren’t big venture capital investors. And people in the industry argue that there was a obvious self-serving motive for Sequoia to hide its returns. Sequoia has launched a number of foreign funds, and many are believed not to have performed well. Why would you invest in Sequoia’s, say, third India fund if you could see that funds one and two were dogs?

    So why has industry leader KKR stooped to issue an explicit, thuggish threat?

    This is an area where readers can make a difference. The one thing public pension funds, even one like CalPERS, are afraid of is their state legislature. Call or e-mail your state representatives. If you have the time and energy, also write to the editor of your local paper and the producers of your local television station. Tell them you’ve read in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (and if you are in California, the Sacramento Bee) about public pension funds refusing to provide information to members of the public about fees as well as widespread abuses that the SEC discussed at length in a speech this year. Tell them that the SEC has made it clear that private equity can’t be treated on a “trust me” basis any more. The time has come for more pressure on public pension funds to weight the public interest more strongly in dealing with these inquiries, and if needed, new legislation to force more accountability from private equity funds and their government investors.


  3. "San Francisco voters voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour."
    Of course this begs the question: if this is so good, why do it gradually?

  4. The vast majority of problems related to the modern world can be summed up in the following, succinct manner:

    "The characteristic feature of this age of destructive wars and social disintegration is the revolt against economics."
    ----Ludwig von Mises

    The minimum wage naturally creates artificial barriers to employment for those least skilled among us. It also tends to force more individuals onto the public dole. This in turn can potentially lead to a developed dependency on government for ones livelihood. Austrian economists are quite aware of what this situation ultimately leads to in the long term.