Friday, March 27, 2015

An Oscar-Winning Actor’s Fight Against the Minimum Wage

WSJ writes:
We’re about to do the meanest thing this newspaper could do to Tim Robbins: Agree with him.

The famously liberal actor has come out against the attempt by the actors union, the Actors’ Equity Association, to impose the minimum wage on small theaters, and we’re with him all the way.

At issue is the 99 Seat Theater Plan, which allows union members to work for modest stipends in small theater productions. Mr. Robbins, who calls himself a “proud member of Actors’ Equity,” says he opposes the minimum wage because these small theaters are not about making money. Actors volunteer for many reasons—an opportunity to do live theater, to take a part they might not otherwise get, maybe even to be discovered.

In a piece for the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Robbins portrayed his position as a fight for the little guy—the unknowns going up against the union bigs in Actors’ Equity’s “new $7 million offices.” Between the lines he’s saying the mandated wages may be a death knell for some of these small theaters.

Perhaps Mr. Robbins will now give the same consideration to the little guys who lose their jobs in the rest of the economy when wages are set too high for the market. He might also learn to appreciate that even at profit-making companies people take low-wage jobs for many reasons: the retiree who works at McDonald’s to keep active, the college grad who takes an unpaid internship to gain experience, or the teenager who works at a bodega to get some spare cash.


  1. Tim Robbins: Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Team America, and then Team America goes out... and the corporations sit there in their... in their corporation buildings, and... and, and see, they're all corporation-y... and they make money.

  2. John Crudele - Stock market rigging is no longer a 'conspiracy theory'

    Phone logs that I received showed numerous calls between Treasury secretary Hank Paulson and Wall Street banks — Goldman Sachs, in particular — that seemed to coincide nicely with stock market rallies.

    Unlike the Bank of Japan, Washington would have been coy about rigging the stock market and probably would have used proxies. The New York Federal Reserve Bank, for instance, would wink and nod at its favorite banks, and trades that turn the stock market upward would suddenly be made.

    There’s another kind of market rigging that is also going on. This is being done by companies themselves.

    Since corporate profits and revenues aren’t growing enough to justify current high stock prices, companies have been aggressively buying back massive quantities of their own shares.

    By doing this, companies reduce the number of their shares owned by the public. This accounting trick boosts the calculation of profit-per-shares because the numerator of the equation (earnings) remains the same while the denominator (outstanding shares) is reduced.

    Okay, so the markets are rigged. Basically everyone now agrees on that. But should we care?

    America was built on capitalism and free and fair markets. Today’s markets aren’t fair. In fact, they are unfair because they are putting lots of money into the pockets of a small number of Americans.