Can you tell the difference? Apparently, she can't.

Can you tell the difference? Apparently, she can’t.

The effects of a minimum wage increase was researched recently by the federal government. Guess what they found out? (Hint: You’ll think you’d heard it here before.)

Apparently, after 3 days performing what amounts to an “armed sit-in”, the 20 white guys holed up in a remote, Oregon wildlife preserve visitors center were did not have the National Guard descend on them due to … wait for it … racism. You know, the same National Guard that weren’t summoned to Ferguson, MO for 9 days.

And can you describe the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist? Apparently, the front-runner for the Democrats in the Presidential race can’t.

Mentioned links:

MP Graphics Facebook page

Hiking Minimum Wage an Inefficient Tool to Fight Poverty: Fed Research

The Effects of Minimum Wages on Employment

Armed men, led by Bundy brothers, take over federal building in rural Oregon

Timeline of events in Ferguson

WaPo Columnist Claims Racial Double Standards In Oregon Standoff

Video: Matthews discovers that Hillary can’t tell the difference between Democrats and socialists, either

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Show transcript

Increasing the minimum wage is an inefficient way to reduce poverty. Raising the minimum wage has only limited benefits in the war against poverty, due in part because relatively few of those falling below the poverty line actually receive the wage. Many of the benefits from raising the wage tend to go to higher-income families. Research that shows raising wages kills jobs through higher costs to employers.

That’s not me talking, although I have said as much in previous shows, so I can understand the confusion. No, that’s David Neumark, a professor of economics and director of the Center for Economics and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine. He researched the minimum wage for the San Francisco Federal Reserve, and these are his conclusions.

So now we have an arm of the federal government, doing its own research, and coming to these conclusions. Can we put this issue to bed now? Well, no, we can’t. There’s too much politics smeared all over this, and too many people with entrenched ideas and too many axes to grind.

What he does suggest for combating poverty is enhancing the Earned Income Tax Credit, which targets poor families, rather than poor workers. Some poor families have no workers, so a minimum wage increase doesn’t affect them, and a single worker may be supporting just him- or herself, or a family of 6.

Anyway, if you want more info, or a link to share with your social media peeps, it’s in the show notes at the web site. I’m hopeful that this might change some minds, but hold not thy breath.


A group of armed anti-government activists, about 20, occupied the visitor’s center at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, vowing to occupy the outpost for years to protest the federal government’s treatment of a pair of local ranchers set to report to prison. I’m not going to get into the reasons behind what they did; I think they generally in the wrong, and even the family they are supporting with this protest doesn’t support them.

What I was noticing most is that my Facebook feed lit up with charges of racism. People were asking, “Where’s the National Guard? If these guys were black, the Guard would be all over them just like Ferguson!” Really? OK, I have a question; why was the National Guard called in to Ferguson? Because of the looting and burning of private property that had been going on. Each night, it was a real and imminent threat. So finally, 9 days later, the governor called them in. I have a timeline linked in the show notes, so you can check me on that. But on day 3 in Oregon of what was essentially an “armed sit-in”, with no shots fired and no property being hauled away or burned down, a double-standard was being evoked. I’m sorry, but these guys were no imminent threat to anyone, except maybe for people wishing to get those information pamphlets about local flora and fauna for some weekend reading. There was no urgency to get an armed response in there quickly, especially 6 days earlier than they were called in to Ferguson. This isn’t a double-standard, because the situations were entirely different. Suggesting that the National Guard would have been called in by day 3 if they were black was based on (what seems to be emerging as) a mythology around the events of Ferguson. First it was the “Hands up, don’t shoot” thing, which every investigation debunked. Now, if the National Guard doesn’t show up in 48 hours, it must be due to racism.

Folks, all I’m asking is this; Isn’t there enough actual racism in this world without having to manufacture it from thin air, using false or exaggerated claims? Let’s just take a breath, and then focus on what is wrong, rather than blow other things out of proportion. We want to eradicate racism, but if everything is racism, then nothing is. Let’s just say, that’s not entirely helpful.


Hillary Clinton is currently the front-runner in the Democratic Presidential race. Bernie Sanders is a distant second, but he refers to himself as a Socialist. Chris Matthews tried to get Hillary to specify the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist, but couldn’t seem to get a specific answer. Well, any answer.

[Chris Matthews and Hillary Clinton audio; see video above]

And she babbles on, deflecting from the actual question. Y’know, maybe she can’t, or won’t, identify a difference because there isn’t a difference.

Filed under: Economics & TaxesMinimum WageRace IssuesSocialism