Thursday, March 29, 2012

MY RESPONSE TO: Subway Kills Five-Dollar Footlongs in S.F. Due to "Higher Cost of Doing Business"

The $10/hr minimum wage hurts San Francisco fast food stores -- only -- because San Francisco is so affluent that raising the minimum wage doesn't raise demand at the same time. In my more typical Chicago middle class neighborhood a few years back, a quick rise from $5.15/hr to $8.00/hr saw business in my local McDonald's visibly pick up (others agreed with me) mostly in the Mexican end.

A nationwide jump to $15/hr (doubling!) would add all of 3 1/2% inflation* (about what we grow every two years, normally!) and give half the country a raise -- a good time to invest in McDonald's.

Enter $1.60/Linkhr in 1968 -- LBJ's minimum wage -- in the BLS online inflation calculator below and you will get $10.40/hr in today's money (in average U.S. prices, not S.F.'s higher prices). Per capita income has almost doubled since 1968, from $15,000/yr to $28,000/yr.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The eight-grade math of massively frisking New York City's minorities

The eight-grade math of massively frisking New York City's minorities:
After -- crime was reduced by 4X, stop-and-frisk went up by 6X = 24X as many frisks per reported crime.

This means -- either -- that those police officers and administrators responsible for reducing crime to 25% of what it was were totally remiss and neglectful in their patrol duties (wouldn't that be a contradiction in terms?) -- or -- that the Fourth Amendment has been totally suspended for New York City minorities (the mayor's intended victims?).

Could 24X increase in frisking be a move by Mad King Bloomberg* to reduce the numbers of the less affluent and minorities -- to make room for more of their opposite numbers? ???

* The allusion is to Mayor Bloomberg wasting a half billion dollars (in today's money) to build a massive new courthouse in the Bronx -- to replace the beautiful courthouse at the corner of 161st street and Grand Concourse, a courthouse so beautiful outside and functional inside they cannot tear it down (it's the black and white striped building you used to see in the background looking to the outfield of the old Yankee Stadium) and the brand new,when I was going there in the late 1970s, courthouse down the hill; two of the nicest courthouses in the country -- in, until the recent incursion of yuppies, the poorest congressional district in the country -- a half billion dollars!