Sunday, August 2, 2015

#15 - CECIL THE LION, MINIMUM WAGE, SMOKEY ROBINSON - BLACK AND PROUD AMERICAN

CECIL THE LION
Trophy hunting is on the way out.

Disclaimer: I fall somewhere between those who believe that animals were put on this Earth to serve the needs of humans and those humans who believe that animals are human too. And I love cats. I REALLY love cats.


All but the most cynical and bloodthirsty hunters are conservationists. They know the lesson of the buffalo, that you can hunt seemingly endless herds to the point of extinction in a very short time. That's why there are more deer in the northeastern United States today than in the days of the Founders. We've hunted out or moved out the predators and we've managed the herds. And the 'we' are the responsible hunters who pay license fees and support wildlife management in numerous other ways. As a result, hunting for venison is alive and well. I know families who spend next to nothing on processed meat because venison provides everything from their breakfast sausage to their dinner roast. More power to them.

But trophy hunting is different. As humanity encroaches on the habitats of the predators and the prey that attract the trophy hunter, as their numbers dwindle, conservation and population management become of paramount importance. What difference does it make if a lion is within or outside the boundaries of a preserve? The reason that the preserve exists in the first place is because the lion population is threatened. And if such populations are threatened, the only reason to hunt them is to better manage them. Common sense dictates that such hunts, to thin the herds of threatened prey or to manage predation, must take place under the authority of professional wildlife managers and not private guides paid a princely sum to ensure a kill. So...

Trophy hunting is on the way out.

MINIMUM WAGE
The movement to make the minimum wage a living wage is gaining steam. Three comments:

1. I joined the workforce in the late 1960s when the federal minimum hourly wage was $1.60. If it had been tied to the inflation rate of the Consumer Price Index back then, today the minimum wage would be $10.90. If the object of creating a minimum wage is to ensure a reasonable baseline compensation for a person's labor, why is that person's labor worth 30% less today than if it had been tagged to the CPI in 1968? Give me a reason that makes sense.

2. I searched "effect of increasing the minimum wage" on the interweb. Up popped two articles published in Forbes, one a year old and one more recent. The older one was entitled The Facts On Increasing The Minimum Wage. The 'facts' were that there were so few workers making the minimum wage throughout the country that increasing the minimum wage would have a negligible effect on GDP and tax revenue. Not what I was looking for.

The more recent article purported to investigate the effect of an increase in the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour in Seattle. After establishing that only about 1,200 people were effected, the author goes on to admit that the unemployment rate in Seattle has dropped at about the same rate that the national rate has dropped since the new minimum was instituted. There's been no spike in unemployment. He goes on, however, to speak anecdotally about restaurant closings and lost job opportunities. No numbers. Just stories about favorite restaurants closing due to the wage increase. Stories that other, more liberal sites claim are disputed by the restaurateurs themselves.

So as far as I can see, we don't really know the end game yet.

3. Social media is replacing labor unions. Just sayin...

SMOKEY ROBINSON - BLACK AND PROUD AMERICAN
"If it's so terrible here, why are so many coming and so few leaving?" And the only time that he uses the word privilege is when he describes the need to exercise the privilege of the franchise.

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