France discourages Job Creation with a Short Workweek, Confiscatory Tax Rates and Banning Emails after 6 PM

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 12th, 2014

Week in Review

For socialism to work you need businesses to provide jobs.  Because without people working the government can’t have confiscatory tax rates to fund a massive socialist state.  You’ve got to have jobs.  Which confiscatory tax rates tend to discourage.  For business and rich investors don’t want to pay confiscatory tax rates.  François Hollande ran on a socialist platform in France.  Promising to raise taxes to bring down the deficit.  Which he did.  Raise taxes.  But it didn’t lower an unemployment rate stubbornly staying above 10%.

High taxes and a poor economy caused the socialists to lose elections.  So Hollande is putting together a tax-cutting package.  To reverse their electoral losses.  You’d think the socialists would have learned their lessons that the people want jobs.  And to have jobs you need a business-friendly environment.  Which something like this is not going to help (see France bans work e-mail after 6 p.m. by John Johnson, Newser, posted 4/11/2014 on USA Today).

France already has a 35-hour work week, and a new rule is designed to make sure that it doesn’t start shading toward 40 hours because of work-related e-mail.

The Guardian reports that the rule forbids workers from checking their phones or computers for work stuff after 6 p.m., and it forbids employers from pressuring them to do so.

The move apparently doesn’t affect all workers in France, but it does cover about 1 million workers in the tech industry — including French employees of Google and Facebook…

At Fox Business, a U.S. labor expert finds it hard to believe the IT industry can manage such a draconian shut-off time.

“There’s always something going wrong off the clock — when a computer goes down, it doesn’t go down between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.”

It’s yet another thing to discourage business.  Things happen after hours.  Can you imagine a business wanting to open themselves to that kind of liability?  Having someone in the company send out an email without checking the clock first?  Or someone working late into the evening to catch up on a project.  Sending out a bunch of emails so people could read them first thing in the morning.  If someone else is working late do they read this email?  Perhaps this person was waiting for this email and would like to address it that evening to reduce his or her workload the following day.  Would this worker have been pressured into reading the email knowing his or her boss would have appreciated the extra effort?

There’s a reason why General Motors (GM) went bankrupt.  Well, there are a few of them.  But one of them was costly workplace rules.  Such as only allowing an electrician to change a light bulb at a work station.  Even if the person at that workstation could have changed that bulb in a couple of minutes.  Instead of waiting an hour or so for skilled trades to come around to unscrew the burnt out lamp and screw in a new lamp.

These little workplace rules add up.  And though seemingly harmless when you look at them one at a time in the aggregate they increase the cost of business.  A lot.  Just ask GM.  Something businesses look at when they are considering the location of a new factory.  Whether to expand production at an existing factory.  Or whether to shut down a factory and move production out of the country to a more business-friendly environment.  Thus killing job creation.  Jobs the socialists need for people to have so they can pay confiscatory taxes on their earnings.

A business unfriendly environment will never lower the unemployment rate.  As the socialists in France have proven.  And left-leaning governments everywhere have proven.  Confiscatory tax rates do not attract businesses.  Or rich investors.  They discourage them.  And encourage them to take their money and invest it elsewhere.  And create jobs elsewhere.  In another country that is a little kinder to business.  And job creation.

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Cuba is Slashing Jobs from the American Left’s Favorite Health Care System

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 12th, 2014

Week in Review

The American left loves Cuba.  A communist/socialist regime just a short boat ride from Florida.  Where they put people before profits.  And the left likes people.  Just as much as they hate profits.  And best of all Cuba has a national health care system.  American film maker and darling of the left Michael Moore even made a movie about how great that health care system is.  Sicko.  Which showed how there are no health insurance companies in Cuba. No.  Just a government that loves its people.  A large number of who for some reason risk their lives to float their way to Florida.  To escape that beautiful paradise Moore rhapsodizes about but never chooses to live in.  Which probably has something to do with this (see Cuba slashes more than 100,000 health care jobs by The Associated Press posted 4/7/2014 on the Star-Telegram).

Cuban authorities say they have eliminated more than 100,000 jobs in health care, considered one of the pillars of the 1959 revolution.

The cuts come as President Raul Castro tries to streamline government as part of a broader economic reform package.

The weekly labor newspaper Trabajadores said Monday that 109,000 health care positions have been cut…

Cuba’s health care sector is entirely run by the state. Authorities have said that like other areas of the economy it is plagued by inefficiency, redundancies and bloated payrolls.

This is what Michael Moore and others on the left want for America.  A health care system plagued by inefficiency, redundancies and bloated payrolls.  Which, of course, consumes so many of the limited health care resources that there is little left for patients.  This is national health care.  This is a government bureaucracy doing what it does best.  Incompetence and corruption.  And the left is fine with this as long as they get their hands on those health care dollars.  So they can create a vast, inefficient bureaucracy that is full of high-paying jobs to consume those health care dollars.  Allowing anyone working for the national health care service to get rich.  Just like those health insurance companies the left so hates.  Only without being able to do what the private health insurance companies have been able to do.  Create the world’s best health care system.

For the American people aren’t risking their lives to float to Cuba to get that health insurance-free national health care.  At least, not yet.  But with further economic reform President Castro may end up one day with a privatized health care system as the Americans move in the other direction.  Which could very well create a health tourism paradise in Cuba after all.  For Americans wishing to escape what President Obama and the Democrats are doing to the health care system they liked and wanted to keep.

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Even with the Bribes Chinese Health Care is Better since Privatization

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 12th, 2014

Week in Review

China has recently privatized their health care system.  Sort of.  They have private health care providers and a state health insurance that helps pay for it with a small patient ‘co-pay’.  Quality of care did increase.  But health care providers don’t get paid a lot in China.  And turn to other means of compensation that is not without its problems (see ‘Guardian angels’ to protect Chinese doctors from patients by Malcolm Moore posted 4/9/2014 on The Telegraph).

Hospitals in Beijing will recruit 1,500 “guardian angels” to protect their doctors from violent attacks by patients.

In recent years, angry patients have killed a number of Chinese doctors, often citing frustration at how they have been handled by the healthcare system…

Doctors and nurses in hospitals are violently attacked every two weeks on average, the state media said, by patients angry at long waiting times, high medical bills and haughty or uncaring doctors…

The government has promised to root out corruption in the healthcare system, and the Health Ministry said in February it would target patients who bribe doctors for better treatment.

Yes, bribes.  Or hongbao, as it’s called in China.  If you want some decent care in a Chinese hospital you have to slide an envelope with money in it to your health care provider.  Otherwise you’ll only get what the state health insurance will buy you.  Long waiting times, high medical bills (for what the state insurance doesn’t cover—a high deductible, if you will) and haughty or uncaring doctors.  Which tells you how bad the health care system must have been before they privatized it.  For it’s a lot better now than it used to be.

So China made their health care better by privatizing it (although it is still so bad that angry patients who paid good bribes for their loved one’s care are assaulting their doctors and nurses every two weeks on average).  While the United States is going the other way.  Towards more state control.  Pity the Obama administration can’t be more like China when it comes to health care.  And try to improve the quality of health care instead of making it worse.  Which they will likely do as their cost saving measure is simply to pay health care providers less.  Which will likely discourage doctors from entering the system.  Or remaining in the system.  Leading to longer waiting times.  And, perhaps, bribes.  At least from those who want good care for their loved ones.

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Minimum Wage Jobs are allowing Teenagers to afford Smartphones and Tablets

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 12th, 2014

Week in Review

There’s a lot of talk about raising the minimum wage on the left.  As they are running out of ways to buy votes.  And they feel they can buy a lot by paying unskilled and inexperienced workers closer to what people with a college education make.  But minimum wage jobs are entry level jobs.  They’re the first rung on the career ladder.  The left loves to point to grown adults trying to raise their families on a minimum wage. As sad as that is the minimum wage isn’t supposed to raise families.  It can supplement a family’s income by allowing a parent to work part-time while the kids are at school.  But this is extra money.  To help cover some other expenses.  Like these (see More than 60% of U.S. teens have their own iPhone and iPad, prefer Apple products to the competition: study by AFP RELAXNEWS posted 4/9/2014 on the Daily News).

Over 60 percent of teenagers already own an iPhone and excitement is growing over the much-rumored launch of an ‘iWatch…’

… teens with an average age of 16.4 years and reveals that gadgets and electronics currently account for just 8 percent of their spending, with games systems and games accounting for a further 7 percent.

And of that small percentage, Apple products appear to account for the largest outlay. Not only do 61 percent of teens say that they own an iPhone (up from 55% in Spring 2013), 67 percent say they’re planning to purchase an iPhone within the next six months. And it’s a similar story with tablets. Piper Jaffray says that 60 percent of US teens currently own a tablet and of that group, 66 percent are using an iPad. When asked, 66 percent of non-tablet-owning teens have earmarked an iPad as a future purchase…

Over recent years, branded headphones have exploded in popularity and 56 percent of teens are planning to purchase a set over the next six months.

According to the BLS, approximately 2.5% of all workers earn at or below the minimum wage (people who get tips can be paid less than the minimum wage as their tips plus their wages takes them over the minimum wage).  And about a third of these workers are teenagers.   Yet over half of these teenagers can afford costly smartphones and tablets.  And the very expensive monthly cellular charges that make them work.  Also, over half of all teenagers are going to buy an expensive set of headphones.  Which can only mean one of 3 things.  The minimum wage is sufficient to buy all of these things.  They have a parent working a second (and perhaps, a minimum wage) job to help their kids pay for these.  Or 60% of all teenagers have rich parents.  Is it worth raising the cost of small business owners (who will hire fewer people when people are more costly) so about a third of all minimum wage workers can more easily afford their toys?

As far as single parents struggling to raise their family on a minimum wage, is it right to diminish the value of a higher education by paying unskilled and inexperienced workers more?  Will people still put in the extra work to get an education or training and delay having fun (our young people, not those who find themselves by circumstances beyond their control working a minimum wage job due to a divorce, death in the family, etc.) to earn the skills necessary for a higher paying job when they can get nearly the same amount by taking the easy way?  People say they hate these jobs.  Will paying them more so they have no incentive ever to leave these jobs make them hate them any less?  Or will they be locked into these miserable jobs for the rest of their miserable lives?  A lot of people take pay cuts to leave jobs they hate.  So getting paid more for a job they hate isn’t going to make them hate that job any less.

Raising the minimum wage is not going to change anything.  Other than reduce the amount of jobs available for the unskilled and inexperienced.  No.  The best way to help people earn more is to create more jobs.  For when the economy is creating jobs there will be fewer people available to fill them.  Which will cause employers to bid up wages so workers choose their jobs out of the many that are available.  But when the economy is so bad that only minimum wage, entry level jobs are available there will be few people moving up the career ladder.

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Senseless Knife-Violence does not stir up Knife-Control Debate

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 12th, 2014

Week in Review

There was another senseless act of violence in our schools.  Giving the pro-knife control lobby further ammo to take away our knives.  Actually, no.  Only senseless gun violence shifts the discussion away from the perpetrator.  And onto the thing the perpetrator used.  The gun.  And not the underlying cause for this violence.  Mental health issues.  Which is why no one is talking about taking our knives away now after this senseless act of violence (see After Pennsylvania school stabbing, authorities and community ask: ‘Why?’ by Pamela Brown, Mary Kay Mallonee and Chelsea J. Carter posted 4/11/2014 on CNN).

A day after a Murrysville, Pennsylvania, teen allegedly rampaged through his high school’s hallways, stabbing wildly with two kitchen knives, the first hints of a possible motive began to emerge.

The attorney for 16-year-old Alex Hribal raised the specter that his client may have been bullied, telling CNN affiliate WTAE in Pittsburgh on Thursday that it looks like some kind of “bullying event” may have played a role.

“I think a lot of things have happened. I don’t want to comment specifically, but I think there are some things that occurred that led to where we are today,” Patrick Thomassey said.

But an FBI official, familiar with the investigation, discounted bullying as a motive.

“He was disaffected but not bullied,” the official said on condition of anonymity…

Some classmates at the school describe Hribal as having few friends and being quiet but also as a “really nice kid,” a description that contradicts the image of a knife-wielding teen offered by authorities…

Another student at the school who witnessed the attack said the attacker didn’t utter a word.

“He was very quiet. He just was kind of doing it,” Mia Meixner said. “And he had this, like, look on his face that he was just crazy and he was just running around, just stabbing whoever was in his way.”

According to Dan Stevens, the county deputy emergency management coordinator, Hribal had a very minor Facebook presence and didn’t have much experience on Twitter…

Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck has argued against bail, saying that there could be no conditions that would protect the community and that Hribal made “statements when subdued by officials that he wanted to die.”

Mentally healthy people don’t do things like this.  So it is safe to say that this person has a mental health issue.  The FBI says he was ‘disaffected’.  Which means he was resentful and rebellious.  Perhaps having a problem with authority.  He might have been bullied according to his lawyer.  But his fellow classmates say he was quiet and really nice.  Even though he had a minor Facebook presence.  And little experience on Twitter.  So he was a loner.  Perhaps lacking social skills.  Had he been bullied you’d think they may have said something like, “Yeah, I’m not surprised he did that with the way he was bullied.”  But they didn’t.  Another student said he looked crazy when he was running around stabbing people.  Perhaps cracking after years of suppressing whatever he was suppressing behind that quiet and nice facade.

No one knows why he did what he did yet.  But one thing for certain, you can’t blame this on easy access to guns.  In fact, if the government took away all of our guns this would have still happened.  Because the one commonality to all of these senseless crimes isn’t guns.  It’s some underlying mental health issue.  Because mentally healthy people just don’t do things like this.

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