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Luminous Animal

Luminous Animal's Journal
Luminous Animal's Journal
February 13, 2013

New Paper Finds Modest Minimum Wage Increases Have Little Impact on Employment

Washington, D.C.- A new paper from the Center for Economic and Policy Research finds that modest increases in the minimum wage – such as the one proposed by President Obama in his State of the Union address - have little impact on employment, due to adjustments by employers and workers. The paper, “Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?” by economist John Schmitt reviews evidence on eleven possible adjustments to minimum-wage increases that may help to explain why the measured employment effects are so consistently small. It finds that the strongest evidence suggests the most important adjustments are: reductions in labor turnover; improvements in organizational efficiency; reductions in wages of higher earners ("wage compression&quot ; and small price increases.

“This is one of the most studied topics in economics, and the evidence is clear: modest minimum wage increases don’t have much impact on employment,” Schmitt said. “An increase to $9.00 per hour would be hugely important for the workers getting it, but the idea that this would lead to less employment is just not supported by the evidence.”

President Obama’s call for a minimum wage rise to $9.00 an hour would be a modest increase, and would keep the minimum wage below its peak, when adjusting for inflation. As CEPR’s Dean Baker and Will Kimball noted in a blog post yesterday, “The purchasing power of the minimum wage peaked in the late 1960s at $9.22 an hour in 2012 dollars. That is almost two dollars above the current level of $7.25 an hour.” They also noted that the minimum wage has not kept pace with productivity increases over the past 44 years, as it had from 1947-1969 – a period when economic “[g]rowth averaged 4.0 percent annually” and “the unemployment rate for the year 1969 averaged less than 4.0 percent.” But the link between productivity growth and minimum wage ended in the 1970s.

Baker and Kimball note that “If the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity growth it would be $16.54 in 2012 dollars.”


http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/new-paper-finds-modest-minimum-wage-increases-have-little-impact-on-employment


February 7, 2013

In Afghanistan: U.S. Violating Human Rights of Children, Says U.N. Committee

http://www.aclu.org/blog/human-rights/us-violating-human-rights-children-says-un-committee

The Obama Administration recently underwent its first U.N. treaty body review, and the resulting concluding observations made public yesterday should be a cause for alarm. The observations, issued by independent U.N. experts tasked with monitoring compliance with the international treaty on the rights of children in armed conflict (formally known as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict or "OPAC&quot , paint a dark picture of the treatment of juveniles by the U.S. military in Afghanistan: one where hundreds of children have been killed in attacks and air strikes by U.S. military forces, and those responsible for the killings have not been held to account even as the number of children killed doubled from 2010 to 2011; where children under 18 languish in detention facilities without access to legal or full humanitarian assistance, or adequate resources to aid in their recovery and reintegration as required under international law. Some children were abused in U.S. detention facilities, and others are faced with the prospect of torture and ill-treatment if they are transferred to Afghan custody.
January 10, 2013

Why hasn't Bob Woodward (or his sources) been prosecuted for aiding the enemy...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/10/manning-prosecution-press-freedom-woodward

But let's apply the government's theory in the Manning case to one of the most revered journalists in Washington: Bob Woodward, who has become one of America's richest reporters, if not the richest, by obtaining and publishing classified information far more sensitive than anything WikiLeaks has ever published. For that reason, one of Woodward's most enthusiastic readers was Osama bin Laden, as this 2011 report from AFP demonstrates:

"Al-Qaeda has released a video marking the anniversary of 9/11 which includes a message from its slain leader Osama bin Laden to the American people . . . . He recommended that Americans read the book 'Obama's War' by Bob Woodward which details wrangles over US military decision-making.
"

If bin Laden's interest in the WikiLeaks cables proves that Manning aided al-Qaida, why isn't bin Laden's enthusaism for Woodward's book proof that Woodwood's leakers - and Woodward himself - are guilty of the same capital offense? This question is even more compelling given that Woodward has repeatedly published some of the nation's most sensitive secrets, including information designated "Top Secret" - unlike WikiLeaks and Manning, which never did.

In 2010, NBC News' Mike Isikoff wrote an excellent article about Obama's war on whistleblowers that made exactly this point. Writing under the headline "Obama administration cracks down on mid-level leakers, despite high-level officials dishing far more sensitive secrets to Bob Woodward", the long-time Washington reporter wrote:

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