Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tell Congress: NO MORE WARS!

Six months after the current war against ISIS began, President Obama is currently trying to get Congress to pass a new Authorization for the Use of Miltary Force (AUMF) to continue this war up to three more years.

As far as what the Obama administration hopes to accomplish by fighting fire with gasoline, we really don't know.  But doing so is unlikely to really achieve anything good in the long run, and will likely just make things worse overall.  And indeed, it is already backfiring, as anyone who is paying attention can clearly see.  The original justification for "humanitarian" bombing, namely rescuing the Yazidis who were trapped on a mountain and were about to be exterminated, has since evaporated, and any other justification for further airstrikes is pure mission creep, plain and simple.  Pretty soon they will be calling for boots on the ground when the airstrikes inevitably fail to eradicate ISIS/ISIL/IS or whatever they happen to call themselves this week, and we all know where that leads.  Truly, the road to hell is paved with (ostensibly) good intentions.

Honestly, there really is only one solution in that part of the world, and we are only half-joking about this one.  Give every woman over there an AK-47 and tell them to take over their countries and mow down anyone who stands in their way.  Let Allah sort it out.  Problem solved.  But of course, none of the powers that be over here would be too keen on that.  After all, they wouldn't want women in THIS country getting any ideas, now would they?  Though replacing all of our current Big Wetiko "leaders" with women would really not be a bad idea at all, come to think of it.  Perhaps then the USA would not be so eager to continue on our omnicidal path of endless war and imperialism, which let's face it, is fundamentally a "guy thing".

Thus, we all need to ask Congress to NOT authorize any more of this stupid, futile, and unnecessary war.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The SeaTac Success Story

On January 1, 2014, the Seattle suburb of SeaTac, Washington became the first town in the nation to raise its minimum wage to $15/hour.  They did it in one step with barely any lead time, albeit with some exemptions such as businesses with fewer than 30 employees (and the courts soon ruled that airport employees are outside its jurisdiction and are therefore exempt as well).  And the Koch-roaches and their disgusting ilk (along with some local business owners as well) were playing Chicken Little and predictably claiming that it would "destroy jobs" and all that jazz.

But guess what?  The sky didn't fall after all.  In fact, raising the minimum wage to $15 turned out to be a major shot in the arm for the town's economy, who saw a major revitalization in the past year.  Local businesses were expanding, not laying off employees en masse like the naysayers predicted.  And the reason is simple economics:  when workers have more money, they have more to spend in the local economy, which creates more jobs and so on in a virtuous cycle.  A win-win-win situation for everyone but the plutocrats and their sycophantic lackeys.  So we can consider the naysayers to be debunked. 

The TSAP supports raising the federal minimum wage to at least $10/hour if not higher, and many state and local minimum wages to at least $12 if not $15.  Now that SeaTac was the guinea pig, soon followed by Seattle, we can now say that $15/hour is no longer terra incognita.  So even a federal minimum wage of $15 should still be considered as an option, which we would support as well.  Specifically, we want a general minimum wage of $15 for workers over 18 years of age.  Workers under 18 should be paid at least 80% of that amount, or $12/hour.  Ditto for workers of any age in the first 30 days on the job, as a "training wage".  There should be no tip credits either.  Small business with fewer than 10 employees would be exempt from the wage hike, and would be able to pay the same as now.  Businesses with 10-30 employees would have the new minimum wage phased in gradually over two or three years, while businesses with more than 30 employees would be have to pay $15/hour within six months (i.e. two fiscal quarters) of the new law's enactment.  Otherwise, there should be no exceptions, period.  And for the first few years of the new law, there should be special tax credits for employers who hire workers under age 25 and over 55, and even greater tax credits for hiring employees under 20 years of age.  That should alleviate any hyperbolic concerns about a higher minimum wage somehow pricing these "less valuable" workers out of the market--which has never really been conclusively proven anyway.

So what are we waiting for?