Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Two News Articles, Maybe Three

I was reading the newspapers recently and came across an article in the Los Angeles Times about how the city had settled an agreement with the largest union of city workers. It stated that they had agreed to not have any pay raises for the next three years. Now I know a lot of people are not getting raises, that in and of itself raises issues; but, what made this interesting was the fact that the City of Los Angeles has just voted to enforce a $15 minimum wage for people who don't work for the city. Doesn't it all seem a little hypocritical? Maybe there is a reason this is going on because we are seeing in in other places.

Right now we are seeing cities begin to raise minimum wages and many news articles are claiming that the other people working for the companies are upset because even though they have worked there longer, new employees are being given raises to the same amount as them and they are not getting increases. I ask my readers to not have an emotional response to this based on how it effect them personally; but, to look at the effect of these things. Pitting the lowest paid against underpaid people that have been working at their jobs longer. Now, Los Angeles has also implemented a system whereby people get raises based on years of service for a total of 15 annual raises; but, the raises are less than the cost of living increases that they would otherwise be entitled to. Do you see what is really going on? Oh, and don't think the City won't have to pay more in contracting out or be effected by the raise in the minimum wage. They will pay more to contract out and less to keep work for government employees.

The real fight is not between government employees and private industry or even between senior employees in private industries low paying jobs and new employees getting paid the same. The big picture is just that, bigger. Estimates say that we could expect to see over 40% of our jobs over the next five to ten years because of automation; but, you watch it will be blamed on raising the minimum wage. The real intent is to have everyone work for minimum wage.

Now in another article I read how the City of Los Angeles has just committed to decrease the number of traffic lanes used by cars while dedicating lanes to busses and bikes. Los Angeles is not alone in this, we are seeing this across the nation. Cars have been sharing the road with busses for about 100 years, why would you need to dedicate lanes just for busses on city streets?

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