August 4, 2016

"The Brownbacklash Is Finally Here..."

"... Kansas Primary Voters Send Conservatives Packing."
At least 11 separate conservative members of the legislature lost their primaries to more moderate Republicans in the state, with a number of contests still too close to call with confidence...

70 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I guess I don't keep up with Kansas Politics because I thought Brownback was a Senator.

You can't fool all the people all the time. Politicians never learn that.

EDH said...

As if a Confederate flag tattoo wasn't enough: shouldn't there be a trigger warning for minorities in a headline that says "brown back lash"?

I heard screamin'
and bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

David said...

It's fine if they lost election, they've already finished their job of wrecking the state. If Kansas is lucky, they'll follow Louisiana's lead and elect a Democrat gov to clean up the mess.

Once written, twice... said...

Is the Hillbilly Revolution over? We can only hope.

madAsHell said...

The Brownbacklash?

I once promoted the colon, : as the brown number operator. It's a unary operator, and only needs a single number. The result of evaluating the : could produce any number your hypothesis required.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I suppose one can become accustomed to that style of writing if sufficiently motivated.

wildswan said...

Conservatives are being borked. What's new? Obama collected a plane load of cash in European denominations and sent it to Iran. Might this have meaning? No.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Obviously the problem was that the Rs didn't lower taxes enough for rich folks. Hopefully they'll lower taxes some more so everything works the way it's supposed to, according to supply side thinking.

wildswan said...

madAsHell said...
I once promoted the colon ... The result of evaluating the : could produce any number your hypothesis required."

Why did you tell the Treasury about this?

LYNNDH said...

Does moderate Republican mean Democrat in disguise?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I have lived and worked and farmed in Kansas for twenty years. Kansas schools are tremendously well-funded -- over $13,000 per student in a low-cost state -- and "education" makes up two-thirds of the entire state budget.

There are a couple of key problems. First is a state Supreme Court essentially appointed by the notoriously liberal American Bar Association. Unlike most places, including our federal government, the ABA puts forth three candidates, from which the governor must choose one. There is absolutely no confirmation process. Said Supreme Court has arrogated unto itself the power to define the specific dollar amounts the Legislature must spend for education.

Second is an absolutely out-of-control education administration and bureaucracy. As but one example, our local school district (USD 232) covers parts of three towns and has a total of 5,800 students K-12. The school district now carries nearly one-quarter *billion* dollars of debt and recently completed an 80 million dollar administrative palace for their burgeoning cadre of bureaucrats. They spent over 3 million dollars installing fancy weight rooms in the two high schools when you can fully equip 20-station weight rooms for under 100-grand. Overall the district spent tens of millions to expand two high schools at a time when enrollment is falling because of stagnant growth and negative demographics.

USD 232 hired a "Curriculum Coordinator" for about one-quarter million dollars (including benefits). Except in Kansas, curriculum is set at the *state* level, so there's nothing *to* coordinate. And on it goes.

Over in Lawrence, it's even worse. Their two high school football teams had been renting Haskell University's stadium for about 6-grand per year. Haskell proposed raising the rent to 12 to help with maintenance. The school board decided to build their own stadiums, at a cost of almost 20 million dollars. So they're spending well over half a million per year in interest, compared to 12 thousand dollars.

Same deal in Wichita. The problem is this -- when money is short the administrators decide what gets cut ... and it is not their own little kingdoms. Then the teachers' union goes to court to sue for more money. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

It is bureaucrats and administrators who create the budget problem in Kansas, *not* conservative legislators, and the unions actively encouraged members to become temporary Republicans in order to remove the obstacles to continually-forced and ever-increasing government largesse.

AJ Lynch said...

Article is an example of why politics has gotten so partisan in America. Liberal wheenies at Think Progress find it necessary to write about Kansas state politics.

wendybar said...

Funny, how a lot of the commenters want to pay more taxes for less...The Tea Party stood for TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY...and wanted less government interference with our lives....Vote Democrat and be a slave for life!!! WOW!! Do you really think the establishment on both sides (including Donald Trump) are going to stop the corruption??

n.n said...

Black heart, dark soul, brown backlash... there is a class diversity undercurrent to all of these comments.

AJ Lynch said...

Bart - until govt entities are required to report financial results on a GAAP basis and we get rid of defined benefit pensions for govt workers, these red ink financial moves will go on and on.

buwaya puti said...

Kansas spends a ridiculously large amount per kid in K-12 by European standards, as does the US as a whole.
Based on 8th grade 2015 NAEP Kansas does not quite as well as Wisconsin with white kids, but better for hispanics and massively better for black ones.
Kansas seems to have had great demographic changes in K-12.

eric said...

Consider me unimpressed.

If I'd heard about this before the primary and it was clear to the voters theyd be sending a message to the nation, then I'd buy it.

But trying to make this into some sort of movement after the fact is just plain silly.

Unknown said...

Uber conservatism wrecked the state, they were served up what they voted for. Maybe they learned a lesson.

Mac McConnell said...

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA)
Is exactly correct, the Kansas Supreme Court is completely out of control as is the Kansas education complex. When a pols says "It's for the children", hide your wallet.

Chris403 said...

There are 129 republicans in the Kansas House and Senate. 11 of the more conservative members lost in a primary.

So less than 10 percent lost, but nobody thinks democrats will win over the House or Senate in Kansas. (GOP leads 129-36 currently.)

Liberals have a very weird obsession with Kansas, and I'd wager 99 percent of them have never set foot in the state.

buwaya puti said...

Re school budget problems, the Kansas situation (thanks Bart Hall) is generally the same across the US.
The whole system is grossly inefficient by international standards, only marginally better in some places.

Fernandinande said...

"Kansas Primary Voters Elect A Few Different Conservatives."

Shocking.

buwaya puti said...
The whole system is grossly inefficient by international standards, only marginally better in some places.


There's very little correlation between school expenses and results.

Kansas is slightly above average, NAEP-wise.

rehajm said...

Obviously the problem was that the Rs didn't lower taxes enough for rich folks.

No doubt that had a negative impact on the economy and certainly the Democrats not believing in recorded history and bitterly clinging to their Keynesian stimulus is harmful to the well being of all citizens, but it wasn't just high taxes on rich folks that matters. Having the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world is harmful to everyone as well.

Democrats fail to recognize that who government targets to pay a tax and who ultimately bears the economic burden of that tax are almost always different entities. In the case of corporations when a tax rate is raised who and how the ultimate economic harm depends upon the action taken by the company:

1) Company raises prices, therefore reducing the standard of living for it's customers

2) Reduces wages, salaries and benefits or hiring or current head count, thus harming workers and taxpayers

3) Offers lower profits, harming shareholders, households, retirees, 401(k) holders, union members through pension funds, government taxpayers through government pension funds.

4) Avoids taxation by changing domiciles or by closing it's doors and ceasing to exist - harms workers, customers, employees, shareholders, taxpayers.

rehajm said...

Democrats still cling to static scoring to justify high marginal tax rates but fail to acknowledge the ridiculous conclusions static scoring provides. A 100% tax on income for all citizens and static scoring assumes not a single worker will alter behavior in a any way. Everyone will still go work, still consume at the same rate. With what? Static scoring doesn't say...

n.n said...

Low abortion rates, high illegal immigration rates, and Obama, Clinton's refugee crises have consequences. Kansas could improve their situation with Democrat financial schemes, liberal reproductive schemes (e.g. abortion rites, planned parenthood), and currying the favor of federal debtors.

tim in vermont said...

Hillary wants to increase taxes by a trillion and a half and spending by two and a half trillion. It is working for Venezuela!

cubanbob said...

The withholding tax should be abolished. Everyone should have to pay their taxes quarterly. If that is ever implemented then we would see just how popular Democrat tax and spend schemes really are.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

rehajm,

I guess we could call the Kansas results even better than dynamic scoring. You know, because it is reality. Presumably reality matters more than talking points and theoretical scoring.

Too bad Kansas tax cuts for the rich weren't big enough such that cons could point to a great success in growth, jobs, and standard of living. I'm just spit balling, but imagine all the supply side awesomeness that would result from a negative tax rate for rich folks. How about some sort of earned income tax that is targeted to the richest folks. If Kansas could do this, the job creators would create so many jobs that you'd be sick of jobs. Believe me.

buwaya puti said...

The richest folks aren't who the Dems want to target. It's those in the 30%-2%
They are the Dems worst enemies.

rehajm said...

Too bad Kansas tax cuts for the rich weren't big enough such that cons could point to a great success in growth, jobs, and standard of living.

You bring up a good point: one more thing Democrats always get wrong: it's total tax burden matters- Federal, state, local. KS bears the heavy burden of the Obama administration's tax policies.

buwaya said...

Note also that going by states GINI coefficients, Kansas is quite low (#31, #1 is DC), so more "equal".

The "equal" states tend to be Republican/conservative, if not southern.

The most unequal, by far, are NY and DC.

As for standard of living, my calc (using the MERIC index, you will find one very similar, but with older data in the Median Household Income Wiki)

Kansas is #15, Wisconsin is #18
#1 is VA (for obvious reasons)
Lowest are
Oregon
West Virginia
Hawaii
Maine
New York
Arkansas
Vermont

EDH said...

Bart provides a very interesting rebuttal to the "what's wrong with Kansas" meme.

buwaya said...

As for the "Whats the matter with Kansas" guy (Thomas Frank), what he really should have been looking at was upstate NY.

That place has suffered more than anywhere else in the US. It has fallen much farther in prosperity and standard of living.

Of course, Frank's point was that Kansas votes "wrong", somehow.
The unexamined converse was, of course, unexamined.

Mac McConnell said...

"You bring up a good point: one more thing Democrats always get wrong: it's total tax burden matters- Federal, state, local. KS bears the heavy burden of the Obama administration's tax policies."

Kansas, like the Feds spends too much and struggles like most states in this Obama economy. Also oil and gas revenues are down.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I would not be nearly so supportive of the conservatives here in Kansas had I not spent a number of years in the classroom myself: high school chemistry, biology, and earth science; along with history and foreign languages at that same level; as well as middle-school general and physical science. I've also taught part-time at the junior college level.

Currently I'm licensed as a substitute in Kansas and work in a number of regional school district. What I encounter is completely appalling. A few examples: Chemistry students who in late April are overwhelmingly incapable of balancing any but ridiculously simple chemical equations; Biology II students, most of whom do not know that RNA mediates protein synthesis; an entire class of French IV students utterly incapable of carrying on a basic conversation in that language; an American History class in which in late March students could not name a single amendment to the Constitution except the second, which most thought was a bad idea. None could identify Harry Truman, Calvin Coolidge, or Lyndon Johnson as Presidents.

In geography class nobody could name the two major rivers flowing into the Mississippi River. And on and on and on. We're talking 11th and 12th grade, here. At $13,000 per student.

We're not getting anything like our money's work from the Kansas Education Establishment.

Kansas already has a law that 70% of education money should go to the classroom. Depending upon district it is 50 to 55% and the unions insist it be restored by increasing taxes to hire more unionized teachers who are essentially impossible to get rid of.

I say the legislature should hold classroom spending steady and mandate a reduction in administrative overhead in order to return to the required 70 percent level. If they could break the union in the process, I'd be delighted.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

PBandJ_LeDouanier said... said...I'm just spit balling, but imagine all the supply side awesomeness that would result from a negative tax rate for rich folks.

I know you're using this as an example of ridiculousness, PB, but isn't this LITERALLY the policy of the party you seem to prefer, only with "poor people" (broadly defined) instead of "rich people?"
Giving people free stuff is definitely the Democrat's mantra. Bernie (and I guess now Hillary too) want "free college for all." Well, "all" includes a bunch of rich people, so giving rich people free money is 100% part of the Democrat platform right now.

Political reality in 2016 is literally beyond parody in some ways.

James Graham said...

"First is a state Supreme Court essentially appointed by the notoriously liberal American Bar Association. Unlike most places, including our federal government, the ABA puts forth three candidates, from which the governor must choose one."

Government of the people by the lawyers and for the lawyers.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

HoodD,

I think poor people should get a safety net, but they still need to feel the cost of their handouts. The reason the Heritage Foundation came up w/ the healthcare mandate was so that people would be forced to contribute before they had a health issue that left them on the gov-handout-doorstep. And, it makes folks understand that they've got skin in the game when the gov starts throwing around other people's money.

I like that sort of thing.

Btw, it was cons that came up w/ the earned income credits.

To me the worst is when Walmart (or other big, profitable companies) have staff that are getting all sorts of gov dough, benefits, and healthcare. It's a shell game that's stealing from tax payers (most of whom probably never go to Walmart). Walmart (and the rest) should pay their employees whatever it costs to live, or those employees should get used to being impoverished. Don't ask the tax payers to fill-in for Walmart (and the like).

Todd said...

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

To me the worst is when Walmart (or other big, profitable companies) have staff that are getting all sorts of gov dough, benefits, and healthcare. It's a shell game that's stealing from tax payers (most of whom probably never go to Walmart). Walmart (and the rest) should pay their employees whatever it costs to live, or those employees should get used to being impoverished. Don't ask the tax payers to fill-in for Walmart (and the like).

8/4/16, 1:32 PM


Walmart does no such thing. If the rate of pay in a given location is X and the government says if you make less than X, we will give you bennies, that is not Walmart's fault. If no one in that area would take the jobs Walmart offers, Walmart would either be forced to raise wages to attract people or close their doors and leave. It is clear A is happening in most places.

It is "insane" to expect a business to artificially pay workers more than they are worth. Businesses don't normally do that unless government (or unions) gets involved. The results are a warping of the economy and the resulting disruptions.

As an example see minimum wage laws. Minimum wage laws are "sold" to the public as a way to help the poor but the reality is minimum wage laws not only hurt the poor the most but are really a handout to the unions as most union contracts are tied to some percentage over minimum wage so when the minimum goes up, all union members get a raise while small businesses can't afford as many workers so those folks get fired or their hours cut.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's a shell game that's stealing from tax payers (most of whom probably never go to Walmart). Walmart (and the rest) should pay their employees whatever it costs to live, or those employees should get used to being impoverished.

Walmart isn't in the "paying people" business, PB! No business is. Walmart's in the making money business, so they can't pay people more in wages than those people generate for Walmart. The "living wage" crap is so economically backwards it hurts. The company's function isn't to make jobs or employ people. Employing people is a COST to the company, they only do it because they have to. The "living wage" assumes the purpose of the company is to pay people, to employ people, but that's exactly backwards.
If you're unhappy that the labor market for a Walmart job means the job pays less than you think it should, the absolute last party to blame is Walmart. They're a market participant, sure, but so are the employees/potential employees. The company wants to minimize what it pays for labor. The people selling their labor want to maximize what they get for that labor. I'm not at all clear on why one side of that market is seen as more moral than the other.
In short, it's not Walmart's job to ensure all its employees make enough to make you happy. It shouldn't be and it isn't. You're welcome to pass a law that says all employees must pay at least $X (you're welcome because the Supreme Court doesn't consider economic liberty "real," but that's another argument), but all that will do is guarantee that any potential employee who generates less than $X for Walmart will not have a job. After that you'll blame Walmart for closing its store and putting people out of work, I guess...

Chuck said...

lol; Althouse linking "Think Progress."

buwaya said...

Bart Hall is right of course.

The standard of instruction in public schools is ridiculously bad, even, for instance, in Palo Alto schools. Palo Alto is the elite of California school districts. And if someone were to survey IQ, Palo Alto has the West Coast creme de la creme.

They spend about $16K/student just on operating costs, capital funding is separate and extreme. Last school year all in they were spending $27K/student.

Literature and history are simply black holes. Math, they are extremely good at that.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

You two are completely missing the point. It is not a free market between employer and employee because the gov is paying a bunch of benefits for the employee. You must take away the gov benefits. If that means that the low wage workers are still willing to work for the same dough, even w/o gov assistance, then so be it. They can live in their cars (or under a bridge if they use public transport) and eat cat food: that's a free market. But, there may be folks who won't work for the current wages, w/o the gov handouts. I dunno, but that'd be a free market.

Think about how cons correctly point out that the gov involvement in education financing makes education more expensive. In the same way gov handouts and benefits to low (and sometimes not so low) wage folks distorts the employee/employer balance.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

PBandJ_LeDouanier said... And, it makes folks understand that they've got skin in the game when the gov starts throwing around other people's money.

Right, but that's the opposite of what the combined effect of federal government programs & IRS/tax laws actually do, for millions of people. That's what Romney's 47% figure was talking about--a huge portion of the nation effectively has no skin in the game w/r/t federal spending. None. Effective negative tax rates exist, and large numbers of people are happy to vote to give themselves more and more "free" stuff. Listen to Hillary talk about "free" college, "free" child care, etc. Trump is hardly better.

"Free" just means "someone else will pay for it." A number of those someones are pretty sick of having to keep paying (and in fact to being called mean names for not being happy to keep paying more and more)--they even had a movement the called Taxed Enough Already. I wonder what happened to those guys? Anyway long-term all the free stuff platforms end in a Venezuela situation, but we've got a long way to go I guess.

Todd said...

PBandJ_LeDouanier said... [hush]​[hide comment]
You two are completely missing the point. It is not a free market between employer and employee because the gov is paying a bunch of benefits for the employee. You must take away the gov benefits. If that means that the low wage workers are still willing to work for the same dough, even w/o gov assistance, then so be it. They can live in their cars (or under a bridge if they use public transport) and eat cat food: that's a free market. But, there may be folks who won't work for the current wages, w/o the gov handouts. I dunno, but that'd be a free market.

Think about how cons correctly point out that the gov involvement in education financing makes education more expensive. In the same way gov handouts and benefits to low (and sometimes not so low) wage folks distorts the employee/employer balance.

8/4/16, 1:59 PM


You want to reduce the size of the "social safety net"? Great! I am all in!

Problem is I don't think you are serious.

I think we do need some sort of safety net but (and that is a big BUT) there have to be strings, like:

- mandatory drug testing
- mandatory school (with grade standards) or gov (i.e. ditch digging) work
(on the dole should be a burden, not a vacation)
- if you blow it (drugs, grades or work), no bennies for you for (let us say) 12 months
- no kids while on welfare (mandatory birth control)
- if you have kids, mandatory parenting classes
- mandatory budgeting and finance classes, etc.

I can think of others as well but you should get the point.

I am in favor of cutting all sorts of gov bennies. I am even open to other reforms to include SS though I don't see stuff like SS as the same because workers pay into those programs and were promised that they would get theirs back out later. Though I would absolutely get behind this: http://justplainenglish.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-speech-i-wish-next-republican.html

Government getting involved in the "social contract" has done more to hurt people and families than anyone would have imagined. It is only going to get worse.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

HoodD,

The healthcare mandate clearly makes people contribute to their own healthcare so they can't just show up looking for the gov to pay for them as soon as a need arises.

It's that skin in the game that also helps them feel the impact of healthcare dollars being spent. Having to pick up your own tab (even if it's not all of it) can help people be more focused on how a bill is being racked up.



HoodlumDoodlum said...

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...You two are completely missing the point. It is not a free market between employer and employee because the gov is paying a bunch of benefits for the employee. You must take away the gov benefits

That's true only if it's the employer's job/natural function to pay for whatever benefits you're talking about. That's your prior--that's what's implied in your argument, that these things SHOULD naturally be paid for by the employer. If that's the case then you're right that the employer is cheating by getting someone else to pay for those things they should be picking up the tab for themselves. But we disagree! I don't think it's the employer's job to provide fully comprehensive benefits/a living wage. Therefore their failure to provide that (and "forcing" the government to provide it) isn't cheating. We disagree as to the priors.

If you assume people have a right to a living wage (that is, have a right to force an employer to pay them a living wage) then your view is correct. I don't assume that, and I don't find evidence for that in the Constitution, so I don't think your view is correct.
The bad news for me is that your vote counts as much as mine, and it's probable that more people take your view than mine.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

HoodD,

I said folks can live under bridges. How can you interpret that as me saying folks are entitled to a living wage?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

PBandJ_LeDouanier said..It's that skin in the game that also helps them feel the impact of healthcare dollars being spent. Having to pick up your own tab (even if it's not all of it) can help people be more focused on how a bill is being racked up.

That's how it should work, sure. It's not mathematically certain that it'll be a cost savings, though, since we're still talking about heavily subsidized goods in most cases (that is, even if they are reluctant to consume unlimited care because it will cost them something they still may use more care than their contribution to the cost covers, resulting in a net loss/cost to the system). More than that, though, from what I've seen most of the studies show that things like emergency room utilization have not decreased by nearly as much as the pro-Obamacare models predicted they would.
From the broader perspective, moreover, I'm of the opinion that one's total (net) tax burden/contribution matters quite a bit when you're considering behavioral impact. What I mean is that you're correct that more people might, due to the mandate, be paying something towards their healthcare now than were pre-Obamacare (for these cohorts). If those people are paying money for their (heavily-subsidized) health plans out of one pocket and receiving "free" money from the government in the other pocket, though, such that they're still net "gainers" from the combined tax & benefit plans...well I'm not sure how much of an effect that mandatory payment will actually have on their overall behavior or beliefs/viewpoint.
If I have to pay $100/mo but I get $200/mo in other benefits I'm still working with "free" money. I'd rather have just $200, sure, but my only direct cost is the opportunity cost of something that was given to me, for free, to begin with!

Anyway the big test of whether O'Care "works" from an incentive perspective is how well it does "bending the cost curve," right? That's how it was sold, for sure. I think so far the record on that is not too good for pro-O'Care folks. Not that it's going away, of course.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I said folks can live under bridges. How can you interpret that as me saying folks are entitled to a living wage?

The only way Walmart is "cheating" by not providing some benefit (or some sufficiently-high wage) is if they were supposed to provide that benefit and aren't. When I say supposed to, there, I mean if you believe they have a duty to provide that. If they don't have a duty to provide it then them NOT providing it isn't cheating. What would create that duty, if not a right to a living wage?

If people don't have a right to a living wage then Walmart doesn't have a duty to provide it, and therefore Walmart's failure to provide it isn't cheating. To conclude Walmart is cheating is to argue that Walmart has a duty to provide the things it isn't providing, and that necessitates a belief in the right to a living wage.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Walmart (and others) cheat the payers because we are paying benefits to their staff.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Walmart (and others) cheat the payers because we are paying benefits to their staff.

That doesn't follow. How is that cheating? It's cheating if Walmart's supposed to pay it but instead they make someone else pay. That's only true if the "supposed to" part is true, right? If Walmart doesn't have an obligation, a duty, to pay, then the fact that they're not paying but someone else is isn't cheating.

I cheat you when I take something of yours that I'm not allowed to--when I don't fulfill some obligation I have and yet receive a benefit. If you're selling an apple and I pay you for it, no one cheated--I was obliged to pay and you were obliged to hand over the apple. If I steal the apple, without paying, I have cheated you. I have gained a benefit without paying--without meeting my obligation or doing my duty (to pay). If I pay and you don't give me the apple the I have been cheated--you didn't meet your obligation or do your duty (to give benefit for my payment).

It makes no sense to say "Walmart has no obligation to pay, but by not paying they're cheating." In order to cheat some obligation must exist (and be ignored). You can't say no obligation exists and then conclude that someone has cheated by not meeting that obligation. Saying Walmart is cheating means you are assuming that they have some obligation they're not meeting--some duty they're purposefully neglecting for their own benefit.

Unknown said...


PBandJ_LeDouanier said...
Walmart (and others) cheat the payers because we are paying benefits to their staff.
8/4/16, 2:34 PM


Then stop

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I may be wrong, but I think you're trying to say that BECAUSE welfare/benefit programs exist some people who would otherwise not be able to take a job at $x low wage (because that wage would not be enough to feed them/keep them alive) THEREFORE Walmart is benefiting from the payments the taxpayers make to fund those welfare/benefit programs and is THUS "cheating."

That still doesn't follow, though, since the "benefit" Walmart receives is not taken (by Walmart) unjustly or in violation of some obligation Walmart has. We as a nation decided to have these benefit programs/welfare, and that fact does affect the labor market (through, I guess, the quantity of labor supplied). That's a fact, and Walmart's wages/labor practices are definitely affected by that fact. It's not cheating, though! Walmart is presumably part of the nation, so the benefit they get from a public goods (nonexcludable goods provided for by the nation as a whole/taxpayers) isn't invalid or unearned. They benefit from our roads, too, but the fact that their trucks use public roads doesn't mean they're "cheating" (by not building their own roads, I guess?). wlamart presumably pays taxes for the ability to operate in the US (and pays gas tax and freight fees to fund roads, etc)

Maybe instead you should say "Walmart gets a good deal by being able to access a pool of potential employees who will work for a low wage because their other living expenses are partially paid for by taxpayers." That's true, sure. It's not cheating, though, because that benefit is a result of decisions Walmart didn't make--Walmart alone doesn't set national welfare/benefit rules/laws.

See what I mean? It's not cheating. The taxpayers among us arguably get a bad deal, sure. But that's not Walmart's fault, and it's CERTAINLY no reason to vote for people who want to make that deal even worse (like, you know, Bernie & Hillary...and probably Trump).

Todd said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's not cheating. The taxpayers among us arguably get a bad deal, sure. But that's not Walmart's fault, and it's CERTAINLY no reason to vote for people who want to make that deal even worse (like, you know, Bernie & Hillary...and probably Trump).

8/4/16, 3:06 PM


Except its not even a "bad deal" for those of us that pay taxes because those that are employed are drawing less benefits than if they had not employment at all.

In addition, the employee gets experience and access to additional opportunities that they would not otherwise have.

I Callahan said...

Walmart (and others) cheat the payers because we are paying benefits to their staff.

Here we go with this again.

Shorter PB&J: The government screws up by giving the poor too much in benefits. So it's WalMart's fault that the government pays these people.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"Shorter PB&J: The government screws up by giving the poor too much in benefits. So it's WalMart's fault that the government pays these people."

That's it.

But, I'm open to taking the direct blame off of Walmart and putting it on whatever gov entities put together all the benefit packages. And, presumably we can agree that this gov spending makes it easier for Walmart et. al. to pay folks less dough, which is good for Walmart (and the rest) profits. The public is subsidizing Walmart (and others) profits.

It'd be much better to get rid of all the benefits and let the employees sink or swim w/ based on their negotiating ability. Presumably some folks may be willing to work for even less than they currently make because w/o any job they'd have zero income (since we'd remove labor market distorting welfare) this way they and their kids (if applicable) would be starve to death. Liberty and freedom.

If you make food into a right, next thing you know they'll think health care is a right. It doesn't take a lawprof or Mr Kahn to understand that there is no right to food or health care.

tim maguire said...

I can't help but notice the lnk goes to thinkprogress.

roughly 1,500-vote margin -- or 14 percentage points in a small district where many Democrats had re-registered as Republicans to help defeat him.

Huh...

buwaya said...

So, PB&J, not complaining about Kansas anymore?

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

B,

I still think that Kansas should immediately lower more taxes for rich folks because doing so will actually increase tax revenue. The only reason tax revenues haven't shot up w/ previous tax cuts is that they were too small. This is basic supply side stuff.

buwaya said...

But, PB&J, was that the problem?

Or have you acknowledged that the current situation may not be addressed by your proposed solution? Such as the place taxes go, such as the widely understood education scam, more than anything else?

Just trying to pin you down, accurately, with a sufficiently sharp needle.

BTW, your neighbors in Oregon may need your help and advice, much more so than the good Republicans of Kansas.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"But, PB&J, was that the problem?"

You've got me mixed up w/ Tom Frank. I think Kansas is cool. But, they could be even better w/ some more supply side tax cuts.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Oregon's decided to soothe there worries in a unique way:

http://www.cnbc.com/2013/11/25/

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

That link seems off.

This is better:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/10/living/cuddle-con-irpt/index.html

Terry said...

PB&J wrote:
"The only reason tax revenues haven't shot up w/ previous tax cuts is that they were too small. This is basic supply side stuff."
Do you know what the opposite of supply side is? It's demand side, aka keynesian economics. Paul Krugman is a demand-sider.
Krugman believes that the 2009 stimulus package, the biggest stimulus package IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE was too small. We doubled US public debt in 8 years BUT IT WASN'T BORROWING ENOUGH!
Also there are things called "necessary but insufficient causes." You should look into that.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Terry,

That's what makes states that cut (or raise) taxes interesting. When the feds do it they're running a muddy test of supply side because they don't balance their budgets. For example, Reagan cut taxes and he also doubled the debt and tripled the deficit. That debt and deficit part gives a Keynesian boost.

States w/ balanced budget requirements are a more pure test of economic theories.

veni vidi vici said...

"Brownbacklash" connotes a wet shart hitting the backsplash... and ending up all over the back of the perpetrator's shoes. And belt.

damikesc said...

Walmart does no such thing. If the rate of pay in a given location is X and the government says if you make less than X, we will give you bennies, that is not Walmart's fault. If no one in that area would take the jobs Walmart offers, Walmart would either be forced to raise wages to attract people or close their doors and leave. It is clear A is happening in most places.

Everybody at Wal-Mart makes more than minimum wage.

Todd said...

damikesc said...

Everybody at Wal-Mart makes more than minimum wage.

8/5/16, 6:48 AM


That matches my understanding as well.

Walmart (at least used to) also offer flexible benefits packages such that you could choose which offered benefits you wanted, each with an assigned employee cost. You could trade off benefits for more take-home. Not sure if they still do that or if it is still to the same degree based on things like ACA.

Annie said...

Regarding Walmart employees being on the dole. You can't blame walmart for the bad life choices of some of it's employees. Walmart does not force anyone to have kids out of wedlock, not marry the fathers because if they do, they will not be eligible for free shit. Hang out in any Walmart lounge and you will get tips on the best way to game the system.