In Slate’s weekly “Political Gabfest” podcast, CBS News political director and Face the Nation host John Dickerson proclaimed that Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal is “a stupid issue” unlike the debate over a $15 minimum wage because that’s “the central question of the campaign, which is how do you help people with wages.”
Wages & Prices
On April 1, the Associated Press, in an online video which I covered in an April 2 NewsBusters post, interviewed three California business owners about the impact the state's just-passed $15-per-hour minimum wage would have on their businesses.
Though the video was headlined "Small Businesses React to Calif. Wage Increase," the owners interviewed weren't representative of the whole state in any way. All three are based in San Francisco. Two of the three are supporters of the minimum-wage increase; the third, a small bookstore owner, thinks businesses like his should have been exempt, as the increase should only have targeted "multinational corporations that make billions of dollar of profits." It turns out that two of the three owners interviewed by AP were also interviewed by Susan Adams at Forbes on March 31. That can't possibly be a wild coincidence.
Has Newsweek just admitted to something the rest of the press knows but won't acknowledge?
In promoting its insufferably fawning portrayal of California Governor Jerry Brown, the weekly magazine tweeted that Brown is "arming California to meet an economic recession head-on." Recession? What recession?
The government reported this morning that seasonally adjusted March housing starts and building permits fell by 8.8 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively, far worse declines than analysts and economists predicted.
After the report, the business wires at least communicated the facts accurately, but continued to insist almost to the point of editorializing that there's no reason to be worried about the long-term direction of housing market or the overall economy.
Today's report from the government on retail sales was awful — "unexpectedly" so, according to both Bloomberg and Reuters. Following on the heels of a 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted decline in January and a flat February, March sales fell by 0.3 percent.
Two of the three main U.S. business wire services blamed the American people, not the worst post-recession economy since World War II during the Obama administration — an economy which is clearly weakening even further — for these results.
Did you know that Tuesday was “Equal Pay Day,” the day that a woman’s pay supposedly catches up to a man’s from the previous year? Well don’t worry, Andrea Mitchell has got you covered. Mitchell brought on Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Hollywood star Patricia Arquette to bemoan the plight of the oppressed and push their new congressional study.
On Tuesday, shortly after Governor Jerry Brown signed California's $15-an-hour minimum wage legislation, the Associated Press's Michael R. Blood and Don Thompson called the move "a victory for those struggling on the margins of the economy and the politically powerful unions that pushed it."
As seen in a NewsBusters post on March 31, it's definitely a win for union members whose wages are set at a multiple of the state's minimum wage. But it's not a "victory" for "struggling" workers who will lose their jobs or not be able to become employed at the higher rate. The AP pair would only concede that "the overall goal of helping the working poor might be lessened if some employers cut jobs or, worse, leave the state." Forget the "if" on employers cutting jobs, guys. That's because, as Jeb Graham at Investor's Business Daily reported on Friday (HT Hot Air), two states which have only raised their minimums to just over $10 have already seen seasonally adjusted job losses (bolds are mine):
CNN's State of the Union host Jake Tapper scored the lone Sunday morning talk show interview with Hillary Clinton and, unfortunately, Tapper failed to ask her about either Benghazi, the e-mail scandal, or the Clinton Foundation and instead discussed Black Lives Matter protesters, a $15 minimum wage, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and a contested convention.
New York Times San Francisco bureau chief Thomas Fuller embraced a major shift toward European-style social policy in that city in Wednesday's “No Pay Cuts for New Parents in San Francisco – City Becomes the First in the Country to Approve Six Weeks of Fully Paid Leave.” As shown by that headline, the Times got really excited about the local liberal ordinance, with a full story on the front of the National section, including two large photos with parents and cute toddlers. (Conservative legislation protecting religious freedom wasn’t welcomed with the same enthusiasm.) The paper clearly saw the socialist-style measure as an indisputable good thing, and Fuller himself questioned on Twitter why it took so long for America to get with the program of becoming more like European social democracies.
Perhaps this is why the press has been reluctant to cite economists who are predicting that sharp increases in state minimum wages like the $15-per-hour minimums just passed in California and New York will reduce employment: They're with many of their lefty brethren who don't care whether jobs are lost. So they must believe that no one else should care either.
At the Washington Post's WonkBlog on Friday, in what was not an April Fool's-related column, Lydia DePillis ridiculed "warnings of a job apocalypse." And besides, she wrote, "the economic architecture that supports the Fight for $15 is built entirely different logic" — logic which the establishment press has refused to report as the hikers' real agenda.
In a television piece by Jaime Garcia, only commentary in favor of the newly approved state mandated wage hikes were given airtime. Predictably, union leaders, Democrat party lawmakers, leaders of progressive non-profits and the law’s advocates were showcased in the segment. Apparently, Garcia could not find one person in opposition to the law.
The Associated Press, the nation's de facto business news gatekeeper for those who don't follow the economy or the markets closely, is telling America that the U.S. job market is fine, and ignoring the dismal results seen in weekly pay during the past several months.
Christopher Rugaber's Friday evening coverage of the government's jobs report earlier in the day described the reported 215,000 in seasonally adjusted payroll job additions as "last month's healthy hiring." Paul Wiseman, in a separate dispatch dealing with downbeat news in the University of Michigan's consumer confidence survey, which had the worst reading in five months, insisted that "the job market is healthy." Well, more people are working, but even with their slightly larger numbers, they're collectively working fewer hours and earning less total pay than they were two months ago.