Monday, July 23, 2007

[Working title]

Does anyone see what's wrong with this paragraphlet:
Others say the effect on the economy will be negligible. A PNC Economic Outlook survey done in April reported that three out of four small- and middle-market business owners said raising the minimum wage would have little or no impact on their businesses. "In a tighter labor market, they already raised wages to be competitive," said Stuart Hoffman, the chief economist for PNC Financial Services Group.
If you said that an author shouldn't gloss over a drop in employment at one out of four small- and middle-market businesses, you might have what it takes to be a capitalist. If you follow the link that I preserved in the quotation, you'll see that the report goes on to paint the numbers a different way than the pro-minimum wage author who quoted it.
35 percent of retail and wholesale business owners say the federal minimum wage hike would "greatly or somewhat adversely impact" their business within its first six months. Among the concerned owners in these two industry sectors, the impact would be felt by customers and employees alike: 34 percent of these owners would raise selling prices and 29 percent would reduce hiring.
As always, businesses cut employment costs or pass them on to their customers as necessary and as much as possible. Is that wrong? I don't think it would be even if they were fabulously wealthy, but some of them are middle-class folk struggling to provide for their families. There's nothing immoral about them starting a business instead of working for someone else's existing business. But back to my original point: politicians (and the irresponsible writers who laud their worst acts) never look at all of the consequences of minimum wage laws (or any other law), they just look at the people it will help or the people they imagine it will help, and pat themselves and each other on the back. Meanwhile, 29% of retail and wholesale business owners reduce hiring. (Hiring whom? The poor.)

I don't mean to imply that the government should look only at the consequences when it chooses its course of action. I'm just saying that what it should do (protect private property rights and allow the citzenry their freedom) happens to have better consequences.

SRS

P.S. Even the author of the sleight of hand piece admits that the only reason three out of four employers will be unaffected by the minimum wage hike is because they already pay their employees more. That is, to the extent that a minimum wage doesn't cause unemployment, it was unnecessary and redundant anyway.

P.P.S. All wages in America would be a lot higher if it weren't for the high cost of OSHA compliance, EEOC liability protection, and accounting-intensive, labyrinthine tax law. That is, except OSHA and EEOC bureaucrat wages, and tax accountant/lawyer wages. Those would be lower because of lower demand.

1 Comments:

Blogger zhouyanhua1987 said...

"I'm not green, but I could be," reads one. Others have similar messages printed on them, "My Bag", "Use Me and Re-use Me".

Since the Chinese government issued its June 1 ban on free plastic bag handouts, retailers in China have found themselves in the midst of a "green" phenomenon.

They're anxious to turn fashion-conscious customers into eco-aware shoppers.

Under the new regulations, free plastic bags are banned and shopkeepers are required to charge shoppers for plastic bags. The prices vary, but range from 0.2 yuan ($0.03) to 1 yuan ($0.14) depending on the size of the bag.

But, a plain bag is far from satisfactory for the China's fashion-conscious - and this mindset is pushing the country towards a "green revolution" in the closets.

"It is cool to carry a simple colored eco bag to go with my Levi's jeans and sneakers," says 21-year-old Huang Min. "It is a direct way to contribute to environmental protection. And, it is a popular vision for saving the planet."

The Beijing college student wears her new eco bag proudly on her shoulder. It is an important part of her outfit - and has a statement to make.

Eco bags are increasingly being seen as fashionable as more and more celebrities appear on "green issue" magazine covers with the reusable bags matching their outfits.

"Going green" appears to be a growing trend. Stars as big as Madonna have even dazzled "green-oriented" magazines. The artist was chosen to dazzle the cover of Vanity Fair's third annual May 2008 Green Issue.

As environmental issues spill into the fashion world, the "green shopping bag" campaign seems to be a win-win solution for all those involved.

Companies can adopt the bags as a brand-building tool. Consumers see it as an iconic statement against throwaway plastics - which have previously been given away in the billions annually. The "green movement" has been seeping on to fashion runways and marketing strategies - so why not on shopping bags and totes?

Muji, a Japanese lifestyle store established nearly 30 years ago, launched its own version of "My Bag" when it opened its first Beijing store in Joy City this March. The simple yet stylish bags made from linen and cotton threads have sold well over the past few months in the capital, according to Muji staff. Initially, they sold bags ranging from 5 to 100 yuan, but now they only have bags priced from 24 to 100 yuan remaining.

"People of different ages love the bags because they are light, simple and convenient," says one of the shop's workers Chen Weimi.

"To reduce waste and conserve resources, we encourage our consumers to use 'My Bag'," says the store's manager Akita Toru.

Other well-known international brands are also striving to set the eco trend in Beijing. Diesel, Marc Jacobs and DKNY have also released low-priced eco bags made of organic cotton.

And, apart from the big international names, young designers based in Beijing are also working on the green bags.

"Young people in China are aware of the environment and want to do what they can to protect it, especially when it is becoming a trend," says 30-year-old designer Peng Haofeng, from Yunnan province.

Together, with two other friends, the three opened a green-themed store, Kidults, or Tong Huo in Chinese, last November on Dongsi Street. The company aims to promote the green fashion concept among the Beijing people.

According to the store's marketing manager, Gou Chenglong, many people were unaware of the eco bag concept when the store first opened last year.

"People, especially the older generation would not accept the idea because they didn't think about the simple green bag value that much. But, half a year later, more and more people here are becoming aware of the eco-bags or eco-fashion trend, especially when the government issued the ban on plastic bags at supermarkets in Beijing. It is a good start."

With handmade pictures on them, the bags look trendy and self-expressive. The bags generally contain no dyes and are known for their creative trims and decorations made from wood or bamboo.

"The price is normal and acceptable for students and office workers," says 26-year-old Zhou Fei, as she rifled through the bags at Kidults ranging from 15 yuan to 100 yuan. "I am a frequent buyer of green bags and T-shirts."

"It would be fashionable to carry beautifully designed cloth bags rather than monotonous white plastic ones down the street."

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8:16 AM  

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