“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Maybe it's not just me


Other views on stories recently noted on TOC:

Christopher Hitchens on Keith Ellison swearing in on Thomas Jefferson's Koran:


It was quite witty of Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., to short-circuit the hostility of those who criticized him for taking his oath on the Quran and to ask the Library of Congress for the loan of Thomas Jefferson's copy of that holy book. But the irony of this, which certainly made his stupid Christian fundamentalist critics look even stupider, ought to be partly at his own expense as well.

In the first place, concern over Ellison's political and religious background has little to do with his formal adherence to Islam. In his student days and subsequently, he was a supporter of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, a racist and crackpot cult organization that is in schism with the Muslim faith and even with the Sunni orthodoxy now preached by the son of the NOI's popularizer Elijah Muhammad. Farrakhan's sect explicitly describes a large part of the human species—the so-called white part—as an invention of the devil and has issued tirades against the Jews that exceed what even the most fanatical Islamists have said.

John Stossel on the minimum wage:


...Only 2.5 percent of all hourly workers make $5.15 an hour (or less; some jobs are exempt from the law), says the Department of Labor. "Minimum wage workers tend to be young."

Few of them stay at the minimum wage for long. As they acquire skills, their productivity rises and they command higher wages. According to a study done for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "minimum wages have virtually no effect on the careers of most workers."

A small percentage of people do get stuck in minimum-wage jobs for a longer time. Since wages tend to rise with productivity, these are people whose productivity does not improve. A higher minimum wage will cost some of them their jobs. How does that help them?

Legal wage minimums kill all kinds of entry-level jobs, particularly those that would teach young people basic work habits and the benefits of effort. That's why there are no kids cleaning your windows at gas stations or working as ushers at movie theaters. Those jobs are extinct now because they are worth less than the legislated minimum. Who is helped by that?

It is recommended to click on the links and read all of both articles.

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