Bill Whittle brings his clear thinking and clear speaking to the topic of the FEC (Federal Election Commission) leader who knows far better than the rest of us what can and cannot be said about the dear government.
HT: Liberty’s Torch
And so we come to the final non-person item on the statewide ballot, the question of the minimum wage. Here’s the summary and the brief description:
An initiated measure to increase the state minimum wage.
The initiated measure amends state law to raise South Dakota’s hourly minimum wage for non-tipped employees from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour, effective January 1, 2015. Thereafter, this minimum wage will be annually adjusted by any increase in the cost of living. The cost of living increase is measured by the change in the Consumer Price Index published by the U.S. Department of Labor. In no case may the minimum wage be decreased.
In addition, the hourly minimum wage for tipped employees will be half the minimum wage for non-tipped employees as adjusted by any cost of living increase described above.
These increases would apply to all employers in South Dakota, with limited exceptions.
The full text of the measure is extensive, but I’ll include it here for completeness. It is as follows:
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, “An Act to increase the state minimum wage and to provide for future cost of living increases.”
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That § 60-11-3 be amended to read as follows:
60-11-3. Every employer shall pay to each employee wages at a rate of not less than
seven eight dollars and twenty-five fifty cents an hour. Violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
The provisions of this section do not apply to certain employees being paid an opportunity wage pursuant to § 60-11-4.1, babysitters, or outside salespersons. The provisions of this section also do not apply to employees employed by an amusement or recreational establishment, and organized camp, or a religious or nonprofit educational conference center if one of the following apply:
(1) The establishment, camp, or center does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year; or(2) During the preceding calendar year, the average receipts of the establishment, camp, or center for any six months of the calendar year were not more than thirty-three and one-third percent of its average receipts for the other six months of the year.Section 2. That § 60-11-3.1 be amended to read as follows:
60-11-3.1. Any employer of a tipped employee shall pay a cash wage of not less than
two dollars and thirteen cents an hourfifty percent of the minimum wage provided by § 60-11-3 if the employer claims a tip credit against the employer’s minimum wage obligation. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s cash wage of not less than two dollars and thirteen cents an hourfifty percent of the minimum wage provided by § 60-11-3 do not equal the minimum hourlywage, the employer shall make up the difference as additional wages for each regular pay period of the employer.
A tipped employee is one engaged in an occupation in which the employee customarily and regularly receives more than thirty-five dollars a month in tips or other considerations.
This section does not apply to babysitters or outside salespersons. This section also does not apply to employees employed by an amusement or recreational establishment, an organized camp, or a religious or nonprofit educational conference center if one of the following apply:
(1) The establishment, camp, or center does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year; or(2) During the preceding calendar year, the average receipts of the establishment, camp, or center for any six months of the calendar year were not more than thirty-three and one-third percent of its average receipts for the other six months of the year.Section 3. That chapter 60-11 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
Beginning January 1, 2016, and again on January 1 of each year thereafter, the minimum wage provided by § 60-11-3 shall be adjusted by the increase, if any, in the cost of living. The increase in the cost of living shall be measured by the percentage increase as of August of the immediately preceding year over the level as measured as of August of the previous year of the Consumer Price Index (all urban consumers, U.S. city average for all items) or its successor index as published by the U.S. Department of Labor or its successor agency, with the amount of the minimum wage increase, if any, rounded up to the nearest five cents. In no case shall the minimum wage be decreased. The Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation or its designee shall publish the adjusted minimum wage rate for the forthcoming year on its internet home page by October 15 of each year, and it shall become effective on January 1 of the forthcoming year.
Section 4. The provisions of Section 1 and Section 2 of this Act are effective January 1, 2015.
Bottom line? If you believe that raising the minimum wage is a good thing then this measure was built for you. If, on the other hand, you understand that the principles of economic reality are but briefly thwarted by even having a minimum wage, let alone raising it, then you would find this measure to be one which deserves a minimum of attention at the voting booth.
Among the measure’s most negative components is the one which ties an increase in the minimum wage to inflation. In the real world, I and many others, are guaranteed no such thing with our wages (above minimum though they be). If one thinks this is a good idea (to index the wage to inflation), then it follows that everyone’s wage should be so indexed, eh? Look at all the extra money we can all have.
I shall be going with a “No” on Initiated Measure 18. More information may be acquired for a minimum amount of effort at Ballotpedia.
One week until election day, so our review of the items which will be on the statewide ballot continues. It’s time to consider Initiated Measure 17 (initiated because a group of citizens got enough signatures to make it on the ballot). Here are the title and summary:
An initiated measure to require health insurers to include all willing and qualified health care providers on their provider lists.
Some health insurers offer health benefit plans in which the insurer maintains a list of health care providers. Plan members must use listed providers in order to obtain the maximum plan coverage, or to have coverage at all. “Health care providers” include doctors and other licensed health care professionals, clinics and hospitals.
The initiated measure establishes who is entitled to be on the insurer’s list of providers. The measure requires that these insurers list all health care providers who are willing, qualified and meet the conditions for participation established by the insurer.
The measure does not apply to all health insurers, nor to certain kinds of insurance and plans including those involving specific disease, indemnity, accident only, dental, vision, Medicare supplement, long-term care or disability income, and workers’ compensation.
And here is the full description:
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to ensure patient choice in the selection of health care providers.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. No health insurer, including the South Dakota Medicaid program, may obstruct patient choice by excluding a health care provider licensed under the laws of this state from participating on the health insurer’s panel of providers if the provider is located within the geographic coverage area of the health benefit plan and is willing and fully qualified to meet the terms and conditions of participation as established by the health insurer.
Section 2. Terms used in this Initiated Measure mean:
(1) “Health benefit plan,” any hospital or medical expense policy or certificate, hospital or medical service plan, nonprofit hospital, medical-surgical health service corporation contract or certificate, provider sponsored integrated health delivery network, self-insured plan or plan provided by multiple employer welfare arrangements, health maintenance organization subscriber contract of more than six-month duration, or any health benefit plan that affects the rights of a South Dakota insured and bears a reasonable relation to South Dakota, whether delivered or issued for delivery in South Dakota. The term does not include specified disease, hospital indemnity, fixed indemnity, accident only, credit, dental, vision, Medicare supplement, long-term care or disability income insurance, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, workers’ compensation or similar insurance, automobile medical payment insurance, or any plan or coverage exempted from state regulation by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 18;
(2) “Health insurer,” any entity within the definitions set forth in subdivisions 58-17F-1(11), (12), and (15), any entity offering a health benefit plan as defined by § 58-17F-2, all self-insurers or multiple employer welfare arrangements, and self-insured employer-organized associations. The term does not include any entity exempted from state regulation by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 18;
(3) “Health care provider,” any individual or entity within the scope of the definition of health care provider as defined by subdivision 58-17F-1(9).
Got it? It’s far more complicated that it needs to be. But, then again, that’s what happens when something is crafted with lots of exceptions.
On the one hand, it’s a good thing, in that it would allow people greater access to health care providers whom they may already know and trust. As far as that goes, it would seem to be an answer in part to the mandates of Obamacare whereby a change in insurance has deprived many of the ability to work with known health care providers. So, one could say that it is fixing a symptom of a larger problem.
On the other hand, it’s not such a good thing in that it is forcing association on the part of insurance companies and health care providers. For a variety of reasons, insurance companies may choose to extend affiliation to a smaller group of health care providers than might be available in a given area. It would seem that it is within the insurance company’s right to choose with whom they will engage in business. So, it places more rules on an already burdened group (health insurers) at a time when they are attempting to determine how they can stay solvent.
As an aside, I am drawn to the “willing and fully qualified to meet the terms and conditions of participation as established by the health insurer” section of the proposed law and wonder what might happen were this law to pass and an insurer claim that the terms and conditions required an specific invitation to participate?
My recommendation? I’m going to go with a “No” on Initiated Measure 17. More information may be found at Ballotpedia.
‘Tis the season to consider amending the South Dakota Constitution with a, wait for it, change in the gambling rules for Deadwood!
Here is Amendment Q described in all its glory:
The Constitution currently authorizes the Legislature to allows two kinds of games of chance in Deadwood: limited card games and slot machines. The proposed amendment authorizes the Legislature to also allow roulette, keno and craps in Deadwood.
Under federal law, any games of chance authorized by the Legislature to be offered in Deadwood would also be allowed at on-reservation tribal casinos.
A vote “Yes” is for changing the constitution to allow the Legislature to authorize roulette, keno and craps in Deadwood.
A vote “No” will leave the constitution as it is.
I’m conflicted on this one and want to vote for a third option which would remove the Deadwood gaming/gambling proviso from the Constitution altogether. As a curmudgeon in training, I find the growth of exceptions in laws and regulations to be the bane of the citizen’s existence.
Ranting aside, I would go with “No” because I fail to see how expanded gaming will benefit the state long term. For further information on Amendment Q, see Ballotpedia. For further information on what dependence on gambling does to a local economy, see Atlantic City.
Nutjob murderer was homeschooled, so home-schoolers need to be screened for nutjobbery because if we don’t more such horrible things will happen:
But the commission, which is preparing its final report to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said tighter scrutiny of home-schoolers may be needed to prevent an incident such as the December 2012 slaughter of 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The murders were carried out by Adam Lanza, a disturbed 20-year-old who had been home-schooled by his mother, Nancy Lanza, whom he also shot to death on the morning of his murder spree.
Right. So the murderer was home-schooled (for 6 months IIRC) out of roughly 13 years of schooling. Doesn’t that work out to something like 4%? And, was he not also home-schooled because of his behavioral issues at the other school? That is, calling him home-schooled is rather like calling someone who spent 6 months in the hospital with a terrible infection “hospital-schooled.”
One could be hugely cynical and see this as an attempt to make home-schoolers out as the scapegoats–because it’s often easy to single out a relatively small sub-group of the population and point at them and say “See, they’re weird. We should do something about that.” But, again, that would require incredible amounts of cynicism.
Bottom line? Rejecting the commissions insanity with reference to home-schoolers is about freedom. Not freedom from all risk, for that can only be found in the grave, but freedom to live, to enjoy liberty, and to pursue happiness without the meddling of those who know far better than us what we ought to do, to say, and most importantly, how we are to raise and educate our own children. Because, you know, it takes a village.
Organization points out that well-known public individual is, well, making stuff up out of nothingness (and no, he’s not a writer of fiction). So, an apparent supporter of the public individual seeks to remove the Wikipedia entry in its entirety for the organization:
“You don’t burn books because they’re irrelevant. You burn books because you’re terrified that they’re not. You don’t muzzle people who have no audience. You muzzle people only when their voices are amplified far beyond your liking.”
Have you ever lost an argument? Perhaps even one where you came to understand that the preponderance of the evidence was against you and you belatedly realized that the only thing you had propping you up was sheer stubbornness? I’ve certainly been there. And I’m certainly not alone. To be human is to be on the losing side at one time or another.
Fortunately, we live in a world where we can make those who cause us discomfort to go away. OK, so maybe we don’t yet live in that world–but it’s not for want of wishing it to be so on the part of some. As John Hinderaker notes:
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the drug-addled son of the former Attorney General. Kennedy thinks it is a shame that he isn’t able to jail or execute the Koch brothers and other conservatives . . . .
Mr. Hinderaker then goes on to quote the scion on the topic of “global warming” and such:
“They are enjoying making themselves billionaires by impoverishing the rest of us. Do I think they should be in jail, I think they should be enjoying three hots and a cot at the Hague with all the other war criminals,” Kennedy declared.
“Do I think the Koch brothers should be tried for reckless endangerment? Absolutely, that is a criminal offence and they ought to be serving time for it,” he added.
Direct from the source. Sounds rather unequivocal to me. One of our unelected leaders wishes to, as noted elsewhere in the article, channel the totalitarian urges which characterized any number of dictators and their followers who determined that those with whom they disagreed should not be permitted to disagree freely. Simply put, get rid of those who think the dictator to be wrong, and then by definition the dictator is right.
Shouldn’t you diligently question the motives of anyone (whether you largely agree with their policies or not) who believes that imprisonment is an appropriate response to political disagreement?
Based on the date of my last post in this space, it would seem that I took a brief summer vacation. That was not my intent as such, but I confess to finding myself more than unusually busy over the last several weeks. I’ve been working on my 100+ year-old house, my 49-year-old tractor, and any number of other things to either prepare them for the coming winter or simply catch up on tasks which accumulated.
Since my break, I see that very little has changed in the world. We are still at war in the Middle East–and likely to open up another front in that war if the current scuttlebutt is to be believed. We are also finding ourselves as a culture far more interested in the personal failings (though serious) of a football player and his wife than in the behavior of the IRS. I’d say par for the course, but it seems awfully close to mixing a metaphor. I also see that we are finally warming up the competitions for a number of the mid-term races across the country. Now that we have less than two months to go, we lack little more than a handful of October surprises before we come up on the big day.
Tomorrow marks an important anniversary of a tragic day in our history. Thirteen years ago, I was in my 20s and married without children. One of those things is still true. That aside, the world has changed, and largely not for the better, since we Americans were briefly shaken our of our first-world complacency by 19 men who used the tools of the 21st century in an attack whose end goal would seem to be to move us back to the 7th century.
To those who would see only those things which are not going well (and the list is long), don’t become discouraged. I am reminded of the following statement by James Whitcomb Riley:
The most essential factor is persistence – the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.
Racism is alive and well, in Cuba. That would probably come as no surprise to Milton Friedman, who understood the motivations of human beings better than most. Speaking of motivations, what must motivate the President to do a complete about-face, with no good explanation, on the topic of a particular bank.
While the title of the article is a bit disingenuous, we are provided with some useful data regarding guns, carrying and our cousins to the north:
Applications to carry handguns have skyrocketed in B.C. and Alberta in the past three years – likely driven by demand among people who work in the bush and want portable protection against wildlife.
What we do know is that more people are submitting these applications for “authorizations to carry” : The number of applications across the country rose from 386 to 564 between 2011 and 2013.
In that time period, they more than doubled in B.C.; in Alberta, they more than doubled from 2011 to 2012.
People in the territories submit far more application rates than the rest of Canada. The Yukon had 33 applications in 2013 – almost one for every 1,000 residents – while the Northwest Territories had 29. By contrast, Quebec’s 64 applications make for fewer than one for every 100,000 residents.
The Yukon had one application for every 1,000 residents. I think (IIRC) that during the same period, South Dakota had one issued permit (not an application) for every 10 to 15 residents. This is a remarkable difference. Let’s continue:
The number of applications and the authorizations issued are about the same, says Ontario’s chief firearms officer, OPP Supt. Chris Wyatt.
” If somebody applies for an ATC and it’s really deficient – they’re not a prospector, they don’t have a wilderness occupation, they just want it when they go camping –we just say ‘You don’t qualify,’ and they don’t pursue their application.”
Lovely. One has to qualify (kinda like needing a “qualifying event” to change one’s insurance status) by being a prospector or having a wilderness occupation, or some other job, one would surmise, that exists far away from civilization.
Who, then, is actually carrying in Canada these days? Apparently not this gentleman:
But “with brown bears, carrying a handgun is just absolutely stupid,” argues former OPP staff-sergeant Doug Carlson, who ran the gun control system in northwestern Ontario before his retirement.
“You’re dealing with such a humongous bear – you’ll have a hard time knocking it down with a handgun. You might get lucky, but more likely it would just bounce off his skull, or aggravate him.
Why would one be shooting the bear in the head? Perhaps Mr. Carlson thinks that all people defending themselves from bears would be as clueless as he.
Anyway, back to figuring out who is carrying:
Toronto mayoral candidate and former councillor Norm Gardner, who had a concealed carry permit for several years in the 1990s, said the weapon made him “very, very calm.”
Gardiner, a Metro councillor at the time who sat on the Police Services Board, was approved after talking to then-Toronto police chief Jack Marks, he said. For several years, Gardner carried a Glock 19, a compact handgun.
In brief, very few people in Canada are permitted to carry short weapons (handguns). One of the reasons is that those in charge of handing out permits think that handguns don’t really protect one very well from large, violent, furry creatures. And, it would seem that the politically connected are able to procure permits for handguns, regardless of the basis for that decision.
There are many things we can learn from Canada. How to foolishly prevent people from protecting themselves because some expert knows how to do it better is one of those lessons.
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I am deeply concerned that so much of the policy which is made here in the state and the country is not based on principle--unless one can call pragmatism and overweening desire for increased governmental power principled. If one cannot believe that certain immutable laws undergird the very foundation of our country, then one discounts the sacrifice of those who launched this experiment in self-governance in the first place.
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