Notes from around the Human Experience…
GREAT MOMENTS IN THE MINIMUM WAGE: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens this week announced he will neither sign nor veto a bill that would prevent cities and counties in his state from establishing their own minimum wage. This has the practical effect of allowing bill to become law, which means the Missouri state minimum wage of $7.70 an hour will be the standard statewide. Without his signature, the bill will take effect in late August.
Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: Good for him. It’s not the government’s job to dispense raises to private sector workers. Nor is it government’s responsibility to mandate what an employer pays an employee. Any wage, salary or benefit is a private contract between an employer and a worker, and a free market demands this contract be respected by the government.
Quote That Sucker: Gov. Greitens also gets credit for being one of the few politicians willing to talk about the practical effects of a minimum wage:
…the minimum wage might read pretty on paper, but it doesn’t work in practice. Government imposes an arbitrary wage, and small businesses either have to cut people’s hours or let them go.
Very true. A complete analysis of the minimum wage is, thank God, beyond the scope of this column, but we believe any objective analysis shows this to be the case.
Dry, Technical Matter: What the government should be doing is providing an environment where businesses want to pay $15 an hour. A low tax, minimum regulation environment where people have money to spend and businesses have money to meet these needs. An environment where there is competition for labor, which will drive up wages. An environment where the American worker feels empowered and in control of their working life.
None of these elements exist right now. Us citizens are over taxed and businesses are over regulated. Businesses figured out how to continue to make a profit in the Great Recession, and workers are still taking whatever wages and benefits employers choose to dispense.
The Bottom Line: The American worker must assert themselves – both individually and collectively – and not look to the government to get them a raise. Jobs that provide the money you want to make – both white collar or blue collar – do not grow on trees. We must put ourselves in a position to get them.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, commonly known as The Principia, by Isaac Newton is published by the Royal Society of London on this date in 1687. The Principia’s influence on scientific thinking was and remains profound and, next to The Bottom Ten, is one of mankind’s most significant and influential works.
Great Moments In Token Women’s Minor League Baseball Appearances: Lizzie Arlington, also known as Lizzie Stroud, becomes the first woman to play in an official, regular season professional baseball game on this date in 1898.
Some sources, including some used regularly by the staff here at On This Date, say Arlington appeared for the Reading Coal Heavers of the Atlantic League, while others, including some used regularly by the staff here at On This Date, say Arlington appeared for Reading of the Eastern League.
Thank God For The Internet: Some research cleared the matter up, however. The Eastern League in 1898 did not have teams in Reading or Allentown, so it is plain Arlington pitched in the Atlantic League, which did have teams in those town in 1898.
The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Coal: All sources seem to agree, however, that Ms Arlington did pitch an inning for Reading, allowing two hits, a walk and no runs as Reading defeated the Allentown Peanuts 5-0.
This Will Surprise You: Arlington’s appearance was a publicity stunt! The Coal Heavers were not setting any records at the gate and Ed Barrow, president of the Atlantic League and later, among other things, originator of the New York Yankees dynasty, hired her to draw a few more fans to the ballpark.
Dry, Technical, Historical Matter: This would be Arlington’s only regular season appearance, thought it appears she would play in exhibition games the rest of the season.
Glorious Spam!: The canned, precooked meat Spam makes its debut on this date in 1937. Spam got a big boost during World War II when, because it was easier to deliver to the troops than fresh meat, it was used extensively to feed our soldiers. That infernal gelatin that gets all over your hands was also used by servicemen as lubricant for assorted weapons.
Fly In The Ointment: Few know for sure what Spam stands for. Spam’s producer, Hormel, refuses to say, adding that only a handful of former executives ever knew for certain.
FunFact: Spam is available in 44 countries, and Hormel reports over eight billion cans have sold over the years.
QuoteBook: Everyone has it within his power to say, this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow. – Louis L’Amour, The Walking Drum
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: 56 delegates to the Second Continental Congress ultimately signed the Declaration of Independence.
Today’s Stumper: Which US state consumes the most Spam, per capita? – Answer next time.