Tech billionaire Bill Gates expressed doubts about the impact of an increase in the minimum wage, despite his long-time support for President Barack Obama, who publicly endorses the policy idea.
"When people say we should raise the minimum wage, I worry about what that does to job creation," Gates, Microsoft founder and cofounder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, declared at a Washington, D.C. event at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday. The business giant argued that a minimum wage increase would "dampen the demand for labor."
Gates paraphrased Robert Dohrer, chair of the Forum of Firms at the International Federation of Accountants, who noted that "poverty in the United States is often related to employment and economic growth." The Microsoft founder warned that "capitalism over time will create more inequality and technology over time will adjust labor demand," meaning that the rich will become richer and the poor will lose their jobs and be replaced by machines. more >>
At the end of the classic film, "The Bridge Over the River Kwai," the prison camp's doctor surveys the scenes of death and destruction surrounding him. He sums up the imponderable moral irony of the British helping the Japanese build a bridge only to blow it up as a military necessity, and exclaims, "Madness! Madness!"
Reading Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman's piece in yesterday's New York Times on the benefits of coercive charity and legalized theft, AKA income redistribution, I think I now know about how "Kwai's" doctor felt.
The very notion of redistribution implies stasis: That the economic pie is only so large and thus must be re-divided, comprehensively and repetitively, and that the central planners and revenue collectors of the central government are the wisest among us to do so. more >>
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – A panel on marijuana legalization led to a spirited debate on the social costs of drug use and the drug war at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
"Marijuana makes people dumber, do we really need more dumb people right now?" asked Chris Beach, executive producer of Bill Bennett's show "Morning in America." Beach passionately argued that the effort to crack down on marijuana and other drugs is worth the cost to taxpayers. He insisted that America is falling behind in terms of education and "I don't think it's going to help us catch up to legalize marijuana."
Mary Katharine Ham, editor-at-large of HotAir.com and winner of CPAC's "Blogger of the Year" award, vehemently declared that the drug war is not worth the social and economic costs, especially to minority youth. "The weed itself is less damaging than the criminal justice system can be to a young person, certainly of low economic status," Ham told CP in an interview following the panel. more >>
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) declared that the Republican Party is fundamentally united and the apparent chasms are actually only slight disagreements about tactics. He and two conservative Senators hailed the new ideas in the GOP as a positive platform for the future.
"I don't see this great divide in our party, what I see is a vibrant debate," Ryan declared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday. He argued that the disagreements between Tea Party supporters, "the establishment," libertarians, and social conservatives, are "disagreements not over policies or principles, but over tactics."
"I'm Irish, that's my idea of a family reunion!" the Congressman quipped. Ryan discussed these internal struggles as creative tension, strengthening the conservative movement. more >>
For much of the past month, the recently concluded Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia was my standing evening entertainment. Every night seemed to bring new feelings of excitement, joy, and pathos as great victories and near-victories, desperate losses, and human drama combined in a blur of athletic amazement. There were so many events, most in sports I have little familiarity with, that I sometimes felt swept away in the swirl. And as an organizational thinker, I believe there are some strong lessons we can derive from the games themselves.
One Olympic event this year really stood out for me. American skier Ted Ligety captured the gold medal in Men's Giant Slalom skiing. On balance, I really appreciate the Giant Slalom as an Olympic event. To me, it is the perfect combination of speed, power, grace, and precision; all in under 2 minutes flying down a mountain.
Of course, besides the Giant Slalom, there are many other types of alpine skiing events – Downhill and Slalom included. In Downhill, you have just immense speed because skiers are basically falling down the mountain straight-lined. That reality is powerful, raw, and breathtaking. On the other hand, there is the Slalom event. The Slalom is full of turns - much slower - but with the requirement for constant adjustments and precision. Both Downhill and Slalom are tremendous events. The Slalom has speeds of about 25 to 35 miles an hour, constantly turning, at the Olympic level. The Downhill sometimes hits speeds of over 90 miles an hour down the mountain! more >>
Ken Ham of the Creation Museum has taken to Facebook to address criticism over Answers in Genesis' multimillion dollar project to build a life-sized replica of Noah's ark, explaining why the money isn't going to feed hungry people instead.
"I haven't yet seen any articles/blogs/posts directed at Paramount about the $300 million dollars (over 4 times more than the Ark project), they spent on a fictional movie only for entertainment – why aren't they being told by the same people they should be spending this money on feeding the hungry," Ham wrote in a post on Monday, referring to the upcoming Bible-inspired movie "Noah," which is being distributed by Paramount Pictures.
The Creation Museum and AiG CEO and president has criticized the upcoming Darren Aronofsky film for portraying an unbiblical account of Noah. Sources like Slash Film have said that the movie's budget is closer to $150 million. more >>