Heart Strings by Jan Bryan

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You probably need to paint some attractive alternative picture to give them moral cover. That clearly targets the third problem. The first, you can hit if you propose paying for the alternate solution with some sort of tax on businesses or the rich. For bonus points, if you want to bring in the people with hard-leftist leanings, you can point out that minimum wage is just a sort of weird second-rate compromise with capitalism anyway.

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Maybe, just maybe, you could do the same thing with some probably legal immigrants. Second, you tell the story of Peter from above. It might also be necessary if he was in the first few years of his business and struggling to make it survive i. I only took home 25k the first two years of my business. Again, I think it would be really helpful if this story was mostly full of racial minorities or some other disenfranchised group. Third, you take economists from big name schools, like Harvard, MIT, etc. Maybe include that one audio clip from JFK. This might not be the most honest narrative but narratives are rarely honest.

Of course, the more poor people you can get to complain about the min wage laws the better, but I have a feeling that they may be hard to find. The trick is to make it seem like the shift of blame is being fueled by the intellectual elite and disenfranchised folk. Then all you would need is a handful of influential liberals and one could only hope that a few would be politicians to come to your side and repeat your narrative.

You want to start with minimum wage? Crikey, even most economists seem to acknowledge this is one case where reality seems unwilling to clearly conform to Econ Given the number of studies that indicate that minimum wage at the levels it currently stands at has no real effect on unemployment and the occasional study that suggest it may even have a positive effect on emloyment!

The danger here is confirming exactly the suspicion that some already have about market economists. My first job was at non-profit for folks with handicaps, working on a contract with an aircraft company in town for aircraft insulation. The assembly process is difficult and expensive to mechanize, but was very easy to do by hand. You would basically take two pieces of foil with heat activated glue on the bottom, and then sandwich a piece of fiberglass insulation between the two layers. We used cheap household irons that got donated to activate the glue and seal the edges.

Real easy, real simple. It was the perfect work for people with mental disabilities or poor motor skills. These handicapped folks loved it because they were building a part of an airplane, and because the aircraft company paid a little extra for certain quality metrics.

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They really took pride in their work. Now the aircraft company also loved working with us because by law, we could pay the handicapped employees per piece, not by the hour. The company was able to get reasonable fixed costs on their insulation, and the handicapped employees got meaningful work that they could take pride in. The reason? The contractors had huge incentive to hurry up the work and do a poor job because they were required to pay employees the minimum wage, and wanted to make a profit.

We, on the other hand, had folks who were prevented from finding work by the minimum wage law. Whenever we had overtime or an expedited order, every one of them would volunteer to work extra. Bobby is a black teen in Chicago. Since he has just 9 years old, the only way he could support his family and survive in his neighborhood was to join a gang and deal drugs. After his recent arrest, Bobby wants to go straight, to escape the cycle of crime and violence into which he has become trapped. But no one will hire him without experience. He needs a history showing he can do simple things, like show up reliably to work on time, cooperate with other employees, and interact well with customers.

Bobby would be willing to work for free to gain this experience, to get a toe-hold on the simple skills many of us take for granted. The minimum wage raises the first rung on the ladder of success higher than Bobby can possibly reach. This is not an accident. Early proponents of the minimum wage in the early 20th century supported it precisely because it protected white workers from competition from blacks attempting to enter the work force. The minimum wage began as, and still is, a tool of oppression,preventing young men like Bobby from gaining access to good employment.

This is because the government has been working for years to help older white workers with political clout keep men like Bobby out of the workforce, and the minimum wage is their most powerful tool for doing so. Lecturing is a gift as they counter-punch rather than explain their own position in their own words.

Not messing around on this challenge eh? But I like a good challenge, I just think a lot of response so far have gone a bit too analytical for our target audience. Yes, but this thought experiment is trying to focus on what might work rather than what might help us all sleep better at night. Show the home she lives in is very modest and have her talking about how little money she makes. Also show how well the two work together and the atmosphere of camraderie in the establishment. Then have the minimum wage rise come into play.

Have the devastated employer come up to the employee and choking out the words giving the bad news. The major keys here, show that the minimum wage impacts smaller businesses, show a direct consequence of the minimum wage even if the bigger effect might be not hiring people in the first place , and show the emotional pathos felt by everyone involved in such a layoff.

Finish off by telling Oprah how this is happening all across the country all while pleading to raise money for the ex-employee until he can find some new work. Minimum wage is the dog that bites the hand that feeds it. If you really believe that the employee should be helped, the last person on earth that should be punished with a transfer tax is the employer. Even a brain-dead zombie should be able to embrace this truth in its huge but deadly heart.

The minimum wage will not raise the wages of the poorest; but it will instead make it illegal to hire them, and in the process destroy their ability to learn a profession, develop work ethic and build a career that becomes financially rewarding once they have the expertise. Med school graduates slave away for ungodly hours in hospitals as interns and may earn less, per hour of work, than the minimum wage. Yet millions still try to get into med school and to get this low-pay internship, because the experience gained from it is far more valuable than the pay, and allows the doctor to earn a lot more in the future.

Imposing the minimum wage takes away this valuable learning-on-the-job opportunity from those who have the least employable skills, kicking away the ladder that would allow them to advance economically. Minimum wage makes educational employment impossible. Why are you denying Americans the working education opportunities and giving them to the Chinese. Ask them how high they think the minimum wage should be?

If they give a number, ask them why not higher? Once they admit there are trade offs, then they are prepared to think about the downsides of minimum wage. You could say the minimum wage is racist??? You are tired of doing everything and want to hire a teenager to sweep the floors for you your least productive daily activity. Society will be worse off by???

One point worth making is that minimum wages could raise wage rates of some low earners, as well as putting others out of work, and so the case does become slightly more nuanced and more difficult to make. We throw poor people under the bus so politicians can claim average pay is higher?

The problem with libertarians is that they tend to empathize with the employer, with the suppliers of capital. Then show them supply and demand curves and get them on the lookout for their application in their daily lives. Once they begin to see that nearly everything in human interaction is governed by them, including what they previously thought was driven by love or compassion, converting them on the minimum wage will be a snap.

A second conviction may result in imprisonment. Obviously, many people a liberal would care about will actually support the law. Many of them are feel-ers, too. What libertarians add to the picture is following up by asking, how do you feel about the actual, unintended consequences of the law?

Ladder of opportunity. Would it be cheating to sell an abolition of the minimum wage coupled with some combination of an expanded EITC and a negative income tax that has the effect of ensuring that no working person earns a net wage smaller than the current minimum wage? Perhaps a better case study would be rent control, which pretty much every economist agrees is a bad idea.

That would be a nice, emotional, half-hour special. Maybe we could make Oprah cry. I got to teach Econ last year as a college professor. Maybe flattering myself, but in the classroom, I think I nailed the soft-soft approach to the minimum wage. But with those concepts under their belts, my students were floored by the fact that a minimum wage puts the employer in control. An employer who gets to discriminate among many job applicants is less likely to hire a recovering drug addict who is trying to straighten out, or a single mother, or a kid from an ethnic group whom he disrespects.

They can easily discriminate by age, race, family, or sex, and they can fire and replace workers at very low cost. Employees, on the other hand, fear losing their jobs and have to please the boss. Low-skill jobs are never going to be fun, but at least the market wage creates a relationship between employer and employee which is more like the one you and I high-skill folks are used to.

I agree the fines can be very stiff, though. Here are a few cases of employers who were fined for failing to pay overtime not quite the same as minimum wage laws :. The purpose of the minimum wage is to allow racist white folks to compete with hard working black folk. Still want to defend the minimum wage? Find some people from the rural south. In twenty minutes they will have forgotten the argument and reverted to their former beliefs. See page Well, you Bryan certainly are in the circle of libetarians who are able to sell libertarianism to the emotional people.

I learned a lot of arguments from you. That gives us a nice view about the marketing tactic:. You presented the story about the magic machine that turns wheat into cars. Like for the labour laws. You gave brilliant comparison with government and coercion of marriage. If government passes law that everyone that engages in date- must marry this person- result will be everyone will be afraid of dates.

It is common for emotional people that they get distracted if you do not present the topic in illustrative ways. And they get sense that yo are explaining to them something abstract. Stop making arguments with opportunity costs, adam smiths, milton friedmans, government failures… After all Gary Beckeer said that economics is nothng more than common sense. No one actually believes in the abolition of his own property. No one actually believes that you should raise your kids to be supported by the government.

Everyone dreams about being self-dependent and successful. Every argument that you make must follow the basic premise about which everyone agrees on. That means try to explain government regulation of business with everyday stories about government regulation of human relations and sexual behavior. Try to show emotional people some history cases of regimes that they do not like.

Show those progressives the parallels between Vatican church regulation of sexual life and regulation of market- and present them the unintended consequences. For me, watching Milton Friedman in free to choose: Power of the market, changed my life. Watching the interview of julian simon prc forum changed my thinking completely.

All those libertarian argument are very emotional- cause they are presented in such a way, by people able to do it. Thinking beyond stage one is a fundamental difference between libertarians and emotionalists. Present them the old wisdom of a recently deceased James Buchanan: Economist must allways keep the warm heart and hot head- not the other way around.

You must do it gently, but attack their blame center in brains. Tell them and show them with everyday cases, that not being able to curb your emotions in so important decisions that affect everyone- is fundamentaly selfish and uncompassionate, because you put your own emotional satisfaction ahead of reality and proof.

I have this friend who is mentally ill. He would like to work but the meds that he needs to take to keep schizophrenia a bay slow him down and through I have another friend who would like to hire him to do some very menial tasks like get me that hammer he cannot at the current minimum wage.

So my friend stays lonely and alone in his apartment isolated from the comradeship that he loves. First ask them if they believe in objective reality, if they belive that reality constrains and affects peoples decisions, and that will and want cannot alter this objective reality. There are freaks, mainly the mystic joga-buddism or. But othervise you sound weird if you say that you dont believe in reality. So, from this premise you continue. Tell them: People before capitalism and in very backward places around the world today have extremely low standard of living.

So if you say that you can raise standard of living by simply passing the law that demands higher wage- you implicitly assume that there is no objective reality. Cause that would mean that the only thing that Henderson island yes David henderson has his own island: or Vanuatu must do is to pass a law that demands Manhattan level of wages. Tell them that by this kind of reasoning cave man would only need to pass a tribal law that demands from everyone that puts more goods in exchange when they exchange.

People who want higher minumum wages therefore demand something that is nonexistent. And tell them that wage rates are unimportant since you dont eat wage- you eat food. So if they really want to show their compassion they must invest their time and intellectual power to think about how to raise level of goods in society- not level of wages.

You can also ask them how is it possible that in every economy there are wages that are much higher than min. How is it possible that some employers pay wages that are much much much higher than min. If they explain wages as result of the employers will and compassion- ask them why then is american worker much much better paid than cuban worker? Why most of the welfare states in the world have lower wages for workers?

And then remind them, See my friend, my comrade, will isnt enough to change reality- you must think about reasons that affect raising wages. Emotionalists are philosophically confused, what means that they have some common sense but it is in a sleep mode. If they answer that americans are more productive or have more freedom- then, just tell them: welcome aboard comrade!

I suggest lying. His stomach rumbled, but he had to go To his next stop — it was a little shop That sold mere flowers, nick-knacks. In the flow From shop to shop, he wished that he could drop. The wages he could offer — he was sure He could have had a job by now, the knife Of hunger would be gone. He would endure A little less to feed his kids and wife.

He knew he was not worth the pay each place Could offer him — he had dropped out of school, He had no skills, and no one would embrace Him so that he could learn some. Thus, the cruel. Law followed him and kept him unemployed And ignorant and unemployable — A cruelty that did more than just annoyed, Conspiring to keep his skills and talents dull.

A man who could take care of his own kids And wife with honest labor, so he turned Within the week to crime — and soon he rids A person of their life because we spurned. Him with a set of legislation which Destroyed his dignity. He went to jail — We threw him, broken, down into a ditch Because of our unholy, sacred grail. How is Timex able to compete with Rolex? Easy, they sell at a lower price. Minimum wages work the same way. Lower skilled workers compete with higher skilled workers by asking for a lower wage. A regulated minimum wage disenfranchises lower skilled workers in the same way a minimum price disenfranchises Timex.

Abolishing the minimum wage will allow some of those people access to legal employment, e. The foundations were laid very deep. Should she be allowed to continue running her book store? This would be more compelling if we could find a bunch of little old ladies who want to work part-time in little shops and mom-and-pop businesses who want to hire them. From a feeling perspective, all the stories mentioned so far are vulnerable to casting the company as the villain. Even the story about the aircraft company can be cast that way.

I would go with the race card. Maybe try to tie increases in minimum wage with anti-immigrant especially illegal immigrant sentiment. Worse, we have union negotiated collective bargaining minimum wage agreements by sector of the economy. So builders have one minimum wage, teachers have one and so on. These minimum wages are fairly universally imposed. Now, with the European Union, labor with fairly wide ranges of wage demands can move freely. Consumers, taxpayers, and poorer EU citizens suffer.

Now, it is critical that we demonstrate to the decision-makers that New Yorkers passionately believe that Coney Island should become a great amusement and entertainment destination once again. So please join us on January 14 at 6. Seating is limited and reservations are encouraged. RSVP online now. Click here for a map. MAS will present a selection of the ideas contributed as well the economic and design work conducted by the charrette team.

More details here. Downloadable protest art here. Green-Wood Cemetery is best known as the final resting place of famous New Yorkers like Boss Tweed, the Steinway family, and Leonard Bernstein, but it's also a treasure trove of hidden sculpture and architecture. Every year, thousands flocked to the cemetery to enjoy its lush gardens, rolling hills, and stately tombs. Unfortunately, during New York City's financial woes of the late sixties and early seventies, the cemetery restricted public access and lost its reputation as an urban oasis of art and nature.

Over the last decade, however, the cemetery has made efforts to invite the public back inside, hosting concerts, film screenings, and tours. Still, access to the most fascinating sites -- inside the tombs and catacombs -- remains extremely limited. That's why we called Jeff Richman, Green-Wood Cemetery's historian, who wields the massive, dungeon-like key ring that unlocks the granite portals behind which lie the dead.

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Viewers may be most interested in the peek inside the cemetery's vault system, whole rooms of family coffins stacked like that final scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Okay, so not quite that bad; and though the cemetery does host "catacombs," they're not quite on the scale or model of the ones in Paris. The vault system features prominently at other old NYC cemeteries -- notably Trinity Church which is why the graveyard towers so high above Church Street in the rear: it's hollow and filled with bodies, not the secret underground tunnels of the Illuminati!

In case you were wondering, though: You won't find Melville at Green-Wood, in spite of the fact that the cemetery's chapel hosted readings of the Father Mapple sermon last year. No, for a Melville pilgrimage you know you've always wanted to make one! To arrange your own live! Photo from the Times 's Paper Cuts blog.

Your books sounds like a fascinating study, Dr. A few years ago, I took a course comparing the literature of Charles Dickens and Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the professor noted that both writers used their experiences of the built environments of London and St. Petersburg in their works of fiction. Dickens in particular was known for walking the streets of London at night by himself. I wonder if there are writers in your study that also walked the streets of New York City at night in good and not-so-good neighborhoods, like Five Points?

The activity of walking the night streets to stimulate creativity and shake off depression seems to be as old as the city itself. The New York contribution begins with George Foster, who published a guide called "New York by Gas-Light" in , and Walt Whitman, who even as he praised the darkened city in his early poem "The Sleepers" was warning people in his journalistic articles, "Don't go wandering about the streets or parks unnecessarily in the evening" because "New York is one of the most crime haunted and dangerous cities in Christendom.

Scott Fitzgerald though he might have been too drunk to notice much -- I more readily think of the painters, such as Edward Hopper, who was able to paint "Nighthawks" because he was one, or Willem de Kooning, who strolled through Chelsea with the poet Edwin Denby during the Depression and showed him how to look at the "dispersed compositions" on the sidewalk: "spots and cracks and bits of wrappers and reflections of neon light.

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Some of the 'old boys,' however, could be seen yesterday in their spotless kid gloves and shiny ties making the rounds as solemnly as they did 30, 40, or 50 years ago. In none of the brownstone districts yesterday were the familiar sights of other New Year's Days to be encountered. Not even the acknowledgment of a basket for cards was shown either on Fifth or Madison avenue of the cross streets. The "cards" mentioned here would be cartes-de-visite, small calling card-sized photos you wouldn't necessarily have used for everyday business but certainly would have pulled out to make the rounds of a New Year's Day.

Even ordinary people had them made; they are quite common in archival collections related to the late nineteenth century and are quite fun to handle. Many people created elaborate frames or scrapbooks for them, like schooldays photo albums for grownups though many parents had cards made for their children as well. Patell and Waterman's History of New York. Lots of chatter lately about the economic crisis bringing a return of an older, grittier era.

Crime on the rise, city services down, that sort of thing. A couple Sundays ago I saw three shell games going on in a three-block stretch on Broadway So something must be up. Jeremiah , like many, hopes it means an end to the luxurification of the East Village. But EV Grieve , writing in the comments, warns that the media hand-wringing about the return of crime and dirt is a ploy by Bloomberg's people to get him elected to a third term.

Whether you're nervous about the return of street cats and corner trash can fires or giddily rubbing your hands waiting for the yuppies to evacuate maybe we'll have a new reason to celebrate Evacuation Day? Share this post: digg del. From The Onion 's historical archives , a digitization of its October 6, , edition. The editors note by way of preface: In late , change was sweeping the Western world. The Revolutionary War had drawn to a close, the Treaty of Paris had been signed, Mozart's Great Mass was performed for the first time, and, with the Montgolfier brothers' balloon, mankind was poised on the threshold of flight.

And only one newspaper, H. Ulysses Zweibel's The Onion , had the courage to stand against it all. Actually, in October the British hadn't yet officially vacated the city. That wouldn't happen until November 25 of that year, a day that would be celebrated for decades as " Evacuation Day. White's Here Is New York will never suffer from a lack of fans. According to Charles Taylor, White was a big old phony, his descriptions of NYC a string of cliches: Thus, White can encounter the residents of the Lower East Side sitting on their stoops on a hot summer night and banish the crowding and poverty by transforming it into "the nightly garden party of the Lower East Side It is folksy [emphasis added] here with the smell of warm flesh and squashed fruit and fly-bitten filth in the gutter, and cooking.

See the quaint and colorful peasants! If he does as well as this at every performance, he has a living right there. The rest here. Queens Biennial 4: Opening Reception Tonight! Celebrating the most recent artistic achievements of Queens with 42 artists, collaborations and collectives from 18 countries working in a broad range of traditional and unorthodox media, the exhibition examines the boundaries of culture, tradition, heritage and nationality.

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Like its predecessors, Queens International 4 addresses the relationship between "internationalism" and "multiculturalism" from a local standpoint. Culture is the logic by which we give order to the world.

No one stands outside of it. In Queens, one comes to recognize that nations are not walled fortresses but rather permeable containers for the fluid shifts of culture. Here, multiculturalism does not imply a static representation of international identities but rather an ever-changing shift amongst multiple cultures that blurs ethnic, racial, gendered and ideological boundaries.

Circumventing conventional art discourse to engage with their immediate surroundings, the artists of Queens ignite a critical dialogue through lived experience, often in the form of collaborative, site-specific and public practices. Food served up by Vendy award-winning street food vendors. One of Derick's two pieces in the show is a customized Goodwill clothing bin; feel free to bring stuff to donate! For NY1 coverage including a brief interview with Derick , click here. Vanishing City: Tonight! Melvillapalooza Metropolitan Playhouse: Ending Soon!

Only three days left in the Metropolitan Playhouse's Melvillapalooza fest, which has been going on for the last few weeks: original plays, poetry readings, and general Melville-inspired mayhem on E. Several of the remaining events are free though they require reservations as seating is limited , including the final "scholar's roundtable" on Sunday evening at pm. The roundtable will be made up of -- ahem -- the two of us plus our colleague Thomas Augst, who wrote about Melville in his book on nineteenth-century clerks in the city and is the author of our Melville chapter in the forthcoming Cambridge Companion.

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We'll be talking about Bartleby, Ishmael, and Pierre, showing some slides of Melville's New York, and eliciting lots of audience participation. So if you're inclined, as I am, to fall on your knees and thank the deity of your choice for producing someone who wrote so much fantastic prose, head on over to metropolitanplayhouse. Hope to see you there! In response to Cyrus's injunction to "Ask Bryan" what the hell "Rhinestone Cowboy" would have to do with our overview to a course on New York lit, I'll offer this link , which takes you to a version of what I said this morning in my part of our opening lecture.

The bit on "Rhinestone Cowboy" comes at the end, and I'd just add here what one of our students mentioned after class: that Campbell's persona isn't even a Rhinestone Cowboy, at least not yet: he's just feeling like one , which is even a little sadder than the song was already. You'll also find plenty of links to NYC lit and culture walks and loads of ideas if you're itching to get out and strut your stuff. Okay, Pete Seeger may just be cooler than Obama. Maybe cooler than Dylan. My favorite verse, which I don't think I've ever heard before, begins "In the squares of the city," a little over two minutes in.

The dig at private property that follows ain't bad either.