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Category: Class Warfare

AFP-NJ Combats Minimum Logic

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

AFP-NJ supporters rallied outside of Trenton AFL-CIO headquarters on a beautiful spring Saturday, Save Jerseyans, and their message was simple:

New Jersey’s minimum wage hike is holding everyone back. Big Labor’s membership included.

Combating minimum logic isn’t easy but we give them mega kudos for trying! God knows it’s a fight we’ve been waging right here at Save Jersey. Click below to watch a recap:

minimum wage rally

A Vacation From Inequality

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

Michelle ObamaAs millions are counting pennies and living on ramen noodles, Save Jerseyans in case you were wondering or didn’t know…

First Lady Michelle Obama, her daughters, mother and an entourage of 70, are staying in a sumptuous 3,400-square-foot, $8,350-per-night suite presidential suite at a Beijing Westin hotel complete with a private steam room, ‘corner sofas with silk pillows,’ and in-room dining for six.

Judicial Watch, a watchdog group in Washington, D.C., reports that it cost more than $11 million for President and Mrs. Obama to travel to Africa for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service last December, all despite the fact that they were in Africa for less than 13 hours.


Breaking Down Income Inequality

By Tyler Seville | The Save Jersey Blog

ladderLet’s talk income inequality, Save Jerseyans.

Income inequality has remained a prominent issue throughout campaign seasons over the past decade and it is going to come up again this season as well. While there is a lot of controversy as to whether or not income inequality exists, I would argue this is unproductive. One does not need to see charts and graphs to understand that there are rich people and poor people.

Save Jerseyans should consider including “income inequality” as part of their mantra, whether you are conservative, libertarian or moderate. In this two part essay, I hope to explain the needs, causes and solutions Save Jerseyans can believe in when discussing an issue such as this…


Some Pigs Are More Equal Than Others

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog


“But we know that people’s frustrations run deeper than these most recent political battles.  Their frustration is rooted in their own daily battles — to make ends meet, to pay for college, buy a home, save for retirement.  It’s rooted in the nagging sense that no matter how hard they work, the deck is stacked against them.  And it’s rooted in the fear that their kids won’t be better off than they were.  They may not follow the constant back-and-forth in Washington or all the policy details, but they experience in a very personal way the relentless, decades-long trend that I want to spend some time talking about today.  And that is a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain — that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.

I believe this is the defining challenge of our time:  Making sure our economy works for every working American. It’s why I ran for President.”

- President Barack Obama, December 4, 2013


The Real Hunger Games

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

HungerLet’s hope 2014 turns out better for the U.S.A. than 2013; an estimated 14.5 million American households had difficulty providing enough food for their families over the last year, Save Jerseyans.

In seven million of those homes, at least one member of the family had to skip meals or eat less because of a stretched budget. These numbers are more or less unchanged since 2008!

In the richest country on earth, 50 million of us, one in six Americans . . . goes hungry. More than a third of them are children.

The media has, for the most part, ignored the fact that national poverty rates have been rising under the Obama Administration over the last four years at least.


A Minimum Wage for Minimum Achievement

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

Minimum Wage SweeneyI am sick and tired of hearing the whiners complain, Save Jerseyans, particularly about how Wal-Mart, McDonalds and the like don’t pay enough.

That is precisely why we supposedly have a free market; if you don’t like the job you are in at the moment, you are “free” to get an education and leave for a better position.

McDonald’s wasn’t meant to be a career choice or your dream job, nor was it designed to pay a livable wage.

It is an entry level job, a job that teaches an unskilled person people skills, the ability to learn how to count, make change, and what it means to be on time for your shift . . . responsibility.


The Warren Wage Won’t Fly

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

As if you needed another reason to vote against Question #2 on your November 5th ballot, Save Jerseyans, here’s a March 2013 clip which’ll scare the hell out of you.

Take it away, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA):

I want some of what she’s having, folks. It must be nice to go through life unrestrained by reality! Unfortunately for the rest of us, we have to live in the real job market quite unlike the former ivory tower occupant from the Bay State.

What’s even more unfortunate for New Jersey is that we’re about to adopt a constitutional amendment that could’ve been lifted right out of Elizabeth Warren’s twisted dreamworld…


Combating Minimum Logic

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

BurgerWe’ve done our best to explain why a constitutionally-enshrined minimum wage hike would prove disastrous for New Jersey’s fragile economy, Save Jerseyans, despite the fact that the ballot initiative appears destined to pass in November; the latest poll out today shows it garnering 65% support.

I’m not giving up yet. The stakes are too high.

Let’s not mince words: the problem underlying this debate is one which is endemic throughout our politics - emotion overwhelms logic.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it well after November 5th… the minimum wage is NOT a family wage. Never has been and it never will be. Anyone who says it is a family wage is either (1) unnervingly ignorant themselves or (2) consciously trying to manipulate you. Either way, prove yourself to be a member of the smart caucus and disregard the lie. Then go a step further and help us clear the air in the minds of your fellow voters.

Here are a few more surprising facts worth noting directly from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics:


About-Face: Obama Embraces Bain

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Bain CapitalCory Booker (D-Twitter) was for Bain Capital-style venture capital firm before he was against them, Save Jerseyans.

An apparent scolding from Barack Obama’s White House affected a change of heart.

Good news, Mr. Part-Time Mayor! You can go back to embracing capitalism again.

Why? Because after running ads attacking Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital tenure in 2012, President Obama just tapped a Bain executive as his new top economic adviser! (h/t Daily Caller). Mitt ran on the notion that his experience turning around giant, failing corporations made him well-suited to rescue the federal government. President Obama finally concedes the point.

Changing your principles on a daily basis must be exhausting…

Walmart Does it Better Than Booker

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

newarkThe conservative blogosphere is abuzz this week with a story out of Washington, D.C., where local politicos and activists are attempting to drive out Walmart by inflating the minimum wage. There’s nothing harder to watch than a gaggle of self-righteous morons who are convinced they’re being clever but, in the process, are actually injuring themselves and everyone who relies upon them.

Does any of this sound familiar, Save Jerseyans? It should. The City of Newark passed on a Walmart store of its own back in May, a decision blessed by its own Mayor Cory Booker (D-Twitter), the same man who is currently running for U.S. Senate on a “job creation” record… despite the fact that unemployment in Newark is significantly higher today than when he assumed office

…and who is currently proposing a nearly $3/hr minimum wage bump.

Let’s get our facts straight.


Min Wage Hike Could Cost 31k Jobs

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

You’ve read plenty on Save Jersey about the minimum wage in recent months. Pandering Democrats, scared Republicans, and a whole lot of people with zero business experience under the Trenton State House’s dome think it’s a great idea. You and I live in the real world; consequently, we know better than that!

But if you’re still not convinced that tying our state’s minimum wage to the consumer price index is a bad idea on an epic scale, then perhaps you’ll listen to the experts fighting in the trenches? A study was recently conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) into the potential effects of a prospective New Jersey minimum wage hike. Here’s what they found:

Zero (0) percent inflation – 13,679 jobs lost by 2023; Economic output lower by $1.5 billion

Two (2) percent inflation – 22,695 jobs lost by 2023; Economic output lower by $2.8 billion

Four (4) percent inflation – 31,797 jobs lost by 2023; Economic output lower by $4.2 billion

Terrifying! Absolutely, positively horrible. And there wouldn’t be a single state resident capable of escaping the negative consequences without leaving the state altogether. “An annual increase based on the consumer price index is a bad idea for everyone.  It makes it difficult for businesses to plan year to year and it could lead to raises in years when the economy is suffering,” said Thomas Bracken, President and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. “Furthermore, making it a ballot question in the form of a constitutional amendment sets a bad precedent for resolving contentious issues that should be decided by our representatives in Trenton.”

This minimum wage increase will nevertheless appear on the November 5th ballot; if the proposed constitutional amendment passes, then it will take more than the act of a future legislature and governor to overcome it. God help us! I don’t want to move to Pennsylvania, but New Jerseyans who actually want to prosper are quickly running out of options.

GOP Isn’t Doing Its Job

Unwillingness (Or Inability) to Articulate Conservatism Could Cost Republicans Down the Ballot in 2013

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

ElephantsA brand new Rutgers-Eagleton poll out today is bad news for down-ballot New Jersey Republicans.

The Institute found that “[t]he increase from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour will be on the November ballot” is actually “supported by 76 percent of voters. [emphasis added.] Only 20 percent express opposition.” A February 2013 Monmouth Polling Institute survey found 53% of Republicans supporting a hike.

Let’s be honest with ourselves: that result is indicative of a large-scale GOP leadership failure, Save Jerseyans…


Obama Pitches $9 Disaster

Uh-Oh: President Adopts N.J. Democrats’ Minimum Wage Gimmick During State of the Union

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Obama and Corzine in 2009There was one moment last night when I knew President Obama’s State of the Union speech would be an unredeemable disaster, Save Jerseyans.

It happened when he endorsed the New Jersey Democrat minimum wage hike, also tethered to annual cost of living index increases, but  with an extra 50 cents per hour thrown in just for good measure.

Did you hear a discernable roar outside when he said it?

That was small businessmen across America witnessing their payroll costs balloon to unsustainable levels!

Can you blame them? They know firsthand exactly how badly the President’s premise is off-the-mark.

The vast majority of minimum wage employees either (1) rapidly earn wage increases or (2) represent a secondary household income. In other words, very few families rely on the minimum wage.

What’s more, all available statistics, common sense and the cumulative experience of business owners demonstrate how minimum wage hikes are always counterproductive insofar as they inevitably lead to decreases in minimum wage jobs and shifts


What Will Happen to the Middle Class? (AUDIO)

I was happy to join my Essex County pal Sue Ann Penna and conservative North Jersey blogger Katie OMalley for an Internet radio chat this past Tuesday evening, Save Jerseyans.

The main topic: what will the next four years mean for the American (and the Garden State’s) once-strong Middle Class? Specifically with a “fiscal cliff” looming just over two weeks from now? And moreover, moving forward, what does the GOP need to do to reach disaffected members of the Middle Class including new immigrants and urban populations?

Give it a listen. We didn’t waste time with a cliche exchange of sound bites and platitudinal statements; Sue Ann does a bang-up job of conducting substantive roundtables that actually advance the larger debate.

Click here to download the 12/11 podcast and other recent “Common Sense Radio” shows.


Sacré Bleu! As Predicted, France Adopts Jerseynomics and Destroys Tax Base

Back in May of this year, Save Jerseyans, I referred to France as the “new” New Jersey.

Not owing to a spike in Franco-Springsteen CD sales. Au contraire!  I was simply observng how “the specter of a new tax rate of 75% on income above €1m sparked an uptick in French inquires into trans-channel relocations.”

Sure enough, as 2012 winds down, French celebrities are fleeing France in droves in search of comparatively friendly tax climates.

New Jersey lost 4,000 millionaires when its own (and frankly relatively modest) millionaire’s tax took effect. I can only imagine the revenue which France stands to lose. 

But the French President remains indignant despite the clear history and warning signs… just like him fellow partisans over here in New Jersey. It’s hard to say whether anyone advocating tax hikes to avert the fiscal cliff has read a financial publication in the past decade.

All that’s clear, Save Jerseyans, is the inevitability of economic désastre


There’s No Room for Compromise on Job-Killing Minimum Wage Hikes

Save Jersey has relentlessly argued that hiking New Jersey minimum wage is a terrible, economically-catastrophic idea.  

The free enterprise system created America’s Middle Class. Continued government tinkering in the free market has brought mean wage earners to their knees and sent job creators scurrying for cover. It’s a lesson that’s as old as the Pilgrims.

Politicians are slow learners. S-3/A-2162 (in case you’ve forgotten or are tuning in for the first time) would raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour all in one shot while simultaneously coupling future minimum wage hikes to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Automatic increases! [Clarification: S-3 is statutory; SRC117 is "via constitutional amendment."] A small business owner’s worst nightmare come to life…

Americans for Prosperity state director Steve Lonegan concurs; he participated in the public comment portion of yesterday’s Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee session:

Interestingly, Republican state Senator Joe Pennacchio is pushing a counter-proposal which would increase the minimum wage to $8.50 but over three years and without the automatic CPI increases enshrined in our state constitution.

That worries me, Save Jerseyans.

Pennacchio is an arch-conservative. Is his proposal a concession that an increase is imminent? Translated: the Governor might sign onto such an increase? And/or the GOP legislative caucus doesn’t intend to attack the substance of a minimum wage hike? Only the procedureal mechanism(s)? I don’t have the answers, but I’m not liking what I’m hearing… 

Mark my words: a Trenton Republican failure to fight any increase whatsoever will doom the state party in next year’s legislative elections. There’s frankly no room for “compromise” when compromise means destroying what’s left of our state’s fragile job market.