Tag Archives: Unintended Consequences

Family of woman murdered by illegal immigrant sues sanctuary city

Is it time for justice for the victims of Democrat policies?
Is it time for justice for the victims of Democrat policies?

Investors Business Daily has some good news, something that makes me hopeful of the future.

Excerpt:

The family of Kate Steinle, the young woman gunned down by an illegal alien in San Francisco, is suing the city and its enablers. How sad nothing’s changed since her death, and lawsuits are all citizens have left.

After enduring a round of crocodile tears and flapdoodle from city officials — and a noticeable silence from the White House — it was obvious to the family of Kathryn Steinle, the 32-year-old woman gunned down in broad daylight by a five-times-deported illegal, that the powers that be in the sanctuary city of San Francisco and in the federal government would try to ignore the death of their daughter.

After all, the San Francisco and federal governments encouraged the non-enforcement of immigration laws and were banking on the public forgetting how illegal aliens are committing heinous crimes with impunity against Americans, shielded by sanctuary city policies.

Business as usual could go on. Or so they hoped.

Except that the Steinles have decided not to let this one go. On Tuesday, they filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco, its sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and the Bureau of Land Management, whose insufficiently secured gun became the illegal’s murder weapon.

“We’re frustrated,” said Brad Steinle, the dead woman’s brother, at a news conference on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday. “Because the system failed our sister. And at this point, nobody has taken responsibility, accountability. And nothing has changed.”

“We’re here not only for Kate, we’re here for every citizen of this country who comes to San Francisco,” said her father, Jim Steinle. “If you think this can’t happen to you, think again.”

He recalled how, strolling in broad daylight on a tourist pier in San Francisco last July, he watched as Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, with a long criminal career behind him, gunned his daughter down.

The illegal later admitted to investigators that he was attracted to San Francisco for its sanctuary city policies.

So far, we have not seen a lot of progress in punishing Hillary Clinton for sending and receiving classified e-mails, and storing them on a thumb drive to give to her lawyer. We have not seen a lot of progress in investigating and de-funding Planned Parenthood for alleged criminal activities. We have not seen a lot of progress at punishing the IRS for persecuting conservative groups ahead of the 2012 election, in order to suppress their influence so that Obama could be re-elected. It sometimes seems impossible to hold the Democrats accountable for the harm they do with their delusional laws and policies. And the media successfully covers up the greed, corruption and destructive incompetence.

Until now.

This time, it’s very clear that the Democrats are responsible for what happened to Kate Steinle. This criminal was released without informing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. That refusal to follow the law cost Kate Steinle her life. And it showed the world the consequences of leftist ideology. The left is soft on illegal immigrants who commit crimes and/or take unfair advantage of social programs. The left is soft on crime – they would rather favor the criminal over the victim of the criminal. They don’t like moral judgments. They don’t like when people reap what they sow. They call evil good, and good evil, and they feel compassion when they fix the problems of evil people by taking away from what good people have earned.

So often, the public is deliberately deceived by the media about the effects of leftist policies. We won’t see the consequences of Obama running up 10 trillion in new debt right away. We won’t see the consequences to the crime rate for rewarding women who choose to create fatherless children. We don’t see the consequences of redefining marriage on the next generation of taxpayers. We don’t see the consequences of legalizing no-fault divorce right away. We don’t see the effect on our social safety net when we abort the next generation of taxpayers and create a demographic crisis. Liberals seem to be impossible to hold accountable. They just keep talking and talking about how generous they are with other people’s money, and how compassionate they are to favor evildoers over innocent citizens.

But this time, the mask is off. Now we know the consequences of wanting to be generous with law-breakers. Now we realize that relaxing the rules in order to be “nice” actually does harm to innocent people. And if this lawsuit succeeds, and the Steinles get justice, maybe it will be the beginning of government becoming accountable to the people. The solution to bad government is holding the government leaders accountable for their mistakes right away. And I think the mistakes are going to become easier to spot as the money for welfare spending runs out, and people have to pay for their own poor decision-making.

San Francisco book store closes after minimum wage increase

Important story from the most leftist city in America.

ABC News:

Independent bookstores have faced tough times for quite a while. In San Francisco, neighborhood businesses have been passionately protected, so it’s hard to believe that an initiative passed by voters to raise the minimum wage is driving a Mission District bookstore out of business.

San Francisco’s minimum wage is currently $11.05 an hour. By July of 2018, the minimum wage in San Francisco will be $15 an hour. That increase is forcing Borderlands Bookstore to write its last chapter now.

[…]Borderlands was turning a small profit, about $3,000 last year. Then voters approved a hike in the minimum wage, a gradual rise from $10.75 up to $15 an hour.

“And by 2018 we’ll be losing about $25,000 a year,” he said.

It’s an unexpected plot twist for loyal customers.

“You know, I voted for the measure as well, the minimum wage measure,” customer Edward Vallecillo said. “It’s not something that I thought would affect certain specific small businesses. I feel sad.”

Though it’s caught a lot of people off guard, one group that wasn’t completely surprised was the Board of Supervisors. In fact, they say they debated this very topic before sending the minimum wage to the voters.

“I know that bookstores are in a tough position, and this did come up in the discussions on minimum wage,” San Francisco supervisor Scott Wiener said.

Wiener knows a lot of merchants will pass the wage increases on to their customers, but not bookstores.

“I can’t increase the prices of my products because books, unlike many other things, have a price printed on them,”

Wiener says it’s the will of the voters. Seventy-seven percent of them voted for this latest wage hike.

Unexpected!

Let’s review the facts on minimum wage, and then I can make fun of one of my friends in my conclusion.

Abstract from new National Bureau of Economic Research study:

We estimate the minimum wage’s effects on low-skilled workers’ employment and income trajectories. Our approach exploits two dimensions of the data we analyze. First, we compare workers in states that were bound by recent increases in the federal minimum wage to workers in states that were not. Second, we use 12 months of baseline data to divide low-skilled workers into a “target” group, whose baseline wage rates were directly affected, and a “within-state control” group with slightly higher baseline wage rates. Over three subsequent years, we find that binding minimum wage increases had significant, negative effects on the employment and income growth of targeted workers. Lost income reflects contributions from employment declines, increased probabilities of working without pay (i.e., an “internship” effect), and lost wage growth associated with reductions in experience accumulation. Methodologically, we show that our approach identifies targeted workers more precisely than the demographic and industrial proxies used regularly in the literature. Additionally, because we identify targeted workers on a population-wide basis, our approach is relatively well suited for extrapolating to estimates of the minimum wage’s effects on aggregate employment. Over the late 2000s, the average effective minimum wage rose by 30 percent across the United States. We estimate that these minimum wage increases reduced the national employment-to-population ratio by 0.7 percentage point.

That comes out to 1.4 million workers.

Harvard economist Greg Mankiw explains the top 14 views that a majority professional economists agree on, and here’s #12:

12. A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers. (79%)

OK, now the funny part.

I know someone who is a fairly committed Christian. He is also an unemployed graduate student. He doesn’t understand anything about politics or economics. He is also single, and looking for a girlfriend. He messages me periodically about new girls he is interested in, and he asks me “is she pretty?”. He asks that for each new girl. I try to tell him that there is more to women than just appearances, but this guy looked at my list of courting questions on Christian worldview and he thought it was a joke. Appearance is everything – he wants Barbie with a Bible.

He asked me what I thought of this one lady he liked. I went on her Facebook page, and I found out that she was in favor of minimum wage hikes. So I messaged her and linked her to some peer-reviewed studies by economists showing that minimum wage hikes hurt young, minority workers most – they can’t get an entry-level job to start themselves off. And she said, and I quote: “oh, that appeal to authority doesn’t work on me at all xD”. She is in high school, but wants to study philosophy. I hope she doesn’t borrow money for that, but I think that she probably will.

She writes:

it has barely effected (sic) price ranges at all for corporations who’ve been required to raise the wage. the fact is, corporations have never been trustworthy with voluntarily treating their workers well. our best years were ones where banks and corporations were very heavily regulated.

No evidence was provided for that statement, of course. The money comes from… magic beans! Or something.

I think my friend just likes attention from women, and that they like that he doesn’t ask them hard questions, or tell them when they are wrong about anything. He’s a good student, but I wouldn’t take his advice on anything real-world until he grows up. But I think his tendency to affirm anything a woman says to him will make him very popular with a certain subset of women.

Thomas Sowell explains the historical effects of tax cuts

Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell

Here’s part 1 of 3.

Excerpt:

The actual results of the cuts in tax rates in the 1920s were very similar to the results of later tax-rate cuts during the Kennedy, Reagan and George. W. Bush administrations — namely, rising output, rising employment to produce that output, rising incomes as a result and rising tax revenues for the government because of the rising incomes, though the tax rates had been lowered.

Another consequence was that people in higher-income brackets paid not only a larger total amount of taxes, but a higher percentage of all taxes, after what were called “tax cuts for the rich.” It was not simply that their incomes rose, but that this was not taxable income, since the lower tax rates made it profitable to get higher returns outside of tax shelters.

The facts are unmistakably plain, for those who bother to check the facts. In 1921, when the tax rate on people making over $100,000 a year was 73%, the federal government collected a little over $700 million in income taxes, of which 30% was paid by those making over $100,000.

[…]By 1929, after a series of tax-rate reductions had cut the tax rate to 24% on those making over $100,000, the federal government collected more than a billion dollars in income taxes, of which 65% was collected from those making over $100,000.

There is nothing mysterious about this. Under the sharply rising tax rates during the Wilson administration, fewer and fewer people reported high taxable incomes, whether by putting their money into tax-exempt securities or by any of the other ways of rearranging their financial affairs to minimize their tax liability.

Under Wilson’s escalating income-tax rates to pay for the high costs of the First World War, the number of people reporting taxable incomes of more than $300,000 — a huge sum in the money of that era — declined from well over a thousand in 1916 to fewer than three hundred in 1921. The total amount of taxable income earned by people making over $300,000 declined by more than four-fifths in those years.

Secretary Mellon estimated in 1923 that the money invested in tax-exempt securities had tripled in a decade, and was now almost three times the size of the federal government’s annual budget and nearly half as large as the national debt. “The man of large income has tended more and more to invest his capital in such a way that the tax collector cannot touch it,” he pointed out.

Getting that money moved out of tax shelters was the whole point of Mellon’s tax-cutting proposals. He also said: “It is incredible that a system of taxation which permits a man with an income of $1,000,000 a year to pay not one cent to the support of his government should remain unaltered.”

Here’s part 2 of 3.

Excerpt:

Empirical evidence on what happened to the economy in the wake of those tax cuts in four different administrations over a span of more than 80 years has also been largely ignored by those opposed to what they call “tax cuts for the rich.”

Confusion between reducing tax rates on individuals and reducing tax revenues received by the government has run through much of these discussions over these years.

Famed historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., for example, said that although Andrew Mellon, secretary of the treasury from 1921 to 1932, advocated balancing the budget and paying off the national debt, he “inconsistently” sought “reduction in tax rates.”

Nor was Schlesinger the only highly regarded historian to perpetuate economic confusion between tax rates and tax revenues. Today, widely used textbooks by various well-known historians have continued to misstate what was advocated in the 1920s and what the actual consequences were.

According to the textbook “These United States” by Irwin Unger, Mellon, “a rich Pittsburgh industrialist,” persuaded Congress to “reduce income tax rates at the upper-income levels while leaving those at the bottom untouched.”

Thus “Mellon won further victories for his drive to shift more of the tax burden from the high-income earners to the middle and wage-earning classes.”

But hard data show that, in fact, both the amount and the proportion of taxes paid by those whose net income was no higher than $25,000 went down between 1921 and 1929, while both the amount and the proportion of taxes paid by those whose net incomes were between $50,000 and $100,000 went up — and the amount and proportion of taxes paid by those whose net incomes were over $100,000 went up even more sharply.

And here’s part 3 of 3.

Excerpt:

President Kennedy, like Andrew Mellon decades earlier, pointed out that “efforts to avoid tax liabilities” make “certain types of less-productive activity more profitable than other more valuable undertakings” and “this inhibits our growth and efficiency.” Therefore the “purpose of cutting taxes” is “to achieve a more prosperous, expanding economy.”

“Total output and economic growth” were italicized words in the text of Kennedy’s address to Congress in January 1963, urging cuts in tax rates. Much the same theme was repeated yet again in President Reagan’s February 1981 address to a joint session of Congress, pointing out that “this is not merely a shift of wealth between different sets of taxpayers.”

Instead, basing himself on a “solid body of economic experts,” he expected that “real production in goods and services will grow.”

Even when empirical evidence substantiates the arguments made for cuts in tax rates, such facts are not treated as evidence relevant to testing a disputed hypothesis, but as isolated curiosities. Thus, when tax revenues rose in the wake of the tax-rate cuts made during the George W. Bush administration, the New York Times reported:

“An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.”

Expectations, of course, are in the eye of the beholder. However surprising these facts may have been to the New York Times, they are exactly what proponents of reducing high tax rates have been expecting, not only from these particular tax rate cuts, but from similar reductions in high tax rates at various times going back more than three-quarters of a century.

It’s Thomas Sowell – the official economist of the Tea Party.

Thomas Sowell explains the historical effects of tax cuts

Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell

Here’s part 1 of 3.

Excerpt:

The actual results of the cuts in tax rates in the 1920s were very similar to the results of later tax-rate cuts during the Kennedy, Reagan and George. W. Bush administrations — namely, rising output, rising employment to produce that output, rising incomes as a result and rising tax revenues for the government because of the rising incomes, though the tax rates had been lowered.

Another consequence was that people in higher-income brackets paid not only a larger total amount of taxes, but a higher percentage of all taxes, after what were called “tax cuts for the rich.” It was not simply that their incomes rose, but that this was not taxable income, since the lower tax rates made it profitable to get higher returns outside of tax shelters.

The facts are unmistakably plain, for those who bother to check the facts. In 1921, when the tax rate on people making over $100,000 a year was 73%, the federal government collected a little over $700 million in income taxes, of which 30% was paid by those making over $100,000.

[…]By 1929, after a series of tax-rate reductions had cut the tax rate to 24% on those making over $100,000, the federal government collected more than a billion dollars in income taxes, of which 65% was collected from those making over $100,000.

There is nothing mysterious about this. Under the sharply rising tax rates during the Wilson administration, fewer and fewer people reported high taxable incomes, whether by putting their money into tax-exempt securities or by any of the other ways of rearranging their financial affairs to minimize their tax liability.

Under Wilson’s escalating income-tax rates to pay for the high costs of the First World War, the number of people reporting taxable incomes of more than $300,000 — a huge sum in the money of that era — declined from well over a thousand in 1916 to fewer than three hundred in 1921. The total amount of taxable income earned by people making over $300,000 declined by more than four-fifths in those years.

Secretary Mellon estimated in 1923 that the money invested in tax-exempt securities had tripled in a decade, and was now almost three times the size of the federal government’s annual budget and nearly half as large as the national debt. “The man of large income has tended more and more to invest his capital in such a way that the tax collector cannot touch it,” he pointed out.

Getting that money moved out of tax shelters was the whole point of Mellon’s tax-cutting proposals. He also said: “It is incredible that a system of taxation which permits a man with an income of $1,000,000 a year to pay not one cent to the support of his government should remain unaltered.”

Here’s part 2 of 3.

Excerpt:

Empirical evidence on what happened to the economy in the wake of those tax cuts in four different administrations over a span of more than 80 years has also been largely ignored by those opposed to what they call “tax cuts for the rich.”

Confusion between reducing tax rates on individuals and reducing tax revenues received by the government has run through much of these discussions over these years.

Famed historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., for example, said that although Andrew Mellon, secretary of the treasury from 1921 to 1932, advocated balancing the budget and paying off the national debt, he “inconsistently” sought “reduction in tax rates.”

Nor was Schlesinger the only highly regarded historian to perpetuate economic confusion between tax rates and tax revenues. Today, widely used textbooks by various well-known historians have continued to misstate what was advocated in the 1920s and what the actual consequences were.

According to the textbook “These United States” by Irwin Unger, Mellon, “a rich Pittsburgh industrialist,” persuaded Congress to “reduce income tax rates at the upper-income levels while leaving those at the bottom untouched.”

Thus “Mellon won further victories for his drive to shift more of the tax burden from the high-income earners to the middle and wage-earning classes.”

But hard data show that, in fact, both the amount and the proportion of taxes paid by those whose net income was no higher than $25,000 went down between 1921 and 1929, while both the amount and the proportion of taxes paid by those whose net incomes were between $50,000 and $100,000 went up — and the amount and proportion of taxes paid by those whose net incomes were over $100,000 went up even more sharply.

And here’s part 3 of 3.

Excerpt:

President Kennedy, like Andrew Mellon decades earlier, pointed out that “efforts to avoid tax liabilities” make “certain types of less-productive activity more profitable than other more valuable undertakings” and “this inhibits our growth and efficiency.” Therefore the “purpose of cutting taxes” is “to achieve a more prosperous, expanding economy.”

“Total output and economic growth” were italicized words in the text of Kennedy’s address to Congress in January 1963, urging cuts in tax rates. Much the same theme was repeated yet again in President Reagan’s February 1981 address to a joint session of Congress, pointing out that “this is not merely a shift of wealth between different sets of taxpayers.”

Instead, basing himself on a “solid body of economic experts,” he expected that “real production in goods and services will grow.”

Even when empirical evidence substantiates the arguments made for cuts in tax rates, such facts are not treated as evidence relevant to testing a disputed hypothesis, but as isolated curiosities. Thus, when tax revenues rose in the wake of the tax-rate cuts made during the George W. Bush administration, the New York Times reported:

“An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.”

Expectations, of course, are in the eye of the beholder. However surprising these facts may have been to the New York Times, they are exactly what proponents of reducing high tax rates have been expecting, not only from these particular tax rate cuts, but from similar reductions in high tax rates at various times going back more than three-quarters of a century.

It’s Thomas Sowell – the official economist of the Tea Party.

Sometimes good intentions meet unintended consequences

A funny video from those crazy libertarians. (H/T Ari)

We should avoid making decisions on the basis of wanting to feel good about ourselves, because it can harm the very people we say we want to help. The right thing to do is to consider the consequences for ALL parties involved in a policy.