BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Harley, it's over. You're done!

Amid the good news about better than expected reserves -- something that her man at De la Guerra waited until the day after the election to say something about, was an exchange between Dr. Dan, Dassy and Harley "I live the living wage" Augustino. I'll put the ful text of the exchange in the comments section.

Harley's obviously been working hard to get the living wage passed -- but this kind of attendance at the budget meeting seems a little forced which is probably what Dr. Dan was responding to. I'm sure a lot of you would rather blame Das and say so in your comments. Can we keep it to a minimum? and civil?

How about discussion on whether or not a living wage ordinance would be priority with budget surplus -- I'm not sure it is. I also don't think the City of SB should be responsible for more than their own workers -- the majority of which, save the tennis ball pickeruppers and the garage attendants, make a living waqe and more.

44 Comments:

Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

From the NP:

At this week's meeting of the Finance Committee -- made up of Dr. Secord, Mr. Williams and Councilman Roger Horton -- living wage proponent Harley Augustino took a seat at the table alongside the committee and members of the city staff.

Toward the end of the meeting, Mr. Augustino asked questions about the budget but then made comments about the upcoming living wage discussion.

Dr. Secord abruptly cut him off.

"Harley, it's over. You're done," Dr. Secord said. "When you started making a speech, your comments are over."

The activist tried to speak again, but Dr. Secord, chair of the committee, called on Mr. Horton, who had an unrelated question.

Mr. Williams then interrupted Mr. Horton, saying, "Hold on a moment."

"It's not irregular for us to allow people to make speeches," Mr. Williams told Dr. Secord.

Dr. Secord retorted, "What do you want to do about it?"

Attempting to defend Mr. Augustino, Mr. Williams said the activist should be given time to speak, regardless of whether he was making a "speech" or not, suggesting that it was inappropriate to cut off a member of the public.

Dr. Secord told Mr. Williams, "No, I don't want to."

Dr. Secord added that Mr. Augustino was free to go to the full council meeting and make a speech if he desired.

Mr. Augustino, looking perplexed, just smiled. The meeting ended a few minutes later.

Mr. Augustino did not return to the full council meeting later in the day.

11/26/2005 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wiser words were never spoken.........

11/26/2005 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

I hope everyone sees what happened in the above transcript.

Secord is all about shutting people up, not listening to them.

Speeches during public comment time at City Hall sessions can be long and boring and inane. But listening to them, with reasonable time constraints, is what a Public Servant is hired to do.

11/27/2005 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Harvey is out of line. If Harvey wants a seat at the table it cost him an election and full discussion about who he is and what he stands for. Sorry Harvey you are not on the finance committee, you are not on the city council. So take your seat and shut up until called upon.

11/27/2005 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The living wage is a joke. If there is a need for it then the city will be forced to raised wages and right now there are more job applicants than jobs. The last I checked we were still a market driven society and the communist state mandated price and salary experiment failed horribly.

Yes Harvey and Dassy it cost a lot to live here. Every one pays the extra price to live here if your a millionaire or the working poor. We all make a choice to stay. By staying we have made a statement that our quallity of life is worth the price and part of the reality is wages vs. housing and other cost.

And Dassy since you worked your way up from the poor and now are a home owner in the city on a small city wage - who have you done it?

Force wages to increase and all cost increase over time and the whole thing becomes a farce - which is what it is - a farce.

Thank you dr. dan for standing up to these freaks.

11/27/2005 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we need to look at who paid for the Das home - who holds the paper - Peter Sperling?

11/27/2005 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

So we want to stop public comment (thought it was allowed in the past), and so what's next?
Burn a few books?

Sit down and shut up?
Yeah, that's the American way.

11/27/2005 3:10 PM  
Blogger john san roque said...

I find it hard to believe that anyone thinks the living wage idea is a good one. Maybe I am missing something. Can someone explain to me why it's a good idea to mandate that a municipal employee with (let's say) less education, less experience, less ability, and less responsibility should make a higher salary than another SB worker not on the city payroll? And why that salary should be based on a figure that has no relationship to the job being performed?

You can't fiddle in one discrete area with the law of supply and demand and not affect other areas. Is the idea at this time that just city employees get the living wage, or does it also include contractors with the city?

It's a nice, feel-good thought that everyone should be able to live here, in one of the most desirable areas of the world, but it doesn't work that way--especially when the implementation of the living wage will increase the cost of living in that same area. It will contribute significantly to a spiral of escalation of wages, housing prices, taxes, and consumption of natural resources. There are several million people who work in Manhattan who can't afford to live there and have worse commutes than South Coast workers. Do the proponents of the living wage see this as a local issue or one that should be applied everywhere?

This is not a rhetorical question or one asked with any sarcasm. I really don't understand this idea and would love to have a proponent tell me where this concept will end.

11/27/2005 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The biggest benefactor of the so-called "living wage" is organized labor. Period. It began as a stealth method to discourage public entities from privitazation of public sector functions. It's now used as a bullying tool to accuse those who merely question its merits as somehow anti-poor, or racist. People are starting to challenge this irrational repressive tactic and talk about the living wage for what it is---a big fraud.

11/27/2005 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's it. If you don't agree with Harley and the folks being able to sit in on meetings and run the show you are a book burning Nazi or a racist. Cut the bullshit. Your big power play didn't work out. You don't have the votes. Access denied. Simple as that, no hidden boogeymen.

11/27/2005 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

"Access denied."
The perp is self-indicted.
---
As for the living wage.
Yeah, let's keep the underclass just that.
Santa Barbara needs the two tiers, damn the middle class. Hope Ranch absolutely needs the gutter cleaners.

11/27/2005 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entry inspired by the news article brings up the broader questions:

Is the "living wage" really the best use of the city's money to achieve the goals of helping the poor people (assuming the goals actually are known)?

Is Harley, and by extension, PUEBLO, really effective in whatever they are trying to do (assuming we know what they really are trying to do)?

The "living wage" ordinance is going to pass the council, but just not for the maximum amount PUEBLO wants. Everyone also should know that if the workers at the bottom of the wage scale are boosted by an ordinance, then the workers a notch above the bottom also will have to get a boost with a ripple extending upward a bit.

As a result, the city labor union that represents the workers at the notch above wants this minimum wage ordinance to pass, so their union members can get a boost separate from the usual negotiation process. The wage advocates can argue all they want that this would not happen, but they know it will, and that is why they support it but do not admit why. So, what should the City NOT be paying for to compensate for this increase in spending for the raised wages? Advicates for the wage ordinance and the full amount need to mature a bit in their rhetoric and go the next step and indicate how the city should find the money.

If eliminating the free 60 or 75 minutes for downtown city car parking lots is the answer, then PUEBLO should say so, especially because Harley has said as much in several public meetings and interviews for months, but, not surprisingly, he was silent about this during his pitch to city council on November 22nd about why he should be appointed to the city's downtown Parking Committee.

During the same pitch by Harley, he also remarked that the city should end its policy that only American citizens should be appointed to various advisory groups, boards, committees, and commissions. This is what the qualification entitled "qualified elector" means on the application form. An applicant must be a "qualified elector" to be appointed, meaning that the applicant must be registered to vote in the city, meaning that the applicant must first be an American citizen.

So, to expand about PUEBLO, everyone should know for what and for whom they really advocate. They do not seem to promote how many new registered voters they deliver, although they once did in past years.

The PUEBLO effectiveness, or not, in other areas can be the subject of a posting here at a future time.

11/28/2005 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if Harley does not get to take over a budget meeting and give a poltical speech we jump to book burning. Gosh one cannot ever understand why the Living Wage is DOA and not on the mind of anyone except the selfish labor movement.

The funning thing is that a city council that is 6/7 liberal dems will not pass the wage in any real acceptable form and should not pass anything at all.

And classic socialist, kill the goose and steal the egg. The free downtown parking was put into place to compete with malls and to encourage people to shop downtown and leave their tax dollars here so we can afford to pay city workers. So the logic here is:

1. Take away the free parking and use the money to pay the living wage.

2. Yet what will happen is less and less people will come downtown.

3. And not only will less and less pay parking therefore not giving Harley is money, with less and less coming sales tax revenue will decrease and take away more money from the city.

4. End result - less money to pay the now overinflated back door labor give away living wage.

So the city tax payers lose and the union folks get paid above national and state average wages because an emotional appeal - sorry Harley - your idea does not pass the smell or the taste test.

11/28/2005 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Now, the U.S. Air Force knew how to prioritize.
Building a new base, they would construct the officer’s quarters and officer’s club first, then run back to Congress for more money to build the runway. Need a runway! they’d scream. That was smart.

Just as smart: our City Council and the various power sets get their pay raises first, but we have all sorts of very intellectualized reasons why we don’t need pay raises for our runners and attendants.

“Sit down and shut up!”
(Sam Browne Belts and Jackboots will be issued at the back of the meeting hall. Thank you.)

11/28/2005 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do council members get paid a living wage to work at least 40 more like 60 hours per week including overtime?

11/28/2005 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harley -

The council raise came from a public vote - not a threat and power grap campaign.

Lets go for it and put the living wage to a public vote.

Up for it boys?

11/28/2005 4:01 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/28/2005 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Regardless of the process, whether by the ballot or by the council, raising anyone's pay right now would be financially irresponsible.

No pay raise for the council would have reached the voters if the SB council had not pushed it.
So pushing the hard decisions off onto the voters is irresponsible in itself.

We elect people to make the hard governmental decisions so we can get back to work and live our lives and pay our taxes.

This is a terrific web site and I applaud the owners.

11/28/2005 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that it is the peoples money and it is the peoples decision. If the working poor are so abused in this city maybe they will vote for the living wage. It will raise all boats.

Val are you saying transparency and openess about spending our tax dollars is not good because he could get messy?

And in fact the living wage would become a tax increase. Harley says raise parking fees again - what other taxes is he and others willing to raise to pay for the union give away.

By the way who funds Pueblo and Harley? SEIU.

I say bring the monied suspects to play and expose who gets money from whom.

The living wage is a highly unpopular non-issue in the neighborhoods and is only forwarded by the unions.

11/28/2005 5:16 PM  
Blogger daraka kenric said...

Wow, this blog has really turned the corner.
I'm not going to respond to all of the misinformed claims about the living wage listed above. SB For A Living Wage has made reasoned, researched information available for some time now. If people would rather believe Travis Armstrong or Joe Amendariz on the issue, that's their business. City after city has passed a Living Wage ordinance without the sky falling on them.

However, I'm surprised that my friend Harley Augustino is getting such a drubbing by anonymous readers and anonymous bloggers on this once interesting and gutsy website. What is the point in sniping at community activists?

Wither blogabarbara.

-daraka

11/28/2005 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

see what happens when anyone dare criticize or question the living wage?

11/28/2005 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

daraka -

Go ahead and answer all the misinformation - humor us.

Who is the activist ? Harley ? Sorry union organizer is not an activist.

What cities the size of Santa Barbara in the middle of budget short falls have passed a living wage like the one you propose?

And I agree with above - it seems if this blog is not all supportive of the union leaders it is now to wither. Gosh what a surprise - if you do not all agree with me I am taking my blog and going home.

11/28/2005 8:12 PM  
Blogger Dan Ancona said...

Oh no! Is blogabarbara jumping the shark?!

Sara, ask yourself this before you post: does Santa Barbara really need yet still another voice for the haves, the have mores, and the have even still incredibly so much mores? It looks like Dr. Secord's got that base covered!

Yes, Harley is an activist. No one even remotely familiar with his work habits or lifestyle would question this. The Governor's attempts to demagogue the labor movement may have been smacked down (hard) by voters, but apparently it's having some residual effects.

And yes, using tax dollars to pay poverty wages is still a lousy idea. The logic behind the living wage is as sound as it was when I still lived there. To the reader who expressed some genuine concern about this: the research is out there. Start here...

http://www.sblivingwage.org/

11/28/2005 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dan -

If ".... using tax dollars to pay poverty wages is still a lousy idea....." then lets' priviatize and let the market answer the question on wages.

11/28/2005 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Solid Anonymous said...

went to http://www.sblivingwage.org/

Found few answers. Yet I found a lot of questions.

How does Santa Barbara relate to Detroit, Baltimore,, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, New Haven, and San Jose, New Orleans, Los Angeles and even Santa Monica?

In Baltimore (the first living wage city) the economy crash and burn during the mid-1990s, with 58,000 jobs disappearing after passing the living wage even as the rest of Maryland added 120,000 jobs and other cities across the country prospered.

I did learn that the entire Living Wage campaign is structured on a manual based upon the organizational theories of legendary radical Saul Alinsky. Coalition building is key to Alinsky’s modus operandi to get diverse constituencies to support various causes by emphasizing their shared interests. In the same way, all living wage campaigns build powerful coalitions of Hispanic workers, inner-city ministers, and various community advocacy groups.

Sound familiar – it is a text book plan.

UCLA economist Richard Sander—who calls himself a “progressive Democrat” and a one-time defender of narrowly drawn living-wage laws—demolished living wage rosy scenarios. Sander estimated that the actual cost of proposed legislation to LA city government would be $42 million—six times advocates estimate. How about here in Santa Barbara?

Los Angeles eventually enacted narrower living-wage legislation, and Sander completed a study of it. He found that the city, and not its contractors, is bearing all the cost of its living wage. Hit with the legislation, L.A. vendors either raised prices or reduced services to the city. Adding in the expense of monitoring compliance with the law, the city bears “more than 100 percent of the cost.” Just what Santa Barbara needs is higher cost for everything.

The fact is that people in real minimum wage jobs do not stay at the minimum wage permanently. Their pay increases as they accumulate experience and develop skills. It increases an average of 30 percent in just their first year of employment, according to the Cato Institute study. Other studies show that low-income people become average-income people in a few years and high-income people later in life.

All of this depends on their having a job in the first place, however. But the living wage kills jobs.

Decades of research have shown that the minimum wage harms the least-skilled workers from poor families while heavily benefiting young workers from middle-income households.

Several studies critical of the living wage come to similar conclusions.

The main beneficiaries of the living wage are public-sector unionized employees because of the reduced incentives for local governments to contract out work. Instead of exploiting grievances of the marginally employed against "greedy" employers, advocates for the poor should focus their energies on building the skills of the poor.

Gosh I wonder who is pushing the living wage? Local poor working their way up in an honest manner happy to have a job they can grow into or the unions?

Harley? Ed?

11/28/2005 9:20 PM  
Blogger Dan Ancona said...

Let the market call the shots and let the people go to hell, eh?

The market IS answering the question, and it's answer is wrong. This city (and this country) have suffered under market fundamentalism long enough, thanks. The time for Hurricane Katrina economic logic has come and gone, it is bloody well long past time for some new thinking.

11/28/2005 9:28 PM  
Anonymous solid Anonymous said...

Let the market call the shots and answer the call. The market answered the call of 13 million poverty level immigrants and the percentage of americans in poverty went down in the last 15 years. And gosh no need to apply Alinsky style union orgainizing to accomplish that amazing feat. But no lets follow the Baltimore model and kill jobs while building up the union and protecting against privatization and draining city budgets - leading to layoffs and job losses - but not for union leaders.

Or better yet lets contol all wages and all profits and control the entire market because the people are not smart enough to figure out what is right and wrong - people cannot survive without the help of progressive union leaders. By the way do the rank and file get less than 25% what Harley and Ed make?

Sorry - do not understand Hurricane Katrina economic logic and how that applies here.

11/28/2005 9:41 PM  
Anonymous solid Anonymous said...

another thought:

"The time for Hurricane Katrina economic logic has come and gone"

Doesn't New Orleans have a living wage?

11/28/2005 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Anonymous said...
see what happens when anyone dare criticize or question the living wage?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So solid you get it now. You and your market policy caused Hurricane Katrina and all the deaths thereafter.

You are either with us or wrong according to the Das, Pueblo, SEIU, and Living Wage world view.

11/28/2005 9:56 PM  
Blogger Dan Ancona said...

Wow, solid anonymous. Nice, thoughtful post (er, the first one anyway). Sara's dream of a substantive argument seem to be coming true.

The first thing you have to keep in mind when thinking about this stuff is that the right has been pouring (literally) billions of dollars a year into organizations whose sole purpose is to create the conventional wisdom around these issues. They have made a serious and incredibly sophisticated effort to own all of the language and frames around these issues. This is what the Heritage and Cato (whose study you found) and Pacific Research etc. Institutes DO. (there are dozens more of them) The kind of discussion we're having right now is exactly why a very small number of very rich people in this country have chosen to put so much money into these things.

The people funding these organizations ABSOLUTELY have a serious axe they want ground. All of the research that's out there is colored by this backdrop.

At the same time, it isn't suprising that there is someone who at least self-identifies as a progressive who disagrees, and who believes he has good reasons to do so. I mean, we're progressives. That's what WE do.

But I believe that person is dead wrong. There is research on both sides of this issue, no doubt, but the overwhelming preponderance of evidence is in favor of the living wage. And yes, this is a deliberately Alinsky-esque tactic, but that's a good thing! I strongly recommend his "Rules for Radicals" to anyone who is fighting for positive change in our society.

At no time did I suggest we get rid of the market. I like markets just fine, they've done great stuff. But markets are like puppies. When a puppy shits on the rug, you don't ignore it and let it keep right on doing that, nor do you put it in a burlap sack and toss it off the end of the pier. You train it. You housebreak it. The market can't exist without government, without democracy. This is what democracy is good for.

Before I got involved in the living wage campaign, I did a LOT of research. I was skeptical at first. I found three rough categories of study: a lot that clearly came from the left, a few that clearly came from the right, and a much smaller number that really seemed like they were from the honest middle. The middle and left ones just plain made better and more reasonable arguments. On top of that, they fit much better both with what seems obvious to me (using tax dollars for poverty wages just doesn't seem smart) and with the other economists I've read who I feel like I can trust, like Galbraith and Krugman.

Whoever you are, if you ever visit up north (I live in SF now), I'd be happy to sit down with a cup of coffee and a laptop with you to debate the finer points of the issues you bring up. I apologize for not going any deeper, but neither my wrists nor the time I have to get up for work in the morning allow me to really wade into the details tonight.

It is really hard to think critically about this stuff, I know. We are all swimming in the sea of market fundamentalist thought that the right wing noise machine has fabricated. It is incredibly hard to break out of it.

Re: New Orleans, just a living wage by itself isn't going to end poverty in Santa Barbara or New Orleans anywhere else, and even best case they're only going to work over time. Poverty is an incredibly complex problem, but living wage laws are absolutely one part of the solution and moving us in the right direction. I wasn't trying to demonize anyone but I do believe that Katrina is a shockingly accurate illustration of the importance of these sometimes abstract-seeming policy discussions.

And to get back to a question Sara asked originally, no, I'm not sure this is absolutely the best possible policy. But how does this matter? How could anyone ever be sure of such a thing? A policy change is either moving us in the right direction, or not. The preponderance of evidence and common sense indicates that passing the living wage is moving us in the right direction.

11/28/2005 10:34 PM  
Anonymous FAH said...

Wow. It's my first visit to this blog and I'm impressed. Don't like everything I read, of course. But, well written and concise comments a good blog make.

I'm an admitted FAH, Friend of Harley. Santa Barbara hasn't seen his kind of principled activism in a long, long time.

A living wage ordinance is a sound and sustainable response to an increasingly hostile economic climate. There's this notion in this country that everyone can pursue the american dream via some kind of entrepreneurial endeavor. Well, that's not the case. There will always be a need for labor. And there will always be laborers who have no interest, capability, or choice in being anything else. And why shouldn't they be able to live more comfortably in a city like Santa Barbara?

Will jobs be lost because of the living wage? Perhaps. But, aren't jobs lost when large corporations move their manufacturing plants to foreign countries seeking cheap labor?

A living wage is not an end all, and nobody is pretending that it is. But, it's a worthy venture we should all be willing to explore.

11/29/2005 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with the living wage has not been the philosophy behind it. It has been in the take no prisoners, no quarter, ham fisted approach taken by its leadership. Anybody dealing with the City knows that incremental steps get you there fairly quickly. They have now galvanized opposition to their cause, offended supporters who didn't want to give them 100% of what was wanted and made themselves look they have no teeth with a failed power play. So while the TA style polemics posted here about Saul Alinsky, etc. are interesting from an academic point of view, politically a big step backwards has been taken and the leaders need to take a hard look at themselves and park their egos by the door.

11/30/2005 7:42 AM  
Anonymous just a Jose said...

The post above is one good analysis of what PUEBLO has been. Bravo.

PUEBLO needs to refocus on what really enhances their clout: voter registration and votes delivered. Even Iya Falcone praised them privately for their past voter registration efforts, but they were totally silent about that during the months prior to the Nov. 2005 election.

PUEBLO could make a big spectacle by mustering their constituents for an event to drop off their completed absentee ballots. Cannot they think of this themselves, TA style polemics or not?????

11/30/2005 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too late. they burned so many bridges in the past month, whether their egos will allow them to admit it or not. It may be easier for them to just villianize the folks they burned....sad.

11/30/2005 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pueblo is now branded as a far left wing dirty tactic radical orgainzation. Too bad as there was a role for them and Harley let Das push them to far and they blew it big time. BTW while they were out pushing lower east side voters to get out to vote thinking they would support the Pueblo candidates - the were supporting Falcone as much or more. Interesting. They fell into the Santa Barbara progressive trap of leaving the roots of social issues and joined the development debate and lost like all others. Danger Harley.

11/30/2005 1:10 PM  
Anonymous just a Jose said...

Really reaching, or spinning with that one. The leading PUEBLO activists have plenty of ego and chutzpah and bad political judgement to dig their own hole without special pushing from Das Williams.

And go ahead and post the evidence that the Lower Eastside voters were "supporting Falcone as much or more".

Spin is caught here.

11/30/2005 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anybody know how the different areas of town voted yet? curious about where eveybody was strongest and weakest

11/30/2005 1:48 PM  
Anonymous hillary b said...

Wow! Just stumbled on to this post after a few months away from blogabarbara. I think it's so cute how all the bile being spewed at strong activists and working people (like Harley, not Harvey!)is by this strange group known as "anonymous". Speaks volumes...

11/30/2005 10:57 PM  
Anonymous just a Jose said...

Instead of complaining how much Harley or Harvey and other pueblo people are so maligned, how about just responding to the substantive issues raised here in earlier posts?

Such as: where the city will get the money to pay for the wage increase, what will be cut to find the money, how the same amount of city money would help more people more effectively, and the future clout of pueblo given their attacks prior the the recent election that probably boosted the votes to the candidates they attacked, and what the city council now really owes to the pueblo advocates.

All the blog entries are fake names here, so get over it stick to the issues. The FOH and other pueblo supporters are now acting like the Bush administration, and instead of answering the tough question, they, like the Bushies, just cry that they are abused and anyone who opposes their cause must be for the terrorists and against the troops.

12/01/2005 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about the personalities. Harley et al will be gone in a few years and we will have to clean up the mess left behind by them.

The city taxpayers will pay the price for the living wage, study and study prove that. Does it make any sense that contractors competing for city contracts bid high now and have a lot of fat? No. So in the future just like in LA and other living wage cities, the bids go up and taxpayers pay with little money. So less street repairs, fewer fire fighters and police on the street and higher fees and taxes and less hiring. So living wage results in few jobs at the entry level and that helps the working poor get ahead by ???

12/01/2005 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Friend of Harley (FOS) formerly FAH = ) said...

Just a Jose, I think you are oversimplifying a bit. We are hardly like the Bushies. But, explain to me how free market capitalism takes care of the poor.

Let's start there.

And if a living wage will now be the cause of potholes I'll be happy to organize a "cover a pothole" collective.

12/03/2005 3:57 PM  
Anonymous just a Jose said...

FOH/FOS:

Now you are the one oversimplifying.
My postings here were not about capitalism, the poor, and potholes. Those were by other Anonymouses.

My points are that the wage activists still have not demonstrated how an increase in city spending to serve the poor people would be spending most effectively spent in higher wages, versus other projects and programs that would make the lives easier for the poor people --all the poor people-- and actually get them further out of poverty. The issues or questions are outlined in my earlier posting above.

Alternatively, instead of collecting money to fix potholes because the city would have less money that instead is spent on higher wages, how about just collecting your money and giving it to the same poor people target audience instead?

It all is about the theory of local government, and what should local government spend its money on, versus private enterprise, versus voluntary charitable contributions. When an artificially inflated wage is how government spends its money, and then fixing potholes becomes a voluntary charity, something in this "system" has become way too inefficient, leading to less money for wages and potholes.

12/03/2005 4:32 PM  
Anonymous FOH said...

My apologies, just a Jose. I should be more careful about who said what.

But, as you say, it's about the theory of local government, and what it should spend its money on. And clearly there will always be disagreement about what should be done and what will work. The struggles exists when theories are tested. Or, better yet, when there are efforts to put certain ideas to the test. What I've said all along is that a living wage is worthy of consideration. Let's test it in Santa Barbara. I think PUEBLO has made a strong case for it.

12/04/2005 12:54 AM  
Anonymous just a Jose said...

One more time... that "strong case" again is what???

Where will the city funds come from?

What will be given up in the city budget instead?

Would the same amount of money serve the targeted population more effectively?

What is the targeted population?

If PUEBLO and FOHs really expect to be successful at City Council, they need to argue successfully on these questions and others. Just presenting a parade of "working families" who need a higher income will not be too persuasive.

Many tests will come up soon to find out what the individual council members really think they owe to the Pueblo people, especially when they cannot prevail on the merits of the issue.

12/04/2005 2:37 PM  

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