Warren Licks ‘Em, Brown Joins ‘Em

Comments (31)
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Last week saw newly minted Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) taking a lick at corrupt financial bigwigs once again, this time by shaking an angry finger at Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation (HSBC) for involvement with money tainted by narco deals and murder. HSBC will pay the U.S. $1.92 billion to settle charges of laundering illegal funds, including funds from Mexican and Colombian drug cartels. The bank is also accused of coddling clients with ties to terrorism.

Warren gave attendees at a Senate banking committee hearing on on March 7 a piece of her mind about the lack of criminal prosecutions in such cases. If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, Warren pointed out, you go to jail. “But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions,” she charged, “your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night... and I just think that’s fundamentally wrong.”

Meanwhile Scott Brown, who recently vacated his Senate post in Washington and declined to run for the Senate seat just vacated by now-Secretary of State John Kerry, has joined the world of big-time finance and its lobbyists by taking a job with Nixon Peabody LLC. The firm announced that Brown’s focus would be “business and governmental affairs;” that seems to be translatable as lobbying, which Nixon Peabody is known for.

Brown, a Republican, rode into the Senate on a wave of money from Wall Street, and money seems to be the theme of his career, though public service runs it a close second; Brown has previously served as a state rep and state senator. But if the man who, as a Senate candidate, turned the barn jacket into a suburban chick-vote magnet runs for governor, as it’s rumored he may do, voters in the commonwealth should think twice about whether they want to compete with big business for his loyalty.•

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Did you know that Elizabeth Warren flipped at least 9 foreclosed homes for profit and made short term high interest loans to family members? I assume it was during breaks from her looking out for the little guy.

Posted by Ben on 3.19.13 at 20:17

And there's this...

"Elizabeth Warren demanded Monday that Senator Scott Brown release more of his tax returns. The only problem was that Brown, her Republican rival, had already released six years of tax returns while Warren has refused to release more than four years of her filings.

Asked to reconcile that apparent conflict, Warren backed off her demand, saying today that six years was enough. She did not, however, offer to release any more of her IRS filings."

Posted by Ben on 3.20.13 at 8:32

Ben, why are you picking on Warren? Do you hate Native Americans? Racist!

But seriously, in a Senate hearing recently, Fauxcohantos asked why the minimum wage wasn't $22/hour. Why not make it $200/hour and then everybody will be rich? So simple.

Posted by Lie-a-watha on 3.20.13 at 9:08

Yup - those excerpts made my head explode. The scary part was she had a "professor" backing her up on a complete lack of understanding economics.

In a wierd coincidence, increases in minimum wage directly benefit unions who have contracts stating salaries to be x times minimum wage. While the low skill workers they claim to want to help lose out to higher skilled people willing to work for the higher amount.

Point is the system is rigged and wealth is a national posession to be distributed per government.

Posted by Ben on 3.20.13 at 10:47

Actually, an increase in minimum wage directly benefits those people who only get paid the minimum wage, many of whom are not members of any union. Also, my guess is an effective union wouldn't have it's members working at mimimum wage. So let's see...suppose we get rid of the minimum wage requirement all together...what do you suppose would happen to pay for those earning minimum wage? Do you suppose it go up?

Posted by JT on 3.21.13 at 7:52

"Also, my guess is an effective union wouldn't have it's members working at mimimum wage." - JT

Hi JT. You need to read exactly what I wrote again and then do some independent research on union pay in relation to minimum wage to fully understand. I'll start you off with this link.

Then you need to think about democrat support of unions in the context of their constant support for minimum wage increases.

Having said that, this whole issue is based on a false idea that minimum wage isn't a temporary rate of pay. The fact is if you just show up and do the bare minimum you won't be minimum wage for more than 6months to 1 year. It's a stepping stone. Trying to match minimum wage with some standard of living is backasswards in terms of our society and economy.

Posted by Ben on 3.21.13 at 10:24

Also, it sounds like you've never been exposed to the counter argument so here are just 2 examples of arguments AGAINST minimum wage increases explaining how it hurts our most unskilled workers... the very people you (and I) are trying to help.

Posted by Ben on 3.21.13 at 10:31

Jeepers Ben, I don't know what I was thinking. Raising someone's income has no impact on them, and certainly could NOT be of a benefit to them. And even though minimum wage earners have a tough time making ends meet, they would probably take that extra money and hide it in a savings account and never EVER spend it in the local economy. Silly me. It would be MUCH better if their employers just gave them credit in the company store, for bags of beans (big bags if they are good workers), and maybe baby supplies to make more workers. And no one would have to be educated anymore because they wouldn't have to count all that money any more. Feel better now? :-)

Posted by JT on 3.22.13 at 9:59

JT - Did you bother to find out what I meant by the relationship between minimum wage and union salaries? Your comment to me about that completely missed the point.

And how to you disagree with the argument that raising the minimum wage hurts our lowest skilled workers? Have you ever read those arguments?

Posted by Ben on 3.22.13 at 11:35

Ben, you should know by now that to be a liberal is to be a self-regarding busybody. Don't try to look beyond: JT is trying to help.

It does not occur to him that raising the minimum wage will cause jobs to dry up because you're raising the cost of labor. Economics schneconomics. It also does not cross his mind that businesses will necessarily pass on the added cost of labor to customers. Are you going to pay $24 for a pizza, JT? No, you won't, but hey didn't we stick it to that greedy pizza parlor that went out of business? Boo-yah!

Posted by Minimum thought on 3.23.13 at 7:31

Sorry guys, I was out doing other things.

Hey Minimum thought - by what you wrote, it would seem the best option for the pizza shop would be to not pay their employees at all, because that would allow their pizzas to be at their lowest price. It makes sense. I'd probably by two pizzas instead of one, and it would be much better for their business. You probably don't mean their employees shouldn't be paid at all, so there's a part of your equation missing. In reality then, how do you determine what their proper income should be? Imagine it was your pizza shop - how do you figure how much to pay them?

Posted by JT on 3.23.13 at 10:11

JT - When you are you going to admit your ignorance on the relationship between minimum wage and union pay? You look worse by avoiding it. Just admit you didn't know what I was talking about and are too lazy to read information I spoon fed to you. I want people to understand the level of liberal argument that takes place on the advocate site.

Posted by Ben on 3.23.13 at 10:26

Hey Ben,

Thanks for your attention. Why not just spell it out here? The basic idea is pretty straight forward, right? You're passionate about it, yes? Should be easy to put it down in words. Why bother with links when you can do it right here?

Posted by JT on 3.23.13 at 10:54

Gotta go do stuff - I'll check in later....

Posted by JT on 3.23.13 at 11:11

Ben: In a wierd coincidence, increases in minimum wage directly benefit unions who have contracts stating salaries to be x times minimum wage.

JT: My guess is an effective union wouldn't have it's members working at mimimum wage.

Conclusion: JT either ignored or does not understand what Ben meant by saying that minimum wage increases coincidentally benefit unions.

Reasoning: Unions have contracts that states salaries will be a multiple of the minimum wage. When the minimum wage increases, they can renegotiate higher salaries based on the new higher minimum wage. Again, in a weird coincidence democrats are the strongest supports of unions and ALSO minimum wage increases.

Takeaways: JT is playing checkers while Ben is playing chess. JT refuses to read one spoon-fed link given to him and has show absolutely no evidence that he has even been EXPOSED to an opposing viewpoint in his life. JT doesn't understand the opposing points of view because he's never read them. What a way to live. In a way Ben envies JT.

Posted by Ben on 3.23.13 at 14:33

JT: oh, we're doing the old reductio ad absurdium ploy, are we? How many people would work at my pizza parlor if I paid them nothing? Um, nobody. How many pizza parlors would pay $22/hour (as fruitcake Senator Warren suggests) for a pimple-popping teen to drive cold pizza to your house? Um, none.

If it were my pizza shop - and I had the option - I would pay my workers a rate in line with their value to me instead of some federally mandated rate. This system works well enough for everybody else in the working world from cashiers to heart surgeons to major league pitchers.

I'll tell you what, JT. I'll come over and mow your grass this summer, as long as you pay me Elizabeth Warren's $22/hour minimum wage. Oh, and I'm going to use hand clippers for the job, so it may take a while.

Posted by Minimum thought on 3.23.13 at 21:24

Ben - what is weird or a coincidence about any of that?

Minimum thought - that's exactly my question - how do you figure what their value is to you, as a pizza shop owner? Forget about any federal dictates. How do you actually figure out how much to pay them?

Later guys....

Posted by JT on 3.25.13 at 9:09

Hey Ben, here's a question that may help me understand your basic premises. Answer if you want, any way you want.

If a person starts a job paid at $10/hr, and in 10 years the cost of living doubles but their income doesn't go up so it takes $10 to buy what $5 used to when they started, do you feel their effective income has gone down? For me, effective income is measured by what that income can buy in real goods. You can redefine effective income in your own terms, or take a completely different track.

Posted by JT on 3.25.13 at 9:39

So just to be clear, your hypothetical is based on someone working minimum wage for 10 years and never getting a raise? haha. This is priceless.

And I'll ask again.... do you now understand the relation between union salaries and the minimum wage? Do you now understand that raising minimum wage benefits someone who has a contract stating they will make x times minimum wage?

Posted by Ben on 3.25.13 at 10:08

Hey Ben, I'm just asking questions that are simplified examples so the answers are easier to describe. Same reason I round numbers off to the nearest 10's, 100's, etc. Change the numbers if you want. I'm just trying to get to the concept.

Regarding your take on union negotiated wages - wouldn't raising minimum wage have a larger ripple effect through salaries in general, a much higher percentage than the union negotiated ones? Is your issue that the unions are involved, or is it that wages would go up? It would be interesting to know what percentage of employees in the US, other than those being paid minimum wage, would have their incomes go up as a function of a contractual union agreement based on minimum wage. I don't know the answer, do you? 50%? 20%? 5%? And is this in focused industry sectors, or broad based? Some workplaces have salary increases tied to an effective cost of living or inflation index, which would raises salaries much more regularly than tying salary to minimum wage. Additionally, since the contracts you refer to were negotiated by both sides in good faith, and since the salaries were tied to minimum wage as opposed to a stagnant fixed hourly rate or the typically rising cost of living, it seems like this was an in-between compromise both sides were happy with, with the expectation that minimum wage would eventually go up. So, what's been the rate of increase of the minimum wage?

Furthermore, contracts run out and are renegotiated, and contracts are broken when one side or the other believes the state of affairs warrants it, aka strikes and lockouts. Is there some hidden evil mechanism here that needs great illumination? Please feel free to elaborate. Does any sane person believe $22 was meant as a target rate as opposed to an illustration of where minimum wage would be if it followed cost of living? Do you? I don't think so. I just think you like to create demons and fight them. Nothing wrong with that.

Posted by JT on 3.25.13 at 12:09

So you don't understand why democrats might support minimum wage as a way to also support unions which make up a huge voting block for them. Got it. Your description of union negotiations is cute too. The "x times minium wage" is already negotiated. Raising minimum wage does little to nothing for low skilled workers while helping democrats' bread and butter vote. You're not a bad guy - just very naive. You clearly still don't understand the connection after many explanations.

Meanwhile.. you raise all of these questions that have already been answered - you just refuse to read anything outside liberal propaganda. You and Elizabeth Warren have no idea how economics works - that is unless she was flipping houses for huge profits by issuing high interest loans to family members - that is her momen of clarity. hehe ;)

Posted by Ben on 3.25.13 at 18:33

THAT'S what's bugging you? 'If you support my interests and pass legislation I'll give you money and vote for you?' How new. Well, good to see you waking up. Coffee and fresh air, my friend.

Thanks for the chat.

Posted by JT on 3.26.13 at 7:31

Still at it, JT? Did you ever find any evidence that conceal carry laws cause more gun crime? Just curious.

Posted by k on 3.26.13 at 10:12

JT won't list evidence because he can't. I have yet to see anyone use facts to back up their argument. There's no evidence that concealed carry laws increase gun crime - what evidence there is on the general subject shows the exact opposite. That flies in the face of the left's argument so you will never get them to address it.

Posted by Ben on 3.27.13 at 8:10

"I have yet to see anyone use facts to back up their argument."

So you're new to the Advocate?

Posted by Snark on 3.27.13 at 9:11

Really folks, do you all live in the same room? Just asking.

K - I think you have your boyfriends mixed up. I don't remember commenting on guns, yours or any others. Did we do something I should know about?

Ben - ....nevermind. You've told us everything you know.

just stopping by...OK, back to your fun. Try not to make a mess, OK?

Posted by JT on 3.27.13 at 10:03

Guess I have trouble remembering the left wing regulars here. I don't believe I've every addressed my sexual orientation on debates here... was that a homophobic comment, JT? If not, please explain what you meant.

Posted by k on 3.27.13 at 14:13

Using homosexuality as a pejorative? Classy. BTW - I'm sure a conservative would have their IP banned for using similar language on this site.

Posted by Ben on 3.28.13 at 15:43

Frankly, I'm just not so concerned about gender and orientation, especially around here. Easy to forget how different it can be for you two. You will see in those words what you want. Think of it more as universal love and intimacy. After all, you don't take your gender with you when you go. Do you? :)

Posted by JT on 3.29.13 at 7:42

I'll bite, JT. What did you mean by those words? I guess we misinterpreted. Here's your chance to explain. And go....

Posted by Ben on 3.30.13 at 8:28

I guess we'll just have to remember the type of person JT has revealed himself to be and keep it in mind in future "debates."

Posted by Ben on 4.2.13 at 8:12



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