Democrat Senator May Go to GOP/ Minimum Wage Hike Backfires

Nikitas3.com predicts that Democrat US senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia will switch to the Republican party before the 2018 mid-term elections when he will be up for re-election. This switch would increase the number of Republican senators from 52 today to 53 out of 100 Senate seats. This will further weaken the Democrats nationally.

Manchin is one of the few remaining ‘moderate’ Democrats in America. Virtually the entire Democrat party has thrown in with the far left and Obama. Even in small towns, where there once were millions of moderate Democrats, they have almost all gone extreme.

Manchin represents a state which depends heavily on coal mining but which has lost tens of thousands of coal jobs over the last 25 years. The state used to be strongly Democrat, with powerful unions controlling the agenda. But in the past few decades, as Democrats have allied themselves with environmentalists who are killing the coal industry, West Virginia has become much more conservative. It voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

Manchin is a former West Virginia governor. He is a popular figure. He was elected to the US Senate in 2012. But if he remains a Democrat he could be unseated in 2018 by a Republican challenger who is supported by Trump. A few Trump rallies in this small state would likely seal the deal.

This would happen even though Manchin is the one Democrat in the Senate who sometimes votes with the Republicans. But this is causing Manchin huge problems within his own party. The Washington Times reports:

Citing his vote confirming Jeff Sessions as attorney general and his outspoken support of President Trump’s fossil fuel-based energy policy, powerful liberal groups on Thursday demanded that Sen. Joe Manchin be removed from his post in Senate Democratic leadership.

Nearly a quarter-million progressives signed a petition, delivered to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday morning, slamming Mr. Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, and arguing he no longer represents the values of the party.

Mr. Manchin currently serves as the party’s vice chairman of policy and communications in the Senate. But he’s often clashed with his own party on energy policy and other issues, and has been by far the most supportive Democrat in the chamber when it comes to the Trump administration’s cabinet posts.

So there you go. You can just imagine how all of this is making Manchin feel. He looks at the Democrats and their anti-coal agenda; looks at the people of his state who need jobs; considers the attacks on him by Democrats that only are going to grow as 2018 approaches and Nikitas3.com predicts that he will become a Republican to salvage his political career.

This whole issue is not as clear cut as you might think, however.

*If Manchin remains a Democrat he will probably face a primary challenger backed by angry, activist liberals. This would weaken him even though he certainly would beat back that challenger. Then Manchin could easily lose the general election to a Republican.

*If Manchin switches to Republican he might well face a primary challenge from a conservative Republican who does not like Manchin’s liberal RepubliCrat policies. That challenger could defeat Manchin and then would certainly win the general election.

Manchin is in a tough spot due to the shifting political sands in his state and across America. Nikitas3.com believes that Manchin is really a Democrat at heart and should be challenged and defeated one way or another so that we can get a genuine conservative in his post.

Now here is a second editorial about the minimum wage. Look at this from Zerohedge.com:

In yet another awkwardly rational response to government intervention in deciding what’s “fair”, the blowback from minimum wage demanding fast food workers has struck again. Wendy’s plans to install (computer-screen kiosks for ordering food) in 1,000 of its stores – 16% of its locations nationwide.

“Last year was tough — 5 percent wage inflation,” said Bob Wright, Wendy’s chief operating officer, during his presentation to investors and analysts last week. He added that the company expects wages to rise 4 percent in 2017. “But the real question is what are we doing about it?”

Wright noted that over the past two years, Wendy’s has figured out how to eliminate 31 hours of labor per week from its restaurants and is now working to use technology, such as kiosks, to increase efficiency.

Wendy’s chief information officer, David Trimm, said the kiosks are intended to appeal to younger customers and reduce labor costs. Kiosks also allow customers of the fast food giant to circumvent long lines during peak dining hours while increasing kitchen production.

“There is a huge amount of pull from (franchisees) in order to get them,” David Trimm, Wendy’s chief information officer, said last week during the company’s investors’ day. “With the demand we are seeing … we can absolutely see our way to having 1,000 or more restaurants live with kiosks by the end of the year.”

A typical store would get three kiosks for about $15,000. Trimm estimated the payback on those machines would be less than two years, thanks to labor savings and increased sales. Customers still could order at the counter.

Compare this to a human order taker who costs the restaurant up to $16,000 in wages annually at even a minimum wage of $8 an hour for just 8 hours a day. That would be $32,000 annually if the restaurant is open 16 hours. On the other hand, the kiosk will work 24 hours a day and never shows up late or takes a sick day or a lunch break.

So as union activists push for higher and higher minimum wages up to $15 an hour businesses are reacting with automation, something that Nikitas3.com has warned that they would do.

Thus an unskilled worker is better off earning $7.50 an hour or $9 an hour at a job that is easy to get rather than demanding $15 an hour and losing his job to a computer. These job losses already are happening in places where the minimum wage is going way up, like in Seattle and Los Angeles.

This $15 does not just apply to minimum wage workers, either. It means that a business has to pay every worker at least $15. This would be very bad for millions of small businesses nationwide that are operating on small margins. It also would increase the cost to taxpayers as unemployed workers go on government assistance.

Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman once said, “A minimum wage law is, in reality, a law that makes it illegal for an employer to hire a person with limited skills.”

This is very true. Like all of socialism, it never works.

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