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Progressive Regulations Kill Off a Gay Business

Posted by V the K at 8:50 am - May 12, 2014.
Filed under: Economy,Entrepreneurs

Hat Tip: Papa Giorgio

The last piano bar in West Hollywood is closing, it just wasn’t possible to turn a profit while complying with onerous state and local regulations. The Progressive City Government of West Hollywood required the cabaret to comply with a number of perfectly reasonable “common sense” regulations that assuredly existed only to ensure the public’s best interests.

The city did allow DTM to have singing waiters, so long as there were no more than six of them performing at any time. Occasional guest singers, including people from the audience, also were allowed. DTM also was barred from having a cover charge or requiring the purchase of a minimum number of drinks, which are typical revenue sources for cabarets.

NBC says Obamacare hurts jobs

The White House still dismisses the evidence as “anecdotal”, as NBC points out – and despite the growing data on the matter.

NBC delicately describes the Obamacare job/hour losses as “unintended consequences”, despite the fact that such losses are logical and were foreseen by many.

Via Zero Hedge.

A ‘recovery’ of part-time jobs

Last month, I derided Jay Carney’s denial that employers have begun to avoid full-time employees and use more part-time employees, due to Obamacare. Carney claimed, “The data reflects that there is not support for the proposition…”

Well Jay, via HotAir, here is some data for you.

The July government employment report released Friday showed…that part-time work accounted for almost all the job growth that’s been reported over the past six months…

“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,” said Keith Hall, a senior researcher at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. “That is really remarkable.”

…Over the past six months…the Household Survey shows 963,000 more people reporting that they were employed, and 936,000 of them reported they’re in part-time jobs.

Other articles say that it isn’t 97%, it’s only 77%. But either way, the Obama ‘recovery’ has shown a truly unprecedented skew to part-time employment. By the government’s own data.

The next question is, why? Is that skew because of the incentive (to use part-time workers) that arises from Obamacare’s employer mandate?

As I explained earlier: even if a formal study hasn’t been done yet, the anecdotal (i.e., first-hand) reports of Obamacare’s mandate causing it are so widespread among businesses that even the Federal Reserve has noticed. Anecdotal evidence isn’t proof, but it can be indicative. The proposition may not be proven, but only a paid liar-for-Obama would refuse to consider it seriously, Mr. Jay Carney.

Over at Forbes, Chris Conover considers the proposition seriously, including lefties’ criticisms. Good reading. His conclusion is like mine: Maybe the proposition hasn’t been proven yet in a study…but, come on: it’s early days, there is both logic and evidence for it in plenty, and the counter-arguments rest on “weak reeds”.

Bonus items, as long as we’re talking about jobs:

UPDATE: More data.

Something odd is happening to the workweek…Even as the number of people working has grown by 2.2 million, or 1.6%, over the past year, the number clocking 30 to 34 hours a week has shrunk…By comparison, the number working 25-29 hours per week in their primary job rose…This oddity has an obvious explanation: ObamaCare’s employer mandate applies only to full-time workers, which the law defines as 30 hours per week.

RTWT, for details.

Honesty in the 21st Century

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 1:41 pm - January 18, 2013.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Free Enterprise,Free Speech

I could talk about Lance Armstrong’s recent shameless exploitation of his prior shameless lying, but y’all know I like the economic topics. And one aspect of honesty is, calling things by their right name. To his credit, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey recently called Obamacare by its right name:

Mackey told NPR[,] “Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn’t own the means of production, but they do control it — and that’s what’s happening with our health care programs and these reforms.”

Of course that set off the howling spree, and now we have a partial climbdown:

“I made a bad choice of language,” Mackey said on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show… I was trying to distinguish it between socialism so I took the dictionary definition of fascism, which is when the means of production are still owned privately but the government controls it — that’s a type of fascism. However, I realize that that word has so much baggage associated with it…So I do regret using that word…

Funny: Leftists never seem to regret it, when they use the word.

But Mackey rightly emphasizes the positive: “What I do believe in is free enterprise capitalism, and I’d like to see our healthcare system really unleash [its] power…” – Nice to hear that.

Pocket-size capitalism

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:06 am - November 16, 2012.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Freedom

Saw this on Facebook and had to share it. I trust this will particularly please our reader ILoveCapitalism:

Small businessmen say Obama policies hurt their operations

For more insight into why economic growth in anemic and job creation is stagnant, take a gander at a poll released last “week by the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)“:

The national survey, conducted between Aug. 13 and Sept. 4, interviewed 800 small business owners and manufacturers and found that 69 percent of them think President Barack Obama’s policies have hurt American businesses and manufacturers, and 55 percent would not start a business today given the current environment.

. . . .

The survey showed that small business owners and manufacturers think federal regulations, taxes, government spending and the costs of health insurance and energy are the main causes of slow economic growth.

Small businesses generate the most new jobs.  If we want to see job growth, federal, state and local governments need reduce their spending and scale back on their regulations.

It Takes the Free Market

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:10 am - August 3, 2012.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Free Enterprise,Freedom

Via Walter Olson (on Facebook) via Lachlan Mackay (also on Facebook)

Emerging “civil libertarian” consensus on Chick-Fil-A

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:48 am - July 30, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Entrepreneurs,Freedom,Gay PC Silliness

While I was celebrating a friend’s birthday yesterday at the happiest place on earth (with seemingly fewer happy people this summer than in past years), Glenn Reynolds linked and quoted from a blogger who offered a nice succinct, synopsis of an emerging consensus on the Chick-Fil-A hullabaloo:

Among pretty much everyone with a civil libertarian, or just plain libertarian, background, the verdict on the Chick-Fil-A furor is the same: while private persons and groups are within their rights to boycott a business, it’s outrageous and dangerous for government officials to threaten to use regulation to keep the fast-food chain out of their cities because they disapprove of its president’s anti-gay-marriage views.

Exactly.  Exactly.  Read the whole thing.

Do wonder yet again why Democratic politicians were so eager to attack this private company for the opinions of its president.  And to do so when they had no evidence that the company had ever discriminated against an employee because he was gay or denied service to or otherwise denigrated a customer because of his sexual orientation.

Why Obama should be okay with eating at Chick-fil-A:
Devout Christian Owner “Didn’t Build That” Enterprise

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:41 pm - July 26, 2012.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Gay Marriage,Obama Watch

Although President Obama’s current claim to support gay marriage puts him at odds with Chick-fil-A President Dan T. Cathy, a devout Christian who supports the traditional definition of marriage, the Democrat shouldn’t have any problem enjoying a chicken dinner at one of Mr. Cathy’s franchises.  After all, the socially conservative entrepreneur didn’t build that enterprise.  Somebody else made that happen.

Republican politicians didn’t try to keep gay-friendly enterprises Disney and Home Depot out of their jurisdictions

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:45 pm - July 26, 2012.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Freedom,Gay PC Silliness

When I learned that upon the merger of Exxon and Mobil, the newly-merged company had decided to “cease offering health-care benefits to its employees’ domestic partners“, I resolved to stop filling up at Exxon or Mobil stations. ExxonMobil is a private company and should have the right to set its own employment policies. I am a private individual and have the right to choose where I buy gas for my car.

In a similar manner, two years ago, a private advocacy outfit, the American Family Association (AFA) announced a boycott of Home Depot, a private company like ExxonMobil, because, unlike said oil company, that home improvement superstore offered benefits to the same-sex partners of its employees.  This was not the first time the AFA had tried to boycott a private enterprise offering such benefits.  Sixteen years ago, the social conservative group launched a boycott against Disney.

We may not agree with their decision to boycott, but social conservatives should remain free to buy their home improvement supplies where they choose or seek recreation at destinations they select, just as I should be free to buy gas where I want and gay activists should be free to buy fast-food chicken at companies whose presidents have social views not averse to their own.

Interestingly, during all those AFA boycotts, you didn’t once hear a Republican politician try to curry favor with social conservatives by  vowing to keep Disney out of his jurisdictions or Home Depots out of her neighborhood.  They weren’t trying to impose their social views on the rest of us.

Why do so many liberals turn to government when they want to right something they believe to be wrong?

NB:  Tweaked the title so it would more accurately reflect content of post.

Preliminary Thoughts on Chick-Fil-A Hullabaloo

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:17 pm - July 26, 2012.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Freedom,Gay PC Silliness

A number of readers (on both sides of the political aisle) have e-mailed me or otherwise messaged me to ask my opinions on or whether I would post about the Chick-Fil-A Hullabaloo.  To be sure, earlier this week, I had planned a post on the matter, but, as I started writing it, chose not to finish the post and leave the story alone.  The fast food chicken restaurant is, after all, a private enterprise, one of which I have patronized only occasionally (like maybe two or three times) in my life.

But, thanks to Democratic urban politicians eager to patronize the gay community (in response to activists suddenly upset that the chicken chain’s president had expressed support for traditional marriage), the story is not going away.

Last night on Facebook, my friend Rick Sincere (check out his blog here) offered a nice succinct statement on the story in which this smart libertarian summarized my basic response to the kerfuffle:

Property rights are human rights. Customers should be able to boycott a business; the government should not make that decision for them.

If you don’t like the fact that Chick-Fil-A’s president is a “devout” Christian who supports traditional marriage, then don’t buy his company’s product, but don’t attempt to impose your views on the rest of us by demanding that cities not grant permits to further franchises.

If cities determine to grant no business licenses to companies because of their management’s controversial politics, then we’d have to demand that cities grant no further licenses to Ben and Jerry’s franchises.

That said, the left-wing politics of that company won’t stop me from stopping by one of their stores on those occasions when I have a craving for a dish of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

NB:  Tweaked the post to fix a clumsy sentence.

RELATED: You can favor gay marriage and still believe in the right to oppose gay marriage

FROM THE COMMENTS:  MV asks some questions that this story should cause us to consider: (more…)

If Obama didn’t mean to say that entrepreneurs didn’t build their own businesses, why doesn’t he retract* the remark

Serendipitous that Nick would post on the president’s ad accusing Romney of ‘Launching a False Attack’ for Quoting Obama exactly at the same time I was planning a followup to my piece on the president “Hollywood Mentality”.  The president is trying to spin his remarks as something other than they were.

As the Weekly Standard‘s Daniel Halper (who alerted both Nick and me to the ad (in my case, via Instapundit)) put it, “The Obama campaign is purposefully trying to make it sound like Romney is misquoting the president, when the official White House transcript backs up Romney’s quotation.”

Nor has president retracted the statement; neither the campaign nor the White House said the president misspoke when he said, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”  (Here’s my google search for “obama ‘didn’t build that’ misspoke” (no quotation marks in search).)

Now, if the president had rephrased the remark, adding five words after the first “that”:  “enterprise entirely on your own” and replacing “Somebody else made that happen” with “Other people helped you along the way”, we would all grant that he had a point.  Most of us would agree with him.

The president may be trying to spin his remarks as being other than they are, but it’s very clear what he said.  Mitt Romney quoted him accurately.  As have countless conservative bloggers and pundits.

If the Democrat didn’t mean what he said, why then doesn’t he simply acknowledge that he misspoke and retract — or amend — his remarks?

* (more…)

President Obama’s Hollywood Mentality

Anyone who has spent time about Hollywood wannabes (and yes, I once was just such a wannabe) knows that talent, hard work and determination do not necessarily yield success in this town.

Here, you see people work hard, hone their craft, invest their own money and receive little return.  They may audition for countess roles and never get cast.  They may write, rewrite and re-rewrite scripts only have production companies reject them having only read the log-line or the first few pages.  They may raise their own funds and devote their own time to producing a movie, only to see it languish it film festivals — and never get a distribution deal.

And then you’ll see someone else, knowing the right people (or knowing the people who know the right people) or having the look — or the story — they’re looking for, move to town and find success in a matter of moments.  It may not seem fair, but that’s just the way it is in a competitive business.  Hard work here does not necessarily yield reward.

Perhaps, President Obama was thinking of the way things work in this part of the world when he remarked last Friday in Roanoke, Virginia that “there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there”:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

He’s right that every successful person received help along the way.  There’s a reason the ancient Greeks honored Athena — and depicted her helping their heroes.  They knew a man often required the assistance of others to accomplish his goals.

He is, however, wrong about who made things “happen.”  Although most entrepreneurs received assistance as they built their enterprises, they did indeed build them.  No one makes it own their own, that is, without the support of others.  (And more often that support comes from the private sector, a venture capitalist, an encouraging friend or family member, a devoted mentor.)

In the end though, it is, by and large, an individual’s grit and determination which account for his success.

Far too often, in the entertainment industry, however, hard work alone often yields little reward.  Such is the nature of a highly competitive field. (more…)

Free markets are good for gays

As diligent readers of this blog now, I am very skeptical of the notion of “equality” as pushed by the various left-leaning gay groups. They tend to want to achieve “full equality” through greater government regulation of our economy — and our lives.

Sometimes, they become so blinded to this notion that they neglect the original goal of gay rights’ movements–to make it possible for us to live freely and openly without our sexuality preventing us from participating in society or advancing professionally. They seem to think we need government to grant us more “rights” in order to effect the needed social change.

A new study seems to show quite the opposite, confirming a point I’ve been making for as long as I’ve been talking about gay issues, that all we need is economic freedom, given that private enterprises tend to respond readily to changes in society. Even in the Bush era, I noted, an increasing number of corporations adopted non-discrimination clauses as part of their employment policies and expanded their benefits packages to include same-sex partners.

Others have also studied how economic freedom helps people like us.  Through “Regression analysis of up to 65 countries“, Niclas Berggren of The Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) and Therese Nilsson of the Department of Economics, Lund University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) find that

. . . economic freedom is positively related to tolerance towards homosexuals, especially in the longer run, while tolerance towards people of a different race and a willingness to teach kids tolerance are not strongly affected by how free markets are. (more…)

Should an entrepreneur be free to hire only gay employees if he believes them to be more productive?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - May 15, 2012.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Freedom

Reader MV passed along this story of how non-discrimination laws might prevent an employer from choosing to hire only gay people:

A gay man in Manhattan contends he was fired because he objected to his boss’s biased hiring: The boss, he alleges, had a bias against hiring straight people.

Jamie Ardigo, 32, of Hoboken, is suing investor and entrepreneur J. Christopher Burch of New York for sex-discrimination and wrongful termination. Ardigo, who had been hired as HR director for J. Christopher Capital, Burch’s company, contends he was fired when he sought to change what he claims was Burch’s and the company’s discriminatory practices.

. . . .

[Fewer than four weeks after Ardgo "went to work for the company in early November 2011"] he says, he was seated in a meeting where Burch announced the fact that he hired only gay men because they were productive, and because he trusted them. Burch said the same thing, Ardigo asserts, on other occasions: “I witnessed it in meetings with the executive management team, where he’d blatantly state the fact that he only likes to hire gay men and beautiful women.”

And the problem is?

It is Mr. Burch’s company; he should be free to determines which individuals make the most productive and trustworthy employees.  And if he believes gay men to be more productive (and given some gay men I know it the field of finance, I have seen some grounds for that belief), the he should be free to hire them.

If he, however, chooses to hire only gay people, he gives his competitors an advantage — as they will be selecting from a much wider pool of potential employees.   That’s said, it’s his money he’s risking (not the government’s).

Now, Burch’s lawyer denies the allegations; this issue may never come before a judge.  That said, were Mr. Burch to prefer gay men in his office, well, bully for him.  The state should not be in the business of deciding how an entrepreneur selects his workforce.

Marriott Offers Discounts, Benefits to Gay Guests

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:39 pm - April 20, 2012.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Gay America

Yesterday, I blogged that “many (if not most) private companies have sought to redress” past “unfairness by adopting non-discrimination clauses in their employment policies or developing ‘diversity’ policies to recruit gay and lesbian employees.”  Just today, I read about what one company (which, I believe, was founded and still run by a Mormon family) is doing to reach out to gays:

The Marriott hotel chain is known for its comfortable rooms and amenities. But in addition to a plethora of appeasing services, the popular company also offers value packages to individuals who are gay. Curiously, numerous hotels within the Marriott chain offer what they call “OUT” packages.

At the Renaissance Washington Marriott in Washington, D.C., for instance, the deal includes chocolate covered strawberries, sparking wine upon arrival and a copy of NaviGaytour Magazine, among other benefits. . . .

The main thrust of the deals seem to be predicated upon an urge to attract a gay customer base, while distinguishing the company as particularly diverse and accepting. The Marriott web site even has a section called “Gay Weddings & Events,” which is devoted to helping individuals plan their noteworthy occasions.

Kudos to Marriott.  A private company doesn’t need a government initiative to reach out to gay clientele.  Seems some businessmen recognize the benefits developing new policies to respond a changing marketplace.

A conservative means to express frustration at higher gas prices?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:00 pm - March 4, 2012.
Filed under: Economy,Entrepreneurs

Gotta love the entrepreneurial spirt of certain conservatives. Look at the clever product some are now hawking on the web:

Seems the creator of this product took the idea from an sticky note he had seen “at a Kroger grocery store in Douglasville, GA, about 30 miles west of Atlanta this past Sunday night.

3.65 for a gallon of regular seems mighty cheap for those of us California’s Southland.

Newt’s poll numbers increased when his attacks on Bain decreased

In congratulating Newt Gingrich on his victory last night, our friend Chris Barron, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of GOProud, noted something significant about the former Speaker’s South Carolina success:

Tonight, we congratulate Speaker Gingrich on his victory in South Carolina. We are hopeful that in the contests ahead that Speaker Gingrich will run the type of positive campaign he promised earlier in the primary process.

It is clear that Speaker Gingrich’s poll numbers improved dramatically once he ended his unnecessary and unproductive attacks on Governor Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. As conservatives we should make it clear that we are the champions of free enterprise.

Emphasis added.  He’s right.  Newt surged not because of his attacks on Mitt Romney’s work in the private sector but instead because of his attacks on the media’s flacking for those who favor a larger public sector.

From Steve Jobs to Walt Disney

Earlier today, I finished Walter Isaacson’s most excellent biography of Steve Jobs.  And highly recommend it, despite some glaring flaws.  At time, the book seems slapdash (which makes sense given how quickly the book was published after the death of the entrepreneur).  And he seems to treat Jobs’s wife with kid gloves — as if she were some kind of saint (which makes sense given how cooperative she was in Isaacson’s research–and that she’s still alive and grieving).

There is much to say about jobs, his prickly personality, his luck in finding peers and mentors who could help him find his way professionally and personally.  His ability to achieve his great success without federal funding or government encouragement.  His appreciation of design and attention to detail.  His charisma. His supportive stepfather.

When I was still reading the book a friend asked me what one thing stood out about the book (and by extension the man), I replied his persistence, his determination, his belief that he could achieve a certain project even when others told him it was impossible.  How he grappled with what one of his colleagues called the “reality distortion field.”

Toward the end of the book, Isaacson compares Jobs to such pioneers as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. I see his point, but don’t buy his argument.  As I was reading the biography, I kept thinking of another pioneer of the last century, Walt Disney.  Soon after finishing Isaacson’s book, I picked up — and started reading — Neal Gabler’s biography of the cartoon tycoon.

Does less regulation mean more innovation?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 pm - November 19, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Entrepreneurs

As I sip my morning coffee, caught this on Instapundit:

SO A 16 GB FLASH CARD FOR $15.99 is a pretty good deal. But I remember how much a 16GB hard drive used to cost, and then it seems like a ridiculously unbelievable deal. If only everything got better and cheaper they way electronics do. . . . .

UPDATE: A reader emails: “The things that don’t are usually heavily regulated by the government. Coincidence?” Probably not. . . .

Emphasis added.  It would be interesting to compare (maybe someone has done this) those industries (e.g., health care, energy, food) which have experienced accelerating costs not to mention increased bankruptcies and those flourishing.  Then, compare the regulatory burden on the floundering and the flourishing industries.