living wage

Tony Katz Tonight Radio – 5/15/14 – The Living Wage Myth and The Michael Sam Reality Show

Once again, the fast food workers have gone on strike to demand a “living wage” of $15 per hour. Once again, only Tony is honest with them about those who constantly feed the workers this lie.

Plus, Michael Sam – draft pick of the St. Louis Rams – is getting his own reality show from Oprah Winfrey’s eponymous network. What’s the point?

Listen, Share and Enjoy!

The Living Wage Is A Myth

According to Press Secretary Jay Carney, President Obama is going to discuss the need for increasing the minimum wage to a “living wage” in this Tuesday’s “State of the Union.” This has become the new cause-celeb for the Progressive Democrats, because it increases their opportunities to further class warfare. But there is no such thing as a “living wage.” President Obama is going to lie to America.

There is no such thing as the living wage. In the same way that there is no such thing as social justice, economic justice or racial justice. There is, however, wealth redistribution and redistributive policies. All those “justice” concepts — along with the “living wage” — fall under the redistributive heading.

Saying that you’re going to the floor of the House to push for redistributive policies doesn’t make headlines. Saying you’re for the “living wage” gets you even more column inches in the New York Times and a full-on orgy at MSNBC.

When you do a search for “living wage” you’re met with a definition that reads, “a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.” Of course, the rational person needs a definition of “normal standard.” That’s different for everyone. The normal of Venice beach is far different than the normal of Norman, Oklahoma — if only so far that one prepares for tornadoes and one prepares for the pot brownie sale on Tuesday.

But the search also brings up the Living Wage Action Coalition (LWAC.)  They describe the “living wage” as:

…a complete consideration of the cost of living. Wages vary according to location, as costs of living vary. A living wage in rural Louisiana is around $9.33, while in Washington, DC it’s closer to $15 an hour

This is true, as different geographic locations indeed have different costs. (And note how much more it costs to live in the nation’s capitol. I wonder why everything is so expensive there? Hmmmm.) It also renders the first definition obsolete. You can’t normalize a wage and expect the people of Louisiana and the Washington, D.C. Metro area to have the same result.

LWAC says there are seven factors that go into the “living wage” — housing, food, childcare, transportation, healthcare, taxes, other basic necessities.

But what if I don’t have children? Does that make my “living wage” less? Aren’t transportation costs different between Los Angeles — where you drive or die — and New York – where if you drive you will die? And does the single person get the same food allowance as the family of four? Or the Duggars?

And what to make of Number 7 on their list (which I will, from now on, refer to cryptically as Number 7 in every article I ever write on the subject or anytime I speak about it anywhere!) What constitutes “Other basic necessities?” Like “a normal standard of living,” it requires, for the rational person, a definition.

Are we talking toothpaste and toilet paper? Are we talking sex toys? Are we talking house plants and art work for the walls? Does a TV constitute a “basic necessity?” What about an iPhone? Will one family computer suffice, or does this include a lap top for every kid?

And if we’re really digging in to their list, what about clothing? It’s clearly important, yet not listed. So, one must assume, it falls under the dreaded Number 7. Are we shopping at Nordstrom or TJ Maxx? What if I only buy designer? Or only from the big and tall shop? Or only silk? What if someone is so frugal that they make their own clothes like my grandfather, a tailor by trade, did for my mother? (It should be known that my mother, at the time, hated the idea that she couldn’t go buy a new dress and had to wear what her dad made her. She was a kid, so we’ll forgive her…which is more than we can say for the other kids who teased her mercilessly. Does Number 7 also pay for mom’s therapy for all the times the other kids laughed at her?)

But LWAC doesn’t stop there. They reveal their conceit quickly enough by adding the concept not of the “living wage,” but of the “just wage”: (emphasis mine)

A living wage is not a just wage! Since a living wage cover only the very basic necessities and don’t even account for savings or emergencies, it is only one small step towards a truly just wage. Many religious traditions and political philosophies relate the concept of just wages to a radically fairer redistribution of wealth

The living wage is not real. The living wage is a trojan horse.

LWAC is a special project of the Center for Community Change. Among its board members are:

  • Arlene Holt-Baker, Executive Vice President for the AFL-CIO
  • Peter Colavito, Director of Government Relations for SEIU
  • Garlin Gilchrist, National Campaign Director for
  • Esther Lopez, International Vice President and Director, Civil Rights and Community Action Department of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

That’s a lot of organized labor and organized labor lovers; The kind of people who would do well from an increase in the minimum wage.

Also on the board is Kierra Johnson, Executive Director for Choices, USA. According to their site, they, “…give emerging leaders the tools they need to organize, network, and exchange ideas to build a youth centered pro-choice agenda and mobilize communities for reproductive justice.”

Not sure how abortion fits into the living wage…unless that’s childcare or healthcare. Maybe it’s listed under “Other basic necessities.” Number 7 strikes again! (And, like with social, racial and economic, there is no such thing as “reproductive justice.”)

The “living wage” is a myth. And now we know that its just the front runner to further wealth redistribution schemes of the Progressives Democrats and those who support them politically and financially. President Obama is going to make the “living wage” a cornerstone of his remarks a the State of the Union.

President Obama is going to lie to America. It won’t be the first time.


(This article originally posted on Rare.)

Tony Katz Tonight Radio Podcast – 12/5/13 – Nelson Mandela And Fast Food Thursday

Winter storms took over Tony’s flagship station in Indianapolis, so plenty of attention was paid to the accumulating snow and ice throughout Indiana. But it wasn’t too long that Tony was back on topic, speaking quite clearly about the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

Then, Tony has the full review of what happened on Fast Food Thursday, including his appearance on a far left-leaning radio program. Its clear that Tony understands how ideologues operate, and why he steers clear of that kind of talk.

He also follows up on the Harvard poll that shows young people are not interested  in President Obama or Obamacare. As the polls show, Hispanics aren’t that interested in the president, either.

Listen, Share and Enjoy!

Hour One

Hour Two

Hour Three

How Big Labor Is Trying To Bully Fast Food Workers

This article was originally posted on


Fast food workers are planning a strike to force employers to pay them $15 per hour. This Thursday, in over 100 cities across the nation, Big Labor is coordinating with “grassroots” activists to pressure these employers to pay a “living wage.” From all the press, you’d think the push toward higher wages was something noble. But, this is Big Labor. And no one will bully, threaten or intimidate to steal your hard earned money more than Big Labor.

The group Fast Food Forward, one of the organizations in sync with Big Labor to shame fast food restaurants into extinction, states their purpose:

In America, people who work hard should be able to afford basic necessities like groceries, rent, childcare and transportation.

While fast food corporations reap the benefits of record profits, workers are barely getting by — many are forced to be on public assistance despite having a job.

Raising pay for fast food workers will benefit workers and strengthen the overall economy.

It’s not the workers that Big Labor wants to benefit. It’s Big Labor that Big Labor wants to benefit.

The idea of a living wage is a fantasy. It’s a myth. Like the Chupacabra, or a working website or that Lindsay Lohan is an actress. It’s based on an idea that a certain amount of money, per hour, will make everything better. In this case, the elitists decided on $15 per hour.

Why? How is $15 per hour before taxes a living wage? Based on what? How much the elitists and Big Labor think you should earn? Why not $20 and hour? $50? Do I hear $100?

It’s at this moment the Progessives and power merchants say things like, “Oh, come on!” and “Get serious, will you?” But I’m as serious as they are. (Actually, they’re not serious. They’re dangerous, but they’re not serious.)

A living wage can’t be quantified. It’s based on the person and the needs/wants/desires of the person. The healthy person requires less money than the person with specific health conditions. The person who lives in Los Angeles needs more for rent than the person who lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The mother who has two children needs more than the single person.

Or, I could be totally wrong! The healthy person might live in Los Angeles while this sick person lives in Tulsa. The mother of two may be a better money manager that that single person, who uses their spare cash to buy drinks at local bars. It’s not out of the realm of possiblity. It’s not like some who were driven from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina used their FEMA payments to pay for lap dances, right? Personal responsibility plays a huge part in the amount of money people need to “live.”

There is no way to determine a living wage anywhere in America. It’s a lie, and so is the idea that groups like Fast Food Forward and Big Labor care about fast food employees. Listen up, fast food workers, because you’re being used! Not by McDonald’s or Wendy’s or Chick-Fil-A, but by Big Labor and the political candidates (ideology) they support. BIg Labor wants you to unionize because Big Labor wants you to pay union dues.

They want your money, and they don’t give a good holy damn about you!

No one, anywhere, deserves more money at the expense of someone else. People can earn more money, and they should follow whatever path is necessary if earning more money is their motivation. Use jobs like these to learn the skills necessary to find other employment. Use jobs like these to work your way up the corporate ladder. Or, find another job. (Difficult, I know, in the Barack Obama economy; The same economy that has some people working these jobs because there are no other jobs. A difficult Catch-22 that a good 2014 election might actually fix!)

But don’t expect fast food restaurants to give in to Big Labor’s mythical demand of $15 per hour. And never think that striking for it is noble. You’re not striking for your rights. You’re participating in a shakedown.

For the rest of us, Thursday is a good day to treat yourself to some fast food. Fill the drive-thrus. And be patient. Some fools will actually strike, and things may run a little slower than normal. For those who don’t strike, and don’t give in to Big Labor’s bullying tactics, say thank you. And, if you can, offer them a job. Because they’re the one who understand hard work, and are working to create their opportunities.