Signs and Wonders
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
Associated Press/Photo by Cliff Owen
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Signs and Wonders: Warren’s $22 minimum wage would hurt workers

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$22 minimum wage? Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., suggested that if the minimum wage had kept up with gains in worker productivity since 1960, it would now be $22 per hour. Her notion is so flawed it’s hard to know where to begin debunking it, but the Acton Institute makes a good start. For one thing, it fails to account for technology’s role in productivity gains. It also assumes that low-skilled workers are the reason for the productivity gains. They are not. Worker productivity gains have come mostly from higher income workers. The key thing to remember about the minimum wage is that it is for low- or no-skilled entry level workers. If you raise the minimum wage too much, employers will simply stop hiring, or will hire only highly skilled workers for minimum wage jobs. Therefore, low- or no-skilled workers will never get that first job, the one that gives them the experience and skills they need for higher paying jobs.

Biblical teaching a hate crime? The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in February that biblical speech opposing homosexual behavior, including in written form, is essentially a hate crime. The court upheld the conviction of activist William Whatcott, who distributed flyers regarding the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexuality throughout in Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan, in 2001 and 2002. Justice Marshall Rothstein wrote on behalf of the court: “Passages of (the flyers) combine many of the hallmarks of hatred identified in the case law.” He said the flyers “delegitimizes homosexuals by referring to them as filthy or dirty sex addicts and by comparing them to pedophiles, a traditionally reviled group in society.”

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Debt free. A Christian college in Missouri wants its students to graduate debt-free. College of the Ozarks told its 1,400 students it would not accept them if they insisted on going into debt to pay for college or living expenses. Of course, College of the Ozarks is unusual in that most students pay little or no tuition anyway. Students work on campus to pay their way. According to Yahoo! News, “Ninety percent of each entering class at the college must demonstrate financial need.” The school’s president, Jerry Davis, said, “We are basically just trying to look out for the students’ interests. Kids nowadays are not very sophisticated with money. Debt is a big problem all over the country.” FinAid.org says about two-thirds of all undergraduates at four-year colleges in the United States take out loans, finishing with an average debt of $22,656. Americans now owe more than $1 trillion in student loan debt.

Vick tour resumes. Controversial quarterback Michael Vick says he will continue his book tour, despite threats. Vick canceled a March 26 appearance at a Barnes and Noble in Easton, Pa., when he along with store employees received death threats. His book,Finally Free, came out last September, but because of football season, Vick was not able to do a book tour then. A Christian publishing house brought out the book, which includes a discussion of Vick’s conversion to Christianity.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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