By Doug Porter
San Diego iMayor Todd Gloria’s call for increasing the minimum wage during the State of the City address on Wednesday is drawing sharp reaction from the local wannabe plutocracy. What Gloria proposed was putting any such proposal before the voters next November. The very idea scares the crap out of them.
You take it to the bank that these “checkbook” democracy types who see it as their duty to pay signature gatherers to spread misinformation getting their corporate vetoes of city council actions blessed at the ballot box will now act to make sure that a proposal via our elected representatives never makes it before the voters.
The same folks that have spun community planning, environmental stewardship and housing for low income people into a conspiracy to drive JOBS out of the city are busy figuring out a way to drive a stake into the heart of any minimum wage increase, even if it’s to be decided at the ballot box.
As the Los Angeles Times points out, it took UT-San Diego exactly 16 minutes after Todd Gloria finished his speech to post an editorial challenging his call for an increase in the minimum wage.
From the LA Times account:
The editorial sought to cast doubt on Gloria’s assertion about the benefits of raising the minimum wage. Gloria “insisted [the increase] would be good for business in San Diego.”
A news story posted later quoted former Mayor Jerry Sanders, now the chief executive of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and possibly the most popular political figure in the city. Raising the minimum wage “could stunt job growth,” Sanders told the reporter.
Here’s the conclusion of the UT editorial:
At least some of what he said and proposed will be eclipsed early next month when voters elect a new mayor, who will lay out his own vision, his own proposals and his own goals for San Diego.
In other words, they’re hoping that Kevin Faulconer will win the mayoral election and find a way to deep six this ‘radical idea.’
Economic Inequality Should Be the Central Issue
I’m glad they’ve chosen to make that call. Let’s make raising the minimum wage the defining issue of this campaign. A vote for Kevin Faulconer should be construed as a vote against raising the minimum wage.
Activist Linda Perine has great take on this issue and its implications for social justice in an article posted at LGBTWeekly:
A slow, but powerful awakening is transforming our country. When McDonalds and Wal-Mart instruct their employees to apply for government assistance because their billionaire owners refuse to pay a living wage; when Warren Buffet and Bill Gates tell us the system is rigged against the middle class; when someone attempting to register people to vote on a public square is arrested and abused by our city police – as Dylan said, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
Rev. King told us that the arc of history bends toward justice. If this is so it is because the joined hands of a coalition of the willing – LGBT folk, neighbors, women and workers – push back against the forces of greed and intolerance.
San Diego is at the center of these historic political currents. Feb. 11 we can build on this national wave of progress and inclusion by electing David Alvarez as our next mayor. Or we can take a giant step backward and become the only one of the twelve largest cities in the U.S. to choose the party of exclusion and homophobia.
What we can expect over the next few week is an unrelenting wave of ‘experts’ warning the San Diegans of dire consequences should any increase in minimum wages occur.
What you need to know is the ‘science’ behind these claims is as suspect as that bandied about by the climate change deniers. The minimum wage has been raised repeatedly since Franklin D. Roosevelt led the charge for its enactment back in the waning days of the Great Depression and we have all somehow survived without capitalism collapsing.
(Getting into an argument here with the corporate apologists who will inevitablely write in to challenge this assertion is a fools errand. Here’s my backup. And this. And this. And I’m standing by it.)
Here’s my favorite part (because it’s true) of the conservative argument for raising the minimum wage by Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who’s bankrolling a statewide initiative on the subject. (Unz has his own issues with immigrants, which I strongly disagree with.)
Our federal and local governments currently spend vast sums of money subsidizing the social benefits and living standards of our working-poor, including mailing them checks via the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). These expenditures constitute an enormous corporate welfare program in which businesses obtain the full value of their low-paid workforce while shifting much of the cost onto the general taxpayer, a classic example of economic special interests privatizing their profits and socializing their costs. Private sector employers should cover the expenses of their own workers rather than force middle-class taxpayers to pay the tab.
Gosh. Shrinking government assistance programs, lower taxes and a better life for hard working Americans: how can any red blooded patriot be against that?
You see, it’s not so much that our modern day Ebenezer Scrooges don’t want to pay people; it’s that raising the minimum wage is a fundamental attack on corporate welfare. If the world doesn’t collapse with a minimum wage additional things like making companies pay their fair share of infrastructure costs might be next. Or ending subsidies. Who knows? (FYI-The vast majority of small businesses already pay their employees more than minimum wage)
Let’s make raising the minimum wage The Issue in the mayoral campaign over the next few weeks. Fighting it out at the ballot box makes a whole lot more sense than (figuratively) building guillotines out in front of the Chamber of Commerce.
Big Bucks for Empowerment in San Diego
The little engine that could, i.e., the grass roots groups fighting for access and empowerment for the disenfranchised in the area, has received a big hug and a pile of cash in recognition of the good work
The Open Society Foundation yesterday announced $1.9 million in support for a team of organizations in San Diego County over the next two years.
From the press release announcing the grant:
This is really about making San Diego more open, just and democratic. It is time that we bring in those who have been marginalized in our community, as a means to make San Diego a more productive and thriving region,” explained Clare Crawford, Executive Director of the Center on Policy Initiatives.
Efforts funded by the grant will focus on the full integration of immigrants and people impacted by the criminal justice system into the region’s civic and economic life through increased access to key services, improvements in the workplace and better access to middle class careers.
“When you are an immigrant it is hard to meaningfully participate in the civic life, if you aren’t making a fair wage or you are afraid to speak up. This grant will help us build the infrastructure to include more residents in rebuilding San Diego in a more equitable and inclusive manner,” said Gloria Morales, a San Diego Organizing Project leader.
The team includes Employee Rights Center, Center on Policy Initiatives, San Diego Organizing Project, ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, Christie’s Place, San Diego Youth Development Office, Pillars of the Community and SEIU/Service Employees International Union, Local 221 and United Domestic Workers, Local 3930.
Their goals for this proposal included:
- Increasing access to key services that help immigrants and people impacted by the criminal justice system integrate fully into civic and economic life.
- Decreasing workers’ rights abuses and improving workplace conditions.
- Reducing barriers that prevent immigrants and people impacted by criminal justice system from having access to middle class occupations.
Local Bank Used for Earlier Run of Target Credit Card Scam Software
In the wake of Target’s admission earlier this month that 70 million (as opposed to 40 million) customer’s credit card transactions may have compromised, comes word via Bloomberg News that this hack was likely part of a much larger attack on businesses.
The assaults on retailers may involve multiple groups of hackers who appear to be working from a sophisticated piece of software code that began circulating on underground websites last June, said a report by iSIGHT Partners, a Dallas-based security company that tracks cyber criminals.
The report doesn’t say whether the software, dubbed Kaptoxa, was used in the theft of as many as 40 million customer credit and debit card accounts from Target. A person briefed on the investigation, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential, said Kaptoxa is the same software that infected Target. Molly Snyder, a spokeswoman for Target, declined to comment.
The New York Times reports the recent breach in security at Neiman Marcus is much bigger than originally suggested.
The computer network at Neiman Marcus was penetrated by hackers as far back as July, and the breach was not fully contained until Sunday, according to people briefed on the investigation.
The company disclosed the data theft of customer information late last week, saying it first learned in mid-December of suspicious activity that involved credit cards used at its stores. It issued another notice on Thursday, elaborating slightly.
Over at KrebsOnSecurity.com, a site specializing in reporting on cyber crime issues, we learn that earlier uses of the malware involved “customers of major US banks, such as such as Chase (Newark, Delaware), Capital One (Virginia, Richmond), Citibank (South Dakota), Union Bank of California (California, San Diego), Nordstrom FSB Debit (Scottsdale, Arizona).”
The source close to the Target investigation said that at the time this POS malware was installed in Target’s environment (sometime prior to Nov. 27, 2013), none of the 40-plus commercial antivirus tools used to scan malware at virustotal.com flagged the POS malware (or any related hacking tools that were used in the intrusion) as malicious. “They were customized to avoid detection and for use in specific environments,” the source said.
That source and one other involved in the investigation who also asked not to be named said the POS malware appears to be nearly identical to a piece of code sold on cybercrime forums called BlackPOS, a relatively crude but effective crimeware product. BlackPOS is a specialized piece of malware designed to be installed on POS devices and record all data from credit and debit cards swiped through the infected system.
According the author of BlackPOS — an individual who uses a variety of nicknames, including “Antikiller” — the POS malware is roughly 207 kilobytes in size and is designed to bypass firewall software. The barebones “budget version” of the crimeware costs $1,800, while a more feature-rich “full version” — including options for encrypting stolen data, for example — runs $2,300.
President Eisenhower Warns of Military Industrial Complex
On This Day: 1961 – In his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned against the rise of “the military-industrial complex.” 1972 – Highway 51 South in Memphis, TN, was renamed Elvis Presley Blvd. 1994 – The Northridge earthquake rocked Los Angeles, registering a 6.7 on the Richter Scale. At least 61 people were killed and about $20 billion in damage was caused.
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