Top Three Takeaways For September 30th, 2021

Folder with the label Labor Union

Photo: Getty Images

You’ve been duped, this isn't what it looks like

Or how it’s being reported. Today’s minimum wage increase in Florida is mostly about those who aren’t earning minimum wage. Very few Floridians in the workforce earn minimum wage. However, many union contracts contain language which provides automatic raises for their members based on the minimum wage. Today marks the day of the initial impact of the successful union marketing scam codified in Florida’s constitution through last year’s minimum wage amendment. As of today, 646,000 Floridians will begin earning more money. However, only 200,000 of them will be based upon having actually earned minimum wage previously. The average union wage is $32.68 an hour. That’s predominantly who Floridians were duped into voting raises for. 

What’s worse, to the extent that it has a meaningful impact on entry-level workers it’s generally negative. According to the Congressional Budget Office artificially raising the minimum wage has a net negative impact on employment and most specifically "low-wage workers who are jobless because of a minimum-wage increase cannot acquire skills through formal on-the-job training or informal learning by doing. Reductions in training might occur even among employed workers if firms cut their spending on training to offset their higher payroll expenses." It’s not the first time a constitutional amendment has been little more than a marketing scam to trick voters into voting against their interests. It is the first I recall which has used the most vulnerable in the workforce to ram through raises for those who already earn more than most. 

It’s still mostly the staff coming to school with COVID-19.

On an absolute basis, because there are far more students than staff, higher total numbers of students than staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in our schools this year. On a relative basis, however, there are far more employees of South Florida’s school districts testing positive for COVID-19. That was true on the first day of school in each school district. It remains true today. The great irony of this remains the indignance of the Broward, Miami Dade and Palm Beach County school districts to impose school mask mandates without parental opt-outs; yet operate within an environment in which their own employees have been the most likely to test positive for the virus. Related to the lawlessness of the school districts, Lt. Governor Jennette Nunez confirmed that all offending school districts, not just Alachua and Broward, stand to be sanctioned and it’s only been bureaucratic procedures that are currently being worked through at the state level that have slowed the sanctions down to date. 

Nothing to see here.

The Hurricane Center’s map is colorful. Yep, for the second straight year, we’re likely to exhaust the alphabet, but there’s nothing for us to worry about. At least as of today as we wrap up the historically most active month of hurricane season. We’ve been living right in southeast Florida having avoided the direct landfall of a hurricane since Wilma in 2005. That does offer up the cautionary reminder that while we’re done with the peak we’re not done with the season. Wilma was a late October hurricane. But rather than worrying about what if’s, I’m always happy when the odds are in our favor and that’s once again the case as we leave September behind. 

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