Catching Some Lefties Doing Something Right (Guest Post)

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star-wars-dream-house
 
No, that title isn’t meant to be sarcastic or lead up to some twist at the end. A lot of what I write is bashing the left because, well, when not flat out malevolent they’re usually at best misguided. With the current news cycle of the Baltimore riots, Iran kicking the US  in the yahoo again, and the antics of the Gaystapo. we could use something positive. And since two examples were just in the news I think it’s only right to give credit where it’s due.

I’ve written a few posts ripping on Minimum Wage Chickenhawks. You know the ones – they obediently single out Wal-Mart for condemnation but don’t bother to see what the compensation packages are for anywhere else they shop. They are news organizations that champion the cause of raising the minimum wage, while paying their own employees considerably less than minimum wage. They’re the ones who howl that those corporations “who can afford it” need to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour, but never bother to ask why none of the prominent wealthy leftists are spending their own money to do so. Until now. Patricia Cohen at The New York Times reports:

His idea bubbled into reality on Monday afternoon, when Mr. Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative and salesman to a minimum of $70,000.

If it’s a publicity stunt, it’s a costly one. Mr. Price, who started the Seattle-based credit-card payment processing firm in 2004 at the age of 19, said he would pay for the wage increases by cutting his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and using 75 to 80 percent of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million in profit this year.

The United States has one of the world’s largest pay gaps, with chief executives earning nearly 300 times what the average worker makes, according to some economists’ estimates. That is much higher than the 20-to-1 ratio recommended by Gilded Age magnates like J. Pierpont Morgan and the 20th century management visionary Peter Drucker.

“The market rate for me as a C.E.O. compared to a regular person is ridiculous, it’s absurd,” said Mr. Price, who said his main extravagances were snowboarding and picking up the bar bill. He drives a 12-year-old Audi, which he received in a barter for service from the local dealer.

“As much as I’m a capitalist, there is nothing in the market that is making me do it,” he said, referring to paying wages that make it possible for his employees to go after the American dream, buy a house and pay for their children’s education.

I don’t agree with everything in this article, and I’m not sure if this is the smartest way to run his business, but at the end of the day it’s his business to run. If this is how he chooses to do so then good for him. Instead of getting up on his high horse and preaching how others should act Price is taking responsibility and making it happen himself. And good for him.

Meanwhile, over in California George Lucas (yes, THAT George Lucas) is building affordable housing in an otherwise unaffordable neighborhood:

When George Lucas tried to expand his production company studios in California’s wealthy Marin County, the community pushed back. Then the “Star Wars” creator wanted to sell the land to a developer who would build affordable housing.“It’s inciting class warfare,” Carolyn Lenert, then head of the North San Rafael Coalition of Residents, told The New York Times at the time.

Now, two years after that project stalled, Lucas has decided to build the affordable housing and pay for it all himself.

“We’ve got enough millionaires here. What we need is some houses for regular working people,” Lucas said through his lawyer Gary Giacomini, CBS affiliate KCBS reported.

The 224-unit affordable housing complex would go on Grady Ranch, where his once-planned studio expansion would have been, according to a plan being submitted to the Marin County Development Agency this week, the Contra Costa Times reported. The plan, which would allow development on 52 acres, includes workforce and senior residences, as well as a community center, pool and an orchard.

Lucas financing the project entirely means it can’t stall because outside funders pull the plug, and he can set aside units for people like teachers and local employees who meet income requirements, Giacomini told the local newspaper.

There’s more in the article about both pushback and support Lucas has gotten, and it’s a good read. Like I said, with so much to fight about these days it’s great to see two leftists eschew preaching and moralizing and instead are working to make a better world by actually working to make a better world through their own toil and their own money.

Keep it up, George Lucas! If you keep doing right we might even forgive you for the Ewoks, for turning Han Solo into a bed-wetting mama’s boy in Return of the Jedi, and even for Jar-Jar Binks! OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit – we’ll never forgive you for Jar-Jar. But thankfully even the Gungans can’t take away from what you’re doing now.

Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog

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Blogging by the credo of "Making the world a more offensive place, one blog post at a time", Brother Bob started writing posts around the beginning of the Obama presidency over at Brother Bob's Blog. A born-again Existentialist and self-professed libertarian with conservative tendencies, he has ironically chosen to live in the Washington, DC area - deep behind enemy lines. He has always loved history, and spent eight years volunteering as a tour guide on weekends, giving over 200 tours to roughly 2,500 mostly foreign guests. His tours were highlighted by stories generally not found in the history books or most other tours, such as the importance of the Battle if Antietam, the origins or Arlington Cemetery, and dispelling the myths of FDR's New Deal. Although his favorite subject to blog about is Economics, as seen in his Economics for Politicians series, his posts try to address angles that other conservative writers and the mainstream media (naturally!) miss. "There's no point in putting up a post on a subject that someone smarter than me has already written". He believes in the "Happy Warrior" approach, and tries to inject humor in his posts, sometimes successfully. Two such examples are his posts comparing the modern left to the horrible Star Wars prequels, and analyzing the laments of a DC woman in search of a feminist boyfriend. Brother Bob lives with his very patient wife known as Sister Babe, and their fantastic son. Little Bob. Little Bob is also the reason that being a tour guide came to an end, as spending Saturdays raising a son takes priority over giving lectures to foreign visitors on the folly of Keynesian economics. BB is also grateful for the opportunity to take his place among the outstanding writers at Flopping Aces, appreciates every person who takes the time to read his posts, and especially those who join him in the conversation in the comments.

9 Responses to “Catching Some Lefties Doing Something Right (Guest Post)”

  1. 1

    Nanny G

    Patricia Cohen at The New York Times reports:

    ….The United States has one of the world’s largest pay gaps, with chief executives earning nearly 300 times what the average worker makes, according to some economists’ estimates. That is much higher than the 20-to-1 ratio recommended by Gilded Age magnates like J. Pierpont Morgan and the 20th century management visionary Peter Drucker.

    At least the NYTimes doesn’t do what Hillary did and claim the ”nearly 300 times what the average worker makes,” is also a real average of all CEOs.
    Because on AVERAGE CEOs make between 5 and 6 times what the AVERAGE worker makes, not 300 times.
    The 300 times figure is a average of a cherry-picked small group of fewer than 400 top CEOs in the USA.
    The USA has hundreds of thousands of CEOs.
    If you were to also cherry-pick only 400 top workers to compare apples to apples you would get a much lower than 300 times as the ratio.

    All George Lucas is doing is following a pattern set by Henry Ford over 100 years ago.
    But it was a good plan.
    And no, we can NEVER forgive him for Jar-Jar Binks.

  2. 2

    Joanne H

    Really, don’t you think that the real reason George Lucas is doing this, is to get even with Marin County residents, because they wouldn’t let him expand his studio; and so he is putting in low value housing in the area to drive down the value of their homes to get even and to poke them in the eye.

  3. 3

    Brother Bob

    author

    @Nanny: The pay gap cherry picking was exactly the point from the article that I disagreed! And that nugget has been filed away for a future post.

    @Joanne H: We’ll never know Lucas’ true motive, and you’re probably right. But given how much we see lefties doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons I think seeing them do the right thing for any reason is a good thing.
    Bear in mind, when they start doing the right things for the right reasons they;ll cease to be leftist – that’s when they become conservatives!

  4. 5

    Bill

    Lucas financing the project entirely means it can’t stall because outside funders pull the plug, and he can set aside units for people like teachers and local employees who meet income requirements, Giacomini told the local newspaper.

    This will get even better. When the left coast snobs get up in arms and manipulate their owned city representatives, Lucas will run into environmental and other impediments delaying his project indefinitely. No doubt there is some fish or amphibian dwelling there that would be extinctified if affordable houses blight the view.

    Seeing leftists encounter their own leftist tactics is one of the most pleasurable experiences a conservative can enjoy.

  5. 6

    Brother Bob

    author

    @Nanny: I forgot to mention earlier – YES, Lucas is never being forgiven for Jar-Jar!

    @Bill: It’s always fun watching lefties eat their own. It’s going to be really interesting when they all figure out that the true nature of their current allies in the Muslims…

  6. 7

    Ditto

    contributor

    @Brother Bob:

    Considering that George Lucas patterned much of his evil Empire and it’s villains after the extremes of an oppressive, tyrannical democratic national socialist despotism form of government, I sometimes wonder if he could be turned to the lighter side of freedom loving conservatism.

  7. 8

    Brother Bob

    author

    @Ditto: It’s ironic that Palpatine’s power grab had a few thinly veiled swipes at Bush when Obama has been far worse. I doubt Hollywood will ever wake up to this, but for now let’s take what we can get

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