Saturday, September 6, 2014

Weekend Links and Stuff

This post will be updated throughout the weekend, mostly during football-broadcast commercials, halftime analysis and when The Curmudgeon isn't napping.
Stuff of note rustling through the Wonderful World Wide Web...

WHAT A RAISE FOR FAST FOOD COOKS WOULD MEAN, BY STATE
Philip Bump of the Washington Post did a little digging into the federal databases to analyze a raise for fastfood workers, state-by-state. In Michigan, the average burger-flipper is making around $8.85/hour, which is just 41% of the state's average income. And the average CEO in Michigan makes around $80/hour (nine times as much).
The most interesting statistic in Bump's analysis: raising the hourly rate for ALL fastfood workers in the nation would cost the industry about $6-billion a year. That's 3.75% of the industry's $160-billion in profits (assuming no price increases to cover the costs). In the process it would raise nearly 4-million workers out of poverty.

THE SKY IS NOT FALLING AFTER ALL - HEALTHCARE ARMAGEDDON AVOIDED!
The Republicans kept telling us that the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare would result in health insurance costs going through the roof. Since annual double-digit premium increases had become the norm, rational people could question why (even if true) that would be worse than the status quo.
Well, it turns out the GOP-fanned fears were crap.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has been sampling 2015 rates in cities across the nation and finding that premiums are actually going down.
"Premiums for the second-lowest cost silver plan for individuals will fall by an average of 0.8 percent from current levels in these cities when open enrollment begins on Nov. 15, according to the study."
 The cause-effect is unclear, but two facts are crystal clear:

  • Obamacare is not causing massive rate increases, and 
  • Millions of additional families now have affordable healthcare coverage.

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