Counter-Productive Opposition to New Mexico’s HB31

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

Yesterday, New Mexico’s House Commerce & Economic Development Committee discussed House Bill 31, the “Phased-In Minimum Wage Bill” and a lot of people traveled to the capital to express their opinions in-person to the committee (there were plenty of people for it as well as against it).

A curious citizen can view the recorded committee session here.

The restaurant industry sounds the like the most vocal demographic in opposition to HB31 and much of the criticism against the bill seems to be focused on the fact that the merging of the serving wage with the minimum wage will likely mean less tips for restaurant servers.  The loss of high earnings of tips for a successful restaurant server is an understandable fear but I think this fear misses the point of the bill.  The purpose of the bill is to create a living wage for all employees.

As of 2016, there are approximately 7.6 million individuals in the nation classed as “working poor” (working but still living below the poverty line), according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Why should anyone be living in poverty while they are working full-time or near full-time?

A tip is not a mandated exchange from a customer to a server, it is a voluntary gift supposedly based on the merit of the server’s work and attitude toward the customer.  It’s true that an employer in the restaurant industry is required by New Mexico law to make up the difference in a lack of tips to bring a server’s earnings up to the minimum wage level, but then why have two different minimum wages at all?  Why not dispense with the server’s wage entirely?  I’m confused about the double standard.

Why is it acceptable for a restaurant owner to outsource the burden of waiter/server pay to the consumers? 

 

Political Partisanship, Divisiveness, and a Demonization of Discourse

Has American politics grown more divisive throughout our history or has it always been bad?

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

Has American politics grown more divisive throughout our history or has it always been bad?  How can a person initiate a discourse with their ideological opposite without the discussion morphing into a monster of insults and character assassinations?

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote in his book, The Prince, that a primary goal of any national leader is to avoid a civil within his own country.  Based on that pragmatic view, has the United States of America failed as a nation because it could not avoid a civil war?

 

The Left is no longer liberal and liberals need to stand up.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

There is a particular ideology in America today, fostered by the Left-wing of the political spectrum, so intent on giving voice to minority populations that it seemingly idolizes victimization while proclaiming their distaste for and their distrust of populations of privilege.  Some proponents of this ideology have even driven it to an extent of advocating for a dismantling of Western political and judicial systems on claims that Western civilization was founded on nothing more than the exploitation of minority populations.  Nevermind that individuals in the West today enjoy a relatively peaceful society as well as longer lifespans compared to other parts of the world, contemporary Leftists focus on negative aspects of human history while dismissing anything positive that has arisen from a cultivation of social norms.  As if humans would be better off without civilization, roaming the wilderness just like any other animal.

Western civilization is not perfect (of course), no civilization is perfect.  Human history is littered with violence because humans have a proclivity towards violence.  However; despite what post-modern ideologues would have you believe, power struggles are not the only thing that drive human actions.  Any (reasonable) scholar of history will recognize that some of the worst atrocities have been committed in pursuit of an utopian ideal.  In other words, some of the worst things ever accomplished were carried out with the best of intentions.  A pragmatic leader governs a society as humans are, not as humans ought to be.

Contemporary Leftists are indeed pushing an idealistic agenda and it seems eerily reminiscent of the old Marxist rhetoric leading up to the Russian Revolution which formed the Soviet Union.  These new “cultural Marxists,” or neo-Marxists, are driven by a desire for a utopia in which no group of people is prejudiced toward another group of people and all individuals live in harmony with one another with no hatred, jealousy, or exploitation.  This is a fantastical, pathological idea and it is most evident on college campuses (more so with large universities) where Leftist, student organizations will rally protests against specific people with a so-called controversial opinion simply for having the audacity to speak to a crowd of supporters.  Leftists students today are so “triggered” by differing opinions that they wish to limit individual freedom of speech to protect their own asinine sensabilities.  The political Left is no longer liberal and liberals must stand up against these neo-communists.

Liberalism is about individuality, liberty, entreprenuership, and the ability of one person to forge his/her own destiny regardless of the circumstances of his birth.  Liberals advocate for free speech for individuals, accountability for governments, separations of power, divisions in the structures of governments, and egalitarianism throughout a population.

The problem with idealistic, utopian ideologies like Marxist socialism/communism or Nazi socialism/fascism, as “well-intentioned” as they may be, they create “in-group” mentalities amongst specific populations which foster exclusiveness in pursuit of inclusiveness.  In pursuit of a so-called inclusive society, the ideologues advocate to silence any rhetoric that goes against their ideology (any rhetoric that they label as hateful).  Nevermind freedom of speech for individuals and the marketplace of ideas, any speech that may be interpreted as “hate speech” will not be tolerated by the contemporary neo-communists.  This pro-censorship stance is antithetical to classic Enlightenment values.  Censorship advocates are not liberal.

Examples of these pathological neo-communists can be seen in video recordings of public speeches by Milo Yiannopolous and Ben Shapiro.  Milo Yiannopolous is a former reporter/editor at “Breitbart News” who organized a tour of college campuses a couple years back during which he spoke to his supporters publicly.  Ben Shapiro is the current editor-in-chief of “The Daily Wire” who occasionally partners with various conservative organizations to speak to his supporters publicly at various American colleges.  Both Yiannopolous and Shapiro have had contact with protesters at their events, people who were protesting them simply because they were speaking publicly.

A reasonable person encounters a public speaker whom they disagree with and perhaps crafts an argument against the speaker, engaging in a debate.  However; the post-modern neo-communists do not believe in values of free speech and debate, they only care about asserting their own influence in the public sphere and obtaining power over our society.  They do this under a belief that truth does not exist and that power dynamics are all that matter in human relations; this belief justifies their own use of power.

Free speech only matters if it applies to every person.  Every person deserves the right to speak his mind regardless of how hateful it may be.  I write this as a person who used to describe himself as a socialist.  I used to describe myself as a socialist because I bought into the idealistic rhetoric of Marxism, “workers of the world unite,” and all that shit.  I did not understand the bitter pathology behind a strive for utopia.

Post-modernist, neo-communism must be stopped before human history repeats itself.  We do not want another Soviet Union to rise to prominence on the global stage.