Friday, January 8, 2016

Why We Exist

Well, it's here. The website is done. I'm sure some of you thought I would never get around to it. I did, and it's glorious.

I thought about doing one of those Our first blog-type posts, but it's so cliche it makes me sick. Instead, I'm just going to get right to it.

In the spirit of competition, I've decided to highlight the work we're doing at The BrainBust by completely dismantling the efforts of one of our competitors -- Young Conservatives. I'm ashamed that I actually linked that text to their website. If you can get past the barrage of advertisements that fly at you from all angles, you'll find that the site is dedicated to bringing a conservative message to younger voters.

I first found this conservative "news" site when doing some research on the actual impacts of minimum wages on local economies. Michael Cantrell, a regular contributor to YoungCons with "8 years of professional experience," whatever that means, wrote a piece highlighting an OpEd in Forbes. The article went on to explain the ills facing Seattle as they audaciously began to hike their local minimum wage.

Tim Worstall was the author of the Forbes piece. He used a couple of outside sources to make his claim that businesses were already closing their doors in anticipation of the wage hike. He linked the sources, but didn't mention them explicitly in the article. Here's a quote he used:
"As the implementation date for Seattle’s strict $15 per hour minimum wage law approaches, the city is experiencing a rising trend in restaurant closures. The tough new law goes into effect April 1st. The closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.
The shut-downs have idled dozens of low-wage workers, the very people advocates say the wage law is supposed to help. Instead of delivering the promised “living wage” of $15 an hour, economic realities created by the new law have dropped the hourly wage for these workers to zero.
Advocates of a high minimum wage said businesses would simply pay the mandated wage out of profits, raising earnings for workers. Restaurants operate on thin margins, though, with average profits of 4% or less, and the business is highly competitive."
What he failed to mention was that this bit of "reporting" came from the American Enterprise Institute. What's that, you ask? Excellent question. It's a "think-tank," a non-profit organization. They have a board of trustees. Dick Cheney is one of them. His politics aside, do you trust an organization that is overseen, in part, by one of the most notorious politicians of the 21st century? I do not.

Michael Cantrell and I had a little spat on Twitter. He rested his argument on the loosely-supported Forbes OpEd. Fortunately, Barry Ritholz had some great things to say about the article. I asked Michael to come on the show and share his thoughts, perhaps have a little debate. No response.

This is why we -- the BrainBust -- exist. Because blowhards with "8 years of professional experience" can regurgitate another person's broken arguments and get 24,000 shares on Facebook.


  1. Would love to hear more about the pro-side, and perhaps some "balanced" stats on the true impacts to Seattle from the wage hike. Keep up the "bustin"!!!!