Author Archives: Lightwave

About Lightwave

A self-proclaimed fence-sitter, one may only categorize Lightwave as "uncategorized". While registered as a Democrat (US), he also espouses many of the beliefs of the right. Often idealist and cynic at the same time, he believes that most ideologies work best when balanced. By trade, Lightwave has spent the last 15 years in Information technology, private business, and the government sector. He has earned his Batchelor’s degree in Computer Science as well as an MBA and a Masters degree in Information Systems Management. On a quest for a lifetime of learning, Lightwave does his best to stay current in technology, business, and economic topics. Devoting himself to his wife and daughter, Lightwave finds legal topics to be more of a hobby, but hopes to one day pursue a Juris Doctorate.

It’s the Market, Stupid: Negative Economic Impacts of Raising the Minimum Wage

Before beginning to write this article, I was of the opinion that minimum wage should at least be adjusted for the cost of inflation, but I had put little additional thought into the matter. Raising the minimum wage is certainly a popular idea with Americans today. Indeed, Americans overwhelmingly support an increase in the minimum wage. Sadly, however, we can not rely on the good judgment of Americans at large to determine what is a good idea (we can’t even count on them to stick to their guns….war in Iraq, anyone?).

The idea of a minimum wage was originally applied in Australia and New Zealand. The U.S. Federal minimum wage was established in 1938 at $0.25/hr and covered less than half of all jobs. The current minimum wage is $5.15 and covers more than 75% of all jobs.

I’d like to discuss some of the implications of a minimum wage hike and some of the claims that have been made about its effects. But before I delve into the details of the wage hike, I think it’s important for a brief reminder of market economic theory 101.

Continue reading

Is NFP Just Another Form of Contraception?

In the post “French Bishop Urges Vatican to Reopen Debate on Whether 1+1=2”, Funky mentions that:

“Pope Paul VI banned contraception in the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, arguing that sexual intercourse was meant for procreation and any artificial method to block a pregnancy went against the nature of the act.” 

I was inclined by this to comment on that post, but its my hope that others might have input on my thoughts about Humanae Vitae and NFP.

Continue reading

Does It Really Matter is Harriet Miers Would Overturn Roe v. Wade?

A lot of discussion has ensued over whether Harriet Miers would be a proponent of overturning Roe v. Wade if confirmed to a seat on the Supreme Court. Indeed, for many, this is an extremely important because some see this as the single most important issue a Justice may influence. I believe, however, that those who focus on this issue are doing themselves, Miers, and their country a disservice. It is imperative to realize that the influence of a Justice is farmore sweeping than simply the question of abortion rights.

While not directly criticizing Miers at the moment (I’ll do that later), I believe one must review the overall qualifications and integrity of a Justice long before reviewing philosophy, ideology, and theology, and certainly well before considering the potential Justice’s view on individual issues. Why concern ourselves with these areas, qualifications and integrity, before those which would seem to have a more direct application to decisions and opinions? While philosophy, ideology, and theology may have a much more direct impact on a Justice’s influence, it is my assertion that without well established qualifications and integrity, that we cannot be certain if there will be any consistency to the application of one’s philosophy, ideology, and theology.

Continue reading

Hiding From Big Brother

I recently read an article in Baseline talking about how workers in the UK are up in arms about being tracked by RFID tags in whorehouseswarehouses:

"The fear? The stated fear is they'll be tracked every time they take a break or head for the rest room. The unstated fear: Every movement becomes trackable. Employers, using the information gathered by ever-present radio waves, could see which warehouse worker really is most efficient and prioritize hiring, firing and overtime accordingly."

The article goes on to suggest that sharing the wealth by tying pay to productivity (i.e. rewarding the most productive workers while paying the least productive workers less) would make everybody happy.

Continue reading

Is Wal-Mart Really to Blame?

I’d like to respond to some of Howard’s and Steve’s comments to my previous article, so I’ll take them in turn. Unfortunately, I’m so darn long-winded that it’s too big for a simple comment post, so its taken the form of an article:

Costco’s competition with Walmart

Howard speaks of how Costco effectively competes with Walmart effectively with unionized labor and higher wages. This may indeed be true. However, the fact is Costco does not directly compete with Walmart Stores. Rather, Costco is a more direct competitor of Sams Club, another Walmart brand. Walmart Stores are really the bread and butter of Walmart, and having said this, there is no other organization that competes effectively with Walmart on a worldwide scale, hence Walmart’s iconic status. This being the case, it might even be plausible to say that Sam’s Club could pay higher wages and unionize and still be competitive. One possible reason for avoiding this scenario is the collateral effect it would have on Walmart Stores.

Continue reading