Not everyone is outraged by San Francisco's most obnoxious billboard (Spoiler: Libertarians)

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on July 20, 2014

From The News Desk

Given all the talk of them vs us -- the tech industry vs everyone else who lives and works in the Bay Area -- it's heartening to see most Pando readers united in I-might-puke-ness over this: San Francisco's most obnoxious billboard...


As I wrote a couple of days ago, the ad was produced by the Employment Policies Institute, a conservative lobbying group which regularly campaigns on behalf of the restaurant industry. A member of their advisory board was also a leading witness in the defense of illegal wage fixing by Apple, Google and others.

And yet... apparently not everyone agrees that restaurant workers in San Francisco -- a city where median monthly rents just passed $3400 -- deserve to see their wages increase to $15 per hour by 2018, which is the law the billboard is protesting....

[Update: Meet the asshole behind San Francisco’s most assholeish billboard]

— Bobby Isaacson (@bobbyisaacson) July 20, 2014

— Daniel (@DanSiemek) July 20, 2014

— Daniel (@DanSiemek) July 20, 2014

— Andrews Dad (@Andrew_Dad) July 20, 2014 — Rob Ganjon (@rganjon) July 20, 2014

— Andrew M. Grossman (@andrewmgrossman) July 20, 2014 The argument that we should just let the free market do its thing without artificially fixing wages is a perfectly reasonable one to make, of course. Especially if you're a well-paid white dude who doesn't have to live in San Francisco, let alone work a minimum wage job (which seems to be the common theme amongst those loudly cheering the billboard for reflecting "reality.")

There are just a couple of snags, though:

First, if you don't think wages should be kept artificially "high" in opposition to the free market, then you probably shouldn't support a group whose adviser supported tech workers having their wages kept artificially low in opposition to that same free market.

Secondly, according to a study by the Department of Labor, reported by NPR, states that have raised minimum wages appear to have actually increased their rates of employment growth at a faster pace than those which have not.

That last guy, by the way -- the smug looking dude in a suit who accuses me of "pandering" to... I guess... busboys and waitresses -- works as a legal adjunct at the Cato institute, a libertarian think tank funded by the powerful Koch brothers.

Those same Koch brothers are also backing this weekend's Reboot conference here in San Francisco, which Mark Ames called out this past Friday for being a cesspool of racism, homophobia and hatred of pretty much everyone who isn't white and well off.

If you loved the billboard, the conference will likely give you an orgasm.

Update: Meet the asshole behind San Francisco’s most assholeish billboard


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