Disney $15 Living Wage: Fear of a Fiscal Impact Study!


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When the Disney-dominated SOAR group is in full panic mode, EVERYBODY knows it – everybody who uses Facebook and the internet at least – they advertise their scary “Job Killer Initiative” propaganda everywhere you turn.  Doesn’t matter if you’re trying to read the New York Times, shopping for Doc Marten boots, or trying to research a medical condition – the words “NO on the Anaheim Job Killer Initiative!” jump out at you.

And that costs money, and we know that Disney’s too broke to pay their employees a living wage.  So I figured – didn’t you? – that these ads would disappear on May 1 when all the signatures were collected, and – assuming there are enough legitimate ones – the public won’t even have to decide on the matter for a few more months.  Nothing more anyone can do about it pro or con right now, as the registrar patiently pores through the stacks of John Hancocks.

Pero no.  For the first week of May there were even MORE of these Job Killer Ads.  It was crazy, you couldn’t get away from them!  Close your eyes, you’d STILL see “NO on the Anaheim Job Killer Initiative!”  Why were they still wasting SO much money on their propaganda?  (I heard 400 grand so far.)

Except NOW there was a slight difference in these ads – Disney and SOAR were now urging you to click and e-mail the Anaheim council to tell them HOW MUCH YOU HATE the Job Killer Initiative.  But why?  There wasn’t, and still isn’t, anything the Council can do to stop or slow down or speed up the process (except enacting it as an ordinance themselves which seems unlikely.)  It turns out that if you read through the prefab e-mail they wanted you to send, what Disney, Wincome, and the O’Connell group were terrified of is the Council conducting a Fiscal Impact Study!  From that prefab e-mail:

“…the City Council must take no action to unfairly influence or extend the initiative process. Do not waste taxpayer funds to do a fiscal study when the initiative may not even qualify. If the proponents follow the rules and qualify the measure, that’s the appropriate time to do a robust analysis so Anaheim voters have a clear choice.”

“Do not waste taxpayer funds?” Now first of all, these are the people … okay, now I’m starting to lose my temper and will try not to cuss. 

  • These are the same kleptocrats who wasted at least $2 million of YOUR taxpayer dollars from 2012-14 trying to make SURE you couldn’t have district elections and vote their puppets out! 
  • The same ones who also wasted millions of your money “studying” a STREETCAR that would’ve been a taxpayer gift to Disney above anyone else. 
  • The same ones who managed to finagle getting nearly a billion dollars of their expected TOT taxes back from us taxpayers, and we could go on in that vein – parking garage, gate tax ban… 

And here they are bitching that our representatives might want to put out $50,000 to $75,000 to help us citizens decide if the Living Wage Initiative is really a good idea or not?  Breathtaking, but … it obviously couldn’t really be the cost that they’re so worried about.

Still.  Somehow they are unmistakably terrified that conducting this study – especially sooner rather than later – will “unfairly” help the initiative move forward.  How would that work?  I asked a union leader and she pretty much agreed, “Yes, we would like that study to take place as soon as possible.”

Then it hit me – duh!  It’s because both sides know that, once a serious study is done, all the fearmongering myths will prove to be false and overblown.  Lies pulled right out of their ass.  And then the Disney/SOAR side will have to find NEW ways to get the public to oppose a living wage for Disney/Wincome workers, which will be a real challenge, even with Cunningham on their payroll.

(I wrap up this little essay perhaps a few days late:  The panicky ad campaign has stopped, and the kleptos’ tactic seems to have shifted from resisting an inevitable study to doing their best to influence it in the direction they want.)  But some facts remain: 

  • The measure is only ARGUABLY a job killer for 4,000 jobs that don’t even exist yet;
  • and THAT’s the case ONLY if they refuse to build their four subsidized hotels, which has become an overt threat of theirs since I called them on it,
  • and that is still not an economically credible threat;
  • and then of course someone else will build those hotels if they don’t.

Oh, and…

The myth that raising wages means there will be less job opportunities is bogus — Trae Crowder​

The myth that raising wages means there will be less job opportunities is bogus. SHARE to keep the discussion going. #IncomeInequality with my friends at ATTN:

Posted by Trae Crowder on Tuesday, February 6, 2018

(hat-tip to Red Lister!)


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.