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Scoundrel Time

Crossposted

Andrew Kujan is moving beyond Maureen Dowd territory and steadily approaching Lillian Hellman status. Writer Mary McCarthy once said of Stalinist playwright Lillian Hellman, who defended the Moscow Trials, “every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’.”

Earlier I took Kujan to task for twisting out of context, the words of Maryland Stadium Authority Board Member Dennis Mather as quoted by the Baltimore Sun. This is just the latest example of this nasty habit . Kujan’s response to me reveals the habit is just getting worse.

Kujan’s response:
“Seeing as the MSA operates Camden Yards, and Mr. Mather sits on the MSA, he would be directly involved in creating the new contract for the living wage workers. Therefore, when he says these workers might be fired, his words certainly carry some weight, as he can influence whether or not this happens. The $4.30 hr raise, effectively referred to here as “a break” for the workers in question, is what Mr. Mather voted NO on. Forgive me for wildly peicing [sic] together that he doesn’t want to give stadium workers a break.”

First, Kujan is dead wrong about Mather being directly involved in which workers are fired. He isn’t. The contractor, Knight Facilities Management Inc., as the Sun article specifically states, “hires the crews” not the MSA. The Sept. 6 vote stipulated that whatever else is in the new contract with Knight, they will have to pay the living wage to the workers they higher. The mandated living wage increase will negatively affect the number of people Knight can hire. This also reveals the typical progressive prejudice behind Kujan’s flawed logic. Mather based his position on the economic reality that higher costs will force Knight to higher fewer workers, but Kujan refuses to acknowledge that. No there must be some other sinister motive. Ah yes that’s it! Mather works for a conservative think tank therefore he must be against giving stadium workers “a break”.

Kujan willfully dismisses our larger economic argument in favor of the cheap shot at a conservative, which proves another point I made here. The reason Mather says these people may lose their jobs is that the mandated increase in wages for part-time workers leads to more people seeking a smaller number of positions putting some of the people the living wage purportedly helps, out of job. This is pure economic fact, as my colleague Brian Gill pointed out “If the stadium owners are forced to pay the cleaners more, they will not have as much money and cannot hire the same number of cleaners. Mandated wage increases causes unemployment, it’s as simple as that.”

Mather voted against mandating the living wage because he understood that salient fact. Here are his exact words “My concern is that the people we are trying to protect may not have a job…Often, when we pass laws, we intend to do one thing and something else happens.” As in some of the stadium-cleaners won’t have jobs due to the living wage increase.

Kujan at some basic level understands this, and the fact that Mather’s position is based on sound economic principle and (gasp) genuine concern for stadium workers who will lose their jobs. However, Kujan is not interested in engaging that argument. He would rather vilify Mather as not caring about low-wage workers instead. Why let the hard work of actually making an argument get in the way of smearing someone you disagree with.






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