Category: The Economy

Obamacare providers got screwed, and are too big to fail..

So at the time when the collectivists held all 3 branches of our government , and were telling us they had to pass Obamacare for us to see what it was about, many of us, when asked, pointed out that the vilified insurance industry went along with this nonsense because they bought the campaign of lies that these crooks were selling. Somehow those that had to know better accepted the contention that Obamacare would actually result in cost reductions, and thus by extension, bigger profits for them. Who cares if it was blatantly obvious that what this democrat shit sandwich would really do was incentivize primarily the people most likely to drive costs through the roof, while those that didn’t need it, despite the penalties, would stay away? well the morons in the health insurance industry should have cared, but they, like so many others, were basically fooled by a false narrative.

As anyone that understood human nature could point out, in a country where medical professionals can’t turn away anyone that needs urgent care, why would someone very unlikely to need anything but urgent care, buy damned health insurance? And why would they expect that someone that was previously unable to get insurance due to something that was going to cost a fortune not sign up for free shit? Fast forward 6 years. Obamacare now has clearly shown us that nothing that was promised would actually come to pass, and that we all would pay more for crappier service. The health insurance industry has been forced to jack rates continuously to cover their massive shortfalls, and now, we have these companies looking for a tax payer subsidy to cover the ass rape they have experienced thanks to a bad law:

Insurers helped cheerlead the creation of Obamacare, with plenty of encouragement – and pressure – from Democrats and the Obama administration. As long as the Affordable Care Act included an individual mandate that forced Americans to buy its product, insurers offered political cover for the government takeover of the individual-plan marketplaces. With the prospect of tens of millions of new customers forced into the market for comprehensive health-insurance plans, whether they needed that coverage or not, underwriters saw potential for a massive windfall of profits.

Six years later, those dreams have failed to materialize. Now some insurers want taxpayers to provide them the profits to which they feel entitled — not through superior products and services, but through lawsuits.

Earlier this month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina joined a growing list of insurers suing the Department of Health and Human Services for more subsidies from the risk-corridor program. Congress set up the program to indemnify insurers who took losses in the first three years of Obamacare with funds generated from taxes on “excess profits” from some insurers. The point of the program was to allow insurers to use the first few years to grasp the utilization cycle and to scale premiums accordingly.

As with most of the ACA’s plans, this soon went awry. Utilization rates went off the charts, in large part because younger and healthier consumers balked at buying comprehensive coverage with deductibles so high as to guarantee that they would see no benefit from them. The predicted large windfall from “excess profit” taxes never materialized, but the losses requiring indemnification went far beyond expectations.

In response, HHS started shifting funds appropriated by Congress to the risk-corridor program, which would have resulted in an almost-unlimited bailout of the insurers. Senator Marco Rubio led a fight in Congress to bar use of any appropriated funds for risk-corridor subsidies, which the White House was forced to accept as part of a budget deal. As a result, HHS can only divvy up the revenues from taxes received through the ACA, and that leaves insurers holding the bag.

They now are suing HHS to recoup the promised subsidies, but HHS has its hands tied, and courts are highly unlikely to have authority to force Congress to appropriate more funds. In fact, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services formally responded by telling insurers that they have no requirement to offer payment until the fall of 2017, at the end of the risk-corridor program.

I say fuck them both. HHS is a criminal entity as far as I am concerned, far worse than anything else out there in the real world. But these insurance companies should feel the pain. After all, they were stupid enough to buy into another massive campaign of lies from the marxists and their promises to insulate these companies if the not only went along but cheerlead for the marxists, from the consequences of bad economic policy that then also ignored human nature (what else that caused us all some huge pain recently does this sound exactly like, huh?). Wishful thinking is not enough, as this clearly points out:

That response highlights the existential issue for both insurers and Obamacare. The volatility and risk was supposed to have receded by now. After three full years of utilization and risk-pool management, ACA advocates insisted that the markets would stabilize, and premiums would come under control. Instead, premiums look set for another round of big hikes for the fourth year of the program.

Get used to this people. There are no free lunches. Someone pays, and while the collectivists, but especially one of the politicians, would like you to be dumb enough to believe their promise it will be someone else, the fact is that you will always pay in one form or another, unless you are one of them, that is. Greedy assholes in the insurance industries bought the bullshit the left sold when they should have known better, and now they are up the creek without a paddle and looking for someone else to pay. Hence the following news:

Consumers seeking to comply with the individual mandate will see premiums increase on some plans from large insurers by as much as 30 percent in Oregon, 32 percent in New Mexico, 38 percent in Pennsylvania, and 65 percent in Georgia.

Yup, we will all pay. Perverse incentives will produce perverse results, but hey, collectivists will tell you the right people pushing the right way will finally make that happen.

If you didn’t know that it was pretend, then stuff like this should clarify it

Never forget that the left is about tyranny. Sure they love to pretend to like democracy, but that is when things go their way. As soon as that doesn’t happen, then you get stuff like this (which was previously titled like this):

Since British voters elected on Thursday to leave the European Union, signs have quickly emerged of the flaws in holding a referendum on such a messy, massive, far-reaching decision.

Politicians responsible for explaining what’s at stake have admitted they may have fudged some of the consequences. Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party, acknowledged Friday merely an hour after the election was called that one of the Leave campaign’s key promises to voters was inaccurate. Brexit backers pledged that money the U.K. currently sends to the E.U. — supposedly £350 million ($462 million) a week — would go to the country’s national health system instead. Former London mayor Boris Johnson even drove around Britain in a bus blaring that message.

On Friday, Farage called that claim a “mistake.” (Kudos to the incredulous TV reporter who then followed up: “Do you think there are other things people will wake up this morning and find out aren’t going to happen as a result of voting this way?”)

Oh, the article goes on to pretend these scumbag tyrannical leftists have a good reason to say that in general the unwashed masses that these masters are sure are not as smart as they are (reference here, shouldn’t be allowed to make choices the globalist leftist movement doesn’t like, but that’s bullshit. Most of the negative consequences we are seeing to this exit vote are simply retaliatory measures by pissed nanny staters that want to punish the plebes for daring to defy their aristocracy’s hold on power.

The grand message here by the political aristocracy and their scumbag lackeys in the media is that these plebes that voted “No” know not what’s better for them, unlike the political globalist masters. You fucking inbred morons are motivated by the usual nefarious reasons – racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and so on – while they, the enlightened masters, see beyond all that. The fact that the voters point out they basically decided these masters had gotten too corrupt and felt no accountability to the people they represented is just pap. Democracy is doing what the marxist-globalist left wants. Don’t take my word for it:

All of this was, perhaps, predictable, as some political scientists and historians have warned that a simple yes-or-no public referendum can be a terrible way to make a decision with such complex repercussions. The process looks like direct democracy in its purest form, and it was celebrated as such by many Leave campaigners after the vote. But David A. Bell, a Princeton historian writing in The New Republic four years ago as Greece was preparing for a referendum on its bailout, argues that the result of referendums is much more often anti-democratic.

Methinks these people don’t realize the actual meaning of what the word democracy means. It simply is the rule of the masses, the decision they make being good or not according to whomever, having no impact on that choice. Democracy can be just as tyrannical as anything else, but never as tyrannical as what a ruling class that holds disdain for the people it rules and simply makes decisions that primarily benefit that ruling class way too often at the expense of the masses, which is why the forefathers of the US opted for a Representative Republic. Making a choice that the marxist-globalist left dislikes, for whatever reason and irrespective of whatever justification that the anyone would want to present as justification for claiming otherwise, doesn’t make that vote undemocratic as these mouth pieces of the tyrannical leftist cabal want you to believe. If they had “miscounted” the vote, like they did or continue to do in the greatest bastions of practical implementations of the systems of government favored by the left, or just outright disregarded the outcome of such a vote, which is exactly what I see the anti-brexit types are planning to do, then we would have something that is undemocratic.

The whole feel of this idiotic article is that the people that voted against what their masters and betters want, just don’t know what’s good for them. And the orchestrated campaign to cause as much pain as possible to all, the intended consequence being to make sure that nobody does anything like this again, as well as the call for a do-over are really what one could potentially label undemocratic. Basically we have another famous “Too big to fail” moment, like we had back in 2008, when the wholly rotten and totally broken US homeownership lending industry regulated to push perverse incentives that defied the laws of economics and human nature, going on here too. Do not defy the masters in Brussels and their plans, or else.

The globalists have corrupted the idea of a globalized planet brought together by economic and human interest by creating bloated beasts that rob the people of their freedoms and simply serve to enrich the political masters and the few they allow to come along, and are screwing us all over. People shouldn’t be deciding things simply on how much free shit the masters promise them, always shit taken from others, and those that are being fleeced shouldn’t be villainized when they point out that their masters have not just failed them, but are ripping them off and fucking them over. Have no doubt that this vote, despite of the stories being told now, was one to protest the disconnected masters and the fact that they no longer even care to pretend they hold the very people they are supposed to be serving in contempt. And this rebellion against their will and direction, by what these masters see as uneducated morons that are beneath them, is what pisses these scumbags in power the most.

The British people have spoken…

To be honest with you, I doubted every poll that showed that Britian would choose to remain in the UE simply because of all the water carrying by the usual lefitst big government types, and now that the only poll that counts has been taken, the results back my suspicions. By a 52 to 48 margin, those that voted chose to pull out of the EU. As was expected, there are both financial, and political impacts, but my favorite one is that the fucking scumbags were, yet again, on the wrong side of history. I don’t have to point out that all the people that said the other guy was in thw wrong, will now have to eat some crow.

As others pointed out during some chats in comments in other threads, this might not be a great thing for the British people. After all, they could simply be trading an unaccountable corrupt and totally inept political aritocracy in Brussels for one locally, with not much changing, but then again, I think the EU has been the prime example of what is wrong with collectivism gone haywire, and thus, I am glad to see that institution crumble and fall. Basically I see the Brexit vote as the people finally rebelling against a disconnected and abusive political ideocracy that has turned their lives into a miserable thing while pretending to do them right. And I admit I am not surprised by it. The political leadership around the globe today is basically a bunch of criminal idiots and unlike politicians of the past, no longer offer any real service in return for being able to feed at the trough.

Hey, speaking of a revolt against the political class: where else are we seeing something like that? Keep that in mind whenever you hear how bad Trump’s numbers are. The political aristocracy and their lackeys in the media have a vested interest in convincing people that Trump is DOA. Take that for what it is worth.

UPDATE: Oh, oh….

Voters in France, Italy and the Netherlands are demanding their own votes on European Union membership and the euro, as the continent faces a “contagion” of referendums.

EU leaders fear a string of copycat polls could tear the organisation apart, as leaders come under pressure to emulate David Cameron and hold votes.

It came as German business leaders handed a considerable boost to the Leave campaign by saying it would be “very, very foolish” to deny the UK a free trade deal after Brexit.

Get out of it, then form a trade pact so you are not getting screwed by the crooks in Brussels sounds like a smart thing to me…

What detail was missing from this story?

The LA Times ran a story titled “Looting and unrest continue roiling Venezuela as shortages persist and protesters demand food, where it provided details like this:

Venezuela, where anger over food shortages is still mounting, continued to be roiled this week by angry protests and break-ins of grocery stores and businesses that have left five dead, at least 30 injured and 200 arrested, according to various news reports.

The latest fatality came from the southwest city of Merida, where 17-year-old Jean Paul Omana died Wednesday after being shot Tuesday during a disturbance amid looting.

Widespread violence has been reported there, as well as an attack by protesters on the headquarters of President Nicolas Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV.

As consumers grow increasingly frustrated with ongoing food scarcities and lengthening lines outside stores, protests are turning more violent. A Social media reported protests on Wednesday in the Los Teques, Los Altos Mirandinos and Santa Teresa del Tuy suburbs of Caracas, the capital.

A common thread among protesters demanding the government provide food is that they are suffering from hunger and in some cases heat exposure from spending hours in line. Mired in economic crisis, Venezuela must import the bulk of its food items, but supplies have run short because of the government’s cash shortage, triggered by falling oil prices.

So, we are told that there are food shortages, caused because the government has to import most things in Venezuela these days, and they are unable to do this because of falling oil prices! Note what’s missing in all this detail? How about explaining why Venezuela, a country that once was a leading manufacturer in South America now ends up having to import practically everything, and why the government has to do this, and not the economy as a common course? I know, it’s obvious to those of us that know what evil scourge has been destroying Venezuela, but the usual idiots that lap up the left’s bullshit, are not going to connect the dots without someone telling them what the problem is.

And the problem is not that the US is fomenting an imperialist revolution and interfering with the affairs of state in Venezuela, after all, the Obama administration has gone out of its way to coddle tyrannical leftists and murderers all over the globe, but the very fact that Venezuela is now reaping the rewards of collectivism running its course. Things are now getting to the point where the government has to deploy troops to quell the unrest. I am sure Maduro and Chavez’s daughter don’t have these problems. After all, unlike under the evil capitalist system where the rich have power, in a collectivist system, <a href=”http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3640941/Super-rich-quaff-champagne-Venezuela-country-club-middle-classes-scavenge-food-rubbish-dumps-DOGS-starving.html” target={_new”>only those with power are going to be rich or have the access to what being rich buys you.

And this is the way Obama’s promise to fundamentally transform America will also play out: have no doubt about it. Collectivism is an evil failure. An excuse used by people that will prey on the basest and vilest of man’s instincts – greed and envy – to justify theft. Unfortunately for the dupes that go along, the masters soon realize the pie is limited and will never grown under the system they espouse, so they end up stealing most of it, leaving the people all in abject misery.

This crap has played itself out over and over, with the results always being the same: catastrophe. In most places the decent into hell has been swift and the results immediately apparent. Because of the immense wealth in the western world, wealth created by the very system the collectivists wish to destroy, the western nations that started down the collectivist road are taking longer getting here, but they will get there. The current crop of credentialed elites are so inept that they can’t help but break it all.

Here cometh the next dark age?

As someone that has always been fascinated by history and the fact that humanity never learns the lessons of the past and seems doomed to repeat the same mistakes, I admit that I have been feeling, for a while now, that the people in charge of this country in particular, but the western nations in general, have been taken us into a direction that will have serious and far reaching negative global implications. When you articulate this, especially to the believers of our credentialed new political aristocracy and the left in general, you get lambasted as someone that must have some kind of vile reasons for opposing the destruction they are inflicting with their failed ideology, and ideology that seems to remain immune to the consequences and results of the failed and often horribly failed policies it keeps engendering. To the true believers amongst that bunch what counts are the feeling and their intentions, and never the results.

To those that simply take advantage of the stupidity and naivete of the true believers, the only results that count are the ones that allow them to get more power and steal more from the productive. So when you find someone that waxes eloquently about this prescient and relevant, it is a good thing and a breath of fresh air, albeit one I suspect will fall on deaf ears of the collectivists and their agenda. Jakub Grygiel at the American Interests has a great piece titled “The Stages of Grief at the Frontier“. I recommend you read the whole thing, but here is his conclusion, and it is an important warning:

Severinus’s story parallels our times (with all the necessary caveats). The stages of geopolitical grief are not as vivid today as in this story, but doubts are growing about the resilience of U.S. power and Washington’s commitment (under the current Administration or future ones) to allies. As U.S. power retrenches or is questioned, the frontier regions then experiences a series of adjustments. Insouciance about how security arises gives way to shock and panic when the security provider vanishes; then, self-delusion follows, as people convince themselves that security will sustain itself or that the threat is not real; and finally, if lucky to be fortified by a firm belief in something more than material goods or the satisfaction of one’s own transient preferences, the polity may find a reason to defend itself. The West may be going through all three stages at the same time, as many seem to put faith in the automatic harmony of international relations, do not necessarily believe in the dangerous nature of geopolitical competition with assertive rivals, and—perhaps most worrisome, and different from Severinus’s tale—do not seem to find a strong reason to devote resources to sustain the order from which they benefit.

Many people don’t realize it, but the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe led to centuries of brutal chaos and repression as the entity that provided order, albeit through its own use of force, evaporated. Whatever prosperity, wealth, and knowledge had been created all but disappeared as people reverted to savage behavior and basically resorted to fighting over an ever dwindling pool of resources and wealth. It took over a millennium for things to start righting themselves, and even after that, we had far more darkness than light until the twentieth century and another series of empires produced the stability and conditions for those that create (and for you collectivists that creation is never by government because the only thing government can provide is a system that delivers stability, with clear rules that apply to all, and government then stays out of the way of their people) to be able to bring us prosperity.

I can talk about this till I am blue in the face, but the thing has been beaten to death, so i will leave you with a quote from someone I think said it just right:

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Get ready for the dark times. I am sure the collectivists will tell us it was not their fault because they meant well. According to them Nirvana on earth is just a question of time, but every time they have tried it we end up with something horrible and the collectivists telling us that things went wrong because the wrong people were in charge and/or it was implemented incorrectly. Their idiotic belief that they can override human nature, the laws of economics, and reality to have us all act like an insect colony be damned.

Free shit! Now vote for us…

In a blatantly obvious effort to just buy votes, President Obama has decided that he will make the Social Security system insolvent even faster. Yeah, leftards love the idea that Obama will hand out more free shit:

President Barack Obama called for expanding Social Security on Wednesday, prompting progressive groups to declare victory after they tangled with him over a plan to save costs in the entitlement program three years ago.

After all, I was going to say I predict, but that requires I have a chance to be wrong about something I am gonna say, so I am just going to say what these morons will make as the go-to argument for taking this idiotic step: “you can just pick the pockets of the productive and rich some more, can’t you?”. And as I point out:

“And not only do we need to strengthen its long-term health, it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous and increased its benefits so that today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they’ve earned,” Obama said in an economic call to arms in Elkhart, Indiana. “We could start paying for it by asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute a little bit more.”

Yeah, sure, “a little bit more”. That will do it. The facts be damned. This boondoggle is already running a massive deficit, and the truth is that even that number is bullshit, because that substantial deficit is made smaller by an accounting trick that ignores the massive $10 trillion discrepancy caused by government borrowing money from SS to fund other social spending over a couple of decasdes, and replacing it with worthless IOUs that will basically have to be paid off by US tax payers.

It will take a fucking ton more than picking the pockets of the rich to overcome the existing problem, let alone finding enough money to allow the system to pay up even more like the “free shit” democrat voting block likes and wants. But Obama knows he can say this shit, and heck, even push it through a spineless congress, and never have to be held accountable for it. Someone else can be blamed and hated when the whole thing collapses, and I bet Obama will say that things were doing just great – and get the DNC parrots in the LSM to go along with that whopper of a lie – when he decided to nail yet another stake into that vampire.

This is the shit that passes for great political action these days. We truly deserve the end to this once great country. How far we have fallen.

How the West Was Won

Deirdre McCloskey has an outstanding article in the WSJ this weekend asking how America and other countries got rich. I hate to quote as the whole thing is worth your time, but here’s a few choice selections:

Nothing like the Great Enrichment of the past two centuries had ever happened before. Doublings of income—mere 100% betterments in the human condition—had happened often, during the glory of Greece and the grandeur of Rome, in Song China and Mughal India. But people soon fell back to the miserable routine of Afghanistan’s income nowadays, $3 or worse. A revolutionary betterment of 10,000%, taking into account everything from canned goods to antidepressants, was out of the question. Until it happened.

McCloskey asks how this happened, dispenses with the usual explanations and focus on this:

What enriched the modern world wasn’t capital stolen from workers or capital virtuously saved, nor was it institutions for routinely accumulating it. Capital and the rule of law were necessary, of course, but so was a labor force and liquid water and the arrow of time.

The capital became productive because of ideas for betterment—ideas enacted by a country carpenter or a boy telegrapher or a teenage Seattle computer whiz. As Matt Ridley put it in his book “The Rational Optimist” (2010), what happened over the past two centuries is that “ideas started having sex.” The idea of a railroad was a coupling of high-pressure steam engines with cars running on coal-mining rails. The idea for a lawn mower coupled a miniature gasoline engine with a miniature mechanical reaper. And so on, through every imaginable sort of invention. The coupling of ideas in the heads of the common people yielded an explosion of betterments.

OK. But then why did that happen? Why did human ideas, which had been basically celibate for a hundred millennia, suddenly start “having sex”? Well, something we’ve been on about in these very pages:

The answer, in a word, is “liberty.” Liberated people, it turns out, are ingenious. Slaves, serfs, subordinated women, people frozen in a hierarchy of lords or bureaucrats are not. By certain accidents of European politics, having nothing to do with deep European virtue, more and more Europeans were liberated. From Luther’s reformation through the Dutch revolt against Spain after 1568 and England’s turmoil in the Civil War of the 1640s, down to the American and French revolutions, Europeans came to believe that common people should be liberated to have a go. You might call it: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

To use another big concept, what came—slowly, imperfectly—was equality. It was not an equality of outcome, which might be labeled “French” in honor of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Piketty. It was, so to speak, “Scottish,” in honor of David Hume and Adam Smith: equality before the law and equality of social dignity. It made people bold to pursue betterments on their own account. It was, as Smith put it, “allowing every man to pursue his own interest his own way, upon the liberal plan of equality, liberty and justice.”

I would particularly focus on freedom of speech and property rights. Freedom of speech allowed ideas to be communicated, now at literally the speed of light. And property rights removed the fear that communicating your ideas would deprive you of their benefits.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth rehashing: my dad did the War College in the 1980’s. He argued that classifying military technology to protect us from Soviet spies was actually a bad idea. Ideas flourish under communication; progress flourishes when ideas “have sex”. The freedom of the United States meant that we could publish our military tech secrets on the front page of Pravda and the Soviet Union would still not be able to keep up. We would always be steps ahead of them technologically because our people were free to develop and exploit those ideas while the Soviets were not. And since the Cold War ended, we’ve seen our technological progress only speed up.

Anyway, the article is worth your time. It’s inspiring. And it suggests that the way to get of our two-decade long economic doldrum is more freedom, not more regulation and redistribution.

Post-Scriptum: McCloskey, incidentally, is a trans woman. She had some great thoughts on the whole bathroom kerfuffle:

The bathroom “issue” is entirely phony. It has never been a problem. Anyway, if men wanted to sneak in (they don’t), they could always have done so, with or without North Carolina’s law. How is it to be enforced? DNA testing by the TSA at every bathroom door? Anyway, your house has a unisex bathroom, I presume, and in Europe they are not entirely uncommon—after all, the stalls have doors. Etc, etc. On both sides it is just a club to beat up the other side in the silly Cultural Wars, and to make people hate and disdain each other. Adam Smith would not have approved.

Again, the link is worth a clickthrough. Anything McCloskey writes, including grocery lists, is usually worth your time.

What Spending Restraint Looks Like

In case you think government spending is out of control and the GOP RINOs and sellouts have given spendthrift Obama everything he wants, here’s some more data to chew on: over the last five years, we have spent $2.5 trillion less than Obama was projecting in 2009, including $697 billion less in 2015 alone. That’s the equivalent of having cancelled Medicaid. And, of course, those savings become baked into future projections, which means unfunded liabilities are down by trillions as well.

Is it perfect? No. It is a huge improvement? Absolutely. If the GOP had shown this kind of spending restraint while Bush was President, we would currently be running a $400-800 billion dollar surplus right now and the national debt would be about $8 trillion smaller. And that’s with the Obama stimulus included. Without, the numbers would be even further in the black.

Spending restraint. It works.

Who would thunk it?!

The people pushing for a $15 minimum wage have assured us that the wage hike will not destroy jobs. After all, there was this one study back in the 90’s that showed that a small increase in minimum wage didn’t immediately destroy jobs. Granted, almost every other study has shown differently but, you know, A STUDY SHOWED SOMETHING. ONCE. So we’ll assume that gigantic increases in the minimum wage will have no effect, none whatso-

Oh:

Wendy’s (WEN) said that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages.

It will be up to franchisees whether to deploy the labor-saving technology, but Wendy’s President Todd Penegor did note that some franchise locations have been raising prices to offset wage hikes.

McDonald’s (MCD) has been testing self-service kiosks. But Wendy’s, which has been vocal about embracing labor-saving technology, is launching the biggest potential expansion.

Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10% of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5% to 6%, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage “to access good labor.”

It’s not surprising that some franchisees might face more of a labor-cost squeeze than company restaurants. All 258 Wendy’s restaurants in California, where the minimum wage rose to $10 an hour this year and will gradually rise to $15, are franchise-operated. Likewise, about 75% of 200-plus restaurants in New York are run by franchisees. New York’s fast-food industry wage rose to $10.50 in New York City and $9.75 in the rest of the state at the start of 2016, also on the way to $15.

Wendy’s plans to cut company-owned stores to just 5% of the total.

I hate to say I told you so, but … no, wait, I don’t hate that. I hate it when people’s lives and the nation’s economy are upended by the utterly predictable results of feel-good liberalism.