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Business Caucus: Raise Taxes, Exploit Young Workers, Keep State Debt Collection Private

Yesterday I reviewed the election picks of the participants in the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce Business Caucus. Today, let's look at the media habits and policy leanings revealed by that straw poll.

The Chamber asked Business Caucus participants to name two media they use to follow the Legislative process:

Source Users
Newspaper 58
Television news 31
Public radio and television 26
Internet news sources 66
Blogs and social media 29
Friends—chatting 26

Internet news and newspapers are the top choices. Folks are still tuning in to KELO and KOTA, but blogs and social media are close to both the commercial tubers and public broadcasting (which really does the best legislative coverage in the state with its Statehouse service).

The Webby skew of this group's media preferences may reflect the age groupings. The Business Caucus included 52 GenXers, 42 Millennials, 39 Boomers, and just one really old businessperson.

A quarter of these employers (26 out of 104 responding to this question) said their businesses have policies "about employees' personal websites." I hope these policies do not go beyond reminding employees to keep their business lives separate from their personal online lives. 60% (48 out of 79 responding) say they check social media to screen job applicants (I should apply for more jobs to boost my readership!). But 96% (98 out of 102 responding) said employers should not have the right "to collect passwords from employee's private social media accounts when they aren't under suspicion for a crime." On that issue, the Chamber of Commerce leadership appears to be out of step with its membership: Chamber boss David Owen testified earlier this month against legislation that would have prevented such forcible invasions of job applicants' online privacy.

On transportation issues, only one member out of 127 respondents expressed direct opposition to raising taxes to boost funding for road and bridge repairs. Read that again: in a group of Chamber members, 99% support raising taxes for a practical public purpose. Another 80% (67 out of 84 respondents) support an extra penny sales tax in their cities for local needs.

Asked to name three taxes they would support raising for roads, the gasoline tax, sales/excise tax on cars, and wheel tax were the most popular. Using property tax and a price-based wholesale tax on fuel were the least popular.

Nearly half of the Business Caucus (52 out of 106 responding) support Senator David Novstrup's "youth minimum wage" and admit that they think "young people in first jobs don't have the value of fully adult workers." That's logically and morally wrong.

Chamber members are uneasy about creating a state debt collection office. 50% (43 out of 86 respondents) oppose the concept; the other half are split 29% for a state debt collection office and 21% offering only partial support, saying they can live with "a small state office to track the numbers but use the private sector for heavy lifting." The Daugaard Administration had a heck of a plan that would have garnished wages and seized bank assets to pay off debts owed to the state. The Senate and the private debt collection agencies freaked out and scared the toothless Daugaard regime into tabling that bill and putting its chips on a much weaker bill that now just withholds licenses from deadbeats.

The Business Caucus may not be scientifically representative of the general population of South Dakota businesspeople, but it does represent the voices of those most likely to go to Pierre to participate in the Legislative process.


  1. CLCJM 2015.02.26

    Sounds like the business sector understands that taxes are necessary for the overall good.

    But they really don't understand how lower wages for any group is hurtful. The message is that certain groups are less than others. No body is working for fun. They're doing because they need money!

  2. Nick Nemec 2015.02.26

    Is there a case to be made that a sub minimum wage for teenagers is age discrimination? Does it violate federal law, or maybe the equal protection clause? Remember employers are currently allowed to pay a sub minimum training wage to any new employee regardless of age for the first 90 days.

  3. clcjm 2015.02.26

    Nick, I think it's a great angle. How would we pursue that? I know no part of any governmental entity in SD would consider that. What about federal agencies? Isn't there some subdivision to do with wages? I'm sure I've heard of something. Part of Dept. of Labor probably?

  4. Nick Nemec 2015.02.26

    I'm not a lawyer, but it would likely take a lawsuit, which would require a plaintiff who was damaged by the law.

  5. grudznick 2015.02.26

    Those tax raising bossturds in Sioux Falls better watch their arses.

  6. Jana 2015.02.26

    Easy Grud, outside of the Federal Government, Sioux Falls is probably the largest driver of funds into the state coffers that feeds the rest. So curse them if you must, but be nice...what's the old saying? Don't bite the hand that feeds you?

    I even heard Minnehaha County brings in more tourism revenue for the state than the Black Hills.

  7. Moses 2015.02.26

    Only when C.H. shows up he drawa a crowd when he SPEAKS.

  8. grudznick 2015.02.26

    Ms. Jana, perhaps you are not familiar with my theorem that parallels my friend Mr. Kurtz's. It reads, roughy, "give Sioux Falls back to Minnesota where they can see how the true libbies do it, and re-wild the West."

    We don't need taxes in the re-wilded West, and we don't want Sioux Falls types pretending to be like they are Chicago urbanites either.

  9. grudznick 2015.02.26

    East of the James is basically Minnesota anyway.

  10. Jana 2015.02.26

    Grud, so that whole we don't need taxes thing...which of the services those taxes pay for are you ready to go without...hoping your answer is all of them and you will bring it to a vote in your district.

  11. grudznick 2015.02.26

    Rewild the West.

  12. Jana 2015.02.26

    Grudz, that just Taters-n-Gravy talk from the end of the bar...all bluster with a side of artery hardening fat. Tasty I'm sure, but not good for you. Not to worry though, your Medicare will cover it and the doc with his government subsidized education won't have to bill you...unless you want to get the gubmint out of your healthcare too.

  13. grudznick 2015.02.26

    They'll bury me for free, Ms. Jana, whether it's the county digging a hole or the poor bossturds living in the rewilded West who just want to get rid of the stink. I won't care.

  14. Jana 2015.02.26

    Wow, everyone works for free for you? Maybe you can get a low wage kid to dig your grave. Of course they will have plenty of time on their hands when your tax free world gets rid of schools.

    I like your attitude Grudz...fiercely independent, narcissistic and delusional. Thanks for the fun.

  15. grudznick 2015.02.26

    No, Ms. Jana. You misunderstand.

  16. Jana 2015.02.26

    Please continue...

  17. Jana 2015.02.26


  18. Jana 2015.02.26

    Just funnin' ya Grud...kinda like you do with us.

    Don't die yet, it still costs everyone money.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.27

    Remember, Grudz, those chamber members who want to hire kids at $7.50 will then stop hiring your retired friends who come work part-time minimum-wage jobs for their gravy-tater money. And then how will they be able to afford the extra gas taxes the Chamber members want them to pay?

  20. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.02.27

    Good work Jana! Very funny. Grudz, I think she's got your number.

  21. Jana 2015.02.27

    Uh oh...there's a split in the crazy caucus and the chamber.

    Republicans walk out on Jeb Bush at CPAC orgy.

Comments are closed.