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Thursday, September 15, 2005

7 - Scare a Right-Winger to Death: Advocate Reducing Poverty by Raising the Minimum Wage to a "Living Wage"

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we Americans have discovered (once again) that many of our citizens live in dire poverty. A proven way to substantially cut the poverty rate is to raise the minimum wage to a so-called "living wage."

The very idea scares the hell out of right-wingers and they fight it tooth and nail.

I'll describe how living wage laws have worked out where they've been tried. I'll show you how to effectively rebut the right-wing arguments against raising the minimum wage.

And as always, I'll point out the underlying lunacy of the right-wing position.

PS: You'll be quite surprised at some of the historical figures who have supported the living wage concept, and you'll hear an audio clip of one such supporter made in the earliest days of sound recording!


Jack Clark 2:14 PM [+]
Post #112676204414117747


Comments:  This section is for listeners. To receive a reply from Jack Clark, you should call the comment line.
















You hit the nail right on the head sir- the economic philosophy that Right Wingers live by runs counter to logic. Keep up the good rant!
posted by Blogger Frank Black  1:50 PM   [+]
 
Yes, I agree it would be nice if minimum wage was raised to a “living wage,” that is if it were that simple. I do not consider myself a right winger either, just someone who has lived with the increase of minimum wage over the years, back when it was only $1.75. Raising minimum wage only causes a cascading effect: when it is raised, my wages do not go up the same percent; therefore, I make less on the dollar. Not only that but when minimum wage goes up, soon to follow the cost of living rises, hence the minimum wage worker is in the same position as they were before the increase; the same percent of their wages are spent for basic living. So, where does this really benefit anyone, especially the poor??
posted by Blogger djs  4:31 AM   [+]
 
djs shows us a typical right-wing no-nothing response. gobbledygook economic assertions without a shred of real-life stats to back them up. Only a right-winger would argue with a straight face that raising the wages of the working poor won't help them! I guess djs thinks that cutting their wages would be the way to help them. In fact, maybe cutting djs's salary would be the way to help him.
posted by Blogger Jack Clark  9:24 PM   [+]
 
Also, in addition to a minimum 'living wage', it should be regularly adjusted for inflation. Besides being just and right, it also gets around the Right's phony (and yet often effective) argument about wage increases automatically lead to price hikes and are therefore self-negating. This is a faulty and over-simplistic argument, of course; in fact, prices increase at a much faster pace than do wages. Without an inflation adjustment, any newly-won "living wage" would before long cease to be such as its value would be left to deteriorate over time....
posted by Blogger brad Janzen  2:37 PM   [+]
 
Why don't we just make the minimum wage $100/hr? That would truly be a living wage. If we're using the government's power to force businesses to pay their employees a certain rate, why not make it something worthwhile?
posted by Blogger Dale  7:32 AM   [+]
 
This podcast is the best and clearest argument for a living wage that I have heard in modern times. Should be required listening for Americans who are interested in amending the Constitution, as something really worthwhile to amend the Constitution over...rather than marriage and flag-burning.....Glendon R. Whitworth, P.T. (author of Family Medical Leave).
posted by Anonymous Glendon R. Whitworth, P.T.  11:17 AM   [+]
 
First of all, I am a conservative. Not a right - winger! I'll make this short and sweet for all you liberal morons who think the government should be in the business of telling the free market enterprises how to run their businesses. IF YOU ARE WORKING SOMEWHERE MAKING A WAGE THAT YOU DON'T FEEL IS HIGH ENOUGH, OR A LIVING WAGE AS YOU PEOPLE CALL IT. THEN GET OFF YOUR DEAD ASSES AND DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO FIND ANOTHER JOB! I know this is kind of hard for you brick heads to understand.......but give it a try anyway for the sake of this country!
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  8:13 PM   [+]
 
So who gets this "living wage"? And how much is it? Does it include 1 or 2 paid vacations a year, paid sick time, benefits, etc?

> Does the college student working part time while putting self through school get a partial living wage or are they entitled to the whole thing?

> Does the person who delivers the newspaper(whether your 10 years old, or 40 years old) get a living wage?

> Does the janitor who drinks on the job and never actually completes the task at hand deserve a living wage?

> How about the high school dropout who has worked so hard to attain the skills needed to pump gas?

If your only motivated to make a "living wage" congratulations you set the bar low enough that you automatically have the skills required for that position at birth - a beating heart.

If Company A was paying the "living wage" and its competitor Company B was paying more than the "living wage" (jobs being exactly the same)how many people from Company A would interview for that same position at Company B? Better yet, how many people from Company B would interview at Company A for the same position? If you were looking for a job and saw both Company A and B were hiring, who would you apply with?
posted by Anonymous NIS  1:11 AM   [+]
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