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Thursday, December 14, 2006

72 - The Upcoming Minimum Wage Battle: How To Counter Right-Wing Propaganda

The Democrats have proclaimed that before 100 hours have gone by in the new Congress this January, they will, among other things, raise the Federal minimum wage.

The bill, which has been languishing for years in the right-wing controlled Congress, is called the Fair Minimum Wage Act. It provides for three hikes: from the present $5.15 to $5.85 sixty days after enactment; to $6.55 one year later, which would be in 2008; and then to $7.25 a year after that, in 2009.

A critical element of any progressive agenda, of any social justice agenda, is raising the federal minimum wage. No single action could lift more people out of poverty as quickly.

And it benefits more than just minimum wage workers. Because there is a rippling upward effect, it will also help those who earn above the minimum but are still in poverty.

The right will advance all sorts of phony arguments about why raising the minimum wage is a bad idea.

We'll examine three of the main ones.

First would be, that if you raise the minimum wage, it will result in fewer minimum wage jobs, that some of those now employed at the minimum wage will lose their jobs...

For more, listen to the podcast! (You'll hear clips of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Teddy Roosevelt, and FDR)

Jack Clark 3:20 PM [+]
Post #116607618713109030

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

I know I'll be blasted either as "a greedy right wing bastard" or as "an idiot Republitard", but I really believe that the liberals in this country need to take a step back and see what the policies they propose will mean to the constituancy they claim to want to help. Minimum wage is a perfect example of the kind of legislation that appears to be helping the poor when in reality it tends to have a neutral or even negative affect. When minimum wages rise the economy qickly adjusts to compensate for that rise via price increases. This is one of the key causes of inflation in an otherwise stable economy. Those wage increases give limited assistance to those people who subsist on the minimum wage. Shortly after those wages increase, the goods that folks making those wages need increase in price accordingly. The net number of hours a person on minimum wage must work to buy, say, a gallon of milk will remain exactly the same after the first 6 months of the increased wage. Another affect that many people miss seeing it the qualifying income levels for government assitance programs does not automatically increase with the minimum wage. The income levels are based on the dollar ammount not on their relation to the prvailing minum wage. This puts some recipients of programs such as EBT and certain medical cost programs in jeopardy of losing these benefits. "So," you may be saying, "let's just use our new liberal power in congress to raise the qualifying income levels on these programs." Ok, but where are the funds coming from to do this? Taxes, and now you start seeing the difficulties. This one push to increase begins a whole list of battles in the US congress, state legislatures, on the streets of the nation. And in the end, we are left with the same reality, no matter what system we adopt, no matter how involved the government is in the issue, no matter how committed each citizen of the nation is to social justice, the will ALWAYS be some people who do not meet the level of income that we determine is a living wage. The minimum wage increase is economic masturbation. It never has its inteded effect, often times ends up injuring the very people it is intended to help, and always ends up damaging the national economy via inflation and excess taxation and regulation costs.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  7:48 AM   [+]
I know I'll be blasted either as "a greedy right wing bastard" or as "an idiot Republitard....

Add to that list of insults, 'right wing sheep'. Baaa! Keep on drinking the Kool-Aid, buddy-hope that you can survive getting shot when society finally breaks down and some poor person with a gun hits you up for money, or a pack of same poor people with automatic firepower stops the SUV that you're driving home to your gated community that's surounded with a moat and an electricfied fence for all the food that you just bought at the local supermarket you can no longer go to by foot. Think that what I said can't happen? Check out the novel The Death Of Grass for confirmation of what I'm saying, or the short stories Lot & Lot's Wife (granted, both are sicence fiction, but it's possible that they could come true.) Wake up and stop being bamboozled!
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  7:49 PM   [+]
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Great podcast - a must listen to
Jack Clark documents the right's wars on the poor, civil liberties, the right of workers to organize at work and obtain a decent working wage and work conditions, and against other countries who refuse to accept American domination. Jack provides all the sources so that you can see for yourself how the right is out to enrich itself at the expense of everyone else. Great job, Jack!
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