5 Reasons Republicans Don’t Want To Raise The Minimum Wage

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One of the most unsurprising complaints from the right about President Obama’s State of the Union speech was his bold challenge to Congress to raise the minimum wage. It didn’t very long for the right-wing media consortium to surmise that this was yet another anti-business move from the socialist Obama. Forget the fact that so many Americans can’t find a working wage. Forget the fact that so many American families have to have both parents (and many times a work-aged child) holding jobs to make ends meet. Apparently if we raise the minimum wage, it’ll just send American businesses into a tailspin, laying off employees that they can no longer afford to hold below the poverty line, like dunking someone’s head in a financial toilet and flushing it.

Or at least that’s what they’ll say. That’ll be the doom and gloom line they use to discourage any talk of raising the minimum wage. It’s like when they claimed in the nineties that raising taxes would cripple the economy. It didn’t. Or it’s like when all the gun zealots were afraid that Obama’s executive actions were going to include confiscation; they didn’t. But maybe I’m being too harsh on our Republican friends in Congress, because late last night I was emailed a list of talking points Republicans are now to use in their arguments against raising the minimum wage, and you know, they might just have a point!

#5. Hitler Raised the Minimum Wage Too!

Hey, if it works for the gun control argument, maybe the Hitler thing can work for every ideological point conservatives need to make. Who cares that Hitler actually did not disarm his people? The talking points don’t work if you get so picky about being historically accurate, do they? So why not apply the same level of ethical standards when talking about raising the minimum wage?

#4. Raising the Minimum Wage is a Gateway Social Policy

Look, if you give a mouse a cookie, it’s going to expect affordable health care. That’s the point here. Once you start treating people like actual human beings, when do you stop? Once you raise the minimum wage, what’s next? Free, top-notch preschool for all kids so they can hit the ground running in kindergarten, set off on a lifelong path of education?

He did what? Oh great, thanks Mao-Bama. Now you’re teaching our kids to be commies too!

#3. Raising the Minimum Wage Might Help Keep People Off Welfare and Other Social Assistance Programs

One big misnomer about people on welfare and other assistance programs is that they’re all lazy and out of work. The fact is that many social programs are for people who may have an income, but it puts them far below the poverty line, or puts them at a disadvantage and incapable of paying for health insurance for their children. Compare motor trade insurance costs with a family with young adults in the public school system, I’m sure that you will appreciate your situation a little more after that! Raising the minimum wage would help people afford the things in life they rely on assistance from others for. But on the other hand, people like John Schnatter, the CEO of Papa Johns –you know, the guy who said that thanks to Obamacare he was going to raise the prices on his shitty pizzas a few cents —  might not be able to charge so little for their pizzas if they’re not fucking over their employees. And God knows a millionaire’s profit margins are more important than a minimum wage worker’s quality of life. So moving right along…

#2. Raising the Minimum Wage Might Help Reduce Crime and Violence

If there’s anything economists know, it’s when people feel like they’re stuck in a shitty job with shitty pay, things never go bad. It’s not like the feeling of there not being a light at the end of the tunnel leads people to lash out, right? We don’t think that the places of high crime and violence are helped along by the lack of livable wages right? After all, what’s the point of demagogueing education if you’re not going to also keep the “Poors” working at sub-poverty rates too? It’s not good enough to rob them of their feeling of hope; you have to also make them feel sub-human as well. And what better way to feel hopeless and full of despair than when surrounded by violent crime? Take away welfare and other assistance programs on top of keeping their wages low, and just watch the Hunger Games break out!

#1. They’re Assholes

Look, maybe they have feelings deep down in their hearts that we simply must protect job creators’ profit margins above all else. But doesn’t it just feel like when the president proposes things that might actually help dig people out of poverty, and the first thing the right cries about is hurting business owners, that they really don’t care about laborers at all? It’s because they think of themselves as job creators, or at least potential job creators. Because they’ve been sold on a lie that anyone, regardless of stature or place of birth, can become rich and powerful. The truth of course is that the system is supposed to work like that, but very honestly it’s not.

People like Senator Liz Warren excite me because she seems to get it. She rather boldly tells people all the time the system is rigged against the middle class. Because it is. And that’s exactly how the Republicans have wanted it for the last thirty or so years. Raising the minimum wage is a step in reversing that trend…so that, at the end of the day, is the only reason they oppose raising the minimum wage to something even remotely resembling a livable hourly rate.

  1. One can not be against the safety net and a living wage. Allowing employers to shift employment costs to the taxpayer guarantees the growth of government and increased taxation. The nation’s largest employer, Wal Mart, alone adds over $2.5 Billion in benefits paid to it’s employees to the system. When you then add in the tax avoidance that such companies have managed to purchased with their influence in congress you end up with a system where the workers finance their own wages. We must either take away this tax advantage, allowing government to remain as a benefactor that levels the wages earned, or place responsibility for paying workers back onto employers. One would think that shrinking the role of government would be agreeable to conservatives if they were true to their ideology.

  2. Another reason they don’t want to raise minimum wage: they hope more young people will enlist in the military to fight their wars and, if you happen to have a mortgage, they hope such low wages will eventually lead to a default. Oh boy. You get to live in the house you paid for, but it’s no longer yours. They keep your down payment and you get to pay them rent!

  3. If the government can’t (or won’t) raise the minmum wage we are eventually going to become a socialist state. The problem is, our capitalist society can no longer function the way it has in the past. The present economy can no longer support it. Our society cannot survive without a middle class. If there is only the VERY WEALTHY and the VERY POOR you can kiss our economy AND democracy goodbye!

  4. #1 They’re assholes, pretty much sums it up. You can also exchange assholes for douchebags, scumbags, or cock-suckers. Take your pick.

  5. I say us working class don’t have anything left to lose…lets roll the dice and see “Just what happens” it can’t hurt the working class…maybee some wall street folks won’t get as much back on their investment….but who cares? Only those who get rich off wal street. Didn’t we already give them a bail out. wheres the workin guys bail out from GREED?

  6. The problem with Minimum wage is that generally if it goes up, say to $15/hr. Which is $31,200/yr. Then everybody who currently makes say $5 more per hour than the minimum wage of $7.15/hr now also gets that same raise to be competitive with Minimum wage. So it costs more to produce, distribute, and sell goods and merchandise. So the employers raise the costs of everything, and the people who now make $15/hr are still where they were back when minimum wage was $7.15/hr

    • Mark Tassin – One of the things that has changed over the years I was in the job market is the economic strata within an organization. I took a job with a retail / contractor supply company. I started at minimum wage for that time ($1.50pr hour) and pushed a broom around the warehouse most of the time. When someone left, or retired, above my position everyone moved up if they were at all qualified. While pushing that broom I learned what I needed to know about the company and it’s products and made myself worth more, for which I received periodic raises. I eventually worked up to managing my own branch store.

      That same store brand is still around, but things there are much different for employees. They are all hired as “associates” at little over minimum wage. There is no review for raises and everyone gets to push the broom and keep the warehouse orderly in addition to their sales duties. The manager is the only one making any incentive bonus and s/he most likely didn’t work in that store prior to advancing.

      This type of job is all that is available in most areas and the companies are taking advantage of a highly educated workforce that is qualified far above the level they are being paid. This is the result of the shipping of semi skilled jobs overseas and tweaking the supply/demand function of our economy to greatly favor employers. When we talk about “entry level” jobs we aren’t being honest about the current employment picture. “All” jobs are now entry level to at least 90% of the workforce, with no systematic path upward.

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