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President Obama's call in his SOTU to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 has not been received very well by Republicans in Congress. Here's the alleged GOP Savior, Marco Rubio...
"I don't think a minimum-wage law works," Rubio said on "CBS This Morning." "I want people to make a lot more than $9. Nine dollars is not enough. The problem is that you can't do that by mandating it in the minimum-wage laws. Minimum-wage laws have never worked in terms of helping the middle class attain more prosperity.
"A minimum-wage law, as good as it may sound at the outset, is not the way to do it," he added.
Quite honestly....I have no idea what Rubio was trying to say. It's a word salad of nonsense, each sentence disconnected from the previous sentence. He's not in favor of ANY minimum wage, apparently.
“Listen, when people are asking the question ‘Where are the jobs?’ why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people? I’ve got 11 brothers and sisters on every rung of the economic ladder. I know about this issue as much as anybody in this town,”
“What happens when you take the rungs away on the economic ladder, you make it harder for people to get on the ladder,” Boehner said. “Our goal is to get people on the ladder and help them climb that ladder so they can live the American dream.”
Again, what in the hell is Boehner even talking about?
Contrary to conservative talking points, increasing the minimum wage does not cause employers to shed workers. Genuine business people would not layoff workers simply because the minimum wage is lifted. Business people who responded in that knee-jerk way are not good business people. Business responds to.....demand. If demand for the product or service of a business increases....no matter what the minimum wage is....a sound business owner would not layoff workers. It would be self-defeating to do so.
Other conservative critics argue that raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour would automatically mean higher prices. It might. But I would argue that raising the minimum wage would force business owners to be better...um....business owners. I've been told that competition is the miracle-oil of capitalism. If so, then raising the minimum wage would force business owners to make their operations as efficient as possible....or lose out to their competitors.
On Valentine's Day, Tennessee GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn told MSNBC she remembered when she first started out working in a retail store sometime around 1970....
"I was making like $2.15 an hour. And I was taught how to responsibly handle those customer interactions. And I appreciated that opportunity."
$2.15 an hour. Blackburn is a little younger than I am. Minimum wage was $1.10 when I started working. I remember working 100 hours one week just so my gross pay would reach over $100. Gasoline was around 38 cents a gallon in 1966. Filling a five gallon can cost under $2. Filling your car cost less than....$10.
Do you know what the minimum wage would be today, adjusted for inflation, if today's minimum wage workers were paid an equivalent minimum as Marsha Blackburn was receiving around 1970?
Between $12.72....and....$14.18 per hour. Just for today's minimum wage workers to be doing as well as 1970 minimum wage workers.....the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would have to be almost doubled. That's how poorly average workers have been doing in the last 3 decades.
So, in the end, Obama's minimum wage increase to $9 per hour is a conservative move. By rights.....and arithmetic...Obama should have suggested a minimum wage closer to $13 per hour. And that's just to catch up.
It's unfortunate that Republicans cannot understand simple arithmetic, or prefer serving the wealthy few over the average worker. Unfortunate. But dramatically increasing the minimum wage right now is the right thing to do for America and the economy......and something which is long overdue.
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