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It was just a little over a week ago that I told you about how Oklahoma's Republicans deal with tornado shelters at their public schools. Oklahoma public school districts are basically on their own because state GOP officials prefer giving tax cuts and tax advantages to the state's few rich people instead of spending tax monies to protect children attending public school from being killed in a tornado. Seven Oklahoma school children were killed last year in a devastating tornado. GOP Rep. Tom Cole told a reporter recently that some Oklahomans had learned a "tough lesson." The state experiences 50-100 tornadoes every year.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed a bill Monday prohibiting cities across the state from establishing mandatory minimum wage and employee benefits, including vacation or sick leave days.
Smell the freedom? How about the small, non-intrusive government?
How does GOP Gov. Fallin defend such a bigfooted, intrusive, freedom-denying decision? By lying.....
Fallin defended her support for banning a minimum wage hike as an effort to protect consumers in a press release Monday, noting that "most minimum-wage workers are young, single people working part-time or entry-level jobs."
"Mandating an increase in the minimum wage would require businesses to fire many of those part-time workers. It would create a hardship for small business owners, stifle job creation and increase costs for consumers," Fallin said. "And it would do all of these things without even addressing the goal of reducing poverty."
The CBO determined that if the national minimum wage was lifted to $10.10 per hour close to one million families nationally would be lifted out of poverty.
Further....The reality is that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would primarily benefit older workers. 88 percent of workers who would be affected by raising the minimum wage are at least 20 years old, and a third of them are at least 40 years old.
No, Gov. Fallin has nothing but fig leaves to cover her naked shilling for the rich few in her state. No word on whether Gov. Fallin thinks, as many other GOP servants of the rich do, that minimum wages are unconstitutional and should be eliminated altogether. What is clear, however, is that those who most often speak of the dangers of big tyrannical government really don't mean what they say.
What Republicans really mean when they talk of government suppressing freedom ......is that any decision or law passed that doesn't help the rich few get even richer is a threat to freedom. The freedom of the rich few to get richer. Too simplistic? I don't think so.
Simply disagreeing with an effort to raise the minimum wage is one thing. Banning all other officials in the state from raising the minimum (and worker benefits) for the workers in their locale is another thing altogether.
And so, I have no other choice but to declare what is happening in Oklahoma part of the larger, yes, war on average American workers, being waged ferociously by state and federally elected Republicans (and some DINO's).
In a globally competitive market, rich Americans can only maintain and build their wealth if not-rich American workers' wages are kept low. Sure, sure.....high paid skilled labor, blah, blah....education, blah, blah.....but let's face it, technology is quickly eliminating the need for millions of today's existing jobs.
The danger to the rich few in such an environment is that "bleeding hearts" will put pressure on elected officials to raise wages and increase the resources earmarked for a safety net for the ever-increasing number of jobless and poor.
And that's where the GOP comes in. The GOP is at the watchtower carefully monitoring the needs of the rich few in a fast-changing world economy. The GOP is on it.
In Oklahoma that means banning city officials in the state from democratically increasing the minimum wage or worker benefits.
It is still mind-numbingly bizarre to me how so many average earning families still vote Republicans into office. The very same Republicans who are fighting tooth and nail to degrade average-working families standard of living.