Let them eat caca

News & Politics

Perhaps $5.15 doesn't sound so bad. You've heard it so many times -- maybe you even made it once, painting the back of an auto garage or pulling weeds.

But consider this: For an adult with children -- for anyone, that is -- it translates to $10,700 per year, or $4,500 below the poverty line.

That translates into the stupefying policy of legally impoverishing Americans. I defy anyone to tell me that there's a Christian who voted against raising the minimum wage. To add to the unfathomable immorality of this vote, Congress has voted itself $28,000 worth of pay raises since 1997, when the federal minimum wage was raised to its current $5.15.


Cries of "it'll hurt the small businessman" have come up from business associations and the Republicans who voted against it (it should be noted that Republicans Arlen Specter, Lincoln Chafee, Mike DeWine and Rick Santorum! voted for the wage hike; unsurprisingly, all four are up for reelection next year...).

Let's get this out of the way, even though it's not the issue: there is no clear evidence that raising the minimum wage hurts businesses. In fact, a number of studies have shown quite the opposite. In Britain, for example, which passed a minimum wage in 1999, after a period without a minimum wage, an extensive study concluded that "No significant adverse employment effects are found for any of the four demographic groups considered (adult and youth, men and women) or in any of the three datasets used."

Bob Geiger at Yellow Dog Blog also notes the stunning correlation between states whose minimum wage is higher than the feds' and states that voted for Kerry in '04.

Considering the fact that when minimum wage increases were put to the people via referendum and initiative (heard more about anti-gay measures than minimum wage, didn't you?) in Florida and Nevada -- two "Bush" states -- they passed overwhelmingly (71% and 68% respectively), you've got to believe these are popular policies. And you want to talk values? Now that's the issue. This is a morality issue. A vote to impoverish America is an inexcusable act.

The successful opposition will push the concept that Republicans DO NOT CARE about the will or wellbeing of Americans and will successfully disconnect general economic growth from the prosperity of ordinary Americans. In other words: trickle-down is a steaming pile of caca.

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