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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Christopher Ruddy, editor of the right-leaning Newsmax, breaks once again from mindless Republican orthodoxy by urging his party to support an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 — only days after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie callously told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that he is “tired” of hearing Democrats talk about that topic.

With this column, Ruddy proves that unlike most conservative commentators — I’m thinking of the Koch-sucking George Will in particular, but there are many other examples — he remains independent of the Republican Party’s powerful oligarchy. Here, he argues persuasively that workers need and deserve more money, and concludes with a sentiment that more Republican opinion-makers ought to ponder:

When I stop and think of the more than $10 trillion that went to Wall Street and the banks after the economic meltdown, I wonder why as a nation we can’t help working folks make $10 an hour, at a minimum.

Let’s do some back-of-the-envelope math. If a person works 40 hours a week at $10 an hour, that comes out to a total of $400 a week. This is roughly $20,000 a year.

According to the federal government, the poverty level for a family of four is just over $23,000 a year.

Republicans have, for the most part, opposed such a measure, citing the negative impact it could have on employment and the economy.

They might be advised to re-examine their position.

The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 since July 2009, when it was raised from $6.55 an hour, although some states have enacted a higher minimum wage.

Since then the federal minimum has not kept pace with inflation, which has risen around 9 percent since the last wage increase.

In 1990 the minimum wage was $3.90. It has just barely doubled in more than 24 years!

…Whatever the outcome of the upcoming November elections, the fact is that the GOP is not a majority party and will face an uphill battle winning any national presidential race in the future, if it continues to ignore working voters.

Supporting a minimum wage increase is a good move for the country and the smart move for the GOP as it hopes to attract votes from lower-income, struggling American families and those of us that want them to succeed.

Because if they succeed, we all succeed.

Photo: pbarcas via Flickr

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  • Dominick Vila

    What opponents of raising the minimum wage don’t seem to know is that ours is among the lowest in the industrialized world. Instead of doing everything we can to raise the standard of living of ALL Americans, there are some among us who remain determined to push blue collar workers to Third World status, and by so doing they are willing to impact our economy by keeping disposable income at a minimum and limiting consumer spending.
    Sometimes, I can’t help thinking that the opposition to raise the minimum wage is a deliberate ploy to end our privileged economic position in the world and our middle class, by those who depend on foreign investments and profits to accumulate a larger fortune than they already have.

    • stcroixcarp

      I think you are on to something.

  • howa4x

    Raising the minimum wage makes good sense since it puts more money into the economy in areas where the lower income people live. It will help to recapitalize those areas since more shops will open when they see people have more money to spend. Politicians like Christie are spewing venom at these people and his arrogant manner will hurt him in the long run since he is turning more people against the republican brand. Christie should never lecture anyone about the economy since NJ is in financial shambles since he took over. We have been downgraded a record 8 times by Moody’s the Wall st bond rating service and we are headed to Junk bond status. This is all because he stole every penny from every fund to balance the budget instead of raising taxes.

  • bobnstuff

    One of the all time top conservatives Henry Ford saw the value in paying a living wage, It makes sense for the economy, it cuts government costs, it increases revenue and as Ford saw it having employees that can buy the product they sell is good for business.