Raising the minimum wage is popular among Democrats, Independents and Republicans — even in red states.
But the bill the president proposed to raise the hourly wage to $10.10 will likely never even get a vote in the House of Representatives, despite some of the party’s largest donors supporting it.
As The Daily Show‘s Samantha Bee helped reveal this week, the opposition to the bill isn’t just about keeping wages stagnant. Many on the right don’t believe there should be any minimum wage at all.
Former Republican candidate for Senate Peter Schiff — who has been so wrong about his economic predictions since Obama became president that he argues that the government is just making numbers up — made his case to Bee and quickly revealed why it’s so repulsive.
“Did you ever go into a McDonald’s or Burger King?” he asked. “I don’t really eat there, but they don’t seem desperate and hungry to me. They’re young kids, they seem to be enjoying themselves mostly.”
Actually 88 percent of those who earn the lowest wage are over 20, according to the Economic Policy Institute. More than half work full-time and more than a quarter have their own kids.
When Schiff revealed he’s simply against the concept of a minimum wage and that employers should be free to pay workers as low as $2 an hour if that’s all they’re worth, Bee asked him who might only be worth that.
“You know someone that might be? Maybe someone who is – what’s the politically correct word, you know, for mentally retarded?” he responded. “I believe in the principles this country was founded on. I’m not going to say that we’re all created equal. You’re worth what you’re worth.”
Analyst Barry Ritholtz countered Schiff’s argument by saying, “McDonald’s and Walmart are the biggest welfare queens out there,” since they pay wages so low that employees have to rely on government help.
Samantha Bee was so shocked she spit some of her McDonald’s soda out.
This is the kind of debate the minimum wage inspires, and that’s why Republicans don’t want to talk about it.
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Copyright 2014 The National Memo