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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

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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.

Samantha Bee


Screenshot via The Daily Show

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  • Gary Graves

    We the Americans have to start somewhere, why do the house of Republicans hate us?

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Because most of us, as individuals, cannot afford to set up a PAC that will wholly finance their campaigns.

    • Cainer

      The Dems fell asleep in 2010 and let the GOPhers take over too many statehouses which let them gerrymander the House districts to their favor. In 2020, the Dems had better put more emphasis on state elections if they want to avoid this the next time the census comes out.

      • John England

        If you truly believe this you honestly do not know what’s going on. Look up redistricting.

  • Robert Roberto

    My son told me, if the minimum wage goes up to $10.10 an hour why go to school since a single person can make it with $400.00 a week. I agree with him, but it’s better to earn $800.00 a week with a High School Diploma.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Show him the Youtube clip from the Bill Cosby show, where Cliff teaches Theo about the value of money. Remind him that was over 20 years ago and prices are now significantly higher.

  • Dominick Vila

    If the GOP persists in their obtuse intransigence on issues such as raising the minimum wage to a level that allows hard working Americans to get the most basic necessities people need to subsist, they will suffer a backlash much worse than what happened when they shutdown the government and played games with our fiscal and economic credibility.

    In many parts of the country $10.10 is not enough to rent a room and buy food, and it is barely enough to do that in depressed red states. However, it is a step in the right direction, and long overdue. Income inequality is one of our greatest problems, and one that is likely to get much worse in years to come. Our tax structure and government policies are designed to help corporations and the wealthiest Americans, not the middle class and, certainly, not the poor. The idea, which should be totally discredited by now, is that the more wealth the elite accumulates the more money trickles down to the working class. That is simply not true. What is true, is that the more money the elite has, the more they invest overseas, where a substantial return on investment is more likely, on lavish vacations in exotic places, and on shopping trips in Paris or Rome. The middle class and the poor need and deserve the same breaks the rich enjoys, and the time to do that is now.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Dominic, like I pointed out in my posting yesterday on the State of the Union Address, someone earning 10.10/hour with a 40 hour work week, working for a year will fall below the poverty level for a family of three by a factor of about $4000, based on standard deductions for taxes, social security, medicare, state taxes, etc. It is even worse for a family of four. So even this minimum wage proposal would still result in a family needing public assistance, including reduced/free breakfast and lunch at schools.

      • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

        I agree raising the minimum wage alone will not prevent poverty. The 2011 American Jobs Act needs to be passed or an updated version of same, which will get more people back to work. We need to invest in funding infrastructure programs getting people back to work and invest in education and training programs. There is no one answer to our economic problems, but there has to be a first step.

  • Mark Forsyth

    If those guys were constitutionally capable of rigorous honesty [and we all know that they are not],they would cut through the crap and admit that they are not willing to discuss raising much less actually raising the minimum wage because they are assholes.No surprises here,folks.

  • dtgraham

    The Republicans are full of Jon Stewart’s grade A bull**** on the minimum wage. The U.S. federal minimum 40 years ago used to be equivalent to the purchasing power today of a wage of $10.60, before it became unhitched from inflation adjustments. Unemployment was lower then.

    Canada’s largest and most populous province (Ontario) just announced today (01/30) that the new minimum wage will be $11.00 per hour…from $10.25. The opposition Progressive Conservatives had no push back on it and voted for it. The Ontario Convenience Stores Association said it supports the increase to $11.00, with the linkage to inflation, and said “the new wage should not lead to higher prices for consumers.” Furthermore, they implied that a little more yet could have been handled although $14.00 per hour (proposed) would have been a stretch and probably too much. OCSA Chief Executive Dave Bryans told reporters that “small business adjusts quickly.” “I don’t see this being a major factor.”

    Keep in mind that minimums in Canada apply to everyone regardless of various factors. There’s no such thing as much lower minimums for gratuity workers or part timers.

    My own home Province has a minimum of $10.45, also linked to inflation, but that’s due to increase. These are standard minimums across Canada. So long as the increases are incremental and on a regular, timely basis then business will have the confidence and predictability necessary to plan. If you link it to cpi/inflation you take the politics out of it, which is how the U.S. federal minimum used to be.

    I could go into statistics on inflation, unemployment, job creation and labour force participation between the two countries but suffice it to say that they’re pretty similar. I suspect that we’ll see an economic boost in the states that are announcing big increases in the minimum. There are plenty of predictive comparisons for them around the world as the U.S. federal minimum has become so ridiculously low among the advanced democracies. Or…they can just look to their neighbour to the north.

    At the state level seems to be where it’s going to have to be done; in the blue states anyway. Let the red states slowly turn into Brazil. The modern Republican party is not a normal conservative party any more.

  • howa4x

    Republicans once again are caught protecting the donor class of the party. Poppa Johns, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Burger king and the rest of the rouges gallery of greedy rich bastards. It will be interesting how they play it since most of America wants this raise to happen. People are waking up to the fact that they are paying the benefits for these ultra wealthy corporations who pay a subsistence wage. I don’t think the old mantra of tax cuts for the rich will work anymore since they have had them for so many years, and their wealth is now far above the average millionaire. Bating the republicans with a $10.10 wage is perfect since the public will say it’s too low and the GOP too high, which will frame the discussion in a way that makes democrats look like reasonable people and the republicans like Ebenezer Scrooge.
    Also not talked about is that once people make above poverty wages they will spend it in their neighborhoods thereby revitalizing inner cities, and towns through the private sector. Wait I thought that was a republican idea?