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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Minimum Wage


Well, it's been 10 years since the federal minimum wage was last raised. Despite repeated Democratic proposals, the Republicans have either voted it down or prevented it from reaching the floor for a vote (nothing like that deserves an up or down vote from the hypocrites). All the while they keep giving themselves pay raises and tax cuts to the wealthiest. And all this time the majority of the country actually supports raising the minimum wage. So what to do about it?

Well, I have a proposal. And it seems so simple and obvious to me that I can't believe it's not a platform issue for the Democrats. Instead of making minimum wage increases necessary for a vote, why not make a vote necessary to prevent an increase in the minimum wage? What I mean by this is why not tie the minimum wage to inflation? Because due to inflation, the minimum wage has actually declined over the past 10 years. And it does seem problematic to constantly have to propose legislation to increase it. But if you tied increases to inflation or wage growth or some other target based on changes in the economy, then the issue becomes about whether the increases are too aggressive. For I don't doubt that excessive increases in the minimum wage would hurt growth. But I doubt that would come with a yearly adjustment for inflation. Maybe if we foolishly agreed to make the minimum wage $20 an hour, but no one is proposing that. So instead of putting the burden on supporters of the minimum wage to prove an increase won't hurt the economy, let's get agreesive. Let's force opponents of a minimum wage to prove the increase would hurt the economy.

Hello progressives, including the weak and feeble Democratic Party - feel free to pilfer my idea for the 2006 elections.

*I realize this is probably not an original idea but it's one I have not heard openly expressed. And it's one idea that I feel passionately about.

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1 Comments:

Blogger melanaise said...

Everytime minimum wage goes up, everything goes up...I agree with your post.

6/21/2006 03:18:00 AM  

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