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Minimum wage ballot drive might still have life

by: Eric B.

Mon May 19, 2014 at 11:30:00 AM EDT


This is a great idea.

So why then did 10 out of 12 Senate Democrats go along with it? Particularly after some had already blasted the proposal as a gimmick and too paltry -- especially for workers earning the lower tipped wage?

Well, some felt they had no choice. They couldn’t not vote for a minimum wage increase once it was put in front of them.

Democratic politicians who don’t vote to raise the minimum wage will always risk having that vote used against them later -- if not this year than in some future election.

But here’s another wrinkle: Even though the minimum wage proposal is widely seen as a turnout tool to help Democrats bring out their voters, there are some Democrats who question whether the money, time, and other resources spent on a ballot drive might be better spent on helping Democratic candidates.

Well, first off, I would hope that Democratic senators who voted for it did so because it's mostly a good deal for the working poor.  As noted previously, according to the Congressional Budget Office study that rightwingers point to all the time, a $10.10 minimum wage would help a lot more people (everyone ... but the very wealthy) and do a lot more for them (this is quite the opposite picture painted by the right of course, but those are mostly all the same people who think climate change is a hoax, that tax cuts always generate more revenue and that Willard was going to jackstomp Obama), what the Senate passed would do quite a lot for quite a lot of people. No matter the motivations of Senate Republicans last week, what they did was a good thing, unless you only care about the minimum wage as a cheap alternative to a competent GOTV campaign (if this is the case, I invite you to quit whatever work you're doing and take up brown collar employment* for a few months of trying to make ends meet and still feel like you share in our common prosperity).

That aside, I think the idea that they'd press forward with this is fabulous. Jase Bolger has already demonstrated that he'll try to rig elections and extort unions for partisan gain while threatening to torpedo Detroit's rapid and equitable departure from bankrutpcy, so there's no reason to trust that he won't try to rat fuck the working poor to mollify people who want no increase in the minimum wage. In fact, he previously said that he has no real interest in talking about raising the minimum wage. So, best to press forward with this.

*--Shit employment.

Eric B. :: Minimum wage ballot drive might still have life
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