Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ah, Republicans

Taking a break from their hard work in the War on Gay Marriage and the War on Flag Burning, the Senate voted against raising the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour from the current $5.15, where it has remained for nine years. More than willing to fight for the top 2% of Americans when they pushed the estate tax repeal, Republicans decided that $5.15 an hour, which hasn't even been raised for inflation in the last nine years, was fine for the poor. They even blocked a Republican plan which would have raised it to just $6.15 an hour, including "numerous sweeteners for small businesses to offset higher employment costs." The same party which passionately demanded "an up-or-down vote" for judicial nominees "indicated this week that they would not allow a vote on the issue this year." (Washington Post.)

$5.15 an hour. That's 200 dollars a week, without health insurance. The same amount they got NINE YEARS AGO. And, you may recall, housing costs and energy prices have gone up just a tad in those nine years. But the Republicans fight for the richest 2%.

But look over there!!! There are GAYS THAT WANT TO GET MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAARRRRRRRRHGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!


CyberKitten said...

$200 a week.....! Wouldn't it be easier to just have slavery?

Random said...

So you'd rather people were unemployed than working at $5.15 an hour then? Because make no mistake, forcing employers to raise their costs will cost jobs (or get rid of documented workers and take on undocumented illegal aliens to hold costs down, which is I believe a non-trivial problem). Some liberal compassion for the poor you have:-/

Laura said...

Random: That's such a party line response. That's, in fact, just what a number of GOP senators said. Maybe that will happen, maybe it won't. If that's the real concern, then why not just abolish the minimum wage! Employment numbers would go through the roof then. So what if the majority of workers are making $2/hr then - it brings those sweatshop jobs back to the good ol U.S of A!

While we're at it, we can impose stricter welfare reforms so that those newly employed people aren't eligible for all sorts of aid. We'll just wait for them to starve or die of exhaustion and then harvest their organs to keep Dick Cheney alive (you can decide whether I mean by transplants or because he'll suck the essence)

The point here is that they won't even allow a vote on the issue.

Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Less than 2% of workers earn minimum wage. A large percentage of them are teenagers working their first job. Getting rid of the minimum wage would have almost no effect on the poor, since almost all of them make more than it.

And why do they make more than minimum wage? Because the market says so; not because the government says so.

If the minimum wage is such a wonderful idea, why not raise it to $20 an hour?

Jewish Atheist said...

Random, CWY:

Obviously, there is some point at which raising the minimum wage becomes harmful. However, since it has remained the same for nine years in the face of inflation and rising costs, essentially it was higher nine years ago than it is now.

I don't remember having a terrible economy or unemployment nine years ago.

It's funny how Republicans always argue that giving the poor more money (via healthcare, tax breaks, minimum wage hikes, better working conditions, etc.) is bad for the economy, but giving more money to the super-rich is great for it.

The Jewish Freak said...

Democrats love employment, but hate employers - Lloyd Benson

Kyaroko said...

The glaring flaws of participatory democracy exposed yet again.

Half Sigma said...

I agree that modest increases in the minimum wage have no impact on employment because the demand for labor is price-inelastic in that range.

But I wish your blog would have less cheap shots at Republicans, who used to be good people before the religious folks took over the party.

Jewish Atheist said...

I don't know, Sigma. It's not just the religious folks.

The Republicans have consistently tried to basically take from the poor and give to the rich, at least since Reagan. It's true that they used to be good people, but their policies have sucked for a long time.

It's like someone said about Reagan, if he saw a kid that didn't have a lunch, he'd buy him a lunch. But he also cut the free lunch programs for kids who couldn't afford lunch all over the country.

The religious folks have made the party meaner (as well as the racists who fled the Democrats after the Civil Rights Act was past) but when Nixon is the best president your party's had in half a century, you're doing something wrong.

And the neocons have also been added to the mix. The Republicans have become a big tent for the haters, the selfish, and the warmongering.

Jewish Atheist said...

(past = passed)

Izzy said...

The religious folks have made the party meaner (as well as the racists who fled the Democrats after the Civil Rights Act was past)
Ummmmm, wasn't it the republicans who voted overwhelmingly for the Civil Right Act?

Oh, it was.

In the House, 61% of Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act, while 80% of Republicans did.
In the Senate, 69% of Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act, while 82% of Republicans did.

Contrary to the lies spread by the likes of Al Gore, Jr. (when he publicly claimed his father lost his Senate seat for supporting the Act when in actuality he not only voted against the act, but attempted to attach an amendment that would have made the act useless), the Democrat party has been the home of the racists since reconstruction.

When David Duke declared he was a republican, he was repudiated by other republicans and the national party. When Robert Byrd is declared the historian of the senate, no one seems to remember his membership in the Ku Klux Klan, as "Exalted Cyclops" and "Kleagle." He also voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He opposed both black nominees for the supreme court. He has used the "N" word on television, and merely had to apologize for it.

If a Republican had done half these things the main stream media would have screamed for his removal from the Senate.

Jewish Atheist said...

Ummmmm, wasn't it the republicans who voted overwhelmingly for the Civil Right Act?

Yes. The racists were then Democrats. After LBJ let the Act pass, though, the racists (e.g. Strom) left the Democrats and became Republicans. Except Byrd, who supposedly changed.

That's how the Dems lost the south for a generation, as LBJ predicted.

asher said...

Republicans have been demonized since Herbert Hoover caused the Depression. It was only FDR who raised us out of that terrible time by attempting to pack the supreme court, creating a huge government and deficet spending. Sure it wasn't until 1940 that the Depression was over but look what a great guy FDR was. After all, he was elected 4 times!

It was when Truman became this very anti-communist war monger that things went wrong. He dropped the A bomb on those civilians in two Japanese cities, and then invaded Korea when it wasn't necessary. The whole Marshall Plan was simply a bribe to keep Europe from becoming openly communist.

Then we had Kennedy who created the missile gap crisis that never even existed. His huge landslide election was clearly a testament to how much this country wanted a change. Kennedy was a vehement anti communist, who cut taxes, and sent our advisors (read troops) to Viet Nam.

Now LBJ was a real find. He passed the Civil Rights Act, after it had been voted on by Congress.Now that's something a Texan like George W. would never do. LJB's Great Society and his War on Poverty showed us what a democrat could do with billions of dollars. Too bad, as Reagan said, in the war on poverty, poverty won.

There has to be a reason the only democrat president to ever be re-elected since FDR was Clinton, and why it is that Democrats never win overwealming presidential victories like Reagan and Nixon did. When you have a winner like Jimmy Carter, the born again waste of time, and an absolute non-entity like John Kerry what else can you expect?

The rest of revisionist history will be found whenever JA attempts damage control on these issues.
By the way, Congress just voted themselves a nice pay raise. I guess John Kerry's new motocycle needs an overhaul.

Shlomo said...

Leave it to the 'conservatives' to defend those at the top who don't need defending. This is how slavery managed to last so long. These are the same people who find nothign wrong with torture either. Why am I not surprised?

News flash. 'Kids' looking for their first jobs are NOT finding jobs anymore. Want to know why? Go to your local McDonalds. Who is working behind the counter now? Seniors and recent immigrants. Managers don't hire kids where adults are available to do the work and willing to work for the low wages. Kids are a headache for managers so if they don't need to hire them, they don't.

So many of these low wage jobs are being filled by adults with larger needs. The bigger question is why grandma or grandpa has to spend their golden years serving coffee through a drive-thru window.

Have even one of you ever flipped a burger? And do you ahve any idea the insane profit margins that fast food produces?

Half Sigma said...

Reagan did not take from the poor and give to the rich, that's leftist lies. Rich people paid more taxes after Reagan, I looked at the IRS statistics once and there was a big increase in revenues under Reagan. He cut that tax RATES, but the old law had so many loopholes that no one had any "income" to pay tax on. After Reagan's reforms, rich people paid lower rates on a much larger percent of income and tax revenues increased.

Ezzie said...

Late to the party, but... let's do simple math.

20 employees at min wage: 5.15 x 20 = $103/hour.

Let's make it $7.25, and assume the employer has the same amount of money to spend: He gets 14 employees and a 1.50, and less production (30% decrease).

So you've cost 30% of min wage earners their jobs [more if there are others between the old min wage and the new one], and you've caused a huge price hike because business owners still want their profits, which - as usual - hurts the poor you're trying to protect the most.

sick of politicians said...

Ezzie - you're setting up a strawman; the logical fallacy is when you say "assume the employer has the same amount of money to spend" (on salaries). If an employer needs 20 employees to do the job, that's what he needs. By your simplistic logic - as others have pointed out - the government should lower the minimum wage; the employee could then be more productive by hiring more folks and not shelling out more money.

Bottom line: pick any issue you want - there is NO ONE in this stacked deck government that is looking out for the little guy.

Izzy said...

SL Aronovitz -- teenagers can easily get jobs. My seventeen year old son is working as a waiter for a local caterer (at $8/hour). My explanation to him is that it's decent money for someone living at home, and it will look good on a resume. All a teenager needs is to be on time, be nice, and do work. If a gen-Z kid has an attitude and is lazy, of course, they won't get a job.