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Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:42 AM

Krugman: Two Observations on the Politics of the Minimum Wage

Two Observations on the Politics of the Minimum Wage

It looks as if President Obama has successfully set a political trap over the minimum wage. Raising the minimum is very popular — even a narrow majority of Republicans (pdf) are for it. But Republican leaders are opposed. And they’d like people to believe that their opposition is driven by sincere concern for workers who might lose their jobs.

Well, this isn’t likely to work; the public won’t believe in their sincerity, and for good reason. Here are two examples of why it won’t wash:

1. The truth is that top Republicans have so little regard for ordinary workers that they can’t even manage to pretend otherwise. Case in point: on the last Labor Day, Eric Cantor declared,

Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.

Yep: even on Labor Day, Cantor had nothing positive to say about workers, just praise for their bosses.

2. Consider a working couple with two children, earning the current minimum wage. How much federal income tax do they pay? If I’m doing the math right, the answer is, none — they get a refund. (They pay plenty of payroll taxes, sales taxes, etc., but that isn’t supposed to count). In the minds of Republicans, this makes them lucky duckies, members of the 47 percent, part of what’s wrong with America. The GOP just can’t credibly claim to suddenly be deeply concerned about their job prospects.

- more -

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/two-observations-on-the-politics-of-the-minimum-wage/


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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:16 AM

1. Krugman is 100% correct

Every time there is a proposed minimum wage increase, the Repugs scream and howl about how people will lose their jobs and/or prices will go up. And when it actually happens, none of those things occur. In the words of St. Ronnie, there you go again.

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Response to Freddie (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:44 AM

2. Exactly,

"Every time there is a proposed minimum wage increase, the Repugs scream and howl about how people will lose their jobs and/or prices will go up. And when it actually happens, none of those things occur. In the words of St. Ronnie, there you go again.'

...it's the best issue to show how anti-worker Republicans really are.

Ted Kennedy’s great 2007 minimum wage speech: “When does the greed stop?” http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022368902

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Response to Freddie (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:10 AM

3. And that is the beauty of the fact-free, ignorant-of-history manner that republicans argue policy.

Arguing policy choices based on emotion and warped "logic" (loosely defined as making a cause-and-effect assertion that seems base in 'logic' even if it does not stand up to the test of history) is easier than examining what has and has not worked in the past. Since 'facts have a liberal bias' I suppose it should not be surprising that conservatives tend to rely more on emotion and warped 'logic'.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:26 AM

4. k&r for Krugman. Excellent essay. Recommended. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:43 AM

5. The Republicans will gladly ignore the fact that raising the minimum wage will boost the economy ...

... because punishing "takers" is the glue that holds their Party together.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:46 AM

6. The minimum wage should be based on the cost of living

Cost of living varies considerable from city to city and from state to state.

A $9/hour national minimum wage doesn't make sense. Cost of living in San Francisco is far higher than in Memphis, probably more than 50% higher.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:54 AM

9. $9 an hour won't be high enough in pricier locals, but ...

... states and cities are free to set a higher minimum. The point of a national minimum is to have a level that could support a person. I don't think there is any place in this country where $9 would be too much.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:03 AM

11. $9 / hour is $18,000 per year, or $36,000 for two wage earners

In rural parts of the country, that is quite reasonable.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:07 AM

12. Actually,

"$9 / hour is $18,000 per year, or $36,000 for two wage earners In rural parts of the country, that is quite reasonable."

...the ship sailed on that argument years ago. The fact is that the minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation. If it had, the minimum would be about $10.80 today.

OOPS: GOP Rep. Inadvertently Makes The Case For Nearly Doubling The Minimum Wage
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022374900


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Response to ProSense (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:13 AM

13. The rate of inflation, especially housing, varies considerable by geography

So using a national average for inflation also does not make sense.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:22 AM

14. The only thing that

"So using a national average for inflation also does not make sense. "

...makes sense is raising the minimum wage, the impact will likely be less "takers."

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:47 AM

7. Everytime I ask a repuke how millions sitting in offshore accounts grows the economy they

get pissed and try to change the subject.
Get that money back here and in the hands of those it was stolen from.

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:42 PM

15. Here,

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:50 AM

8. This is one of the things that upsets me about the Right Wing

How they will complain that a hard working person that doesn't pay Federal income tax is a "taker" while doing everything they can assure that person cannot earn a wage to escape it.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:57 AM

10. You could also argue

that if Republicans are concerned about the welfare state, food stamps enrollment on the rise and deficit spending then a minimum wage increase and even a living wage law would mean struggling families wouldn't have to resort to these programs and as a result fix their damn deficit problem they are apparently so worried about.

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