Republicans Again Back The Wrong Horse On The Minimum Wage (VIDEO)

Senate Republicans foolishly block the minimum wage raise that over 70% of Americans support. (Image Credit: Davis Vanguard)

(Image Credit: Davis Vanguard)

Is there any issue at all, ever, anywhere, that Republicans will get on the correct side of? They get clobbered with female voters and yet continue to clobber women; they continue to work against gay marriage even though a solid majority of the American public believe in it; their views on climate change range from proudly ignorant to outright stupid; they still cling to the notion of rich corporations being “job creators” (although any thinking person on the planet must realize by now that if that were true, during the recession when corporations were making record profits jobs would have been, you know, created); and without belaboring the umpteen other positions which Republicans hold dear but which deeply offend the majority of Americans (anti-contraception, anti-choice, anti-equal pay for equal work, blah, blah), we can cut right to the chase on yet another: Republicans who oppose an increase in the minimum wage are also standing on the wrong side of that debate and are once again standing in the way of what polls show that Americans want – and need. In fact, 62% of Americans support raising the minimum wage from its current, dismal $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.


Minimum Wage Lies: Top 5 Reasons Why You Aren't Paid More

Graphic via Good Jobs Now.

Many reputable economists (except, of course, the ones Fox digs up as commentators) agree that raising the minimum wage doesn’t kill jobs. Put an extra ten bucks in the hands of a minimum wage person and it floats immediately back into the economy; unlike rich corporations, minimum wage workers don’t generally sock their money away in stocks. Better paid workers are also more productive, and turnover, which costs employers money, is lower when employees are paid a fair wage – the happy worker is the well-paid worker.

On the right-wing planet whose occupants suffer from the syndrome which has as its chief symptom extreme heartlessness, raising the minimum wage to even $10.10 is a job-killing, America-killing, horrendous injustice to rich corporations who have found the current minimum wage to be perfectly fine, thank you very much. But the evidence collected on the effect of a minimum wage increase on job production shows otherwise; in states that, on their own, raised the minimum wage, employment actually rose, rather than fell. Two researchers from the Center for Economic and Policy Research wrote:

Not only do we fail to find any evidence that minimum wage increases hurt state employment, we actually find the opposite.

Even a study conducted by Goldman Sachs (hardly a liberal enclave) found:

January’s state-level payrolls data failed to show a negative impact of state-level hikes (in the minimum wage). Relative to recent averages, the group of states that had hikes at the start of 2014 in fact performed better than states without hikes.

Mitt Romney (yes, clearly in “please elect me in 2016 because I really didn’t mean that whole 47% thing” mode) is urging Republicans not to obstruct the minimum wage:

I, for instance, as you know, part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of the minimum wage. I think we ought to raise it, because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay.

Subway CEO Fred DeLuca supports an increase in the minimum wage, citing inflation and calling it "normal."

Subway CEO Fred DeLuca supports an increase in the minimum wage, citing inflation and calling it “normal.”

Subway’s CEO Fred Deluca is not only now okay with hiking the minimum wage, he’d go even further:

If I were in charge of the government, I would index the minimum wage to inflation so that way everybody knows what they can count on… The employees know they’re going to get increases on a regular basis. The management knows that they’re going to have to pay a little bit more.

The CEO of Dairy Queen, John Gainor, drives home the point made by economists, that re-training and turnover are expensive:

It takes a lot of time to train people. You want to make sure you’re paying a very good wage, otherwise you have a lot of turnover. People need to be paid a fair wage.

Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz (who’s long held top billing as being pro-worker), is largely in support of raising the minimum wage, although he said that it could scare employers off from hiring additional personnel. And Costco CEO Craig Jelinek, whose company has led the charge to pay workers fairly, is in favor of an even larger increase than $10 an hour:

At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business. We pay a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states where we do business, and we are still able to keep our overhead costs low… An important reason for the success of Costco’s business model is the attraction and retention of great employees. Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.

Mitt Romney enjoying a moment of sincerity.

Mitt Romney enjoying a moment of sincerity.

Senate Republicans recently filibustered a bill that would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour – which isn’t a staggering sum – and tied it to inflation. But even if Senate Republicans had seen their way clear to passing the bill, it would have been a useless exercise: With all the wild-eyed, crazy-as-bedbug Republicans in the House, reaping rewards with the Tea Party and big business by bagging on American workers, it wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell of passing.

If even Mr. Corporate Slash/Burn Romney believes in a hike in the minimum raise (for today, at least), and many of the nation’s big business CEOs are getting on board, Republicans will have a hard time continuing to justify opposition to what nearly two-thirds of the American public supports. With their wrong-headed, rage-induced, ideological beliefs, Republicans don’t seem to realize what a gift they hand to Democrats every time they oppose something that makes sense, is kind, is politically palatable, and is favorable to the well-being of Americans. Since the election of President Obama, it’s never once occurred to Republicans to do anything simply because it’s the right thing to do.

Republicans will continue to stand against jobs and progress for Americans, and will continue to oppose an increase in the minimum wage, and in fact, will continue to beat the drum to do away with a minimum wage altogether — because, as we all know, we can count on corporations to do the right thing.

As Harry Truman noted:

The Republicans believe in the minimum wage — the more the minimum, the better.