Thursday, January 05, 2006

Minimum Wage as the Democrats' Gay Marriage Issue

For those of you who didn't catch the NY Times' article and editorial on efforts to raise the minimum wage in the states, check them out. It's a pretty interesting issue, and apparently one that will have much larger national political implications than you might think.

Last November, Republicans in 11 states - including super-swing state Ohio - put gay marriage amendments on the ballot, hoping to bring out conservative voters to the polls and boost the vote totals for President Bush. The tactic proved brilliant. All 11 states approved the amendments, and Bush won 9 of the states. The amendment's presence on the ballot in Ohio may even have won the President the election.

Whether or not it's intended as a direct counter-strike, Democrats will be firing back. According to the Times' editorial, "This year, there may be ballot initiatives in seven states, including Ohio and Michigan. Some political analysts say the initiatives could help Democratic Congressional candidates by drawing low-income voters to the polls..." Watch the Ohio vote especially closely. Republican corruption there and Iraq veteran Paul Hackett as a potential challenger could give Democrats a shot at taking seats in Ohio.

Personally, I'm proud to support a party that draws out voters by raising the wages of America's workers rather than excluding people from marriage.

4 Comments:

At 3:12 AM, Anonymous Sten Gazette said...

I would like to think that the Democratic Party is not cynical enough to manipulate an issue to draw sympathetic voters to the polls. And I have serious doubts as to their ability to co-ordinate such a scheme the way the monolithic RNC can. I would much rather believe that the minimum wage issue is being raised in those states because it's the right thing to do! But I think there is a lot more to it than raising minimum wage rates-- if you don't count those who are paid minimum wage or less, but get tips, there's virtually nobody working for minimum wage now.

Virtually nobody being approximately 1% of the work force, if the figures quoted in the NYT article are accurate. And probably most of that 1% is kids living at home and earning "pocket money." Those that are most desperate e,g, single parents, can't take a minimum wage job because they would lose benefits which are more than a minimum wage income, and which come closer to taking care of the necessities. All of which would tend to indicate that serious structural change is needed, not just a pick-a-number increase in the minimum wage.

I'd like to say "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need," but that would be quoting Karl Marx so I'd be branded a Communist. Oh, wait a sec-- the concept was not original to Marx; it seems to be traceable to some guy named Jesus Christ.

Bottom line-- if the minimum wage issue really is being manipulated by the Dems, I say go for it: whatever it takes!

 
At 12:25 PM, Anonymous njcons said...

Minimum wage as an issue is a non-starter. Most people have figured out that it is a red herring.
Back in November I posted a few thoughts on the minimum wage.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Conservatives are naturally going to oppose minimum wage increases, however, they need to happen. They need to at least rise with inflation.

It's easy for a college educated person to say that minimum wage jobs are stepping stones, but the reality is that for a lot of people, they are careers. The bottom line is that executives are getting more money than ever and they don't need it. They can afford to pass some of it down to the workers without job losses. Raising it to Ralph Nadar's levels would be impracticable, but 5.15 is a disgrace.

- Jersey Perspective

 
At 6:06 PM, Anonymous njcons said...

"but the reality is that for a lot of people, they are careers." I'd love to see any evidence that supports this claim. Show me.

 

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