Looks like there's a high-noon showdown coming between Big Bidness and We the People, with an excellent pre-game guide prepared by the hard-working wonks at NC Policy Watch. I was especially happy to see NCPW training their guns on the Puppetshow's hand-wringing about the hired-help not knowing their place.
Maximum distortion about the minimum wage
The momentum continues to build for a minimum wage increase in North Carolina and the anti-government free market worshippers are beside themselves.
Raleigh’s leading backward-thinking tank recently released a report calling State Treasurer Richard Moore’s proposal to raise the wage “a cruel hoax,” and business lobbying groups are planning their strategies to stop the proposal in the General Assembly session that begins in May.
The House passed a bill last session that would raise the state minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.00 an hour and give a tax credit to small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees. The Senate will take up the proposal when the session reconvenes.
Heaven forbid. Six bucks an hour? Are the libruls crazy? That'll wreck the economy and send North Carolina to hell in a handbasket.
A minimum wage increase would help more than 100,000 low-wage workers in the state and contrary to assertions by opponents of the increase, the vast majority of those workers are adults, not teenagers, with roughly three fourths of the workers over 20 and more than half over the age of 25.
A full-time worker at the current minimum wage earns $10,700 a year, below the poverty level set by the federal government and nowhere near the living wage standard in North Carolina that’s needed to provide the basic necessities of life. Raising the minimum wage would not do nearly enough to help the working poor, but it would be an important start.
I would have figured big bidness would be all for people having enough money to live on, if only to keep them from become lazy, no-good welfare mothers and such. No such luck. Big bidness likes it when they get to pay people next to nothing, if only to line their pockets and fund more Puppet Shows.
There's plenty of good data in the NCPW story, so go read it and get yourself educated. Because the showdown is coming this summer -- and we'll all get to see who stands with business interests and who stands for regular people.
The people in North Carolina understand its time to raise the pay of the lowest wage workers. A recent Elon University poll found that 79 percent of the public wants state lawmakers to raise the minimum wage.
Let’s hope legislators listen to the people and the economists and their own compassion and help North Carolinians who are working hard and still struggling to make ends meet. The cruelty would be listening to the rigid free-market demagogues one more time while the state’s working poor families continue to suffer.
And don't be surprised if you hear more trickle-down bullshit during all this . . . fancy stories that claim poor people benefit when the rich get richer. There's no evidence to support that delusion.