Republicans have shown their disconnect with the working class, with at least two candidates proving their ignorance by not knowing the actual minimum wage. Sarah Steelman guessed wrong, and Todd Akin admitted he did not know. However, they were all quick to say they were against it because it was a burden on businesses.
"My guess is its somewhere in the 6 or 7, but I don't know the exact number right now," replied Akin, who, as a congressman, is currently responsible for helping to set federal policy.Imagine my surprise when I learned that there is real movement towards raising the minimum wage above the federal requirement. Instead of the current $7.25 this would raise minimum wage to $8.25 and raise tipped workers up to 60% of that instead of the current 50%. This would be a major boon to struggling people who are working hard for businesses that cut benefits or rely on customers who skimp on the tip even when the service is excellent. Anyone who has worked for tips can tell you it's incredibly difficult to budget with a variable like that, and a short week can mean the utilities are shut off for millions of workers living check to check.
People who vote against workers fail the system. The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that in 2008 twice as many women were earning minimum wage or earning below minimum wage than men. The young and single were more than twice as likely to earn minimum wage. Young single women were at a fair disadvantage. These are the women who don't have any money left at the end of the month. The guys Republicans voted against unanimously, so that they wouldn't be guaranteed fair pay for doing the same work and bearing the same responsibilities as male workers. The women who now may have to pay money they don't have for birth control in a responsible attempt to avoid bringing a child they cannot possibly support into the world. Birth control that was once funded in an attempt to encourage responsibility has now become subject to the religious views of some quacking assholes who have decided they should save us from our moral failures, all at the cost of a few minimum wage bums.
Akin, who said he did not believe government should be setting prices, is still in favor of government telling us who we can marry and restricting women's health care options for cancer screenings and routine preventative care. Oh yeah, and protecting businesses so that it's legal for businesses to discriminate against gays. He's a real man of the people. His kind of people. The rest of you can breed a labor force and keep his folks in the style to which they are accustomed. And hey, if the fruits and slutty women would gripe a little less, that would be greatly appreciated. It's interfering with his work, like think of catchy slogans such as "stage three cancer of socialism" in reference to federal student loans. His actions will keep the minimum wage workers stuck forever, unable to afford to live and no hope of working their way out of the circumstances.
One last fun fact: Michele Bachmann endorsed him. She who denies that there is a war on women would be just stupid enough to do that.