Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Last Call For Wage Slaves

As expected, Senate Republicans who are "for the working class" and "helping American families" blocked an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10.

Democratic legislation to raise the federal minimum wage hit a road block Wednesday when Republicans blocked the bill in the Senate, setting up an election-year battle over which party can best grow the economy and help struggling Americans.

The bill was six votes shy of the 60 needed to advance the legislation that would gradually up the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 over the span of 30 months. The bill also included increases based on inflation that, if fully implemented, would allow a family of three to earn an annual income above the poverty line.

Republicans argue the bill will hurt small business owners, which may need to cut jobs to account for the higher wages. They cite a study released by the Congressional Budget Office released in February that found, while helping to alleviate poverty, raising minimum wage would cost the country about 500,000 jobs.

In other words, every single Republican in the Senate thinks $10.10 an hour, or the massive yearly wage of $21,000 a year is too much money, because only teenagers make minimum wage (only 24% are in reality and half are white women.)  Seems to me that Republicans would want to see that young women, especially mothers, would be paid more to keep them off food stamps, but apparently that's okay with them.

By the way, there's no state in the nation where $21,000 a year can get you an apartment and it still be affordable.  In most states you'd need twice that.

Meanwhile, slimebag Sen. Ted Cruz pitched the GOP blocking minimum wage as, get this, a victory for black teenagers.

“Every senator who votes ‘yes’ is voting with an absolute certainty that hundreds of thousands of workers, including a great many African-American teenagers and a great many Hispanic teenagers, will be laid off as a consequence of their vote,” Cruz said. “I would challenge any of the senators in this chamber to look in the eyes of those African-American teenagers, those Hispanic teenagers who are looking for a better opportunity.”

Only one problem.  Cruz is full of crap, as usual.  In states where minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum, the evidence is clear.

Raising the minimum wage is neither as wonderful as its advocates claim nor as dangerous as its detractors warn. On the upside, it would increase pay for millions of Americans, not only those earning the minimum but also those at fixed increments above it. These are people who could really use a raise. Contrary to what generations of students were taught in freshman econ, new research finds that minimum-wage increases at the state level have caused little, if any, harm to employment. “Outside of the simple Econ 101-type environment, increasing workers’ pay can improve the functioning of the low-wage labor market,” Arindrajit Dube, a University of Massachusetts economist, testified before Congress in March.

Washington State has the highest minimum wage in the nation, indexed to inflation.  If raising the minimum wage is so disastrous for employment, then it should have one of the highest unemployment numbers in the nation.

It's 6.3% as of April, below the national average.

Raise the wage, guys.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Meanwhile, the notion that the issue at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada is over just because it's suddenly inconvenient to back an avowed racist asshole like Cliven Bundy is sadly not the case.  The heavily armed militia types are still out there "defending" Bundy and are doing a pretty good job of threatening anybody in the area who doesn't back the guy.

The locals are getting understandably nervous.

A growing number of Bunkerville residents want to see the armed militiamen guarding rancher Cliven Bundy leave Nevada, according to a letter from Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., to Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie.

Horsford, whose congressional district includes Bunkerville, wrote that his constituents are concerned about Bundy supporters carrying weapons near local churches, schools and elsewhere.

But gosh, guns equal safety and freedom.  Why would anyone be scared of gun-toting vigilate justice mobs armed to the teeth near churches and schools?  Maybe because of this?

The letter also says militiamen have a presence on state and local roads as well as federal highways. In some areas, according to the letter, militiamen have set up checkpoints where drivers are stopped and asked to provide a proof of residency.

They’ve been seen carrying high-caliber weapons and keep a round-the-clock security detail on Bundy.

Setting up armed checkpoints on public roads.  You know, like the Taliban does in Afghanistan.  But don't you dare call them domestic terrorists, right?

The Ghost Of Losers Past

Guess which former presidential candidate thinks America needs a Rand Paul versus Elizabeth Warren race in 2016 that could potentially unite the left and right towards a new era of libertarian utopia and that President Obama needs to be impeached immediately?

That’s the premise of the new book “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State” by longtime political activist and five-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who contends that such a left-right alliance is not just the stuff of imagination but is actually emerging.

“On Capitol Hill, I'm seeing more and more in Congress, left and right,” Nader told “The Fine Print.” “It was a vote in the House over a year ago over the NSA snooping, it almost broke through … so we're beginning to see formulations that once they click together, they're unstoppable.”
Oh goody.  And Rand Paul?

But Nader qualified that the success of his envisioned left-right alliance is dependent on strong leaders. He said Sen. Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, has the potential to be a leader for the alliance, but added that he thinks the Kentucky Republican has certain shortcomings as a leader.

“He’s a mixed bag, you know, he's evolving. He's broadening his issues that he's talking about and they’re beginning to resonate,” Nader said. “On the other hand … he has problems dealing with people.”

Paul’s “problems” aside, Nader predicted that he will be “the one to beat” in 2016 in a Republican contest that is also likely to also include Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. He also made it clear what he does not want to see in 2016: A Jeb Bush - Hillary Clinton matchup.

In fact he says he will actively try to sabotage Hillary Clinton in 2016, and wants President Obama impeached immediately.

When it comes to the current president, Nader said that Obama has violated the Constitution on several occasions and should be impeached.

"Oh, most definitely," Nader said when asked if Congress should bring forward articles of impeachment against Obama. "The reason why Congress doesn't want to do it is because it's advocated its own responsibility under the Constitution."

Nader said the president's use of military force in Libya has been his most "egregious violation of the Constitution."

So, you ready for President Rand Paul?  Ralph Nader is.  And the last time he meddled we got Dubya instead of Al Gore.  How'd that work out for you 14 years later?


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