The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The GOP's scheming on minimum wage

There's been a big backlash against the House Republicans' attempt to force estate tax cuts into a bill on the minimum wage. A New York Times editorial calls it "extortion." Think Progress cites Edward Kennedy calling it "blackmail."

But beyond the slimy tactic of helping America's workers only if it also means a massive handout for America's super-rich, there are the usual sleazy ways in which right-wing think tanks try to manipulate the data to claim that helping the working class actually hurts the working class (similar to the supply-side arguments that cutting taxes leads increased tax revenue).

OD1 takes a look at some of the arguments being pushed to claim that not raising the minimum wage in a decade is really a good thing:

The majority of the families involved with the increase of the minimum wage are not "poor". They mention a family income of $45,000 which is not, by definition of the poverty line, "poor". This ignores the size of the family, number of children in college or saving for college, the fact that some of the wage earners are children who are on summer break from high school or are working on stipends at college, which are limited to 10 hours per week. Again a lumping of a class into an "average" that fails to look at individuals and the impact on their personal situation. (Again, the "averages" are skewed by lumping in disparate groups, this is the only way to come up with the conclusions of this study.)