House republicans move towards $7.25 minimum wage

Discussion in 'Economy' started by BaronVonBigmeat, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. BaronVonBigmeat
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    BaronVonBigmeat Senior Member

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060727/pl_nm/congress_wage_dc

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House Republicans worried about their political fate inched toward a vote on Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade, but Democrats called it an empty gesture.

    Rep. Steven LaTourette (news, bio, voting record), an Ohio Republican active in the negotiations, said the deadlock over the wage hike had been broken.

    "The vote to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over three years will be held tomorrow," he said.

    A House leadership aide said a vote was likely, but no firm decision had been made.

    The bill that will come before the U.S. House of Representatives will likely be coupled with a controversial small business health plan that could sink the initiative.
     
  2. BaronVonBigmeat
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    BaronVonBigmeat Senior Member

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    Here's something from another forum concerning the history of the minimum wage, I'll just copy/paste it.

    ======================================================

    United States
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped legislate the first federal minimum wage in 1935. Shortly after, it was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. After FDR threatened to pack the court, the minimum wage came back with a vengeance in 1937. Historically, the South always had lower wages. This encouraged workers to move north and for industries to move south. By far, one of the biggest proponents of a federal national minimum wage was the textile industry in the North. The textile industry included both the plant owners and the textile worker’s union. They both had a shared interest in a federal minimum wage in order to protect themselves from Southern competition. I’ll let the politicians and union leaders speak for themselves.

    In 1955 the minimum wage was up for an increase. Representative Mack from Washington State said:

    After the Civil War in the late 19th century, blacks made up a huge percentage of the workforce on Southern railroad. On some railroads blacks were 85-90 percent of the firemen, 27 percent of the brakemen, and 12 percent of the switchmen. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen would not allow any blacks to join as members at that time. The union still had to deal with them when striking for higher wages as clearly portrayed in the following statement:

    By now you should see what their proposed solution to this problem was. The union called for a general strike in 1909 and one of its demands was the complete elimination of blacks from the payrolls. Instead of agreeing to this demand, the arbitration board instead ruled that blacks should be paid wages equal to their white counterparts. The union was extremely delighted with this decision! Why would such bigots endorse such a measure? We don’t need to speculate on what their motives are because they spelled it out clearly:

    Similarly, when Congress was testifying about the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, the act that mandated the “prevailing wage” for some government contracted work, Congressman Miles C. Allgood stated:

     
  3. BaronVonBigmeat
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    BaronVonBigmeat Senior Member

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    South Africa
    Similar situations happened in South Africa. No need for much of a history lesson, the important thing to keep in mind is that deep racial tensions existed in South Africa. Their extent was so widespread that as recently as the 1980s, South Africa was openly defending its legal segregation system known as Apartheid.

    One particular aspect of Apartheid was known as job reservations. This was a system whereby certain occupations and positions would be strictly reserved for whites only. One of the biggest hurdles in the way of full enforcement of this system were white industrialists. Employers and superintendents of the lucrative South African gold mines had a huge incentive to cheat on the job reservation system because black workers were so cheap to hire. As writer Lord Sidney H. Oliver noted:

    Not surprisingly, even the Mine Worker’s Union understood the concept of compensating difference:

    During the early part of the 20th century, almost everyone saw the breakdown of the job reservation system. Blacks were gradually improving their skills and productivity and began to compete directly with white workers. White employment continued to decline as black employment increased. In 1925, the Mining Regulations Commission concluded that white employment in the mining sector had been reduced by a company policy of “maximizing profitability through making the most profitable possible utilisation of ultra-cheap forced labour at the expense of white labor.”+

    As a means of countering this trend, one of the proposals was to legislate a minimum wage for all workers. Perhaps it’s possible that devout white supremacists suddenly had a change of heart and began to pursue and advocate policies to help black workers and the minimum wage was just one of them alongside “equal pay for equal work”. Anything is possible I guess, even if it happens to fly in the face of logic, reasoning and other evidence. The following passages are taken straight from Walter William’s book.

    In 1925, a minimum wage was introduced under the Wage Bill. The Economic and Wage Commission of 1925 had this to say about it:

    Another author wrote in support of the commission’s conclusion:

    A Brief Example from the Progressive Era

    http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2005/10/the_secret_hist.html

    One Further Illustration
    The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott "called on Congress to consider raising the minimum wage."

    Perhaps Mr. Scott suddenly started caring for workers and wanted to help them. His justification for raising the minimum wage is that it would give Wal-Mart customers more money to spend. That's just crap, Mr. Scott is a businessman and I'm certain he fully understands the laws of supply and demand. The Wall Street Journal was gracious enough to include this one passage.

    Baptists and Bootleggers
    Regarding pretty much any piece of legislation, there are always Baptists and Bootleggers. Baptists support prohibition out of moral principle. Bootleggers also support prohibition as a means of boosting the demand for their services. The Baptists regarding the minimum wage are the people that truly believe the hypothesis that a minimum wage increases unskilled worker's income. The Bootleggers are labor unions and companies that do not utilize unskilled labor.

    For anyone out there that truly cares about helping the poor, I'm genuinely imploring you to truly think very very carefully about whatever proposals that might come along. There is virtually no evidence that a minimum wage actually helps poor people and a mountain of empirical evidence to the contrary.

    Sources:

    * A Public Choice View Of The Minimum Wage by Thomas Rustici (1985)
    + [ame=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/027593179X/102-0678173-4652116?redirect=true]South Africa's War Against Capitalism[/ame] by Walter Williams (1989)
     
  4. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Hidden within that bill is an amendment to remove requirements for overtime pay. So you can be worked like a dog and not get any overtime. What a bunch of hypocrites.
     
  5. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Ridiculous. I hope the bill goes down in flames. And when the hell did Republicans start advocating for a higher minimum wage?!? :mad:
     
  6. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    They started advocating for a higher minimum wage when they looked at their poll numbers. :salute:
     
  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    No--they wanna pass the bill it is attached to. But what the hell--politicians are politicians. They all wanna be reelected.
     
  8. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Idiots, all. They must not realize that minimum wage hikes actually deter businesses from hiring minimum wage laborers, and that we are likely to see increased unemployment as a result.
     
  9. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    A method to our madness there is…

    Yeah see, John Q Public, we voted and passed higher wages for you. You now make more money (and we have more to tax). Now gee, things are turning down a bit. Higher prices more unemployment, but we can fix that, just vote us in and everything will be fine, we promise.

    Hey John Q, we did MAKE employers give you more money right? We can fix this believe us….

    *MORONS*
     
  10. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    What's moronic is voting for the jerks when their policy has never been worker-friendly just because they change their stripes pre-midterm elections.

    Despite the protestations of the more conservative among us, raising the minimum wage has never resulted in the types of problems which are always predicted. Last time the minimum wage was increased, we had great prosperity and low unemployment.
     

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