Later this week the Republicant-controlled US Congress will decide whether or not to raise the federal minimum wage from its 1997-and-holding rate of $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over the next three years.
What about all those small businesses we hear will be forced to lay people off or even close their doors because of the extra financial "burden" such an increase would place on them? Has the Congress, in their efforts to kiss constituent ass in an election year, forgotten those poor entrepreneurs?
I've never bought the self-serving alarmism that always comes up when the topic of raising the minimum wage is, well, raised. And even if there’s some truth to the notion that some businesses will suffer, there is a greater good that comes from an increase; essentially, more people benefit from it than are harmed by it.
I can hear the "commie" accusations about my “greater good” philosophy already.
Those who think that of me should consider this: I’m not sure I agree that inheritances should be so heavily taxed. Just from a logical standpoint, you dying shouldn’t mean Uncle Sam gets to dip his hand into your piggy bank. (Holy crap, I sounded like a Republicant just then! Must... resist... becoming... one of them…) That’s the undertakers’ and morticians’ job, anyway.
However, attaching an estate tax reduction to a minimum wage increase bill was really inexcusable. Congress' benefactors are saying, keep us rich at all costs, so Congress agrees. But this has nothing to do with the Average Joe Blow (AJB), who makes a couple bucks an hour for anything from shoveling French fries to shoveling shit. Ok, I agree, that was a bit redundant.
My point is, with $3.00+ gasoline and the overall increase in the cost of living that's occurred since 1997, AJB deserves a wage increase regardless of whatever other aims Congress might have.
Tying an estate tax reduction, which benefits a handful of people who will be rich with or without it, to a minimum wage increase desperately needed by many, is unacceptable. Take the bill back to the drawing boards, you greedy bastards.