Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dumbass Rages 'Gainst Rise in Wages

From the awfulness file comes Californian Republican Representative Tom McClintock speaking against raising the minimum wage. As an added bonus, McClintock decided to add a little bit of racism to his class warfare:

"Only if you want to rip the first rung in the ladder of opportunity for teenagers, for minorities, for people who are trying to get into the job market for their first job.”

He goes on to badmouth minimum wage jobs:

“It’s not supposed to support a family. The minimum wage is that first job when you have no skills, no experience, no working history. That’s how you get into the job market, that’s how you develop that experience, develop that work record, get your first raise, then your next raise, then your promotion.”

I started my first job, doing general stocking and cleaning work in a local deli when I hit the age of sixteen and could get working papers. I had skills, a general competence in cleaning gained by helping out with housework and a good grasp of math and language. I didn't enter the workforce as some sort of tabula rasa. Furthermore, my job was in a service industry which depended on other people having enough disposable income to pay someone to make their breakfast or lunch for more money than they'd pay if they'd prepared it themselves. With a bolstered minimum wage comes a bolstered customer base. From a strictly anecdotal standpoint, I was one of the few kids in high school who could go to a nearby deli to buy lunch (of course, I got a discount as well as my weekly pay, which made me popular at lunchtime).

Another thing, these service jobs typically can't be outsourced, so any characterization of them as being worth no more than a $7/hour rate is bullshit- if the minimum wage has been raised, the wage will go up, period- it's pretty hard to have some poor peasant in Vietnam or the Philippines making a burger for some d00d in Santa Monica. The odds of these jobs just "going away" is pretty slim- increased demand resulting from increased wages will result in job increases. There might be a slight diminution of corporate profits at first, but that should be eliminated fairly quickly by rising sales.

The entire argument against raising the minimum wage is specious, and McClintock just brought some additional ugliness to the "debate" by bringing minorities and his perception of their lack of value into it. If there is one job that isn't worth seven dollars per hour, it's that of a Republican representative.


Smut Clyde said...

the first rung in the ladder of opportunity for teenagers, for minorities

Minimum-wage jobs are simply not intended for white peoples. Is that so difficult?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The usual Randian horse crap.

It doesn't have to make sense, the underlying theme is the point: How can John Galt be happy if the poors aren't suffering?

ShortWoman said...

Have none of these people ever eaten lunch at a fast food restaurant? Who exactly did they think was serving the food??

mikey said...

And even if he's right in concept - that the minimum wage is intended for entry level and part time workers - they've built a structure where that's not how the system actually works. Real people, workers with experience, are somehow expected to keep a roof over their heads - and that of their family - on $200 a week. That's simply not possible, and that's all the argument that really needs to be made.

But the bigger picture is that there's just no reason to listen to these right wing thugs. You have to realize that instead of starting with a goal and working to develop policy that creates those outcomes, they are (always) starting with a preferred policy and working backwards to create a narrative that somehow justifies it. It's clearly, blatantly and utterly dishonest, and therefore it disqualifies itself from the debate.

It's just like tax cuts. EVERY economic condition, they tell us, can be addressed with tax cuts. Deficit? Tax cuts. Surplus? Tax cuts. Recession? Tax cuts. Inflation? Tax cuts. At some point it just becomes stupid. Everyone GETS that it's dishonest, but there are people who WANT those policies, so they pretend to believe the just-so stories...

Chickpea said...

My understanding of a minimum wage is the minimum a person needs to live on. You go to work to support yourself, that's the deal.

The first rung of the ladder is still going to be there, just better paid. I really don't know why racist go to the trouble of coming up with some convoluted argument to justify their racism. They are fooling no one.