The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Minimum wage proposal:
An offer to provide poverty

Jun 26, 2006

Liberal Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy just proposed raising the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 per hour. He even mentioned that during the nine years the minimum wage has remained at $5.15, the Senate has given itself raises of $30,000. That’s the Senators’ raise, not counting their already huge salary, benefits, expense accounts and perks.

In other words, pretending he is concerned for the lowest paid workers, Kennedy proposes a raise which would bring their wages to $15,080 per year – which would still leave a family of four almost $5,000 under the poverty level. And the change wouldn’t be completed for three more years.

Democratic concern for low-paid workers? No – it’s Democratic concern for the next election. The Democrats are a minority in the Senate. Their votes won’t put it through. But the proposal can embarrass the Republicans just before an election.

It’s what the politicians call a “can’t lose” proposition – for themselves, of course, not low-paid workers.