Sunday, December 15, 2013

Democratic hypocrisy on the minimum wage increases

Now Representative Helen Keeley has joined Byron Short in a public call to increase the minimum wage by a dollar.  It is particularly instructive to look at this Democrat's argument:
Our constituents have long supported an increase in the minimum wage. They have seen the prices of groceries, gas and utilities climb while their wages stay the same. They work hard to provide for themselves and their families. Any increase in their wages is going to be spent locally on food, clothes and other necessities.
The only problem, here, Helen, is that exactly the same could be said about State employees (including teachers), for whom Delaware Democrats have been remarkably unresponsive about provide wage increases for many years.

Apparently, for Helen, one of the perks of state employment is that they get to shop in special grocery stories, purchase gas at special pumps, and buy their electricity from special co-ops where the prices never go up?  She doesn't, apparently, notice the state workers whose full-time salaries are low enough to qualify them for food assistance and Medicaid.

You see, the first difference here, is that raising the minimum wage is simply passing a requirement for other people to pay out the money.  If the Democrats who control both the Executive and Legislative branches of the government actually dealt with state workers pay they'd have to figure out where to get the money themselves.  That's hypocrisy number one.

Hypocrisy number two is that the Delaware Democratic Party platform does not call for a raise in the minimum wage, but rather calls for a law requiring a "living wage":
Enacting a livable wage,
Strangely enough, no Democrat in the General Assembly has ever--at least to my knowledge--introduced legislation requiring employers to pay a living wage.  Gee, why not?  It is in the Democratic Party platform, isn't it?  If they're not ever going to even attempt it, why would they try to tell voters that they value it?

By the way, according to MIT, the living wage in New Castle County for a family with one adult and two children is $26.47/hour.  The poverty wage for that same family is $8.80/hour--BELOW the new minimum wage that Democrats are now patting themselves on the back for having the courage to propose.

So let's count up the hypocrisies of the Delaware Democratic Party once again:

1.  Minimum wage increase for private sector employees while no raises for State employees.

2.  No effort (not even a mention) of the party platform calling for a living wage.

3.  The minimum wage raise they are proposing would still leave everyone depending on it in poverty.

And, my favorite, the fact that the minimum wage does not cover living expenses and has not kept pace with inflation, is something that Democrats really don't want to touch, because it would get us into discussing the fiscal policies they have been supporting for decades.

To wit:

Remember:  today's Delaware Democratic Party is all about rhetoric and promises, not delivery.


Anonymous said...

Hmm... Your piece made me realize the timing is such that they hope to undercut even a higher minimum wage from passing, by first low-balling the total ahead of the Feds...

Somewhere near $9.00 should be the minimum wage. $8.25 is a corporate bargain.

That is why those who were against it, are now for it. And I'll ask you since you've been on top of it and would be more aware of the timing, but didn't Short's editorial on his reversal, come out, only after the President made some noise he'd push for a higher total?

Anonymous said...

"Our constituents have long supported an increase in the minimum wage. They have seen the prices of groceries, gas and utilities climb while their wages stay the same." All of which the legislators have raised taxes on considerably over the last several years becasue of their lack of abilty to actually budget.