Tuesday :: Jan 6, 2004

Dean or Clark: Opportunity Knocks

by paradox

Posted by paradox

The American political landscape of 2004 offers this promising populism microclimate:

  • 24% of the working population earns $8.70 or less.

  • The federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour and has not been raised since 1997.

  • The labor market is a wreck and any future wage growth looks grim.

  • The Labor Department is going ahead with its plans to obliterate overtime pay through rule changes for 11 million workers this year.

    When your opponent takes a voter’s income you’ve got 11 million votes. When approximately 25 million Americans are getting no piece of the American Dream and see what the Republicans do to hard workers working long hours at least 10 million more votes could be had.

    Dean has made a start with demands for a higher minimum wage, but neither he or Clark has gone for the jugular just sitting there with that overtime issue.

    Sometimes one has to set the agenda and make your opponent react. If followed up correctly the overtime issue naturally leads into employment areas like healthcare and childcare, and it would be easy to keep the Republicans off balance here with the right coordinated attack.

    There’s very little to lose. Neither Dean or Clark has the election to lose—hardly. They have to earn it, and it won’t be by being reactive. If they can’t protect American worker’s overtime pay while the tactic produces millions of votes (many of them new) they might not deserve to win—opportunity like this does not stick around.

    Sure the Republicans will react, but much better to deal that than just waiting around to get roughed up by the mighty Wurlitzer and the $200 million Bush campaign.

    paradox :: 4:50 AM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!