Saturday :: Nov 20, 2004

Owwer Leedur Feels The Workin' Man's Pain

by pessimist

"I know how hard it is to put food on your family." - George Wealthybrat Bu$h

But don't think for a minute that Owwer Leedur isn't willing to help you with that momentous task! He's gonna give y'all a raise in your minimum wage!

Unions insulted by Bush minimum wage

In the third and final presidential debate, Oct. 13, Bush said he supported Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) minimum-wage proposal. Bush said, “Mitch McConnell had a minimum-wage plan that I supported that would have increased the minimum wage. But let me talk about what’s really important for the worker you’re referring to, and that’s to make sure the education system works, is to make sure we raise standards.”

What all the education standard stuff has to do with the minimum wage proposal is something only Owwer Leedur really understands. After all, McConnell never introduced any such bill in the Senate!

McConnell never introduced such a bill. The Hill reported in April that McConnell was working on a plan to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.25 an hour, but McConnell never formally introduced his bill, which was described as an effort to provide centrist Republicans political cover to vote against Kennedy’s bill.

"Ah know that if y'all look at my proposal, the minimum wage increase ah proposed to Senator McConnell, who happens to be married to my Secreatry of Labor Elaine Chao, is gonna make it easier to put even more food on your family! All y'all gotta do is get them damn unions to see things my way!"

“Unfortunately, these [labor] groups are only motivated by politics,” Katherine Lugar, vice president of legislative and political affairs for the National Retail Federation said. “I think they are going to play hardball. … I never see them compromise on these issues.”

Only playing the game by the employer rules, my dear!

Despite Democratic losses across the board in the elections, organized labor is refusing to embrace President Bush’s offer to raise the minimum wage by $1.10 an hour. “It’s insufficient, and it’s too little, too late,” said Bill Samuel, director of legislation for the AFL-CIO. “This is an insult to workers whose wages have fallen so far behind that they can’t even afford the bare necessities.” Samuel said his organization would protest any wage increase less than the one Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) proposed, which would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7 an hour.

The standard federal work year for computatioinal purposes is 2000 hours (tried to find a link, so if anyone knows one, please post it in the comments).

The difference between $7/hr and $6.25 is $0.75. Multiply by 2000 hours, and that's $1500 and employer would save per employee by using Bu$h'$ proposed minimum wage instead of Ted Kennedy's.

Guy Molyneux, senior vice president of Peter D. Hart Research Associates, a Democratic polling firm, said the AFL-CIO’s strategy on raising the minimum wage makes sense. “A few years ago an increase to $6.25 may have sounded reasonable, but it has been so long since the minimum wage was raised that it makes sense for them to push for at least $7,” Molyneux said. “The president could be saying he backs a wage increase, full well knowing [House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas)] will never let that happen,” Molyneux added.

We all know about the Bug Hammer!

Many pro-labor House Republicans agree that the minimum wage should be raised but are reluctant to say by how much.

Rep. Jack Quinn (R-N.Y.), who has served as a liaison between labor groups and the House Republicans, has been a longtime proponent of raising the minimum wage, according to his communications director, Charlie Keller. “We think raising it to six-something would be a good start,” Keller said vaguely.

Rep. Christopher Smith’s (R-N.J.) spokesman, David Kush, said that the last time raising the minimum wage came up, in 1996, Smith supported raising it to its current level of $5.15 an hour. “The congressman would certainly support raising the minimum wage again whenever it comes up,” Kush said.

Rep. Mike Ferguson’s (R-N.J.) spokesperson said Ferguson also supports increasing the minimum wage but declined to say by how much.

What is the annual income of a worker working the full standard work year? $10,300 [$5.15 * 2000]. What's the poverty level for a single person? $9,310, or $4.48 per hour [full 52 weeks worked - $9310 / $4.48 = 2078 hrs]. What if the worker is married, or has a child? The the poverty level is up to $12,490, or $6.00 per hour - still under Bu$h'$ proposed minimum wage. It only gets worse from there.

Federal Poverty Guidlines (2000 Hours) here.

Under Kennedy's plan, (using the 2078 hours multiplier for a better comparison of a Wal-Mart worker), $7/hr works out to $14,546, or almost enough for a married couple to have one child.

But of course, if you're a corporate executive, wouldn't it be better if some of these poor people died off and reduced the surplus population? That way, you wouldn't have to pay so much - and you could demand so much more from your worker, Mr. Cratchit.

Most business groups oppose minimum-wage hikes because they believe increasing the minimum wage discourages employers from adding new jobs. Earlier this year, sources said that McConnell’s plan would be packaged with a “business friendly” bill, such as comp-time legislation that would allow private-sector employees to choose paid time off in lieu of overtime pay.

And employers would never have to honor these accrued time-off hours worked.

Not to worry, employers! Owwer Leedur definitely feels your pain! [In a stage whisper: -] It's all just a scam to get working people to vote for us.

Now that the election is over, it’s unclear if industry would back such a bill. Political observers say any increase in the minimum wage probably will not be on Congress’s agenda until the next election year, 2006.

Remember what I wrote here.

How to Define Poverty? Let Us Count the Ways

"Poverty is really the lack of freedom to have or to do basic things that you value," said Amartya Sen, the Nobel laureate in economics.

Or try this definition from Benjamin I. Page and James R. Simmons, political scientists at Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, respectively, and the authors of What Government Can Do (University of Chicago Press): "A person deprived of things that everyone around him has is likely to suffer a sense of inadequacy, a loss of dignity and self-respect."

The Census Bureau each fall goes through a ritual that is as Americana as the World Series. A press conference is convened, and senior officials, illustrating their numbers with colorful charts, disclose to the nation the latest income data. None gets more attention than the poverty level. A family of four that falls below $17,062 in annual income falls into poverty, the bureau declared last September. Not even the Census Bureau believes its poverty numbers.

In public opinion polls, most Americans say that poverty begins north of an annual income of $20,000 for a family of four. For all their concern about living standards, Americans have left the definition of poverty to politicians, who have defined it narrowly.

Income levels have been the only criterion since 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson adopted the present poverty formula. Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage has declined from more than $6 an hour in the 1960's to $5.25 today [May 26, 2001].

Now that really makes it hard to put food on your family! Owwer Leedur knows! He told us so!

Hallalujah! I believe!

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pessimist :: 3:50 PM :: Comments (3) :: Digg It!