Saturday, October 11, 2014

Scott Walker: lies, deflections, and f#ck the poor (the minimum wage debate recap )

Governor Walker doesn't think the minimum wage should be a living wage. And he finally, with much pressing and after much prevarication, acknowledged it last night.
In last night's debate, he declared that people shouldn't live off of minimum wage jobs -- they should use their earnings from those jobs to better themselves, like he did when working at McDonalds years ago. This ignores the very crucial points that:

  1. If you can't afford to put a roof over your head and buy food without government assistance, you're sure as hell not going to be able to save up for an education.
  2.  Did I mention that Walker's cuts to education have tens of thousands on wait-lists for financial aid? So, even if you're somehow able to survive on minimum wage earnings, your educational opportunities have been shrunk. By the guy telling you to get off your ass and get an education or vocational training.
  3.  When Walker was working a minimum wage job, his earnings, adjusted for inflation, were much, much higher.
  4. There are not enough high school students and retirees looking to make a few bucks a week or other minimum-wage-part-time earners to fill all the food services, retail, etc., minimum wage jobs out there. If every person working those jobs somehow overcame all the hurdles and got a better education and found a higher paying job, those businesses would not be able to operate. In other words, many businesses rely on full-time (or equivalent) unskilled labor to keep their doors open. 

The "get off your ass" line isn't an answer to the problem, it's a deflection of the issue. Paying unskilled laborers less than enough to survive, much less better themselves, while telling them to just get off their duffs and better themselves is not only contradictory, but it's patronizing BS. Pretending that businesses don't need -- indeed, could survive without -- a lot of unskilled labor is flat out dishonest. Rather than addressing the issue, Scott Walker pretended it wasn't an issue.

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