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Thu Nov 13, 2014, 05:55 AM

Most States Will Now Have A Higher Minimum Wage Than The One Set By Congress

WASHINGTON -- Americans want to raise the minimum wage, and they're done waiting around for Congress to do it for them.

On Tuesday night, voters in four states -- Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota -- passed binding ballot measures that will hike their minimum wages. None of those red-leaning states is exactly a hotbed of socialism. And yet their voters have soundly rejected the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour as insufficient for workers.

As it turns out, most other states have now done the same.

The federal minimum wage set by Congress prevails in any state that doesn't mandate a higher one. Until this year, a majority of states had declined either through legislation or the ballot box to set a minimum wage above $7.25.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/05/minimum-wage-by-state_n_6110204.html

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Reply Most States Will Now Have A Higher Minimum Wage Than The One Set By Congress (Original post)
Sherman A1 Nov 2014 OP
merrily Nov 2014 #1
Art_from_Ark Nov 2014 #2
merrily Nov 2014 #3
Art_from_Ark Nov 2014 #4
merrily Nov 2014 #5
Art_from_Ark Nov 2014 #6

Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 06:49 AM

1. Sick pay, increasing minimum wage and marijuana did well on ballots. Democrats, not so much.

Leftist policies yes, Democratic candidates, no. There's a lot to ponder there.


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Response to merrily (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 08:44 AM

2. Yes, there is a lot to ponder

I personally don't think that ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage are the exclusive realm of liberals.

Think of it this way:

Joe Duckhunter in Gunrack, Arkansas, is currently making $6.50 an hour working at Wingnut's Garage. All day his boss plays right-wing talk shows on the radio, and his preacher at Backwoods Baptist Church likes to go on about how God nuked Sodom and Gomorrah because there were too many gays living there. Joe agrees with the sentiments expressed on the radio and by his preacher, but he also knows he isn't making all that much at the garage. Some of the state's politicians-- all Democrats-- talk about raising the minimum wage, and although Joe disagrees strongly with some of the core social issues of the national party, he decides he'd cast those disagreements aside if he could get a raise in pay. Lo and behold, a ballot initiative appears that will raise his wages by nearly $2 an hour within the next 2 or 3 years, and he will definitely vote for that. At the same time, taking this out of the hands of politicians also takes away one of the main reasons why Joe considered voting for Democratic candidates.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 14, 2014, 01:25 PM

3. It's not a conservative initiative, that's for sure. You didn't watch the Maddow video.

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Response to merrily (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 15, 2014, 04:00 AM

4. On the contrary, it took a core issue away from the Democrats

Even if it wasn't a conservative initiative, it certainly had the effect of helping conservatives.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 15, 2014, 04:30 AM

5. I said, increasing the minimum wage is not a conservative issue.

Nor was it a conservative initiative. Conservatives don't seek ways to increase the minimum wage, be it on the state level or the federal level. You seem to agree with that. So, I have no clue why you preface your reply, with "on the contrary." Are message board posters duty bound to contradict, even when they are not disagreeing with the statement actually made?


Even if it wasn't a conservative initiative, it certainly had the effect of helping conservatives.


That is a different issue from what I posted before. As to this different issue, my response is, Maybe. Maybe not.

Did it really take a core issue away from Democrats? It was on the ballot in both red states and blue states, but not in every state. Some Democrats certainly could have run on it. Did they? Democrats did increase the minimum wage in 2009. Not by anywhere near enough, but they did increase it. Did any of those running this year remind voters of that? And increasing the federal minimum wage is different from the state minimum wage and provides workers with a safeguard against the vagaries of state government. Democrats still could have run on that.

I saw a lot of ads this election season for incumbents and challengers of both of the two largest parties. Not a one of the ads I saw so much as mentioned increasing the minimum wage, past, present or future. IOW, Democratic incumbents and challengers in my area were not running on increasing the federal minimum wage or even on being the party that increases the minimum wage, or fights for sick pay or fights to decriminalize marijuana, all ballot initiatives that succeeded this time, just as the Maddow video explains.


What might have hurt Democrats even more--running on it and then not passing it, even if they held the Senate, as is very likely. However, we'll never know.

This time around, Democrats seemed to run mostly on, "I'm not Obama. Hell, I'm barely even a Democrat, as you might think of that term." So, it's hard to say if having the minimum wage on the ballot was what hurt them, or if was their abysmal campaign strategy and forgetting their roots as a Party. Well, maybe not their 18th century roots as a Party, but their post-1929 roots as a Party.

Meanwhile, having it on the ballot at least helped millions of working Americans--and about damned time, too.

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Response to merrily (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 15, 2014, 04:40 AM

6. When raising the minimum wage is not a ballot initiative, it can be a liberal issue

But when it's a ballot initiative, it is no longer a liberal issue. You don't have to be a liberal to want to vote yourself a raise if you're making minimum wage. Essentially, raising minimum wage was a Democratic core issue that was taken away from the Democrats in those red states, my own state of Arkansas included, with the result that it severely reduced the economic incentive to vote for Democrats in those states. My use of "on the contrary" meant that, as far as I am concerned, the ballot initiative, even if it wasn't an obvious conservative initiative, it was one for all practical purposes because it took one of the core issues of Democrats in those states away from them.

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