Skip to main content

by Doug Foote - Reposted from Working America's Main Street Blog

The Florida legislature is considering SB 2106, a bill that would return tipped wages to 1985 levels.

Many of our readers have at some point worked in the restaurant industry, but let’s quickly review: there’s a federal minimum wage for most workers, but also a federal sub-minimum wage for tipped workers. That’s $2.13 an hour, and it’s been that way since 1991.

Florida’s mandated sub-minimum wage is $4.65 an hour, but the Republican-controlled Florida legislature – the same geniuses who’ve been wasting your taxpayer money on useless drug-testing and handouts to their donors, while taking an ax to your kids’ school budget – just think that’s too much for hardworking servers. They want to bring it back down to $2.13 an hour.

These guys are so out-of-touch and so beholden to their corporate sponsors that they actually think they are being “bold and brave” by taking money away from those who make the least:

State Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, said at a committee meeting last week — during which the bill passed — that the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association brought the idea for the bill to the Senate committee in an effort to make sure restaurants survive, noting that the bill makes the new minimum wage optional.

Carol Dover, president and CEO of the Restaurant and Lodging Association, said that “during the last week there have been many reports that misreported” about the bill. Dover said restaurants want to keep employees, but the 118 percent increase in their wage since 2004, when voters approved a constitutional amendment to tie minimum wage increases to the inflation index, is hurting the industry.

Okay, quick economic lesson for Senator Detert and her corporate sponsors. Florida made the decision to tie the sub-minimum wage to inflation because they actually wanted tipped workers to be able to survive in this economy. If the restaurant industry is “hurting,” it’s because consumers don’t have the discretionary cash to eat out as much as they used to. It’s not rocket science: busting unions, lowering wages, canceling job-creating construction projects, slashing public services, and doing your best to nullify health coverage means people have less money to spend. And that is ultimately what hurts businesses, including restaurants.

But no, say Senator Detert and her corporate sponsors at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. The real problem is that waitresses and bartenders make too much money.

Think, folks. Do you know any waitresses, servers, bartenders, or really anyone who works in a restaurant who makes too much money – or even a decent wage, for that matter?

Thankfully, Fight for Florida is raising awareness of this ridiculousness. They are inviting Floridians to leave behind a card with information – along with a tip, of course – to let servers know what their legislature is trying to do to them.

While this is a Florida state fight, it’s emblematic of the policies being implemented by right-wing legislatures across the country. They are wasting your taxpayer money on useless crusades, making sure you and your family gets paid less money, stripping your ability to bargain with your employer, funneling as much as they can to the already uber-wealthy, and then wondering why no one can afford to eat at a restaurant.

Originally posted to Working America on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 09:23 AM PST.

Also republished by Income Inequality Kos and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Seth D, Bob Love, Shockwave, eeff, xynz, recentdemocrat, davelf2, Silverleaf, whenwego, KibbutzAmiad, mijita, mkfarkus, denig, splashy, Cedwyn, revsue, NMRed, scorpiorising, TexDem, Dr Colossus, figbash, pat bunny, lcrp, Lilith, JayBat, Curt Matlock, lonespark, Emmy, boran2, Josiah Bartlett, sebastianguy99, Gowrie Gal, rapala, bloomer 101, marina, Tinfoil Hat, ichibon, UncleCharlie, rimstalker, irate, PBen, offred, kitchen sink think tank, Brooke In Seattle, madmommy, fixxit, Dr Squid, Dem Beans, skyounkin, Shotput8, sodalis, Rogneid, peacestpete, xanthippe2, kathny, Jim R, Philpm, Born in NOLA, martini, Nance, chicagoblueohio, cybersaur, Mr Bojangles, Clytemnestra, cookseytalbott, seefleur, NBBooks, global citizen, gatorcog, happy camper, NearlyNormal, middleagedhousewife, CA Nana, Statusquomustgo, markthshark, cpresley, ammasdarling, ksp, ColoTim, aravir, terabytes, bnasley, jedennis, Singing Lizard, Sarahkatheryn, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, BasharH, South Park Democrat, vet, VA Breeze, MKinTN, mconvente, wayoutinthestix, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, elwior, Pam Bennett, mikeconwell, Greyhound, Lujane, Cassandra Waites, Wek, TokenLiberal, Missys Brother, mofembot, glendaw271, petulans, elpacifico66, makettle, punkdavid, briefer, Diogenes2008, shortgirl, statsone, legendmn, clent, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, zmom, An Affirming Flame, Mislead, notrouble, virginwoolf, MKSinSA, Alise, Keith Pickering, porchdog1961, Railfan, Just Bob, coppercelt, Observerinvancouver, Crabby Abbey, angelajean, Eddie L, cai, swansong50, roystah, DrTerwilliker, leu2500, ozsea1, OhioNatureMom, trumpeter, mrsgoo, marleycat, IllanoyGal, RfrancisR, floridablue, desertrose712, poliwrangler, disconnect the dots, beforedawn, balmerUSA, Sunspots, aerie star, DEMonrat ankle biter, allergywoman, jacey, anodnhajo, Flying Goat, IndieGuy, ahumbleopinion, orangecurtainlib, AnnieR, a2nite, FloridaSNMOM, Evolutionary, Horace Boothroyd III, kait, Spirit Dancer, TBug, radical simplicity, BusyinCA, MartyM, brae70, wxorknot, Glen The Plumber, wasatch, Robynhood too, allensl, Jonathan Hoag, Chaddiwicker, DamselleFly, Jason The Greek, Illinois IRV, Eric Twocents, ladyjames, topazOR

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site