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The general message in the president's weekly addresses in 2014 so far has been "opportunity for all." But, for the second week in a row, he spoke Saturday to one key means of making this happen:
In the year since I first asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, six states have passed laws to raise theirs, and more states are working on it as we speak. But only Congress can finish the job and lift Americans’ wages across the country.
As the president pointed out, however, a bill in Congress to raise the nationwide minimum wage to $10.10 is stymied despite being backed by a majority of rank-and-file Democrats, Republicans and independents because Republicans don't want the raise to come to a vote. The remedy for that, he said, is for other Americans to do what he has been doing, getting on the phone to members of Congress and nudging them to take action:
Hardworking Americans deserve better than “no.” Let’s tell Congress to say “yes.” Pass that bill. Give America a raise. Because here in America, no one who works hard should have to live in poverty—and everyone who works hard should have a chance to get ahead.

Amid the congressional resistance to doing what the majority of Americans would like to see happen, there was some good news, the president said. Not only are some states stepping up to the plate, some companies are, too:

[E]arlier this week, one of America’s largest retailers, The Gap, decided to raise wages for its employees beginning this year. Their decision will benefit about 65,000 workers in the U.S. That means more families will be able to raise their kids, finish their studies, or keep up on their bills with a little less financial stress and strain.

Gap’s CEO explained their decision simply—he said, “[It’s] right for our brands, good for our people, and beneficial to our customers.” And he’s right—raising Americans’ wages isn’t just a good deed; it’s good business and good for our economy.

To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
February 22, 2014

Hi, everybody. Restoring the idea of opportunity for all requires a year of action from all of us. Wherever I can act on my own, I will—and whenever I can ask more Americans to help, I’ll do that too.

In my State of the Union Address, for example, I asked more business leaders to take action to raise their employees’ wages. Because even though our economy is growing, and our businesses have created about eight and a half million new jobs over the past four years, average wages have barely budged.

So it’s good news that, earlier this week, one of America’s largest retailers, The Gap, decided to raise wages for its employees beginning this year. Their decision will benefit about 65,000 workers in the U.S. That means more families will be able to raise their kids, finish their studies, or keep up on their bills with a little less financial stress and strain.

Gap’s CEO explained their decision simply—he said, “[It’s] right for our brands, good for our people, and beneficial to our customers.” And he’s right—raising Americans’ wages isn’t just a good deed; it’s good business and good for our economy. It helps reduce turnover, it boosts productivity, and it gives folks some more money to spend at local businesses.

And as a chief executive myself, that’s why I took action last week to lift more workers’ wages by requiring federal contractors to pay their employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour.

In the year since I first asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, six states have passed laws to raise theirs, and more states are working on it as we speak. But only Congress can finish the job and lift Americans’ wages across the country.

Right now, there’s a bill before Congress that would boost America’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. That’s easy to remember—“ten-ten.” That bill would lift wages for more than 16 million Americans without requiring a single dollar in new taxes or spending.  But even though a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans across the country support raising the minimum wage, Republicans in Congress don’t want to give it a vote.

Hardworking Americans deserve better than “no.” Let’s tell Congress to say “yes.” Pass that bill. Give America a raise. Because here in America, no one who works hard should have to live in poverty—and everyone who works hard should have a chance to get ahead.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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Comment Preferences

  •  There is a viable option here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    Many economists believe that the Earned Income Tax Credit is the best avenue to bring about reduced poverty and income equality in America.  In this article by Bloomberg, this is discussed and it makes a lot of sense.  In addition, it is something both republicans and democrats can get behind and get done.

    I offer it up for consideration:  http://www.bloomberg.com/...

    •  EITC is a strong tool (4+ / 0-)

      However, this, from the article is where the Bloomberg article fails to see reality:

      "Although supporting the EITC in opposition to the minimum wage may seem like a change of argument for the Republicans, it would actually be a return to the case that conservatives and free-marketers once argued."

      Whatever they once argued is now dead.  Whatever benefits the lower middle class and working poor is now strongly hated by the GOP, no matter what shape it comes in.  

      During the 2012 election cycle the infamous, ugly 47% remark made its rounds, and while the American public rejected the notion of half the American people as lazy, comfortable to live off handouts, the major Republican voices merely echoed the sentiments when pushed (i.e. Gingrich, Huckabee, pundits on Foxnews, all conservative radio heads, etc.)   That goes anathema to increasing the EITC over current levels.  

      Specifically, Rubio's idea to convert the EITC to "federal wage enhancement" and expand coverage for single people is likely to hurt family coverage of the EITC.   If that is the case, there would be major opposition from Democrats in Congress.   Either way, the crazies in the Republican House would never agree to something that actually puts more money in the pockets of those they regard as "takers" in the first place, who they believe already receive way too much assistance, so it would be a non-starter.      

      •  Might be right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JJ In Illinois

        You may be right that the republicans would try to block any increase in EITC.  One thing is for sure.  There is no doubt they will try to block an increase in minimum wage of the magnitude presented by the president.  

        So, once again a stalemate with no alternative solutions.  

        I do wonder about one thing on increasing the minimum wage.  If I have worked for a business for a few years and started at minimum wage and worked my way up to say $10.10/hr. which is not real good but is not bad in my area for a young person, what am I going to think if the newbie hired a couple of months ago started getting the same wages I worked for?  You know the business is not going to raise my wage just so I won't feel slighted.  

        It's something to think about.  

        •  That's not how it has worked in the past (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gramofsam1, TexasTom, TheLizardKing

          When the federal minimum was raised in the past, those up one rung on the ladder were given increases as well.  It reverberated all through the wage scale, actually is known as the "ripple effect".

          Take California as an example:

          http://money.cnn.com/...

          That's what economists call a ripple effect, meaning an increase in the minimum wage spills over to higher wage brackets.

          On Jan. 1, 13 states raised their minimum wage (by varying degrees), and on July 1, California will increase its by $1 an hour.

          As a result, the Economic Policy Institute estimates about 4.6 million workers will see their wages increased, 2.6 million of whom are directly affected as the new minimum wage exceeds their current hourly pay. The other 2 million already make slightly more than the new minimum wage but will benefit from the ripple effect.
          And it could well be the entire country that sees an increase soon. Congressional Democrats and President Obama are pushing to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2015.

          Some info here on the Job loss myth:

          http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com/...

        •  I am not convinced that the GOP would block (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gramofsam1, TheLizardKing

          an increase of the minimum wage outright if the public continues to call for it at as strong a measure as they are doing it now.  Weekly pounding on the issue by Obama and Democratic candidates for Congress help in that regard.  

          They are not going to agree to an instant $10.10, but if they see 80% of the public supporting it come fall (and almost 60% of Republicans) as it is the case now they might have to cave to an extent.  Perhaps agreeing to it phased in over a longer period of time than Democrats want to see it, with no adjustments for inflation allowed, or something like that.      

          I think the EITC is now viewed as akin to a welfare program by many Republicans, and many Americans aren't really all that aware of the intricacies and inner workings of the EITC.   However, the minimum wage increase is strongly popular, even with Republicans, so the GOP has to address that somehow sooner or later, or lose close elections as a result of refusing to deal with it.  

          •  You're right- (0+ / 0-)

            many Republicans view the EITC as a welfare program. What they fail to see is that it's essentially corporate welfare- the real beneficiaries are the companies that weasel out of paying a living wage by relying on the big bad government to provide what they won't.

            It's no doubt been a big help for a lot of lower income people, but those extra dollars should go directly to the employees who earned every one of those dollars, and they should come directly from the companies who benefit from their labor.

            And it ain't cheap:

            The direct cost of the EITC to the U.S. federal government was about $56 billion in 2012.
            •  That's the one thing Republicans can't argue (0+ / 0-)

              with minimum wage earners, as we don't know who of them also receives government assistance.  Some do, some don't.   A portion of minimum wage are likely to be Republicans who refuse any kind of government assistance, Obamacare subsidy, and the like, just because they have been brainwashed by Foxnews, Limbaugh, et al.  and rather cut their noses to spite their faces instead of providing what is best for their kids and keep themselves and their kids healthy.   Those are the people the GOP obviously sympathizes with, and I can see some of them looking at a phased-in minimum wage increase as somewhat more palatable just to get this explosive issue off the table before crucial elections.  

            •  Absolutely! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gramofsam1

              The EITC just continues to force taxpayers to subsidize wealthy corporations labor costs.  I would only support an increase in the EITC if we raised the taxes on corporations paying less than $11.50 to ANY worker from 35% to 50%.  Then we could fund the welfare program that the guilty, selfish and irresponsible corporations are creating.  But why play all the games.  Just raise the minimum to $11.50 per hour, which is roughly equal to the poverty level for a family of four based on a 40 hour work week.  There is not a single business in the US that would be hurt by this.  Yes, some will go under, but if you can't pay $11.50 per hour, than you are relying on the taxpayer to fund your labor cost.  This of course means you are running a charity, not a business.  No charity should be able to force others to pay into their cause.  Reason two to avoid the EITC game is that it is money delivered in one annual lump sum.  This earned income that is being confiscated by the employer is needed on a regular weekly basis or in accordance with the regular payroll schedule.

      •  It's also not a substitute for raising the minimum (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gramofsam1

        wage, which will have a spillover effect.

        Over 600 Economists Sign Letter In Support of $10.10 Minimum Wage
        http://www.epi.org/...

    •  Republicans no longer support EITC (0+ / 0-)

      They supported it for thirty years, but now they seem to believe that the working poor need to pay more taxes (see all the comments in the last election about the 47% for proof), not less -- and that any attempt to help the working poor just makes them lazy and dependent.

      So don't count on Republicans to be open to the EITC as an alternative (or supplement) to an increase in the minimum wage.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 08:44:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The ARRA expanded the EITC (0+ / 0-)
      ARRA and the Earned Income Tax Credit

      Update May 31, 2013 — This page has been updated to reflect the fact that the EITC changes under ARRA, which were to expire at the end of 2012, were extended through December 2017 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

      Update Oct. 31, 2011 — This page has been updated to reflect the fact that the EITC changes under ARRA, which were to expire at the end of 2010, were extended through December 2012 by the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010.

      The earned income tax credit is a refundable credit intended to help people who work but earn modest incomes. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a temporary increase in the EITC for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children. In 2013, the maximum EITC for this new category is $6,044. ARRA also increased the beginning point of the phaseout range for the credit for all married couples filing a joint return, regardless of the number of children.

      In 2013, the credit begins to phase out at $22,870 for married taxpayers filing a joint return with children and completely phases out at $43,210 for one child, $48,378 for two children and $51,567 for three or more children. For married taxpayers filing a joint return with no children, the credit begins to phase out at $13,310 and completely phases out at $19,680.

      These changes applied to 2009 and 2010 tax returns under ARRA, and were extended by the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010 to apply to 2011 and 2012 tax returns. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended these temporary ARRA increases for five years through December 2017.

      http://www.irs.gov/...


      Earned Income Tax Credit; Do I Qualify?
      http://www.irs.gov/...
  •  Maybe if there were more jobs. More jobs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onionjim, snoopydawg, Mr Robert

    means workers can demand more.  Good old fashioned supply and demand.  Too bad Obama is negative affecting the job situation by fast tracking another lousy trade agreement, the Trans Pacific Partnership.  

    •  The TPP is dead for now. (3+ / 0-)

      Don't use it as a wedge issue here.  Reid and Pelosi have been clear on the TPP.    

      Workers are right to demand more, it is high time.  Has really nothing to do with more jobs.  We have lost a bunch of high paying jobs, but minimum wage jobs are there.   In fact, many of the previously higher paid folks had to take low paying jobs to get by, all the way down to minimum wage.   The argument the right loved to advance when fighting minimum wage increases that minimum wage is really just for teenagers trying to get a temporary job before college while living at home has never washed, but because of their own experiences (themselves or people they know) now more people are aware of that fallacy than before, won't fall for it.        

      •  Excuse me? I certainly will us TPP however I (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snoopydawg

        damn well please.

        And wages do have a lot to do with more jobs. Obama and the Democrats have done a whole lot of nothing.  They create the wedge, not people who point out their failures.

        •  I agree, sweeper (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          politically indigo

          It is dead for 'now', but the negotiations are still happening in secret.
          Wait and see what happens after the elections.
          And the Dems and Obama had both houses during his 1st term, yet didn't address minimum wage at all.
          Could it have passed with the Dino's?  
          Who the hell knows since they never tried.
          But Obama could have made those contractors pay $10.10 a long time ago.

          Congress cut SNAP $8 Billion, but increased the farm subsidies which will cost $15 Billion.. In what sane world does that make sense?

          by snoopydawg on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:55:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, roads and bridges, rail, light rail. (6+ / 0-)

      There's a massive amount of infrastructure the has languished under the boot of austerity. We have bridges that collapse, power grid failures, train derailments, and on top of this no new ways to move our folks around without driving.

      If we had the leadership, we could be having a boom economy right now. Oh, take the $$ from the military budget, they have proven to be completely untrustworthy and corrupt.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 07:36:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  more jobs doesn't necessarily mean raising the (3+ / 0-)

      the minimum wage. There could be a ton of part time jobs for example and folk would still be making 7.25 an hour in some places. Raising the minimum wage even with part time work could help that worker.

      If you want to criticize the President over TPP, that's certainly your prerogative, but trying to link the two just to hit the President doesn't necessarily follow.

      •  I have my opinion. You have yours. Please (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snoopydawg

        recognize that.

        Basically the president wants to raise minimum wage in lieu of creating well-paying jobs.

        •  I did not mentioned anywhere that you shouldn't (0+ / 0-)

          give your opinion. In fact I said this:

          If you want to criticize the President over TPP, that's certainly your prerogative
          I merely pointed out that your point was faulty. I have the right to do that as well.
      •  Wow, anytime anyone criticizes (0+ / 0-)

        Obama for his policies is just to 'hit' him.
        sweeper is entitled to give criticism on the TPP.
        I thought the same thing when I listened to him.
        So let's just wait until TPP passes before we criticize it.
        Gawd!  

        Congress cut SNAP $8 Billion, but increased the farm subsidies which will cost $15 Billion.. In what sane world does that make sense?

        by snoopydawg on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:01:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This will be THE key issue for the 2014 midterms (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, Janet 707

    Increasing the minimum wage is extremely popular, and for the Democrats to make it a huge issue is extremely smart.  It plays into a lot of the progressive narratives:

    1. Give hard working low income folks a wage that resembles a living wage, something they could make at least a modest life with (in states with low cost of living/low cost of housing.)   Right now two people working full time on the current federal minimum wage can hardly make it.

    2. The 1% should not be so greedy to the point they give themselves massive management wages on the backs of their low paid workers.  

    3. Raising the minimum wage lifts everybody up, not just minimum wage earners.  Those in the next earning group are due an increase of their wage as well.  

    4. Growing inequality can be slowed when you adjust the take home of the lower middle and working poor via an increase in the minimum wage.

    And how to sell it?  It is already strongly popular with the American public, but when a GOP opponent counters that it costs jobs, is too hard on business Democrats can counter:

    1. There is no historical evidence that increasing the minimum wage has cost jobs.  The opposite has been true every time we have done so in the past.

    2. Giving people a decent minimum wage makes them less reliant on government help like food stamps, housing assistance, SNAP, and the like.   Republicans should love it for that reason alone.

    3. We haven't raised the minimum wage in over 20 years.  It is high time to do so now.  To adjust for inflation that has occurred since the last time the minimum wage was raised minimum wage should be set much higher.  The very least that we need to do is a raise to $10.10 and then raise it every year as inflation goes up (not unlike the cost of living adjusments given to social security recipients.)

    Even though it is a midterm election, we can win seats in the House and defend the Senate by using minimum wage as a constant drum beat and rallying cry to rectify at least some of the unjust economic inequality we have been seeing over the last three decades.  

  •  I saw a report recently that a rise to (3+ / 0-)

    something like $10.10/hour would eliminate nearly 500,000 jobs on one hand but elevate nearly 900000 out of federal poverty status.

    An interesting trade-off.

    And it says nothing about the long-term impact of more people - consumers - having more money. I don't believe one needs a high school diploma to understand more people with spending money is good for an economy which is based, at least in part, on people spending money.

    The loss of jobs makes me wonder about why they would be lost and why they were there to begin with.

    I wonder how many of those jobs would somehow actually be replicated in another manner...

    Is it that some those jobs can only function by paying crappy wages? Is the loss of such jobs all-in-all a truly bad thing?

    By the way, I know nothing about economics and job markets. I probably just wasted a lot of time on a Saturday morning...

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 07:34:43 AM PST

    •  Minimum wage hike to $10.10 (0+ / 0-)

      could eliminate 500,000 jobs, boost incomes by $2 billion

      Using economic modeling and projections, the CBO estimates that roughly 500,000 workers would lose their jobs due to such cuts were the minimum wage to be increased to $10.10. More broadly, the CBO says there is "about a two-thirds chance" that the impact on total employment would register somewhere between a "very slight" decrease and 1 million jobs lost.

      For those low-wage workers who are able to keep their jobs, total aggregate income would likely increase significantly -- by roughly $31 billion, the CBO estimates.

      At the same time, business owners would see lower profits, because they would have to pay higher wages. And that would translate to higher prices for consumers.

      Altogether -- earnings gained, minus profits lost by businesses as well as spending power lost by consumers -- the net effect would be about $2 billion in net income added, the CBO estimates.

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 07:42:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are other ways to accomplish that, however (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg

      A minimum wager hike does absolutely nothing for those out of work.  Zip. Zero. Nada.

      The only real way to boost wages across the board is more jobs.  When demand for workers is high, then wages go up.  .

      When more people are working, revenues to governments and municipalities go up.  And, less goes out in the form of government assistance.

      I say "How about coming up with a way to put more people to work, Mr. President?"

      We are still down 8 million jobs from before the recession.  Put those people back to work.  Bring off-shored jobs back to America's shores.   Start buying American.  Do those things, and all the problems disappear.

      Your focus is wrong, Mr. President.

    •  Minimum Wage is great if you have a job. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg

      If you don't have a job...

      The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

      by Common Cents on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:19:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Robert Reich had an interesting comment (4+ / 0-)

    while being questioned by Bernie Sanders in a Senate committee hearing.
         He said that Wal-Mart is America's largest employer today. It pays its non-execs an average of $8.80 an hour. In 1955, America's largest employer was the Ford Motor Company. They paid their employees an average of almost $38.00 in 2014 dollars.

    The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

    by Hillbilly Dem on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 07:46:49 AM PST

  •  Here's questions about raising the minimum wage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    The stock answer against raising the minimum wage is that it will destroy jobs, putting people out of work.

    What I'd like to know is what the people who believe that would say if you asked them "Since people are already out of work with the minimum wage where it is, doesn't that mean it's too high? So how far should we drop the minimum wage to create jobs? Could we get full employment if the minimum wage was zero? Would that be a good thing?"

    (Libertarians would say yes! Which is about the time the sane world stops listening to them.)

    And while they're trying to respond to that, follow up by asking, "If dropping the minimum wage would create jobs, how many more would be created by dropping the wages of the people at the top end instead? Because they have a lot more room to drop."

    Ask them how much they'd take as a cut in their income to create jobs - and then point out for the last 30 years or so, the money people like them make (unless they're in the top 1%) has not grown at all - while the economy has, so they've already been taking a pay cut. Where are all the jobs?

    They'll probably tell you people don't want to work because the benefits are too high for the unemployed. So come back with, "Well, wouldn't more money get them off the dole? Don't you want to reward people for working? If they're working, aren't they going to be paying taxes and buying more stuff? Isn't that going to reduce the tax load on the rest of us? Isn't that going to create jobs?"

    It's possible to go round and round like this for hours. The difference is for years the people who want workers at zero pay have been pushing their side, while those who used to speak up for working people (unions, the Democratic Party, liberals, etc.) have either been silenced, decimated, sold out, or just lost it somewhere.

    It's way past time to be having conversations like this.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 07:57:43 AM PST

    •  We need much more than a robust min wage (0+ / 0-)

      We need minimum income laws. We need minimum VACATION laws--those alone would shove unemployment down into the THREES. If everyone was MANDATED to go on vacation, they allow someone to work for those two weeks/month times, and most people on vacation SPEND a lot of money--money they would HAVE from their full time jobs--creating even MORE travel and service jobs that now languish.

      The Paycheck Party. If you GET a paycheck, you're in the Party. If you WRITE a paycheck to SOMEONE ELSE, you're not in the Party.

      As simply beautiful as 'Medicare for everybody'. It'll never, ever fly. The idea will be shot down like a drone firing on a Yemeni wedding party.

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 08:39:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another speech (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stewarjt, snoopydawg, AlexDrew

    Sorry. I tuned out. What did he say?

    And with all the might and main of the Presidential bully pulpit behind him...I fully expect to be paid $10.10 an hour for my entry-level job...about seven years from now, when the watered-down bill becomes law and allows inflation to eat away any and all gains from a ten dollar an hour salary...

    ...in about seven years, when I'm ready to retire. To which I say only this: Fuck all, baby, fuck all.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 08:33:57 AM PST

    •  George W. Bush used the bully pulpit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg

      to start two wars with Democratic support. And yet this guy can't get an overwhelmingly popular min wage passed. At this point, and I never thought I would say this, I want the Clinton's.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 11:11:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm just thinking out loud here but would it (0+ / 0-)

    be possible to have a teen exemption so that talking point would go away.

      I will admit that unless a teen is a parent, then I would support an exemption for having to pay a 16 year old working at a fast food place a living wage or significant increase in minimum wage.  Obviously there are millions of teens who are just working for "mall money" and we shouldn't be losing sorely needed jobs for them to make what a single parent or family needs to survive.  

    So would it be possible to have an exemption for say 16 and 17 year olds or the same who are not parents themselves?

    Also, why aren't we still fighting for 15?  What happened to that?  Why not 12 if we are "compromising"?  Ten dollars an hour will not be a living wage in any shape, form or fashion....even if two parents are making it.  Sure it is better (I guess)  but certainly not by much at all.  

    •  Why should teens work for less? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg

      Why should teens work for less?  They are doing the same job.  This argument was used against women for decades; they are not supporting a family, so they should work for less.
      And why do you assume teens you see in malls or stores are working for "mall money"?  Maybe they contribute to their families, or are saving for college or other training, or are even supporting themselves.
      And with a "teen wage" guess who employers will hire?!  

      •  Because teens have no skill? (0+ / 0-)

        Their work is not worth $10 an hour? Therefore they will be the first fired if there are cuts because of a raise in the minimum wage.

        The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

        by Common Cents on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:22:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I heard the GOP rebuttal just now (0+ / 0-)

    It was given by Tom Cotton and it was pretty much a Gish Gallop. I haven't found a transcript yet, but it's on Youtube.   http://www.youtube.com/...

    A transcript would be nice, if only to make fact-checking easier. There was so much fear-mongering, it easily reached McCarthy levels.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:30:09 AM PST

  •  Nobody should be poor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    I hate his constant refrain about those who work hard should not be poor.  What about children?  What about the elderly, the sick, the disabled?
    In the richest country in the world, nobody should be poor.  Period.

    •  Nobody? (0+ / 0-)

      What about people that refuse to work, have no ambition, and never contribute anything to anyone?

      The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

      by Common Cents on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:24:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is that you, Mitt? (0+ / 0-)

        Can you provide a link to back up your comment?  
        Yep, you sound like Mitt and his 47%.

        Congress cut SNAP $8 Billion, but increased the farm subsidies which will cost $15 Billion.. In what sane world does that make sense?

        by snoopydawg on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:09:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm talking about a hypothetical. (0+ / 0-)

          If there is a person that does nothing for themselves and has no desire, drive, ambition at all, do they deserve to be poor. If you think no one at all exists like that okay, but if you think those people exist and you still think they deserve something from people that do work and do try then you have to defend that.

          The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

          by Common Cents on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:21:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is not true. (0+ / 0-)
    As the president pointed out, however, a bill in Congress to raise the nationwide minimum wage to $10.10 is stymied despite being backed by a majority of rank-and-file Democrats, Republicans and independents because Republicans don't want the raise to come to a vote.
    The minimum wage actually came up for a vote as an amendment to the SKILLS Act, and it was rejected with all Republicans and a few Democrats voting no.
  •  The conservatives say that people only have to (0+ / 0-)

    work hard if they want to get ahead. Then I would like them to explain why productivity is up, yet wages are down. If productivity is up, then people are working harder. Why aren't workers getting the benefit of their hard work.

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