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Yesterday, the Maryland Senate passed legislation to increase the minimum wage, which the Assembly had already passed last year. Governor Martin O'Malley will soon sign it.

The New York Times framed this as "pressing Obama's Agenda".

Maryland embraced President Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour on Monday, the second state to do since Connecticut acted last month.

The Maryland General Assembly voted for the pay raise on the last day of its 2014 regular session, giving Gov. Martin O’Malley a victory on his top priority this year. The governor, in his last year in office, has staked out a consistently liberal record as he weighs running for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

But is it the same agenda? If you look at the bills, the answer is a clear NO. If anything, Maryland is undercutting Obama and national Democrats.

The plan being pushed by Congressional Democrats (with the backing of the president) has three parts:

(1) Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 in three steps: $8.20 three months after passage, $9.15 one year to the day thereafter, and $10.10 1 year to the day thereafter

(2) Indexing the minimum wage so that it rises with inflation starting the following year

(3) Raising the tipped wage to 70% of the minimum wage in a series of gradual steps (to $3.000 1 year and 90 days after passage and $0.95 each year thereafter until this proportion is achieved)

(This isn't an exact quote--nor is that below, but I found blocking the text to make it easier to read.)

Now, what are the parts to the Maryland legislation?

(1) Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 in five steps: $8.00 in January 2015, $8.25 in July 2015, $8.75 in July 2016, $9.25 in July 2017, and $10.10 in July 2018.

(2) No indexing

(3) Freezing the tipped wage at $3.63 an hour

(4)  Allowing employers to pay employees who are 19 or younger 85% of the minimum wage for the first six months of employment

(5) Exempting some businesses, including restaurants with income below $400,000

The Maryland Senate has 35 Democrats and 12 Republicans. The House of Delegates has 97 Democrats and 43 Republicans. The governor is a Democrat.

Look at those bills side-by-side. Is the Maryland bill "pressing" or "advancing" the agenda put forth by Congressional Democrats backed by Obama? No, it is clearly not. It is stupidly and cruelly undercutting it by weakening the demands in the state right next door to DC of all places.

Minnesota Democrats are also undercutting national Democrats, as we can see from the same New York Times article (although it does not frame the situation as such). The Democrats of the Minnesota State Legislature reached a deal yesterday to raise the minimum wage for large employers to $9.50 an hour by 2016 from its current $6.15. Their goal wage is lower than the national goal even though both houses of the Minnesota legislature and governorship are all under Democratic control (39 to 28 in the Senate, 73 to 61 in the House).

Here are the details of that deal:

For large businesses with gross sales over $500,000, the minimum wage would rise to $8 in 2014, $8.50 in 2015 and $9.50 by 2016.

For small businesses with gross sales below $500,000, the minimum wage would rise to $6.50 in 2014, $7.25 in 2015 and $7.75 by 2016.

Starting in 2018, the wage would go up with inflation, capped at 2.5 percent.

Minnesota apparently allows businesses (large ones currently, small ones now and into the future) to pay their employees below minimum wage. Is that even legal?

Although the bill includes indexing, it allows the Department of Labor and Industry to block such increases in the time of an economic downturn. The Minnesota Democrats must have forgotten that preventing the collapse of wages in the time of a downturn is one of the basic reasons for having a minimum wage in the first place.

Anyway, that bill, too, undercuts the efforts of national Democrats. Your Mark Pryor-Democrats or Susan Collins-Republicans can point to Minnesota as an example of a "compromise" legislation and weaken the bill.

If you want to get $10.10 on the national level, the blue states should be pushing for more, not less.

Originally posted to Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 05:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Maryland Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Shooting ourselves in the foot. What Dems do best. (10+ / 0-)

    "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

    by temptxan on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 05:45:02 AM PDT

  •  Good reporting (11+ / 0-)

    Thank you for highlighting these significant differences. Those of us who just read taglines might have been easily fooled on this one.

    It's sad to see Democrats putting their names to a bill like that.

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 05:56:47 AM PDT

  •  On the other hand, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberaldad2, AlexDrew

    what happens to a Democrat anywhere that votes against a raise in the minimum wage?
    I would hate to be boxed in, voting for a slight improvement for my constituents in hopes of the $10.10, which may be years from reality.

    •  But that's not the point (9+ / 0-)

      That's not really the point of this article, though. The point is that Democrats, when they have full control of states by large margins are setting their ambitions lower than/to the right of national Democrats. And that's a big problem. When they are unobstructed, they are passing bills more conservative than what national Democrats are pushing for.

      •  They're delivering not posing (4+ / 0-)

        The national party is posing on the issue.  They're never going to get the bill through Congress.  

        Meanwhile, in states where government actually FUNCTIONS as it does in Minnesota, Democrats are maintaining their reputation of getting things done.

        •  If that's the best our party can do while (7+ / 0-)

          completely controlling a state legislature, that's pathetic.

          And then people wonder why it's hard to get voters to bother.

          They're "delivering" the weakest possible results they think they can get away with without losing their jobs.  They have no reason, at all, to concern themselves with what Republicans think.

          It's just like here in CA, where our "Democratic" Governor fought to block a decent minimum wage increase that would have started phasing in this year if workers were a higher priority than business interests.

          None of these failings can be blamed on the bad guys.  It's all team us.

          Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

          by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:59:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't have the whole context (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            liberaldad2, unfangus, AlexDrew

            Democrats have passed a huge amount of legislation in MN since they took complete control of both houses in 2012.  This is just one of many bills.  They've moved fast on many issues.  They've demonstrated an ability to get things done even managing to pull in a few Republicans on marriage equality.  

            Minnesotans are pragmatic.  They believe in can do government.  Even Republicans around here do more than in most places.  But the people are not extreme either.  They don't like it if they think people are going too far, rubbing the other party's face in their success, etc.

            Despite, the notorious Michele Bachmann, Minnesota is not at all like government in DC.  Both parties still work together here and that's what the people want.

  •  If we want corporations (7+ / 0-)

    to adopt policies with enthusiasm, they have to be made to look seriously at the problem, so I propose a different method.

    If they are pleading poverty as an excuse to delay the raises, then I suggest that the MAXIMUM a corporation be allowed to pay ANY employee be set at $50 per hour, until such a time that the lowest paid employee is on at least $10.10 per hour.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:06:22 AM PDT

    •  Maximum wages have no legal basis (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, liberaldad2, AlexDrew

      and would be thrown out in court.

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:18:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm curious... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, JesseCW

        ...as to the reasoning behind that statement.  Is there legal precedent that says maximum wages are somehow treated differently than minimum wages?

        In any event, if a maximum wage of $50/hour were set, it would have a crippling effect on many, many companies and job categories, since there are many professional categories where wages that work out to greater than $50/hour are prevalent.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:27:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heh ... They'd get on with it then! (4+ / 0-)

          It is the principle that matters, not the empirical amount but yes, it should hurt!

          You could make it $200 an hour, and only affect the senior management.

          I'd like to see the company challenging this in court ...

          "Your Honor, we can't afford $10.10 an hour for Joe, because that might impact my $1000 an hour".

          Good argument, right there.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          Who is twigg?

          by twigg on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:54:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Liberty of Contract (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          liberaldad2, AlexDrew, TexasTom

          You can not impose arbitrary limitations on what business agreements corporations or individuals can legally enter.

          The state can and has shown a case for minimum wage as a way to protect low-skill workers.  The same can be said for child labor laws.  These things required a compelling interest of the State and withstood strict scrutiny

          "People shouldn't make too much money" is not going to pass as a compelling state interest on legal grounds.  Congress can pass tax laws on high income brackets, they can change how alternative compensations (options and bonuses) are calculated and assessed on corporate profitability or any other direct regulations, but you can not step in and just say "You can't pay people more then X".   ...we did set some limits along those lines for companies that accepted TARP money, which was entirely legitimate.  They had the choice to refuse the money or accept it on the terms offered.

          FYI, this is the same legal basis that invalidates all the notions around here of passing laws along the lines of "We should ban anyone that served in public office from every being a lobbyist" or some such thing.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:29:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  On what possible grounds? n/t (2+ / 0-)

        Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

        by David Kaib on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:34:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Read the case that upheld the (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wisper, liberaldad2, nextstep, AlexDrew

          minimum wage.  It's here.

          The Court held that people have a liberty of contract, but that Congress could restrict that in the name of protecting employees -- i.e., preventing them from being exploited by the employer.  

          What's the justification for restricting the liberty of contract in the case of a MAXIMUM wage.  Certainly, people who would be able to negotiate with an employer a wage higher than, say, $50 an hour are not being exploited and do not need protection.  

          The argument would be that there's no legitimate justification for Congress to restrict the liberty of contract in that instance.  I suspect that "We don't want people to make a lot of money" would not be considered a legitimate justification for restricting that liberty of contract.  

          Now, Congress can -- and has -- attached tax consequences to high salaries, like it did when it said that any salary for a CEO over $1 million is not deductible by the company.  But that provision backfired and helped fuel the high salaries we've seen over the last several years.

          •  You are citing dicta in a case (0+ / 0-)

            that is over 75 years old. Dicta is not authoritative. What's more, liberty of contract is a dead doctrine that no justice who has served on the Court has accepted since at least 1960. Including every member of the current Court.

            This is the sort of thing any freshman in a Con Law class knows.

            Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

            by David Kaib on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 05:39:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Tax Rates are entirely (2+ / 0-)

        a matter for Congress.

        There is more than one way to skin a cat!

        The $50 was an arbitrary figure designed only to demonstrate the principle.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:49:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure... tax rates are all legal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          liberaldad2

          But you need to enforce them across ALL similar companies.  (Equal Protection & Due Process)  You can not target a subset of companies that have some arbitrary criteria (Does not pay all employees at lease $X.00 per hour) and then hit JUST those people with some confiscatory rate.

          If you think there is enough of a popular sentiment to establish a confiscatory tax rate for certain incomes, then by all means, advocate for it.

          But "Maximum Wage" laws have no legal justification according to how the US Courts have interpreted the Liberty of Contract.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:33:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It wouldn't target (0+ / 0-)

            specific companies, merely set a rate for ALL companies who fit certain criteria, and as those criteria would not be industry based, or geopraphically, or by any other metric that could be discriminatory, there wouldn't be a problem.

            Besides, they would still have to get up in court and explain why they couldn't afford to pay the minimum wage when they could pay very high wages to some.

            Actually, few large companies would fall foul, and they should support such a measure because it reduces unfair competition from those paying poverty wages.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:46:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  what criteria? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coffeetalk

              "Companies that don't pay people enough" is not a criteria.  It is arbitrary.  This isn't about discrimination.. we're talking business regulation.  

              They would not argue that they couldn't pay a minimum wage.  They would just argue that statutorily mandating wage ratios is a break of established liberty of contract and they would be right.

              The only "State interest" that could be offered would be "The need to make sure low-skill employees are not exploited and paid a minimum wage" but that's what minimum wage laws are for.  If you think people need to make at least $X.00 then legislate it across the board and enforce it.  But the court is not going to uphold an argument that low-skill employees of certain companies must make $Y.00 just because someone else at the company makes 200 x Y.  

              I get the idea behind what you are saying, but there is absolutely ZERO chance that withstands even passing scrutiny at any level, state or Federal.  Seriously.

              I'm not saying the court should go back to its rulings under Lochner.  We have clearly shown that the State can, in certain cases, make a compelling case for regulation of contracts but voluntary salary ratios is beyond a weak argument.  At that point why not allow Congress to regulate what prices can be set for products or services.  Or how many employees any given company should or should not have.

              Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

              by Wisper on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:58:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually no ... (0+ / 0-)

                Because the minimum wage is legal and established.

                Sanctioning a company that is breaking the law is not discriminatory and indeed one could make a very sound "public interest" argument that the tax system be used to recoup public expense incurred by a failure to meet minimums.

                All of which is merely an example of debating why something can't be done. That helps no one. You can argue that something "shouldn't" be done, I'm all for that.

                If there is an issue that should be addressed, let's work out how to do so effectively rather than simply point to all the obstacles, any one of which could probably be overcome if a policy proposal were popular.

                I threw in a simple alternate way to accomplish something we would all like to see, and immediately was told that "We can't do that". It's a liberal plague that the right doesn't suffer from ... they just do it.

                My off-the-cuff proposal might not have much merit, but it would scare the crap out of many, and who knows what might be proposed as a serious solution, if we decided to "just do it".

                I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                Who is twigg?

                by twigg on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:11:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Minimum wage is absolutely legal (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  twigg, coffeetalk

                  And, since it is argued as a state compelling interest to protect all employees, is mandated across the country (or state for state-level minimums) in all sectors and all employers.

                  And the fact that there is a statutory minimum undermines any argument to create some kind of secondary special-circumstances other minimum.  

                  If the state interest is to set a floor on labor wages to prevent exploitation then DO IT with a fair and accurate minimum wage.

                  If any company is found violating the minimum wage laws they should absolutely be punished.  I agree 100%.

                  But I fail to see the merit of debating something that is not merely politically unlikely, but actually legally prohibited in our country.

                  I am not dismissing your intention.  I think I understand exactly what you are trying to accomplish, I was merely pointing out that Maximum Wage laws would not be legally enforceable in the country in which you and I live.

                  This isn't a "I don't think we should do this." argument.  Its just an observation of almost 80 years of established precedent.

                  Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

                  by Wisper on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:18:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  If that doesn't work, then how about this: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Penny GC

        Pass a law restricting corporations from claiming as operating expense any executive pay & compensation that is more than 200x that of their least-paid employee. And add the necessary language closing loopholes where they could use contractors or part-timers  to avoid this 200x limit.

        That would also toss another speed bump in the path of runaway income inequality.

        •  Sure... there already is a $1M cap (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus

          which means as long as no one is making less then $5000 per year (which is $2.40/hour) then your 200x ratio calculation is superlative.

          And btw... that $1M cap didn't exactly accomplish what people thought it would.  

          SEC Chairman Christopher Cox once said it deserves a “place in the museum of unintended consequences.”

          Barbara Lee introduced a law last year along your lines.. in fact, I think it was much stricter.  It would limit the deductions of any full-time employee if there was more then a 25x disparity between them and the lowest-paid employee.

          Here is some analysis on what that might accomplish, if you are interested:.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:44:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  On the other hand, 100% effective tax rates (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Penny GC, Odysseus

        can legally be set beyond any point Congress chooses.

        Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

        by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:00:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But would have to be across the board (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AlexDrew

          and not targeted to people who might or might not work at a place that doesn't pay its lowest salaried employee a certain rate or percentage.

          If you think the American people would support anything close to a 100% effective tax rate, by all means advocate for it.  

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:35:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You know the marginal rate used to top (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            unfangus, Odysseus

            out at 90%, right?

            Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

            by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:57:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  LOL.... I knew that was coming (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus, AlexDrew

              And you know effect rates paid has never been above 33%, right?

              So sure.. bring back the 90% rates and bring back all the THOUSANDS of deduction and exemption calculations.

              Or no?  You want the rates but not the exemptions?  Okay... start advocating that.  Like I said, if the American people support it it would be 100% legal.

              Good Luck!

              Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

              by Wisper on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:07:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Tax it , don't ban it (0+ / 0-)

        While there may be legal problems with a pay ceiling, there would not with provisions that put an excise tax on all wages over some amount paid by the companies (making high wage individuals cost them more) or ban deduction of wages over some amount from taxes. Under NIxon, we had  a price and wage controls, under Clinton a ban on deduction pay over $1 million a year.  Something can be done--legislative will is needed.

        •  Tax is definitely an option (0+ / 0-)

          assuming Congress would enact, and the public would support, such a thing.

          The deduction ban wound up doing more damage then good and did nothing to address the problem it was intended to correct.  I'd be cautious about repeating that mistake.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 11:28:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Under what authority could Congress set (0+ / 0-)

      a maximum wage?

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 08:15:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seriously? (6+ / 0-)

    I would think that if a proposal like the Maryland proposal got through the House, Senate Democrats would pass it in a heartbeat.  

    Support for the President's proposal of $10.10 does not mean you are completely unwilling to allow anything to be enacted that does not fit 100% with all of the details of that proposal.  It's very very very seldom that a President's proposal on anything becomes law in the exact same way the President proposes it.

    Frankly, it seems to me that states raising the minimum wage to $10.10 helps provide cover for the federal government to do that same.  

    •  Passing a stronger bill provides cover, (3+ / 0-)

      passing a weaker bill in blue states provides cover for a watering down or blocking the federal proposal.

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

      by David Kaib on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:35:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What if a bill like Maryland is something that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llywrch, AlexDrew

        you can get passed, but you have no way of getting a bill like the President's passed?  

        Do you forgo what you call the "weaker" bill, and keep minimum wages where they are?  Is that what you would have preferred in Maryland?  

        •  Umm... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quill, JesseCW, unfangus, Odysseus

          Let's look at something.

          The Maryland Senate has 35 Democrats and 12 Republicans. That's about 3 to 1.

          The House of Delegates has 97 Democrats and 43 Republicans. That's over 2:1.

          The Democrats, in other words, have only themselves to blame for bad legislation or the failure to pass good legislation.

          An your point about "providing cover" shows a complete failure to understand politics or bargaining (which politics so often is at its core). National Democrats need to win over Republicans for their legislation to pass. The Maryland Democrats do not. If the Maryland Democrats pass a bill raising the minimum wage to $11, $12, or $13 an hour, the national Democrats' plan looks like a "compromise" plan. If the bluest of the blue states can only pass $10.10, that becomes the left bound of discussion and is thus DOA.

        •  If that's the best and entirely Democratic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfangus, Odysseus

          state government can do, our Party is fucking broken.

          I know it doesn't seem that way to people who aren't workers or who don't at least identify with us, but any Democrats who can't support a living wage when there are no Republicans to stop them ought not be called Democrats any longer.

          Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

          by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:02:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So a Democrat has to be as progressive (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AlexDrew

            as the most progressive people here?  

            Do you really think that all elected officials with a "D" behind their name must toe the party line on everything?  

            Some Democrats may well see the need for an increase in the minimum wage but also see the need -- for example -- to protect small businesses, and to allow companies to hire teenagers at a slightly lower cost for summer jobs, for example (the 85% for six months or less).  Does that make them traitors?  Does that mean you want to kick them out of the party?  

            Just like Republicans have different factions and there needs to be some negotiation among the party if they are to get anything passed with a "Republican majority" (see, e.g., the House) Democrats also have different factions and need to negotiate within their party to get things passed even when they have a majority of people in a body with a "D" behind their name.  

            •  No, a Democrat has to actually give a fuck (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              unfangus, Odysseus, Tonedevil

              whether their waitress can afford to eat and buy her kid school supplies.

              A Democrat has to be smart enough to understand that even if they come from a soft middle-class upbringing and have never known want, many a teen is actually supporting themselves or helping to support their family on that minimum wage job.

              It's not Richie Cunningham at dad's store for prom money, most of the time.

              There is no part of letting people who have no idea what it is to live on minimum wage opine about what those damn poor people should be settling for that has any place in a working peoples party, and this party has no hope of ever taking Congress again except as a party that serves poor and working people first.

              Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

              by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:02:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow. So this is not a step forward for people who (0+ / 0-)

                support a minimum wage increase to $10.10?  

                If someone gives you MOST, but not all, of what you want, is not worth anything?  

                If they support a bill that's most of what you want, but not 100% everything you want, you call them out as HURTING things rather than supporting a step forward giving you most of what you want?  

                Seriously?  

                •  This isn't even close, let alone "most", and (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  unfangus, Odysseus, AlexDrew, Tonedevil

                  it's not about wants, it's about needs.

                  You're effectively a straight person insisting gay people should thrilled with limited civil unions.

                  It's not your place.  But inside the pervasive bubble of economic privilege that shapes all discussion here, I don't expect to have much company in calling you out on it.

                  Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

                  by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:14:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Cost of living varies by a factor of 2.5 within US (0+ / 0-)

                  For example, Dothan, AL to Manhattan.  That an official figure that is is probably understated.  

                  There is much room for local minimum wage rates higher than the national rate.

  •  They're raising the minimum wage. (5+ / 0-)

    That is something to applaud. If having the wage increase more slowly is what it takes to get legislators pn board, that's a worthy compromise.

    •  As we keep hearing from people who make nothing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      near the minimum wage and who aren't impacted one way or the other.

      Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

      by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:04:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And what do the working poor tell you? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2, AlexDrew

        That they'll be happy to keep waiting?

        Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

        by Bob Love on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:07:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am the working poor. I don't have to go ask (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfangus, Odysseus

          someone else.

          If "the working poor" were a "they" instead of a "we" for me, I suppose I'd see the merit in arguing that Democrats with complete control of a state government should be very very careful to avoid actually using the power voters entrusted to them for the benefit of those voters.

          This isn't a debate about whether Democrats in the Senate should pass even a 9.00 minimum wage if they can get it through the House without selling out on other issues to such a degree that they do more harm than good.

          They actually have to negotiate with Republicans.

          This is a debate about whether far less than a living wage ought to be the goal when Democrats control a whole state.

          Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

          by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:12:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  MN State democratic lawmakers (0+ / 0-)

            Don't look at the minimum wage from a 'have not' point of view. Many of them own companies, both large and small. They look at the wages with an owner's eyes, and a legislator's need to keep the peace with both sides. I have given it some thought since last week when it was pretty certain, and at first look couldn't see why they didn't go for $10.10. People in jobs making $10 now will expect raises to keep them that same distance ahead. In the bigger cities $10.10 will probably be the prevailing starting pay, but in smaller local economies $8.00 is better for starting. People here get raises. My understanding is that tipped labor gets a better deal here too.
            What scares me is having all those people with more money than I have each month that I will be competing with for goods and services. Raising minimum wage will give Social Security less purchasing power.

      •  Minnesota has the 4th lowest poverty rate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Penny GC, AlexDrew, BMScott

        The minimum wage isn't the whole story.  One reason it hasn't been a huge issue is that most people aren't stuck in minimum wage jobs over the long term.  On the other hand, we do healthcare and education and stuff that makes the folks able to get and retain better jobs.

        I figure it's a lot more important for Democrats in my state to be strong on supporting Obamacare, Minnesota Care, Medicaid, tuition support, aid to education, than falling on their swords on this issue.

        •  What imaginary swords are these? (3+ / 0-)

          You keep arguing that passing an actual living wage is just a crazy idea, and that therefore it's necessary to fall short of that goal.

          You don't actually demonstrate a downside to passing one.

          Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

          by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:06:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The downside is overreaching and losing control (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AlexDrew

            of the legislature on an issue that isn't as important in Minnesota as it may well be in states with higher unemployment, less economic mobility, and a poor population which has become an entrenched underclass.

            A living wage in California is not the same as a living wage in the middle west and a living wage in the middle west isn't the same as a living wage in the south.  I don't know that a national minimum wage is particularly equitable and in fact least equitable for those living on the coasts.  

            If Democrats hold out for a minimum wage sufficient for people in CA and NY, that's going to do nothing for folks in Alabama and Mississippi because they'll never get it through Congress.  Which brings up the question, do they even want to get it through Congress?    

  •  Minnesota (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, Odysseus, AlexDrew, BMScott

    First, you need to know that despite what is currently one of the lowest minimum wages in the US, Minnesota ranks low in both unemployment and poverty.  Second, you need to know that Minnesota Democrats have been extremely successful on a broad range of issues from marriage equality through freezing state tuition to stronger labor legislation to infrastructure spending and that this bill will be viewed as a win for Democrats while making reasonable concessions to Republicans.  This is how Minnesota Democrats will retain control of the governor's mansion and the state house in 2014.  That will have nothing to do with the national party.

  •  Indexing minimum wage to Inflation rather (0+ / 0-)

    than a realistic COLA is not a progressive move.

    It locks the poorest workers into wages no better than their grandparents earned under JFK, no matter what happens to productivity.

    To see it as a positive is to believe it's right and good that the working poor should never benefit from increasing prosperity.

    Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

    by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:55:19 AM PDT

    •  Indexing to inflation... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, AlexDrew

      ...is a whole lot better than no indexing at all, which is the current situation.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:16:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It cuts the next debate out (0+ / 0-)

        entirely.

        The counter argument we'll be hearing from the day this bill passes forward from people like doc2 and coffeetalk is that "it's adjusted for inflation so there should be no raises".

        Indexing for inflation locks in a ceiling, not a floor.

        Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

        by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 08:04:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing is "locked in". (0+ / 0-)

          The legislature can make additional increases as needed, and the capped nature of the indexing is an obvious thing that can be pointed when the time comes, to explain why it's necessary.

          You keep talking about "complete control of the legislature" as if the individual legislators were mindlessly carrying out the whims of one party leader, or that Republicans were the only obstacle that might need to be negotiated with.  Blue Dog types exist in state legislatures as well, and in smaller legislative bodies it doesn't take very many of them to sink a bill that the Republicans are 100% opposed to.  This is the compromise that was able to pass.  Compare it to last year in MN, when both the House and the Senate wanted to raise the minimum wage, but by different amounts -- and we ended up with nothing.

          If you want to complain about the individual legislators (Democratic and otherwise) that weren't on board with better legislation, fine.  It doesn't make sense to heap such criticism on those who pushed for something better and managed to get a significant improvement pushed through, even if it's not perfect.

  •  BTW - if "we" wanted a goal wage of even (2+ / 0-)

    a truly meager 10.10, "we'd" be pushing for a hell of a lot more instead of pre-capitulating.

    People aren't fighting for fifteen aren't fucking serious.

    Everyone should read the response to the hiddens once a day. They'll find the same trolls jumping on corpses and squealing with glee over and over.

    by JesseCW on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:56:49 AM PDT

  •  So how long should the working poor wait (2+ / 0-)

    in Maryland and Minnesota?

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 07:05:28 AM PDT

  •  Two Maryland counties have gone beyond (3+ / 0-)

    the federal proposal.  Prince George's and Montgomery counties (adjacent to DC) have gone beyond the federal proposal.

    Raising the minimum wage by any means politically possible under the circumstances is the right thing to do.  It can be raised again.

  •  There's always next session (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unfangus, BMScott

    The originally proposed bill by Gov. O'Malley was to have $10.10, indexed to inflation, and raise tipped workers to 70% of minimum wage. As usual in politics, we didn't get all what we originally wanted. Sorta like what happened with the ACA.

    Also, this being an election year, legislators may not have wanted to rock the boat too much lest they scare off donors. Combined with the bills passed last session (such as the Stormwater Remediation Fee), Maryland legislators tend to be averse to passing tax raising and/or business impacting bills close to elections.

    The legislation also includes a hike in the pay for caregivers of the developmentally disabled. That seems like a plus to me.

    Is the bil perfect? Nope. Can it be fixed next legislative session? No reason it can't.

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