The LA Times has this as “rejecting dogma…”

Hah! It’s a press release. Let’s see how much exposure it gets. Also, “poverty wages” is new to me. Good phrase!

Business owners applauded the introduction today of legislation to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time since 2009. U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) and Rep. George Miller (CA) introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which wouldgradually raise the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $10.10, then provide for annual increases linked to the rising cost of living. The Fair Minimum Wage Act would also gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers for the first time in more than 20 years from an abysmal $2.13 an hour at present to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage.
“At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business,” said Craig Jelinek, Costco’s President and CEO. “We pay a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states where we do business, and we are still able to keep our overhead costs low. An important reason for the success of Costco’s business model is the attraction and retention of great employees. Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.”
“The biggest problem for Main Street businesses is lack of customer demand,” said Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Director Holly Sklar. “Minimum wage increases have been so little and so late that workers making the current $7.25 an hour – just $15,080 a year — have less buying power than minimum wage workers in 1956, and far less than they had at the minimum wage’s $10.59 high point in 1968, adjusted for inflation. Corporate profits are at their highest since 1950, as a percentage of national income, while the share going to employees is near its low point. We can’t build a strong economy on a falling wage floor. Let’s raise America by raising the minimum wage.”
“We’ve been in business since 1978 and won many awards, including Maryland Small Business of the Year,” said Brian England, Owner of British American Auto Care in Columbia, Maryland. “Our employees are a big reason why. We pay our employees a fair wage with benefits. But some businesses pay so little their employees can’t make a living. That’s not right. We should be moving working Americans as far away from needing the social safety net as possible. Raising the minimum wage raises everyone up.”
Andy Shallal, owner of a group of restaurants – Busboys and Poets and Eatonville – located in Maryland, DC and Virginia, said, “Busboys and Poets was founded in 2005 and started with 30 employees. Today we have over 500 employees. Fair pay is fundamental to our success. Our minimum wage at Busboys and Poets and Eatonville is $10.25 per hour. I just signed another lease last month for another Busboys and Poets! Don’t believe it when you hear business will suffer if the minimum wage goes up. It will help our economy grow and thrive.”
Lew Prince, Managing Partner of Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Midwest’s largest independent music store, said, “The evidence that trickle-down economics doesn’t work is all around us. People are falling out of the middle class instead of rising into it. Putting money in the hands of people who desperately need it to buy goods and services will give us a trickle-up effect. Raising the minimum wage is a really efficient way to circulate money in the economy from the bottom up where it can have the most impact in alleviating hardship, boosting demand at businesses and decreasing the strain on our public safety net from poverty wages.”
“Wages are a basic cost of business and like energy, transportation and other expenses, costs change over time,” said Amy Chender, Chief Operating Officer of retailer ABC Home. “The minimum wage must increase to reflect the rising cost of living. ABC Home pays well above the current minimum wage and we are ardently committed to supporting a minimum wage raise. No business is an island. A minimum wage increase will improve our economy, and is long overdue.”

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52 replies
  1. 1
    RareSanity says:

    Extremely off-topic, I know…but Rachel Maddow is doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit right now for anyone interested.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/c....._anything/

  2. 2
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty.

    Yup, this. It’s long been obvious that far too many businessfolk are less concerned about profit than grinding employees under their heel.

    I don’t think they think of it that way, they’re just too stupid to see that they make more money by not being an asshole and instead follow the ego-flattering Ayn Rand doctrine.

  3. 3
    burnspbesq says:

    He’s a friend of them long-haired hippie-type pinko fags,
    I betcha he’s even got a Commie flag
    Tacked up on the wall inside’a his garage

    These guys are all going to get their tires slashed the next time they go to the country club.

  4. 4
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    We just got an Aldi in my home town. Starting salary is $10.25. They keep costs down by requiring you to put a quarter in mechanism to release a shopping cart, which you get back if you put the cart up when you are done.

  5. 5
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    …so I’m going to guess the wingnut response is like it was with raising taxes on the rich: “Employers are free to pay employees more, why force them with laws? nyeah nyeah nyeah.”

    That, and incoherent death threats.

    Also: I’m going to guess that “A rising tide lifts all boats” is inoperative if you propose to let it lift the lowest-down boats first.

  6. 6
    Seanly says:

    I like that they’ll raise the floor for restaurant workers. The $2.13/hr is criminal (I know they have to make up any difference with the minimum that tips don’t cover, but I’m sure that’s abused or contains boss-friendly loopholes).

    Edit: Good luck to the bill getting through this hateful, spiteful congress.

  7. 7
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: Which, actually, if they were following Randism, they would realize that paying the employee what they are worth is actually part of the philosophy. No, I don’t care for it, but I at least understand it.

  8. 8
    Chris says:

    Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty.

    RARELY is the question asked: IS OUR JOB CREATORS LEARNING?

  9. 9
    srv says:

    $10.10 is the new middle class.

    We need more striations identified so I can know where I am relative to the little people and the GOP can find ways to sway my subclass into affinity with the master 1%.

    @RareSanity: top question:

    Rachel,

    What do you think is the single worst offense being committed by the Obama administration right now? What about the Republicans in the Senate and/or House?

    next up:

    I would like to say thank you for taking the time to do an AMA. One of my concerns today is that I feel the American public is fed up with both the Congress and the media. That the bickering only divides us more as a nation at a time when we need to be looking for ways to come together.

    Your piece on Rand Paul’s 13 hour speech condensed into 60 seconds of Hitler reference was an example of the problem. The lack of understanding Godwin’s law and the use of argumentum ad logicam in the matter was disingenuous at best.

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Yup, this. It’s long been obvious that far too many businessfolk are less concerned about profit than grinding employees under their heel.

    And, as with so many of these things (like using illegal labor), it’s the big businesses using their power to screw over the small businesses by making sure the playing field stays uneven. It’s a lot easier for a big business to absorb the costs of constant turnover that goes along with a low minimum wage than it is for a small business.

    IMO, one of the biggest problems with our laissez faire system is that, by design, it gives large companies a big advantage over smaller ones and encourages conglomeration and consolidation, which isn’t good for anyone. See Macys, which is having major financial troubles right now in part because they over-expanded and bought out too many other department store chains.

  11. 11
    The Moar You Know says:

    Business owners applauded the introduction today of legislation to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time since 2009.

    Unpossible. I have been told that all businessmen are against this and that it will leave the economy in smoking ruins by every Republican and libertarian I’ve ever met.

  12. 12
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Which is to say that the small businesses need to get their shit together and ally with liberals in trying to rein in the big businesses’ excesses.

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    Look at some of the winning margins in the 2006 state referendum on this.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, there are smart, compassionate, long term oriented business men and women out there.

    The problem is, the greedy Ferengi shitstains are soiling their names as well. I’m looking at you, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Big businesses LOATHE an actual free market. Adam Smith identified this problem over 200 years ago.

    No one has ever actually read his fucking book, which explains the Cult of Rand and the Cult of Paul, as well as the Cult of Rand Paul.

  16. 16
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Who’d a thunk that paying people more means that they will spend more and therefore businesses profit? *head desk*

    Also, too, why should the Walton family get to make billions of dollars while the tax payers subsidize their workers with food stamps? Surely the teahadists don’t think they should be lining the Walton’s family pockets with tax payer money do they?

  17. 17

    @Chris:
    I understand they mostly do, it’s just that big businesses have created lobbying groups that say they’re representing small businesses. The media thinks this is awesome and would play along even if uncovering the deception wasn’t (ugh) work.

  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: But it’s BOOOORING!! Plus is there any rape or one hundred page long uplifting speeches in it? I didn’t think so!

  19. 19
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    That would be the best idea, yes. The CEO of Costco (which isn’t exactly a small business) seems to really be trying to lead the way on a lot of this stuff right now — notice that he is prominently featured in the press release.

    But there are still a whole lot of small businessmen (and I use that word on purpose) who are convinced they’re all Randian heroes and it’s The Gubbmint and Those People who are holding them back, not the unfair practices of bigger businesses.

  20. 20
    BGinCHI says:

    Fox & Friends host Thomas Jefferson:

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....;1?ref=fpb

    Doocy: So, Mr. President, what’s it like to tap that sweet slave ass?

    Gretchen Cheerleader: I wish I could have been one of your slaves. I mean, free room and board? Sign me up.

    Dark-haired Irish-American Bigot: Yeah, but the raping…

    Doocy: Don’t be so judgmental, midget.

    Jefferson: My house has many gadgets.

    And…… scene.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Surely the teahadists don’t think they should be lining the Walton’s family pockets with tax payer money do they?

    SASQ: Yes. Because the Waltons are blessed by the deity of the Teatards, Mammon.

  22. 22
    Sasha says:

    “The biggest problem for Main Street businesses is lack of customer demand.”

    A company head that doesn’t subscribe to supply-side economics. Somebody pinch me.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Costco is LOATHED on Wall Street for actually giving a fuck about the long term vs. the short term.

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Also, too, why should the Walton family get to make billions of dollars while the tax payers subsidize their workers with food stamps? Surely the teahadists don’t think they should be lining the Walton’s family pockets with tax payer money do they?

    The fact that the Waltons have billions of dollars proves that they’re smart in business (and probably God’s favorites), so teabaggers don’t mind that their tax dollars go to support Walmart’s employees. If that wasn’t the way God intended it, then the Waltons wouldn’t be rich in the first place.

  25. 25

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I think it’s more that the Waltons aren’t Them. There’s a little bit of ‘prosperity gospel’ in this, but two other big effects are ‘Us are no longer in control of the US, SCORCH THE EARTH BLACK HELICOPTERS AAAAUGH!’ and ‘This businessman likes fucking over the weak. He’s just like me!’

    EDIT – I think the motivating factor is hate, not reverence.

  26. 26
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Aha, OK. Pardon. Misunderstood Ayn Randism, since they probably haven’t bothered to read the books themselves.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yep. Wall Street wants their quarterly returns and nothing else. Anyone who thinks past the next quarter is universally ridiculed.

  28. 28
    piratedan says:

    @srv: and no one seems to mind the fact that there was a full minute worth of Hitler comparisons to extract from the filibuster enacted by Senator Paul.

  29. 29
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mnemosyne: oh there is a long Facebook post floating around how Wal Mart succeeds at everything while the government fails at everything. And Walmart has only been in business 40 years while the government has been around 230 dontchaknow.

  30. 30
    Petorado says:

    We’ve normalized immoral and inhuman behavior by corporations and the business community by blankly accepting the fact that when they treat people grievously that it’s in the nature of business to be as selfish and petty as possible. Of course business will use their power over individuals, try to fleece the government, and covertly do bad things — they’re just trying to make a profit. As soon as we see that profit is only a good thing when it is done honestly and without malice, then we can finally draw a clear line between ethical business behavior and organized crime.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    That explains a lot.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    It’s actually a point of pride for some teabaggers to rob the government of as much as they can, so I’m not at all surprised that they would applaud Walmart for taking government money to keep their business running. They loves them some ripoffs.

  33. 33
    gene108 says:

    @Kay:

    Look at some of the winning margins in the 2006 state referendum on this.

    That’s always baffled me about why raising the Federal minimum wage is so damned hard. There have been many referendums, in multiple states, both “red” states, “blue” states and “battle” ground states and raising the minimum wage ALWAYS PASSES WITH HUGE MARGINS.

    This really is a case of the government representing special interests over the people.

  34. 34
    Suffern ACE says:

    @piratedan: no one has actually listened to the whole thing to report on just how bizarre it was. There are indeed actual abuses of power that could concern us, but we’ll take a victory for drawing the line in the sand over something that isn’t happening!

    Well that that Obama know he isn’t the boss of us, isn’t our king, and ain’t no hitler! And when it turns out he never was, we’ll claim it was us who stopped it.

  35. 35
    kay says:

    @gene108:

    I stood next to labor people when they were gathering signatures ( “helped” really exaggerates my role) and people who signed said again and again that it was “fair”. I heard that word over and over. “Well, that seems FAIR”

  36. 36
    TriassicSands says:

    then provide for annual increases linked to the rising cost of living.

    I hope they’re going to use the chained CPI — I mean, it wouldn’t be the US minimum wage if it weren’t already falling behind the actual cost of living the day after it is raised.

    The new, more conservative measure of cost of living increases is all the rage now in DC, helped immensely by the loving embrace of a certain chief executive, but once they get that fully in place in US laws, I’m sure someone will come up with an even more “accurate” (i.e., less generous) measure of the cost of living. Perhaps we can call it the “bound and gagged CPI.”

  37. 37
    Michele C says:

    What this gave me was a list of companies that I’m more willing to patronize. I have teasingly said that it’s my capitalist way of being socialist, in that I’m supporting fairness within the system.

    @kay: What were they gathering signatures for?

  38. 38
    Pooh says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    This. The glibertarians either ignorantly or (I suspect) intentionally ignore the fact that government power is not the only thing that can cause a negative distortion in the free market. I mean theory if monopoly pricing is what 3rd day of micro 101 stuff?

  39. 39
    kay says:

    @Michele C:

    For a ballot issue on raising the minimum wage. One needs X numver of signatures to place it on the ballot. 2006.

    I was laughing because it was UAW and they went into the most unfriendly, hostile small town that I know of. It’s a weird place. French- German, they spoke French there when it was settled and all the street names are French. It’s locally famous for being insular and hostile.

    Anyway, it went fine but I was thinking “WHY are they going there?”

    I don’t even go there. I drive thru :)

  40. 40
    catclub says:

    @srv: I bet Rachel Maddow could bat that ‘Hitler composite filibuster’ complaint out of the park.

    1. If Rand Paul Does not want his speech summarized that way, do not put in all those inane Hitler references.

    2. They say in each porn film there will be a short samples of all the various kinks that will attract viewers to that particular kink. (A friend told me.)
    Likewise with Rand Paul’s speeches. A bit of anti-amero, a bit of anti-hitler, a bit of anti- black helicopters, a bit of agenda 21.
    I am feeling kind of dirty even knowing _of_ all those kinks.

  41. 41
    catclub says:

    @Suffern ACE: Walmart did not have the three fifths flaw in its founding documents. No wonder it is doing better.

  42. 42
    gene108 says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I’d like to see Wal-Mart’s space program go toe-to-toe with NASA. Also, too no stealing tech developed by NASA. I’m sure the Walton’s could do better from scratch.

  43. 43
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Because if the Walton family has more money, then Stan Kroenke can give Arsenal more money to buy players, which will make Piers Morgan happy. You have a problem with that?

  44. 44
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Slightly off topic, but the selection in general at Costco sucks major donkey balls compared to BJ’s Club here in Boston.

    I switched back to BJ’s after a year with Costco. Seems to me Costco is mostly interested in pushing their Kirkland house brand of everything, and not much of anything else.

  45. 45
    Scotius says:

    @Kay:
    It’s really sad that more voters in Colorado wanted to deny gay people the right to marry than to increase the minimum wage.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I just read somewhere that the Costco/Kirkland vodka might actually be Grey Goose in Kirkland bottles. So the “store brand” aspect may be less chintzy than you suspect.

  47. 47
    Anna in PDX says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Yeah your point about the Waltons is somethign that I have just never understood. Aren’t they “moochers”? How come not?

  48. 48
    kay says:

    @Scotius:

    It is, but that may be because there was less organized opposition to the minimum wage. It brought out “our” voters but not “their” voters.

    The OH margin is what I would expect. OH is tricky for labor, because they don’t want a “partisan label” on labor-backed issues. They lose a certain number of R voters JUST from labeling it “Democratic”

    It ended up partisan. 2006 was a wave year for Democrats and it tracks that.

  49. 49
    Emerald says:

    @Ted & Hellen: That Kirkland brand is mighty good, though. I’ve never had a complaint.

    Costco stocks good quality merchandise, and they back it up with their own guarantees too.

    And their Executive membership more than pays for itself, also too.

    Costco is setting the standard for 21st century business. Love that place.

  50. 50
    scav says:

    why am I not surprised that Brand Name rather than personal testing of quality figures so importantly in T&H’s decision rules?

  51. 51
    Shinobi says:

    Vintage Vinyl is awesome. That is all.

  52. 52
    mclaren says:

    As dismal as this stuff is, it’s still better than Matt Yglesias’ column the other day protesting that an increase in the minimum wage “imposes on the freedom of workers who want to work for less.”

    Yes indeedy, just as banning child labor infringes on the freedom of 7-year-olds who want to spend 14 hours a day working at factory lathes…

    …Just as making rape illegal infringes on the freedom of women with rape fantasies.

    Seriously. What the hell is wrong with this joke of a country? We’re now back to discredited lame-brained arguments that were laughed at back in 1906 when rich factory owners bloviated about how banning child labor would “destroy American business.”

    Ai caramba. Has there been some kind of infectious brain parasite going around lately? Have IQs dropped sharply over the last 30 years…?

    …Don’t answer that!

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