this comes from last night’s youtube debate (courtesy of msnbc.com):
When was the last time a presidential candidate was forced to promise to work at minimum wage? That is effectively what happened when a voter asked whether the candidates would serve four years at $5.85 an hour rather than the president’s annual $400,000 salary.
“Sure,” replied [Senator Hilary] Clinton.
would you vote for someone who was willing to sell herself so short just to get a few votes?
seriously, this woman went to yale law school, after which she worked more than 15 years as an attorney in a chicago law firm, mixed in with spending a number of years embroiled in arkansas politics, spent eight years as first lady to one of the most popular presidents ever, after which she managed to finagle herself into being elected as the junior senator from the great state of new york. and she’s willing to work as the leader of the greatest country in the world for a mere $5.85 an hour. she is either truly the biggest bullshitter in the world or a damn fool.
the fact is that nobody should have to work for $5.85 an hour, but then again, no one has to (especially if you are a yale law school graduate). it’s just a matter of priorities. yes, sometimes we make choices where momentarily we may have to take a lower wage job to keep a roof over our heads, but there are things we can do to increase that wage. we can go to night school; work towards getting promoted; if things aren’t going well at our current job, we can look for and get another job. as individuals, we don’t have to wait around for the government to decide to tell our employer the least they can get away with paying us. here in america, with education and hard work, we can have some control over our incomes.
yet, there are people who believe that politicians have just that responsibility, to tell employers just how much they should get paid. check out this video:
she might as well just give it up and go on welfare if she’s expecting a raise in the minimum wage to raise her baby girl. or maybe someone should have told her that for a couple of hours of work at minimum wage, she could have bought herself a box of condoms and saved herself and her baby girl a lifetime of grief and hardship.
it is my belief that minimum wage should just be abolished, and that employers should be allowed to pay people what they want and/or can afford. it absolutely is not the government’s place to tell a private employer what they should pay their employees. sure, without a governmentally imposed minimum, the pay is gonna be shitty in some situations, but, more often, the employer is going to pay what he or she needs to pay to get the best people, which most likely is going to be far above the current minimum wage. supporters of a minimum/living wage conveniently forget that it was primarily designed for entry level jobs for teenagers (most of whom wouldn’t even work for minimum wage). i am so amused when i’ve heard reporters say over the past couple of days that minimum wage workers have just gotten their first raise in ten years. i’m like, damn, if you were working for $5.15 ten years ago and are just now getting a raise, you’ve got much more serious problems than just low income.
at any rate, i would not want a president willing to work for minimum wage. if she does get elected (which seems likely), i hope we remember that she said this, and that obviously while it’s not going to happen, we will get what we are willing to pay for.