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Obama Rolls Into North Carolina and Challenges Decades of Republican Minimum Wage Myths
President Obama did something significant that could change the lives of millions today. In Asheville, NC, the president linked raising the minimum wage to creating jobs.
The president began by saying the economy is still not where it needs to be. He said it is our job as Americans to restore the basic bargain that says you can get ahead by working hard and meeting your responsibilities. Obama calls the middle class the true engine of our economic growth. The president repeated his three questions related to jobs in his State of the Union. He said, “That’s part of the reason why I said last night that it is time for an increase in the minimum wage.”
He discussed the role of expanding expanding education from pre-school to college. The president also said, “I believe in manufacturing. I think it makes our country stronger.” Obama talked about the recovery of manufacturing in Asheville.
Obama is challenging decades of Republicans lies and mythology centered around the false belief that raising the minimum wage destroys jobs.
Fox News has wasted no time in reviving the right’s false minimum wage myths:
What should be frightening for Republicans is that President Obama is subtly linking economic growth to increasing the minimum wage. A 2011 report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that increasing the minimum wage has no discernible impact on employment, and they found that raising the minimum is likely to result in more, not fewer, jobs.
The president’s speech focused on his plan to bring even more manufacturing back to the United States but included in that plan is acknowledgement that employees need to earn higher wages. Obama was linking the creation of new jobs to higher wages. The media has mostly ignored it, but one of the biggest reforms in Obama’s second term agenda is the push to raise wages for minimum wage workers.
This effort will likely be a centerpiece behind the Democratic push to retake the House next year. For the last few years, Republicans have floated the claim that lowering the minimum wage will increase employment. Paul Krugman debunked this by writing, “So let me repeat a point I made a number of times back when the usual suspects were declaring that FDR prolonged the Depression by raising wages: the belief that lower wages would raise overall employment rests on a fallacy of composition. In reality, reducing wages would at best do nothing for employment; more likely it would actually be contractionary.”
Most of the mainstream media isn’t getting it, but President Obama has stealthily launched an effort that could boost the economy and sink the Republicans.
The focus is on the big issues of guns and immigration, but it might be the minimum wage issue that impacts the most lives and determines the outcome of the 2014 election.