Thursday, March 6, 2014

Six In Ten Small Business Owners Want A $10.10 Minimum Wage... Its the reactionaries who oppose it.

In some positive polling news it appears that small business owners support creating a middle out economy [Side note: Read 'Middle-Out' Economics: Why the Right's Supply-Side Dogma Is Wrong - Eric Liu & Nick Hanauer - The Atlantic]. My hunch is that small business owners understand that when workers have more money in their pocket they spend it. 

Think Progress has more
Nearly six in 10 small business owners support raising the minimum wage to $10.10, according to a new poll on behalf of Small Business Majority (SBM), with most respondents citing the prospect of increased consumer demand and improved competitiveness with large chain retailers as reasons for their endorsement of the wage hike. 
The poll found 57 percent of small business owners support a $10.10 federal minimum wage, with 27 percent strongly in favor of the idea. The entrepreneurs polled were predominantly Republican, with 47 percent identifying as Republican or Republican-leaning as compared to just 35 percent who identified more with the Democratic party. Two thirds of the businesses polled had less than half a million dollars in revenue in 2013, and 59 percent of the business owners were older than 50 years of age.
As  T. William Lester, David Madland, and Jackie Odum noted back in December over at the Center for American Progress raising the minimum wage will help the economy
 Raising the minimum wage would be good for our economy. A higher minimum wage not only increases workers’ incomes—which is sorely needed to boost demand and get the economy going—but it also reduces turnover, cuts the costs that low-road employers impose on taxpayers, and pushes businesses toward a high-road, high-human-capital model.
Despite these positive benefits, and the sad fact that the minimum wage is worth far less today than it was in the late 1960s, with the Senate set to vote to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, opponents will likely trot out the same unfounded argument that the minimum wage reduces employment. And with today’s unemployment rate stuck above 7 percent, we anticipate these types of arguments to reach a fevered pitch.
The reality is that those opposed to increasing the minimum wage don't oppose it for economic reasons.  They oppose it for ideological and anti-democratic reasons.  They seek to shift power away from the state creating a wage floor that protects everyone and into the hands of owners who are then able to drive down wages and make people more desperate and dependent on their employer.  

Corey Robin has a good breakdown of that in a post Why the Left Gets Neoliberalism Wrong: It’s the Feudalism, Stupid!
 the real, or at least a main, thrust of neoliberalism, according to some of its most interesting and important theoreticians (and its actual practice): not to liberate the individual or to deregulate the marketplace, but to shift power from government (or at least those sectors of government like the legislature that make some claim to or pretense of democratic legitimacy

If you've never read Robin's book The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palinyou should check it out.

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