Tuesday, August 23, 2005

But it's probably only in my head

An editorial in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review warns that legislators may try the sneaky maneouver of trying to divert attention from their recent pay-hike by taking action on the minimum wage. Preposterous that such a linkage should be suggested. If you'd like to encourage just such a "diversion," feel free to sign (or even distribute!) Neighborhood Networks' petition . . .

(via Edico)


Blogger Rep. Mark B. Cohen said...

To repeat: the vast majority of organized opposition to the legislative pay raise comes from right wingers who are deeply opposed to raising the minimum wage. These guys are against the legislative pay raise because they want a small part-time legislature in which as many people as possible are employed by right-wing special interests.

A higher paid legislature is a legislature more independent of special interests than a lower paid legislature. The less a legislator's compensation is hidden--in the form of contracts, business deals, jobs, etc.--the more accountable the legislature is to the public and the more powerful the public is with the legislature. Generally speaking, that is a good thing.

The right-wingers will actively seek to deliver the legislative votes they have demonstrated influence with (a test of that influence is a no vote on the legislative pay raise, especially for Republicans) against a minimum wage increase.

The field of possible yes votes for a minimum wage increase is disproportionately composed of those who voted for the legislative pay raise. Voting against a minimum wage increase will give them points with the right. It makes little sense to irritate the people whose support we need to increase the minimum wage by jerking them around on an issue in which they stood up the minimum wage increase's most vociferous opponents.

Our side ought to be sincere advocates of minimum wage increases. We ought not to be imitation right-wingers, because the votes we need in the legislature are gradually learning to hate the real right-wingers.

9:08 PM  

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