The Terrible Fear of Paying the Poor Too Much

By:  Leo W. Gerard

Republicans in America suffer a crippling anxiety. It’s the terrible fear of corporations paying poor workers too much.

The GOP is so afraid that the nation’s lowest wage earners will get a raise that Republican politicians across the country are working overtime to outlaw wages above $7.25 an hour for these workers. 

They’re passing legislation forbidding towns and counties from raising the minimum wage in their jurisdictions. Republicans insist: no pay bump for those raking in $15,080 a year! On the other side, however, there’s no amount of pay, perks, private jets, premium health plans and golden parachutes that Republican politicians believe could possibly be too much for a CEO.

That Oracle CEO Larry Ellison took home $78,440,657 last year is completely reasonable in the minds of Republicans. That it would take a minimum wage earner 5,201 years to earn what Larry took out of his company for one 365-day period is, according to Republican-think, a morally correct calculation.

That is why Republicans are working so hard to prevent Walmart and McDonald’s workers from earning more money while, at the same time, doing nothing but congratulating Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus for grabbing $79.9 millionfor six weeks of work.

Republican Mary Fallin, governor of Oklahoma, is among them. She signed a law last week forbidding towns in her state from increasing the minimum wage. Fallin, whose state lays claim to the third highest proportion of minimum wage earners in the country, a percentage that rose from 2011 to 2012, justified denying these workers a few extra pennies an hour by saying that would raise prices.

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