Just to take a brief break from all the Republican primary for AG, we found this little article about a hearing in Congress this week to look at the Dept of Health and Human Services and the War on Poverty. My two favorite parts:
Texas Republican Congressman Roger Williams described himself as “a job creator” who has owned and operated his family car business for forty-two years.
“Don’t you think a lot of this debate is the fact we’ve lost our family values? We’ve got single parents and so forth and we need to get back to that?” Williams asked Sr. Simone.
“I practiced family law for 18 years in Oakland, California. I found with low-income families that the biggest cause of family break up was economic stressors,” said Sr. Simone. “So I think the most important piece we could do to support families would be to raise the minimum wage.”
“Or you could do away with the minimum wage,” said Williams.
Y’all have to excuse Brother Williams because he comes by his stupid naturally. After falling out of the right vagina (isn’t this becoming kind of a thing with self righteous Republicans talking about how people should lift themselves up?), he spent years and years in bidness at his family’s car dealerships. So, obviously, he knows everything there is to know about poverty and paying people a subsistence wage that’s enough to keep them coming into work thoroughly demoralized and hopeless. Since he’s never really had to live in the real world on the minimum wage, he has no idea what it’s like.
And no, I really don’t either but I have a pretty damn good imagination and have figured out I spend more on groceries, bar tabs and entertainment than I would make if I earned the minimum wage.
Roger also doesn’t realize that the ‘theory’ positing that elimination of the minimum wage will eliminate unemployment is boneheaded dumb, mostly because he wants desperately for it to be true and refuses to look at the facts. The minimum wage came into existence because we had severe social stratification and little social mobility in this country, coupled with a need to get the economy moving again. The only real way to do that, in a predominantly consumer economy, is to make sure more money goes to the bottom. Obviously, this is anathema to Williams because his ideas about how to get the economy moving are all based on discredited trickle down theories.
Roger just wants to ignore history and conveniently forgets (if he ever really knew) that when the minimum wage was highest in terms of purchasing power, the economy grew dramatically.
The other part that caught my eye was this from Chairman Ryan himself:
As the hearing came to a close, Chairman Ryan said, “I think you can tell that the rhetoric is still mired in the status quo… Hopefully we can get past the status quo, past the rhetoric, and collectively focus on evidence-based solutions.”
But the fact is that there was plenty of evidence offered during the hearing about what works. The Chairman just chooses to ignore it.
Bless his heart, he just doesn’t get that when reality conflicts with ideology, reality should win.