Sunday, July 20, 2014

What I wish I could buy for $1.35

Andy Puzder is the CEO of the company that owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr. fast food restaurants. He was paid $4.4 million in 2012. That's almost 300 times what most of his workers make. Puzder opposes raising the minimum wage because he says that will harm workers.

Because Congress is ignoring the minimum wage issue various states are passing their own minimum wage laws. Thirteen states did so back at the beginning of the year (alas, not Michigan). The Center for Economic and Policy Research charted change in employment for each state and highlighted which ones increased their minimum wages. Those that did tended to have higher job growth than those that didn't.

Puzder says raising the minimum wage would push teenagers out of jobs. But 75% of those earning minimum wage are adults. And minimum wage is below livable wage in every state.

Michele Bachmann said back in 2005 that if the minimum wage law was abolished, everyone could have a job. Full employment by paying people less? This study says that doesn't work.

According to the FEC v. McClutcheon ruling handed down by the Supremes earlier this year a person is permitted to spend almost $1.3 million on House and Senate races every two years. That's $2600 directly to each of 468 candidates, plus $74,600 for PACs and the political parties.

According to Owen Poindexter of AlterNet 97% of Americans could liquidate all their assets and still not reach that amount. In contrast that $1.3 million is 0.003% (by my calculation) of David Koch's $41 billion fortune (and his brother can contribute just as much). So, of course, he will make that investment in his future and “support every pro-fracking, climate-denying, anti-tax candidate.”

So, let's see... It looks like the median wealth for Americans is $45,000. That means add in all of a family's assets, subtract out the debts and half of us have a net worth more than that, half less. According to my calculations $1.3 million hurts David Koch in the same way $1.35 hurts the rest of us. So, yes, if I could buy Congress for $1.35 I would consider it a worthwhile investment.

These billionaires are able to warp American policy decisions in ways that are harmful to 97% of us. The Supremes ruled that money is speech for less than 3% of the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment