Minimum Wage an Issue in 2014 Elections?

This morning, Atlanta’s WSB TV brings us news of demonstrators at a city Burger King rallying for an increase in the minimum wage. A similar effort is planned for noontime at a Ponce De Leon Avenue McDonalds.

Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner reports today that the minimum wage is turning into a wedge issue for Democrats in battleground states, including Georgia.

With polls indicating the Republican Party may retake the Senate in the November midterm elections, candidates such as Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky and Michelle Nunn in Georgia pushed an increase in the minimum wage especially hard over the Labor Day weekend, since it is among the few issues where they hold a clear advantage.

The Democrats’ push builds on earlier efforts by liberal activists to raise the issue in battleground states, in effect priming the pump for the fall elections.

Democrats hope the minimum wage issue will drive turnout in states like Georgia, where a bill to raise the minimum wage introduced at the beginning of the year didn’t make it through the legislature.


  1. John Konop says:

    A simple compromise raise the minimum wage above the poverty line and decrease taxes with the savings from less welfare. It would stimulate the economy with higher wages and tax savings from less welfare both being spent and or invested.

    • saltycracker says:

      And the minimum wage to get above the poverty line is….?
      The goal is to increase both to keep welfare coming isn’t it ?

      • John Konop says:

        HUH? The idea is to decrease dependency on tax payers, stimulate the economy and increase demand with more dollars to spend by tax payers having lower taxes, working poor having more money to spend, while lower welfare cost.

        The rate per hour would vary based on each state….

        • saltycracker says:

          It was a snark but really, in Georgia the min. wage to meet your point is $7.50 (lower if “low” isn’t poverty)
          Here is what I found:

          Low income in Georgia is considered anyone making less than $15,600 annually for one person. The national poverty level is $10,400 for one person.

          $15,600 annually at 40 hours a week for a full 52 weeks comes out to $7.50 hourly.

          These answers are not the same for more than one person so should not be considered a “per person” calculation.

          Low income table
          1person = 16,400
          2people = 21,400
          3people = 26,400
          4people = 31,800
          5people = 37,200
          6people = 42.600
          7people = 48,000
          8people = 53,400
          United States Department of Health and Human Services
          United States Department of Education

    • Baker says:

      I hesitated to weigh in on this one because my nature is to say minimum wage hikes are just inflationary and will mean fewer people working and fewer younger people getting a foundation for work in the future….however….

      It would never happen but if by some way you were able to get Dems to agree to less welfare spending I say let’s do it. Everybody wants this so bad? (even though on paper it’ll do what I said above), okay fine, but let’s offset it….

      …but the left would never agree to that.

    • Will Durant says:

      The problem is the “have-nots” keep increasing. Even taking minimum wage out of the equation we are not told how many of the new jobs created in the “recovery” are McJobs without benefits. Without universal healthcare and some kind retirement plans beyond a dwindling Social Security, a job paying $25 per hour without benefits isn’t sufficient to keep one from being a “have-not”.

        • John Konop says:

          Would it not better to lower welfare and taxes… trade for people working making money above the poverty line? Would this not promote self reliance over government hand outs?

          • Noway says:

            John, you’re saying that raising the minimum wage would help in doing the things you just listed? Would it not also cut potential jobs by raising the cost to employers who offered them?

            • John Konop says:

              Not combined with lower taxes less welfare ie more money to spend….and working former poor people having more money to spend….ie increase demand……..As Henry Ford said you need people to make enough money to buy the products they produce…

          • Harry says:

            Unfortunately the tendency is for more people to look to government as their patron or savior. I’m not sure increasing the minimum wage would fix that.

              • Harry says:

                I guess that would work as long as there’s no inflation and they don’t raise the definition of poverty. Also, I understand that some (many) union contracts have their benefits set at a multiple of the minimum wage.

                  • Harry says:

                    In order to have believable tax cuts they have to cut the federal budget. That’s not gonna happen in today’s world. We’re at the end of the rope, about to be the new Argentina.

                    • John Konop says:

                      The window rate for debt is cheap now….which is why the debt is declining on a % combined with economic growth…..If we can increase growth which this would do, it would lower the debt faster, and why we could afford the cuts at the rate we saved on welfare….

                    • John Konop says:


                      FYI..BTW growth is about 2 % we need 4 to 5% growth….

                      ………..Since the recession ended four years ago, the federal budget deficit has topped $1 trillion every year. But now the government’s annual deficit is shrinking far faster than anyone in Washington expected, and perhaps even faster than many economists think is advisable for the health of the economy.

                      That is the thrust of a new report released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, estimating that the deficit for this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, will fall to about $642 billion, or 4 percent of the nation’s annual economic output, about $200 billion lower than the agency estimated just three months ago……


  2. Three Jack says:

    The ONLY reason min wage is an issue this election cycle is because dems needed something/anything to divert attention from their failed run as a majority over the past few years. They know this cycle favored GOPers so come up with something that will attract mindless voters to the polls. Minimum wage, equal pay, FMLA all fit into this category and will continue to be used through November.

    Unfortunately GOPers let it happen because they have no agenda at all other than be against everything. If the GOP or at least some candidates running under the banner had put forth a growth oriented agenda based on tax reform, they could have owned the debate. Now most candidates will be put in the untenable position of opposing higher wages, equal pay and more government mandated off time.

  3. Harry says:


    The NYT article is dated May 24, 2013. The federal deficit for FYE 9/30/2013 was “only” $680 billion. The deficit was so “low” because Freddie and Fannie paid back a large part of their bailouts with found money which will not continue. Also, artificial Fed-fixed interest rates help the federal deficit but discourage savings for small-scale capital expansion, which has a direct impact on the employment rate and salaries. Also, the sequester helped the deficit! Meanwhile all components of US debt (public and private) keep expanding.

    GDP growth for 2014 will likely be around 1% this year and 1.6% over the next decade. Productivity growth has been only 0.6% for the last 4 years.

    There’s just no free lunch.

    • John Konop says:


      GDP growth was over 4 % the second quarter….the reason was because weather hurt the first quarter…when blended it is 2 %….I watch this like a hawk…..

      U.S. second-quarter growth strengthens

      …….Gross domestic product expanded at a 4.2 percent annual rate instead of the previously reported 4.0 percent pace, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

      Both business spending and exports were revised higher, while a buildup in business inventories was smaller than previously estimated – a mix of growth that provides a stronger underpinning for the remainder of the year.

      Separate reports showing a second straight weekly decline in the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits and a jump in home purchase contracts also suggested underlying momentum in the economy.

      “The economy is in good shape and getting better,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisers in Holland, Pennsylvania.

      While the economy shrank at a 2.1 percent rate in the first quarter, economists expect growth of around 2 percent for the year as a whole, with GDP expanding about 3 percent in 2015……

      • Harry says:

        The revised CBO growth rate for 2014 is just 1.5%. I posted the link here several days ago.

        I don’t believe any estimates for 2015 and 2015; those are vapor. The actual (revised) GDP growth rate for 2013 was 1.9%, according to the Commerce Department , down from 2012’s 2.8%. But if you believe forecasts, the annual interest payments on the national debt is supposed to triple in the next several years. That will certainly ruffle some feathers in the henhouse, assuming they don’t invent some Chapter 13 workout for the Treasury which is exactly what will happen. Argentina is the future.

        • John Konop says:


          We both agree 2% is about right… know if it grows to 3 or 4% it will have a material positive effect…..back to the topic….what I proposed would grow GDP…..what am I missing?

          • Harry says:

            Does increasing the minimum wage increase real GDP, after inflation? If businesses and consumers have to spend more money without a corresponding value add, thus leaving less income for other forms of more productive spending, I would question whether it will have a positive effect on GDP.

            • John Konop says:

              If the tax breaks were given at the rate we were giving away welfare it should be a growth for GDP….logic being that if money goes to a person directly verse being given by welfare it is more efficient ie growth….

  4. MikeS says:

    Low skilled people earn more money by working more hours. I know a fellow who earned a good living by working 60 to 70 hrs a week in a factory. Tough, but that is what he had to do to earn an upper middle class life style.

    The problem today is that federal regulations prevent many workers from working more than 26 or 30 hours. That makes it even harder for low skilled workers to feed their family. With less than 40 hr week, it is hard to learn the skills and work ethic needed to get ahead. We can squarely blame the executive branch of the Federal Government for this.

    • John Konop says:

      ………federal regulations prevent many workers from working more than 26 or 30 hours……

      HUH? what rule is that? If so we are all violating a lot of rules….

  5. saltycracker says:

    Stating the obvious, less deficit spending just means your debt is increasing slower. But it is stIll rising. Something that was freaking us out 8 years ago until we started printing more more money and the world raised our credit card limit.

    Lots of folks would like to worry about the debt as a percentage of GDP but some say that is a weak benchmark. The situation is much worse. When we look at debt to tax revenue we are nation with a problem #3 in the world.

Comments are closed.