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Republican Official: Don't Raise Minimum Wage--Workers Will Only Spend It on Heroin

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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    The Maine Heritage Policy Center launched a campaign this week against a November referendum to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 per hour to $12 per hour by 2020.

    It’s off to a rocky start.

    The Center, which is connected to billionaires Charles and David Koch, announced its opposition during a press conference in the capital Augusta, where business owner Rick Snow, who is running for office in Maine, suggested that raising the wage would only provide more drug money to poorly paid workers.

    “Where would that money be spent? We’ve heard about the opiate issues in the state of Maine. Are we going to add more income to individuals so they can spend it on illegal activities? I’m very concerned about that,” said Snow, Republican candidate for District 47 in the Maine House of Representatives and former director of Maine’s Bureau of Labor Standards, according to The Maine Beacon.

    Blowback has been intense. Proponents of the referendum, along with people hurt by the heroin epidemic, were outraged by Snow’s comments.

    “Workers in Maine and across the country will use these raises to make ends meet, pay the rent and put food on the table for their families,” Ryan Johnson, executive director of The Fairness Project, told The Huffington Post. “Comments like these prove how out of touch these opposition groups are with the rest of America.”

    Single mothers raising their children in poverty and senior citizens who can’t afford to retire are desperate for better pay, Amy Halsted, campaign manager for Mainers for Fair Wages, said in response to Snow’s comments. By blaming this on drug users, he is punishing honest, hard-working Mainers, Halsted said.

    Snow, however, is now ready to move on from the minimum wage campaign. “I think this referendum is not something we should be focusing a lot of money and attention toward when we should be focusing on more significant concerns, like the heavy overdoses and the heroin epidemic in our state,” he told HuffPost Friday. He added that he pays his own employees above the minimum wage, and many are working their first jobs and drive nice cars.

    Officials at the Maine Heritage Policy Center claim that raising the minimum wage would lead to prices hikes and higher unemployment, though research in the state indicates otherwise.

    The referendum to raise the minimum wage will be on the ballot in the November general election, as will similar initiatives in several other U.S. states, including Arizona and Colorado. If the referendum passes, as a recent poll out of the University of New Hampshire predicts, the minimum wage will increase to $9 an hour in 2017 and by an additional dollar each year until 2020, when it will cap at $12 an hour.


    By Emily Tate - The Huffington Post/Sept. 30, 2016
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry..._57ed91a8e4b082aad9ba7491?section=us_politics
    Photo: Arizona Healthy Families
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. aemetha
    Re: Republican Official: Don't Raise Minimum Wage--Workers Will Only Spend It on Hero

    I would argue that users of heroin can drive nice cars too if they:

    A) Also sell heroin.
    B) Steal the car.
    C) Work for Rick Snow
    D) Unlikely I know since white collar folk are completely immune to the machinations of the pharmaceutical industry and subsequent opioid epidemic, but perhaps they might have an education and a good job working for someone who's not a complete arsehole.. err.. I mean Rick Snow.
  2. Budgetadvisoryservice
    Re: Republican Official: Don't Raise Minimum Wage--Workers Will Only Spend It on Hero

    You know, I think they've got a point.

    If i was having to live on $480 a week whilst working 40 hours plus travel, recreational drug consumption would, no doubt, be a weighty factor in my budget.

    I honestly don't understand how one can survive on $7.50 an hour in a modern American city.
  3. Diverboone
    Re: Republican Official: Don't Raise Minimum Wage--Workers Will Only Spend It on Hero

    Minimum wage is not meant to be a livable wage. "Minimum" is exactly what it means. It's the minimum acceptable wage for an entry level unskilled employee. If one chooses to make a career out of being an unskilled entry level employee, then they deserve no more than minimum wage.

    It's ludicrous to believe raising the minimum wage will be the remedy for those living below the poverty level. Any raise in minimum wage will be reflected by an increase in cost of services/product. Employers will pass this cost on to the consumers. Which will most likely increase the number of people living below the poverty level.

    I'm not comfortable Mr Snow's correlation between minimum wage and illicit drug users. Illicit drug use exist through all demographics. Higher wage earners are less likely to become the center of the media's attention, as there are mechanisms, that to a degree insulate them from the troubles likely encountered by the lower wage earners.

    If by some statistical chance minimum wage earners are more likely to be illicit substance users. I would believe this to be a direct result of the prohibition of those substances. A drug charge decreases the likelihood of finding gainful employment. This leaves many of those who have drug charges working for minimum wage, or even worse unemployed.
  4. Budgetadvisoryservice
    Re: Republican Official: Don't Raise Minimum Wage--Workers Will Only Spend It on Hero

    Got any data to back up either of those statements?

    I've definitely heard otherwise. A universal living wage is the only way to end poverty in a capitalist economy. I know a number of people who will never earn more than minimum wage because of circumstances which are out of their control. How about full time volunteer firefighters and paramedics? Veterans with adjustment disorders and other disabilities? Any disabled person in a less supportive community?

    I wonder how you'd feel if you woke up one day incapable of earning enough to pay the bills...

    Whatever.
  5. DeepGreenSea
    Re: Republican Official: Don't Raise Minimum Wage--Workers Will Only Spend It on Hero

    Rich white men will say and do anything-literally anything-to stay that way. If opiate addiction is in The News and seems an easy target-fair enough. They will use whatever they can and not give one tiny pebble of shit about who or what gets hurt.

    They know damn well that this argument is specious-but enough ignorant people will buy in to keep the Idea of a Living Wage far from An Agreed Upon Reality.

    In another time you see, these men would be slave owners telling abolitionists that the slaves are happy as they are (they drive nice cars!) and that freeing them would render them helpless (they'll spend the money on Dope!).

    And as far as their young employees with "nice cars?" Those employees are living at home, unable to afford to live anywhere else and the only credit they can get is for a car. In this country if you are denied the ability to borrow for a home,something that will hopefully accrue in value, someone is always willing to loan you money for a car, will loses money by the minute.

    Sigh. But they want to "own" something, have some kind of shiny token, no matter how fleeting, that they are Participants In the Game of Capitalism. So yes, they may have "nice" cars-because deep down they fear (know) that is all they will be allowed.

    Ps. Just an FYI-for possible American home buyers with challenged credit. The USDA has home loans available for lower income first time buyers with a credit score of 640 or higher. I'm not saying you will be immediately approved with that score but you are able to apply.
  6. Beenthere2Hippie
  7. Diverboone
    Re: Republican Official: Don't Raise Minimum Wage--Workers Will Only Spend It on Hero

    It would be asinine to enter into a data war, as there is just as much data to refute my statement as there is to back it up. There is no consensus among researchers as to what long term effects raising the minimum wage would have. Other than prices upon goods will rise and some jobs will be lost. But it is not known whether the benefits will out weigh the negative consequences.

    My statement is biased by how I foresee that it will affect me. My wage will not increase but the price I pay for services and goods will increase. Which sends me closer to poverty. I did not invest my time and made the sacrifices I have to be set back because others do not want to invest their time or make sacrifices. Yes I know this is being self centered. But I'm a single parent just trying to make a life for my daughter and me. I have already paid in over 10k in federal income tax alone this year. I personally feel that's more than enough sacrifice.

    You mentioned "How about full time volunteer firefighters and paramedics? Veterans with adjustment disorders and other disabilities? Any disabled person in a less supportive community?" Volunteer firefighters are just that, volunteers. They are not employed by the fire service, there for they receive no wages. Most have full time employment elsewhere or other means of income. Paramedics earn well above minimum wage. Veterans with military related disabilities receive benefits as do the disabled. These are not minimum wage earners.

    You asked "wonder how you'd feel if you woke up one day incapable of earning enough to pay the bills". If I'm "incapable" then I must be disabled. I have paid my dues to receive those benefits if ever needed.

    All this is way off the OP's topic and should find it's on thread. The correlation between illicit drug use and minimum wager earners, is what concerns me.
  8. Budgetadvisoryservice
    Re: Republican Official: Don't Raise Minimum Wage--Workers Will Only Spend It on Hero

    Not in my country, where increases in the minimum wage over the rate of inflation have been proven to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable. Improve the benefit of work and more people are prepared to seek employment.

    I don't really care for my own sake, I receive what amounts to a basic living wage because my disability is covered by the state. I have a number of friends who aren't as fortunate and for their sake I advocate for a universal wage which would negate the requirement for a minimum wage, taking significant pressure off small and social business.

    Anywho, minimum wage debates are up there with climate change and tobacco sales. The right will plead their right to profit while people die.
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