After delivering his hour-long, chewed-over state-of-the-union speech on Tuesday, President Barack Obama hit the road and issued another one of his worthless "I guarantee" promises.
As the New York Daily News reported:
Obama visited a Costco store in suburban Maryland to drive home the argument that businesses who pay higher wages can improve their bottom line. “I guarantee you if workers have a little more money in their pocket, they’ll spend more at Costco,” Obama said to applause from the workers surrounding him in blue and red vests.
Yeah, sure. How many times did Obama "guarantee" that if you like you health care insurance or doctor you can "keep it." In just one of the many, many times he made that pledge, you can see it again at about 8 minutes into the below You Tube video:
Why should Americans believe anything he says anymore. Doesn't he or his advisors understand that his credibility with Americans is sliding toward rock bottom?
Take, for example, the assertion that low-income Americans will take the increased money in their pockets from an increase in the minimum wage and spend it at Costco. Not likely. Costco serves a wealthier customer base; more than likely, they'll spend the money at Walmart or a Sam's Club.
Obama makes a big deal about Costco paying more than the minimum wage, and that other companies (unspoken, but he means Walmart) should do the same. Problem is, Walmart has many, many more employees than Costco, and the hike in the minimum wage would impact Walmart much, much more. And because Walmart is where the people that Obama is trying to help shop, they would be more directly impacted by the higher labor costs that would be passed along to them.
My own feeling is that the minimum wage debate is overheated. Government does have a proper role in encouraging, if not requiring, that employers pay their employees a decent, just and living wage. What exactly that is comes down to a political choice. Truth is, in my view, both sides exaggerate the impact and importance of the issue.
But I do agree with the critics who say that a one-size-must-fit-all approach of a mandated federal minimum wage does not take into account the significant and many differences to be found in businesses and states across America. I also get tired of hearing the assertion that if you oppose an increase to the levels demanded by one party, that you are coldhearted and don't care about people who don't have it as good as you. It's a public policy decision with lots of "nuances" and complications that require a decent, non-demagogic debate.
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