Former Florida Governor and potential GOP 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush wants a race to the bottom on wages in America. We already know what happens when we "leave matters to the private sector."
At an event in South Carolina on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was asked whether he thinks the country should raise the minimum wage or whether the wage should be left up to private companies.
“We need to leave it to the private sector,” he responded. “I think state minimum wages are fine. The federal government shouldn’t be doing this.” He went on, “The federal government doing this will make it harder and harder for the first rung of the ladder to be reached, particularly for young people, particularly for people that have less education.”
He went on to connect his opposition to a federal minimum wage to his focus on income inequality. “We’re moving to a world that is sticky in the ends, where it’s harder for people in poverty to move up and where the rich are doing really well and the middle is getting squeezed,” he said. “And any idea that makes, that perpetuates that is one that I would oppose, and I think this minimum wage idea is exactly one of those things.” He added that the people at the bottom “would be likely the ones that would lose their job. That’s how it’s always worked.”
If the minimum wage were left up to the states, right now many workers would still fare okay: the majority have raised their wages above the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. But two states actually have a lower minimum wage and five have no minimum at all. Read on...
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Jeb Bush has embraced the plight of income inequality in an apparent attempt to gain support for a 2016 presidential run. Sadly, his opposition of a federal minimum wage reveals he only cries crocodile tears for those affected by the wealth gap.↓ Story continues below ↓
If Bush were to become President and his dream to kill the federal minimum wage were realized, the consequences to America’s poor and middle class would be catastrophic. The private sector would dismantle state minimum wage laws and screw people into accepting employment for the lowest wage they can get away with.
While 3.1 million workers earned an income boost from state minimum wage increases in January, economic experts like Robert Reich feel that’s not good enough. Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, believes an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 would be highly effective at combating income inequality.
Bush is at odds with the American people on the topic of minimum wage as well. A CBS-New York Times poll conducted in September revealed that 70% support President Obama’s proposal to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.