The $15 federal minimum wage died on the Senate floor last night.
Personally, I always had mixed feelings about it. I supported the idea of raising the federal minimum wage, but I wasn’t sold on $15 being the right amount for every state in the country. The cost of living is far higher in Hub Cities like New York City or Los Angeles than it is here in rural Alabama or West Virginia. The right amount for the entire country at large can’t be the right amount for service workers in a few affluent coastal cities where it is far more expensive to live than anywhere else in America.
The minimum wage in Arkansas has been raised to $11 an hour. Joe Manchin supports raising the federal minimum wage to $11 an hour. If this is good enough for Arkansas and West Virginia, it is good enough for all rural states. Raising the minimum wage to $11 an hour would have the greatest impact on workers in Red States. The minimum wage is already higher than $11 an hour in most Blue States. Instead of nationalizing the issue and running into this obvious roadblock, it would make more sense for a handful of wealthy states to raise their minimum wage to $15 like Florida did in the 2020 election. What makes no sense at all is doing nothing and keeping the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
Why aren’t the Democrats putting the Republicans on the spot? They could have put a bill for an $11 minimum wage and $2,000 stimulus checks on the floor of the Senate. It would have been interesting to watch them squirm and explain to their voters why they couldn’t support it.
Note: Jimmy Dore is right about the Top 10%.