Since Republicans have been in complete control of the federal government and a majority of the states, it has become increasingly simple for any imbecile to get a fairly accurate sense of why the conservative malcontents even exist. Obviously it has nothing whatsoever to do with governing to advance the general welfare of the United States of American or the people; they exist to serve the filthy rich, evangelical extremists, bigots, and two specific foreign nations. The problem with having a white trash punk occupying the White House and distracting the public with a daily clown show is that there are myriad Republican atrocities occurring at an ever-alarming rate across the country with little-to-no media coverage.
This week in Missouri, the “Show Me State,” Republicans showed Missouri residents and the rest of the nation precisely how savage the GOP is to the people in their never-ending crusade to take from the working-class to enrich the wealthy and businesses. As this author has stated over the past decade; there is nothing, absolutely nothing that Republicans have done for the general welfare of the people going back to the Reagan era. In fact, in keeping with their typical policy of taking everything imaginable from the population, Missouri Republicans took any hope of escaping poverty for already low-wage workers; just to show how barbaric they can be.
The GOP-controlled state legislature passed a law forbidding any municipality in the state from raising the minimum wage. It is a practice that state-level Republicans have been implementing regularly since the people’s movement to “raise the wage” began gaining support. But Missouri is the “Show me State,” and to show the nation their cruel intentions they made matters that much worse; they cut the St. Louis area’s minimum wage by nearly 25 percent; from $10.00 an hour to $7.70.
What started this most recent Republican outrage is what typically incites Republicans to barbarism; someone did something that benefitted Americans and in this case it was a city’s assistance for low-wage workers in the St. Louis city limits. The state GOP passed a “preemption” law forbidding localities from helping their workforce climb out of poverty. Missouri’s Republican governor, Eric Greitens, said he will allow the law to go into effect to ban cities and counties statewide from raising the minimum wage one penny higher than the Republican approved minimum.
The downgrade will officially go into effect on August 28 and for poverty wage workers in St. Louis, their wages will be “pushed back down” to where state Republicans say they belong; from $10 to $7.70 per hour.
As is typically the case, Republicans claim that paying workers more than slave wages will kill jobs – a claim that has been debunked regularly. The state’s governor is too much of a coward to sign the bill into law and make it his own, so he is just letting it go into effect. Missouri’s Constitution only requires a governor’s signature if they intend to veto a piece of legislation. Still, those workers in St. Louis will remember who is responsible for cutting their wages over a regularly debunked Republican lie. The governor said Republicans had to cut existing wages by 23 percent in a couple of months to save jobs. Greitens said, “the St. Louis minimum wage would kill jobs. And despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of people’s pockets.”
Greitens statement is contrary to the facts and he knows it, but he is a Republican and lying to enrich business is one of the primary reasons he is in politics; it is obviously not to help the people. Raising the minimum wage from “slave level” to just poverty level does not impact jobs negatively, but it does help the workers survive and that is abhorrent to Republicans.
According to one of myriad economists’ studies, a minimum wage increase in one area does not affect the level of employment in surrounding areas. According to a research economist with the Center for Equitable Growth, Ben Zipperer; “At least at the county level, on average, we don’t see major spillover effects.”
One study conducted by U.C. Berkeley researchers revealed that even though the restaurant industry employs mostly low-wage workers, they found that among San Francisco restaurants, a 2004 wage hike from $6.75 to $8.50 had absolutely “no effect on employment growth.”
The city of St. Louis originally passed the small, incremental minimum wage hike two years ago, and business groups immediately filed suit to stop it. However, their efforts were temporarily thwarted when the case went to the Missouri Supreme Court where Justices ruled the St. Louis wage hike was lawful. Undeterred, Republicans rushed to defend business, passed the new state preemption law, and effectively rendered the Court’s ruling irrelevant. St. Louis workers will get a wage cut from $10 to $7.70 per hour and no other municipality in Missouri will ever raise the minimum wage again.
This nasty Republican and Koch brother idea of passing preemption laws has become wildly popular in GOP-controlled states, especially since more cities and counties have tried to help their workforces by doing what state and federal Republicans refuse to do on principle; raise the minimum wage. And since big business groups haven’t yet gained control over localities, they just pay Republican state legislators and governors to block them from the state capitol.
Right now, at least 17 (Republican) states have preemption laws banning localities from enacting minimum wage legislation, according to the National League of Cities. And it is noteworthy to mention that while raising the minimum wage is wildly popular among the population, Republican donors have been arguing vehemently against them with great success. And the business community has the Koch brothers money, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) behind them creating all the “model preemption legislation” Republicans and big business need to keep workers poor earning wages at below poverty levels.
With the level of success the Koch-funded ALEC is having giving Republican state legislatures a means of keeping low-wage Americans in poverty, it is not a stretch to predict that Republicans in Congress will take the “preemption legislation” to heart, and ban the states from helping their citizens climb out of poverty.