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Minimum Thought

Again, this is from 2006 …

With Nancy Pelosi soon to lead the charge to increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, let’s visit a short-bit of history from the minimum wage’s most ardent supporter – the activist group Acorn.

Founded by union organizer Wade Rathke in 1970, Acorn boasts an annual budget of some $40 million and operates everything from “social justice” radio stations to an affordable-housing arm. It is best known for its campaigns against Wal-Mart, and for leading initiatives in six states to raise the minimum wage….

Acorn’s manual for minimum-wage campaigns says it intends “to push for as high a wage as possible.”

But it doesn’t pay those wages itself.

In 1995 Acorn unsuccessfully sued California to be exempt from the minimum wage, claiming that “the more that Acorn must pay each individual outreach worker . . . the fewer outreach workers it will be able to hire.” Mr. Rathke apparently believes that economics applies only to his organization and not to the greedy for-profits in the real world.

In 2005 Acorn had workers in Missouri sign contracts saying they would be “working up to 80 hours over seven days of work.” Mr. Rathke says “We pay as much as we can. If people can get more elsewhere, we wish them well.”

To call this hypocrisy does the term injustice. It doesn’t stop at the minimum wage – for a group that is at the forefront of trying to unionize Wal-Mart – it would not allow one of its own community organizers in Detroit to form a union with her co-workers. In fact, the National Labor Relations Board ordered Acorn to rehire and pay restitution to three employees it had illegally fired for trying to organize a union in 2003.

I don’t see low-income workers storming the Mall in DC demanding higher wages. But I see lots of people claiming to speak on their trampled behalf. What are the values of people who ardently support the minimum wage and union efforts, but refuse to deny these “rights” to their own employees?

2 Responses to “Minimum Thought”

  1. Harry says:

    Old Wade defines the misanthropic person.

    He thought he learned something, somewhere in his miserable life, and clung to it. Part of his core is his belief that everyone else are bastards, out to get him for all his failures, It is the sin of pride, blaming the rest of the world for one’s own weaknesses. It is being a child.

  2. Harry says:

    Many of our problems nationally are at Nancy’s feet, and the weak George Bush, who acquiesced in acceding to shuffling the deck with the stimulus of 2008. I know at least three corporate controllers in the big-time real estate business who froze all investment because of doubts about the future. Today, we have talk on Kudlow and other media about the harm today’s uncertainty has on investors, but you could see it happening far sooner than that.

    While I know that the sub-prime crisis was a house of cards, it did not help when idle comments by politicians made everybody run to the door, resulting in the inevitable overreaction.

    George W. Bush learned about voodoo economics from his father, who never got it right.

    However, we have to remember that GWB was fighting a war that continues, and he may have had to sacrifice sense for the sake of winning the larger war, even if it meant giving Nancy rule over us all for a while.

    Meanwhile, Wade Rathke remains a misanthrope. As long as we are doing ad hominem arguments, so does the very repulsive Michael Moore remain.

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