SFC (RET) U.S. Army Combat Veteran, Patriot, Conservative
Welcome to the savable: Baltimore's Democrat mayor vetoes $15/hour minimum wage
Facing reality changes things.
Maybe I missed something. Don’t Democrats believe we should have a $15 an hour minimum wage because of “dignity” or something? Don’t they believe business owners are sitting on gigantic piles of money that they’re just using to buy hot tubs and country club memberships, when they could and should be spending it to pay their poor workers more?
Actually, many (perhaps even most) Democrats do believe those things. That’s in large part because most Democrats have never run businesses and don’t have the slightest idea what it takes to make a payroll.
Catherine Pugh, a Baltimore Democrat, used to be like that. She ran for mayor and campaigned on a minimum wage increase because she thought working folks deserved more for their efforts. And she won. Now she’s the mayor.
You know what that means? It means that now she has to make a payroll. Not only that, but she has to balance a city budget, which is not easy to do – especially when the education budget alone is showing a deficit of $130 million.
So when the Baltimore City Council passed a $15 minimum wage and put in on Mayor Pugh’s desk for her signature, she shocked everyone. She vetoed it.
Why would she commit such an act of betrayal against left-wing orthodoxy on wages? Why would she pass up an opportunity to redistribute wealth, address “income inequality” and stick it to the 1 percent?
Because Mayor Pugh knows things that candidate Pugh didn’t. She knows, for one thing, that if the city had to pay all its workers a minimum of $15 an hour, it would add more than $10 million a year to the city’s own labor costs. That’s kind of a big problem when you’re already having enough trouble balancing your budget.
She also knows that if Baltimore raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour, businesses who pay minimum wage can relocate to nearby communities that have no such requirement – and Baltimore residents will lose their jobs to people in those communities.
Baltimore-area liberals are furious with Mayor Pugh, and are calling her a traitor to the cause. Well. I always say we need to save the savable, so I want to welcome Mayor Pugh to the ranks of the savable and commend her for putting the interests of Baltimore taxpayers ahead of any ideological considerations. After all, if the city raises its own wages, it’s not going to be the “1 percent” who will pay for it. It’s going to be ordinary Baltimore taxpayers, many of whom are struggling to get by just as much as the fast-food worker who dreams of making $15 an hour but is really only worth $8.75 based on experience and performance.
People who want to earn more money have to find ways to deliver more value to their employers, and the convince their employers that both parties will win because better pay will result in a better return. If you can do that, your employer won’t just pay you more, but will be glad to do it because it will be a good overall investment.
Trying to get a raise by going on strike, marching in protests or appealing to politicians is far less likely to work. Because even the most liberal politicians sometimes have their eyes opened when they have to deal with reality. As Mayor Pugh. She’s a lot smarter than candidate Pugh ever was.
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