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March 29, 2005

Bogus "Fairness" arguments by Employers

If employers just don't like losing profits to the minimum wage, they should just say that. But when they cry crocodile tears about "fairness" for certain workes, as they are in Oregon State as they campaign to lower the minimum wage for tipped workers, it makes me gag. The employers are arguing that "the bill would make wages more fair for cooks and other restaurant employees who do not earn tips."

Conservatives often say that "fairness" by liberals means attacking those doing a bit better economically, yet this is exactly what the rightwing does every day, whether trying to lower the wage for tipped workers in Oregon or attacking union wages as "too high" in other fights.

Progressives fight to raise the wage standard of all workers towards the highest wage standards possible, while conservatives promote an equality of the race to the bottom. Theirs is the class envy of dividing workers against each other, while corporate executives and their wealthy shareholders laugh all the way to the bank.

It's a digusting rhetorical trope. If businesses complain that tipped workers make more in Oregon, the state shouldn't lower the minimum wage for tipped workers, but instead make a comparable higher minimum wage the goal for for all workers.

That's fairness, liberal-style: equality that raises everyone to a higher level, not lowers better-off workers to the lowest common denominator.

Posted by Nathan at March 29, 2005 09:15 AM