Republican banker French Hill declared clearly yesterday that he opposes ANY increase in the minimum wage, state or federal. His Democratic opponent, Patrick Henry Hays, favors the ballot initiative that would increase the current state minimum of $6.25 an hour to $8.50 by 2017.
Polls show huge majorities support an increase in the minimum wage, which — if someone is employed 40 hours a week — provides $13,000 a year to support a worker and, often, family.
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I’m not in favor of increasing the minimum wage because I don’t want to see any barriers to creating early employment and creating more jobs, and the Congressional Budget Office – even in their most conservative assessment – says it’ll cost about a half million jobs nationwide.
Two things illustrated here: 1) Many economists disagree with this CBO assessment. 2) It applied to an increase in the FEDERAL minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2016, not the far more modest Arkansas proposal. It’s pretty safe to say that French HIll, a regular on the Country Club of Little Rock golf course, is out of touch with the people whose lives would be enriched by a few more nickels.
Speaking of French Hill, this hardly bears comment:
When prompted, Hill said he thinks Iraq war architects Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Paul Bremmer have “wisdom” and should be listened to.
Sure. Listen to them. And do the opposite of whatever they say.
UPDATE: The Democratic Party piles on Hill’s remarks, noting that he opposes a minimum wage increase while advocating a corporate tax break that would inordinately benefit wealthier taxpayers.
ALSO: In response to question, it costs roughly $46,000 in initiation fee to join the Country Club of Little Rock, where Hill golfs. If you are invited. The monthly dues are about $550 a month, or $6,600 a year. You also have to pay extra to rent a golf cart. Tips to the staff are discretionary.