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by
Bridget Johnson

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January 23, 2014 - 8:09 am

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said Democratic proponents of raising the minimum wage are encouraging President Obama to act “boldly” on the issue even if it means bypassing Congress.

There’s a chance that Obama could threaten or even announce an executive order in his Jan. 28 State of the Union speech, which is expected to focus heavily on income inequality.

Ryan told MSNBC that he thinks “at some point” Obama will move forward with executive action, “because it’s going to reframe the argument, it’s going to bring the argument to the forefront of the national debate.”

“We’re going to be stuck in the House. There’s no way John Boehner’s going to bring up a minimum wage bill although my colleague mentioned in the last segment, you know, President Bush and other than moderate — now we see as moderate — Republicans were saying, ‘Hey, this is something that we need to do.’ So I think it can help reframe the debate, cast it front and center for us to have this national discussion.”

The congressman said the discussion “is going to be about family values. That’s what the minimum wage is about.” But he also called it an issue for midterm elections.

“That’s why I think the president has to act and he has to act boldly. And then we’ve got to obviously use this as an issue throughout this year and see how it plays in the fall and we’ve got to energize the base,” Ryan said.

“I think we all agree there’s got to be a way to slowly put this in place. We don’t want to drop it on a business person tomorrow morning,” he added, stressing they have to put a focus on the “level of unfairness, unfairness if you work 30 or 40 hours a week and you’re still living in poverty.”

“That’s not the American way. That’s not the American dream,” Ryan said. “If you work hard, you play the rules, you live a good and decent life, you raise your family properly, you work hard. You should not live in poverty in the United States with the wealthiest country and the history of this planet by far. And this is a small, small ask I think, and the economy will adjust and we’ll continue to move forward.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Tom - You're exactly right. Once the assumption is made that there is no relationship between the demand for labor and the price of labor, then the minimum wage can be set at any number one wants. I think with that assumption, $100/hr is just fine. Gets rid of poverty in an instant, NOT.

What raising the minimum wage will do is to unemploy a whole lot of people. The higher it is raised, the worse the outcome. One reason black unemployment is as high as it is, is that many blacks are unemployable at the minimum; but they keep voting for the DemocRATs anyhow.

DemocRATs love poor people. They make so many of them.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
So what should the minimum wage be? $10 per hour? Why not, as in California, $15 per hour? In which case, in order to get rid of "income inequality" why not $100 per hour? Whatever argument you apply against $100 per hour applies equally to $10 per hour or any other arbitrarily chosen governmentally mandated "minimum wage"! The ones hurt by this political posturing have been proven, time and again by real economists, to be the low income earners and the unemployed.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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When has raising the minimum wage made anyone richer?

Since when can the President make laws?

Raising the minimum wage merely causes the entire economy to readjust and in a few weeks the minimum wage worker has the same, or less, buying power they had before the wage increase. Happens every time.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Didn't Tim Ryan swear to "Support and defend the Constitution of the United States?" Guess we know what his word is good for...
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
I doubt it gets more pathetic for the Dems than this. The fool Ryan really seems to believe this is a magic fix, the fool Obama assuredly does. What else do these intellectually and morally bankrupt bone pickers have? They think this will be a banner issue for them, that it will cover the other disasters. It might resonate for the hard core Dem base, many of whom are morons, but few otherwise. It will not take Obama care and the rest of the mess off the news, which is a major reason for this slop.
An executive order for this? A president ordering companies what to pay staff. Careful there, Joe Stalin may be their hero but this is premature even for this human garbage.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every increase in the minimum wage results in fewer entry level job possibilities for low skilled young people. The statists know this, and their incessant strategy of populist demagoguery to push wage hikes is designed to remove the lowest rungs on the economic ladder to self sufficiency and artificially boost the pay scale of their fellow statist union hacks. We have three more years of rule by executive order (fiat) because Obama knows the opposition party does not have the courage to stop him.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
he only way Republicans can win on tis is to MOVE TO THE LEFT OF THE DEMOCRATS. Republicans should advocate a $50/hr minimum wage. The Dems will oppose such a huge hike. Then make the Dems defend their stinginess.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
At The Rubicon - I'm with you.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
No surprise: MSNBC didn't bother to ask the Congressman what such an executive order would look like, or where the authority could possibly come from.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
So what should the minimum wage be? $10 per hour? Why not, as in California, $15 per hour? In which case, in order to get rid of "income inequality" why not $100 per hour? Whatever argument you apply against $100 per hour applies equally to $10 per hour or any other arbitrarily chosen governmentally mandated "minimum wage"! The ones hurt by this political posturing have been proven, time and again by real economists, to be the low income earners and the unemployed.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
It should be a BILLION dollars an hour! Clearly, anyone who asks for less is a greedy heartless capitalist! Or something.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tom - You're exactly right. Once the assumption is made that there is no relationship between the demand for labor and the price of labor, then the minimum wage can be set at any number one wants. I think with that assumption, $100/hr is just fine. Gets rid of poverty in an instant, NOT.

What raising the minimum wage will do is to unemploy a whole lot of people. The higher it is raised, the worse the outcome. One reason black unemployment is as high as it is, is that many blacks are unemployable at the minimum; but they keep voting for the DemocRATs anyhow.

DemocRATs love poor people. They make so many of them.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The American Way" gives you the opportunity, not the guarantee. What Ryan and company do not understand - just as the Soviets didn't understand - is the nature of the feedback loops embedded in any economic system. The price of anything, including labor, in a free market system is the sum total of many, many elements and provides the best possible indicator of the true value of that thing.

Not just the cost, the value. Given two otherwise identical items, the one that is constructed better - which gives the better overall lifetime value to the buyer - will fetch the higher price. Your labor is simply another item on the market. If you can't or won't provide good value for the salary that employer pays you than you won't earn as much as somebody that will.

Ryan and the Progressives assume that - in the Utopian Marxist vein of "to each according to their needs, from each according to their ability" that all workers will work equally hard and need no feedback to indicate to them that their work is of greater or lesser value. Any real-world employer, however, will tell you that this is B.S. Good employees respond to praise and salary raises, and leave if they don't get them. Employees that are not as good either accept the lower raises because they don't want to work so hard - which may be perfectly acceptable - or go and try elsewhere.

If you look carefully at the Progressive's overall economic plans, including minimum wage laws, employer-based health care (dating back to WWII), and tax policies, they want to tie you to one employer for life so that they can control you. They don't like mobile, self-directing populations, since the central government knows all.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
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