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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Friday, January 12, 2007

Princess Pelosi and her court

Not long ago, Democrats were jumping up and down about how the minimum wage must be raised. They've managed to pass the bill in the House with Speaker Pelosi saying:

"With the passage of this crucial legislation, we will reward work, paying America's workers a decent wage so they may join in our nation's prosperity," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.

Except that:

GOP hits Pelosi's 'hypocrisy' on wage bill (Thanks to Instapundit)

On Wednesday, the House voted to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour.

The bill also extends for the first time the federal minimum wage to the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, it exempts American Samoa, another Pacific island territory that would become the only U.S. territory not subject to federal minimum-wage laws.

One of the biggest opponents of the federal minimum wage in Samoa is StarKist Tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans, or nearly 75 percent of the island's work force.

StarKist's parent company, Del Monte Corp., has headquarters in San Francisco, which is represented by Mrs. Pelosi. The other plant belongs to California-based Chicken of the Sea.


Isn't that special?

I don't think much of a minimum wage at all. However, it can be argued, that there are special circumstances in which such a regulation might be beneficial, as Lance covers in his blog:

Rotting fish in the Samoan sun-Updated

Ironically, one of the situations where minimum wage legislation might make the most sense is in a relatively isolated location where the local economy is almost entirely dependent on one or two employers who therefore have little competition for labor producing a product that is almost entirely exported and the profits of which are not spent in that local economy. Even if said employers reduced the workforce somewhat it is quite likely the increased wages would spur the local economy to produce more jobs. Employment losses are likely to be minimal because wages are possibly below a competitive market rate anyway. The local workers have had no alternatives to lead to a bidding up in wage rates.


As we already know, Del Monte Corp. by way of StarKist Tuna, employs nearly 75 percent of the the island's work force. He goes on further and a quote from a Republican on the floor of the house is pretty good. Read his entire post it is well worth it.

As many have noted before, the minimum wage really does not help those who need it most and tends to actually hurt them. That we have an extreme situation where it could possibly be of benefit and yet this area is exempted from the legislation, brings up the question of why bother with it in the first place?

Did Pelosi actively seek out this nifty little gift for a constituent? We don't have proof of that yet, but it sure smells fishy. Maybe she should have just had some smaller streets named after those in her court, rather than let this get by, as it serves only to undermine the rather thin rational for such regulation in the first place.

That first 100 hours is sure going great isn't it?

*Update 01.13.07*

Democrats promise that the loophole is going to be closed now.


Filed under: NewsPolitics

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