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Rep. Barbara Lee: I’d support $26/hr minimum wage in California

Rep. Barbara Lee: I’d support $26/hr minimum wage in California

We’ll have what she’s having.

Appearing on CNN’s Crossfire, Congresswoman Barbara Lee advocated for raising the national minimum wage to $10.10/hour, arguing it would increase worker productivity and decrease turnover.

After discussing the national minimum wage, Newt Gingrich asked the Congresswoman whether she’d support an even higher hike than that.

Via The Daily Caller,

“Let me ask you this question, you’re a good advocate for this,” Gingrich asked Lee. “The mayor of Seattle is proposing that the minimum wage ought to go up to $15 an hour.”

“Good for him,” Lee responded. “In California — more than likely, from what I remembered — a living wage where people could live and take care of their families and move toward achieving the American dream was about $25, $26 an hour.”

“So would you support that as a minimum wage for California?” Gingrich asked.

“Absolutely I would support it for California. I think the regional factors –”

“And you don’t think that’d have an effect on unemployment?” Gingrich interrupted.

“No, Newt, trust me, believe you me,” Lee replied, “you’d have a more productive workforce, you’d have people who could afford to live in areas now where they cannot afford to live. You would increase diversity in certain communities where you don’t have diversity anymore. You would have economic parity and the income gap would begin to close.”

Gingrich pointed out that many countries in Europe — including economic powerhouse Germany — has no minimum wage, yet has tremendously-high economic productivity and relatively low unemployment. He pointed out the average European country with minimum wage laws had 13.8 percent unemployment. No wage law? Just 6.3 percent.

Lee tried to dismiss the comparison, claiming Europe “has a safety net” that America doesn’t possess. But Van Jones quickly moved to change the subject.

If a $26-an-hour minimum wage was instituted in California, employees working 40 hours per week and taking no vacations would earn over $54,000 each year.

Essentially, Lee thinks quadrupling the minimum wage is a panacea for everything from a perceived lack of diversity in certain neighborhoods, to lazy workers.

I’ll have what she’s having.

(Featured Image Source: YouTube)

(WAJ Note:  There was an error in initial header, my fault, now corrected.)


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Sorry – and I know it is hard to keep stupid black congressmen straight, there are so many and they do all sound alike (stupid) – but this is NOT Sheila Jackson Lee, who radiates her own special brand of idiocy from Houston, Texas. She’s the one who wondered if the Mars Rovers would find the flag Neil Armstrong planted, amongst other monumentally stupid things she’s said and done. She is known as the “worst boss in Congress” for the way she treats staff, sometimes calling them at home in the middle of the night to go fetch her some takeout, then berating them for taking too long about, as an example (and of course denying OT pay).

This is about Barbara Lee, from Oakland, California and no relation. Her main claims to fame are her association with Black Panther radicals, including suspected (but never convicted) murderer Bobby Seale of the original Chicago 8.

It’s easy to confuse the two. Both are complete idiots. Sheila is less of a communist and likes nice things, but they are both over 60 and both have been in Congress from very safe black districts for over 20 years.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | May 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Oops, to go along with Estragon, a little bit of proof reading of an article’s title goes quite a long way. And, no, they don’t all look alike, really!

Still, another great example, perhaps, of how us European descendant Honkies are totally insensitive to non-Caucasians.

“Worker productivity” is a measure of how much an employer has to pay vs. how much useful work he gets for it. There is no mathematical way in which requiring employers to pay more for the same work can increase productivity.

She might be trying to say that somehow increasing pay will motivate employees to do more useful work.

Hahahahahaha …

I, too, support a $26 minimum wage in California. It’s yet one more idiotic thing Jerry Brown could do to prove that leftist policies are devastatingly bad.

How do you say “Give my job to a robot?”

    tom swift in reply to AcaJoe. | May 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    True enough. On my first job designing automated production machinery I started to think about how other assembly tasks on the same product could be done by machine, but one of the older design guys pointed out that for the cost of designing, building, and maintaining such a machine, they could hire a lot of assemblers. (This was light assembly of consumer electronics, nothing dangerous or even uncomfortable for humans.) But it’s just a number. The more expensive the workers, the smaller the number of them you can have before it becomes more economical to put them out of work. There will be new jobs for people to operate the new machines, but they won’t be minimum-wage people.

    And no, it’s not “corporate greed” behind it, it’s the competitive market and consumers who want the most bang for their bucks. But “consumer greed” isn’t a fashionable thing to grouse about.

    JerryB in reply to AcaJoe. | May 3, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    If Bamster had his way, we’d still have telephone operators connecting every long-distance call, and they’d be paid $26/hr. You know, I feel sorry for all those operators. Their descendants should demand reparations from all us manual-phobic operator haters.

Living in Seattle, this becomes an important, immediate topic. And the ramifications of this idea are slowly percolating up to the (potential) new employees themselves. And they are realizing the trap that nobody seems to be discussing on a National level:

If you get full time employment in Seattle at $15.00/hour, you will NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR LOW INCOME SUBSIDIES.

Food Stamps.
Single Parent.

Not many of those will pay ANYTHING

    MrMichael in reply to MrMichael. | May 3, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    to people who make $30,000 per year.

    (I apologize for the broken post… we need an edit button for this kind of thing. sigh.)

    My point is, that minimum wage standards, unless they are National, will disqualify most poor from most subsidies.

      JPL17 in reply to MrMichael. | May 3, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      I wouldn’t worry about it. With the minimum wage raised to $15.00 and hour, most of the poor will be unemployed, thereby solving the problem.

nordic_prince | May 3, 2014 at 7:45 pm

“If a $26-an-hour minimum wage was instituted in California, employees working 40 hours per week and taking no vacations would earn over $54,000 each year.”

Except they wouldn’t be working 40 hrs/wk, would they? More like 20 or fewer.

Amazing how these people live in an economic fantasyland ~

I have a question for the economist…I mean, Congresscritter Lee: if you raise the minimum wage to $25/hr, what does that do to the jobs that were already paying $25/hr? Would they now be considered minimum wage jobs, also?

If employers don’t raise wages to keep their workers happy with their skilled jobs, why would anyone want to go to school to get trained for a harder job that pays the same as a low-skilled minimum wage job?

    JPL17 in reply to rinardman. | May 3, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I can’t answer for the learned Congresswoman, but I *expect* that she believes that if you raise the minimum wage by $8 an hour, then skilled workers who are currently earning $25 an hour will automatically be earning $33 an hour.

    See, it’s like magic.

    janitor in reply to rinardman. | May 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    They’re not thinking about this. Really. They aren’t thinking past bribing voters for the next election.

Gremlin1974 | May 3, 2014 at 8:08 pm

I’m not sure you want to have what she is having, because its either a relapse, a psychotic episode, or a stroke.

(Personally, I am pretty sure it is the second, but I can’t confirm that without a CT scan and blood work.)

What part of limited and finitely accessible resources does she not understand? Even the federal government cannot devalue capital and labor forever. Give everyone one million… No, one billion dollars, then let them loose in the arena for the aristocrats’ amusement.

Juba Doobai! | May 3, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Where will employers get the money to pay $25 an hour? You have a hot dog stand franchise, how much will you have to sell a single hot dog for to pay a guy $25 to run the stand for you? You make hot dog bread selling at $2 or so per package; how much will you have to increase your price to pay your workers?

When the minimum wage goes up, a new inexperienced employee will make as much as a more experienced one so you will have to raise wages. Given the cost of regulations, inventory, supplies, and all the other business related costs which will also increase because of the new $25 minimum wage, how long before many people go out of business and many employees lose their jobs?

This new minimum wage is a job killer and stifler. New businesses? Forget it!

    JPL17 in reply to Juba Doobai!. | May 3, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    What’s your problem, Juba??? All you have to do is raise the price of your hot dog from $2.00 to $300.00. That way, you only have to sell ONE.

    Sheesh. Don’t you understand liberal economics?

This is mandated inflation and other prices will soon climb to match. People cannot live in certain areas because the demand drives the price past the average ability to pay. Giving them more money will simply enrich the landlords, until inflation levels everything out.

What idiocy.

well, if she gets her way, the good news is that the three Failifornian’s who will still have j*bs will be well off.

the rest of us will be some broke mo’fo’s though…


Subotai Bahadur | May 3, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Do it! Just do it! $26 an hour in California, $15 an hour in Seattle. Do it. Why fight it. Or stay neutral. If we are going in this country from “Let it burn” to “Burn it down”; then these are perfect opportunities to start a brushfire in an area that really is not part of America. Write letters to the editor supporting it, even from other states, argue on Leftist sites. Get the true believers all riled up, just to see them micturate in their own Wheaties.

I’ll bet that she has unpaid interns while she’s flacking for everybody else to pay their employees this nutty wage.

Progressives are stupid. Period.

Words have no meaning and math is racist.

They don’t have to be smart. They don’t have to understand economics, math, biology, sociology, literature or anything other than getting elected. That is the way the system works (actually that should read, that is the way the system is. It is not necessarily working).

Another Ed | May 4, 2014 at 1:46 am

Hiring labor at any wage either makes a business money because of the increase of profit offered by the output of additional labor or loses the business money because of the inability of the labor output proceeds to exceed the cost. Each employer will evaluate what a particular wage rate will do for their business and act appropriately. If you cannot profitably offer a good or service at a particular wage rate, then you either abandon offering that good or service, modify or reprice the good or service to make it profitable, or subsidize that offering from other profitable segments of your business in exchange for the profitable business that the unprofitable business brings.

Changes in minimum wage law forces management to think, analyze and plan, which sometimes hurts. Fluctuations in raw material and fuel costs continuously impact businesses, but since they are not controllable by government, they do not produce the bellyaching that minimum wages do.

There aren’t any real reporters any more. It wouldn’t take long to check around DC for Barbara Lee’s apartment building, favorite restaurants, etc., and check with the staff there to see what kind of tipper she is.

It would help put the story in perspective.

WhereDidMyCountryGo | May 4, 2014 at 2:19 am

There’s a great scene from Rocky Balboa (of all movies) that’s lost on this generation and the entitlement enablers/carnival barkers/race hustlers that line up at the trough that we know as Congress. The critical passage:

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”

Full scene:

If Congresswoman Barbara Lee wanted to help Californians she would increase the employment rate and not the minimum wage. That would entail removing thousands of regulations now holding Californians back from creating jobs and also moving jobs to Texas or Arizona or ?.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee apparently is affronted by such inter-state ‘competition’ and has therefore decided that she must increase the min. wage to look like she’s doing something for the little peeps. This min. wage meme (a Benghazi & IRS cover-up) IS coming out of the WH.

No, all black people do not look alike, but many if not most walk in lockstep with the black caucus ‘cuz if they don’t they will be called an “Uncle Tom” for not staying on the plantation.

Minimum wage/ minimum wage increases are a bane to job creation, to job maintenance and a most telling sign that Obamanomics, circa Paul Krugman, has been a destroyer of wealth creation, human flourishing and “movin’ on up” through hard work, entrepreneurship and desire. Remember the big-hype but non-resultant “recovery Summer?”

Ca. rate of unemployment is higher than the national average. A min. wage does absolutely nothing for the jobless or for job creation. It destroys jobs and does not create new ones.

Ca. labor participation rate is below the national average. See above statement and take till the end of Lee’s term.

2012 data but foretelling anyway:

Wow I sense a war on woman brewing up here …..

welcome to $19 Big Macs

And I sense high hostility towards people of color. This is a bad look for the conservative agenda. Too much hostility toward woman and people of color.

    Frank G in reply to O BAMA617. | May 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    nah. If a pale male was saying/doing something as stoopid we’d criticize them too.

    Your race card was denied

PersonFromPorlock | May 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I absolutely endorse Rep. Lee’s proposal: it’s entirely in line with the principle that ‘the states are laboratories of democracy’.

Besides, we need a laugh.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to PersonFromPorlock. | May 4, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    …and then we could start a pool to see when California finally implodes. Kick in $20USD (sorry, no pesos), pick a three-day block of time, and if Cali goes officially Tango-Uniform on your three-day pick, you win all the money.

    Meanwhile, all the third- and fourth-generation Californians of Okie and Midwestern descent would start a reverse big migration, a “Grapes of Wrath” in reverse.

    “Where ya headin’ doooode?”

    “Well, I’m a’ headin’ to Texas. I hear that a dooooode can get work out there. I hear that the I.T. jobs is right there, just fer the askin’! Jobs is growing on trees, even in the oil patch! I just hope this here Range Rover will make it ‘cross that ol’ desert. I can’t afford Super Unleaded on gummint benefits.”

26 $ a hour minimum wage to flip burgers???
I am a nurse,my wife is a nurse. They pass that and hey I can deal with my stress level going down !!!

Truly though what would be the point ?? While the idea of a utopian society sounds great the realities of life is another thing.
I love being a nurse, so does my wife. Being cursed at by drunk patients in the E.R. , being thrown up on by overdosing patients, looking into the eyes of abused children while they are walking out the door with there crack addicted parents, I love my job & I do love the paycheck because there is no wage worth those things.

Now you’re going to pay burger flippers that kind of money while I had years in college and years of experience. Sure I will give all that up….you want fries with that ???

So flamboyantly generous. Yes! Generous! Throw it in the air. Yes. Yes. Yes.

With other peoples’ money.

I’d like to know what the Congressperson pays her staff. Surely it’s $26/hr?

This is why your political ideas and feelings are in the minority in today’s America. You talk down to to many people and not at them. The conservative/tea party is too angry balding and aging. America is not like it use to be accept it. Saying everyone on the country is stupid except for yourself doesn’t win elections.

Someone should ask this idiot why if we can raise the minimum wage to $26 with only positive consequences then why not raise it to $20,000 and make everyone a million are?

    O BAMA617 in reply to ConradCA. | May 5, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I’m sure some of your friends in the resturaunt industry would love to LOWER the minimum wage. They probably would abolish child labor laws too. Minimum wage hurts economy but cutting taxes for rich people will help. Can you see how stupid that sounds to a middle class American. GOP message by giving rich ppl tax cuts they will hire more people. Our country is dependent on job creators we must keep giving them tax money so that they can create jobs and lower minimum wage. That my friend is BS.

    O BAMA617 in reply to ConradCA. | May 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Oh and all of us normal Americans are too dumb because we don’t watch enough foxnews and if you don’t agree with conservative ideology then you are a democrat and progressive and a lib and straw man and troll and a commie