When Charlie Met Nancy (or, Chicks on a Power Trip and the Fish Packers who Love Them)
On Wednesday, the House obeyed orders and passed what has been called the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over the next three years:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who had garnered support for the issue in June while the Democrats were still the minority party in Congress, said passing a mininum-wage increase now was important to "honor the work of Americans."
Sen. Ted Kennedy, in a press conference before the vote, called the bill a matter of both "family values" and "civil rights," citing the large proportion of black and Hispanic workers the minimum wage affects.
Okay, so that's black and Hispanic Americans accounted for. Is that everybody? (Keep that in mind, friends...we'll get back to this in just a sec.)
Assuming it gets through the Senate, this bill will force all currently operating American businesses with employees at the minimum-wage level to raise those employees' pay, regardless of whether said employees deserved it or not.
Which will, in turn, force those companies to raise the prices on their products, or lay off other employees, or conduct any number of other cost-cutting procedures in order to stay profitable and/or stay in business.
Unless your business happens to have its headquarters in Nancy Pelosi's main district...in which case, apparently, it's different:
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.
Ah, now see? I just KNEW we were missing somebody.
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.
(Insert "smelt" joke here.)
This should have come as no surprise to anyone who read the title of the bill. Anytime you hear a liberal Democrat use the word "fair", you can bet SOMEONE'S getting shafted.
In this case, it's the majority of an entire nation of people who technically fall under the umbrella of American governance...yet, at the same time, seemingly don't qualify for whatever Ted (hic) Kennedy defines as "family values" and "civil rights".
A spokeswoman for Mrs. Pelosi said Wednesday that the speaker has not been lobbied in any way by StarKist or Del Monte.
Translation: "This is just a particularly magnanimous gesture on
Tip o' the rock to Don Surber for the initial reference.