Via Economic Policy Journal

Rahm Emanuel

Raising the minimum wage is one of the evilest things you can do to low productivity inner-city black youth. It makes it impossible to get that all-important first job.

Higher minimum wages are generally promoted by unions that benefit from keeping low-skilled workers out of the workforce. A Biden administration would be very pro-union, Joe Biden has said so:

I want you to know I’m a union guy. Unions are going to have increased power.

Thus, it is no surprise that Rahm Emanuel who loves to be around power and was President Obama’s former chief-of-staff and is rumored to be Biden selections for Transportation Secretary, has an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal where he provides a strategy for Biden to raise the minimum wage. He writes:

Unless Democrats win both Georgia Senate seats in Jan. 5 runoffs, Mr. Biden will be the first Democrat to face a Republican Senate at the beginning of his first term since Grover Cleveland in 1885. How can he even hope to pursue a progressive agenda?

The concern is well-founded because continued gridlock would be a disaster, blocking America from working through its challenges. But there is a way forward…

With the filibuster still in place, progressives will have no way of forcing controversial legislation through the Senate, regardless of what happens in Georgia. So the White House will need to gain the acquiescence of at least a handful of Republican senators to drive progress.

One strategy is to try to beat moderate Republicans into submission, dreaming that a deluge of angry phone calls, emails and social-media posts will cow them into supporting a progressive agenda. While that may be emotionally gratifying, it’s rarely effective. A more promising approach would be to find issues on which individual senators would benefit politically from breaking with their leadership and supporting President Biden’s plan. That would allow for small compromises that build the trust needed to advance bigger legislative priorities later.

The minimum wage would be a good start—if only because, as the results from Florida reveal, millions of Republican voters would support raising the federal floor for the first time since 2007. In the House, an up-or-down vote would almost surely pull GOP support. That would then put pressure on the Senate, where Republican members up for re-election in 2022 would have reason to jump on board. It would be an auspicious start.

RW

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