Minimum Wage Laws

Old Urban-Rural Battle Among States Now Battles Between Cities And Rural Areas Within The States!

The story of much of American history is the struggle and battles between the growing urbanization in America, and the desire of small town, rural America to keep “traditional values”.

So the South, heavily rural historically, has always held back against reform and change, and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in the half century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But now, in 2016, we are seeing a revolt, an uprising of growing urban areas and university towns in the South against “traditional values”!

So we see urban areas in many Southern states promoting becoming “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants; supporting gay and transgender rights; calling for minimum wage laws to be reinforced and to promote raises; and working to undermine the Confederate flag as an appropriate symbol in 21st century America!

These growing urban areas include such locations as Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, Athens and Savannah, Georgia; Gainesville and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jackson, Hattiesburg, and Oxford, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas; Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky. The Democratic Party is growing in these areas, and African Americans and Latinos are a good percentage of that growth, and university towns are also part of the massive changes that are occurring toward progressive change.

But the rural dominated Republican legislatures are passing state pre-emption laws that deny these localities the ability to set up their own regulations and laws. Ironically, it means these Republican states are fighting to take away local controls, while fighting on the national level against centralized authority of the federal government!

Maine On The Road To The 19th Century: Governor Paul LePage And Labor Laws

The state of Maine has often be seen as a state of independent minded people who have been ahead of much of the rest of the nation in many ways.

The reputation of Maine is about to be damaged irrevocably by the insanity of Tea Party favorite and Governor Paul LePage!

He wants the state labor laws to be changed, after having removed labor murals from the state Labor Department building as objectionable!

Now he wants the state to change the child labor laws to allow 16 year old high school students to work 24 hours a week, rather than the present 20. What this means is that there will be a higher dropout rate as students will have no time to study and focus on school. He also wants high school students to be allowed to work to 11 pm, rather than the present 10 pm, on school nights, another horrible idea!

LePage also wants the state minimum wage law to be changed to allow workers under the age of 20 to be paid a minimum wage of $5.25 instead of the prevailing wage of $7.50!

This would be slave labor wages in the 21st century, as no one can even live on the minimum wage as it is, and it would be exploiting young people and making it harder for older people out of work to gain even a minimum wage job!

Paul LePage is another despicable governor who represents backwardness and craziness, much like Rick Scott of Florida, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Snyder of Michigan, John Kasich of Ohio, and Chris Christie of New Jersey!

If Maine had any sense, it should take action to remove this disgraceful excuse for a governor through recall or impeachment, as he will destroy the state with his loony, retrogressive agenda!

The Ideological Struggle Of American History: Laissez Faire Vs. Progressivism!

As we begin the year 2011, the old ideological struggle between laissez faire economics and the progressive tradition is again involved in a great struggle over the future of America.

Laizzez faire celebrates individuality and risk taking, while progressivism promotes the idea of a person’s right to a minimum standard of living and a safety net of protections for all citizens.

So we have the new constitutional debate over the health care law, whether everyone in the United States is entitled to health care coverage. Conservatives regard any expansion of government protections as a threat to capitalism and freedom of choice.

But this battle has raged for a century and more in different ways, such as the following:

1. The 16th Amendment, the federal income tax, which became part of the Constitution in 1913, was called an attack on individual freedom and a threat to the American experiment.

2. Social Security in 1935 was called a plan to make the United States a copy of the Soviet Union.

3. The minimum wage and mandated overtime pay in 1938 were considered steps toward Communism, Marxism, Fascism and Nazism.

4. After Brown V. Board of Education started the modern civil rights movement in 1954, many thought that it would destroy the nation, was an abuse of judicial power, and was unconstitutional.

5. When Medicare was passed in 1965, it was considered unAmerican and a socialist attack on the American economy.  It was denounced by Ronald Reagan as taking away the freedom of the American people.

So passionate opposition has always followed every expansion of the social safety net or promotion of civil rights, but when one looks back, it is obvious that the laissez faire and conservative attacks are just hysteria and promotion of fear by those who don’t wish to promote the ultimate “American dream”, that all of us are entitled to basic human rights, not just the rich and the privileged who just want to deny those rights because it might make it necessary that they part with some of their self centered view of what America is all about!

It is seen as likely that after many constitutional challenges over the next two years, the Supreme Court will uphold the Health Care legislation passed last year, by a 5-4 or 6-3 vote, and in future years, many will look back and wonder why such tumult developed over what will be seen as a basic human right, the right to medical care for everyone–rich, middle class or poor in this nation!